Mun No. 1 Aknari

Makeup artist Munemi Imai’s inner compass seemed to point to skincare. A former freelance makeup from Tokyo, Munemi’s accidental jump from the beauty editorials of Vogue and Elle into organic oils came from a spontaneous dietary change needed in response to an unexpected but surely disruptive illness. Like many other eco-smart folks, she quickly came to appreciate the merits of organic eating and prettying and soon thereafter was inspired to create her signature huile blend based on three simple but proven oils. And, no more.

What makes the launch of her serum Mun No. 1 Aknari ($95) an interesting contender to some big branded ones is her choice of carriers – Argan and Prickly Pear (aka Barbary Fig). We’ve seen the winsome qualities of Argan for some time; its nutrient-rich make-up of Vitamin E and Omega 6 are reputed to be the choice of oil for many. And, we’ve also read up Argan’s sister oil from Morocco, Prickly Pear also with mega-amounts of Vitamin E and Omega 6. Both oils take considerable effort to extract; Argan from nuts and Prickly Pear from seeds, which makes them each quite pricey on their own.

But, Munemi is the first to blend the enduring intelligence of these two intensive carriers into one serum to create a wonderfully smooth, skin-transforming serum to use under your night creams or on its own. When used on its own, moisture is continuously replenished with the ultralight weight texture. To help guard your skin’s youthfulness, you could use a cream on top, but the serum works quite well on its own during the day. It sinks in softly, allowing your SPF to glide with ease.

The third oil? Ah, yes, Munemi named her irresistibly ingenuous serum No. 1 after testing countless varieties with essential oils to mask the somewhat pretentious pungency that Prickly Pear is sometimes known to bring. In the end, her first blend (with a deeply vivid, luscious Rose…as red as can be) won out. What’s nice is that Munemi also imports her Rose essential oil from Morocco, which makes this fairly tame treatment but truly worldly one.

Price: $$$
Scent Classification: Floral
Viscosity: Ultralight viscosity