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My name is: Athena Hewett.

I’m known for being: The maker of Monastery, an artisanal skincare line handcrafted for the professional side of the spa and then brought to the public. I’m also the owner and head esthetician of Athena Ellen Skincare and Apothecary in San Francisco. 

I'm talking about: The relaunch and curated selection of our luxury skincare brand.

You can find it at: Monastery Made 

How it works is: We believe that skincare should be not only be effective, texturally appealing and chemical and preservative free, but that it should also transport you to another place through sensory experience. We all need to take a moment at the end of the day to clear our minds; and we think that, with our busy schedules, a skincare routine can be the perfect way to fit that in. A simple but important ritual.

What makes it special is: We love natural beauty, but sometimes nature can be a bit strong for our fragile skin. Each and every one of our products is made by hand, but is sensitivity-tested by our in-house chemist. We are proud to say that all of our products are suitable for sensitive skin. 

montasery made

Our products are also sourced from the part of the world in which they are natively grown because we believe this matters. The life force of a plant is only as amazing as the sun it grows under and the soil it’s grown in. There’s a huge difference between a Roma tomato grown in Italy and a Roma tomato farmed in the US. We make all of our products in downtown San Francisco, but we travel the world sourcing the ingredients in their best form.

One thing you can’t miss is: The Attar Repair Concentrate—a vegan balm made from floral concretes, hazelnut and rosehip oil. This ultra calming and moisturizing solid oil contains a proprietary ingredient just for Monastery, obtained from a rose plant in South Africa. People say that the product smells like bananas (no bananas in the recipe). All we know is that it smells and feels amazing.

My favorite secret detail is: I’ve given 20,000 facials in my career and this curated selection of six products started with 400+ recipes. These are the favorites chosen by my clientele. Of course, they are my favorites too.  

Your body will thank you because: You will improve your complexion and skin texture by using the best in artisanal skincare, while also having a sensory experience. Close your eyes and be transported to the islands of Greece, the fields of Grasse, the flower markets of India.

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Photo by Sonal Jadhav van der Poel

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