Mario Badescu: The Beginning
The background behind Mario Badescu the man and his now world-famous brand is a heartwarming success story. Mario Badescu was a Romanian-born skin care specialist with big plans. He had a background in chemistry and cosmetology, and he dreamed of bringing his European facials to America. He left his homeland and arrived in New York city. In 1967, he opened his first salon and product line - out of his two-bedroom apartment in Manhattan! Talk about having entrepreneurial spirit.
Mario's philosophy was that skincare should be gentle, simple and most of all, effective. His skin care range is botanically-based, so you'll find ingredients like rose water, calamine and aloe on the back of Mario's creations. His personable approach to his clients soon garnered him a loyal fan base amongst the celebrity set of 1960s New York, and soon he was able tp expand beyond the walls of his small apartment. You can still make an appointment for a Mario Badescu facial today, at 320 East 52nd Street in New York where there are a whooping 36 treatment rooms ready for you to relax in! Sadly, Mario passed away in 1983, but his legacy lives on. Amongst the brand's best sellers are:
- The Hydrating Facial Spray range
- Hyaluronic Eye Cream
- Protein Night Cream
- The Whitening Mask
- Enzyme Cleansing Gel
But none of these have received the sheer hype as this product has - and that's Mario's Drying Lotion!
The Mario Badescu Drying Lotion
Cost: You can pick up a 29ml bottle for $26 at Mecca
Overview: A pleasing pink lotion, this Mario Badescu drying cream is perfect for anyone who suffers from whiteheads. Whiteheads are the stereotypical pimple. When dead skin cells, excess oil and bacteria become trapped in your skin's pores, this common form of acne appears. What's so great about this product is that it works overnight on your whiteheads while you sleep! From the makers themselves, here's how you use it -
Video: A guide to using the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion
In terms of pro's and con's, the only relative 'downside' to this lotion is that it isn't an immediate fix. It's an overnight treatment, you have to give it time to do its thing. But come on, what product is going to instantaneously banished a pimple into oblivion? And using this lotion while you sleep is infinitely better than squeezing and picking at your skin with your bacteria-ridden hands. Yuck!
Another fact to consider is that this drying lotion is designed for whitehead type acne. If you suffer from cystic acne, you will be better off trying the Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion instead, which is designed to help with eruptions and bumps that lurk under the skin. You may also feel like you're fighting a never ending war against blackheads. A blackhead is a plug formed by excess oil that sits in a hair follicle. When the plug is exposed to the air, it turns black in colour, hence its name. For blemishes like these, there is Mario Badescu Silver Powder, which draws out blackheads and absorbs the excess oils that cause them.
Celebrity Fans of Mario Badescu
Mario had celebrity fans during his early rise to fame, and nothing much has changed. Martha Stewart and Naomi Campbell are reportedly frequent visitors at the New York facility, and the company even has a Hall of Fame page that lists some of their most famous clientele. Let's face it, we'll take celebrities reviews any day of the week, so let's list some of the brand's best customers.
1. Kylie Jenner
Fast-forward to around the 0:20 mark, and you'll see Kylie singing the Drying Lotions' praises. She even demonstrates how the product should be used, reminding us that when we go to dip into the bottle with our swab - "Don't shake it!"
2. Bella Hadid
The stunning supermodel is a huge fan of the low cost brand, sharing her excitement with her fans via her Instagram story when she was gifted a care package. "GUYS!!!!," she posted (and when Bella Hadid uses four exclamation marks, you pay attention!) "How did I get so lucky!!! This is not an ad my favourite skin care just sent me the best care package ever before my flight thank you @mariodescu"
3. Lili Reinhart
The Riverdale star posed for this Instagram pic with the trademark Badescu pink dots on her face post-application.
4. Khloe Kardashian
Turns out Kylie isn't the only sister who loves this lotion. This is what happens when you grow up sharing a bathroom with your siblings! Khloe has written about the Drying Lotion on her website before. "You guys haven't lived if you haven't tried Mario Badescu Drying Lotion!" she said. "Anytime I have a pimple, I dab it with my Drying Lotion and let it sit overnight. The next morning, it's gone. OBSESSED!!! This replace sall the acne treatments I've tried before."
5. Kylie Camps
Leave Hollywood for a minute and come back to Australia. Kylie Camps, formerly The Sleep Mama, of The Kind Parenting Company shares lots of her skin care faves on her social media. She's always very transparent if a company has sent her things to try, if she's an ambassador for a brand or whether she just enjoys being a regular consumer. We are unsure if Kylie uses the Drying Lotion specifically, but we've definitely seen some of Mario's Hydrating Facial Spray in her Instagram stories before. Once, one of Kylie's gorgeous sons even decided to take the spray out with him in his day-bag. That kindergarten child is living in 2029 while the rest of us are still catching up!
6. Zoë Foster-Blake
Another radiant, Aussie lady! In this 2012 post all about zapping away zits, Zoë described the lotion as, "My beloved Mario Badescu's Drying Lotion (a small bottle of magic with a calamine and salicylic acid lotion to soothe and calm the skin down while purifying it, and a pink 'clay' made of zinc oxide and sulfur at the bottom to draw the whiteheads out.)"
Even if you're just in the market for a new cleanser or toner, Mario Badescu is a brand worth checking out. If it's been around for over 50 years and the rich and famous are still raving about it, what have you got to lose?