Why Francisco Costa wants to slow down your morning routine
Created with Costa Brazil
Written by: Megan O’Neill
Published on: August 9, 2022
What you get when one of the world’s most famous fashion designers channeled all of her energy (and signature, uncomplicated sensuality) to create a line of skincare products Clean inspired by his Brazilian roots? A collection of firming treatments that brighten skin and look amazing on bathroom shelves — Costa Brazil’s sleek minimalist glass bottles and jars are almost sculptural. Known for dressing some of the most gorgeous women on earth (glittery Gwyneth, literally, down the Oscars red carpet in a glittery metallic gown in 2011; Lupita Nyong’o shining in a pearl gown at the 2015 Oscars), Francisco Costa defined the era as the women’s creative director of the Calvin Klein Collection for 13 years, before moving on to beautify. “You can’t celebrate nature without a clean formula,” says the founder and fashion designer, whose formula is as pure as possible. clinical trial of efficacy. His fascination with skin — glowing, supple, healthy skin — began long before he launched Costa Brazil in 2018, he claims, and it has helped inspire a some of his most sought after collections.
“My aesthetic when I was at Calvin was as much about clothes as it was with gorgeous shoulders, beautiful lips and light skin,” says Costa from New York, who has found stark similarities between the two. applying luxurious oils or serums and stepping into, say, a washed silk dress. “There’s an intimacy in getting dressed, whether you’re putting something on your skin or putting your clothes on,” he said. “It makes you feel good to go back to yourself, to take care of yourself. In particular, paying attention to your skin creates a ritual that forces you to slow down.”
Indeed, the melting texture of any one of Costa Brazil’s delicious treatments will keep you hooked, as will their scents — every recipe in the line is delicately blended. with the same enchanting, mysterious earthy scent. “Scent was the first thing I created,” says Costa. “It’s mellow, spicy and woody at the same time, and it smells a little different for everyone, which I love.” Firming body oil, a cocktail of intensely nourishing botanicals — Brazil nut oil, tucuma oil and pequi nut — leaves skin looking youthful and plump.
Applying a sweet body scrub-almond oil and green coffee body scrub while showering will pull you in for an instant. “You know how after a day at the beach your skin and body feel so refreshed, you want to have sex or go to sleep? I want a scrub that makes you feel that way,” says Costa. “It’s so thick and rich, you can turn the jar upside down and nothing comes out.”
Then there’s the acai-infused face serum: silky, lightweight and super skin-enhancing. “This serum reminds me of growing up in Brazil: After I play in the ice-cold waterfalls, my skin feels… more alive,” he says. “It has kind of instant energizing effect.”
Brazil — Costa from Guarani, an impossibly green town in the mountains southwest of Rio — saturates the entire product line (also includes facial oils, body massagers, fragrances, etc.) . It all started when Costa left Calvin Klein in 2016: He took a six-month break to explore the Amazon rainforest – where he had never been – and spend time with the indigenous Yaminawá people. “Seeing how they connect so deeply with nature – sunrise and sunset controlling their day, not a bunch of emails – that changed me,” he says. “They live out in the wild and use powerful fruits and plants we’ve never heard of in sacred rituals and as healing potions for their skin and spirit.”
The first ingredient that Costa came across was breu branco. “It’s a wonderful resin from the almaciga tree that has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that have been used for centuries to calm the mind and spirit,” he said. “It’s considered sacred.” Working with local chemists and botanists, Costa found other potent ingredients from the rainforest; Gradually, a skincare line began to take shape. The smoky, warm aromas of the sun-earth and the crushed leaves of the beer are combined with patchouli, vetiver and tropical flowers to create the signature fragrance of the line; skin-smoothing, skin-lightening cacay (rich in omegas and a natural source of retinol) and kaya (a skin-firming superfood sustainably harvested and exclusive to the local farmer’s brand). The super-active Jungle Complex is incorporated into every formula.
Costa is adamant about cleaning the line — it’s easy to meet goop’s clean standards and free of parabens, phthalates, PEG, silicones, sulfates, mineral oils and artificial colors, plus it’s Leaping Bunny–, FSC- and PETA certified. “There’s no other way to do it,” he said. “Cleanliness for us means combining science with nature.” That profound respect for purity is reflected in Costa Brazil’s sustainability efforts: The brand has partnered with Conservation International, as well as other nonprofits, to ensure that they use sustainable sourcing, manufacturing and packaging methods.
Sure, Costa’s Amazon journey has influenced his new brand, but he says it still affects his life on a daily basis. “I woke up at 5am. There was something about the silence that morning, even in frenetic Manhattan. You find all the answers,” he marveled. “I’m still a work in progress, but taking care of myself and taking good care of my skin to help people create rituals and slow down really means a lot to me.”
3 early morning rituals to go slow
for beautiful skin from Francisco Costa
Go one looong shower head.
“Standing in the water is so relaxing – I usually go to the gym and come back when I’m in the shower. I dip into the body scrub and apply it to my arms, shoulders, calves, and evenly along the soles of my feet and onto my face. It feels great and instantly delights me: Murumuru seeds on the ground act as an exfoliator, and the moisturizing oils leave your skin amazingly soft. And the scent — the signature aroma, along with the green coffee — takes me back to the jungle.”
Pamper your skin with serums and moisturizers.
“My sister is the reference for Brazilian beauty endeavors. When we grew up together, her hair was always blow-dried, she never wore makeup, and her skin was clean and fresh. We should all moisturize. I’m naturally oily, but moisturizing is what keeps my skin young, balanced, and plump. After cleansing, I spread the serum evenly over my face — it’s a soothing blend of aloe vera leaf juice, skin-energizing guarana from the Amazon, and vitamin C-rich camu oil. Depending on my skin’s needs, I I apply the serum separately or I apply the oil afterwards”.
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Massage the body with oil.
“Getting out of the shower and soothing your body with a body oil—I apply the oil to my face and massage it into my scalp—is the simplest ritual. The more oil in your life, the better. We put all of these firming, skin-nourishing oils in — kaya, cacay, and skin-brightening tucuma seed oils, all of which enrich the formula. It just feels addicting, having that moment with itself. “