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woman made:

Susanne
kaufmann

How the fifth generation hotelier crafted skin care fit for her 169-year-old Austrian wellness resort and health hideaway.


Written By JAYME CYK


VIOLET GREY profiles female beauty entrepreneurs who are considered industry game changers because of their individual approach to business. Each one entered the conversation in her own manner and maintained a steady, if not unparalleled, trajectory with her indomitable spirit. 

For nearly two centuries, stressed-out city folks the world over have found refuge in Hotel Post Bezau, a storied wellness resort and health hideaway nestled deep within Austria’s Bregenz Forest Mountains. The main draw: Its holistic spa serving up indulgent treatments designed to heal both body and mind. As the fifth generation hotelier, Susanne Kaufmann was looking for a way to introduce a natural, plant-based regimen that would pay homage to her family’s hotel and, of course, deliver on results. “When I created the collection we wanted to take this old knowledge of herbs and traditional Chinese medicine and infuse them into effective yet modern cosmetics,” she says. “It’s also very holistic. The line is not just one cream for all skin types. In conjunction with the spa, we take into account how people live, what their eating habits are like, how much sleep they get, and what their stress level is.”

Since the range coincides with the spa (she also offers treatments at the NYDG Medical Clinic in Manhattan), new skin therapies are considered with the creation of each product. “If we launch a new product, a treatment comes with it,” says Kaufmann. “It’s always a 360-degree process.”

Here, Kaufmann reveals the one product she can’t live without, her love of the outdoors, and why she always starts with a hot meal in the morning.

First thing you do when you wake up?

Have a glass of lemon water before I wake up my children. My beauty routine starts when my kids are out of the house because that takes some time.

Hours of sleep on the regular?

I try to sleep, if possible, at least seven to eight hours.

Time spent on beauty in the a.m.?

Around 20 to 30 minutes.

Typical skincare regimen?

For the face, I always start with a cleansing product and then a toner. It depends on the season, but there is always a serum. In the winter, I love using the Concentrate couperose to protect the skin from irritation. Then depending on [the season] and what I’m supposed to do that day, I’ll use a day cream or a day cream with sun protection. I always finish with Eye Cream Line A, which is my favorite.

Hair situation in the a.m.?

I have long hair, so I usually do it in the evening. When I wash my hair, I use the Intensive Repair Mask, depending on time. Otherwise, I use our Leave-in Conditioner.

Your signature beauty look?

RMS Beauty Un-Coverup, some powder, mascara, and something for the lips and that’s it. I don’t really use foundation most days because I like when my skin can breathe more.

Favorite workout?

There are many. At the moment, I really love boxing and personal training. I also love outdoor sports like biking in the summertime and cross-country skiing in the winter. I try to exercise four to five times a week.

Go-to breakfast and a.m. beverage?

I start with something warm in the morning like warm muesli or some eggs. In Chinese medicine, that is what they suggest. I also have fresh juice or tea.

Foolproof self-care move?

Playing sports is really relaxing for me or biking or walking through the forest here. I am always checking on the quality of the spa, so you’ll see me in there quite often having a massage or a facial.

Signature scent?

I wouldn’t say I have a signature. It changes all the time.

An expensive-but-worth-it product or treatment?

The treatment I really love is our Bespoke Rejuvenating Facial. It includes our Pollution Skin Defence ampoules, which protect the skin from environmental damage. In the treatment, they feature three of the ampoules and different massage techniques. In the end, you take the set of ampoules (another 12) and finish them off at home. It’s quite expensive at $850, but absolutely worth it.

A cheap-but-chic product or treatment?

The product that has a great value is the Alkali Salt Deacidifying Bath Salts. This is the product I really recommend to everyone because there are so many different things you can do with it. It’s important that your pH is more alkaline.

Bedside beauty essentials?

I always keep my Pillow Spray by my bedside and spray it immediately before going to sleep. Also, I take it with me when I go on holiday.

Last thing you do before bed?

Apply our Nourishing Hand Cream.

Beauty icons?

Audrey Hepburn.

Best job?

I’ve always worked at the hotel, and now I’m doing cosmetics. I love them both!

Worst job?

See above!

Best career advice you’ve ever received? 

There’s not one special piece of advice I’ve received. I have a group of people that I go to for help.

Highest point as an entrepreneur?

Being able to work with the people I’ve surrounded myself with.

Lowest point as an entrepreneur?

The flood in 2005 at the hotel. Everything was completely destroyed and we had to rebuild. That was one of the hardest times for me.

Scariest thing you've ever done?

I wanted to go diving at the Great Barrier Reef, so I took lessons and then freaked out when they took me to the spot. I didn’t end up doing it; I just kept snorkeling instead.

Best hidden talent?

Sniffing out a great bottle of wine. I’m interested in everything wine-related, especially where they come from. My favorite type is white Burgundy.

Backup career?
Probably an actress. When I was a child I loved to watch old movies with Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, and Marilyn Monroe.