From Japan to Hawai‘i—with interludes in New York and Morocco in between—Munemi Imai is putting a sumptuous and healthful spin on skincare.
After years in the beauty industry and testing the best products from around the world to add to her makeup kit, Munemi Imai set out to create her own line that was void of harmful ingredients and was truly effective for various skin types. The fruit of that labor is MŪN—a natural skincare collection that relies on healing botanicals, not chemicals, to nurture, balance and brighten your skin. Originally from Japan, Imai now resides in Mānoa Valley, but spent years living in New York and traveling the world as a professional makeup artist. It was her jet-setting ways that connected her to her business partner, native Moroccan Anas Saidi, via a chance encounter on a flight from Casablanca. Saidi’s intimate knowledge of his homeland allows the two to work with several women’s co-ops who produce pure argan, prickly pear and olive oils—MŪN’s signature ingredients—in a sustainable way. In fact, it was a brief illness that prompted Imai to adjust what she was putting in her body and on her skin, and her personal dedication to green living is also evident in the company’s commitment to the health and well-being of people and the planet. That said, Imai looks forward to stocking MŪN in top spas and boutiques around the islands while adding new products to her collection. And when a makeup artist who’s worked on the faces of celebrities and supermodels creates a skincare line, you can bet you’re in good hands.
There’s a new player in the island beauty scene: Honua Skincare, who has produced a range of coveted serums, oils, exfoliants and cleansers that highlight the bounty of Hawai‘i. O‘ahu-born esthetician Kapua Browning began this all-natural, vegan skincare line using powerful, healing botanicals such as hibiscus, sea salt, kukui oil, ‘olena (Hawaiian turmeric) and the like. Browning’s use of modern technology and ancient practice has created a unique, handcrafted line of skin-loving beauty products that has already made a splash in boutiques and spas in and outside of the islands. For the perfect introduction, try the Aloha Youth serum (1 oz. for $58), which includes ‘awa (kava) and noni in its enviable ingredient list, or go all out with the complete Honua Ritual kit ($154), which will leave your face aglow.
If it’s an advanced new therapy, a unique approach or a bespoke treatment, it can be found on Maui, where spa luxury knows no bounds. Start with Willow Stream Spa Maui (Fairmont Kea Lani, 4100 Wailea Alanui Drive, Wailea, Maui, 875.2229). Its WaveMotion massage (60 minutes for $189, 90 minutes for $269) features a treatment table that pivots on a central pedestal mount, creating three-dimensional movements. You’ll feel like you’re floating as the therapist uses joint-release techniques and stretches muscles. It’s deeply therapeutic and calming. Over at Spa Montage at Kapalua Bay (Montage Kapalua Bay, 1 Bay Drive, Kapalua, Maui, 665.8282), the Ultimate Caviar Experience (90 minutes for $295, 120 minutes for $375) involves a polish with crushed pearls, followed by an acupressure facial massage. Protein-rich caviar smoothes fine lines and improves skin texture. Finally, try this indulgence at ‘Āwili Spa and Salon (Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort, 3550 Wailea Alanui Drive, Wailea, 573.1234, Maui): Warm coconut milk drizzled over the body during the delicious Exfoliate treatment (60 minutes for $185, 90 minutes for $265), followed by a scrub to restore the skin’s glow.