Madrid native Mónica Ceño Elie-Joseph may be a beauty industry vet now, but she didn’t start out on that path. Elie-Joseph first began her career in the art world, earning her B. A. in Art History from the Complutense University. A few years later, she moved to the Big Apple to work for world-class museums like MoMA and the Guggenheim. When she finally returned to Madrid, Elie-Joseph quickly found work contributing to Vogue España, Vanidad, and Kapital Magazine. It was during her time as a writer that she came up with the revolutionary idea for The Lab Room: It would offer the same luxurious services as other day spas, but with the cultural, not to mention enjoyable, addition of DJs, art exhibitions, and shopping. It was hardly any surprise when celebrities like Penelope and Monica Cruz, Jennifer Lopez, and Natalie Portman began frequenting the new hot spot.
While such success would have been enough for most, Elie-Joseph continued to further her career, penning a bestselling book in 2007, and creating her must-read blog “Secretos de Salon” (“Beauty Secrets”). Most recently, she launched The Lab Room Beauty Collection and the 7 Scent Collection, both of which combine botanical formulas with aromatherapy, resulting in products that truly transform you inside and out.
Here, she shares her thoughts on everything from organization to cashmere.
What’s the one habit you have that changed your life for the better?
Making lists. When you have a busy schedule, it is a great habit to have. I love drawing lines on my to-dos once they are over with.
What’s the one habit you have that’s not so great?
I screen my calls and hate answering unknown numbers. Then, of course, I miss great calls and I end up calling back anyway.
What’s your naughtiest habit?
During winter, it’s cashmere. I can’t have enough. It's so warm and soft on the skin. During summer, Diane Von Furstenberg dresses. Always: candles.
What’s your secret (or not-so-secret) beauty advice?
I have a habit of putting my hair in the best hands which means going to Orlo, Orlando Pita's salon, for color and haircuts, even if it means crossing the Atlantic. (But, of course, there is always a good reason to visit NYC!) Gorgeous hair allows you to be in jeans as much as you want. Also: eyebrow design, every month. It really changes a woman’s life.
What’s a habit you wish you had?
I am a creative soul, which means I am a little bit chaotic when it comes to organization. I have often found my sunglasses in my refrigerator. I wish I was more disciplined; my work desk would look so much better.
What three style habit should every woman adopt?
Deconstruction. Always mix clothes. Jeans with high heels and velvet jackets, etc.
Lipstick. It’s a must.
A skin regime that appeals to your five senses. Cleans, hydrate, etc. The Lab Room beauty line addresses it all.
What three style habits should every woman break?
Break your routine. Always be a little bit adventurous.
Don’t criticize yourself. Love what you have and who you are.
Don’t listen to other people’s opinions of you. You should be your best friend.