For Smith, she fell into the latter category. “I did a whole balance sheet where we had linoleic acid and fatty acids and all of the other vitamins that you could use, and I ended up ordering such huge quantities because I couldn’t get a small amount to make a jar for myself. I had some leftover, so I was sending it to other friends, and it was success story over success story.” It was then that Smith realized she was onto something and took the formula to a lab where she tested her innovation.
From there, the “easy” story is that she and her team developed the MuthaLoad core technology working with a chemist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the all-natural brand was born. The more in-depth story is that it took months of testing, and Smith rattles off so many scientific formulas and percentages that I’m convinced she must have a Ph.D. in physics or biology. But the bottom line is that Smith loves product (“I love our product; I love other people’s products; I love making product”), so she wouldn’t rest until she was 100% confident there was nothing better on the market. “So it’s a good thing I like it, because it’s not easy,” she says with a laugh.
And if you’re thinking, I don’t have stretch marks—how does Mutha benefit me?,” well, Smith has that covered too. “We’re formulating very clean, so yes, it’s all pregnancy safe, but the brand isn’t just for someone with child. I’m thinking about if your mother made something for you, she wouldn’t skimp on anything because she made it for her own child. She’d say, ‘Only the best for you.’ And that’s the brand I promise you.”
As the brand approaches its third anniversary in September 2022, and Smith also celebrates the recent launch of her first book, Your Body Is Magic (“It has nothing to do with my Mutha brand. It’s really about just sharing with people, like, what I learned,” she says), she fills us in on the products—in addition to her own—she loves and the no-cost “tool” she swears by. Time for another edition of Drop the Routine.
It depends on whether I’m in a winter-type environment or somewhere really dry, or Palm Beach where it’s humid. I like Augustinus Bader’s cleanser because it doesn’t strip the skin. If I’m wearing a lot of makeup, I’ll use Then I Met You’s Living Cleansing Bomb because I feel like it really pulls the makeup. And then I use Summer Fridays’ Super Amino Gel Cleanser too, because it doesn’t strip your skin of moisture like most gel cleansers. I typically never go for foaming cleansers because those are usually way too drying. Also, if I’m wearing makeup, I always do a double cleanse at night and a single cleanse in the morning.
My toner and essence
I love essences and am obsessed with my own—the Mutha essence. I typically use that when my skin is drier. And then when I’m doing an exfoliating step, I like to use the Biologique Recherche P50, which is no new discovery because I know that people really love it, but I really like the P50 toner.
I don’t want to feel like I’m plugging my own line, but I love my Mutha No. 1 Serum. We developed MuthaLoad Core Technology, and this was the first product we used it in, and we did it with a chemist from MIT. It’s clinically proven to go 50 times deeper than traditional vitamin C. I’m somebody that gets hyperpigmentation in the sun, so this keeps my skin [free from it] because I use it year-round. It can truly keep all pigmentation at bay. I like the Skin Medica TNS Essential Serum. I’ll alternate it with my No. 1 Serum in the morning, even though you could really use either one of those day and night.
I truly do use the Mutha cream, and that’s it. I really trust myself to give myself the most, fully packed product. And I know what it took to make. It is got tons of antioxidants, and I like the texture of it.
My eye cream
I love a brightening eye cream in the daytime. So that’s when I use my Mutha Up All Night because it’s clinically proven after four weeks to reduce dark circles. But I also like that it has this sheen in it and it’s light-reflecting. At night I use the SK-II Ultimate Revival Eye Cream because I like the texture of it. And I always use eye cream before my serum because I’m really specific about where I’m putting it. Your skin’s a lot thinner under your eye, and I’m afraid if I put my serum on first, that the eye cream is not going to fully absorb because it’s got something bigger over it.
My face masks
I love 111 Skin’s Sub Zero De-Puffing Energy Face Mask. They have a Rose Gold Illuminating Eye Mask that’s really good too. I also like Summer Fridays R+R mask. I never love rose, but this is a special rose. It smells so good and makes me happy to use it.
I like the SkinCeutical retinol. You can do half a percent, so I use the 0.5. I go on and off. When I’m not doing that, I use our Mutha Cream Xtreme because it has bakuchiol in it. So between the two, sometimes I even mix them if the retinol’s too drying.
My face oil
Mutha face oil. I really do love it. It’s more of a dry face oil so it doesn’t feel slimy or too silky. It’s packed with 22 active nutrients, such as tsubaki, kalahari, and borage seed oils to lock in moisture and rejuvenate the skin.
My face mist
If I’m putting makeup on and I don’t want to be glowy, I’ll do EltaMD untinted sunscreen. It smells really good. If I’m wearing very little makeup or if I’m going for that glowier look, I love Supergoop!’s Glow Screen. It’s so good.
My lip balm
Right now I love Lawless’s Forget the Filler Overnight Lip-Plumping Mask. It’s like a really great thick lip balm. I’m telling everybody to buy it right now. If I fall in love with something and if somebody else has done a better one, I just might as well not make it myself.
The number one tool everybody has is their fingertips. A good lymph massage can make a great before and after. But I love the NuFace. You really see a difference, especially with continued use. And then there’s this ultrasonic exfoliating skin spatula from Essia. I’ll put the Mutha essence on and then exfoliate my face. I really love it.
Jessica Radloff is the Glamour West Coast editor. You can follow her on Instagram at @jessicaradloff14.