Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Duchess creator pushes pampering

Marla Steuer is on a mission to take the chore out of skin care.

"We rush through the day, eating cereal over the sink, rushing through our skin regimen," says the creator of the Duchess Marden line, who will be in Charlotte on Saturday, April 26. "We need more self-nurturing, self-pampering."

An encounter with rose water, a chemical-free distillate of rose petals, during a journey to Southeast Asia was life-changing, she says.

When she first tried rose water, it was "reminiscent of that first sip of fresh-squeezed orange juice," she says. "I was so enthralled by it when it was explained to me: the ritual, the many wondrous properties that heal the skin." She shipped rose water back to the states and shared with family and friends. In 2005, she launched the luxury Duchess Marden line.

The line, which debuts in Charlotte at Jeffre Scott Apothecary, features cleansing, toning and hydrating products using plant-based ingredients, 100 percent rose water among them.

Among the line’s most popular items is Neck and Décolleté Serum ($64, 2 ounces), which aids in lightening dark spots, firms and tones, and smooths fine lines and wrinkles.

Marla Steuer will be at Jeffre Scott Apothecary, 607 Providence Road, on Saturday, April 26. Customers who spend more than $75 will receive a free facial by appointment only. Details: 704-339-0010;