All About Mary
Brands have come and gone since the opening of Takamichi Beauty Room back in 2018, but we’ve remained staunchly loyal to Mary Allan. In addition to being the brains behind what we believe to be one of the best skincare companies out there, she’s also our blog’s go-to skincare expert.
While she’s undoubtedly gracious and deeply knowledgeable, we thought it was about time to turn the spotlight squarely on her and ask her some more personal questions. So below, she shares how she got started in the industry, why craftsmanship is so important, and the single ingredient she wishes everyone would use.
How did you get started in skincare?
Allan: I embarked on formal training in botanical skincare formulation, holistic aromatherapy, and advanced esthetics after learning about natural skincare alternatives from customers while working at a drugstore on Vancouver Island in my early twenties. Afterward, I managed one of Anita Roddick’s family-run Body Shops, where I learned about ethical ingredient sourcing and fair trade ingredients.
I eventually moved on to Jurlique, an early pioneer of the natural skincare movement. I learned about biodynamic farming and organic skin care principles there. After that: I oversaw the International Dermal Institute and Dermalogica’s global education, where I become educated on efficacious, high-performance actives and the importance of science-backed ingredients like vitamin C.
After two decades of working as an executive in the skin care industry, I started my own collection in 2018. My formulations combine my training in organic, biodynamic clean beauty with my training in efficacious, performance-driven actives.
What helped you decide on Takamichi Beauty Room as your first retail shop?
Allan: There is an amazing synergy between our brand values and philosophy. I completely trust Marie, Takamichi, and their team. I know my products are in the very best hands.
One thing you two have in common is an unwavering dedication to quality and craftsmanship. Why is this so important to you?
Allan: I believe less is more, and that quality is more important than quantity. I take this approach in my personal life, and only surround myself with objects I love and have been thoughtfully made. Marie also takes this approach when selecting objects for Takamichi Beauty Room. She has an incredible eye for sourcing only the very best.
What's the one skincare fad or trend you'd like to see go away?
Allan: I would love to see unsafe DIY beauty trends go away. One example is the TikTok trend to lighten skin. This type of misinformation is so dangerous. Customers deserve to get advice on products that are safe and effective.
What ingredient do you wish more people used?
Allan: Vitamin C is by far my favorite multi-use ingredient. From brightening the skin, to fading dark spots, to providing antioxidants, nothing compares to it.
If you could recommend just one of your products to new customers, what would it be?
Allan: Hands down, my Vitamin C Cold Pressed Oil.
How do you define beauty?
Allan: To me, beauty is what fills my heart with joy. Every morning when I go for walk I seek beauty. This could be as simple as a flower I notice while walking, or a hummingbird dancing around the trees. To me, life is about seeing the beauty in everything.