Saskia Miller believes in accentuating your authentic beauty.
After being scouted as a model in her high school cafeteria at 17 years old, then featured in advertisements for heavy-hitters like L’Oreal Paris and Vera Wang, Miller developed a strong relationship with the personal care market. She earned her bachelor of arts degree at NYU in New York City and a master’s in cross-cultural communications and marketing at graduate school in Berlin. And it was during this discovery of her inner entrepreneur and marketing consultant that she began to explore the process of making conscious, educated choices about the personal care products she used. Miller was no longer interested in posing as make-believe characters for a career. She wanted her looks—and work—to reflect her true self.
So inspired, the rising businesswoman founded Kabinet.me, a social platform where members set up profiles to exchange recommendations on the skincare, haircare, body, and wellness products that work best for them.
Here, Miller offers advice on navigating the vast personal care and wellness product landscape:
Live The Process: How have your views on personal care transformed as you have matured?
Saskia Miller: I was really thrown into the world of aesthetics after I was scouted in my high school cafeteria in Maryland. I was 17 years old. It was exciting and a bit surreal to suddenly see my face in magazines. And it was fascinating to learn how print media works, how visual stories are crafted by a creative team: the makeup artist, hair stylist, fashion stylist, editor, photographer and talent all contribute to crafting an image. I also learned how hair and makeup could actually change my appearance; the thrill of becoming a different character inspired me to dive deeper into film and acting while at NYU.
I experienced a fundamental shift towards personal care after graduate school in Berlin. I started working in marketing as an entrepreneur and was no longer playing all of these different characters as an actor and model. In this new phase of my career, I found that I felt healthiest being my most natural self. This approach is less about makeup and changing my look and more about using skin, hair and body products that complement my natural features. Perhaps ironically, I barely wear makeup these days or bother to blow dry my curly hair.
LTP: Where did the idea for Kabinet.me come from? What are the benefits of becoming a member?
SM: My new venture, Kabinet, was born out of a question that became important to me when I turned 29: which facial moisturizer—of all those out there—was truly best for me? I was looking for a natural, non-toxic, but effective product, and I wanted an objective method for determining the one best-suited for my skin type, age and personal preferences. I found the various online review sites out there too anonymous to be helpful, so I asked ten of my friends which products they use. I ended up discovering the Korres moisturizer I still use today thanks to a good friend's recommendation. Through this research process, I realized that we as consumers have very few digital sources of unbiased guidance in the personal care market.
With Kabinet, we aim to make the process of crowd-sourcing recommendations for personal care products easier. Our platform essentially lets members share the skin, hair, body and wellness products they use in a virtual medicine cabinet (or “Kabinet”), and they get to see what friends and experts have in theirs too. My goal is to digitize the world's cabinets, so that we as consumers can better discern which products really work from the most trusted source out there: other users like us.
LTP: What tips would you give those interested in organic personal care products, who lack knowledge on the subject and feel overwhelmed by the abundance of options?
SM: I would first ask: who do you trust to help narrow down the options for you? First, see what they use and recommend. Maybe you have a friend who uses organic products or have heard of a respected wellness expert in your area. For example, many of the contributors on Live The Process have tremendous knowledge on this subject. I find Kabinet members, like natural beauty expert Jessa Blades, super helpful too.
One thing to remember is that you don't have to change your entire personal care regimen from one day to the next. Even with the best organic products, you still need to see how your particular body interacts with them. Also, have fun experimenting! You'll smell, feel and see when a product is right for you.
LTP: Do you have an unproductive habit or guilty pleasure you find difficult to resist?
SM: I'd have to say it’s watching HBO shows. I'm a big fan of series like The Wire and Boardwalk Empire and realize that, as great as they are, I should probably be reading a book instead. That said, I don't try too hard to resist because I figure that guilty pleasures also contribute to happiness.
LTP: What does happiness look like to you?
SM: Cooking delicious meals with fresh, local vegetables and meats, while hanging out with family and close friends. It's a magic combination.
LTP: What does it mean to you to "Live The Process" and how do you do that every day?
SM: It’s being real and open with the people around me, with myself and especially with the people I love. I do my best to practice at least a few minutes of yoga in the mornings, as this makes a huge difference in how I interact with the world.