Natalia Swarz was born in Cali, Colombia, 27 years ago. Having been raised in a family with an artist mother and a floral designer grandmother, creativity came as something natural. After working for around 10 years in the fashion industry, back in 2015 she launched Hôtel Weekend, a beautifully curated site and shop exploring the contemporary culture of travel: voyage stories, hotel memories, insiders guides and photo diaries.
Always inspired by raw nature and seeking for authenticity and well-being, Natalia shares with us her favourite beauty rituals and ingredients.
Town - Barcelona
Skin type - Combination
Favorite plant - Baobab
1. How would you describe your skin?
It’s a bit dry, which is why my focus is always on hydration. I never suffered from acne apart from the occasional PMS breakout. However, I have KP (keratosis pilaris) on my arms, which is why scrubbing is an important part of my routine.
2. What's your daily beauty routine? Is there any difference between morning and night?
My mornings are pretty slow, and I’m thankful I have the time for a little ritual every day. I love to start by turning on my oil diffuser. I use ROWSE’s Lemon Essential Oil because it’s refreshing and wakes me up in a good mood. I brush my teeth, cleanse my face, then dry-brush my whole body before getting into the shower. I keep it pretty simple there: shampoo and conditioner, then the ROWSE soap that feels like a scrub. After that, I put my Coqui Coqui coconut body oil, then apply a hydrating cream to my face and off I go. For perfume, I only use one scent: Gypsy water, by Byredo.
At night, I take a shower if I had a busy day. I hang a branch of fresh eucalyptus in my shower head, so with the steam, my shower smells really good and it’s really relaxing. I use an anti-pollution face cleanser by Loto del Sur, then a few drops of ROWSE’s Hemp Oil on my face. Lastly, before sleeping I spray a bit of lavender in my pillow.
3. Does it change when you travel?
Absolutely. I bring only the essentials: face oil, body oil and hydrating mask. I try to stick with my routine, but it never happens! I also bring my sportswear whenever I travel and it sadly stays in my suitcase the whole trip, haha.
4. And when you want to give yourself a special treat?
This happens quite often. When I lived in Colombia, my sister and I used to “play spa” every weekend. Now I keep the tradition but with myself. Whenever I need a special treat - which is usually on Fridays- I put on ‘Casa en calma’ playlist by Hotel Weekend, turn off the lights of my bathroom and light a few candles or incense by Bodha. Unfortunately I don’t have a bathtub at home, so I just take a long shower and end up in bed with a mask on watching ‘Friends’ or a nice movie.
5. What's your vision of beauty?
I think imperfections are beautiful. I also think beauty comes from the inside first, outside then. It starts with taking care of your spirit, heart and mind, then your gut (eating healthy) and lastly the outside.
6. How do you take care of your hair?
I love to brush my hair every night, it’s relaxing and meditative. I recently got the Mason Pearson brush, and now I understand the hype behind it. My hair feels way healthier, and I enjoy the scalp massage. I never use any hot tools on it and like to dry it with fresh air. Occasionally, I add a few drops of oil to hydrate the edges.
7. What’s your secret for wellbeing and good living?
This year has been very transformative to me. I had to learn that my health must always come first. I used to be so busy with work, constantly stressed about it. I’ve changed so much of this and I can really feel it, on my body, my mind, even my skin. I feel lighter, healthier and more comfortable in my body.
I try to start every day meditating. I use this app called Insight timer. We’re also limiting our use of cell phones before bed, the benefits are amazing! You really sleep better, have less anxiety and have more meaningful conversations in bed or more time to read. I’m also doing yoga twice a week with my friend Fernanda de la Puente, her classes end up with shaking, dancing, letting all out.
Food is also so key, I’m lucky my husband cooks the most delicious and healthy meals. This year we’re only preparing vegetarian food. Still learning, but I think the most important thing is being conscious about what you eat, the quality and origin of the ingredients but never being obsessed or strict, there’s always room for a little treat from time to time.
Lastly, just acknowledging that self-care is as important as anything else during your day. Taking the time to do what you have to do, not rushing into anything, surrounding yourself with people you love... and more importantly, being present.
I keep it pretty simple there:
The Perfect Balance Shampoo Bar, then the ROWSE soap that feels like a scrub.
8. What’s your favourite plant?
Orchids. It’s my grandmother’s signature flower on her flower shop, and it’s Colombia’s national flower. I find it so mesmerising. In terms of healing properties, I love geranium as it helps with hormonal balance and lavender because I sleep like a baby thanks to it. Now, on scents, I love bergamot.
Natalias's ROWSE routine essentials
Summer Body Oil
Olio Ecologico Essenziale al Limone
Repair Night Serum per Pelle Sensibile
Valeria Vasileva was born in Moscow, has been living in Paris and is now based in Barcelona. Passionate about art and design since she can remember, after 10 years working in the fashion industry she started experimenting with ceramics.
As an artist and photographer, her work explores nature in its purest forms — the Mars-like craters of Lanzarote in her native Spain, mossy lava fields of Iceland and lush forests of Sri Lanka.