Norma Kamali Wants You to Simplify Your Beauty Routine

Norma Kamali. Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Times Square Edition Premiere

Norma Kamali. Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Times Square Edition Premiere

With the introduction of her newest venture Normalife, a line of lifestyle, wellness and skin-care products, veteran fashion designer Norma Kamali is taking a big step into the health and beauty space. But to be clear, it’s far from her first.

After losing two of her closest friends to the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, Kamali became enthralled with wellness education, traveling out west to study with Dr. Andrew Weil, someone she considers to be one of the first proponents of an integrated, proactive and healthy lifestyle. She opened a wellness cafe in 2001, long before the concept had been realized on every city block of lower Manhattan, where she sold olive oil, juices, alkaline mouthwash and soap to use in lieu of toothpaste. It was a concept conceived for the post-9/11 world, when Kamali knew that “a layer of stress was going to be a part of everybody’s life going forward,” and understood how that too could affect the immune system.

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Now, Kamali is packaging her proactive and holistic lifestyle for the masses beyond her East 56th Street outpost with Skinline, the first offering from her Normalife concept. Meant to be a pared-down system of simple, timeless and effective ingredients for everyone regardless of age, gender or skin type, the range is one Kamali sees as democratic. It spans only four core products: Clean, a soap-free cleanser for face and body, Glow, a universal take on self-tanner, Smooth, an exfoliator and Soft, an everyday face and body moisturizer that Kamali tells me is “magnificent for three-year-olds and up,” though she plans to get it tested for babies, too.

There are no artificial fragrances or synthetic colors, parabens or phthalates in any of the formulas. Each one is dressed up in bright tubes that are 100% reusable and recyclable, with prices that range from $30 to $50. It is Kamali’s hope that anyone who wants to buy into the lifestyle she’s selling — and so firmly believes in — can.

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