Retrouvé: Balancing Face Oil

by Kelly Atterton

Face Oil

The 90s are trending, so let’s start there. Without realizing it at the time, I began my career during “peak magazine.” Back when editors ruled the school and “influencers” hadn’t been born yet, the perks of the job far outweighed the meager salaries. Beauty was fashion’s stepsister, and brand founders were most likely million dollar corporations (billion, not really in the zeitgeist yet.)

One day will forever stand out. My boss dropped a menu on my desk and told me to take orders from anyone on staff who was interested. The “menu” was from one of the few indie beauty brands in existence (a cult favorite) and I couldn’t wrap my head around the instructions I was given. My boss explained that her friend who owned the company (back then no one said brand founder) wanted everyone to try her products, especially everyone at Vanity Fair. It was my first understanding of the power of influencer marketing (again, not called that back then) and my introduction to the inner workings of Jami Morse Heidegger’s brain.


“Try before you buy” has been Jami’s slogan since her days making individual samples for customers at her family’s store on 3rd & 13th in New York City — the iconic, original Kiehl’s Pharmacy location. Yes, Jami is beauty royalty. She was born into the biz. Even when she thought she’d retired after selling Kiehl’s, Jami was still actively creating formulas, only now, they were for herself. With her 40-something skin in mind, she whipped up her dream potions, loaded them with clinically effective actives set in ultra lush textures, and fabricated them in small, airless batches. She never intended for her products to become a brand, but they were too good to keep under wraps. With a nudge from her husband, Klaus, the two of them were back in business, only this time their baby was called Retrouvé.

Let’s get something out of the way. Retrouvé is pricey; it’s an investment. And if you’re going to invest in your skin, who better to trust than someone who was raised in a lab? Growing up at my house, we talked about TV shows at the dinner table. At Jami’s house, they talked about how niacinamide tasted. Jami’s father made her test taste ingredients (and no, niacinamide wasn’t first discovered in 2021)!

As an LA teen in the 80s, I was careless about my skin —too much sun and buff puffing— which I’m convinced played a role in my current struggle with rosacea.  Now, I like my skin to feel dewy and soft, and when it comes to moisturizing I can be a bit obsessive. So, I like to go to bed, slugged to the nines with Retrouvé’s Intensive Facial Moisturizer, which has the texture of golden honey. My skin drinks it up and looks much better now in my 50s, than it did in my 30s. 

Jami recognized that some women, like myself, need something as effective for daytime. Something light and silky that seals in hydration, and works its magic all day under make-up. Retrouvé’s newly launched Balancing Face Oil hits the mark. It’s easily absorbable, with big benefits (antioxidant rich and full of fatty acids) but without the heavy feel of most oils. It features Mokaté Oil, from the drought-resistant Kalahari melon, which adapted to survive arid desert environments by locking in every drop of moisture.

Retrouvé product launches are an occasion. 10 products in 10 years is not the typical launch cadence of a modern (VC driven) beauty brand. Jami only launches a product when she feels it adds value to her line-up and customers. She still wants everyone to try before they buy because she knows they’ll come back. To me, Retrouvé is the very definition of quiet luxury. Yes, it’s that good.

213Deli editors are beauty experts with eons of years of experience under our belts. We’ve tried it all and keep on trying everything new that comes out in an effort to save you the headache of wasting your time and money on things that aren’t worth it. We only write about and recommend products we truly love and are pretty sure you’ll also love. All products are chosen independently by our editorial team. If you buy something we link to, 213Deli may earn a commission.