The Beauty of Rituals


Graphic by John McLaughlin for The Style Line

Story by Marta Plana Cross – Discover The Ritualist – Graphic by John McLaughlin for The Style Line

Rituals are comforting daily gestures;

everybody has some. I read this book Daily Rituals: How Artists Work some time ago, and it has some hilarious examples. For instance, Beethoven couldn’t start the day unless he drank a cup of coffee that was brewed using exactly 60 coffee beans…

When we were trying to come up with a name for our company, my partner Keltse and I started talking about what we do every day and night to take care of our skin, our little rituals that make us look and feel good, and we came up with The Ritualist. That’s what we’re about: We make looking and feeling good easy. You can book our services on demand and on location; one of our amazing estheticians show up at your place with everything to create a relaxing atmosphere: music, scented candles and a comfortable massage table. She then performs a thorough skin analysis followed by a customized and pampering treatment and product recommendations based on your specific skin type and concerns, all this in the convenience of your own home!

My own daily rituals are a bit of a contradiction between trying to be healthy and a naughty Spanish upbringing. It’s a bit of a Detox to Retox philosophy. Let’s say I’m good 80% of the time.

 Marta’s Rituals

I’m an early riser, and I start my day at 6:30am with some Amazing Grass Green Superfood or Aloha Daily Good Greens. I’ll just mix them with some maca powder and water, and gulp it all in with my vitamins. It makes me feel like I’m off to a good start. I then sit down in my desk to go through my schedule. In this day and age, I’m still a paper agenda girl:  I get the same Aspinal of London diary every year, in different colors.

SHOP: Amazing Grass Green Superfood $37.82, Aloha Daily Good Greens $75, Aspinal of London diary $78.75

Before we launched The Ritualist, I worked for LVMH for a few years, which was great and taught me a lot about luxury experiences, quality and craftsmanship. Since I left the fashion industry, I’ve transitioned to a very simple daily uniform. Everything is in a neutral color palette: white, greys, black and navy blue. I wear Topshop Baxter jeans mostly in white; I love cashmere from Uniqlo; I buy these oversized Alpaca scarves in Chile, and my day-to-day shoes are from Plomo. I accessorize with my huge collection of Loewe handbags, some great coats from Celine and Givenchy and just a few jewelry pieces that I maintain on rotation. I am more of a watch girl, and my husband often complains when I steal one of his. Right now, I really like this Chopard Mille Miglia. I do wear a medallion from my mother every single day. My grandmother gave it to her on her first communion, and it makes me feel close to them.

SHOP: TOPSHOP Baxter jeans $70UNIQLO Cashmere sweater $29, Chopard Mille Miglia [Similar $4,065 via Amazon]

I’m a good tennis player and I also enjoy hiking and scuba-diving, but it’s difficult to keep up with these hobbies when you live in Manhattan, so I try to go to Blink 2 or 3 times a week, or I’ll do Yoga at Sacred Sounds when I feel like I need a good stretch. I usually walk to our office on 25th St; I grab a coffee from Porto Rico on my way and then go up 6th Avenue while I listen to Podcasts. Lately I’ve been listening Startup by, which is hilarious.

When it comes to food, I follow a Mediterranean diet, that’s how I grew up. Lots of olive oil, veggies, grains. A few years ago I became familiarized with the Macrobiotic diet when I went to Sha Wellness Clinic in Spain with my mother. It was absolutely mind blowing. In just a few days I saw huge changes in my body and my emotional wellbeing. I’m lucky to have Souen, a macrobiotic restaurant, 5 minutes away from our place. My go-to launch when I work from home is their Salmon Cutlet Sandwich; delicious and healthy in equal parts.

After living in 10 different cities in the last 10 years, I’m enjoying settling in New York for a change. Greenwhich Village is an amazing neighborhood; there are some of the most authentic shops. We buy fresh pasta from Raffeto’s and the best meat from Pino’s; my husband makes a mean Sunday Roast every week, and we’ll have friends over. We start eating not earlier than 3pm and some times it goes on until 8 or 9pm.

Visit: Rafetto’s, 144 W. Houston St. New York, NY 10012 + Pino’s Prime Meat Market, 149 Sullivan St. New York, NY 10012

Scented candles are my weakness, I can’t never have enough. Everybody knows it, so it is the go-to-gift for our friends when they come visit. Right now, my favorite is Byredo Peyote Poem; I like a strong, masculine scent. For our wedding, I got Le Labo Santal 33 with a customized label with our names.

Shop: Byredo Peyote Poem Candle $80, Le Labo Santal 33 $85

One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned from our estheticians is that our skin is constantly changing depending on the weather, lifestyle choices and hormones; so what is working for me this week might not be what I need in a month. That’s why we’re launching The Ritualist bespoke range of skin care products; you can mix and match our boosters depending on your current skin conditions. Right now, I’m using Detox to get rid of congestion and Go-Glow to get some light after this long winter. I just mix a couple of drops with my base moisturizer day and night. Besides that, I make sure I clean my skin very and I religiously wear SPF 90, all year long.

Getting a facial every 3 or 4 weeks has changed my approach to makeup, because my skin is in better shape than ever even though I’m in my early thirties. Now, I use makeup to enhance my features, while before it was mostly to conceal imperfections. Sometimes I even go with a fresh face. I’ll just do my brows and play with lipsticks to spice things up. If I’m going to an event, I’ll use some under-eye concealer (Laura Mercier is the best for me) and some Givenchy Phenomen’eyes mascara; that little spherical brush is so easy to use.

Shop: Laura Mercier concealer $34, Givenchy Phenomen’eyes mascara $31

Hot baths are a must and I take them nearly every night; I like to experiment with different types of salts and potions; lately, I’ve been using mustard powder, and these cute bombs from Whole Foods. I’ll light some candles, watch Netflix on my iPad and enjoy a glass of wine. To finish the day, I like reading a book in bed with a nice cup of ginger tea. Right now I’m really into biographies, some of my favorites are Maria Callas: The woman behind the legend, Diana Vreeland Memos, and Peggy Guggenheim: The Life of an Art Addict.

Shop: Maria Callas: The woman behind the legend $18.70Diana Vreeland Memos: The Vogue Years $39.55, and Peggy Guggenheim: The Life of an Art Addict $2.63