With the dream of Summer escapes finally becoming a reality, we sat down with travel guru and entrepreneur Lourdes Martin. From a glimpse into Recuerdos - her curated shop of treasures from around the world - to her beauty rituals using natural ingredients from her native Dominican Republic, this conversation is bound to spark your wanderlust. A skincare expert to boot, Lourdes shares her favorite products, how she healed her rosacea, and the diet changes she swears by for healthy, gorgeous skin.
I was born in the beach town of Nagua in the Dominican Republic but grew up in NYC. Three years ago, my husband and I moved to Chicago to experience life in a new city!
Please tell us a bit about your work mission.
My mission is to build a business that cultivates and promotes the culture of travel. I want to inspire people to utilize travel as an opportunity to learn more about people and places….to dive deeper into the culture of a place and find joy through those unique stories.
After building a dynamic entrepreneurial career, what inspired you to create your latest venture, Recuerdos?
My career path has been far from linear but my love for travel has always been a constant. I graduated with an M.S in International Human Rights and thought I would spend my life working for the United Nations but took a pivot and instead worked in the philanthropy industry for the private sector. After realizing I wanted more creativity in my life, I started the travel blog, Please, Do Tell which today led me to launching the Recuerdos shop.
Recuerdos is an online curated culture shop for daily living. Inspired by my childhood memories of when traveling and learning about faraway places meant escaping through stories. Each product is intentionally selected to represent the culture and craftsmanship of a destination.
The truth is that we all can’t just pick up and travel all the time but that shouldn’t limit any of us from discovering a destination or learning about the culture of a place. Our goal is to scout and search every corner of this world to bring you products that lead with culture and immerse you in the stories of people and places from your favorite destinations and those you aspire to learn about.
I truly believe life works in mysterious ways - launching the shop feels like a labor of love that combines my past life! I can’t wait to see where it takes me! :)
What are products from Recuerdos that you are most excited about for Spring?
It is highly unlikely that we will make it out to Europe this Summer so I’m very excited to dive into Greece inspired recipes with our latest addition to the shop - a selection of herbs and spices that come from small farms in Greece. We have partnered with an amazing brand based in Athens that harvest the most aromatic herbs and spices I’ve ever come across! I see a lot of greek dishes in my future - haha! :)
We are also selling the latest YOLO Magazine Spring Issue - which is exploring travel stories in St. Barths, Belize, South Morocco and more! This magazine is a true gem and has all the travel secrets from creatives, photographers and locals. It’s a staple in the Recuerdos shop.
My goal for this year is to add more products from Latin America and Africa - I ’m very excited! :)
In a few words, how do you define your approach to beauty?
I believe that true beauty is from within. I try to always practice kindness in everything I do and live a life that is authentically aligned with my bigger purpose – this is really how I approach beauty.
"I believe that true beauty is from within. I try to always practice kindness in everything I do and live a life that is authentically aligned with my bigger purpose – this is really how I approach beauty."
Any inherited beauty practices you picked up from your family, friends, or culture along the way?
Aloe Vera! My grandmother swore by it….for sun burns, dry skin or even eczema. Aloe Vera for her cured everything. :)
What are the highlights of your skincare routine? The products or steps that are non-negotiables?
My skincare has changed over the years. More recently, I’ve had to be high maintenance with my routine because I developed rosacea a few year ago. I swear by the Biologique Recherche Paris-based skincare brand. It does wonders for my skin. For the past few months, I’ve also introduced Joaquina Botanica Glow Oil and the Soothing B3 Serum by Marie Veronique. I use both on a daily basis - sometimes even twice a day!
Do you have any DIY home beauty or wellness remedies that you swear by? Perhaps a mask, tea, soup, etc.
Taking better steps to eat healthier has helped me maintain healthier skin. It truly all begins with a clean gut. My wellness morning routine is pretty much 32 oz of lemon water followed by 32 oz of celery juice and a heavy metal detox smoothie (Banana, Cilantro, Wild Blueberries, 1 orange, Spirulina, Barley Grass and Atlantic Dulse). I also make sure I eat at least 2 whole papayas per week.
As for a tea, I recently discovered the superfood chaga tea which has a crazy list of benefits like fighting inflammation and slowing the aging process.
"Taking better steps to eat healthier has helped me maintain healthier skin. It truly all begins with a clean gut.... I also make sure I eat at least 2 whole papayas per week."
Tell us about your favorite beauty destination - spa, store, practitioner?
I don’t get facials as often as I should but my favorite destination is Rescue Spa in NYC!
What is your favorite way to stay active?
I try to mix my workouts with pilates reformer and high-intensity strengthening classes! Now that the weather is getting nicer, my husband and I plan to spend a lot of time hiking and enjoying a bit of outdoor life in Michigan.
What do you do to unwind after a long day of managing your business?
Cooking dinner helps me unwind - I find it very meditative and helps slow me down after a busy day or taking an evening walk in the neighborhood always helps too.
Favorite self-care or mindfulness ritual?
I’ve been obsessed with the Insight Timer meditation app! I try to use it daily - my favorite meditation instructor on the app is Lalah Delia. She’s a beautiful soul.
Favorite escape in Latin America?
The Dominican Republic will always be special because it’s my homeland. The beaches are incredible and the mountain region of Jarabacoa is breathtakingly beautiful!
Follow Lourdes at @plsdotell