BISOUS shines the spotlight on Laura Verallo de Bertotto, CEO of VMV HYPOALLERGENICS. BY PAULINE MA
Laura Verallo de Bertotto is a certified boss babe in the BISOUS book. Getting to know her is like finally feeling that sudden surge in motivation you’ve been looking for to finish everything on your to-do list and more. Between running a game-changing beauty business with her family (VMV was the first brand to
rate its hypoallergenicity and prides itself on offering the safest, clinically proven skincare on the planet; VMV founder Dr. Verallo-Rowell is a highly esteemed dermatologist and dermatopathologist… who happens to be Laura’s mother) and making time to work out 365 days a year — she racked up 367 workouts in 2014 — this skintensely dedicated leader makes sure she finds time for quiet reflection on the daily.
When we asked her how she maintains a balance in her every day, she smiled and said, “it’s almost like you know about my inventory of five…”
WHAT IS YOUR JOIE DE VIVRE?
I have a “happiness inventory” of five things that work for me: a gratitude journal, daily workouts, a disciplined (and I mean disciplined!) schedule, and beliefs in “want what you have” and “focus on the now.”
For me, happiness is two things: gratitude and a choice. I’m so thrilled that there is an increasing number of legitimate, statistically robust scientific studies on happiness. Happiness is a choice — this was one of
the biggest lessons in my life. I once attended a talk by Chip Conley (who wrote Emotional Equations) and his equation for happiness struck me. Happiness = wanting what you have ÷ getting what you want.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR GRATITUDE JOURNAL AND HOW YOU MAKE DAILY WORKOUTS THE NORM.
A big part of my “journey to happiness” is that I wanted to study it — I’m a big nerd so by “study,” I mean research and study-study. At the end of two years, I settled on those five “musts” that I have to do each day. Part of this is that I wanted a physical practice. The last thing I do at night, each night, is to write at least three things I’m grateful for – even on crappy days I force myself to list even the basics – things we sadly take for granted each day but are, in themselves, miracles.
HOW DO YOU MAINTAIN BALANCE IN YOUR LIFE AND IN YOUR WORK?
I have a very deliberately strict schedule. I make sure to get a workout in every morning and have breakfast with my kids. When I get to the office, I’m always fully present and focused — and I leave at set hours to make it home for dinner with the kids. At night, I’m asleep at a set hour too – did I mention a STRICT schedule?
IF THERE WAS AN EXTRA DAY IN THE WEEK, HOW WOULD YOU SPEND IT?
This is a hard question to answer! Push comes to shove, I’d love more hours for reading books. I read lots every day (The New Yorker, the news, dermatology journals, etc.) but I miss hours and hours of reading books, you know? Toni Morrison… really great novels. I’d maybe even revisit old classics I
haven’t touched since college. Ooh! And I’d use the extra day to pretty up the home and entertain more.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE PRODUCTS THAT ADD AN ELEMENT OF JOY TO YOUR PERSONAL STYLE?
Anything leopard. A cuff, shoes, coat…it’s classic but just seems to “wink” at you. Like it knows it’s being a little naughty, kitschy or retro…or alluding to a cocktail in the middle of the day. Boots make me happy – to me they’re instant power. They’ve got weight, so you feel every step counts. They give me some height, which I like…and you can still run for a cab or pick up your kids or stomp around if you need to. They’re beautiful and hot, but fun and functional and badass! Beauty wise, I keep three lipsticks in my bag at all times and a Boo-Boo Balm (I love being able to reach in to help anyone with a cut, chapped lips, or sudden emergency). One lipstick is a very dark wine stain
(our Sheer Lip Tint in Berries in Treacle) which, if I’m running out of the house with wet, pinned-up hair, is great for the quick commuting/car application (I dot and spread it on cheeks, too). The others are a dark, deep almost-brown red (Hunter or I Read Sartre) and a bright red (Va-Va-Voom).
YOUR FAVORITE WAY TO CELEBRATE SUCCESS IS…
Cocktails! All the senses are stimulated: beautiful bottles and glasses, a symphonic range of olfactory and tasting notes, great music and company. And dancing. Always dancing. My eight year old looked at me the other night and said “Mom, you’re the family clown.”