Home LifestyleCareer This Hudson County Resident Works for Mario Badescu Skin Care

This Hudson County Resident Works for Mario Badescu Skin Care

by Diana Cooper
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Melissa Hegazy has made a name for herself in the world of skincare. She currently serves as the Vice President of Business Development for Mario Badescu Skin Care, where she’s in charge of getting the brand featured in as many stores as possible around the world. Even though she’s a jet setter who travels to different countries for work, she’ll always call Guttenberg, New Jersey, home. She’s lived in the small town practically her whole life and is proud to be able to raise her three kids in the same building. Read on for Hoboken Girl’s profile on Melissa Hegazy.

Growing Up in Guttenberg

The global beauty market strategist grew up in Guttenberg until she was 14 years old, when her parents moved to Upper Saddle River. Years later, she found herself moving back to the same building with her now husband and kids. 

“I love the proximity to New York and I love seeing New York from my apartment because I have a beautiful view,” Melissa told Hoboken Girl. She frequents Hoboken as well since she loves taking her three kids to the parks. She also really likes Tenth Street Pasta + Pizza.

Melissa attended Pace University, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 2010. She met her husband, Ahmed, in a political science class, dated a little bit, and then reconnected later in life. They now have three children together: twins Ariana and Laith, 6, and son Gabriel, 5. Melissa and her husband recently celebrated their nine-year anniversary.

Read More: This Hoboken Resident + Former Reality Star is Making Waves as a Fashion Influencer

^ Melissa pictured with her husband + three kids

Working for Mario Badescu

Prior to working for Mario Badescu, she worked for NetNutri and New York Life Insurance. She started working for the skincare brand in 2015 where she first started as the digital marketing manager, but has since been promoted to VP of Business Development — taking a three-year break during that time to grow her family.

“We had at that time a lot of inquiries, like retailers wanting to do business with us, and no one was really dedicated to that,” Melissa explained about how she got her new position. “I was just going through the retailer request. A lot of them were international, and then I just started building them out, reaching out to them, and starting a relationship. It’s led to where I am now.”

^ Melissa hard at work at her desk in Edison

Melissa oversees the international department, which consists of 10 people. In October, she helped launch the brand at 550 Boots locations, one of the largest health and beauty retailers in the UK. She explains the process as: “Let’s say they fill out a form to do business with us. Then we’ll research them and start an initial meeting with them. Then we negotiate the deals, like, how are we gonna ship it to them? I’m basically dealing with the entire package deal from A to Z…How many products are we gonna sell there? And so forth.” Once a deal is done, she normally travels to see the deal through and coordinates launch events and parties with the communications director, Stephanie Oh.

Secret to Her Success

The mom of three said that her team focuses on getting featured “all over the world,” but right now a big focus is Paris — it’s currently in Sephora and Galeries Lafayette, one of the most popular shopping centers in Paris.

^ Melissa at a launch event in Spain in September 2022

“It’s been a big win for me to open some large-scale accounts. Although I don’t oversee Canada, I did open the brand at Shoppers Drug Mart (a Canadian retail drug store). Doing over 100 door type of launches has been a big win for me,” Melissa shared. “Also, leading and managing a team of people has also been a win for me and something that I really enjoy — motivating people and putting together a tight-knit community of people who are happy, excited, and like, wanna continue the growth of the company.”

Melissa added that having a background in the skin care industry was a huge help. Her dad has a vitamin store, which she helped work at when she was younger. He would also sell skin care. She was a fan of Mario Badescu since her mom had their products at home and would even go to NYC to get a facial at their spa located at 320 East 52nd Street.

Fun Fact: Martha Stewart has been getting facials at the skin care clinic for over 40 years. She’s also a big fan of their products and has partnered with the brand multiple times in the past.

^ Melissa with her colleagues Morris Cabasso, VP of PR + Marketing, + Karen Rubinstein, International Sales Director

“I’ve always had a passion for beauty, not only through my dad’s store, but after college, I also started buying and selling some products, skincare, makeup, and tools from China and selling them online for a little bit,” she told HG.

See More: 5 Local People We Admire: Women’s History Month Edition

Work for What You Love

Melissa travels from Guttenberg to Edison, NJ, every day to work at Mario’s corporate headquarters and laboratory where they make the products and ship them.

“I’m in love with the brand, especially what it stands for. We have the ability to continue keeping up with what Mario Badescu’s philosophies were, you know, simple, gentle products that are effective. Even when we make new products, we still continue to try to use what his philosophy was, and then continue growing the brand,” Melissa explained.

^ Melissa on Saranac Lake, NY

Mario Badescu was founded in 1967 by Romanian-born skin care specialist Mario Badescu. It all started in his Manhattan apartment. After he died, the company was bought out and became a three-generation family business run by the Cabasso family, whom Melissa describes as “a good family to work for because they make you feel like family.”

The Cabassos consist of: Morise (CEO), Jack (President), Joey (President of Sales), and Morris (VP of PR + Marketing). When asked what it’s like being a female VP in the company, Melissa shared: “I feel like it’s only for a certain type of personality, you know what I mean? You have to have thick skin, but also work hard and be good at your job.”

^ Melissa at Mario Badescu’s headquarters in Edison, NJ (Morise + Jack Cabasso are in the blue dress shirts)

To date, Melissa has closed over 68 accounts. She’ll do whatever it takes, even if it means traveling thousands of miles away — leaving her family behind — to meet with someone in person to negotiate a deal. She travels four to five times a year and next up, will be going to Italy (after just getting back from Paris and before that, London and Spain).

Lastly, Melissa leaves Hoboken Girl with her list of favorites from Mario Badescu: Drying Lotion (on-the-spot surface blemish solution), Drying Patch (exfoliating patches that target blemishes), ultra-nourishing lip balm, and the facial spray with aloe, herbs, and rosewater.

^ Mario Badescu’s Facial Spray is one of Melissa’s favorites and a best seller, $7

(Photo credit: Courtesy of Mario Badescu)

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