Real Housewives of Potomac’s Monique Samuels started the new year with a bang, launching her new line of essential oils, Mila Eve Essentials, and announcing her exit from the Real Housewives franchise shortly after. “I decided to leave after four seasons, and I’ve not felt better about a decision in my life,” she recently told us. Here’s what the now-former reality TV star shared with us about her everything-aromatherapy line—and how viewers of the show helped kick-off the start of it all.
Why are you such a believer in aromatherapy?
When I first started my essential oil journey, it was with my son, Christopher. He’s my oldest, and he was almost a year old at the time. We were living in Alabama because my husband was coaching at the University of Alabama. The allergies were unbelievable, it was just sinus infection after sinus infection. I needed to find something that would give him some relief. So, I started using essential oils by diffusing them. I couldn’t believe it, the first night we tried it, he actually slept through the night. He could breathe much clearer, and after that, I was a believer. I was a desperate mom looking for some type of alternative or remedy—and I found it.
What made you create your own line?
I had a young woman, I call her my essential oil guru, she literally taught me everything that she knew. Back then, I was hosting essential oil 101 parties, and I really loved it. This is something I’ve been doing for a very long time. When I joined The Real Housewives of Potomac on Bravo, I would talk about my oils and how much I loved them to the point where a lot of fans and viewers would send me messages asking where they could purchase my oils. Finally, I’m like, “I don’t have any oils, I’m just referring you to different companies that I love.” But they kept pushing, “Well, no, we want to use your oils.” So, I decided to get my research in place and start my own. Mila Eve Essentials will have essential oils and other products that are chemical-free and therapeutic. We’re just starting with oils, but we’re going to branch off into so much more.
Aromatherapy can be a tricky thing; how do you make sure what you create is legit?
Quality is very important to me. With Mila Eve Essentials, all of our oils come from the countries where the plants thrive in their natural habitat. They’re harvested using the proper conditions and extracted by distillers who are very capable and talented, and every batch is tested. Without going into too much scientific detail, every batch is tested for their appearance, the optical rotation, the scent—so it’s very specific. They’re gluten-free, they’re cruelty-free, there’s no parabens and they’re eco-friendly. We’re very adamant to make sure that our product is top-quality. It’s a process, but I was able to source my oils with the top manufacturers. I’m very excited about it because you’re getting top-quality, but you’re also getting it at a reasonable price. I’m not trying to hit you over the head. [laughs]
I take it there’s some markup in the world of essential oils?
It’s ridiculous. I mean, the markup is beyond me. Once I started learning the business, I was like “Okay, I can definitely create something where people can actually afford the oils and also can learn about them.” On Mila Eve Essentials, we combine and make kits out of our different oils so that you can get whatever goal you’re trying to achieve without having to buy 10 different oils. If you only have a budget for, say, four, I’m giving you four different oils for a specific reason, and then I’m telling you, “Here’s how you can use it.” We try to make it so that it’s simple to use so that people really understand what they’re purchasing. I know when I first started using essential oils, I would get this package full of oils, and then I’d be like,” Okay, how do I use it? Where do I put it? What’s good for this or that? What do I use if I have a bad cough?” Trying to research all of that information, it’s like you have these expensive oils, and they’re just sitting on your shelf.
You’re clearly into wellness, but you also serve some very glam looks. How do you describe your overall beauty philosophy?
If you look good, you feel good. I can have a down day, but if I tell myself, “You know what, let me get in the shower, freshen myself up. Let me do my hair, put a little makeup on.” Then I look in the mirror and I feel better. That’s just me. I really believe that sometimes if you look good, it takes that feeling, that self-confidence to the next level.
Are you able to share any secrets from the show?
Well, viewers can look forward to me not being a part of Season 6. [laughs] If they would like to know anything about what’s going on in the Samuels’ household or anything dealing with me, I have a Tea With Monique YouTube channel, I have a Not For Lazy Moms YouTube channel, and I have a Mila Eve Essentials YouTube channel. I know everyone likes tea, but the only tea I can spill is my own!