The interview for this article was conducted via email.
Tell me a bit about this program and where the concept came from.
The Artists At The Bench program was inspired by MANA’s many partnerships with makeup artist brands and our extensive experience with the exceptional products that they conceive, create and deliver to the beauty industry.
We know that the more closely we engage with these practitioners of all things beautiful, bringing their perspectives into conversation with our advanced manufacturing capabilities, the better MANA can develop and deliver innovative, commercially viable products to the industry at large.
By partnering with these three master makeup artists, MANA was able to combine our in-house expertise with product texture, formula, and ingredient technologies with the artists’ visions to create a new generation of makeup.
What is the value of bringing makeup artists into the R&D process of color cosmetics?
We were very selective about which artists we brought into the labs. We were looking for artists with different perspectives, needs and approaches to beauty. Each of the participating artists also brought their unique techniques to the bench, helping us to co-create truly innovative products that we can now make available to our customers and their customers.
By having them with us at the bench, the artists were able to work directly with the formulators, demonstrating and testing product application, usage and wear, and refining product textures and consistencies until they met their very high standards. It was a mutually beneficial experience for both the artists and the formulators to collaborate on these products and to gain a deeper understanding of what goes into creating a truly innovative beauty product.
How is MANA approaching diversity in this program?
The selected artists all have very diverse backgrounds and brought their unique perspectives to the bench.
Marco Castro, an award-winning filmmaker and artist, who is originally from Peru, created products that were clean, vegan and gender-inclusive, formulated with ingredients from his homeland of Peru, and opened the doors to beauty for all.
Rudy Miles, with his background in fashion and aesthetics, developed multi-functional, hybrid formulas in universal shades that work for all skin types and tones.
Meredith Baraf, whose work with celebrities and print media is well known throughout the beauty industry, created next-generation, “opto-cosmetics” that promote the health and well-being of the eye area throughout wear.
What can the beauty industry take from this program?
It’s straightforward, really. If you want the best outcome, enlist the best in the industry, whether it’s an artist/creator or a manufacturer. MANA’s intentional collaboration with these incredibly talented artists has allowed us to create and present what’s new and what’s next in beauty.
What else do beauty and personal care professionals need to know about this program?
It was a success! And it was fun, too. MANA’s chemists had the opportunity to share their incredible energy, experience and passion for creation of beauty products with the master practitioners of the craft, and the artists were able to dig in, learn more about what goes into the actual formulation of products and develop cosmetics that fill a gap in the current industry offering. It really was a win/win for all involved.