Clean eating and a commitment to conscious consumption – that is to say, what we put into our bodies – is nothing new nowadays. However, lagging behind is the notion that what we wear on them is just as important.

Masterminded by renowned makeup artist, Susanne Manasi, Manasi7 is the Stockholm-born beauty collection that’s on a mission to bring wellness and environmental ethics to the forefront of the industry – be it via a precision mascara made of organic plant wax and raw minerals, or a finishing powder blended with high-quality milled silk.

To learn the science – and the motivation – behind the brand, we spoke to Susanne who revealed why beauty should go so much further than just skin deep.

Given your wealth of experience as a professional makeup artist and cosmetic product developer, why do you believe now is the right time to develop a beauty collection with such an emphasis on wellness? 
We live in a world that demands fast seasonal change of products and mass-production, which often equates to unnecessary waste and unsustainable production cycles. I believe that most of the “traditional” beauty brands mass-produce their products in a non-sustainable way, often making them with synthetic chemicals and ingredients derived from the petroleum industry.

Over the past few years, the consumer has become more aware with regards to their health, nutrition and environmental impacts. The global consumption is changing; consumers are becoming more conscious and are searching for alternatives that confirm their beliefs and lifestyles. It starts with the foods and environments, and then moves on to skin care, body care and makeup. People want to look as good as they feel, as well as doing good – and I wanted to combine these elements in Manasi7, creating high-quality makeup products that contain organic, natural and wild harvested butters, waxes and oils together with colour pigments and produce them in small batches in a way that has less environmental impact. I do not compromise and am dedicated to developing the best possible mix of ingredients, composition and quality that is good for both humans and the environment.

How does that translate into practice?
We work to bridge the gap between products that boast high performance and great colour pay-off and the sustainable, nourishing properties of natural, organic ingredients; we show how they can work together to complement each other and create balance. We support small-scale producers and sub-contractors throughout our production cycle and reduce the environmental impact by promoting the link between cosmetic products and organic farming. Another side to this is that if you consider that ingredients are being absorbed by the body, plant oils and waxes are healthier and provide moisturizing and nourishing properties. I prefer taking this precautionary principle, rather than finding out in later life that mass-produced, “conventional” ingredients are harmful to humans or nature.

Better safe than sorry, right? So, where do these ingredients come from? What are your sourcing methods?
I started out buying organic, natural and wild-harvested butters, waxes and oils; I then began experimenting in my own kitchen lab, melting these together and creating a base formula. After that came the colour pigments, which I mixed to try to create my perfect shade. (It’s not easy, but it’s very fun!) These provide the benchmarks that were sent to my selected manufacturer, from which approved chemists created the samples.

The primary reason for me to start Manasi7 is because I have a profound interest and knowledge in what I believe is a healthy lifestyle. I continue to educate myself regarding health and nutrition and I focus on eating organic wholefoods with an evolutionary perspective to keep my gut and microbiome healthy. About 80% of our immune system is in the intestines, making it the body's largest immunological organ; all bacteria and microorganisms that form the flora are extremely important for the function and development of the immune system. Research has shown that our intestinal bacteria are linked to our well-being by producing very large levels of serotonin and dopamine – the ‘feel good’ hormones. So, since the microbiome exists both in our guts and on our skin, we should make better choices in regards to what to put on our skin as well as in our bodies.

What will people find in the range then?  
I believe in quality over quantity and hope that people notice the high quality of our products; it costs more to produce higher quality and work with small-scale subcontractors, but the result is much better. A lot of traditional makeup brands can offer up to about 100 shades of lipsticks and eyeshadows, changing their colours every season even if they are not sold out. That equals a lot of waste.

Manasi7 is the opposite of this. We believe in creating a limited collection of essential makeup products that can be personalised. The products can be worn in limitless ways, independently or combined; if you want to mix them to achieve a personalised shade, you can absolutely do so, but you can also use them independently. In my role as a makeup artist, I regularly mixed products and shades to create my own perfect formula and tone to suit different assignments and people.

Looking forwards then, what do you see for the future of Manasi7?
My hope is to be able to offer the Manasi7 products worldwide. I have a lot of ideas for the future of the brand. Maybe I’ll decide to add a new category to the collection… Who knows! I do what I do, because I truly believe it is the right choice for me personally, as well as the future of beauty.

Finally, what is the most important bit of beauty advice that you’ve ever learned?
Always remember that you are beautiful, no matter what. Think positively; be out in the sun, get your Vitamin D, and be happy!

Embrace quality over quantity, and shop Manasi7 here: