Community has always been a core CONTENT ethos which is why we’ve put our most visible space to work not just for us but for green beauty creatives too. If you’ve paid a visit to the CONTENT Marylebone London shop lately, you may have noticed the transformation of our front window. It’s now been assigned as a dedicated revolving art space to examine ingredients, notions of beauty, the products we sell and the people behind the products.
Internationally published green beauty make-up artist Khandiz broke ground on our new exhibition window with “The Journey: Discovering The Very Fabric Of Our Makeup.” It traced the ingredients found within the stunning red Kjaer Weis Lipstick. As a hair and make-up artist, Khandiz works with an exclusively ‘conscious kit’. Her installation merged where ingredients come from, how they are processed or synthesised, and what impact they have on people and the planet.
Khandiz collaborated with fashion and beauty photographer David Ralph to create ‘portraits’ of the source ingredients. She hand illustrated ingredients that were not available to photograph, using ProMakers on a variety of paper stock she had to hand at home. “I wanted to connect the dots about how our green make-up is made. It’s not just a bunch of natural things thrown together; it’s a science.”
Her installation “Nature versus Nurture” comes to CONTENT in time for Soil Association’s Organic Beauty Week. Here’s Khandiz on the new piece:
Nature versus Nurture
Despite the growing trend towards consumers choosing to use more natural and organic products in their personal care and cosmetic remit, there are still many who have not quite grasped the terminology of the word “organic” within the beauty realm.
At a recent event I heard a woman – who should know better, given the environment she worked in – asking how could a pressed cosmetic product not contain any chemicals. (This was her first great misunderstanding of the world of organics.) She then proclaimed, “What does an organic certification have to do with make-up anyway? I thought it was about food.”
This was the starting nugget of inspiration for my latest installation “Nature versus Nurture”.
With Soil Associations Organic Beauty Week and their Campaign for Clarity happening later this month, CONTENT founder Imelda Burke and I thought it the perfect opportunity to consider another side of the conversation.
In a simplistic approach to the explanation, for something to be certified organic, it has to be grown using organic farming practices and principals. In short, if a cosmetic ingredient doesn’t “grow” (or can be harvested as reaction to something that grows eg. honey and bee’s wax), it cannot be certified organic. Water, for instance, while it is from nature, cannot be certified organic. Nor can minerals and mica. So the next time you see a box claiming to only have 70% organic ingredients, make sure you read the box to see what the main ingredients are before you balk in horror that it’s not 100%.
Beyond the obvious health benefits of using ingredients that have not been tainted with synthetic chemicals to grow them, when you choose products that contain natural and organic ingredients, you get the surety that a green beauty brand has integrity beyond just the ingredients it uses.
While considering the piece, I had to take into account that the window in which it hangs is the sole source of natural light into the shop. So I chose tracing paper to allow for light to stream in, without me having to forsake using large illustrations. I also love that this provided me with a double-sided artwork for customers to see both sides. I didn’t want the illustrations to be too literal for this piece. I went with simple marks to represent “water” and “plants” and reused existing artwork to demonstrate how something existing can take on a new form in a different setting.
Medium: Promarkers on various paper sources.
9 Female Photographers You Should Know About