On April 1, leading beauty supplier Mana launched the Artists at the Bench initiative, which consists of three makeup lines that have each been co-devised with renowned makeup artists Meredith Baraf, Marco Castro and Rudy Miles. Each line harnesses and exhibits the knowledge and flair of each respective makeup artist while centering innovative, eco-conscious formulas.
“This initiative is a really great opportunity to pay homage to Mana’s roots,” said Chris Kyrou, senior vice president of research and development at Mana. “Mana has long been known as a company that has developed innovative products for not just the leading brands in the industry, but for makeup artists.”
This release marks the first time working at the bench in a cosmetics lab for all three of the makeup artists involved. Formulated with the aim of bridging the gap between the products makeup users seek and those that are presently available to them, the launch includes a number of multifunctional products, such as Miles’ Mousse Melt for Cheek and Lip and Baraf’s Eyeliner Activator with Lash Serum.
“We believe in co-creation, and who better to co-create with than these very talented makeup artists who are on the frontlines of the unmet needs in the beauty category,” Kyrou said.
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Safflower and hibiscus extracts, sodium hyaluronate and sunflower seed oil are among the nourishing ingredients in Baraf’s peptide-filled, eye-centric line. Channeling her instinctive sense of color and dimension, Baraf codeveloped a Smoothing Shadow Base, a Wet & Dry Shadow Liner and a Latex Eyeshadow meant to create a wet-effect finish with its glossy sheen.
“We’re continually looking to push the envelope in the space of clean and sustainable beauty. That’s an area that’s ripe for innovation, and it’s almost a point of entry for today’s consumers,” Kyrou said.
Castro, who is of Peruvian descent, seeks to bring increased inclusivity and gender neutrality into the world of makeup. His contributions to the launch include a Tinted Oil Balm, Face Sculptor and Self-Setting Concealer — of which one of the key ingredients is buriti fruit oil, found in the Peruvian Amazon.
“Peru is big on their biodiversity in terms of materials and ingredients. My grandmother was into medicinal herbs. We used them for healing purposes, for ointments, for cooking; and I am very familiar with the benefits of ingredients that have been used since ancient — pre-Inca — times,” Castro said in a statement.
Doubling down on the effort toward hybrid products, Miles codeveloped a Prime + Set Loose Powder in addition to his Mousse Melt. The açai extract-infused powder comes in one universal shade that works on all skin tones, and is intended to both prime and set makeup while reducing the appearance of pores and fine lines.
“Among my non-negotiables for the project was cleaner, more responsible beauty,” Miles said in a statement. “If you’re someone who wants to come out with a competitive product today, you’re going to have to talk about the ingredients, sourcing, the microbiome….Mana has done that work for us.”
The first initiative of its kind at Mana, Artists at the Bench is meant to honor the symbiotic relationship the company has cultivated with makeup artists for the past 40-plus years, while opening the door for future collaborative experiences that have the potential to drive innovation in the beauty industry.
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