Photography: Kieran Behan
Makeup artist: Aennikin Annika Noack
Muse: Maxi Mira
Makeup products: Amazingy
Wardrobe: Northern Archive
Unretouched photography and organic cosmetics come together in this collaborative editorial between photographer Kieran Behan and the Amazingy brand.
Amazingy is a Berlin-based retailer that curates healthy, natural, and “green” health and beauty products. Each stocked item is carefully screened- from its ingredients to its production chain, to ensure it’s good for your skin as well as for the environment. The brand’s founder Ingrid van Onna spoke to us about the driving forces behind Amazingy, and the importance of sustainability in our consumption and business choices.
Meanwhile the visual magic was captured on film by Kieran Behan; the artist, activist, and all-round creative director behind Crystalmafia. .
“We always love working with Kieran, she’s such an amazing(y) artist. I love her energy, ideas and creative mind. She’s one of our most devoted brand ambassadors and a great inspiration. There’s chemistry between us, I simply love that!” – Ingrid
Amazingy ships worldwide from their online store, Amazingy.com
Archive: How did it all begin – what triggered you and your husband launch a platform for organic health products?
Ingrid: Well, as so many people we were turning our lifestyle into a more conscious one – we started eating less meat and more organic food. Then we discovered that most cosmetics products were also full with things that were bad for the environment – like plastic microbeads that are too small to filter out of the water – as well as our health, like deodorants with aluminum salts that is linked to cancer. So we started to use more natural/organic products. The problem was, we couldn’t really find the nice brands in Germany. Especially makeup was a problem, most brands still really had this granola feel about them, and they didn’t have the cool colours. So at first we only wanted to create our own makeup brand (HIRO Cosmetics), but while researching and developing we discovered so many cool like-minded other brands that we decided to start a natural and organic beauty boutique where people can buy curated, toxic free, natural and organic cosmetics and beauty products. Products that not only look good from the outside (the packaging) but also perform as well as or even better than conventional brands.
What process do you use to screen and select the products that you stock in your store?
By now we get a lot of brands to try, but back in the days we simply hunted the internet to find the most promising natural & organic brands, by reading reviews & ingredient labels. Now we get a lot send to us but the selection procedure is still the same: the first thing we do is scan the ingredients label, the so called inci list. We’d like to know what everything is made of and be sure it’s not just a ‘greenwashed’ product – a product that sounds and looks natural but isn’t at all – a very famous argan based hair oil which is full of silicons comes to mind.
If the ingredient list passes the test, we’ll try the products. Not just me and Floris, but most of the girls working for us, and in our meetings we then discuss if it’s a go or a no-go.
Blue silk shirt from Northern Archive– a Berlin based, sustainable ethically sourced label.
What are the “fundamentals” to a healthy and sustainable health & beauty product?
Of course the products should not contain any nasty ingredients that are toxic for our body or the environment. Products should have a well-balanced mix of ingredients. Especially from the US we sometimes get the craziest brands, with formulas containing high percentages of phototoxic oils for example, meaning they burn the skin when you go into the sun. In the EU the rules to put cosmetics on the market are much stricter, so you don’t see that so often there. This also means you see less “artisan” brands in Europe, as most come from big labs. So that is the downside of that.
Products should have a decent amount of “real, active” ingredients: they should not consist of 80% water, 12% alcohol, some fillers, emulsifiers and a dose of marketing.
We try to avoid products that contain palm oil as much as possible, unless the production is done in a sustainable way, like for example Dr. Bronner does it.
Japanese indigo died kaftan from Northern Archive.
Why go natural- what are the benefits to your body and to the environment?
As for why natural, and the benefits for the body… The skin is a living organ, which absorbs a lot that you put on it. So if you put a lot of nasty things on your skin, this will partly end up in your body. Our bodies know what to do with natural products, like argan oil (the best one being Kahina Giving Beauty’s), rosehip oil (we love Pai’s), and so on. Many people think they have very sensitive skin, that they were born with it. But most of the time they created the sensitive skin themselves, by for many years using products containing harsh chemicals, or silicons, or antibiotics or steroid creams. And it can take weeks to months to even years of eating healthy and not using harsh products for the skin to get back to normal. Healthy skin and hair care brands like Dr. Alkaitis, May Lindstrom, Rahua, and makeup brands like RMS beauty, Kjaer Weis, ILIA and so on, can help with that.
Part of your proceeds go to charitable associations- could you tell us more about that?
The whole idea of our business plan was to start something that would be more than just selling products. We wanted to connect charity with our store in a transparent way, because our trust in the bigger charities was fading – with their managing directors driving huge limousines, and so on. We knew a couple nice small charity projects that could use our help and that’s why we came up with the idea of giving a percentage of our turnaround to charities. This way, customer buy something for themselves and know that they are also helping out people in need. Oh and last but not least, we plant a tree for every order!
What are your concluding thoughts about the importance of sustainability, especially in business?
There is nothing more important. If we continue like this, there won’t be a planet earth to live on anymore. So much research shows we are at a turning point, things need to be done differently and with a conscious mind for our children and the well being of our planet. It’s not always easy but step by step more and more can and should be done by everyone.
What is your best advice for someone who would love to use natural products but is also on a budget? Could you offer up some at home recipes and remedies?
Definitely – first of all, you don’t need many products at all. Less is usually more. Work with pure oils, like coconut, argan, almond or jojoba – organic if possible. They are amazing multi-taskers, they remove makeup but also nourish your skin and provide it with moisture, and you can use them in your hair too. In the morning, cold water to wash your face is enough.
If you have skin problems. I would say skip most of your routine and cut it down to 2 or 3 steps and most importantly look at your diet. Wear sunglasses if you’re afraid for wrinkles around the eyes.
Lastly, take care of yourself, love yourself, be happy, and smile – that’s the best skincare routine you can have, beauty from within!
Purple Lips – Kjaer Weis : Rapture
Orange lip – Ilia Beauty : Voila
Pink lips – a mix of Kjear Weis : Romance + Sweetness
Dark red lips – Ilia Beauty : 99 Red Balloons + Gypsy
Foundation: Gressa Skin
Corrector : Kjaer Weis : Paperthin + Lightness
Rouge : Kjaer Weis : Sun Touched
Eyeshadow Colored: Hiro Cosmetics Mineral Eyeshadow in Cupcake, Smurfette, Miss Sunshine, and Black Knight.
Body Cream: Pretty Peaushun