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All of Our Beeswax
By Ashleigh Beyer, Vapour BlogGirl
5/13/2015  
Vapour Blog

Bees are dear to Vapour’s heart: 146 of the 150 products in the Vapour line contain organic beeswax. Beeswax is what gives Vapour stick products form and stability; as Krysia puts it, “Beeswax is the foundation of the foundation.”

Vapour used to buy organic beeswax as close to home as possible, from Canada, but that small family farm lost its certification after Monsanto crops were planted nearby. Certified organic bee products are hard to come by: first, the beekeeper must manage hive and farm without using pesticides or antibiotics of any kind; then they must only use natural practices for harvesting the honey, smoke rather than the often-used fume boards. Nearby farms must also be pesticide-free in order for the bee colony to qualify as organic. Bees collect nectar and pollen in a four-mile radius from their hives. Now Vapour sources its organic beeswax globally based on seasonal availability. Between sourcing and shipping, this ingredient can get pricey, but Vapour’s commitment to organic is unwavering; as Krysia says, “Vapour will never create product without the highest percentage of organic ingredients possible.”

The rapid population decline of honeybees gained attention in 2006 when the disappearance of bees from their colonies was given a new name, Colony Collapse Disorder. Washington, D.C.–based education and policy non-profit Beyond Pesticides first started publicizing the role of pesticides in bee decline years ago and their scientific database has “identified new findings demonstrating that pesticides, especially the neonicotinoid class of insecticides, have sub-lethal and chronic impact on bee behavior, immune system, and colony longevity.” 

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Buying organic beeswax, although not always easy, is the right thing to do on two counts. One, keeping Vapour products organic is good for you because 60 to 80% of what you put on your skin is absorbed into your body. Mainstream cosmetics can be chock-full of chemicals that are scientifically linked to a host of physical maladies. And two, keeping Vapour products organic is good for the planet. By purchasing organic beeswax, Vapour is supporting bee population health, habitat and, hopefully, longevity. According to Beyond Pesticides website one in three bites of food require pollinators. There could be serious implications for the stability of ecosystems, the economy and our food supply if bee populations continue to decline.

Krysia is looking forward to having her first beehive in her garden next summer. Thanks to her ever-growing garden, she understands and appreciates the job that wild pollinators do. Talking more about pollinating she says, “We don’t think about the pollinators’ roll in the process of growing food because it happens seamlessly; it’s invisible to most of us. Pollinators are the unsung heroes of the food chain.”

-ASHLEIGH BEYER




Tags: N/A
Categories: Purity
The Vapour Theory of Colour
By Kristine Keheley, Co-Founder and Formulator
9/20/2013  
Vapour Blog

Behind the scenes: Natural carmine in our organic lab

Vapour was founded by passionate, conscious people and we have given ourselves the luxury of using extremely fine ingredients—ones that are more expensive and temperamental than other brands are willing to use. Our care with researching and sourcing Vapour’s ingredients extends to color in significant ways.

We use blends of mineral pigments and carmine to create the depth and breadth of color found in Vapour products. We believe carmine is simply the best way to achieve red and it has been for more than 2,000 years. Carmine’s first recorded cosmetic use was in England in 1523. Synthetic reds cannot compare to the beauty of a carmine-based red and we want Vapour to be the finest cosmetic experience you can have. Mineral pigments, the iron oxides and micas, have been used as artists’ colors since the cave paintings of Lascaux in 15,000 BC, and likely longer. These rich earthy hues are especially useful in Atmosphere Foundations, in both the Luminous and Soft Focus formulations.

Vapour Blog

Lascaux cave painting; Indigenous carmine production

When conceiving a new shade for Vapour, I’m thinking about cosmetic history the way an artist thinks about the history of art. We know the classic shades, the on-trend shades and I have ideas about new shades. Color exists for me as a readily available visual library. This is meaningful because instead of replicating another brand’s shade, I’m able to cast a new twist on a classic for Vapour.

Many women wear a signature shade of lipstick, as they would a perfume, which palpably recalls their unique identity to all who know them. I’ve always known the favorite lipsticks my friends: who loved MAC’s Del Rio in the ‘90s, and who favored Film Noir or Twig. One of my dearest friends defined at least a decade by her use of a vampiric black cherry. Another perpetually wore a shimmering violet from Dior. Me, I was a MAC Verve and Vista addict.

A primary creative consideration is that make-up changes on the wearer based on skin tone. Take a look at the back of your hand and notice all of the undertones. I am fair and I see blue, red and even green in my skin. If you have olive or dark skin, then everything keys to those particular tones so the same shade of lipstick looks noticeably different on you than on fair skin. This undercurrent of skin color directly influences all Vapour color design.

Working on a new Siren Lipstick shade means everyone in the factory has to try it on so I can see it on their skin. That’s always the proof of a great lipstick—that it enhances everyone’s lips. A rich, classic red lipstick like Vapour’s Courage may not be to your taste or daring, but I bet you’d look smashing in it just the same, no matter your coloring. Aura Multi Use in Courtesan is a best-selling shade for the simple reason that it works on almost everyone.

Vapour Blog

Behind the scenes: Natural carmine and mineral pigments; Carmine contributes to Siren Lipstick’s rich variety of shades

What Vapour does NOT use is also interesting:
Vapour never contains coal tar or petroleum-derived FD&C pigments like some cosmetics claiming to be “natural.” Anyone with sensitivity to petroleum products should check labels for colors with numbers such as Red 40, Yellow 6, etc. These colorants have long been suspect and many have been banned since their inception in the early 20th century, because of proven toxicity dangers.

These dyes are also used in foods and many health experts believe they should be strictly avoided. Health concerns range from tumor growth, neurotransmitter alteration, endocrine disruption and ADD in children. In 2008 a UK ruling banned six specific food colorants. Despite the ban in the UK, the US continues to use these colorants. The UK has required companies like McDonalds and Fanta to use vegetable colorants in their products. In the US, Fanta orange soda is dyed with Red 40 and Yellow 6. In the UK it is dyed with pumpkin and carrot extract. Artificial colors aren’t necessary, just cheap and consistent without effort, no matter the health risk.

However, Vapour never contains plant colorants, either. Water-based, plant pigments are an interesting way to color cosmetics except that using anything water-based means that aggressive bactericides are necessary to keep the product safe for use. Those chemical bactericides, such as parabens, are not necessary in Vapour because our products are all completely water-free. By designing formulas without water, we eliminate the need for harsh preservatives, which can be detrimental to your health.

Vapour is about quality and sophistication of color, and we choose to create that from a base of sound and safe choices.

—KRISTINE KEHELEY, VAPOUR CO-FOUNDER




Tags: carmine, color theory
Categories: Purity
A Letter of Introdcution
By Eric Sakas
8/14/2009  
Vapour Blog

Eric Sakas and Kevyn Aucoin with their clients.

Hello There,

I’ve been very fortunate in my career to have worked with some of the most innovative visionaries in the beauty industry. When I moved to New York back in the late ‘80s a good friend of mine said that I needed to meet a friend of his who was a really talented makeup artist. I took it with a grain of salt and said that I would look him up but never did. It was a few years later upon that friend’s visit that my life would change in a New York minute. He introduced me to Kevyn Aucoin at a downtown restaurant and we hit it off instantly.

The next week he invited me to meet Liza Minnelli as she was recording a single called “The Day After That” from Kiss of the Spider Woman. It was the first of many of his celebrity clients that I would meet in the years ahead. I was struck by their fondness for him. Aside from his incredible talent, what I impressed me most was his humility. I really connected with him because I saw that he was just a small town boy in the big city, just like me. That attitude never changed in the 10 years that he grew to be one of the most celebrated and beloved makeup artists of our time.

He was the biggest mentor in life. I learned so many things from him throughout the years that we worked side-by-side developing products for him and other big cosmetic companies. I learned to see beauty through his eyes the way he did, in everyone. I learned that it’s not worth doing something unless you’re going to give it your all. I learned that talent really is not so much about the technique but more about the passion. I learned that makeup does not mask an ugly heart. I learned that beauty really does come from within, but sometimes we need a jumpstart from someone who believes in us first.

I was very fortunate to learn his coveted makeup techniques, work on his best selling beauty books and also run his cosmetics company, Kevyn Aucoin Beauty, even after his passing in 2002. When I left the company to pursue other interests, I remembered years earlier when he was ill and would always say to me, “You will always be taken care of.” I believed what he told me and one day from out of the blue I received an email from Cristina Carlino, the founder of Philosophy, saying that she would love me to work with her to develop a full color line. It was a huge opportunity and I was extremely grateful.

She reminded me so much of Kevyn in her ability to lead and to love. It was also her brilliant vision that drove me to create with such passion. When the company was sold and new management took over, we parted ways. The short time that I spent with her gave me even more respect for her. She taught me the true meaning of the word grace.

After Philosophy I started to consult in the industry and had the opportunity to work on many exciting products and brands. Consulting gave me a bigger vision of the industry and I really got to see everything.

After I was handed a sample one day in a meeting, my life would change again instantly. Someone I met had shown me a sample of the Vapour Foundation. I swatched it on my hand and was completely blown away by how it performed on the skin. I only knew that the company was from New Mexico. That night I tracked them down on the Internet and found the small company the very next day. I called and spoke to Kristine, and she told me it was made with organic ingredients. It made sense to me considering plant cells and skin cells are compatible, but I had never seen a product perform like this before. Everything I had seen previously in the organic space was sub par in its performance. We talked about the innovation and the years they had spent developing the formulas. I dropped everything I was working on to pursue a partnership with Vapour, because I wanted to share this product with women everywhere. Many job opportunities had come along in that year, but I stood committed to developing the Vapour product line, because it was something I completely believed in.

The result is my experience in color cosmetic development combined with the innovative formulations of the Vapour team. In my opinion there is nothing on the market with the quality and performance of Vapour. And I have seen it all! As someone who understands color and how it performs on the skin, the Vapour products are incredible. They apply evenly; blend in seamlessly and quickly, thereby creating flawless and radiant skin.

I am grateful that I am part of this exceptional product line. It is the result of over 50 years combined experience in both prestige color cosmetics and organic formulations.

I hope that you will try Vapour Beauty and see for yourself what I’m so excited about.

Sincerely,
Eric Sakas
Co-Founder, Vapour Organic Beauty




Tags: Eric, Kevyn Aucoin, Cristina Carlino, Liza Minnelli
Categories: Purity
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