They say not to judge a book by its cover, but it’s difficult to resist the undeniable allure of the simultaneously utilitarian yet chic packaging of Swedish cosmetic brand, Manasi 7. Perfectly accenting the pragmatism meets glamour approach of products like “All Over Colour” and “Skin Enhancer”, every Manasi 7 product serves a distinctly considered purpose.
The brainchild of Susanne Persson, a former makeup artist and product developer with over two decades of experience in the industry, Manasi 7 has an innovative approach that considers the health of its clients without compromising on performance or quality. Persson is a dedicated sustainability advocate and her brand is a manifestation of her principles in perfectly iconic packaging.
Here, the founder gives us an insight into her brand, the industry, as well as a few trade secrets to perfect your makeup look.
The Manasi 7 product line is largely a deconstruction of traditional makeup products. What was the inspiration behind this and do you feel it’s the future of cosmetics?
I believe that the future (of cosmetics) is multifunctional, simple, and personalised, meaning there are no actual rules. You can use them as you prefer-- gently dabbed and layered for a higher pay-off, or even mixed together to discover new shades and textures. Too many products aren't very sustainable nor convenient; buy less, but better.
Do you believe that users are too rigid in the use of their products?
I believe people should dare to try new things and not be afraid of playing around. When we launched our brand in London, I showed a customer who was looking for lipstick and blush, how to use our products. She had very fair skin with freckles and reddish hair, so I suggested our All Over Colour in Fuchsine (a bold fuchsia pink) for her cheeks and lips. After a little hesitation, she let me do her makeup. Once I was done, she was so amazed that she bought the product right away. Sometimes you just have to try something new or different.
Manasi 7 is multifaceted in many ways – products are multi-purpose, suitable for several, if not all complexions, and they transcend the seasons. Why was this intrinsic to the core ethos of the brand?
When creating my collection or new products, I always go with my gut feeling. I never look at trends or special seasons because I want every product to be essential. If I have a new idea in mind, that product or shade has to have a permanent purpose in the collection, which means we produce everything at a slow pace and with high quality.
"I believe that the future (of cosmetics) is multifunctional, simple, and personalised, meaning there are no actual rules."
As a makeup artist and a person of colour, it has always been important to me to cater to many complexions. Doing makeup for photoshoots in the mid/late 90's in Sweden, it was hard to find good shades for deeper skin tones. It was embarrassing, and frankly outrageous, not to have the proper shades of makeup for people of colour. This extended beyond complexion-based products to lip, cheek and eye colours. Thus, I ended up creating my own shades that could cover all colours.
What was the moment that you realised you wanted to start Manasi 7?
It was something I’d been thinking about for a long time. The idea came to me around 2010, but it didn’t materialise until 2015.
Elaborate on the Declaration of 7 and how this defines the brand.
The Declaration of 7 is our building blocks, our profound belief in how we produce, and the way we want to run our business. These 7 pillars are a summary of my initial notes on what I wanted the collection to be. You could say that it’s an extension of myself, based on both my interest and knowledge of health, wellbeing and sustainability, as well as my experience as a makeup artist.
Manasi 7 is centred around sustainability and responsibly sourced products. How does this impact your approach to the creation of new products?
We work differently compared to most beauty brands and with the opposite approach of mass production. I only develop products or shades I believe have a genuine place in the collection. Once I decide I want to make a new product, we embrace it by producing new imagery and promoting it with intention. I believe in multifunctional essentials that will last.
What are most women missing in their makeup routine?
Curling their lashes. It really does the trick. When I don’t want to wear much makeup, I only curl my lashes and apply Bronzelighter Roseate as a cream bronzer. It makes me look awake and glowing.
Your signature makeup or go-to beauty look?
Healthy, glowing skin and statement lips.
The most exciting part of the changing beauty landscape?
I see brands turning towards a more “clean” approach and I believe this is a good step forward as people are starting to care more about the ingredients in their beauty products.
Your must-have makeup product?
Bronzelighter Roseate – I can’t do my own or anyone else’s makeup without it.
Your highest and lowest points as an entrepreneur?
Being nominated for the Wallpaper* design awards in 2018 was one of the highest points. The lowest was during Covid-19 when our customers were waiting for sold out items.