Vapour Brand Review and Interview

Vapour Brand Review and Interview
For more than 10 years, renegade beauty pioneers Krysia Boinis and Kristine Keheley have been at the forefront of natural formulation, bridging the gap between luxurious conventional cosmetics and clean color that doesn’t compromise. As of September, the beloved brand revealed a major makeover with sleek new packaging, updated shades, and an array of innovative product launches.

The founders are thrilled with the latest phase, saying, “It’s rare to get an opportunity to re-envision a project so thoroughly and on such a high level. We are different people than when we started Vapour, so our vision is now driven by our experience and our dreams for the future. We’ve never wavered from the mission of creating the best and purest products. Vapour now has the opportunity to amplify and emerge as an even stronger voice.”

Years ago, when Krysia and Kristine designed and manufactured natural skincare for major brands, they discovered a mutual love for makeup. But the more they learned about the potentially toxic ingredients in their favorite products, the less they could enjoy them. Unfortunately, the rich colors and lasting wear they admired in conventional makeup were nonexistent in green beauty. With no good options, the duo decided to make their own, combining Krysia’s formulating know-how with Kristine’s background in fine arts to create Vapour. 

The brand gets its name from the merging of their self-proclaimed “wildly different characters.” Vapour is defined as water molecules dispersed in air—with Krysia being the cardinal water sign, Cancer, and Kristine being the cardinal airsign, Libra. As they found out, when these elements come together with a singular focus, alchemy happens. 

With strong ties to their home of Taos, New Mexico, they consider the city their muse: “Vapour embodies a powerful yet understated strength and wild beauty. Being at one with nature and finding serenity in the landscape of Taos deeply influences the brand. Taos is open-minded and experimental. For generations, lured by the magical light, visionary artists have been attracted to this high desert valley. We interact with the beauty of this place every day and night, and Vapour products capture this, bringing softly illuminating color onto the planes and contours of the face.”

Often lauded as the Fenty of green beauty, Vapour is known for its exceptional shade options, nuanced undertones, and velvety textures. We asked Kristine if her artistic skills play a part in creating complexion products, to which she replies, “Absolutely. My eye has been trained for color and light since early childhood. I regard these as my first languages. Discerning subtle variations in tone, being able to mathematically deconstruct a color, and knowing how to orchestrate pigments all come from my artistic background. With cosmetic color, it’s crucial to understand that makeup should not be an opaque paint that sits on top of the skin. Nuance and light reflection are key to a great complexion. I’m always balancing tones with consideration for the life and blood flow underneath the skin. I want to create products that illuminate the wearer.”

Formulating with plant-based ingredients can prove challenging, but Vapour takes it in stride. Krysia explains, “Ingredient purity and outstanding performance are essential. That’s why we choose organically farmed and naturally derived, minimally processed ingredients. We look to plants that support health, beauty, and well-being with naturally occurring actives such as antioxidants, EFAs (essential fatty acids), vitamins, and minerals. Our clean ingredients meet or exceed international green beauty standards, are responsibly sourced, and have the best environmental ratings.”

The proof is in the pudding, because when it comes to makeup, results are key. “At the end of the day,” Krysia says, “our cosmetics must have sublime performance to earn their place on your face. Vapour does just that, and is a luxurious alternative to conventional makeup. There is no need to compromise on texture, comfort, longevity, or color payoff. Our versatile colors and finishes, silky lightweight textures, and inclusive complexion range set the new cosmetic standard.”

What was the inception/beginning of Vapour Beauty? 

Kristine and Krysia started out designing and manufacturing natural skin care in a private label capacity for major brands in the Natural space. They both loved the rich color, textures and wear time of luxury conventional cosmetics but more and more found they could not enjoy these products as they did not align with their values. They knew too much about the potentially toxic ingredients contained therein. This lead to the recognition that there was a need for clean color cosmetics.

What is Vapour Beauty’s mission? 

Inspired by the purity of light and the elemental energy of Taos, NM, renegade natural beauty pioneers Krysia Boinis and Kristine Keheley lead the evolution of clean color cosmetics with Vapour.

VAPOUR (noun) /vå-por, defined as Water molecules dispersed in Air. 

Krysia is the cardinal Water sign, Cancer. Kristine is the cardinal Air sign, Libra.

Both have wildly different characters, however when these elements come together with a singularly focused vision, alchemy happens. 

An alchemical understanding of plant ingredients places Vapour at the forefront of natural formulation. Vapour embraces performance while honoring deep commitments to ingredient purity, transparency, health and sustainability. Gone are the compromises over texture, comfort, long wear and color payoff. Vapour’s sublime color and luxurious textures set the new cosmetic standard. Challenging convention is never easy, but the benefits are transformational.

How would you describe this new phase for Vapour?

Thrilling. It’s rare to get an opportunity to re-envision a project so thoroughly and on such a high level. We are different people than when we started Vapour so our new vision is focused by our experience and our dreams for the future. We’ve never wavered from the mission of creating the best and the purest products, but we are not conventional. Not even conventional clean beauty. Vapour now has the opportunity to amplify and emerge as an even stronger voice. We have a lot to contribute from our 20 year history in the organic product world and there are so many conversations to join.

Has it changed your mission?

Vapour has been committed to product integrity and sustainability since its inception. This new phase will allow us to expand and amplify our mission to elevate inclusive organic beauty across the spectrum of age, race and gender.

Is your company still based in Taos?

Yes, our headquarters, manufacturing, warehouse and research facilities are based in Taos, New Mexico. Taos is our home and literally our muse– we are not going anywhere.

Why is Taos integral to the brand

Vapour embodies a powerful yet understated strength and wild beauty. Being at one with nature and finding serenity in the landscape of Taos deeply influences the brand. Taos is open minded and experimentalFor generations, lured by the magical light, visionary artists have been attracted to this high desert valley. We interact with the beauty of this place every day and night and Vapour products capture this bringing softly illuminating color onto the planes and contours of the face.

What does the future look like for beauty?

Natural is becoming the New Normal as clean beauty becomes mainstream and people embrace what Vapour has been leading for 10 years. For us, the future of beauty is inclusive and holistic. We believe in supporting people by offering products that encourage self expression and confidence. We look forward to more conversations about wellness, sustainability, beauty norms and healthy self-image. 

What environment initiatives are important to Vapour today?

We have an exciting Renewable Energy goal of becoming 100% Day Light Solar by 2022. Today we use 50% renewable energy at our headquarters, manufacturing, warehouse and research facilities in Taos, New Mexico. This includes extensive use of skylights for natural lighting throughout the day. We’re working on increasing that percentage every year, for the next three years, to reach our goal of 100% daylight solar by 2022.

Water is precious. Water stress impacts 44% of the world population and for us it’s personal. In our arid, high desert home of Taos, New Mexico, we recognize water as a limited resource. That’s why we’ve formulated 88% of our products without water. 100% of our lip and cheek products are waterless.

What is important when formulating with plant-based ingredients? 

Ingredient purity and outstanding performance are essential. That’s why we choose organically farmed and naturally derived, minimally processed ingredients. We look to plants that support health, beauty and wellbeing with naturally occurring actives such as antioxidants, EFAs (essential fatty acids), vitamins and minerals. Our clean ingredients meet or exceed international green beauty standards, are responsibly sourced and have the best environmental ratings.

At the end of the day our cosmetics must have sublime performance to earn their place on your face. Vapour does just that, and is a luxurious alternative to conventional makeup. There is no need to compromise on texture, comfort, long wear and color payoff. Our versatile color and finishes, silky lightweight textures and inclusive complexion range set the new cosmetic standard.

Are plant-based ingredients better for the skin?

Just as a plant based diet support our whole being, plant based cosmetics support skin radiance and health. Not only do plants provide natural protection and nourishment for the skin but they are aligned with our values to respect natural resources and minimize our footprint on the environment. When it comes to Color cosmetics nothing looks more flawless on the skin than mineral pigments in a plant derived base. Mineral Pigments are compatible with skin color and tone resulting in the most natural looking and inclusive shade range and color.

What are the challenges of formulating with plant-based ingredients?

I start with understanding sourcing and the integrity of the plant. To work with plants you must embrace variety and the wilderness of the unknown. Plants are not a consistent ingredient formulary and it takes experience and finesse to release their full potential. I’m constantly learning and it’s truly uncharted and that is exciting and leads to innovation. Every plant has an internal force compelling it to adapt and thrive in its environment. I love discovering that plant logic and magic every time.

Does being an artist come into play when creating tones for complexion?

Absolutely. My eye has been trained for color and light since early childhood. I regard these as my first languages. Discerning subtle variations in tone, being able to mathematically deconstruct a color, knowing how to orchestrate pigments all come from my artistic background. With cosmetic color it’s crucial to understand that makeup should not be an opaque paint that sits on top of the skin. Nuance and light reflection are key to a great complexion. I’m always balancing tones with consideration for the life and blood flow underneath the skin. I want to create products that illuminate the wearer.

Tell us your process when creating new shades for Vapour. (Is it a solo effort or a team effort?)

Inspiration can come from any source. From something in nature or fashion, or a thought or emotion. My pigment palette is limited to only a few materials (we do not use FD&C pigments), but from that design constraint I feel limitless potential. Color, like love, is infinite. I’ll come up with several ideas and often several ranges of payoff. Selecting a palette is more a team effort. When you’re working with a limited number of products in a category, the needs of the palette as a whole become very clear. 

Do you create the colors on the canvas or with paint first and then move to makeup? What is the impetus for colors?

The crossover with paint is the way I see color as light, in both art and cosmetics.When I paint in my studio I’m immersed in the sensual physicality of paint.I’m using color and light as an expression of life experience and emotion. I build up layers of pure pigment in isolated glazes to create a surface that seems to be made of light. Each layer of paint interacts with what lies underneath it. This is a building process. It’s color as information. The finished painted surface is potentially 20 or more layers deep. Painting this way is very much a process of entering the unknown with trust in myself and in the inevitable beauty of color.

I mix cosmetic pigments in my R&D lab using ground or powdered pigments and dispersing them in plant oils.This relates to the art of paint in an almost historicway. Renaissance artists ground pigments into linseed oilto make the first oil paint.With makeup, the face is the canvas for colorThat gets very exciting because there is life force within the skin and external light reflects off the face.From this perspective, Cosmetics can be an extremely dynamic experience of color and light. Light reveals in such specific ways. I’m a romantic so I think of light as associated with particular moments and emotions – candlelight, golden hour, starlight, and moonlight on skin.

Reviews

 

Shop Vapour Beauty.

Shop in Canada.

← Back