Youmin Park is a graphic designer based in Brooklyn, NY who values design that sparks conversation about issues around the world. She also loves walking and observing the sky.
The word “natural” is commonly used in cosmetics industry since the natural beauty look gained its popularity all over the world. This made me wonder: Is “natural” always good? Do the two words “natural” and “beauty” work together? Can makeup and skincare be truly natural? To answer my questions, I started to research on natural ingredients that was used in cosmetics history.
I created a website that has two side, white side containing natural ingredients and the black side contains the toxic (but believed natural and safe) ingredients that people used to achieve the beauty standard in the past. For example, Arsenic was considered safe to achieve the pale look but it caused physical and mental health issue in 19th century. When user hovers on the image, the image changes its colors. For toxic ingredients, they change to more vibrant and attractive colors to reflect how regardless of its toxic characteristics, they were advertised and used by people for a long time. Also, when users hover on the effect of the toxic ingredients, the text gets smaller like the medical television advertisement which at the end it shows the possible negative effects of the product in small text and fast voice.
Based on the research, I designed an exhibition called “natural beauty” that shows my concern on the word “natural”. I realized how people must be aware of what they are applying to their face even though the products or advertisements say “natural”. The exhibition contains the interactive elements like face filters, interactive floor and screen to warn and educate people about the “natural” beauty.