Biodesign is the Future of Sustainable Beauty


As Director of MANA Products R&D Color Labs, it’s imperative for all leaders in the beauty industry to actively pursue sustainability initiatives. And, what better place to look than at the future leaders of biodesign for inspiration and thought leadership?

 MANA’s contract manufacturing business was built, and has thrived, upon our culture of curiosity and innovation. And for the past 2 years now, we’ve sponsored the BioDesign Challenge, a competition among high school and university students who will be the first generation of biodesigners in our global economy.

 Beauty is our collective passion. And as manufacturers, the entire MANA family works tirelessly to innovate in every part of the beauty supply chain. Even more importantly, as trendsetters, MANA always has to know what’s important to the next generation of customers and ensured that we meet their needs. So, as we look to the future, we challenge participating BioDesign teams to both help us envision the future and to help us shape it.


Finding Beauty and Inspiration in Nature  

 As part of the 2020 BioDesign Challenge, a color cosmetics project based in Colombia called Linneo was awarded the Prize for the Future Design of Beauty. That team (from Universidad de los Andes) won with a bio-eyeshadow made possible by both fungi-derived pigments and true formulation innovation. And Karen Nathaly Blanco, Ana María Rodríguez, Laura Espitia, Camila Correa, Laura Méndez, Sara Garcia, along with faculty advisors Carolina Obregon and Giovanna Danies—the team even behind Linneo—also suggested, as part of their presentation, a packaging material solution that makes the first Linneo eyeshadow palette all the more sustainable.


Environmental Sustainability in Contract Manufacturing

As Director of R&D for the color labs, my focus is on new makeup product development, color matching, and production assistance. And environmental sustainability figures in here as well.

At MANA, we aim to use sustainable ingredients; implement product development and production strategies that use less energy, limit water use, and lessen waste; and we work with biodegradable raw materials and packaging whenever possible.


We know that biodesign is the future of sustainable beauty. And as a result, the MANA partnership with the annual Biodesign Challenge is a meaningful one. We have the opportunity to interact and engage with some of the brightest young minds in biotech and design. And the students have the opportunity to speak directly to, and get feedback from, industry experts; plus they get to showcase and, in some cases, even commercialize their work.


Makeup Innovations for a Circular Economy

Maria Stadler, our VP of Marketing, had the privilege of presenting the 2020 MANA Prize for the Future of Beauty at this year’s Biodesign Challenge.

And as she explained in her remarks, this year’s challenge brought together beauty, biotechnology, design sensibility, and 360 sustainability: “The challenge MANA issued was to help the beauty industry create a more beautiful and sustainable ‘bio-future’ for ourselves and for the planet. The objective was straightforward: Sustainability with Superiority.”


“We asked [participants] to consider all aspects of beauty, including how biotech and design can positively influence manufacturing and distribution of beauty products. We encouraged you to envision new products,…ingredients, and packaging, as well as how they function, how they are produced, and how they are disposed of after use.”


The team behind Linneo did all this and more, which is why their biodesign makeup concept won the prize. Watch the Linneo’s BioDesign Challenge pitch video here on YouTube to learn more about how biodesign is shaping the future of beauty.


Yelena Loginova

Director of R&D, MANA Color Labs


Yelena Loginova is a trailblazing scientist in the areas of Cosmetic Science, Formulation and Product Development.  In her 20 years of leading chemistry development and innovative creations for top cosmetics companies, Yelena has left an indelible mark inventing eight (8) cosmetic patents.   

Currently Yelena is R&D Director at MANA overseeing the Color Lab activity in three directions: new product development, color matching and assistance to production.  Yelena holds a PhD degree in Biochemistry from the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences and MBA degree from Kaplan University.  She has 10 publications and presentations in the area of cosmetic science.  She is also a recipient of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists (SCC) Allan B. Black Award, for the best “makeup technology paper” in 2007.