Beauty inside and out in Berlin. We show you how to 'look good, do good, feel Amazingy!'
Amazingy first hit my radar as I was looking for a European online shop carrying a specific brand from the US. Upon discovering that the shop was based in Berlin, there was no stopping from shopping.
Forgetting my original search, well, almost, I found myself in a green beauty heaven: green anti-aging luxury superstars such as Dr Alkaitis, May Lindstrom and Tata Harper; clean perfumes by Balm Balm and A Perfume Organic; modern cult brands like Pai, Rahua and Kahina; make-up by Kjaer Weis and Ilia; hottest industry trends such as Konjac sponges and Dopper water bottles…
Shopping here is guilt-free, too: with every purchase, Amazingy supports the NPO Trees for the Future’s fight against global deforestation; so far since the Amazingy launch in 2011, the young company have helped plant 9620 trees and counting.
Customer service is terrific, too: super-quick delivery – it’s next day within Berlin – is free starting at €85 EU-wide; samples can be personalised upon request; product questions are answered within a few hours, same day.
Believing in supporting local businesses, I ordered. (And ordered and ordered.)
Believing in supporting local businesses, I decided to meet the founders for your reading pleasure.
Amazingy is a family-owned business, run by the Dutch couple Ingrid and Floris van Onna.
I came to visit them in their quiet hood in Berlin-Friedrichshain, in a graffiti-adorned street that’s just on the brink of getting its rough, urban face expensively lifted. There resides the HQ and hides a beauty corner where a customer can treat herself to a glamourous real-life experience with “green” make-up (appointment only).
As I visit, the family business is one big happy place: Ingrid and Floris and the new baby boy. For the whole time I spend with them talking green beauty and enterprise, all three, the baby included, keep beaming and smiling, like their very own, energetic, picture perfect advertising family. Only that they are for real.
Ingrid and Floris are used to working together: they have rocked Europe’s dancefloors as DJ Flowing, which is a clever combination of their corresponding nicknames, Flow and Ingy. Today, having traded DJ Flowing for Flowing cosmetics, they say that their teamwork as partners is the best experience ever, and something they wouldn’t want to miss for the world.
Ingrid is the namesake of the enterprise; Amazingy was a name Floris made up and registered as a surprise blog for his wife. Just how cool’s that?
And the rest, as they say, is history.
FROM ZERO TO HIRO
Upon arriving in Berlin and looking for their favourite green labels (Floris: „DJs are health fanatics. Imagine the crazy work schedule and all the partying and travelling“), the two found a lifestyle different from their native country.
„In the Netherlands, organic brands are different – clean, luxurious, upscale.” Explains Ingy, “As we looked for organic cosmetics in Germany, most of them were pretty basic, simple, “eco”-looking. Green lifestyle here comes from another tradition.”
So the idea of a brand new, clean and gorgeous beauty brand was born. Ingrid did a lot of research that Floris describes as “downright obsession” to find the right textures, shades and of course the perfect manufacturer for their brand-to-be.
The work cumulated in the birth of their brand, a mineral make-up line HIRO that today offers a huge range of pure mineral pigments, foundations, and pro brushes.
Being a bit of a geek, Floris started building their first online shop, and cooperations with foreign green luxury brands followed. Soon the two were responsible for the European distribution of the fantastic US-based luxury beauty brand Dr Alkaitis (all products are made from 100% active ingredients that also happen to be food grade safe).
Today, with such brands like Kahina Giving Beauty, Ilia Beauty, and The Konjac Sponge on their distribution list, Flowing Cosmetics is Europe’s home to some of the coolest green beauty brands. Additionally, in their online shop at amazingy.com green beauty geeks and mavens get all other coveted names I’ve mentioned above and some more.
Ingy and Floris are in the know: they talk to brand founders, explore their stories, dive into the debris of toxic ingredients, evaluate scientific research – briefly: they geek out about green beauty – and share their practicable knowledge in their Amazingy online magazine, in various articles on skin health, hair care, and of course makeup inspirations.
Given how many musicians and creatives are attracted to Berlin but fail to actually do something credible here, I ask Floris (Ingy has disappeared to take care of the baby boy as I am about to leave) how it was for them to start a business in the city of sidetracks and amusements, and get this surprising answer:
„Berlin was in fact ideal for starting our business: here, far away from home, distractions from work are minimal.“
—by Nath Fedorova, Beautycalypse.com
Photos: Cover Shot Marie Staggat; Anita Mundt