Fashion and the culture is heavily gender stereotyped. Makeup in particular engages with both fashion and gender in very binary ways. To understand the stereotypes and binaries of makeup and gender, I decided to imagine a gender-neutral cosmetics company called the Third Eye Cosmetics.
In Buddhism, the speculative and invisible third eye provides perception beyond ordinary sight. Inspired by this, the branding for Third Eye brings fluidity to the rigid institutions of what of make-up should be and be for. Designing for both genders in a female-driven field, and as a female myself, means taking a second look at how we use the products, how the products are designed, and who the products are targeted to. With all of this in mind, I paid close attention to the identity, colors, and product. As a result, the logo of the word “eye” conveys the relationship to the face, while with the three slashes represent the “third” in third eye and is an abstract portrayal of eyelashes. The natural and neutral colors of the brand contribute to the essence of skin tone and it’s relationship with makeup, while also avoiding colors associated with females, pastels and pinks, to broaden the brand to the male viewers. Lastly, I designed a mini-publication one would receive with their package of products. The mini-publication, No Experience Necessary, is a series of portraits of both men and women with different types of foundation abstract strokes painted on their face to elude the Third Eye notion of makeup as an art and defying the constraints that makeup is put under.
It’s important to question how society and culture can drive negative stereotypes in all kinds of products. As designers, we need to recognize these issues and break the boundaries in order to understand what it means to be a designer in 2016. Third Eye is a celebration of the skin and gender to open a new realm, starting within the designer and fashion culture.