The natural beauty and cruelty-free makeup we need now

The natural beauty and cruelty-free makeup we need now

March 20, 2023

The following is a guest post originally published on Lagom. Photography by Tracey Creed. Assisted by Amandine Paniagua. Words by Amandine Paniagua.

I wore a lot of cheap makeup throughout my teens, twenties; natural beauty was not what it is today, and mainstream makeup contained ingredients that can hurt people. Since then with more knowledge and through adopting a low waste lifestyle, I reduced my routine to the point of wearing very little makeup. I donated or got rid of most of my products. Just kept my red lipstick—I am French after all.

Researching for natural and cruelty-free makeup brands, I discovered Aleph through an event organised by the Tonic Room, a wellness clinic in Auckland, New Zealand.

They invited Emma Peters to present her natural beauty brand Aleph and share her makeup artist how-to. The ticket cost NZ$50, which you could redeem on your purchase that evening. Navigating the market for natural, organic, vegan beauty brands can be challenging, so given we would have the opportunity to try these products ourselves I was willing to invest myself in attending.

That evening, Tracey chose the Pixie chick/lips tint and Sun radiance products, and I purchased the concealer foundation Number 03, the makeup brush and the mixing tool. More on that later.

"If you want a job done right, do it yourself" could be Peters moto, as she began addressing those of us who had turned up to get to know the line. Twenty years of experience working across TV, film, advertising and fashion, including ten of those focused on selling natural beauty products online, led Emma Peters to create Aleph, as a sort of necessity. Driven by her significant expertise and a clear idea of what natural beauty products and cruelty-free makeup should be, Peters launched last year a limited collection of luxury makeup—fit for professional expectations, and amateurs alike.

According to Peters, natural beauty is about respecting humanity, the planet and all sentient beings, without compromising performance and functionality. I couldn't agree more. This philosophy is more about appreciating being part of one global ecosystem, unicity, oneness. And that is where the name Aleph comes from—the first letter of the Semitic alphabet, it represents the Oneness of God in Jewish mysticism.

Formulated from a combination of clean and certified ingredients, Aleph products are also GMO-free, ethically manufactured—both vegan and cruelty-free. Ingredients are selected for their broad chemical specificities—concentrated forms creating functional premium products with bright pigments, rich textures and intelligent behaviours. You end up needing less. Ideal for those after a minimalist routine. Totarol, magnesium stearate, alaria esculenta extract (algae) are some of the natural and unique ingredients used. As such, Aleph also goes beyond professional makeup by delivering skincare performance, helping you achieve a flawless look while improving and protecting your skin.

Multi-functionality is in Aleph’s DNA. Beyond ingredients, products are complementary and can be paired together to perform and uplift any makeup. The idea came from Peters experience and frustrations, noticing she was using the same products over and over despite her extensive collection. Realising how cluttering and wasteful that was, Peters created products equally dual-purpose, clean and sustainable. Streamlining beauty routines without sacrificing creativity. I think more of us are wanting to adopt a less is more approach—streamlining various aspects of life is definitely something most of us can relate to!

Every single component of the products has been taken into consideration and designed for the best possible outcome. And for those living low waste, Aleph's packaging is equally considered. Aleph utilises small compact glass jars with aluminium lids—both recyclable materials and easy to transport. And there is more! Aleph recently launched a new initiative. They partnered with Glass packaging Forum to implement a take-back program through which you can bring back your empty Aleph makeup jars and containers. They will thoroughly sterilise them and put them back in the manufacturing line for reuse. By adopting circular economy principles, such as keeping materials in use and designing for their end of life, the beauty industry can address issues of waste and pollution at scale.

Primarily focused towards professional utilisation but with simplicity and an ease of use, the Aleph collection consists of a concise collection of multi-functional natural makeup products. Long-wearing, these products don’t need reapplication and yet are easy to remove—taking less time, less makeup remover, less everything to clean off at the end of the day.

Concealer/foundation This dual-use product is applicable around the eye area as a concealer, or for the whole face as a foundation. Mixed with the primer, it creates a subtly tinted veil. I can say I tested both three options with number 02 and 03. Super easy to apply, it melts almost instantly into the skin—no chance of looking like a clown. Available in eight shades now, the concealer suits a wide range of skin tones though I would expect darker shades to launch in the future, increasing inclusivity.

Cheek/Lip tint I use this product occasionally, but it's an interesting one. This face tint can be layered on the lips for a colourful light moisturiser, or on the cheeks to mimic natural glow. I like the different shades, versatile enough for day or night. I love Pixie and Rêve. A few months ago, Aleph also pulled a new shade, Sangha, a beautiful, vivid, intense red. Perfect to wake up my brunette features, or feel more Frenchy than ever.

Radiance This is an iridescence shade available in three nuances, I own Moon and Sun. I love how this multi-purpose product can be applied as a shiny eyeshadow or mixed with the concealer as a highlighter. And it can go onto the lips—three products in one, at least. Aleph released another shade, Star. So tempted to get it!

Prep / Finish Powder The latest product of the range, this translucent makeup Powder follows the quality guidelines of the brand. I don’t own this product but it called my attention, as usual with Aleph with its multi-purpose properties. First preparing the skin, mattifying and protecting. Then preventing the makeup to transfer, this powder is ideal to reduce shine, for long-lasting makeup and flawless complexion. They called it “a real-life photo filter”!

Diffuser brush and Mixing tool I purchased both after Emma's demonstration. I use the vegan brush occasionally as I don't do full foundation coverage often, using mostly my fingertips for applying.


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