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Make up

The natural beauty and cruelty-free makeup we need now

Photography by Tracey Creed
Assisted by Amandine Paniagua
Words by Amandine Paniagua

Published March 29 2020

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, 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 (NZ$60) 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 (NZ$55) 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 (NZ$50) 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 (NZ$69) 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 (NZ$59) and Mixing tool (NZ$18) 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. Still, the brush feels lovely. The hairs are soft and flexible, nicely and evenly diffusing the product. The mixing tool is such an ingenious item. I always hated dipping my fingers into any product because of cross-contamination. With this stick, the fear is over; it's a game-changer and also helps extract the right amount of product—perfect for keeping makeup longer. In the same vein, Aleph expanded their range of tools with a Powder brush (NZ$59) and a Lip brush (NZ$39), I bet these are similar quality and soft feeling.

Emma Peters features herself regularly in makeup tutorials online, teaching us how to adequately and fully use her products. And the Tonic Room event we attended wasn't any different, as Peters led us through her line and helped us discover how minimal products can yield maximum impact. Emma's stance on practicality is one of the numerous values the brand delivers. Some time back, Trace and I separately purchased Aleph products online and as an afterthought emailed to ask if combining shipping was an option since we are living together. Emma found it obvious to combine shipping to save resources and our money. This attitude is a business approach I love, a beauty entrepreneur who walks her talk, who cares and steps up to provide the best products possible, and the best brand experience. So I would say expert or enthusiast, if you are after a premium natural beauty brand committed to sustainability practices, look no further, Aleph is for you.

Everything we create is an effort to participate in a culture shift. All products featured are independently selected and curated by the authors, and we only feature items we use or would use ourselves that align with our values. As part of our business model, we do work with affiliates such as Amazon. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases if you decide to purchase through our links. The price would be the same to you either way, but if you find value in our work, then these affiliate links are a way to support it. We only recommend brands, makers and products we use — that we support. Transparency is important to us, so if you have any questions, please reach out to us.

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