Emma Peters, founder of Aleph Beauty, is putting “vegan” and “high quality” in the same sentence.
Emma’s background as a makeup artist led her to create her own makeup range—painting faces within the television, fashion, and advertising industries for the past two decades made her see the damaging impact low quality products were having on the skin of her clients. From this, and from an interest in holistic health and nutrition, Aleph Beauty was born.
What made you start Aleph?
I have been a makeup artist for TV, fashion and advertising for the past two decades and I discovered the health of client’s skin was being jeopardised by low quality products that contributed to problem skin and general ill-health. At the same time, I developed an interest in holistic health, nutrition and yoga and quickly learned that our skin absorbs a large portion of what goes on it. Being mindful of what I put in my body, it didn’t make sense to put chemically laden products on my body and on my clients.
There were cruelty free brands that were extremely harmful to humans, there were natural brands that put everything in plastic containers or there were conscious brands that were seriously lacking in function and style – there wasn’t anything that brought together everything that I wanted in a brand. My simple thought was to create makeup that was good for the skin, a multi-functional makeup that acts like skincare as well as makeup, without harming the planet or the people wearing it.
Do you have a morning routine? If so, what is it you do to set yourself up for the day ahead?
I wake up at 5am which is almost two hours earlier than the rest of the family. I’m a mum to two girls under 10 that keep me busy (on top of running the business!) so am mindful of needing this time before they get up – it sets me up for the rest of the day and makes me a much more pleasant person to be around. As soon as I get up, I do about 10 minutes of breath work and 30 – 40 mins of meditation in the lounge. It calms me for a hectic day ahead with creating all elements of the business, consulting with clients or working on shoots. No two days are the same! Based on how good my sleep has been (I use an app called Oura Ring to monitor my sleep patterns), I will rotate exercises from high intensity training, yoga and strength training for 20 minutes, or on the weekend I’ll go to an early hot yoga class.
Before the kids wake up, I’ll prep my skin with Corbin Rd. Restorative Cleansing Balm, jump in the shower and exfoliate the skin with their Viteve ™ Silk Exfoliating Cloths. I’ll do a super quick (less than five minutes!) makeup look using our Aleph Beauty Concealer / Foundation applied with our Diffuser Brush, and apply a bit of Aleph Beauty Cheek / Lip Tint to my cheeks and lips. I love a simple monochromatic look, so will usually use the same colour on both cheeks and lips. Once the kids are off to school, I start the work day by making a Bulletproof coffee for my husband and me, then we sit down and get into the day.
What’s the biggest barrier you’ve found to succeeding as a socially conscious business?
Juggling of all the elements I value and the availability of ingredients that tick all of the boxes and still function the way I want them to.
Within the ethical fashion community, there’s a big question that we ask which is ‘who made my clothes?’. In the scope of Aleph, who made your products? Can you tell us a bit about them?
This has been a pioneering project. It has always been very important to me to have these products made in New Zealand for a multitude of reasons, not least of which was that I wanted to be involved in the process every step of the way. When I was searching for a company to make our products, I was constantly met with the statement “we don’t make colour cosmetics in New Zealand”. I was lucky enough to find a small manufacturer that had the right equipment to get us started. We’re now with a larger NZ company who will handle the manufacturing for us.
The beauty of Aleph is that the products have been designed as a versatile and compact makeup kit, with minimal product needed to create the desired finished look. There are dense colour pigments on Cheek / Lip Tints that can be layered for subtle through to rich shades; while the Concealer / Foundation adjusts to skin tone enabling a light coverage to create vibrant, fresh skin.
Why did you pick the ingredients you have chosen to work with?
My core value is helping people be better and choose better, so we have taken the greatest care in the selection of every ingredient to be as ethical as possible, 100% cruelty-free, vegan, and people and planet friendly. Our products work in harmony with skin at the cellular level because we selected each ingredient for their protecting, nourishing stabilising and regenerating properties. Our customers know with absolute certainty that their skin and body health are being cared for, on top of achieving an impeccable, long-lasting finish.
Can you tell us more about where these are sourced?
Our ingredients come from around the world, and each ingredient is carefully looked at for its sustainability and ethical practices. We choose organic where we can and go for those ingredients that have a Cosmos or Ecocert certification.
Best piece of advice you have ever received?
I’m not sure where I got this, but it’s a mantra in our family: “do whatever it takes, no matter what, for as long as it takes.” Of course just to clarify, we always add a disclaimer for the kids – as long as it’s safe, legal and kind!
What’s next for you and Aleph?
We are currently working on a couple of new product launches: one is a darker Concealer / Foundation shade and a Serum / Primer. I’m currently using an iteration of this to moisturise my face as I’m still finalising the formulation and experimenting with different versions.
One book everyone should read? Why?
The Success Principles by Jack Canfield. This book literally changed the way I saw things and made me realise that anything is possible.
One documentary everyone should watch? Why?
“Heal”. This interviews some of the world’s best health, wellness and mindfulness teachers and shows us how we can take our health back.