Emma Peters, co-founder of Aleph Beauty. Image supplied.
The word successful is often referred to as being influential, strong and thriving. A successful woman is all of those things. We are currently shining a light on successful women in both fashion and beauty, and New Zealand has many of them. When I think about a successful woman, I think about someone that has made a difference, had a positive impact, a trailblazer. Emma Peters, co-founder of Aleph Beauty is a successful woman in beauty for all of those reasons.
I first discovered Aleph Beauty about a year ago, I was delighted to be able to meet with Emma in person and have a one-on-one tutorial on how to use her products – I was in awe. After suffering for years with acne and breakouts, it had been hard for me to find makeup products that looked good on my skin, without causing a breakout. So when I tried Emma’s range of natural products I was impressed. Not only did her products make my skin look beautiful and glowing, with just the right amount of coverage to cover my imperfections, but not so much that you couldn’t see my natural skin, they also didn’t cause any reactions or breakouts. But the thing I loved the most about her products was the application process. Emma’s products come in small glass pots accompanied with a metal applicator to apply the product on to the back of your hand, where you can mix your base foundation/concealer together with the primer/serum or add a bit of colour or highlighter in to colour correct concerns such as pigmentation or dark under-eye circles. With a modest range of colours to work with, applying Emma’s products is like a form of art, with your hand as the palette and your face as the canvas. As well as being derived from only the best natural ingredients, Emma’s products are vegan, sustainable and ethically produced and her packaging is recyclable.
Emma and her brand, Aleph Beauty is leading the way in the natural beauty realm and opening up important conversations about how we can be more conscious of our beauty purchases and how to be more conscious about what we are putting on our skin.
I had a chat with Emma about her brand, Aleph Beauty and what success means to her, as well as her business goals and her advice on how to be a more conscious beauty consumer.
Where did the idea for Aleph Beauty come from and what’s the inspiration for the name?
Alongside studying health and wellness, I was a professional makeup artist for over 20 years. During that time, I became dissatisfied with the products I was using as they didn’t tick all of my boxes. In creating Aleph Beauty, I wanted something that reflected my values while still performing at the same standard as traditional beauty.
I once saw a reference to the word Aleph in a book by Paulo Coelho that depicted Aleph as the point in which space and time converge – a place where all things are seen from every angle. This aligned with my values to bring together people, planet and animals because you can’t have one without the other. Aleph means holistic oneness.
Can you tell us about the core values of Aleph?
People, planet, and animals are the filters through which all business decisions are made, with the promise to do no harm. We are passionate about inspiring people to make conscious choices and believe that sustainability should be the new norm.
Aleph Beauty serves to empower the creativity and confidence of the wearer while being quick and easy to use and ticking all the boxes of a conscious lifestyle. Aleph Beauty allows the consumer to own less and waste less, bringing minimalism into a beauty world that can be overwhelming.
How would you describe the Aleph Beauty customer and what do you think they’re looking for when they shop with your brand?
Ultimately, people want to look and feel amazing, without it taking a lot of time, and without harming themselves or the planet in the process. In the past, people needed to make compromises to achieve just one or two of these points, but Aleph Beauty aims to make it both quick and easy to use and choose. We’re removing the overwhelm from makeup shopping and application.
How important is it for women to lift each other up and what does that mean to you?
This is extremely important. As women, we live such busy lives – as mothers, business owners, home managers, taking care of those around us – that we aren’t often in the position to be complimented. So we need to have each other’s backs and express our gratitude for, and to the women around us.
We have a female team at Aleph Beauty and a wonderful Facebook group where our Aleph Beauties can feel safe to share photos and tips, to really support each other. It’s incredibly heart-warming to see the influx of confidence-boosting comments when someone posts a picture. Very often it comes with an admission that this is the first-ever picture they have posted or the first time they’ve felt confident enough to take a selfie.
Makeup by Aleph Beauty.
How do you personally define success and what does it mean to you?
Success is seeing the vision for Aleph Beauty, and the values behind it, translated through the products we sell and the customers we interact with. It’s heart-warming to hear our customers genuinely excited to receive products that make them feel more confident and to know that they are no longer adding to the toxic burden on their bodies and the planet.
What are you most proud of doing?
I periodically look up from the busyness and realise that I’ve created this brand from scratch. Stepping away from my previous commitments of freelance makeup and my online natural beauty store, to put 100% focus on launching Aleph Beauty was one of those turning-point moments. I’d say that is something to be pretty proud of.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
From when we launched our first products in September 2018 with a team of two, to now having a team of ten. Launching our Serum/Primer and seeing the amazing response from day one. Hearing customer stories as to how Aleph Beauty has helped them in some way, either feeling more confident, to sparking up a sustainability conversation, or for one customer, leading to love at first sight. These highlights keep coming.
In what way can the beauty industry be used as a tool for good? Can feminism and beauty co-exist?
Of course, I believe feminism and beauty can co-exist. Taking care of your skin and outer beauty is as important as taking care of inner beauty. In fact, it goes hand-in-hand. Wearing clean beauty products that not only save your body from harm but improve skin over time, lessens the toxic load on the body, giving it more chance to rest and heal. Not to mention the extra confidence, beauty tools can provide for people who would like to look like the best version of themselves, for themselves. Makeup should be akin to wearing a nice outfit that lifts your mood and makes you feel like the best you, not a costume or a mask. And think of how much better the world would be if we all felt like the best possible versions of ourselves!
What do you think we should all be doing as individuals to consume beauty products more responsibly?
We should be asking questions. Thinking before purchasing. Thinking about the end of life of a product. We don’t need hundreds of beauty products to get a great look, a look that will mostly end up in the landfill. There are ways to own minimal products that are sure to be used in entirety, yet still provide versatility and creativity in your makeup regime. This way, there is nothing to end up in the landfill for aeons to come. Instead, all products have been designed for use and packaged to be composted, recycled (actually recycled, not just deemed recyclable but physically impossible to recycle) or reused and kept in circulation.
There has been an increasing awareness from consumers and the industry about the issues around creating products ethically and sustainably. What factors do you take into account when you personally shop from brands?
I look for different aspects from different brands/items as I know they won’t all tick every single one of my boxes. So it’s very much a weigh up. Of course, I’ll look for locally made products first, or if not viable, then natural, ethically sourced fibres are a must for clothing and household products. I’ll look for minimal packaging and streamlined functionality.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received that you keep referring back to?
In our family, we have a mantra to achieve anything we set out to do – which we also drill into our kids. “Do whatever it takes, for as long as it takes, no matter what (as long as it’s legal and kind!)”. I apply this to all decisions for the business, which means we don’t cut any corners for the sake of time or money. We just want to produce the best products for our customers.
Where can we find you when you’re not working and how do you relax?
I would love to have a genius answer for this, but at this stage in the business, I don’t often take much time off from work. However, I do have my morning ritual of light therapy, a couple of hours for meditation and exercise, which gives me my daily boost and connection.
What are your goals for the future?
To be able to take extended relaxing periods of more than a couple of hours! But seriously, I’d like to expand Aleph Beauty internationally in the coming years and expand the range slightly but still keeping it minimal and concise.