19.06.2019

Enlightened Beauty


 
New beauty brand Aleph is a trifecta of things I love and celebrate on The New: design-led, category-disrupting New Zealand brands, visionary New Zealand women at the helm of said brands, and – of course – modern, minimalist packaging and aesthetic.

In founding Aleph Beauty, Auckland makeup artist Emma Peters is realising a long-held dream. A dream to create a multi-functional makeup line, made here in New Zealand, that acts as much like skincare as it does cosmetics, without harming the planet, animals or the people wearing it.

 

My minimalist heart beats for simple stylish packaging. 

Debossed glass jars for the win

The Aleph range is a capsule collection, for those of us who want less products, that do more. The Foundation (in four shades – more coming) self-adjusts and is also a full-coverage concealer; the Radiance cream can be mixed with your foundation to give an ethereal glow, used as an eyeshadow, or applied to the high points of the face as a highlighter; and there’s a dual Lip/Cheek Tint. All the products are vegan (including the Diffuser Brush), and contain active skincare ingredients for antioxidant, anti-aging benefits, like algae extract, co-Q10 and an extract from NZ’s native Totara tree.

And at the risk of this sounding like an infomercial (which it is not – I came for the packaging and identity design, I stayed for the beauty info), when you buy your Aleph foundation, you also get sent a sample of the colour you have selected, so you can try it on your skin before opening the full product. You also get to choose a second sample (lighter or darker) to test alongside the colour you have selected. Then, if the full-size colour you ordered isn’t right, Aleph let you send it back, and they send out your new colour choice at no charge.

Congratulations Emma, there’s so much to love here.

Aleph Beauty online store  /  Aleph Beauty Instagram

05.06.2019

New Zealand Designer – Natasha Mead


Stopped by the portfolio sites of one of my favourite New Zealand designers – Natasha Mead – and found a bunch of beautiful work I’d not seen before. A freelancer for a number of years, Natasha is now also part of a boutique but full-service studio, 1/1  (1 of 1 Studio – great name) with fellow designers Joe Swann, Natalie Thomson & Patrick Daley.

Natasha’s work (brand identity, packaging, printed assets and more) for organic skincare line, LESSE. 

Beautiful e-commerce for NZ store Everyday Needs

Modernity, simplicity and blind-emboss-beauty for architect Daniel Boddam

Packaging for one of my favourite brands, Sansceuticals

More blind emboss loveliness and a signature mark for J Hannah (See much more here)

Brand identity and packaging for My Chameleon 

See more of Natasha’s work on Natashamead.com
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follow her aesthetic on Instagram
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See 1/1 Studio’s recent projects here

30.01.2019

Uh Huh Honey



Photography by Marie Valencia

 

25 year old graduate scientist and Nutritionist Emily White has beekeeper for a partner, so she was already using Manuka Honey in errrrting from baking to natural skin remedies when she thought to use it in a natural hair oil.

The market’s full of with hair oils that have a laundry list of synthetic ingredients, including silicones (coats your hair for superficial shine) which aren’t great for the hair or the environment.

After just shy of 6 months of development, formula refinement and testing (on all different hair types and conditions – people not animals), Comb was launched.

The result is a 100% natural, moisturising and nourishing hair oil, with a formulation of all good things, including Broccoli Seed Oil (boosts shine), Coconut Oil to penetrate the hair follicle and prevent breakage and Jojoba Oil for deep hydration. Of course, Manuka Honey’s the queen bee (sorry) here, because it’s a natural humectant – meaning it attracts and traps moisture, to hydrate without greasiness. The Manuka Honey in Comb is delivered to your hair via Extra Virgin Olive Oil – they infuse the honey in the EVOO over an extended period, to draw out the aroma and the beneficial properties of the honey. Comb also contains pure Manuka Oil sourced from New Zealand’s East Cape, where it’s known for especially high levels of antimicrobial triketone compounds to soothe and nourish hair.

Of course, it was the packaging that first grabbed my superficial interests – I love the glass bottle with its minimalist-but-modern form and style. But after Em sent me a bottle to try on my own uncooperative Beetlejuice frizz-fest, I can report back that it’s as good as it looks. Also, disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post (I’d always tell you if it was) – its just awesome.

 

Like to win yourself some Comb? A bottle for you and one for a friend? Uh huh honey!

Just head here to our Instagram, and tag a friend in a comment, and you’re in the draw
Enter as many times as you like .

 

Comb online store  /  Comb Instagram

01.11.2018

Ethics + Aesthetics (Abel Perfumes Giveaway)



When New Zealander Frances Shoemack moved with her husband to Amsterdam in 2011, she left her career as a winemaker behind and embarked on a new olfactory mission – to create the world’s best all-natural perfumes. Together with fellow New Zealander Isaac Sinclair (once behind the counter at Smith & Caughey’s on Queen Street, now one of the youngest master perfumers in the world, and the only recognised master perfumer from the Australasia region), Frances has spent years developing the Abel family of fragrances.

I need to tell you a little more about what makes Abel so special. When you spray that Duty Free perfume on your skin, you’re generally just spraying chemicals onto yourself, scents created in a lab. Abel perfumes are 100% natural. Every note in every Abel fragrance is distilled from a flower or plant.

When designing perfumes with natural isolates, the creative process is much more challenging, because naturals don’t act in a linear way. They’re alive, with a myriad of facets that evolve in the bottle and even more so on the skin. Abel’s Golden Neroli, for example (using real neroli extracted by steam from white orange blossom flowers – very rarely seen in modern perfumery) took Isaac over a thousand trials to perfect. Actually, interesting side story – Frances was pregnant at the time of developing this fragrance, and found she was attracted to neroli in an almost addiction-like way. After launching Golden Neroli, they noticed other pregnant women were drawn to it in a similar way. Turns out, neroli has a long history of use in reducing the symptoms associated with hormonal changes in women.

Did you know that synthetic musk, used in 99% of all perfumes (it’s a fixative and an overall fragrance enhancer) is widely acknowledged as toxic to humans and to the environment? Not. cool. Frances and Isaac have sourced a natural musk alternative, isolated from a seed inside hibiscus flowers. That’s only one of the many ethical choices Abel has made. Another is in their sourcing of sandalwood from sustainable East Indian plantations, which assists in the re-establishment of a sustainable eco-system in sandalwood’s native home. East Indian Sandalwood, like many essential-oil bearing plants, is a threatened species (due to decades of exploitation). The more you know, huh.

I first heard of Abel back in 2013 when Frances launched her first fragrance. Recently, I’ve been searching for a signature scent for myself, found myself seeking out Abel, and noticed the brand had had a complete re-design. I love that it’s world-class but designed by a New Zealander, I love the minimalist contemporary packaging, and I love something that doesn’t compromise on ethics or aesthetics. I was excited to see the Abel collection has now grown to seven fragrances, has been noticed by the likes of Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, Monocle and Esquire, and has stockists throughout the world (including 15 stockists in New Zealand).

I’ve ordered one for myself, and after chatting with Frances, we’re giving you the chance to win an Abel Fragrance – of your choice.

Each fragrance in the collection is named after a natural note or accord – White Vetiver, Golden Neroli, Red Santal, Cobalt Amber, Grey Labdanum, and the newest fragrance, Green Cedar (< P.S: Click each of those links, and the fragrance notes will open for you in a new page. Or visit the Abel Instagram to see Highlights explaining each scent.)

The Abel philosophy is to find the purest, most exceptional version of that natural ingredient and build it up into a complex but harmonious, distinctive and long-lasting perfume. Described as a living fragrance, they evolve on your skin, working with your body’s own natural chemistry to create a unique scent that will continually evolve throughout the day.

Competition now closed, congrats to Samantha Evans!

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