Little did I know that when I posted my eco palette round-up (here), a new brand would emerge a month later and take the makeup galaxy by storm. Meet Aether Beauty. This San Francisco-based company founded by Tiila Abbit is on a mission to prove that sustainable beauty is not a trend, but an entire way of life and thinking.
Lights on the Crystal Grid Gemstone palette
Crystal Grid Gemstone is a balanced mixture of light golden and bronzy shades with more extravagant, playful colors. Their first release, Rose Quartz is a more dainty, every day wear staple kind of palette, whereas Crystal Grid amps up the volume with a cosmic-inspired day-to-night palette. Unlike Rose Quartz, CGG is entirely constituted of metallics and shimmers. Not an issue for me since I am all about that dazzle and shine. Some of the center shadows are duo-chrome and amazing for multidimensional looks.
Upon receiving the palette, I was almost convinced that I would not be able to make use of half the colors because they were such a huge step out of my comfort zone. However, do not be deterred or intimidated by the boldness of the palette, the colors appear slightly different once you swatch them. as some of them are color shifts. Topaz, for instance, appears slightly greenish on the pan, but once worn, it’s true gold. I wear Sapphire the least, but that’s because I rarely do blue-hued looks. The color itself is stunning. My most-worn are Amber, Diamond, Energy, Intuition, Tourmaline, and Moonlight.
- Diamond – Sand shimmer, infused with diamond
- Vibration – Taupe metallic, infused with topaz
- Amber – Golden sunset metallic, infused with amber
- Energy – Rust metallic, infused with amber
- Amethyst – Violet shimmer, infused with amethyst
- Sapphire – Teal shimmer, infused with sapphire
- Intuition – Saddle brown shimmer infused with topaz
- Tourmaline – Rust red to emerald green duo-chrome, infused with tourmaline
- Moonlight – White silver metallic, infused with diamond
- Recharge– Charcoal gray metallic, infused with topaz
- Topaz – Antique gold metallic, infused with topaz
- Manifest – Bronze shimmer, infused with topaz
Aether incorporates two forms of mica, one natural and one lab-made known as Synthetic Fluorphlogopite. It’s an ingredient which has a low hazard score on EWG (1), not suspected to be potentially harmful to humans and the environment. Synthetic Fluorphlogopite is one of the components in plastic-free glitters and pigments. Just like natural mica, it adds this shimmering effect. Since it is made in a lab, it is purer than its natural form because you are able to give it a more uniform finish (void of a sharp edge), thus making it more suitable for eye products. SkinOwl dedicated a full post on it where they explain why they oped for it for ethical reasons. SF is also used by other beloved green and cruelty-free brands such as Nude & Noir and Axiology.
Aether mentions that the pigments are crystal charged for added illuminating effects (FYI crystals are not particularly an enticing selling argument for me, but I have nothing against them). I relish more in spotting nourishing ingredients such as shea butter, rosehip, moringa, and coconut oil in their formula. No wonder the texture is buttery soft. No irritation or discomfort using Aether reported too. It is an excellent formula.
INCIs: Mica*, Ethylhexyl Stearate, Zinc Stearate*, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Calcium Sodium Borosilicate*, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil***, Silica*, Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate*, Rosa (Rose Hip) Canina Seed Oil**, Moringa Oleifera Seed Oil**, Tin Oxide, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*** Damond Powder*, Topaz*, Amber Powder*, Tourmaline*, Amethyst Powder*, Sapphire Powder*. May Contain: Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Bronze Powder*, Ferric Ferrocyanide, Yellow 5 Lake, Chromium Oxide Greens. *Naturally derived. **Certified Organic by Quality Assurance International. ***Certified Organic and Fair Trade by Quality Assurance International and Fair Trade USA.
I did a little ombré effect with Diamond and Amber starting at the inner corner to the lower lash line. I applied Energy all over my eyelids and did a subtle eye lining on the upper lash line with my Alima Pure black pencil.
Anything is possible. To create a dashing ‘foil’ effect, you can slightly wet a flat brush or simply use your finger and press directly the pigments onto the lids. Both techniques work. Regardless of the brush, it is easy to layer up and create various effects: ombré, smokey, or full on-intergalactic David Bowie look. The possibilities are endless. The texture is smooth and every single color is easily blendable. If you’re feeling demure, simply sheer out to get the desired hue.
See my post on Instagram (here) to see the entire process behind this look: I used Amber, Energy, and Intuition.
Why it stands out and why it is sustainable.
Stellar formula with outstanding lasting power. There are other highly pigmented vegan and green palettes, such as PHB (full review here), however, Aether seems to have perfected a formula that barely has any fallouts and holds up very well. This is the real deal in terms of lasting power. I do not use any primer and despite my oily lids, I can enjoy a full makeup look for over 8 hours. This is unhesitatingly a palette I recommend for weddings or days where heavy-duty makeup is needed from AM to PM.
Pigmentation to the gods. Every single look created barely required me to pick up color more than twice with a brush. The color payoff is stupendous. You can look like a cosmic goddess and shine bright like a diamond 😉
The singularity of the shades. Especially in pressed form, the shades remind me of Neve Cosmetics which also has some superb duo chromes, however, Neve uses talc which I try to avoid as much as possible. Most of these shades are showstoppers. They are incredibly flattering and each of them can be worn on its own all over the eyelids.
Entirely recyclable. A zero-waste packaging (printed with soy ink) with no pans, no mirror and an elastic which can find a new life as a hair tie. Aether goes straight to the essentials, you don’t need all that decor extravaganza, it’s content (i.e quality) over form.
Fool-proof. I am not a makeup professional, but anytime I use the palette, I get compliments. Thanks to its formula which allows for superb layering effects without requiring any specific skills or extra brushes. Easy as pie and it just takes a few minutes to complete a look.
Using Amber all over my eyelids, Diamond in the inner corner and Vibration on my lower lash line.
Who is it for?
Allying sophisticated formula with a smooth texture, this palette appeals to every makeup lovers, from beginners to pros. Makeup artists will make great use of all these vibrant, metallic shades; novices and enthusiasts will have fun experimenting while learning the ropes of makeup application for multi-faceted looks.
Amber and Topaz mixed on my lower lash line, Moonlight in theinner corners, Amethyst all over the lids and Intuition on the outercorner/crease.
Price and final thoughts.
For the price of $58 (which puts it on the more luxe/high-end range), it is an investment. However, sustainable beauty is linked to more conscious and refrained consumerism. I reach for the palette all the time as I make use of most of the colors. With Aether, you don’t need anything else. Use the hell out of this palette, like it’s been intended to. It definitely aligns with Beauty Heroes‘ philosophy of using less and loving more.
Where to get it?
The Aether Beauty palettes are available on The Green Jungle Beauty Store which is an amazing Canadian green beauty store that ships worldwide. My sweet readers can get a discount on their final orders with my code: SLGS10. Link to the products (here).
All in all, Aether Beauty is an outstanding brand that deserves the praise and hype it’s been getting. Aether is proving that mainstream and non-green brands have got to clean up their act and come up with more eco-responsible products because it does not compromise on quality. Quite the opposite actually. Aether’s quality is superior to lots of popular palettes found on Sephora. They did not come to play, but are here to stay, and I am eagerly waiting for their next palette.
What do you think?
*Sample sent to me for review consideration, all opinions my own. May contain affiliate links. Thank you for your support.
Great article Liz, I’m very attracted to this palette! Interestingly, unlike this one, Rose Quartz palette contains bismuth oxychloride, which is not as desirable ingredient… I’ve also seen the upcoming Summer Solstice palette, very pretty!
Hi Mirna, thank you for your comment and you’re absolutely right, there’s no bismuth oxychloride. I wonder if since the release of Rose Quartz, they were able to remove it or if it will reappear on Summer Solstice. xo Liz