Meet the ex-Sephora staffer revolutionising the cosmetics industry
After seven years as the head of product development at Sephora’s corporate office, Tiila Abbitt is a woman working to revolutionize her field.
Having long led a health-focused, environmentally conscious lifestyle, Tiila wanted more from the industry in which she worked but, after entirely too much waiting, she decided that if she wanted it done right, she’d have to do it herself.
“I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 14 and was always buying organic products,” she told Living Vegan.
“I also tried all the clean beauty brands and noticed they lacked the performance of conventional beauty products, as well as color and trends. I knew I could do better with my seven years of formulation experience at Sephora.”
Here enters Āether Beauty, Tiila’s newly launched brand offering a vegan, environmentally friendly range of cosmetics. In fact, its coveted eye shadow palettes are designed to be totally waste free.
“The palettes are the first zero-waste eye shadow palettes in the beauty industry,” Tiila said.
“There are no mirrors or magnets, which are completely unrecyclable. The paper is all FSC certified and printed with water-based soy inks, so it can easily go back into the system. Just because something is made of paper, doesn’t mean it can be recycled! The pans are recycled aluminum and you just pop them out after you are finished with them and recycle them separately.”
These features have made Tiila’s palettes a stand-apart product, and earned her not only a significant online fan base, but also an Earth First Award with lifestyle media brand Mind Body Green. That said, Āether beauty is made with more than just the planet in mind. Tiila created her company with the intent to extend the same kindness and consideration to people.
“Not only are my products vegan and cruelty free, but I ban over 1,400 chemicals that are not considered clean or safe,” she said.
“I also source organic, Fair Trade and sustainable ingredients.”
She went on to explain that it’s not just consumers, but workers who can suffer at the hands of the beauty industry, with mica, an ingredient commonly used in cosmetics, often farmed using child labor, so she’s mindful about using it. If she can’t find mica that’s child-labor free, she opts instead for a lab-made alternative.
“It’s actually quite a lot more expensive than natural mica but since it’s made in a lab, it’s completely clear in color, versus the natural mica which looks more like smoky quartz. So I can get an even broader shade range just with sourcing that one better ingredient.”
Well, that certainly seems like a win-win, doesn’t it?
We’ve all stumbled upon one of those “natural” beauty products that lack pigmentation — but Tiila’s assured us her brand packs a mean color punch.
“I learned quickly on the job how to swap out ingredients, so switching to vegan or clean was very easy for me,” she said.
“Clients tell me it’s the best pigmentation, by a landslide, in the clean beauty space.”
Well there you have it — some Game of Thrones watch party cosmetics you can feel good about. Wait, we’re all going as dragons, right? We’re only four episodes out, after all. Time to go big or go home, folks.
Header image: @aetherbeautyco/Instagram/Living Vegan Body images: @aetherbeautyco/Instagram