While we’re all for splurging on a few totally exorbitant impulse buys, for the most part, we do our research. We fill our makeup bags with beauty buys that check all our clean, sustainable, high-performing boxes – gorgeous products that are truly worth the money.
We’ll always be 100% transparent with you and we're happy to share how we arrive at the cost you see in your cart! Keep reading for everything you need to know.
ĀTHR Beauty is a sustainable clean beauty brand. That means we vet each ingredient to ensure it's clean and non-toxic but also sustainable in practices. We use organic and fair-trade ingredients wherever possible and ban over 1400 ingredients from our formulas. Comparatively, the US bans only 11 ingredients from cosmetics, and the EU bans 1300.
Every ingredient must meet all the following criteria first, and if we can save on cost after these requirements are met, fabulous! However, we’ll never choose a lower-cost ingredient at the expense of any of these:
Non-toxic, organic, and skin-nourishing - organic costs more, but it means no toxic pesticides, herbicides, or genetically modified substances. Besides organic, every ingredient is non-toxic and good for your skin.
100% vegan and cruelty-free – vegan ingredients can sometimes cost more. Often, commonly used animal-products are more readily available for cosmetics use, and so, are less expensive.
Ethically sourced, with fair-trade and ethical labor practices – ethical sourcing always costs more. It means that workers are receiving fair wages, ethical treatment and that no child labor is involved. We’re happy to pay a higher price to eliminate suffering for others.
Sustainably sourced from start to finish – sustainable sourcing always costs more. It means zero harm to the planet or the people producing it. No cutting corners by damaging the land, exploiting local communities, or otherwise destructive practices. Hopefully soon, this will just be common practice!
Effective – we use the highest-quality ingredients for maximum color payoff, longevity, blendability, vibrancy, and skin benefits. Higher quality ingredients always cost more.
All these factors come before cost because, in the end, we’re here to produce gorgeous, safe products that do no harm to humans, animals, or this planet. We want to feel good about the products we produce, and we want you to feel great wearing them!
MORE FOR LESS
Most clean eyeshadow palettes contain 6-8 grams of product - about 1 gram per shade.
All ĀTHR Beauty eyeshadow palettes contain 17 grams of product - 8 shades with 1.5 grams each and 4 shades with 1.25 grams each.
The cost per gram is $3.41 for all ĀTHR beauty eyeshadow palettes. Compare this to other clean palettes which range from $4.25 to $7.33 per gram.
It’s worth doing the calculations as a conscious shopper! You’ll be surprised when you break it down to the per-gram level.
We use crystals in our palettes because they’re gorgeous and magical, but also for their skin-illuminating, light-reflective properties. Crystal infusions help reflect harsh light away from the skin, camouflaging wrinkles and fine lines. They’re the Insta filters of nature!
Beyond their natural radiance, we love the healing, empowering effects that crystals have on our lives and our spirit. Read our blog ‘Crystals: The Science Behind the Spiritual’ for more on the magic of crystals!
Crystals are an added cost of course, but so worth it for the magical effects they bring.
Thanks to our skin nourishing and wrinkle/redness-reducing formulas, our eyeshadows can be worn all over the face! They’re not only suitable for your skin, they’ll help nourish, moisturize, and illuminate your skin!
In every palette, you’ll find shadows that double as a highlighter, blush, brow filler, and eyeliner. Read our blog on choosing between the palettes to see which shades do double-duty!
ETHICAL INGREDIENT SOURCING
We created ĀTHR Beauty to help shift the cosmetics industry – to stray from the norm and bring ethical and sustainable practices to the forefront. We value purpose over profit, and we’ll never support any practice that does harm.
This means we meticulously vet the sources of ALL our ingredients. A couple of ingredients that we vet heavily, and often pay a higher price for to ensure purity and ethical, sustainable practices:
Used as the base of most cosmetic powder products, more than 25% of the world’s Mica is produced with child labor in Eastern India.
We only source our natural mica from U.S. suppliers with ethical labor standards which prevent the use of child labor. Mica is, of course, more expensive in these regions as it comes from legal, regulated mines.
When we can’t guarantee that the source of our natural mica is child-labor-free, we choose synthetic mica. Though it costs more, it's always worth it to know we’re not contributing to any harm on this planet, and especially not to children.
For more on the truth about mica, read our blog.
Did you know that nearly every cosmetic product contains palm oil or a palm oil derivative? To grow palm oil, growers burn down forests to clear the land. Animals lose their homes, communities lose their natural land, and air pollution levels rise from the smoke. Not to mention the worker exploitation and labor abuse that is rampant.
All our palm-oil derived ingredients are certified sustainably sourced. They include an RSPO certificate to validate that no deforestation, land burning, or exploitation of workers or local communities were involved.
This verified sustainable option is more expensive, but there’s no question in our minds – we’ll always choose kindness over cost.
TESTING FOR CONTAMINATION
Did you know that cosmetic brands aren’t required to test their formulas for heavy metal contamination? The FDA has set recommended limits for things like lead, mercury, arsenic, and carcinogenic contaminants like 1-4 dioxane. The catch is: these limits are voluntary, and it costs more to test for them. So, some brands don’t bother testing to avoid the extra cost.
We do test our formulas for heavy metal contamination and are well below the recommended safety limits set by the FDA. It’s an extra cost, but again, we’ll never compromise safety for profit. Also, if contamination is unavoidable, we’ll choose a safe synthetic version of that ingredient to ensure purity.
We’re committed to protecting and preserving this planet we love. Because of this, we can’t use the standardized eyeshadow palettes that many brands use. These ready-made palettes are the lowest cost option - they’re widely available, made of very inexpensive, low-quality plastic, and require very little design for the brand. The catch is: these palettes are not recyclable – they’ll all end up in the landfill.
To create the world’s first zero-waste eyeshadow palettes, we did a lot of research to ensure that every element was fully recyclable. This includes the palette itself, the outer packaging, the aluminum eyeshadow pans, the tarot cards, and even our soy-based inks.
Sustainable packaging options always costs more, and being the first of its kind, we had to custom design our palette from start to finish - another added cost. To us, it’s 100% worth the extra time, cost, and research to not add to the 120 billion units of cosmetic packaging that wind up in the landfill every year.
For more on how we created our zero-waste packaging, plus instructions for recycling your ĀTHR Beauty palette, read our blog.
Our products are made in the US, Canada, and/or Europe. We only produce in regions and facilities where we can ensure the ethical treatment of workers and the quality & consistency of our products.
Though it’s cheaper to manufacture in low-cost regions and factories, we can’t support the poor labor standards and rampant human rights violations that go along with them. Not to mention the product safety and contamination issues.
Read our blog, 'Unethical Production in China & Around the World' for more on this topic!
CERTIFIED VEGAN & CRUELTY-FREE
This one goes without saying. There’s no reason to use animal products or test on innocent animals. It’s an easy switch to choose vegan ingredients and every brand should be doing this.
Why they’re not: cost and time. Plant-based options sometimes cost more than readily available animal by-products, so companies opt for the least-costly option. Also, reformulating a non-vegan product takes time, and ultimately, money.
A small extra cost for us is our certifications. We are Certified Vegan and Cruelty-free by both Leaping Bunny and PETA. We want you to know which brands align with your ethos at-a-glance. You shouldn’t have to dig for the truth behind the claims. So, we’re more than happy to pay for these verified certifications.
For more on the common animal products found in eyeshadows (and the ingredients we use instead), visit our blog.
We’re a certified Benefit Corporation – this means we commit to higher standards of purpose, accountability, and transparency.
Where traditional corporations use profit as the primary factor in decision-making, Benefit Corps consider their impact on the environment, society, workers, and the community in addition to profit.
To give back, we donate 1% of our profits (regardless of sales) to 1% For The Planet. This organization works with non-profits in areas of climate, food, land, pollution, water, and wildlife. So far, this organization has helped direct $200 million to environmental non-profits around the world. We are so happy to be a part of this collective that's making a real impact globally.
Thanks as always for your continued support of sustainable clean beauty! If there are any other topics you’d like covered in this blog, send us a message or leave us a comment down below! <3
-ĀTHR Beauty xo