Imagine this: you’ve just concocted a miracle beauty product, and you have the power to get it onto the nightstand of one of the most photographed women in the world.
That was the situation Beuti Skincare founder Leila Aalam found herself in when she launched her Beauty Sleep Elixir. With a family friend working in close proximity to the Duchess of Cambridge, Aalam saw a rare opportunity to share her product with the stylish royal.
“My mother went to school with this gentleman who works in the Palace,” she explains. Aalam isn’t clear on his official job title, but as she understands it, he’s the one who fixes things around the house for Will and Kate.
He was also perfectly placed to make a special delivery on Aalam’s behalf.
“I basically gave [Kate] a giant box with 10 bottles of oil,” she says, laughing.
Aalam had read about Duchess Kate’s use of rosehip oil during one of her pregnancies, and she knew that the royal was partial to natural products. She reckoned her elixir — a blend of 14 precious plant oils — might just be a fit for the Duchess’s skincare routine.
And she was right.
Tonight The Duchess of Cambridge attended the 2017 Portrait Gala, held at the National Portrait Gallery in London. Her Royal Highness has been Patron of the Gallery since 2012. The 2017 Portrait Gala is fundraising for ‘Coming Home’, a project that will make it possible for portraits of iconic individuals to return to places that are special to them for a loan period of over three years. The Duchess toured the exhibition ‘Gillian Wearing and Claude Cahun: Behind the mask another mask’ with the artist Gillian Wearing, and viewed artwork commissioned for the Gala by artists such as Grayson Perry and Juergen Teller.
“She loves it. She keeps it on her dressing table,” says Aalam. In fact, she was told, after her contact delivered the oil, the Duchess put out three bottles of the stuff.
With so many brands vying for Kate’s attention, Aalam was lucky to have an inside source reporting back.
“It’s very hard to get that information from the Palace, especially for cosmetics, because it’s not like you can see her wearing it.”
That may be true, but the news of Kate’s product loyalty helped to propel the elixir to cult status.
Late last year, Canadian natural beauty retailer Vossity approached Aalam about stocking Beuti Cosmetics. Since then, her Beauty Sleep Elixir has racked up dozens of positive reviews and a solid five-star rating on the site.
Needless to say, Aalam is happy with how things are going so far.
“I wanted to make one product that stood out,” she says.
And her Beauty Sleep Elixir does stand out – even as beauty oils gain popularity on the organic skincare market.
You’ve been waiting, and it’s finally here! The Beauty Sleep Elixir from @beutiskincare can be found EXCLUSIVELY at Vossity NOW. Made with 98% organic ingredients and 14 precious plant oils, it will leave your skin glowing! This specially designed formula was created with anti-inflammatory properties in mind. Infused with omegas, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, this Sleep Elixir will help reduce inflammation and protect skin from long term damage. Oh and did we mention it’s a favourite of the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton? Shop now on our site! Link in bio. . . . . #vossity #vossitybeauty #beutiskincare #sleepelixir #exlusive #skincare #natural #organic
That’s mainly down to the elixir’s unique formula. In order to best deliver skin-beneficial ingredients, Aalam knew she wanted to make an oil: In her experience as a beauty therapist, she found that oils offered the most benefits for all skin types.
“People with oily skin might tend to shy away from oils,” she says, but she argues that this is a mistake. “It’s probably the best thing they can put on their skin, because it regulates oil production.”
Still, she was careful about achieving the right weight and texture to make her product suitable for all skin types.
The elixir has a camellia oil base, is derived from tea seeds and is packed with plenty of antioxidant properties. Aalam describes it as a balanced oil: it’s extremely moisturizing, but absorbs easily into the skin.
To keep the product light-textured, Aalam added small but potent doses of heavier plant oils, like chia seed and pomegranate seed, to the base oil.
But what really makes the formula unique is the inclusion of sea whip coral extract. Sourced from the Caribbean, this extract neutralizes the enzymes responsible for sensitivity, sunburn and acne.
Aalam explains that this ingredient is what makes the oil such a miracle product for women suffering from hormonal acne. It can also provide some relief for rosacea sufferers.
The idea of a one-size-fits-all product is rare in today’s skin type-driven market, but it fits Aalam’s beauty philosophy to a tee.
“I don’t think we should overload our skin,” she says. Despite the implications of the name, her Beauty Sleep Elixir was designed as a multi-tasker: something that can be used day and night, or even layered over makeup, to make your skin glow.
On that front, Aalam is her own best advertising. It’s a shock to learn that the mother of four has a fifteen-year-old; with her unlined face and dewy skin, she could pass as a teenager herself.
It’s important to her that her products deliver on their claims. Before she started developing her elixir, she found herself constantly let down by what was on the market.
“I’ve got pretty normal skin, but I was confused by all the marketing,” says Aalam. “Everything I used didn’t deliver.”
The turning point came when she purchased a £100+ ($170 CAD) eye cream from a well-known luxury department store brand and it left her with a red rash around her eyes.
“We shouldn’t be paying £100 for a product with mineral oil,” says Aalam. “We’re kind of being ripped off with what we’re sold and what we’re told.”
So when it came to setting a price for her first product, Aalam wanted to ensure good value for what was actually in the bottle. At $75 CAD, the Beauty Sleep Elixir isn’t cheap – but you’d be hard pressed to find a more affordable serum at Sephora, and especially one without “filler” ingredients.
Aalam’s keep-it-simple philosophy also applies to her newest product, a pomegranate-based gel-oil cleanser launching in June. She’s already planning to send a box of Beuti products to the Palace.
Could the new cleanser be Duchess Kate’s next skincare favourite? We’ll have to wait and see.