Alphonse Wiebelt, Creative Director at ESUM, shares insights from the field & his top product picks for Fall.
Alphonse Wiebelt is not a fan of fluff. In fact, he is a master of the really real who is committed to producing things that matter. Whether on a set redefining a traditional makeup style, in a classroom building future artists’ knowledge, or in the lab developing makeup tools worthy of owning a lifetime, Alphonse is driven to help make the beauty industry a force for good and a space where up & coming talent can thrive.
After years of practicing his craft on commercial sets, the runway, and the Red Carpet, Alphonse co-founded MUSE BEAUTY.PRO, a go-to industry resource for makeup artistry and education, where he is creating pathways for the next generation of makeup artists. “Education is power,” he says, “it builds the knowledge, skills, and confidence that people need to embark on a successful career in the beauty industry.” Through MUSE BEAUTY.PRO, he strategically supports the field by increasing credibility for makeup professionals. “You’ve got to walk the talk,” according to Alphonse, “and be a positive mentor so that others will hopefully have an easier time achieving their goals and advancing their career as a makeup artist.” This is a lesson he learned directly working under the guidance of makeup art legends Kevyn Aucoin and Pat McGrath in the ‘90s heyday of NYC runway fashion.
Before he discovered the art of makeup, Alphonse was a painter applying acrylics on canvas. “Painting is how I came to understand makeup as an extension of art,” he says, and where he first recognized the importance of having the right tools to bring the things he sees in his mind’s eye to life in the real world. To Alphonse, “professional makeup brushes become an extension of one’s vision. Thoughts make their way down to the hands, the fingertips, and eventually to tools that you rely on enormously.”
Today, Alphonse leads product development at ESUM, a company created by makeup artists for makeup artists and enthusiasts. There, he designs high performance products that are tried and true. Utilizing his knowledge and experience with paint brushes, he endeavors to develop the best makeup brushes and tools to create living art. “At ESUM,” says Alphonse, “ideas for new makeup brushes start with the needs of makeup professionals. When I can’t find something that I am looking for and it's also something that other makeup artists need, I know I’ve found a gap that lends itself to product development. This is how ESUM has grown. We create out of necessity and with intention.”
“My experience is my lab, whether it is on set or in a room working with the chemist. It is always changing which makes it really exciting for me,” says Alphonse. At ESUM, he works with his team to craft eyeshadow brushes, defining and contouring tools, and more in collaboration with working makeup artists. Professionals test ESUM cosmetics products on the job. “If a pro trusts an ESUM brow pencil to shape Angelina Jolie’s brow,” says the creative director, “then we know we’ve produced a product that is also going to be effective for everyday consumers to use. ESUM makeup systems & products eliminate the guesswork.”
This is one of the many reasons we’re huge ESUM fans at CODE. Much more than just the best makeup brushes brand, Esum, like its creator, exemplifies authenticity and excellence. No fluff, indeed.
Wondering what’s on the horizon for ESUM? Fall 2021, they will be launching a new, clean formula mascara designed to give natural volume, lift, and curl. And right now, you may check out five of Alphonse’s favorite products for Fall: