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Inclusive Canadian-owned beauty brands you need to know about

Beauty expert Nathalie Smith shares products and brands that celebrate diversity and representation.
December 2, 2020 2:58 p.m. EST
December 2, 2020 11:01 p.m. EST
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When it comes to the Canadian beauty sphere, the country is home to so much diversity! As as representation becomes a driving force, we’re paying more attention to the faces behind the brands we choose to support. Beauty expert Nathalie Smith shared an inclusive roundup of Canadian-owned beauty brands we all need to know about. Check out all the amazing businesses below, and be sure to watch the video above for even more from Nathalie!

MIFA

Friends and fellow mompreneurs from Vancouver, Michelle Lui and Fatemah Hamidi, know how challenging it can be to maintain balance. They’ve created MIFA’s Eucalyptus Mood Mist – a 100% natural essential oil spray to encourage daily deep breathing, resetting your experience and mood. A purifying blend of Bulgarian lavender water relaxes and soothes anxiety and stress; refreshing eucalyptus boosts mental clarity; along with witch hazel and tea tree essential oils to ground, restore and uplift.

MIFA Eucalyptus Mood Mist | $38

MAKEUP FOR MELANIN GIRLS

Nigerian-born, Toronto-based model Tomi Gbeleyi was excited, having booked her first runway gig for a local show. But once on set, the makeup artist didn’t have products in her kit for dark skin tones. Tired of being a “niche”, she took matters into her own hands deciding to a) learn how to do her own makeup for gigs, and b) launch an Instagram community united in celebrating diverse beauty and inclusivity. This community, Makeup for Melanin Girls or MFMG, is now thousands of women strong and this is their Power Palette. Through social media, fans ultimately decided on the shades and their names. It features 12 vegan and paraben-free colours — six matte and six shimmer.

Makeup For Melanin Girls The Power Palette | $31

CHEEKBONE BEAUTY

This is a new launch from a St. Catharine’s-based cosmetics brand founded by Jenn Harper, an Ojibwe woman, Cheekbone Beauty. It’s a limited edition gift set decorated with artwork by iconic Metis Visual Artist, Christi Belcourt. This creamy lip trio features an oxblood red, a 90’s-esque rich brown and a taupey-pink nude in vegan formulations, with sustainably sourced ingredients. The packaging is also biodegradable because as Jenn points out, the “Indigenous people are truly the experts and the OGs of sustainability.”

Cheekbone x Christi Belcourt Limited Edition Gift Box | $125

TUESDAY IN LOVE

Mississauga-based founder, Umar Dar, was in between jobs and unable to afford nail polish for his wife, so began experimenting with ingredients. When he found one that worked, he presented a pink nail polish to his wife on a Tuesday. But not just any nail polish – Tuesday in Love boasts an extensive range of 5-free halal nail polish which is breathable and water permeable, allowing oxygen and water to pass through. When water is able to penetrate the polish and reach the nail, some practicing Muslims feel comfortable wearing it while performing wudu or ritual prayers. This polish is also certified by the Islamic Society of North America.

Tuesday In Love Halal Nail Polish | $18.50 each

SKWÁ́LWEN

Sḵwálwen, which translates to “heart” or “essence of being”, is an Indigenous beauty line that creates small-batch, plant-based skincare, free from any harsh chemicals. In Squamish culture, plants are considered to be relatives, and thus are to be respected. Founder Leigh Joseph follows cultural teachings to ensure a sustainable harvest, so the plants can still be enjoyed by other lifeforms that rely on them. Each product has a Squamish name that honours the place from which the plant knowledge came from. Her aromatic Kalkáy wild rose face masque is a decadent blend of hand-harvested rose and rosehip powder, French pink clay, mango seed butter, honey and essential oils that soothe skin, leaving it luminous.

Skwálwen Kalkáy Wild Rose Face Masque | $39

SADE BARON

Sade Baron is 100% women-owned and operated and was created by a Toronto mother daughter duo, Sade & Rachel. Their Baden Moisturizing Shampoo bar is 100% vegan, sustainable and all natural. This buttery bar is wonderfully versatile, with rich ingredients that allow you to use one bar for both shampoo and conditioner, and it can also be used daily as a hydrating wash for hands and body. The superfats in this bar, like sunflower oil and sweet almond oil, coconut and castor oil, are perfect for maintaining healthy hydration and sealing in moisture for extra soft hair. Plus, this plastic-free shampoo bar equals 60 washes, or the equivalent of a 500mL bottle.

Sade Baron Baden Moisturizing Shampoo Bar | $15

THE YUKON SOAPS COMPANY

Featuring loads of handpicked wild rose petals, juniper berries, and a Yukon-shaped press, these fragrant soaps by the Indigenous owned and operated Yukon Soaps Company are literally infused with the spirit of the Yukon. A gift set of three favourites that look good enough to eat comes smartly packaged in eco-friendly unbleached cotton muslin. Founder Joella Hogan hails from a long line of strong, Indigenous matriarchs that are teachers, healers, bush women, social advocates and cultural leaders. She describes coming home to find that local children had left baskets full of wild rose petals for her soaps as the moment she knew she had made the right choice moving to live on her traditional territory.

The Yukon Trio Essentials Soap Bars | $27

ESSENTIALS BY TEMI

With the awareness that your skin is the largest organ of your body, Toronto-based Temi Shobowale gathered all her product knowledge from years of working in the beauty industry and set to work formulating rich and creamy body moisturizers, like her buttercreams. All are crafted with 100% naturally sourced shea butter, babassu oil, mango butter, avocado oil and essentials oils. The formula melts away into your skin, soothing irritations and helping you stay glowed up. Free of cruelty, harsh chemicals and fillers, Temi purchases shea directly from the fair-trade centers in her home country of Nigeria, thereby cutting out the middlemen, and empowering and supporting rural women and female entrepreneurs.

Essentials by Temi Buttercream | $28

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