Canada is known for many things — hockey, Tim Hortons, maple syrup and Drake (to name a few) — but what a lot people don’t know is that we’re major players in the beauty industry too! Big name beauty brands that are Canadian can be found around the world in pharmacies, department stores and even chic boutiques. In the spirit of #Canada150, we’re sharing 16 of our favourite major Canadian beauty brands that you need to know about! See below for our list:
Founded in Toronto in 1994, MAC Cosmetics is a leader in the makeup industry and renowned worldwide by makeup artists and makeup enthusiasts alike. Although the company was purchased by beauty power house Estée Lauder in 1998, we’re still huge fans of the brand’s Canuck roots, and especially love their celebration of diversity and individuality! MAC is a loud and proud supporter of the LGBTQ community and continue to fight the good fight against HIV/AIDS through the MAC Aids Fund and their Viva Glam campaigns.
Up until recently, we didn’t know that this mega brand was founded by a fellow Canadian entrepreneur; in fact, Marc Anthony (yes, he’s a real person!) started his empire in his basement right here in Toronto. A regular on the red carpet scene styling the likes of Catherine Zeta-Jones, Paris Hilton and Kate Bosworth, we wholeheartedly trust him and his products with our tresses. With salons in Yorkville and North York, and retailers in the US and around the world, you’re never far from a little hair TLC from Marc!
Based in Montreal and founded in 1972, Lise Watier is the first lady to establish herself in the Canadian cosmetics scene, crowning her with ultimate #Girlboss status in our country’s beauty business! Lise Watier Cosmetics is known for having some of the best formulas and textures in the game, and has countless awards and accolades to show for it.
SAJE NATURAL WELLNESS
Based in BC, Saje Wellness was founded in 1994 when co-founder Jean-Pierre LeBlanc blended an all natural remedy after a car accident. Fast forward nearly 25 years later and the brand is now a coveted and respected company with multiple locations with products that focus on sustainability. Not only have they helped bring natural products to the main stream in Canada, but they also offer some of the best customer service in the business, making Canada extra proud from coast-to-coast.
Inspired by kitchen chemistry, Toronto’s Bite Beauty founder Susanne Langmuir created the cosmetics she felt filled the void in the cosmetics industry. All of the products are all-natural, free of parabens and sulphates, and are even edible too! Bite is also the first lipstick line to be infused with red wine resveratrol, which delivers a microdose of antioxidants, count us in!
Click HERE to watch our video on Bite’s Custom Lipstick service.
Known exclusively for their expert foundations, Cover FX was launched in the year 2000 in Toronto. Their formulas are made with sensitive skin in mind and are free from parabens, fragrance, gluten, mineral oil and talc! With an ever expanding product line like highlighters, concealers, primers and sprays in 40 inclusive shades, you’re bound to find the perfect match with the help of their products.
Launched by Sasha Plavsic in Vancouver in 2011, ILIA is dedicated to providing the purest products possible. We love their philosophy that’s based on wanting to be able to understand all the ingredients in a tube of lipstick, and this luxe, organic and ethical brand is now available in 15 countries globally!
Cargo Cosmetics entered the market in 1996 ready to give women what they want – makeup that was easy to travel with! Foundations are packaged in user-friendly tubes that are easy to transport and allow you to squeeze out the even very last drop. Cargo’s formulas are innovative and all of their products are paraben free.
Dedicated to changing the way women use makeup, Vancouver’s own RMS Beauty believes it’s about more than just using organic, non-toxic ingredients but ingredients that also nourish and heal the skin. RMS believes that supporting your natural beauty and long-term health comes first and we love that! We also love that all of their packaging is biodegradable, recyclable or reusable!
Founded by Heather Reier in Kitchener, ON, Cake Beauty is one of Canada’s prized beauty possessions. Their products are the perfect blend of girly sweetness and are made with natural quality ingredients that are cruelty-free! We love their delectable product range of lotions, body sprays and even dry shampoo. Did we mention they’re paraben-free and phthalate-free too?
Developed by Canadian dermatologists in 1990, today Ombrelle is known as one of Canada’s top suncare brands! Offering broad spectrum protection, Ombrelle is brand that’s recommended by skincare professionals, and we love that they have specially made formulas for both face and body that are available separately.
Originally born and bred in Chicago in 1874, Marcelle became a proud Canadian in 1973 when they were purchased by Victor Cape and son, Michael, who opened the company’s first head office in Montreal. Constantly innovative, Marcelle is credited as the first company to bring the Korean skin care trend into North America with their BB Cream Beauty Balm!
Also known as The Abnormal Beauty Company, Deciem is changing the beauty game with their idea of not just making high quality products accessible for everyone, but also offering top notch packaging that’s both beautiful and functional. With over 10 brands under their belt, they have stores worldwide that include Australia, Mexico, South Korea, UK and Canada of course!
Launched in 2007, Live Clean is the one Canadian brand offering a full range of eco-friendly hair, baby, bath, skin and lip products for everyone in the family! Live Clean is committed to bringing you natural, safe and plant derived products at an affordable price, and you can easily find them at your local Shoppers Drug Mart.
Annabelle Cosmetics launched in the summer of ’67 in Montreal and it’s been a blur of success ever since! With a message of empowerment through vibrant colours, extraordinary variety of shades and a philosophy of self-expression, it’s no wonder Annabelle has been a staple in the marketplace.
Launched in 2012 by Amy Gordinier-Regan, Skinfix was built on the back of a healing balm formulated in 1870 in Halifax. Skinfix believes that healthy and radiant skin is possible by working with dermatologists to develop safe and effective products! All of their formulas contain vitamins, minerals, emollient oils and powerful, active, natural ingredients that nourish skin.
(Story by Assistant Editor, Blair Stutz)