Best Canadian Makeup Brands


Photo: vasanticosmetics on Instagram

Although we’ve all got our favourite international beauty products, Canada is also home to quite a few well known and homegrown makeup brands. From Lise Watier to Cargo Cosmetics, here are a few popular Canuck cosmetic lines to stock up on the next time you’re at the beauty counter.

1) Lise Watier: The Montreal based brand was launched in 1972 by founder Lise Watier, who opened the Lise Watier Institute beauty school and later created her eponymous cosmetics line. The brand is known for its use of ingredients like aloe vera, lemon bark powder and Labrador tea. Other than its makeup offerings like the Rouge Sublime Lipstick and the liquid Féline Eyeliner, Lise Watier also has a skincare and fragrance range.

2) MAC Cosmetics: The company’s headquarters may be in New York City, but MAC was actually founded in Toronto in 1984 by marketing director Frank Angelo and creative director Frank Toskan. Originally called Make-up Art Companies, MAC was created by the two business partners as a line of stage makeup for models and professional makeup artists. The brand has since become famous for its Viva Glam campaigns, which have featured stars like Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Miley Cyrus.

3) Bite Beauty: Based in Toronto, Bite Beauty was founded in 2010 by CEO and mother of two Susanne Langmuir. The relatively new beauty brand is known for its edible lipsticks, which it claims are made with natural ingredients like organic jojoba and argan oils. The Bite Beauty Lip Lab in New York City allows beauty addicts to drop in for a colour consultation and a freshly blended lip colour. As for the products themselves, Bite offers lipsticks with crème, matte, sheer and silky deluxe finishes. Meanwhile, colours vary from the subtle Lychee to a dark Raspberry shade.

4) Vasanti Cosmetics: The Toronto makeup brand was founded by Pinki Gosal, her friend Monal Patel and sister Priti Patel. With an aim of offering makeup for multicultural skin tones, the three South Asian Canadian women launched Vasanti Cosmetics in 1999. The beauty line, named after a Sanskrit phrase meaning “of spring”, is known for products like its Eye Cream, Face Rejuvenator and Kajal Extreme Intense Eye Pencil.

5) Cargo Cosmetics: Cargo was launched in Toronto in 1996 by founder Hana Zalzal. Originally, Zalzal studied civil engineering and earned her MBA, before making the ultimate career switch to starting her own makeup company. The brand carries an oil-free Cargo HD Picture Perfect line of primer and foundation, which it states will leave skin looking camera ready. Other beauty buys include the Colorstick all-in-one colour for eyes, cheeks and lips, and a Swimmables line of waterproof makeup.

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