When I was in seventh grade, a Sephora opened in Vancouver and people acted as if God himself had descended into the masses and opened up shop. The Sephora was located in Metrotown, which for those of you who aren’t familiar with Vancouver’s geography, is pretty much in the middle of nowhere. So one Saturday morning, like 13-year-old Aritzia-clad pilgrims, my friends and I took the Skytrain out there, in hopes of finding the newest Benefit mascara or, for the purposes of this extended metaphor, being blessed by the cosmetic equivalent of baby Jesus.
Now, as I’ve grown older I like to think I’ve learned a few things I could impart on the seventh grade version of myself as she trekked out to Sephora. For example, I might tell preteen Liz, 1. take off those gauchos, you look like a total idiot; 2. I know you have a crush on Bryn but he’s gay, stop obsessively BBMing him; and 3. please refrain from nagging your mom to drive across to border to go to Hollister with you, because even though all of these new American chain stores seem cool, in the end shopping locally and being authentic are one million times cooler (and no one wants to see SURF printed across your butt).
In the spirit of Canada Day, but also since I’ve proven myself infinitely wiser with age and in possession of judgment that needs to be shared, I’ve compiled a list of some of our favourite Canadian beauty brands. Consider this my penance for years of commuting to Sephora (though I’m still hopelessly devoted to the beauty mecca) and dragging my mom across the border to shop at big box stores when I should have been embracing all that our local products have to offer.
Founded by Heather Reier in 2003, Cake is a cruelty-free and natural ingredient beauty brand based in Toronto. Also everything smells like cake, so it has that going for it too.