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Photography Courtesy of Cheekbone Beauty

Indigenous Beauty Brands to Support During National Indigenous History Month (and Beyond)

From sustainable makeup by Cheekbone Beauty to skincare essentials at Skwálwen.

The month of June marks National Indigenous History Month in Canada, and while we should support Indigenous-owned businesses all year round, there’s no time like the present to spotlight some of the best Indigenous beauty brands from across the country — and all over the globe.

From impressive colour cosmetics lines like Cheekbone Beauty and Prados Beauty to skincare labels rooted in ancestral knowledge and tradition, such as Skwálwen and Mother Earth Essentials, here are six Indigenous beauty brands to know and support this month and onwards.

Cheekbone Beauty

It was nearly a decade ago in 2015 when Jenn Harper, founder of Cheekbone Beauty, had a vivid dream about young Indigenous girls with rosy cheeks wearing lipgloss — and this very dream inspired her to launch the brand. Six years later, Cheekbone became the first Indigenous beauty brand to launch at Sephora Canada, emphasizing the importance of sustainability every step of the way.

Coming full circle (as foreshadowed in Harper’s dream!), the brand now sells Harmony Lipgloss, which was made to honour Indigenous traditions. From nude-pink “Birch” to rouge “Fire,” there are four shades to choose from, and each is stored in a refillable case made from natural and renewable bio-based material.

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The story of Satya begins with founder Patrice Mousseau and her daughter Esme. “My baby girl, Esme, was scratching her arms and legs bloody. The doctor diagnosed her with eczema and prescribed a topical steroid. I knew there had to be a better solution,” Mousseau has said. Taking matters into her own hands, Mousseau combined the best of medical research, academic study findings and traditional medicine to launch a clean and effective brand that could provide skin relief for loved ones.

Satya is stocked up on necessities like eczema treatments and handy travel tins, but our eyes are on the Multi-Use Relief Stick. Formulated with calendula and colloidal oatmeal, this do-it-all skincare saviour can be used anywhere from irritated scalps to dry and cracked heels.

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Based in Toronto, Wildcraft is home to a gentle yet effective selection of natural skincare offerings. Founded by Laura Whitaker, this local label believes in skincare that goes beyond just helping you achieve impressive results, ensuring each product provides a holistic, nature-inspired experience with each use.

The brand’s latest launch is the Pure Radiance Vitamin C Eye Cream, a cooling treatment that gives tired eyes an instant refresh. In addition to vitamin C, ingredients like Kakadu plum brighten up the undereye area, while cucumber and mango butter soothe the skin and reduce the appearance of dark circles and dullness.

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Prados Beauty

Prados Beauty was launched in 2019 by Cece Meadows, a proud Xicana and Indigena (Yoeme) makeup artist and mother of four. We’re big fans of this brand’s pigment-packed eyeshadow palettes, colourful blushes and glossy lippies, but you know who else is? Killers of the Flower Moon breakout star Lily Gladstone!

MUA Nick Barose recently used the brand’s Healing Waters palette to create a shimmery eye look on the actress for the 2024 Cannes Film Festival red carpet. But if you’re looking for a more neutral palette that can be used for everyday glam, consider adding the six-pan Mother Earth eyeshadow palette to your shopping cart.

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Skwálwen Botanicals

Described as a “living bridge between past and present, plants and people,” Skwálwen Botanicals founder Leigh Joseph created this skincare brand to honour Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) plant knowledge and ancestral traditions. Each product is infused with sustainably harvested and sourced organic plants. and has a Squamish name to pay homage to the birthplace of the brand’s botanical knowledge.

Comprised of the Gentle Gel Cleanser, the Wild Rose Nourishing Facial Oil, the Wild Rose Refreshing Toner and the Wild Rose Replenishing Facial Mask, this Kalkáy Facial Care Kit covers all of your skincare bases in one convenient set.

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Mother Earth Essentials

Canadian-made and Indigenous-owned brand Mother Earth Essentials is the maker of luxury bath and beauty goodies crafted with natural ingredients, using traditional recipes. Founder Carrie Belcourt-Armstrong comes from a long line of Cree Medicine Women, and launched this brand to share the nature-inspired teachings of the Indigenous Medicine Wheel and its sacred plants.

This four-piece Sacred Soap set includes handmade Sweetgrass, Tobacco Patchouli, Wildmint Sage and Cedar Balsam soaps that correspond with the Medicine Wheel’s four sacred medicinal plants, which coincide with the four seasons and the four directions of the wheel.

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