Vasanti’s cross-cultural crayon box

Vasanti's Eye Colour Palette ($40) and Tinted Lip Balm ($15). Photography by Katie Ennis.
Vasanti's Eye Colour Palette ($40) and Tinted Lip Balm ($15). Photography by Katie Ennis.

Growing up in 1980s suburban Toronto, I didn’t love being the only brown girl in the class. But here in the cozy confines of a small editorial team, I do. Why? Getting first dibs on makeup for darker skin tones. This is how I discovered Vasanti Cosmetics in 2007 when our beauty editor, Lesa Hannah, suggested I try their eye and cheek putty.

Full disclosure: I am conservative when it comes to makeup. During those crucial years of experimentation the products simply did not exist. Perfume, lotions and nail colours, those were easy to get around, but makeup? Once you’ve applied the wrong foundation or exited the front door with a ghastly, too-pale pink on your lips, well you just don’t go back. But Vasanti, with its multi-culti bent (yes, I actually have an Aunt Vasanti), attractive packaging and home field advantage intrigued me. The Toronto brand was born when founders decided the world needed hues that reflected a diverse population.

I put my finger in the putty and dragged it over my lids. They sparkled hot pink and people noticed. Fast-forward two years and Lesa is handing me a treasure trove of products. Relaunched under the banner “I love my colour,” Vasanti Cosmetics (at select drugstores and boasts a product line applicable to women from all types of backgrounds and skin tones. Welcome all of you.

Right now, I am loving the Liquid Cover Up ($23) which leaves nary a greasy residue. The Eye Wonder ($42), with its promise to reduce my dark circles, the rich micronized eye shadows ($15), and the lipsticks and tinted lip balms named for exotic locales like Nepal, Bahamas and Canada (anyone been there?) to name a few.

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