In solidarity with the Indigenous peoples in Canada, during July 2021, we will be highlighting Indigenous-owned beauty brands and founders on our Blog. Liv'Ez Co. acknowledges and pay respects to the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations for allowing us to operate on their unceded territory in Vancouver, Canada.
Trigger Warning: the following contains mentions of suicide, alcoholism, and addiction.
Let's Meet: CHEEKBONE BEAUTY.
Known for their Warrior Women Liquid Lipstick, Cheekbone Beauty is an Indigenous woman-owned and cruelty-free makeup brand established by Jennifer Harper out of St. Catharines, Ontario.
You might be familiar with Jenn Harper and Cheekbone Beauty from her appearance on the popular business show, "Dragon's Den," on CBC in 2019; but behind the scenes, Jenn has been working tirelessly on the Cheekbone Beauty brand since 2015.
It started one fateful night, when Jenn was hit by a spark of inspiration to create lip glosses—quite literally in the middle of the night, a few months after overcoming her struggle with alcoholism. She set out create makeup that honoured the relationship of Indigenous peoples with their land and nature; while maintaining sustainable practices and limiting excessive waste from her products.
Jenn Harper. Copyright © 2021 Cheekbone Beauty.
Jenn is Anishinaabe-Canadian, and had always struggled with her Indigenous identity. Being raised by a Caucasian mother and estranged from her Indigenous family and tribe, she turned to alcohol to self-soothe. Eventually, she learned of her grandmother’s experience in residential schools, and quickly realized that the generational trauma had severely destroyed her Indigenous familial and personal identity. This prompted her to fight her alcoholism and seek to rediscover her Indigenous identity; first by reuniting with her family, and then exploring her Indigenous history and culture alongside her brother, B.J.
Copyright © 2021 Cheekbone Beauty.
Although Cheekbone Beauty is now an extremely successful and influential Indigenous-Canadian beauty brand, Jenn continues to give back through charity, especially by supporting Indigenous youths.
Jenn felt a deep connection with First Nations Child & Family Caring Society (FNCFCS)'s mission, as she had endured a heavy personal loss with the suicide of her brother B.J. She has since committed 10% of the profits from Cheekbone Beauty to FNCFCS' program, "Shannen’s Dream," to empower Indigenous youths through education and representation.
These days, Jenn is focused on product development and innovation at Cheekbone Beauty's Innovation Lab & Production Facility. She continues to strive towards sustainability in all of Cheekbone Beauty's products and operations; from raw materials sourcing, all the way to the finished product. She's also the proud recipient of multiple awards, including: Social Enterprise Award, Startup Canada’s Social Enterprise of the Year, and named Woman of the Year by Chatelaine Magazine.
Follow and Shop Cheekbone Beauty:
Lukas, Erin. "Cheekbone Beauty Is Confronting the Beauty Industry's Waste Problem, One Lipstick At a Time". InStyle. January 7, 2021.
"Media Kit". Cheekbone Beauty.
"Meet Jenn". Cheekbone Beauty.
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