Love the Label would like to introduce our very first Canadian organic company interview with the owner and founder of Cheeky Cosmetics: please meet Chantal.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself (who you are, where you are from, education background, etc.)
Hi! My name is Chantal, and I have always had a passion for creating natural products. I started making lip balm and organic perfumes when I was 14 and selling them at local craft fairs in Mississauga, Ontario, where I grew up. A few years later I moved to the Okanagan Valley and decided to pursue a more “practical” career path as a teacher. So I got my degree, with a major in math and a minor in French, followed by a teaching certificate, and then I spent a year teaching high school math. I quickly realized that disciplining teenagers was not my calling. So I adjusted my life goals to reflect my true self and I haven’t looked back since!
2. How did you come up with the idea for Cheeky Cosmetics? What was your inspiration?
I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 14 and have always been very health-conscious, but I actually didn’t wear makeup very often until I started teaching (shocking, I know!). I wanted to look more professional, so I started looking for makeup that was vegetarian and cruelty-free, as natural as possible, didn’t irritate my sensitive skin, covered my rosacea, and fully disclosed all ingredients. I quickly found out that that was no small feat!
In the process of searching, I stumbled upon the indie makeup scene and I was completely hooked! All kinds of people making all kinds of makeup to suit their individual preferences and tastes and some of them actually making a living doing it! I knew right away I had to try it, so I ordered some supplies and started experimenting. I spent almost a year perfecting my recipes before opening up my web store in June 2009. I now enjoy wearing makeup almost as much as I enjoy making it – and I’m much more adventurous with color and sparkle than I used to be!
As for the name, I wanted something that would evoke a sense of playfulness, fun, and a bit of a retro vibe. I wanted to go beyond words like “natural” and “earth” and create a unique brand that just happens to have very high standards for ingredients.
3. Where does Cheeky Cosmetics take place?
I create all of the products in my “lab” at home in the Okanagan Valley of BC. I’m currently in Vernon, but I have also lived in Kelowna.
4. What made you feel prepared to start an organic business? Were there any obstacles in the beginning?
Sourcing ingredients is definitely the most challenging aspect! It took me a long time to find certified organic oils for the lip products and I’m still searching for organic candelilla wax, so the ingredient list is constantly evolving. But since I’ve always tried to eat organic food, and I’ve always been an obsessive label-reader, making organic cosmetics just seemed like a natural extension of that philosophy, both for the health benefits and for the planet.
5. How do you make the makeup? What is the process of creating organic products?
Hmm, where do I start! Rather than try to describe the process, I decided to make a video showing how I make lip gloss. I think it will do a better job explaining the process than I will! It’s my first video and I sound a bit dull, so please don’t judge me on that
Youtube Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3MPAFdMa_g
6. Why is it important to use all-natural cosmetics?
Many people aren’t aware of how many chemicals can be absorbed through the skin. Using natural cosmetics is just as important as eating organic food, drinking clean water, and breathing clean air.
There are so many chemicals in our lives, it’s staggering. And so much of it we have no control of: pollution, pharmaceuticals in the water. I find it’s empowering to make choices in the areas we have control over, like food and personal care products. It’s our way of fighting back and boosting our odds of staying healthy!
7. Is there any advice you could give to consumers to help them make the switch to wearing organic makeup?
It can be very overwhelming when you first find out about all of the chemicals in most products, so I would recommend making small changes, a little at a time. When you run out of a particular product, research the ingredients in it, research the alternatives, and then choose a product that’s healthier. If you just change one product at a time, it’s less overwhelming, and before you know it you’ll have a whole new, healthier makeup bag!
Thank you so much Chantal for this interview! You are so inspiring to us. We are so dedicated to promoting your cosmetics and your message about safe and healthy makeup!
Love the Label .. xo