If you’ve ever felt dazed and confused whilst wending your way through the chrome and glass vistas of the cosmetic department, you’re not alone. With so many corporate beauty behemoths to choose from, it’s easy to feel lost when it comes to making an informed purchase. Luckily, the following homegrown heroes — with their trailblazing technology, philanthropy, and D.I.Y. attitudes — have been offering us alternatives we can truly get behind.

Fusion Beauty

When Randi Shinder stormed the market with her award-winning product,
LipFusion, who knew it would become a cultural zeitgeist amongst a generation of pouty Angelina wannabes? With successful lines
Clean and
Dessert to her credit, along with innovations such as
AirFusion (airbrushed makeup),
GlowFusion (the ultimate in fuss-free self-tanning) and
Scentology (a revolutionary line of mood-enhancing scents), Shinder has become a force to be reckoned with in the highly competitive business of beauty with
Fusion Beauty.

Randi Shinder’s favourites:

1. Clean Provence

"Because I’m usually wearing this, and I’m always being told that I smell good."

2. LipFusion in Fresh or Bloom

"Because the colors are so natural and make my lips look youthful, full, and healthy."

3. GlowFusion

"Because there is no odor or drying time, and in just 20 minutes a week I can have the perfect sun-kissed glow all summer long."


When Hana Zalzal founded
Cargo cosmetics in 1996, she set out to create a line that both professional makeup artists and regular woman could covet and make their own. Mission accomplished! More than a decade later, women all over the world have incorporated the cherished brand into their everyday "cargo." A quick scan of the artful makeup line attests to the company’s constant strides in innovation that include such portable pleasures as single-serve lip gloss palettes and eye shadow cards. Then there’s
Plant Love, the ultimate "green" product. Never before has buying makeup felt so good!

Hana Zalzal’s favourites:

1. Plant Love Botanical Lipstick

"Our proudest innovation: the first-ever biodegradable lipstick tube. I also love that $2 from every lipstick goes to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. My favourite is the shade Evangeline Lilly designed. It looks very sexy on brunettes!"

2. OneBase

"Anyone who needs a concealer can appreciate this must-have item. A concealer and foundation in one, it blends perfectly to my natural skin tone."

3. The Reverse Lip Liner

"For me, the best way to line lips is from the outside in. The ONLY lip liner that anyone should wear with gloss. I even use it when I am wearing no lip colour at all."

Cake Beauty

After graduating with a degree in Political Science, Heather Reier went to work for Roots before striking out on her own to create
Cake Beauty. Created in her kitchen, with names like "It’s a Slice" and "Desserted Island," Cake quickly became a leader in the cult of cool beauty companies. But don’t let the cute names fool you. Adopted by celebs like Kate Hudson, Naomi Watts and Rhianna, Cake Beauty has quickly proven to be more than just a pretty face.

Heather Reier’s favourites:

1. Satin Sugar Hair and Body Refreshing Powder

"This is one of my all time favorites because it allows me to go a couple of days between washings. If I’m popping out after work I feel instantly refreshed with a sprinkle of this magic dust."

2. Satin Sugar All Purpose Treatment

"This newest edition to my Cake Beauty collection took months of testing. I use it for all those pesky dry spots, even flyaways. It’s so multifunctional and the perfect time saver."

3. Plane Friendly Travel Goodies

"I can throw these little gems in my carry on or my gym bag and I’m off, with room to spare. After all, Cake Beauty really is ‘plane’ friendly!"