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Nunavummiuq's makeup finds niche
Started by Iqaluit resident, Inuit-owned Snow Cosmetics hits store shelves

Thandiwe Vela
Northern News Services
Published Monday, May 20, 2013

Snow Cosmetics, the newest addition to the makeup section of Arctic Ventures Marketplace in Iqaluit, stands out from the Revlon and Cover Girl products on display.

NNSL photo/graphic

Iqaluit resident Courtney White started makeup company Snow Cosmetics last fall. The first line is now being sold at Arctic Ventures Marketplace. - photo courtesy of Snow Cosmetics

Created by 23-year-old Nunavummiuq Courtney White for Nunavummiut, it is the first makeup company to come out of Nunavut.

White, a certified makeup artist, has always had a passion for makeup and found it difficult to find top quality products in the North.

The vision for Snow Cosmetics, which she launched last October, is to provide readily-available high quality makeup in the North. In most communities it takes up to two weeks to have it ordered and delivered with postal service.

She ships orders by cargo right away and offers the company's products online or by phone with both English and Inuktitut services.

"The Snow vision or motto is we are providing a chance at glamour, fashion and independence by building within the walls of isolation. I know a lot of Inuit as well as myself, we want Nunavummiut and other Northerners to have the chance to have readily available good quality makeup like southerners do," White said.

"And a lot of people like me get frustrated with cheap makeup," she added. "The products that I use, they're hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, they don't clog pores, so it's really high quality. It's the best you can get. The best pigments you can find and really exceeds Canadian standards for makeup."

White designs the lines and selects ingredients such as Vitamin E to enrich skin, she said.

She works with a company in Toronto that manufactures the makeup products.

Aqsarniit, the first Snow Cosmetics collection, is inspired by the Northern lights. The line includes eyeshadows, lipsticks, lipglosses, 10 shades of blush, eyeliners, mascara, and different types of foundation and concealer sticks.

Arctic Ventures, which is owned by Arctic Co-operatives Ltd., was eager to strike a deal with White to sell the line in the store after White approached retail manager Dennis Healey earlier this month.

"We thought it was great that somebody from here had the get up and go to start their own business, did the proper research, and had a business plan," said Healey. "The packaging is really nice, the product is really nice, and I know she plans on expanding the line too in the upcoming months. We think it's great.

"We gave it its own showcase here and it's all laid out and displayed quite nicely and it's selling already."

White's goal is to expand into Co-ops across the North, and one day have her own store.

She received business direction and a grant from Kakivak Association, the community and economic development organization serving the Baffin region.

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