E. Coli Kiss, Lucious Lead, and Mercury Shimmer are the powerful names of Cheekbone Beauty's three new lipglosses. The collection will never be available to the public, however, because these products were made with contaminated water from Indigenous Canadian communities.
Cheekbone Beauty is an Indigenous-founded cosmetic company that was created in 2016 to establish a space in the industry where Indigenous people feel represented and seen. As well as being ethically made and low environmental impact, Cheekbone supports Indigenous Youth and a variety of social projects that address the educational funding gap, the safety and well-being of Indigenous youth, deforestation, and clean water security.
To date, Cheekbone has donated over $150,000 to different community projects but they also support people through campaigns, product donations, and partnerships.
Indigenous people across Canada continue to live in areas with long-term boil water advisories due to contaminants like lead, E. Coli, and mercury that poison their drinking water.
The lipstick "launch" that was posted on Cheekbone Beauty's Instagram was part of an announcement meant to bring awareness to the issue and introduce an initiative with global cosmetics retailer Sephora where in the month of June all proceeds made from the sale of Cheekbone products either in-store or at Sephora.ca will be donated to Water First, an NGO dedicated to helping Indigenous communities solve their clean water challenges.
As of April 2021, 11 communities in B.C. were under water restrictions that required them to boil or even purchase water to drink, bathe and cook with. Whispering Pines/Clinton Indian Band in Kamloops has been under advisory for over 14 years. Other B.C. communities facing clean water challenges Kwakiutl, Canim Lake, Hesquiaht, Tsartlip, Coldwater, Tsal'Alh, Cowichan, Ucluelet, Lytton, and Skawahlook.