Tell me about Chirp Cosmetics Company in your own words, in 1-2 sentences.
Chirp is a completely local handmade company run by passionate, creative individuals. Our current product line spans from makeup to skincare to haircare to soy candles.
How did your interest in making hand-made makeup and then candles come about?
Making makeup was always a creative curiosity of mine. I followed some indie beauty brands online, and while I was looking a job opportunity I thought to myself, “if they can do it, why can’t I?” I also was inspired by other local vendors (especially The Soap Garden!) to start handmade and Health-Canada compliant products for the local market. I invested the time and money to research everything I needed to start my own cruelty-free, paraben- and formaldehyde-free cosmetics business. We have a great awareness in Sault Ste. Marie that healthful products are beneficial to our everyday lives, and this can also apply to beauty and home decor as well. Now, I make products that people feel good about using because health isn’t being sacrificed for beauty or comfort.
Are all the materials used to create your makeup and candles, locally-sourced, environment-friendly, vegan-friendly?
Chirp products are all 100% cruelty-free, meaning no animals were used in testing any of the ingredients or finished products.
We use Canadian suppliers whenever we can and we primarily use Canadian suppliers for our candles and skincare products, including packaging. All our candles are soy-based and use 100% GMO-free natural soy wax, and we only use phthalate-free fragrances in our candles. For candles we have a jar exchange program - if customers bring us 4 used candle jars including lid we give them a free mini candle!
We do not use any synthetic fragrances in our skincare or haircare products - everything is scented with essential oils or not scented at all. The preservative we use - which is used for consumer safety - is paraben- and formaldehyde-free. Our makeup is mineral-based (think bareminerals or pur minerals) and our lipsticks are currently being reformulated to a vegan-only base. We have plenty of vegan options for the conscious makeup shopper!
Unfortunately, there are no local suppliers for the types of cosmetic-grade raw materials we use, and Canadian suppliers for cosmetic-grade materials are priced extremely high. We shop in the USA for the best-quality, most affordable, cosmetic-grade pigments and our unique packaging. Affordability allows our customers to enjoy pricing closer to what they’re used to paying for big-box items. Our packaging for cosmetics is single-use only and we must use disposable tester applicators for public health reasons. We are limiting our use of shrink-wrap bands as they contribute to plastic waste and only use them when items are shipped to customers.
What separates Chirp Cosmetics Company from other makeup companies?
We are different from most big and small companies in a number of ways. We are different from larger companies in that the ownership interacts daily with customers, we are actively passionate about our local community and we are small enough to be nimble - when our customers want something, we do our best to make it as quickly as we can, and make it well. We advocate for the handmade market at every opportunity and will always appreciate small, local manufacturing. We also refuse to use talc, parabens, formaldehyde or phthalates, which have all been shown to cause health issues when used long-term.
We are different from some (but not all) smaller cosmetic companies because we are both Health-Canada compliant and handmade. Compliance includes everything from ingredient declarations to detailed record-keeping and appropriate labeling. Also, we make everything in-house and there is no situation in which we have contracted out the production of our products.
While we don’t shop as much locally through the business, as an ownership team most of our personal income earned through the business stays local. We are passionate about supporting local and shopping as much as possible at the Mill Market and at other local spots. Since the beginning of chirp we have been asked countless times to support local causes. In almost every case, we’ve been able to provide that support.
What are your favourite makeup items?
My personal makeup routine includes a base of glowing and healthy skin, which I maintain daily using handmade natural soap, our rosewater toner and luxurious day cream, and I use our seaweed clay mask once a week. For colour cosmetics my favourites include chirp powder foundation (which will be available in stock in February), the bridal palette, pinched or sandstone blush and our lip balm in whatever flavour I have on me at the time. I also use finishing spray (which is currently in development) to lock everything in place, and a natural mascara from pur minerals. I take all the makeup off at the end of the day with our biphase natural makeup remover and apply overnight cream and overnight lash treatment before bed.
What are your favourite candle scents?
I personally really love fruity, citrus scents and perfume scents, so my favourites are sugared grapefruit, sweet summer, fruit n’ flowers, and romance. Despite this preference my house smells like whatever candle scent we are making at the moment! Right now it’s the holiday scents
Do you approve specific or custom requests/orders, or provide multiple purchasing discounts?
Yes, absolutely! We do custom work but not very often as it takes a significant amount of time and can be expensive. We’ve made custom lipstick and blush shades!
If a customer has a large order of any particular item we make we work with them to determine a discount. A specific example of this is our mini soy candles, which has tiered pricing based on how many are ordered. We’ve done orders for weddings, office thank-yous, parties, etc. and our largest orders have been over 250 candles!
What would you like customers to take away from your products?
Having more healthful products in the home and on the skin impacts wellness in the longer term. I’d love for my customers to use chirp products as part of a holistic approach of awareness related to beauty products, cleaning products, and home decor. There are so many products in the market that contain toxic substances (eg. phthalates, sulfates, talc, parabens, formaldehyde, etc.) that cause long-term health issues.
Find out more at www.chirpcosmeticscompany.com or on their Facebook page!