Health & Beauty

International Women’s Day Profile: Jenn Harper Of Cheekbone Beauty

March 17, 2023

To celebrate this International Women’s Day (and really, shouldn’t that simply be everyday?!), we’re profiling some incredible women in the lifestyle space. Meet Jenn Harper, founder and CEO of Cheekbone Beauty. —Noa Nichol

What inspired you to launch your business?

I was never a makeup expert but always loved makeup. It’s my favourite form of self-care and got me through tough times. In 2015, I was still working in sales and marketing in the food industry, and I had this life changing dream that planted a seed – not a metaphorical dream, a real dream. In this dream, I saw little Native girls dancing, giggling, and exuding such genuine joy – and they were covered in lip gloss. I woke up and instantly wrote down what became my business plan. I always say this, but the world didn’t need another lipstick brand. What the world did need, however, was more representation. I really wanted to create a brand that highlighted Indigenous faces and gave back to community. It’s safe to say that this initial dream is what inspired me to launch Cheekbone Beauty and continues to inspire me every day.

What’s a day in the life like for you?

I wake up every day at 5:30am, say a gratitude prayer, and then practice some movement in nature. In the morning, I always drink at least 1 liter of water, and then I’m at the office by 8AM. If I am speaking, or at an event, then I am doing this routine wherever I am in the world. Every day is different.  If I am at the office, it starts with reviewing my day, and my weekly plans and goals. Then, I start working, reading, and responding to tons of emails. We have lots of team communication and reviewing of projects daily as well. I spend most days thinking about what is next for the brand and how we are going to get there.  

How does your brand empower women?

Representation is at the heart of everything we do at Cheekbone Beauty. I never had anyone who looked like me in the media that I could look up to, and that is why this is so important to us as a brand. I put myself out there so that Indigenous women can see what is possible for themselves. We seek out models of all ages. We launch campaigns that encourage people to think deeper while we amplify Indigenous voices. Cheekbone Beauty is a space where Indigenous women will always be seen, heard, and appreciated. I started this brand as not only an Indigenous woman, but also as a mother and wife with a full-time job. If I can do it, anybody can do it and women are so capable!

What are the current challenges for women in your industry? How do you overcome them?

I believe there is a lack of representation in the beauty industry. One of the biggest hurdles that I experienced as an Indigenous entrepreneur is the lack of representation of people who look like me in mass media and pop culture, which made me feel like my culture wasn’t valued. To change this lack of representation, we have made it our vision and mission to help every Indigenous person on the planet see and feel their value in the world while we develop sustainable colour cosmetics.

How do you create a supportive environment for yourself and your team?

I think the best way to create a supportive environment for yourself and your team is to be understanding and open. I always say that we are all capable of doing really hard things, but there will be days where we don’t feel like we can. Our team is very caring and supportive of one another, and we always work towards lifting each other up.

Who has been your greatest influence/mentor in your life?

My mentor in the industry has been Doug Langmuir, one of the founders of BITE Beauty. He has helped coach and guide me in all aspects of business in the beauty industry.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


get social


get more out of


Want the best, curated headlines and trends on the fly?

get more out of vita

Sign up for one, or sign up for all!