Vancouver’s Evalina Beauty launches a makeup line designed to highlight, not hide
“I’m wearing two different eyeliners and three kinds of lip gloss right now,” laughs Samantha Legge, digging through a canvas bag bursting with makeup samples in her chic white-on-white Vancouver office. It may sound extreme, but product-testing is all in a day’s work for the Evalina Beauty president and founder—in between prototype meetings, boardroom conferences and approving packaging designs, she’s analyzing how eyeshadow is wearing through the day, sampling bronzer palettes and conferring about the new blush texture with the Evalina team.
It’s a big change of pace from her other role as a media industry executive, but for Legge, this new venture is the passion project she’s been searching for in her 25 years as a business woman. “I get now what every business leader talks about: it doesn’t feel like a job, I have a clear vision, and I can’t wait to get up every day and do this,” Legge says. That vision? “It’s all about encouraging women to be who they are, be their best selves and all that they can be.”
Which is why she’s created a makeup line that enhances and doesn’t hide: no covering up freckles, no ads with unrealistic contouring. Each product is tirelessly tested and designed to let the wearer’s own unique features and colouring shine through. The BB cream
is super lightweight and flattering; the lip gloss is long-lasting and not too sticky; a bronzer and highlighter kit helps cheekbones pop. “What I wanted for Evalina was a line that enhances natural beauty, not something that transforms,” Legge explains. “No apologies, no alterations.”
This bold new beauty company grew out of a chance meeting with local makeup artist Ana Allen, who was at a crossroads in late 2018: after creating her own cosmetics line and teaching a successful series of makeup courses for a decade, she was looking for a new challenge, too. She and Legge hit it off instantly, and within six weeks, Legge had founded Evalina Beauty and brought Allen on board as beauty director and a key collaborator.
Together, they ensure everything that comes out of Evalina HQ is created with the “You are already beautiful” tagline in mind—a motto that Legge takes extremely seriously. “I want this brand to uplift and celebrate and support women for who we are, as we are.” In an industry that’s so often focused on covering up or pressuring women to change or alter their appearance, Evalina’s perspective is refreshing. “Women have altered themselves forever, in whatever role we’re in,” says Legge. “I want to encourage women to be their true, authentic selves, and to not alter who they are because they’re already amazing and have an intrinsic beauty.”
With that in mind, a percentage of all Evalina proceeds are donated to women and children’s charities. “I want to walk that talk, not just with the product itself, but with a product that’s giving back to women who might need help to reach their potential,” Legge says.
Something else beautiful about the designed-in-Canada products: Everything is paraben-free and cruelty-free. These qualities are a rarity among big brands, so for Evalina to make that commitment (without sacrificing the quality) is a huge statement. “You can feel good about buying it, but it’s still a sophisticated product,” says Legge. “It’s paraben-free, yet performance has not been compromised at all.” She personally ensures that every single product is long-lasting, high-quality and, most importantly, something she would include in her own makeup bag. “I want to love everything: that’s my benchmark,” says Legge.
Legge’s stamp of approval always comes from a personal perspective: “I just love beauty. It’s a value for me. So to be in an industry that’s aligned with something I care about so deeply is really wonderful.” It’s a topic that Legge could talk about all day, but there’s work to be done: brushes to test, eyeshadow to approve. The Evalina founder zips up her sample bag. “This is my homework,” she says, flashing a smile. “I can’t believe this is my job.”