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Evio Beauty: community, color cosmetics, and cannabis

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags start-ups Cannabis influencers Strategy Canada

At the start of the current indie beauty movement, Brandi Leifso launched a makeup brand called Evelyn Iona. She has since relaunched the business as Evio Beauty, partnered with Aurora Cannabis, raised millions through seed funding and strategic partnerships, been honored as Chatelaine Magazine’s 2018 Woman of the Year, and much more. Here, Cosmetics Design speaks with Leifso about how she is using business to build a more conscious future.

The Evelyn Iona product line turned out to be an opportunity for Leifso and her team to learn quite a bit about what today’s consumer expects. With those learnings, she launched Evio Beauty, “a brand that’s mission is to create a more conscious future and connect people through beauty,” ​Leifso tells Cosmetics Design in this video interview (filmed in July on the sidelines of Cosmoprof North America).

“We really live by our values at Evio,” ​says Leifso and that idea extends well beyond company culture to the brand’s consumer culture as well. Among the brand’s community building strategies are an open-door influencer policy and a monthly community dinner that’s about in-person conversation: “when people are vulnerable and willing to get deep because they feel comfortable, it’s amazing the things that you learn and we’ve taken that to foster the community,”​ explains Leifso.

Like so many beauty startups, Evio Beauty is a direct-to-consumer brand, selling online​ and at the occasional pop-up event. But Leifso has a vision for the future of retail too; she’s currently negotiating with conventional retails to reinvent the way beauty is sold in brick-and-mortar stores.

The Evio Beauty product portfolio is made up of 18 color cosmetic SKUs and 4 skin care SKUs. The skin care collection is developed in partnership with Aurora Cannabis. “We’ve really made a name for ourselves in the cannabis space,” ​says Leifso, noting that the Evio Beauty cannabis skin care collection has helped build brand awareness.

“We work very closely with [​Aurora Cannabis] on all of their non-medicinal topical activities (in and outside of Evio). And so, it’s exciting to see what will develop from that," ​she says.

As with Evelyn Iona, the first Evio cannabis skin care line is a learning opportunity for both the Evio brand and for the consumer marketplace: “the consumer isn’t quite as far along as you might think in the cannabis space,”​ says Leifso. “So starting with a hemp line that allows us to access the masses, allows us to have a more broad conversation...while regulations catch up to us.”

Watch the full video interview at the top of the page to learn more about the products, plans, and partnerships at Evio Beauty.



Deanna Utroske, Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.

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