I first met Angela during a collaboration for a photography project with Dickson Designs and Creations for Continuity. Angela Jack is the owner of an Indigenous owned makeup line, Kamamak Cosmetics.
We all gathered in Heather Dickson’s hotel room – photography gear, makeup, jewelry, with wardrobe in hand and children in tow. Together – all Indigenous female entrepreneurs – we created beautiful art for our own businesses and everlasting friendships.
With both of us residing in Yellowknife, Angela and I quickly became friends – I love her positive attitude and fun energy. I was immediately drawn to her makeup; I’ve never known anybody who has owned his or her own makeup line before. This is huge deal for a makeup hoarder like myself.
Kamamak means Butterfly in the Cree language and all of her makeup packaging is made in high quality covers with a beautifully designed butterfly. Angela started her business in 2014 and has collaborated within her makeup line with artists like Alicia Smith and Jared Kane – West Coast indigenous designers who created two separate butterfly designs for Kamamak packaging. She says, “I love having art incorporated in the line and promoting fellow female entrepreneurs!”
Kamamak Cosmetics has everything from colorful eye shadows, blush to N’iso cream (used for both cheeks and lips). All of her products are unique and one of kind, with names that give a nod to her own Indigenous cultures – Cree caramel eye shadow, Mukluk eye shadow, Fresh Berries N’iso cream, Regalia Blush and Fancy Dancer blush to name a few. You can also find the meaning, proper punctuation and where the names come from on her packaging.
I love that she is honoring her culture and other indigenous cultures through her make up. When I picked up her makeup, I became instantly engaged and interested in why and how she choose the names. It was a perfect opportunity for us to share and converse about how Angela’s makeup line came about.
She had a dream and she worked hard to make it a reality. Angela said her goal was for the line to reach all nations and tribes.
My favorite part of these types of collaborations is of course the conversations and friendships but also the part of uplifting each other as women – sticking together, helping each other out and not seeing each other as competition but rather support.
When we get together to create we ultimately want keep each other inspired – to refresh, to come up with new ideas, to get together and have some fun doing what we love to do. Nine times out of ten, we often surprise each other. Sometimes we can’t believe we take an idea from paper and made it reality in an image or on a model.
In the end we do an old fashion trade – like our ancestors use to do. She let me capture her makeup creation and I get more photography experience for my own business in lieu of digital copies for her business. Win win situation!
Every time I’m looking over the images, I know I have to share with Tea & Bannock. Angela knew I was so desperately wanting to share her line with the world, so she agreed – everyone must know about Kamamak Cosmetics and Angela Jack – the kick ass makeup artist and business woman.
– shawna mcleod
1 thought on “Kamamak and Beauty”
Wow. These images are sooooo beautiful! Great work!