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TODAY contributor
updated 2/25/2010 5:05:02 PM ET 2010-02-25T22:05:02

Host to this year’s Olympic Games, Canada is also home to many favorite skin care, hair care, bath and makeup companies. In fact, plenty of products from the Pacific Northwest have most likely been staples in your vanity for years. From famous megabrands to innovative startups and cult-favorite boutique companies, it’s clear that Canada’s beauty goes beyond its snowy slopes and breathtaking bays.

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Bobbie Thomas, TODAY Style editor and author of the Buzz column for In Touch Weekly, offers an inside look into the Canadian beauty industry.

Medal-worthy makeup
Toronto-based company MAC put Canadian cosmetics on the map. Its wildly popular color range collected fans across many borders, and eventually led to Estee Lauder buying the now world-famous brand back in 1995 ($14-$42; maccosmetics.com). Known for creative packaging that is meant to travel, made from corn, or monitors expiration, CARGO cosmetics is thought of as one of the most creative companies in the market today ($14-$45; ulta.com).

For those in search of specially targeted coverage, COVER FX offers a range of 30 foundation and concealer shades for an array of multicultural groups ($22-$45; coverfx.com). And everyone can appreciate Joe Fresh’s “beauty for less” philosophy. The fashion staple-turned-beauty big shot boasts brushes, tools and a ton of makeup, all under $15 ($4-$14; joe.ca). Finally, there is FusionBeauty, which secured its status as a cult favorite thanks to its LipFusion plumping glosses that bring a pop of fullness to your pucker ($28-$50; amazon.com/beauty).  Video: Web only: The best Canadian beauty buys

High-scoring skin care
Perfectly appropriate for the Winter Games, Metamorphosis’ signature Apres-Ski Damage Control cream aims to heal skin that has been subjected to harsh weather ($54; metamorphosisskin.com). Anti-aging creams and eyelash fortifiers are best-sellers from B. Kamins, a skin care brand that was born during an ice-fishing trip in the cold Canadian winter ($35-$250; bkamins.com). And Niko not only offers skin care, but mineral makeup and hair care products as well ($36-$199; www.niko.com). 

Element-defying bath and body
With delicious-smelling staples like the Milk Made Hand Crème, Cake Beauty’s body care collection has many people wishing it was edible ($9-$29; cakebeauty.com). Fruits & Passion features more than 29 different collections, and is the No. 1 bath and body brand in Canada, with 108 freestanding stores. They’re just now opening shops in the U.S., so expect to see these products popping up by you soon ($5-$75; fruits-passion.com).

On the opposite end of the spectrum is a small business with a lot of soul. Salt Marsh Sisters uses locally sourced ingredients to create homemade body powders and hand scrubs ($5-$16; saltmarshsisters.ca). What a great way for athletes, and the rest of us, to unwind!

Hurdle-jumping hair care
Last but not least, two hair care brands have us lusting after Canadian locks! From Lady Gaga’s unusual updos to Salma Hayek’s and Debra Messing’s tousled tresses, Montreal-based Moroccanoil has a cult celebrity following thanks to its argan oil-infused products ($18-$31; moroccanoil.com). And Ontario-based hair care company Ojon specializes in restoring stressed-out strands, and considers healthy hair an extension of healthy skin ($18-$55; sephora.com). Nothing like having a silky, manageable mane while gliding down the slopes Suzy Chapstick style (as Joel McHale would say, “Look it up, kids")!

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