How Toronto’s 19/99 Beauty Is Breaking Boundaries Around Aging for Women and Beyond

2 minute read
Two women wearing red make stand with their faces close together

What is beauty? The answer to that question is what 19/99, a new Toronto-based brand hopes to change.

While barriers are continuing to break in the beauty industry, anti-aging remains a multi-billion dollar industry that particularly targets women and leaves many feeling shame or self-consciousness, and desperate to look for ‘youthful’ remedies.

But what if we begin to view aging as beautiful? 

That’s what Camille Katona and Stephanie Spence––two women who have spent years working in the industry––are tackling head-on with their new brand, 19/99 Beauty.  

“We didn’t understand why we were being marketed eye creams in our 20s, and noticed that age was the ultimate flaw that the beauty industry would continually push against,” Katona says. 

At the same time, Katona’s mother also expressed frustration with the idea of aging and “feeling irrelevant despite feeling as good as she did in her 30s.” 

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“I did not see active, stylish, normal working women like her represented anywhere, and saw an opportunity for people of all ages to feel included in the conversation around beauty, adds Katona.

In 2020, just months before the pandemic hit Canada, they started up their beauty brand to “change the conversation around aging in beauty, push back against the flaw-focused narrative, and encourage women to define beauty on their own terms” 

Because the two have spent such a long time in beauty, it’s also important to them that women reclaim the space. “It didn’t sit well with us that the industry, predominantly run by men, was making money off of women’s insecurities,” Katona says. “Our goal is to remove age from the conversation, because we believe that age does not dictate how you should express yourself.”

While the brand continues to take off, including landing a spot on major online fashion retailer SSENSE, t