Named after the Hollywood pin-up photos from the mid 1900â€™s, creator Claire Lyerla started her handmade, environmentally-friendly bath and body product line, Cheesecake Handmade Beauty, five years ago when she took a break from her undergraduate studies to enroll in cosmetology school.
The entire line, which includes bar soaps, salt and sugar scrubs, lip gloss, blended oils and dusting powder, is hand made in Lyerlaâ€™s studio in Ukrainian Village, using natural and organic materials that she purchases mostly from green online wholesalers. Why organic? â€œItâ€™s simple,â€ says Lyerla, â€œUsing natural ingredients that are good for the Earth are also good for you!â€
Customers love the moisture-rich lip gloss pot, which comes in berry, peppermint and citrus flavors, and gets a natural tint from mica. Another best seller is the bar soap, made from various kinds of natural oils, available in honey oatmeal, mocha, and rosemary mint, to name a few.
And letâ€™s not forget the packaging – who can say no to bombshells? (Itâ€™s worked out pretty well for Benefit.)
Cheesecake recently launched Beefcake Handmade Grooming, their menâ€™s line, which consists of hump-worthy scented bar soaps (basil lime, orange patchouli, and tea tree), moustache wax, and Dwightâ€™s Balldusting Powder (available in grapefruit and basil lemon). Finally, grooming products for dudes in a language they can understand.
Cheesecake will be featured at local craft fairs this spring and summer and can be found at a handful of stores around the city, as well as online. The best part – the entire line ranges from only $7 to $12. As for navigating Chicagoâ€™s indie craft/beauty scene, Lyerla is perfectly at ease. â€œChicagoâ€™s home. This is where I identify most closely.â€