Elegantly Eco

Eco-Friendly Beauty, Fashion, Reviews, and Info


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@CleanCareSeal Announces #Winners of Inaugural Clean Beauty Awards at #GreenLivingShow

The Clean Beauty Awards took place on Friday, March 27 at The Green Living Show – Canada’s largest consumer show dedicated to healthy living. Leading industry expert judges presented 12 awards from a list of over 100 entrants.

The winners are …


I have to say that I’ve heard of all of these brands. Though I haven’t tried all of them. But of the brands I have tried, I wholeheartedly agree that besides being clean, they are great quality.  One such brand is Pure Anada which won for Pressed Mineral Eye Colour. Pure Anada makes some great eyeshadows, blush and skincare which are all eco-friendly.You can read my reviews on Pure Anada’s products here. I’m also familiar with MarieNatie which won for All Natural Eyeliner. I’ve used MarieNatie‘s lip gloss, eyeshadows and foundations. Below is a picture of me wearing MarieNatie‘s foundation and nothing else on my face.

@MarieNatie foundation on my face and no other makeup. What do you think? No filter btw.

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This picture below is of MarieNatie‘s lipgloss which actually made it to my Best of 2013 list.

Combined #lipsticks today: @LippyGirlMakeUp & @MarieNatie lipgloss on top! #vegan #cleancare

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Penny Lane Organics is a great little company operating out of rural Ontario which was founded by two sisters. I’ve used Penny Lane Organics lip balm in Mango. You can read my review of their lip balm here.



Carina Organics makes an amazing natural deodorant which is one I keep coming back to over and over again. Their Botanical Therapeutic Deodorant made it to my Best Natural Deodorants list and you’ll often see this deodorant listed in my empties post.

The Clean Beauty Awards celebrates the top performing clean beauty products and brands for the year, and not only shines light on safer skincare and makeup options for consumers, but also gives independent brands a trusted platform to reach consumers. All the nominees are free from questionable ingredients (like sodium lauryl sulfates, parabens, fragrance, etc), and were tested based on performance by an independent panel of judges.

The 2015 nominees were determined based on rankings by 15 independent judges including environmental experts: environmental journalist and author Adria Vasil, eco producer and The Marilyn Denis Show eco expert Candice Batista, international makeup artist and founder of the Green Beauty Team Kristen Arnett, as well as beauty experts such as FAJO Magazine editor-in-chief Hannah Yakobi and Anokhi Magazine beauty editor Rosemina Nazarali.

For more information, please visit www.CleanCareSeal.com or www.CleanBeautyAwards.com. Stay connected by following Clean Care on Facebook and Twitter.

About Clean Care

Clean Care, a social enterprise, creates markets for emerging companies offering safer beauty and personal care products. As the administrator of the “Clean Cert” seal, Clean Care certifies products and gives recognition to safer beauty brands that enable clean living. With Certified Clean sections developed in stores and a user driven review website being launched soon, consumers can easily recognize and purchase safer personal care brands. In 2014, Clean Care launched the Clean Beauty Awards which celebrates the best performing “free from” products from independent beauty brands.

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Spotlight on: Erica Leibner, Green Business Copywriter and Communications Coordinator


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An eco activist, vegan and nontoxic beauty betty, Erica Leibner helps the forward-thinking small businesses she loves get noticed online. While their niches vary from eco clothes to natural beauty products, her clients all have one thing in common: they see cost as more than a dollar value, refuse to compromise on quality and are truly sustainable.

I’ve been following her for a while on social media and have always been curious about the innovative service-based business she’s built. So when we started chatting recently on Twitter, I jumped at the chance to interview her.

Here it is! Hope you enjoy…

    How did you get into writing for eco-friendly businesses?

    In 2010 I started writing for a blog called City Bandit, aimed at helping girls in Montreal and Toronto stay chic on the cheap. I was given carte blanche to cover whatever I wanted. Naturally, I gravitated to the types of things I was most interested in – vegan brunch spots, eco street fairs, and easy-to-execute upcycling ideas. I ended up getting approached by the owner of one of the small businesses I reviewed. She said my piece captured the essence of her shop; she loved my writing and wanted to hire me to help with their communications. That spurred my “aha moment” – that by transitioning into business writing, I could empower outstanding small businesses whose products rocked but whose marketing communications weren’t so stellar. I promptly got a certificate from U of T in PR, started building my website and reaching out to potential clients. I’ve been loving every minute of it and haven’t looked back since.

    Did you grow up eco-friendly or became it overtime?

    I always had an innate understanding that as a society, we were doing things wrong – like producing too much garbage and mistreating animals. I created a petition to get recycling bins in my neighbourhood. I became vegetarian at the age of seven after making the connection between meat and the death of sentient animals. The more I learnt, the worse I realized things were. In order to better be the change I wished to see, I eventually became vegan, rid my home of toxic products and got more involved with organizations like PETA and DSF (David Suzuki Foundation).

    What is it like working for companies like Organic Lifestyle, Clementine Fields, Clean Care and LNBF (Leave Nothing But Footprints)?

    It’s a pleasure and an honour. The people I work with are so deeply kind and committed to making the world a better place for future generations. Dihan Chandra (owner of Organic Lifestyle), Ingrid Doucet (owner of Clementine Fields), Jenise Lee (founder of Clean Care), Hilda Hugo (owner of LNBF) … these are people who have left a permanent mark on me. Which is why I give them my all; work diligently so that their vision, mission and voice shine through to attract current customers like you and I.


Erica munching on earth-friendly grub at RiseTO’s Organic Tapas Market Dinner this past June.

    What’s the worst case of greenwashing you’ve ever seen?

    The one that comes to mind is the Fur Council of Canada. They recently came out with a campaign “Fur is green,” describing it as the ultimate eco clothing. Fur as eco-friendly!? That couldn’t be further from the truth. A few of the many reasons why: it takes well over 20 times as much energy to produce a fur coat from ranch-raised animals than it does to produce one made of fake fur. Pelts are “tanned” so they don’t biodegrade, an unnatural process that requires the use of carcinogenic chemicals and toxins including ammonia, cyanide-based dyes and formaldehyde. The waste produced on fur farms also poisons our waterways.

    What is your current favourite product?

    Leaves of Trees, Cream Deodorant. It works super well, doesn’t get on my clothes, is completely natural and made right here in Toronto.

    I agree with you, Leaves of Trees is a great company. I’ve also reviewed some Leaves of Trees products on my blog. Read my review here.

What product would you never, ever use and why?

    I’d never (ever) use an antiperspirant, especially after reading Bruce Lourie and Rick Smith’s Toxin/Toxout. I’ve come to understand that sweating is an important function that helps the body rid itself of the harmful pollutants we’re exposed to on a daily basis. Simply put, the more you sweat, the more yucky chemicals you expel!

Thanks so much to Erica for the enlightening interview! You can learn more about Erica on her website below, or follow her via her social media links.

Twitter
Facebook
Pinterest
Instagram


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Product Review: @KynkNaturals In the Raw

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Ingredients: Soft Whipped Shea Butter

I first heard about Kynk Naturals from Clean Care as they are one of the members. I’d already tried some of the other products from Clean care members so I wanted to try one of Kynk’s products. I needed a new lotion or cream so I picked this one up at Noah’s.

It’s great stuff. It’s only one ingredient: soft whipped shea butter. I love one ingredient products, you know you’ve got one pure item on your hands!  Soft whipped shea butter is very thick though so I found it best to use after the shower. I was using this during the colder months in January & February so it took some rubbing in for my skin to absorb this.  I tend to gravitate towards oils & lotions as they are easy to slap on after a shower. So I think I would prefer something a little easier to spread on. I might try this again in the summer time when the shea butter will be naturally softer. For those with very dry & thick hair shea butter is great as a leave-in conditioner or hair styler.  Be careful to use only as much as your hair needs otherwise you’ll end up very greasy!

Have you ever tried Kynk Naturals before?

Cost: $19.00 CAD, 90g
Available at: Kynk Naturals, Noah’s Natural Foods
Rating: 4/5


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Green Living Show Haul 2014

I wanted to go through my impressions & what I ended up buying at the Green Living Show (GLS) this past Friday (April 25th). Friday was school trip day so there were lots of kids (tweens & teens) running around the show. It’s good to see the kids of today going to a show like this. Of course this meant that certain booths were mobbed & I couldn’t get to them. LOL. Here were the booths I did get to peruse. See the instagram pics for what I actually bought.

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Karira HomeBooth #3218
Got a lovely sage coloured bamboo bed sheet set here for a great price. GLS price was $80.00 CAD. See instagram pic above for photo.

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Clean Care
– Booth #2029
Clean Care’s mission is to promote beauty products that are non-toxic. Founder Jenise Lee was there with her mom & I got the chance to chat with them for a bit.

LNBF – Winmark Fashions IncBooth #2026
Their booth was right across from Clean Care’s booth so I went there immediately after talking to Jenise. Scored a pair of bamboo jeggings (jean leggings) for $25 CAD, an amazing price! Regular price was $79.00. Next time they’re at a show I’ll buy more things!

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Chartreuse Style
Booth #2027
I was hoping to get some of their Mela cardigans but I didn’t see any there. Will have to make the trek to the store down on Queen West.

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JayDancin – Booth # not listed on GLS site
Repurchased their Deep Relief, which really works to relieve headaches naturally. Also love their Coco Loco natural sunscreen which I also repurchased. Then just for the heck of it, I bought a lip balm to try as well. They’re an Environmental Defence Eco Beauty Market regular.

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Logan & Finley Inc
– Booth #2913
Logan & Finley is a retail store on Queen West that is one of my fave stores. Check out my interview with Julie, the founder/owner of the store here! It was so nice to see Julie again. I bought some Crawford Street hand cream & scrub there, which comes with a free lip balm. When it comes to hand cream & lip balm I’m like a magpie. I love to try all different kinds. Still searching for my HG lip balm & handcream.

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Niko CosmeticsBooth #2426
This is the first I’d heard of this company. But I read the ingredients on their cleanser, toner & cream & no alarm bells rang. So I bought the travel kit to try. The GLS price was $39.00 CAD whereas regular price is $45.00 CAD. They also make foundation & concealer. Check out their website for the other products they make.

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Daiya Foods IncBooth #1239
Being lactose intollerant, the first time I tried Daiya foods I was so happy. Finally, fake cheese that tastes like real cheese! Well at least to me it tastes as close as possible to real cheese.  I tried some samples of their new pizza’s. I’m going to try to find them at my local supermarket. They were yummy!

Weir’s Lane Lavender and Apiary Booth #2909
This is a small family run business just outside of Hamilton, ON. I bought a small vial of English Lavender essential oil to try. Hmmm, smells so good!

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Pure+Simple BeautyBooth #812
Stopped by this booth as this line of Toronto based natural skin care is one of my faves. Was hoping they had some of the Holistic Vanity Extra Care line for me to look at but alas they didn’t. On the plus side, I filled out a ballot for an Ageless Essentials kit & was notified recently that I won! This kit will go to my mom. She’s retired & can’t always afford to try new skincare lines.

These booths below I just walked by because they were either busy or the representative wasn’t around:

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Environmental DefenceBooth # 1033
Busy

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Fatal Light Awarness ProgramBooth #1429
Busy talking to teens. Nice to see that.

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Fashion Takes ActionBooth #1833
Busy.

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Healthy PlanetBooth #617
Busy. Nothing special on the display tables. I can buy their products online.

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Well.caBooth #611
Busy. Nothing much on their tables. A good online store.

Bio Seaweed GelBooth #2226
Mobbed by tweens!

ChocoSolBooth #2838
Mobbed by other chocoholics besides me!

ShaSha Company Booth #2639
Mobbed by bread & cookie lovers.

Dormio Organic BedsBooth #2817
Walked by this booth & no one was around to talk to. Didn’t stop to wait. Kept going.

Freedom Clothing CollectiveBooth #2033
Some how I missed this booth!

Oneka ElementsBooth #2227A
Missed this booth too!

Compared to the One of a Kind Show (OOAK) the GLS show is kinda small. Also, why were there no signs with booth numbers up?! I was wandering around thinking, am I missing something? Where are the booth numbers? That was a nuisance if you ask me. Why have booth numbers listed on the website & in the pamphlet if you’re not going to display them? Anyhoot, the nice thing about the GLS is that most exhibitors were offering promo prices on their products so you can score some deals. Exhibitors at the OOAK don’t always have promo prices. So you might end up spending more due to that & the fact that they have way more exhibitors. Also I wished some of the more interesting speakers were earlier in the day & not at 5pm or later. But I have to say, I was feeling the love at GLS. Everyone was really nice & I actually won a Power Plants book by tweeting a picture of myself beside the groovy yurt. Thanks GLS!


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Green Living Show 2014, April 25-27

Out of all the eco-friendly expo’s I love the Green Living Show the best because it focuses on all things eco-friendly.  I’ve been so many times in the past & will continue to go. It’s great to have all these vendors from all over Canada coming to Toronto under one roof.  Here’s my list of booths that I’m going to visit. If you see me wandering around at the show on Friday, don’t be shy & say Hi!

See the full exhibitor list here for the show.

FAVES:

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Chartreuse Style
Booth #2027
Chartreuse Style is also a retail store on Queen West. They sell clothing, shoes, acessories, cosmetics & cleaning supplies. They’ve hosted some Clean Care events as well.

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Clean Care
– Booth #2029
Clean Care’s mission is to promote beauty products that are non-toxic. I’ve bought a number of items from Clean Care members like Haut Cosmetics, Kynk Naturals & Marie Natie Cosmetics.

daiya
Daiya Foods IncBooth #1239
Being lactose intollerant the first time I tried Daiya foods I was so happy. Finally, fake cheese that tastes like real cheese!

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Environmental DefenceBooth # 1033,
These guys rock! They hold the eco beauty market every year. Great non-profit.

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Fatal Light Awarness ProgramBooth #1429
Another non-profit with a great cause. I love birds. They are so cute with their plumage & beautiful songs. Plus they eat insects that can be garden pests & help spread seeds. But they’ve had a bad time with all the steel & glass buildings in the city & most people don’t think about the value of their lives. It would be a sadder world without birds.

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Fashion Takes ActionBooth #1833
A powerhouse group, I love Fashion Take Action for its proactive approach to getting people thinking about where their clothes come from.

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Healthy PlanetBooth #617
I’ve purchased from this online webstore before. Hope they have some deals for the show!

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Logan & Finley Inc
– Booth #2913
Logan & Finley is a retail store on Queen West that is one of my fave stores. Check out my interview with Julie, the founder/owner of the store here!

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Well.caBooth #611
One of my go to places to get eco-friendly personal care products & cleaners. Though they also carry tea & dry goods!

NEW TO ME:
Bio Seaweed GelBooth #2226
I’ve heard that this company makes gel nail polishes that are non-toxic. I will check them out!

Casa ReliefBooth #2021
A fair trade & relief effort that connects artisans in developing nations connect with markets in Canada. Sounds like a good cause!

ChocoSolBooth #2838
I’ve heard of these guys before, but never tried their chocolate. Yummm chocolate! I’m definitely going to peruse their booth.

Dormio Organic BedsBooth #2817
I was going to check out Dormio on my hunt for a non-toxic bed but their only location was in Mississauga & I don’t have a car. I believe they just opened a Toronto store location so I might get organic bedding, pillows, etc from them in the future.

Eco StemsBooth #114
Again, I’ve heard of Eco Stems before but never ordered from them. I love cut flowers but would rather have a living plant.

Freedom Clothing CollectiveBooth #2033
I’ve seen their website but never visited their retail store location. Now I can get acquainted with them!

Giddy Yoyo Booth #1438
Yummm more chocolate. Can you tell I have a sweet tooth?

LNBF – Winmark Fashions IncBooth #2026
Heard lots about Leave Nothing But Footprints but not purchased their clothes before. I hope they have change rooms so I can try some stuff on!

Oneka ElementsBooth #2227A
Hair products, skin cream, soaps. Their conditioners look interesting!

ShaSha Company Booth #2639
I’ve heard their bread is delish!

Terracycle CanadaBooth #2802
Pure & Simple is using Terracycle to collect empty bottles. Looks like they make recycling things like cell phones, etc easier.


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Clean Care Event, Sat Dec 7

cl-care-event-chartreuse
Image from: Clean Care

I’m so late at posting this. LOL. But everyone in Toronto knows there was an ice storm on Sat Dec 21 & our house lost heat & power that evening. Our power didn’t get turned back on until Thu Dec 27. So needless to say I’m now way behind on my posting schedule. Anyway, on with the story. Clean Care had an event at Chartreuse Style on Sat Dec 7th that I attended.  You might be wondering, what is Clean Care? Well, Clean Care “is Canada’s only trusted seal of approval for safer beauty & personal care products, and is the leading provider of confidence & peace of mind to shoppers as they make their purchasing decisions.” If you click on their members page you’ll see a list of companies that ahere to Clean Care’s principles.  They are also now partnering with stores to place Clean Care member products in a store. Chartreuse Style is now one of those stores where you can purchase products from Clean Care members. A bit about Chartreuse Style: they are located at 1692 Queen Street West in Toronto & focus on environmentally friendly apparel, shoes & accessories.  You can shop in person at the store or also shop online. Any orders $100 or over will ship for free within Canada & the USA. See their website for more details.

@marienatie display @chartreusestyle #cleancare @cleancareshop

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Here’s a shot of the Clean Care section at Chartreuse Style. You can see some Kynk Naturals, Marie Natie Cosmetics, & Berry Plus products displayed here. I didn’t see any Haut Cosmetics on display, but they are also a clean care member & I have reviewed their products. See that review here. My fave Haut Cosmetics products are their Bio-Mineral foundation & Purifying Primer.

Going to events is always fun. I got to check out Kynk NaturalsMarie Natie Cosmetics, & Berry Plus in person. I bought a Marie Natie lip gloss & also a small bottle of  Berry Plus to try.  I also got to meet Jenise Lee, the founder of Clean Care, who recognized me immediately though we’d never met before. Does my photo really look like me Jenise? LOL. I don’t consider myself photogenic so I hate having my photo taken & rarely post it online for everyone to see. I’d rather be the photographer. Jenise & I chatted briefly. Thanks for the sample by the way! Then I took a quick look around Chartreuse Style. I have to say, it’s a lovely store. The store is bright, spacious & well laid out. There are two change rooms at the back near some shelves displaying shoes & bags.  It’s quite far from my neck of the woods though, so I would probably order from them online rather than coming in person every time. But they do have some of my favourite brands like Echoes in the Attic (Bags), Miik Clothing, Oom Ethikwear, & El Naturalista (shoes).

Resaac bags displayed at @chartreusestyle #cleancare event

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Display of bags, shoes, etc near the change rooms at Chartreuse Style

Alas, I had to leave fairly quickly from the event since I was meeting a friend downtown soon after. But please enjoy these shots from the event. Pictures were taken with permission from Clean Care’s facebook page. To see more shots from the event please click on the link.

cc-makeover     Makeover candidate # 1
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Product Review: @hautvegan Cosmetics

I’m kind of a twitter addict. I don’t know why, I just love it. I’ve learned a lot from following certain people on twitter & that’s how I found out about Haut Cosmetics. Someone tweeted about Clean Care. And I, being the curious animal that I am, had to find out what it was. Clean Care’s mission is to promote personal care products and cosmetics free of toxic chemicals. Check out their member site to see who they endorse. Anyways, back to my story….Most of you know I like to support Canadian businesses. So I checked out Haut’s website & the ingredients in their products. I have some high standards for my skincare & cosmetics. I liked what I saw & ordered some samples from Haut to test out. Here are my results.

Note: All images in this post are from the Haut Cosmetics website.

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Bio-Mineral Foundation:
I sent some pictures of myself to the founder (Joanne) to get help in picking a foundation shade. She thought the Burnt Almond would suit me best. But I also added a sample of the next shade up (Raw Agave) to my order. Turns out the Raw Agave shade works best for me as my summer shade when I’m more tanned & the Burnt Almond is the perfect winter shade for me. Now on to the foundation itself. This is a loose powder foundation. I haven’t used a loose powder foundation for a while. I like the convenience of having pressed foundation as it’s easier to travel with & less messy too. The sample size comes in a cute little jar with a sifter top. It helps to dispense only a little bit of foundation at a time. For me that’s useful as I tend to slap makeup on my face when I’m in a hurry & sometimes I can put a tad too much. The full size jar comes with a sifter top that has a lever to keep the product from slipping out. Nice! On to the texture of the product. Putting it on my face it feels more finely milled than some other loose foundations I’ve tried. It goes on sheer but can be built up for the coverage that you want.  I always put a light layer on top of my concealer then see if I need more coverage. If I do, then I will feather on another light layer. But despite putting on two layers of the foundation I can’t feel it sitting on my skin like other foundations do. I feels like nothing. It’s been about a month since I started using it & I’m still amazed at how weightless it is. My skin type is sensitive & acne prone. I’m happy to report that the bio-mineral foundation did not irritate me or break me out at all. The colour goes on very natural as well. It looks like my skin but better! I have already repurchased!
Cost:
$59.00 CAD, 10g
Rating: 5/5

bbcream

BB Cream:
I wasn’t really sure what the BB cream would do when I opened the sample jar & put it on my skin (Burnt Almond shade). It’s very light. Not at all like some BB creams I’ve tried in the past that were like a paste with highly pigmented colour for full coverage. I put the BB Cream on before the foundation & it does help the colour go on smoother somehow. The overall effect was a nice smooth finish. However, I’m trying to streamline my makeup routine so I’m not sure I really need this extra step. I’ll see how my makeup looks without it for a while. If it really makes a significant difference I will repurchase. It smells faintly of coconut oil, but the smell dissipates once product dries on your skin.
Note: Their BB cream doesn’t contain any fillers so a 1/4 oz jar will last 3-4 months.
Cost: $39.95 CAD, 1/4oz
Rating: 4/5

brightener
Beige Brightener:
This product works as a concealer & can also be used as a highlighter for those with darker skin tones. Texture is thick & paste-like. A little goes a long way. I’m still on my sample jar! There is little to no scent to this item. It works well as a concealer on my dark spots but didn’t completely cover my under eye circles. I have some other concealers to finish up before I consider repurchasing the beige brightener.
Cost: $29.50 CAD, 0.15oz, 4.25g
Rating: 4/5

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Glacial Clay Cleanser:
I love this as a mask. In texture, it’s almost as finely milled as the bio-mineral foundation. I love putting on a detoxifying mask that doesn’t end up clumpy on my face. The affect on my skin after using it? Well it left my skin feeling clean, bright & balanced.  As a cleanser it works well too. But I’m a bit lazy & don’t like to mix my cleanser every time I want to wash my face. As for scent, I couldn’t really smell anything discernable. I’m currently testing out a bunch of other masks. Once I’m done with those I may consider repurchasing this one.
Cost: $39.95 CAD, 2.5oz
Rating: 4/5

haut-bmist

Balancing Mist:
I wanted to love the balancing mist. But somehow it was a bit too drying for my skin. The scent is also very strong.  It smells heavily of flower scents & the scent does linger. This mist is not for those who are sensitive to scents. Nor for those with dry skin. The mist would probably work best on oily skin types.
Cost: $18.95 CAD, 4oz
Rating: 2/5

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Coconut Cream:

I so wanted to love this cream. The texture of it is thick & luxurious. It smells deliciously of coconut oil. It’s great at moisturizing. It did help my makeup go on smoothly. But my skin just doesn’t love coconut oil. I tried it years ago when I did oil cleansing but broke out in massive, painful pimples. So I had to stop using it. The same thing has happened again. I know it was the coconut oil because this was the only product I stopped using & my skin started clearing up again. Alas, it was not to be. My mom would probably love this cream. Her skin is extremely dry & not sensitive at all like mine is. So while this product didn’t work for my skin type, I would recommend it to those who are not sensitive to coconut oil.

Note: Haut Cosmetics doesn’t include any fillers in their moisturizers & primers so a 3/4 oz jar will last about 4-6 months.
Cost: $59.00 CAD, 22 ml / 3/4 oz
Rating: 3/5

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Purifying Primer:

Joanne was so kind as to send me a sample of the Purifying Primer with my order of a full size Bio-Mineral Foundation after I told her that the Coconut Cream didn’t work for me. I’m glad to report that the Purifying Primer works so much better for my skin. It helps keep me from getting too oily & I noticed I didn’t break out as much when I was using it. The primer can also be used as a night treatment to help calm & soothe the skin when experiencing breakouts. I would definitely repurchase!
Note: Haut Cosmetics doesn’t include any fillers in their moisturizers & primers so a 3/4 oz jar will last about 4-6 months.
Cost: $59.00 CAD, 22 ml / 3/4 oz
Rating: 5/5