Someone said “Necessity is the mother of invention”. The internet says it was Plato. The makeup gods say it was Suki Kramer. Tired of products that always irritated her sensitive skin and her allergies, Suki quite literally took matters in to her own hands and came up with the suki line of fresh finish mineral cream makeup products and pure skin care products.
Made from organic, vegetarian, cruelty-free natural ingredients, these products are good for your skin and for your environment. Suki’s products are also unique in that they are multitaskers: The triple cream eye definer can be used as a shadow, liner or brow definer; the pure cream stain is used for lip or cheek. Even better, the shades of each can be mixed and matched and blended to come up with your own signature colour.
Ah, all that organic good-for-you stuff is fine and good, but how well do they work? Asks you. Most awesomely, says ecochick. The pure cream stain as a lip colour goes on with a smooth, rich glide (use a lipstick brush to apply). The colour varies in intensity the more you put on: use a little bit for a hint of colour, a lot for full-on look-out lady lips. The product is very matte and as a result long-lasting; our team had it on for hours with no need to reapply. If you like a look with more shine, you’ll need to add a lip gloss on top. Either way, lips feel smooth, soft, and look sweet!
The Triple Cream Eye definer works similarly in that if you want intense colour, just put more product on! Since it’s a cream, it feels different if you’re used to a powder – it goes on exceptionally smoothly and spreads beautifully, but it isn’t dry instantly. So the eyelids may feel a little clammy temporarily – blending very well helps this. But it’s worth it – this cream has kick ass staying power.
The sukicolor line also includes tinted active moisturizer – the equivalent to foundation, liquid formula concealer, and rich pigment mascara.
Suki products are available via lilou organics online and various retailers across Canada.
Urban Forest Soap sells incredibly delicious handmade products, all hand made in Wakefield, Quebec – just outside Ottawa. Their creations include soaps, bath salts, lip balms and more. Their assortment of scents ranges from original and unique to standard and beloved – Anise and Espresso, Cinnamon and Patchouli, Tea Tree and Eucalyptus, plain old lovely Lemon, and more. The lip balms are equally as enticing – imagine soothing your pooched puckerer with smooth Spearmint, Tangerine, Vanilla Latte, or Chai Tea!
What’s even better is that all the ingredients in every product are spelled out right there on the website. Nearly every one is pronounceable, which is a shocker for beauty products!
Their table at the Ottawa Farmers’ market sells out every week, but don’t worry – you can get their products at several shops around Ottawa. You’re elsewhere? Don’t worry, you can place an order via email and pay with a cheque or money order – full online shopping isn’t available yet, but they’re working on it.
P’lovers has been open in Halifax for many years. With store locations now in Ontario and Nova Scotia, P’lovers has also extended into online shopping, with a wide variety of products including personal care, home office, books, outdoors and more.
Toronto-based Grassroots sells everything from body care products to household goods to air and water filters. But Grassroots doesn’t just sell – you can also find plenty of information on green initiatives such as the various political parties Eco-platforms. Nice!
Druide, a Quebec company creates natural botanical products for hair, body and face, including shampoos, lotions and baby products. Their website can be a little tempermental, so if you get a dead link, try, try again.
Arbour is a bricks-and-mortar store based in Ottawa which also has a great online store. They sell a wide variety of products from natural home cleaners to baby care products to solar and alternative energy products. The website also offers green living tips on every page, and they ship all across Canada as well as to the US and several other countries. Nice!
lilou organics carries over 16 lines of various Organic body care products including Earth Mama Angel Baby, Aubrey Organics, John Masters Organics and more. 100% Canadian, they have free shipping within Canada on all orders over $100. There’s even an area for sales. Check them out at lilou-organics.com.
“You need to use this shampoo”, the stylist said. “Your hair is a mess.”
Combining insults with sales pitches is a new strategy to me. But I rolled with it.
“It’s really great stuff, really moisturizing. And it’s organic! Just know that because it’s natural, it won’t lather like you’re used to with other shampoos.”
Oooh, thought I. I like the sound of that. I’m going to try this stuff out. Clutching my sample in my hand, I dash out the door.
Soon after, I eagerly tore the slippery package open in the shower and squeezed out the shampoo. It smelled fresh and light; very clean. I rubbed it in my hands then on to my hair. Unfortunately, the combination of my amount of hair (lots), the Bumble and Bumble sample size (tiny) and the lack of lather (none), I had a problem with coverage across my whole head. I did my best. It rinsed out easily. Then I applied the (again too little) conditioner. Then I towel dried and let it go on its own.
Results? My strawlike hair does seem softer and smoother. It’s nice stuff.
However, the organic and natural claims are pretty much just that: Claims.
Out of 37 ingredients listed, four are certified organic (Jojoba Seed Oil, Aloe leaf extract, Cucumber extract and Chamomile extract.) The rest are the same chemical concoctions we all know and love, including Sodium Laureth Sulfate (that nice cheap lathering agent that also unfortunately dries the living daylights out of whatever it washes) and yummy parabens (see the full product breakdown here.
Verdict: It’s a really nice product, and it’s really not eco-friendly whatsoever.
… that people have an environmental conscience.
… that people want to do the right thing.
… that people want to spend their money wisely.
… that consumers are discerning and want high quality products.
… that we should hold the products we use every day to a higher standard.
… that we need to ask every day whether products we use are healthy and sustainable for us and for our environment.
… that quality does not only encompass the consumer use of the product, it also extends to the manufacture and disposal of the product and all of its components.
… that organic, natural, healthy choices should not be branded as “alternative”.
… that smart consumers want both style and substance.
… that consumers, given the choice, will choose the product that is better for them and for their environment.
… that if we demand that manufacturers give us healthier, sustainable, high quality products, they will deliver.
… that we can have it all.