Living Simplified

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Makeup & Personal Care Products Simplified

Deodorant – Soap Walla Citrus Deodorant Cream

Price: $18.00

Available at: Oresta Organic Skin Care, Ottawa

Ingredient List available here

Review: I bought this in February 2016 after reading many reviews online.  I have tried so MANY natural deodorants over the years.  I have been using this cream for just over a week and so far it actually works all day.  I’m super impressed!  I have been following what other users online have recommended which is to shave at night and not in the morning before applying this deodorant as the baking soda can irritate the skin.  Would definitely recommend 🙂


Primer Powder – Alima Pure Balancing Primer Powder

Price: $27.00

Available at: Lilou Organics

Review: UPDATE March 2016 – Still love this product – use it everyday and never have to reapply pressed powder throughout the day!  I got this for the first time in January 2016.  Tried it today and went on very nice. I found that throughout the day it really does keep my skin matte.  You can use it under or over foundation or both.


Liquid Foundation – Suki Tinted Moisturizing Foundation

Price: $54.95

Available at: Lilou Organics and Terra20

Review: UPDATE March 2016 – Got terrible news that Suki will be discontinuing this product summer 2016 – I’m not happy!!  I’m hoping they will replace it.  A bit pricey but just use a little and this bottle lasts a long time – works great to even out your skin.  I love it!!


Concealer Cream – Couleur Caramel Corrective Cream

Price: $19.50

Available at: Lilou Organics

Review: Great to keep in your purse to conceal little spots!


Liquid Concealer – Dr. Hauschka 

Price: $24.00

Available at: Lilou Organics

Review: I bought this for the first time in February 2016.  Great to keep in your purse and use on any little blemishes during the day.


Eye Shadow – Alima Pure Eyes

Price: $16.00

Available at: Lilou Organics

Review: Love these eye shadows – easy to apply, stay on all day and these small containers last forever!  My favorite colours are:  Nigella, Milan, Bramble, Daphne, Raven, Espresso and Cedar 🙂


Mascara – Couleur Caramel

Price: $24.00

Available at: Lilou Organics

Review: Applies great with no lumps, doesn’t irritate my eyes at all like drug store mascaras did.

colour mascara

Eyeliner – Alima

Price: $21.00

Available at: Lilou Organics

Review: Really like how this goes on – very smooth and stays all day.



Eyebrow Pencil – Couleur Caramel

Price: $21.00

Available at: Lilou Organics

Review: I bought this in February 2016.  I really like the light brown/blonde colour and stays all day!


Lip Gloss – Couleur Caramel

Price: $24.00

Available at: Lilou Organics

Review: I bought this in January 2016 – #14-soft nude.  Really like that it doesn’t smell and isn’t sticky at all.  Stayed on better than any other natural lip gloss I’ve tried.  Just need a little bit!


Lip Balm – John Masters Organics Lip Calm

Price: $8.00

Available at: Lilou Organics

Review: Love this lip balm.  Isn’t sticky and doesn’t have a strange taste. Maybe to glossy for my boys liking but my daughter and I love it!


Shampoo & Conditioner – John Masters

I have been using John Masters Unscented Shampoo and Conditioner for myself and my children since 2011.   It’s  $19.00 a bottle but I have taught my kids that a little goes a long way and the bottles last a long time.

It’s available at Lilou Organics or Terra20 (Pinecrest Mall)


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Dry Shampoo – Lulu Organics Hair Powder

Price: $29.00

Available at: Lilou Organics

Review: I have bought many dry shampoos and they have all irritated my scalp.  I love this one it doesn’t bother my scalp and smells good!!  Bottle lasts forever.


John Masters – Unscented Body Lotion

Price: $18.00

Review:  Works great for the whole family.  Gentle on my children’s skin — no more irritation!!  Also a good sized bottle for a family of 5 🙂


Suki Pure Facial Moisture – Nourishing

Price: $32.95

Review:  Great especially in the dry winter month but can be used all year round.  Apply a couple of drops nightly before bed.  I swear by this stuff — it’s amazing!


Liquid hand soap – Dr. Bonner

Price $17.99 / 32oz.

Available at: Lilou Organics and Natural Food Pantry

Review:   I bought this in January 2016 at the Natural Food Pantry and put it in my foaming soap bottle at home (1 part soap/3 parts water).  I purchased the citrus scent – smells great and foams up really well.




Nail Polish – Butter

Butter London is a ‘3 free’ polish – meaning that it is ‘free’ of the ‘big 3’ toxic ingredients typically found in mainstream polish. Butter London is not a non-toxic water-based polish.

Price $17.50

Available at: Lilou Organics

Review:   So happy to find a nail polish for myself and my daughter.  The colours stay on my toes just as long as the chemical based nail polishes.  It doesn’t smell awful like regular nail polish and also doesn’t have many of the toxic ingredients in it.   My favorite colour is Saucy Jack:)



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Revolution Organics Freedom Lip Gloss

UPDATE (Jan 2016):  The past few months the website says that they are out of stock and updating packaging.  I can’t wait for this product to come back!!

I bought the Revolution Organics Freedom Lip Gloss (Colour – Innocent) and have been really happy with it.  No funny smell or taste which is great!

It’s $26.00 and available at Lilou Organics (Manotick) or Terra20 (Pinecrest Mall).



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Easy Homemade Exfoliating Scrub

Exfoliating is an important part of any skin care regime. Not only does it get rid of dead skin cells, but it also unclogs the oil and dirt that lives in your pores and can cause breakouts. Most store-bought exfoliants contain harsh chemicals and dozens of questionable ingredients that have unknown benefits. Instead of shelling out the money for a store-bought exfoliator, try concocting a homemade exfoliator using ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry.

Nourishing sugar scrub

Granulated sugar is a great natural exfoliant. Mix it with honey, which contains powerful antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, and a little lemon for clarifying purposes, and you have a nourishing and effective face scrub. Combine 1 teaspoon sugar with 1/2 teaspoon honey and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and mix well. If the mixture is a little loose, add a bit more sugar.

Quick and easy to make and works amazing!!

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Why use organic?

being organic is not that important.

Okay, maybe we should say that ‘reading a label that says organic’ is not really that important. Any company can put a couple drops of an organic ingredient in their product and taut it as an organic product on the fancy label. It’s about so much more than just being organic – it’s about being organic AND being as pure and non-toxic as possible.

things to look for include:

  • How many toxins or harmful ingredients are in the product? This is by far the most important thing to look at; the product may contain some organic ingredients (which is great), but is it also full of parabens, petrochemicals, synthetic fragrances, silicones, and other harmful ingredients?
  • How much of the content is actually organic? Do they only have a couple organic ingredients or are most of them organic? What’s the percentage of the organic content?
  • Are there any wild crafted ingredients used? Many botanical ingredients that are grown in the wild without pesticides are not available in organic forms (since they’re wild already); many of these are very effective and to use an organic alternative may even lower the efficacy of the product (it’s complicated, isn’t it?!). It’s all about finding the best quality ingredients, using the most organic ingredients possible, and the least number of toxins possible.

why use organic, non-toxic products?

  • Because only 10% of ingredients have been tested for safety. Not sure this even needs more explaining. In case you’re not good at math, that means that in North America 90% of ingredients in your personal-care products have never been tested for safety by anyone. By the way, of that 10% that has been assessed for safety, most are still allowed; the FDA has only restricted 9 ingredients in 67 years.
  • Because your skin absorbs things easily; there are some who will argue it’s the case but they probably think that nicotine patches and birth control patches don’t work either.
  • Because cancer rates are really high and even the established medical community is starting to realize that it’s largely due to the huge number of carcinogens that we’re exposed to on a daily basis; woman are generally exposed to more than men because of their extensive beauty routines.
  • Because hormone-disrupting ingredients are affecting everyone from teenage girls to newborn babies to grown men and woman; many of these ingredients (i.e. phthalates) are never even listed on ingredients lists since they are hidden within other ingredients.
  • Because good quality organic brands strongly support sustainable farming methods, fair trade, and eco-friendly policies.
  • Because you’re worth it; treat your body with the respect it deserves…..feed it junk and it will respond accordingly; feed it well and it will serve you well!

ingredients to avoid

This is by no means a complete list, but just a summary of some of the more important ingredients to avoid; for more exhaustive lists, please refer to some of our recommended resources.

  • Synthetic fragrances
  • Synthetic colours
  • Parabens
  • Ureas
  • 1,4-dioxane
  • Petrochemicals
  • Sulfates
  • Phthalates
  • Formaldehyde
  • PEGs
  • Toluene

north american standards (or lack of)

It’s important to note a few things about some differences in standards around the world; here are some tidbits:

  • To put it nicely, standards in our end of the world are not quite up to par with many other regions. Many ingredients that are banned in Europe, Australia, Japan, and even China are allowed in our products here in North America.
  • Most large cosmetics and skin-care companies use one formula that they export to Europe and other international destinations, and another, more toxic formula that they keep especially for use in North America since the rest of the world won’t allow it. Why?? Because using cheaper toxic ingredients keeps their costs down and the lack of regulations in North America means they can get away with it. 
  • In North America anything is allowed into a product until it is deemed harmful (which means it has to have a number of complaints and even then the process is extraordinarily tedious); in Europe and other areas, companies are given lists of ingredients they can’t include in their products, rather than waiting for potential problems to arrive before banning an ingredient (as an example formaldehyde is still allowed in our products because not enough people have put claims in that it’s harmful; in Europe companies are told they can’t include it).
  • Important to note: labeling laws are different in Europe and in North America… European companies use an international system for labeling their products called INCI – therefore all ingredients are listed by their chemical name (the point being that it promotes consistency regardless of language). North American ingredient lists do not have to follow INCI.

    This means a few things:

    • European labels/ingredients sound more toxic than North American ones – but they’re not necessarily.
    • European ingredient lists must by law include any known allergen that are a natural byproduct of essential oils; for example, a product made in Europe which use lavender essential oil must state that ‘linalol’ is present in the formula since it has been identified as being a possible allergen to some people; a product made in North America that uses lavender essential oil is not required to add ‘linalol’ to their listing. This makes European lists look longer and more toxic, when in fact the same ingredients may be in a North American product that does use INCI labeling.

want to learn more?

Unfortunately even among experts in the natural and organic industry there is a lot of disagreement about what ingredients are safe or not. If you truly want to learn more, our advice is to learn from a variety of reputable resources and see what things they do all agree on – those are likely the most established and proven. Among the controversial ones …..nano-particles or not, synthetic preservatives or not, certification or not….these and many others are hot topics and have two sides to each story. Educate yourself as much as possible and then do what feels right for you.

Here are a few resources that can start you in the right direction:

  • The Green Beauty Guide by Julie Gabriel
  • Not Just a Pretty Face by Stacey Malkan
  • The Green Guide Dirty Dozen
  • The Organic Consumers Association Top Ten Ingredients to Avoid
  • The Natural Ingredient Resource Centre
  • EWG Ratings
    • Note: although we think this system is a huge step in the right direction, it’s not without its limitations, of which some include:
    • Many ingredients can be natural or synthetic and this is not accounted for in their ratings (for example the word ‘fragrance’ as listed on European products but being derived solely of essential oils is given the same rating as ‘artificial fragrance’.
    • Some ingredients, such as essential oils, can be extracted using different methods (some better than others); the ratings do not take different extraction or processing methods into account.
    • Ingredients listed as zero often have no safety data on them so a product that contains many ingredients that have not been accessed for safety will often have a low (good) score only because there is not data on its safety.
    • We could go on – a wonderful resource in many ones and not one to be dismissed, but a resource that should be used in context of its limitations.

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Guildcraft the Duvet and Pillow Company

I have to recommend this company — Guildcraft the Duvet and Pillow Company We bought a light weight queen sized duvet from them in early 2000 at a craft show in Ottawa and we LOVE it!! It’s so easy to throw in the washer and dryer.  Around 10 years after we bought it we shipped it back to the company in Guelph (the company paid for the shipping costs) and they used the down feathers from our duvet and made it into a King size. At the same time we purchased 2 queen sized Down Surround Feather and Down Pillows ($79/each) and honestly they are the best pillows we have ever had. Totally worth the money. The best part is that every few years you can ship the pillows to them and for $15 each they will take out the feathers and sterilize them in a machine and put them in a new pillow casing. Really worth it when you think of what you can spend on replacing your pillows!


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Sistema Lunch Boxes

Sistema BPA-Free Lunch Boxes

I am always looking for the perfect lunch boxes for my kids and that will work with the 2 nutritional breaks that they have at school (they don’t have the traditional 2 snacks and 1 lunch).  So nice to only have 6 containers to wash at the end of the day instead of a ton of different sized plastic containers 🙂

Available at :  Bed, Bath and Beyond

Company:  Sistema Plastics






Price:  Lunch bag $8.99each, Lunch cubes $4.99 each


Return/Exchange:   I asked the store if there were any problems with them or they broke could I bring them back and they said to just keep my receipt and they will exchange or return for any problems with the products they sell.

Labels:  Iron-on label on lunch bag and dishwasher safe labels on lunch cubes from Mabel’s Labels