Recently, I had the happy fortune to bump into Jennilee Cardinal-Schultz over at Alchemy Clothing and Salon (if you haven’t checked out this badass crew of women yet, you’re missing out!), and was pleasantly surprised to hear that she had been following my and Jesse’s Waste Not adventures! Jennilee told me about her new project, Green Tree Beauty, and wondered if I’d be interested in trying a few samples. Interested? Yes. Very yes.
Jennilee has really started something special here. Her products are all vegan, toxin/paraben-free, cruelty-free, with natural ingredients. An extra degree of care has been put into the packaging choices for her products (obviously something we really look for with Waste Not). AND! She’s planting a tree for every product purchased through the company. Reading all of this, I was really excited to check out the products she gave me.
I immediately recruited one of my closest friends, Kathleen Kelly to help me test out the Green Tree goodies, as Kathleen is both passionate about eco-friendly options, and much more make-up savvy than I could ever hope to be. We divvied up the supplies, and took them home for a thorough trial run. Short answer: we loved everything, and will definitely be buying more through Green Tree. Long answer: read on!
#1 Brush Naked Bamboo Toothbrush
I loved this little toothbrush. A few stats: the handle is biodegradable. The bristles are recyclable (unlike a lot of other bamboo brushes, my other one included), and it comes in 100% biodegradable cello wrap. It’s bristles were lovely, and after two months of use are still neat and tidy and doing the job. I’ll definitely buy another when this one gets tossed in my compost bin!
Check them out HERE.
#2 Viva Milk Cleanser
We both tried and enjoyed this lovely cleanser! It didn’t dry out our skin (which is great – both Kathleen and I really struggle with our dry prairie winters!), was non-foaming, and was super gentle on our eyes. It’s vegan, and made from all-natural ingredients in Vancouver. It came in a glass and bamboo bottle that could easily be reused, and the box would need to be recycled. Personally, I don’t usually use much for soap/cleansers on my face, because I find that just water washing works best with my natural oils, but if I find myself in need I would buy Viva again. Glass packaging is a major plus, because it stands up to reuse much better than plastic.
Viva Organics has a massive line of beautiful skin-care products, which I would recommend checking out HERE.
#3 Sweet LeiLani Foundation
This vegan, and paraben/fragrance-free foundation provided really beautiful coverage. I used this product primarily as a concealer, and it had great staying power, blending perfectly under my usual matte powder. Kathleen used it for full face coverage under her usual powder, and found it to be very light and easy to work with. This brand also has an amazing mission, as they state on their website: “The foundation of Sweet LeiLani Cosmetic Lounge was built from a desire to help women, men and children who suffer silently from the effects of Cancer, Burns, and Scarring through the power of Makeup and Paramedical Tattooing procedures.” More on that, and their full range of products HERE.
As far as packaging goes, the metal tin that it comes in would likely be possible to recycle, but less practical to reuse due to size. I would use this product as a concealer, and only go through one every few years, and I really do like all of its other characteristics.
#4 Elate Cosmetics Pressed Eye Colour
This was by far my favourite product that we tested out! Elate really takes their minimal packaging to the next level. The bamboo palette is reusable, and the pressed eye colour is packaged in seed paper which you can either plant to grow flowers, or compost. Total waste: a cubic inch slip of plastic, and the little piece of metal that the eye colour is pressed into (likely recyclable). The products are all vegan, cruelty-free, and toxin-free. I loved the colour and shine to these earthy neutrals, and Kathleen felt that they were much better than their Arbonne/Body Shop counterparts. In comparison to pricier make-up like Urban Decay, Elate was almost as pigmented, and lasted just as well (for a fraction of the cost, and a much better ecological footprint). Bottom line, we both loved Elate, and are really excited to check out their other products including mascara, lipstick, and matte powder.
Check out all that Elate has to offer HERE.
Overall, we are both really excited about Green Tree Beauty, and what it means for sustainable products in Saskatoon! Admittedly, some of the products were still a bit heavy on the packaging side for me, but even then, they’re all much better than their drugstore counterparts which typically come in layers of packaging and plastic. Kathleen and I are both happy to find such a reliable source of ethically sound makeup and skin care; it’s refreshing to find a retailer who is doing all of the background checking for us, rather than us needing to check everything and spend time researching on our own. And again, it doesn’t get any better than Green Tree Beauty planting a tree for every purchase made!
Waste Not yxe is definitely a Green Tree customer.