Beauty Roundup: Staff Beauty Picks
As summer slowly comes to a close, we enter a season of new beginnings.
Kids are back to school, vacations are coming to an end, and there's a chill in the air hinting of pleasant autumn days to come.
Things are changing at the Encircled Headquarters, too. We're working on new products, rearranging our office space and recently welcomed a new member to the team (hi, Tina!)
With the upcoming changes of the season, it's a perfect time to re-evaluate your beauty routine. For us, this means simplifying our routine and finding ways to be kinder to the earth, and our skin.
We've rounded up our favourite beauty products that we discovered this summer. From head to toe, these will also make great transitions into fall beauty.
Living through many dry Canadian winters, a must-have is a rich and moisturizing hand cream. My pick is the Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Intensive Hand Cream. It’s made from 100% pure argan oil, in a shea butter base. The scent (which is delicious!) is Vanilla Apricot and perfect for any season. It’s hydrating, and contains no synthetic fragrances, parabens or sulfates. Also, Josie Maran’s products are cruelty-free, recyclable and the company supports sustainable argan oil harvesting, and the Natural Resources Defence Council Polar Bear SOS Initiative. Lastly, there’s a hidden positive message on every bottle - this one says 'Be Joyful'.
Traveling often has made me a hand sanitizer addict. I love this lavender-scented hand sanitizer by Dr. Bronner for a few reasons. First it’s in a spray bottle (so it lasts longer), it’s travel-sized, and certified fair trade/organic. As it doesn’t have toxic ingredients in it, and uses a natural base, it’s safe for using also as an air freshener or deodorant — as well as on kids. Definitely a must-have for travel, or keeping in your drawer at work or purse.
I was always skeptical of dry shampoo products, especially having dark hair but safe to say I’m now addicted. 'No Drought' from Lush really works to combat all that humidity and pollution in Toronto’s air. I find even if my hair is clean, putting this in adds just the right amount of texture and volume, all while smelling like a grapefruit cocktail - so refreshing for summer.
I can’t get enough of the smell of lavender these days. It’s so relaxing and reminds me of being at a spa. Lavender essential oil is a stress reliever, and apparently helps repel mosquitoes. This essential oil by Ble Lavande is made in Quebec.
I love this little set of perfume minis from the Eau So Lovely Fragrance Collection. They are easy to throw in my makeup bag or purse, and the scents are very summery. Watermint and Coconut Milk Mango are my favourites.
A number of years ago I purged everything I owned, down to my beauty essentials. I kept a small collection of Essie nail polishes and continued to grow it with 2-4 new ones a year. This summer I’ve been into muted tones such as 'Chinchilly' (a taupey granite grey) and 'Bangle Jangle' (a subdued purple). Two wearable neutral tones. 'Blanc' in the white always looks great on hands and feet, especially tanned skin. Lastly, my most recent addition to the collection, 'Off Tropic" is a lush deep green that will be a great transition into fall and winter.
I recently fell in love with Wilderness Soap Co., an eco-brand from Collingwood, Ontario. I was able to meet Laura (owner) at an event in Toronto who was very friendly and passionate about what she does. All Wilderness Soap Co. products are small batch, vegan and 100% natural. I bought two bar soaps that day - then went back for one more. My favourites include the Activated Charcoal soap which has been great for my somewhat problematic skin and smells like black licorice, Lavender which puts my mind at ease, and The Camper soap which smells like Citronella, Tea Tree and Eucalyptus. My boyfriend and I both love The Camper - it reminds us of living in a cabin in the woods.
My favourite hand/body lotion right now is all natural Vanilla Bean by LoveFresh. It's thick and luxurious without being greasy, has a naturally vanilla scent (sweet but not sickeningly sweet) and bonus - it's made in Toronto.
Skin Essence Facial in a Jar has been my go-to face product this summer. It's an all natural exfoliant and softening mask. It arrives in powder form which you add water too creating a consistency which can range from thin (I use this as an overnight mask) or thick (for a nice scrub). It's improved the clarity of my skin, and leaves me feeling super soft afterwards.
We just discovered Nomaterra Fragrances - natural perfume inspired by different travel destinations. Cape Cod is a favourite at the office - we love the notes of bergamot, grapefruit, rose, and French lavender and the rollerball is great to throw in your bag for travelling.
What are your fav beauty must-haves?
I'd love to hear what you're coveting this fall - leave us a comment below.