nature’s gate organics.

We expose ourselves to so many chemical nasties on a daily basis, whether it be in the food we eat, the water we drink or the air we breathe. We have created a toxic environment for ourselves.

The very least we can do is not compound the problem by slathering more chemical goo onto our fragile bodies. I’ve been making a gradual toiletry switch as I go through my bathroom shelves – out with the harsh chemical old and in with the safer, natural, cruelty-free organic new.

In the spirit of sharing I wanted to tell you about one of my new favourite product lines, Nature’s Gate Organics.

Nature’s Gate uses all natural herbs and botanicals in the creation of their extensive line of pH-balanced products. The company is as dedicated to being environmentally friendly and cruelty-free as it is to bringing the public a selection of quality, pure, natural, organic products.

Their handsome bottles have taken up residence in many of my shelves, from shampoo to lotions, but my favourite thing of all has to be that indispensable item I use on a daily basis, deodorant. It contains certified organic botanicals and is free of the parabens, propylene glycol, and aluminum chlorohydrate that plague commercial deodorants and put our health needlessly at risk.

It is also produced without animal testing, with no animal byproducts, and is certified vegan. It comes in several pleasing scents – my favourite is the Chamomile & Lemon Verbena.

And it’s effective. I smell great.

vegan nails.

I danced a little jig over the PeaceKeeper Eco-Sensual Balm I picked up on a recent happy trip to the new organic supermarket in town. While perusing their ample array of cosmetics I also scored a nice little item from the nail section made by a company that is new to me, No Miss Nail Polish.

No Miss nail polishes include quite an assortment of colours and finishes – so many lovely shiny things. The range of choice was reflected by the inordinate amount of time I spent standing in front of their display trying to choose one. I finally settled on Panama Petal, a perfect translucent pink for that barely there but well groomed look. It wears very well too – no chips almost one week later.

No Miss nail polishes do not contain harmful formaldehyde, toluene, or dibutyl-pthalate and contain UV filters to protect your nails from the damaging and drying effects of the sun.

Check out the availability of No Miss nail care products at your cosmetics-carrying local health food store or check them out online at Alternative Outfitters and The Vegan Store.

Cruelty-free. Colours to suit every mood and personality. A healthy approach to nail polish. Long-wearing. Reasonably priced. All things considered there’s no reason not to go cruelty-free with your nail polish.

vegan beauty.

It makes my heart glad to see how much easier it has become to make cruelty-free choices, and makeup is no exception. Not too long ago I wrote about EcoTools, a cruelty-free line of makeup brushes (brushes used to be particularly difficult to find in a cruelty-free variety). Today I share my latest find from a recent trip to the new neighborhood organic superstore.

PeaceKeeper’s Eco-Sensual Balm, for lips.

PeaceKeeper Cause-Metics is, according to their bio, the first cosmetic line to give all of its after tax distributable profits to women’s health advocacy & human rights issues. They support animals, fair labour and all things natural, and eschew chemicals and slave labour.

PeaceKeeper makes a wide assortment of nail polish, lipstick, lip gloss and, of course, the lip balm. None of the products are tested on animals. Some of the makeup contains Carmine, so vegans beware – all vegan (Carmine-free) products are marked with a ‘V’ – as the lip balm is.

The natural mineral based nail polishes are particularly nice and, according to their site, rated one of the safest paint-based nail polishes around the world. They are also free of harmful chemical nasties such as formaldehyde, toluene, and acetone, and have no FD&C colors, parabens, or phthalates. The French Manicure Kit is particularly sweet and is entirely vegan. It includes: Nail Renewal Oil, Paint Me Eternal Top/Bottom Coat (clear), Paint Me Tranquil (soft, subtle translucent pink), and Paint Me Tender (the requisite opaque white), and French manicure tape for foolproof tip application. The oil and each of the polishes also come separately.

The Nail Renewal Oil is an absolute delight. Made with sweet almond oil, ginseng root extract, myrrha extract, and vitamin E, your cuticles and nails will reward you for using it by looking their smooth revitalized best, making it an absolute must have for my makeup shelf – and it smells awesome too. A little aromatherapy can’t hurt.

But I digress. Eco-Sensual Balm goes on clear and moisturizes your lips with all-natural, 100% vegan, 73% organic ingredients. I stress the goes on clear aspect for all the men who, like my husband, would sooner let their lips fry than apply a lip balm with even the most minuscule amount of colour. The lip balm contains the following ingredients: organic palm oil, organic virgin olive oil, candelilla wax, organic jojoba oil, organic coconut oil, essential oil of spearmint, tocopherol (vitamin E), grapeseed oil, rosemary extract, and vitamin C.

Your lips are left feeling soft, smooth and minty. I’m a firm believer that all lip balms should be minty – personally, I don’t think anything soothes as much as the cooling sensation of mint on the lips, particularly in summer.

It’s nice to see another new company making an effort to operate with ethics and in the spirit of philanthropy to bring us cruelty-free, organic, natural products, many of which are entirely vegan.

It does make my heart glad.

The side of my Eco-Sensual balm reads, ‘Deep healing for your lips and the world.’ Agreed.