Nail Polish after Manicure

GTA Travels: Green Beauty

We all love getting pampered, so it’s not a surprise that there are salons everywhere. But have you ever heard of a natural salon? Chances are, unless you live in a metropolis, they’re hard to find. Luckily, there’s one right in the downtown core of Toronto and I had the pleasure of visiting this innovative beauty salon.

Green Beauty Salon

How does it work? Green Beauty only uses products that are effective as well as being natural. What’s the point if it is organic, toxic-free and natural, only to have it not work the way it’s intended to? That’s not the way Green Beauty operates. Read on to hear more about my experience!

During my visit, I was treated to an amazing experience. I had the pleasure of enjoying Green Beauty’s Essential Manicure paired with the Essential Hand Mask by Green Beauty’s manicurist, Ruth Brown. The names of the treatments are perfect as I agree: they are essential. Not only is it pampering to get a manicure, but it is necessary as hygiene is considered when going through a manicure treatment at Green Beauty. The moment I walked into the salon and spa, I was greeted at the door and was offered a complementary beverage!

RGB nail polishThe Essential Manicure costs $18 and takes around 30 minutes to complete. They exclusively use RGB nail polish which is 5-free (no formaldehyde, toluene, DBP (dibutyl phthalate), formaldehyde resin or camphor) in addition to being cruelty free, gluten free, paraben free and is also vegan. I gravitated toward a wonderful blue hue which I unfortunately didn’t catch the name of! It has a slight shimmer to it as well as a glossy finish.

What surprised me the most about my experience at Green Beauty was the scent – there was none. Can you believe that? No nail polish scent or hair dye smell?? It blew me away. Not only is that beneficial for the client, as scents can cause headaches for some, but also for the workers in the salon; the harsh chemicals in a conventional salon can take a toll on their body.

Ruth Brown

After the essential manicure, I enjoyed the Essential Hand Mask which costs $16 and takes 20 minutes to complete. This was my absolute favourite part of the experience as it felt so soothing and relaxing. I was told that the Essential Hand Mask is similar to a paraffin wax treatment at a traditional salon but without the chemicals and wax waste disposal. Eco-Fin Paraffin AlternativeThey use a product called Eco-Fin Paraffin Alternative which is a blend of oils that are easily absorbed by your skin. While I was being treated to the hand mask, Ruth was painting my other hand so there is no time lost in between each of the treatments. After about 10 minutes having my hands soak in the oil blends, I was given a hand and arm massage which just about put me to sleep! It was the perfect ending to such a luxurious treatment as it is not only relaxing, but the massage helps the oils to sink in further. The oil blends take a few hours to fully sink in which was a bit unfortunate since it made things a bit difficult to handle, but once it fully sunk in, it made my skin silky smooth and soft for days on end! My sister (@JackiiNaturals) even commented on how “baby smooth” by hands were!

Arm Massage

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Green Beauty as they treat their customers extremely well. I was not pressured into purchasing anything additional while I was there and the treatments given were more of an experience rather than a service being done at any other conventional salons that I’ve been to. I’m very happy that there’s a natural beauty salon near me and will visit again soon!

Q&A Time with the Founder, Donna Bishop

How was Green Beauty founded?
Green Beauty was founded in 2009 as an online destination where beauty lovers could have confidence in the product performance AND the cleanliness of the ingredients. I had been working as a makeup artist for many years (always a beauty lover and product junkie) when my son got cancer at the age of 2 (he is fine!) and sometimes there is nothing like a health crisis to make you look at the world differently. My husband and I already lived what I would describe as a responsible and eco minded lifestyle – we cleaned with eco cleaners, we ate organic as often as possible, we drive a hybrid car and use it as little as possible – yet still this happened. This was around the same time that the health and safety of ingredients in makeup and personal care products was bubbling to the service of media attention. I did my due diligence, did not like what I learned and vowed to make my kit clean (no easy feat at that time). Interest and enthusiasm from clients and colleagues inspired me to start Green Beauty. In 2012 we grew to a salon and boutique and we moved to our current location just last year.
Why are natural products so important?
Products that avoid harmful toxins and questionable ingredients are important for our general health and well being. If I can quit smoking with a patch on my arm; if I can get birth control through a patch on my arm – then clearly what we put on our bodies has a very profound impact on all our organs and our body as a whole. Why use crappy products with crappy ingredients when you can get the same desired performance with healthier options?
Do you have any favourite beauty products?
Do I?! I have so many favourites. These are ones that I use pretty much everyday:
  • Consonant Body Scrub (it is THE BEST scrub ever – no slippery bathtub, no annoying grainy bits left behind and no need to put moisturizer on afterwards)
  • Consonant Hydrextreme – when my skin is in need of moisture this is the only thing that really does the trick
  • Skincare by Odacite – I love all the products and use different oils depending on the time of year and what my skin needs
  • Devita Solar Body Block SPF 30 – the best sunscreen out there hands down and I wear it everyday no matter what the weather is like or what time of year it is
  • RMS uncover-up – beautifully conceals dark circles and evens out skintone
  • RMS lip2cheek in Smile – I love how this coral colour brings out my blue eyes
  • ILIA lipstick in Wild Child – any time is a good time for a red lip. This is my go to shade no matter what the season!
Do you have any advice for clients that are scared to stray from their regular salon to a more natural alternative?
Change has be scary. We get that. The best thing to do is book a complimentary consultation and come and talk with one of our incredible stylists. They will be able to put nervous minds to rest very quickly. Most often people are concerned with performance. Davines and Organic Color Systems are professional hair care lines based on science and results and they provide everything from grey coverage to blondes to funky shades of pink and blue to natural tones of browns, blacks and reds and everything in between. Our Instagram feed has a lot of work on it so people can see the results there too.
Do you have any cool facts that people don’t know about Green Beauty? For example interesting things about the company that are not found online?
  • We keep pretty quiet about it, but we have several actors who come to us. They seek us out for our healthy approach and we respect their privacy by not naming names
  • The very first person who ever ordered from Green Beauty back in 2009 is still a client today! She lives in New Brunswick. I am very proud of the fact that once people find us, either to visit us in person or online, they rarely leave us
  • When we started, I would scour the beauty landscape looking for brands that met my criteria of performance and ingredients. Now brands approach us – there are so many new brands coming to life every month it seems.