There is no denying it. Toronto-based makeup artist, Donna Bishop, loves the beauty industry. After nearly a decade of contouring people’s cheekbones and smoothing out troubled complexions for weddings and fashion photo shoots, Bishop started to question the foreign sounding ingredients in her beauty kit. It was about the same time that life dealt her with a terribly bad hand. Bishop’s, then two-year-old, son was diagnosed with cancer. For Bishop the diagnosis defied logic. She fed her entire family organic food and followed what she thought was a “green” lifestyle.
Where to Find Organic Beauty Products in Toronto: Green Beauty
Fortunately, her son’s health crisis had a silver lining. Bishop became inspired to look at the world differently and Green Beauty, a curated Toronto-based beauty boutique, was born. Here, this eco-conscientious mom and businesswoman dishes on how today’s woman does not have to sacrifice efficacy to be eco-friendly.
Why did you decide to start Green Beauty?
Back in 2006, parabens and formaldehyde were starting to get attention by critics who were thinking that maybe we shouldn’t be using these things. So, I started to do my due diligence and started looking at the beauty industry that I love so much and I didn’t like what I learned.
What was the most surprising thing you discovered about the beauty industry?
There’s something magical about the year 2009. It was the year I launched Green Beauty and it also happened to be the same year that a lot of the brands that I use launched.
Finally, it was people in the beauty industry that started to develop these lines. Prior to that there were a lot of brands created by people who were motivated by health, but they didn’t understand what the texture of a lipstick needed to be like, or how foundation needed to move on the skin.
What kind of products do you use for your manicures and pedicures?
We use Consonant scrubs as an exfoliant, which is a beautiful product. The two nail polishes we use are Cheeky Monkey and RGB. RGB is a Five Free Formula [formaldehyde, toluene, DBP (dibutyl phthalate), formaldehyde resin, and camphor].We use these products because they perform well.
Why did you choose this Summerhill location?
I love this location because it’s so close to the subway. I measured it the other day and it is exactly 229, of my steps, door to door. It’s on the street and that is such a huge asset because strollers and wheel chairs can come in. It opens up our ability to serve people. The Lawrence Park location is on two floors.
Recently, you co-hosted a tasting event with Rhône Valley Wines. How did that come about?
One of Rhône Valley Wines’ representatives came up with the cool idea of beauty-inspired pairings and she needed me to take the lead on doing the beauty pairings.
I looked at the tasting notes and tried to figure out what the personality of the wine was without making it a literal pairing. So, it wasn’t like every red had a red lipstick. Instead, I looked at what some of the big trends are for spring 2014: pastels, orange for the lips, nail and nice berry stains. If there was a bold, full-bodied red I would pair it with a bold makeup combination.
What’s next for Green Beauty?
I’m taking the concept of the Blô Bar and applying it to makeup, because it has always made me a little sad that if you want to have someone else do your makeup your options are to go to the counter of a Holts or the Bay where they are going to try and sell you lots of product or getting it done for your wedding and it costs you a significant amount of money. There’s something special about somebody else doing your makeup.