Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Bad Blogger

I think I need my blogging licence revoked!
Hopefully I will back to normal(whatever that is?) and blogging weekly like I am supposed to. My next blog? All about the day in the life of me, and how crazy things can really get when you are a mom, an enterpreneur and all the things in between during the Holiday season. For now, I have to get some sleep. Happy Thanksgiving to all you US fans too! ;)

3 years

3 years ago today my beloved Mummy died after a long, long 5 years with cancer, chemo and all the horrors that go with that. There but for the grace of God..... but anyone who reads my infrequent blogging knows that I am still here... alive and kicking. But today's blog is not really about me.
Because I live in the house she spent her last days in I see her in everything and life has thrown me some curve balls lately so she is closer than ever.

My dearest Mummy, I have you with me with every stir of a pot, with every thread in a needle, with every clank of a glass. Your words spring from my mouth and my son looks at me like I am crazy, just like I must have to you....I have collected people in my life who say canny, and besom and twee and my chip pan is full of lard. My dishes aren't done, and I work too much but the food is good and I am teaching Luke to cook. Now because of a strange but neccesary turn of events in my business I will be following in the footsteps of Grump(my Mum's Dad for those readers who don't know), Uncle Gordon and you and with your old black hairdressing scissors in my hand I'll be cutting hair. There are lots of moments I wish you were here. There are lots of moments I know you are here and with every snip I have a feeling I will know more and more....

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Hey Curly !! This event is for you!!!

Dear CurlFriends, Curls in Disguise, Chemo Curly's & WavyCurls too,

I am so crazily excited to tell you about this event I can barely type! My Friend, Curly Mentor, the original DevaCurl Angel Lorraine Massey is coming to see us at our boutique in Dundas! On October 25th Lorraine & her amazing staff "Curl-Man" David will regale us with curly tales, tips & tricks to help you live frizz free no matter how curly or wavy you are! Bring us your curls, whirls, nappyness and all & we'll teach you the magic of the Deva! Leave your blowfryers and your troubles at the door, we'll spoil you with curly deals & a refreshment or three!

Bring a canned good to donate to the local food bank & we'll trade you for one of our favourite bathing treats.

I cannot wait to see you & all your smiling faces to greet our guests! More details and RSVP contact below... Yours as always, Noëlle
Want to reserve your free spot at the CurlyCon?
You choose- October 25th 1:00pm or 3:30pm to reserve by phone 905 627 9379 or email or use this link to the website...
Watch this video for more info on DevaCurl!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Take the ellënoire 14 Day challenge and help your dry skin get back on track!

The weather is starting to get a little cooler, the humidity is dipping a lot lower and the dry skin issues are starting to rear
their ugly cuticles…!

Even I, a person who preaches daily about the huge impact of exfoliating and moisturizing has become a wee bit lazy over the summer and have noticed that the skin flaking has started already. Nothing like a cold bit of weather to remind us to restart the routine of sloughing off the dead dry skin and slathering on creams to add moisture. What’s that Australian sunscreen slogan? Wiki says it goes like this: Slip-Slop-Slap is the name of a health campaign in Australia exhorting people to "slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen, and slap on a hat". Let’s take that for your chemical free skin care routine and get you to slop-slough-and-slather with ellënoire, to keep your skin soft and perfect, chemical free, all winter long.

Can you imagine? Perfect skin all winter long, with no flaking, no itchiness, and no cracked fingers? It’s actually quite easy. You just have to commit. Let’s try to commit for 14 days shall we? I know I know, you’re busy. I hear your voice now, in the store in January with your cracked bleeding hands and your flaky itchy legs… I hear it every season. So let’s start now and save you the PAIN and the ITCH.

Me: “Put your shea butter (chemical free by-the-way) next to your bed and use it every night on your hand, lips face and as often as you can put it on your feet too”
Customer “I never remember” “ I don’t have time”
Me: “Well, then you’ll have dry cracked hands all the time then unless you sleep with shea butter, or any other rich butter on your hands with gloves on”
Customer: “I wish I had nice skin like yours”
Me: “well I put shea butter on my hands, lips and face every night.. and on my feet when I remember… you might wanna try that and see how nice your skin can be”

This one is a good, in the dead of winter scene in my store:
Me: “Where are your gloves”
Customer: “I forgot them at home”
Me: “You need a spare pair at work and in the car so your hands don’t get dried out. Hey, when was the last time you cleaned the snow off the car with no gloves on?”
Customer: “This morning, I was in a hurry, it wasn’t THAT cold”
Me: “Can you imagine anyone from Florida saying snow was not THAT cold? Stop that!”

Or with the men…
Male customer: “my legs are bleeding they are so itchy and dry”
Me: “What do you moisturize with?”
Male Customer: “Nothing”
Me: “Well there’s the problem. Winter skin is like a piece of unfinished wood that needs sanding and finishing, scrub off the rough flaky stuff, add a little oil and wax and it’s soft, shiny and healthier looking”
Male Customer: Light Bulb going off look in his eyes

Having no time is not a valid excuse. Like so many things it takes more time (and more OUCH!) to get things fixed than it does to take the steps towards prevention, AND this is another easy way to start out on our 90/10 rule. MAKE THE TIME!!! Or, your skin will not be as good as it could be. Here’s another way to “work it in” -to your life

My one shower per week treatment trick:
For me, this happens on Sunday mornings before I have to work. Pick a time that fits into your life to take care of your skin for these 3 things: slop-slough-slather
Get in the shower put the plug in the tub to soak your feet(yes, in a second you will know why), get your head and body wet and then:

1) Slop -Deep condition your hair once per week (only do the ends if your hair is really fine) put this on first, then do the exfoliation treatment on your skin.

2) Slough- Exfoliate head to toe at least once per week (twice in winter if you can) then scrub your body with one of our scrubs or a face cloth, then scrub your feet with something more aggressive.

3) Slather- Get out of the shower and slather a heavier moisturizer (like shea, or
body butter) onto wet skin once a week (or twice in the winter) head to toe. Don’t forget your hands! Finish by putting on your favorite robe on to let all that moisture soak in.

In your other baths or showers you can use a lighter lotion because your skin will be soooo awesome from the once or twice weekly deeper treatments. At bedtime, get a rich lotion or butter on your hands and lips EVERY NIGHT before they crack and bleed.

Seriously! If millions of people can commit to a challenge to eat yogurt for 2 weeks to “regulate digestion” or eat bran cereal because Captain Kirk does… can’t you commit to the ellënoire 14 day challenge to better skin?

We’ve even put it in a kit for you: try the ellënoire 14 day challenge skin care kit right here, or buy the separate pieces.

I can help, just ask!

Christmassy Scents?

What do you all think?
I am thinking about doing a line of just Christmas fragrances for room fragrances, powder rooms and things like that... Do you have any favourite Holiday fragrances?
Would a chemical free room spray fit in with your holiday house?
I want to know!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Why is it important to be chemical free?

It’s funny that I am completing this blog today given the work I had to do to calm a customer down a few moments ago. She had just read an article which directed her to a website that made her panic about all the “ingredients that cause cancer” in her cosmetic and household cleaning products. She told me the story of how she wept over throwing out all kinds of favourite products as she was terrified for her life and the lives of her children. She dumped a pile of products on my counter and begged for help so she could understand what she had to throw away.
I did manage to calm her down, and taught her a little about how to read labels, and offered better websites to look at and sent her on her way with some organic shower gel, unscented shea butter and some custom scented blood orange lotion to get her started with some simpler things.

In 1993 when I was making the plans to start a bath product company I was pretty naïve. I never thought much about the things that companies put in bath products; I was all in this for the fragrances. If I liked the scent, I liked the product. When I started manufacturing I got lucky and my first suppliers of raw materials were chemical free. I became aware of going chemical free early enough that lots of people thought I was bananas for researching it and insisting on it.

As soon as I started to import products from small companies like TerraNova (the original USA Body Shop until 1989) Lather and Virginia’s Soap I learned more and more about good ingredients and company integrity. The words “all natural” had only just started to be used and were mostly only used in small stores. I had been a Body Shop product lover since the early 80’s when it was already in Canada when we made the pilgrimage to the Toronto Eaton Centre to buy chunks of hand cut Glycerin soap and Banana Shampoo(The Body Shop did not come to the USA until 1989) so I knew that “no testing on animals” and natural ingredients were something that appealed to me. Little did I know many of the companies were not telling us the whole truth about the “natural” ingredients they were using.

The first step in becoming chemical free is to learn to read labels and ask questions, but as we should learn from the woman here this morning DON'T PANIC!
Over the years I have developed a list of chemicals that are on my avoid list(note I said avoid, not freak out and throw everything you own with these ingredients into a landfill, just don’t buy much more unless it falls into your 10% category):

Petroleum and all its other names and derivatives: Mineral oil, petrolatum etc- are pretty much useless for the skin and hair and come from non renewable resources. I prefer Shea Butter based body moisturizers like my
Double Rich Body Butter and vegetable oil based lip balms like the Badger Balm Lip balms to replace your petroleum based stuff.

Animal Fats –For most of history soap has been made with animal fat. It was cheap & readily available on the family farm, but with all the processing meat goes through and the hormones often injected into the animals not to mention the pore clogging behaviour of the animal fat (yes, pore CLOGGING) I would rather avoid using it to make my skin care. Vegetable Based soap is a good choice, Vermont soap is my favourite. Watch for my personally handmade soap in the store on occasion too!

Silicones –A man made chemical in many skin and hair products. Mostly useless for skin in a similar way as petroleum is, and especially useless for hair. A little in your makeup won’t hurt you, but man made chemicals should be avoided as much as possible.
For hair, the newest Deva product called Mirror Curls is the most awesome silicone shine product substitute I can imagine!

Parabens- preservatives that have been loosely linked to breast cancer, although the studies are inconclusive. But better safe than sorry (I already had Breast Cancer, I don’t wanna go there again) as a precaution many companies like ours have decided to avoid them in their products. Use products that use alternative preservatives like our ellënoire Boutique Brand Lotions or ask me about products that need no preservatives!

Sulfates – cheap detergents found in shampoo, toothpaste, bodywash, bubble bath, dish soap, and engine degreasers. Frankly, anything used in engine degreasers really shouldn’t be in the bulk of your skin care products. Did you know these harsh detergents dry your skin/scalp out so much you could have a skin condition that would never have existed 100 years ago? You should try a soap or shampoo that actually hydrates as it cleans, or at least leaves natural, vegetable based moisture behind that the skin can absorb. The occasional bubble bath is fine and falls into my 90/10 rule of product and ingredient choices. Try a Deva Hair and Scalp Cleanser (not just for curly hair, just ask me for more info) like NoPoo or LowPoo, and an Organic Shower Gel

I hope this helps, I know this is all kind of hard to understand. Trust me, I have to do my research all the time to make sure I know what I am talking to you about and sometimes I still cannot believe that companies that want us to trust them are using ingredients that could be harmful, or cause skin reactions just because they are cheap... but skin care is a huge industry and you have to do your best to find companies you can go to to ask questions so you can decide who to trust.
I will always be here to help, just ask...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

15 years and counting...

Every day someone asks me or my staff one or more of these questions:
Is your store new?
Do you have any Canadian made products?
What do you mean you can custom scent my products?

I wonder sometimes how to convey all that ellënoire is and has been in a single marketing program or if that is even possible.

Today, I will tell you the history of ellënoire. Many of you know it, some of you have no clue who we are or how we came about.
In the summer of 1993, an old friend of mine(who, FYI I call every Christmas and blame for my many sleepless nights) listened to me whine about how miserable I was with my life: waitressing to pay the bills and taking night courses in anything I could think of that might lead to a career in something I enjoyed doing. Cake Decorating, Wedding Cake Decorating, Pattern Drafting, Manicurist, Modelling, Makeup Artistry...and on and on..
At the end of my ranting, she simply said... (this is my memory's version of her quote) "Why don't you just do that perfume/soap thing you keep talking about? That store in Vermont you tell us all about every time we go shopping and then drag us into soap store after soap store, you keep saying you wanted to do something like that.."
So, without blinking I decided she must be right, if I talked about it all the time I must want to do it...and then I spent the rest of 1993 doing research about opening a business similar to a store I fell in love with in Middlebury, Vermont while I was in college there.
In 1994 after much navel gazing and talking about my "research" I finally did it. I opened ellënoire Just near to Christmas in my living room in Toronto I had 11 essential and fragrance oils, a gallon of lotion, a gallon of massage oil, a gallon of green bubble bath, some bottles, labels and ribbon all dressed up on a pretty shelf ready to make my fortune.... 15 years ago ...WOW!
So, no my store is not new.

The thing that always kills me about the "Made in Canada" question is that the original plan for the ellënoire company was that I was going to make my own products and that was all I was going to sell. Handmade, Custom Scented bath products and some
Custom Blended perfume, that was the business plan. That was until I got my first order. I realized very quickly that one person could not make all the products if orders came in too quickly. I had orders for 10 Christmas gift baskets my first week (I was a bartender with all male clients, it wasn't that hard) So, I looked at lines I liked in the magazines and called their head office and ordered them. I imported from all over the world, having no clue that at that time very few companies my size were importing anything. Somehow in there, I became known for a lot of the rare and hard to find cosmetic and skin care brands you saw in the magazines. Sephora and all it's copy cats were just a twinkle in someones eye when I was bringing in other American and French lines to support the joy I got when making my own products. But no one understood what I was trying to do with my own products so they mostly bought the brand names.
I was the first in Canada to bring in Carol's Daughter, DevaCurl, Bleu-de Lectoure, Smith & Vandiver, TerraNova and on and on. I was so naive I did not realize this was not normal, I just bought what I liked. So, we became known as the store that sells a lot of interesting brand names and then people seem shocked when they learn that we make our own products.
There are lots of days when I think it would be easier just to sell other companies' products but I know, at the end of the day I would be bored silly just ordering things and selling them. Without some sort of creative outlet in my life I go crazy and making perfumes and skin care products is one of my favourite things.
Buying and selling "Ready to Wear" is easy...creating "Haute Couture" is not, but RTW is not my style.. ;)
So, yes our primary Made in Canada line is ours, handmade for 15 years from bottles and jars and labels and wooden spoons and stained recipe cards and my bare hands. Chemical Free, Paraben Free, Petroleum Free, Silicone Free, almost Nut Free(not certified, but no peanut or almond oils go into my handmade things)Sulfate free(except at Xmas, I bring in some bubble bath.. please see my 90/10 rule to see why)and if you want it to be.. my line is 100% scent free.

Which brings us to the custom scenting issue. When I answer this question I feel like I am teaching an English as a second language class. I say "I will custom scent your bath products for you" Which is met with a blank stare more than you can imagine.... which I don't know what to do with... How are the words "custom scent" hard to understand??

So, here is what the dictionary says:
custom –adjective
- made specially for individual customers: i.e. custom shoes.
- dealing in things so made, or doing work to order: a custom tailor.

verb (used with object)
- to fill with an odor; perfume.

The slightly longer explanation is: All of the ellënoire product line is made unscented, quite on purpose. You can buy the product as is, or you can pick from our selection of essential and fragrance oils and we can "custom scent" your bath products as you like them. 15 years ago, people thought I was NUTS( wait we are nut free), BANANAS!!! No one had a clue what I was talking about

So, in order to make a living we allowed the other brands to get the name ellënoire out there and we simply continued to make our line. 4 websites, 4 cities, 6 locations, hundreds of bath bombs, lotions, custom scents, labels and ribbons and year after year of realizing that so many of the products we were bringing in were inferior to many of our own the ellënoire FINALLY outsells all our other lines. We only keep lines that we ADORE and now they complement our own products, and every day we happily struggle to keep up with the demand on us to make more and more products.

In the last 5 years we have added many organic ingredients to our products, we bring in a large selection of essential oils, absolutes and concretes for the Natural Perfumery service that I offer. Bloggy readers know I have started to make soap, hair oils, and many other things. Later this fall our mens line will be complete & on the website and by Christmas our facial line will be ready for you to try.

So all the buzz words you see on skin care labels now: Made In Canada, Locally Made, Chemical Free, Scent Free, All Natural, Handmade, Made with Essential oils, blah blah blah is nothing new. Not to ellënoire. That is how I started it all, in my living room in 1994 and it is how we remain.

How do you explain 15 years experience in a couple of lines? You don't. You stir 15 years experience into every product and hope that one day someone finally gets it.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Day I made my first Bomb....or... The best Bath Bombs in the World (or we think so anyway!)

There was a time when the Ellënoire boutique was without Bath Bombs.... strange thought I know... but I used to be a Bath Bomb Boycotter...
Let me explain. I had tried the illustrious bath bomb, and found the things to be mostly annoying because they just fizzed in the water, left a bunch of dead flower petals in my tub and a little fragrance. There were some that I liked the smell of, but mostly... not worth the money for me.
Until, my lovely friend Yolande told me that she and many of her friends in Chicago were ordering Bath Bombs from a place in Canada and that she wanted me to make them for her. So, we booked a home party(yes, I still do them)a month or so hence and I taught myself how to make Bath Bombs. I jumbled the recipe around for a few weeks until I realized that I could make them moisturize my skin as well as fizz!!(Keep in mind, this was 2001, there were no you tube videos or soap blogs to teach me any of this)
Miss Yolande was a gorgeous black woman who took great care of her skin, as did her many girlfriends. The one thing for sure that the black culture understands is how important it is to keep skin moist.... I wish my white clients understood this as deeply!! So, selling a moisturizing bomb to this crowd was a breeze and they lapped them up! I was hooked on making them, and they were hooked on using them!
The scent recipes were great fun too! Napoleon & Josephine(made with their fave scents),Wake Up Angel!(the morning blend, named for my friends song), Slink( the Sensual Blend) Get out the Kink (the Sore Muscle blend) Hormone Sally(the PMS calming blend), Fruit Salad ( yummy! yummy!)and on and on it went.

At the time, our bombs were made in my house basement by the 100's and sent or driven down to Chicago regularly. Once we opened the current store location, we started making them here in the store. The ellënoire ë-bomb is now a top seller in the store and on the website. Have you ever tried one?
NO! I don't mean anyone else's Bath Bombs.. I mean mine!
Here's what you do: Pick a time when you need a little time to read, or soak sore muscles, have some deep thought... or think about nothing... and run a deep soaking bath at your favorite temperature and get in... put in the bath bomb you chose at the store(or on the website) ... yes, you use the whole thing... no, don't even try to break it... we make tub fizz ..the chunks of broken bath bomb bits for you frugal types...
Now, just sit in the tub and let the soft scented water cover you, soothe your sore body and soften your skin. At your leisure, climb out of the tub, wrap yourself in a robe or big towel and pat the water off. If you are lucky enough to have someone there to rub your back your skin is primed with natural and organic oils. Or simply stay wrapped up until your skin has absorbed the oils.
We are making more tonight- let me know which ones you want to try!
Sign up for my Newsletter to see specials on Bath Bombs coming soon!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


So as you can see, the whole story of Soap is quite complex.. ;)
Soap.. what is it? Some of us love it, some people just use it... most everyone has a pretty strong opinion about it. Me? I started a love affair with soap at a very young age. I still have my first and favourite bar of soap. It was a gift from the Steager's when I was about 6. I have never used it, I adore the fragrance, the colour and the shape.. it has been in my underwear drawer for most of the last 36 years. I am only fussy about my soap when it comes to the fragrance, I have to LOVE the scent or I don't care to have it around. Some of my soap(as you would guess) never gets used at all... but the ones I really covet are the ones that are incredible for my skin...

Once I decided to open my business in 1994 ( 15 years, that's right.. watch for the anniversary celebrations to start soon!) I was very excited about all the soap I could buy to sell!!! Did I know a thing about soap? NOPE! Did I care? NOPE! I just loved the smells of all of them. I loved the packaging and whole idea of them....but along the way I had no choice but to learn! I was selling bars of soap with price tags of up to$12 and had to work out how to teach my customers what they were getting for their money...

So, I learned. Vegetable oil based? Animal Fat based? Detergent??...wait what? Bar soap can be made from detergent?... yup!( more on that nightmare later) Milled? Triple Milled? French Milled, Cold Process? Melt and Pour? Glycerin? Handmade Glycerin, Superfatted, Lye... what??

Because I have a Soap store that sells a lot of handmade products people assume we make our own soap. NOPE! Not until this year!
I mentioned my soapmaking session adventures a few weeks ago and now, it's all ready!
Don't get too excited, I have to make a ton more... there are only about 40 bars in 3 scents to start with but it's a start!

In another post I will go into some of the details about ingredients and different types of soap and why we sell/make what we sell/make, but for now... all you need to know is that the first of the ellёnoire handmade soap line
launches tomorrow! Cold process, Mostly Olive and Coconut oil based, scented with only essential oils. Come and see!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

I think of you in the shower....

I wonder... do you know where your bath products are made?
I was thinking about this when working marketing our handmade line of products using the "eat locally grown food" trend as inspiration ( yes, I wish eating locally was not a trend, but for the moment it is) I imagine, the larger companies have chemists and test labs and things like that... well, not here at ellenoire ... all you get.. is me. In the store I make the recipes for our products at my almost 200 year old marble topped counter. In the store I am head "chef"... making up the recipes from whichever ingredients we have in stock, or are available to us... based on the time of year.
Where do I get my ideas? Well there are the trade shows I visit and publications I read... and all the friends I have in the industry passing ideas back and forth... but at the end of it all... the ideas happen in my bathroom.
Although as you may know if you follow this blog I am quite minimal in the product selection I use in my day, I do test a lot of things for the store. I try them, I like or hate them... and often I try to think of how to make them ourselves, or make them better. I have oils and butters, bowls and bottles, spoons and measuring cups all over my bathroom... I smear and scrub, I lather and wash.... bubble bubble toil and trouble as it were.... but it isn't any trouble you know... I hate taking baths, it makes me hot and my brain sleepy... but the shower... oh the shower I could stand there forever pondering things for my life and my lovely store... and the fun ingredients to make new bath products for you.
So, when you wonder where your bath products are created... you have my permission... to think of me.. in the shower...

Monday, August 3, 2009

eeeeew stinky!

My son just returned from two weeks at summer camp. I got to the laundry right away after reading many horror stories on facebook about other moms waiting a few days to unpack bags only to find damp musty yuckiness lurking in their little ones suitcases and backpacks. WHY? WHY? WHY? is it not part of a camp counsellor's job to make sure wet clothes get hung up?
Little did I know, my son swam every day and "forgot" he had extra towels he used the same one for two weeks!! Luckily it was an Aquis Towel, so it was not totally skanky... buuuuut.... wait for it... the boys went for a trip into the SWAMP... the green, slimy.. but mom I only went in up to my waist... SWAMP!!!!!
Sadly, the question "Son, did you dry your clothes after the swamp activity?" was answered with a BLANK STARE!

Sooo, the mouldy stench of old swamp water and a stiff muddy t-shirt that was stuffed into the outside pocket of the suitcase on perhaps.. the second day went into the laundry. Thank goodness for Sports Suds! This really cool Canadian made laundry detergent is designed to take the funky stink out of sporting gear... it was no big deal for this pile of mouldy nastiness! Biodegradable and hypoallergenic, Sport Suds allows technical clothes to wick moisture and breathe the way they were designed. It's completely unscented with no nasty chemicals.. so your clothes smell like... clothes! In High Efficiency washers you use just the tiniest bit. It's super simple, but it's one of the coolest things we carry!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Are you 90% perfect? We are!

For the last few months I have been using a philosophy in the store to help customers understand why we have chosen to keep some product lines and fragrance oils in the store. There are a lot of articles and news pieces and stores talking about all the harmful chemicals in the personal care industry ... and we are one of them.. I am very excited that the day has finally come that the general public is learning so much and educating themselves about why many of the large companies have given us very few options about what is in our soaps and lotions and makeup and such. This gives us, and many other great small companies the opportunity to show how great products and ingredients can be without all the chemicals.
In this post I am not going to list brands, or many chemicals or what is good or "bad" about them all. Today, what I want you to consider is how perfect you want to be, or can realistically be with products and ingredients in both your food and personal care choices.

So, here is my philosophy and how I got to it.

IF you could afford to choose your food, and your personal care products and their ingredients to be as perfect and healthy as possible would you do it? If you were told that to be healthy you could never eat junk food, or ice cream or use your favourite French soap, or Lilac scented lotion or anything with artificial anything in it... would you do it?

Na, me either.

I am totally willing to work toward a goal of eating the best I can afford/ have time for. I am totally willing to give up some of my less healthy habits in food and skin care if I can use/have them occasionally and not feel guilty about it.

The thing that bugs me, is there are stores out there: health food stores, co-ops, and even some boutiques that lecture you to get rid of all things with chemcials and ONLY use things with no artificial scent, no artificial colour, no parabens, no petroleum, and on and on.

That is GREAT!.. but, honestly I think there is only a small percentage of the population that will, is willing or will even try to be 100% perfect. I think in some cases people are tired of hearing it and use whatever they want anyway and avoid talking about it. They don't want to know or learn about chemicals, they don't want to read labels, they want to just assume they can trust the companies that sell to them to not use cancer causing, dehydrating, fossil fuel crap in their products.

So, the 90% rule came out of all of this thinking, and I have successfully made sure the product line up at the store is 90% perfect. I guarantee it!

If you can aim for 80-90% of everything that you eat, drink or put on your skin and hair to be the best quality natural ingredients YOU can AFFORD then you are far ahead of most people and likely well on your way to being super healthy. Personally, I have almost totally given up processed, packaged food of all sorts, but I have the occasional cocktail and dessert a few times a week. On my body I chose to use mostly paraben free, petroleum free, silicone free, and sulfate free products. My makeup, is my 10% cheating in personal care, I don't wear much, but I like my 18 hour wear lipstick!!! and I am not giving it up anytime soon... just like I am not giving up Ben and Jerry! I mean halloooo! who are we kidding?
100% perfect?! ? Pleeeeease!
I have a "perfect" vegan friend that "occasionally" eats an Indian meal complete with butter and yogurt ingredients.... I don't believe anyone can be 100% perfect.

So, 90% it is then! ?

Give me the chance and I will make sure you have a skin, hair and household cleaning "diet" that gets you well on your way to 90%... Give me a few more minutes of your time and I can help with your food diet too!
... but that, is another blog topic!
I hope a grand summer, and fabulous holiday weekend (in Canada this weekend) is/ will be/ has been yours!

I'll be in one on the patio with a cocktail in her hand and bright pink lipstick with a gorgeous natural fragrance wafting from her pulse points!!


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Want Cancer?

Tanning Beds deadlier than ever suspected!
Tanning Beds As Deadly As Arsenic and Mustard Gas
Check out this link...
skin cancer jumps by 75 percent

Soapy Soap Soap Soap!

So excited! I get to make Soap tomorrow morning!
We don't have a kitchen at the store, so this will be backyard soap!
I have made lots of bath products over the years, but making cold process soap is a type of creation I have a feeling I will get addicted to, so I am a little afraid of starting. I made some with friends in December and it was an honourable attempt, and I was lucky enough to have help from someone and their tried and true recipe.
My goal, sometime soon... if we in fact get this store through the recession... is to have quite a few soap types made here at the store by me and the staff.

I have about 1000 ideas that no one else seems to be doing, and if I see one more bar of chemical based garbage soap, or one more boooooring handmade bar with the top 5 everyday essential oils I will pass out! Don't get me wrong.. some of my
fave soap makers use those top 5 oils, and I will use some of them too, but my goal is never to be the same as everyone else. Since unique fragrances are my gig there will some interesting experiments on the way if I get the chance.
As you know the store is in some pretty serious financial trouble, so if you want to see the fruits of my labour coming out over the fall and holiday seasons you better get to shopping at ellenoire!... while your at it, boycott your big box stores for a week and shop local! Yes, your budget will change, but I bet some fun will come of it! Think of all the new recipes you will have to create, and the time you will save driving and parking and such. Let me know if you need a hand finding local meat, produce, clothes etc.. I am good at it!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Exfoliation for everyone? Or ..Have you looked at your feet lately?

How often do you exfoliate? Did you know that you are simply wasting your money on creams and lotions if you don’t? Did you know you can banish dry skin if you exfoliate once or twice a week with a moisturizing scrub and use a richer lotion or butter the rest of the week?
I am pretty diligent about it. Not perfect, but I never go longer than a week without doing it. Head to toe.
I love our new demerrara sugar scrub for the head to toe routine.
I know I know… you don’t have time, you forget blah blah blah.
Let me tell you about time. I am a single mom with no Dad involvement. I run the business side of ellënoire full time by myself. I workout at least 3 times a week. If I can find 10 extra minutes to treat my skin once a week…so can you!

Women: I have one shower a week where I do my head to toe spa treatments. I run the water, put the plug in the tub (you’ll understand why in a sec.) and get all the supplies ready. I get in the shower, put a little bath oil or tub fizz in the water to soften my feet, wash my body and hair (with only sulfate free soaps and shampoos of course). I put a deep conditioner in my hair. Then I get out the sugar scrub and massage my face and every square inch of my body and use a foot scrubber or salt scrub on my feet and toes. In the summer I try to get a pedicure once a month, but sometimes I can’t get to it, or can’t afford it.
After this whopping extra 5 minute treatment I rinse my hair and body and get out and towel off. I usually don’t put on any extra lotion at this point because of the oils in my scrub, but you could if you want to … just be careful not to slip on the floor. There is a famous ellënoire product story from a friend who over moisturized herself and slipped … and found herself on the floor naked and laughing hysterically all while her poodles watched in confusion…

Men: Think of exfoliation as part of your regular maintenance, just like mowing the lawn or detailing your car. It does not have to be done all the time, but if you don’t take care of it now the next time you do it will be a pain….
Everywhere you shave, and everywhere that gets touched by someone else can be exfoliated. Sugar scrub is gentle enough to be used EVERYWHERE!
Your hands, face and feet are the most obvious places to start; soon you will love how nice your skin feels you will try the head to toe treatment. Rough, crappy looking uncomfortable feeling skin is NOT sexy…
Trust me, your partner, your wife or girlfriend will LOVE that you did it!!!

Let me know!

P.S. Fake and real tans work better with the smoothest skin!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The sale is almost over!!!!

There is a table outside is covered in 50% off items. The Aquis line of towels is 40% off, and almost everything else in the store is 25% off.
Where are you?

DevaCurl is on it's annual sale.. for only another 6 days!
Drop by or call the store ASAP.. 905 627 9379 to see what is in stock to get your summer deals!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Summer School Math Class..

80 x U=/>ellenoire1

This morning while working on the finances for the store I realized something. If 80 of my customers came in and spent $100 I could pay the rent this month.

I can hear you gasp from here… wow, that’s a lot of money!
Yes sadly it is.
I’ll tell you the story, so you will understand.
I have explained how small retail works on this blog before, but I’ll give you another quick version. In a normal retail (in a small company, that is less than 5 years old) year you sell as best as possible and spend all year using up what you saved during Christmas sales until the next Christmas season. You pay the bills, your staff and the little left over is for the boss. If you did your job right you end the year with little or no debt… and start all over again hopefully growing sales every year…. At some point in theory you become profitable that all the time spent pays off.

Last year when I had cancer I spent more than is normal both paying medical expenses, and paying for extra staff to keep the doors open while I was ill. We started this year in a bad place because bad weather and the recession killed our Christmas season. By February the savings were gone, and we have been struggling ever since. We have been digging a deeper and deeper financial hole every week.

This past weekend we booked a festival booth and paid for the booth and a lot of extra stock… but the organizers did not promote the area we were in so we lost a large amount of money because we sold next to nothing. This tore through most of both the little money and the goodwill from lenders that we had left. Sometimes, something little like this is all it takes to sink the proverbial ship.. and take a business down. We are perilously close to being on that sinking ship.

So today while working on the finances for the store I realized something. If 80 of my customers came in and spent $100 I could pay the rent this month. This means simply that with 80 people buying $100 (or 160 people spending $40, or 320 people spending $20 and so on.. ) I could pay back the friendly lender that helped us with the festival, pay the staff, the phone bill, and the rent…. This won’t pay all the debts… but that is for another blog, another day and another equation… today.. it is 80xU= ellënoire wins and gets to go on for another few weeks...
The whole store is on sale, so your $100 will go a long way…

P.S. While I was writing this entry.. a friend just spent $100… so now it is 79xU!!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


I cannot wait!
I have aquired a a pro cake decorator to come to ice my bathbomb cupcakes tomorrow! My piping skills are unpracticed & my cupcakes look awful!
I have to go get all the stuff together and make some cupcake bases tonight! Cupcake making while watching So you think you can dance!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Don't you forget about me...

Just a quick reminder... I am in the store pretty much every Wednesday and Thursday and Curly rescues are on most Saturdays and by appointment too!
Custom perfume blends can be any day by appointment. Tell me when I can make you look better, feel better, and smell better!

Friday, May 22, 2009

up all night?

Small business can be HE double hockey sticks!
1:30 am and I am up working on my newsletter... Keep your eye on your email. I should show up tomorrow...
Night everyone!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

In the store a lot!

For some reason people seem to think I am not at the store much. I am ALWAYS here Wednesday and Thursday all day and every other day I am here for at least part of the day. John and I alternate working on Sundays.
Every Saturday with rare exception I am here doing a curly hair demo at noon!
Pop in and see me! I am making a ton of new products this summer!
I would love to see you soon!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Fake and Bake query

This is in response to a comment on my last post.

Here is a link to an Ideal Bite newsletter about Fake Tanning and products to fake a tan without cell damage.
The Derms are now saying that ANY skin colour change is cell damage from UV rays are risky.... CANCER SUCKS!!!!!!! Don't volunteer for it... wear SUNSCREEN!!!!!!
In the Ideal Bite newsletter it mentions two brands of Self Tanners. Lavera and Aveda.
Aveda does good work, but is owned by a less than perfect large company... but Lavera seems ok. I have tried the facial fake tanner called Faces Summer Glow Sunless Tan for the Face. It is available locally at the Horn of Plenty in Dundas. Tell them Noelle sent you. At the moment I am not planning to sell Fake and bake products... someday... you never know! Good Luck!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Are you preventing yourself from getting Cancer?

I get really mad sometimes when I talk to people about ingredients and try to educate them about the things I have learned about ingredients in personal care and food and how they relate to cancer and the environment and on and on... and then I find out they are still buying the same old things... Face Cream with Parabens, Hand Cream with Petroleum, Junk Food instead of fruit and on and on!

I DON"T CARE if you buy all your products from me! Of course I make a better living if you do, I can buy my son a better bicycle or re roof my house or whatever I want if you do buy your products from me... but if you learn from me and keep your skin and hair and body more healthy as a result and buy your stuff next door or across the street then GREAT!
I DO CARE if I see you on the street healthy and happy next week! I DO CARE that you don't have to go through what I went through with Breast Cancer. I DO CARE that you don't have to go through what my friends are going through because their daughter died from cancer this week
I'm not saying I can cure anything or guarantee you will never get sick. I am not saying you need to be perfect with your choices. I AM saying that you may want to take a better look at what you buy and what you use and make sure you are choosing things that have the ingredients that are good for your body! What you eat, what you smear on your skin, what you spray in your hair are all being absorbed into the cells of your body and potentially changing things for the better... but if you are not learning about what is in your products than you could be using products that are changing your body and all of it's cells for the worse!
I know I know... you are thinking... oh Noёlle just wants me to buy her products. She is going to tell me that her things are better than what I buy at the big box store, or the drug store and I can't afford to shop in her store. I can only afford to buy that stuff at the drug store that I see on TV and it says "nature" on the label so it must be ok... right?!

But..... do you KNOW that those products have no parabens(preservatives linked to cancer)in them? No sulfates (harsh dehydrating detergents) in them? No earth killing petroleum in them? No animal fat(oils for soap and dryer sheets) in them?

I have told you about my 90% rule right?
If you choose things that are good for you 90% of the time, then 10% is yours to play with. Wanna eat a Big Mac? Do the Math... did I have one already today? This week? No?. Go for it! Wanna wear that caramel, fake fruit, body spray from the drug store that you love the smell of? Did you use the paraben free stuff all week? Then Go for it!

Life is not that hard to run... if you run it smartly... Choose lots of Brightly coloured Fruits and Vegetables for their antioxidant qualities and how great they make your skin look and how great they make your body feel(and potentially prevent cancer) Choose lean(low fat) proteins to keep your body lean and strong. Choose healthy fats to keep your joints limber, your skin resilient and soft...

Easy right?
Skin care, hair care... the choices are as simple too!
Choose paraben free products as often as possible, soaps and lotions with earth friendly vegetable healthy fats and oils(local or organic if you can find/ afford to) Wash less, moisturize more.. that is a good rule head to toe...

Household products!
READ THE LABELS! Reduce allergic reactions in your house with scent free stuff and buy a steamer!!!

Here is an offer for the first 5 people who ask:
If you live in the Hamilton area and ask me I will come and go through your bathroom and kitchen for free (if not, I can do it over the phone) and tell you what is not great about your choices and help you make better ones. 1 hour, your house.. my knowledge and bossy attitude...the result? Potentially ? A healthier you!
Email me at

Questions? Wanna tell me you hate what I preach? Bring it on!
Comment below, or send me an email...

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Antioxidants are amazing for your skin!

But you have to eat or drink them to get their best effects!
How many servings of fruits did you have today?

Check it out here or email me for details!

Just in case you missed it!

Join our newsletter email list and see the latest product info and sales! Lots of great deals this month, news about Carol's Daughter and other new things you may not know about. Please forward this to a friend!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Do you Facebook?

I am moving my FaceBook FanClub Group to a "Page" become fan for me SVP? Click here and/or add me as a friend if you like Click here

Not sure why this is typing in bold, not sure why I added my links to the words "Click here" .... not very web 2.0 of me...

Yesterday I was thinking... if everyone owned a can of
ellënoire shea butter, no one would ever have dry skin you have yours yet?

Gonna try and write a newsletter... are you on our mailing list yet?
Let me know!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Day 4 and 5 of trying to get up earlier etc

Day 4 was hard; the fave pink lipstick trick remains my way of appearing to be well rested.
A little smudgy black eyeliner never hurt either. It makes me (you) look a little mysterious and gypsy rough, but in a good way. I keep my energy up with a little of my secret purple juice, food on a regular basis( never more that 4 hours without a small, balanced meal or the body thinks it is starving and stores fat) and a little coffee with milk (never cream, nasty high fat stuff)

Day 5 is ok.. I am a little weary, lots of work to do this week and I am in cancer treatment all afternoon. I am in the chair with an IV in my right wrist while I write this. Here is the link to my breast cancer blog

Is there anything you would like to know about dear blog readers? Facial Skin issues? how to treat dried out hands after a long winter?

Monday, March 30, 2009

Day 3 FAIL

oooh day 3 was aaaaaawful!
We went dancing on the evening of Day 2 in a club that was in a basement that smelled of mould and disinfectant... and we got home at 3 am ... and I woke up with a KILLER allergy headache.
So day 3 was headache city and my new schedule was all messed up.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Day 2

hmmm... this is funny. I am so well rested(by comparison) I cannot focus.
So, I can't focus well when I am overtired, and I can't focus well when I am rested...?
How many days of good nights sleep an enough work hours in a day testing do I need to find the balance?? Who knows!
Fell asleep at 7:30 last night on the couch, stayed up until midnight, read until 1 and got up at 7:30am...

well, we will see!

Do you have any stories about trying to change your natural sleep patterns?
Tell me ! Tell me!

At the store we are selling a lot of curly hair stuff and Purple juice.... magic for hair, magic for skin! Ask me if you have questions!
We are going dancing 80's style! Early bed? Not! C U tomorrow!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Day 1

So, today is day one of a "get up earlier in the morning, so I can go to bed earlier instead of working or watching dumb TV until later" challenge.
Don't get me wrong, I like the mornings, the light is pretty the quiet is inspiring etc. I just HATE that the early morning comes well, so damned early! I have been a night owl since forever so therefore getting up early does not work. Getting up at 7:30 is enough time for me to get up, stumble around until the coffee is made and get my son's lunch made and him out the door dressed and fed. Ever since I was up and about after my mastectomy last year(early March I was up regularly after 2 weeks in bed) I have been pushing the getting up angle as far as I can.
Now, I can get up at 8, get coffee, get my son up, out dressed etc on time. I work for 2 hours at home after that and then head to the store for the day. I rarely get home before 6:45, and 3 days a week I don't get home until 9. Somewhere in there I get both of us fed, we each workout 2-4 times a week, and I pretend I know how to keep a clean house. I usually get my son to bed by 10pm, unless Colin and Justin are on and then I start work again. I work effectively until about 11:30, and then I convince myself I work effectively while working, watching reruns of House and Numbers until 1 am and then I stumble around trying to get to bed... and then it's suddenly 2 am...
Going to bed without everything done feels like failure to me, so I push the envelope as hard as I can but realistically I could stay up 24 hours a day for the next year and never get caught up on everything that needs doing in my business or my life.
So, today is Day 1 of getting up at 6:45 am, in the hope that getting up earlier will help me soooo exhausted by midnight that I get to bed earlier and have more hours in the day to get more work done. Let's see how I do! So Far, I feel like crap... more tomorrow..

Monday, March 23, 2009

oops missed a question

Here is part two of a comment from a blog reader.

Do you find the curly hair will look great for awhile, and then for no reason just be flat and limp, even though the hair products have not changed?

Well, actually no. I don't find that.
Are you using curly hair products from ellenoire?
If so, you are doing something incorrectly which I can fix just get in touch.

If you are using a product with silicone or petroleum/ mineral oil in it then this may be the issue.
Let me know if I can help get you onto some products better suited to you!
I would love to help.
Happy Monday everyone!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Deva Dryer and DevaFuser info

In response to a comment yesterday about the DevaFuser I am going to tell you all about the fantastic DevaChan Salon line of products.
Many of my customers use the Deva line of hair products for their curly and Coloured hair. Deva is a line of hair products originally made for curly hair. The DevaDryer and DevaFuser products are the newest tools in this product line.

Deva products are silicone free, sulphate free and petroleum free. The Deva philosophy teaches curly hair client to fall in love with the hair they were born with from wavy to curly Deva is for you! At ellenoire, both online and in the boutique our staff is trained to teach the Deva way and we will do everything we can to help you have the best hair you have ever had! (Deva has a product for all hair types, just get in touch and we will set you up.. curly or not!)

Now, the DevaSunDryer is the patented DevaCurl hair dryer. It is a hair dryer with the DevaFuser included as a Diffuser type attachment. This is NOT like any diffuser you have ever used! The DevaFuser is a newly designed diffuser that allows air to blow 365 degrees around to dry your hair faster without making frizz or disturbing your natural curls. The combo of Dryer and Diffuser is AMAZING!!! The DevaSunDryer could dry my waist length super curly curls in 15 minutes!!! Totally worth trying! Come by the store if you can and see it for yourself.

You can buy the hair dryer with the diffuser or just buy the diffuser to attach to your own dryer. The DevaFuser will fit 99% of dryers and can turn your hair dryer into your friend!

The DevaSunDryer and DevaFuser are magical add ons to using the DevaCurl and DevaCare lines.
Come by for a Curly Hair demo at noon every Saturday, or get in touch and I will go through in detail how I can help you with your curls to make them FAB FAB FAB!

We were the first in Canada to have this line, and we are the only Deva supplier in Canada that will spend all the time you need to make your hair the best you have ever had it!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

My coat smells like licorice and other things I want to bitch about

So, I woke up on the wrong side of the bed today.
Most of the time I am a very positive person. The last few days have been hard in a few departments.
I spent most of last year putting on a good game face while dealing with cancer. Anyone who reads my other blog knows I can still have a sense of humour in the face of a lot of crap.
Today I am upset about petty stuff. My clothes don't fit after all this cancer weight gain and my business is slow at this time of year/ during these economic times so I should not spend money on new clothes. My hair is at an annoying length so it never looks good... and when I complain about my hair people tell me I look great, fine, really cute( ya, I love being 42 and cute)etc etc. I am annoyed I misjudged my time this morning and did not pack a good lunch. In other words I am crabby for no good reason at all.

One of my customers came in to buy something for her daughter who has MS and cannot leave the house very easily. They are spending the day trying to transport her wheelchair somewhere safely as they are planning to go away for a few days.

My crabbiness was put firmly in it's place in the face of that and I am trying hard to give the day my best.
Things could always get worse.
A happier, more product related post soon.

Monday, March 9, 2009


37 minutes including a call to my assistant to plan the work day.
More later, I am late I told ya!!!!

Race ya!

I was supposed to be at work 20 minutes ago. Anyone who follows me on Twitter, Facebook or my other blog already knows I am a terrible night owl who lives on about 5-6 hours sleep in order to live in this insane 9-5 world I live in (a schedule that i think is crap!) So having Daylight Savings time yesterday and losing an hour into the freakin' ether has made my life hellish. I worked about 7 hours straight yesterday on top of the other 6 days I had already worked this week etc etc. This morning I am late and CRABBY!
I am off to the store, but have to get ready first.
I can name that tune in 30 minutes or less!
Shower, dressed, bed made, makeup on, and at the front door in 30 min or less.
Any one taking bets!?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

a week? really

ok, I am a bad bad blogger. It has been a whole week since I blogged for ellenoire.
Workouts, Monavie and not sleeping enough is taking lots of my time.
So, today I sent out an email about the store being almost totally on sale.
40% off most of the lines in the store. Some aren't on sale, for a variety of reasons: 1) Did you know I have contracts with some companies stating I am not allowed to put their product on sale? 2) I rarely put my bestselling lines on sale, but try to offer incentives to buy and special offers to my regular clients that love those lines.
Does that make sense?
Some people don't realise that although running a business can be hard, it is not any more complicated than running a home. In the store if there is no money coming in from sales, it is like having no job and trying to buy food.
If there is no money coming in, there is no money to buy anything. So, in slow periods at the store like these hard economic times seem to be showing us we may have this year there is very little money coming in.... so we cannot buy much. We offer sales to generate excitement, and CASH!
Then, we can buy more stuff for the store.

Between you and me, I hope this recession thing is hard, and fast... I know it will be hard... but man I pray it will be fast!
So, get in here... with the little you have.. and I'll trade you.. for more product for your dollar... and some lovely stuff to pamper yourself with in hard times.

Ask me anything, as always!


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Event at the shop!

What’s more important than your health? Absolutely Nothing!
You’re Invited to a
Tasting Party
Share a Free Sample of the juice with the #1 Super Food, the Açai Berry! Find out how to look younger, feel healthier and have an overall sense of well being…..
Date: Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

Locations: Ellënoire Boutique 41 King Street west, Dundas 905 627 9379

Time: Presentation starts at 7:30pm

Speakers: JoAnne Spilatiere, Tom LaForme, Karen Dupuis, Noelle Smith

“I take pride in endorsing the product as a consumer and an athlete who’s looking for every health advantage” Jason Sager, Cannondale Cycling Team

“ it helped me get back to my normal energy level after cancer surgery & months of chemotherapy so I could run my store and work 12 hours a day at my store in the Christmas season” Noëlle Smith, owner Ellënoire Boutique, Dundas

makin' product!

Yay! My assistant just worked out how to make tub fizz!
One less thing for me to do!
Many of you know that ALL of the products under the ellenoire brand are created by me with rare exception. Once I create a recipe someone on staff gets to make it because I no longer have time. I used to make everything. From 1994 to about 2001 I made every single bath bomb, lotion perfume etc. Now I have to blog and market and do taxes and stuff. There are days I like doing the blogging and marketing and such(I don't really ever like doing the taxes), there are days I like making product. Mostly, I like creating the recipes and making them a few times... then I get bored. Making Bath Bombs can be relaxing, but after two hours when I am stuck in the basement covered in bath bomb dust from head to toe (except for the little area under my dust mask) .. then I don't feel relaxed! I just want a shower! Although...My skin is heavenly after showering all the shea butter filled bath bomb dust off me....hmmm.
This week I am experimenting with a new sugar scrub recipe. We made one for a customer that has lavender buds in it along with the lavender essential oil and I HATE it!(customer loves it BTW) because of the little lavender buds!!!!
My skin is gorgeous, my tub is covered in little black dots. So, now we are trying another recipe without the buds... but the buds add such a nice deep layer of fragrance that is warm and wonderful. Lavender absolute perhaps? Who else is nuts enough to work absolutes into skin care? Not many as far as I can see... tell me if you are!!!!
New Sugar Scrub should launch in about a week. Pop in and try some! It is still winter, but your skin does not need to look like it is!
I am off to have pancakes to fatten me up( as if I need that..)!! Happy Mardi Gras!!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Parabens, from a laygirl

So, here we go... how to answer questions about bath product chemicals related to cancer, when I have cancer and sell bath products... some of which have these chemicals.

Most important to note in my book? Read your labels, learn your ingredients, don't panic and we will all eventually get on great skin and food diets.
Here is the wiki link, it tells a little, but it is pretty biased toward the safety
of them.

We live in a less than perfect time for both food and personal care products. Parabens are SYNTHETIC preservatives that are used to prevent bacteria and mould from growing in food and personal care products. Without preservatives many of your bath, skin and hair products would go bad within a day or two of opening them. Most products have either oil or water or both in them. Oil goes rancid. Water grows bacteria. Anything called lotion or cream has both water and oil in the recipe. Parabens are the most used preservatives on the North American market but the links to female related cancers are a little too scary to ignore. A British researcher said "Parabens have been shown to mimic the action of estrogen. Estrogen is known to drive the growth of human breast tumours" Dr Philippa Darbre of the University of Reading. Parabens have been found in breast cancer tumours which suggests they leached into the tissue after being applied to the skin.

The general consensus in the small Bath and Body care company market is that Parabens suck. Ellenoire is constantly striving to find other options. I, Noelle have a very specific opinion on how to deal with the paraben issue in day to day life based only on what I have read.

This is my philosophy: Treat paraben preserved products like you should treat your food. Use/eat as few synthetic things as you can. Artificial colours, fragrances, and chemically altered/ synthetic food and products have far too few years of research for us to know how safe they are. In our lifetimes we may never know for sure. Some of us will get sick and/or die from using/ consuming things that are man altered.
Nasty? Yes! but we simply do not have enough information to know for sure. So. How do you get through the day with your products? Go through your bathroom, learn your ingredients. Limit your exposure. Use only one or two a day that have parabens/nasty chemicals in them. Use/ eat organic when you can afford it.

Call me when you are ready to try some paraben free things and learn more about anti aging products you can eat and drink.
Does this help? I hope so!
If not ...ask me more!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Lotion as sandpaper? huh?

So this weekend I tried a product I bought on a trip to New York City in January. I try lots and lots of new products to see what is going on with the market, to get ideas for brands we might want to bring in, and to get ideas for products that I might want to make. So, I have this beautifully wrapped lotion bar in a Lavender scent. They call it "Body Butter" and it is in a bar shape. A little softer than most lotion bars, but that is ok.
I generally put all body moisturizers on wet skin, right out of the shower or bath so the skin is still very warm. I almost always use a body butter or balm in the winter months(lotion is mostly water by nature and kind of a waste of money and precious moisturizing time and effort in the winter) so I am used to the extra few seconds it takes to rub a body butter into the skin. Lotion bar/ butter bar type things usually melt fine on wet skin and I like them. YUUUUCK! Not this one!
I tried it twice, and I will try it one more time just in case the wet skin is a factor but this thing is really really odd! It feels like they put talc, or cornstarch or something nasty and gritty in the bar! It felt like it scratched across the skin as it was applied! It eventually sunk in... but what were they thinking with that nasty texture? I am gonna try their soap tonight. More on this later.
I will not be copying this product!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

ooh a new topic!

After a long bike ride, run, spinning class or any workout that taxes your lower body and legs here is the trick to being able to not feel like you have cement legs.
Lie on the floor with your legs up a wall or tree or whatever (with your butt against the wall/tree thing) and rub them from the ankle to the thigh (like wringing out a towel)and stay lying there for about 3 min. Then take a hotish bath with a cup of epsom salts if you have them and soak for at least 10 minutes. Tomorrow u will be able to walk. I am serious!

Soon I will work out how to hotlink the thing I talk about to places to buy the stuff.

I promised I know!

but the Valentine's day prep work has been killer and I have been training a new co-op student this week too! It has been hard to get to the 'puter to write to you.
I have some great emails queries from you all my new ellenoire blog peeps! I will be answering them all this week I promise.
I have some lovely chocolate massage bars and oils for you and your fave valentine/ massagee. I hope I see you in the shop today!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Noelle's skin care in a nutshell

I get asked often what I use on my skin. This has a two part answer. Tonight, I will give you part one.
The most important thing to note? Listen to your skin. One set of products is unlikely to fit your skin needs all year round.
What I use may not fit your skin, but rest assured I will help you find the right thing for you. Just ask.
I wash with two things. Soap and liquid soap. Organic, Unscented mostly or at least I don't ever let anything with artificial fragrance touch my face (or my body most of the time) Today I washed with Virginia's unscented glycerin soap (I have a large and varied stash of naturally scented soap in my house and I pick which one I want/ need)in the shower and smeared the Ellenoire Unscented Body Butter everywhere ...from head to toe. Tonight I will use the Ellenoire organic foamy soap and some Ellenoire wildcrafted Shea Butter. I use toner less often than I should, but my skin is wonky from chemo. I recommend that everyone use a toner at least once a day, best at bedtime. When I use a toner I use the ellenoire custom blended toner( we will help u pick one right for you)with witch hazel and rosewater on real cotton on just washed and still wet skin.
In summer I use the Suki line of moisturizers and brightening creams to moisturize.
I exfoliate at least twice a week. Mostly with the ellenoire sugar scrub with no added scent.
Did this make sense? It's late. I'll talk about skin nutrition sometime soon.
Keep asking questions...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Pink lipstick makes me look less tired!

So, have you found the perfect lipstick for your skin tone and eyes?
I have. On my most tired days I use a bright bright (grown up bright I mean) fuchsia lipstick with a shiny gloss and everyone told me I looked grEATTTTT! So, you need to find an amazing colour that brings out your eyes, brightens your natural skin tone and voila you look like you just had a vacation! Neutral may be your style, nude may be in vogue.... but looking tired is never in fashion! A few tricks need to be up every woman's sleeve! Let me know if I can help you today!
Happy Tuesday!

Monday, February 2, 2009

A long time coming!

This is a happy day! I have intended to have a specialized blog just for my store and website for years. For the last year I have blogged about my experience with Breast Cancer and have found the experience oddly cathartic.
I have soooo much to tell you! This time it will be about all the lovely Bath, Body and Fragrance products I make and sell which will make your skin and hair the best you have ever seen it! I promise.
Welcome to the land of ellenoire!