Wednesday, June 18, 2014

My hair feels like a million dollars #guineapiggirl

You know the new Canadian "paper" money? That's what my hair feels like. Plastic and slippery and impermeable. YUCK! A million times over....  I tried a new hair product for my weekly deep treatment on Sunday. Left it in for 3 days since I'm lazy didn't do my hair forever. Usually when I use my standard DevaCurl products and a little olive, or pure argan or camellia oil for deep treatments I get great results. I went to bed last night thinking my hair felt oddly slick and shiny. When I did my hair this morning I realized..... CONES!!! The dreaded CONES! Not pure silicone thank God, but there was dimethiCONE and another funky ingredient in this new product. I understand dimethicone can be water soluble, but whatever was in this stuff was not water soluble at all.
This product won't be on my store shelves ever.
You're welcome. I remain your curly guru, and guinea pig.
Tomorrow I should be back with my normal CONE free head. ;)

P.S. That is not a million dollars, and that is not me.....

Monday, June 2, 2014

Baby, if you ever wondered....

How did this whole ellënoire thing get to be where it is today? 
I found an old write up I did for something in 2010 before we had the salon. I thought it was a good one to share today since I have no time to write much. It's a festival week doncha know?  I'm just starting the second work shift of the day. Early shift is between 8 and 4ish for me on Mondays, and then I head back to work at 9ish for part two. For this festival week much of my time is being spent printing labels and signs, sorting through new and standard stock product to be put out in the big tent, making new recipes for surprise product launches and supervising staff making bath bombs, soap, bath salts and tub fizz. Like I told you last week, orchestrating a festival is a little like juggling cats. 

 This weekend is the Dundas Buskerfest, right outside our front door so we don't have to travel far. This year I will out of the country for the festival, so it all has to be ready 2 days early on top of everything. I've only missed 2 Buskerfests. One in 2009 for my 20th College reunion in Middlebury Vermont, and in 2011 to meet my Cancer sisters when we all travelled to Texas to visit a friend who was dying of cancer. This year it's my 25th College reunion (sorry Canadians, you don't really seem to have an equivalent to what US schools do for class reunions) and I'm off to hang out with old friends for 4 days. Luckily, I have lots of amazing friends, family and staff who are willing to take care of both my store and home stuff while I'm off. 

Everything in the store and in the big tent and on the website is tax free (the sale equivalent of tax free that is, the goverment makes me collect those taxes still)  starting on Friday, so don't miss this opportunity. Even the locals can shop online and pick it up later if you don't want to brave the crowds and the parking issues. We'll waive the shipping fee if you pick up of course. Use the code " Busker" on the website.... 
 Ok here's the post from 2010: 

What is ellënoire?

According to the BBC/HGTV television home makeover stars Colin & Justin: ellënoire is “Everything to do with grooming and staying beautiful” I think that is a perfect way to describe what we are. Walk in, tell us your grooming and beauty issues and we will help you fix them. Naturally.

Sure, there are things we specialize in like Natural Curly Hair Care, Custom Blended Natural Fragrances, Handmade Bath & Body Products (unscented, or scented as you like it) and fun personal care items from around the world but the big picture of what we are is deceptively simple.

Almost 20 years ago in my living room I started ellënoire with 3 gallons of Lotion & Bubble Bath, 11 fragrances and a HUGE dream of what this company would become. For totally selfish reasons I wanted the business to be my playground, a way for me to create fun products, make a living and never go back to having a “real job” ever again. Over the years my customers have kept me on my toes. Their repeated requests for certain products and services have shown me the path to making ellënoire what it is today. 

So, when you wander in and see a Towel for drying your dog, next to the makeup that Lady Gaga uses, beside a natural insect repellant and a snoring remedy near a whole section dedicated to curly hair it may seem quirky. Just know that the things in the store are here because 20 years of customers have told us that these are the things they what they want to make their lives easier, to make their skin better, to make them more beautiful.

Have a great weekend folks! Come by the booth and pester my staff and get great deals. I'll be here.... 

Or here......
Perhaps you've seen the area before...;) 

Yup... seriously, that's my old hood. I've never met Daryl though. See y'all when I get back! 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Hail thee Festival day?

Festival Season has begun! In case you missed the updates on all our social media outposts on Sunday of the last weekend we were in Waterdown at the launch of a new local street festival. Many of you were off doing that cottage thing, or freezing your butts off at a campground wondering why every year on May 2-4 weekend you think you should be sleeping in a tent when parts of not too Northern Ontario still have frost overnight.
WE, the ellenoire team of street festival professionals were dragging our weary asses out of bed to round up the last few boxes, banners and labels and other bits and bobs that assist in us schlepping a good representation of the boutique and stuffing it into an attractive, but not too pretentious looking 10x10 tent.

A lot of my readers and followers became customers due to a festival we were set up at. Every year we set up at 3 or more local street festivals. The Dundas ones of course are our biggest ones: The Busker Festival on the first weekend in June and the Cactus Fest on the third weekend in August.
We show up at the Locke Street festival in early September every year, although one year the rain was coming down so heavily while we were trying to pack the loaner pickup truck that we had to call it a day. As you can imagine Bath Bombs and Soap do not travel well in the rain. That was the year that we started packing everything in plastic Rubbermaid tubs.

 There's never a dull moment on a festival weekend. I'm generally exhausted before they start because I do all the ordering (from 3 countries and up to 20 different suppliers) and coordinate those shipments to pass though customs smoothly so all the components of each handmade product is in place on time to get it made, cured, dried, bottled, labeled, packaged and priced. This usually takes 3 weeks before the festival starts.
 A festival crew is usually anywhere between 3 and 8 people which includes regular staff to run the store, while the rest of us are out on a street somewhere. We've helped quite a few students make a few bucks over the years. We have so much fun that they return year after year. We've employed every age from 14-70 years and occasionally I've had my son, or my brother around to help.

This is a funny one from the Busker Fest in 2011, we had only just moved into this temporary location 4 weeks earlier but still had 30 feet of tents out front on time. John was trying to not look up as Tim, in his staff uniform kilt was climbing a pole to retrieve something.

Locally we have become known for a few things in our festival tents. I'm often at one end flipping my curls around showing people how to use curly products to have perfect, frizz free hair. Hey!? If I can have no frizz while working sweaty 12 hour days in a damned tent I can teach ANYONE else to do the same. Tim is generally at other the end spritzing someone with muscle mist or showing how great their hands can feel after a sugar or salt scrub treatment in the laundry tub we use for demos. 
My favourite memory of our scrub tub comes from one year at the Locke street festival. You see, we have a 5 gallon bucket hidden under the sink drain to catch the rinse water from the hand scrub demonstration. On this particularly busy and very hot day the bucket became very full of yucky water. I have very funny picture somewhere of a friend and festival helper holding a 3/4 full bucket of greyish water mixed with a blend of sugar and salt and hand washing dirt etc. The bucket had become known as the "scum bucket" and from that day, our friend was known as "Scumbuckety Iain" 
 If I find the picture, I'll post it. It's a classic exaample of one of our "eboys" as our team of
 male festival staff have become known. 

This past week with the long days at the store and the 12 hour day at the Waterdown festival my feet were quite sore. I woke up for a few days after the festival with painfully swollen hands and feet. Since the doctors have no clue why, and I head for blood tests tomorrow this hideousness has become known as festivalitus. This is not my favourite festival memory, and I may start planning my Hobbit costume for next year. 
I need a pedicure AND I have cankles. Kill me! 

Just for putting up with this awful picture of my tree trucks for ankles you can have 10% off anything mentioned in this post until June 15th. Mention it in the store or use code "hobbit" at checkout on the website. 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Hello Muddah.....

Ah, Mother's Day. In my day as a little kid that meant a race to finish a ceramic ashtray, yes 
that's what we were taught to make. Weren't the 70’s awesome? Or hoping the glue would dry 
on some sort of twisted tissue paper art (no, not twisted art... art made from little bits of twisted 
tissue paper) In my family there were no big brunches out or get-togethers but I served my share of those in many restaurants. 

What do you do? Family stuff? Breakfast in Bed? Cook a meal together? Presents? Tell me all about it! 

 If you are gift givers Here's a list of all the fun things I think you should consider for your well deserving, hard working mom: 
- A Silk Pillowcase so she can wake up with perfect skin and perfect hair. 
-Music for her Alone? A lovely relaxing CD of Piano and Harpsichord music by a local musician  
-The gift of frizz free hair! The DevaCurl try me kit is a perfect start! 
-Gift Certificates are always welcome, and you can order them online and have it emailed or pop by the shop for one. 
-Soap? Do we have soap! Some of it is on the website but there's a ton more in the shop. 
-Does Mom workout? Work too much? Have arthritis? Has she tried Muscle Mist? Magic in a bottle I tell ya! 
Does Mom love Lavender? We can make almost anything you can name in personal care in Lavender. Just ask!
If you want help picking something for Mom , just ask. We make lovely gift packages customized to your specifications and don't forget that Cleaning stuff is on sale until mid May.... Just in case you think cleaning mom's house, or kitchen or doing her laundry would be a nice gift. Don't you dare give her cleaning products as a gift!

Tell me all your Mother's Day Stories so I can live vicariously through you. Whatever you do for Mother's Day, be sure to count your blessings if your Mom is still here to celebrate with. My beloved Mummy died a few years ago and I'd love to eat some terrible brunch with her or make ugly ashtrays for her. 

Me and my Mummy 

 Happy Mother's Day to all of you loving, caring, hardworking moms out there

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Are ya done yer Spring Cleaning? Great! Then you can come and do mine!

Spring Cleaning Supplies are still 20% off! To order on the website use the codeword "Clean"
Did you see my post last week? Have you thrown out all your ancient makeup? Have you heated the vinegar and tried the cool trick I taught you and cleaning all the gucky surfaces in your house? Here's a lovely stove top to inspire you.
Mine generally looks similar, if not worse than this stolen photo. No, I'm not kidding, but my fancy vinegar soap cleaner will get all this stuff off.
I told my son last night the only thing I want for Mother's Day is a clean kitchen. Maybe you should do that too! Find out what your Mom's biggest cleaning pet peeve is and get that done for her for Mother's Day. I can hook you up with everything you need!

The Bulk refill stock has arrived for the liquid soap I mentioned last week, so run in to get yours now! Bring your own bottle or grab one of ours! The Unscented Zero-VOC  Liquid Sunshine Spray and Wipe is back in stock too. This product is also refillable!

For more cleaning inspiration don't miss the post here by my blogger friend over at The Art of Doing Stuff.
I am using the toilet brush trick all the time now!
The no-touch, drip dry toilet brush technique to help avoid the puddle at the bottom of the toilet brush holder.
Please ignore the torn apart flooring and the hideous, pasted on with crazy glue wallpaper.

Happy Cleaning! Happy May Day!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Clean all the Things!!!!

Now, back to biz. This week, we talk about SPRING CLEANING! I am offering 20% off all cleaning products linked in this post. Click the links below for more info or pop into the store. To order on the website use codeword "clean"
Everyone from Canadian Tire to some of my natural perfume friends are talking about Spring Cleaning this week and we all have a different view on it.
My favourite way to clean is very natural and simple and I bet a lot of my natural food and skin care readers are getting into natural cleaning too. Let's be real, one of the best things about Pinterest is surfing though posts about weird household things you can use to clean things rather than buying expensive, nasty chemical based stuff from the grocery store.

In my house the things on the list below is what I use to clean pretty much everything. If you read this blog often I'm sure you can imagine that my house is basically unscented and there are certainly no synthetic fragrance laden cleaning products or nasty migraine inducing dryer sheet stenches anywhere.

This is my basic list:
Organic Castile Soap and other lovely natural soap based cleaners 
Double strength cleaning Vinegar -regular will do too
Essential oils (We strongly recommend not using any large amount of essential oils for cleaning anywhere your cats mouth or paws might touch and do not use tea tree oil around any pets)
Toilet Bombs (link and recipe to come next week)
Microfibre cloths and occasionally Miracle Sponges
Steamer mop
Spray Bottle- 16 oz or larger
Wool dryer balls
Sports Suds 
I have a bottle of ammonia and a bottle of peroxide around for really heavy cleaning and stain removal.

My favourite cleaning blend is to measure out 1 cup of castile soap and 1 cup of vinegar. Heat the vinegar- I use the microwave because I'm lazy but you can heat it on the stove top if you're all old school like that ;)- until it's almost boiling and mix it with the soap in a spray bottle. Go to the yuckiest place to clean in your house. In my house the yuckiest places are either the stove top or the bathtub. Spray your lovely new natural cleaning product on the yucky, sticky oily or soap scummy surface and walk away. Yes, I said walk away. Come back in 15- 30 minutes or so and wipe with a wet cloth. Don't call me to tell how amazing it is, I ALREADY know! It's the best thing ever! Right? I got rid of all chemical cleaners a few years ago and have never looked back. Try it, you'll like it and you'll love how much money you save. Until May 4th you can buy Organic Castile Soap  here at 20% off the regular price OR bring in your own clean bottle with a good screw top lid and save even more when we refill it!

 My bathroom of course is full of all kinds of fun, clean, green and lightly scented bath products but you know what else my bathroom is full of? Old makeup! For many years I've trained my clients to stop storing their natural bath products and makeup in the bathroom because the heat and humidity from the stuff you do in the bathroom can make these things go bad faster. For some reason I broke my own rules on this one. The preservative systems in your natural lotions and liquid or waxy makeup (foundation, mascara, liquid eyeliner,lip gloss, lipstick) and such are not really meant to withstand a lot of heat. So, your second cleaning tip of the day? Go through all your bathroom stuff and look at dates if there are any, and sniff each and every thing! Weird? Yup! Trust me, it works. If something smells off, you know like the week you were on the diet and ate no butter, then when you gave up the diet and ate the butter that was sitting on the counter all week....? That kind of off. The fancy olive oil you stored in the cupboard above the fridge and forgot about kind of off.  Rancid oil off I mean.
I recently took a lipstick out of my bathroom and put it in my makeup case. Just last night in the car on the way home from Easter dinner I asked my son- aka slave boy in the passenger seat who is slowly learning how to hand me orange slices, pain killers and such in a way that I can see them whilst driving- to hand me my lipstick since my lips were really dry. Seconds later after I put some on I was begging for a tissue and some water since I had clearly put on lipstick that was so old it wasn't just rancid it was the most vile, putrid tasting evil and someone was actually trying to kill me with this horrible taste. I do not recommend this method for finding out you own lipstick that is older than your children. Honestly? If any of your makeup is older than a year it's likely you should throw it out. Some powdered makeups will be OK, but keep them out of your bathroom. If it goes in your eye, like mascara or eyeliner - 6 months is the longest you should ever keep it. Yes really.

So, there you have it, one spring cleaning post done. I do like to add images to my posts but all the cleaning images I found on the interwebs were of  a) people wearing rubber gloves which you don't have to do with these natural cleaning ideas, unless you have a fancy manicure to protect b) people who were all happy and smiley and sh**, and I really never wanted anyone imagining me happy cleaning anything.... so I got you this picture.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

It's a Hard Knock Life?

Oh my. What a hard, hard few weeks it's been. Both Sarah's decision to leave the shop in search of love, and yet another front desk person's decision to leave are all coming to a head (to their deadlines, to an end, to fruition, to completion... you pick) this week. As of Thursday I am, once again chief bookkeeper, receptionist, senior hairstylist, cleaning lady, soapmaker, the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker.... or so it seems. In posts from last week you will see the details of the staff we are looking for. After much gnashing of teeth (Oh do be quiet, I am enjoying the over use of dramatic phrases!) and howling at the (bloody) moon in frustration, anger and other cruddy emotions I had a long, hard talk with myself and said..... Noëlle you idiot! (numbskull, doughhead, ignorant slut.. you pick) You, and you alone have dragged this business through way, way WAY worse than this!!! A simple change of the guard amongst the staff is seriously no big deal!
This week in fact is the 6th anniversary of the start of my chemotherapy. It might even have been on this very day, but chemobrain has relieved me of recalling all of those pesky dates and details. I went in to work the very next day. That I remember. Le sigh.
 I could reminisce for hours about all the unpleasant things I've been through while keeping this business open and how somehow as of now it's still going ok..... but I won't. 

Since this song, this character and this philosophy seem to follow me... I'll let you listen to this. 

 ... of course I picked the original Broadway Annie version! ;) 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

aaaand again!

This post is about hiring a new stylist. It's almost time to expand the salon hours to better accomodate our clients so we need another hair stylist for the team 

Our salon, as many of you know welcomes everyone, with any type of hair but our speciality is taking care of natural curly hair.All of my stylists are required to have extra training in cutting curly hair. We are happy to provide training to the right person. Training in this method will involve some travel both in Canada and possibly internationally so when applying for this job please keep this in mind.

The right candidate for this job is either a second year apprentice or licensed stylist who is aware of the lack of care paid to curly hair in the hair industry and is interested in helping to change the misconceptions that exist in traditional salons. Ellënoire is one of the busiest locations in this area. We provide a generous pay and commision structure that will allow the right candidate to make a very good living. 
 I've listed some details in point form below. If you have questions, or would like to apply for this position please direct questions, cover letters and resumes to

Second year apprentice or Licensed Stylist, (Barbering hopefuls may also apply) wanted for busy location. 

Natural Salon specializing in Curly Hair. Training provided for right person, Terms of Employment: 

Title: Hairstylist 

Terms of Employment: Permanent, Full Time, Weekend, Day, Evening, Part time apprentices will also be considered.

Salary: Hourly Wage $11.25 and up per hour minimum + Commissions+ Bonuses

Anticipated Start Date: As soon as possible

Location: Busy Salon in Dundas, specializing in Curly Hair & Natural Hair Care

Credentials: Hairstylist License or apprenticeship certificate

Experience: 1 years or more of recent experience in the Haircutting/ Hairstyling Field, DevaCurl training a bonus, Dry or Barbering cutting experience a bonus, straight razor shaving a bonus

Languages: Speak English well, Read English well, Write English well

Work Setting: Natural Hair Care Salon (no perms, no blow outs, no flat irons or chemical straightening,  sulfates or silicone used) with Natural Beauty Boutique attached

Hair Cutting Techniques: Scissor cutting, Hair washing, conditioning and setting, Men, Women & Children’s cuts, Dry cutting experience a bonus 

Hair Colouring Techniques: Bleach, Dyes/tints, Streaking/highlights

Additional Skills: Customer Service, Retail sales, Ringing in Sales, Attention to detail, Ability to follow instructions, Strong Communication skills, Comfortable teaching clients, Comfortable learning new skills quickly, creative thinking, Maintenance and clean up, presentation skills, ability to organize and schedule, Willing to embrace new thinking, Must be willing to travel for special training

Work Conditions and Physical Capabilities: Fast-paced environment, Repetitive tasks, Manual dexterity, Attention to detail, Hand-eye co-ordination, Combination of standing, walking, Standing for extended periods

Work Site Environment: Noisy, Odours, Fragrances, Non-smoking

Transportation/Travel Information: Own transportation, Public transportation is available nearby

Work Location Information: Small town setting, On-site customer service

Essential Skills: Personable, Good Manners, Reading text, Basic computer use, Document use, Numeracy, Writing, Oral communication, Working with others, Problem solving, Decision making, Critical thinking, Job task planning and organizing, Significant use of memory, Finding information, Continuous learning

Other Information: Excited, Hardworking, open-minded people will make the most money and have the most fun with the ellënoire team.

Employer: Ellënoire, Body, Bath Fragrance and Curly Hair Salon 104 King street west, Dundas ON. 
905 627 9379

How to apply: Please direct questions, cover letters and resumes to

We are hiring again!

Hi! What a crazy few weeks this has been! The financial reality of running a street front business during a long, cold winter means we have to keep costs very low. A lot of time was spent looking out the window at snowflakes on the street rather than people out shopping. We had a staff person move onto a new career early in the year, so I was chief receptionist, shipping manager,marketing manager, dishwasher and more!

Now that the weather has turned a corner and the snow is likely to stay away (if it snows in May, then I think a lot of people will be moving west though) we can hire someone to help me with the day to day work in the store. Please pass this information along to friends if you think you know someone who can handle this crazy place.
Still from the 1940 film His Girl Friday with Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell & Ralph Bellamy
I don't think this movie is really about a Girl friday but the pic is fun! 

 Sometimes I think the dated terms "Girl Friday" and "Man Friday", "Jack of all trades" describes this eclectic position (FYI, this position was held by a male for seven years) or even "Curl Friday" as a nod to our Curly Hair salon..... but after asking friends and clients we came up with title to describe the job

 Client Services Coordinator
The perfect candidate will have the professionalism and friendliness of a Maître D or a Hotel Concierge and the ability to juggle clients at the register, ringing phones, have precision in communication with management, clients and other staff. To be successful in this position we seek a person who can roll with the punches with an open mind while remaining calm and professional. This is an eclectic position with an attractive salary and a happy, energetic workplace.

 Job details: 
1) “Running the front desk” Cash and credit card handling, Cash register/ POS skills, greeting clients, preparing coffee for clients,
2) Booking Hair Salon clients for appointments in a natural curly hair specialty salon, this require extra attention to detail.
3) Sales of Hair and personal care products for both men and women. Simple customization and packaging of personal care products (ie labeling, gift wrapping, adding a few drops of fragrance)
4) Light Cleaning duties and retail "facing up" and simple decorating
5) A Small amount of shipping and receiving and office paperwork will also be necessary. 

These are the key points we are looking for, although there may be extra hours available for someone who wants to learn light manufacturing of personal care products. 

Ellënoire is an LGTB friendly, nursing friendly, multicultural environment so closed minds need not apply. 
 Skills and experience desired: minimum of 2 years in experience in one or more of the following: High end retail Sales, Reception, Hotel front desk or busy restaurant hostess or server positions.
 Extra notes: Above all what we need is professionalism in both manner and dress, politeness, ability to follow instruction precisely, able to stand and walk for many hours with few breaks and not be shy in communication. The ability to learn the details of and comfortably sell a large number of products in our boutique, learn the details of booking a hair client in a specialty environment, and teach clients how to use products they may not imagine using themselves.

Job Location: ellënoire, Body, Bath & Fragrance and Curly Hair Salon104 King Street west, Dundas, ON 905 627 9379

Email questions, cover letters and resumes to  

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Baby come back!

Sarah, Noelle & David in New York City on a night out after a training at the Deva Curl Academy

This week’s email is an announcement about one of our staff and some changes happening in the salon over the next few months. 
 In order to best care for our clients we at ellenoire take pride in hiring with an open mind and treating our staff as well as we can. We provide higher wages, extra time off when possible, and extra training programs when available. This month we have chosen to honour a request for an extended leave of absence from a staff member.
Our beloved stylist Sarah is off on a travel adventure for 3 months starting at Easter. She’ll be travelling to an exotic location and we wish her the best.  We will welcome Sarah back with open arms in July. We realize that this situation may be a challenge for Sarah’s clients to accept since they have become used to her constant presence here. Please rest assured that Victoria and I will be covering the shop and all the services at the salon while she is away.
Sarah’s schedule is filling quickly so if you would like to see her before she goes please call as soon as you can, 905 627 9379.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Curls for Sale

A few weeks ago I told you about our newest stylist Victoria. This week, in lieu of a product sale we have decided to, in a way, put Victoria on sale. No, you may not take her home, but you are permitted to take advantage of her hair services at a 10% discount. Victoria has been with us for almost 6 months and already has loyal,returning clientele.
  Victoria specializes in cutting curly hair as all of my stylists do and has several years experience cutting straight hair too. Starting immediately we are offering a 10% discount off Victoria's services booked until the end of March and that's not all! When you arrive for your service you'll receive a gift from me, I'll have a lovely basket full of fun ellёnoire products for you to choose from.
 Throughout this week I'll be posting before and after shots of Victoria's work so you can see what beautiful work she does.
 Many of my store clients have never considered coming to the ellёnoire salon for a haircut. Are you one of these? Perhaps you don't have curly hair, perhaps you have straight hair and can't imagine what a curly hair specialist could possibly do with your hair. Perhaps you have only slightly wavy hair and have never considered trying a curly hair specialist. Whichever reason it is, let me assure you that all hair types are welcome at our salon and Victoria would love to see you. Have you ever had your hair cut dry rather than wet? Have you ever tried a sulfate and silicone free hair service rather than the harsh detergent and plastic resins bases used in traditional salons?

Are you ready for a total change in approach to your hair care. A more natural hair care experience? Take us up on this fantastic offer and give Victoria a shot!
Call the shop at 905 627 9379 to book.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

soap fact for today

Soap fact for the day for soap week... Do your soap ingredients say Tallow? or Sodium Tallowate? This means your soap contains the rendered fat of an animal, generally cow, pig or sheep mostly the former two. Animal fat has been used for thousands of years for soap and candle making and for lamp oil among other uses. There's nothing really wrong with tallow, in some circles it's considered great for skin, but if you are vegetarian or vegan of course you want to avoid it. At the moment ellenoire does not make any animal fat based soaps, although some of our "Fun" imported soaps contain it. Read more about the sale here!

Soapy soap sale!

 Week 4 of the fun new weekly sale program and y'all seem to be jumping on board with our ellenoire weekly sale campaign. I have a client who is 4 for 4 in this program and has shown up every week to take advantage of the savings and learning more about our products. This week all of our soap is 20% off the regular price starting on Friday.  Luxurious hand made 

ellënoire soap from $4.80 and our long time favorite Vermont Soap for $6.00.  Ellënoire Foamee Liquid soap is $5.60. Choose Unscented or choose from our extensive selection of scented versions. 

Here is why you will love the soaps we make and sell.....
Did you know that it was one little bar of soap that started all the passion I have for the cosmetics and beauty industry in the first place? I think I was about 9 and for a gift I was given a little round bar of peach colored soap, with a fragrance I thought was the best thing I'd ever smelled. I know now it was a simple European style floral likely made with synthetic ingredients but I would never have known that then. I kept that soap in my sock drawer and closed my eyes and sniffed it whenever I came across it. I still have that bar of soap. 

Many of the locals in my little town refer to my shop as the "soap store" which you likely know is only partially true. Because soap is such a big part of my original passion you will find lots of it in my shop. We make lots of soap in house and bring in many brands from around the world. Our selection has changed many times over the years and that is mostly due to my ongoing learning about ingredients although we still carry some fun/ highly processed soap. Everything in life should be at least a little fun. 

This week I'll post lots of mini posts about ingredients you may want to avoid when buying the soap you use daily. I'll help you understand the fun soap too and why using those daily may not be the best choice for your skin. I've gone into detail about soap ingredients before, but I meet  someone everyday who just uses the soap with the bird on it, or the soap named after the elephant tusk because they are cheap and when I tell them what's in their soap they're kind of shocked. I'll try not to be too preachy about the ingredients for a lot of reasons, but mostly because I believe my customers are smart enough to make informed decisions and I'm here to inform not to judge.  

So! Bring on soap week!

Don't forget, 20% off every bar or liquid soap in the shop from Friday to Sunday. You can pop by the shop and we'll take phone, email and web orders all week and have them ready for pick up or shipping for Friday at opening. You will receive the discounted price no matter how you order. 

 P.S. Watch out on this blog, facebook, twitter and linkedin for our weekly sales event updates starting every Monday!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Organic Body Wash & Body Lotion Sale

Have you been keeping up with the new sale program I introduced in January? This week we’ll introduce you to the bestselling products from the ellënoire everyday Body Wash and Body Lotion at 20% off the regular price. Body Wash for $12 and Body Lotion $13.60 for 500ml/ 16oz starting this Friday.
The ellënoire everyday line has 70% or more organic content and even at full price is the least expensive organic body line per ml on the market in Canada. The sale is on this weekend from Friday to Sunday so hurry and get your order in!


Why did we call it “ellënoire everyday Body Wash” and “ellënoire everyday Body Lotion”? Read on to find out….
  A few years ago my Tim and I were trying to work out why we just weren’t selling as much body wash and lotion as we thought we should be.  After all, each of the Ellenoire products were high quality, handmade, paraben free and even custom scented.  We decided that I needed to create a line that people would choose as their basic products to use every single day. What do most people use every day? Soap or Body Wash and some sort of Lotion was the answer. I kept telling him we already had those things in our product line up and I didn’t know why people couldn’t just see past the pretty label with my picture on the front at how these were great products to use daily. I was using them daily, he was using them daily and a lot of my customers were using them daily but it wasn’t enough. We needed a way to get people to replace their basic drug store level product with something we had created and convince them that it was better for their skin than those chemical ridden products. We also had to convince the people that were already buying organic and clean products at their local health food store that ours was better, less expensive and available in their choice of natural fragrances or totally unscented.  I came up with some great formulations but we still had to get the message across that it was all those lovely things, but for everyday use… well why not put that right on the label?  And this is how the ellënoire everyday line was born.

The two main products in the line are the Body Wash and the Body Lotion. We decided not to name them anything other than exactly what they are. We even labeled them in a way that suggested they were kind of generic, simple, and basic. Tim wanted people to look at the label, know exactly what they were looking at and buy it. The people who desired the natural ingredient info got exactly what they needed on the back (some people never, ever look at ingredients, some people care about nothing else, this product was set up to satisfy both types) Ellënoire everyday is 70% or higher organic content (close to 100% in the Body Wash) vegan safe, kid safe, paraben, silicone, sulfate and petroleum free. I compared the bottle size and the per ml price of every comparable organic body product I could find locally and online in Canada and made sure ours came in a bigger bottle and was the least expensive. You can bring the bottle in for a refill for a 10% discount. Both products come in unscented, a lavender and lemongrass blend, and a vanilla and bergamot blend. All scents are pure essential oils and the unscented is available for custom scenting with 1 of our over 100 essential oils for a small charge. The products do exactly what you imagine they should they are simple, straight forward, with no BS. The Body wash cleanses your skin gently but doesn’t strip your skins natural oils or leave a greasy petroleum residue like some of the moisturizing body washes on the market. The put that gunk in to mask the fact that the cheap detergent in the wash strips your skin of oils like paint remover strips paint. It’s gentle enough to wash your face, but only use the unscented if you have very sensitive skin.

The body lotion is light, luxuriously smooth and fast absorbing but leaves your skin feeling like you can pick up paper and get dressed soon after using it. I love the unscented one for face and body but use a scented one for special occasions since it leaves a whisper of natural scent that only I and the people that I let hug me can smell.

 I fought for the better part of 3 or so years with Tim on creating this line. I am notorious in our history of working on this business together for the last 11 years in coming up with reasons not to implement his ideas. The day we launched the product line in 2010 at a festival here in town we (I was anyway) were shocked at how quickly we sold out.  The line had remained a bestseller ever since. Everyday someone comes in to take advantage of our refill service.

  I thought Tim’s “brilliant” tag line for the product: “Good Stuff You’ll Like” was the most ridiculous of all his ideas. It turns out, he was right there too. If it comes from ellënoire there is no question it is good stuff, if I won’t use it myself it won’t go on the shelf … and clearly when the packaging and line ideas come from Tim you like it!

Try ellënoire everyday this week at amazing prices: Body Wash for $12 and Body Lotion $13.60 for 500ml/ 16oz starting this Friday for the weekend of February 14th-16th.  Good stuff you’ll love!
Feel free to pre-order on the website or at the shop or by phone to reserve yours at the sale price, and watch out for my posts for other tips and tricks on how to use these great products…. Everyday!


Monday, February 3, 2014

Sugar Scrub Sale

Have you been keeping up with the new sale program I introduced last week? This week we'll fix your dried out winter skin with 20% off our handmade Demerara Sugar Scrub. The 8 oz jar is $20, and the 16oz is $28.  Bar none, this is the best product to scrub away the winter blahs. You'll have softer hands, face, body and even scalp! The sale is on this weekend from Friday to Sunday so hurry and get your order in!

Why is scrub the most important step in winter skin care? Read on...

Oh winter, it really is the topic of the last few weeks for many of us in places that have been hit hard with multiple drastic weather changes. Many people in this part of the world are scrounging to get south or alternately complaining bitterly about the ice, the snow, the shoveling and the dry cold air. I'm not one of the complainers since I love the snow and just accept all the trappings that go with it.

I think all of us can agree that the dry skin, cracking cuticles and dry hair and scalp that come with the lack of moisture in the air is the worst part of it. The special this week is our ever popular Demerara Sugar Scrub. I've posted about scrub before and scolded many people for not wearing gloves outdoors in the winter over the years.

It's funny though, I read a lot of other blogs and about scrubs both for sale and handmade and for some odd reason people think scrub is only for hands. Do you want to feel like a million dollars? Do you want your skin to feel like you have the best skin in the room under all your winter layers? Then scrub a dub! Book a time, once a week and get to it. Draw a bath, or start the shower and take your scrub and some nice fluffy towels and plan on using 1/2 cup of scrub or more. Get your skin and head wet, put a tablespoon or so in your hand and apply to your dried out scalp. Yes, you heard me, your scalp.... then work your way onto your face, and all the way down your body until you get to your feet. Be careful with sensitive parts of your body or places you break out a lot. Be more aggressive with the drier parts like elbows, knees and heels..... and don't forget those hands and cuticles. Scrub until the crystals all dissolve and wash away.  Rinse yourself well, so no more sugar crystals are left behind.  Now, your skin should be glossy with natural oils, so pat dry or wrap up in our favourite robe and revel in how soft our skin feels. No need for lotion or oils after this product, but you can keep up the feeling all week with a petroleum free lotion, oil or balm.  The scrub is simply helping to take away a layer of dead skin allowing the new, softer skin underneath to breath and drink in moisture.  We even use it in the salon for scalp and hands.

Don't forget, our Demerara Scrub goes on sale this Friday for the weekend of February 7th-9th for 20% off the regular price and you can have it scented any way you like!

Feel free to pre-order on the website or at the shop or by phone to reserve your jar at the sale price, and watch out for my posts for other tips and tricks on how to use scrub.

Stay Warm!


Monday, January 27, 2014

Unscented Laundry week aka When a hug equals a headache

Unscented Laundry week!

This week we are introducing a new sales feature in the store and on the website. On Mondays I will introduce you to a product that you may not know about and then we put it on sale Friday for the weekend!  Sports Suds and Wool Dryer Balls are the products of the week on sale for 20% off the retail price!  Sports Suds is bar none the best unscented laundry product I've ever tried.  It's a simple white powder that was originally designed to get the stink out of sport and yoga type clothes, and I’ll tell you lots of cool ways it will take stink out of almost everything you own.  I use it for all of my laundry, all of the time. Wool Dryer Balls are a very neat, eco friendly way to get your clothes dry with no static and no scent......

Every day I will mention something good, fun or useful about this product here and on all our social media pages: FacebookTwitter, linkedIn etc.  On Friday morning the product(s) will go on sale until the following Monday.  You can reserve your product purchase by phone or email or order it online to hold it at the sale price for pick up or shipping starting on the Friday.

Here is why I think you should try them.....

Sports Suds are Canadian, Simple, Earth Friendly, Sustainably sourced and the product does exactly what they say it will. The happy people at Sports Suds up the road a bit in Milton make sure all Sport Suds products are made from naturally occurring ingredients of non-animal origin are non-toxic and hypoallergenic.  They DO NOT contain dyes, phosphates, UV brighteners, bleach or perfumes and there are no additives or fillers to create bulk and weight.   All Sport Suds products are safe for septic and grey water systems, highly biodegradable and certified safe for use in small lakes and streams (OECD 301A).  And of course, they never test on animals.

Moss Creek Wool Dryer Balls are Canadian, Reusable All Natural Wool Balls that last for hundreds of laundry loads.  What's a Dryer Ball?  You use them in your dryer as a replacement for disposable dryer sheets and/ or, synthetic fabric softener to soften clothing, reduce static cling and wrinkles.  Felted wool absorbs water and regulates humidity level in dryer.  The unbleached, undyed balls bounce around your dryer (making a lovely, peaceful bonging sound by the way) separating clothed and helping them dry faster reducing dryer time, saving electricity, time and money.  They work with all clothing types including cloth diapers, blankets, towels and down jackets.  Wool fibres do not come off on clothing.

You can buy these awesome products at an even better discount if you buy them together in the Unscented Laundry Week Special! Save and extra 5% on top of the 20% off I am already offering grabbing this deal!

AND this, is WHY it's Unscented Laundry week!

It's funny you know while I was starting to write this post I found out that today apparently is "National Hug Day" and I was working from home so I was not forced into any random acts of hugging.  You see, I'm not much of a hugger.  Sure, if you've known me for a long time and you haven't seen me for a long time then go ahead, but other than that I don't really get the hug thing.  If you must hug me, ask permission please. I understand some people get joy out of the process; some inexplicable warm and fuzzy feeling or some such.

What isn't funny?  It seems about 90% of people that hug me have some form of synthetic scented product molecule on their person and given my sensitivities that hug means little to me but an immediate unpleasant sinus reaction that leads within minutes to a very painful headache and there ain't nothing warm and fuzzy about that.

If you buy your fragranced products (Body Spray, Cologne, Perfume, Laundry soap, Dryer sheets, Laundry additives, Deodorant, Lotions, Candles and so on and on) in a department store, drug store and yes, a pretty little gift store even a health food store in some cases you probably reek of a synthetic fragrance.  I had a medical procedure yesterday and the nurse who put in my IV and the Doc doing the procedure were covered in synthetic scented yuckiness.  I hadn't eaten solid food in 29 hours and had consumed no fluids of any sort for 9 hours by the time I met the Doc..... my reaction was extra lovely given how heightened my senses are during deprivation like that and they are both darned lucky my stomach was empty or I surely would have made their shoes aware of how nauseous their fragrances made me.  Fragrance free environment my ass!

You should know by now at ellënoire hand makes a huge percentage of what we sell and almost 90% of it is left totally unscented on the shelf and is scented (with only essential oils and truly natural ingredients of course) if you request it.  Finding unscented products on the market is very hard for us sensitive people and I have a tough time finding any to sell other than my own brand.  Many large companies call their unscented products "Scent Free" but in most cases a "Masking Agent" ingredient is used to stop the fragrance receptors in your brain from detecting the chemicals they did not take out.  They may have taken out the scents, but they left the other yucky chemicals the scent was covering up in the first place.

Personally, after finally discovering a world with very few, if any artificial scents, masking agents or yucky chemicals I've found more than ever that I like the scent of real things.  The scent of people is quite pleasant most of the time.   The scent of unscented people wearing unscented cloth is kinda cool too.  Did you know cotton, smells different than wool or silk or....?  I bet many of you have never smelled the scent of totally unscented laundry.

Someday I'll explain why we would all get along better in the world if we weren't all covered in fakey-fake scents all the time.

But for now, try the fun, functional products I mentioned above, or try the unscented laundry week special.

Don't forget, we’ll be announcing a new spotlight sale early each week and start the sale every Friday!