Green Beauty with Margaux Zanetti
Full name Margaux Zanetti
Location Toronto, ON
Tell us a bit about your background and what led you to start blogging about green beauty
Originally from Richmond Hill, I moved to Toronto to attend school at Ryerson University for Graphic Communications Management. In school, I learned graphic design and after my first year, I got two graphic design internships. The first was at a bridesmaid dress company and the other was for startup at fashion week. A girl in my program who was also interning for fashion week actually had started a blog and I decided that I wanted to start blogging as well. So we started a blog together called Zencity. We blogged together for about a year and a half but I then realized that I wanted my own thing and focus more on lifestyle and green beauty.
I was actually first introduced to green beauty when my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. She got a pack of makeup to use while she was going through treatment that was all natural. I was so curious to know why she couldn’t just use her regular makeup and what was in the regular stuff that's so bad?
Growing up in Richmond Hill we never really had access to great makeup brands. It was only the natural stuff sold at the health food store. When I moved downtown I was introduced to the Detox Market and all their great products. So I decided that this was it and I was going to start making a switch. I started with skincare first, because being a student at the time I couldn’t just throw everything away and start from scratch. Whenever something ran out I would switch to the green version, which took me about six months for the whole transition. From there, it’s been all green since and it has played a huge part on my blog.
What do you look for in quality products?
Green beauty used be very ‘hippie mom’ so branding was not very important. Now, things are changing and branding is super important. Having good packaging will attract me more to the product. Also, looking at the product and making sure that they are using quality ingredients is important. Most companies’ label themselves as green so if it’s not labeled I generally won’t go for it. Something that I use to find out which products are safe is the Think Dirty App. You can scan the barcode or enter the product and it will rate the product from 0-10 and it explains what the ingredients are used for and their benefits.
How can we ease into green beauty? What are the starting points?
Start with the products that you use the most. You will want to change things like your cleanser or moisturizer that you use every day with a green beauty product instead of say your mascara if you are only using it once a month. Start small and switch out your products gradually, otherwise it can get overwhelming and expensive. I started with my skin care, then makeup like foundation, after that I would start with some extras like lipstick and eyeshadow. It’s also important to note that not all green beauty brands are expensive. There are great options out there like Wildcraft that are making affordable and quality green beauty products.
Tell us about your skincare routine? What products do you use?
Whether it's morning or night I use the Province Apothecary oil cleanser to remove my makeup. Then I take it off with a wet cotton pad or the Wyld charcoal sponge. I then use a cotton pad with Thayers Witch Hazel Toner to wipe the excess off. During the day I use the Egyptian Magic balm, it only has 6 ingredients and has completely changed the texture of my skin! During the winter I had to get a heavier night moisturizer that really sinks into my skin, I use a custom serum from Province Apothecary. If you get a facial from them they will create a custom serum for you and keep it on file. I mixed that in with a Moisture mask from Kahina Beauty and apply it to my face for the entire night.
Many people think that natural products won’t work as well as the mainstream products. What are your thoughts on this?
This is 100% wrong. With green beauty, you are using natural ingredients that are made to heal your skin. Some people will try some things and it just won’t work for them and they will just give on green beauty. But, if that were to happen with a product at Shoppers you’re still going to try something else that works! Using makeup with quality ingredients isn’t going to irritate your skin either. My skin used to be acne prone when I was a teen and I was using cheap foundation from the drugstore, so obviously that’s why my skin was never good. Also, a lot of people think that green beauty is really expensive but if you shop at places like Sephora you can’t even say that. In my experience, buying green beauty has actually saved me money. I used to go into Shoppers and purchase products very recklessly and never would never really wear it. Now I think more about the products that I’m wearing and if I really need it. If you're really going to use it, then you can invest in these products and they generally last a very long time.
What are the best natural body products you’ve tried?
I like Love Fresh for body products. They're not 100% green because they still have fragrance in them. Fragrance can be very tricky because so many things can be labeled as a fragrance. Lots of big brands use fragrance as a way to hide the chemicals that they are using to make the product. Love Fresh is made in Toronto, I trust them to be making products with quality ingredients and not labeling anything toxic as a fragrance. They use essential oils and all of their other ingredients are really good. I love their lavender lotion, it smells amazing!!
Tell us about your hair routine?
I use both the Love Fresh and Your Feel Good Soap Company Shampoo and conditioner. I think that an issue that people have with natural hair care products is that they are used to the shampoo foaming but you aren’t going to get that in natural products. So when you convert you do need to get used to it not foaming, however, it will clean just as good! When I use Your Feel Good Soap I like to add lavender and tea tree for my essential oils. From Love Fresh, I like to use the citrus!
What is your signature fragrance?
It’s hard to find something that’s going to last or something that’s not your usual essential oils. With green beauty, there’s no rule saying you can’t use certain things so I like to go with brands like Le Labo. Their perfume smells amazing! For me, I use green for most things, so using a brand like Le Labo who uses quality ingredients and makes it on the spot it fine with me. My signature fragrance is Thé Noir by Le Labo.
What advice do you have for achieving a more natural lifestyle?
Don’t overwhelm yourself at first. There are so many things that I have changed that most people wouldn’t even think of such as soaps and detergent. But at first, it’s best to keep it simple and think of what you really want to change. Whether it’s eating healthy or changing your beauty routine just take it one step at a time until you are happy with that, then move on to something else. Finding bloggers and websites that focus on what you are trying to achieve is a great place to learn as well. Another way to make things simple is to shop local. If you have the time for it, try to go to your local markets to buy produce!
How do you practice self-care?
Because I normally work from home, I like to take a break during my meals to watch Netflix or watch YouTube videos. It gives me a chance to relax and focus on something else other than my work. I also like to meet up with a friend for coffee and just walk around to catch up. Taking time away from social media is also very important to me, which is tough since I’m always on it for work and my friends are all on it. When we get together it’s usually what we talk about so it's nice to catch up with people and not think about it. I’m so thankful my boyfriend is completely not into any social media so it’s a break from it whenever we hang out. Taking that time to put your phone away, hang out with friends, or take a bath are the things I do to unwind and relax.
What are your favorite healthy spots to eat in Toronto?
Fresh is my go to! The Phyto salad is my favorite thing in the world. It’s soba noodles, micro greens, edamame and the dressing is so good! I really like the smoothies from Greenhouse Juice and the Poke bowls from Cali Love.
What is your favorite treat?
I love chocolate! When I really want to treat myself I got to Baskin Robins and get two scoops of chocolate peanut butter and rocky road. However, my favorite ice cream in Toronto is the avocado flavor at Bang Bang. It’s sweet and so creamy! I usually do avocado and ginger milk combination there and I love it.
Margaux's Everyday Makeup
Evelyn Iona Concealer. It’s coconut oil based so it's nice and moisturizing. I find with some cream concealers they can get a little chalky and if you have dry skin it won’t apply well.
Urban Minerals Powder Foundation. It’s made in Toronto and it has amazing ingredients like stinging nettle root, sea buckthorn, aloe vera, marshmallow root, and chamomile, which really soothes your skin.
Alima Pure Maracaibo Bronzer and Luminous Shimmer Blush.
EcoBrow by Marco Ochoa. I use this for my brows in the shade Sharon.
RMS Living Luminizer. I use this for my highlight.
Sappho Paradigm Vegan Mascara. This one is great because it lengthens, darkens and it doesn’t rub off on your eyelids.