When I think about the words “natural beauty products”, I instinctively imagine a brown hippie package with lame branding. Not that it affects in any way the quality of the product inside the bottle, but let’s not forget that I’m the girl who picks a bottle of wine 50% for the beauty of its label. Basically, a good product, for me, is a product that has been well-thought-out from all angles. Period.
You know who thinks exactly like me? The Natural Curator, a website that exclusively sells natural beauty products from international brands, cruelty free and without any toxic ingredients, packaged in the most beautiful ways (finally!). Its founders, Karine Lachapelle and Gabrielle Tanguay, have quite an impressive record: they both studied at the University of the Arts London and then worked for Net-a-Porter. No big deal.
Because it’s the kind of company that deserves a round of applause, I chatted a bit with its founders to learn a bit more about the brand.
Where does your interest for natural beauty products come from?
Karine: I became aware of natural cosmetics when my mom introduced me to a website called Skin Deep. At that moment, I realized that a lot of traditional beauty brands used toxic and cancerogenous ingredients, which also impact the nervous and reproductive system. From then on, I turned to natural beauty products and realized that they were not only safer to use, but they also delivered better results.
Gabrielle: It’s Karine who got me into natural beauty products. I’ve always had skin issues, like I wouldn’t dare to go outside without makeup, so beauty detox sounded quite appealing. One step at a time — hair, skincare and then makeup — I made an all-natural shift and changed my lifestyle dramatically. I could see incredible results after only six months! That’s when I understood the importance of sharing such great finds.
So this change of lifestyle was basically the stepping stone for The Natural Curator?
The Natural Curator was born because we couldn’t find any platform selling natural beauty products with a modern and sophisticated aesthetic. There are so many natural beauty brands offering products that are as equally good as they are beautiful to look at! We wanted to prove that going natural wasn’t a sacrifice of some sort, but rather a synonym of a modern lifestyle.
How do you pick the brands that end up on your website?
We pick them through different channels: social media, web posts, magazine articles, etc. For us, it’s super important that each brand has an interesting story to tell or offers something new in terms of beauty rituals. We also have very strict standards. Every brand that we discover, or that reaches out to us, has to go through a rigorous process.
First, all the brand’s products must be toxic-free. It helps a lot when it’s certified by associations like USDA Organics, Ecocert, Cosmos, etc.
The brand also has to be modern and sophisticated. That’s something we see by looking at its story and its branding. Moreover, the quality of ingredients and the efficiency of each product are obviously crucial! We test every brand before selling it on our website.
Finally, the products have to be innovative in some ways, whether it’s through the choice of ingredients, the packaging or the way it’s used. For example, a multi-fonctional stick that can be used as an eyeshadow, a lipstick AND a blush.
Tell me about your favorite products!
The Angel Balm by Soveral. It’s a detoxifying cleanser and regenerative mask all at the same time. In other words, it purifies and nourishes. Goodby dull skin!
The Ultimate Brightening Face Oil by Uma Oils. Because of the neroli essential oil and the geranium and orange extracts, it slows down cellular degradation while encouraging skin regeneration which prevents the apparition of aging signs.
The Non Acetone Polish Remover Cloths by Tenoverten. First, they don’t have a chemical smell, contrary to your regular nail polish remover! Plus, they’re a handbag must. How many times have you had a chipped nail and wished you could fix it immediately?
The Don’t Despair, Repair! Mask by Briogeo. It brings the driest hair back to life! It also feels like you just got a fresh new haircut.
What are your plans for the upcoming year?
We definitely want to educate the Canadian population on the benefits of using natural beauty products. To do so, we’re going to organize educational happenings, a bit like pop-up shops throughout Canada, starting with Toronto. We’d also like to create more content by collaborating with beauty insiders who love natural beauty products, so they can help us contextualize our brands and products.
Do you use natural beauty products? Which ones are your favourites?