Launched late last month in Toronto, online boutique Clementine Fields is an eco-friendly beauty retailer specializing in organic, all-natural products that meet the Environmental Working Group’s standards. But what makes it special? It also ensures that its products have pretty packaging—less vital, we know, but still a nice perk to eco-shopping and one of our favourite aspects of buying beauty products. With over 20 North American brands on its roster (including Tata Harper, Kahina Giving Beauty, Revolution Organics and Vered Organic Botanicals), Clementine Fields sells face, body and haircare products along with candles, aromatherapy and chocolates—all beautifully wrapped and delivered free for purchases of $50 or more.
In a similar story to Adèle Hinshelwood of eco-beauty brand Vauxhall Garden (who was spurred to create her brand after her sister was diagnosed with cancer), founder Ingrid Rae Doucet was inspired to create her online boutique after being diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia. “I took a proactive, educational approach to become as healthy as possible and started with the products I use,” she says. “After careful consideration and a lot of research, I wanted to share my new found love and knowledge for brands that really practice what they preach.” The result is a thoughtfully curated selection of balms, lotions and sprays that look, smell and feel delightful.
Here, Ingrid Rae Doucet answers FLARE‘s beauty questions:
When you first started researching beauty products after being diagnosed with leukemia, what did you learn about their effects on health and/or a possible connection to your illness?
My leukemia is rare and it was difficult to find any answers as to why people are diagnosed with the disease. I was lucky because there was a drug that was invented about 15 years ago called Gleevec that was putting people in remission. My prognosis (because of this drug) was good but it was still terrifying to me. I knew I wanted to do everything in my power to stay healthy and I never wanted to hear the words “You have cancer” again. What concerned me was that there are chemicals in so many items—household and otherwise—that we aren’t aware of. Many are of these are deemed safe in small amounts, but what happens when we layer them in our systems? I decided to clean up my family’s and my lives as much as I could, from the food we eat, to the cleaners and products we use. Thank heavens I have the most patient and easy-going husband ever. It was from this shift in thinking that we created Clementine Fields.
If someone wanted to make steps to using natural, healthier products, what would you recommend they start with?
I would say start with a cleanser and moisturizer. There are many lovely ones to choose from, and often the natural moisturizers give you a beautiful glow! That way you have a nice, clean base to start your skincare routine.
How do you go about choosing the products that you sell?
Research, research, research. Reading a lot of blogs and articles, and then trying the products. If I love it I will read reviews and get an idea as to how other people feel about the product. I have a list of ingredients that I don’t want to be in any of the products we carry, so if the ingredients are clean and effective, I will seriously consider a brand. They also have to have nice packaging. I want people to feel like they’re doing something special for themselves when they use the lines we carry, so they have to feel and look beautiful.
Do you have any star products that you especially love?
I am loving May Lindstrom’s The Youth Dew. I gave it to my mom for her birthday and I swear she looks younger. One Love Organics’ Easy Does It is a wonderful cleanser for your face, body and hair, and I love products that can be used for a variety of things. Vered Organic Botanicals Therapeutic Balancing Face Oil is great for anyone who has problem skin. So many people seem to have sensitivities these days so it’s great to have a product that has such healing qualities. Roots Rose Radish Solid Perfumes are packaged in clam shell and are exquisite. The scents are fresh and interesting, and you can use the clam shells afterwards for carrying jewellery or anything else you consider special enough to live in these natural pieces of art.
What does your beauty routine look like?
At night I cleanse and tone with S.W. Basics, then I use Vered Organic Botanicals Therapeutic Balancing Face Oil. If my skin needs extra moisture I will use Tammy Fender’s Intensive Repair Balm. In the morning, I splash cold water on my face, and if my skin needs some love or calm I’ll apply Tammy Fender’s Roman Chamomile Tonic. I use Kahina’s Argan Oil during the day and if I need more moisture I will use Roots Rose Radish Blue Chamomile Cream. Under my eyes I use Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Eye Balm. I try to use a mask one or two times a week. Right now I am loving May Lindstrom’s The Problem Solver or raw honey. I use Yarok shampoo and conditioner and their leave-in conditioner as my hair gets easily tangled. If I don’t have time (which is quite often) I use Lulu Organics Hair Powder which works wonders to make my hair look fresh and clean. Lately I’ve been using Tata Harper’s Revitalizing Body Oil. It leaves my dry skin dewy and the smell is gorgeous.
What’s your #1 beauty tip?
Eat well and exercise. Try to limit dairy and gluten and drink lots of water and herbal teas. A healthy belly equals healthy skin.
As a natural beauty lover, how do you feel about fragrance?
Before Clementine Fields, I wasn’t into fragrance at all. I have a very sensitive nose and I found most perfumes would make me queasy. Now that I’ve experienced natural, organic perfumes and fragrances, I’m kind of obsessed. They are much lighter and dissipate after awhile, so they don’t leave a heavy scent on your skin or clothes. The Lotus Wei mists and perfumes are so beautiful and can help you deal with stress or lack of energy. I also love Vered Organic Botanicals Signature Scent and Tata Harper’s Aromatic Stress Treatment. It’s so lovely to carry around a little bottle of joy when you’re zooming around this sometimes chaotic life.