5 Questions With Margot White from The Choosy Chick

The Choosy Chick is a "one-stop shop" online natural beauty boutique offering safe and effective products for the entire family.  With new green beauty shops popping up all the time, what really stands out to me about The Choosy Chick is the boutique's diverse brand selection.  A carefully curated assortment intermixes popular, well-known companies like Acure, Badger, Josh Rosebrook, HollyBeth Organics, and Dr. Alkaitis with lesser-known gems like Solavedi Organics, AhnestiGriffin Remedy, and DN-UNIK.  Because brands range from the very affordable to more high end/luxury, the assortment is truly unique among other green beauty shops. 

I connected with Margot White, founder and head choosy chick late last year and after learning more about her green journey, I asked her to answer a few questions about herself, the shop, and making the switch to healthier products.  

Keep reading for Margot's answers, plus a special discount code for Naturalla Beauty readers.

Can you tell us a little about yourself and how The Choosy Chick came to be?

We live in a world today in which we are exposed to thousands of toxins. Cancer, diabetes, asthma, infertility and developmental disorders among other serious health issues are on the rise. Protecting those we love is becoming an increasingly difficult job. An educator for the last 15 years, wife and mother of 4 boys, I understand fully that we need to do everything possible to help the next generations live healthy, sustainable lives.   Having been a Health Educator, I always tried to make the best choices for my family.  After developing some autoimmune issues and watching so many of  our loved ones develop cancer,  I began to look for more ways I could reduce toxins in my home.  Like many, I was shocked to learn of the multitude of harmful chemicals in skincare products, including those that disrupt hormones and cause cancer. 

Our first step in our green beauty journey was to educate ourselves. We studied ingredients. We bugged manufacturers about their products and manufacturing processes, referenced independent testing firms and other reputable sources. The next step was to find products deemed to be toxic-free in our local drug stores and supermarkets.  Not so easy.  Even products claiming to be “natural” or “organic” still contained toxins. We grew tired of coming out of stores empty-handed.  The need to find a place to shop for safe but effective products for the whole family was obvious. As a result, The Choosy Chick was hatched.

What makes The Choosy Chick different from other online boutiques?  
At The Choosy Chick, we’re committed to researching, sampling and selecting the finest non-toxic personal care products families deserve. We developed our very own standard for ingredients which has become the foundation for our product selections. We will NOT be duped by natural sounding names or natural looking packaging.  At times we have had to dig deep to find products that meet this standard.  We are often excited by promising “green” brands only to find a risky ingredient or two way down at the bottom of the ingredient list.  We must stay true to who we say we are. Our customers rely on our decision making, and we won’t let them down.  

Second, we believe that going “non-toxic” should not break the budget. We are not a luxury-only store.   Everyone should have access to healthy, effective products that are affordable. Therefore we have a wide range of choices to meet every budget.  In addition – we feel that entire families should switch to non-toxic products.  Babies and children are more vulnerable than adults to the effects of toxins in the environment because their body systems have not fully matured.  According to The ATSDR, childhood is a time of rapid growth and development.  It is accompanied by changes in organ system functioning, metabolic capabilities, physical size and behavior that can significantly modify the effects of toxicant exposure. Therefore, we offer wide selections for babies and kids. 

How do you select what products to carry?
We follow our standard strictly!  Before we accept new products for evaluation, we review them to see if they fit our guidelines:
  1. Products must be SAFE. We spent a long time researching ingredients and have compiled a thorough list of “Big Baddies” in products commonly found in supermarkets, drugstores and so-called health food stores. We will not sell products that contain any of these ingredients.  PERIOD. To determine our list of Big Baddies, we referenced the ingredients with The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, The David Suzuki Foundation, The Environmental Working Group, our own favorite Naturopathic Physician- Dr. Matthew Fisel, among other reputable sources.
  2. Products must be EFFECTIVE. We personally test products and have a testing team to determine if they actually do what they claim. We look for superstars!
  3. Our partners must SHARE OUR MISSION by putting the health and safety of consumers first and by demonstrating sustainable practices for the environment. We support companies that do not test on animals and provide packaging that is reusable and/or recyclable.
What are your main tips for someone just starting to transition to natural products?
When we began this journey, we literally got rid of everything that had suspect ingredients! We filled a large tub with products from 3 bathrooms.   Of course this can be overwhelming and expensive, so we recommend starting simply.
  •  Get to know your ingredients.  It may seem confusing at first, but it does get easier!  Refer to our Big Baddie list of ingredients. 
  • Begin replacing products one by one.  If you have to choose – start with the kids’ products first.  Then move on to products that are left on the skin – lotions, makeup, etc.  As you run out of something, replace it with the non-toxic version.
  •  Less is more.  We find that when you have really good quality products without unnecessary chemicals, you need less.  Skin issues tend to improve, so you need less product to combat skin irritations and less makeup to cover up!

If you had to pick, what are three products from the shop that you’d recommend for just about everyone?

 Wow!  Now that is a tough one!  We have more… but settled on 4 – hope that is okay!  Four products that everyone seems to love would be:

Thank you Caitie for this opportunity to share our story with your friends at Naturalla Beauty. We wish everyone the very best in their journey towards a healthier, non-toxic lifestyle. 

CHECK OUT THE CHOOSY CHICK HERE!  Get 10% off site-wide with the code NATURALLA (through March 31/16), plus take advantage of The Choosy Chick's current 20% off promotion on French skincare brand DN-UNIK with the code DNUNIK20.

All photos courtesy of The Choosy Chick.
Contains affiliate links.

Andalou Naturals Moisture Rich Argan & Sweet Orange Shampoo + Conditioner

Andalou Naturals is one of my favorite brands for affordable skincare, but I haven't branched out much into their hair products.  A couple months ago, I finally took the plunge when I found the Argan & Sweet Orange Shampoo and Conditioner on sale at a local health food store.  The bottles had tear-off coupons attached, which combined with the already discounted prices, brought these down to $5.99 each.  Healthy hair care doesn't often come that cheap - especially here in Canada, land of the eternal price markup - so I was quick to take advantage of such a great deal!

The Argan & Sweet Orange line is Andalou's moisturizing hair range, specifically targeted at curly, dry, and color-treated hair.  According to the bottles, sweet orange revitalizes hair follicles and encourages healthy circulation, while argan oil minimizes frizz, adds luster, and nourishes hair, restoring moisture, elasticity and strength.  

The shampoo has a thick gel consistency and lathers up really nicely.  It's great at getting rid of product buildup and thoroughly cleans the scalp without drying out or stripping hair.  

The conditioner is also very thick in texture, though not as ultra-rich or moisturizing as such a thick consistency might initially suggest.  It does a good job softening and detangling hair, but it doesn't tame frizz or flyaways very well unless I use a copious amount of product.  A generous application does a fine job controlling frizz and gives decent curl definition, but I feel like I'm burning through the bottle very quickly.  I may try the Argan Oil Plus+ Deep Conditioner next time, as I'm curious if it would suit my curly hair needs better.

Both products have a candy-like orange scent.  It's very sweet, but not cloying or sickly.  The smell also lingers in the hair, so if you're someone that misses that residual scent left behind from conventional hair products, these might be just the thing.  I catch whiffs of the sweet orange scent right up until my next wash.

The Bottom Line
A good option if you're looking for inexpensive and easily accessible hair products.  Despite the marketing, curly or extra dry hair types may not find the conditioner hydrating enough, but I think it would suit just about everyone else.  

Contains affiliate links

Argillaceous Naturals Rejuvenate + Detox Facial Masques

Face masks were the product that first sparked my love of skincare and they're still one of my favorite skincare items to experiment with.  Most recently, I've been trying out the Rejuvenate and Detox Masques* from Argillaceous Naturals, a family-run skincare and cosmetics company that sells on Amazon.

Both masks are powder products that you activate with water.  You get a TON of product, and there's no need for preservatives since the masks are kept dry until each individual use.  This also helps the ingredients stay extra fresh and potent, and gives the masks a longer shelf life than most pre-mixed products. 

Rejuvenate Facial Masque
The Rejuvenate Masque is a hybrid between a clay mask and a hydrating and brightening treatment.  Rhassoul, one of the gentler clays, works to draw out dirt and impurities, while cucumber extract provides a dose of hydration and vitamins, and colloidal oatmeal soothes and nourishes the skin.  Goat milk powder also gently exfoliates away dead skin cells and cacao and grape seed extract provide antioxidants and boost circulation.

All these great ingredients come together to create a mask that simultaneously cleans and nourishes.  The Rejuvenate Masque leaves my skin looking fresh, bright and healthy.  It's not intensely detoxifying, but it does keep pores clear, while simultaneously adding that je ne sais quoi glow.  It also smells incredible - like chocolate pudding for your face!

Detox Facial Masque
The Detox Facial Masque improves upon the traditional pairing of bentonite clay and activated charcoal by incorporating colloidal oatmeal and citric acid.  A lot of clay masks will recommend mixing with apple cider vinegar, since the acidity of the vinegar works to counterbalance the extremely alkaline clay, but Argillaceous Naturals accomplishes the same thing with citric acid, so you're fine to use just water.  The citric acid also helps gently slough off dead skin and debris, while colloidal oatmeal soothes skin and gently buffers the clay - without affecting its drawing power - for a mask that effectively detoxes and pulls out impurities, but won't leave skin feeling raw, chapped, or overly dry.

Detox masks can sometimes be a bit much for my sensitive skin, but I haven't had any issues with this one.  I do experience some minor tingling/stinging when I first apply the mask - likely caused by the citric acid - but the sensation dissipates within the first couple minutes and my skin is never irritated or inflamed when I remove the mask.  A thoughtfully formulated mask, it's excellent for clearing blackheads and clogged pores without damaging or stripping the skin.

The Bottom Line
I'm super impressed with both masks!  The Detox Masque is a champ at addressing clogged pores and more problematic skin and the Rejuvenate Masque is a wonderful gentle treatment that noticeably brightens and refreshes. 

Argillaceous Naturals unfortunately only ships within the US right now, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed they'll expand shipping in the future so everyone can get their hands on these fantastic masks!

*Press sample