Six Canadian Brands To Try NOW

I won’t be publishing my usual Black Friday sales roundup this year, partly due to time constraints and partly because I've been feeling a little overwhelmed by all the BUY-BUY-BUY hyper-consumerism this year.

Instead, I'm taking today to highlight a few exceptional Canadian companies that I've been wanting to talk more about for quite some time.  We have some great brands here -- I had a hard time narrowing things down to just these six, in fact -- but I wanted to focus on companies that maybe don't get talked about as much as some others.

[P.S. If you are looking for sales this weekend, I have it on good authority that all six of these have something special up their sleeves! I'll update to include any sale/deal details as that info becomes available]

Based in: Halifax, N.S.
Current Deal: 25% off for email subscribers

Duckish's colorful labels make me happy every time I look at them and what's inside is next level amazing too. The lotion sticks glide onto the skin like luscious, hydrating, melting butter and are unbeatable for dry winter skin. (No question, I'll be taking advantage of that 25% to stock up!) The body butters and lip balms are also excellent, as are the pretty bath salts and bath bombs, if bath products are more your jam.

Based in: Toronto, ON
Current Sale: 3 new deodorant launches, up to 40% off + a free travel size deodorant for email subscribers

If you don't already know, I work part-time for Mabrook & Co., which means I'm very familiar with the entire line. With small-batch handmade products made from minimal top quality ingredients, Mabrook & Co. is a brand that takes minimalism to a really intentional and elegant place. The deodorants are undoubtedly Mabrook's claim to fame, but the rest of the line performs very well too and I have a special love for the minty-citrusy Glow, one of the brand's multipurpose face/body/aromatherapy sprays. A portion of every sale is also donated to Women for Women, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating and empowering women in conflict-ridden countries.

Based in: Vancouver, B.C.
Current Sale: 25% Off

I've tried the majority of Sola’s products and I've yet to discover one that disappoints! Christine, one of Sola’s two founders and the creative force and formulator behind the company's products, combines nourishing plant botanicals and traditional Chinese medicine ingredients to create unique formulations that truly work.  I'm on my second bottle of the Balancing Face Oil and use it just about every day -- it's serious skin magic both on its own and in combination with other serums and moisturizers -- and I don't see myself switching any time soon!

Based in: London, ON
Current Deal: 10% off on Friday, free US/Canada shipping on $40+ Monday

Batty's Bath has an impressively large range of products that includes skincare, body care, and makeup, and they regularly add new items to the lineup.  What I love most about Batty's Bath is that everything feels very real and genuine.  The products aren't clinically white or watered down and, as such, they feel very vibrant and 'alive'.  Batty, the company's eponymous founder, is something of a problematic skin expert too -- be it acne-prone or sensitive -- and the company produces a lot of great educational content as well.   

Based in: Toronto, ON
Current Deal: Free US/Canada Shipping, Free Refresh Face Mist with $75+

If you're familiar with Sonja, one of Double Happiness's two founders, from her blog, Life in Blush, you'll know she's no stranger to quality skincare, so naturally when she launched her own line, it had to be top notch.  With 4 concentrated, waterless products, the line is simple but really lovely.  

This is the only brand on the list from which I haven't personally used any of the products beyond testing on my hand -- only because they're too floral for my sensitive, picky nose -- but great reviews abound and I swoon over the ingredients lists which include unique botanical picks like schizandra berry and magnolia leaf.  

Based in: Canmore, AB
Current Deal: Free Body Lotion with $75+, Free Shampoo and Conditioner with $150+

Rocky Mountain is significantly larger in scale than the rest of the companies on this list, but they still never compromise quality or ingredient integrity and they've got some truly standout products. For anyone looking for a replacement for Bath & Body Works and the like, Rocky Mountain is always my top recommendation -- great product selection, tons of scents, including fun seasonal options, and even in-person stores if you're lucky enough to live in certain parts of the country.

This is by no means an all-inclusive list -- what other Canadian brands are you loving?

Everyone Hair Styling Products: Style Gel, Tame Cream & Volume Serum

I'm always game to try out new #curlygirl hair products, so when I spotted Everyone's small hair styling line at a local health food store for a super inexpensive $5.99 each, I decided to pick up all three products to test out.  Everyone is a budget-friendly offshoot of EO Products, specifically designed for younger consumers, large families, and others who might have less money to spend on quality, natural products.  The products are made for "every budget" -- something you know really resonates with me -- and contain no GMO's, parabens, sulfates, synthethic fragrances, gluten, or synthetic polymers.  The hair styling products are also phenoxyethanol-free.  

I've been testing this hair trio out since the summer -- keep reading for my thoughts on each product!

The Style Gel is your basic no-frills hair gel.  It has good hold, isn’t sticky, and, just like the bottle says, doesn't flake or crumble throughout the day.  The gel isn't specifically designed for curly hair, but it works well for curl definition nonetheless, and even leaves curls looking pretty great on the second (and sometimes third) day.  

The scent on this one is my favorite of the three.  It’s a mild, sweet blend of citrus, vanilla, and coconut that smells nice as you use it, but isn't noticeable much beyond that.  

The Hair Cream doesn't offer much in the way of hold, but it’s fantastic for defining curls and taming frizz.  It has a creamy consistency and gives hair a bit of moisture too, similar to a lightweight leave-in conditioner. For my hair, this is the best of the bunch for first day curls, but, because its hold is so light, by the second day (and beyond) my curls have fallen considerably.  

Again, the scent is fairly mild -- this time a mix of lavender and coconut -- and I don't notice it in my hair other than when I'm first applying/distributing the product.

Volume Hair Serum
Of the three, the Volume Serum is the one I’d say you can skip.  It has a thin gel consistency and claims to add volume, bounce and body, but I don't find it does much in my hair. On days that I air dry (which, let's be honest, is most of the time), the serum does basically nothing.  When I blow dry instead, I do get more volume, of course, but I'm not convinced it's any more than blow drying without the serum, either with or without a different product.

The scent on this one is lemon and coconut and, again, it's very unobtrusive, although you can initially smell some alcohol -- the third ingredient in this one -- coming through too.

The Bottom Line
I'd pass on the Volume Serum -- I just haven't found a good use for it -- but I really like the Hair Cream and Hair Gel.   Both give light to medium hold, offer good curl definition, and do well at controlling frizz and flyaways. The ingredients are also great and Everyone's inexpensive prices really can't be beat!