Toronto’s new Pretty Beauty & Books is good clean fun

The modern eco-savvy girl differs from the granola set when it comes to her beauty wares: it’s got to be vanity table-display worthy. At Toronto’s Pretty Beauty & Books (587 Markham Street, 905 580-0285,, which just had its grand opening last Saturday, pretty packaging is a non-negotiable; therefore, something you won’t find is “soap wrapped in twine” says owner—and former FASHION beauty intern—Andrea Victory. She stocks her shelves with gorgeous, synthetic-free lines such as editorial makeup artist Rose-Marie Swift’s RMS Beauty, water-based nail polish Scotch Naturals (“rated safest on the market”) and Tallulah Jane fragrances, made using old world, pre-lab methods such as distillation and enfleurage.

You can also peruse a carefully edited selection of books and not just of the green variety; The Secret of Chanel No 5 and Parisian Chic: A Style Guide by Ines de la Fressange sit alongside Sophie Uliano’s Gorgeously Green. But the one kept in highest quantity is No More Dirty Looks. In fact, reading it was what inspired her to tweak the vision of her beauty shop to be “clean and green”. What resonated was that the authors “get that you still want to be girly and don’t take a fear mongering approach, which can turn so many people off”. By reserving judgment and offering covetable, yet free from chemicals, beauty goods, Victory is joining a movement that’s about proving you can have your lux lipstick and (safely) eat it too.

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