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Forest Child Natural Beauty comes out of the woods

Olivia McMackin goes skin-deep and then some with her online shop for natural beauty products.


  • Jaclyn Doyle

Olivia McMackin grew up in the middle of nowhere, Nova Scotia. With no neighbours as far as her eyes could see, she spent most of her childhood outside with her sister “having a sort of idyllic life running around in the woods.” This connection to the natural world had a massive impact on her life, but it wasn’t until her health started giving her trouble that her mind really returned to it.

“It was a long process trying to find a diagnosis, so I was doing a lot of reading, trying to figure out what was going on,” says McMackin. “I found out what a heavy burden the chemicals in some of the products we use on our bodies, and it smacked me across the face. I had no idea.” That’s when she detoxed her own product regime, and got kind of obsessed with learning more and helping others learn more, too.

After spending all of her spare time as a self-proclaimed “research-aholic”, and moving back to her home province, Forest Child Natural Beauty—an online shop that curates top quality, high performance, clean skincare and beauty products— was born. “Once I found all the suppliers and vendors that met that stringent criteria, they were amazing to take a chance on me,” says McMackin, of her business, which launched in the late fall.

Aiming to be a one-stop shop, she keeps an inventory of hand-picked makeup, skincare and cleansing products and sells them via her website, but she also offers group consultations and has been popping up at various Halifax shops with her products in tow. (She’ll be at Bhavana Yoga Boutique—3063 Gottingen—from 3-6pm on April 6 and 20, May 4 and 18 and will host Green Your Beauty Routine there April 22, 2-4pm.)

“Most people know there’s something better they can be using, but it can be very overwhelming to do the work,” McMackin says. “I wanted to take that barrier out of the way for people.”

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