Bare English & Co – Made in Toronto – Interview and Review (and giveaway!)

As soon as winter rolls around I need lip balm and I need it ASAP. Considering I come from a dry climate (Edmonton), I’ve acclimated to the Toronto humidity quite quickly, and when it’s gone, I notice. Toronto goes from being a mostly humid city to zero suddenly, and it isn’t pretty. My usual go to product since I found them last year was Green Beaver’s gluten-free stick lip balm. Why a lip balm needs to be gluten-free I don’t know, but it was one of the better ones I’ve tried. Totally vegan (no beeswax/cera alba), and they managed to get it all into a smooth stick form without any issues.

Winter is coming; some people ask their joints, I can just ask my face.  I was at Evergreen Market on Roncesvalles with a friend a couple of weeks ago, and I needed lip balm and I noticed something new. Bare English & Co. I was attracted to the box and the price, but doubted it was vegan. But since I tend to read ingredients out of curiosity anyway, I scanned through, waiting for one of the blacklisted (I’m looking at you beeswax/cera alba) ones to show up. But I was pleasantly surprised. Totally vegan. Sold.

After a couple of days of using it, my lips were happy again.

And then I started to get curious. I like ethical businesses, I like local businesses even more. I like knowing more about them. Who are these people? Who is Bare English & Co? I read through their website, and the details were vague.  I wanted more, so I sent them and email and had the opportunity to meet with one of the founders last week.

Frank Roberts, a former courier business owner, now Bare English & Co. co-founder, entrepreneur, and brand evangelist, partnered with a vegan chemist, and a small team of Torontonians to create a new local, organic, vegan business. After a year or so of research and development, Bare English & Co. went live about 6 months ago. I think they have done something great with it so far. It’s nice to see a vegan, organic business with a modern, fashionable, approach and I look forward to seeing more from them in the future.

Every detail is taken care of, including something I’ve never thought of. The shape of traditional  stick lipbalm is a totally round cylinder. I just put it in my purse and it doesn’t matter. For people that might keep their lip balm in their back pocket, they sit down and it can fly out. Bare English & Co.’s elliptical cylindrical shape aims to combat the flying lip balm problem. But I haven’t tested this out.

Lip Balm

They have three varieties of lip balms available right now. Coco-Mint, a chocolate peppermint balm infused with peppermint tea and the first one I ever bought (and my personal favourite – you can see it’s the one that’s been used the most in the above photo.) Vanilla Coconut (Frank’s favourite), infused with green tea, and honestly it smells like heaven (and cookies.) Then there is the Raspberry Pear, immediately hitting you with a burst of raspberry and a hint of pear. Someday in the future they hope to expand beyond the lip balm market and on to 11 other potential product lines, including a Baby Bear Baby Care line.


Now it’s your turn to try it – I have samples to give away to 3 lucky people selected at random. You’ll get one of each variety of balm, either in the mail, or hand delivered if you live in Toronto, whichever you prefer. You can enter by commenting on this entry, tweeting “I want to win @BareEnglish Organic Vegan Lip balm from @mdgee”, or by liking the Bare English Balm photo I have on my Facebook page. You can do all or one. The more you do, the higher your chances. Good luck! This giveaway is open to US and Canadian Residents. Winners will be announced December 12th, 2012.

Winners have been contacted by Email – thanks for playing!

Company Information

Bare English & Co.
157 Adelaide Street. W Suite 500
Toronto, ON, M5H 4E7

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Full disclosure: I purchased my first Bare English & Co lip balm from the store and liked it enough to contact the company for more details. The product I’m giving away was provided by Frank Roberts of Bare English & Co. He told me to do whatever I wanted with it, and I want to share the love, or in this case, balm with you fine people.

19 Responses

  1. Perfect timing because I just lost my beloved Spark lib balm last night. I’ll definitely search for these the next time I’m in Toronto.

  2. My entire family is extremely health and product conscious and we all carry lip balm around during winter time. I recently went vegan and had not even considered lip balm. I am greatfull for this article simply to bring my awareness to another level of veganism as well as a great local product. Any ideas for retailers selling the product in London?

  3. I love finding out about local things like this! I discovered etsy for other vegan homemade balms earlier this month but still waiting for them to arrive…. I am so excited to learn more about these. 🙂

  4. Thanks for letting me know about this company! I like Hurraw lip balm (also vegan, cylindrical shape) but they are hard to find in Canada and these look just as awesome. The three flavours sound wonderful.

  5. I would love to try a new healthy lipbalm after being duped for years by “Jack Black”!

  6. These flavours will do nothing to convince our Spawn that lip balm is not food! They’re too delicious!

  7. I picked up the coconut vanilla at rexall and the cashier told me I was going to love. Blah blah blah… Figured they must say that about half the stuff they sell. I do love it!! I live out of the city so went back and bought four more of varying “flavours” before I came home. They’re all good but I still love the coconut vanilla the best. I often find lip stuff of any kind makes me get cold sores but no problems with the Bare. I would love if they’d start baby products too!