What first brought me to Barefoot Venus was it’s packaging. What keeps me going back for more are the amazing and unique bathcare, skincare and beauty products. Barefoot Venus is a true Canadian beauty that the rest of the world deserves to know about.

I discovered Barefoot Venus in Steveston, a wonderful place which I made home for almost ten years. Pieces is the shop to go to for gifts, cards and pretty home things needed urgently, or a place to peruse on a leisurely coastal weekend after a sushi feast in this village that is so worth knowing. If you ever visit the coastal gem (which has been home to many a film and tv shoot, so many people do. It’s become a BC Tourism hotspot for many magnificent reasons) have a look in Pieces, housed in one of the Steveston’s original buildings.

Photo of the Pieces store in Steveston

On a Christmas shopping visit to Pieces something grabbed my attention so completely I couldn’t look away. On the shelf was a tin of bath salts with stunning, and very girly, vintage style packaging.  I’m a modernist and generally like all things plain, simple and ungirlie, but I am a big fan of the colour mustard so felt differently about this one. I think it’s fate that we met. Therapeutic Mustard Bath is Barefoot Venus’ signature product, and when the lid comes off you understand why. The heady aromas of menthol, eucalyptus and mustard fill your senses, providing feelings of comfort and calm. Therapeutic Mustard Bath salts provide a soothing bath soak for tired, aching muscles and minds, so this one spoke to me, loudly. Eighteen hours days as a film makeup artist are not glamourous – they are exhausting. I needed more salt in my life. And so my first Barefoot Venus purchase was made and I was hooked.

tin of Barefoot Venus' Mustard Salts on the shelf at Pieces in Steveston
Barefoot Venus’ signature Mustard Bath in all it’s glory

The bath salts are created with mustard seed powder, eucalyptus leaf oil, chamomile flowers and rosemary essential oil and without parabens, propylene glycol, synthetic colour or mineral oil. Run a bath, add a few spoonfuls of salts and let the therapeutic properties of mustard go to work pulling nasty toxins from your skin, while the spirit of wintergreen, eucalyptus and rosemary surround you in a curative cape, leaving you feeling top-notch. I’m serious. Bamboo spoon kindly provided and refills are available to buy when you run low, saving on packaging. Love that. The salts are really wonderful to use throughout winter and if you feel under the weather with nasty bugs and colds, so I always have a refill to hand and stock up when I’m in Canada. 

photo of Barefoot Venus Mustard Bath salts refill bag
I love that Barefoot Venus do refills bags of my favourite bath soak, so I never have to be without, even in the cold winter months when I’m more likely to pick up a cold or flu and require the therapeutic properties of them. Well done Barefoot!

As I dug a little deeper into who Barefoot Venus were I discovered they were based in my birthplace, Kelowna, BC, a town in the interior of British Columbia known for its natural beauty but not necessarily for it’s production of natural beauty products! Ahead of my next trip I enquired about setting up a meeting to talk with Myra Murphy, Barefoot Venus’ founder and owner, and was happily allowed into the magical world of this Canada’s own Venus. Shoes at the door please. Not really. But I bet she goes barefoot at home.

I was honoured to meet the wonderful women responsible for healing bath and body products and to be shown around the production facility; it was so amazing to see it all being made. The star of the factory for me was the custom-made machine that mixes all the luscious ingredients up to become the elixir that is their best selling product.

custom-made machine for mixing therapeutic bath salts for Barefoot Venus


Wendy snowdon in front of therapeutic mustard bath salts machine, Kelowna BC
Me and the engineering feat that is the Mustard Mixer

Myra and her sisters Cindy And Lisa started Barefoot Venus in Edmonton in 1999 after an inspiring backpacking trip around Europe that saw them admiring the beauty of ancient lavender fields and rose gardens. On their return home and seeing a gap in the market, they wanted to go into business together making natural luxury body products, so set about concocting miracles in the basement “factory” of a retail apothecary store. Their first product was the Mustard Bath, which remains their best seller and for good reason. The sisters were committed to making paraben and sodium sulphate-free products and as the years rolled by and markets changed, more organic options began to be available in terms of preservative ingredients and so many more products were added to the line. There are now soaps, body lotions and oils, lip balms and hand creams. All with beautiful vintage Al Moor images of course.

There’s lots of healthily delicious Barefoot Venus treats available today.

bottle of Maple Blondie body lotion and Coconut Kiss soap and bath salts from Barefoot Venus  By 2008, after seven successful years in one spot, they were doing so well they relocated to Kelowna with family, not only to larger premises but to a new life, with a change in their business model and a change in lifestyle in the Okanagan paradise that is all sunshine and lakes in the summer and ski-hills in the winter.

photo of the staff at Barefoot Venus, Kelowna BC
The beautiful Barefoot Tribe take a break from concocting the potions and lotions that make us feel better

The company culture and belief system of Barefoot Venus is simple and three-fold. The Barefoot Family crew prioritise people, planet and then profit, in that order. They seek to educate women about the toxic ingredients in everyday skincare products and offer them a superior product that is ethically produced. The kindness and integrity that is mixed into Barefoot Venus’ award-winning bath and skincare products looks to be mixed into the workplace too; it’s a win-win situation. As a working mother, Myra respects the needs of her employees and so these are women who work as a tribe.  Meeting Myra and Cindy and their all-female crew was a great pleasure and in all honesty I can say I have never met a happier workforce.

huge steel mixing bowl for body lotion at Barefoot Venus in Kelowna BC
Not an enormous vat of coconut icing but coconut body lotion being made. Yum.
factory shelves full of Barefoot Venus product
Packed up and ready for shipping to one of the 500 retail outlets in Canada and the US now carrying Barefoot

Barefoot Venus develops delicious new products all the time, introducing beautiful ingredients such as coconut oil and green tea as markets allow, so keep your eyes peeled and check in from time to time if you’re a lover of relaxing bath times and of buying perfect presents for deserving women.

As I write, Barefoot Venus isn’t available in the UK, but I’ll keep asking! For now I’m going to run a bath and soak up the mustard. If you ever get a chance to visit Kelowna, take it, it’s a beautiful town in one of Canada’s most beautiful areas, surrounded by vineyards and lakes.  You can even get to stock up on Barefoot Venus while you’re there xo

view of Kelowna BC from Knox Mountain
My hometown, Kelowna BC

GREAT NEWS. For all my Canadian and US readers, Barefoot Venus is giving a 15% discount on online orders. Use the Promo Code: MyLifeInMakeup for 15% off at www.barefootvenus.com and enjoy some beautiful baths xo

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PRODUCT REVIEWS Mylifeinmakeup.com does not receive any monetary compensation to review products. Most reviews are based on products purchased personally, and preferred, or not. Occasionally I will receive products from makeup companies and will choose whether or not to review them here. Receiving products has no bearing on the opinion of the review, nor whether I choose to review it or not. All opinions are just that, and are honest and unbiased. Recommendations are based on the knowledge I have gained during almost twenty years as a professional Make-Up Artist. Mylifeinmakeup.com is not to be held responsible if you decide to purchase an item and are dissatisfied with it.

I'm a British / Canadian Pro MakeUp Artist with a colourful career: have kit, will travel, have info, will share! This blog is all about My Life In MakeUp. I hope you enjoy your time here and learn a little something along the way xo


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