Emilie Bourque can’t even make this stuff up.

The crowd at Tvål aren’t just all about soap. They also design, produce, and sell a line of mineral make-up called Smink (the Swedish word for makeup), and they’ve been busy in the back of their shop experimenting with pigments and formulas to provide new colours—the result is nine new eyeshadows, six new lip glosses, and a new illuminating powder—all easy on your face.

The business is about four years old, and they’ve had a mineral makeup line for about two of those years, but with a steadily growing business, co-owner Anna Hellqvist says “this is the first new colour line that we’ve had time to develop.”

Bobby Bailey, Anna’s brother-in-law and co-owner of Tvål, was a MAC makeup artist for 14 years. Combining his background and Hellqvist’s background in Chemistry, they both bring a lot of experience to the process.

“The way it works here is everyone has their hand in everything,” Bailey says. “So it was the same with the makeup.”

He says the whole staff helped immensely with creating the colours—comments, testing and tweaking, even right down to the sign-making and promotions side of things.

“Mineral make-up is a very pure kind of makeup,” Hellqvist explains. It’s made only from minerals and pigments mined from the earth, and even those with extreme sensitivities are able to wear it.

Online, Smink has been ordered by customers from as far as Japan and Australia, and their Newfoundland-made products are even wholesaled to a store in Sweden. With plans to open another location in Toronto, Tvål shows no signs of slowing down.

If you’re curious about trying their makeup, starting in mid-May, makeup artist Skye Williams will be available for free in-store makeovers, one day each weekend.

Kids, if you like your own year-round homegrown fresh veggies and herbs, you should consider a whole new kind of grow-op. Newfoundlander Jonathan Larder is opening Grow Crazy, an indoor gardening shop, at 55 Stamps Lane. It’s set to open April 26th, and he’ll be selling everything you need to have an indoor garden—small to large. Besides specialty organic gardening supplies like soils, fertilizers, and environmentally-friendly pesticides, Larder will also have hydroponic units called AeroGardens. Made by a company called AeroGrow, Larder says although there are close to 200 shops like his in Canada, he’s the sole retailer for these in Newfoundland.

For those not in the know, the concept behind hydroponic gardening is that there’s no soil, just water and nutrients. Plants grow 2-3 times faster than in soil. The AeroGarden is a unit with built-in grow lights. Different seed kits are available too: herbs, mini-tomatoes, green peppers, hot peppers, snow peas, different types of salad greens…
Larder says once you start the seed kits, they last about 5 months of constant production. Since climate isn’t a issue—or digging rocks out of your back yard for that matter—you can grow things you wouldn’t normally see growing in Newfoundland, like tropical plants.

“Where we’ve got 8 months of winter, it’s kind of nice being able to have fresh vegetables, and things like that, at your fingertips,” Larder says.

Real teas

You may have heard that The Bloomin’ Teapot—the tea house at the Botanical Gardens—is not reopening this year. But, fear not, another tea room is moving into the same location.

Anna Dohey and Glen Downey, who also run the catering company Dish it Out!, are the owners of The Tea Room at The Garden, which is set to open the end of the first week in May. Dohey says they’ll be serving up “fabulous soups, sandwiches, salads, and homemade desserts,” along with British-style cream teas you can sip while nibbling on scones and dainty finger foods.

They also have a liquor license, so they will be serving beer and wine, and on the weekends, you guessed it, they’ll be offering brunch! Yum yum.

When the moon hits your eye

For those of you who have been peeking into the papered windows over on King’s Road, or wondering when all the mysterious pizza ads in this paper will stop teasing you, well, this is your lucky week: Pi should be open for business by the time you are reading this. Early congrats Meg and Dave!


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