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Back in October, I had the pleasure of going on a trip to Whispering Springs Wilderness Retreat in quiet Grafton, Ont. with Burt’s Bees and some fellow editors. Over a couple of drizzly fall days, we settled in to learn about new innovations, immerse ourselves in nature (Whispering Springs is such a dreamy retreat!) and play with product.

Whispering Springs

The view from one side of the pond at Whispering Springs.

The theme of the retreat was “I Am Not Synthetic,” a nod to the company’s natural ingredients in their skincare and makeup. Side note: Did you know the company was named for the painted sign founder Burt Shavitz had in front of his own hives? After exploring the grounds, checking out the forest chapel (so pretty!) and meeting the two horses on site, we settled in for a pre-dinner presentation of some new products and a super fun makeup application to test drive them.

A moment to very briefly describe Whispering Springs: Bliss. Check out a few shots of the amazing family-owned property below.

A few local faves were waiting in my awesome yurt.

Whispering springs yurt

Now this is what I call glamping: A plush bed in the middle of a yurt equipped with space heater!). It rained overnight and listening to the drops hit the canvas was hypnotizing.

Whispering springs yurt

Bathing in this tub with my novel was so peaceful.

My favourite part came on the last morning, though, when we were given the incredible opportunity to make our own Burt’s Bees lip glosses (!) with assistance from¬†Burt’s Bees lead innovation scientist Abena Antwi. She explained all of the ingredients, which were laid out in the form of a base and various pigment powders, showing us how to play with shimmer and mixing. I decided to go for a dark berry shade, which turned out exactly the way I wanted it to (thanks, Abena!)

Burt's bees lipgloss

My own custom Burt’s Bees creation!

Among Burt’s Bees notable 2019 innovations: a 98.5% natural concealer that hides blemishes and dark circles; a lip and cheek stick with coconut oil that works beautifully; a luxurious facial oil made with rosehip, jojoba and evening primrose; body washes in invigorating scents and last but so not least, new sheet masks and detoxifying face masks that are perfect for weekend self-care. Check out my top picks below!

All of these scents are so dreamy.


Burts Bees lip glosses

A 100% natural liquid lipstick that actually lasts? Yes, please.


Burts Bees facial oil

This face oil is 99.9 natural and was such a welcome addition to my skincare routine. (I also love the sleek packaging!)


Burts bees wash

These two treatments – the smoothing Overnight Intensive Lip Treatment and the exfoliating Conditioning Lip Scrub – are total game-changers. I can’t live without either now!

With a coconut-oil core, this highlighter is easy to apply and hydrates skin (just like the Lip & Cheek duos).


This mask is now a key part of my Sunday skincare arsenal. It makes my complexion smooth and soft.

Even aside from the peaceful setting, amazing staff and awesome company, I had a wonderful time. Burt’s Bees has been a favourite brand of mine for a long time and I was thrilled when they introduced makeup in 2017. This year, I’m super pumped to see them expand the cosmetics collection while adding some seriously elevated skincare products to the mass market. I can’t wait to see what comes next from Burt’s Bees! #IAMNOTSYNTHETIC