Thursday, 9 June 2016

Beauty Shop Love: Jacob & Sebastian

Hi, everyone! We all know I'm a sucker for the cosmetics shop titans of the world (I've logged thousands of hours in Sephora and MAC to prove it), but there is something about a one-of-a-kind independent store that warms my inner beauty geek like nothing else. Regular readers of the blog will know that I've been a loyal customer of Jacob & Sebastian for several years; I've mentioned it here countless times, but I thought it was about time that I shared with you a proper feature of the store. It's a gem that I cannot rave about enough! 

I first visited Jacob & Sebastian four years ago, stumbling across its Queen and Bathurst location during a random stroll through the neighbourhood one sunny afternoon. I was immediately tantalized by the displays of beautiful products in the window, so I of course had to pop in! 

Upon entering, I was instantly smitten with the aesthetic of the store, one that remains today; it is fresh, clean, and chic without any hint of stuffiness. A claw-foot bathtub adorns the centre of the space, almost inviting you to grab some soap and hop in in! The left side of the shop is fully lined with skin care treats and, the right side, with goodies for hair and body, as well as an ever-growing selection of organic makeup brands. 

Design aside, the feature of Jacob & Sebastian that most drew me in was the shop's selection of brands. Each and every line of the shelves was unique, niche, and perfectly curated. One section after the other, I gasped and swooned "I didn't think I could find this brand in Toronto!!" and "I've never heard of this brand, but it looks absolutely lovely". Lines like Mario Badescu, Paul & Joe, and Kahina are just some examples of brands I'd been craving that I didn't think I could access in the city. Any beauty fiend will understand the excitement of stumbling across products that are ultra hard to find!!

This careful selection of brands remains a hallmark of the shop, with new offerings being added all the time! Each visit has me jumping up and down about something new that's arrived. Over the past couple of years, Jacob & Sebastian's owner Joel has added some incredible high-tech cult-following brands like NIOD, Hylamide, Aesop, and Oribe, as well as green beauty gems like RMS, Kjaer Weis, Tata Harper, S.W. Basics, SchafPai, Indie Lee, May Lindstrom, and its newest addition, Kypris

Jacob & Sebastian also carries a lovely selection of home and personal fragrances- there is a scented candle and perfume for just about everyone, especially those that love unique, quirky, and irreverent options (think Malin + Goetz Cannabis). 

The cherry on top at Jacob & Sebastian is that its owner and curator, Joel, is an absolute pleasure. Not only is he incredibly kind and helpful, he really knows his stuff! There are few things I enjoy more than chatting about the nitty gritty of makeup and skin care with a fellow beauty geek! I sat down with Joel during my latest visit for a quick Q&A. Hopefully it'll give you an even better sense about what the shop has to offer!

You have such a well-curated selection of brands at J&S. What qualities do you look for in a brand to carry in your store?

I curate the shop based on what qualities I look for in a product personally. I look for items that firstly, do what they are supposed to do, and actually make a positive impact on the skin, based on a person’s specific needs. Secondly, the product itself has to look great on the shelf, and thirdly, I try to find items that are not HUGELY available everywhere else. Before taking on any new line, we (my staff and myself) all try the products for a set amount of time, to make sure that they are a good fit, and that we know exactly what customer they would be best tailored to.

We've chatted a lot about our struggles with sensitive skin. What are your favourite products from J&S for sensitive skin?

Indie Lee's Squalane Oil and Rosehip Cleanser have both been a saviour to my sensitive skin. The pair cleans, protects, and hydrates without irritation or damaging the natural moisture barrier of the skin. I also love all PAI products, because they are specifically tailored towards those with hyper sensitive skin. I love that they provide a retinol in the form of their Rosehip Regenerate Oil, which is great for those of us with sensitive skin. Kahina's Antioxidant Mask is another great pick as it dramatically removed redness after just one use. 

What are the top 5 bestsellers at J&S at the moment?

1) The Clearing Serum by Kypris as it treats acne, dryness, irritation, and more with just one product.

2) Rebels Refinery's Skull Lip Balm, because it is CUTE and actually works.

3) Wildcraft's Cell Regenerating Face Serum, because it provides the user with so many vitamins and nutrients in just a few drops (and it is really well priced!).

4) All of COOLA'S sun care products, because they are non-toxic, but actually feel amazing on the skin and don't cause breakouts.

5) Since the "full-brow" trend is all the rage, Province Apothecary's Full brow Serum is another item that is flying out the door. 

Have I tempted you? If you're in Toronto, you can stop by Jacob & Sebastian at its flagship shop at 662 Queen St. W. or its newer Distillery District location (also a beautiful space!) at 27 Tank House Lane. You can also peruse products online here!

Have you ever visited Jacob & Sebastian? Did I mention any of your favourite brands or any that have been tempting you? Do you have any favourite local independent beauty shops?

Have a wonderful day! xoxo


*This post was NOT sponsored in any way. Just a loyal fan cheerleading a local favourite! ;)


  1. I am tempted, but I am nowhere near Toronto. These smaller, independent stores are real gems though.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

    1. It truly is a gem! They do have an online store if you're interested :)

  2. I only discovered this store after our brunch day in Distillery and I'm intrigued! I love the fact that Joel and his staff try out all the products and test it themselves!

    1. Yes, they are so passionate about the brands they carry! Hope you get to pop in soon :)

  3. Now I wish I lived in Canada! This place looks absolutely lovely and really well curated. Great, in depth review

    www.Barely There | British Beauty & Lifestyle blog


    1. Thanks so much for stopping by! It's a must-visit if you're ever in Toronto :)

  4. I wish I live in a city instead of a small town on Vancouver Island, shopping in general is such a pain in the arse. :-(

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

    1. Ah, I really am spoiled here in Toronto! ;) J&S has an online shop too if you're interested! xo

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All of your lovely comments make my day! Thanks for taking the time to share your musings, ideas, and opinions. Feel free to leave a link to your blog- I'd be happy to check it out :)