Elegantly Eco

Eco-Friendly Beauty, Fashion, Reviews, and Info


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New Year, New Goals

As you’ve probably noticed, I took a hiatus from posting for most of December. I wanted to take some time to think about where I want to go in the future. Most of you know that I am also a reiki master. I’ve decided to put this blog aside for now and focus on my reiki business and spiritual development. It takes a lot of my spare time to write this blog and it hasn’t left much room in my life for anything else. That is the reason why I’ve decided to put this blog on hold. This has been a difficult decision to make, as I love writing about all thing eco-friendly.

The site will remain up as a free site for those who wish to use it as a reference. There are still lots of useful links, DIYs, product reviews, articles on toxic ingredients, and book reviews for your exploration. I hope this blog has helped some of you to realize that going eco-friendly doesn’t need to be expensive. Though it’s certainly fun to splurge sometimes!

You can find me at my new site: Radiant Reiki. Hope to see you there!


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Lalun Naturals, Autumn Gold Cleanser, Toner and Moisturizer

Lalun Naturals Autumn Gold

Autumn Gold Cleanser

Ingredients: *Calendula infused Carthamus tinctorius (Safflower) Oil, Persea americana (Avocado) Oil, **Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba) Oil, Vitamin E, Rosemarinus officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, *Matricaria recutita (German Chamomile) Oil, *Anthemis nobilis (Roman Chamomile) Oil, *Lavandula angustifolia (Lavender) Oil. **Certified Organic Ingredients, *Organic or wildcrafted.

Firstly I have to save I love the smell of this cleanser. It has some of my favourite oils in it. As a cleanser it was a bit too heavy for my combination acne prone skin. But I loved using it as an after shower moisturizer/body oil. As for ingredients I like how simple and pure the ingredients list is. There are plenty of skin loving oils such as safflower oil, avocado oil and jojoba oil.  Most people know that Jojoba oil is most similar to our skin’s own sebum production. Avocado oil is rich in fatty acids as well as anti-oxidants Vitamin A,B,D and E. Safflower oil is a natural anti-inflammatory and rich in linoleic acid. Chamomile and lavender are known for being calming and gentle to the skin. Both Rosemary and lavender are also known for its antiseptic and antimicrobial properties which helps heal skin prone to acne.

Cost: $18.00 USD, 114 g / 4 oz
Available at: Lalun Naturals
Brand Origin: USA
Rating: 4/5

Autumn Gold Toner

Ingredients: Anthemis nobilis (Roman Chamomile) Water, **Aloe barbadensis Leaf (Aloe) Juice, Vegetable Glycerine, Colloidal Gold, *Self Heal (Prunella vulgaris) Flower Essence. **Certified Organic, *Organic or wildcrafted.

Maggie has created a lovely, gentle toner perfect for transitioning into the colder weather of autumn. I don’t know about you but when summer starts slipping into autumn my skin takes a hit. It seems that almost suddenly I get crocodile skin that is thirsty for moisture. This toner was a great help for rehydrating my skin and perfect for use before applying serums. Chamomile is calming and aloe juice packs some hydrating power while the colloidal gold helps stimulate cell turn over. If you’ve got thirsty skin like me, this would be a great toner for you to add to your skin care regimen.

Cost: $18.00 USD, 114 g / 4 oz
Available at: Lalun Naturals
Brand Origin: USA
Rating: 5/5

Autumn Gold Moisturizer

Ingredients: Matricaria recutita (Chamomile) Water, **Aloe barbadensis (Aloe) Leaf Juice, **Elaeis guineensis (Palm) Butter, *Calendula officinalis (Calendula) extract, **Punica granatum (Pomegranate) Seed Oil, Colloidal Gold, *Euphorbia cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Glycerin, *Curcuma longa (Turmeric) Root Extract,**Elaeis guineensis (Palm) Fruit Oil, **Lecithin GMO free, Ricinis communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Allantoin, Citrus aurantium sinensis (Orange) Fiber, Tocopherol (Vitamin E) GMO Soy free, Gluconolactone (and) Sodium Benzoate, Xanthan Gum, **Curcuma Xanthorrhiza (Turmeric) Root Extract, **Achillea Millefolium (Yarrow) Oil, **Helichrysum italicum (Helichrysum) Oil, **Matricaria recutita (Chamomile) Oil, **Anthemis nobilis (Roman Chamomile) Oil, Daucus carota (Carrot) Seed Oil. **Certified Organic, *Organic or wildcrafted.

Another winner, this moisturizer was gentle enough for me to use while I was having an allergic reaction to another product I tried. It’s no wonder because of the calming (chamomile, calendula, helichrysum), hydrating (aloe leaf juice, candelilla), and anti-inflammatory (yarrow) ingredients in this moisturizer. Pomegranate and carrot seed oil gives us an anti-oxidant hit with turmeric providing more anti-inflammatory and skin healing properties. This is an impressive moisturizer for all of its wonderful ingredients. A small spatula is provided with it as the oils sometimes separate. But give it a little stir and apply and it provides a great moisturizing barrier to the external environment. You’re going to want to stock up on this moisturizer!

Cost: $34.00 USD, 30 ml / 1 oz
Available at: Lalun Naturals
Brand Origin: USA
Rating: 5/5

Overall I would say that Maggie, the creator and founder of Lalun Naturals has come up with a winning trio of products that are great to use when the colder weather starts arriving. Things that I love about these products: simple yet pure ingredients, every ingredient has its purpose, and affordability. Maggie shows us that you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg when it comes to getting good quality skincare products which are also natural, organic and eco-friendly.

** Products were provided for consideration but all opinions expressed are my own.


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Book Review: One Spirit Medicine by Alberto Vilioldo

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About the Author:

Alberto Vilioldo, Ph.D., is a Cuban-born psychologist, medical anthropologist and author, writing primarily in the field of neo-shamanism.1 Vilioldo has studied the shamanic healing practices of the Amazon and Andes for more than 25 years. In 1984 he founded the Four Winds Society, which offers extensive education in the philosophy and practice of energy medicine, training students to become modern-day shamans. He also directs the Center for Energy Medicine in Chile, where he investigates and practices the neuroscience of enlightenment.2 Read more about the author on his Biography page.

Book Review:

This book is an interesting mix of general wellness advice and spirituality. Vilioldo presents a lot of information in this book about the connection that physical health has with the emotional and psychic well being of the body. If you’re a medical practitioner this book may blow your mind. If you’re a spiritual person you may find this book as interesting as I did. I never thought of my body the way that Vilioldo describes things. It’s a refreshing way to look at your physical health. The only thing I found frustrating was that Vilioldo would talk about the disadvantages of how life is often lived in the modern world and the ailments that arise from it. But he didn’t provide that many solutions in the book. I would read about all sorts of illness he’s talking about and think okay, that’s good to know. But how do I fix it? He would only provide solutions to some issues but not to the many, many issues he brought up. There is a lot of information that he presents in this book (see Table of Contents above). There are so many topics he touches upon so I’ve chosen just to do an overview in this review. One of the many topics are that everyone should make sure their digestive systems (gut brain) are working properly. He basically says that if your digestive system isn’t working at optimal levels it can seriously impact not only your health but your spiritual journey. It makes sense to me that a pure body helps to contribute to a clear, functioning mind. When our minds are clear then we have a greater chance of making the right decisions for ourselves spiritually and otherwise. Vilioldo characterizes each stage in the spiritual journey with an archetype: the healer, divine feminine, sage, visionary, etc.

I haven’t decided yet how seriously I want to take this book. Certainly, a lot of things he suggests the reader do for a more balanced life seem like common sense to me. For example, his 7 day detox plan sounds interesting. But for some people it would not be affordable to buy the amount of supplements he suggests for the detox. The dosage of the supplements seem high to me, but I suppose one would seek the advice of their doctor before embarking on such a detox. In any case, this book will open your mind to the possibilities of a dialogue between spirit, body and mind. I would suggest readers take this book with a grain of salt. While I think Vilioldo makes a lot of valid points I wouldn’t take his word as gospel, nor would I take any author’s word as gospel. For many people the best thing to do is accept the information that makes sense to you and leave the rest.

Rating: 4/5


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September/October: Empties

My empties are quite late this month. But at long last here they are!

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Lily of the Desert, Aloe Vera Juice Inner Fillet – No review

Aloe vera is very soothing for the skin and hair. Some people also like to drink it. I prefer to use it externally. I’m currently using this in a hair rinse and in my leave-in conditioner. This aloe vera has a few additives like citric acid and potassium sorbate which rate as a 2 and 3 on EWG’s Skin Deep.

Cost: $29.99 CAD, 3.8 L / 128 oz
Available at: Ambrosia Natural Foods, Well.ca, Healthy Planet
Brand Origin: USA
Rating: 4/5

Thayer’s Original Witch Hazel with Aloe VeraReview

Well there isn’t much I can say about this item that I haven’t said before. Witch Hazel is a staple in my medicine cabinet for its versatility. I use it as a toner and I also use it to make my own perfume. I’ve already repurchased this!

Cost: $12.99 CAD, 355 ml / 12 oz
Available at: Well.ca, Big CarrotNoah’s Natural Foods
Brand Origin: USA
Rating: 5/5

Silkka Garden Apothecary, Blossom Hydration Mist – Review

This has become one of my favourite mists. I love multi-function products. I use this as a toner when my skin needs hydration. I’ve also used it as a perfume and it’s great on my hair too! I only wish this was available in a refill so that I could just keep the one bottle and keep refilling it.

Cost: $15.00 CAD, 60 ml / 2 oz
Available at: Silkka Garden Apothecary
Brand Origin: Canada
Rating: 5/5

Phyt’s, Fluide Hydratant (sample) – No review

I received a 3ml sample of this from my acupuncturist JoAnn Alafriz and while I liked the product it seems a bit pricey to me. I also didn’t like that they do not disclose what parfum consists of.

Cost: $88.00 USD, 40 g / 1.4 oz
Available at: Phyt’s Beauty and Spa, Phyt’s USA
Brand Origin: France
Rating: 3/5

Sudsatorium, Java Conditioner – Review to come

As with all Sudsatorium products I’ve tried so far, I love the smell of this stuff! Java conditioner is a lovely, hydrating conditioner. I honestly can’t decide which conditioner I love from these guys. It helps that this local company is also vegan, fair trade and helps grassroots charities. What’s not to love?

Cost: $6.95 CAD, 60 ml/ 2 oz
Available at: Sudsatorium
Brand Origin: Canada
Rating: 5/5

Sudsatorium, Bosom’s Buddy (aka The Firm) – Review to come

This is a firming lotion which was formerly called The Firm. I know it’s meant to be used for the breasts but I actually used it on my wobbly bits (arms, thighs, belly). I used it for a month and then stopped using it to see if I would feel a difference. The verdict? My skin does feel firmer with this lotion. The only teeny tiny thing I don’t like about this lotion is that the scent is very strong. It does dissipate so that’s good. Despite the strong smell I think I’ll repurchase this because I like the results it gives.

Cost: $17.95 CAD, 125 ml/ 4.2 oz
Available at: Sudsatorium, Natural Code
Brand Origin: Canada
Rating: 4/5

Flowers to Fragrance, Lavender (Grosso) Essential Oil – No review

I love shopping local and Flowers to Fragrance is a company I first discovered at the Green Living Show. Lavender is another staple in my medicine cabinet and the quality of this essential oil is great! Will definitely repurchase.

Cost: $15.99 CAD, 10 ml / 0.3 oz
Available at: Flowers to Fragrance
Brand Origin: Canada
Rating: 5/5

Meow Meow Tweet, Grapefruit Baking Soda Free Deodorant (sample) – Review to come

This stuff works! And so far it hasn’t given me a rash like the baking soda based natural deodorants have. I finished my sample from Sarah of Natural Code and have already repurchased a full sized jar.

Cost: $20.99 CAD, 68 g / 2.4 oz
Available at: Natural Code, Well.ca
Brand Origin: USA
Rating: 5/5


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Spa Review: Pure + Simple, Super Hydrating Facial

As most of you know, I love shopping local and one of my favourite places to buy my skincare is Pure + Simple. Not only do they have their own lines of amazing skincare (see my reviews on Holistic Vanity and Pure + Simple products) but they also carry cosmetics and other skincare lines. The newly revamped Yorkville spa location has miles of shelf space which allows them to also carry some haircare products which aren’t available at the other locations. The Yorkville location also has a Wellness Centre with services that the other locations don’t have. For example there is naturopathic medicine, acupuncture, cosmetic acupuncture, massage therapy and nutrition sessions available at this lovely location on the upper floors.

After my review of the Holistic Vanity Acne Care Line I was offered the chance to visit the Yorkville location and experience one of their new facials. I had the lovely Isabella for my Super Hydrating Facial and I loved every minute of it! Isabella did all of the traditional facial steps. She first removed all of my makeup, then examined my skin and proceeded with the steaming, facial mask, extractions and massages. I also got to have the high frequency treatment and oxygen sprayed on my face to help my skin absorb the products being slathered on my skin. I have to say, Isabella has very talented hands. She was both gentle and firm depending on what my skin needed. We had an interesting chat during my facial. I love talking to estheticians! We traded skincare and makeup tips, tricks and routines. Isabella, I’m trying your eyebrow tips and loving them so far! At the end of my treatment Isabella asked me if I had any questions. I bought some of the items she suggested for my dehydrated skin and I’ve been using them with great results. I’ll be reviewing those products in a future post. I left the spa with a very oily face but totally relaxed and mellow. I will definitely be booking my next facial at the Pure + Simple Yorkville location with Isabella.

Rating: 5/5

Thanks again to Pure + Simple for the facial. To learn more about Pure + Simple check out a list of their locations. You can also follow them on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest!

At the front of the spa they have their cosmetics section. This is a natural makeup wonderland I’d like to play in the next time I get a chance!

Just to give you an idea of how much shelf space they have, after the cosmetics section are these long rows of shelves to the back of the store. And behind the receiving desk near the waiting area is another set of shelves.

Here’s a shot of their haircare selection. Intelligent Nutrients, John Masters, Rahua and InnerSense are among the lines they carry. I went a little crazy buying some of the hair products!

The waiting area on the first floor.

One of the cozy and relaxing treatment rooms.

Yorkville room

Have you ever had a facial at Pure + Simple? You may also like my review to the Aquabrasion facial, also at Pure + Simple.


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DIY Toothpaste

DIY Toothpaste

I’ve started DIYing things that I use very often. One of those is toothpaste. I ‘ve tried and liked Earthpaste so I thought why not make my own version? It would be a lot cheaper than buying it all the time. I found this recipe from Overthrow Martha and modified to my needs. For those living in an old house or a house with small pipes you may want to decrease the amount of bentonite clay and increase the baking soda. I’ve had reports that bentonite clay can clog pipes but I personally have never had a problem with the clay. I have omitted the salt from this recipe because I find the baking soda salty enough. Although dead sea salt is supposedly good for teeth because of its mineral content.

Ingredients:

1.5 tbsp Bentonite Clay
2 tbsp Distilled water or aloe Vera juice
1 tbsp coconut oil
5 to 10 drops of essential oil like peppermint, wintergreen mint, clove, holy basil,rosemary, sage (optional)
A container (mason jar or a squeeze bottle)

Options: If you get clogged pipes from the bentonite clay you can use this ratio below and keep the rest of the ingredients the same.
1 tbsp baking soda & 1 tsp bentonite clay

Instructions:

Put the clay, coconut oil, and baking soda (if using) in a bowl and blend with water. Add the essential oils you like. Clove is good for getting rid of strong flavours like garlic breath. Keeps for several months in a container.

Using this toothpaste along with oil pulling helped me decrease the amount of plaque on my teeth. At least that’s what my dentist told me. I didn’t tell her that I was making my own toothpaste and oil pulling however. I’ve found some conventional dentists can be opposed to ideas like that.


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Intelligent Nutrients, Styling Gel and Curly Hair Serum

Intelligent Nutrients, Styling Gel

Ingredients: Aloe barbadensis leaf juice, 1 alcohol denat.,1,3 glycerin,1 acacia senegal gum,1 inulin,1 agave americana leaf extract,1 xanthan gum,1 citrus medica limonum (lemon) peel oil,1 ethyl palmate,1 nigella sativa (black cumin) seed oil,1,2 cucurbita pepo (pumpkin) seed oil,1,2 rubus idaeus (red raspberry) seed oil,1,2 vitis vinifera (red grape) seed oil,1,2 vaccinium macrocarpon (cranberry) seed oil,1,2 mentha viridis (spearmint) leaf oil,1 cinnamomum camphora (ravintsara) leaf oil,1 rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf oil,1 menthol,1 elettaria cardamomum seed oil,1 cinnamomum zeylanicum (cinnamon) bark oil,1 vanilla planifolia fruit (natural flavor),1 rubus idaeus (red raspberry natural flavor type), 1 chamomilla recutita (matricaria) flower oil,1 citrus aurantifolia (lime) oil,1 citrus aurantium bergamia (bergamot) fruit oil, 1 limonene,1,4 linalool,1,4 citric acid, tocopherol (vitamin e) 1 certified organic, 2 antioxidant intellimune® seed oil complex, 3 denatured using certified organic bergamot essential oil 4 naturally occurring component of organic essential oil blend

Ingredients wise, this gel has much of the same ingredients as the curly hair serum below. That’s not too surprising. I do like the certifications this product has: certified organic, leaping bunny, and green e org certified (renewable energy). The gel has a very mild, almost spearmint-like smell to it. The hold is medium to firm. A little bit goes a long way so if you like a light hold, use this sparingly. I did like this gel but it’s a bit pricey so I’m going to keep looking for another styling gel. I wish they had larger sizes of this gel available to make it more affordable. This gel works to tame my frizzy hair as well and I found it easier to control the type of hold I wanted with this product than the curly hair serum. It also doesn’t weigh my hair down nor leave too much product build up over time. I found I had to wash my hair more often with the curly hair serum.

Cost: $38.99 CAD, 200 ml / 7 oz
Available at: ThairIntelligent Nutrients Canada
Brand Origin: USA
Rating: 4/5

IN-curly hair serum

Intelligent Nutrients, Curly Hair Serum

Ingredients: Aqua (water), glycerin,1 galactoarabinan, cetearyl alcohol, alcohol,1 sucrose,2 cetearyl olivate, sorbitan olivate, diheptyl succinate, glyceryl stearat SE, pullulan, xanthan gum, aloe barbadensis leaf juice powder,2 nigella sativa (black cumin) seed oil,2,3 cucurbita pepo (pumpkin) seed oil,2,3 vitis vinifera (grape) seed oil,2,3 vaccinium macrocarpon (cranberry) seed oil,2,3 rubus idaeus (raspberry) seed oil,2,3 euterpe oleracea (acai) fruit oil,2 aroma,2,4 lecithin,2 cathamus tinctorius (safflower) seed oil,2 cetearyl glucoside, sorbitol, trehalose, acaia senegal gum, capryloyl glycerin/sebacic acid copolymer, brassica alcohol, brassicyl isoleucinate esylate, glucanotactone, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, limonene,5 linalool,5 geraniol,5 citronellol,5 citral,5 tocopherol (vitamin e) 1 made using organic ingredients 2 certified organic 3 antioxidant intellimune® super seed oil complex 4 certified organic active aroma/flavor oils citrus noblis (mandarin orange) peel oil, pelargonium graveolens(geranium) flower oil, litsea cubeba (may chang) fruit oil, pogostemon cablin (patchouli) oil, citrus aurantium bergamia (bergamot) fruit oil, jasminum officinale (jasmine) oil, vetiveria zizianoides (vetiver) root oil, honey natural flavor type 5 naturally occurring component of essential oil blend

Let’s talk ingredients first. There are some natural emollient (diheptyl succinate), emulsifying (glyceryl sterate SE) and surfactants (xanthan gum) in this serum. Then there are the anti-oxidant ingredients (pumpkin, cranberry and raspberry seed oils) two of these oils are anti-inflammatory as well. Then there are the oils used for scent (mandarin, geranium, may chang, patchouli, bergamot, jasmine and vetiver). I normally don’t like the scent of vetiver but in this styling product the concentration is so small it’s quite hard to detect. Despite all the essential oils used in this product I found that the scent wasn’t overpowering. Once my hair was dry only a faint scent lingered and this dissipates throughout the day. Those with sensitive noses won’t need to be nervous using this product. As for the frizzies, this curly hair serum did work to keep them at bay. But I found the hold too firm for me. I couldn’t get the right amount in my hair. I was either putting too much or too little. So I’ve started adding this to my leave-in to dilute it enough so that my hair doesn’t get frizzy but also isn’t too crunchy. Like their styling gel I find this a bit pricey so I’m unsure if I will repurchase this. I will have to do some more experimentation with this product.

Cost: $35.99 CAD, 140 ml / 5 oz
Available at: ThairIntelligent Nutrients Canada
Brand Origin: USA
Rating: 4/5

Have you tried any Intelligent Nutrient products?