Elegantly Eco

Eco-Friendly Beauty, Fashion, Reviews, and Info


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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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Acure Organics, Moroccan Argan Oil+ Argan Stem Cell Conditioner

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Ingredients: Organic Euterpe oleracea (Acai) Berry, Organic Rubus fruticosus (Blackberry), Organic Rosa canina (Rosehips), Organic Punica granatum (Pomegranate), Organic Fair Trade Certified™ Rooibos, Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Stearylkonium Chloride, Vegetable Glycerin, Glucono Delta Lactone (fermented sugar), Organic Argania Spinosa (Argan) Oil, Cetearyl Glucoside (from corn and glucose), Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride (guar gum conditioner), Glyceryl Stearate (vegetable-derived), L-Arginine (amino acid), Organic Fair Trade Certified™ Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Sorbitan Olivate (from olives + sugar), Panthenol (Pro-vitamin B5), Cellulose (plant derived), D-Alpha Tocopherol Acetate (vitamin. E), Lactic Acid (vegetable derived), Hippophae rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) seed oil, Organic Curcubita pepo (Pumpkin) seed oil, Ubiquinone (CoQ10), Argania spinosa (Argan) Stem Cells, glycerophosphoinositol lysine (from sunflower), Prunus dulcis (Almond) Extract, Cinnamomum aromaticum (Cassia Bark) Oil

This conditioner comes in a plastic squeeze bottle which can get a little messy when standing on its head. The conditioner is white in colour and has a medium thickness. The smell is light and herbal and dissipates after my hair dries. The description on the bottle reads “triple moisture conditioner”. I would say it got half-way there but not all the way for me. My hair is curly and very thirsty. My scalp is also prone to dryness so I always need a very nourishing conditioner. While this did help nourish my hair and scalp a bit, I was hoping for better results. I suppose I was expecting too much. But with a name like triple moisture I really wanted something thicker and more hydrating. I don’t think I will repurchase this. I’ve heard good thinks about John Masters Avocado Conditioner. So I’m going to try that next to compare effectiveness. As for the ingredients list it’s got a great list of hydrating and smoothing properties but for some reason my hair didn’t love it that much. While my hair did have less tangles as I used this conditioner, it didn’t feel any thicker and my hair was actually flatter when I styled it. I lost the volume I usually have with other hair conditioners.

Cost: $18.50 CAD, 235 ml / 8 oz
Available at: Glam Goes Green, iherb
Brand Origin: USA
Rating: 3/5

Have you ever tried Acure Organics?


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July/August Empties

Sudsatorium, Kiwi Herman Body LotionReview

Love this body lotion! The smell is so relaxing and refreshing at the same time. I’m going to repurchase a bigger bottle!

Cost: $12.95 CAD 125 ml / 7 oz (also available in sizes from 60 ml/2 oz to 500 ml/16.8 oz)
Available at: Natural Code, Thair, Etsy
Brand Origin: Canada
Rating: 5/5

Holistic Vanity, Rosacea Care, Healing Immortelle Tonic – Review

This tonic is my HG toner. When my skin is irritated and inflamed this toner helps to calm everything down. I always make sure to have this tonic in my cabinet. I never want to run out as it works for my skin so well! I’ve repurchased this tonic many times and will continue to do so.

Cost: $26.00 CAD, 100 ml
Available at: Pure + Simple
Brand Origin: Canada
Rating: 5/5

Acure Organics, Moroccan Argan Oil+ Argan Stem Cell ConditionerReview

This conditioner didn’t perform as well for me as I would have liked. When I used this conditioner, my hair felt flat after I dried it. I won’t be repurchasing.

Cost: $18.50 CAD, 235 ml / 8 oz
Available at: Glam Goes Greeniherb
Brand Origin: USA
Rating: 3/5

John Masters Organics, Lavender and Avocado Intensive Conditioner (sample) – Review to come

This 10 ml sample size was only a single use for my hair type. I’ve got very thirsty hair. I liked the way my hair felt after using the sample so when I finish my current conditioner I’m going to buy the full size to see how long term use affects my hair.

Cost: $34.00 CAD, 207 ml / 7 oz
Available at: John Masters, Clementine Fields, Fresh Faced
Brand Origin: USA
Rating: 4/5

John Masters Organics, Rose & Apricot Hair Milk (sample) – Review to come

Another 10 ml sample size. This one I mixed with my DIY leave-in conditioner and it was great for helping to keep my hair frizz free. It gave my leave-in a light hold that I liked. I don’t like the smell too much as I’m not much a fan of rose scents. But I’ve bought the full size so that I can continue to mix it with my leave-in.

Cost: $40.25 CAD, 118 ml / 4 oz
Available at: John Masters, Thair, Ambrosia Natural Foods, Fresh Faced
Brand Origin: USA
Rating: 4/5

John Masters Organics, Honey & Hibiscus Hair Reconstructor (sample) – Review to come

I really liked this 10 ml sample size of this product. The hair reconstructor was thick enough to provide some intensive moisture for my thirsty hair. I’ve also bought the full size of this to test out for a longer period of time. This product smells great. I really love the honey and hibiscus smell.

Cost: $39.00 CAD, 118 ml / 4 oz
Available at: John Masters, Ambrosia Natural Foods, Clementine Fields, Fresh Faced
Brand Origin: USA
Rating: 4/5

Lavina, Barbary Fig Seed OilReview

Lavina’s Barbary Fig Seed Oil remains one of my favourite oils and companies as well. Barbary Fig Seed Oil is packed with lots of properties that are beneficial to the skin: its high amounts of linoleic acid (an omega 6 fatty acid), Vitamin E, and anti-inflammatories such as betalain and zinc. I also love Lavina’s Jojoba Oil and Argan Oil. I use Lavina’s Argan Oil in my DIY leave-in conditioner. I have repurchased this oil many times and will continue to do so.

Cost: $30.00 CAD, 10 ml / 0.33 fl oz
Available at: Lavina
Brand Origin: Canada
Rating: 5/5

Egyptian Magic, All Purpose Skin Cream – No Review

I received this jar of cream in the Think Dirty Clean Beauty Box. There’s no doubt, it’s a great all around skin cream with very simple ingredients. The price point is reasonable as well. However, I can get a large jar of organic shea butter from New Directions Aromatics that costs less in the long run and gives me the same results. I won’t be repurchasing this product.

Cost: $38.52 CAD, 118 ml / 4 oz
Available at: Think Dirty app, Amazon.ca, Egyptian Magic, Other stockists
Brand Origin: USA
Rating: 4/5

Sudsatorium, Naughty Face and Body SoapReview

I have to admit, I love Sudsatorium’s Naughty soap. I’ve tried some of Sudsatorium’s products and so far they keep hitting out of the park! I guess that means I’m an addict. Naughty is soap containing Bamboo Charcoal, Licorice Root Decoction, Sandalwood, Rosewood, Rapeseed Oil, Coconut Oil, Vegetable Glycerin, and Sea Salt. It left my skin soft and kept my skin clear. Sometimes I get body acne and Naughty kept me from breaking out. I’ll have to repurchase this after I finish the other soaps I’ve bought from Sudsatorium!

Cost: $ 3.95 CAD, 50 g / 1.8 oz
Available at: Etsy, Detox Market
Brand Origin: Canada
Rating: 5/5


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Spotlight on: Joy McCarthy, Holistic Nutritionist


I have read and loved Joy McCarthy’s book: Joyous Health – Eat & Live Well without Dieting. It has a wealth of information I think everyone should know. You can read my book review here. Joy is a Holistic Nutritionist and the Health Expert to Global TV’s The Morning Show. I recently met her at the Total Health Show and she is such a lovely person. Read more about Joy on her website’s About Page. I asked if Joy would allow me to interview her for my blog and she agreed. Here is the interview below. I hope you enjoy it!

    I’ve been reading via social media that you’re working on a new book called Joyous Detox. How many months of work does it take to get a book published?

     Yes! I’m super excited about my second book Joyous Detox. My manuscript is actually due at the end of August, so I’m just putting the final touches on it now. It takes me a couple of years. First I come up with the concept, create an outline and then discuss it with my editor/publisher. Then I start writing. I started writing Joyous Detox last year and it will be published in 2017. I’m already thinking about book 3 and it will definitely have a joyous baby theme. 🙂

    I’m a real believer in people taking charge of their health. Do you think the average person is becoming more aware of how proper nutrition can prevent many health issues?

     Yes most definitely. I know this just based on how my blog traffic has grown over the years…also based on holistic nutrition being on mainstream TV.

    Your journey as a holistic nutritionist is a fascinating one. (Read about it here.) Do you ever look back and wonder what your life would have been like if you didn’t follow this path?

     For sure. I know that if I never followed my true passion I would still be working in a marketing job in an office and feeling completely unfulfilled. Feeling unfulfilled in one aspect of your life can unfortunately affect all other areas of your life. Following my dreams brought so much unexpected goodness into my life, including my husband Walker who is now my full-time business partner for almost two years now. I don’t look back often, but when I do it’s really motivating to see how far I’ve come both personally and professionally.

    What are your favourite personal care products?

     I love dry skin brushing, I do it every day. My growing baby in my belly loves it too! For shampoo I love Rahua. It’s a little pricey so I don’t use it every time I wash, just every other wash but along with eating protein and good fat, it keeps my hair shiny! I also use my own Joyous Natural Deodorant, body butta on my legs after shaving and I use my belly bump butta every day on my growing belly. So far…no stretch marks! Fingers crossed. I love lipstick and lipgloss and I’m totally addicted to the Ilia line. They have such pretty colours and they are a clean brand. Everything my husband and I use on our body and in our home for cleaning is as clean and toxin-free as possible. I feel good knowing that anything that flushes down the sink from facewash to toothpaste is not harming the environment. This is important to me.

    What one product or ingredient would you never ever use and why?

     Sadly, most mainstream products made by Uniliver, P&G and the like do not seem to care about the environment or the health of people. So I avoid brands like Dove, Johnson and Johnson etc. There is more than one ingredient I avoid, in fact there are multiple ingredients. So I just make sure that I read my labels of everything and only use products with ingredients I know.

    Congratulations on your pregnancy! Do you think your next book will be called Joyous Pregnancy? And where do you see Joyous Health going in the future?

     My third book will definitely be something baby/pregnancy related. I’ve had an enjoyable pregnancy and I know much of this is because of my health before getting pregnant. As for Joyous Health, I will continue doing what I love – speaking and writing. As well, I will continue to develop new offerings on the website from ebooks to natural personal care products. Thanks so much for the interview. Really great questions!

My thanks to Joy McCarthy for taking time out of her busy schedule to answer these questions. I know I’m definitely looking forward to reading Joy’s next book when it comes out. You can follow Joy on her website Joyous Health as well as on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest!


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June/July: Empties

John Masters Citrus and Neroli Detangler (sample) – No Review

I mixed a sample size of this into my aloe vera juice leave-in for an extra moisturizing and detangling kick. It worked very well, though it leaves a sticky white residue in my spray bottle. Currently I’m undecided if I want to repurchase or try a more DIY approach to a detangler.

Cost: $24.75 CAD, 236 ml / 8.0 oz
Available at: Clementine Fields, Thair, Well.ca
Brand Origin: USA
Rating: 3/5

Holistic Vanity, Calming Aloe Kumari CleanserReview

This is one of my favourite cleansers. When my skin is reactive and needs a break from everything I can safely use this cleanser without making matters worse. The Aloe Kumari Cleanser is actually part of the rosacea line but also works well for any sensitive skin types. I’ve repurchased this cleanser many times and will continue to do so.

Cost: $28.00 CAD, 100 ml / 3.4 oz
Available at: Pure + Simple, Glam Goes Green
Brand Origin: Canada
Rating: 5/5

Marie Veronique Advanced, Gentle Retinol Serum (sample) – Review

This is a great quality retinol from Marie Veronique Advanced. While I enjoyed using this retinol a lot, the price is a bit much for me. So I’m off to search for something more affordable. However, if I don’t find something that works as well as this retinol I would definitely repurchase it.

Cost: $110.00 USD, 30 ml / 1 oz
Available at: Marie Veronique AdvancedLilou Organics
Rating: 4/5

Lily Lolo, Concealer in CaramelReview

This concealer is the best one I’ve used so far. The texture is so light that you wouldn’t be able to tell I’m wearing it just by looking at me. Also the shade is almost perfect. If this were one or two shades darker I wouldn’t have to use a powder foundation on top to blend & correct the colour. Also a few granules of concealer spreads very well on the skin so you don’t need much to do spot concealing or even your whole face.

Cost: $21.00 CAD, 4.5 g/ 0.2 oz
Available at: White Apothecary, Lily Lolo USANaturismo
Brand Origin: UK
Rating: 4/5

Odacite, Intensive Hand and Heel Therapy (sample) – Review

I finished up my small sample size quickly since I was slathering it on my feet daily. It still lasted longer than I thought the tiny bottle would last! It’s sandal weather here in my city so I need to buy some more. Since I finished my sample I’ve been using other moisturizers and it just doesn’t do the job as well as this one does. My feet have never felt so soft (yet not greasy) in ages! Must buy some more soon!

Cost: $45.00 CAD, 120 ml / 4 oz
Available at: Petal and Post, Detox Market Canada
Brand Origin: USA
Rating: 5/5

Parkdale Butter, CocoaNut Body ButterReview

I love the whipped texture of this body butter. My skin doesn’t absorb it as fast as I’d like but that’s the nature of coconut oil and cocoa butter. I would definitely consider repurchasing this after finishing off some of the other body butters in my cabinet.

Cost: $24.99 CAD, 240 ml / 8.1 oz
Available at: Parkdale Butter, List of stockists
Brand Origin: Canada
Rating: 4/5

Antipodes, Kiwi Seed Eye Cream – No Review

This cream didn’t do anything for my under eye circles. It’s really only good for moisturizing the eye area and firming it up. The jar lasted me so long that it actually went rancid before I could finish it. I won’t be repurchasing this because I would rather have an eye cream that addresses the darkness under my eyes.

Cost: $46.00 CAD, 30 ml / 1.0 oz
Available at: Urb Organic Spa, White Apothecary
Brand Origin: Australia
Rating: 3/5


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3 Summer Favourites

Natural SPF

Haut Cosmetics, Raspberry Seed Oil ElixirReview

Did you know that Raspberry Seed Oil has a natural SPF of 28-50? In my search for sunscreens that don’t break my face out this oil has been a godsend. My normal routine is to use a face oil before putting on primer or moisturizer and then apply makeup. So this fits in perfectly with my morning routine. It’s a quick absorbing oil, so if you will be out in the sun all day you’ll have to reapply.

Cost: $59.95 CAD, 80 ml / 2.7 oz
Available at: Haut Cosmetics
Brand Origin: Canada
Rating: 5/5

Hydration, hydration, hydration!

Silkka Garden Apothecary, Blossom Hydration MistReview

Despite the muggy weather recently in my fair city, I still need to make sure my skin and hair is adequately hydrated. That’s where Silkka’s mist comes in. It smells divine. I’m usually scent sensitive but for some reason this mist doesn’t bother me. In fact it’s quite the opposite. I love the smell and have to restrain myself from spraying too often. This mist is a facial mist but I also love using it for my hair and body.

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

Vanilla Bean Heaven

100% Pure, Vanilla Bean Nourishing Body LotionReview

The most scrumptious smelling vanilla body lotion. Smells good enough to eat but I wouldn’t recommend you do that! Cozy up to your significant other after slathering this on and you will have them drooling. I’m not usually a vanilla fan but this just smells amazing. It also works like gang busters for hydrating the skin.

Cost: $21.00 CAD, 236 ml / 8.0 oz
Available at: Glam Goes Green100% Pure, Detox Market Canada
Brand Origin: USA
Rating: 5/5

These are my 3 summer favourites. Which are yours?