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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Spotlight on: Beekeeper’s Naturals


Note: Logo images are from the Beekeeper’s Naturals website.

This past March I attended the Yoga Conference with a friend and encountered Carly Stein of Beekeeper’s Naturals there. I got to sample the Throat Relief Spray and then purchased one to try. I’m loving it and if you’ve read the review from yesterday you’ll know that I’ve already repurchased three more bottles. Carly and I had a fascinating conversation about yoga, bees and reiki. I asked if Carly if she would allow me to interview her for my blog and she very graciously agreed. Here is the interview below. I hope you enjoy it!

081014_2303_SpotlightEr11.jpg   How did you first get involved with bees?

BKN Logo (new)   A few years ago, I was studying abroad in Italy and came down with a bout of tonsillitis. I was desperately looking for something to help and was stumbled across an Italian pharmacy, which introduced me to the wonders of propolis. Propolis helped me make a full recovery and avoid surgery. After this experience, I was eager to learn more about this seemingly magical product, which brought me to the door of a local beekeeper. After my first experience with the hives, I was hooked!

081014_2303_SpotlightEr11.jpg Did you ever think you would become a beekeeper?

BKN Logo (new)  Honestly, no. I did not know very much about the bees and was misinformed about their role. I saw them more as a nuisance – how wrong I was! Bees are such amazing creatures and play such a crucial role in our everyday lives and spending time with them gives you a much greater appreciation for just how important they are.

081014_2303_SpotlightEr11.jpg  What do you think is the most important thing the average person needs to know about bees?

BKN Logo (new)  The average person needs to know that bees (through all of their hard pollination work) are responsible for 1/3 of our food supply. In other words, every third bite of food we take is the product of the bees’ hard work. From almonds and apples to avocados and raspberries, many of the foods that we love would not exist (or at the very least be a lot more expensive).

081014_2303_SpotlightEr11.jpg  How else can people help the bees? Does planting bee-friendly plants help them?

BKN Logo (new)  Planting bee friendly plants is an easy thing that everyone can do in their own backyards (or condo balconies) to help the bees! We encourage people to plant a variety of local native flowers that bloom at various times throughout the year (so the bees always have something to snack on). Bees love bright colours and they will reward you by giving you an amazing garden.

081014_2303_SpotlightEr11.jpg What one product or ingredient would you never ever use and why?

BKN Logo (new)  Aspartame. I try to avoid chemicals and artificial ingredients at all costs!

081014_2303_SpotlightEr11.jpg Where do you hope to take Beekeeper’s Naturals in the future?

BKN Logo (new)  We hope to be the company that consumers trust for innovative and sustainably sourced bee products to improve their health. As our company grows, our goal is to continue to use our expanded platform and reach to raise awareness about the bees and truly make a difference for our buzzing friends.

My thanks to Carly Stein for taking time out of her busy schedule to answer these questions. The Throat Relief Spray is available for purchase on the Beekeeper’s Naturals site and select locations. You can follow Beekeeper’s Naturals on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.


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August/September: Empties

8-August-Sept Empties

Sudsatorium, Living in the Momint – Review to come

I’ve tried a number of Sudsatorium’s conditioners before and I can’t decide which ones I like the best. Each conditioner has its special qualities. I like Living in the Momint for its soothing scalp properties and it really helps keep my hair manageable, soft and shiny.

Cost: $11.95 CAD, 150 ml / 4.2 oz
Available at: Natural CodeEtsy
Brand Origin: Canada
Rating: 5/5

Intelligent Nutrients, Styling Gel – Review to come

This styling gel has some impressive certifications! It’s 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.

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

Intelligent Nutrients, Curly Hair Serum – Review to come

This curly hair serum keeps the frizzies 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. Will have to do some more experimentation with this product.

Cost: $35.99 CAD, 140 ml / 5 oz
Available at: Thair, Intelligent Nutrients Canada
Brand Origin: USA
Rating: 3/5

Parkdale Butter, Espresso Face BalmReview

This is a lovely face balm which I used over the summer. It’s a bit heavy for summertime use though its very hydrating and I love the smell of espresso. I enjoy Silkka Garden Apothecary’s Mint + Grapefruit Balm more so I won’t be repurchasing the Parkdale Butter Balm.

Cost: $24.99 CAD, 120 ml / 4 oz (also available in 60 ml size $14.99 CAD)
Available at: Parkdale ButterList of stockists
Brand Origin: Canada
Rating: 4/5

S W Basics, Cocoa Lip Balm – No review

This is a decent lip balm which kept my lips nicely hydrated. It’s slightly melty and soft so sometimes I would use a bit more than I intended. But all in all it’s a good lip balm.

Cost: $5.00 CAD, 4.5 g / 0.15 oz
Available at: Natural Code,
Brand Origin: USA
Rating: 4/5

Have you ever tried any of these products or brands? If yes, what did you think?


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Free Thought Fridays: Listen to my drum weep, Poem by Jim Poitras

drum

Listen to my drum weep…

As I beat and gently sing, a honor song

Of days gone of the past, of all the wrongs…

Children, family and culture, forever lost

All for the land, the riches, done at all cost…

I sing of lost love, so many lost empty years

Not of anger but grief, a silent river of tears…

I cry for the elders, our men,our women

All those parents, relatives,not forgotten…

The beat of mother earth, the sacred drum

Beats for the hundreds of millions, I am one…

From creator, ancestors and all living things

The healing, begins and comes, deep within…

So to all my relations, today, past and future

Listen to my drum weep, to honor, to endure…

All My relations…

Poem by Jim Poitras


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Sudsatorium, Kiwi Herman Body Lotion and Naughty Soap

Hi, My name is Hazel and I’m a Sudsatorium addict. Here are some the latest things I’m loving from one of my fave Canadian brands. There will be another post soon with reviews on the haircare products I’ve bought from Sudsatorium so stay tuned!

Kiwi Herman

Kiwi Herman Body Lotion

Ingredients: Fresh Organic Ravensara Leaf Infusion (Ravensara aromatica), Fresh Organic Coconut Water (Cocos nucifera), Fair Trade Wild Harvested Ucuuba Butter (Virola sebifera), Fair Trade Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (Cocos nucifera), Fresh Organic Kiwi Fruit (Actinidia chinensis), Palm-Free Vegetable-Derived Cetyl Alcohol, Organic Jasmine Absolute (Jasminum officinale), Fair Trade Vanilla Absolute (Vanilla planifolia), Non-GMO Lactobacillus Ferment (Fermented Korean Cabbage)

OMG. I have to rave about this body lotion. I love the smell so much. It’s so relaxing and yet refreshing at the same time. It takes me to a sensory paradise that I want to live in all day long. The scent is kind of tropical with the Kiwi fruit and Coconut oil, but you can also smell the Jasmine and Vanilla. Besides the smell, I love the way it works. It’s not thick in texture, so you wouldn’t guess how moisturizing it is. I love to slather it on after my shower. It absorbs quickly leaving my skin hydrated but not greasy. Let’s talk about the properties of these ingredients. Ravensara is from Madagascar and is said to have anti-deppresant, anti-bacterial and even aphrodisiac properties. That explains why I love the smell! Ucuuba butter comes from the Amazon region of South America has anti-aging properties and is used to treat skin issues like acne, eczema, and dry skin. Kiwi fruit contains vitamin C and vitamin E which helps keep skin firm and helps fight free radicals. Combining these two wonderful ingredients with coconut oil, coconut water and kiwi fruit makes for a thin but very nourishing body lotion. I’ll definitely repurchase this lotion and keep it in rotation with my other favourite body lotions.

Cost: $12.95 CAD 125 ml / 7 oz
Available at: Natural CodeEtsy
Brand Origin: Canada
Rating: 5/5

Naughty soap

Naughty Face and Body Soap

Ingredients: Fresh Organic Licorice Root Decoction, Organic Rapeseed Oil. Organic Coconut Oil, Vegetable-Derived Sodium Stearate, Sodium Hydroxide, Coco Glucoside, Organic Vegetable Glycerin, Fair Trade Organic Rosewood Oil, Organic Sandalwood Oil, Organic Bamboo Charcoal, Sea Salt

I have to confess that using Naughty was actually quite the opposite experience! This dark black soap left my skin soft and kept my skin clear. My skin didn’t misbehave when I used this soap! Sometimes I get acne on my back or neckline and Naughty kept me from breaking out. Licorice root is anti-inflammatory and known for helping with acne, eczema and psoriasis. It also helps reduce the appearance of age spots and hyperpigmentation. Rapeseed oil provides your skin with anti-oxidants, coconut oil helps your skin retain moisture, and bamboo charcoal is helps absorb excess oil. 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, Natural Code
Brand Origin: Canada
Rating: 5/5

Have you ever tried Sudsatorium?