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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May/June : Empties

5-May-June Empties

Flowers to Fragrance, Lavender and Geranium Cleansing LotionReview

This cleanser is a pleasure to use. It’s texture is creamy and the smell of the lavender and geranium is so soothing. It feels like a luxurious treat at the end of a long work day. I love that Flowers to Fragance is a family run business from rural Ontario. I love to shop local whenever I can, especially when the products are this great!

Cost: $19.99 CAD, 250 ml / 1 oz
Available at: Flowers to Fragrance
Rating: 5/5

Flowers to Fragrance, Deodorant Spray in Citrus Lavender  – Review

Unfortunately this deodorant spray didn’t work too well for me once the weather warmed up significantly. It worked fine for me in the cooler weather but also didn’t last all day long. I’m also detoxing at the moment so maybe that has to factored in as well. Anyway I may not repurchase this since it didn’t work well for me.

Cost: $11.99 CAD, 250 ml / 1 oz
Available at: Flowers to Fragrance
Rating: 3/5

Lotus Wei, Joy Juice Mist and Inspired Action MistReview

I’ve loved Lotus Wei’s aromatherapy for quite a while now. I’ve tried other aromatherapy brands but I always seem to come back to Lotus Wei. There’s something very special about the vibrational and energetic qualities of Lotus Wei’s aromatherapy.  Besides the mists I’ve also reviewed their elixirs, serums and perfumes. I have no doubt I will be repurchasing again after I’ve finished off some the other aromatherapy I have in my stash.

Cost: $40.00 CAD, 50 ml / 2 oz
Available at: Detox MarketClementine FieldsLotus Wei
Rating: 5/5

Marie Veronique Advanced, Serum Du Jour (sample) – Review

I finally finished my sample sized bottle of Serum Du Jour. I’m actually surprised how long it lasted. A small amount really goes a long way and helps to offset the price of the full sized bottle. Those on a budget should keep in mind that sometimes you get what you pay for. So pick and choose which items you want to splurge on. This serum is totally worth the price. I will repurchase this serum once I finish off some other serums I have in my cabinet. This sample was provided for review but all opinions expressed are my own.

Cost: Full Size, $90.00 USD, 30 ml / 1 oz
Available at: Marie Veronique
Rating: 4/5

Marie Veronique Advanced, Eye Recovery Serum (sample) – Review

This was another sample provided for review but wow this one really blew my socks off. I can’t tell you how many under eye creams I’ve tried that did nothing at all for my dark circles. This product combined with the lightening serum proved to be a great duo for me. My under eye circles are almost gone. I’ve run out of the sample sized bottle that I was sent and now I’m planning on buying the full sized bottle soon.

Cost: Full Size, $75.00 USD, 15 ml / 0.5 oz
Available at: Marie Veronique, Lilou Organics
Rating: 5/5

Marie Veronique Advanced, Luminous Lightening Serum (sample) – Review

I love, love, love this lightening serum. It worked so well for me that my hyperpigmentation spots are almost gone. I’ve already repurchased a full sized bottle of this serum after having finished the sample size they sent me for consideration.

Cost: Full Size, $110.00 USD, 30 ml / 1 oz
Available at: Marie Veronique
Rating: 5/5

Herbaceutikals, Smooth On Lip BalmReview

This is a nice lip balm. I really love the simple ingredients list and knowing that all the ingredients are safe. I have so many lip balms at this point however that I may not be repurchasing for quite some time. But I do love the farm to product ethics of this brand.

Cost: $4.00 USD, 4 g / 0.15 oz
Available at: Vibe’s BeautyHerbaceutikals
Rating: 4/5

Sudsatorium, Luscious Clay Soap – No Review

One of my favourite local brands, Sudsatorium sells on etsy and is also available now at many stores within Toronto. The luscious clay soap was the first soap of theirs that I have tried. Though I’m a big lover of their conditioners, shampoo and lotions. Now I can say that I love their soaps as well. Besides making me smell heavenly, I loved the slightly gritty texture of the soap which was great for exfoliating. Plus the rhassoul and kaolin clay are amazing at keeping the skin detoxified and purified. This is one soap I’m definitely going to repurchase and if I really like you I’ll give it to you as a gift as well!

Cost: Small, $3.95 CAD, 50 g / 1.8 oz , Large, 100 g / 3.3 oz for $6.95)
Available at: Sudsatorium Etsy Shop, Upcoming Markets
Rating: 5/5

Have you tried any of these products or brands?


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Spotlight on: Flowers to Fragrance @f2fragrance


Note: Logo and farm images are from the Flowers to Fragrance website.

I had the pleasure of meeting Nick Morris of Flowers to Fragrance at the Green Living Show this year when I bought their lavender cleanser. He told me how he came from a family of farmers from Manitoba and about their passion for growing lavender (among other plants). Since they are a small company and wanted to get their name out to the green blogger community, I asked Nick if I could interview him. He happily agreed and I hope you all enjoy this interview. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to live and work on a farm such as this!

Introduction to company:

Flowers to Fragrance is a fully functional farm and natural beauty shop run by the Morris family. They grow 20 different varieties of lavender as well as other medicinal and aromatic plants for essential oil. Aubrey and Shirley Morris have been growing lavender for nearly 9 years in Ontario, Canada. You can read more about their inspiring story here.

    Did the prospect of moving the farm from Manitoba to Ontario ever seem too daunting a task to complete?

    Yes it was daunting. As well as moving personal belongings we also had to dig up hundreds of plants, some lavender that had survived the Manitoba winters but a lot of Bee Balm. The Bee Balm essential oil is high in geraniol and is sought after by perfumers. We made many journeys to and from the two Provinces in vehicles packed with plants, pretty funny when I think of it now.

    I think it was very clever of you to match the right plant to the right growing conditions, even though that probably took more time, effort and money. How long did it take to find the right plants for each part of your land?

    We didn’t always get it right. We lost hundreds of plants during the first winter/spring. It’s a nail-biting time during early spring when fluctuating temperatures can cause much damage to lavender.

    Was it always your aim to open up a natural beauty shop? Or did that idea evolve over time?

    After extracting essential oil from the plants it seemed a natural development to be able to share these wonderful oils in products we now sell. It was a chance meeting with aromatherapist Jan Benham that put us on the path of completely natural skin care.

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

    Anything that is artificial.

    What kind of image or message do you want Flowers to Fragrance to evoke in people?

    People should know where their products come from. Our customers have the opportunity to experience a working essential oil farm in Ontario. They can see the actual plants that make our products smell the way they do…fresh and fragrant.

    What are your upcoming plans for Flowers to Fragrance?

    Well we’re back in Toronto for the Total Health Show on the 17th of April. We’re working hard to bring the essence of the farm to the city. Our goal is to make our high quality skin care line accessible to Toronto and the rest of Canada.

My thanks to Nick for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer these questions. I’m currently testing out their lavender cleansing lotion and really enjoying it! There you have it folks! Now get yourself on the Flowers to Fragrance to peruse their lovely products and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest! If you live in Ontario, you can tour their farm in person!


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Spotlight on: Flowers to Fragrance


Note: Logo and farm images are from the Flowers to Fragrance website.

I had the pleasure of meeting Nick Morris of Flowers to Fragrance at the Green Living Show this year when I bought their lavender cleanser. He told me how he came from a family of farmers from Manitoba and about their passion for growing lavender (among other plants). Since they are a small company and wanted to get their name out to the green blogger community, I asked Nick if I could interview him. He happily agreed and I hope you all enjoy this interview. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to live and work on a farm such as this!

Introduction to company:

Flowers to Fragrance is a fully functional farm and natural beauty shop run by the Morris family. They grow 20 different varieties of lavender as well as other medicinal and aromatic plants for essential oil. Aubrey and Shirley Morris have been growing lavender for nearly 9 years in Ontario, Canada. You can read more about their inspiring story here.

    Did the prospect of moving the farm from Manitoba to Ontario ever seem too daunting a task to complete?

    Yes it was daunting. As well as moving personal belongings we also had to dig up hundreds of plants, some lavender that had survived the Manitoba winters but a lot of Bee Balm. The Bee Balm essential oil is high in geraniol and is sought after by perfumers. We made many journeys to and from the two Provinces in vehicles packed with plants, pretty funny when I think of it now.

    I think it was very clever of you to match the right plant to the right growing conditions, even though that probably took more time, effort and money. How long did it take to find the right plants for each part of your land?

    We didn’t always get it right. We lost hundreds of plants during the first winter/spring. It’s a nail-biting time during early spring when fluctuating temperatures can cause much damage to lavender.

    Was it always your aim to open up a natural beauty shop? Or did that idea evolve over time?

    After extracting essential oil from the plants it seemed a natural development to be able to share these wonderful oils in products we now sell. It was a chance meeting with aromatherapist Jan Benham that put us on the path of completely natural skin care.

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

    Anything that is artificial.

    What kind of image or message do you want Flowers to Fragrance to evoke in people?

    People should know where their products come from. Our customers have the opportunity to experience a working essential oil farm in Ontario. They can see the actual plants that make our products smell the way they do…fresh and fragrant.

    What are your upcoming plans for Flowers to Fragrance?

    Well we’re back in Toronto for the Total Health Show on the 17th of April. We’re working hard to bring the essence of the farm to the city. Our goal is to make our high quality skin care line accessible to Toronto and the rest of Canada.

My thanks to Nick for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer these questions. I’m currently testing out their lavender cleansing lotion and really enjoying it! There you have it folks! Now get yourself on the Flowers to Fragrance to peruse their lovely products and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest! If you live in Ontario, you can tour their farm in person!


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Green Living Show Haul 2015

Okay so this haul post is totally overdue. But better late than never eh? On Saturday March 28th I went to the Green Living Show at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre where they were holding the show in the North Building. Below are pictures of what I actually bought, and the booths I visited. See my Instagram feed for more pictures from the show.

SudsatoriumReview, Best of 2014

One of my favourite local companies is this one. I’ve tried their conditioners and now I’m going to try their soaps! They always have fun and quirky names for their products which I love. You can find them on Etsy and the Detox Market Canada. They will also be at the Bellwoods Flea Market this Spring/Summer!

Flowers to Fragrance

I’m a sucker for lavender and essential oils. When I saw the lovely booth for Flowers to Fragrance I couldn’t resist taking a closer look. I had a lovely chat with Nick and he told me about the farm and how they started making natural beauty products. Their story is a compelling one and when I took a look at the website I could have died and gone to heaven. The farm looks like my idea of paradise and I’d like to acknowledge the Morris family for all the hard work they’ve put into their farm. I’m currently testing out their cleanser and really loving it so far! Stay tuned for the product review in the future!

Buhbli Organics

I’d never heard of Buhbli Organics before and as I’m a fan of quirky names, my curiosity was peaked. I bought this bag of Himalayan bath salts for hubby to try out. He’s loving it so far and I’ll give the bath salts a go when I need a relaxing bath. Buhbli Organics also makes soap, skincare oils, aromatherapy products, body butters and they sell soap nuts too. I will have to check out their other products in the future.

Yosh Konjac Sponge

Another konjac sponge company! I love to give these things as gifts. The first time I tried a konjac sponge it didn’t do much for me but I’m willing to try it again. This company is Canadian based.

The King’s Zen Tea

I don’t know what happens to me when I see tea. I can’t resist buying more and trying new flavours even though I have plenty of tea at home. I bought three tins from Zen tea to try. The Lychee Black smells heavenly. Lotus Leaf is great for digestion and detoxification. White Peony isn’t listed on the website for some reason. But the prices at the show were great. Buy two tins and get one free!

Parkdale Butter

I’ve had my eye on Parkdale Butter for some time. When I saw their booth and the travel kit I couldn’t resist snapping it up. I love the short ingredients list of their products. I’ll be testing their products in the future so keep your eyes peeled for a review!

Chocosol (not pictured)

I got some raw cacao nibs from Chocosol, a regular at the Green Living Show. I made some energy balls using the cacao nibs and are they ever delicious! I love chocolate but it’s got to be good quality and organic to be healthy for you. So that’s what I buy when I have the opportunity.

Karira HomeReview

I bought a set of their bamboo sheets in the past which I liked. Was hoping to find some comforters at the booth but they only had sheets again and blankets.

Sigrid NaturalsAll Natural First Aid Kit

Sigrid Naturals makes some lovely skincare. I’m especially partial to their balms, which made it to my All Natural First Aid Kit post.

Clean Care

One of my old faves! I first learned of Clean Care when they had an event at Chartreuse Style back in 2013. I’ve been following their exploits ever since. They actually announced the winners of the Clean Beauty Awards at the Green Living Show on the first day of the show.

Think Dirty App

Have you ever heard of the Think Dirty App? Well if you haven’t you might want to download it asap! It’s a great resource for checking how clean or toxic your personal hygiene products are. This app also makes suggestions on which products to try that are cleaner than the current brand you’re using.

Nanoleaf

You got to check out these amazing light bulbs by Nanoleaf! Another booth that was mobbed but at least I got to see them. The bulbs are expensive but very energy efficient and they are the first LED dimmer bulbs that don’t require a dimmer switch. Even Adria Vasil of Ecoholic endorses them! Here’s a great example of how technology can be eco-friendly and contribute to a sustainable lifestyle.

Carina Organics

Carina Organics is one of the winners in the Clean Beauty Awards. I’ve only tried one product of theirs which is the Botantical Therapeutic Deodorant which made it to my Best Deodorants list.

Goddess Garden

Was also at the show but their booth was mobbed and I couldn’t get through. Oh well. Next time.

If you weren’t able to go to the 2015 Green Living Show you can still get in on the action. Check out the full list of exhibitors for the show here.