Elegantly Eco

Eco-Friendly Beauty, Fashion, Reviews, and Info


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.


Leave a comment

Watch out Acne! Holistic Vanity is launching a new Acne Care Line

As you all know, I’m a supporter of buying local as much as possible. One of my favourite skincare brands is Holistic Vanity, produced by Pure + Simple. I’ve loved so many of their products and reviewed them on my blog (Damage Care Line, Rosacea Care Line and many more). I was super excited when Pure + Simple contacted me to try the new Holistic Vanity Acne Care Line. I’ve suffered from acne ever since I was a teenager. I was hoping when I got older and ate cleaner that the acne would disappear but it never did. Today my acne is almost non-existent but when that monthly time comes, I still get minor breakouts. The Acne Care Line will launch September 16th at all Pure + Simple locations as well as online. Finally, a skincare line that is effective in combating acne from a local Toronto brand! Here’s proof that you don’t need to put overly strong chemicals on your face (I’m looking at you Proactiv!) to get clear skin.

Acne Care line
Purifying Black Mud Cleanser

Ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice*, Sodium Laurol Oat Amino Acids (Non-Irritating Surfactant), Decyl Glucoside (Coconut/Corn Derived Cleansing Agent), Simmondsia Chinensis Seed (Jojoba) Oil*, Coco Glucoside (Coconut Derived Cleansing Agent) Coconut Alcohol (Non Drying Emulsifier), Glycerin*, Glyceryl Stearate (Plant Derived Emulsifier, Emoliant and Moisturiser), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*, Sucrose Polysoyate (Natural emolient), Gluconolactone (Fruit Acid) + Sodium Benzoate (Food grade Preservative), Soluble Collagen (Marine Derived), Maris Limus (Black Mud), Xanthan Gum, Lemongrass*, Ylang Ylang*, Turmeric*, Petitgrain*.   *Organic ingredients.

This creamy cleanser smells nicely of lemongrass and ylang ylang. I find this cleanser easier to spread on a damp face. You need only a couple of pumps to cover your face. The cleanser washes away cleanly and the lemongrass scent is refreshing. The scent can be a little strong until you get used to it. But once washed away it does dissipate. Black mud is a great ingredient known for its detoxifying and purifying properties. Lemongrass has natural astringent properties and is anti-microbial as well as anti-bacterial. Ylang Ylang is anti-inflammatory and helps to regulate sebum production. Aloe vera and shea butter provide gentle hydrating and moisturizing while also healing the skin. No wonder I like this cleanser so much! For those with super sensitive skin I would advise to use this cleanser sparingly at first to see how your skin reacts. Then if your skin is okay with it you can use it as directed. I used this cleanser during my “time of the month” and got only one large pimple. But that pimple is already disappearing as I continue to treat it with the Acne Care Line.

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

Anti-Bac Pine Mint Skin Tonic

Ingredients: Pinus Sylvestris (Pine)*, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint)*.   *Certified organic ingredients.

Love the super simple ingredients list for this skin tonic. Pine is useful in treating skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis and is anti-bacterial. Peppermint is anti-septic, anti-microbial and can help control oil secretion. I find this tonic a bit too strong for my skin so I like to mix it with the Healing Immortelle Tonic. Still, it’s a wonderful tonic that helps keep my skin matte and calm. It smells great too! The pine and peppermint scents are not strong at all. So this tonic should be okay for those with sensitive noses.

Cost: $26.00 CAD, 100 ml / 3.4 oz
Available at: Pure + Simple
Brand Origin: Canada
Rating: 4/5

Clarifying Black Cumin Oil


Nigella Sativa (Black Cumin) Oil*, Orbignya Oleifera (Babassu) OilCertified organic ingredients.

A lovely mellow yellow oil, this one packs some powerhouse ingredients. Black cumin oil is known for nourishing the skin while reducing acne and scarring. It is anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory. Read more about black cumin on the Holistic Vanity blog. Babassu oil is great for healing skin irritations, has cooling properties, and helps to rebalance the skin. I loved that this oil is absorbed into my skin quickly without leaving me feeling like a grease ball. Some oils can tend to sit on the surface of the skin but these did not.

Cost: $43.00 CAD, 100 ml / 3.4 oz
Available at: Pure + Simple
Brand Origin: Canada
Rating: 5/5

Balancing Black Mud Turmeric Lotion

Ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice*, Simmondsia Chinensis Seed (Jojoba) Oil*, Orbignya Oleifera (Babassu) Seed Oil*, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Oleosomes and Water, Glycerin*, Cetyl Alcohol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*, Lonicera Japonica (Japanese Honeysuckle) Extract, Maris Limus (Black Mud), Sclerotium Gum, Tocopherol, Lemongrass*, Ylang Ylang*, Turmeric*, Petitgrain*.  *Certified organic ingredients.

This lotion is about medium thickness and a soft beige colour. Some of the amazing ingredients from the cleanser are also present in this lotion. I can definitely smell the lemongrass in this lotion as well as the black mud. I didn’t mind it though, as once my skin absorbed the lotion the scent goes away. I also loved this lotion. It kept my skin matte and yet velvety feeling. My skin has been feeling smoother with all of the products in the Acne Care Line so I really can’t complain.

Cost: $50.00 CAD, 100 ml / 3.4 oz
Available at: Pure + Simple
Brand Origin: Canada
Rating: 5/5

Overall review:

I predict the Holistic Vanity Acne Care Line will be really popular. So many people suffer from acne and this skin care line will help many people. It’s certainly helped me control my acne breakouts. I’ve noticed that my skin is clearer, smoother and less pimple prone. An intro kit is available for those wishing to try before buying the larger sizes.  Keep in mind though, that you also have to eat cleaner to have better skin. No amount of amazing skin care products will help your skin if you are eating mostly processed foods, lots of animal proteins and GMOs.

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


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

Leave a comment

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


January/February: Empties

100% Pure, Vanilla Bean Nourishing Body Creamreview

Previously I had only tried a small sample of this body cream from Glam Goes Green. But when I was Christmas shopping I went to Husk and bought the full sized tube. I have to say, this stuff is the bomb! It smells like the world’s most yummiest, mouth watering vanilla cupcake. I’m not usually a fan of vanilla (and neither is hubby). But we both agreed that this stuff smells amazing. It’s not an overpowering scent either. It is subtle and sweet. Besides the lovely scent it actually is a really good body cream. It’s thick but I like to spread it on damp skin just after my shower and it still moisturizes really well if sparingly used. My skin feels silky smooth after using this body cream and of course smells like heaven. I love it! I will repurchase this again in the future.

Cost: $21.00 CAD, 236 ml / 8.0 oz
Available at: Glam Goes Green, 100% Pure, Husk
Rating: 5/5

Lavina, Organic Jojoba Oilreview

Hello mama! Here’s a lovely oil that can be used head to toe. I’ve been trying a lot of DIY recipes lately and I often see jojoba oil listed as one of the ingredients. It’s a really versatile oil and I’ve been loving it in my hair as well as on my face. I created my own DIY facial oil blend for nourishing and clarifying my skin. It’s been working so well I may not buy anymore facial oils in the future unless I’m tempted beyond measure. This one gets full marks because it ticks off all my criteria. Organic? Cold Pressed? Canadian business? Check, check and check!

Cost: $20.00 CAD, 60 ml / 2 oz
Available at: Lavina
Rating: 5/5

Holistic Vanity, Brightening Hyaluronic Lotionreview

Holistic Vanity is another brand love affair for me. I like a lot of their products so you’ll see me mention them a lot on my blog. This lotion is lovely and soothing. Paired with the Antipodes brightening serum it’s a knock out team. The lotion is light enough to use for the day time but I like to use it at night. I must get some more of this soon.

Cost: $68.00 CAD, 100 ml / 3.4 oz
Available at: Pure + Simple
Rating: 5/5

Antipodes, Apostle Skin-Brightening Serumreview

I have sensitive skin. So when I find a brightening serum that doesn’t irritate it, I tend to stay loyal unless I find something better. So far, I haven’t found any product better than this brightening serum. I’m a fan of convenience so I haven’t been rubbing my face with lemons, even though it may cost less. I’m still loving this serum so I will definitely repurchase this again!

Cost: $58.00 CAD, 30 ml / 1.0 oz
Available at: White ApothecaryUrb Organic Spa
Rating: 5/5

Have you tried any of these brands?

Leave a comment

December/January: Empties

Jason, Aloe Vera Moisturizing Gel – No review
I use aloe vera a lot in my DIY recipes. I got this gel when I was at a Nutrition House in the mall and didn’t check the ingredients list too carefully since I was in a rush. Silly me, this gel has fragrance in it among other additives. I didn’t like the smell of the fragrance, plus there can be all sorts of ingredients that comprise “fragrance.” The aloe vera also seemed a lesser quality compared to the Avivir. I will not be repurchasing this.

Cost: $5.99 CAD, 227 g / 8 oz
Available at: Nutrition House, Well.ca
Rating: 2/5

Avivir, Aloe Vera GelReview
This is what organic aloe vera is supposed to be. It feels and smells like it was freshly harvested from an aloe plant. I was really surprised to find this at a natural foods store not far from my home. I haven’t seen it elsewhere in the city at all. Anyway, I’m very glad to have found it. It’s a bit pricey but the quality is beyond other aloe vera gels I have tried. I will definitely repurchase this.

Cost: $7.99 CAD, 100 ml / 3.3 oz
Available at: Ambrosia Natural Foods
Rating: 5/5

Holistic Vanity, Rejuvenating Rosewater CleanserReview, Best of 2013
This is one of my fave cleansers because of it’s gentleness and soothing properties. It has never irritated my skin and I just love it. I think I like it better than the Aloe Kumari Cleanser. I will definitely repurchase this.

Cost: $30.00 CAD, 100 ml / 3.4 oz
Available at: Pure + Simple
Rating: 5/5

Nourish Organic, Lavender Mint Deodorant – No Review
his deodorant didn’t work well for me. I had to pair it with another deodorant in order to remain stink-free all day long. Also I didn’t like the consistency. The coconut oil made it too soft and combined with the cornstarch powder it would leave a white sticky residue. It stained my clothes as well. Will not be repurchasing.

Cost: $ 9.99 CAD, 62 g / 2.1 oz
Available at: Ambrosia Natural Foods, Well.ca
Rating: 2/5

Green Beaver, Toothpaste  – No Review
This is your standard eco-friendly toothpaste. It’s a little less solid than conventional toothpaste so you’ll have to be a little careful when squeezing it out of the tube. The flavor I got was mint and it wasn’t overpowering. Soon after brushing I couldn’t taste the mint anymore. I didn’t notice any significant improvements to my teeth or gums. As for price it isn’t as expensive as some natural toothpastes can be. So if you’re looking for an ordinary toothpaste this could be the one for you. Not sure if I would repurchase. But I do like that it’s made in Canada.

Cost: $5.75 CAD, 75 ml / 2.5 oz
Available at: Ambrosia Natural Foods, Well.ca, Healthy Planet
Rating: 3/5

Leave a comment

Toners for every budget level

Hi all, one of the most common complaints I hear about going eco-friendly is that it can be expensive. Not always! But you do have to know what you’re looking for sometimes.

I’m of the mindset where if it works amazing for my skin I’m willing to spend a bit more. But I also pick and choose where I’m willing to spend more. Not all of the products I use are high end. Here we have some of my favourite toners that I’ve tested. These toners are suitable for sensitive, acne prone skin which is the skin type I have. The most expensive toner isn’t that crazy expensive. Then again most toners aren’t that pricey.

High Medium Low/DIY
Marie Veronique
Treatment Mist
Holistic Vanity
Healing Immortelle Tonic
Witch Hazel

Read review here Read review here Read review here
Apply after cleansing  the face.
Apply after cleansing the face.
Apply after cleansing
the face.
Works very well to balance acne prone skin.
Very soothing for skin that is sensitive and irritated.
Widely available and easily affordable.
Somewhat pricey for toner. 
Smell can be off putting to those who aren’t used to immortelle.
Can be drying to the skin if
COST: $37.00 CAD,
120 ml / 4 oz
COST: $26.00 CAD,
100 ml / 3.3 oz
COST: $12.99 CAD,
355 ml / 12 oz
Lilou Organics
Pure + Simple
Well.caBig Carrot,
Noah’s Natural Foods