Elegantly Eco

Eco-Friendly Beauty, Fashion, Reviews, and Info


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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?

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Vacationing in St. John’s, Newfoundland

As you may have noticed, there were no posts last week. This was because hubby and I were vacationing in St. John’s, Newfoundland. It’s a very interesting city to visit and with the Canadian dollar worth less than the American dollar right now a great option to travel within Canada. A little bit of history about St. John’s: it is considered to be the North America’s oldest city, with year-round settlement beginning after 1630. English fishermen set up seasonal camps in Newfoundland in the 16th century, but were forbidden by the British government to set up permanent settlements until after 1630. The first European to sail into St. John’s harbour was Venetian explorer John Cabot in 1494. Cabot’s Tower on Signal Hill is named after him.

St. John’s today is a city of about 106,000 (2011 census). The main languages are English and French. Though as most people know, Newfoundlanders or Newfies have their own dialect called Newfinese or Newfoundland English, influenced by the Scottish, Irish as well as the city of Bristol, and the counties of Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Hampshire and Somerset. Some really strange phrases have come about from this mixture of dialects as you can imagine. I walked into one souvenir shop and found some chocolate bars they were selling with some typical Newfinese phrases like: Stunned as me arse, or Yes b’y. Which translates to: you’re stupid and Yes boy. Another example of Newfinese is really evident when you do the screech-in. Screech is the name for the Newfoundland rum which is I think 100% proof. In Wikipedia screech technically means any cheap alcohol or moonshine. But I think it was also called screech because that’s the sound you make when you taste this stuff! Hubby was screeched in at Christian’s Bar. You can check out the Yelp reviews for Christian’s Bar here, mine is under Hazel P. Below is a video of a screech-in I found on YouTube. This is essentially what happens at a screech-in though hubby’s was a little different.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xxr46oLBFQ

So you may be wondering what is St. John’s actually like? St. John’s is a hilly city and often windy. If you plan to walk around the city bring a good pair of walking shoes. Your thighs will get a good workout on the hills of St. John’s. As for the wind, the whole week we were there a breeze was ever constant. In Toronto you can get days when there is barely any breeze or wind. But winds can gust as high as 54 km/hour in St. John’s. Ladies, this will play havoc with your hairdo so just relax and don’t worry about it. You’re on vacation after all! Weather-wise, at times it was cool (9C in the mornings) and at times the weather was hot (27C in the afternoon). We were lucky as it didn’t rain much when we were there. The downtown area is quite compact. The busiest streets are Water Street and Duckworth Street which are close to the harbour and have the most businesses. Shopping consists of independent shops. There isn’t a large mall downtown there like Toronto’s Eaton Center. Restaurants are a variety of Seafood, Italian, Japanese, Mexican, Middle Eastern food, Chinese, Vietnamese and Canadian. There were about 6 vegetarian restaurants I saw in the city. You will find though that many restaurants have vegetarian friendly foods. For those who like to party, George Street is where you find all the pubs. When the music festival is on, the ends of George Street are blocked off and you’ll find a live band playing on the band shell.

The people in St. John’s are the friendliest I’ve encountered in my travels of Canada’s cities. Whether you’re dressed up fancy or casually that doesn’t impact how friendly they will be to you. They don’t care how you’re dressed. They won’t judge you by how you look, but by how you treat them. The same goes for your ethnicity. I’m Filipino and I didn’t see many other ethnicities around. But despite that I felt very welcomed by the people of St. John’s. I have traveled in some cities outside of Canada where I was stared at for being the only Asian-looking person in the area. That welcoming vibe extends into their restaurants. You can go into almost any restaurant dressed casually and they will serve you without making you feel you’re underdressed. I also noticed that when you’re crossing the streets and there’s no stop light the cars will stop for you and let you go by. Here in Toronto some people won’t stop if you’re not at a stop light.

We stayed at a bed and breakfast in St. John’s called the Balmoral Inn. This is a beautiful 130 year old Victorian house converted into a bed and breakfast. The Balmoral is close to everything and it was a great location for us to be in. Kim and David, the owners of the Balmoral were super friendly and I also liked that the Balmoral has a commitment to being eco-friendly. They recycle, use organic bedding, energy efficient bulbs, print on recycled paper and more. Their breakfast options also include some organic items like tea and bread. If we ever come back to St. John’s we will stay at the Balmoral Inn.

To see more of the pictures and videos from my trip, take a look at my Instagram feed. I love seeing the other cities in Canada. Not only is it more cost effective, but we don’t have to worry about currency conversion rates, or bringing special travel plugs for our electronic devices. Also, there are so many great cities to see in Canada and we haven’t even visited them all! Canada is a beautiful country and I love it. I’m going to borrow a phrase from the Canadian anthem: “God keep our land glorious and free.” It’s my hope that Canada keeps its wilderness clean and make its cities more eco-friendly so that wildlife is minimally impacted. Have you ever been to St. John’s, Newfoundland?


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All you need is love and chocolate from ChocoSol Traders


ChocoSol Traders has become one of my favourite organic chocolate brands. Green & Black’s used to be my favourite but I’ve since realized the benefits of eating a more artisan type of chocolate and raw chocolate. What makes them artisans?  Well, ChocoSol Traders make sure they deal only with fair-trade cacao bean suppliers, and they make their chocolate right here in my home city of Toronto using eco-friendly power. They have a “cradle to cradle” approach in making their chocolate, which is organic, shade grown and sourced from indigenous communities in the Lacondon Jungle of Chiapas, Mexico and the Oaxacan mountains of Southern Mexico. They also use ingredients grown in Southern Ontario. To read more about ChocoSol Traders, check out their About Us page.

I love all the unique flavours they have for their bars. At the Total Health Show back in April I was able to nab the Jaguar Swirl and Coffee Crunch flavours which aren’t available at the health food stores I frequent. The bars were delicious and I found a small square of chocolate really satisfying. With some chocolate bars in the past I would eat one piece and then want to devour the whole bar! But with ChocoSol Traders’ my chocolate craving would be satisfied with just one square. Perhaps it’s because their chocolate is quite dense and the flavour profile is also intense. Chocolate bars aside, I’ve also tried their cacao nibs which I use to make the Earth Diet cookie dough balls. The cacao nibs work great as “chocolate chips” and are actually healthier for you than milk chocolate chips as these are as pure as you can get. For those not familiar with cacao nibs, they are created from cacao beans that have been roasted, cracked and de-shelled. The only nit picky thing I can complain about with ChocoSol Traders is that I wish they had an online shop so I could get my hands on more of their special flavours. But then again, I suppose that would defeat the purpose of their slow chocolate/food ethics. Besides chocolate bars, they also sell drinking chocolate, cacao nibs, roasted coffee, hemp seeds, chia seeds, vanilla pods and agave. Check out their youtube video of drinking chocolate below. Doesn’t it look scrumptious? I’ve yet to try their drinking chocolate. Maybe when the weather cools down again I can get my hands around a hot mug of their drinking chocolate.

Cost: Half bar $4.80 CAD
Available at: Noah’s Natural Foods, Ambrosia Natural Foods, List of other stockists
Brand Origin: Canada
Rating: 5/5

Check out ChocoSol Traders on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram


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Parkdale Butter, Cocoanut Body Butter and Espresso Face Balm



CocoaNut Body Butter

Ingredients:  Organic cocoa butter, organic coconut oil, organic shea butter, love.

I don’t know about you, but I love products that are eco-friendly, made locally and have a super simple ingredients list! Parkdale Butter’s Cocoanut Body Butter gets the green light from me on all fronts. The whipped texture of this body butter makes it easy to spread on damp or dry skin. And if your skin is super dry then it will love this body butter. Since my skin is slightly oily, I found it took a while to be absorbed. So I was walking around the house at times trying to avoid my adorable cat as he has long black hair and it would stick to my legs if he came around me after I’d spread this on. As you can imagine this body butter smells mostly of coconut oil and shea butter, which are mild scents. So those who are scent sensitive need not worry about added fragrances. This is as pure as you can get!

Cost: $24.99 CAD, 240 ml / 8.1 oz (also available in 120 ml size $14.99 CAD)
Available at: Parkdale ButterList of stockists
Brand Origin: Canada
Rating: 4/5

Espresso Face Balm

Ingredients:  Non-GMO soy butter, green coffee bean essential oil, love.

This is a lovely face balm, again with a simple ingredients list. Simple need not be boring! I love the smell of the green coffee bean essential oil. I no longer drink coffee so this is as close as I can get to having a morning coffee every day! While this is intended as a face balm, I also like to use it on my body as a multi-purpose product. The soy butter didn’t break me out though it’s a bit heavy for my skin at this time, since it’s summer. My combination oily skin would like this face balm better in the winter time. Those with dry skin would fare better using this in the summer. The texture of this balm is also whipped and light, making it easy to spread without pulling delicate facial skin. If you love the smell of coffee and need a great moisturizing balm this this is the one for you!

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

Have you ever tried Parkdale Butter?


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Flowers to Fragrance, Cleanser and Deodorant

Lavender and Geranium Cleansing Lotion

Ingredients: Water, Emulsifier Wax, Sweet Almond Oil, Rose Hydrosol, vitE Grapefruit Seed Extract, Lavender Essential Oil, Geranium Essential Oil

I love the simple ingredients list for this cleanser! It is thick in texture and when I apply it to my face it feels simply luxurious. Sweet almond oil and rose hydrosol provide the moisturizing elements. Grape seed extract contains vitamin E, flavonoids, linoleic acid which is great for healing the skin. Lavender essential oil and geranium essential oil reduces inflammation, balances, tones and purifies the skin. This cleanser was super gentle on my skin and didn’t make my skin react at all. This is a great cleanser all year around and feels most soothing in the dry winter months. As for scent, you can smell the essential oils in it but the scent is mild and dissipates once I finish washing my face. I love the smell of lavender which is calming and I would pump some of the cleanser in my hand and then breathe in a few breaths before spreading the cleansing lotion on. What a treat to have lavender from a local farm in this lovely cleansing lotion! I would definitely buy this again and even give it away as a gift to my loved ones.

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

Deodorant Spray in Citrus Lavender

Ingredients: Witch hazel, vegetable glycerin, sea salt, lemon essential oil, grapefruit essential oil, orange essential oil, cypress essential oil, lavender essential oil, coriander essential oil, geranium essential oil.

This deodorant works but it last that long for me. Maybe it’s my body chemistry, but I would find myself slightly smelly the next morning when I got up. Given that this is a natural deodorant that is mostly made up of just essential oils I think that’s pretty great. But for those who are super active or are detoxing, this might not work for them. I’ve finished this deodorant up before the summer has gotten really hot or humid so I’m not sure how well it would hold up in that kind of weather. I do love the smell of this deodorant however. The citrus oils are such a refreshing smell. The skin on my arm pits is pretty sensitive so I’m happy to report that I didn’t have any reaction to the ingredients. I’m currently undecided if I will repurchase this again.

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


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Miik Clothing, Charlotte Cardi and Jamie Buttoned Tunic

About Miik Clothing

I’ve been a fan of Miik Clothing since I learned about them through Adria Vasil, author of Ecoholic. I love that they are local, eco and their clothing is well made. Read more about Miik on their About Us page. Check out the interview with founder Donna Smith below.

I currently don’t have any pictures of myself wearing the Charlotte Cardi or the Jamie Tunic but I’ll beg my hubby to take pictures. You can also check out my Instagram pics of my other Miik Clothing here: Emily Cardigan in Black, Wendy Dress in Watermelon. I’ve just realized I need to take more pictures of my Miik Clothing! I have more pieces than these pictures suggest.


Source

Charlotte Cardi

This cardi is perfect to pair with my summer dresses. It shows off the shape of my dress while keeping my arms and back covered enough so that I won’t freeze while at work. It’s also sleek and simple enough that it doesn’t detract from whatever dress I’m wearing. I work in an office so in the summer time they crank up the AC. I’m prone to getting cold easily, so a cardigan with this kind of shape works perfectly for me. I bought this cardi in black. But it’s pretty hard to see details of the shape and style when you see the picture of the black cardi so I chose the port colour to showcase. As for material the cardi is light and comfortable, not bulky at all. I’ve never heard of sorona before but according to my research it is a biopolymer “containing 37% annually renewable plant based ingredients.”

Materials: 90% rayon-made-from-bamboo and 10% lycra; 55% rayon-made-from-bamboo,
35% sorona and 10% lycra.
Color: Port (Also available in: Black and Ink Blue)
Cost: $175.00 CAD
Available at: Miik Clothing, Logan & Finley, Other stockists


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Jamie Buttoned Tunic

I love the Jamie buttoned tunic. It was however, too long for my petite stature. I’m only about 5’3″ so when I first put the tunic on, it was too long to be a tunic and too short to be a dress. I ended up taking it to an alterationist to have it shortened. Now it looks much better on me. The fit isn’t 100% perfect as it hangs on me a little, but I do love this tunic. The colour options are great for one thing, and it’s also the light and comfortable fabric. It has washed well so far and I look forward to years of wearing it. When I have worn it out casually or even at work on casual day, I always get compliments on the colour.

Materials: 90% rayon-made-from-bamboo and 10% lycra. 55% rayon-made-from-bamboo,
35% sorona and 10% lycra.
Color: Port/Red Wine (Also available in: Charcoal Sorona/Port, Black/Charcoal Sorona, Port/Black, Ink Blue/Black, Port, Ink Blue, Red Wine, and Black)
Cost: $165.00 CAD
Available at: Miik Clothing, Logan & Finley, Other stockists

Overall, I would say these pieces are great additions to my wardrobe. At these prices I would consider these investment pieces. Miik Clothing does last a long time if you take care of it properly. So all Miik lovers take heart, your piece of clothing will last with proper care. Also, they do have clearance sales at the end of the season. But you’ve got to be quick because sizes and colours sell out in a snap! Also, while eco-friendly clothing tends to be more expensive, you can rest easy knowing that you’re not contributing to global waste or pollution and the people sewing your clothing are paid fairly. My policy these days is to vote with my dollar! I’m all for fair wages, and eco-friendly, sustainably made clothing.