Elegantly Eco

Eco-Friendly Beauty, Fashion, Reviews, and Info


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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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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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March / April: Empties

Bodhi & Birch, Jasmine Falls Bath & Shower Therapy – No Review

This was one of the items I received from Katie Vibes for the previous Green Beauty Swap. This bath/shower gel smells like a dream. I love the scent. It is very strong however. The scent still lingers even after the gel is washed off. So it’s probably not appropriate for those who are scent sensitive. But wow, do I really love the smell. I’ve got to see if I can get this here in Canada.

Cost: $20.00 GBP, 200 ml / 1 oz
Available at: Bodhi & Birch, Naturismo
Rating: 4/5

Heritage Store, Rosewater – No review

I’m not fond of the scent of roses when it’s not the actual plant. I found the scent of this rosewater a bit strong. But that makes sense since it was made using rose essential oil. Using it, I did find that it was hydrating to the skin and hair. But it didn’t add enough benefits for the use and cost even though it’s relatively inexpensive. So I won’t be repurchasing this.

Cost: $9.49 CAD, 237 ml / 8 oz
Available at: Heritage Store, Amazon.ca, Ambrosia Natural Foods
Rating: 3/5

Marie Veronique, Oil du Jour Vegan (sample) Review

I really enjoyed using this oil. There are lots of powerhouse ingredients in this oil, which accounts for its price. My skin loved this oil and soaked it up like a sponge! It also helped to reduce inflammation and contains some sun protection in the form of raspberry seed oil. I would definitely repurchase this oil. In fact, I’m thinking this might become one of the staples in my skincare routine!

Cost: $90.00 USD, 60 ml / 2 oz
Available at: Marie VeroniqueLilou Organics
Rating: 5/5

Batty’s Bath, Facial Primer & Detox Daily Moisturizer Review

Even though it feels like the summer will soon be upon us, I miss the creamy moisture of this facial primer. I finished it off in March and I’m going to repurchase it soon, along with some other items I love from Batty’s Bath!

Cost: $12.00 CAD, 60 g / 2 oz
Available at: Batty’s Bath
Rating: 4/5

Living Libations, Underarm Charm Review

This deodorant is tiny but packs a punch. It really does work with just one swipe, as instructed on the bottle. I’m currently undecided if I want to repurchase it however. The idea of destroying a sandalwood tree just to make essential oil doesn’t sit well with me even though it’s from an ethical farm and sustainably harvested. Sandalwood is a parasitic tree. From what I’ve read the only way to harvest it is to remove the entire tree from its host. Read more about sandalwood here. It might sound silly to some, but it seems a bit of a waste to let a tree grow for 30 years and then have to destroy it to get the essential oil. The flower child in me gets sad at the idea of killing such a beautiful tree.

Cost: $25.00 CAD, 5 ml / 0.17 oz
Available at: Living LibationsHealth Hut
Rating: 4/5

Pure Anada, Brow Powder in Cliff Review

I’ve repurchased this brow powder at least twice now. A little tiny 1 gram pot lasts forever! I’m so used to it now that I’m afraid to try anything else! Anyway, this is one of the staples in my makeup bag. It’s good, it’s cheap, it’s Canadian and it travels well too. What’s not to love? A definite repurchase.

Cost: $8.00 CAD, 1 g / 0.03 oz
Available at: The Pure BoutiqueWell.ca, The Big Carrot
Rating: 5/5

Jason, Powersmile Toothpaste – No review

This is one of the easiest toothpastes to find even in ordinary supermarkets that don’t carry most natural foods or products. I used this for the longest time but decided to try a different toothpaste recently (Earthpaste). I’m currently liking Earthpaste so I’m not sure if I’ll ever go back to Powersmile.

Cost: $5.99 CAD, 170 g / 6 oz
Available at: Amazon.ca, The Big Carrot, Well.ca
Rating: 4/5


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Marie Veronique Advanced, PRO Collection

Marie Veronique generously sent me seven sample sizes from the PRO Collection to test out. I’ve been testing them for about a month now and I have to say that I’m amazed at the effects this collection is having on my skin. Read further for more details on each of the products.

Oil de Jour (vegan)

Ingredients: Camellia oleifera (camellia) oil, Limnanthes alba (meadowfoam) seed oil, Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) oil, Borago officinalis (borage) oil, Persea americana (avocado) oil, Olea europaea (olive) oil, Actinidia deliciosa (kiwi) seed oil, Salvia hispanica (chia seed) oil, Rubus idaeus (red raspberry) seed oil, Sesamum indicum (sesame seed) oil, Calophyllum inophyllum (tamanu) oil, mixed tocopherols (vitamin E), Brassica oleracea italica (broccoli seed) oil, Punica granatum (pomegranate seed) oil, astaxanthin, Opuntia ficus indica (barbary fig seed) oil, Rosa rubignosa (rosehip) seed oil, algae oil, Lycopersicon esculentum miller (tomato seed) oil, Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) oleoresin. Essential oils: helichrysum italicum (helichrysum), Cananga odorata (ylang ylang), Myrtus communis (green myrtle)

This oil was the first sample I finished off. Living in Canada, we were just coming out of winter when I started testing these products and my skin needed extra hydration. I’m so happy that MV has a vegan version of this oil. Taking a look at the ingredients list, this oil has a lot of powerhouse oils. Jojoba, olive, avocaodo and rosehip are well known oils for hydrating and nourishing the skin. Add in the Meadowfoam, camellia, borage, kiwi seed, chia seed, broccoli seed, pomegranate seed, Barbary fig seed and tomato seed oils and that is an amazing combination of antioxidant, and omega 3 goodness for your skin to drink in. Raspberry seed and astaxanthin provide protection from UV rays. I wouldn’t normally spend this much on a facial oil but there are so many great oils in this one that I can’t begrudge them the price tag. If you were to try and DIY you would end up spending more than what this bottle costs, especially if you go for organic oils.

Cost: $90.00 USD, 60 ml / 2 oz
Available at: Marie Veronique, Lilou Organics
Rating: 5/5

Eye Recovery Serum

Ingredients: Camellia sinensis (green and white tea), Olea europaea (olive) oil, Citrus aurantium (neroli) hydrosol, Lavandula angustifolia (lavender) hydrosol, sodium salicylate, isododecane (stabilized L-ascorbic acid), mixed tocopherols (vitamin E), ferulic acid, n-acetyl glucosamine, niacinamide (vitamin B3), L-carnosine, dipalmityol hydroxyproline, silica, aminoguanadine, non-GMO lecithin, xanthan gum, leuconostoc/radish root ferment filtrate (Leucidal™), aspen bark. Essential oils: Myrtus communis (green myrtle), Helichrysum italicum (helichrysum), Lavandula angustifolia (lavender), Psidia altissima (lary)

This eye recovery serum will probably be the next sample I finish off as it’s become one of my favourites. I used to have really dark circles under my eyes. But using this serum, combined with eating better and sleeping better, my under eye circles are almost completely gone. There’s still a faint darkness but I’m confident that if I keep these healthy habits up they will disappear entirely. The serum feels slippery and almost thick but don’t let the consistency fool you. Once spread on the skin it forms a thin but nourishing barrier of protection. Olive oil, helichrysum and lavender’s anti-inflammatory properties help bring puffiness down. Green and white tea provide the anti-oxidants. Vitamin C, N-acetyl-glucosamaine and niacinamide help to brighten the skin. This serum is somewhat pricey for the size but again the ingredients are worth it. Plus, it’s worked wonders with my under eye circles. Many under eye creams promise to reduce under eye circles and don’t deliver. This one has been the exception, and I have tried so many! So yes, I would repurchase this again.

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

Gentle Retinol Serum

Ingredients: Camelia sinensis (Green tea) infusion, Citrus aurantium (neroli) hydrosol, vegetable glycerine, kombucha tincture, encapsulated retinol (7%), niacinamide (Vitamin B3), beta glucan, sodium salicylate, n-acetyl glucosamine, Photoaging Repair Complex™, non-GMO lecithin, xanthan gum, isododecane (stabilized Vitamin C), mixed tocoperols (vitamin E), Argania spinosa (argan) oil, Rosa rubiginosa (rosehip seed) oil, Rubis fruticosus (blackberry seed) oil, Brassica oleracia italica (broccoli seed) oil, rosemary oleoresin, preserved with Leucidal® Liquid and aspen bark. Essential oils: Citrus aurantium (neroli), Carota daucus (carrot seed), Curcuma longa (curcuma), helichrysum italicum (helichrysum), Cistus ladaniferus (cistus), Boswellia carterii (frankincense)

Normally I’m allergic to frankincense so I was pleasantly surprised that I’m able to use this serum without a reaction. Then again, frankincense is the last ingredient on this list so the percentage in the formulation isn’t enough to irritate my skin. I’m amazed how much my acne has really decreased using this product. When I do get new blemishes they are small and with a little treatment go away without much fuss. Some of the same anti-oxidants, nourishing and anti-inflammatory ingredients are in this serum from the previous products I’ve mentioned above. The price is a bit much for me though, so I’m knocking the rating down a bit. I’m going to see how my skin does without the retinol serum.

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

Profoliation Mask

Ingredients: Lactic acid, camellia sinensis (green tea) infusion, Butyrospermum parkii (shea butter), xanthan gum, Solanum tuberosum (potato) flour, Cocos nucifera (coconut) flour, sodium salicylate, probiotic complex. Essential oils: Citrus aurantium (neroli), Pelargonium graveolens (rose geranium), Boswellia carterii (Frankincense), Citrus nobilis (orange), Citrus medica limonum. Active ingredient: 5% lactic acid

The first time I tried this mask I was a bit overzealous and put too much on my face. I quickly experienced a burning, itching sensation. Oh the joys of lactic acid. I had the common sense to wash it off immediately so there wasn’t any further skin irritation. When I tried it again I made sure not to use as much. Lactic acid is an AHA which is safe for all skin types. AHA’s aid with skin lightening, absorption, and reduces wrinkles. Plus the probiotics help to balance the skin’s microbiota. When I use this mask my skin feels soft, smooth and refined after washing it off my face. I like that it’s pretty much invisible once I put it on. I won’t go out shopping with the mask on, but I can walk around the house or our backyard without looking like a mud monster. It’s not the most expensive mask I’ve ever bought but it would be a bit of a splurge for the average consumer. I would repurchase this mask to keep it in my weekly rotation.

Cost: $50.00 USD, 50 ml / 2 oz
Available at: Marie Veronique
Rating: 4/5

Luminous Lightening Serum

Ingredients: Camellia sinensis (green tea), Citrus aurantium (neroli) hydrosol, vegetable glycerin, Vitis vinifera (grapeseed) oil, Sesamum indicum (sesame seed) oil, Rosa rubiginosa (rosehip seed) oil, Rubus fructicosus (blackberry seed) oil, niacinamide (vitamin B3), sodium salicylate, N-acetyl glucosamine, Isododecane (stabilized l-ascorbic acid), uva ursi tincture, Glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice) root extract, Sambucus nigra fruit (elderberry) extract, crosspolymer/silica, Coffea Arabica (coffee) fruit extract, Dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE), pearl powder, rice powder, centrophenoxine, resveratrol, Leucidal, Broussonetia kazinoki (paper mulberry) root extract, aspen bark, Helianthus annuus (sunflower) lecithin, xanthan gum, mixed tocopherols (non-GMO vitamin E), kombucha tincture, Rosemary oleoresin. Essential oils: Citrus aurantium (neroli), Curcuma longa (tumeric), Helichrysum italicum (helichrysum), Cistus ladaniferus (Cistus), Boswellia carteri (Frankincense), Pelargonium graveolens (rose geranium).

The lightening serum in combination with the eye recovery serum has really helped my skin look amazing. It’s now smoother, glowing and my pigmentation spots are fading. Licorice root, bearberry, Viatmin C and green tea are known for lightening the skin. Plus the normal skin nourishing ingredients like grapeseed, sesame seed, rosehip, and sunflower help round out this lightening serum’s ingredients. This serum has a nice syrup-like texture that dries smooth. It looks a little darker coming out of the bottle than you would expect but what a lovely effect it has on my skin. So far this lightening serum is the fastest working one I have used. So if you have some super fast lightening that you need to do for an upcoming event this bottle will give you the effectiveness you need in a shorter period of time. As with most of Marie Veronique’s products they do not skimp on quality and the price reflects that. But wouldn’t you rather have one bottle of lightening serum that really works than lots of cheaper products that don’t? I can certainly say yes to that question. Marie Veronique kindly sent me the sample size bottle and that has lasted me over a month so far and the bottle isn’t empty yet!

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

Redness Relief

Ingredients: Camellia sinensis (green and white tea), Olea europaea (olive) oil, Calendula officinalis (calendula) hydrosol, Lavandula angustifolia (lavender) hydrosol, glycyrrhiza uralensis (Chinese licorice) extract, hippophae rhamnoides (sea buckthorn) oil, sodium salicylate, rutin, probiotic complex, glucosamine HCl, niacinamide (Vitamin B3), arabinogalactan, lycopene, non-GMO lecithin, xanthan gum. Essential oils: Psidia altissima (lary), curcuma longa (curcumin), helichrysum italicum (helichrysum), Lavandula angustifolia (lavender)

Redness relief is full of anti-inflammatories and probiotics to help rosacea prone skin types. Its key ingredients are described on the website below. Already having the lightening serum and the eye recovery serum, I used the redness relief mostly around my nose. It has toned down the redness somewhat, but hasn’t eliminated it entirely. Of all the samples I was sent, this was the only one that disappointed me somewhat. I’m going to try the lightening serum around my nose to see what effect it has.

“Sodium salicylate, a powerful anti-inflammatory, limits frequency and severity of flushing episodes.

Rutin is a bioflavonoid that builds capillary strength.

Sea buckthorn oil creates an environment in which the human Demodex (a mite 50% more populous on rosacea-prone skin) fails to thrive.”

Cost: $80.00 USD, 30 ml / 1 oz
Available at: Marie Veronique, Lilou Organics
Rating: 3/5

Serum De Jour

Ingredients: Camellia sinensis (green and white tea), Olea europaea (olive) oil, Citrus aurantium (neroli) hydrosol, Lavandula angustifolia (lavender) hydrosol, sodium salicylate, isododecane (stabilized L-ascorbic acid), mixed tocopherols (vitamin E), ferulic acid, probiotic complex, glucosamine HCl, niacinamide (Vitamin B3), astaxanthin, coenzyme-Q, non-GMO lecithin, xanthan gum, Psidia altissima (lary), Helichrysum italicum (helichrysum) essential oil, Lavandula angustifolia (lavender) essential oil

This is a lovely serum. Its chock full of anti-oxidants. When used in conjunction with the oil du jour this serum can help protect against photo aging. Besides being full of anti-oxidants it also had a calming, soothing and hydrating effect on my skin. It also has a lovely light scent due to the lavender essential oil and neroli hydrosol. The scent will dissipate once absorbed into the skin. I have so many serums now, someone looking into my skin care cabinet might think I’m a serum addict! It’s hard not to become one when you love testing products so much. This serum is a great general serum to use on your skin daily to keep it well hydrated. I would repurchase this serum again.

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

Overall I would say that the Marie Veronique Pro Collection is a very effective group of skin care products that each address a certain need or skin issue. Some products worked better for me than others. I’m going to repurchase my favourites and see how my skin does without the other products. I have to say, it was a joy smelling all of these products when I was using each of them. They all have a light herbal scent that differs with the ingredients. Some have a more citrus or sharp tang to them while others smell more earthy. Those who are scent sensitive need not worry though. The scents are not strong and dissipate once the item is absorbed into your skin. Now if only Lilou Organics
would carry the rest of the Pro Collection so I can buy them.

Samples were provided for review but all opinions expressed are my own.


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Spotlight on: Marie Veronique and NOM

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Most people will know the name Marie-Véronique Nadeau from the products she has developed for her company Marie Veronique. You can read my reviews on her products here: Toners for Every Budget Level, Best of 2013 and Product Review: Acne Relief Travel Kit. It is my pleasure to interview Marie about her new endeavour: The Natural and Organic Monitor (NOM). It’s a watchdog group created by Marie due to her dismay at seeing companies calling themselves natural, organic or ethical (NOE) and abusing the trust of consumers by using unsafe ingredients. “It’s time NOE companies came under scrutiny, and to get the ball rolling, my next blog series will introduce a new watchdog group—The Natural & Organic Monitor—with posts comparing ‘safe solutions’ espoused by natural companies to the conventional ingredients they have replaced.” I hope you enjoy my interview with Marie Veronique and gain some insight into the views of NOM.

     How did your journey with natural skincare first start?

    Way back when I first started experimenting with putting yoghurt on my face. I am still doing that, and a few other things besides.

     After 10 years in the industry, what has changed to make you want to create the Natural and Organic Monitor (NOM)?

     All companies have to do is say they are natural and organic and they are given the benefit of the doubt. There is very little oversight in the green sector of the cosmetics industry, and unfortunately some companies are taking advantage of it. They are using preservatives they shouldn’t, anti-microbials they shouldn’t, and combining ingredients that may be harmless by themselves but release toxic by products when combined with other ingredients. Some companies know what they’re doing and know they can get away with it, while other companies just don’t know enough to know that they may be causing harm with their products. I honestly don’t know which is worse.

    I’ve been hearing and reading a lot about gut microbiome this past year. How long have scientists been researching about this and why does it seem to be such a hot topic lately?

     The twentieth century was the era of the antibiotic—and penicillin was the miracle drug that saved many, many lives we’d previously lost to sepsis and diseases we can clear up now in a matter of days. Unfortunately we grew accustomed to using antibiotics for everything, and with their overuse we are now facing two big problems—one is gastrointestinal disorders like irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease that result from steady courses of antibiotics that deplete the gut of its healthy microflora, the other is strains of bacteria resistant to antibiotics, like methycillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, which runs rampant in some hospitals. The gut microbiome is a hot topic because balancing microflora is going to be for 21st century medicine what antibiotics were for the twentieth. It’s absolutely huge.

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Thanks to Marie Veronique for sending me these lovely products!

    I was glad to read that you also don’t like the use of phenoxyethanol as a preservative. I’ve seen it in a lot of so-called natural products and I steer clear of them. Have you had any personal experience with products containing phenoxyethanol?

    No, thank heavens. I’ve always had a bad feeling about that one. The irony is that it came on the scene to replace parabens, which had such a terrible rep. At this point in time parabens look pretty tame, because they at least are not, like ethoxylated compounds such as phenoxyethanol, possibly contaminated with 1.4 dioxane. Some companies are even cautiously suggesting we go back to parabens. I don’t think that’s a great idea, but if I had to choose between a product containing phenoxethanol or one with parabens I’d go for the paraben one.

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

    Anything that combines with other ingredients to form toxic by products—triclosan, phenoxyethanol, sodium benzoate—they all have the potential to either contain carcinogens, or combine with other ingredients to produce carcinogens. The class of ingredients/compounds we really have to watch out for is preservatives.

    What are your upcoming plans for NOM?

    Summer is coming up. In an era of global warming skin care faces new challenges, and we still haven’t sorted out what’s wrong with most sunscreens and where we need to be going with them to make them truly protective. I don’t know what’s worse, free radical damage from the sun or free radical damage from chemical sunscreen. I’d like to use NOM to increase awareness of what constitutes safe sun protection. At this point it doesn’t exist.

My thanks to Marie-Véronique for taking time out of her busy schedule to answer these questions. Thanks also to Claire Hunter for organizing everything.

Have you ever tried Marie Veronique products?

 


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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
Thayer’s
Witch Hazel

Read review here Read review here Read review here
TO USE:
Apply after cleansing  the face.
TO USE:
Apply after cleansing the face.
TO USE:
Apply after cleansing
the face.
THE GOOD:
Works very well to balance acne prone skin.
THE GOOD:
Very soothing for skin that is sensitive and irritated.
THE GOOD:
Widely available and easily affordable.
THE BAD:
Somewhat pricey for toner. 
THE BAD:
Smell can be off putting to those who aren’t used to immortelle.
THE BAD:
Can be drying to the skin if
overused.
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
AVAILABLE AT:
Lilou Organics
AVAILABLE AT:
Pure + Simple
AVAILABLE AT:
Well.caBig Carrot,
Noah’s Natural Foods
MY RATING: 5/5 MY RATING: 5/5 MY RATING: 5/5


2 Comments

April/May: Empties

Stark-Meadowfoam
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Stark Skincare, Meadowfoam Body Oil (sample)
Given the ingredients it’s not a big surprise that Stark’s body oil worked very nicely to give me smooth skin. I only had the sample size so it was only enough for one use. But I can usually tell how good a body oil is on first use anyway. I liked this one. The smell is very mild. As body oils go it absorbed into my skin without leaving me too greasy. Which can be particularly useful if you’re in a rush or getting ready for work in the morning. I would repurchase this in the future.
Cost: Sample size: $0.75 CAD, Full size: $42.00 CAD, 120 ml/4 oz
Available at: Fresh Faced, Stark Skincare
Rating: 4/5

MVO-vet-lav-oil
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Marie Veronique Organics, Vetiver & Lavender Body Oil (sample)
What can I say? I went a little body oil sample crazy. LOL. I don’t normally get two body oil samples in an order. But I hadn’t tried this one yet so I said, why not? This body oil works just as well as Stark’s did above. However I’ve discovered that I’m not a fan of the smell of vetiver. It’s for that reason alone I wouldn’t repurchase this. It’s also a bit more pricey than Stark’s body oil.
Cost: Sample Size: $0.75 CAD, Full size: $65.00 CAD, 120 ml/4 oz
Available at: Fresh Faced, Marie Veronique Organics, Lilou Organics
Rating: 3/5

holistic-v-lotion
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Holistic Vanity, Brightening Hyaluronic Lotion
I’ve repurchased & used this lotion before. See my previous review for more details. It’s a wonderful, non-irritating & hydrating lotion. I may repurchase this again in the future. But for now I’m trying new things.
Cost: $68.00 CAD, 100 ml
Available at: Pure + Simple
Rating: 4/5

Pure-Simple-pure-face-serum
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Pure + Simple, Pure Skin Face Serum
Full review to come. If you’ve read my review on the Afragreen Black Seed Soap, you’ll know I learned about Black Cumin Seed Oil (aka Nigella Sativa) from Kristen Ma’s article about black cumin seed. Well, not long after Kristen wrote that article Pure + Simple came out with this Pure Skin Face Serum which contains Nigella Sativa Seed Oil. I have to say I think I like this serum better than the Antipodes Hosanna H20 Serum which also addresses hydration issues. I will most definitely repurchase this in the future.
Cost: $44.95 CAD, 50 ml
Available at: Pure + Simple
Rating: 4/5

batty-patch-moisturizer
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Batty’s Bath, Patchouli Facial Moisturizer
Full review to come. This facial moisturizer is part of Batty’s Bath Acne Prone Kit which I’d been testing the past few months. As you can see from the picture it comes in a lovely glass jar. The moisturizer itself is quite thick. I found it a bit too oily for wear during the work day. But it’s great for use at night. I also used some on my body & it made my skin as smooth as a baby’s butt! I’m not sure if I like it better as a facial moisturizer or as a body moisturizer! I would definitely repurchase this. It might even become a staple in my cosmetics drawer. This would be a godsend during the colder, drier winter weather.
Cost: $12.00 CAD, 2oz / 60g
Available at: Batty’s Bath
Rating: 5/5