Elegantly Eco

Eco-Friendly Beauty, Fashion, Reviews, and Info


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The All Natural First Aid Kit

I don’t know about you. But I don’t like to use conventional medicine if I don’t have to. Why? Most conventional medications are full of toxic chemicals that merely mask symptoms. To me, using these medications is the equivalent of using a hammer to kill a spider. It’s overkill. Most of the time, we don’t need two Advils or Extra Strength Tylenol unless our pain threshold is significant. That’s why my first time of defense when I get a headache or any other boo-boo is to use something all natural. The wonderful thing about these items I’ve listed below is that they perform more than one function.

So here’s a list of what I would put in my All Natural First Aid Kit besides the obligatory bandages, gauze, scissors, etc. You can use an all natural product, or if you’re a real purist grab a single ingredient. For the products I have used everything except the Manitoba Mist, which comes recommended by CBC.ca. They tested it against other DEET Bug Repellants. The test convinced me so I think I will give Manitoba Mist a go next time I have the need for a bug repellant.

Issue Product Single Ingredient
For Headaches, Sore Muscles, Congestion Jaydancin’s Deep Relief Peppermint oil or Cayenne
For Sunburn, Skin Rashes Sigrid Naturals Calendula Healing Ointment Aloe Vera
For Sprains, Bruises Sigrid Naturals Comfrey Healing Salve Arnica
For Insect Bites Pure + Simple Purifying French Clay Mask Vinegar
For Healing Wounds Therawise Skin Healing Ointment Echinacea, Calendula, Tea Tree, or Lavender Oil
As an Antiseptic Thayer’s Witch Hazel with Aloe Vera Lemon, Honey, Pineapple, Lavender Oil, Eucalyptus Oil, Tea Tree Oil
Bug Repellant Manitoba Mist Cinnamon Leaf Oil or Citronella Essential Oil

Plus:

Organic Cotton Swabs

Organic Cotton Rounds

Recycled Plastic Adhesive Bandages

Gauze

Scissors

Elastic Tensor Bandage

So what would you put in your all natural first aid kit?

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What’s in My Drawer: Weekly Items

Weekly Drawer

In this drawer I keep the items I don’t use every day. I use several masks in rotation, depending on what my skin needs. As for exfoliators I like the chemical exfoliators better than a manual one. So far I’ve only tried Pure + Simple’s exfoliators but I hope to try other brands in the future. Skincare samples, I have lots. Some of them are from travel kits that I pulled apart. I love travel or sample kits as they give you a good idea of what a skincare line is like without having to commit to full sizes. I usually find that not everything in one line works for me. So I pick and choose from my favourite lines. Though I wish I could get everything in one place! As with the everyday make up drawer not all items in this drawer have been reviewed yet so I will link to a page where you can get more information.

Masks:

La Bella Figura, Bio Active Healing Mask

Batty’s Bath, Dead Sea Mud Mask

Batty’s Bath, Dry Clay Mask

May Lindstrom, The Problem Solver

Pure + Simple, Calming Cucumber Mask

Exfoliators:

Pure + Simple, Refining Peach Enzyme Treatment

Holistic Vanity, Extra Care, Revitalizing Black Currant Peel (sample)

Oils:

Lavina, Argan Oil

Lavina, Barbary Fig Seed Oil

Skincare Samples:

Holistic Vanity, Regenerating Seabuckthorn Berry Oil

Holistic Vanity, Brightening Hyaluronic Lotion

Niko Organics, Kakadu Plum Antioxidant Day Moisturizer

May Lindstrom, The Blue Cocoon

May Lindstrom, The Honey Mud

Mun, Nighttime Youth Serum

What are your favourite weekly masks?


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April/May: Empties

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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


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Green Living Show Haul 2014

I wanted to go through my impressions & what I ended up buying at the Green Living Show (GLS) this past Friday (April 25th). Friday was school trip day so there were lots of kids (tweens & teens) running around the show. It’s good to see the kids of today going to a show like this. Of course this meant that certain booths were mobbed & I couldn’t get to them. LOL. Here were the booths I did get to peruse. See the instagram pics for what I actually bought.

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Karira HomeBooth #3218
Got a lovely sage coloured bamboo bed sheet set here for a great price. GLS price was $80.00 CAD. See instagram pic above for photo.

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Clean Care
– Booth #2029
Clean Care’s mission is to promote beauty products that are non-toxic. Founder Jenise Lee was there with her mom & I got the chance to chat with them for a bit.

LNBF – Winmark Fashions IncBooth #2026
Their booth was right across from Clean Care’s booth so I went there immediately after talking to Jenise. Scored a pair of bamboo jeggings (jean leggings) for $25 CAD, an amazing price! Regular price was $79.00. Next time they’re at a show I’ll buy more things!

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Chartreuse Style
Booth #2027
I was hoping to get some of their Mela cardigans but I didn’t see any there. Will have to make the trek to the store down on Queen West.

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JayDancin – Booth # not listed on GLS site
Repurchased their Deep Relief, which really works to relieve headaches naturally. Also love their Coco Loco natural sunscreen which I also repurchased. Then just for the heck of it, I bought a lip balm to try as well. They’re an Environmental Defence Eco Beauty Market regular.

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Logan & Finley Inc
– Booth #2913
Logan & Finley is a retail store on Queen West that is one of my fave stores. Check out my interview with Julie, the founder/owner of the store here! It was so nice to see Julie again. I bought some Crawford Street hand cream & scrub there, which comes with a free lip balm. When it comes to hand cream & lip balm I’m like a magpie. I love to try all different kinds. Still searching for my HG lip balm & handcream.

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Niko CosmeticsBooth #2426
This is the first I’d heard of this company. But I read the ingredients on their cleanser, toner & cream & no alarm bells rang. So I bought the travel kit to try. The GLS price was $39.00 CAD whereas regular price is $45.00 CAD. They also make foundation & concealer. Check out their website for the other products they make.

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Daiya Foods IncBooth #1239
Being lactose intollerant, the first time I tried Daiya foods I was so happy. Finally, fake cheese that tastes like real cheese! Well at least to me it tastes as close as possible to real cheese.  I tried some samples of their new pizza’s. I’m going to try to find them at my local supermarket. They were yummy!

Weir’s Lane Lavender and Apiary Booth #2909
This is a small family run business just outside of Hamilton, ON. I bought a small vial of English Lavender essential oil to try. Hmmm, smells so good!

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Pure+Simple BeautyBooth #812
Stopped by this booth as this line of Toronto based natural skin care is one of my faves. Was hoping they had some of the Holistic Vanity Extra Care line for me to look at but alas they didn’t. On the plus side, I filled out a ballot for an Ageless Essentials kit & was notified recently that I won! This kit will go to my mom. She’s retired & can’t always afford to try new skincare lines.

These booths below I just walked by because they were either busy or the representative wasn’t around:

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Environmental DefenceBooth # 1033
Busy

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Fatal Light Awarness ProgramBooth #1429
Busy talking to teens. Nice to see that.

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Fashion Takes ActionBooth #1833
Busy.

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Healthy PlanetBooth #617
Busy. Nothing special on the display tables. I can buy their products online.

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Well.caBooth #611
Busy. Nothing much on their tables. A good online store.

Bio Seaweed GelBooth #2226
Mobbed by tweens!

ChocoSolBooth #2838
Mobbed by other chocoholics besides me!

ShaSha Company Booth #2639
Mobbed by bread & cookie lovers.

Dormio Organic BedsBooth #2817
Walked by this booth & no one was around to talk to. Didn’t stop to wait. Kept going.

Freedom Clothing CollectiveBooth #2033
Some how I missed this booth!

Oneka ElementsBooth #2227A
Missed this booth too!

Compared to the One of a Kind Show (OOAK) the GLS show is kinda small. Also, why were there no signs with booth numbers up?! I was wandering around thinking, am I missing something? Where are the booth numbers? That was a nuisance if you ask me. Why have booth numbers listed on the website & in the pamphlet if you’re not going to display them? Anyhoot, the nice thing about the GLS is that most exhibitors were offering promo prices on their products so you can score some deals. Exhibitors at the OOAK don’t always have promo prices. So you might end up spending more due to that & the fact that they have way more exhibitors. Also I wished some of the more interesting speakers were earlier in the day & not at 5pm or later. But I have to say, I was feeling the love at GLS. Everyone was really nice & I actually won a Power Plants book by tweeting a picture of myself beside the groovy yurt. Thanks GLS!


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Product Review: @Pure_and_Simple Refining Peach Enzyme Treatment

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Ingredients List: Water, Sea Algae Extract, Vegetable Glycerin, Lactobacillus/Cucurbita Pepo (Pumpkin) Fruit Ferment Extract, Salix Nigra (Willow Bark) Extract, Prunus Persica (Peach) Extract, Prunus Salicina (Plum) Extract, Hydrolyzed Fucus Vesiculosus Protein (Marine Algae Derivative), Faex (Yeast) Extract, Sodium Levulinate, Anhydroxylitol + Xylitol + Xylitylglucoside (Natural Sugar Derived Humectants), Saccharomyces Lysate (Yeast) Extract, Sclerotium Gum Powder (Sugar Derived Thickener), Vigna Aconitifolia Seed (Indian Moth Bean) Extract, Sodium Citrate (Citric Acid Salt), Sodium Anisate (Licorice Derived), Hippophae Rhamnoides (Seabuckthorn) Fruit Extract, Rosa Canina (Rosehip) Seed Extract, Rhodiola Rosea (Rose) Root Extract.

I’ve been using this Peach Enzyme Treatment for about a month now, every other day. I have to say, it’s great stuff! This is my first time using a chemical exfoliant instead of a manual exfoliant. I was kind of skeptical since I’d never used this kind of product before. But I’m finding that I like it better than all the scrubs I used to use. All you have to do is slather this on clean skin, let it sink in for 10 minutes (I leave it on longer) & then rinse off. Easy peasy! Guys, you can use this product too. Especially when you have dry flaky skin from a day spent outdoors. It smells pleasantly like peaches. But it’s not a strong smell at all. It’s very gentle as well. I didn’t experience any skin irritation at all. In appearance it’s a light orange/yellowish coloured jelly that disappears into your skin once applied. The smell also dissipates once you’ve washed it off. I had a bad breakout recently & used a clarifying toner to shrink my zits. But it left my face peeling like crazy. So I used the Peach Enzyme Treatment, then moisturized like a mad woman before going to bed. The next morning when I woke up & rinsed my face all the peeling skin was gone. I would definitely repurchase this product. I think this just might become a staple in my skin care routine.

I checked each ingredient on the EWG Skin Deep site & this is as clean as they come! Each ingredient rating is 0 toxicity.

Have you ever tried a chemical exfoliant?

Cost: $49.45 CAD, 50 ml
Available at: Pure & Simple
Rating: 5/5


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Pure +Simple, Refining Peach Enzyme Treatment

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Ingredients List: Water, Sea Algae Extract, Vegetable Glycerin, Lactobacillus/Cucurbita Pepo (Pumpkin) Fruit Ferment Extract, Salix Nigra (Willow Bark) Extract, Prunus Persica (Peach) Extract, Prunus Salicina (Plum) Extract, Hydrolyzed Fucus Vesiculosus Protein (Marine Algae Derivative), Faex (Yeast) Extract, Sodium Levulinate, Anhydroxylitol + Xylitol + Xylitylglucoside (Natural Sugar Derived Humectants), Saccharomyces Lysate (Yeast) Extract, Sclerotium Gum Powder (Sugar Derived Thickener), Vigna Aconitifolia Seed (Indian Moth Bean) Extract, Sodium Citrate (Citric Acid Salt), Sodium Anisate (Licorice Derived), Hippophae Rhamnoides (Seabuckthorn) Fruit Extract, Rosa Canina (Rosehip) Seed Extract, Rhodiola Rosea (Rose) Root Extract.

I’ve been using this Peach Enzyme Treatment for about a month now, every other day. I have to say, it’s great stuff! This is my first time using a chemical exfoliant instead of a manual exfoliant. I was kind of skeptical since I’d never used this kind of product before. But I’m finding that I like it better than all the scrubs I used to use. All you have to do is slather this on clean skin, let it sink in for 10 minutes (I leave it on longer) & then rinse off. Easy peasy! Guys, you can use this product too. Especially when you have dry flaky skin from a day spent outdoors. It smells pleasantly like peaches. But it’s not a strong smell at all. It’s very gentle as well. I didn’t experience any skin irritation at all. In appearance it’s a light orange/yellowish coloured jelly that disappears into your skin once applied. The smell also dissipates once you’ve washed it off. I had a bad breakout recently & used a clarifying toner to shrink my zits. But it left my face peeling like crazy. So I used the Peach Enzyme Treatment, then moisturized like a mad woman before going to bed. The next morning when I woke up & rinsed my face all the peeling skin was gone. I would definitely repurchase this product. I think this just might become a staple in my skin care routine.

I checked each ingredient on the EWG Skin Deep site & this is as clean as they come! Each ingredient rating is 0 toxicity.

Have you ever tried a chemical exfoliant?

Cost: $49.45 CAD, 50 ml
Available at: Pure + Simple
Brand Origin: Canada
Rating: 5/5


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Spa Review: @Pure_and_Simple ~ Aquabrasion Facial

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On Sunday, I went to the Pure + Simple spa at Yonge & Eglinton for the Aquabrasion facial which was on special at the time. What follows is a review of my experience. First a little background on the company.

I’ve been a long time fan of Pure + Simple. I buy a lot of my products there. Thank God for them! They make it so easy to get natural & eco-friendly skin care. Long before Consonant popped up in the Young & Elligible neighbourhood they were an outpost of local beauty products. (Inside joke, that’s what locals call the Yonge Street & Eglinton Ave area.)  Yes for you peeps out there who aren’t familiar with Pure + Simple, they are a Canadian business with three Toronto locations. For those that don’t live in Toronto they also ship to other provinces, as well as the USA & Internationally. On to my review!

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Pictured above: Holistic Vanity, Damage Care Intro Kit, $48.00 CAD
Image from: Pure + Simple

I arrived about 15 minutes early for my appointment & was promptly offered a beverage to drink.  After filling out a client form (on a wipeable whiteboard so there’s no paper wastage).  I decided to browse around the store for a bit. I’ve been wanting to try the Holistic Vanity Damage Care Line but I need to finish up some of my current potions before I do so. Still, it was tempting to grab the intro kit since it was staring right at me. 🙂  Such cute packaging too! Shortly after putting the intro kit back on the shelf. I was called in by my esthetician Janet to go into the treatment room.

There are about 4 treatment rooms which are painted black. Speakers above pipe in relaxing music to help soothe you & they have a cushy spa bed covered with earth tone coloured blankets. Once I’m nestled in between the cozy covers of the spa bed, I’m ready for my Aquabrasion facial. We begin with cleansing, progress to the facial massage, then the steam & extractions. Janet was very gentle with the extractions & they weren’t as painful as some I’ve had. Also in the days after the facial I saw that my skin wasn’t bruised from the extractions either. Now that’s the mark of a skilled esthetician in my book!

After the extractions it was time for the Aquabrasion, which uses pressurized saline solution to do the exfoliation portion. I have to say it’s not painful at all. I hardly felt anything. I’ve had Microdermbrasion once before at a different spa using walnut grains & I felt more with that treatment. One thing to note, the machine they use for the Aquabrasion is quite noisy. If you have sensitive ears you might want to put some earplugs in, especially since they do the area of skin right in front of your ears. You could probably also ask them to stay away from your ears if you really wanted that. I just decided to grin & bear it though I did find the pressure & noise a bit uncomfortable when around my ears.  After the Aquabrasion I had a mask placed on my face which sat for a while. During that time Janet massaged my shoulders & neck. She’s very talented with her hands. I almost fell asleep! Once the mask was removed she put on some protective serums, an SPF & that was the end of my treatment. Total time was about 1 hr & 15 mins.

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Pictured above: Damage Care, Argan Oil, $58.00, 100 ml
Image from: Pure +Simple

After my treatment I came out to the front of the shop where Janet asked if I had any questions. Which I did. I was wondering if the Holistic Vanity Regenerating Seabuckthorn Oil would be compatible for my skin. I’ve heard tons about Seabuckthorn in general, but never tried it.  She recommended for me instead the Holistic Vanity Damage Care Argan Oil which I’ll try when I run out of my current face oil. The day after the treatement I noticed my face peeling quite a bit & the texture of my skin was quite bumpy. But by the second day after the treatment the peeling skin was gone after I slathered my face with serum & oil. My face felt like velvet that morning. Great results! Thanks Pure + Simple!

Rating: 5/5