Elegantly Eco

eco beauty, fashion & info

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Free Thought Fridays: Quote on a meaningful life


I came across this quote on facebook. I have to say that I love it. During the holiday season I’m always thinking about life and what it means. To me the holidays aren’t about the parties and gifts. It’s about real experiences with the people we care about. When I was a kid presents would make me so happy. That’s probably because I couldn’t buy anything for myself. But now that I’m older and have nice things of my own, material gifts don’t matter as much to me. I’d much rather receive the gift of a person’s time or attention. I love the holidays for catching up with family and friends over a mug of hot tea. That’s my idea of a meaningful life during the holidays.

What does a meaningful life mean to you?

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Green Beauty Holiday Gifts For $30 and Under

I’m the kind of gifter that doesn’t like to give people things I haven’t tried before. So here is a list of my favourite holiday gifts to give. I’ve tried all of these at one time or another and can attest to their wonderfulness!


Olive Authentique Soapsread review

Made in Quebec, this company is a regular at the One of A Kind Show and I picked some soaps up for gift giving. I love their Dead Sea Mud Soap!
Cost: $10.00 CAD, 100 g / 4 oz
Available at: Olive Authentique, Logan & Finley


Osmia Spot Treatmentread review
For the acne prone this little roll on can be a life saver. So I would this to someone who’s struggling with acne. Who doesn’t want the blessing of clear skin?
Cost: $26.00 CAD, 5 ml / 0.16 oz
Available at: Clementine Fields


Lavina Barbary Fig Seed Oilread review
I love this oil for it’s richness and hydrating properties. This is also safe for sensitive skinned and acne prone people.
Cost: $29.99 CAD, 10 ml / 0.33 fl oz
Available at: Lavina


Leaves of Trees Argan Hand and Body Lotionread review
This is a cute little tube of hand lotion that looks like toothpaste! Comes in a variety of scents: Lavender, Frankincense, Orange Blossom, Pink Grapefruit, Rose Cardamom and Unscented.
Cost: $25.00 CAD, 150 ml / 5 oz
$15.00 CAD, 37 ml / 1 oz
Available at: Leaves of Trees, Fresh Faced


Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Shaving Gelread review
For the men in your life whom you’re secretly trying to convert to green beauty products. My hubby uses this and loves it!
Cost: $11.99 CAD, 207 ml / 7 oz
Available at: Well.ca


Pure Anada Pressed Blush or Eyeshadowread review
For the makeup artist wannabe, you can create a customized magnetic compact full of Pure Anada’s stunning eyeshadows and blushes.
Cost: eyeshadow: $8.00 CAD, 3 g / 0.11 oz
blush: $12.00 CAD, 9 g / 0.32 oz
Available at: Glam Goes Green, The Pure Boutique


Lippy Girl Lipstickread review
If you know any vegans they will love these lipsticks. Lippy Girl also makes blush, eyeshadow and lip gloss!
Cost: 15.50 CAD, 3.8 g / 0.13 oz
Available at: Lippy Girl, White Apothecary


Sudsatorium Conditionersread review
Know someone who loves scents and conditioners? This would be the perfect gift! Their conditioners are vegan, cruelty free, and fair trade as well.
Cost: $24.95 CAD, 500 ml / 16.9 fl oz
$16.95 CAD, 250 ml / 8.4 fl oz
$9.95 CAD, 125 ml / 4.2 fl oz
$5.95 CAD, 60 ml / 2 fl oz
Available at: The Detox Market, Sudsatorium

So there you have it, my green beauty gift guide for $30 and under. Hope you enjoy it!

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Book Review: Mireille Guiliano, French Women Don’t Get Facelifts


About the author:

Mireille Guiliano was the spokesperson for Champagne Veuve Clicquot and former President and CEO of Clicquot, Inc. (LVMH). She has been recognized as “an ambassador of France and its art of living,” by the French daily Le Figaro, USA Today further dubbed her “the high priestess of French lady wisdom.” One of the few women who have reached the top echelon of the wine and spirits as well as luxury goods industry, Mireille has been called a champion of women in business and works with groups promoting business opportunities and education for women. A native of France, she grew up amidst cooks, chefs and restaurateurs in provincial France and was educated in Paris, where she studied French and English literature at the Sorbonne and languages at the Institut Supérieur d’Interprétariat et de Traduction. Mireille holds the French equivalent of a master’s degree in English and German and certification as a translator/interpreter. She also has a command of Italian and several other languages.
Excerpts from bio page

Book Review:

This is another book that isn’t about being eco-friendly per se. It’s about beauty and wellness in general. The title of this book really intrigued me, that’s why I picked it up. Plus I wanted to read about the French woman’s perspective on aging well and beautifully. Guiliano has a kind of quirky writing style. Most of her book comprises of personal stories and anecdotes to give examples about her perspective. Each chapter has a humourous title. Chapter one for example is called assessing gravity. Guiliano notes that American women seem to have an all or nothing attitude about beauty. Some women either give up on taking care of themselves after a certain age, or get obsessed with maintaining youthful looks by artificial means. But in her opinion there is a way to still look your age and be well groomed. In the minds of French women, being old doesn’t start until after 80 and hence most French women are more comfortable with their age.

In each chapter Guiliano gives advice, some recipes and personal rules that she follows. The style is quite informal and she often repeats her advice. Grooming is a topic she touches often on. To sum up her ideas on grooming: it’s a good idea to have a great hairstylist, dress well for your age and body type, use natural skincare as much as possible, avoid extreme colours, and wear less makeup as you age. Her ideas about health are related to grooming because you cannot look your best if you’re not healthy. So her health advice is to keep good nutrition and sleep habits, drink lots of water, spend 15-30 minutes outdoors daily, breathe properly, and get some daily activity.

She also intersperses her favourite recipes throughout the book, mostly at the ends of a chapter. Guiliano has some good points about aging well. Most people don’t think about these things in a coherent whole throughout their life. I do agree with her opinion about things like supplements. Don’t take them unless needed. The way you eat can always be adjusted to meet any deficiencies in vitamins after you get a blood test from your doctor. I also agree that instead of life expectancy we should talk about remaining life expectancy and remaining years of healthful expectancy. After all, no one wants to live to 100 if they are in constant pain.

Overall I would say this book gives some good general advice. It’s a funny, quirky book. When I read this book I felt more like I was sitting down talking to Mireille Guiliano about each topic. It’s not very organized and it meanders as a conversation does. In terms of usefulness it wasn’t incredibly useful to me because I have already put several of her recommended practices in use before reading this. It was definitely interesting to read Guiliano perspective as a French woman and how it compares to American ideals. She lives in New York with her husband currently, but was born, raised and lived in France most of her life. I would say though that this book is suited to an older audience. Perhaps it would suit those in their 60s. I felt a bit young to be reading about things like Botox and cosmetic surgery. J

Rating: 3/5

Have you ever read Mireille Guiliano’s French Women Don’t Get Facelifts? What did you think of it?

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Free Thought Fridays: Holiday Gift Giving

It’s the holiday season and it’s typically a time of excesses. Excess food, gifts, and everything in between. But I believe there is a way to enjoy the holiday season and still be eco-friendly. Here are some of my ideas below.


Give handmade gifts.

You’ll save money plus impress the giftee with your DIY skills and the time you spent making the gift. Some easy DIY gifts: scented bath salts, body cream, beeswax candles.


Give gifts that people will actually use.

Toys are fine and dandy for kids. But how about a toy that makes the child think, or learn? Gift ideas for other people in your life: eco-friendly liquid hand soap for the avid cook, a shaving kit for guys, and body lotion for the cosmetics maven.


Wrap gifts in reusable fabric or use gift bags.

I’ve never seen anyone I know throw out a perfectly good gift bag. Those will get reused whereas wrapping paper just gets scrapped and sometimes doesn’t even make it into the recycling bin.


Give experiences or gift cards.

Experiences can be great gifts. Some examples: a massage therapist that will come to your house, a couple’s weekend at a cozy inn, archery lessons, or race car driving simulations. On the other hand, if you don’t know the person too well I would say a gift card to the movie theatre, a restaurant, or something generic is perfectly acceptable.

But most importantly…

Don’t forget to give yourself a gift during the holidays as well! Here are some gift ideas perfect not just for the holidays but any time of the year: the gift of time just to be and not do, the gift of space to take a breath and relax, and the gift of self-care to soothe your nerves if you’re stressed out.

Happy Holidays Everyone!


Best Glass Water Bottles

At this point in my life I have used lots of different water bottles. I used to love Siggs until I found out that they were lined with bpa. Then I switched to glass water bottles and here are my faves below.

This is the bottle I like to keep on my night table. Read the full review here. It holds 650 ml or 22 oz so I can sip on it during the night if I feel thirsty. When I wake up in the morning I drink about a cup or two of water before going about my morning routine. This lovely bottle is dishwasher safe and the silicone sleeve can be removed if needed.

Cost: $20.99 CAD, 650 ml / 22 oz bottle
Available at: LifefactoryNoah’s Natural Foods, Big Carrot
Rating: 5/5


This lead-free recycled Italian glass has a vintage look to it with the opening and the shape of the bottle. During the summer I like to keep this one in the fridge as the water cools quicker than in my lifefactory bottle. In the wintertime it lives on my kitchen countertop and serves as my backup bottle. The top is a bit cumbersome to use and doesn’t seem all that secure so I don’t take it on the road with me.

Cost: $18.50 CAD, 500 ml / 16 oz
Available at: Grassroots
Rating: 3/5


This snazzy number I picked to reside on my office desktop. It matches my tea mug almost perfectly. It’s the most expensive bottle of the bunch but looks so sleek and clean I couldn’t resist it. It also comes in a variety of other colours for the silicone, bpa free sleeve.

Cost: $34.00 CAD, 500 ml / 16 oz
Available at: Fresh Faced
Rating: 5/5


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