Elegantly Eco

eco beauty, fashion & info

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July/August: Empties


Holistic Vanity, Repairing Rosehip Tonic

No review. This Rosehip tonic smells very faintly of roses. It’s almost completely clear in colour with a slight yellowish tinge but goes on the skin clear. When first it feels slightly tacky until it’s absorbed into the skin. While this is a nice and gentle tonic, it didn’t have any appreciable effects on my skin. So it was pretty mediocre for my skin type. For that reason I wouldn’t repurchase this tonic. The tonic I really love is the Holistic Vanity Healing Immortelle Tonic.
Cost: $38.00 CAD, 100 ml / 3.4 oz
Available atPure + Simple
Rating: 3/5

Susdatorium, Conditioner Sampler Set, Duck Duck Booze &I Drink Your Milkshake

Review of Conditioner Sampler Set to come. I’ll do a full review of the conditioner sampler set when I’ve used all the 13 sample sizes up. Duck Duck Booze was the third conditioner sample that I finished in this set. Duck Duck Booze has a milder scent than some of the other conditioners in this set. I can smell a hint of the vegan stout beer in this conditioner. As for the effects on my hair, it was great at making my hair shiny and soft! I Drink Your Milkshake is definitely a sweet and strongly smelling conditioner. You can definitely smell the agave, vanilla and strawberries in this. This conditioner made me hair soft but it also got tangled much easier. I don’t think this will be one of my favourite conditioners when all is said and done.
Cost: $58.95 CAD, 60 ml / 2 oz
Available at: Sudsatorium Etsy Shop
Rating: 4/5

Botanical Therapeutic, Liquid Crystal Deodorant 

No review. This is one of the few natural deodorants that work for me. I’m allergic to baking soda unfortunately. This liquid crystal deodorant is great because it goes on clear and dries clear. It didn’t stain any of my clothing, light, dark or coloured. As for smell it really doesn’t have much of a smell. Though to me it smells like minerals. The smell dissipates once it dries. It lasts on me all day on a regular work day and into the next day even. Another plus is the price. It’s very affordable. The only thing I don’t like is the spray. I think you lose more product spraying this on your armpits than if it was a roll-on. It doesn’t come in a roll-on format though so you’ll have to use an old container if you have one.
Cost: $8.99 CAD, 120 ml / 4.0 oz
Available at:
Rating: 4/5

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Repurchased: @holisticvanity and @Pure_and_Simple

Holistic Vanity, Rosacea Care, Healing Immortelle Tonic

Ingredients: Helichrysum Italicum*
*100% organic ingredients.

Read my full review here. After trying other toners and tonics, I’ve decided that the Healing Immortelle Tonic is the best for my skin. It calms & soothes my skin. My breakouts are fewer when I use this tonic. I think I might have found my HG toner!

Cost: $26.00 CAD, 100 ml
Available at: Pure + Simple
Rating: 5/5

Pure + Simple, Refining Peach Enzyme Treatment

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.

Read my full review here. Well I have to say, this chemical exfoliator has become one of my faves. It works quickly. You only need to leave it on for 10 minutes. But I usually leave it on for longer. It goes on clear so I can walk around the house and even in the garden without looking like a mud monster. After I wash it off, it leaves my skin super smooth so that when I put my makeup on there isn’t any dry flaky skin. Also it smells great & has never irritated my skin despite repeated use. Wins all around!

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

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Book Review: Pick Your Poison: How Our Mad Dash To Chemical Utopia Is Making Lab Rats of Us All by Monona Rossol

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About the author

Monona Rossol, an industrial hygienist, divides her time between inspecting work sites, training workers, and delivering expert testimony in court cases involving chemical exposure. She is the President and founder of Arts, Crafts and Theater Safety, Inc., and a regular guest on the Leonard Lopate Show on WNYC. She has lectured and consulted in the United States, Canada, Australia, England, Mexico, and Portugal.

Book Review:

Whoa. This is one seriously scary book. Rossol talks about several issues she’s had first had experience with in regards to toxic chemicals and safety. She fell into the safety aspects of art due to her background in chemistry and seeing how artists were dealing with toxic chemicals without safety standards. She states that basically every person in the world has been exposed to hundreds of chemicals and due to lack of medical study we do not know what their effects will be in our bodies. For example, asbestos was commonly used in buildings until it was proven that people exposed to asbestos would contract terminal illnesses. But it still took a long time to for people to stop using asbestos and to ban its use. The first documented death due to asbestos exposure was in 1906 but it was not banned entirely until 2003. Although this book is well researched I had a hard time getting through this book due to all the jargon that Rossol uses. Also, Rossol’s tone in this book is really quite pessimistic. I can understand her frustration that people are still using toxic chemicals in inappropriate ways. However I don’t think this was conducive to getting her point across in the book. The average person (like me) would just get terrified after reading this book and immediately want to get tested for everything under the sun. I don’t think panic is a good reaction to provoke in readers. You would want the reader to become thoughtful about the issues you present so that they would want to act, but not run screaming from your book. The tips that Rossol presents near the end of the book were too generic. I’ve read other books with better tips on eliminating toxic chemicals from your personal hygiene.

Rating: 2/5

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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 medication 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 which 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


Organic Cotton Swabs

Organic Cotton Rounds

Recycled Plastic Adhesive Bandages



Elastic Tensor Bandage

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


Spotlight on: Erica Leibner, Green Business Copywriter and Communications Coordinator

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An eco activist, vegan and nontoxic beauty betty, Erica Leibner helps the forward-thinking small businesses she loves get noticed online. While their niches vary from eco clothes to natural beauty products, her clients all have one thing in common: they see cost as more than a dollar value, refuse to compromise on quality and are truly sustainable.

I’ve been following her for a while on social media and have always been curious about the innovative service-based business she’s built. So when we started chatting recently on Twitter, I jumped at the chance to interview her.

Here it is! Hope you enjoy…

    How did you get into writing for eco-friendly businesses?

    In 2010 I started writing for a blog called City Bandit, aimed at helping girls in Montreal and Toronto stay chic on the cheap. I was given carte blanche to cover whatever I wanted. Naturally, I gravitated to the types of things I was most interested in – vegan brunch spots, eco street fairs, and easy-to-execute upcycling ideas. I ended up getting approached by the owner of one of the small businesses I reviewed. She said my piece captured the essence of her shop; she loved my writing and wanted to hire me to help with their communications. That spurred my “aha moment” – that by transitioning into business writing, I could empower outstanding small businesses whose products rocked but whose marketing communications weren’t so stellar. I promptly got a certificate from U of T in PR, started building my website and reaching out to potential clients. I’ve been loving every minute of it and haven’t looked back since.

    Did you grow up eco-friendly or became it overtime?

    I always had an innate understanding that as a society, we were doing things wrong – like producing too much garbage and mistreating animals. I created a petition to get recycling bins in my neighbourhood. I became vegetarian at the age of seven after making the connection between meat and the death of sentient animals. The more I learnt, the worse I realized things were. In order to better be the change I wished to see, I eventually became vegan, rid my home of toxic products and got more involved with organizations like PETA and DSF (David Suzuki Foundation).

    What is it like working for companies like Organic Lifestyle, Clementine Fields, Clean Care and LNBF (Leave Nothing But Footprints)?

    It’s a pleasure and an honour. The people I work with are so deeply kind and committed to making the world a better place for future generations. Dihan Chandra (owner of Organic Lifestyle), Ingrid Doucet (owner of Clementine Fields), Jenise Lee (founder of Clean Care), Hilda Hugo (owner of LNBF) … these are people who have left a permanent mark on me. Which is why I give them my all; work diligently so that their vision, mission and voice shine through to attract current customers like you and I.

Erica munching on earth-friendly grub at RiseTO’s Organic Tapas Market Dinner this past June.

    What’s the worst case of greenwashing you’ve ever seen?

    The one that comes to mind is the Fur Council of Canada. They recently came out with a campaign “Fur is green,” describing it as the ultimate eco clothing. Fur as eco-friendly!? That couldn’t be further from the truth. A few of the many reasons why: it takes well over 20 times as much energy to produce a fur coat from ranch-raised animals than it does to produce one made of fake fur. Pelts are “tanned” so they don’t biodegrade, an unnatural process that requires the use of carcinogenic chemicals and toxins including ammonia, cyanide-based dyes and formaldehyde. The waste produced on fur farms also poisons our waterways.

    What is your current favourite product?

    Leaves of Trees, Cream Deodorant. It works super well, doesn’t get on my clothes, is completely natural and made right here in Toronto.

    I agree with you, Leaves of Trees is a great company. I’ve also reviewed some Leaves of Trees products on my blog. Read my review here.

What product would you never, ever use and why?

    I’d never (ever) use an antiperspirant, especially after reading Bruce Lourie and Rick Smith’s Toxin/Toxout. I’ve come to understand that sweating is an important function that helps the body rid itself of the harmful pollutants we’re exposed to on a daily basis. Simply put, the more you sweat, the more yucky chemicals you expel!

Thanks so much to Erica for the enlightening interview! You can learn more about Erica on her website below, or follow her via her social media links.


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What’s in My Drawer: Storage

Storage Drawer

Here is my third and final drawer, my storage drawer. This is where I keep my samples and full sized products until they’re ready for rotation. As with the other What’s in My Drawer posts, not all items in this drawer have been reviewed yet so I will link to a page where you can get more information.

Hair Mask : Henna Sooq, Organic Amla Powder

Healing Ointments:
Sigrid Naturals, Comfrey Healing Salve

Sigrid Naturals, Calendula Ointment

Hand Creams:
Sudsatorium, Butterfingers

Crawford Street, Frankincense & Myrrh Hand Cream

Cleanser: Holistic Vanity, Damage Care, Rejuvenating Rosewater Cleanser

Oil: Lavina, Barbary Fig Seed Oil

Essential Oil: Now Solutions, Rosemary Essential Oil

Various Samples:

Sudsatorium, Conditioner Sampler Set

100% Pure, Vanilla Bean Nourishing Body Cream

100% Pure, Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream

Green Beaver, Green Tea Facial Cleanser

Green Beaver, Cranberry Delight Conditioner

What’s in your storage drawer?

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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.


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


Pure + Simple, Refining Peach Enzyme Treatment

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


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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