13 Days of Green Market Giving: Day 13

It’s been so much fun posting about the artisans, spirit and charm that North Vancouver’s Green Market is bursting with. This Lower Lonsdale shop is chock full of beautifully curated and diverse local gifts and goods. Over the course of this celebration, we’ve covered some pretty good ground! It’s been such a gift to learn about and cover everything these talented artisans have to offer – from organic tea to reclaimed woodwork, from handmade jewellery of all types to clean body and home care, and of course clothing, art, stocking stuffers, and so much more.

I hope I’ve inspired you to experience the magic of this wonderful little shop. Located at 7a Lonsdale ave, behind Raglan’s, Green Market is set in a heritage building, with beautiful wood floors and a quaint shabby chic aesthetic. The place radiates a friendly, down-to-earth energy that is not to be missed. A deep camaraderie and intense combined passion is evident the instant you step through the Green Market door.

Today marks the  final post in this year’s feature (I hope to do this again next year!) and it’s a little on the bittersweet side for me. I do find myself  a bit of relieved (because, like everyone else, I’m feeling the big countdown hard, and I have so much wrapping, shopping, losing my mind, baking, and general chaos to engage in, it’s going to take every ounce of energy I’ve got!)

Be that as it may, I’m already feeling a bit nostalgic about it.  I’ve grown rather attached to these daily postings. It’s safe to say the Green Market has become a huge part of my brain, heart and vocabulary as of late, so I am a little sad to close this feature out. The good news is that I plan to promote, review and experience Green Market a LOT in 2016, so stay tuned!

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But I digress. On with the show! Last but definitely not least, ladies and gentlemen, I give you Studio Aroma.

I actually first caught wind of this hand-blended, clean luxury skincare brand on Instagram. I remember thinking that I should get in touch with them, and I posted a comment on a photo their feed. The modern, elegant packaging was what grabbed me first. It’s totally appealing- all that minimalistic glass and white had me at hello.

But what sealed the deal was the impressive list of ingredients- I was really excited to see the premium, at times exotic, naturally potent contents of this line. I must have put the idea of a collaboration out into the Universe in a big way, because a few days after my Instagram discovery, I found out that the brand was actually a new arrival to Green Market. Awesome timing, right? The next thing I knew, I was at the store, meeting with founder (and all-around sweetheart)  Jennifer Chow, my jaw nearly hitting the floor as she gifted me with close to the entire Studio Aroma collection.

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Above, a screenshot I snapped of a page on Studioaroma.com. I think it looks so clean and pretty- this is marketing done right. 

Prior to our meeting, Jennifer and I had exchanged messages about my skin type and concerns. She wanted to make sure she selected the right blends for me (she actually custom-made a Hydrosol Tonic mist specifically for my skin, and I LOVE it). I am as impressed by Jennifer’s knowledge, professionalism and devotion to her craft as I am by her outstanding products. She knows her stuff.

A certified aromatherapist and holistic practitioner (with qualifications in fields such as psychology, aromatherapy, chromo-therapy and massage), Jennifer began concocting her skincare blends to treat her own skin issues. Nothing was working for her skin, so she literally took matters into her own hands. It wasn’t long before Jennifer was crafting products for friends and family. Soon enough, this turned into a thriving business.  Studio Aroma Holistic Essentials is  a thoughtful, broad range of results-driven natural skincare. It’s a luxury experience at affordable price points, which is really nice to see.

I saved this post for last because I like to use skincare products for a decent chunk of time before I review them. These reviews are based on short-term (two weeks) use, and I will revisit the products and offer my long-term thoughts in the new year. What I am confident saying is that I am head over heels for Studio Aroma.  Clean ingredients, superior performance, and handmade in Vancouver? Irresistible. Here are some of my current favourites, available at Green Market. They have become daily staples in my skincare routine.

*Photos by Stephanie Edmonds/She’s So Eco

Eye Serum, $28

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This is a best-selling product, and I’m starting to see why. Full of unique ingredients I’ve not seen before in skincare (such as smoothing aspen bark extract and healing arnica extract), this golden-coloured, lightweight serum has a base of nourishing, anti-aging Aloe Vera leaf juice. I was especially excited about this product, given that some of my main skincare issues are dark circles and bags under my eyes due to lack of proper sleep (I know, tsk, tsk), as well as fine lines that are, to my unending dismay, starting to pop up in that area. Jennifer instructed me to apply it morning and night, using an upward motion, which I have been doing for two weeks now.
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While I haven’t noticed any significant change in the dark circles (yet! – this is more of a long-term result, so stay tuned), I have definitely seen a visible reduction in the excess baggage, and a firmer, more toned eye area. This serum absorbs quickly and easily, without residue or film. I can actually feel the skin tighten right after I apply it- and I love that, because it tells me the product is doing its job. I don’t find it to be particularly hydrating, but that’s not what I’m using it for, nor is it the purpose of the product. I’m looking for de-puffing, firming, and anti-aging, and this seems to already be making a difference in those departments. If it reduces my dark circles in the coming weeks, it’ll be worth its weight in gold. For now, I’d say it’s worth at least its weight in sterling silver. (And guys, I really, really like sterling silver.)
Ingredients: Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, Water, Damask Rose Hydrosol, Samphire Extract, Myrtle Leaf Extract, Rye Seed Extract, Linseed Extract, Lupine Extract, Aspen Bark Extract, Eyebright Extract, Roman Chamomile Hydrosol, Cassia Angustifolia Seed Polysaccharide, Gingseng Extract, Arnica Extract
Moisture Cream, $24/1 oz
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This. Moisturizer. Is. Divine. It’s super creamy, somehow very rich and quite light simultaneously. I find myself reaching for this day and night. It readily absorbs without any sticky or greasy remnants, but the hydration and softness it imparts sticks around all day. If you like having your face intensely moisturized, this if for you. If you like quenched skin without the chemicals, this is for you. If you like your face to feel like silk and look instantly fresh and glowing, this is definitely for you. Chock full of hydrating, protective and regenerative ingredients such as Pomegranate Extract, Organic Kiwi Oil and Botanical Hyaluronic Acid, this is one facial cream you MUST try.
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Ingredients: Vitamin A, Pomegranate Extract, Rosehip Oil, Organic Sea Buckthorn Oil, Organic Kiwi Oil, Vitamin B5, Grape Seed Extract, Lecithin, Cassia Angustifolia Seed Polysaccharide (Botanical Hyaluronic Acid)
Rosey Collagen Serum, $30/1 Fl Oz
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According to Studioaroma.com,  “Marine collagen complex helps to rapidly repair damaged collagen fibers, significantly soothes deep wrinkles and allows skin to remain smooth and firm”.
This sounds about right to me. I was a little bit cautious at first because of the undisclosed “marine collagen complex”, but I also understand the need for formulators to keep their proprietary blends under wraps. Still, I rarely use anything with a proprietary blend, simply because if I don’t know what’s in it, I’m not comfortable using it. Jennifer eased my mind by giving me enough information on this that I am comfortable to assure myself and you that it is on hundred percent safe and natural.
As for the serum itself? It’s amazing. It’s got a gel texture, different from most serums, which tend to be quite oily. It’s really nice and light, and it penetrates the skin deeply, leaving a fast-acting refreshed, rosy glow. No kidding! I’ve definitely noticed firmer skin since using this line, and I’m sure this serum has a lot to do with that. As for deep wrinkles, I’m only just starting to see deeper lines in my forehead and a bit around my mouth (sigh), and time will tell whether this helps to reduce them. Studio Aroma’s Rosey Collagen Serum is not going to give you drastic surgery-like results (because, sorry darling, but nothing is, except, well, surgery), but I have certainly noticed more sculpted, toned skin since using it.

Ingredients: Organic Rose / Cornflower / Sandalwood Hydrosol, Honey Extract, Marine Collagen Complex, Cassia Angustifolia Seed Polysaccharide (Botanical Hyaluronic Acid), Vitamine E, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B6

And now for our giveaway item!

Multi Purpose Balm, $18/1 Oz

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I love me a good multi-use product, and friends, this one is awesome. With rich, ultra-moisturizing African Golden Shea Butter and a variety of oils like healing calendula, soothing chamomile and hydrating Golden Jojoba, this powerhouse aids everything from dry skin to cracked heels and hands, rashes, and minor inset bites and cuts. Balmy but not sticky, with a gentle scent that leans towards the chamomile, you’ll want one in your purse and another in your medicine cabinet.

 

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Ingredients:  African Golden Shea Butter, Carrier Oils (Chickweed, Marshmallow, Calendula, Comfrey, Golden Jojoba), Essential Oils (Blue Tansy, Roman Chamomile, Frankincense)

Jennifer has generously offered to give away one Multi Purpose Balm to a lucky Instagram follower- the giveaway will open Tuesday December 22nd, 2015 and the winner will be randomly selected on December 31st, 2015. The lucky winner will be announced on New Year’s Day, 2016! Watch for my giveaway post on Instagram (@shesoeco). All you have to do is follow me and  @studio_aroma on Instagram, like my giveaway post, and comment tagging two friends (on the Instagram post only!) Bonus entry if you repost my Instagram giveaway post and tag @shesoeco and @studio_aroma. Good luck!

I want to extend my deepest thanks to Green Market and all the artisans who participated in this gratifying and fun blog feature. I really love Green Market and the values it embodies. Supporting local, shopping small and buying handmade – these are all such important things, and Green Market embraces them wholeheartedly. I hope you get the chance to experience this amazing store for yourself.

Lastly, thanks to everyone who read, followed, liked and shared these posts.

I wish you all a joyous holiday season and the happiest, healthiest, cleanest New Year!

With local love,

Stephanie

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to reward myself with a hot bath and Studio Aroma’s Chocolate Rosehip Mask. And yes, that was foreshadowing at its finest.

Happy holidays!

 

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13 Days of Green Market Giving; Day 10

 

Welcome back! It’s been an absolute blast showcasing Green Market, the artisan gift shop and collective located at 7a Lonsdale ave, North Vancouver (behind Raglan’s).

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All photos in this post- Stephanie Edmonds/She’s So Eco

Today, I’d like to introduce you to Squamish-based brand Be Clean Naturally. Founder/owner Kirstin French created Be Clean Naturally with her husband, crafting non-toxic bar soap, laundry soap, essential oils, body products and more.

Check out this awesome gift basket, featuring real cedar sprigs, two soaps, a body soap, room/linen spray from Be Clean Naturally, a Gib & Nimm candle, and a lip balm from Shine Makes, available at Green Market! Green Market owner Ingrid just made them up today, and I was delighted to see them. They’re so pretty!

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A Little About Be Clean Naturally​

Be Clean Naturally is all about soap made with love and 100% natural ingredients, prepared by hand in small batches.  

We use only 100% pure essential oils when scenting our products and we don’t use dyes in our soaps.  Some of the soaps do vary slightly in colour, which comes from the different oils used, the exfoliants, minerals or honey added.

We avoid packaging whenever possible. Our bar soaps do not come with any paper packaging, they are stamped with a handmade, hardwood stamp to identify them.  All liquid soaps come in a plastic or glass bottle which is always refillable (and you get a discount if you bring your bottles back to be refilled).

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After having a phone conversation with Kirstin, I was so impressed by her passion and her story. Be Clean Naturally certainly makes high quality, clean products, but Kirstin’s commitment to the bare minimum in packaging and refilling all products offered in a bottle takes the quality of the business up a notch. Of course, the logical reasons for this are obvious, but I was curious as to whether there was a story behind Kirstin’s adamance to reduce waste and promote refilling. Turns out, there is.

When Kirstin was a child, she used to treasure visits to the local dump, because she would get to see bears. When she hit teenagehood, she of course had better things to do than visit the dump, but when she finally did revisit in her adulthood, she was utterly shocked at all the waste around her. This inspired her to change her way of thinking when it came to shopping and packaging, and she brought this into her own business. Marrying that awareness with her ingredient values (she suffered from acne, and nothing worked until she eliminated the chemical-laden skincare she had been using) resulted in Be Clean Naturally.

The brand has earned much success locally, and has a prominent storefront in Squamish. At Green Market, Be Clean Naturally is a favourite among staff and customers. Owner Ingrid Doerr is constantly raving about the Gib & Nimm Forest Spice candle (French recently purchased this candle company), and with good reason- the pure essential oils within it truly do emulate a B.C. forest and Christmas cheer. When this candle is lit at the store, customers are constantly asking what the divine smell is.

But that’s not all people are loving from Be Clean Naturally at Green Market- here are a few of this brand’s amazing products, handpicked by yours truly.

Be Clean Naturally  Lemongrass Laundry Soap, $12, Green Market

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Gentle on skin and clothes, yet tough on dirt and stains, this water-based laundry soap smells divine and is free from artificial fragrance, dyes, and other toxic chemicals you find in most mainstream laundry soaps and detergents. Scented with pure essential oils (with an unscented version available), this is the right way to clean your clothing! Comes in a beautiful glass bottle (refillable, of course!) that holds enough soap for 14 large loads.

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Rose handcrafted bar soap, $6, Green Market

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(photographed with different lighting, because I’m nerdy like that, and it’s just so pretty – I had to).

So, this soap is to die for. It’s gentle enough for the face, but that doesn’t stop it from offering a deep, naturally fragrant clean. Indulge in a rich, luxurious lather and inhale the delectable aroma of not one, not two, not even three, but a quadruple dose of rose.

You read that right- this handcrafted soap contains rosehip oil, roship botanical extract, rose buds and rose essential oil. This means you’re not only going to get squeaky clean skin, but you’ll also be drinking in the many benefits of the flower that is as rich in health advantages as it is in romantic implications. With a wide range of benefits from anti-aging to anti-depressant, rose oils and extracts are nothing short of powerhouses. To say nothing of the oils accompanying the rose in this soap, (such as ylang ylang and patchouli), all of which have their own health benefits.

What’s so riveting about rose? Check out this cool info sheet I found on Organicfacts.net (click the link to read the full, and fascinating article).

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Awesome, right? I’m pretty stoked, because (if you can’t tell by the fact that I have a ton of dried ones on hand at all times to use as props), I’m a fan of rose everything (as long as it’s natural).

The rosebuds along the top are like the icing on the cake of this exceptional artisan soap. Highly recommend!

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Shaving bar soap, Green Market, $6

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I’m tempted to hang on to this one, but I’m going to stuff it in my husband’s stocking. There’s something so authentic and old-timey about a guy lathering up with a simple bar. Be Clean Naturally’s Shaving Soap offers up a lovely, unisex fragrance (which leans heavily toward the spearmint and clove oils within it). Another plus; I’m confident this soap will be great for my husband’s sensitive skin. With nourishing, hydrating jojoba, coconut and avocado oils and a variety of beneficial essential oils (the husband isn’t sensitive to any of them, thankfully!), I’m quite sure he’s going to love shaving with this!

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Gib & Nimm  Soy Wax Candles (Forest Spice, Lemongrass) in glass jar- $17 each, Green Market

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I know I’ve already talked about them, but seriously, these candles are dreamy. Be Clean Naturally has recently taken over this candle company and Kirstin and her team have been crafting the divine-smelling soy wax candles. Each candle smells exactly like its namesake, by way of pure essential oils, of course. The packaging is simple and clean, and the aromas that radiate from these beauties are out of this world. The folks at Be Clean Naturally have some mighty fine essential oils, and they’re prominently featured in these beautiful candles. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at just how much fragrance a natural essential oil can churn out- and how long that can last. These are scented candles done right, folks.

Head down to the Green Market to see more of Bee Clean Naturally‘s fantastic range, and check out the remarkable goods from other local artisans- this is THE place to get your last minute shopping done if you want to give a thoughtful, meaningful gift.

Don’t forget to swing by the legendary Shipyards Christmas Market this coming weekend, beginning tomorrow (Friday, December 18th).

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12 Days of Green Market Giving: Day 5

Welcome to day five of my 12-day blog feature on the artisans at North Vancouver’s Green Market artisan gift store. Located at 7A Lonsdale ave (tucked in behind Raglan’s an the surrounding restaurants), this Lower Lonsdale treasure chest features hand-picked, hand-made goods from local artisans.

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(Above photo from Green Market’s Facebook page)

Back in my Day 2 post, (see it HERE) I talked about the lovely jewelry from Shine Makes. Today, I’m talking about the other side of Carman Ho’s North Vancouver brand. Shine Makes features a wide range of jewelry, but also purveys a range of handcrafted home and body care as well! Carman’s clean, green lifestyle products are some of my favourites in the world, so I wanted to give them a post all their own.

While everything you  from Shine Makes (including home cleaner, lip balms, bug spray and sunscreen) is wonderful, made with love and premium, non-toxic ingredients, I’ve somehow narrowed it down to four that I think are perfect for the season and excellent for gifts!

Photos: Stephanie Edmonds/She’s So Eco

Natural Pit Stick, $15, Green Market

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Chances are you’ve heard or read my raves about this amazing, all-natural deodorant before. It’s the one I constantly recommend to anyone seeking a truly effective natural deodorant, and I’ve turned many a friend, follower and family member into loyal customers based on this amazing gem. Carman likes to say that I “made her deodorant famous”, but SHE is the one who did that-I just spread the word!

Serious odour protection that lasts all day, and is free from perfume, parabens and all the other nasties you do NOT want on your body, the full size is well worth the price, but there’s also a mini available for $6. This is one of Shine Makes’ very best products. I can’t recommend it enough! I love that it’s made with local beeswax, and hydrating organic coconut oil and shea butter. It has a light scent- it mostly smells like the coconut oil, but the lavender and tea tree essential oils break through a bit for a lovely, mild unisex scent. Excellent for men and women!

Lavender Hand & Body Butter, $12, Green Market

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Ohhhhhhh, this stuff is like gold in a creamy, luxurious form. The natural lavender scent is dreamy- almost as dreamy as the smooth, soft, hydrating punch this hand & body butter packs in just one application. A little goes a long way, so the 4-oz bottle will last you for ages, ;having your hands and body smelling gorgeous and feeling moisturized and smooth as silk.

Cough & Cold Rub, $10, Green Market

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Tis the season for joy, laughter, coughs and colds! But did you know that the leading brand of cough and cold rub is full of chemicals like FRAGRANCE and petrochemicals? This is counter-productive, people! Fragrance is NOT an ingredient- and it has no business being in anything you put on your body. This is an umbrella term used by brands to disguise the contents-  whenever you see perfume or fragrance on a label without disclosure of exactly what the fragrance is comprised of, you can safely assume that there are lots of undisclosed chemicals within that “fragrance”. Scary stuff! Besides, why would you want to basically be rubbing a bottle of perfume on your throat and chest, ESPECIALLY when you (or your loved ones) are under the whether?

Luckily, this all-natural, handmade balm provides instant relief thanks to the potent therapeutic essential oils. It really is comfort in a jar. I use it all the time on myself and my child when we get colds and coughs, and we both find it to be very soothing. It has a lovely minty/eucalyptus scent and spreads easily thanks to the non-gmo avocado oil and locally sourced beeswax. You and your family deserve the best, so grab this handmade, all-natural alternative to the much-less-healthy leading brand, and experience relief the natural way.

 Natural Perfume Oils $18, Green Market

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Appropriately enough, given what I just said about fragrance and perfume, Shine Makes has an amazing array of handmade, tuly natural perfumed oils. From health-driven (Balanced Mind, Well Being) to seasonal (Christmas Spirit, Ginger Snap), with many others in between, these oils are fragrant, lasting, and all-natural. Each oil has a luxurious golden jojoba oil base, surrounded by pure, divine-smelling essential oils. They all smell beautiful, and there is a scent for everyone- from sweet to floral.

Check out the diverse range of Shine Makes products at Green Market, and be sure to watch for them in my upcoming stocking stuffer edition of the 12 Days of Green market Giving feature!

With local love,

Stephanie

 

My small, PERFECT Eco wedding!

Greetings, beauties! I’ve been away for a while, I know. Many things have been happening – all great things! I’ve been doing a lot of copy and content writing (press releases, product descriptions, etc.), while balancing full-time motherhood, aaaaaaand….being a newlywed!  Yes, I got married in May! It was a beautiful, sacred ceremony in Lighthouse Park where myself, my lovely groom, my daughter, and two close friends with their little man gathered with our officiant and we were united in marriage. After nearly seven years together, and a four-year engagement, my now-husband Jordan and I decided to start really digging our heels in and planning in February. Within our discussions, we discovered that the wedding we thought we wanted was not only out of our price range, but also not exactly what we truly did want in our hearts. We realized two major things – firstly, we didn’t want to wait, and secondly,  we wanted it small. Like, really small – mainly because we felt very compelled to DO it and not wait to make big plans. We planned our little wedding in four months. We chose friends to be our witnesses instead of family because we didn’t think it would be fair to have some family members and not others – and the ceremony we chose only allowed for a total of four people (not including small children).

The rings:

Our rings came from Etsy- I wanted something unique and beautiful, affordable and handmade by artisans as opposed to mass manufacturers or multi-million dollar companies. Late last year, my beautiful antique Birks engagement ring went down the drain (literally) while I was dip-dyeing my hair, so I decided to get two rings from the lovely Joanne Rowan, a Calgary-based jeweller, designer and metal worker who creates the most mystical, magical pieces with earthy nature vibes. I chose the “As You Wish” ring (see it here: HERE) and a simple ring fashioned like a twig. Both are made with recycled silver, and the “As You Wish” ring is made features a green amethyst. I chose these rings because the vine design on the bigger one and the twig design of the smaller one represent my love of nature and earth so deeply, and the engraving makes it extra special. I chose “Mrs. Edmonds”, my married name, as my engraving. I’m in love with these rings! They are simply perfect for me.

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Photo: She’s So Eco

Jordan’s ring was also handcrafted. From NaturalJewellery, a UK jewellery shop on Etsy, we chose a hammered, silver ring with a stunning thin copper band encircling the top. He gets compliments on it all the time! It was very affordable and extremely well-made. Find it HERE

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Photo: NaturalJewellery’s Etsy shop

The Dress:

I knew that I wanted a handmade dress right from the top. My budget was not huge, but I was not going to compromise on having the dress of my dreams, so I went on a hunt for the perfect wedding gown for me. In BLUSHFASHION’s Etsy shop, I found it, and I knew it was the right choice right away. I wanted a boho/garden fairy goddess vibe, and that’s exactly what I got with this dress. It’s a stunning dusty rose shade, with amazing bat sleeves. It’s flowy, comfortable, and super flattering. The best part is that I know I’ll wear it again! Made in Tel Aviv, Israel, this dress is made with Chiffon lyrca – not the most eco-friendly material on the planet, but it was just the perfect dress for me and I love that it’s handmade by an artisan, and I love that I was able to support a women-run small business by choosing this dress. I also went with the matching, satiny lining that is sold separately in BLISHFASHION’s Etsy shop. See it HERE, and find the dress itself HERE

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Photo: John Vis.

The Flower Girl:

Our sweet little girl looked positively magical in her custom handmade flower girl dress, by the one and only Jean of Little MoSo. Offering hand crafted, eco-friendly essentials and custom designs with a touch of whimsy and lots of heart, Little MoSo is based in Vancouver and is available online and at In Good Company in North Van. The care, time and effort Jean puts into her superior garments is simply amazing. The bodice of this dress is hand-crocheted with beautiful rhinestone embellishments, forested at the back with a stunning ribbon, and the skirt is comprised of layers and layers of soft pink tulle. To make matters even cuter, Jean added a removable sash that ties with ribbon at the back and features three crocheted roses, the middle of which has a jewel-encrusted centres. It’s just such a timeless, gorgeous dress that will get a lot of party and dress up wear!  littlemoso.com

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Top two photos: Suki Fox. Bottom photo: LittleMoso’s Instagram page.

The hair and makeup:

I was fortunate enough to have the very talented Hailey Avalon as my makeup artist. She is a dear friend and a very skilled artist- she gave me exactly the look I wanted, using clean, green products from brands like Elate Cosmetics (one of my faves- based in Victoria- you’ve seen them several times in my blog), Burts Bees, and Wildrose Magnolia.! She was a joy to work with-easygoing and sweet. I was so happy with my ethereal, pink-toned makeup! Get in touch with Hailey here while her website is under construction: https://www.facebook.com/HaileyAvalon She also does AMAZING lash extensions – best in Vancouver, trust me!

My hair was done by an equally talented lady, Laurie Richardson. A Vancouver Film School student and hair wizard, Laurie was laid-back, warm, and extremely skilled with those hands – let me tell you something, my hair is NOT easy to style, and she gave me EXACTLY what I wanted! Our officiant told me I looked like a maiden from A Midsummer Night’s Dream- precisely what I was going for!

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Top photo: Suki Fox. second photo: She’s So Eco. Third and fourth photo: Suki Fox.

The Groom:

Well, what can I say- we can’t be 100 percent eco all the time! His suit came from a well known men’s clothing store- and it’s not made with eco materials, nor is it handmade- but we had to make sure it fit and was perfect, so we chose that route. Isn’t he dashing, though? Look for him modelling Green Embassy ties in the blog within the next few days!

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Photo: Suki Fox

The Jewellery: I wore two necklaces, one for the ceremony and one for dinner afterwards. The first one was classic and dressy, a vintage choker with pretty pink crystals borrowed from Suki Fox. (You can see it well in the photo of my makeup above, the one that is spot into two pictures). The second (below) is a handmade, stunning necklace made by Suki Fox by hand. She is one of my dearest friends, and in fact was one of our witnesses (along with hubby Rhys- who you’ve seen in the He’s So Eco section of the blog) and their lovely son. Suki is an extremely talented artist and she tapped right into my love of nature, the earth and wildlife by including a rustic swallow and feathers in this unique and gorgeous necklace. Find Suki at https://www.facebook.com/misssukifoxdesigns?fref=ts

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Above: Rhys, Sepher and Suki ❤ I love these people so much! Below: me wearing my handmade necklace by Suki.

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Photo: John Vis

The Flowers came from my mother-in-law’s beautiful garden. They were the perfect white Calla Lilies. I adored them.

So, there you have it. It isn’t going to win any eco awards, but I think we did really well. Almost everything was handmade by artisans, many of them local, our wedding did not produce any waste (no invitations, no programs, nothing was wasted or disposed of the entire day), and we did it in the beautiful Lighthouse Park, which celebrates our deep love of nature.

I’m thrilled to finally be able to share this post with you!

Consciously,

Stephanie

HUGE THANKS to our photographer John Vis: http://johnvis.wix.com

Here are a few of my favourites of the three of us, all by John Vis:

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Review: Pure Daily Essentials Makeup Remover

I admit it – I have never been big on makeup remover. I kind of always thought it was just another product to clutter my bathroom counter- one I felt I didn’t really need, to be honest.  That being said, lately I have found that even using coconut oil  or regular cleanser to remove makeup left me with at least some (and sometimes lots of) smearing and usually a big, stubborn mess all over my face- well, okay, the makeup was off my eyes- but now it was streaked all over my cheeks! Kind of defeats the purpose, no? I was finding that I was spending more time than I wanted to removing makeup. I use natural, mineral makeup which can be extremely pigmented and difficult to wash off, so proper removal is key.

Enter the lovely Tanya, founder of Langley, B.C. skin and body care brand Pure Daily Essentials. Tanya reached out to me and asked me if I’d like to try some of her handmade products, and after browsing her website, I decided to put something on my wish list that I never have before; makeup remover! Yes, I was sceptical, but I’m really glad I put this makeup remover on my list, because it does a fantastic job!

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photo- Puredailyessentials.com

Pure Daily Essentials makeup remover is a simple formula comprised of oils that are both gentle and effective at cleansing, hydrating and protecting the skin, while erasing all traces of makeup WITHOUT rinsing. I just put a few pumps onto a cotton ball and swipe a few times- voila! Mascara, eyeliner, shadows- gone! Without smudging, smearing or irritation. Bonus: it’s a super gentle combo of fabulous oils like sweet almond oil, lavender and calendula- so it’s all natural and easy on my sensitive eyes. The scent leans heavily toward the lavender- which is lovely and calming.

 This makeup remover offers a very clean and easy makeup removal with the added benefits of natural oils that protect the delicate, sensitive skin around the eye. 50 mls (1 FL. OZ) of this makeup remover is $16.95, and since a little goes a long way, plus the performance is exceptional, I’d say it’s well worth it. Maybe I’m a makeup remover believer after all!

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Top right photo is me with two kinds of eyeshadow, eyeliner and three coats of mascara. Bottom right is my eye literally thirty seconds later, after using Pure Daily Essentials makeup remover on a cotton ball- no water, no rinsing! So simple! And in case you need another reason to grab this awesome product, ten percent of sales are donated to battered women’s support services. To sum it up; you need this in your life! Get it here: http://www.puredailyessentials.com/facial/make-up-remover.html

Why bother with natural makeup remover like this? With makeup remover, it’s especially important to go natural- all the chemicals in mainstream/drugstore makeup remover are REALLY harsh and don’t belong anywhere near your pretty peepers! For example, take a look at best-selling (and more expensive)  Rinse-Off Makeup Solvent from Clinique. Here are the ingredients in that product:

WaterPeg-32Butylene GlycolDisodium CocoamphodiacetatePeg-6Trisodium EdtaMethylparabenPropylparabenButylparaben

Hold up, are you kidding me? THREE kinds of parabens? For something as simple as removing makeup? WHY? There is no reason at all why a makeup remover should be so chock full of chemicals like Clinque’s and many other mainstream brands are, especially when natural oils are just as effective. It should also be noted that I had to dig deep to find these ingredients. They are not disclosed on Clinique’s website (I guess they don’t think people need to know what’s in these products- which shows they have lots to hide.)

By comparison, check out the ingredients of Pure Daily Essentials Makeup Remover. Ingredients: Prunus amygdalus dulcis (Sweet almond) oil, Olea europaea (Olive) fruit oil, Symphytum officinale (Comfrey) root extract, Calendula officinalis (Calendula) flower extract, Anthemis nobilis (Chamomile) flower extract, Lavandula angustifolia (Lavender). No alcohol, GMO’s, petroleum-based products, parabens, or synthetic fragrances. Cruelty free. Kind of makes you think, doesn’t it? Consciously, Stephanie *Disclaimer: Product sent graciously by the company for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Must-have of the week: Au Naturale Organic Creme Highlighter Stick

Well, you wouldn’t know it, but I swear I’m aware that a weekly series is meant to happen…well, once a week. I’ve been so busy with life that my blog has been a wee bit neglected yet again- but this week I’m back to talk about something I’ve fallen head over heels in love with- the Organic Creme Highlighter stick from Au Naturale. (Do yourself a favour and click that!)

I was introduced to this Green Bay-based brand by Margot, founder and curator of The Choosy Chick (another must-click!) , which is a superior and selective online green boutique full of hand-picked natural products for the whole family. Margot sent me a stunning box of goodies recently, and luckily for me, Au Naturale was heavily featured in the package!

You’re going to see a lot about this brand from me, but I want to start with this highlighter because it’s quite simply the best one I’ve ever used!

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Photo: Stephanie Deline (She’s So Eco)

First though, here’s a but more about Au Naturale, from their website:

“Au Naturale founder Ashley Prange began her makeup range out of a need for a modern, organic, and principled makeup line in a cosmetics industry dominated by toxic ingredients and compromised ethics. Ashley believes that no woman should have to sacrifice her health and values for beauty. Au Naturale connects professional artistry with environmental stewardship and social responsibility to offer all women an innovative makeup line rich in color, purity, and texture. Au Naturale is an opportunity for women to guiltlessly indulge in an adventure with color, and make a beautiful statement to the world. Her ultimate goal is to help our customers wear makeup that embodies their values and promotes their health – allowing all to live the life to which they aspire.

Ashley formulated to create professional grade cosmetics that are elegant and clean. She personally produces each product, and oversees production in Green Bay, WI, USA.”

I’ve only been using this highlighter for three days, which typically isn’t long enough to warrant a review by my standards, but in this case, I can make an exception because three days with this gem is plenty of time to know that I’m going to adore it for always.

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Photo: Stephanie Deline (She’s So Eco)

Let’s start with the formula. This highlighter is creamy, smooth and extremely blendable. It glides on effortlessly and doesn’t cake, flake, dry or wear off. In fact, one application of this lasts all day! It’s not greasy or sticky at all – major points for that! The ingredients are also top notch, without a dye, paraben, petrochemical or toxic element in sight. Instead, this highlighter is packed with a collection of nourishing, hydrating ingredients, offering high performance highlighting action without any nasties that shouldn’t go anywhere near your precious skin!

Ingredients: Organic Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (Fractionated Coconut Oil), Organic Castor Oil, Mica, Wildcrafted Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Organic Simmondsia Chinsis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Castor Wax, Tapioca Starch, Iron Oxides, Kaolin.

Here’s what Au Naturale has to say about their Organic Creme Highlighter Stick:

Our Organic Crème Highlighter Stick is the perfect new addition to your makeup routine! Give your skin a luminous, subtle sheen. Apply it to the apple of your cheeks, and then lightly blend to give you that perfect fresh and natural glow. For a dewy finish, apply and blend down the center of your forehead, nose, and chin. This product also works beautifully on your décolleté.

Organic, Non-Toxic, Gluten-Free, Paraben-Free, Vegan, Non-Nano, Made in the USA.”

I couldn’t agree more. This is an impeccably-formulated, stunning highlighter stick that illuminates anything it touches. I use it on my brow bones, cupid’s bow, cheekbones, and even my inner eye corners, and the peachy-champagne colour adds the perfect subtle tint while adding sheen and aiming the spotlight wherever it graces my skin. It’s not over-the-top shimmery, but it definitely does add a healthy dose of shimmer. It’s not too warm or too cool- it’s just right. This highlighter imparts a Goddess-worthy shimmer that lasts and lasts, for a brightening glow that works for day and night.

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I couldn’t be more thrilled with this highlighter! It’s $32, and based on the amount of product (there’s a lot of highlighting goodness here- tons of bang for your buck!), the exceptional performance, the multi-purpose nature of this product, and the impressive ingredients, it’s totally worth it. Truly a must-have! If you love highlighters, this is definitely one to add to your collection RIGHT NOW!

Huge thanks to Margot at The Choosy Chick (click that and shop now – the selection and customer service you will receive will send you back every time, trust me!) for introducing me to this amazing brand!

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photos by Stephanie Deline (She’s So Eco)

In these photos, I am wearing:

Au Naturale Organic Creme Highlighter Stick

Au Naturale Organic Creme Concealer in Buff (which I thought may be too dark/too yellow for my fair skin, but seems to be a perfect match!)

Au Naturale Lip Gloss in Coral Belle

Elate Clean Cosmetics Essential Mascara (black)

ZuZu Luxe Cream Brow Pencil in Russet

Review- Pure Anada Princess Polish

As the mother of a three-year-old girl who is a total tomboy in a tutu (in other words, a wonderful eclectic mix between race-car loving, bug-inspecting and glitter-adoring fashion-obsessed), non-toxic products are important to me. As a green beauty blogger, I’m lucky that I get to try the best of the best in clean, green beauty.

Of course, as much as I want to minimize my three-year-old’s use of such products, (she is, after all, still so small, and I don’t want her using makeup and products of the like just yet), it’s impossible to completely eliminate her exposure to these things, since it’s what I do. And I have to tell you, she is just enthralled with it. More than once, she’s dug into my stash and ended up looking like a crazy, albeit adorable, fairy clown.

So what’s a green beauty blogger mama to do, especially when this fiery little three-year-old demands nail polish? Well, when you’re me, you turn to Pure Anada’s Princess Cosmetics and nail polish- a brand specifically formulated with less intensity and simple ingredients, geared towards the wee ones so that they feel a little glam with their own stash, and maybe, just maybe, keep clear of their mother’s for a while.

Now, I’m not super stoked on the idea of my little one wearing polish at such a young age, BUT once in a while, when she’s been really good, I’ll give in. When I do, my go-to isPure Anada Princess Polish. Why? Glad you asked.

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When I think of the ideal polish for little fingers, I think of this one. Here’s why.

1) The polish that goes on my daughter’s fingers must NOT have that nail polish smell. Because it is water-based,Pure Anada’s Princess Polish does NOT have that nail polish smell. A lot of polishes, even if they are 5-free, (free from the five main offenders in nail polish- Toluene, Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), Formaldehyde Formaldehyde Resin and Camphor- still have that strong polish smell, and that’s NOT something I want my daughter inhaling. So the fact that this polish is not only 5-free, but water-based as well to eliminate the smell makes it perfect for my princess.

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*colour shown- Cherry on top*

2) Just because it’s water-based doesn’t mean it’s a weakling! Yes, water-based polishes with short ingredient lists tend to last for a shorter period of time than mommy’s polish, and yes, you may have to do some touch-ups, but come on- do we really need long-lasting, chip-free polish for our little ones? I think not, since it’s really just for fun at this point. That being said, I am still really impressed with how this polish holds up for a water-based kid-friendly polish. Make no mistake- the colour is vibrant and rich, and with two coats, your princess will feel like a star with gorgeous, glam nails.

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3) It’s virtually mess-free. The gentle, water-based formula means that my little girl can practice applying herself (and she does, as evidenced in the photos- but, for a three-year-old, she has a pretty steady hand!) under my supervision. Any drips can be easily wiped away, whereas with typical polish that’s not the case. I appreciate that when it dries on her nails, it hangs around for the party, but if and when we want it off, it’s simple to remove- I just soak her hands and then use a baby wipe. I kid you not, some of the polish dropped on my wood kitchen table and came off with ease with the use of a baby wipe. It even comes out of clothes! Bonus: It’s only $10 per bottle, which lasts for TONS of applications. You can buy it alone HERE or in a Princess Pack, which comes with a polish, a roll-on glitter and a slightly tinted lip balm- all of which are adorable and non-toxic. It’s only five dollars more to get the pack- which comes in a sweet little organza bag, so I recommend going that route. http://www.thepureboutique.com/princess-cosmetics-gift-pack/

So that’s my take on Pure Anada Princess Polish. It’s the perfect way to make my little one feel extra pretty during dress-up- without the toxins, smell, mess or commitment of regular polish. And the most important thing? How happy it makes her and how much fun she has wearing it. The smile says it all.

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Pure Anada Princess Polish ingredients: Water, Acrylates Copolymer, Butoxy Diglycol, Methylisothiazolinone, Hydroxxethylcellulose, Mineral Pigments: Ultramarines, Iron Oxide, Titanium Dioxide, Mica, OR Chromium Hydroxide Green

*Disclosure- product was sent to me with hopes of an honest review, which is exactly what this is. I do not review everything sent to me, and only review the products I wish to. Receiving a product without purchasing it does not affect my opinion.*

all photos by Stephanie Deline (She’s So Eco)

Must-have of the week: Elate Clean Cosmetics “Grace” lipstick

With Valentine’s Day coming up, I’m all about romantic pinks and radiant reds. How fitting, then, that I recently received three stunning lipsticks from one of my favourite brands, Elate Clean Cosmetics, and one of those lipsticks is the perfect true red.

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(Excuse the used bullet- I got so excited when I saw this colour that I started using it right away, forgetting all about preserving its perfect bullet for photos).

With its clean, vegan and cruelty-free ingredients, Grace is an absolutely stellar red. The product description refers to the shade as the perfect balance between cool and warm, and I couldn’t agree more. It’s a medium, almost cherry-red with full coverage colour in a creamy formula and a satin finish.

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It’s very hard to find a red that looks good on almost any skin tone, but Elate has done a fabulous job of formulating one. Grace has quickly become one of my all-time favourite reds. It wears very well and imparts an instant elegance. I feel so confident in this lipstick, and I always have at least one person asking me what I’m wearing on my lips when I’m sporting Grace.

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The Shea and mango butter pack a moisturizing punch, while the Vanilla Absolute Oil gives off a subtle but beautiful aroma. The $16 price tag is more than reasonable considering the wear, pigment and colour this lipstick boasts. Plus, I mean, I don’t usually geek out over packaging, but seriously, an intricately deocrated BAMBOO LIPSTICK CASE?? On point.

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Get your own and rock V-day with a seriously sexy red lip.

http://www.verdantvanity.com/collections/lips/products/elate-creme-lipstick-grace

Ingredients: Ricinus Communis (Organic Castor Seed Oil), *Simmondsia Chinensis (Organic, cold pressed Jojoba Seed Oil), Butyrospermum Parkii Fruit (Unrefined, Organic, Shea Butter), Mangifera Indica (Organic Mango Seed Butter) *Limnanthes Alba (Organic Meadowfoam Seed Oil),Euphorbia Cerifera(Candelilla Wax), Copernicia Cerifera(Carnauba) Wax, Mica, Iron Oxides, Ultramarines, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Vanilla Planifolia (Vanilla Absolute oil)

all photos by She’s So Eco

Must-have of the week: Nezza Naturals Cinnamon Chai Lip Plumper!

Happy New Year, loves! One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to devote more time and attention to my blog. As you know, I have a small child and a lot on my plate, but I am determined to post more often in 2015! For the most part, I do my posting (including reviews) on Instagram, so you can catch me there at least five times a week, but I’d like to devote a post per week to my blog. With that in mind, I’m introducing a new series: Must-have of the week, in which I will review a product that I am head over heels for. Out of all the products I try (and that’s a lot) this series will feature the cream of the crop, the natural, eco-friendly gems I can’t get enough of. This could be skincare, makeup, fashion, or whatever tickles my fancy!

The very first Must-have of the week is the Cinnamon Chai Lip Plumper from Nezza Naturals.

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I’ve been addicted to this amazing green beauty essential lately. Here’s the scoop: Nezza Naturals is a one-stop shop for eco-friendly, natural home and personal products, hand-crafting everything from laundry soap and cleaning supplies to skincare and cosmetics. Based in Victoria, B.C., Nezza Naturals has a gorgeous storefront in Victoria and a diverse webstore (click HERE to visit ). I adore the Cinnamon Chai Lip Plumper for five simple reasons: 1. It works! It really does instantly plump lips (thanks to the natural cinnamon bark), lending a lovely pillowy effect to your pout without drying, and best of all, without the use of harsh chemicals. It does give off a slight sting, a bit like you’ve just rubbed a cinnamon heart over your lips, but I actually like that because it tells me that it’s working! The sensation is brief, but the plumping effect sticks around. image

2) It’s handmade! By now I think most of you know that I’m passionate about handmade products. There’s just something about knowing exactly where your products came from, and being able to reach out to and ask questions of the person who crafted them with their own hands.

3) It smells and tastes amazing! The cinnamon bark and vanilla bean work together to create a heavenly scent and taste, without the caloric intake!

4) It FEELS amazing! With the texture and design of a stick lip balm, this shea butter-based lip plumper glides on smoothly and gives lips a wash of moisture while it plumps.

5) The formula is all-natural and is packed with amazing and beneficial ingredients. Shea butter, cocoa butter and coconut oil condition and hydrate, smoothing lips and imparting softness. Cinnamon bark temporarily causes lips to swell and appear fuller, by stimulating blood flow. This causes a slight stinging sensation, but nothing uncomfortable, unless you have a particular sensitivity to this ingredient. Hemp oil, with its abundance of essential fatty acids, is soothing and restorative. Cardamom, a powerful antioxidant, exudes warmth and improves blood circulation. Clove bud is naturally antiseptic, and vanilla bean is an anti-inflammatory.

Bonus: It’s only $5.95! Get it HERE Free shipping on all orders over $100 within Canada. Nezza Naturals does ship internationally! Visit the website for more information. image

Truly,

Stephanie