I hope everyone had a pleasant Easter/Passover weekend! I wanted to share a little bit about my travels this Spring. When I travel, I love to explore the city, eat good food, and mostly importantly, shop and make new green beauty discoveries!
Vancouver, BC sounded like my kinda city when I read this inscription on a hand drawn map by Adela Kang:
This is a city for athletes, epicureans, artists, party hoppers, lovers, hockey fans, pets, campers, naturalists, travelers, sea lovers…
Raincouver Vancouver, BC. Although it was the rainy season, we got lucky and it only rained once during the trip. Here are the highlights:
1) Nature – Stanley Park.
The cherry blossoms were in bloom and the park looked like a fairytale.
The horse and carriage are optional!
I’ve always wanted to visit Japan during the cherry blossom season also known as the ‘Sakura’ season. My wish came true during this visit! The flowers were in full bloom and the park wasn’t packed with tourists jostling for pictures.
We meandered along the waterfront and chanced upon this lovely view …
2) Shopping – Green Beauty
I chanced upon a women’s clothing boutique called LYNNSteven in the heart of the historic Vancouver neighborhood of Gastown. I spotted the boutique from across the street because of the unique circular changing room in the middle of the store that is constructed out of 6,000 books.
Here’s a look from the inside of the changing room where you can see the actual spines of the books:
From the outside, it looks like a big cylindrical cork.
In addition to a curated selection of clothing and accessories, they carried a Vancouver-based green beauty skincare brand I’d never heard of called Belmondo.
Meet Belmondo – an organic olive oil-based skincare line
True to the spirit of rainy and outdoorsy Vancouver, the individual items in the skincare range were aptly named: the apple cider cleanser was named “The Rain”, the soothing witch hazel toner was named “After the Rain”, the facial olive oil named “The Dew”, and the face cream was named “The Cloud” among other earthy-themes.
The very pleasant saleslady with the most enviable skin let me ooh and aah over the luxurious face cream “The Cloud” and “The Dew”. She answered the million questions I had about which items she had tried and what she loved most about this skin care line crafted in small batches by Daniela Belmondo in Vancouver.
And yes, I did not walk out of the store empty handed! I will report back after I have a chance to try all the items in the Belmondo Travel Kit I purchased.
The second green beauty find was Saje. I first read about Saje on Sheila’s blog, a Vancouverite who blogs about beauty at Maddy Loves. She wrote about their Pocket Pharmacy, a travel size pouch containing 5 essential oil blends with a specific purpose, Peppermint Halo, Immune, Eater’s Digest, Pain Release, & Stress Release. When I visited Vancouver, I had to drop by.
I was lured into the store by the amazing scent coming out of the nebulizer/diffuser thing by the doorway. Saje carries a range of skincare and bath and body products all infused with EO’s with different healing purposes. I got some body oils in a handy travel size that smell amazing and some well-priced soaps ($4.95 CAD/$4 USD per bar for organic soap).
3) Food – Coffee Culture, Pizza, and Local Brews
Vancouver has a thriving coffee culture. Yes, Starbucks still abound, but there are numerous other small coffee shops. Both Revolver and Timbertrain Coffee Roasters came highly recommended and the coffee did not disappoint.
Gastown had some of our favorite restaurants and bars – both Nicli Antica Pizzeria with its Neapolitan style pizza and the Alibi Room with local beer on tap stand out.
4) Shopping – Clothing
Oak and Fort – My shopping haven. Slouchy, comfortable classic pieces – the design aesthetic calls out to folks who are into muted neutral tones (Me! Me!) Check them out on Instagram: @oakandfort.
My suitcase was much heavier on the return trip…
Anyway, I hope this little tour of Vancouver was helpful! I always keep my eyes peeled for local green beauty finds when I travel. Although I rely heavily on online blogs for reviews, I also love to support local stores. Visiting a store and interacting with knowledgable and passionate staff is a great way to learn more about green beauty and also try out products before buying. Follain in Boston was my first true love! If you guys have a favorite green beauty store in your neck of the woods, let me know!