Vegan Cruelty Free

Vegan Memorial Day: Vegan BBQ

Memorial Day is one of the few days out of the year you can rock an American flag on just about anything: your headband, your booty shorts, your pool floaties and your grill, even the one in your mouth. But also synonymous with Memorial Day is meat, and lots of it. People LOVE to grill on this holiday and it’s no wonder…suns out, (burger) buns out, right? BUT we can do without all that meat, murder and cruelty (sorry omnivores) and pay homage to our veterans with some delicious eats that are so nutritious that you’ll keep the backyard “bbq” party goin’ all night long. SO with that said, here is the first edition of my Vegan Memorial Day eats (appetizer and dessert, entree to come tomorrow!).

Easy Memorial Day Appetizer:

Vegan Pigs in a Blanket, without the Oink

These “pigs” in a blanket make the easiest and quickest appetizer (or meal because you won’t be able to stop poppin’ these “piggies” in your mouth). All you need to do to pre-heat your oven and prep your ingredients. Once you assemble, bake and take. The best part is, you can personal these to your flavor profile. Read below to find out exactly where the personal touch fits in:

Image result for vegan pigs in a blanketPC: livekindly

INGREDIENTS

1 pack of vegan hot dogs
2 packs of Pillsbury crescent rolls (accidentally vegan)
Dijon mustard or other sauce (to taste)
Everything but the bagel seasoning (from Trader Joe’s) or sesame seeds

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat your over to 400 degrees.
  2. Prepare your dogs: cut each dog into quarters. Cut them in half width-wide, then those two pieces in half length-wise.
  3. Prepare your cresent rolls: Pull apart each of the crescent roll pieces and lay them out so they look like triangles on your flat surface.
  4. Take the sauce of your choice and spread them across each of the triangle pieces–it doesn’t hurt to be generous here because once you bake these the flavors tend to steam (bake?) away.
  5. Now place each of those quarter hot dog pieces on the fat end of the triangle, then roll them up toward the pointy end.
  6. You should now have little pigs in a blanket! Repeat with each piece.
  7. Lay them out about 1-inch apart on a baking sheet (I line mine with a silpat)
  8. Take your seasoning or sesame seeds (optional) and sprinkle them on top of each of the little “Pigs” in a blanket.
  9. Place them in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
  10. You’ll know they’re done when they’re golden brown. Let them cool for about 5 minutes, and then they’re ready to serve, with an extra side of mustard for those rebels in your party. 

vegan dessert

Pina Colada in a Bowl (my vegan pina colada in edible (not drink) form) 

This is my take on a pina colada in food form. All you need for this is three ingredients, one of which is purely store bought…unless you want to be really extra and over-the-top, then I got you covered too.

Grilled-Pineapple-Coconut-Cream-2PC: floatingkitchen

INGREDIENTS

Fresh pineapple slices or canned pineapple slices
Full fat coconut milk
Dairy free ice cream OR frozen bananas and almond extract
Unsweetened coconut flakes

DIRECTIONS

  1. If using canned pineapple slices, try to get them as dry as possible before placing them on a grill. If using fresh, place them on a grill with a little bit of coconut oil on either side. Grill for about 5 minutes on each side.
  2. While grilling the pineapple slices, separate the thick part of coconut milk from the liquid into two separate bowls. Whisk the thick portion until it turns light and fluffy and voila, you have vegan whipped cream. For an added taste, add a few drops of vanilla extract.
  3. Place a scoop or two of ice cream in a bowl OR 3A. Blend frozen bananas with some water or a little bit of almond milk with some almond extract until it turns into an ice cream consistency.
  4. Place your grilled pineapple on top of your “ice cream.”
  5. Top with your coconut whipped cream and top that with some unsweetened coconut flakes.

Pina colada in a bowl. You’re welcome.

Question of the Day

What are your go-to vegan recipes? Share–we want to know!

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Vegan Food

Vegan Tom Ka Kai Recipe (Thai Coconut Milk Soup)

TKKFinalNoBread.jpgMy husband and I are adventurous eaters, well as adventurous as a vegan and a carnivore can be. Either way, one of our favorite cuisines is Thai and like every diner who feels like a food critic, we order Tom Ka Kai or Tom Ka Gai at every thai restaurant we try, and continue to compare, judge and rate. I know you do it too. Anyways, I decided it was time to walk the walk so wanted to try making a batch of thai coconut milk soup with tofu myself! It’s actually way easier than I thought and took very little effort. Most of the elbow grease goes into sourcing the ingredients. So, tie on your apron and get ready for the ultimate soup test.

Vegan Tom Ka Kai (aka Tom Ka Gai or Tom Kha Gai) Recipe

TKKIngredients

Ingredients

1 cup shitake mushrooms (or mushrooms of your choosing)
1 cup diced onions or shallots (about a quarter-inch in size)
1/2 cup lime or lemon juice (use as much or as little of this as you like–the soup authentically has a very acidic taste so I err on the side of more)
2 lemongrass stalks
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp. crushed red chili pepper (or to taste)
2 small green or red chilies
2 tomatoes
1 package of firm tofu
1 can coconut milk
4 tbsp. liquid aminos

Directions

  1. Prep your ingredients: Cut the lemongrass stalks into about 1-inch long pieces. Slice the mushrooms into edible sizes, dice your onion, dice your chili peppers, slice your tomatoes into edible sizes, cube tofu into size of your choice.
  2. Heat a large pot until it sizzles when you sprinkle in some water. Now add the 1/2 cup of water, lemongrass, mushrooms, onions and lime juice and bring to a boil.
  3. Once boiling, add the diced chilis, red pepper flakes, tomato, coconut milk and tofu.
  4. Add the liquid aminos and stir for about 5-10 minutes or until it reaches your desired level of thickness.
  5. Remove your pot from the heat and stir in lime or lemon juice to taste.
  6. ENJOY!

Once you’ve made it, you’ll hands-down think your soup is the best you’ve ever had. I mean, that’s how it always works, right? 😉

Let us know what you think if you’ve made it and if you have any variations. I’d love to try how you change it up!

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Question of the Day

What’s one food you always compare whenever you eat out?

 

 

 

Spring Fashion Hacks Vegan and Cruelty Free
Vegan Fashion, vegan lifestyle

Cruelty-Free Spring Style Hacks

Spring fashion these days is a toss-up. One day you’re grabbing your rain jacket and galoshes and the next you’re sweating up a storm wondering if it’s kosher to take a walk around the park in your sports bra and shorts. Why global warming, why?! Anyway, because of the fickle weather, Spring fashion can be tricky, especially this time of year, which is why I put together one of my favorite things: #lifehacks.

Vegan & Cruelty-Free Fashion for Spring

Vegan Cruelty Free Fashion Hacks for Spring 2018

1. Soul Flower Organic Cotton Wrap Leggings | 2. Tulip Tees | 3. Toms Aviators | 4. Alo Yoga High-Waist Leggings| 5. Mod Cloth “Knot Your Typical Vegan Flat” |6. Lace bralette | 7. Patagonia Baseball Cap | 8. Toms Tortoise Shell Sunglasses | 9. Toms Vegan Sneakers

Organic Cotton Leggings and Pants

Come spring and summer, you want to be covered enough to feel warm just in case that nice cool spring breeze comes through. So let out your inner ballerina and opt for organic cotton leggings (make sure they pass the squat test) that tie around your ankles or get ones that have cut-outs anywhere on your legs to help with air flow, like these from Alo Yoga. According to Peaceful Dumpling, “Alo is committed to eco-friendly sourcing and production practices, right down to their solar powered offices in LA. Their colorful, modern tank tops are perfect for yoga, pilates, spinning, fitness classes, or running.”

Open Back and Tulip Back Tops

I’m personally not a fan of tank tops and I’m always cold (so hardpass), and the best medium for me to stay warm without compromising all of my skin to the sunshine is through tulip tops or open back tops! You can find these most anywhere, and they’re flowy, cute and Oh so Springy! Pair these with some black leggings, and a cute lace back bra that’s visible in the back and VOILA. S’cute.

Accessorize, Accessorize, ACCESSORIZE

…did I say accessorize? If you’re not a fan of going all out spring color, you can still wear all black, white, gray or what have you and have your pop of color live in your accessories. Consider vegan mustard color flats or vegan sneakers for those super casual days. Let your hair down or put it in a pony, throw on a baseball cap, some leggings, and a cute top…and dang girl, fashionista, much?

 

 

Mothers Day Gift Guide 2018
Gift Guides, Vegan and Cruelty Free Beauty, Vegan Fashion, Vegan Food, vegan lifestyle

VCF Mother’s Day Gift Guide (for procrastinators)

…did you know Mother’s Day is this Sunday? Literally two days away? Surprise! Well it shouldn’t have been, but now that your heart is beating faster because you’ve RSVPd’ yes to brunch without a gift in hand, I’ve come to the rescue. Whether you’re mama is vegan or not, concerned about cruelty-free or not, or said “no gifts” (no one ever means that, okur), this gift guide is for you. Best of all, you can pick up most of these things in store, or if you buy them tonight on Amazon, especially Prime (where are you if you don’t have Prime), then you’ll get it at some point on Sunday and you can casually surprise moms at some point during the day like that was your plan all along 😉

Mothers Day Gift Guide 2018 for procrastinators

1. Drunk Elephant Rise + Glow Duo | 2. Pretty Vulgar Nail Liquor | 3. Tarte Highlighting Eyeshadow Palette | 4. Silpat Oven Mat | 5. Tea Forte Large Tin Sampler Gift | 6. Nutribullet | 7. Purple Carrot | 8. Wheat grass Growing Kit | 9.  Zafu Meditation Pillow | 10. Jawbone Activity/Sleep Tracker | 11. Vegan Gym Bag | 12. S’well Water Bottle

Vegan and Cruelty-Free Mother’s Day Gifts for the Beauty Loving Mama

If your wife, mom, sister, grandma or any “mother” in your life is always on-the-go or simply loves feeling pampered, help her feel her best with these vegan and cruelty-free beauty gifts. This Drunk Elephant Duo is the perfect gift or gift topper to help mama feel wide awake after long days tending to the kids or your fur babies. The Tarte Highlighting Eyeshadow Palette is a quick trick to make her look (and feel) like she had a peaceful morning with her cup of coffee cause that woman will be glowing from cheek to cheek with these many color options. Lastly, you can never go wrong by giving this beautiful woman a moment to herself at the spa with a gift certificate to get a manicure, pedicure or facial. (For you true procrastinators out there–this is your best option! As in you can roll out of bed Sunday morning, and pick this up on the way to Mother’s Day Brunch. Also, shame on you).

Vegan and Cruelty-Free Mother’s Day Gifts for the Vegan Foodie or Cook

Mamas love to feed us, especially if you have an Indian mom like I do, who loves to cook, then shove rice and curry into our mouths all day long–why I ever complained about this growing up is beyond me. I literally look forward to visiting the parents now for this reason only, oh and to see them of course…anyway, if your lady loves to cook, consider Silpats, they make baking and cooking mess free. Literally all gunk rolls right off and they withstand a high temperature in the over, toaster, etc. FYI Costco sells a similar version, just not Silpat brand. Another #procrastinationhack. You’re welcome.

The Nutribullet is also an easy last-minute option–you can buy them virtually anywhere. As is the Wheat Grass growing kit–a fun way for mom to experiment in the kitchen. If she enjoys food but wants a break from cooking, give her a chance to relax with her choice of tea with this Tea Forte sampler pack, or you can buy a bunch of boxes of tea you think she would like, throw them in a basket, add a Starbucks gift card, and boom. Last-minute Mother’s Day present.

If you have zero time at all, then consider an order of the Purple Carrot Meal Delivery service. You can buy her a subscription as a gift. It comes with all the measured ingredients, the recipe and directions to make a quick and easy meal. You can print out the sheet that says you’ve ordered it, roll it up, tie a bow around it, and voila.

Vegan and Cruelty-Free Mother’s Day Gifts for the Active Mama

The active mama, gym rat or simply health-conscious individual sometimes needs a moment away from all the activity, and the Zafu Meditation Pillow may give her just that. On the opposite note, if she wants to rack up #alltheactivitypoints, then help her realize how awesome she’s doing with the Jawbone Activity/Sleep Tracker. Whether she’s crazy active or just likes to take a morning stroll, it’s important to stay hydrated. Help her fuel up stylishly with this S’well Water Bottle. Lastly, give her a bag to put all of these things in that’s both super adorable and functional, like this Vegan Gym Bag. Lululemon also makes some cool bags (but do people know if they’re VCF?).

In reality, whether you got her something ages ago or are scrambling for a last minute idea, all mama wants is time with her babies. So spoil her with all of your time and shower her with love, because she brought you into this world (and she can take you out). JK.

HAVE A GORGEOUS MOTHER’S DAY, VCF FAM!

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softhands
Vegan and Cruelty Free Beauty, vegan lifestyle

3 Steps to Softer Hands: My Experience with Renaud’s Syndrome

I know I’ve talked about this before, but I want to talk about it again! I suffer from terribly, terribly dry hands as a result of Renaud’s Syndrome–my blood circulation is really poor, and the effect of that is most noticeable in the winter time. Being a Cali girl at heart, anything below 60 to me is freezing and my body thinks so too, which is why when winter comes around, it’s like my fingers get frost bites. No joke, I’ve had to wear band-aids just because it gets so cold in my office on a daily basis (winter or not). After years of suffering, I decided to do more than just put a band-aid on the situation (get it?). I sought hand lotion after hand lotion and product and service after another, and this is what works for me! (It may not work for you, but the whole process is kind of like a spa day so make it your own! (Please always consult your physician before starting any new regimen).

Step 1: Get a Regular Manicure

…and not a gel manicure, or acrylics. Just get a regular old fashioned manicure and ask them to pay special attention to your cuticles. Once you get a manicure and your hands feel fresh, free of all hangnails and relaxed after a short hand massage, it’s time to keep up appearances. What I mean is, you need to put lotion on your hands every night and treat your cuticles with some love.

Step 2: Lotion Up! 

I’ve tried nearly every lotion under the sun, and these two have been my holy grails the past couple of months. The Asili Naturals Lavender Shea Body Butter is perfect before bed because of it’s calming lavender scent, and how it sinks into the skin (no messy bedsheets here!). After I wake up and get ready for the day, I then slather on some Green Goo 100% All Natural Hand Goo a few minutes before I head out (so it has time to sink in). My hands definitely drink it in. I bought my Hand Goo from Sierra Trading Post for $10, but you can also find it on Amazon or directly from GreenGooHelps.com. Both products are cruelty-free!

lotion1.jpg

Green Goo Hand GooANLavender

Step 3: Care for those Cuticles

When I have time to just sit and read or relax, I put on some oil (for the most part, any oil meant for skin will do) and massage the oil into my cuticles for just a few seconds per finger. With Renaud’s my fingertips get really sensitive and makes it hard to do things, like even write sometimes without cringing. Massaging with my rosehip oil really helps my circulation and keeps my hands soft!

BodyOil2

Here are some before and after pictures that prove my method works! You can see that my hands before were peeling, splotchy and red, sometimes also purple due to poor circulation.

Before:

After (posing like a t-rex): 

HandAfter

Question of the Day

If you have dry hands or skin, or suffer from Renaud’s Syndrome, what works for you?

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Vegan and Cruelty Free Beauty, vegan lifestyle

February Favorites: Makeup & Skincare

MFA

February had the shortest amount of days, felt like it would never end, and yet when March 1st came around I was like, “Where did February go?” Clearly, 2018 is off to a weird start. Thankfully, I can’t say the same about all the products I’ve been trying so far. Aside from the Tarte Shape Tape Foundation, I’ve found so many holy grails and we’re only 2.5 months into the year #winning. Memo to self: remember unforgettable foods for March Favorites (stay tuned–check back in March too!)

Skincare & Makeup Favorites

1. Kat Von D Lock-It Foundation

Nothing helps you realize what’s best in your life until you try it’s terrible, terrible counterpart (of sorts). I tried new foundations and kept going back to the Kat Von D Lock-It Foundation. I’m convinced now that it really is that good. Go to Sephora stat and get a sample to try, and tell them you want a week’s worth because you’re worth it but really because you know your paycheck could go to Sephora in one fell swoop. According to the Kat Von D website, the foundation is part of their #veganalert product line, and I believe their entire brand is cruelty-free.

I bought mine from Sephora.

MFB2. Acure CGF Oil-Free Serum

You can’t tell in the picture above but that bottle of serum is empty to the last drop. I literally pulled it out of the trash for you guys (you’re welcome). I alternate the use of this serum with my rosehip oil every night. The reason I love this serum so much is that I can truly tell the difference in my skin the next morning when I didn’t use it. While I would 100% buy this again, I’m too much of a “need for change” type of girl, and want to try a new serum. Any recommendations?

According to ethicalelephant, Acure is a cruelty-free brand, but not all of their products are vegan (the CGF oil-free serum happens to be): Acure Organics is certified cruelty-free by Leaping Bunny and PETA Beauty Without Bunny Program. This ensures Acure Organics products and ingredients are not tested on animalsduring any stage of product development and manufacturing. Acure Organics also does not sell in foreign markets that require animal testing by law.

I bought mine at Fresh Thyme but you can buy it on the Vitamin Shoppe as well, and select Target locations.

3. Fresh Sugar Lip Caramel Hydrating Balm

The best part of waaaaking up, is Fresh Sugar Balm on your lips (don’t lie, you said that like you were singing the Folgers jingle.) While I won’t buy this again because I am uncertain if Fresh is vegan and cruelty-free, I did enjoy nourishing my lips with the smell of dulce de leche every morning. My husband didn’t mind it either 😉

According to the Fresh website, the entire brand is cruelty-free (woop woop): As a result, all Fresh products undergo very strict tolerance tests using non-animal methods during the development of each product to ensure quality and safety prior to market. 

However, ethicalelephant found otherwise, so I’ll leave it to you to make that decision.

I bought mine last year at Sephora.

Bath & Body Favorites

4. Asili Naturals Bath Bomb

MFC

After a looooooong day, what’s better than some cuddles, Netflix, wine and maybe a bath? I love how these Asili Naturals bath bombs smell (so subtle and not overly fragrant) and best of all, I can definitely feel softer skin. I made hand soap out of the lavender bath bomb one and lurv it.

You can order them on the Asili Naturals site and in select stores throughout Wisconsin.

Random Favorite

5. Dr. Jaikaran’s Herbodent Toothpaste 

I wasn’t sure which category this should go under so it got it’s own. While I’m not 100% if this is vegan, I know with certainty that it is 100% vegetarian (and most aren’t!), according to their site. My uncle-in-law (??) gave this to me, and I used it a couple of times (and I will probably leave it for guests to use because I am uncertain if it’s VCF), but if you are transitioning to a vegan lifestyle, and can’t find a vegan toothpaste you like, the Herbodent toothpaste might be the perfect stepping stone. You can buy it on Amazon.

MFD

Questions of the Day

What is your favorite VCF serum? What would you recommend? What were your February favorites?

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Califia Farms Almond Milk Cold Brew Latte Review
Vegan Food

Vegan Almond Milk Latte: Califia Farms Review

If you’re anything like I am, you’re skeptical of store-bought vegan anything. I much prefer to make things on my own, but sometimes, ya girl’s in a pinch…like when you wake up with 10 minutes to spare to shower, brush, walk the dog, take out the trash, watch a couple Netflix series etc. etc. SO, I went on the hunt for a morning caffeine push that didn’t require much thought…enter Califia Farms.

CalifiaFarmSpread

Vegan Cafe Latte Cold Brew Coffee with Almond Milk Review

Nutrition:

At 90 calories per serving, I think the Califia Farms Cafe Latte with Almond Milk makes the perfect treat. A serving is 8 ounces or 240 ml for those who are counting. While a glass of it may seem small, it actually tastes quite creamy and rich, so you can actually savor it while binge-watching something or talking to your dog (me 100%).

CFNF

Consistency:

That brings us to consistency. It’s rather creamy! It’s almost the exact consistency of almond milk, but a little thicker.

Taste:

Be forewarned, it tastes really sweet…well compared to a glass of coffee. I should note that I abhor the taste of coffee. In fact, I can only drink it with vegan creamer in it, but this is actually the best middle ground between a frappuccino and black coffee. Honestly, you won’t understand until you try it.

Vegan?

Yes! According to their FAQs: While our full line is not organic, all Califia Farms products are 100% plant-based, non-GMO, carrageenan-free, gluten-free, vegan and made with no artificial ingredients. It sounds like all Califia Farms products are made with sustainability and vegans in mind, so go buy yourself a bottle and enjoy! [#notsponsored, but happy to be if you’re reading this CF ;)]

CFVegan

Question of the Day

How do you take your coffee or tea? Black or as beige in color with creamer as you can get it?

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Friday Face Off, Vegan Food

Friday Face-Off: Vegan Cream Cheese

KiteHillSpread2noknife

Want some carbs with that schmear? I’ve been obsessed with Everything Bagels and cream cheese for breakfast lately. Something about half of a Whole Foods Everything Bagel covered with some cream cheese makes my mornings so right—wait, what?! Cream cheese?! You heard that right! Vegan cream cheese is almost indistinguishable from it’s dairy-filled counterpart, but probably tastes way better—if you get the right one that is. To help make your decision-making much easier, we’re going to compare two of the most popular cream cheeses on the market, at least where I live.

Tofutti Cream Cheese

TofuttiConsistency

At first glance, this cream cheese has the color of tofu (that almost off-white egg shell color) and the consistency of cream cheese mixed with a touch of gelatin. The tofu color probably comes from that fact that the second, third, and fourth ingredients are: expeller processed natural oil blend (soybean, palm fruit and oil), maltodextrin, soy protein, tofu.

While this cream cheese is marketed as “Better Than Cream Cheese,” I would have to staunchly disagree. However, if you’re in a pinch and jonesing for vegan cream cheese, it’s not…bad. The only reason I don’t like it is because of the consistency and some what due to it’s taste.

TofuttiNF

If you’re interested in buying this, I bought it at the “alternatives” section of my Jewel-Osco. I think it’s fairly accessible at regular grocery stores.

Vegan? Yes!

Taste: 5/10

Price: ~ $3.99 (depends on where you live)

Kite Hill Cream Cheese

KiteHillSpread

Where do I start about Kite Hill cream cheese? When I opened it, it looked like real cream cheese. Note that the first time I tried it, I bought the chive flavor which was the only flavor that was available.

KiteHillNF

The consistency is super creamy (the Jalapeno flavor is a tad bit gelatinous, but truly only 2% more). The taste is even more amazing. I had meat-eaters try it and they love it. My husband tends to favor it as well!

KiteHillConsistency

The only place I can find Kite Hill cream cheese in my neighborhood is at Whole Foods. They have plain, chive and jalapeno. According to Kite Hill, you can find them at Sprouts, Publix, Target and other retailers across the U.S. in addition to Whole Foods. You can use their Store Finder to locate it near you.

Vegan? Yes!

Taste: 9/10 (only because I wish the flavor was a little stronger)

Price: ~ $5.99 (the packaging recently features a 50 cent coupon, which I always use at checkout…the site also features a $1.00 off coupon here)

The Verdict? Kite Hill winds by a landslide.

KiteHillSpreadToaster

Question of the Day

What’s your favorite dairy-free product? And what do you usually eat for breakfast?

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Vegan and Cruelty Free Beauty

Tarte Shape Tape Foundation Review

TarteShapeTapeF

The Tarte Shape Tape concealer apparently turned the makeup world on it’s head. It seems Tarte decided to ride the coattails of their concealer’s popularity and bring their beloved Shape Tape lovers with a foundation by the same name. While I have yet to try the Shape Tape concealer (because I don’t need a concealer yet), I decided to give their Shape Tape foundation a try. If you’re thinking about handing over more than $40 to your Ulta salesperson, please read this review first. Spoiler alert: it ain’t good.

Note: I tried this foundation everyday for 10-15 hours per day for 2 weeks straight, just like I did for my Kat Von D Foundation review.

I purchased my foundation at Ulta for $42 including tax. It retails for $39.

The Tarte Shape Tape Foundation: Pros

1. 2 Formula Options: Dry or Oily Skin

TarteMatte

Of the 36 shades (we’ll get into that below), 18 are made for those who have dry skin and 18 for those who have oily skin. Dry skin individuals may opt for the Hydrating Foundation and those with oily skin (hi!) will probably want to try the matte foundation. So, of course, having a semi-oil slick for a face, I opted for the matte foundation.

2. Medium Coverage

TarteSwatch

This is NOT at all a full-coverage foundation. Because it’s more liquidy, it tends to lean on the err of medium coverage. You can build it up, sure, but there’s a reason why you shouldn’t (see cons).

The Tarte Shape Tape Foundation: Cons 

1. The Color Range

After Rihanna’s successful launch of her Fenty Beauty makeup line, including a range of foundation colors for everyone under the sun, Tarte’s range failed to please. As in crash and burn. They only have a selection of 18 shades per line (see above). 18! Drugstore foundations have more of a color range than that, right?

2. Doe-Foot Applicator

TarteDoeFoot

I found this applicator cumbersome to work with. I mean, yes, hardcore first world problem, but every time I used this foundation, I would open it, and swipe the foundation on one of my fingers (clean hands), and would swipe that onto my face. When I needed more, I used a new finger. I don’t think the doe foot applicator is the most sanitary option, which is why I count this as a con.

3. Longevity

Ya’ll, this didn’t last for sh**. I said in the cons that it has medium coverage, and it does, but even one small layer of this foundation lasts maybe about 2 hours, 4 hours if you’re having a good day. If you layer the foundation on, it’s worse. This may be because I have oily skin (not sure), but this foundation moved around SO much. I put my makeup on around 6AM then head to work about an hour later. Around 9AM-10AM, I go to the bathroom and when I look in the mirror, my face has marks from where I touched it because this foundation doesn’t stick worth a dime to your face. It MOVES. It’s a matte foundation that sits on top of your skin. Not to mention, it get super blotchy throughout the day.

Worth It? Absolutely not. Although, you obviously have different skin than I do and there are many other outlying factors where this foundation may be your holy grail! I have tan, oily skin with an olive undertone, and it didn’t work for me.

Question of the Day

What is your favorite vegan and cruelty-free foundation? I went back to my Kat Von D foundation, and am loving it.

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Vegan and Cruelty Free Beauty, vegan lifestyle

How to Turn a Bath Bomb Into a Cruelty-Free Shower Gel

If you love the idea of taking baths but don’t have a bath tub fit for a queen like you, or want to enjoy your bath bomb without having to take a bath because some of use just don’t have the time to luxuriate (hi!)…then this SUPER EASY DIY is for you! I’m completely devoid of the DIY gene so the fact that I can even do this says something. Without having to film, this would’ve taken me like 5 minutes to do. Watch the video to find out how to turn your favorite bath bomb into shower gel. No surprise that I used one from Asili Naturals, but you can use any you have.

NOTE: One thing I would do after mixing, is to let the solution settle for up to an hour before pouring into your bottle. Enjoy!

Watch the video here:

Bath Bomb DIY
How to turn a bath bomb into a shower gel

Question of the Day

How else do you use your bath bombs? Do you get creative?

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Vegan and Cruelty Free Beauty, vegan lifestyle

3 Ways to De-stress in the Winter

We just came back from a trip to Albuquerque, going from 68 degrees and sunshine to a snowstorm and -15 wind chill. You could imagine how distressed we were landing onto a bed of snow after a 4-hour delay. I know. I know. #firstworldproblems. Anyways, aside from stress from travel hiccups, stress is a part of our daily lives, at least many of us, and it stems from one of three things: Personal, Professional and Self. SO, as always, I got you guys and I’m here to bring you back to your happy space with 3 ways to destress in Winter. Hey, if you live in the west coast where it’s 75 degrees and awesome, you could still use this tips, girl!

Personal Stress

Whether it’s a lingering fight you’re having with your significant other, a breakup gone bad, stress from parents or a friendship gone awry, relationship and personal stress is no joke. It doesn’t matter how close you are to that point of stress, relationship and personal stress is draining. So, how do you come out of it? WRITE and COMMUNICATE.

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Source: http://www.5lovelanguages.com/

One of the things that transformed many of my relationships was the 5 Love Languages. If you’re not sure what your top love languages are, go take the quiz! Not going to lie, the web page looks like an ad, but believe me it’s legit. As the name suggests, the love language is how you speak love–do you perceive love (romantic or friendly) to be in the form of affirmations, acts of service, or otherwise?

It’s really interesting. Take the quiz, review your results, then see if your friends or family can take the quiz too. This will not only give you a way to bond, but it may give you more insight into each other’s perceptions.

Self Stress

We are our hardest critics, as the saying goes, and self stress from poor body image, a negative self image or otherwise can quickly send you spiraling. First of all, know that you ARE beautiful inside and out, because it’s your spirit that matters above all else. So one of the first things to do to combat self stress is to smile. That’s seriously the easiest thing you can do, and you’ll already start feeling better. The next, is self love. Take care of yourself! Take some time to brew some tea, pull out a good book, throw on a vegan and cruelty-free face mask and just enjoy some of that time to yourself. By the time your face mask is dry, and you wash it off, you’ll feel some sort of renewal–a fresh start if you will. And if you didn’t already know, the Asili Naturals Spirulina Clay Mask is my FAVE. If you’re not sure how to apply a clay mask, I did a quick tutorial here.

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Professional Stress

I don’t have to tell you that 8 hours of work a day is draining, and even more so when you tend to put in 10-12 hours a day (hello!). Whether you’re simply tired from a long day’s worth of work or stressed from the growing to-do list, you CAN relieve yourself and actually enjoy the time from 5-9 (if you go to sleep at 9 like I do…).

How? Schedule your day for focus. Often times, work stress comes out of “not having the time” to do something else, when in reality, those minutes we spend picking up the phone to browse or just dilly dally actually add up. I sometimes have this problem, so I looked for an app to help me focus because lord help me. I found this app like Forest #notsponsored. It’s cute, because you can set the amount of time you want to focus for, and if you stay focused, say for an hour, you grow a tree. This tree gets added to your forest! The more you stay focused, the more trees you add to your land. You also accumulate points. Once you hit a certain amount of points, it goes toward the company giving a tree to third-world countries where food is scarce. So win-win.

Question of the Day

How do you de-stress?

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Vegan and Cruelty Free Beauty, Vegan Cruelty Free

How to Apply a Clay Mask

If you’re like me, then you slap on a face mask faster than a squirrel to an acorn when you see a pimple on your face. Really–we need to realize that face masks can be just as preventative as they can be reactive. Next time you want to destress (post on destressing coming soon), want to relax, or just want to glow from within, try a clay mask! The one I use is from Asili Naturals. I used to use the one from Glam Glow, but they ain’t VCF (boo!). You can see my comparison of the two here.

Learn how to apply a clay mask and the benefits of using one in under a minute with this super short video:

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Question of the Day

What is your favorite face mask? 

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Vegan and Cruelty Free Beauty, vegan lifestyle

5 Steps for Clear & Acne Free Skin Fast

The flu or something like it hit me hard, ya’ll. I’m still only 98% with the remnants of a cough and lingering sniffles and headaches. Now that I got my boo hoos out of the way, it’s time to talk about how to get clear skin and finally enjoy an acne-free complexion. Personally, I struggled (very minimally) with acne as a teenager, but not so much since. Since Valentine’s Day, Galentine’s Day or forget that it’s V-day at all day is a little over a month away, it’s time to show your face some love so you can enjoy a date night at home or out on the town with full confidence. Whether you’re celebrating with Cupid or not, these tips will ensure you get smooth skin fast and keep it that way!

Step 1: Wash Your Face with Natural Cleansers

Simple Skincare is free of all the nasty chemicals you would find in most commercial face washes. They pride themselves on creating, “products [that] have no dyes, artificial perfumes or harsh irritants that can upset skin and contain skin-loving ingredients and added vitamins for natural, healthy-looking skin.” (NOT sponsored!). It’s important to use such chemical-free cleansers so as not to strip the face on your skin of the beneficial things it already does, like turnover skin cells and produce important oils that help prevent wrinkles (hello, natural botox!).

VCF Cleansers

After washing your face, it’s important to exfoliate your face with–and this is important–a GENTLE exfoliator 2-3 times a week when you’re trying to get rid of a pesky pimple, and just once a week to maintain acne-free skin. I’ve been using the Microdelivery Exfoliating Face Wash from Philosophy since my skin had a major breakout from stress in May. I’ve tried a lot of exfoliators and I like this because:

  1. The “beads” are super gentle. If you’ve used the popular St. Ives Apricot Scrub, you know that those are pretty harsh (and hard). While it may feel like it’s more effective, it’s actually causing micro-tears in your skin which can cause premature wrinkles as your skin tries to repair itself.
  2. It includes Vitamin C, which is important for that glowy skin (here we come, JLo).

Step 2: Maintenance Cleanser

Once your skin is clear of acne, it’s important to keep up with a safe cleaner. The cleanest face soap on the market I’ve found (seriously, you should’ve guessed this by now) is from Asili Naturals. The Shea Face Soap is full of nutrient-rich softening oils to help you maintain baby-butt soft skin. The below is the Rose Hip soap I use to help my the skin on my whole body nice and soft.

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Step 3: Moisturize According to Your Skin

If you have oily skin and acne, opt for oil-free serums and lotions. Once your face has cleared up, maintain your skin with the ultimate skincare secret weapon: Rose Hip Oil.

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Step 4: Medicate

This is where the chemicals come in, and the only time it’ll be ok to use them because it will clear your skin fast. Guaranteed. The first thing to do is recognize the type of acne. If your acne is just skin colored or slightly red bumps, you’ll need to treat it definitely than those pesky painful pimples with the little white tops. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Pimples with the white tops: treat with salicylic acid, like the Clear days ahead lotion from Philosophy.
  2. Skin-colored or reddish pimples: treat with benzoyl peroxide.

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Step 5: Maintain Clear Skin

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Now that your skin is free and clear of acne, it’s time for upkeep! In addition to washing your face every day and after sweaty workout sessions (at most 3 times a day–more and you’ll strip your face of its natural goodness) and proper moisturization, use a clay mask once a week. This Spirulina clay mask will naturally pull out the impurities and prepare it for all the right moisturization.

Question of the Day

What is your secret to clear skin? Share!

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Vegan Food, vegan lifestyle

5 Tips on How to Become a Vegetarian or Vegan in 2018

There are two theories on setting resolutions for the New Year: 1. Yaaass honey fresh start clean slate I’m gonna slay this year, or 2. Ahem, you shouldn’t have to wait 365 days to start a new resolution. I hear you both. But there is something especially special (redundant?) about January 1st this year…it lands on a Monday. What’s more resolutiony than that? Whether you decided to stop eating meat (yay you!) On November 25th or want to start fresh at the beginning of a new year, more power to you! It never matters when you start, it just matters that you start a change and most importantly, that you stick to it. Here are 5 steps to help you become a vegetarian or vegan so that you can make 2018 better not only for you, but for the plant and all the animals on it.

Step 1: Tell Everyone

There is absolutely zero shame in you wanting to a) better your health and b) better the planet. The latter is pretty much the foundation of every religion, right? And no one will bash you for what you believe in (go away trolls!). And if you do happen to deal with those negative naysayers who make fun of “vegan food” or act negative around you, just shroud it out with your good vibes cause that’s all you’re putting out and lettin’ in sistah. Some show on Blue’s Clue’s (hi, 80s baby here) told me that if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it. If you’ve tried to nicely explain your way of life or amazing decision to stop eating meat to someone and they just don’t get it…move on. You do you.

Step 2: Expect Bumps In the Road

Giving something up is never easy. If you’ve eaten meat your whole life, it’s hard to go cold turkey. Know that you may have a setback here or there but one setback isn’t the catalyst to failure. Just get back on the buggy.

Step 3: Educate Yourself

Piggybacking on step 2, the main reason most people fail at resolutions, regardless of what it is, is because they’re doing it for the wrong reasons. Someone may want to lose weight because they just want to be skinny and may get there the unhealthy way. Setting up a resolution should come from a desire for change. If you want to become vegetarian or vegan, but aren’t sure why or what to say when people ask you why, then it’s time to educate yourself! Once you feel compassionate about your cause, your resolution becomes less of a goal and more of an intrinsic belief. Check out numerous documentaries on Netflix and YouTube, get a vegan starter kit from PETA, and follow inspirational social media influencers to surround yourself with likeminded individuals.

Step 4: Plan for Success

You may be stuck on your daily ham and cheese sandwich for lunch or chicken and broccoli for dinner. As with every resolution, becoming vegetarian does need some work, but minimal at best. Googling vegetarian versions of your favorite recipes, new recipes all together, finding inspirational meal planners on social media or YouTube, these are all things that can help you plan for success.

The easiest way to start is to take a weekend and meal prep 2-3 vegetarian meals or vegan meals you can use for lunch and or dinner. It’s as easy as even preparing the ingredients you need to pull the meal together in minutes once you get home from work or after picking the kids up from school.

I have some What I Ate Wednesday videos on my YouTube channel with ideas to get you going!

Step 5: Enjoy the Journey

This resolution you set to not eat meat shouldn’t be a stressful one. Your body takes about a month to detox all the blood, spirit and chemicals from the meat products you’ve eaten over the years. Expect withdrawals, bad skin (a part of detox) which turns into amazing skin, stress and pressure. But all this in such a small period of time will lead to your best self.

Please always consult your physician before making any drastic physical or dietary changes.

Question of the Day

What is your resolution for the New Year?

I’m giving up processed sugar of any kind for the month of January. If all goes well, then another month after that and so forth.

Vegan and Cruelty Free Beauty

Farsali Elixir and Farsali Serum Review

If you waste half your life on Instagram (hi.), then you will have seen that gorge beauty Farah work her magic. Half the time she uses her own line of products like the Farsali Rose Gold Elixir or her Farsali Unicorn Essence. And if you’ve never seen these products, I’m pretty sure you’ll want to get your hands on these (spoiler alert), mostly because the packaging–and the products–are to die for. I picked up the samples, which are the perfect size as gift toppers and stocking stuffers–hint hint.

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Farsali Unicorn Essence Review

Perhaps one of the most popular Farsali products, this pinky cloudy liquid smells like cotton candy and sinks like a song into your skin. It’s packaging describes it as a Skin Enhancing Antioxidant Serum. It also claims to work as a dual product: it infuses your skin with beneficial skin care and also preps it for putting on moisturizer or makeup. So I did both.

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I washed my face and put a drop each on both my cheeks, my forehead and my chin and patted it in. In almost immediately sinks into your skin but also has a slight sticky feeling, which can feel unwelcome at first. BUT it’s this sticky feeling that makes makeup application a dream.

USE: I DO NOT suggest using this as a stand-alone moisturizer. If you use this, definitely top with moisturizer or top with a moisturizing foundation. I used it alone as well and it made my face feel tight–you know that feeling after you wash your face and don’t moisturize it? That. (yuck).

RESULTS: I waited a while after I got this to review and guys, when used as a primer, it’s amazing. Definitely go with the sample to see if your skin agrees. Even if it doesn’t…you may get addicted to the smell if you like sweet sugary scents. Photo Dec 20, 3 03 00 PM

Sample Size: 0.34 fl. oz.

Price: $20.00, the full size (1 oz.) is $54.

Worth It?: If it was $20 cheaper, yes! If you have a coupon, yes! Otherwise, not so sure TBH.

Farsali Rose Gold Elixir Review

If you guys are into luxe things that are 100% extra (hi again), then you want this, believe me. The Farsali Rose Gold Elixir is marketed as a 24K Gold Infused Beauty Oil and it literally has flecks of 24K gold in it. How’s that for extra?

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While the Unicorn Essence is cloudy in appearance, the beauty oil feels like a true dry oil, not unlike my skincare secret and anti-aging hack: Rosehip Oil. It has Vitamin A (retinol–scientifically known to help fight wrinkles), and Vitamin C, which is why it smells a bit citrusy.

USE: Best used as a moisturizer.

RESULTS: I’ve been using it as a moisturizer before going to sleep and man, I feel like I’ve aged backwards at least like 3 days. But really, I love it.

Photo Dec 20, 3 03 29 PMWhat’s nice about this beauty oil is that it absorbs SO quick. I HATE the feeling of being covered in oil, especially when I sleep with it in. Since I’m extra as all hell I sleep on a (far too expensive) silk and copper-infused pillow case and the last thing I want to do is ruin it with oil. BUT I can put this oil on, let it dry for a hot second and go to sleep knowing my pillowcase wasn’t a total waste of money.

Sample Size: 0.34 fl. oz.

Price: $20.00, the full size (1 oz.) is $54.

Worth It?: Yes! Wait until you get a Sephora coupon then spring for the full 1 OZ. Yo welcome.

VCF? Yes, according to the About Us page, they are cruelty-free!

Question of the Day

Have you tried anything from Farsali Beauty? What are your favorite night serums or moisturizers?

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Vegan Food

Beyond Meat Burgers: Delicious or Gross?

These are the most aptly named patties…maybe ever. These burgers not only look like meat, but I personally think they taste better than meat! I was a meat-eater until 2007, when I went vegetarian, so while I don’t remember what all meat tastes like and while I rarely had hamburgers then, I can say that this tastes much better than any dead carcasses.

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Not only does it look like meat in the packaging, but it also cooks like meat.

When I immediately put it on the pan:

Photo_Dec_16,_12_53_17_PM[1]After I flipped it once, you can see how it browns:

Photo_Dec_16,_12_53_45_PM[1]What’s weird is it even stays a little pink in the middle. Also, since it already has some fat in it, I didn’t cook it in any oil or vegan butter. I just plopped it onto a high-medium heated pan as is and it immediately started sizzling away.

I paired it with some Angelic Bakehouse hamburger buns and had it with a side salad and some Daiya provolone cheeze.

While it may be a little higher in fat, it certainly is high in protein and completely 100% plant-based. If you’re going vegan and crave a big, juicy burger with all the fixings, this Beyond Meat Burger will definitely quench your craving.

Photo_Dec_16,_12_59_39_PM[1]Photo_Dec_16,_12_59_57_PM[1]Question of the Day

Have you tried these? Do you like them? What are your favorite alternate meats for burgers?

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Vegan Cruelty Free, Vegan Food

Low-Calorie Vegan “Meat” Substitutes

When I first went vegan on January 2016, I couldn’t stay away from carbs. I ate broccoli and rice almost every day and a lot of pasta…and let me tell you where all this carbo-loading went (I put Kim K’s butt to shame). It took me anywhere between 2-6 months to really figure out a balance in my “diet”, air quotes because ya’ll know it’s a lifestyle. Part of this balance is finding “junk” food and sometimes wanting a little more than your faithful greens. Ya girl can only eat so much broccoli without turning green [P.S. it’s kinda true–my husband ate so many carrots as a baby he turned orange.] So to change it up, I opted for some vegan meats. Now while I like to stay as clean and as few ingredients as possible, these little patties, balls and strips (Las Vegas club name?) make salads just a bit more fun when you need to change it up. FYI you can get all of these vegan meats at Trader Joe’s!

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1. California Veggie Burgers

If you like veggie patties or want to make more delicious burgers, opt for these low-calorie, nutrition-packed vegan patties (see the little circle with the heart on the bottom?). While they don’t taste like meat, they don’t taste like squashed veggies either. Something about them is so tasty!

Not so Secret Tip: If you do want the look and taste of meat, Beyond Burger patties are EV-UH-REE-THING. I’m getting them again this Friday and will talk about them on Monday, in case you were considering them ^_-.

Calories: 120

Highlight: Cleaner than most other patties (Veggie Masala Patty is a close contender)

2. Chickenless Crispy Tenders

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These are so delish. If ya’ll want to add a bit of something naughty to your salads, add these dumplings that are FAR from meat! Or if you want to trick your friends, these do the trick too 😉

Calories: 150 for 3 chicken tenders

Highlight: They’re hella tasty. Like dang yum yum. Unfortunately, one serving has 7g of fat, which is pretty dang high. Most should aim for 0-4g of fat per serving.

3. Meatless Meatballs

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PC: PinchofLovely

Now the above picture isn’t of the Trader Joe’s Meatless Meatballs, but it’s a recipe where you make your own. Now if you don’t have time to make your own, sub those kinds of recipes with these “meatballs” and you’ll be good as vegan gold. Also, if you miss spaghetti and meatballs, I got yo back! These work great with tomato sauce or also make a great addition to salads. I’ve even made them just as snacks, and they’re great for that too.

Calories: 140 for 6 meatballs

Highlight: It’s good for those on a low-calorie diet. These are the best of the worst products for you, because it’s high in sodium and highly-processed.

Question of the Day

What are your favorite naughty “meats”? Share!

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Vegan and Cruelty Free Beauty

The Secret to Soft Skin

…in winter no less! If you’re like me, your lips go dryer than the desert year-round, but in the winter, this condition goes from lips to toes. Thankfully, I found the exact regimen you need to not only get soft, smooth and itch-free skin, but your body will thank you as well…because hello lymphatic drainage! Stick with me…

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I won’t hold back. The secret to skin so soft that you can’t stop touching yourself, is a dry brush (that’s it). Use any cruelty-free dry brush which has thick bristles and helps cure the itch, literally (look carefully to ensure that it’s not a boar bristle dry brush–thanks for the comment reader!). The bristles are rough enough that they feel like you’re scratching your skin, but soft enough that you aren’t.

Step 1: Dry Brush

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Before you take a shower and you’re in all your naked glory, start dry brushing your skin upwards in short strokes from your toes. Continue until you get to your belly button. Then start from your neck and move down in small strokes. The point is to move all the blood to your heart–this is the process of lymphatic drainage. Not only does it slough off all of your dead skin, but it helps move your blood and promote circulation (yay clean blood).

Step 2: Exfoliate

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I know you got to step two and are thinking, well duh. But what’s important is to find an exfoliating body scrub mixed with essential oils. So many scrubs on the market are mixed with soap that tend to dry out your skin even more. This Himalayan Body Scrub has a mix of almond oil, grape seed oil, jojoba seed oil, lychee fruit essential oil and other goodness. You can get yours for 50% now at Asili Naturals. Go now!

Step 3: Moisturize

Again, duh. But the key here again is to find a moisturizer that has a dry oil that will easily sink into your skin. Again, Asili Naturals delivers. This Coconut Body Butter smells like lemongrass and makes you feel clean too. It has little scrubbies in it that just sink into your skin. Guys, it’s amazing.

Question of the Day

What do you guys do for smooth skin? Does it work? Share!

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Friday Face Off, Vegan Cruelty Free

Friday Face-Off: Vegan & Cruelty-Free Foundations for Oily Skin

FFO6-1If your face is a natural oil-slick like mine and you like playing with makeup, then you’re on a never ending hunt for matte foundation. The Clinique Stay Matte Foundation was my holy grail, until I found out that Clinique is NOT VCF (like why?). So my hunt continued and after a lot of research, I caught a new animal. Check out the face off below to see if this new VCF foundation measures up to the Clinique foundation.

Clinique Stay Matte Oil-Free Makeup

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This is probably my 5th or 6th bottle of the Clinique Stay Matte Foundation, that’s how much I loved it. I tried foundations from Giorgio Armani, Estee Lauder, IT Cosmetics, Pacifica and so many more looking for a VCF foundation and haven’t found one that keeps my oil at bay.

This is a lighter consistency foundation that doesn’t leave a cakey look. Best thing though is that it leaves your skin looking radiant and oh so nice.

Longevity: About half-a day, best when touched up with powder foundation every 4-5 hours.

Price: $26.00 

Quality: Amazing. Goes on smooth, dries nicely and is build-able.

VCF: No 😦

Kat Von D Lock-It Foundation

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The Kat Von D Lock-it Foundation is definitely a thicker foundation. A little bit goes a long way and I found that it’s best applied with a damp beauty blender…I use the orange sponge from Real Techniques. It comes in a lot of colors, so be sure to get color matched to get the right shade, only because it’s a high-coverage foundation. Last thing you want is a face that’s a much different shade than your body.

Longevity: It stays on ALL day–verified. Best when set with a powder.

Price: $35.00 for 1 oz.

Quality: Fantastic! Doesn’t feel cheap, but CAN look a little cakey if too much is applied.

VCF: YES!

Question of the Day

What’s your favorite VCF foundation?

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Vegan Cruelty Free

Sephora & Vegan Beauty Haul

What else do you do when you have a coupon for Sephora? You spend your life savings and withdraw from your 401(k) to spree is what (jk–but am I really). Well I’m on a tight budget (hello dream house), so I really only got the things I need. Come snoop through my cart!

1. Fresh Sugar Lip Caramel Hydrating Balm

If you need a new lip balm that smells like divine heavenly angel food cake and caramel on a plate, then you need to get this. Not only that, it feels dang good on the lips–your boyfriend, husband, girlfriend, lover, cat will thank you.

Unfortunately guys, I learned some tragic news thanks to Ethical ElephantFresh is NOT CrueltyFree! Sadly, this doesn’t look good for Fresh considering all imported cosmetics into Mainland China are required by law to be tested on animals and by Fresh choosing to sell in these stores, they must consent and agree to have their products/ingredients subject to animal tests.

2. Farsali Beauty

Ya’ll, I am BEYOND excited about these two. I only got the mini sizes of Farsali Beauty Unicorn Essence and the Rose Gold Elixir because I wanted to test them out first, and also because the full-size options are hella expensive (bye bye dream house), so I opted for the little bottles. Also I like Farah, so I had to support her.

From their website:  Our naturally inspired products are always cruelty-free, and made with exceptional-quality in mind. YAY! <– not from their site, only my enthusiasm.

3. Asili Naturals Bath Bomb

I mean, you know I can’t go a couple weeks without talking about my #1 homie, Asili Naturals, my most favorite VCF brand of all time. So of course, this Rosemary Jasmine bath bomb joins the haul party.

4. Fresh Sugar Roll-On

Aside from the fact that Fresh Sugar is NOT VCF (did you hear that noise? That’s my heart breaking), I am most excited to try this product because it’s both an anti-perspirant AND deodorant and most “healthy” deoderants are only the latter. This will most likely go back because it’s not VCF. Womp womp.

P.S. I also got a little sample of the Solid Beauty Blender cleaner because I love my Real Techniques Beauty Blender…is that cheating to us the BB cleaner for my Real Techniques sponge?

Question of the Day

What have you guys picked up lately that you’re loving?? We want to snoop!

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Vegan Food

The Easiest Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Before you read on, you’re welcome. This is by far the easiest vegan chocolate chip cookies you’ll ever find, and best of all, they came out tasting amazing all thanks to serendipity and some experimentation (and a whole lotta taste-testing). I started with this recipe from Daily Rebecca, but ended up making it my own. They take less than 20 minutes to make so if you need a last-minute (omg I need to bring something to Thanksgiving dinner), then these cookies got you covered. Plus, you probably have all the ingredients on hand.

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Ingredients

  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup almond milk + 2-3 tbsp. reserve on the side
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (I used the ones from Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1 cup (or as many as you want, really) vegan chocolate chips

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Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a big bowl, mix the coconut oil with the brown sugar.
  3. Add ¼ cup of almond milk and the vanilla extract.
  4. Into the same bowl, add in the flour and baking powder (salt is optional).
  5. Mix it all together. If it looks crumbly, add in 1 tbsp. of almond milk at a time. If it feels wet, it’s probably not wet enough, so it’s okay to add some more until it feels wet and soft.
  6. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  7. Roll into small sized balls and flatten with your hand before placing on a pan with a silpat sheet on it or an un-greased cookie sheet.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes and check. These cookies should be a bit hard coming out of the oven, so you may need to add 2 minutes at the end.
  9. Let cool and serve!

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You can throw some of these into a clear plastic bag, tie them with a little string and give them away as affordable presents to your co-workers, the mailman, or just about anyone! (but not your dog, cause hello, chocolate).

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You can make these cookies just about however you want. Feel free to nix the chocolate chips and throw in cranberries, or nuts, toffee, or any other vegan mix-ins. Enjoy!

Question of the Day

What are your favorite vegan cookies? We’d love to know!

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Vegan and Cruelty Free Beauty, Vegan Fashion

11 Affordable Stocking Stuffer Ideas

If stuffing stockings were a hobby, I’d be a freakin’ pro (toot), but as the holidays come around, it can be hard to find vegan and cruelty-free gifts and stocking stuffer ideas without succumbing to throwing boxes of raisins in those oversized socks. That’s why I’ve come up with some ideas (which also happen to be my faves) that make your non-vegan family members and friends not hate you for gifting them with a “meat is murder” sticker, right? So let’s get less political, and a WHOLE lot more fun!

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1. GIFTS FOR THE PERSON ALWAYS ON-THE-GO

If you know someone who is always on-the-go, go, go (hi), then you want to put some travel friendly ideas that scream, hey I’m fashionable, healthy and awesome on to their gift list.

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Hair Invisibobble: For those women or men with long hair, being on the go means throwing your hair into a bun (or man-bun) and getting ish done. My favorite hair tool of all time is the Invisibobble (hello millenial scrunchie). It’s that black ring that looks like a phone cord in the picture above. It doesn’t kink your hair, and pulls out really easily. #gogetsome. Now I look at old hair bands and just wonder…but why. I bought mine at Sephora and it sells for $8. I got it for 20% off woop woop.

Vegan Leather Tassle: This tassle keychain is so boujee, it pretty much screams that you love fashion with an edge. You can get any of these vegan tassles (and pom poms!) pretty much anywhere (i.e Charming Charlie, Forever 21, Discovery, TJ Maxx, Target, pretty much anywhere, maybe even Cracker Barrel?!). I got mine on clearance for $3.00 something at Target. They usually range from $3 – $12.

Coconut Oil Packets: If your person travels a lot, remind them to keep their health in check from the plane to the hotel and anywhere else. Coconut Oil is the perfect solution to almost anything they happen to forget, like moisturizer, hair mask, toothpaste (oil pulling), makeup remover, a whole bunch of stuff. I bought my box of Organic Virgin Coconut Oil Packets at Trader Joe’s for $3.99.

A Cute Tray: When they do come back home or take off all of their baubles before a bath, give them a place to put it all, like this cute tray! I got this one at Target on clearance but you can get them virtually anywhere.

2. GIFTS FOR THE BEAUTY LOVER

If you have a friend who loves to primp and prime or is all about self-love (hallelujah), then they’ll love these gifts. Especially if they love to smell amazing. Santa will be jealous you thought of these first, well second I guess 😉

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Native Deodorant: If you’ve been a reader for a while, you know that I’ve tried every deodorant in the world and after my deodorant review, am now addicted to Native Deodorant. They’ll love that this smells great, and that it leaves them smelling great.

Formula 10.0.6 Pore Strips: With all the big work parties and family dinners or even if you have that hot holiday date (I do every year, hi hubs), you gotta make sure your nose is blackhead free! These Formula 10.0.6 Pore Strips clear out your pores and you’ll be walking with confidence, one nose ahead of everyone else.

Pacifica Perfume: This perfume is both vegan and cruelty-free and comes in a whole bunch of scents. Since perfume is a pretty personal choice, I would give them a fun “coupon” that you drew up yourself for them to go shopping with you and pick their own Pacifica Natural Spray. This means you can give a gift and set-up some time to hang out. Quality time: check!

Bath Bomb: This is a no-brainer. You can wrap this Whole Foods Bath Bomb up with a bottle of some good wine and one of their favorite movies and there you go: spa night! Maybe throw in a face mask too–see the next idea 😉

3. GIFTS FOR THE PERSON WHO NEEDS TO RELAX

Know someone that needs to relax or is always uptight? (um, hi). Then throw all of these into a cute little basket and wrap it up into their stocking and BOOM. I’m falling asleep just thinking about it I’m so relaxed.

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Bath Bomb: This is what I was talking about before! You can get festive and throw in an Asili Naturals holiday-scented bath bomb, like the pumpkin spice one above.

Asili Naturals Clay Mask: On my Friday Face-Off, we compared this clay mask with Glam Glow, and guess who won? You called it–this one is AMAZING! This Spirulina Clay Mask doesn’t smell like dirt like most masks (ahem Glam Glow), but smells amazing like lavender. #treatyofriend Throw in a makeup brush too, which makes applying pretty much any face mask much easier, and far less messy.

Handmade Natural Soap: When soap smells good, it makes a shower even more relaxing, literally feels like it’s melting away your stress.

With all of these ideas, you’ll be stocking stuffer royalty. Might as well buy a tiara when you’re out shopping for presents.

Question of the Day

What kind of stocking stuffers do you like? What is your favorite part of gift-giving? Share, please!

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Friday Face Off, Vegan and Cruelty Free Beauty

Friday Face-Off: Face Masks!

I don’t know about you guys, but this week has literally felt like an eternity. Am I 80 yet? Well, no but I dang sure feel a century older. Luckily, I’ve got self-love on my side. That’s right, I’m not afraid to admit that I’m working on loving myself, and a part of that if taking care of your skin so your inner glow can shine just that much brighter, and who am I kiddin, so we can look hella cute, amirite? So, Friday night = self-care because I really do have the soul of an 80 year old. Curling up with books and wine is my kinda Friyay. Anyways, it also means slathering on a face mask and scaring the hubs (what I do best). So to start your Friday night self-care routine off right, you need to have the right face mask on deck. Today, I’m reviewing a face mask from Glam Glow and a face mask from Asili Naturals (which ya’ll already know is my ride or die, but will it beat the godliness that surrounds Glam Glow?). Let’s put the two to the test!

1. Glam Glow

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Glam Glow definitely lives up to it’s reputation. This Glam Glow Supermud Clearing Treatment Mask feels cooling on the skin and is fairly easy to apply with a makeup brush. Fingers work too but it’s too messy, because it tends to dry up pretty fast.

Quality: After I put the Glam Glow face mask on, I left it on for 20 minutes. They suggest you leave it on for either 5, 10, 15 or 20 minutes, so I went with the latter because ya’girl needed some clearing. What’s cool about this mask is that it has something called a Pore-Matrix™ technology that show up as dots where it apparently extracted dirt as it dries. After it dried, I washed it off with warm (scalding) water and it felt smooth after that! I can’t tell if my face had less dirt on it or if the Pore-Matrix was life changing, but overall, I wasn’t mad at it.

Best Way to Apply: With a makeup brush.

Price: $24 for 0.05 oz/15g aka hella expensive.

Where to Buy: I bought mine at Sephora with a discount, but you can find it at various retailers, including Amazon.

VCF?: According to ethicalelephant, GLAMGLOW is not cruelty-free and they do test on animals when required by law. BOOOO.

2. Asili Naturals Spirulina Clay Mask

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As always, we can count on anything from Asili Naturals to be made from plant-based ingredients, and this Spirulina Clay face mask is no different.

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Quality: As you can see, this Spirulina Clay Mask is MUCH thicker in consistency and a little drier than the Glam Glow mask. It goes on the skin thick as well but spreads out pretty easily, again with a brush. It does harden and while it doesn’t have the Pore technology that Glam Glow has, I trust it’s working because it’s made for all-natural ingredients, specifically: Purified Water, Bentonite (Clay), Safflower Seed Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Jojoba Seed Oil, Citric Acid, Spirulina Pistensis (Spirulina) Powder, Lavendula Augustifelia (Lavender) Essential Oil.

I left it on my face for about 5 minutes (they recommend 1-5) and I washed it off with warm water after wards. I can honestly say that my skin felt like a baby’s butt, or what I imagine a baby’s butt would feel like.

Best Way to Apply: With a makeup brush.

Price: $24 for 12 oz/340g aka hella affordable. (Look at the size of the tub!)

Where to Buy: Ordering through Asili Naturals is the easiest.

VCF?: 100%!!!

The Verdict

Asili Naturals wins by a LANDSLIDE. That’s right, the famous Glam Glow mask has been dethroned. If you’re looking for a stocking stuffer or a fun “thinking of you” gift, you can never go wrong with self-care products, and this whole tub will last what will feel like a lifetime.

Question of the Day

What face mask is your favorite? Share with the VCF fam!

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Vegan and Cruelty Free Beauty

Vegan Skin Care Line: Shankara Naturals Review

If you follow a lot of vegan profiles on Instagram, then you’re probably no stranger to Shankara Naturals. I haven’t heard of them until I saw one of their ads on the ‘gram and after persistent viewings scroll after scroll after scroll, I decided to click “Shop Now” and look a bit more into their company. Before you say anything, no they did not send me anything. They actually offer a sample pack that’s really convenient for vegan bloggers and other commitment-phobes like me…for $10 and FREE shipping (hallelujar). So I added it to my cart and actually checked out (the latter of which is rare).

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You can pick from three lines and I opted for the one meant for people with oily skin, called Kapha. As listed on their site, the others are: Vata (Dry) and Pitta (Combination/Sensitive).

This travel pack comes with three tiny glass bottles about the length of your thumb and the width of your pinky. You get: Anti-Age Serum, Balance Treatment Oil and Muscle Release Oil. You also get two tiny jars and one larger jar. The two include the Balance Moisturizer and a Microcrystal Exfoliant. The larger jar is the Purifying Cleanser.

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I can tell you right off the bat that the best product out of all of these is the anti-age serum…unfortunately I found out that while this serum is cruelty-free, it’s not vegan (womp womp).

Actually, I learned that not all of their cruelty-free skincare products are vegan or cruelty-free. They spell it out in their FAQs:

Where do most of your ingredients come from? We source ingredients from all over the world, and manufacture here in the US.

Do you test on animals?No we do not. All products are PETA cruelty-free approved.

Are Shankara products Vegan? All products are certified vegan by PETA except that contain honey powder, yogurt and/or milk protein. These products are: Deep Cleanse Treatment, Anti-Age Serum, Moisturizing Mask, Dead Sea Salt Scrub and Allure Mineral Bath Salts.

Are Shankara products organic? We use many organic and wild crafted ingredients.

The balance oil though and the balance moisturizer are both fantastic! The serum (the one time I used it without realizing it wasn’t vegan) was actually really nice, and was tacky at first application but left my skin feeling taut. Now I’m curious to try their other serums, and with the right coupon, I just might!

Question of the Day

What new skincare products have you tried? What are you on the hunt for? I’m currently looking for amazing serum!

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Friday Face Off, Vegan and Cruelty Free Beauty

Friday Face-Off: Bath Bombs! Lush, Asili Naturals and Whole Foods

Bath bombs. No other time than fall and winter do baths with some chocolate and wine sound like the perfect way to end a night. Throw in a bath bomb and you’ve got the perfect marriage of perfumed water glistening with oils and nutrients to soak your skin in warmth. Let’s get real. Not everyone has time for baths these days. Whether you’re a #girlboss, a mom or both, baths can be a luxury. So today, we’re facing off three different bath bombs, so you don’t have to waste your time and money trying to choose which one to use! (I tried to stay fall-themed and get them all in the same scent, but Whole Foods didn’t have pumpkin (like how?))


1. Asili Naturals Pumpkin Spice Bath Bomb

FFO4-1We all know about my undying love for Asili Naturals. With that said, it was time to see if that love extends to their bath bombs.

I have to point out that this bath bomb, is 100% plant-based. How awesome is that? Ingredients:  Baking Soda, Citric Acid, Corn Starch, Witch Hazel, Coconut Oil, Pumpkin Spice Blend Essential Oil, Food-Grade Mica Powder

Once you drop it in the water, it fizzes and fills your room with the scent of pumpkin spice essential oil (move over PSLs!). It creates a good amount of bubbles and well, just feels natural you know?

Price: $3.00 for 1.85 oz.

VCF: 100%!

Ingredient Quality: 10/10 (7 ingredients)

2. Lush Bath Bomb in Pumpkin Bath-o-Lantern

Now, I’ve always liked the way Lush products look. This one in particular looks like a carved pumpkin, I mean come on s’ cute. But the con I have with Lush bath bombs (which is kind of also a pro) is that they’re so darn crumbly and hard. I could clearly use this one for multiple baths but how do you cut it exactly in half or a quarter and save the rest? I’ll leave that to my bath aficionados.

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This Pumpkin “Bath-o-Lantern” is a fizzer. This would be a great one for the kiddo’s bath time because it turns your bath water BRIGHT orange and it fizzes away turning your bathwater into Sunkist. As far as the scent goes, Lush describes it as, “a spicy-sweet pumpkin pie perfume full of exotic pimento, sweet vanilla and cozy, warming cinnamon.”

As fun as this bath bomb is, the thing that makes my spine tingle a little are the ingredients. I know that Lush is cruelty-free (AWESOME), but they could work a bit on what they put into their products. For example, this bath bomb has 15 ingredients, the last of which are Fragrance, Orange 4 and Yellow 8. Completely unnecessary, I think. The others are all naturally occurring ingredients in essential oils, is what they say so we’ll go with it. I guess it wouldn’t be that fun of a bath time without those last few ingredients! *shrugs shoulders*

Price: $7.75 for 7.0 oz.

VCF: 100%

Ingredient Quality: 7/10 (15 ingredients)

3. Whole Foods Fizzing Bath Bomb in Lavender Vanilla

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The Whole Foods Fizzing Bath Bomb is a fun and effervescent, yet all-natural way, to get your relax on in the bath tub. It feels soothing and fizzes nicely when you place it into the tub. The one downside though is that it didn’t create many bubbles (maybe I picked the one sad bath bomb and it wasn’t bubbly enough?), but the scent was still amazing.

As far as ingredient quality goes, it has 9 ingredients and none of that Orange 5 or Sky Blue 4 in it. All natural for the most part.

Price: $3.00 for 2.3 oz.

VCF: 90% Not all of their fizzing bath bombs are vegan since some are available in “milk and honey”

Ingredient Quality: 10/10 (9 ingredients)

The Verdict

Tie between Asili Naturals and Whole Foods! I would say Asili Naturals won by a thread because of their ingredients and product quality but Whole Foods is just a hair behind. The cost for quality is great for both, but I know exactly what I’m getting with Asili Naturals products AND I’m supporting a woman-owned business instead of a corporation which is always a thumbs up in my book.

Question of the Day

What are your fave bath bombs? What is your favorite part of your self care routine? Do share!

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Vegan and Cruelty Free Beauty

Vegan & Cruelty-Free Shampoo!

Lookout world–a head of shiny, gorgeous hair coming through! If you have dark hair that gets oily after like half a day (hello), then you know that you have to work your schedule and everything you do around when you wash your hair. Going on a hot date? Ok, need to plan to go to the gym before that so I can wash my hair and let it dry so I can look cute for dinner. The toss up is: How do I not wash it everyday?…because every news, book and Instagram post says it’s bad for us (it’s true). So with that said, I wash my hair every other day, and if I’m lucky, every two to three days. But the secret to maintaining a good lookin’ head of hair (aside from an awesome vegan diet), is what you wash it with!

I’ve tried the apple cider vinegar no-poo option, but all that really does is clean your scalp, and leave oily strands behind. It’s also hard to use that kind of no-poo method if you use styling products–and I use heat protectant, hair spray and mousse. Oil joins the party at times.

Back story done. Onto the main event. So what shampoo do I use to maintain some healthy, no split-end hairs? One I recently found, have been using for a while and am loving (it smells amazing and I secretly smell my hair like a creeper hourly).

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Hask brand products are new to me. TBH I picked it up at Target because I desperately needed shampoo and it was on sale (mind you, it’s still more expensive than Garnier, Herbal Essences and other popular brands for the amount you get). And to be real, I’m cheap so it’s actually not that bad at just $5.99 regular price. But once I got home and jumped in the shower, I immediately fell in love with the smell. This Orchid & White Truffle scent? UGH. STOP. SO GOOD.

Although I looked at it upwards and sideways before I bought it, I thought, this can’t possibly be VCF. So I looked into it. They’re definitely 100% cruelty-free! From their FAQs section:

“We definitely DO NOT test on animals! That’s terrible… I’m hurt that you even think we do – and my puppy Harley is offended too! We make sure our suppliers and vendors supply safety and regulatory information on our ingredients so we don’t run into any issues. We love our furry friends and would never do anything to harm them! (P.S. We’re glad you’re concerned about this too)”

Since some of their products contain honey, I can’t say that all of their products are vegan, but they seem pretty darn close.

As for the consistency, a little goes a long way I’ve found…which makes the extra bucks worth it in the end. I mean really, $5.99 ain’t bad.

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What are your favorite shampoos? I fell in love with one so quickly that I had to share!

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Vegan Food

What is Maca Powder & How to Use It

Always consult your doctor before considering new additions or supplements to your diet.

Maca powder. It sounds like the name of an ancient ruler and looks like dirt. So why is everyone going crazy over this finely milled powder? You don’t have to maca me tell you! #nerdlife #veganpuns

What is Maca? Maca is a plant that grows in central Peru in the high plateaus of the Andes Mountains. It is a relative of the radish and has been cultivated as a vegetable crop in this area for at least 3,000 years. – Webmd

Maca1Maca powder has a sweet-ish smell, reminiscent of butterscotch. You can easily use it in place of cocoa powder or chocolate. It makes a great addition to protein shakes for a mocha like flavor: Add a tablespoon to some almond milk with a banana and some chocolate protein powder (tsp. of coffee crystals optional), blend it up and MM-mm.

Ok, so it tastes good. I know what you’re thinking, But why do I want to put it in my body. My body is a temple, I mean come on.

Health Benefits of Maca Root Powder

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Rich in Vitamins and Minerals

According to Healthline, maca root is high in some essential vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, copper and iron. Because of these vitamins, it’s a great supplement when used in the right doses for people suffering from anemia.

Helps Balance Hormones

Rich in flavonoids, maca can help reduce anxiety and put you in a better mood. According to Wellnessmama.com, it is an endocrine adaptogen, meaning that it does not contain any hormones, but rather it contains the nutrients necessary to support normal hormone production. Because of it’s composition, it helps balance hormones and reverse hypothyroidism. Whoa.

Additional Benefits

Since it’s rich in vitamins and because it’s an endocrine adaptogen (throw that in someone’s face today), it’s a hearty root that may also help to*:

  • promote fertility
  • build muscle
  • increase stamina
  • relieve symptoms of menopause
  • boost energy
  • support prostate health
  • increase bone density
  • alleviate depression
  • boost libido
  • balance hormones

What to Look for When Buying Maca Powder

As always, quality matters. Sure you may pay more to get less, but that often means you need to use less, much like matcha powder [what my hubs thought I was talking about this whole time…maca, not matcha ;)]

1 – Date of Harvest

Not unlike other organic goods, you’re going to want to look for powder that’s been harvested within a few months of purchase. This plant can be grown as a perennial, so it really doesn’t have a “season.”

2 – Sealed for Freshness

Make sure it’s vacuum-sealed to preserve it’s quality.

3 – Color

Maca root comes in three different colors, kind of like potatoes. You have purple (black), white and red. The white/cream is the most popular, and so is the most affordable. No shade though, because it still have a high amount of benefits. According to gnowfglins.com:

  • Hormonally, the red (which is the sweetest tasting and has the highest phytonutrient levels) is recommended for women and the black for men.
  • Black is recommended for both men and women for these specific issues: muscle building and stamina.
  • Red is recommended for both men and women for these specific issues: energy, mental focus, depression, chronic fatigue, anxiety/stress, circulation, bone density, hair growth, and acne.

* Bullet list source

Question of the Day

What are your thoughts on maca powder? Have you tried it? Are you interested in trying it? What other natural supplements would you want to learn more about?

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Friday Face Off, Vegan Food

Friday Face-Off: Vegan Protein Shakes

If you’re like me, you don’t eat breakfast. It’s such a terrible habit, but hey, if you’re not hungry when you wake up, why force-feed yourself, #amirite? When I do feel that hunger creepin’ in though, I still opt for something light and liquidy. If tea and (vegan) creamer just isn’t doing it, I usually go for a vegan protein shake.

I normally make my vegan protein drink at home with some vegan protein powder, frozen banana, maca powder (more on this to come) and almond milk, but sometimes, ya just want to be lazy! As a busy boss lady, I need my on-the-go options, which brings us to today’s Friday Face-Off: Vegan Protein Shakes!

Halloween is just 4 days away and if you have kiddos or are throwing your annual Halloween chili cook-off or something, then you’re probably short on time. Hell if you wake up, you’re probably short on time these days (raises hand). Which is why aside from fruits or vegetables, protein shakes are a good option to keep you goin’! I decided to put three to the test. These three came up in my research as some of the best.

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Price. Each of these tetra-paks ranges from $2.50 to $3.50 depending on where you shop. I bought all three at Whole Foods. I personally think that’s a hefty price for 11 fluid ounces, of which all of these are. A pack of four is usually $12, so no real savings there either. I would check places (that aren’t Whole Foods), like Fresh Thyme, Sprouts or Jewel-Osco (Safeway) for when these items go on sale.

Now let’s go into the taste and nutrition of each separately with staged pictures that have nothing to do with the product (this one was a weird shoot, ya’ll).

1. Vega™

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Taste: Vega protein shakes are either a hit or a miss. This one though, was a bit of a both. The flavor is a BIT chalky, but otherwise it’s good. It has that almost fake chocolate after-taste to it, which actually doesn’t taste as bad as it sounds. 6/10.

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Nutrition: 1 carton is 170 calories, 4.5g of fat, 14g of carbs, 20g of protein and 7g of sugar. On the protein front, that’s a high protein to calorie ratio, which is always a good thing in my book. The protein comes from hemp, pumpkin seeds and peas. Looks like most of the sugar comes from coconut palm sugar and stevia leaf extract as well, aside from natural sugars.

When To Drink: I think this would be best to drink for breakfast or after a workout.

2. Evolve™

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Taste: You guys. Have you tried Evolve protein before? I haven’t had their powder, but these protein smoothies? Scrumdiddly yumptious. They’re smooth and taste like the flavor they’re supposed to. So far I’ve tried chocolate and the vanilla flavors above. I have “Mellow Mocha Flavored” staring me down for lunch today. 10/10.

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Nutrition: 1 carton is 150 calories, 0g of fat, 17g of carbs, 20g of protein and 6g of sugar. While this has just a couple more carbs than the Vega protein drink, it is a GREAT option for those on a low-fat, no-fat diet. I mean, those fat grams can seriously add up, especially when using this as part of a protein shake you make at home or something. After adding in all the fruits, veggies, powders, nuts and the kitchen sink, it can be a calorie bomb! With that said, this is pretty dang nutritious. As far as these drinks go, the ingredient list is much shorter than the other two.

When To Drink: I think this would be best to drink as a snack or before a workout because of the higher carb count.

3. Orgain Organic Nutrition™

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Taste: Um, no. It tastes as fake as fake protein powder gets. Personally, not a fan. But if you don’t mind that fake taste, then more power to you! It’s not as bad as I say it is #dramaqueen, but in contention with the others, it definitely fell short. 4/10.

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Nutrition: Ringing in at 220 calories, this protein drink is the highest in calories among them all. It also has 6g of fat, 25g of carbohydrates and 16g of protein. Nutritionally speaking, that isn’t the best ratio. It also has 9g of sugar.

Keep in mind that not ALL Orgain drinks are vegan. Some are made with whey protein. The good thing is, you can easily tell which are vegan and which aren’t: they tell you on the packaging itself.

When To Drink: Lower in protein and higher in carbs makes this more of a snack or meal replacement of sorts.

Verdict? …and the winner is…EVOLVE protein! Between the taste and it’s nutritional facts, this guy takes home the gold, some roses and maybe a teddy bear from the crowd. I think it’s well worth the price for the taste (although I would still have a hard time dropping $12+ for a case of 4–I’d run through that in no time). OK back on track–this is the good stuff.

Question of the Day

What protein drinks are your favorites? Do you have any go-to options? We’d love to know!

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Vegan Food

Kid (& boss lady)-Friendly Vegan Halloween Mummy Pizzas

So I’m not going to lie. I failed at this vegan pizza recipe. Well kind of. From the title of this post, I’m sure you’re expecting some pizzas that look like mummies. I can tell you now, (before you even scroll down), that my pizzas only barely resemble King Tut. What I CAN tell you though, is that they’re so dang darn delicious! So whether they end up looking like our favorite wrapped monster or not, this recipe is a fun option to get your kids in the kitchen, or just you for a #netflixandchill kinda night (no shame) and enjoy nearly guilt-free pizzas. Best of all, you only need 4 ingredients! What whaaaaat.

Mummyza1Ingredients

– Vegan cheese of your choice
– Sandwich thins, One Buns or English muffins
– Your favorite pasta sauce
– Pimento stuffed olives

Directions

I used 100-calorie One Buns, which make two pizzas each.

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Pull apart one bun into two, and spread about a tablespoon of pasta sauce onto each “pizza crust:”

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This is where things went disturbingly awry. You can take shreds of the cheeze you like and spread them out onto the pizza so it resembles the wrappings of a mummy. I tried this, and by the time I heated it, it looked more like … well a sprinkling of cheese than an ancient monster. On the left is with cold cheeze and on the right is what it looks like when I heated it up:

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You can either pop these (covered) in the microwave for 30 seconds, let them breathe, then another 30 seconds or into a small conventional oven for a couple minutes until the cheeze gets nice and gooey.

The secret to scary eyes comes from stuffed pimento olives. Chop them into little rounds, and place them near the top to make ghoulish peepers.

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Whether it looks like a mummy or not, these are SO yummy and best of all, they take maybe 5 minutes to make. We don’t have kids but I can see myself making them as little treats after a long day of work.

What are your favorite easy go-to meals?

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Vegan Food

Vegan & Cruelty-Free Halloween Candy

Figuring out how to enjoy a vegan Halloween can be tricky, especially since so many good-looking treats are filled with way too much tricks–no kid needs to eat chocolate filled with high fructose corn syrup or candies dyed with red 40 and other unnaturally-occuring substances…um, like why? So I did some digging and found some pretty easily accessible vegan and cruelty-free Halloween chocolate and candies to make every ghoul, witch and pokemon-dressed kid enjoy the treats you give out. The trick? They won’t be able to tell the difference.

  1. Unreal Brand Chocolates

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For healthy, well really I should say, “better for you” chocolate, Unreal will appeal to vegans and non-vegans alike. They have milk chocolate and dark chocolate options, and according to their website, ALL of their dark chocolate options are indeed, vegan. #raisetheroof. So instead of handing out Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, consider Unreal dark chocolate PB cups, dark chocolate gems and more! The one downfall? They’re pretty expensive–I bought mine at Fresh Thyme for $11.99 (a box of 20 treat packs). So this may be a good option if you only get a handful of trick or treaters to your doorstep. You can use their Store Locator to find a store near you–I called my Fresh Thyme before I went and he said they didn’t carry them–lies. Because they had them on display right as I walked in! So the Store Locator knows more.

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2. Little Secrets Chocolate

Little Secrets chocolate is a hit or miss. While they say you can’t really call their chocolates vegan (because they don’t own the factory where the sugar comes from), their ingredients say otherwise. According to their FAQs page, however, “[Their] Classic Dark, Raspberry, Sea Salted Peanut, and Seasonal Peppermint candies do NOT contain any dairy in the ingredients, while [their] Peanut Butter, Toasted Coconut, and Seasonal Spiced Pumpkin Pie do contain dairy.”

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These little packets seem to be a little hard to get your hands on. They may be worth it if you stumble across them at your local Whole Foods or other health food store.

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3. Surf Sweets

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It seems like all of Surf Sweets treats are either vegetarian or vegan. Unlike with the Little Secrets chocolates, you don’t even have to go through the trouble of reading the ingredients to see if they are, because it says right on the package: Vegetarian or Vegan. #lazyvegan

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These packets are maybe too big to hand out one-by-one to each ghoulish child that comes your way, but you may also get the reputation of being that house that hands out King Size candies! Either way, they make a great treat for your kids (or even you because come on face it we all want sugar) to have with lunch as Halloween nears. Get in that spirit, child!

What are your favorite Halloween treats? Share with us!

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Friday Face Off, Vegan and Cruelty Free Beauty

Friday Face-Off: Artis Makeup Brushes

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Artis makeup brushes disturbed the makeup industry and every Youtube Beauty Guru kind of lost their ish. Needless to say, I was part of that crowd, but I was also super skeptical. They do look kind of like toothbrushes, after all. So I decided to put them to the test.

Let’s start with the Artis brush. You’ll have to excuse the fact that I only bought one because…

Price. ONE Artis brush. That’s right, just ONE Artis brush ranges anywhere from $40 to $70. The one pictured below is the Artis Elite Smoke Oval 7 Brush, which costs $62, and closer to $65 with tax. I picked mine up at Nordstrom.

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Quality. Although the packaging is nice, it doesn’t feel like $70 packaging, whatever that may be. What I did like about the quality of the brush was the sturdy handle and the good balance it has. You can’t tell from the image below, but it’s balancing on just one of my fingers, so it has a good weight ratio.

Also, the bristles are really soft and the perfect amount of dense. It feels soft to the touch and smooths on makeup without leaving brush strokes behind. According to Nordstrom, it is made exclusively with CosmeFibre, a revolutionary engineered fiber made for applying cosmetic and makeup products.

FOF2-8VCF? With that said…yes! Artis is cruelty-free and vegan. The brand strictly believes against animal testing.

Now, let’s take a look at one of the many dupes on the market for the Artis brush. The one I purchased came in a kit of 10. It is the Yoseng Makeup Brush Set.

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Price. I bought this set of 10 Yoseng Makeup brushes on Amazon for $13.99. All of the brushes came in their own plastic sleeves, all packed in another plastic pouch. This pouch was in a black box and as with most Amazon purchases, it came unharmed and intact.

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Quality. I couldn’t believe it guys. When it comes to the quality of the bristles, it wasn’t a far cry from the Artis brush head. They felt just as soft and evenly spread my makeup…WITHOUT leaving brush strokes or brush hairs behind. I seriously couldn’t believe me eyes. Compared to my Real Techniques brushes, these brushes evenly smoothed the powder over my foundation and set everything into place. Btw, the Yoseng Makeup Brush set also comes in four color options: Black, Golden, Rose Golden and Silver. #notsponsored (seriously, how many times can I say that). I opted for the Rose Gold, only because it’s pretty and shiny, and ya girl’s a sucker for shiny.

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The one negative thing when it comes to the quality of these Artis makeup brush dupes is that the handle feels rather clumsy. I tried to take a photo of balancing it, but I wasn’t able to so that weight ratio simply isn’t there. Which, TBH, I’m not sure it matters. But when I was applying powder onto my face after prepping my skin with SPF face lotion and matte foundation, I felt like the handle may break at any moment–but only time will tell.

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VCF? According to the Amazon page, the material is high quality premium synthetic fiber, free from chemical treatment & hypo-allergenic & cruelty-free. So yes! They are!

Verdict? Purely based on price and quality for value, the winner is the Yoseng Makeup Brush set, with Artis super super close behind. If you’re thinking about splurging on the Artis makeup brush, I say go for it, BUT see if this type of brush is for you by purchasing a dupe first. And of all the dupes, this 10 brush set is solid.

What are your favorite VCF makeup brushes? Do you own Artis brushes and like them? What dupes have you tried?

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Vegan and Cruelty Free Beauty

Cruelty-free Eye Cream: Shea Moisture

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The skin underneath our eyes is some of the most delicate skin on our face, which means it can easily absorb whatever we put on it. Although I don’t have bags underneath my eyes or dark circles, my under eye area tends to be a bit sallow, and my genetics don’t give it the best reputation on the block. With that said, I set out to find a cream that will show my under eyes the love they need, without overwhelming my face with chemicals or animal cruelty ugliness.

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After trying high-end eye creams from Chanel, La Mer, Bobbi Brown and so many more, and realizing that they in fact test on animals, I hunted and I hunted hard for VCF eye cream that actually does what it says it will. I tried some from Pacifica, Rodan+Fields, Acure Beauty and more and found that this Shea Moisture Youth-Infusing Eye Cream was the best of them all.

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Quality. It definitely feels like a high-end eye cream, and I’ll tell you why. I’ve tried cheap eye creams, which are often more watery, and less…creamy if you will. This cream feels nice on the skin and absorbs quickly, just like my tried and true Rosehip Oil.

Texture. As you can see from the image below, it goes onto the skin like a light cream. What I like most about it is that it feels like a gel-cream consistency, so it’s neither slick like complete gel or heavy like face cream. It’s a good middle-ground. I usually follow this eye cream in the morning with my favorite cruelty-free SPF face lotion at the moment.

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VCF? Yes! This Shea Moisture Eye Cream is cruelty-free!

Ingredient Quality. While it’s not completely chemical-free like most big brand products, I thought it was nice to see that shea butter is the fourth ingredient. VCF Tip: The first five ingredients are the most potent in any product, including food.

Outside of the about 8 chemical ingredients in this Kukui Nut & Grapeseed Oils Youth-Infusing Eye Cream, the rest are extracts or oils that are packed with vitamins to nourish the skin. Overall, for ingredient quality, I give this product a 7/10.

Price. I bought mine at Target for $13.99, which I think is a great price for something that lasts so long–you only need a little of it at a time to go a long way.

What is your favorite VCF eye cream? What would you suggest for our other readers? Have you tried Shea Moisture before? #notsponsored but I wish. 😉

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Vegan and Cruelty Free Beauty

Cruelty-Free Makeup: Ace Beaute Eyeshadow Palette Review

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This cruelty-free eyeshadow palette has literally been haunting my Instagram feed since it came out in July. Since I follow a lot of vegan and cruelty-free profiles and companies, it’s no wonder that it showed up after every other post on my feed. But, TBH, I wasn’t mad at it because um, have you looked at it? It’s absolutely GORG. Why then didn’t I get it as soon as I set my big brown eyes on it? Because it has a hefty price tag (at least my frugal self thought so) of $38.99, and with shipping and tax, it comes out to around $45 depending on where you live. So if you’re like me, you do your research and let it haunt you for months to determine if it’s right for you. So here we are. Your review! (Believe me, you’ll order it after this).

AceBeaute3Price. With 16 colors, this $38.99 Ace Beauty Quintessential Eyeshadow palette ends up being far more affordable than most high-end quality eye shadow palettes on the market today. The palette it most mirrors in my opinion is the Huda Beauty eyeshadow palette, which is available for $65.

Color Range. With about one to two times around each pan, I was able to swatch these brilliant colors on my arms. Some are lighter than others, while others are more exquisite. Either way, it’s a good mix of matte and metallic eye shadows. You get 7 matte shadows and 9 shimmery shadows.

VCF Approved? The Ace Beauty Eyeshadow palette along with everything else they offer is indeed cruelty-free! I would definitely add this to my next round of Top Cruelty-free and Vegan brands.

Quality. As far as quality goes, they can be a little powdery, but not so bad that I’d complain about it, because the pigmentation seems to pay off.

AceBeaute4AceBeauty5Buy or Let It Go. The verdict? Buy! I would tell you immediately if it wasn’t worth it and I personally think these shadows are worth $40. They’re silky, soft and come off smooth on the skin.

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Would you buy this cruelty-free makeup palette? Did you buy it? What do you think about it? Share your thoughts with our VCF family!

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Friday Face Off, Vegan and Cruelty Free Beauty

Friday Face Off: Facial Cleansers (Soap)

We all want squeaky clean faces without hearing squeaks from harmed animals. With that said, today, we are starting off our FIRST EVER VCF Friday Face Off with facial soaps! What could be more fitting for a Friday Face Off than that, okurr?

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Let’s start with one of my tried and true favorite brands: Asili Naturals. If you’re new to them, Asili Naturals is a plant-based skincare line that, unlike others on the market, is so crazy affordable AND is actually truly plant-based. Unlike Origins or other brands that claim to be plant-based, Asili Naturals uses only the best and you can tell; not just when you use the product, but also when you take a look at the ingredient list.

It’s ALWAYS (I’d bet my life on it) whole ingredients. I mean check it out. All that’s in this Asili Naturals Face Soap (how cool is that–it’s handmade) is coconut oil, purified water, castor oil, sodium hydroxide, apricot oil and black seed oil shea butter. Ya’ll. That’s literally 6. Count ’em. SIX ingredients.

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I know what you’re thinking. Sodium hydroxide? That’s the one that’s unlike the others on that list. Well if you want to literally clean your face, sodium hydroxide is necessary. It’s a safe chemical agent used for saponification, or in layman terms, it’s used to dissociate dirt from water. The rest, like the coconut oil, apricot oil and all else are there to treat your face to the best of oil yummyness. I usually follow this up with some sort of facial oil and then slather my body with Asili Naturals body butter after.

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Let’s move on to the more commercial product, Dove Soap. TBH, I love Dove Soap commercials. They’re seriously so convincing, and what’s more convincing is that doctors often recommend it as a facial soap to people suffering with acne. And I’m not going to lie, I’ve seen the results: it works…that or my friend just has amazing genetics. I’m willing to bet on the latter. But when I really thought about it, I began to wonder–are they cruelty-free? Are they vegan? What’s in this soap? So I looked into it.

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14 ingredients, guys. FOUR. TEEN. That’s a LOT. And if you look closely at them, not one of them is a naturally occurring or plant-based substance. They’re all chemicals. When I realized this, my eyes about popped out of my head. Worst yet (sorry Dove), not one of those ingredients is an oil or a moisturizer to really treat and calm your face after ridding it of dirt.

Ok, no I lied. This is the worst yet. Dove is NOT vegan OR cruelty-free. So using Dove is like using soap that was used to torture a super innocent animal that thought it was just getting cleaned. Nope.

Verdict? Asili Naturals wins! AND it’s Bloo Certified.

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What’s your favorite facial cleanser or soap to use? Share with us below! Enjoy your weekend, everyone!

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Vegan and Cruelty Free Beauty

The Secret to Younger Skin: Rose Hip Oil

Everybody listen up because if you haven’t gotten on the body oil bandwagon yet, it’s time to climb aboard. Ok, so maybe body oil isn’t quite a “trend” really…I mean women have been putting baby oil on their bodies for decades. Only now, in the 21st century, we just made it sexier.

Body oil is by far the biggest and easiest life hack to getting the softest, smoothest and most supple skin. Sure it’s a little slippery at first, but that’s where I come in. I tested oils upon oils for ya’ll and I found one that finally sinks right in without leaving you looking and feeling like melted vegan ice cream (cherry garcia, anyone?). VCF Tip: Dry oils work best when you want something that absorbs quickly into the skin.

Unlike a lot of other natural goodness, each type of oil has different benefits, and today, we’re zoning in on one. Now let me let you in on Adriana Lima’s secret to her beautiful face (aside from the genetics)…rose hip oil! Top this off with some cruelty-free SPF face lotion and you’ll be aging backwards like Benjie Button.

BodyOil3Rosehip oil has many benefits. Now if you want to look like Adriana Lima, you probably need a little bit more than this magic in a beautiful bottle, BUT it’s a great place to start.

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Should you really put this oil on your face though? Uh, YES! Let me tell you why. It’s PACKED with anti-oxidants, which may as well be synonymous with anti-aging. It’s properties are also suuuuuper small, which means it can get into at least three layers of skin so it’s really working from the inside out. Even Livestrong.com knows what’s up: The vitamin C antioxidants stimulate collagen production, according to the Cleveland Clinic. It also helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles….and Vitamin A has small enough molecules to go deeper into the skin. It improves the skin’s moisture levels and reduces wrinkles and fine lines.

Put a little oil between your fingers and start patting into your face with gentle massaging motions. You can also use it all over your body to get that sexy J.Lo glow.

BodyOil1You can find this Measurable Difference Rose Hip Oil on Amazon for $20, but if you’re lucky, you can find it at your local T.J. Maxx for $5.99, which is where (thank the lucky stars) I picked it up, and fell in love. #notsponsored I’m 100% most definitely going back to stock up on more of their products to test out for you guys because who doesn’t like having baby butt soft skin, okurr?

Have ya’ll tried rosehip oil? What oils do you use and love? Share!

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And yes, this is #Bloocertified! What is #Bloocertified? My dog tests products worldwide and if it’s both vegan and cruelty-free, she gives it her stamp of approval, so look out for the image above to know if the product we’re reviewing is VCF!

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Vegan and Cruelty Free Beauty

Healthy Deodorant

UPDATE: I’ve since learned that Native Deoderant is not vegan, because it contains beeswax. Depending on your restrictions, you may or may not care for that ingredient, but just a heads up.

Healthy deodorant is so hard to come by. There are the ones that are aluminum-free that last for a good three minutes before I have to re-apply or find myself fanning the sweat out of my armpits–not the best look at your job interview.

Now can go into your interview with your game face on AND smell good with my favorite deodorant of all time. I tried some from Tom’s, Lavanila and other cruelty-free and vegan brands and this is by far the best one. Native Cosmetics even has deodorant for those with sensitive skin.

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In my experience, it lasts 3X longer. I usually sweat just sitting in one place and find that I don’t have to reapply until I get home and shower or until the next day. But like all the other healthy ones, this is also aluminum-free and their awesome scents last almost all day long. I often catch myself thinking, man what smells so good? It’s me guys. It’s me. Do yourself a favor and order. Best of all, you’re supporting a small-business.

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You can order here! #notsponsored but let them know I sent you! What is your favorite deodorant? Some work different on others, so maybe Tom’s or Lavanila IS your favorite! Unfortunately, they stunk for me, pun intended.

Vegan and Cruelty Free Beauty

Cruelty-Free Face Lotion with SPF

If you’re anything like me, you’re paranoid about having sunscreen, even on the snowiest and gloomiest of days (which really are the days when you should pile on the sunscreen)! Just like in my search for all other vegan beauty and vegan skincare products, this one was just as long and arduous. So, in comes Ulta and a resourceful blog. Logical Beauty has a really great reference list of vegan and cruelty-free brands at Ulta. Although Formula 10.0.6 is not on the list, I’ve done my research and learned that IS in fact, cruelty-free. This lotion is an affordable and cruelty-free option to avoid a leather-face, cause we are vegan after all (get it? leather…no?)

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Picture Perfect Day by Formula 10.0.6 truly is lightweight and hydrating without making you look like one of the putty men from Power Rangers (ya’ll ’90s children understand).

What I was especially looking for is a vegan and cruelty-free product, of course, but one that’s affordable. The skincare I’ve liked in the past was $60+ but with a vegan lifestyle also comes sustainability. Smart choices, ya’ll! I mean we have to save up for front-row seats to Beyonce #amirite?

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What is your favorite vegan/cruelty-free face lotion with SPF?

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Vegan Food

Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte!

As soon as the first leaf hits the ground and the little chill in the air prickles your skin, one thing comes to mind: Pumpkin Spice Latte! Ok, maybe a little more comes to mind first, but ‘cha girl right here LOVES fall and all the warm drinks that come with it. Unfortunately, the beloved Starbucks PSL is far from vegan, and actually has very little actual pumpkin in it…huh?

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Well now you can wrap up in your blanket and get ready to cozy up to a PSL this weekend, thanks to Silk! #unsponsored #Iswear #Silkpleasesponsorme

I splashed two servings of it (30 mL) into a cup of black PG Tips tea and oh. ma. gerd. Delicious. While this is probably amazing (in large quantities especially) in your morning cup of coffee, it’s actually REALLY good in black tea as well. I’m not a coffee drinker so, for all you tea lovers out there, this definitely gets two thumbs up.

Pumpkin Spice 3Although the ingredients in this aren’t as pure as everyone thinks vegans are ;), it’s certainly a guilty pleasure. But ya’ll it’s WAY better than drinking a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte I can guarantee that!

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I haven’t seen this offered in many places. I found it at my local Fresh Thyme market, which I believe is the same as Sprouts? (Correct me if I’m wrong).

What Fall drinks are you guys loving? What Fall drink alternatives would you like to see made vegan? Have a great weekend, everyone!

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Overbrooke Reversible Tote
Vegan Fashion

The most PERF Vegan Leather Tote

As a former designer obsessed fashionista, the hardest part about going vegan was getting rid of my leather luxury goods. Although my LV Neverfull was my pride and joy and most practical luxury purchase to date, I started to feel guilty ever time I used it. “It’s only a bag,” but also, “it’s leather…” would rack my brain over and over again. So I decided to just put it to an end, and find a replacement tote that I would love just enough to replaced my once beloved LV. After months of research and failed purchases…enter Overbrooke.

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Now my favorite color is blush pink, but let me tell you that it’s not just the gorg color of this Overbrooke Reversible Tote that you’ll go gaga over. It’s the material. It would fool even a cow. It’s by far, THE softest vegan leather I’ve ever felt. I mean, just look at how it slouches like a dream.

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I did a lot of research and went through a lot of purses before I found this one. It’s just the perfect size for me. For a comparison to the LV Neverfull, be sure to watch my YouTube haul where I compare the two.

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What’s your favorite vegan leather find? Share with us! I’m anxious to know, ya’ll!

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Vegan and Cruelty Free Beauty

Top 5 Vegan & Cruelty Free Skincare Brands

1. Asili Naturals

When I say this company is going to take over the world, I don’t think I’ve ever meant anything more. I mean, they. are. CRUSHING IT. Founder and CEO Trenise Watson makes these products in her own home with the help of her head chemist Dr. Moe, literally a doctor, ya’ll. What you’re getting is the purest of all that’s good for your skin.

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I first found Asili Naturals at Veggie Fest 2017 in Illinois. I bought the Shea and Lavender Body Butter, and let me tell you that angels sang while pigs flew because I NEVER thought I’d find a lotion as good as this. This was after trying numerous, I mean so many I can’t keep it straight, lotions. From Honest Company to independent brands, nothing sunk into my skin or moisturized it quite like Asili Naturals products, or smell as good.

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After this godly experience with the Asili Naturals Shea Butter lotion, I had to try their Coconut Body Butter. I mean you’d think they can’t hit a home run twice, right? WRONG. They did. It has little exfoliants that disappear instantly when it hits your skin, so it’s like exfoliating without drying your skin. I’m a big time fan guys. Give it a shot and I can guarantee you’ll feel the same. exact. way.

2. Acure

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I won’t lie, the Lancome Advanced Génifique Youth Activating Concentrate was my holy grail. Since Lancome is sold in China (China REQUIRES all of their skin care and makeup brands to test on animals–WTH?), I no longer support them or other such companies. Ugh. This is where things got rough, and bumpy. I literally got pimples testing things out for you guys (and myself) to match the insanely amazing quality of the Lancome serum. I went from Pacifica (more to come) to various oils, and so far, Acure beats them all. The CGF Oil Free Serum takes a while to sink into your skin, but goes on clean and you wake up without residue on your face–that’s a winner!

3. Native

I stink. I’ll admit it. I have a sweat problem. I can sit for hours at work, and even though all I’m doing is typing, I get up and see pit stains. I mean, come on! Do any of you have the same problem? Because if you do I found your new BFFF.

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So I tried deodorant after deodorant, and let me tell you, the journey was a rough, and wet one. Native Deodorant is the best by far, and it doesn’t include aluminum or any of those other nasty ingredients that sinks into your body. When I bought them, they only had 3 or 4 scents (Coconut & Vanilla and the Lavender are fab), but now they have 8! I started out with the sample pack which I HIGHLY recommend.

Do you guys realize how thin the skin in your armpits is? It’s like a direct pathway into your body, so you want to wipe on only the best.

4. Pacifica

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Photo c/o: http://www.pacificabeauty.com

Speaking of smelling nice, Pacifica has some of the best smelling lotions and perfumes without being laden with chemicals. Unlike with Soap & Glory (below) you can rest assured that everything and anything you buy from Pacifica is 100% vegan and cruelty free. To be honest, their skin care (like SPF lotion and face products) are lackluster but their lotions, perfumes and even their lip gloss are VCF.com certified! If you’re reading this now, you can get 3 perfumes for $50 and they’re normally $22 each! Just choose the three scents you want, then enter the code mypicks at checkout. #notsponsored #luckyfind

5. Soap & Glory

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While not all Soap & Glory products are vegan and cruelty-free (because they can’t guarantee their ingredients), a majority of their line is! Their lotions smell oh-so delicious. I added this brand to the list because they’re easily accessible! You can find them at Target and Ulta, and not only that, they work really well. Did I say they smell good, too? Yummy. Veganswapsie.com has an awesome list of what is vegan and cruelty-free from Soap & Glory.

What are your favorite VCF skincare products? Which of these would you try first? If you like supporting woman-owned small businesses, give Asili Naturals a try!

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