monthly favorites, Vegan and Cruelty Free Beauty, Vegan Cruelty Free, vegan lifestyle

September Favorites

The leaves are changing colors and while I hate (like a lot) to see Winter come, I LOVE any opportunity to throw on my boots, a scarf and some cozy sweaters. Yes, I’m a #basicb*@$h and proud of it. Fall always reminds me of that line from You’ve Got Mail where Tom Hanks (aka Joe Fox) tells Meg Ryan that it reminds her of a big bouquet of new pencils: “Don’t you love New York in the fall? It makes me want to buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address.”

Anyways, as we’re transitioning from Summer to Fall, I’ve loved these throughout the month of September.

1. Tom Ka Kai soup

I’ve legit made this vegan Tom Ka Gai soup (aka Tom Ka Kai, Tom Ga Kai) three times last week, and each time it lasted just a little under a week. Guys. It’s SO good. I suggest adding as much lemon juice as possible so it’s nice and acidic. Is your mouth watering? Mine is! Also, I just load it up with veggies. I also used the regular coconut milk in a can, but I suggest the low-fat version so that it’s not as rich.

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2. Trestique Lip Crayon

I’ve been on a lip binge lately. This lip crayon goes on so smooth, and it gives your lips just the right amount of shade and gloss. LOVE IT. If you want the best of both worlds (lipstick and lip gloss), definitely give Trestique lip crayons a shot.

But Samantha, are they VCF? Definitely cruelty-free! Are they vegan? Here’s the answer on the Trestique FAQs:

WHAT IS YOUR INGREDIENT PHILOSOPHY?

We believe in high tech, high performance makeup. Why? Because you get better color, smoother application and longer lasting results. trèStiQue is free of parabens, synthetic fragrances and petro chemicals. We infuse our products with natural plant ingredients wherever possible, such as coconut oil, which is why we know you will love them! Most importantly our products are never tested on animals and everything is made with love.

3. NYX Lip Gloss

If you can’t wear lipstick because it literally wears off once you blink, then you’ll love this NYX butter gloss as much as I do. In “Tiramisu” it’s literally a your (or my) lips but better. It’s pretty much the same color as my natural lips but make them hella juicy–your welcome. I personally think it’s the perfect substitution for chapstick (which isn’t at all good for your lips).

Is NYX vegan

While not all NYX produts are vegan, they do have a vegan dedicated line. Check it out here!

Is NYX cruelty-free?

According to their website, they are. BUT they are owned by L’Oreal Cosmetics, which is not cruelty-free. (WHY!!!)

4. Hair Protectant

I seriously think I have hair protectant to thank for how long and thick my hair has gotten in the past few months alone. Stay tuned this week for a post on how to get strong, long and thick hair. Hello #hairgoals! I’m still on the search however for an amazing (and good smelling) hair protectant that’s VCF, so if you know of any, please comment your recs below! Appreciate ya.

Is OGX cruelty-free?

According to their site:

Are OGX® products tested on animals?

OGX® does not initiate animal tests on either finished products or ingredients whether directly or indirectly. All ingredients used are carefully monitored. All suppliers are requested to confirm that their materials have not been tested on animals. Ingredients which do not have this data supplied for them are not used in any products. OGX® is against the suffering endured by animals when ingredients and products are tested. We support suppliers and organizations that are developing alternative methods of testing without using animals.

5. Book I’m Currently Loving

Image result for an american marriage book
Photo c/o: Chicago Review of Books

I’ve been starting a new feature with  monthly favorites, and that’s my favorite book of the month! Ya’ll can judge me, but it’s definitely The Secret! It changed my life, and I have the book to thank for taking my already positive self to a whole new level and understanding. If you’re not into it, I also really loved An American Marriage. 

Questions of the Day

What book are you loving lately? Any change to your routine that you’re loving?

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Vegan and Cruelty Free Beauty, Vegan Cruelty Free, Vegan Food

August 2018 Favorites

Well, Fall is upon us, which means there are a LOT of Fall favorites ahead. I figured I would kick of September with a recap of Summer…an ode to the glory days before the cold hits.

Ember Mug

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If you’re like me, you take forever to finish your hot beverage. I sometimes heat up a cup of tea, and leave it and forget about it, only to greet it hours later with an, “…oh yeah.” This mug uses smart technology (and it has an app–what!) to control your temperature and keep it at that temperature. Too hot? You can use the app to cool it down and set it at the exact temperature you prefer. It is the absolute first world answer to a first world problem, which should only be reserved really for the top 1%. Well now, we can live like the Beyonce’s and the Gates’ 😉

Born a Crime – Trevor Noah

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This was my local book club’s book of the month, and I highly recommend it! It’s a really insightful look into Trevor Noah’s life as a child growing up in apartheid South Africa. It reads more like little anecdotes, as if you met Trevor at a bar and he’s just telling you some stories from his life. Very well done. 10/10 recommend.

Favorite Vegan Food

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Sesame Seeds

I put sesame seeds on pretttty much EVERYTHING. It’s zero calories and offers a TON of flavors. Next time you eat something bland, toss some sesame seeds on it (and maybe some sriracha) and you’re golden.

Veggie Wavy Chips

…are way better than the veggie straws (like serious pass). I make my dinner into a dip of sorts and eat it with a bag of these chips (which are labeled vegan and are only 130 calories per bag). Otherwise, we have them on the side with our vegan burgers!

Vegan Chickpea Patties

…speaking of burgers, these patties are amazing! They carry them at Costco, and I’m SO proud that they are carrying a lot more vegan options. Even in their cafeteria! They have a vegan salad and acai bowls too. What? #mindblown

Foreo Luna Mini 2 Face Cleanser

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This face cleaning tool seriously leaves my face feeling SO soft. I talked about it in this full review here, and I still love it.

Barefoot Dreams CozyChic “In the Wild” Throw

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I wasn’t able to find is Barefoot Dreams blankets are cruelty-free, but what I have learned is that it is 100% worth it. It’s the SOFTEST blanket I’ve ever wrapped myself in, and am low-key looking forward to Winter just so I can walk around the house in it…even more than I do now.

Question of the Day

What are you loving this month?

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Gift Guides, Vegan and Cruelty Free Beauty, Vegan Cruelty Free, Vegan Fashion, vegan lifestyle

VCF Labor Day Sales

When I was a little kid, my mom would pore through weekend flyers like it was her weekly task. We would pile up all of the flyers on the floor and my brother, mom and I would sit in a circle, like a kumbiya trust circle of ads. She would look through each ad (back to front), then pass it on to me. I did the same, then passed it on to my brother. This is why I associate Labor Day sales with Macy’s (10% cash back through eBates), and nothing vegan or cruelty-free in particular. Now that I’m an adult (some might disagree), I look through Target ads every Sunday, and grocery ads to look for vegan and cruelty free deals…but are there really vegan Labor Day sales or cruelty-free Labor Day sales? Yes! Take advantage of the sales below to get the most bang for your hard-earned bucks. The list is short but powerful!

Asili Naturals: Asili Naturals is having a End of Summer Sale. 40% off their entire site, now through September 16th. Use code: ENDOFSUMMER at checkout.

Kat Von D: Up to 40% off cult products + Free vegan leather makeup bag, compact mirror, Mini Tattoo Liner in Trooper Black and Mini Studded Kiss Creme in Lovecraft when you Spend $75

Lime Crime: Receive 40 percent off site-wide.

Passport to Organics: Free Hyaluronic Vegan Milk Toner with purchases over $75

Primal Life Organics: 10% Off 100% Organic, Gluten-Free, Vegan Skin Care with code DRSUZHEALS

PUR Cosmetics: Everything from this cruelty-free brand is 20% off with code LABOR.

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Vegan and Cruelty Free Beauty, Vegan Cruelty Free, vegan lifestyle

L.A. Girl PRO Matte Foundation Review

The search for a vegan and cruelty-free foundation and makeup in general continues, but my hunt for a VCF matte foundation specifically seems endless. For the past month or so, I’ve been testing the L.A. Girl PRO Matte Foundation (not sponsored) as an affordable alternative to a lot of the higher-end (mostly NOT VCF) foundations out there, so that you can make your transition to a vegan lifestyle much easier. I bought mine at Ulta (you can use coupons on it!) for get this, $8.99…and that was pre-coupon. I mean. Come on! I thought it was too good to be true, so I put the foundation to the test, for more than one month straight.

LA Girl Pro 6

1. CONSISTENCY

This foundation is easily thick and creamy and offers a medium to full-coverage. It doesn’t really feel like I’m wearing a ton of makeup and doesn’t look cakey which is nice.

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2. LONGEVITY

Not going to lie, I had high expectations for this foundation, and it didn’t deliver. It looks great at first, but after about a couple hours, I had splotches on my face where the foundation pooled with my oil–should my blog have had a “graphic” disclaimer? Sorry but I had to test it for you guys and that’s exactly what happened! This is why I think this foundation is better off for those who have normal/combination skin.

FYI–I touched up with powder maybe 3-4 times in my usual 10-hour day at the office alone to cover up the grease.

3. QUALITY

Between an “eh” and a thumbs up to be honest. I was, however, surprised by how good the quality is for the price. I did like that it came with a pump though!

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4. COLOR RANGE

LA Girl Pro 5

This L.A. Girl foundation only comes in 14 color options–such a bummer. I bought cafe at first, which was FAAAR too dark. This should’ve been named Burnt Toast because that’s what your girl looked like, and what’s worse, no one told me. #rude.

So I switched it up and went a shade lighter, which was much better. If it didn’t wear off an hour later, I’d be a sucker for this foundation.

5. VEGAN & CRUELTY-FREE FOUNDATION?

Cruelty-free? According to their FAQs: Please be assured that we do not test on animals. Beauty 21 Cosmetics (their parent company) is a proud member of the cruelty-free PETA organization.

They also wear the Cruelty-Free logo on their website! *Praise Be*

Vegan? L.A. Girl is not 100% vegan, although some of their products are. You can contact them to get a full list of their vegan products. I.E. some of their products contain beeswax.

OVERALL

TBH guys, I would pass. The color that eventually matched me looked beautiful, but that was it’s only redeeming feature. Needless to say, I do not use this foundation anymore.

RATING: 5/10 because of it’s initial beauty.

Would I recommend you buy it? Pass if you have oily skin. If you have normal to combination skin, this may be a win for you.

PRICE: $8.99 for 1 oz. I bought mine at Ulta.

QUESTION OF THE DAY

How do you keep your makeup in place all day? Do you guys touch-up at all?

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Vegan and Cruelty Free Beauty, Vegan Cruelty Free

Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation Review

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My search for the perfect foundation continues. But first, let me set the stage in case you’re a new reader:

  1. I have oily skin.
  2. I have a brown complexion with red undertones in some areas.
  3. I could have smaller pores.

So what does perfect mean to me? A foundation that doesn’t move around even after a long day on the job, keeps me looking matte and doesn’t oxidize. Well it turns out that these three things are a TALL order for your every day foundation. Not to mention I’m totally entitled and need a foundation with SPF to protect me from all the sun’s realness. Not much right? Wrong.

My search brought me to the Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage 12-Hour Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15 Sunscreen. Now that name sounds like it covers alllll of my three bases, so I put it to the test. Here are my results:

1. CONSISTENCY: What “Clay” Foundation Feels Like.

The foundation is middle in consistency between watery and thick, however probably leans more on the #thick side (hi!).

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2. LONGEVITY: Does Tarte Foundation Really Last 12 Hours?

This is where I was gravely disappointed. For the first day, it seemed to work fine. I tested it both with a primer underneath and without, however the primer didn’t seem to make that much of a difference. Note: This may have worked awesome for you and let me say that I am totally jelly of you for that, but I do have oily skin, so keep that in mind.

It lasted for about 2 hours before it started to move all around the place. I touch my face when I’m thinking or just taking a pause between projects. Why? No clue. But then I go to the restroom and I what look like little nicks on my face where my foundation moved. It literally sat on top of my skin and didn’t stick to anything. That said, it didn’t necessarily feel like I had a lot of makeup on so that’s a plus.

3. Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation QUALITY

I think the quality is definitely there! It really make my skin look great (I always set my foundation with the same powder), even if it lasted all of two hours. As far as ingredients goes, this one is fantastic when it comes to sunscreen. Both titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are mineral sunscreens, which are much better than the other ingredients on the market that are complete with fillers such as: oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate.

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4. Full-Coverage Foundation COLOR SELECTION

There are 40 color options to choose from, which is a lot more than I can say for your run-of-the-mill drugstore options! I color matched as 44S Tan Sand, and I think it was actually a little bit dark for me, so I replaced it with 40H Tan Honey, which worked out much better. It also didn’t oxidize orange, but I did find that it settles in a bit darker than what you see out of the tube. That may have just been me. Otherwise, I would say err on the side of a lighter shade to find the perfect match.

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5. Is Tarte Foundation VEGAN & CRUELTY-FREE?

Kind of!

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Cruelty-Free? When asked if Tarte is cruelty-free, they say: tarte cosmetics is a cruelty-free cosmetics line. tarte makeup and skincare is never tested on animals.

Vegan? When asked if Tarte is vegan, their answer is: many of our products are vegan! At the bottom of every tarte product page in the tarte shop there is an ingredient listing where you can find the ingredients to the products you’re interested in. tarte cannot guarantee that any ingredients or products were produced in an allergen free environment.

With that said, this Amazonian Clay 12-hour foundation is vegan-friendly, and it is one of  many makeup options that are in their “Vegan Friendly” collection: #notsponsored

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Source: Tarte.com

OVERALL

I would recommend this foundation not at all for it’s longevity, but for the quality if you’re looking to smooth out your complexion for a couple hours. A dinner? A photo shoot? A short outing? Perfect. Anything longer than that just didn’t gel with me.

RATING: 6.5/10 because of it’s longevity, otherwise I think it would be a solid 8.5!

Would I recommend you buy it? I think it’s worth a shot to see if it works with your skin.

PRICE: $39 for 1.7 oz. I bought mine at Ulta.

QUESTION OF THE DAY

Do you use this foundation? How do you use it? What do you love about it? If it works for you–you’re so lucky!

Also, if you’re interested in reviewing certain products, let me know which and what you would like to see about them! These other reviews might give you some ideas.

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