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.

TKKFinalNoBread

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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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.

LA Girl Pro 2

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!

LA Girl Pro 3

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, Vegan Fashion, vegan lifestyle

Current Vegan Cruelty-Free Favorites {Skincare, Makeup & Fashion}

If you’re like me you live for a good monthly favorites post. Well, I figured a current favorites will quench your thirst for such a post, so I’m sharing what I’m currently loving!

Current Vegan, Cruelty-free Skincare Favorites

scfaves1.jpg

You already know my love for rosehip oil, I mean it’s practically the fountain of youth bottled into a pretty package [not verified ;)] and after trying various serums, I’ve gone back to it. I don’t know why I ever left. Sorry RHO. I usually put it on after I wash my face with the Foreo Luna Mini 2 and swipe some Thayer’s Witch Hazel all over my face (which according to Thayer’s, does not test on animals).

Also, I’m always looking for some awesome body soap. After trying some from Fresh Thyme and Whole Foods, I’ve realized I really love the one from Trader Joe’s. It smells AH-MAY-ZING.

LSFront

Best of all, according to Peta and product packaging, Trader Joe’s does not test on animals.

LavenderSoapBack

Cruelty-free Makeup Favorites

highlighter

The major highlight (pun intended) of the past couple of months was rediscovering the ELF Highlight and Bronzer duo. Note, I do not even touch the bronzer. It has zero color pay off, which means this duo is only half worth it but really the highlight makes it totally 100% worth it. I know that made no sense. Roll with me.

highlighterswatch

You can’t really tell from the picture above but you really have to rub through the top sheen of the highlight to get through to the gold. It’s perfect for my bronze-skinned goddesses–it shows up perfect on my brown skin tone! Adding a little bit goes a long way, and while it comes off a bit chunky at first, it actually blends in quite nicely. BUT use a little bit. I put some on the tops of my cheekbones and on the tip of my nose #shinebright.

Best of all, according to ELF, “We do NOT test on animals or endorse such practices. Our products do not contain animal derived ingredients. Beeswax has been replaced by synthetic beeswax and lanolin has been replaced by Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladinpale-2. We currently support HSUS and are partners with PETA in the Caring Consumer Project.”

RT

The Real Techniques sponge is also a favorite–you can tell by how dirty it is (sorry–I swear I cleaned it but that brown shade just doesn’t go away). According to their site, they are cruelty-free, “Our products are 100% cruelty-free. We never test products on animals.”

Cruelty-free Fashion Favorite

lotuslava

If you know me in person, you know that I’m always changing up my bracelets. BUT ever since my then boyfriend (now hubs) bought my me first LotusandLava bracelet at the Phoenix Farmer’s Market some 4 years ago, I’ve been a loyal customer. I probably own upside of 15 bracelets from her shop and continue to be a LAL lover. In fact, I used to treat myself to one every time she had a sale or just cause. I often go to these as the perfect gifts for people for any occasion or no occasion at all.

The ones I showed above sparkle so amazingly in the sunshine. The bottom is a goldstone bracelet, of which she has a different variation now on etsy. The top is my absolute favorite. It’s dark green, but when it hits the light, it shines like the night sky. I have this in a dark navy too that shines just the same.

Question of the Day

Do you like these kinds of posts? Would you like to see these on a monthly basis from me? Thanks as always for your kind support! You’re the reason I do what I do. ❤ ❤

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

VCF Beauty Review: Tarte Busy Gal BROWS Brow Gel

Happy Thursday, ya’ll! Or to some, it’s more like, “it’s not Fri-yay, yet?” and to be honest, I’m definitely team Fri-Yay. This week has been a doozy, a truly busy one. While my days are usually long and filled with a never-ending to-do list, this week seemed especially crazy. Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve hit a milestone birthday and feel the need to keep the fact that I’m aging out of my head or just that…I’m one busy gal (nice segue, Sam).

But in reality, I am busy, and the only time I really get to myself is at 5:00 in the morning, where I allow myself 30 minutes to get ready (shower included) and read for 30 minutes before I head to work. SO I wanted to take some time away from beautifying myself and add it to reading. Cue busy gal BROWS (not sponsored–I swear). I wanted to be able to do my brows effortlessly without wondering if my eyebrows make me look surprised one day and angry the other. But–did this Tarte brow gel deliver?

Tarte Brow Gel

At first, I found it both hard and easy to use. Let me explain. The product doesn’t come out with much color on the brush, but it packs it on a tiny but at the very top of the brush. SO as I brush it through my brows, I find that the tip of the brush leaves product where I don’t want it. If you figure out how to distribute the product throughout your brush, it’s actually fairly effortless to use.

TarteBrowGel4

The downside is in the color pay off–there isn’t much payoff. I often have to dip my brush back into the tube 4 to 5 times for each brow. The swatch on the left is of the brush just touching my hand. The swatch on the right is what it looks like when I swiped it across–see what I mean about the uneven distribution?

TarteBrowGel5

What is surprising however is how easy it is to define my brows! It actually helps shape it quite nicely, however I do use a pencil to just outline them a bit.

Price: $18. I got mine at Ulta in the shade black brown.

Vegan? Yes! Tarte claims this is vegan friendly. It says so right on the packaging!

Is Tarte vegan?

Also, according to the Tarte site: many of their 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.

Is Tarte cruelty-free?

According to TarteFAQs, tarte cosmetics is a cruelty-free cosmetics line. tarte makeup and skincare is never tested on animals. However, according to ethical elephant, they’re owned by a parent company, Kose, that is not cruelty-free.

Is the Tarte busy gals BROWS brow gel worth it?

I give the product a 6.5/10. Mostly because it’s hard to get color and because of the color distribution. It does however last for a while and once you get the hang of it, it’s actually quite easy to use.

Question of the Day

If you could choose between doing only your lashes or only your eyebrows for the rest of your life, which would you choose?

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