Uncategorized, Vegan and Cruelty Free Beauty

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:

Screen Shot 2018-01-31 at 2.00.39 PM

Question of the Day

What is your favorite face mask? 

blog-signature

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…

12.11post1

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

12.11post3

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

12.11post2

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!

blog-signature

Uncategorized

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!

Blog Signature

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!

SS1

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.

SS3

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 😉

SS4

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.

SS2

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!

Blog Signature

 

 

 

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

FFO5-2

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

Screen Shot 2017-11-17 at 5.15.00 PM

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.

FFO5-5

FFO5-6

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!

Blog Signature

 

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.

FFO4-3

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

FFO4-4

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!

Blog Signature

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?

FaceOff1-6AN

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.

FaceOff1-5AN

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.

FaceOff1-2Dove

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.

FaceOff1-3Dove

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.

Screen Shot 2017-10-13 at 6.29.52 AM

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

Blog Signature

 

 

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.

Asili Lotions

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.

Asili Coconut Body Butter

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

Acure Serum

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.

Native Deodorant

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

Screen Shot 2017-09-23 at 4.15.15 PM
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

S&amp;G Lotion

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!

Blog Signature