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!

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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!

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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): 

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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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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:

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Question of the Day

What is your favorite face mask? 

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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!

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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

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

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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

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!

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