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 Beeswax has been replaced by synthetic beeswax and lanolin has been replaced by Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladinpale-2.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. ❤ ❤

blog-signature

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?

blog-signature

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!

blog-signature

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?

 

 

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?

blog-signature