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

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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.

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

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Cruelty-free Makeup Favorites

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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.

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 Beeswax has been replaced by synthetic beeswax and lanolin has been replaced by Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladinpale-2.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

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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

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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

Foreo Luna Mini 2 Review

Foreo4Fam, I’ve bought so many versions of Clarisonic brushes, Clarisonic wanna be brushes and so many more face cleaning tools with little progress. In fact, they all did the opposite. They broke me out, didn’t seem to clean my pores out as much as promised and often left me with more work after (in the form of having to clean dirty brushes). Don’t get me wrong–I’m not knocking those of you who love their Clarisonic brushes! They’re a lot of people’s cuppa tea and they work amazingly for others! (just not for me). SO, I finally decided to try the Foreo Luna Mini 2 (thanks for the birthday gift, M-I-L! and not sponsored) for these reasons:

Foreo Luna Mini 2 Review – Size

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When Foreo first came out with their face brushes, they were (and still are) rather large, probably bigger than the size of my hand. I heard great things about them from the onset, but the size kept me from trying it. Fast forward several years, the Foreo now has new options: The Luna Mini, The Luna Mini 2 (what I have), the Play, the Play PLUS, the Mio and now the FoFo. I may even be missing a few options in that list. While the FoFo is their brand-spanking new version (and apparently can diagnose your skin’s state to some extent and has an app, I mean hello fancy), it seems a bit too small for me. I like the size of the Luna Mini 2 enough that I wanted to try it, and I can attest that I lurv it.

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Foreo Luna Mini 2 Review – Sonic Face Brush Type (Silicone vs. Bristles)

So I’m going to keep comparing it to the clarisonic because that’s probably it’s biggest (and most popular) competitor, and probably what most of you are debating between. Now that I can say that I’ve tried both, I can give you an honest review. After having tried many bristle face brushes (electronic and not), I can say that I honestly like the silicone “bristles,” which are actually nubs in the Foreo much more. They seem to irritate my skin far less. In fact, my face isn’t even red after I use it, but I know it’s working. How? I usually wipe a toner over my face after I wash and after the clarisonic, it still picked up some residue. After the Foreo–none. I know. I’m serious. Not to mention, my face felt as soft as a baby’s bum bum after I used it.

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Anyway, it has three zones, and the one that matters to me is the one on the back, meant for those of us with oily skins and my skin has already gotten less oily (I mean, can I get an amen?!). The Amazon description states: Fine silicone bristles on the front care for sensitive to normal skin, while thicker bristles along the top deliver precision cleansing in the T-zone. On the back, broad silicone bristles specialize in cleansing oily skin.

How It Works

This is the easy part. It vibrates for a total of 60 seconds. After every 15 second interval, it almost buzzes so you know to move from one zone to the next, with each zone being: your left cheek, your right cheek, your forehead, and your t-zone. I follow that about 80%. After the 60 seconds is over, it buzzes three times but keeps going. I then run it under the water while it’s still vibrating and it cleans RIGHT. OFF. I hate (abhor) cleaning brushes and this is the easiest it’s ever been.  

According to the Amazon description:

The LUNA mini 2 uses the power of T-Sonic pulsations to effectively cleanse deep below the skin’s surface. With 8 adjustable intensities and 3 zones of varying touch point thicknesses, it is suitable for all skin types.

The LUNA mini 2 removes up-to 99.5% of dirt and oil, dead skin cells, unclogs pores and removes makeup residue.

In Summary

Price: $139 on Amazon, $139 on Sephora.

I like the Foreo Luna Mini 2 face brush because:

  • The Luna Mini 2 is much smaller than it’s former iterations (the older ones are larger than my hand).
  • It’s rechargeable (unlike the Play which only lasts for a certain number of uses).
  • It’s made of silicone so it can’t grow bacteria (as far as I’ve read–please correct me if I’m wrong).
  • It’s soft and gentle on the skin because it uses vibrating nubs.
  • How much do you need this? 9/10 mostly because of the price. If it were $50 cheaper, then you need this 11/10.

Question of the Day

What sonic face brushes have worked for you guys? Or do you go the traditional route with simply soap and hands?

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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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Vegan and Cruelty Free Beauty, vegan lifestyle

February Favorites: Makeup & Skincare

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February had the shortest amount of days, felt like it would never end, and yet when March 1st came around I was like, “Where did February go?” Clearly, 2018 is off to a weird start. Thankfully, I can’t say the same about all the products I’ve been trying so far. Aside from the Tarte Shape Tape Foundation, I’ve found so many holy grails and we’re only 2.5 months into the year #winning. Memo to self: remember unforgettable foods for March Favorites (stay tuned–check back in March too!)

Skincare & Makeup Favorites

1. Kat Von D Lock-It Foundation

Nothing helps you realize what’s best in your life until you try it’s terrible, terrible counterpart (of sorts). I tried new foundations and kept going back to the Kat Von D Lock-It Foundation. I’m convinced now that it really is that good. Go to Sephora stat and get a sample to try, and tell them you want a week’s worth because you’re worth it but really because you know your paycheck could go to Sephora in one fell swoop. According to the Kat Von D website, the foundation is part of their #veganalert product line, and I believe their entire brand is cruelty-free.

I bought mine from Sephora.

MFB2. Acure CGF Oil-Free Serum

You can’t tell in the picture above but that bottle of serum is empty to the last drop. I literally pulled it out of the trash for you guys (you’re welcome). I alternate the use of this serum with my rosehip oil every night. The reason I love this serum so much is that I can truly tell the difference in my skin the next morning when I didn’t use it. While I would 100% buy this again, I’m too much of a “need for change” type of girl, and want to try a new serum. Any recommendations?

According to ethicalelephant, Acure is a cruelty-free brand, but not all of their products are vegan (the CGF oil-free serum happens to be): Acure Organics is certified cruelty-free by Leaping Bunny and PETA Beauty Without Bunny Program. This ensures Acure Organics products and ingredients are not tested on animalsduring any stage of product development and manufacturing. Acure Organics also does not sell in foreign markets that require animal testing by law.

I bought mine at Fresh Thyme but you can buy it on the Vitamin Shoppe as well, and select Target locations.

3. Fresh Sugar Lip Caramel Hydrating Balm

The best part of waaaaking up, is Fresh Sugar Balm on your lips (don’t lie, you said that like you were singing the Folgers jingle.) While I won’t buy this again because I am uncertain if Fresh is vegan and cruelty-free, I did enjoy nourishing my lips with the smell of dulce de leche every morning. My husband didn’t mind it either 😉

According to the Fresh website, the entire brand is cruelty-free (woop woop): As a result, all Fresh products undergo very strict tolerance tests using non-animal methods during the development of each product to ensure quality and safety prior to market. 

However, ethicalelephant found otherwise, so I’ll leave it to you to make that decision.

I bought mine last year at Sephora.

Bath & Body Favorites

4. Asili Naturals Bath Bomb

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After a looooooong day, what’s better than some cuddles, Netflix, wine and maybe a bath? I love how these Asili Naturals bath bombs smell (so subtle and not overly fragrant) and best of all, I can definitely feel softer skin. I made hand soap out of the lavender bath bomb one and lurv it.

You can order them on the Asili Naturals site and in select stores throughout Wisconsin.

Random Favorite

5. Dr. Jaikaran’s Herbodent Toothpaste 

I wasn’t sure which category this should go under so it got it’s own. While I’m not 100% if this is vegan, I know with certainty that it is 100% vegetarian (and most aren’t!), according to their site. My uncle-in-law (??) gave this to me, and I used it a couple of times (and I will probably leave it for guests to use because I am uncertain if it’s VCF), but if you are transitioning to a vegan lifestyle, and can’t find a vegan toothpaste you like, the Herbodent toothpaste might be the perfect stepping stone. You can buy it on Amazon.

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Questions of the Day

What is your favorite VCF serum? What would you recommend? What were your February favorites?

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Vegan and Cruelty Free Beauty, vegan lifestyle

How to Turn a Bath Bomb Into a Cruelty-Free Shower Gel

If you love the idea of taking baths but don’t have a bath tub fit for a queen like you, or want to enjoy your bath bomb without having to take a bath because some of use just don’t have the time to luxuriate (hi!)…then this SUPER EASY DIY is for you! I’m completely devoid of the DIY gene so the fact that I can even do this says something. Without having to film, this would’ve taken me like 5 minutes to do. Watch the video to find out how to turn your favorite bath bomb into shower gel. No surprise that I used one from Asili Naturals, but you can use any you have.

NOTE: One thing I would do after mixing, is to let the solution settle for up to an hour before pouring into your bottle. Enjoy!

Watch the video here:

Bath Bomb DIY
How to turn a bath bomb into a shower gel

Question of the Day

How else do you use your bath bombs? Do you get creative?

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