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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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!



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.


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.


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 😉


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 😉


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.


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!

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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


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

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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.



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!

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Vegan and Cruelty Free Beauty

Vegan Skin Care Line: Shankara Naturals Review

If you follow a lot of vegan profiles on Instagram, then you’re probably no stranger to Shankara Naturals. I haven’t heard of them until I saw one of their ads on the ‘gram and after persistent viewings scroll after scroll after scroll, I decided to click “Shop Now” and look a bit more into their company. Before you say anything, no they did not send me anything. They actually offer a sample pack that’s really convenient for vegan bloggers and other commitment-phobes like me…for $10 and FREE shipping (hallelujar). So I added it to my cart and actually checked out (the latter of which is rare).


You can pick from three lines and I opted for the one meant for people with oily skin, called Kapha. As listed on their site, the others are: Vata (Dry) and Pitta (Combination/Sensitive).

This travel pack comes with three tiny glass bottles about the length of your thumb and the width of your pinky. You get: Anti-Age Serum, Balance Treatment Oil and Muscle Release Oil. You also get two tiny jars and one larger jar. The two include the Balance Moisturizer and a Microcrystal Exfoliant. The larger jar is the Purifying Cleanser.


I can tell you right off the bat that the best product out of all of these is the anti-age serum…unfortunately I found out that while this serum is cruelty-free, it’s not vegan (womp womp).

Actually, I learned that not all of their cruelty-free skincare products are vegan or cruelty-free. They spell it out in their FAQs:

Where do most of your ingredients come from? We source ingredients from all over the world, and manufacture here in the US.

Do you test on animals?No we do not. All products are PETA cruelty-free approved.

Are Shankara products Vegan? All products are certified vegan by PETA except that contain honey powder, yogurt and/or milk protein. These products are: Deep Cleanse Treatment, Anti-Age Serum, Moisturizing Mask, Dead Sea Salt Scrub and Allure Mineral Bath Salts.

Are Shankara products organic? We use many organic and wild crafted ingredients.

The balance oil though and the balance moisturizer are both fantastic! The serum (the one time I used it without realizing it wasn’t vegan) was actually really nice, and was tacky at first application but left my skin feeling taut. Now I’m curious to try their other serums, and with the right coupon, I just might!

Question of the Day

What new skincare products have you tried? What are you on the hunt for? I’m currently looking for amazing serum!

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Vegan and Cruelty Free Beauty

Vegan & Cruelty-Free Shampoo!

Lookout world–a head of shiny, gorgeous hair coming through! If you have dark hair that gets oily after like half a day (hello), then you know that you have to work your schedule and everything you do around when you wash your hair. Going on a hot date? Ok, need to plan to go to the gym before that so I can wash my hair and let it dry so I can look cute for dinner. The toss up is: How do I not wash it everyday?…because every news, book and Instagram post says it’s bad for us (it’s true). So with that said, I wash my hair every other day, and if I’m lucky, every two to three days. But the secret to maintaining a good lookin’ head of hair (aside from an awesome vegan diet), is what you wash it with!

I’ve tried the apple cider vinegar no-poo option, but all that really does is clean your scalp, and leave oily strands behind. It’s also hard to use that kind of no-poo method if you use styling products–and I use heat protectant, hair spray and mousse. Oil joins the party at times.

Back story done. Onto the main event. So what shampoo do I use to maintain some healthy, no split-end hairs? One I recently found, have been using for a while and am loving (it smells amazing and I secretly smell my hair like a creeper hourly).



Hask brand products are new to me. TBH I picked it up at Target because I desperately needed shampoo and it was on sale (mind you, it’s still more expensive than Garnier, Herbal Essences and other popular brands for the amount you get). And to be real, I’m cheap so it’s actually not that bad at just $5.99 regular price. But once I got home and jumped in the shower, I immediately fell in love with the smell. This Orchid & White Truffle scent? UGH. STOP. SO GOOD.

Although I looked at it upwards and sideways before I bought it, I thought, this can’t possibly be VCF. So I looked into it. They’re definitely 100% cruelty-free! From their FAQs section:

“We definitely DO NOT test on animals! That’s terrible… I’m hurt that you even think we do – and my puppy Harley is offended too! We make sure our suppliers and vendors supply safety and regulatory information on our ingredients so we don’t run into any issues. We love our furry friends and would never do anything to harm them! (P.S. We’re glad you’re concerned about this too)”

Since some of their products contain honey, I can’t say that all of their products are vegan, but they seem pretty darn close.

As for the consistency, a little goes a long way I’ve found…which makes the extra bucks worth it in the end. I mean really, $5.99 ain’t bad.


What are your favorite shampoos? I fell in love with one so quickly that I had to share!

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Friday Face Off, Vegan and Cruelty Free Beauty

Friday Face-Off: Artis Makeup Brushes


Artis makeup brushes disturbed the makeup industry and every Youtube Beauty Guru kind of lost their ish. Needless to say, I was part of that crowd, but I was also super skeptical. They do look kind of like toothbrushes, after all. So I decided to put them to the test.

Let’s start with the Artis brush. You’ll have to excuse the fact that I only bought one because…

Price. ONE Artis brush. That’s right, just ONE Artis brush ranges anywhere from $40 to $70. The one pictured below is the Artis Elite Smoke Oval 7 Brush, which costs $62, and closer to $65 with tax. I picked mine up at Nordstrom.


Quality. Although the packaging is nice, it doesn’t feel like $70 packaging, whatever that may be. What I did like about the quality of the brush was the sturdy handle and the good balance it has. You can’t tell from the image below, but it’s balancing on just one of my fingers, so it has a good weight ratio.

Also, the bristles are really soft and the perfect amount of dense. It feels soft to the touch and smooths on makeup without leaving brush strokes behind. According to Nordstrom, it is made exclusively with CosmeFibre, a revolutionary engineered fiber made for applying cosmetic and makeup products.

FOF2-8VCF? With that said…yes! Artis is cruelty-free and vegan. The brand strictly believes against animal testing.

Now, let’s take a look at one of the many dupes on the market for the Artis brush. The one I purchased came in a kit of 10. It is the Yoseng Makeup Brush Set.


Price. I bought this set of 10 Yoseng Makeup brushes on Amazon for $13.99. All of the brushes came in their own plastic sleeves, all packed in another plastic pouch. This pouch was in a black box and as with most Amazon purchases, it came unharmed and intact.


Quality. I couldn’t believe it guys. When it comes to the quality of the bristles, it wasn’t a far cry from the Artis brush head. They felt just as soft and evenly spread my makeup…WITHOUT leaving brush strokes or brush hairs behind. I seriously couldn’t believe me eyes. Compared to my Real Techniques brushes, these brushes evenly smoothed the powder over my foundation and set everything into place. Btw, the Yoseng Makeup Brush set also comes in four color options: Black, Golden, Rose Golden and Silver. #notsponsored (seriously, how many times can I say that). I opted for the Rose Gold, only because it’s pretty and shiny, and ya girl’s a sucker for shiny.



The one negative thing when it comes to the quality of these Artis makeup brush dupes is that the handle feels rather clumsy. I tried to take a photo of balancing it, but I wasn’t able to so that weight ratio simply isn’t there. Which, TBH, I’m not sure it matters. But when I was applying powder onto my face after prepping my skin with SPF face lotion and matte foundation, I felt like the handle may break at any moment–but only time will tell.


VCF? According to the Amazon page, the material is high quality premium synthetic fiber, free from chemical treatment & hypo-allergenic & cruelty-free. So yes! They are!

Verdict? Purely based on price and quality for value, the winner is the Yoseng Makeup Brush set, with Artis super super close behind. If you’re thinking about splurging on the Artis makeup brush, I say go for it, BUT see if this type of brush is for you by purchasing a dupe first. And of all the dupes, this 10 brush set is solid.

What are your favorite VCF makeup brushes? Do you own Artis brushes and like them? What dupes have you tried?

Let us know! What would you like us to test out next for Face-Off Friday?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?


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.


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.


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.


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.

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

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Vegan and Cruelty Free Beauty

The Secret to Younger Skin: Rose Hip Oil

Everybody listen up because if you haven’t gotten on the body oil bandwagon yet, it’s time to climb aboard. Ok, so maybe body oil isn’t quite a “trend” really…I mean women have been putting baby oil on their bodies for decades. Only now, in the 21st century, we just made it sexier.

Body oil is by far the biggest and easiest life hack to getting the softest, smoothest and most supple skin. Sure it’s a little slippery at first, but that’s where I come in. I tested oils upon oils for ya’ll and I found one that finally sinks right in without leaving you looking and feeling like melted vegan ice cream (cherry garcia, anyone?). VCF Tip: Dry oils work best when you want something that absorbs quickly into the skin.

Unlike a lot of other natural goodness, each type of oil has different benefits, and today, we’re zoning in on one. Now let me let you in on Adriana Lima’s secret to her beautiful face (aside from the genetics)…rose hip oil! Top this off with some cruelty-free SPF face lotion and you’ll be aging backwards like Benjie Button.

BodyOil3Rosehip oil has many benefits. Now if you want to look like Adriana Lima, you probably need a little bit more than this magic in a beautiful bottle, BUT it’s a great place to start.


Should you really put this oil on your face though? Uh, YES! Let me tell you why. It’s PACKED with anti-oxidants, which may as well be synonymous with anti-aging. It’s properties are also suuuuuper small, which means it can get into at least three layers of skin so it’s really working from the inside out. Even Livestrong.com knows what’s up: The vitamin C antioxidants stimulate collagen production, according to the Cleveland Clinic. It also helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles….and Vitamin A has small enough molecules to go deeper into the skin. It improves the skin’s moisture levels and reduces wrinkles and fine lines.

Put a little oil between your fingers and start patting into your face with gentle massaging motions. You can also use it all over your body to get that sexy J.Lo glow.

BodyOil1You can find this Measurable Difference Rose Hip Oil on Amazon for $20, but if you’re lucky, you can find it at your local T.J. Maxx for $5.99, which is where (thank the lucky stars) I picked it up, and fell in love. #notsponsored I’m 100% most definitely going back to stock up on more of their products to test out for you guys because who doesn’t like having baby butt soft skin, okurr?

Have ya’ll tried rosehip oil? What oils do you use and love? Share!

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And yes, this is #Bloocertified! What is #Bloocertified? My dog tests products worldwide and if it’s both vegan and cruelty-free, she gives it her stamp of approval, so look out for the image above to know if the product we’re reviewing is VCF!

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Vegan and Cruelty Free Beauty

Healthy Deodorant

UPDATE: I’ve since learned that Native Deoderant is not vegan, because it contains beeswax. Depending on your restrictions, you may or may not care for that ingredient, but just a heads up.

Healthy deodorant is so hard to come by. There are the ones that are aluminum-free that last for a good three minutes before I have to re-apply or find myself fanning the sweat out of my armpits–not the best look at your job interview.

Now can go into your interview with your game face on AND smell good with my favorite deodorant of all time. I tried some from Tom’s, Lavanila and other cruelty-free and vegan brands and this is by far the best one. Native Cosmetics even has deodorant for those with sensitive skin.

Native Deoderant

In my experience, it lasts 3X longer. I usually sweat just sitting in one place and find that I don’t have to reapply until I get home and shower or until the next day. But like all the other healthy ones, this is also aluminum-free and their awesome scents last almost all day long. I often catch myself thinking, man what smells so good? It’s me guys. It’s me. Do yourself a favor and order. Best of all, you’re supporting a small-business.

Native D Packaging

You can order here! #notsponsored but let them know I sent you! What is your favorite deodorant? Some work different on others, so maybe Tom’s or Lavanila IS your favorite! Unfortunately, they stunk for me, pun intended.