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 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).

Shankara1

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.

Shankara2

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!

Blog Signature

 

Vegan and Cruelty Free Beauty

Cruelty-free Eye Cream: Shea Moisture

EyeCream3

The skin underneath our eyes is some of the most delicate skin on our face, which means it can easily absorb whatever we put on it. Although I don’t have bags underneath my eyes or dark circles, my under eye area tends to be a bit sallow, and my genetics don’t give it the best reputation on the block. With that said, I set out to find a cream that will show my under eyes the love they need, without overwhelming my face with chemicals or animal cruelty ugliness.

EyeCream2

After trying high-end eye creams from Chanel, La Mer, Bobbi Brown and so many more, and realizing that they in fact test on animals, I hunted and I hunted hard for VCF eye cream that actually does what it says it will. I tried some from Pacifica, Rodan+Fields, Acure Beauty and more and found that this Shea Moisture Youth-Infusing Eye Cream was the best of them all.

EyeCream4

Quality. It definitely feels like a high-end eye cream, and I’ll tell you why. I’ve tried cheap eye creams, which are often more watery, and less…creamy if you will. This cream feels nice on the skin and absorbs quickly, just like my tried and true Rosehip Oil.

Texture. As you can see from the image below, it goes onto the skin like a light cream. What I like most about it is that it feels like a gel-cream consistency, so it’s neither slick like complete gel or heavy like face cream. It’s a good middle-ground. I usually follow this eye cream in the morning with my favorite cruelty-free SPF face lotion at the moment.

EyeCream5

VCF? Yes! This Shea Moisture Eye Cream is cruelty-free!

Ingredient Quality. While it’s not completely chemical-free like most big brand products, I thought it was nice to see that shea butter is the fourth ingredient. VCF Tip: The first five ingredients are the most potent in any product, including food.

Outside of the about 8 chemical ingredients in this Kukui Nut & Grapeseed Oils Youth-Infusing Eye Cream, the rest are extracts or oils that are packed with vitamins to nourish the skin. Overall, for ingredient quality, I give this product a 7/10.

Price. I bought mine at Target for $13.99, which I think is a great price for something that lasts so long–you only need a little of it at a time to go a long way.

What is your favorite VCF eye cream? What would you suggest for our other readers? Have you tried Shea Moisture before? #notsponsored but I wish. 😉

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

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.

BodyOil2

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!

Screen Shot 2017-10-11 at 2.31.59 PM

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!

Blog Signature

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.