It was really hard to narrow everything down, but I think these products defined my beauty routine for 2012 very well:) I tried to give (more…)
Archive for the ‘Review’ Category
With the holidays right around the corner, I thought it would be the perfect time to give some unique gift ideas that feature artisans and small businesses, prominently featured on etsy. The best way we can help the economy is to vote with our dollar. We should encourage those who take the time to create things by hand and care about their customers. As a small business owner and creator of Pumpkin and Poppy Cosmetics, I truly value those who have supported and encouraged me and I would like to return the favor by promoting others who are doing something truly special.
Note: Not everything created by each company is 100% vegan, so please read product listings and ask the shop owners if you have any questions.
I have purchased soap from Chasity several times. High quality, moisturizing vegan cold pressed soaps, palm oil free which is great for our orangutan friends! She also only uses essential oils to fragrance her soaps which is better for our senses and bodies than fragrance oils. She also sells fragrance free soap for those of you with skin sensitivities. I love her gift set for a perfect holiday gift. $42 for cleansing oil, body scrub, 2 bars cold pressed soap, and lavender bath salts.
This company has the perfect holiday gift set for vegan bath product connoisseurs. I purchased this for one of my family member’s this year and it came in an cardboard gift box with multicolored cotton twine, so it’s ready to go! You also get to choose the scents (which are all essential oils) for your bar soap, lip balm, and shampoo bar.
Boy Girl Party (http://www.etsy.com/shop/boygirlparty):
Adorable is the only way I can describe the illustration work of Susie Ghahmerani. Her designs feature owls, foxes, dogs, and even Dinosaurs! Her designs are printed on everything from journals, necklaces, to do lists, and even t-shirts! Incredibly fast shipping and great products at affordable prices.
Poppy and Pippa (http://www.etsy.com/shop/PoppyandPippa):
Perfect stocking stuffers for the long haired amongst us of all ages. These hair ties are made to be snag free and gentle on the hair and come in a mind boggling amount of colors. I don’t know about you, but I love practical and thoughtful gifts like this; I am also forever losing hair ties, I don’t know about anyone else.
I have not personally purchased anything from this shop as it is a new-found discovery, but I fully intend to! It’s tough to find vegan knit-wear as most of it contains wool or silk. This company uses 100% vegan yarns and fibers and has great customer feedback. Everyone who lives in a colder climate always needs a quality pair of mittens or stocking cap
Chic, everyday jewelry is how I would describe the Edor aesthetic. I have 2 necklaces that I wear on a daily basis. They are made with high quality metals so they are built to last. They also go with everything in your wardrobe!
Leah Hoffman Jewelry (http://www.etsy.com/shop/LeahHoffmanJewelry): Leah is a friend of mine and is where I go for custom pieces. All of her jewelry is one of a kind and she uses many different techniques. My favorite pieces from her are her Viking knit bracelets and copper swirl rings. She is great about taking custom requests as well.
Online Store: www.solsticescents.com
I’ve heard some wonderful things about an independent bath and beauty brand by the name of Solstice Scents. I never used to be big on bath and beauty products, probably because my first experience was with plastic, fake smelling drugstore and Bath and Body works scents. I do tend to enjoy a wide variety of scents, but I have my favorite scent notes: sandalwood, vanilla, amber, cedarwood, patchouli (when well blended), , clove, coconut, basil, orange, grapefruit, cinnamon, pumpkin, coffee, chocolate.
I’m not a huge floral fan, but I find if they are balanced and blended nicely with an earthy or spicy element I tend to enjoy them more. Favorite florals: rose oil (when not too overpowering), violet, magnolia, neroli blossoms, champa flowers, and jasmine. I despise lilac and honeysuckle, they give me a headache. I want to include this information as I know that scent is very personal. If you have the option, I highly recommend trying out samples if you are new to perfumes or are trying out a new company.
Packaging and Shipping: These items shipped to me very quickly, I’d say within a week and a half from the day I ordered them which is excellent for an independent company. The items came very well packed in a sturdy, compact brown box with cute crimped, colorful packing paper. The order came with a business card, bookmark, and promotional postcard; very well thought out and consistant with the aged, alchemy inspired look the company is going for. The perfume oils come in a elegant, frosted cobalt blue rollerball bottles with antiqued labeling with a neatly handwritten label. You can tell the owner puts a lot of pride in her products and it shows.
Vegan and Cruelty-Free: This is a cruelty-free company with a thorough vegan list available on their site. A company gets major points if they clearly list which of their products are vegan and which are not. This helps immensely and eliminates some of the headache from vegan beauty shopping:
Here is the vegan statement from their F.A.Q.:
Our Ganache, Burnishing Glace, Botanical Toners, Home Fragrance Oils, Glycerine Soap (with the exception of the Botanical Beauty Bar, which contains honey), Sugared Amber Scrubs, Turbinado Scrubs and Whipped Soaps are all Vegan. The Dead Sea Salt Oatmeal Milk Bath is not Vegan as our coconut milk contains casein, a milk protein. The Oatmeal Face Masque and Exquisite Face Masque are not Vegan as they contain Honey Power and Coconut Milk Powder. Our Perfume oils are all Vegan with the exception of Inquisitor, which contains beeswax absolute.
Pricing: Prices, for perfumes, range from about $9-15. The more common fragrances, clearance, or single note scents are around $9. The more complex and unique the fragrance, the more they cost…everything is very fairy priced for .35 oz of product.
Scent First Impressions:
Nag Champa (website description: An Exotic Incensey Blend of Champa Flowers, Vanilla, Jasmine & Spices) : This is definitely my most “hippie” fragrance I’ve tried, but I actually really do like this. This is a strong, powdery sweet kind of floral..its a very popular incense type of fragrance, this is the fragrance Bob Dylan likes to burn at some of his concerts, as well as being a favorite of the Grateful Dead. This is probably why its so strongly attributed to the hippie counter-culture, but it is actually a traditional Indian based fragrance. A little goes a long way with this fragrance. It has a powerful throw and very nice longevity. I can see this being overpowering if you use to much of it.
Night Star (website description: Ceremonial resins, patchouli, cold and spicy nutmeg, warm sandalwood and a touch of lemon, orange and clove meld together to create a dark, dry, resinous, earthy and spicy aroma.): This perfume is marketed as a winter/holiday scent, but I think it would work well year round. The top note is nutmeg, but the lemon really perks this up and keeps it fresh. The patchouli in this is subtle, which I like. I like when patchouli is used to ground a scent, but doesn’t over power it. This is a fresh and spicy scent with a bit of coldness too if that makes sense. The nutmeg is strong in this, so if you aren’t a fan of nutmeg, you probably won’t like this.
Spellbound Woods (website description: a soft, incensy blend of vanilla, sandalwood, cedar, and amber): This type of fragrance blend is one of my personal favorites. I have a very similar scent from One Hand Washes the Other, so I wonder if its a “type” kind of perfume oil? Its such a wearable and earthy vanilla fragrance. This is for those of you who love vanilla, but aren’t crazy about sugary sweet vanilla scents. I really love the way amber warms up a scent and I agree with the insence description. There is a light, woodsy smokiness to this that keeps this scent grounded. I think this would work on both sexes and I could see this being a perfect scent for body lotions (which she also offers in her shop).
Cenobite Sample (website description: A deep Vanilla Bean which has a slight boozy liqueur note on application mixed with a pile of fresh vanilla beans and a sultry, smooth, rich and creamy French Vanilla. Lovely for layering. This is not a sweet frosting/sugary/buttery vanilla, it is a sophisticated, pure and deeper vanilla bean scent.) I LOVE this…its a deep, mysterious vanilla. I agree that this will be wonderful for layering with other scents, or just on its own. I will be ordering a full size of this for sure!
Overall impression: 9/10 I think the pricing is fair, and packaging is lovely, and the perfume oils I tried were very high quality. I think I need to try some of her more complex scents to give this shop a true 10/10 since 2 of my scents of choice were more common fragrance types that can be found in many different shops. I really like that she includes a free sample with each order. She has a drop down menu so you can choose exactly what you want to try out which is a nice feature. The website is easy to navigate and is also well organized. I can’t wait to try out some of her bath and body products in the future, I’m very pleased to have found this site!
I personally contacted the animal friendly cosmetics company, Beauty Without Cruelty, to ask if they’d like me to do a review for any of their products. I was interested in doing a review for this company because I think they need more attention in the beauty community. Not only are they a cruelty-free company, they are focused on creating quality vegan products using ingredients that are good for the skin. I was sent their fragrance free body lotion and a tube of their vegan lipstick, one of the most difficult to find items in a vegan makeup lovers collection.
The lipstick shade I selected to try was Natural Infusion Moisturizing Lipstick in the shade Ripe Cherry. The first thing I noticed was the packaging; its gorgeous with their famous swan heart logo pattern on the tube. The packaging is sleek and black, definitely high-end quality. They don’t use any artificial flavorings in the lipstick, so you will taste a bit of the jojoba oil, but I personally enjoy products that are more natural. The formula of the lipstick is less emollient than I’m used to, but once applied it stays on the lips for a good 4-5 hours without touchups. I’d compare the feel and wear a bit to a matte lipstick, but it does have has a bit of shimmer to it. It is not a drying formula, although I’d recommend applying a bit of lipbalm underneath to keep the lipstick from sticking to dry spots on the lips. The color is a vibrant, buildable bright pinky warm-toned red; it’s a perfect shade for the summer nights out on the town. Its hard to find vegan red lipsticks, so this shade is a winner for me. In the future, I’d like to try out different finishes and colors. If I had one criticism, I’d like to see the company have better online swatches so its easier to decide on your color selection as well as the formula of the lipstick.
The next product I was sent to try out was their fragrance-free lotion. The lotion is made of natural, organic ingredients. It doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals or fragrances which were the main reason I wanted to try this product out. I have very sensitive skin and it’s hard to find fragrance lotions. This product is completely free of animal byproducts and the only smell that is detectable is the natural fragrance of the oils included in the lotion. On the bottle, it suggests adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil of choice, which is a great idea! The lotion sinks into the skin rather quickly, which makes it great for everyday. It is moisturizing without being greasy; also, because its fragrance free, it won’t interfere with any perfume you decided to wear. I’m not sure if its’ moisturizing enough for super dry, winter weather, but I think this will be my go to lotion for the spring and summer. Its reasonably priced for the quality of the product, so I definitely see myself repurchasing a full size of this product when the sample runs out.
This company has great customer service and sound ethics which are important factors to consider as a contentious consumer. I feel good buying their products, especially since they are one of the original companies who were dedicated to ending animal testing in the cosmetic industry. Not only do they not test their products on animals, most of their product line is entirely vegan! They have a full line of color cosmetics as well as skincare and haircare. I definitely intend on purchasing more from this company in the future and I hope you will consider checking them out at their website: www.beautywithoutcruelty.com
I’ve been testing out this product for the last few weeks, and I have to say my skin is loving the natural ingredients in this! I was originally interested in trying this product out because I was looking for a more natural alternative to a chemical based color foundation. I have sensitive skin, so it is essential for me to use gentle skincare products. I also have a very difficult skin type; I have an oily t-zone and flaky chin and forehead.
Active: Titanium dioxide. Organic aloe vera gel, glycerine, isopropyl palmitate (from palm wax), saccharide isomerate (natural sugar), organic sunflower oil, TEA palmitate (from palm wax), kaolin, magnesium silicate (a natural mineral), organic extracts of chamomile, calendula, cetyl alcohol (emulsifier), lecithin, flower wax, iron oxides, phenoxyethanol, natural fragrance.
The ingredients in this product were the main reason I decided to purchase this product. I am familiar with all of the ingredients and can actually pronounce them! Foundation is a something you wear everyday, over the entire surface area of your face. Your skin is your largest organ, and drinks up the ingredients in the foundations you wear. Many liquid foundations contain known carcinogens and harsh chemicals, so keep that in mind when you are shopping for your cosmetics.
I’m now in my mid twenties, and I want to insure that my skin stays fresh, young, and cancer free. I also tend to break out if I apply too many products underneath my foundation, so I try to look for products that already contain UVA/UVB protection in them. Using multi-tasking products helps you save money too! Ecco Bella’s Flowercolor Foundation contains SPF 15 from the Titanium Dioxide; this is decent amount of protection for normal, everyday use. If I’m going to be outside for long periods of time, I would need to apply a higher SPF sunscreen though.
I’m fairly impressed with the color selection on this product. The colors tend to be more neutral, leaning a bit more towards yellow toned skin if anything. The color I selected is their lightest shade, Bisque. This is the perfect summer shade for my light skintone. I don’t know if it would be light enough for my skin in the winter months, but I could always mix in a lighter tinted moisturizer, like my Kiss My Face TM in Manilla. There are seven colors in this product line: Bisque, Ivory Porcelain, Light Beige, Natural, Linen, Tan, and Mocha. This foundation has a great range of colors from pale to the darker skin-tone range. I would recommend purchasing a shade lighter than you think you’d need.
Cruelty-free & Vegan
This foundation is 100% Cruelty-free and a vegan product, which is always a requirement for me!
Overall Impression 4.5/5
I wear Hard Candy Sheer Envy Primer underneath this product, which helps prolong the wear of this foundation. On its own, it lasts a good 5 hours without touch-ups which is a fair amount of time. The finish has a natural glow to it, without making my skin look greasy. I like to apply a translucent powder of top to keep the finish more natural. It evens out my skintone, probably because of the moisturizing ingredients (glycerin and aloe vera gel). This makes it perfect for my combination skin, as I get a balance to my skin without having to apply too many products underneath, which can contribute to breakouts.
This product definitely gets points for being made of natural ingredients, and I don’t feel bad about wearing this product everyday. It is a water-based formula and doesn’t clog my pores or cause breakouts at all, I’m very pleased! If I could offer any criticism, I would suggest that Ecco Bella get rid of the original formula of this foundation, as it still contains parabens. Make sure to get the Flowercolor formula if you puchase this product. It is also a bit on the pricey side at $22.50 retail. The most affordable price for this product is on the website, vitacost.com, at $15.31. Most drugstore foundations cost this amount, so I personally think its worth spending a bit more money on, especially since it also contains SPF and moisturizes the skin, in addition to creating a more even skintone. It is a medium coverage foundation, and it is buildable without looking cakey. This is definitely a holy-grail product for me!
I have a full review at my blog: veggie-beauty.blogspot.com Ingredients: Natural Infusion Moisturizing Lipstick (Ripe Cherry) $22.95: jojoba oil, castor seed oil, cadellila wax, oleic/linolelic/linolenic polyglycerides, D&C Red 6 BA, caprylic/capric triglyceride, titanium dioxide, mica, carnuba wax, D&C Red 7 CA, stearalkonium hectorite, vitamin E, D&C Red NO 33 AL Lake, Red Iron Oxide Beauty Without Cruelty Hand & Body Lotion, Fragrance Free 16 fl. oz $11.99: Aqua Infusion of:, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) (Organic), Calendula (Calendula Officinalis) Flower, Anthemis Nobilis (Roman Chamomile) Flower Extract (roman chamomile), Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil (organic), Glycerin (Vegetable), Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis) Leaf Juice, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Allantoin (Comfrey Root), Panthenol (vitamin B factor), Sodium PCA, Stearic Acid, Simmondsia Chinensis (Organic Jojoba) Seed Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Capric/Caprylic Stearic Triglyceride, Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Oil (Organic) (flax), Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Arnica Montana (Montana Flower) Extract (in organic olea europeaea oil), Calendula (Calendula Officinalis) Flower Extract (in organic olea europeaea oil), Calophyllum Tacamahaca (Tamanu) Seed Oil (tamanu), Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) (organic), Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract (green and white tea), Tocopherol (Natural Vitamin E), Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexyglycerin, Magnesium …
Wasabi is a delicious and addictive Japanese sushi condiment; its also very expensive and virtually impossible to get fresh anywhere but Japan. What is a spicy Japanese condiment lover to do? Pick up some wasabi powder and mix your own paste whenever you want!
Check out the Asian section at your grocery store, or check health food stores. Beaver Wasabi powder is a bit pricey (about $3.95) for 2 oz., but it ends up making a good quantity of wasabi. It isn’t 100% pure wasabi, as it contains: mustard flour, spinach powder, and silicon dioxide (which prevents caking). The most important thing is that wasabi is listed as the main ingredient, so you want to look for that when you purchase your wasabi powder.
To get the most our of your wasabi, here is the best way to prepare it:
1. Use equal amounts powder and water to form a thick paste. It should not be a runny consistancy.
2. Flip your bowl containing the wasabi upside down on top of a small plate for about 10-15 minutes; this helps the wasabi to become more concentrated and locks in its flavor and intensity.
You can use the paste straight as a condiment (be careful because a little bit goes a long way). It is traditionally mixed with soy sauce or tamari, but there are many ways to utilize wasabi’s potent flavor. It can be added to vegan mayo, and it is a unique way to spice up hummus.
Health Benefits of Wasabi (source: genuineaid.com)
- Improves wound healing
- Prevents cells from damages
- Improves gums health
- Improves teeth health
- Improves Immune System
- Protects from free radicals
- Reduces Aging
- Lowers Risks of some Cancers
- Improves Iron absorption
- Improves Lung health
- Prevents from frequent colds
- Protects from frequent infections
- Normalizes Blood Sugar Levels
- Normalizes Cholesterol Levels
- Helps prevent constipation
- Helps prevent hemorrhoids
- Supports Weight Loss
Of course, the heath benefits are strongest if you are using fresh wasabi, but this root truly has some astounding health properties. It also tastes delicious and is great for dieters as spicy foods are well known to suppress the appetite. Powdered wasabi is a great way to enjoy wasabi without the high price attached to fresh wasabi. Just be careful to eat slowly, or you will feel the burn!
Finding vegan liquid foundation that is affordable and paraben-free is a daunting task. As a vegan beauty blogger, it is my goal to search till I find my holy grail vegan foundation to help myself and to help all of my readers.
Here are some products I’ve tried:
The Stila One-Step Makeup was okay, but its really yellow toned and I’m about as fair as they come so it really doesn’t work for me; it also has a very thick texture and you have to use your fingers to pat it in. I also don’t like Stila’s customer service. They were rude to me when I was inquiring about which of their products were vegan and which weren’t. They were very curt and simply responded “we cannot claim vegan.” How arrogant does that sound? Very unhelpful and they took ages to get back to me, and they didn’t want to help me in the first place. Also, just look through the ingredients on their foundations…full of preservatives and chemicals that aren’t good for the skin and our bodies.
While I do like the color and coverage of ALDI’s Lacura foundation in transparent, its more of a dewy finish and causes me to break out when I wear it, and again it has the same points against it as Stila does as far as chemicals and parabens. It is very cheap though, $3.49, but I can’t guarantee 100% that its vegan, although the ingredients appear that way. I’m starting to lean more towards products that are certified vegan, but those again are very expensive usually. I am, however, willing to spend more money on foundation that doesn’t break me out, is cruelty-free and vegan, provides natural coverage, and matches my skin tone. If my skin is non-irritated and less prone to break out, I won’t need as much foundation (that’s how I’m going to look at it).
The next product I’ve tried (and still enjoy) is the Kiss My Face Tinted Moisturizer in Manilla. It is light enough, no parabens, and its vegan. It does have a watery texture and doesn’t provide enough coverage for me (but it is supposed to be a lighter product). It is in no way moisturizing, its more of a light, matte foundation. I think this is a good mixing product if your foundation isn’t light enough or too thick. I currently use it as a base for mineral powder foundation, which seems to provide a decent coverage but can look a bit too overdone for everyday use.
I decided to purchase some Ecco Bella Flowercolor Natural Foundation in the shade Bisque (their lightest shade) on vitacost.com. On their official website, the foundation is about $22.95, which, to be fair is cheaper than most high end foundations. But, vitacost.com sells it for about $15.31, which is a super deal. With shipping, it only costed about $20, which is very doable in most people’s budgets. If you are going to spend more $ in your makeup routine, put it towards foundation!
Bisque actually appears like it will be light/cool toned enough and reviews on makeupalley.com seem to confirm this as well. The reviews were mixed on the quality of the foundation for the price, but I’m willing to give them they benefit of the doubt because this company, by far, have the most natural list of ingredients I’ve seen for a liquid foundation for the most affordable price. Its also a water-based foundation, which is my favorite formula, especially for the summer months. It provides UVA/UVB protection (SPF 15) which is crucial for good skincare. I will probably need to find a more potent sunscreen if I’m going to be outside for long periods of time though. I also like that its in a squeeze tube so you can get every last bit of product out, and its much more sanitary than a pour top bottle.
I will update all of you when I receive the product and have a chance to wear it for a couple of weeks (I like to give a skin product a good length of time to test because skin can take awhile to show irritation and breakouts from products.) I’m cautiously optimistic about this product, only because I’ve been disappointed so many times in the past. Let me know what kind of foundation the rest of you vegan makeup lovers wear!
Here’s what Stila says about this foundation:
Primer, foundation, concealer and powder all in one easy step! This skin-loving formula combines the benefits of four complexion-perfecting products with 100% mineral pigments to deliver one high performance, high definition, long wearing, luxurious formula. The medium coverage foundation is buildable and blendable and leaves skin looking flawless.One Step Makeup is energized with Stila’s Youth Revival Bio-available Mineral Complex – 15 ionically charged minerals that read and react to all your skins needs.
I just got Stila’s One Step Makeup in the shade fair. It retails for $44, but amazon.com sells its for $18. I’m trying out vegan foundations, and I thought this one sounded perfect for me. It is a multi-purpose product, perfect for days when you just want to get out the door as quick as possible. It includes primer, foundation, concealer, and sets to a powder finish.
You do have to apply it with your fingers…its much too thick to apply with a brush, but it blends out amazingly and doesn’t look cakey or streaky. The trick is to pat it into the skin, not to rub too hard (this is what Stila recommends to do anyway). It covers up redness and acne scarring really well too; it probably helps that it has a slightly yellow undertone, but it really blends into the skin and looks natural. I’m not sure I’d say that it completely covers up all of my acne, but its not a full coverage foundation so I didn’t expect it too. I honestly hate the look of full coverage foundations; I prefer to use concealer on trouble spots for a more natural look anyway. I will update you guys if it makes me break out or if I get super oily, but so far so good.
Ingredients: Dimethicone, Water (Aqua), Isododecane, Hydrogenated Didecene, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Silica, Tribehenin, Cetyl Peg/Ppg-10/1 Dimethicone, Glycerin, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Phenoxyethanol, Tropolone, Methicone, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Disodium Edta, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Kaolin, Malachite Extract, Illite, Montmorillonite, Smithsonite May Contain (+/-) Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Iron Oxides (Ci 77491, Ci 77492, Ci 77499) .