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 ‘Skincare’ Category
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Check out Saoirse Cassidy’s beauty blog, Not a Boy, Not Yet a Woman. she is a subscriber of mine interested in cruelty-free beauty. She offered to write a guest post to help out the vegan men in our lives because, really, its hard to know what to buy for the men in our lives for father’s day.
It is hard enough to buy gifts for that man in your life, especially if he is vegan. With Fathers Day coming up this issue is very prominent. Lush does not spring to mind as it seems more popular with women, but there is plenty of choice for the manliest of men to enjoy! I will give you short reviews of five of the products I have tried that I feel would make good Fathers Day gifts. From bath and shower to skincare and shaving, Lush does it all! These are just five of the many different types of product Lush does. Firstly, Shower gel:
The Olive Branch shower gel. This is a personal favourite of mine. Sweet orange and bergamot. A hug in a bottle. Though this fragrance has a bit of a sweet tooth it is still unisex. Subtly citrus-y with an interesting twist! It envelops you with calming soft lather as you cleanse and prepare yourself for another day, wether it be under the Tuscan sun or in an igloo in Alaska (I hear you can see Russia from there!)
Not everyone likes liquid gels to clean themselves. Lush also offers a variety of soaps that can be cut to size depending on how much you need or want to spend. Though all the soaps are delectable, my top pick is:
Figs and Leaves soap is my number one masculine/unisex soap. Although a lot of fig scents are artificial and sickly sweet, you do not have that problem here. Figs and Leaves is a delicate scent of Rome (pairs well with The Olive Branch). It is creamy and lathers well. It smoothes, soothes and gently exfoliates. And is mild enough to be used on the face!
But what if your father prefers to unwind in the bath after a long day of playing catch? Baths are often thought to be the domain of women and honeymooners. Luxurious bubbles and candles may set the mood for romance, but baths also help soothe aches and pains. Here is my top pick for a vegan bath bomb:
Geophyzz, it may seem like a plain bath bomb, but it is a journey for the senses. From the sea salt to the pine it will soothe the mind and body. This little ball of meditation is the perfect remedy for a hard days work! And no confetti or rainbow explosions included! Just a delicate green water, the colour green promotes healing and calming.
Bubble bars are a solid bubble bath. You just crumble them under running water and the froth up with soft, scented bubbles. They can be used alone or in tandem with bath bombs to create a bath cocktail. My top choice of bubble bar is:
Blue Skies and Fluffy White Clouds is a huge chunk of blue and white patchouli and frankincense heaven. Perfect for the father who spends his days with his head in the clouds. These bubbles are a woody and earthy relaxing treat!
Fragrance wise you have a whole host of choices! Gorilla Perfumes is an offshoot of Lush and is available in their stores. I will only give you the readily available perfumes. Some limited perfumes are available in certain stores and at certain times. My top choice of perfume:
Breath of God is a divine experience. It blends the feminine and the masculine to created a stunning scent. The feminine fruit and neroli blossoms blend with smokey vetivert and sandalwood created a sensory journey throughout the day. At first sniff it is very herbal and deep. But as it sinks into the skin it lightens and softens, revealing the more playful feminine side. The scents are balanced so well that this is a perfect unisex scent that whispers prayers against your skin.
I hope this guide some use to you this coming Fathers Day, and maybe even Fathers Day next year. You do not have to use this list, it is just a guide and personal opinion. I would recommend you go into a store and sniff the items and put together a personalized blend that suits your fathers style.
Have fun, and all the best to all the daddy’s out there! We love you more than we will ever tell you to your face!
FTC: These items were sent to me in sample form for review purposes only. I was not sent full-size products nor am I being compensated to write this review, these are my own opinions as always from using the products for about a week.
I was contacted by a fellow vegan business woman, Maureen Spathopoulos. She found me via my facebook page because her facebook page is Vegan Beauty (I’m Veggie Beauty). She offered to send me some samples of my choice of some Arbonne products to review on my blog. I’m very picky about what items I will accept for review, but Arbonne is indeed a leaping bunny approved company and ALL of their products are certified vegan! Here are some overall claims that Arbonne makes about their company, which made me very excited to support their brand:
No mineral oil
No animal products or by-products
No harmful levels of chemicals
No chemical fragrances
I was interested in anti-aging products because I’m 26 and I want to prevent premature aging and keep my skin as fresh as possible for as long as I can. She ended up sending me several samples from the RE9 line of Anti-Aging skin-care products.
Now, as a disclaimer, everyone has different skin sensitivities. What works for me may not work for you and vice versa. I have sensitive, combination, acne prone skin that gets irritated at the drop of a hat. I have large pores that clog easily and break out with more moisturizing products typically. I was sent sample sizes, so I wasn’t able to use the products long enough to substantiate any claims as far as reduction of fine lines. I will refrain from making any such claims because I feel that a month is necessary to really see any significant long term change in one’s skin.
Some general information about the Re9 line, taken from Arbonne:
Pineapple and Papaya Enzymes to gentrly exfoliate and removed dead skin cells
Sea Buckthorn oil: antioxidants, including beta-carotene, supports supple tone and smooth skin
Kudzu Root Extract: Improves the appearance of skin firmness and tone
Marine Lavender Extract: helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles
Hydrolyzed Lupine Protein and Alfalfa Seed Extract: Visibly diminishes under-eye bags and puffiness and increases the appearance of skin tone and firmness
Beach Tree Bud Extract: Improves skin moisturization and smoothes the appearance of wrinkles
RE9 Advanced Elements
Algae Extract : Supports Collagen throught moisturization, to help diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
Stabilized Vitamin C: supports moisture framework of skin
Bio-Hydria Complex: softens and conditions
Vitaspheres: delivers antioxidants for smooth and supple skin
Elhibin and Stimu-Tex: Supports moisture balance
Alpha Lipoic Acid; Antioxidant
Copper: softening properties
Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids: reveals next layer of skin, reduces the signs fo aging and improves texture of skin
Peptides: enhances skin smoothness, while diminishing the appearance of find lines and wrinkles
One thing I want to get out of the way, Arbonne products are pricey. Most of these items are around $50, but as you can see from the list of ingredients, this is high quality stuff. Anti-aging products are usually comparably priced from other high end brands and those usually contain harsh ingredients, animal by-products, artificial fragrance, and many are tested on animals. Skincare is one area in my beauty routine where I feel okay about spending more money. If you have nice skin, you feel more confident about yourself and you won’t need to cover yourself with as much makeup. You will also provide yourself a nice base for your makeup to apply evenly and smoothly to.
One product from this line that I wouldn’t recommend for those of you with a similar skin type would be the daytime moisturizer. I found that it was just too moisturizing for me underneath my makeup, as my skin is already oily and my makeup breaks down more easily than most. If you have dry skin, I’m sure you’d love a more emollient daytime moisturizer and this would be an excellent choice because its, vegan paraben free and softens the skin beautifully. It also has SPF 20, which also may be why it made me break out slightly around my chin. I’m usually sensitive to liquid sunblocks for some reason.
I thought the cleanser was decent, but I prefer cold-pressed bar soap to wash my face with, its just a personal preference though. I felt the liquid cleanser wasn’t enough to completely remove my makeup, I needed to use a toner afterwards to completely remove everything.
One standout product from this line, for me and my particular skin needs, was the Re9 Face Serum.
“Increase moisture retention and cell turnover with this dynamic, pre-moisturizing facial gel. The key ingredients activate healthy cells, increasing translucence, while diminishing the look of fine lines.”-Arbonne website
This stuff made my skin glow! You don’t need very much to cover the entire face and it absorbs quickly into the skin and worked very well underneath my makeup. I wear a moisturizing foundation, so I usually skip lotions underneath my makeup. I found this product is great for prepping the skin for makeup. It softened my skin without making it greasy which I loved. I used it for about a week and I did notice a difference in the tone and softness of my skin. It contains hyaluronic acid, which is used to repair skin cell damage.I will be buying a full size of this serum soon, it is quite wonderful.
The undereye cream was my absolute favorite product. I’m starting to get fine lines around my eyes and this product helped to smooth them out beautifully. As I said before, I need to try a product for at least a month to make any real claims about its anti-aging properties, but I did notice immediate results with the product as far as the smooth application of my makeup on top of the product. Sometimes, my makeup likes to sink into the fine lines around my eyes which is a pet peeve of mine. I didn’t have that problem when I used this product. My concealer and foundation applied perfectly on top and my undereyes definitely appeared brighter and more toned. I will be buying a full size of this item as well when I get the chance.
Overall, this line does seem to be geared towards dry, mature skin, but there are a few products that are complete standouts for my own skin issues (undereye cream and serum). I plan on buying full size of both items, I think they will be a staple in my skin care regime and in preventing aging and skin damage.
You can contact Maureen Spathopoulos via her facebook page if you have any questions or would like to purchase some samples:
Maureen is a very lovely woman, generous, professional, and kind…I recommend doing business with her. She is also offering 20% off for my readers! Go to www.arbonne.com and type in the following info:
Arbonne ID#: 18751144
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!
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) .