Vegan Fitness TrueStrength 8 Week Challenge Review | Week 1

Vegan Fitness TrueStrength 8 Week Challenge Review | Week 1

Vegan Fitness TrueStrength 8 Week Challenge Review | Week 1

Finding a weight loss program is a daunting task. There are SO MANY to choose from. Finding one that meets your needs and budget can be really challenging. I signed up for the TrueStrength 8-Week Challenge from I’ve looked at various options but decided to try this challenge because it’s made by vegans with a focus on vegan nutrition. However, you don’t have to be vegan to do this program. I asked my Instagram community if they’d like to see a weekly update with my thoughts and opinions and I received a resounding yes. So this is my review for week one of the Vegan Fitness TrueStrength 8 Week Challenge. 

Why A Review

I wan’t planning reviewing this program. I was going to do it for myself to get healthier and not really share anything about it. However, after the first 2 days I had so many thoughts about it that I thought should be shared. I’d want to know these things before spending this kind of money on a program. I’ll cover who this program is for, cost, whats included, what’s not included, meals, nutrition tracking, extra costs you can expect, and more. I hope you all find this helpful. Ok, let’s get started.

What Is This Program?

This is an eight-week fitness training program to help you get fit. The program comes with a vegan nutrition plan, basic nutrition information, planned workouts, and simple how-to videos for both the workouts and some food. You’ll also be granted access to a private facebook group to join other who are also currently doing the challenge. Once a week, there will be a livestream with the founders of the program where there answer pre-submitted questions. 

The Cost

This cost for this eight week program is three hundred dollars. You can recieve $10 off the program total by clicking the following special link. Click Here.


Before we get into the review I should tell you some information about me and my fitness level. Before the challenge I was regularly working out 3-4 days a week. Some days are just strength training, others are just cardio, sometimes it’s yoga, somedays it’s a combination of these. I work out because my work leaves me idle most days. I’m typically sitting at a computer for hours on end, so moving is quite necessary. I’m not a stranger to working out. I’ve hired professional personal trainers in the past. I hired the first one when I was 18 years old. This was when I was introduced to the world of macros, counting calories, the app My Fitness Pal, and basic “nutrition”. The word nutrition is in quotes because what I learned then was nutrition as influenced by the meat and dairy industry. 

Even while on a diet focusing heavily on meat, dairy, and eggs. I was able to loose weight and get fit. My trainer at the time had me eating string cheese, cottage cheese, spoonfuls of peanut butter, and plain hardboiled eggs as go-to snacks and sometimes also as lunch. While consuming these foods high in saturated fat, I still lost quite a lot of weight. I dropped from a size 12 to a size 6 within about 10 months. I learned how to workout, meaning which types of exercises to do to target the desired areas. I learned how many set and reps to do, I learned how to use gym equipment, and much more. 

All this to say, I’m not a novice to the gym and I know about conventional nutrition. However, I don’t consider myself a very “fit” person, meaning I don’t have muscle definition, I don’t have low body fat, I can’t lift large amounts of weight. Keep this in mind when reading the following review. 

TrueStrength 8 Week Challenge Review – Week One

Choose Your Preferences

You’ll start off by answering some questions and entering some basic information about yourself like age, height, and weight. They’ll also ask you to upload pictures of yourself in a bathing suit to track progress, this part is optional but highly recommended. Then you’ll choose between the shred program (weight loss) or bulk program (muscle gain). I chose the shred program.

You’ll also choose between a home workout or gym workout. I chose the home workouts because I can’t always get to the gym since I have a toddler. For food, you can chose the conventional plan or the meal prep plan. I initially chose the meal prep plan. They give examples you can follow for both. You’ll then receive a slightly customized program. I write “slightly” because it’s not as customized as a program would be if you were training one on one with a personal trainer.  

What I Don’t Like About The TrueStrength 8 Week Challenge 

This Program is Not For Everyone

Let me start off by saying I thought this program was for everyone. It isn’t. Even though I workout 3-4 times a week, I would consider myself a beginner because I’m not very strong. I would not recommend this workout program for beginners. If somewhere it clearly explains who this program is for, someone please let me know because it wasn’t made clear to me. I only realized this after doing the first workout and joining the discussions in the private Facebook group. I definitely struggled with the workouts this week. A lot of people in the group expressed the same feeling. After doing the workout myself, I could see why other people were also struggling. Keep in mind, everyone received different workout plans customized to them and their goals. 

Week one consisted of 5 workout days and 2 rest days. The workouts each have 9 or 10 exercises plus 20 minutes of HIIT (high intensity interval training) cardio. Each workout consists of 3 sets of 10-12 reps for most. Let me give you an example of why this program is not for beginners. Day five’s workout started with pull ups; there is also the option of assisted pull ups. Even when I was at my fittest when I was a 18 and a size 6, I could not do a pull up on my own; I was barely even able to do assisted pull-ups at that time. Currently, I can’t do either. I’d be a bit worried about beginners starting this program injuring themselves with some of these exercises.

My last thought for this is that you’ll have to buy some equipment if you chose to do the home program. So far, I’ve purchased 2 sets of dumbbells and a resistance band with handles; I spent $85. I guess I was also expected to buy the pull up bar (additional cost) but I chose to just replace that exercise. You’ll also need to get the paid version of My Fitness Pal app, which costs $10 per month, in order to track your macros.

The Meal Prep Plan Is Very Plain

A lot of the prepped meals contain fake meat to get the required amount of daily protein. A lot of people don’t have access to these fake meats so I would really take that into consideration if you’re thinking about purchasing this program. There’s also a lot of protein powder required. This will be an added cost which can get very expensive depending on the type of protein powder you decide to use. One of the daily meals consists of a protein shake. Another consists of a smoothie bowl with added protein powder to meet protein and calorie goals.

Lack of Guidance From Admins

I incorrectly assumed from the founders’ promotion of this program that there would be more guidance than there is. I also thought, they’d be more involved in the private facebook group with answering questions. There was a live Q & A with Nimai and Bianca (the founders), in the evening of the first day of the program. They answered questions but I’m not sure where the questions came from. I never saw a spot to leave questions before the live Q & A. I also requested to be added to the private FB group after signing up but wasn’t granted access until the next night so I missed the live Q & A, which I wanted to watch live to see if I could submit questions during it. The session was saved and posted afterwards so at least there’s that.

The private FB group is great for those that need the community aspect. However, they also ask and answer each others questions about workouts and nutrition. Which, in my opinion, is not super helpful for these two topics because most of the people in the group are not super knowledgeable on these two topics. There is an email where we can contact the founders directly so I guess I’ll start making more use of that. Hopefully, they’ll be quick to reply to messages; so far, according to other users, it take a while to hear back from them.

What I Do Like About The TrueStrength 8 Week Challenge 

Planned Workouts

Having a planned workout saves a lot of time. This is one of the main reasons I purchased this program. I’m knowledgeable on workouts and how to workout, like I said earlier but I didn’t want to think about and take time to put together a workout plan. This helped with that. 

The Meal Prep Plan Is Easy

I know, this is in both what I don’t and do like. While I don’t love the meal prep plan, as stated above, I think they are useful for those that are completely new to plant-based eating (not everyone in the program is vegan), don’t have any idea how to prepare food, or don’t care too much about taste. The meal preps are basic and straightforward. They’re not terrible but they’re also not impressive, which I understand because they are there to serve a specific purpose and not to indulge in. There are also about 45 basic standalone recipes in the program that one could choose follow. 

Basic Nutrition Info

I do like that there is basic nutrition information. They explain what macros are and there are simple how-to videos for making tofu taste good. This would be really helpful for beginners. 

The Final Say For Week One

Would I recommend the TrueStrength 8 Week Challenge? After this first week I would say no. Personally, I don’t feel like I’ve learned anything. I purchased this program because I thought I’d learn something new. I already know how to workout, track macros, and eat a healthy, low fat diet in order to loose weight. I also have the same plant-based nutrition certification from eCornell as one of the founders of the program.

If you’re looking to lose weight, get fit, and healthy, you need three things: a workout plan, which there are many of for a significantly lower cost (around $20/month), a plant-based diet meal plan (also available from various sources for a much lower cost, approximately $30), and an app that tracks your macros and calories (my fitness pal, $10/month). Cost is a huge deciding factor for most people when choosing a program. My total cost for this program has been $395 so far. Keep in mind this total does’t include protein power, which I’ve chosen to exclude thus far. 

TrueStrength 8 Week Challenge Discount Code

If you’re still interested in this program, you can use get a $10 discount off the total by clicking this link

My Daily Program Updates

You can follow me on Instagram for daily progress pictures and video. I post what I eat in a day as well as some snaps from the gym. To follow me on Instagram click here. 


Sustainable Jeans VS Fast Fashion Jeans

 Top | Jeans | Shoes | Handbag | Sunglasses

Is it possible to be stylish and sustainable? Yes, it is. Case in point, the white jeans I linked in this post. I want you to take a look at the jeans I’m wearing, then at the ones I linked. They’re nearly identical, except the ones I’m wearing are from a fast fashion brand and the ones I linked are from a sustainable, environmentally-friendly brand.

Sustainable Jeans from Outer Known

I purchased the jeans I’m wearing back in March for $15 without much thought as to who made them or what conditions that person was working in. Since then I’ve educated myself on sustainable fashion. One of the first sustainable brands I learned about was Outer Known. I purchased a few shirts for Marc as a gift for Father’s Day. The quality and design blew me away! Co-Founded by environmentalist & world surfing champion, Kelly Slater, Outer Known also offers clothing for women. While their price point is much higher than the fast fashion brand’s sticker price of $15, they’re worth every penny. Here’s why.

The white jeans I linked in this post are made from 100% organic cotton, which is far more eco-friendly than conventional cotton. The denim comes from Milan, Italy and they’re cut and sewn in Saitex Vietnam, the world’s leading sustainable denim factory. This means the manufacturer takes great precautions in not wasting natural resources or polluting the earth. The jeans are also guaranteed for life; if they become worn out, Outer Known will replace them for free.

Why Quality Matters

Greater quality jeans, like these, will last for decades so you’ll only need to buy a handful of pairs. The alternative is buying low quality $15 jeans every few months that won’t hold up very well and will need to be replaced frequently at an additonal cost to you. Frequently replacing clothing means creating more demand for fast fasion and creating more waste, as the majority of fast fashion textiles end up in landfills were they take hundreds of years to decompose.

Lastly, when your Outer Known jeans are ready to be retired, you can send them back to Outer Known where they’ll be upcyled into something useful, like house insulation. Outer Known is really changing the fashion game and creating a truly sustainable and stylish model for future brands.

P.S. My handbag is made from vegan leather, quality canvas, and fabric made from recycled plastic bottles. This brand offers a wide variety of styles. It’s hard to pick just one so I ended up purchasing three my first time!

Click on the image below to shop.

5 Best Places to Online Thrift

There are so many benefits to thrifting online. I just thrifted the cropped black sweater I’m wearing in the picture above! My favorite aspect of online thrifting is the freeing feeling I get knowing I’m not contributing to the production of more waste. Whether you’re thrifting in perosn or online, is a great way to practice sustainable fashion. It’s also such a time saver and online thrift sites save you the struggle of sifting through unwanted items. Finding exactly what you want/need can take as little as just a few minutes! But where should you online thrift? Are there any good online thrift stores? Yes, there are lots! Here are the best 5 places to online thrift.


Poshmark is probably the best-known online marketplace for online thrifting. It’s an app-based marketplace featuring hundreds of thousands of users and millions of thrifted items. The app first launched eight years ago and has since garnered a huge user base. Poshmark offers a wide variety of clothing for women, men, and children. They also offer shoes, accessories, & beauty products. Their Instagram-like feed makes shopping so much fun. You can find everything from designer items like Chanel flats to premium brands like Good American, Michael Kors, and even more affordable brands like Urban Outfitters, Topshop, Old Navy, and Asos. and Fun fact: Rachel Zoe and Ashton Kutcher are investors! Get $10 when you sign up for a Poshmark account using my referral code: jeanettepvega. 


Tradesy is also an app based platform, similar to Poshmark, with an emphasis on luxury goods. This is the place to go to find you next thrifted designer bag or shoes. One great feature about Tradesy is the ability to communicate directly with sellers or buyers. I’ve been able to negotiate for a lower price on more than one occasion. You can find luxury items from designers like Stella McCartney, YSL, Prada and more. 

Goodwill Online

Did you know Goodwill has an online store? They do and it’s a treasure trove of amazing finds! You can find anything from clothing to furniture, rare collectable art & jewelry pieces, and even cars for sale!  Goodwill’s online store is set up auction-style, much like eBay. This is a great option if you’re looking to buy a thrifted gift for a loved one. Keep it sustainable by shopping Goodwill online. 

Thred Up

Thred Up is my favorite app for getting the most bang for your buck. They offer a wide variety of brands at super low prices. There’s no option to bargain but there’s no need to because prices are already super affordable. You can find brands like J. Crew and Free People items as low as $8. Tradesy also offers a really awesome consignment service that allows you to send in all your unwanted items and they’ll do all the work of selling them for you. 

The Real Real

The Real Real is the leading luxury online consignment store. You’ll find just about any luxury brand you can think of here. They often have 20% off sales and a few times throughout the year they have 50% off sales. Items go fast so if you see something you like, it’s best to buy it asap. The Real Real is the best place to find gently used luxury items because they authenticate every item before it goes up. 

What are your favorite online thrift stores? Do you know of any that aren’t on this list? Share them below!

Click here to see my IGTV video about 3 reasons why you should by thrifted. 

how to tell if shoes are vegan

What Even is Vegan Style? How to Tell if Your Clothes And Shoes Are Vegan

The booming trend of vegan style and fashion comes as no surprise after millions of millennials and younger generations drop animal foods from their diets. An obvious next step for these ethically-minded individuals is stripping animal products from their wardrobe and beauty routine. But where do you even get started? What even is vegan style? How can you tell if a shoe is vegan? How can you tell if a piece of clothing is vegan?  I’ll answer all these questions and more within this post. By the way, can you tell all four of my outfits below are vegan?

how to tell if shoes are vegan

What is Vegan Style?

Let’s be real, “vegan” can be a scary word.  It’s a loaded term that has a wide array of interpretations depending on who you ask. Let me offer some clarity on how I define “vegan”. I define vegan as a diet and lifestyle that uses zero animal products or animal by-products. I don’t wear fur, silk, feathers, leather, wool, or use any other product that comes from animals. You may be asking yourself,  “Well what do vegans wear?” It seems restrictive but it’s really not, in fact, you’re probably already wearing vegan outfits all the time and you don’t even know it.

How Do I Know If My Outfit Is Vegan?

Figuring out if your outfit is vegan is pretty simple. Grab an item of clothing and look at the tag. If the tag lists any of the following materials, it is not vegan. If it doesn’t, it is vegan. 

  • Angora
  • Calf hair
  • Calfskin
  • Cashmere
  • Down
  • Feathers
  • Faux feathers
  • Fur
  • Fox Fur
  • Leather
  • Merino wool
  • Rabbit Fur
  • Silk
  • Shearling
  • Suede
  • Snakeskin
  • Wool

If your garment doesn’t contain any of these animal materials, then congratulations, it’s vegan! 

How to tell if shoes are vegan?

There are a few different ways to tell if a shoe is vegan or not. Grab a pair of your shoes and look on the upper inner area near the heel. There you’ll find the shoe material composition listed. You can also find this information on the back of the shoe tongue, on the band of the shoe, or on the strap of women’s heels. The most common animal materials used in shoemaking are the following. If the shoe contains any of these materials, it is not vegan.

  • Calf hair
  • Calfskin
  • Fur
  • Fox Fur
  • Leather
  • Rabbit Fur
  • Silk
  • Shearling
  • Suede
  • Snakeskin

If your shoes don’t contain any of the materials listed above, then congratulations they’re vegan!

What Are Those Symbols on the Bottom of Shoes?

You can also look at the bottom of a shoe to see if it’s vegan. Most shoes will have a clear sticker with black or gold symbols indicating what that shoe is made from. Use the key below to figure out if your shoes are vegan or not. The two symbols on the left are not vegan. The first sign is the universal symbol for leather, aka cow skin. The second symbol is for coated leather. The third symbol is for textile; this indicates the shoe is made form fabrics, typically viscose or cotton. The last symbol (first on the right) stands for all other materials, including man made materials. Man made materials are synthetic materials, you’ll typically see “all man made materials” printed on the bottom or inside of nearly all vegan leather shoes. 


Here’s an example of leather symbols on the bottom of a leather shoe

Example of faux leather symbol on the bottom of a vegan leather shoe

For higher-end shoes, it’s common to see the leather symbol embedded in the shank of the shoe.


Some of the best vegan and cruelty-free fashion brands

There are currently lots of amazing vegan fashion brands offering cruelty-free shoes and clothing. The vegan fashion scene has really eploded this past year. Dozens of new brands have launched just in the the last year from 2018 to 2019, and there are currently dozens more preparing to launch. Even history fashion houses like Gucci and Hugo boss have dropped some animal products and introduced faux fur and vegan shoes.

Perhaps the most well known vegan fashion brand (and one of my favorites) is Stella McCartney. Her ultra recognizable handbags are stylish and mimic suede really well and are completely vegan. Click on any of the products below to shop. 

Cult of Coquette

One of my favorite vegan high heels shoe brands is Cult of Coquette. If you’re looking for a vegan version or just a cheaper version of a Christian Louboutin So Kate heel, take a look at Cult of Coquette’s Gloria heels. They’re nearly identical to the So Kate heel but they’re cruelty-free! Another great shopping site for vegan shoes is Beyon Skin. They offer a wide range of vegan shoes and accessories for women; they even offer vegan bridal shoes!

Will’s Vegan Store

For men’s vegan leather shoes, one of my favorite online retailers is Will’s Vegan Store. They offer a wide range of men’s vegan leather shoes from many different vegan and sustainable brands. They options range from casaul sneakers to high end dress shoes. If you want good quality vegan men’s shoes or vegan leather belts and accessories, take a look at Will’s Vegan Store.

A Special Note About Feathers

Feathers are often used as accessories or as embellishments on clothing. Most recently, we saw gowns at the MET gala made almost entirely of feathers. While feathers on some of those brightly hued gowns can seem fake, unfortunately, they are entirely real. You may have purchased a feather boa or feathers from your local craft store at some point in your life. Those feathers are also real, meaning they come from real birds. Bird are forcibly held down and violently plucked without, any sedative, for their feathers. The birds are often left bloody, hurt, but still alive to be plucked again in the near future. 

Fake Feathers Are Not Fake

After posting about Kylie Jenner’s feather-embellished MET gala on my instagram feed, I received a few dozen messages and comments stating those feathers were fake. They certainly look fake and I wish they were but they are not. Brightly colored or patterned feathers look fake because they are dyed or stamped with unnatural looking colors. You can find “faux feathers” for sale online or at you local craft store, however they are not fake. They are marked as “faux” because they have been dyed or stamped so they no longer have their natural color; however, they are still sourced from real birds.

The only true faux feathers that I’ve been able to find, that are not sourced from animals, are made from wood or paper and you can certainly tell they are not real bird feathers. As of the writing of this post, I have not been able to find a vendor for authentic looking non-animal sourced feathers. I messaged several dozen online retailers marketing faux-feathers and they confirmed their feathers are sourced from animals. They are listed as “faux” because they are dyed or altered to look unnatural. If you’re buying a garment or accessory with feathers, chances are those feathers are real and you should look for a cruelty-free alternative.

How to Style Heart Shaped Sunglasses

Dress (from Ross, similar here & here) | Cardigan | Shoes | Handbag | Earrings | Sunglasses

Heart Shaped Sunglasses for Spring

These are the perfect sunglasses for spring. I adore how these heart-shaped sunglasses compliment any face structure. The cat eye shape elongates the face giving you a more narrow face shape. Heart shaped sunglasses are honestly so flattering on everyone, I’m obsessed with this trend! I just bought these same sunglasses in pink and Athena stole them form me, lol.
pink heart shaped sunglasses
I’m so surprised at the quality of these sunglasses. I bought these white heart shaped sunglasses as a set, a black pair was also included. The set was only $15.99! And they look just like the $500 Saint Laurent version. They’re great dupes and they come in a variety of colors. 

How to Style Heart Shaped Sunglasses

My favorite way to style these sunnies is with a flowy feminine dress like the one above. The fun playful shape of these glasses pairs perfectly with the flowy fabric of a midi or maxi length dress. But honestly, these sunglasses look cute with practically any dress. I would also style these sunnies with a maxi dress, cropped denim jacket, and a cute tote bag. My second favorite way to style these heart-shaped sunglasses is with an edgy look. You can click here to see how I styled these heart-shaped sunglasses in red. The bold cherry red hue really makes an outfit pop. 


Side note, how cute are these clear heels? They’re one of my top picks from my recent roundup of the best vegan shoes for spring 2019, click here to read that post.


The Best Natural Deodorants | Vegan Deodorant Review + Why You Should Stop Using Your Crystal Rock Deodorant ASAP

Native | Schmidt’s Rose | Natural Vegan Club | Schmitds Fragrance-Free | Green GooCrystal

An increasing number of people are ditching their aluminum-based antiperspirants in favor of natural  deodorants. I switched from antiperspirants to deodorants years ago and finding a natural deodorant that actually works has been quite the journey. I’ve tried many brands of natural deodorants and something I learned is that “natural” doesn’t always mean non-toxic. Additionally, “natural” doesn’t mean aluminum-free. In fact, one of the most popular natural deodorants is made from aluminum. In this post, I’ll go over which natural deodorants actually work well at preventing odor and keep you smelling fresh. I’ll also share how to tell the difference between antiperspirant (aluminum-based) and deodorant. Lastly, I’ll tell you why it’s important to use a natural & aluminum-free deodorant.

What’s the difference between antiperspirant and deodorant?

It’s important to first understand the difference between antiperspirant and deodorant. Put simply, antiperspirant blocks sweat and deodorant blocks smell. Antiperspirant contains aluminum salts that work by clogging and blocking sweat glands from excreting sweat, a natural cooling process, thus preventing odor. Deodorant doesn’t block sweat glands it simply masks sweat odors to keep you smelling fresh while allowing your body to perform its natural cooling process, known as sweating.

What’s the problem with using antiperspirant?

The main problem with using antiperspirant is the worry of aluminum absorption. Aluminum has been linked to breast cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, hormone disruption, neurological damage and more. Studies on this subject are mixed. Some research has shown a strong correlation between aluminum exposure and Alzheimer’s while others haven’t found a clear correlation. However, that could be because there simply aren’t enough studies or enough data. According to, only a few studies have explored the link between aluminum-based deodorants and breast cancer. We need more studies on the subject so this is why I recommend to play it safe and steer clear of aluminum. We also know that aluminum is widely accepted as a neurotoxin and has been found in high concentrations in the brains of those with Alzheimer’s disease. This is a subject that has not been extensively studied so, in my opinion, the most logical thing to do with the findings that we do have is take precaution and stay away from products that contain aluminum. While aluminum is a naturally occurring mineral, it is not naturally found or necessary in the body at any level.

A Little TMI About Me

Before I get into this deodorant review, let me preface this by stating that I sweat very easily. I don’t sweat a lot, just a normal amount, but I do sweat very easily. For this reason, a good deodorant is very important to me and I’m constantly trying new ones to stay up to date on the most effective natural deodorants. Also, I recently did a juice cleanse and it had been a while since I’d done one. What I had failed to remember is that juice cleanses tend to make one a bit stinkier than usual because your body goes into detox mode. Luckily, I had a good deodorant. Read on to see which deodorant I used to keep me stink-free during my juice cleanse.

Crystal deodorant review

The pros:

It’s vegan & cruelty-free.

It prevents bad odors.

The cons: It’s made from aluminum.

I’m starting with the worst one because this one really is really sneaky and widely misrepresented as natural and non-toxic. Crystal deodorant sticks can be found in the natural deodorant aisles of most health food stores. However, they aren’t any more natural or safe to use than conventional deodorants made with aluminum. Crystal deodorants are available in a few varieties. The most common one you might have seen is the one pictured above, with the rollerball, or the big salt rock stick. Looking at the salt rock stick deodorant you’d think it’s just a big piece of natural salt that you rub on to prevent odor. However, these “mineral” deodorants are not what they seem. I used this deodorant for a month and it worked really well. I was actually surprised at how well it worked. Then I read the label and was shocked at what I found, it’s made from aluminum. The rollerball deodorant above contains potassium alum which is made by mixing sulfuric acid with bauxite ore; the reaction creates aluminum oxide. This is then mixed with potassium sulfate to create potassium alum, the second ingredient listed on the back of this Crystal roll-on deodorant. Don’t fall for the greenwashing marketing tactic, read the label on the back!

I say to read the label on the back because the label on the front is also designed to fool you. It reads “mineral deodorant roll-on”. What’s so deceptive about that? I mean, “mineral” sounds good. Minerals are natural, right? Well, this is technically not a lie, but it is deceptive. Minerals are natural in that they are found in nature. However, they are not all safe for the human body to absorb. For example, petroleum is a natural mineral from the earth. We use it to fuel our cars but we wouldn’t want to ingest it because it’s lethal to the human body. We also wouldn’t want to put it on our skin, however, we do, unknowingly. Petroleum is found in deodorants labeled as “petrolatum”, “mineral oil”, or just “minerals”. This ingredient is derived from crude oil. While most non-toxic deodorants can claim to be aluminum free on their product labels, Crystal deodorants cannot make the same blanket claim. There are many varieties of aluminum so Crystal deodorants try to fool the consumer by marketing “no aluminum chlorohydrate” on the front of this bottle.

Schmidt’s Deodorant Review

Now let’s talk about the best aluminum-free natural deodorant that actually works. That title goes to Schmidt’s deodorant. This is my favorite and most recommended deodorant.

The pros:

This deodorant is vegan and cruelty-free!

It’s also free of any toxic substances including aluminum, propylene glycol, parabens & phthalates. It’s got simple and clean ingredients. It’s now been about a year since I started using Schmidt’s deodorant and I keep going back to it. It’s absolutely my go-to for every day. I put this deodorant to the test on the daily. I do a heavy workout in the gym for an hour 3 days a week and cardio outdoors for an hour 3 days a week. There’s a lot of sweating on those days and this deodorant really works! It keeps me smelling like roses and I love how long it lasts.

I also love that I don’t have to reapply throughout the day. The only exception to this is when I do a juice cleanse. I do a juice cleanse once a month just for a day or two and I notice my sweat does get a little stinky on those days. This is when I do reapply about halfway through the day. And with the second application, it keeps me smelling fresh and clean. I absolutely love this formula.

Schmidt’s deodorant is available in many different scents including jasmine, coconut, tea tree, charcoal, and a fragrance-free formula which I discuss below. They even have a Lily of the Valley scent that they created in collaboration with the Jane Goodall Institute. Five percent of each purchase will go to the institute which helps animals.

It’s widely available. Find it at Target, Sprouts, Natural Grocers and other health food stores.

The cons:

It’s on the pricier side of the spectrum. Even so, it’s worth it! Target offers a smaller size (2.75 oz)  priced at just $5 vs the original bigger size that’s around $9. If you have a Costco membership, you can buy a three pack of the regular 3.25 oz sticks for just $10.99

It’s not organic. I hope they start making organic options soon!

The formula could be a little easier to glide on. It’s just a tad on the grainy side. Now I’m just nitpicking but this is a review so I’m saying it all!

Native Deodorant Review

I heard a lot of good things about Native deodorant so I gave it a try. I used this deodorant for a month before reviewing it. I despise overpowering chemical smelling deodorants so these are lovely because they use natural flower oils; this has a clean, subtle lavender scent that perfectly covers up any stinky sweat.

The pros:

Award-winning deodorant.

This deodorant is vegan and cruelty-free!

Free of aluminum, parabens, and sulfates.

It holds up well during intense workouts. I only had to reapply during my juice cleanse days, which produce stinky sweat.

It’s got clean ingredients like tapioca starch, coconut oil, shea butter, & lavender oil.

It glides on smoothly, more than Schmidt’s deodorant.

It’s made in the USA.

It’s available in a variety of scents including unscented and my favorite lavender rose.

It’s widely available. Shop it at Target or on their website here.

The cons:

It’s on the pricier side of the spectrum. Even pricier than Schmidt’s at $11.99 for a 2.65 oz stick.

It’s not organic. I hope they start making organic options soon!

Natural Vegan Club Deodorant Review

Before we get into this deodorant review, let me quickly introduce you to Natural Vegan Club. This deodorant comes as part of a monthly subscription box that is natural, vegan, cruelty-free and zero waste! Their packaging is compostable and all their items (including the bamboo toothbrush in every box) are biodegradable! I mean, what more could you ask for? Ok, let me tell you about this heavenly-scented deodorant.

The pros:

This deodorant is vegan and cruelty-free!

It smells fantastic! Natural Vegan Club’s deodorant is scented with natural essential oils. I could smell it before I even opened the box. The scent is citrusy and clean and really works! It’ll keep you smelling fresh all day without the need to reapply.

I absolutely love Natural Vegan Club’s compostable containers. Think about how many deodorants you go through in your life, that’s a lot of plastic! I wish all deodorants came in these biodegradable containers!

It’s Paraben Free, Sulfate Free, Aluminum Free, Cruelty-Free, Vegan, 100% Backyard-Compostable, Dye Free, Soy Free, Gluten Free Friendly, and free of all toxins!

It’s handmade.

It’s got super clean ingredients including coconut oil, shea butter, arrowroot powder, essential oils and more.

It’s a food grade product. Meaning it would even be safe to eat, but don’t because then what would you put on your underarms?

It’s good for sensitive skin.

The cons:

This deodorant is part of a subscription box but you can also order it separately directly from

There’s not too much product in the bottle. However, if you’re signed up for the monthly delivery it’s more than enough for a month.

It’s not organic. I hope they switch to organic ingredients soon!

Schmidt’s Fragrance-Free Deodorant Review

Ok, I raved about Schmidt’s rose vanilla deodorant but I have to be honest, this formula didn’t work for me. Schmidt’s fragrance-free deodorant is designed for those with sensitive skin and sensitivity to baking soda. I’ve heard great things about this deodorant. It’s quite effective for a lot of people but for me, it just didn’t work. I felt like I had to keep reapplying and it didn’t keep me smelling fresh for long periods of time.

The pros:

This deodorant is vegan and cruelty-free!

Clean ingredients, no aluminum, no parabens, no sulfates or dyes.


It glides on easily.

It’s widely available. Find it at Target, Sprouts, Natural Grocers and other health food stores.

The cons:

It didn’t work for me.

It’s on the pricier side of the spectrum. Even so, it’s worth it! Target offers a smaller size (2.75 oz)  priced at just $5 vs the original bigger size that’s around $9. If you have a Costco membership, you can buy a three pack of the regular 3.25 oz sticks for just $10.99

It’s not organic. I hope they start making organic options soon!

Honest Deodorant Spray Review

It seems Honest may have discontinued this deodorant with their beauty revamp last year. I included it in this post because I’ve used it for long periods of time and was impressed with it. I still find it at Marshall’s and Ross Dress for Less stores but it does seem to have been discontinued by Honest. So if you see a bottle at Marshall’s or Ross, give it a try!


It’s vegan & cruelty-free!

Clean ingredients, no aluminum, no parabens, no sulfates or dyes.

It really works. One spray will keep you smelling fresh for 6-8 hours. I did feel like I needed to reaplly after long days toward the evening.

Sprays on easily.

Has a clean scent.

Available in a few different scents.

Affordable. This bottle was $4.99


Not organic

Discontinued by Honest. But it’s still periodically available at Marshall’s and Ross Dress for Less.

Green Goo Gel Deodorant Review

This natural deodorant was the least effective of them all. It didn’t work for me even a little bit. I loved the easy glide on formula and it smelled great but it didn’t hold up well against sweat and the rose scent dissipated quickly.


It’s vegan and cruelty-free.

It glides on very easily.

It smells great.

It’s Gluten-free.

It’s free of aluminum, propanediol, Parabens, phthalates & artificial ingredients.

It’s got mostly clean ingredients including coconut oil, aloe vera leaf juice, and lemongrass oil.


It contains two slightly questionable ingredients, glyceryl laurate, and propylene glycol.

It’s not widely available. I found this one at Marshall’s and do see them there periodically but I’ve not seen them elsewhere. You can find them online.

They’re pricey. They retail for $10.50 on their website. However, I found this one at Marshall’s for $5.99.

It’s not organic. I hope they start making organic options soon!

I hope you found this natural deodorant review useful. I tried to keep it short and to the point. If there’s something I miss or you have a question I didn’t cover, please let me know. Leave a comment below or shoot me a DM over on Instagram.

Pro tip: If you’re not sure about an ingredient listed in your deodorant or want to see how toxic or non-toxic it is, look it up on the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database.

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New Finds | Organic Vegan & Cruelty-Free Beauty Products

I’m always looking to improve my beauty and skin care products. Everything I use is now vegan and cruelty-free as of 18 months ago and just recently, I started incorporating more organic items into my skin care products. If you’re new to organic skincare, let me tell you why this matters. Women use approximately 12 beauty products per day on average. Sixty percent of what you apply on your skin gets absorbed within 25 seconds. Think about that. Lotion, face moisturizer, foundation, concealer, lipstick, shampoo, face gels, creams, exfoliants, anything that touches your skin qualifies for this absorption rate. If the ingredient in your skin care items are not organic, then you’re most likely absorbing pesticides (among other chemicals) through your skin.

Now, consider how often you use all the products and multiply it by the years you’ve been alive and the years you’ll continue to live, that’s a HUGE toxic load. My point here is not to scare you, but rather, inform you and empower you with the knowledge to do better for your skin and your health. I’ll be posting more organic beauty and skin care products regularly, and as always, they’ll be vegan and cruelty-free. I linked the same products from different online stores so you can shop at your preferred retailer, please not prices vary.

2019 Hair Trends | Cheetah Print Bow Headband

Headband (currently 20% off!)| Earrings| Top (old, similar) | Jeans | Purse | Shoes |

Is anyone else loving this headband/hair accessories trend right now? I’m totally obsessed with it. I’ve been buying hair clips as if I were a six year old girl. I can’t get enough of them! I’m particularly loving this cheetah print bow headband from Anthropologie. The print is so pretty and perfect the current animal print trend. Additionally, the fabric is super silky soft and best of all this headband has a wire inside. I love these types of headbands because you can shape the wire inside the bow anyway you want and really adjust it to wear your headband just the way you like it. I love feminine pieces with with a bit of edge and this headband is exactly that. I feel like I can’t pull off a fluffy pink headband but this leopard print headband is perfect for feminine girls that like a bit of edge. This piece is currently 20% off right now which makes it $14!

My jeans are sold out but I linked a similar pair by the same (and my favorite) brand ever. They’re from Nordstrom and they’re currently doing 2x points on all purchases through May 12th. Nordstrom credit card holders earn 6x points! I just ordered myself some more of these Good American jeans because they have THE BEST fit! See my previous post about their fit here and see two other ways I styled these Good American jeans here and here.

How cute is this little double strap satchel? I love finding a good vegan leather purse, especially when it’s a designer dupe! The designer version is $479; this one is under $50 and it goes so well with jeans and dresses a like! Hope you all have a fun Mother’s Day, if you need some last minute ideas check out this post about 20 vegan and cruelty-free perfumes you can gift every mom on your list. There’s options for all budgets and a lot of these you can find in person at your local beauty store, Target, or department store. And if you want to give something a little more meaning, try this gift guide packed with meaningful gifts that give back!

20 Best Vegan Perfumes for Mother’s Day for Every Budget

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20 Best Vegan Perfumes for Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is exactly one week from today. Like millions Americans, I gift my mom a perfume for Mother’s Day every year. Since going vegan, this has been a bit challenging, mostly because I didn’t know the terrain. But now, my vegan perfume wishlist is nearly endless! Last year I got my mom perfume pick number fifteen after receiving both her fragrances “Saint” #15 and “Sinner” #16 as a PR package over a year ago. I love them both equally. Saint has a cleaner, fresh aroma while Sinner is a bit more sexy, however, both are bold scents. And the bottle are just stunning, true pieces of art, they just look great sitting on any vanity.

You can feel good about gifting any one of these picks because every single one these perfumes vegan and cruelty-free. One of my all-time favorites vegan perfumes is Stella McCartney’s perfume “Stella” #8. This was my favorite scent for the longest time, I used to carry the roller ball version around with me in my purse at all times. Most of these vegan perfumes pics are high end but there are some more budget friendly options too like #2, #4, #6, and  #9. One of these perfumes even helps support families in nations rebuilding after war, that’s pick #20— and it’s organic too!

My current favorite is pick #10, Olive Atelier’s More than the Stars. I discovered this perfume back in March during our trip to Kauai. While waiting for my coffee one day inside a crowded cafe, I  decided to pop into the little boutique next door. It had the best selection of clothing, beauty, accessories, and kids items. This perfume was sitting on a display next to the prettiest gold jewelry. Its distinct gold bulb atomizer caught my eye. I was instantly smitten with it. It’s hard to describe because I’ve never smelled anything like it before. Curious to know what was in it, I read the brand’s description of this scent as I stood there in that little shop. Here’s part of what it said:

“How much love can a human heart hold?  How far is its reach, how deep its depth?   What keeps us here, now – the fathomless unending love we have for our children, for each other – and hopefully, one day – ourselves.  Our love is around the world and back again – it’s More Than The Stars.”

I was sold.

It contains a top note of almond, middle notes of stargazer lily and gardenia, and base notes of Egyptian Musk, fresh sandalwood, essential vanilla, and Brazilian vetiver. If you’re looking for a scent you can wear all year round, this is the one you’ve been looking for.



The Prettiest Pink Floral Print Wrap Dress for Spring

Dress | Shoes | Bag (high end, dupe) | Earrings | Bracelets (similar here & here)

Is this not the prettiest spring dress? It’s been about four weeks since I purchased this pink floral maxi wrap dress and I’ve probably worn it, 5 or 6 times. I seriously love it so much. If you’re looking for a dress to celebrate Mother’s Day, or just a really pretty spring dress for any occasion, I can’t recommend this one enough. The fabric (viscose) is lightweight, flowy, soft, and breathable. It’s such a casual fabric but the elegant cut of this dress makes it easy to dress up. Last year and the year before I didn’t take any photos on Mother’s Day and I sort of regret it. I wish I had done a better job documenting that time. However, this year I’m prepared. I’m not sure about the accessories just yet but this Mother’s Day I’ll be wearing this gorgeous floral wrap dress. Sizes are starting to run out and I’ve never seen dresses by this brand restocked so if you know you want it, grab one before it’s too late!

How fun are these clear heels? Did you know they’re Manolo Blahnik dupes?! Yes! The designer version are like $750 and not vegan but these are under $40 and made with vegan leather. I love finding a good vegan shoe dupe to a designer shoe! I linked them above and I also linked some more fun clear heels in this post all about the best vegan shoes for spring trends 2019. Be sure to check out that post for all sorts of spring styles that will keep you right on trend this spring.