Category: Beauty

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 Cancer.gov, 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 www.NaturalVeganClub.com.

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.

Fragrance-free.

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!

Pros:

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

Cons:

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.

Pros:

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.

Cons:

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.

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.

 

 

How to Use Acure Marula Oil For Hair

Acure The Essentials Marula Oil

Here is the marula oil I spoke about in my IGTV story. Click on the name above to order it online. I’ve been using this oil consistently for about 1 year now and I absolutely love it. It’s a great way to add shine to your hair and instantly give your hair some luster. Marula oil is packed with antioxidants and nutrients that are great for your hair skin and nails. I’ve noticed such a difference since I started using it so I’m never without it now. To hear more on the benefits of marula oil and to see a video on how to apply it to instantly add shine and luster to your hair go to my Instagram and click on my IGTV channel, located at the beginning of my story highlights.

Cruelty-Free & Vegan Skincare Winter Essentials

Pacifica Face Wash | Dermae Nourishing Shampoo | Acure Marula Oil

 Acure Face Scrub | 365 Body Lotion 

Winter can really do a number on your skin. Living in the Las Vegas desert is especially troublesome this time of year. Luckily, I’ve got these beauties to keep my skin and hair clean, moisturized, and healthy. If you’ve been looking for a vegan cruelty-free face wash, you have to try Pacifica’s Rose Kombucha facewash. It gently clears away dirt and makeup without drying out your skin. Plus, it smells AMAZING! It should really be called “1,000 roses face wash” because that’s what a smells like. It reminds me of walking through a rose garden on a mild summer day. 🙂

This face scrub is my absolute favorite scrub. I use it year round but more so during the winter. It really helps keep my skin smooth and soft. Tip: leave it on for a few minutes to let the French clay really work. French clay is great for revitalizing skin, calming redness, and removing impurities & bacteria.

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll have seen me use the marula oil in my stories. I use it very often on my hair. Take one pump of this marula oil, rub it between your hands for a few seconds to heat it up and work it through your hair starting at the ends and stopping about 6 inches from the roots. During days when I don’t have time to wash my hair, I use a little dry shampoo and this marula oil to give my hair a healthy bounce and shine.

I can’t recommend these products enough, they all work really well, are vegan and cruelty-free, are made of high-quality ingredients, and are (except the marula oil) under $10!

Pro tip: Did you know many beauty products are certified cruelty-free by Peta? Yes! Peta has a cruelty-free program called Beauty Without Bunnies. If a brand says they are Peta certified or you see a Peta certified stamp on a beauty product, fashion accessory, or article of clothing, it means that specific product, or any portion of it, was not tested on animals. It also means the finished product wasn’t tested on animals either. Peta’s cruelty-free certification is great but please keep in mind, it does not necessarily mean the product is vegan. Peta’s certification only signifies the product is cruelty-free but it can also happen to be vegan. 

This can be a little confusing since we know Peta fights against using animal products of any kind, so we’d expect a Peta certified product to be vegan but that’s not always the case. One example is Wet n Wild cosmetics. Wet n Wild is not a 100% vegan brand but they do have some vegan products. When it comes to animal testing, Wet n Wild is 100% cruelty-free and does not test on animals. This cruelty-free practice is why they’re Peta certified and included in Peta’s Beauty Without Bunnies database.

When shopping for vegan beauty products of any kind, do not rely solely on the “Peta certified” stamp alone, be sure to read labels and check ingredients to find out if the product you’re looking at is cruelty-free AND vegan. Click here for a list of vegan & cruelty-free beauty brands. 

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2017

The Nordstrom anniversary sale is now open to the public! Today I’m sharing my top anniversary sale picks in athletic wear, jewelry, accessories + more. You guys, there are SO many awesome pairs of Zella leggings on sale! I absolutely love Zella workout wear, it’s stylish, durable and just the best workout clothes for curvy women. Here are my top picks in workout clothes. I love EVERYTHING but I’m especially obsessed with number 6 and 9. In case you missed it, last week I shared my top picks in dresses, bottoms, and shoes. I also shared my top picks in tops, sweaters, and coats.

My Nordstrom anniversary sale picks in: activewear

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1. Live In High Waist Leggings

2. Seamless Strappy Back Bralette

3. Mesh Inset Training Tee

4. Max Bomber Jacket

5. ALO Cropped Hoodie

6. Dry Versa Training Crop Top

7. Sophia One-Piece Swim Suit

8. Autumn High Waist Moto Ankle Leggings

9. Top Speed Tee

 

My Nordstrom anniversary sale picks in: accessories + more

I love love love love pick #3. I’ve been looking for a pair of squared sunglasses similar to Celine’s “Tilda” sunglasses and these are it! Check out my instastories through out the week. I’ll be sharing what I bought and showing how it fits. Back to my picks in accessories and more. I linked two gorgeous handbags that are not only stylish but cruelty-free! (#veganleather weeeee!) Also, how freakin’ cute is that picknick basket? It comes with a cheese board and two hand-blown wine glasses! I need this in my life. If you’re looking for a gift idea for a loved one, this would be perfect! Last thing I need to mention, this pineapple drink holder pool floatie, it’s so cute and fun!

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1. Faux Leather Tote

2. Urban Concrete Soy Wax Candle

3. 54mm Polarized Sunglasses

4. ‘Mia – White’ Sonic Skin Cleansing System

5. 56mm Polarized Sunglasses

6. Studded Stretch Belt

7. Picnic Time ‘Kabrio’ Wine & Cheese Picnic Basket

8. Large Dajana Faux Leather Top Handle Satchel

9. Inflatable Pineapple Drink Holder Pool Float

 

My Nordstrom anniversary sale picks in: Jewelry

I LOVE every single one of these items. How gorgeous is that pendant necklace (#2) though? It’s totally stealing the spotlight. I love it because it’s convertible and can be worn two ways; layered or as one long piece.

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1. Love Letters Spinning Initial Necklace

2. Scapulaire Convertible Pendant Necklace

3. Edwardian Ear Crawlers

4. Linear Friendship Chain Bracelet

5. Dame Statement Earrings

6. Two-Tone Linear Fringe Earrings

 

July Favorites – Acure Organics & Pacifica Review

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Bulgarian rose, violet, and myrrh linger atop fruity notes in Pacifica’s Persian Rose Body Wash. The rich, elegant, classic scent lingers on the skin even after it’s been rinsed off. It’s silky smooth liquid builds a rich lather, with just a little bit of product, and without the use of sulfates! I adore everything rose-scented. The mesmerizing note of Bulgarian rose oil and the fact that it’s a vegan formula made this a no-brainer purchase for me. I absolutely love using scented soaps that leave a subtle, delicate, and natural scent. I only opt for parfum when I go out to dinners and other social occasion. But for day to day life, natural botanicals offer an easy, lightweight yet equally enchanting alternative. This body wash is cruelty-free and Leaping Bunny approved!

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Immediately after discovering Acure Organics, I became obsessed with the brand. I want to try EVERYTHING. Last month I featured two of my favorite Acure products and this month I chose to try their rose and red tea balancing toner. After the first two weeks of using Acure’s Certified Organic Toner I knew I’d have to review it. I’ve used facial toners in the past but never had any super-noticeable results, even after prolonged use. After the first week of using this organic toner I noticed the tone in my face was more balanced. Given my results with previous facial toners, I didn’t let myself get too excited at first. But after week two, I knew this product was going to find a spot among my beauty cabinet regulars.

My daily skin care routine is pretty simple: wash my face in the morning, moisturize, wash my face before bed, and I’ll use a face scrub 2-3 times a week. That’s all. Fast and simple (because honestly, who’s got the time?). I added Acure’s facial toner to my repertoire about 4 weeks ago. The spray pumps produces a nice, light mist and you don’t need to mess with cotton balls or pads to rub it on. I took notice of it’s tone balancing effects pretty quickly and thanks to that, I have officially reached my goal of wearing only 2 makeup products while out and about.

Stepping out with nothing less than a full face of makeup was absolutely necessary for me since around age 15. As I’ve gotten older and especially in recent years I have really grown to hate feeling like I need all that makeup just to run errands around town. Even when my makeup looked “natural” I still had about 12 different makeup products on. Applying foundation, corrector, and concealer are my least favorite part of doing my makeup so I thought that it wouldn’t really be necessary if I had good skin, so I set out to accomplish that. My regular use of Acure’s facial scrub keeps my skin smooth and blemish-free. But I usually have some redness, darker under eyes, and some general unevenness in my skin tone.

After 3 weeks of using this toner I felt pretty comfortable going out sans foundation, corrector, or concealer. I went to the grocery store and later to Nordstrom’s that day. If I’m being perfectly honest, I thought I was going to get some weird faces and maybe some semi-concealed gasps or even light finger-pointing by terrified onlookers wondering how I let myself out of my house in that condition. I could envision myself inside Nordstrom’s running from mannequin to mannequin, stopping to hide behind each one in a trail that led to the nearest exit. Okay so that may be a little overly-dramatic but a small part of my mind did actually see those scenarios playing out.

Anyway, none of that happened and I was totally fine. I believe it was the very next day that I went out wearing only mascara and filled eyebrows. I felt naked but the lack of wild-eyed stares, gasps, and finger-pointing soon made me forget all about my fears. I can’t remember the last time I wore so little makeup and went out in busy public places for an extended period of time. It must have been when I was like, 12.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE playing with makeup. I have so much stuff I don’t use or have only used once in about 2 years (looking at you cerulean blue metallic eyeshadow), because I love buying makeup. But I think when you get to the point where you dread having to stand/sit (lay, if you’re fancy) in your bathroom for an hour applying makeup because you’re not confident to go out in your natural skin, that’s a problem. Everyone should feel beautiful and confident in their natural skin and be able to use makeup more so to get different looks they like without feeling like they NEED to wear the entire workup every time they go out. Having clear, healthy, balanced skin gave me that freedom and I owe it partially to Acure’s facial toner. I’d go on about all the other wonderful features like the fact that it’s vegan, organic, Leaping Bunny approved, bottled in a recyclable container, and so on but you can get all those facts when you buy yours 😉

June Favorites – Acure Organics

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Acure Brightening Facial Scrub

If green juice was turned into a face scrub, this would be it. All natural with blackberry, pomegranate, and açai fruit extracts this vegan exfoliating facial scrub leaves skin smooth and hydrated. It’s dark green in color due to the chlorella content and it smells like green juice, which I happen to love. The texture is a bit on the coarse side, however it doesn’t feel rough on the skin. It sloughs of skin gently and leaves a nice glow. After scrubbing I like to leave it on for a minute since it has French green clay, which helps pull out impurities.

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Acure Clarifying Shampoo

Approximately eleven years ago, I was introduced by my hairstylist, to clarifying shampoos; and it kinda changed my life. You know how sometimes your hair just loses it’s shine and you try shine serums and a half dozen other products to get it back but it won’t budge? That’s because your hair hasn’t been properly cleaned. I mean sure, you shampooed and rinsed (then rinsed and repeated if you’re  sucker  strict rule follower). You may even be using conditioner regularly to help lock in moisture but you’re doing it wrong.

If you use styling products or take a dip in the pool regularly, you, most of all, need a clarifying shampoo. Enter Acure Organics Clarifying shampoo. A clarifying shampoo is a deep cleanser for hair. Hair product residue and other impurities (like from the pool) cling to hair over time leaving it limp and dull. This clarifying shampoo will strip that gunk away, leaving clean, moisturized, shiny hair.

Hairstylist tip: To get the best results from a moisturizing shampoo first wet the hair just a bit, apply the clarifying shampoo and massage onto the scalp and through the hair adding a bit of water every 10 seconds or so until all of the hair is soaked. Then rinse and use your regular shampoo as indicated. Clarifying shampoos are not recommended for dyed hair because it will strip the dye away.

I picked this particular clarifying shampoo because I loooove the scent of lemongrass. It’s a beautiful clean citrus scent that reminds me of something happy I can’t quite put my finger on. But what really sold me was the the brand. Acure ticks every single box (and more!) on my list when it comes to high quality, cruelty free, effective, beauty buys.

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Certified organic

Fair trade certified

Paraben free

Sulfate Free

Phthalate free

Cruelty free

Free of  SLS

Free of animal testing

Free of synthetic fragrances

Free of harmful preservatives

Free of artificial colors

And the packaging is recyclable, what’s not to love?

 

 

e.l.f Makeup Sale Must Haves

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If you’ve been curious about trying e.l.f makeup or just need to stock up on your favorites, THIS is the time to do it! e.l.f Cosmetics is having a sitewide 40% off sale! Their BB cream with SPF 20 is my newest obsession. It give medium to full coverage and is lightweight on the skin. The shades blend with the your natural skin tone and leave a healthy glow. It looks naturally dewy if worn alone without powder. Also, it smells really nice. The scent is subtle and smells clean, reminds me a bit of baby powder. The smudge pots are also a new obsession of mine. They pigments are beautiful and are super easy to apply. Use any of the colors above and just dab a little on to give your eyes a hint of color and shimmer. They create a really natural and elegant look.

 

The fan brush is my favorite for applying powder blush or shimmer, it’s so lightweight. e.l.f.’s Makeup Mist and Set is an older obsession. I’m still as in love with this products as I was the first time I used it. It REALLY keeps your makeup in place, I use this on a daily basis. The mineral pearls seem to be a favorite of many. I personally haven’t used them but I can’t wait to get my hands on them, they’re so pretty! They’re supposed to give you an even tone and according to the reviews, they really work. I can’t wait to try them.

e.l.f. Studio Mineral Pearls, e.l.f. Studio Makeup Mist & Set, e.l.f. Studio BB Cream SPF 20,  e.l.f. Essential Smudge Pot in Cruisin Chic, e.l.f. Essential Smudge Pot Pearls of Wisdom, e.l.f. Essential Smudge Pot Gotta Glow, e.l.f. Studio Fan Brush.

Check out my previous post for more e.l.f must haves!

 One Day Only! Get 40% off sitewide plus Free Shipping! Enter code LUCKYDAY at checkout. Ends 3.17.15

 

Cruelty Free Makeup Brands

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When I decided to only use cruelty-free makeup, I imagined the transition would be difficult. And to be honest, I thought I wouldn’t be able to find many high quality products; primarily because 90% of designer makeup lines are not cruelty-free. I was dreading the search for great products…BUT, my worrying was all for naught. Some well established brands like NARS and Too Faced are not only uber popular, they’re also cruelty-free! There is a plethora of cruelty-free goodies out there from a large variety of brands.  One major upside of most of these products (apart from not being tested on bunnies and puppies) is that they’re wonderfully inexpensive! Brands like LUSH, e.l.f., and NYX have some of the coolest products ever and I’m super excited to share some of them with you today.

Today’s look:

e.l.f BB Cream with SPF 20 in “Buff”

NYX Love in Rio Eyeshadow Palette in “Cabana Boy”

e.l.f Essential Natural Lashes

NYX Slide On Eye Pencil in “Platinum”

NYX Infinite Shadow Stick in “Crystal”

NYX Felt Tip Liner in “Extreme Black”

NYX Eye/Eyebrow Pencil in “Brown”

e.l.f Studio Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder in “Turks & Caicos”

NYX Jumbo Lip Pencil in “Iced Coffee”

LUSH Liquid Lipstick in “Perspective”

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The e.l.f lashes look really dramatic in the package but I was surprised at how natural they looked once I put them on. They come with the adhesive needed to apply them and the kit is $1. I bought all they had because the price can’t be beat and also, I have impulse control issues. For my eye makeup, I used the Love in Rio eyeshadow palette because I wanted warming tones. I used the eye pencil in “platinum” on my waterline and the infinite shadow stick in “crystal” around the inner corners of my eyes to help illuminate the eye area a bit. The pigments from LUSH are one of my new favorite things. They are very versatile and are all around awesome! I used the Perspective liquid lipstick as blush by dabbing it on the apples of my cheeks. It blends very easily, gives a natural look and doesn’t leave your face sticky, it’s so good!