Tag: cruelty-free

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. 

2018 Holiday Gift Guide | Mindful Gifts for Everyone on Your List + Plus Gifts That Give Back

Gift giving can be daunting, am I right? With the holidays right around the corner, you’ve probably already googled “gift ideas for mom” or “gift ideas for women” and most certainly “gift ideas for men” because they’re especially hard to shop for! What about that one person that doesn’t need anything or has everything?! Yep, I’ve been there too. Don’t worry, this year, I got you covered!

Are you ready to give gifts that are going to really resonate with your loved ones? Are you ready to give with intention? Are you ready to give a gift that will be remembered and cherished for many years to come? GOOD! This holiday gift guide is going to knock your socks off! Not only are these gift ideas awesome, but most of them also give back! Yep, they do good for others, meaning you’ll be feeding two birds with one scone. 😉

Holiday Gift Ideas | Books

Let’s start with books. I love gifting books because they’re the gift the keeps on giving. A single book can completely change someone’s life. Take, for example, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn’s book, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease. This information in this book can be used to reverse heart disease, but please, don’t take my word for it. Go read the 1,700+ reviews on Amazon where readers share their testimonies and lab results. This is some really powerful reading. I’ve been gifted many books over the years, everything from fiction, to non-fiction, to cookbooks, which I still use to this day. Cookbooks make life easier and I’ve loved collecting them since I was a kid. Here are some of my most recent favorites.


1. Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease: The Revolutionary, Scientifically-Proven, Nutrition-Based Cure

The New York Times bestselling guide to the lifesaving diet that can both prevent and help reverse the effects of heart disease

Based on the groundbreaking results of his twenty-year nutritional study, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn illustrates that a plant-based, oil-free diet can not only prevent the progression of heart disease but can also reverse its effects.  Dr. Esselstyn is an internationally known surgeon, researcher and former clinician at the Cleveland Clinic and a featured expert in the acclaimed documentary Forks Over Knives. Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease has helped thousands across the country, and is the book behind Bill Clinton’s life-changing vegan diet.”

2. How Not To Die by Dr. Michael Greger

“From the physician behind the wildly popular website Nutrition Facts, How Not to Die reveals the groundbreaking scientific evidence behind the only diet that can prevent and reverse many of the causes of disease-related death.”

3. The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss, and Long-Term Health

“You can dramatically reduce your risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes just by changing your diet. More than 30 years ago, nutrition researcher T. Colin Campbell and his team at Cornell, in partnership with teams in China and England, embarked upon the China Study, the most comprehensive study ever undertaken of the relationship between diet and the risk of developing disease. What they found when combined with findings in Colin’s laboratory, opened their eyes to the dangers of a diet high in animal protein and the unparalleled health benefits of a whole foods, plant-based diet.”

4. The Blue Zones: 9 Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest

“Bestselling author, longevity expert, and National Geographic Explorer Dan Buettner reports on health, fitness, diet, and aging, drawing on his research from extraordinarily long-lived communities–Blue Zones–around the globe.”

5. This Cheese is Nuts!: Delicious Vegan Cheese at Home

“In their debut cookbook, The Plantpower Way, Julie Piatt and her ultra-endurance athlete husband, Rich Roll, inspired thousands to embrace a plant-fueled lifestyle, and through their advocacy efforts, podcasts, and talks, countless people are now enjoying healthier and more vibrant lives…Filled with the essential tips, tools, and mouth-watering recipes home cooks need to immerse themselves in the world of nut-based cheese-making, This Cheese is Nuts will demonstrate why nut cheeses should be part of any healthy, sustainable diet.”

6. Forks Over Knives—The Cookbook: Over 300 Recipes for Plant-Based Eating All Through the Year

New York Times Bestseller!


Holiday Gift Ideas | Journals

Journals are really trending right now and I’m predicting they will be one of 2019’s biggest trends. Gratitude journals, particularly, seem to be the most popular. Why is this? Well, it seems like this trend started with CEO’s and successful entrepreneurs; many of whom, speak about the power of practicing gratitude and being mindful of the things we have. This is a practice I’ve completely embraced in the last few months and I even started a #gratitudechallenge over on my Instagram. Exercising gratitude is easy and has the power to completely transform your life. I find that since starting this practice, I’m more mindful in more aspects of my life, I have a sunnier disposition, I handle “bad” situations better, I’m kinder to others, I’m nicer to myself, and I have a more positive outlook on life and the world around me. Here are some of my favorite journals.

1.52 Lists for Happiness Journal

2. Good Days Start With Gratitude Journal

3. Diario De Gratitud

A gratitude journal for Spanish speakers. Diario de gratitud en espanol.

4. Start With Gratitude Journal


Holiday Gift Guide for Everyone on Your List


1. Love Your Melon Pom Beanie

Fifty percent (50%) of net profit from the sale of all Love Your Melon products is given to the Love Your Melon Fund to support our nonprofit partners in the fight against pediatric cancer, create therapeutic experiences and fund charitable programming initiatives for children and families battling cancer.

2. One Hope Wine Gift Box

One Hope Wine partners with numerous nonprofits to help support causes that support animals, children, women, veterans, education, environment, and health. Partners include Pencils of Promise and Room to Read.

3. Conscious Steps Mens Gift Box—Socks That Give Back

This box supports the movement to combat deforestation, protect our environment, and repopulate our oceans.

4. Ceramic Oil Diffuser

An oil diffuser is such a great gift to help your loved ones unwind and relax. This one is so simple to use, just fill the water cup to the line, add a few drops of essential oil, and push the start button. Not only is it super easy to use but the soft glowing light and vase design are so pretty; it makes a stylish addition to any room. It also doubles as a night light!

5. Lush Charity Pot

“This rich and generous cream contains seven ingredients sourced from our Sustainable Lush Fund projects that support regenerative agriculture around the world. With every purchase of Charity Pot, we donate 100% of the price (minus the taxes) to small grassroots organizations working in the areas of environmental conservation, animal welfare and human rights.”

6. Raw Sugar Body & Bath Gift Set

This product gives back! For every product purchased, one bar of soap is donated to a family in need. This brand is vegan and cruelty-free.

7. Raw Sugar Holiday Body Wash Set

The product gives back! For every product purchased, one bar of soap is donated to a family in need. This brand is vegan and cruelty-free.

8. Roma Rain Boots

For every pair you buy, a pair is donated to a child in need.

9. Krochet Kids Fox Ears Beanie

This gift gives back. Krochet Kids creates life-changing jobs through the making of apparel and accessories. They also provide social impact programming that helps communities get out of poverty.

10. Conscious Steps Womens Gift Box—Socks That Give Back

Each box plants 10 trees through Trees for the Future, promotes early detection of breast cancer through Keep A Breast, and empowers women with access to safe water through Water.org.

11. Love Your Melon Black Beanie

Fifty percent (50%) of net profit from the sale of all Love Your Melon products is given to the Love Your Melon Fund to support our nonprofit partners in the fight against pediatric cancer, create therapeutic experiences and fund charitable programming initiatives for children and families battling cancer.

12. Gift Prime

This is a gift everyone needs. I’ve been using Amazon Prime for years but when Athena was born, we used it nearly every day. This was invaluable to us because it saved us from having to go out for every little thing I needed for ourselves, the house, the dog, and the baby. Every parent knows the hassle of packing up the baby for a “quick” trip to the store. There’s no such thing; every trip somehow turns into a 2-hour long journey.  If you don’t know what to give someone, give them the gift of express delivery. Prime also comes with tons of free movies and tv shows as well as free audio books.

Prime Trial

If you’d like to try it for yourself, use this link to get a free 30 day trial of Amazon Prime.

13. Ruby’s Dream Big Socks

These rainbow sock are not only really cute, they also give back! Ruby’s Rainbows

“Ruby’s Rainbow is a nonprofit that grants scholarships to adults with Down syndrome who are seeking post-secondary education, enrichment or vocational classes, helping them achieve their dreams of higher education while spreading awareness of their capabilities.”

14. Naja Wonder Sports Bra

Naja offers lingerie and activewear. Their products are made by single mother and female heads of household. They pay above-market wages, provide healthcare, and support child educations with stipends.

15. Matas Traders Hammered Disc Bracelet

These beautifully crafted pieces are made by artisans in India and Nepal. They come from rural areas, tribal villages, and urban slums looking for a chance to lift their families and communities out of poverty. Your purchase supports these artisans and their families for generations to come.

16. I Have Done Love Necklace

This necklace supports the Aleksander Fund by donating $12 for every I Have Done Love necklace sold. The Aleksander Fund is a scholarship to send a woman in need or who have suffered a loss to one of Jen Pastiloff’s healing retreats. It’s named after Julia Anderson’s baby boy who passed away in July 2016.

17. Love Beauty & Planet Rose Gift Set

100% of the gift set profits go to The Recycling Partnership.

18. Petit Vour — A Cruelty-Free, Vegan, Subscription Beauty Box

This is not your ordinary beauty box. These boxes are packed with high-end, vegan and cruelty-free makeup, perfumes, and beauty items. This is the perfect gift for anyone who loves animals as much as they love pampering themselves. Use code: GIFT NOW for 50% off your first box.

19. Deer Sleep Mask

These are currently on sale. Buy one get, one free!

20. Love Your Melon Blanket

Fifty percent (50%) of net profit from the sale of all Love Your Melon products is given to the Love Your Melon Fund to support our nonprofit partners in the fight against pediatric cancer, create therapeutic experiences and fund charitable programming initiatives for children and families battling cancer.

21. S’well Teakwood bottle

This water bottle keeps your water cool for 24 hours and hot drink hot for 12 hours! It was created to reduce single-use plastic water bottles and is now the most popular water bottle on the market. S’well partners with UNICEF and other important charities to do great work.

22. S’well Gold bottle

23. S’well Pink Bottle

24. S’well Silver Bottle

25. Future World Changer Tee 

Use code: SITEWIDESALE for 50% off your purchase.

This tee gives back. “Each year, millions of women and children are trafficked into sexual exploitation in India.  Sudara Freedom Fund and the certified B-Corp, Sudara, are working to change this by providing hope and opportunity through living-wage jobs, skills training, and education.  This change is possible because people like you are making donations to Sudara Freedom Fund and customers are purchasing Sudara goods.”

26. Cuddle and Kind Sebastian the Lamb Stuffed Animal 

For every doll purchased, Cuddle + Kind donates 10 meals to children in the USA and around the world.

27. Cuddle and Kind Lucy the Lamb Stuffed Animal

For every doll purchased, Cuddle + Kind donates 10 meals to children in the USA and around the world.

28. Krochet Kids Fox Stuffed Animal

This gift gives back. Krochet Kids creates life-changing jobs through the making of apparel and accessories. They also provide social impact programming that helps communities get out of poverty.















e.l.f Makeup Sale Must Haves


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

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”


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!


GREEN-BEAUTY-8Wearing Lauren Brooke foundation (in warm NO.20), PRIIA eyeliner (in black) applied with an Earth’s Beauty eyeliner brush, and Anada lipgloss (in Hibiscus).

Natural beauty products you’ll love

In recent weeks I’ve been fastidiously searching for green beauty products as well as green makeup. Coming from a family of holistic medicine practitioners, this search is long overdue. We typically don’t think of eyeliner, foundation, or lip gloss as being natural. It’s well known that makeup products are loaded with chemicals and other ingredients that are not skin friendly. These however, are not and I’m super excited to share them with you all. There’s a multitude of natural beauty products available on the market. I’m filtering through to find the best ones and I can’t wait to share what I’ve found as we move forward. For today, let’s start with these wonderfully affordable green beauty products, all of which can be found on Natural Joy Beauty (promo code below).

GREEN-BEAUTY-4Natural, cruelty-free eyeliner by PRIIA Cosmetics

Natural is not even close to the first word I think of when I look at a pot of black eyeliner. For this reason, I’m really excited share this potted eyeliner by PRIAA Cosmetics that is natural and cruelty-free. Personally, I really like this product. It glides on with the consistency of a liquid liner and is easy to clean up if you make a mistake. The color is a true black and is a fantastic choice for everyday wear. The only down side is that it does smudge the upper eyelid if you apply a wide line. However, this also happens with numerous other potted eyeliners as well. I simply wiped off the top smudge and it didn’t smudge again. This one really stands up well compared to others and, since it’s natural, I’m definitely making the switch!

Joy was also kind enough to send me the eyeliner brush pictured above. I love how thin it is since it allows more room for mistakes when creating a winged line. The thin tip also makes is easier to line in between the lashes which creates the appearance of a thicker lash line. This brush is by Earth’s Beauty and you can find it here.


natural foundation
Lauren Brooke Creme Foundation with SPF 28 in (from left to right): warm NO. 10, warm NO. 20, neutral NO. 30, and neutral NO. 40.

Natural creme foundation with SPF 28 by Lauren Brooke Cosmetiques

This creme foundation is made with organic and non-GMO ingredients including:

  • Coconut oil
  • Radish root oil
  • Argan oil
  • Rosehip oil
  • Green tea extract

It offers medium to full coverage, and has a nice creamy consistency. The clay in this formula was instantly noticeable to me. If you’ve ever applied a clay mask to your face, you’ll recognize the texture as soon as you try this formula. It’s a little different than other formulas you may be used to but it’s wonderful. Once applied, it looks natural and doesn’t feel heavy on the skin, which is big plus for me. This is definitely a new favorite!

GREEN-BEAUTY-3 GREEN-BEAUTY-6Natural lip gloss by Pure Anada in “Hibiscus”

I absolutely love this natural lip gloss by Pure Anada. It’s highly pigmented and has serious staying power. It’s also vegan and made with:

  • Natural oils
  • Plant waxes
  • Shea butter

The color is on the darker side but it goes on lighter. This formula is really glossy and perfect for a night out. A gentle blot removes some of the gloss, leaving a hint of shimmer which is perfect for day to day wear as you can see in the center lip photo. This formula also really grabs onto the lips and is hydrating, I don’t know how they do it. Most hydrating emollients I’ve tried usually don’t stay in place and have to be reapplied, so I’m really pleased that this is not the case with this lip gloss. The lip photo on the far right is what remains after several hours of wear, eating, and lots of wiping with a napkin, it leaves a beautiful, natural-looking tint on the lips. This lip gloss should really be labeled as a 3 in 1 since you can get 3 different lip looks from it from glossy glam to a natural tint. This lip gloss and a few other pieces from Natural Joy Beauty are on my stocking stuffers list for this year. I can’t wait to share them with friends and family!

To get all these amazing, skin-friendly, natural makeup products, see more color options, and watch beauty tutorials head over to Natural Joy Beauty. Before checkout, be sure to enter code “FASHION” to receive 15% off storewide starting today until November 30th! You can also follow them on Facebook here to stay up to date on the best green beauty and green makeup products.


Until next time,

Jen  (: