vegansaurus!

04/22/2014

Product review: Vegan Cuts Beauty Essentials Kit!   »

imageI love vegan cosmetics! In a past more recent than I’d like to admit, I got tripped up by the term cruelty-free on cosmetics, thinking it was an all-inclusive term meaning vegan. That, my friends, couldn’t be farther from the truth, as cruelty free cosmetics often have animal ingredients in them. If I, a long-time vegan, am having trouble with this in the store, how must new vegans feel? It’s overwhelming! With lists and lists of animal ingredients to memorize, these waters are not often easy to navigate—not only in food but in products for our faces, bods and hair as well! 

Thankfully, the Vegan Beauty Essentials Kit exists, curated by Vegan Cuts! This box is filled with such fun and luxurious products, I believe vegans of all experience levels, from rookies to lifers, the curious to the die-hards, will enjoy receiving it! I excitedly tried most of the products immediately, but am saving a few for weekends on the go! Most of the products, if not all of them, are the perfect size to get through TSA, and wouldn’t take up much room in an overnight bag. I enjoy having fancy products to travel with, it adds a bit of excitement and glamour to an on-the-go routine. I can’t just waltz into the drugstore for all my trial-size, traveling needs anymore.

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Let’s be real: vegan products do not come cheap, definitely not as affordable as their cruelty-full counterparts. In this respect, I enjoy having an assortment of sample sizes to try, in order to make informed decisions about which full sizes to purchase in the future. After all, what works for you may not work for me and vice versa. The Beauty Essentials kit comes with 10 -15 surprise items, and while most are sample size, a couple of them are full size! 


Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus.com!

I couldn’t recommend this kit more! And what a deal: it’s a $50 value for $27.95. Everything smells so fresh, and is catered to most skin and hair types! (Please, can someone come teach me how to use the eyeshadow, because I have never gotten the hang of that one?) [Ed. note: Megan Rascal’s adorable sister can!]

Full Disclosure: Vegan Cuts sent me the Beauty Essentials Kit to review, free of charge, but all of the opinions stated are my own. I will be purchasing many of these products after sampling them in the kit. I wouldn’t waste your time, nor mine, writing posts that do not reflect my personal experience! BECAUSE I AM THE WORST AND DROPPED THE BALL ON GETTING THIS REVIEW UP, VERSION 2.0 IS WHAT IS AVAILABLE NOW. Looks just as awesome!  

01/09/2014

The Vegan Cuts Beauty Box: A monthly box of pretty, cruelty-free surprises!  »

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Vegan Cuts sent me a free Beauty Box to try! Now I will tell you all about it!

So you subscribe to the Beauty Box and you will get a package every month with 4-7 sample size vegan beauty products. And they are mostly all organic or natural. The box is curated by the one and only vegan beauty maven Melisser Elliott! I had the pleasure of meeting Melisser a month or so ago and she’s awesome and has an adorable tiny dog who I love very much. Whom I love very much? I’m never going to get that straight. 

Above you can see the contents of the December box. I was totally down to try the box because I love samples. They are the best, right? Hint: right! I was already excited but then the samples were even better than I expected! I pretty much love them all. And I was not expecting the super cute little purse. The standout products were the Ferro mineral eyeshadow, the Soapbox Soap and the super pretty Color Club polishes. This is the Apollo Star polish!:

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It’s pretty awesome. And I love the other colors too—one is just a dark grey! Super-fashion! 

The Ferro mineral eyeshadow color I got is a pretty rose color. It went on smooth and didn’t fall all over below my eye when I applied. It’s very very pretty! It gives an understated warm shimmer.

The Soapbox Soap is cool because every bottle of soap sold funds a year of vitamins for a child in need! Totally rad! I love shiz like that. 

I also liked the LA Fresh facial wipes. Dang I did not realize my face was so dirty! For shame! 

The box is $19.95, which isn’t super-cheap, but it includes U.S. shipping and plus I just love surprises so I think it’s worth it. Boy do I love surprises! And I love vegan beauty products and trying new stuff. So the Beauty Box is pretty much my jam. I know we have some readers in other countries—you’ll be glad to hear they ship world-wide, but there is a shipping cost. 

Another highlight, I love this answer in the FAQ:

Q: How do you make sure everyone gets products that match their skin tone?

A: We understand that our subscribers all have different skin tones and types. To ensure that no one gets a product they can’t use because it doesn’t match their skin tone, we don’t include foundation or other skin tone specific products in the Beauty Box. Not to worry, we don’t shy away from including makeup in the box! We simply try to keep it as inclusive as possible with eye shadows and blushes that everyone can use.

Dope. Love it. 

The January Beauty Box ships on the 20th so you still have a few days to order in time. Go forth, vegan beauty lovers!

12/23/2013

Product Review: Own eye cream!   »

A little while ago I wrote a review on Odacité skin care, an organic, vegan line that I think is just marvelous! I did, however, take issue with their eye cream; it was a little too heavy for my combination skin. As I was trying to wean myself off a former, non-cruelty free line, I found myself in a dilemma of epic proportions: WHAT DO I DO ABOUT MY DELICATE AND NEEDY EYE AREA? 
Enter the mastermind behind Logical Harmony (and my personal vegan beauty and lifestyle guru), Tashina Combs. I tweeted at her in a panic, and she was like “GIRL, I got you! Try Own Lifting Eye Cream!” So I did. I had my mom buy me a tube for my birthday and I’ve been smitten since. This summer romance is going the distance! (Unlike the one I had involving a human being, but oh well!)

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I think Tashina does a great job of reviewing this Own eye cream, so I’ll go ahead and direct you over there, as I agree with everything she says about it! I’ll add that it’s perfect for skin that is a bit on the oily side, as it’s quite light, and it’s perfect for someone who wants their eye cream to absorb quickly. Own is a San Francisco based company —  their products are sold all over the place, including Whole Foods, Ulta, Amazon, and as well as little internet marketplaces all over a quick google search. I am also a fan of the fact it won’t cost me an arm and a leg to replace my tube once it runs out (anywhere from $15 - $25, depending on the retailer). I look forward to trying more of their products in the future!

Hey, and while we’re on the subject of Logical Harmony beauty reviews, check out her “October Empties” video. I love this concept — people show off their empty cosmetics, describe them, and tell the viewer whether they’d buy them again or not. So, a vegan doing one? SOLD! (Vitamin E as eye make-up remover? Who knew?)

I’m always on the hunt for new, cruelty-free, beauty products to try, so please, let me know your favorites!

{Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus.com!}

10/01/2013

Product review: Odacité fresh skin care!   »

Now, I wouldn’t say I freaked out when I turned 30, but I wouldn’t say I didn’t. I handled it like a champ! Look, I mean, I started noticing some fine lines and omg where DID ALL THOSE GRAYS COME FROM, HOW DID THIS HAPPEN, WHERE DID THE TIME GO, I AM BUT A MERE MORTAL AFTER ALL, but I got through it. Since surviving that breakdown two years ago, I’ve found myself really enjoying my thirties, living life like a forever-angsty-teen from the ’90s and tightening up my skincare routine as to continue being carded when I buy vodka or black-bottle kombucha. While yes, it’s true that I have great genes and a youthful spirit, eye cream and moisturizer are of the essence (my secret weapon). Seriously, the right skin care routine is crucial business!

I have always loved skin care products, an obsession I must give my mom credit for, as she has every serum ever created. I’ve been using anti-aging creams since I was 12, no joke. The second thing I do after scouring the cupboards for food at my parent’s house is go through my mom’s medicine cabinets—it’s like Christmas. So, I was absolutely ecstatic when I asked Odacité if I could sample their vegan skin care line to review for this very blog and when they agreed, I kid you not, I squealed. After a short skin analysis, they sent me their 10-Day Discovery Kit—one that was fashioned to the questions I answered in the analysis. (The kit lasted well over 10 days for me, but I was quite diligent about using small amounts of the products.)

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While using the Odacité kit, I noticed my complexion looked much more even, and I didn’t break out once! Not while traveling, and not during that extra special lady week. My face felt very fresh, clean, and the redness I tend to get on my cheeks faded. I could feel the quality of these products on my skin, and I was impressed. Another thing I like about Odacité is that they have freshness seals on their products, and it’s recommended that they are stored in the refrigerator. Why, you ask? Well, the ingredients are all pure, organic, and raw! These babies are not only cruelty, but toxin-free, with no parabens or fragrances added! But don’t just take my word for it, read the full story here.

image Now let’s review the products!

Rejuvenating Cleanser: It’s creamy and doesn’t lather, which I’m not used to in a cleanser. A little definitely goes a long way—my skin felt very fresh and clean afterward, and it even took off my eye makeup! That’s always a challenge with my facial cleansers.

Immortelle Refreshing Toner: I love using toners after washing my face. I love the fresh tingle and my skin care regime never feels complete without using one. I liked the smell and feel of this one; my face felt refreshed and ready for moisturizer. It didn’t sting, or smell of alcohol, and it didn’t bring out any redness or irritation as some toners tend to do.

Day Moisturizer: Moisturizer is a hard one for me. As a teenager, I had very oily skin, and now in my 30s it’s definitely combination—oily with dry patches. The wrong moisturizer can feel too heavy, which I am not a fan. I hate when I can feel it on my skin. This day cream was so light and absorbed instantly! My face felt clean all day, which is quite a feat when covered in frosting all day. In my opinion, the only thing missing is an SPF, but other than that I loved it!

Jojoba Beads Exfoliant: This product was both gentle and effective. When I was a teen, even into my 20s, I thought that the rougher the exfoliator, the better! Then my mom told me that the wrong (cheap) exfoliator will actually tear your skin. Scary! I tend to not like that some brands feel too gentle, like they aren’t doing anything! I liked Odacité’s because it felt gentle, but also like it was actually exfoliating. They recommend you use this product twice a week.

Ultra Effective Eye Cream: This is a very rich eye cream, which I found better suited me for nighttime use. As far as part of my day regime, it was too heavy on my lids, too creamy, and I couldn’t apply any eye make-up. Even on mornings when I didn’t apply make-up, I didn’t like the feeling of it on my skin. I ended up only using it at night, as it didn’t bother me in my sleep and that’s when I want a richer product on my skin (as long as it won’t cause break-outs!).

NIght Time Antioxidants Repair Serum: This cream was slightly richer than the day moisturizer, but still light enough that it didn’t bother the oilier parts of my complexion or feel heavy on my skin. I was quite impressed by how my skin looked the mornings after using it—no surprise breakouts and actually quite fresh-looking for someone who averages about five hours of sleep a night.

The discovery kit also came with two small circular sponges, which are for use on your face after cleaning it. You rub them over your face in a circular motion to get the blood flowing and decrease puffiness. What a fun new addition to my autopilot-esque skin care routine!

OK, OK, now I know you’re like, “Jenny, really? These products are like, a quarter of my paycheck!” I know they don’t come cheap, but if you can shell out, you are definitely paying for top-quality, stellar products. I’m not going to beat around this—it’s high-end stuff and believe me, not in my price range (which is why I’ve used gift-giving occasions to procure my stash*). However, Odacité is definitely one of the superior skin care lines I have ever used (and I have tried a ton of them). I definitely noticed a difference in my complexion, even after using them for only a couple of days, and if you can, I recommend trying out the discovery kit yourself, to see which products suit you and whether or not it’s even for you.

*I actually received the Discovery Kit about a year ago and have LAGGED on this review. But since then, I have added the full-sized toning mist, hydration mask, day cream, and exfoliator to my regime. I LOVE this line, and like I said before, when it comes to my skincare, I don’t play. Fashion choices—well, that’s a different story.

04/01/2013

Product Review: Dr. Alkaitis Skin Care Is Posh For Your Pores  »

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Growing up I’ve been pretty lucky in the skin department. I’ve been vegetarian since age 12 and vegan since age 18, so there haven’t been disgusting meat or animal product residue seeping out of my pores in a long time, thank goodness.

Still, as I grow older (I’m 25, almost 26! How did this happen?!) I am increasingly discovering the importance of treating my largest organ right. Wrinkles may or may not come in a few years, and these freckles I’ve always been fine with could lead to melanoma, so I’m determined at quarter-life to ramp up my efforts to wear sunscreen and skin brush and administer semi-regular facials. A person’s gotta do what a person’s gotta do!

These days I’m always on the lookout for good skin swag, and was thrilled when Dr. Alkaitis Organic Skin Care sent me samples of their latest line, which contains the finest blend of nutrients your epidermis can handle.

Dr. Alkaitis is designed by a PhD so you know it’s legit (am I right?!) and isn’t tested on animals and contains all-organic plant-based ingredients. According to their website, “Alkaitis is the only rational approach to timeless beauty.” That sounds good to me!

My favorite Dr. Alkaitis product is hands-down the organic universal mask. My darling and I put them on, waited 30 minutes, and became awesome. My skin feels so, so smooth and smells like the bottom of a redwood forest. I also love the organic nourishing treatment oil, which I slather on myself whenever possible, and put on just after doing this mask. It’s even great on my face, which the bottle said was an acceptable use, and hasn’t lead to breakouts. Go figure!

The only weird thing about Dr. Alkaitis products is their website recommends mixing goat milk yogurt with their otherwise vegan facial mask (umm…) but there is no goat milk in the product itself, so just don’t go crazy following all the instructions on their site and you should be good. Cool? All of their containers are 100% recyclable! Score another one for the plants! Get Dr. Alkaitis products online and at fine health food stores nationwide.

 

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