Giveaway and Product Review: Zen Society Natural Skincare!  »

Zen Society is a line of vegan, natural skincare. It’s made with USDA Certified Organic ingredients, plant botanicals, and fruit extracts. Zen Society is super environmentally friendly; the shipping boxes are made from recycled materials and all the packaging is 100% recyclable. The products are also gluten-free!*

I like this part from their site:

Zen Society takes pride in offering fresh, handcrafted products. We use the highest quality of 100% Natural and USDA Certified Organic ingredients which are cold pressed and unrefined. If our oils are heated, they are never heated above 120° so they retain all vitamins, minerals and nutrients to provide ultimate nourishment to the skin. Each ingredient contains at least 10 vitamins and minerals. We include Fair Trade and locally harvested ingredients whenever possible. No parabens, pesticide sprays, petroleum, silicone, synthetics, artificial fragrances, dyes, GMO, or harmful processed additives.

They are also recognized as a cruelty-free company by PETA and donate a portion of all sales to Friends of the Earth. Kind of sounds perfect, right? Well guess what! Zen Society sent me the rosewater mist and the macadamia body oil on the house and I can say they ARE perfect! The rosewater mist is a nice little astringent or pick-me-up and, well, it smells like roses! Roses smell good.

The macadamia body oil is just about my new favorite thing in the whole world. It absorbs quickly and easily but the best part was when I put it on my elbows! I have rough, ashy elbows and after using this stuff like twice, they were totally better! No body lotion I’ve tried has made any difference and this stuff fixed it overnight. Pretty awesome. I had never even heard of macadamia body oil—now I’m in love! What a difference a day makes. 

OK, now, because I love the macadamia body oil so much, Zen Society has agreed to do a giveaway! To win your own macadamia body oil, leave a comment on this post answering this question: We already care about animals, why should we care about earth-friendly products too?! I’ll pick a winner next Monday.

I also encourage you to follow Zen Society on Twitter and like their FB page because they announce sales, specials, new products, and nice stuff like that. Don’t miss out!

*Is gluten bad for your skin?!


CLOSED—Product Review and Giveaway: Think Pretty pure beauty elixir!  »

Yay! It’s the next giveaway for Vegansaurus Giveaway Week! Check every day this week for more prizes!

Think Pretty is a lovely vegan line of “beauty elixirs,” which are antioxidant, nutrient-rich facial serums. They make seven different elixirs; I tried You Make Me Feel So Young. The ingredients are definitely exciting!: Olive Squalane, Olive Leaf Extract, Red and White Tea Extract, Açai Berry Extract, Blackerry Seed Oil, Coenzyme Q-10, Immortelle Oil, Orchid Extract. Oh my! That sounds hella healthy!

After trying this, my official word is that I very much like the stuff! The results weren’t super-drastic, but the elixir went on nicely, absorbed well, and my skin was soft and dewy. I love dewy skin!

So, my little friends, just for you guys we are holding a giveaway, AND I’ve got a discount code for you!

Giveaway: To enter to win your own bottle of Think Pretty beauty elixir, leave a comment on this post telling me why natural skincare products are the bomb. I will pick a winner next Tuesday!

Discount: To get 25 percent off all Think Pretty products, enter “AutumnPretty25” (not case specific) when purchasing. This code is active now until Oct. 31!

OK, get your vegan, organic skincare on!


Product Review: Benecos makeup and True Natural self tanner!  »

Hey, pals! Here I am, back with another makeup review. The company this time is Benecos by loveTrueNatural. Not everything is vegan but the line is all natural and never tested on animals. The descriptions clearly state if a product is vegan. Of course, all the stuff I tried is vegan! Adoy.

Yes so they sent me a couple of vegan products to try for free. The first thing I tried is the loose mineral powder. I love this stuff! It comes with it’s own poof so I like to keep it in my purse to powder my nose on occasion. I got it in “light” and it was a little bit too light for me, but still great. It offers a lot of coverage, it’s not a sheer powder. 

Next I tried the eyeshadow and eyebrow designer. Here’s me:

As you can see, the eyeshadow colors are very light and natural-looking. They go on great and blend well. I think I could have put more color on but I think it’d still be very sheer and natural looking. So if that’s the style you want, this is for you. You’ll have to look elsewhere for something more dramatic. I liked that the brow pencil has it’s own little brush but the pencil wasn’t subtle enough for me. I have pretty dark brows though so I don’t usually use an eyebrow pencil. 

I also tried the True Natural self tanner. Self tanner always makes me nervous but this was pretty good. I just had a subtle tan the next day so it wasn’t like some cray orange. I did have some streaking by my feet but I think I applied it unevenly, so just be mindful of that.

All in all, great products! If you want organic makeup for a subtle, natural look, Benecos is for you. And if you’ve been looking to dabble in self tanner, I’d give this a shot. It’s not dramatic but if you don’t want to be a pasty ghost, this will help. That’s all for today!


Product Review: Hush Hush Essentials skincare  »

Let’s get this out of the way first: OMG the Hush Hush Essentials packaging is so cute! If you didn’t already know, your friend Megan Rascal loves retro pin-up stuff, so I love Hush Hush’s design aesthetic. Now, for the actual products; Hush Hush sent me Starlet renewal crème and the Wink Wink eye crème to try for free. All their products are vegan and never tested on animals. And paraben-free—I don’t know what that is but I’m glad! Parabens can suck it.

Starlet: This cream is great! It’s my new favorite thing. It absorbs quickly and is moisturizing but not greasy. My skin felt very nice. I’m sold! It has 81 percent organic content, omega-3 and -6, and vitamins E, B3, A, C, and B5. So exciting!

Wink Wink: Pretty nice stuff! Soaks in nicely and I think there was a reduction in puff. It has omega-3, -6, and -9 as well as vitamins A and E. 

Another exciting thing: Hush Hush has this great ingredient dictionary. Love it. I just love vitamins and that kind of crap. Celeste, the creator, basically grew up in a holistic health center so she knows all about that stuff! Oh and for you Bay Area people, you’ll be happy to hear that Celeste is now an Oaklandite! Oaklandian? Oaklandish.


Product Review: CA Sunshine skincare!  »

Hi guys! Welcome to my latest vegan skincare product review. I have some good skin stuff for you today! And a hair mask too. All these products are from CA Sunshine. CA Sunshine is an all-vegan company and they also support various ocean conservation efforts. They sent me some gratis samples to try and now I will tell you all about them! Plus, there’s a little Q&A at the end so stay tuned. 

The first product I tried was Sunny Day, a “dewy look enhancer.” It’s organic argon oil, which is all the rage, plus sunflower oil, jasmin oil, and citrus essential oils. Bonus: the argon oil is sourced from women’s cooperatives in Morocco. I really like Sunny Day and it does give you a dewy look. I did find that it made my nose a little too oily, but I’ve used argon oil in the past and the same thing happened. I think my nose and argon oil aren’t meant to be BFF. So I ended up using Sunny Day all over my face except on my nose and that worked super. 

The next product I used was Starry Night. It’s grape seed oil, jojoba, and lavender oil. This I used all over, nose included. It was also really nice. The bottles say to moisturize after you put on these products but I didn’t feel like I had to with Starry Night. The thing with both of these products is you really feel like you are doing something healthy for your skin. It feels like all natural and hippie. I can dig it!

The last product I used was the Radiant Beach hair mask. The hair mask is mostly organic coconut oil and organic ricinus communis oil. My sister was just telling me she occasionally puts olive oil on her hair for a half hour to keep it healthy so I thought coconut oil would be a similar idea. But unlike olive oil, Radiant Beach is thick and not oil consistency so it’s easier to apply.

So, Radiant Beach is totally nice! BUT DON’T put more in than they say. I put like half the jar in because my hair is so long I thought I would need more than suggested. That was super silly! It took a while to wash it out. Like two days. So just use the amount they tell you. 

I did a brief question and answer for you guys with the creator of CA Sunshine, Terra:

1. Was is important to you that your products were vegan?

Terra: Since I eat vegan or vegetarian most of the time and I love natural products, it was almost expected that my product line would be natural and cruelty free. I like how my vegan products are pure and literally give you a guilt-free glow.  

2. How did you get involved with Seafood Watch?

Terra: Several years ago The Monterey Bay Aquarium invited me to a conference about sustainable seafood, and I have been a proactive advocate of ocean conservation ever since. I love the Aquarium’s program because it empowers all of us to be conservationists as we grocery shop. It couldn’t be easier. Each of us can make a difference.

3. Do you plan on releasing any other products in the future? What?!

Terra: I am working on an avocado-based product but can’t say much yet. It will be fantastic! After that, I have a California-colors makeup palette in mind.

There you have it, pals! I’m super excited about an avocado-based product, right? Some of my favorite products are avocado-based, like guacamole and stuff with avocado.


Product Review: Sprout Skincare! Made in BK, on sale today!  »

I know you guys are going to love Sprout! Why? All but one set of lip balms are vegan, plus: 

All of Sprout’s ingredients are either certified organic, Fair Trade, or sourced from small, family farms. We’re committed to creating the most effective products in the most responsible way, taking all of our ethical obligations into account.

Nice, right? I know you like organic, sustainable, fair trade stuff. Sprout sent me a bunch of samples to test out and now I will tell you all about them!

Overall, I love these products. I tried the vegan lip balm first and it’s nice. Not too heavy like you’ve got icky wax caked on. Then I tried the cleanser. It smells nice, but I don’t really understand it. It’s the consistency of water so I didn’t know how to rub it in exactly. But they say it is great for sensitive skin and I imagine it really is. It’s made with only rose water, vegetable glycerin, and tea tree oil. All of their products are like that—only a few ingredients and no gross chemicals! Like their signature cream is just shea butter, extra-virgin coconut oil, and extra-virgin olive oil. 

The cream is awesome! Very moisturizing. And I had weird patches of skin on my elbows when I got these products so I put the cream on them for a few days and it fixed it! Dang weird elbow skin. 

But the two products I really love are the exfoliant and the body scrub. They might be too rough for sensitive skin but I imagine sensitive skin people don’t exfoliate that often? But if you like exfoliants, you can’t get better than these. The face exfoliant makes your skin so nice and smooth. And the body scrub—that stuff rules. It’s cool because it moisturizes while you’re scrubbing. That seems like such a genius idea, right? Moisturizing while your scrubbing off dead skin, totes genius. 

OK, now that you have my recommendations, I have some good news for you!: Vegan Cuts, everyone’s favorite site for deals on vegan stuff, is having a sale on Sprout starting TODAY!* It’s only for three days so get on that more sooner than later. And get some of that exfoliant!

PS: who else loves the packaging? I’m totally into it!

*Someone pointed out that there’s a Vegan Cuts banner next to this post—they are part of our new vegan-friendly advertising push! That’s not why I linked though, I don’t make any money linking to them. I waited until there was a sale on Sprout to do my review because I know you guys like a sale and like instant gratification.  


Product Review: By Nieves, unisex vegan skincare from the Bay Area!   »

Straight out of Oakland, it’s By Nieves! A homemade, vegan, natural skincare line for both men and women! By Nieves sent me some free samples and now I’m going to tell you all about them!

The Balm: this product says you can use it everywhere, including hair! I tried it on my lips with some success and my elbows which was nice.

I decided to try it on my hair but I was scared to put it all over as my hair can be oily and I hate washing it. So I just tried it on the ends of my hair and guess what! It was really cool! It made the ends hold a slight flip at the bottom like I like and helped with frizz. Also, it smells nice! Well, all the products smell nice! Oh you know what? They smell like a spa! That’s the smell: Spa-scented.

Face Fix and "C" Perfect Skin: OK, I don’t want to oversell this because I don’t know if it’ll happen for you but I’m just going to tell you the events that transpired!

The Face Fix can be used as a face wash or a mask but I decided to try it just as a mask. First of all, it’s a nice mask; you wash it off before it’s fully dry so you don’t get that tight, irritating mask feeling like you do while waiting for other masks to dry. But the amazing thing was that at the time I put it on, I had a small pimple, OK? I had messed with it, so it was pretty red and inflamed. OK so I put the mask on…wait…wash it off…and the pimple was like seriously diminished! THEN I put the “C” Perfect Skin stuff on, it’s an oil you use like a moisturizer, and went to sleep. When I woke up, the pimple was completely gone. Like it had never been there! I was very, very impressed. 

One note about the “C” Perfect Skin, it says to apply to damp skin and I think that’s important because the first time I put it on, my skin was dry and it just didn’t absorb very well. The next time I used it my skin was damp and it absorbed much better. 

Cloud of Protection: I love this stuff. You can use it as an air spritzer or a hand spray. I actually really like hand sprays but I am super scared of those chemically hand sanitizers because I’m afraid of superbugs taking over the world! But then I haven’t found a natural-y one that I like. They all smell icky. This one smells nice! Like I said, it smells like a spa. 

And the description says when you spray it around you, it doesn’t just shield you from airborne pathogens, it clears bad vibes! “Making room for good fortune and happiness,” huzzah!

Bath Salt: The final thing I tried I actually had my brother try. The Bath Salt has epsom salts in it which I know is good for muscles and my brother is the athletic type so I thought it’d be nice for him. Plus, he’s super into baths! He’s fancy. His official word after trying the Bath Salt: “good stuff!” There you have it!

Basically, By Nieves is the answer to your vegan, natural skincare needs. Also fun: they have a cool ingredient glossary! It tells you what each one does for your skin. Totes fun.


Product Review: 100% Pure skincare and cosmetics  »

100% Pure is a very vegan-friendly makeup and skincare company! They do no animal testing whatsoever, because they don’t use any crazy ingredients that need to be tested on animals! It’s like all fruit and stuff. They really do use fruit pigment in their makeup! So fun. Most of their products are vegan but some contain beeswax. Those that do are clearly marked “vegetarian” while the rest are marked “vegan.” Easy peasy! 100% Pure gave me some free products to try: I tried the lip glaze in Vixen and the Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream

I was curious about the lip glaze as I’d never heard of lip “glaze” before. Above you can see my lips without the glaze and then my lips with the glaze. That’s a lot of the glaze, you can use less for a less dramatic result. But it’s kind of halfway between lipstick and colored lipbalm. You can get a lot of color but it doesn’t feel dry and is still somewhat subtle, unlike lipstick. I always feel like lipstick overwhelms my face because my lips are so big; this lip glaze is a happy medium. The Vixen color is supposed to be a coral so I was expecting it to have more of an orange undertone but it’s more pink as you can see. But my sister’s two signature lipsticks are hot pink and orange-red, so I think this color still passes the Cally test. The color also lasted a decent amount of time and never felt dry like lipstick usually does. 

The other product I tried, the Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream, was kind of awesome. I wanted to try it because Cally says stuff with caffeine in it is super tops for under-eye issues. Whenever I’m tired, my eyes puff up like cray! And I’m just about always tired. So, I’m always on the lookout for the perfect under-eye cream. Because I don’t like when people know my business! Let those chumps think I went to bed early.

Because I am such a scientist, I applied the cream just under one eye so I could compare. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much just because I feel like, even if it’s working, it’s just hard to notice. But to my surprise, there was a clear puffiness reduction! It wasn’t like, “OMG I was just born yesterday!” but the side I had applied the cream to was obviously less puffy. And this is after a single use, I’m sure it gets better when you use it regularly. 

I also like this cream because Dr. Oz likes it! I don’t know anything about Dr. Oz but I see his name everywhere so of course I trust him completely. I mean, he’s a doctor. 

There you have it friends, add 100% Pure to the growing list of super animal-friendly companies that make great stuff! 


Dr. Dennis Gross’ products are cruelty-free and my favorite!  »

I love Dr. Gross! I used to use the above Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel years ago before I was vegan and they are the best. So how happy was I to learn this peel is vegan?! Hint: SO HAPPY. These things make your skin so pretty. My sister and I also love the Alpha Beta Glow Pads. They give you a little tan but it’s just light and gradual. It’s great!

The site says they are “cruelty-free” and PETA approved. Not ALL of their products are vegan, but the vast majority are. Including this new Active Vitamin D Serum Oil! It’s supposed to deliver vitamin D to your skin without sun exposure—do you think it could benefit vegans in terms of vitamin D? But it would just be for your skin, right? I don’t know, I’m not a mathematician! But I’m excited to try this. Maybe I can email them about it and see how exactly the vitamin D works. And I’ll let you know when I can get my hands on some of this stuff. Have any of you tried it?

The only downside to their products is that they are hella expensive! Ouch! Maybe you can ask for some Dr. Dennis Gross products for your presents. I mean you know if you don’t ask for stuff, it’s vegan cookbook town. Which is great, but after a few years, my book shelves are getting a little heavy. 

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