Friends! I know I've been so MIA lately and I am so sorry because I have so much I want to post and not enough time to post it. I want to share some of my life with you today, on this very special day, as I celebrate my 5 Year Veganniversary!
I really love this quote from KVD, one of my personal favorite ladies and an icon for me. She is strong, fierce, and steadfast in her convictions. She's the prettier, cooler and gothier version of me I wish I was lol. I spent 15 years as a vegetarian before going vegan 5 years ago, and her comment on perspective is so true, in multiple ways.
Perspective is a point of view right? My perspective is that animals are friends, not food. No animal ever deserves to be on my plate. My perspective is that every animal is equal; a dog is no more an animal than a cow. Cows physically weep when they're about to be slaughtered, did you know that? I mean, they literally howl, a guttural cry, because they are such intelligent creatures and they know what's about to happen to them? Can you imagine your pet being in that situation? For no other reason than so someone can eat it? I won't even use perspective on the horrible abuse farm animals receive, the living conditions if you want to call it that they they're subject to, and the absolute absurdity of the entire thing- these are not perspectives, these are facts. Watch a video or documentary if you don't believe me. My perspective is that I care enough about humans, Earth, and every living creature enough on this planet to know that by being vegan I am helping all living things. My perspective is that compassion is a value that rules me at my core. My perspective is that being a vegan is one of the best decision I've ever made in my life.
Being a vegan is one of the best decisions I've ever made for the aforementioned reasons, but also because it gives me purpose and it's reliable. Every day, I am a vegan. Life and I have not been seeing eye to eye for a long time, and the universe is just kicking me while I'm down. For example, today is my veganniversary. Usually, I go to The Greyhound Cafe with my husband and we enjoy a meal, talk to Joe the owner, and it's really special. That didn't happen this year, because my husband and I are divorcing and I spent the entire day, with the help of my mom and my friends, re-doing my apartment to make it feel like my apartment and not our apartment. Tonight, we should be going to my dads and watching fireworks with him and my sister, but we're not. There is no longer a "we." Nothing prepares you for your entire life to come crashing down in front of you, and there's no brakes and nothing to stop it; you're helpless as it collapses. Grieving the loss of what could have and should have been, grieving the identity of who I was, grieving everything. Happy days are no longer what they used to be, holidays are worse than ever, work and school are so overwhelming and I come home to an empty apartment (excluding my cats) and it feels like a part of me has died that will never return.
This is my perspective on my life right now. It is shit. Having mental illnesses do not help said perspective, because they reinforce negative thought patterns that it will always be shit. I'm trying really really hard to not let them always be shit, but this is, to date, the hardest thing I have ever encountered. This speak volumes because my life has always been one of discomfort and difficulties, but here I am, worse than I've ever been and faking it harder than I ever have. Veganism is presently one of the only consistent things in my life right now, so while I celebrate a half of a decade being a vegan, I celebrate that consistency extra today.
Now that I have poured my heart out to all 5 of you that read this, I will end this with well wishes for everyone- may you all be truly happy, whatever that looks like to you. Oh, and GO VEGAN! =)
You know when you tell people you're a vegan and they're like... but protein and iron and B12?!!?! They suddenly go into a panic about things they never would've care about otherwise. I've always prided myself as a vegan who knows how to eat right, and I do love to brag that my protein levels are usually higher than most omnis, I'm like LET'S COMPARE BLOOD WORK! However, my body, as expected, does not like me, and in an ironic twist, developed an autoimmune disorder called Pernicious Anemia. Due to a lack of protein called intrinsic factor that my body thinks is bad and my immune system fights off, causes me to be unable to absorb B12 through my food. Isn't it ironic? Don't ya think?
So, what's the deal with it? The who, what, when, where, why, how? I'm going to keep this as simple as possible. I was the kid reading medical dictionaries, because clearly I was pretty cool. I'm not a doctor, but I'm just sharing my knowledge and experience. PSA: if you think you have a medical problem, see your doctor. I love my doctor so much, I wish I could just hang out with him on the weekends.
Who: There are a lot of factors, like: age, diet, family history, ethnic background, etc... For me, it was already having one autoimmune disease. Once you have one, you're more likely to develop another one.
What: Basically, having Pernicious Anemia means that my autoimmune system likes to attack healthy cells, like the ones that create the protein intrinsic factor, which is necessary to absorb B12 in the stomach. It binds to it, so less intrinsic factor, less B12 absorption.
When: Whenever really. As I previously stated, age does play a factor, but there is no set time table when it comes to this.
Where: Your belly mostly, but the symptoms can impact many facets of your life. Fatigue, headaches, dizziness, cold hands and feet, and chest pains happen in general with anemia. Specifically, with B12 deficiencies, you can add nerve damage, depression, memory loss, nausea and other stomach related issues, and oddly a smooth, thick, and red tongue. Please remember: this does not apply to everyone. For me, I just knew there was something else going on. I was more tired than usual, really dizzy, my brain was constantly in a fog, and I just felt off. The depression could've been literally anything, but I have that too.
Why: I call it being unlucky, but risk factors can help answer the why better.
How: I manage mine with vegan B12 supplements (see below) I take sublingually, 1x a day in the morning. Shots were considered, and still are, depending upon how I do with the B12. It's been about 5 months now since I've been diagnosed with it. I get blood work every 3-6 months, for all of my many health problems, and they check my B12 as part of it. I encourage everyone, even if you hate blood work, to not only suck it up and do it, but also tell your doctor you want to have everything checked; B vitamins, Vitamin D, thyroid, everything. Be your own healthcare advocate! Only you know how you feel! You may have to pay extra for some tests, and they may come up negative, but it's better to pay for peace of mind; that's my motto!
I love DEVA brand, I take them for my regular multivitamin as well. I get this 90 day supply from Amazon for like $9 maybe?
Remember, I am not a doctor, just a Google MD as I refer to myself. Please see your doctor if you have any medical concerns. This post is just to inform and share my experience, and is not intended to diagnose anyone!
Friends! How I've missed you all. Graduation is quickly approaching, on 10/29/19, but these classes have been taking up every spare ounce of time I have. Plus, there are some other drastic changes that have occurred in my life, so I am definitely behind on my blogging. I'm sorry! Thank you for still sticking with me as I go through this journey, it means a lot to me!
I have two vegan mascaras I want to review for you. One of which I received in my VeganCuts Makeup Box, but the other is a Pacifica brand one. One day, I was at Target, minding my own business, buying what was on my list, and I happen to stumble across some Pacifica clearance. Target tells you what you need, and Target told me I needed all the things. Case in point:
Let's begin with Inika Organic Long Lash Vegan Mascara.
I wanted to love this mascara, because the brush is perfect. I like a tapered brush, because I have a lot of lashes, and I find that they usually perform really well on my lashes. It's all natural, made with Vitamin E and Magnolia Bark Extract to keep lashes strong and healthy, and it comes in black and brown; I always use black. Preferably blacker than black, but this shade is just black. It's organic, Australian owned, and of course, cruelty free. I do think it does a great job at lengthening, but it does not hold a curl to save my lashes. Eventually, my lashes end up sticking together becoming a few lashes versus a row of actually lashes. I wanted to like this so much, but at $33 per tube (a cheap plastic feeling one too), I wouldn't purchase it. I will use it, with other mascaras. I'm always a 2 coat girl, and because it's natural so you really only have 3-6 months to use it. I wanted to love it, but I can't say I do, and I am sad.
Let's finish with Black Crystals Super Charged Extending Mascara.
This is one of my impulse clearance buys from Target, and I am such a fan of crystals, so I was excited to try it. The color is called Black Beauty, and is infused with quartz powder and mica to add extra dimension to your lashes. Containing Vitamin B and coconut to protect and nourish your lashes, the ingredients are natural. I like it better than the Inika, even with the fuller brush, it applies really well. I don't notice any mica at all, despite 2 coats, but it goes on smoothly and does last throughout my day. Again, it doesn't really hold a curl, and my lashes just don't pop like I want them too. The price point is really good, retailing at $13.99 at Target, and I got it on clearance for $9.78, so I'm not mad at the price.
I have some other new mascaras I'm excited to try (looking at you Tarte and KVD), but so far, my forever favorite is Better Than Sex by Too Faced.
Target still has some goodies on sale. Check out your local store!
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I own several products of theirs, including the "Plant These. Save the Bees." shirt that you see me wearing above my SnapChat selfie! Here is my referral link, and when you click it, all you have to do is include your email and a unique code pops up just for you so that you can get 10% off your purchase!
CLICK THIS LINK TO SHOP:
I made a little look book for you guys of some of my haves, waiting to receives, and wants from their website!
Don't forget to click the link above, and it'll prompt you to put your email address in so you can get a discount on your order!
Birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, veganniverary... all the days... Wholesome Culture has got you covered!
Please let me know what goodies you treat yourself to! Email me, or tag me on IG @thevegancrazycatlady or my personal IG @ashleylaurenlyle - I can't wait to see what you get!
I was really excited to try this mascara. I bought it for my birthday (back in September, I am REALLY behind on posts obviously), and I wanted to review it for you guys. This mascara looked amazing, and it was $29 so I had expected it would work really well. Spoiler alert: it didn't.
It's not that it's a bad mascara, per say, but more so, it already felt dry when I opened it. It was difficult to apply and difficult to remove, despite the fact that it's not waterproof. I never use waterproof mascara, but this had basically the same formula as a waterproof mascara. Also, this was the insert inside the box:
How am I supposed to avoid contact with eyes when it's mascara?! Lol. It's not like I was gonna stick the wand in my eyeball! It was like, well, maybe that's where the Caution part comes from with the name lol! To be clear, I never had any issues with it irritating my eyes, except for trying to remove it because it took so much work to get it off. What it does is create those fibers along your lashes to make them longer, but they're not easy to remove. I use oil to remove my makeup; coconut, jojoba, sweet almond, or any one or combination of those. They're usually really effective too, but I really had to rub to get this as off as I could and I felt like it was never really off my face.
Here's some before and after photos:
As you can see, it does lengthen and it is ultra black like I prefer, but I couldn't get passed the dryness, difficulty applying it, and difficulty removing it. Is it worth $29? No, not at all. For a similar price range, you can get Too Faced Better Than Sex and it works better. For about $5, you can get Essence brand at Ulta (their Super Curl Volume and Volume Mascara are both vegan), and they're better than this $29 one. That's just my opinion.
Have you guys tried it? I'd love to know your thoughts!
I just recently got into TOMS brand because they released a Disney collection, and you know know me and Disney. But they released a pair of non-Disney that I just had to have: piggies! They were released for the Year of the Pig, which is 2019, but I love them because I love pigs, since pigs are friends and not food! They have slip-ons for the little ones, youth ones for the little and big kids (aka myself), and women's sizing. I went with the youth pair because I thought they were cuter. I got a size 4, which is the equivalent to a woman's size 6.
Look at those cute little piggies! The women's were pink whereas the youth's were an off-white, kind of like a cream color, and I really liked the pink bottoms. Now you can clearly wear TOMS without socks, and most people do. I like wearing the ped socks with them, especially during the colder months, and you can even wear regular socks if you're wearing them during the colder months with pants. They're really versatile. These are $41.95, whereas the women's are $54.95. With coupons and discounts I ended up paying $34! w0o h0o! I was so excited! They're cute and comfy, and I definitely recommend them!
Here's some links in case you're interested!
Slip-ons for the little ones. They're even fuzzy!
Youth sizes, which is the pair I got!
Women's sizes, which are also really cute!
I love elephants <3 I love all the animals, but there's something special about elephants. Maybe it's the horrors they've endured in circuses and in general, but they're beautiful and magnificent creatures. Ivory Ella creates all types of clothings and accessories and they donate a portion of proceeds to Save the Elephants. They've donated $1.6 million so far, and I'm proud to be part of that amount, and I want to continue to help that amount grow!
This is the Ella Fit Nightshade Leopard shirt, size S, on sale for $19.99, and I'll provide the link for you as well! The Ella Fit is loose and loungey, and a little bit longer but not too long. The shirt is 100% cotton and when I first received it I was like ehhhh I don't know how I feel about this material, but after I washed it and wore it, it was fine. It's not the softest shirt I own, but I do love the pattern and I loveeeee the color. The size S fit well as is it is my true size, but I may have gotten a M because I prefer my long sleeves to be bigger. I like clothes to be bigger in general, I just find that more comfy.
Here's the link:
This was part of their Christmas collection, but I felt the snowman was more winter rather than just Christmas. Another color I don't usually wear, but this pistachio color is really pretty. This is actually the perfect shirt to wear today because it's a SNOW DAY! I have been singing "Do you wanna build a snowman?!" to my cats all day, and surprisingly, they haven't responded. This is also Ella Fit, and I got a size S in this one as well. They only have S left and they're on sale for $18! Here's the link:
They have a great sale section, and I recommend becoming a Rewards Member, because I have enough points to get $5 already! There are so many easy ways to earn points too. Oh, and did I mention the front has a little t-shirt pocket? I don't know why, but I love them so much! I just think they're so cute. I definitely recommend checking them out. There are so many styles and accessories, you can find something for everyone. They have a St. Paddy's Day shirt I'm waiting go on clearance because I need it!
Excitingly enough, if you don't want to place an order online, there are certain Hallmarks in the area that will be carrying Ivory Ella products! Check it out below!
The eyes are the windows to the soul, as they say. So, let's decorate those windows shall we?!
KVD Lolita's eye shadow palette that I fell in love with the second I saw the email. Her Lolita lip color is a cult favorite, and one of the few light lip colors I actually really like. The colors on this palette are so gorgeous! Check them out!
*drools* I mean, look at these colors! Here's a few looks I created with them:
Oh Ash, what do you use on your eyebrows? And what mascara is that? And what eyeliner is that? Well, I'm glad you asked! It wouldn't be a peepers blog post without all eye makeup related things!
Mascara is Too Faced Better Than Sex, and it's one of my all time favorites. I highly recommend it. This is one coat too. More coats means more va-va-volume! Eyeliner is always KVD. It's the only eyeliner I use.
I'm a firm believer in the fact that one simply cannot have enough eyeliner. You always gotta have extras, which is why I bought this Eyeliner Obsession pack from KVD which includes 5 full size liners, and I got a mini liner with my purchase. On my inner rims, I use the Lash Liner, which is specially formulated for lining your inner rims. It does take some getting used to, but honestly, it's amazing and lasts the entire day. Presently, I'm using Tattoo Liner on my upper lashes, but any of the other liners will work too. I should be set for like a few months or so.
As you can see in the photos above, there's my regular eyebrows and my done eyebrows. For that, LimeCrime is my go to.
Their Bushy Brows collection is life. I get the color Smokey and I use the Precision Pen and the Strong Hold Gel. Some days, when I'm off and just running errands, I just use the gel. I fill them in with just a bit of powder and that's all she wrote! These are also #holygrail products for me that I could never run out of. I keep backups. I stay prepared!
So, where'd I get my peepers? Too Faced, KVD, and LimeCrime. Where'd you get yours?
Everybody's favorite mouse gets VIP lip color treatment with this vegan and cruelty free collection from Dose of Colors, available at Ulta! I'll put the links at the end of the post!
In the lip gloss, I chose the color One and Only, which is a cool tone nude, perfect for every day wear. In the Lip It Up Satin Lipstick, I chose the color Forever, which is a cool nude. Both of these colors layer well, which is why I chose them.
I was genuinely sad to use this because the adorable little Mickey head that's stamped on the top of the lipstick is just SO CUTE. I actually see both of these at work, since they match everything, go well with my skin tone, and are low-key enough for work.
First, the lipgloss is so moisturizing, and it smells AMAZING. It smells like vanilla, and I wanna eat it! The lipstick doesn't have the same scent, but it is surprisingly moisturizing for a lipstick. It's very creamy and applies well. The lip gloss does have a decent pigment to it, considering it's a gloss, and it doesn't leave that overly heavy feeling on your lips that most glosses do. These colors really would look great on almost anyone too. There are only 3 colors in each, and I kind of want to buy the others lol. Disney + makeup = take my money! Here's the colors on me:
I truly like both, but I'm partial to the gloss because of its scent and the shine! I do love both of them though, which is why I give them both two Mickey sized thumbs up, oh boy! Both are $17 each and here are the links!
In Part 1 of this post, I went through foundation, brushes, contouring, and finishing powder. As the final step, before I apply my eye makeup and all that, I use KVD Setting Spray, shake it up and use about 5 sprays all over my face, and let it all blend together.
Here's the final look, unfiltered, and with my Goddaughter because she's the cutest:
I do also want to put some photos in here of me wearing M53N so you can see the shade difference as well. You can tell it's too dark, but I'm still glad I kept it for my (non-existent) summer tan I'll be getting and I need a darker color.
As you can see, the shade is off for my skin. Don't trust Sephora's little "shade finder" cause it doesn't work, and I knew it wasn't the right shade but figured I'd try it anyway. They were trying to tell me I was "warm," and I was like um no I'm neutral. Their lighting in there is way off too. The beauty of Sephora is you can return the products if they're not a good match for you. My bathroom lighting is also way off because my lipstick is darker than that, but still, you can tell the shade isn't the correct match.
I know this was a long two-part post BUT, hopefully it was helpful for finding some face products you may want to try. I'm really excited because KVD just released 14 new shades of her liquid Lock It Foundation and now they have these small little tubes to try that are like $18 I think before committing to the full-size. I'm good with my L47N for now honestly, it's a good shade even if I don't think it's 100% I can make it work by adding other products, which I'm so used to doing after all of these years anyway since nothing ever matches my face perfectly. But, with 14 new shades, there's bound to be a shade to match all of us!