I've posted about Ivory Ella before, and they're a company I really like. I love elephants, the donation a portion of sales to helping elephants, they have cute stuff, and often times have good sales too. I have some of their other shirts, and while they're not SUPER soft, they're soft enough to not cause my skin to break out in a rash. My mom and I decided to split a $50 mystery box. Here's what we got:
In the box came: 1x long sleeve tee, 1x short sleeve tee, 1x beanie, and 1x pair of fluffy socks. The value overall? Good. Upon reading reviews afterwards, it appears a lot of the $50 mystery boxes, valued at $100 according to their website, contain the same items but different styles. Which is kind of a bummer, but I imagine it makes their packing and shipping easier. The box is ready to give as a gift, so that's nice. It's kind of plain, but it's not terrible at all. The beanie was nice and the socks were fluffy, but I have no idea what happened to their shirts, but they've never been so scratchy.
I had to return the box, I was so bummed out. I called them, which for the record, they were really hard to get a hold of. Yes, it was around the holidays so I'm putting consideration into that. But, I had to call twice within a week and leave two separate messages, then I received a call back. Again, could be holiday related, but still worth mentioning.
I asked the lady, genuinely confused, if they had switched their shirt suppliers because I couldn't understand how these shirts were THAT scratchy. She said no, and I also understand that soft is subjective and my definition is even more detailed because I have tactile sensitivities, I took all of that into consideration. However, what really mattered to me was that I was able to return it.
This is where I was impressed with their customer service. I explained the situation, and the Ivory Ella rep said, even though the box was open, we could return it, even if it was worn. But, it was an all or nothing. I had to return the whole box and not just part of the box. My mom loved the socks but she agreed on the shirts too, and she doesn't have tactile sensitivities like I do. They sent me a prepaid label to send it back, I received an email when they received my return, processed my return, and when the funds were going back to my account. So, props for the customer service on the return. But for me, TOTALLY BUMMED that the shirts were so scratchy. I was really excited for the box, but it wasn't worth keeping for a beanie and a pair of socks.
I did receive a free bottle with my order though, and that's pretty cool! It's just a basic plastic reusable bottle, but it's better than no bottle and it was free. I am an avid fan of reusable bottles so, I was pretty excited. I also got some scrunchies and a lanyard ID holder, and I'm a fan of those too. Don't forget that Hallmark does sell some of their shirts too. Here's one I saw there the other day:
I loved the blue and the butterflies because they were both of my Granny's favorites, when she was alive. But again, not a soft shirt and not worth the money. I think I'll stick with their accessories, and maybe a hoodie.
Final verdict: the mystery boxes, and a majority of their clothing is not for me, but their accessories are pretty great.
So, I told you guys in my last post I'm on a journey trying to get my face to where I want it to be. My skin, as a result of the many issues I have, and I, are never going to be friends, but I'd like for us to be cool together at least. As a result of my new regimen from my dermatologist, plus my naturally dry skin from a variety of disorders, my face is so dry after I put on my makeup. Setting spray isn't doing it, so I figured I'd give this toner a "facial life" (HA) and try it as a moisturizing setting spray. It's pH balanced and full of good for your skin vitamins, and has way less gunk in it than a lot of setting sprays. I do realize that's partly because this is a toner, and not a setting spray. However, it's still noteworthy.
This 1 oz. size toner I had received in one of my vegan boxes, I think Petit Vour, which I have since stopped. I can't afford them right now and I do not need any more beauty products, although I want them. This toner is actually helpful for acne, very gentle on the skin, and full of antioxidants. It's also gluten, paraben, and sulfate free. There's no artificial smell, which I appreciate, and it's just very natural overall. While it's best on the skin, I've found it is really helpful to set my makeup after and leaves my face looking hydrated instead of really dry. It's still dry, but it helps.
Talk about up close and personal! Hi pores! Hi uneven skin tone! See, this is why I'm seeing a dermatologist, but like, can this process hurry up please?!
This untouched photo of my lovely face is right after I used the spray. You can see my skin looks dewy. It doesn't stay this dewy, but it does have a nice sheen with it. I spray this after I've applied everything on my face, except my eye products. I do my full face, then I do my eyes and lips last.
To purchase, the full size is 2 oz. and costs $9.99 on the 103 Collection website, found here:
What's your favorite setting spray? Do you have any tips you think work best? I'd love to hear them!
I think this is my first ever facial recommendation, and I am super excited to write this one. Up until last month, I had only ever received ONE FACIAL in my life, and it was at some high end spa with some really rude stuck up lady that made me feel terrible about my skin. Listen lady who will never see this- I know my skin isn't perfect, I live with my skin every day, and to make someone feel bad about their skin makes you a very unprofessional esthetician. FORTUNATELY, that's not the review coming your way today.
My friend Callie found Skin Bliss Spa LLC from Groupon and ranted and raved about her. I trust my friend Callie, but I was still concerned. I had my reservations, of course. I'm on a new regimen from my dermatologist and even though it's a long process that my impatient self is not loving, but it is helping, slowly but surely. Unfortunately, it is drying my skin out and making my already sensitive skin even more sensitive. This furthered my reservations about getting this facial, but the Groupon was affordable and I figured I'd give it a shot. Here's the Groupon:
I did the 30 Minute K Expression Facial. The set up of Krystal's space is very nice. It's within an entire beauty/salon/spa layout in the Lawrence Park Shopping Center. I was a little confused walking in, but it was easy to navigate once you got the hang of it. Her space is cozy, clean, and welcoming. Krystal is also very real, down to earth, sincere, and nonjudgmental. She has had her own skin struggles and that makes her so much more real and relatable. She's so easy to talk to, and I've found it very easy to be honest about my skin concerns, and she didn't make me feel bad about my skin at all. That was a giant sigh of relief. Feeling at ease really made me feel like I could actually enjoy this facial. As someone who genuinely has issues with people in her bubble, and hate people touching her face, I wasn't bothered at all with anything Krystal did. She was really thorough in her explanation of everything she was using, why she was using it, the benefits to my skin, and how it can help my skin. I don't want someone to use products on my face and me not know why, I want to be an informed customer, and she ensured I was that.
Everything she uses is vegan and cruelty free, the chair is super comfy, she offers a blanket if you're chilly, wine/water, and she offered me some fruit after! The experience itself it truly relaxing, and it honestly feels like it's true "me time" which I don't get often. There's a steamer she uses throughout to open up your pores, warm soft towels, and cotton rounds to remove and add products. Her touch is gentle on your skin too. She also asks how each product feels; if it's burning or uncomfortable, that way you can get the best facial for your skin. She had this tool to remove the gunk inside my nose pores (you know what I'm talking about because everyone has them) which is usually just oil stuck in there. I wish I was thinking about taking before and after pictures, but my skin was literally glowing. The dryness and flakiness was gone, I felt so moisturizes and my skin was dewy. It was so soft!
Krystal was nice enough to provide me the permission to use some photos from her website so I could add them to my blog, because I really want to convey the vibe her spa gives, and the comfort and kindness she extends to her clients not just physically in her set up, but in how she interacts with them. Treat yourself to the Groupon, check it out, and I promise you won't be disappointed. I am always happy to support businesses that really wow me, and having worked in customer service for more than half my life, I can really tell you great customer service when I experience it, and that's exactly what Krystal provides. Treat yo'self friends, don't wait! Tell her Ashley, The Vegan Crazy Cat Lady, sent you!
Guess who's back? Back again? The Vegan Crazy Cat Lady is back. Tell a friend!
Friends, long time no talk. Welcome to 2020!
I know 2019 resulted in not a ton of blog posts from me, and let me tell you, it has been a YEAR. I did finally graduate on 10/29/19, and I'm proud to say I'm officially a college graduate! My degree is in Psychology in Addictions, and I'll be going for my masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. I became an Aunt! My sister had a sweet baby boy named Daniel on 5/23/19. I've spent more time since graduating with my friends and creating new memories. There's been a lot of downsides I would rather not get into, but I've been struggling for awhile. However, I am very excited to be on my journey to the career I've always wanted, but I still love blogging for you guys and it's been so long so let's chat!
Lady Gaga. Haus Laboratories. Have you heard? Unless you've been living under a rock, you probably saw all the buzz when this line was being announced, and the excitement that it's vegan and cruelty free. The prices are fair, the products are lovely, and the packaging is sleek. I think this was a shock to some, as they anticipated Lady Gaga would release some crazy colors in a ridiculous fashion, but it's really contemporary and it's for everyone. Can we talk about her growth for a minute? She's matured and grown to really love herself. That's what she wants Haus to be; a brand about discovering your beauty, your uniqueness, bravery and creativity. These are all things she's done, and this makeup line thus far really embraces that. I personally can't wait to see what else they release. I really dig the message they're sending.
I've seen some complaints floating around on social media about this brand being created by Lady Gaga, it being cruelty free and vegan, and her wearing that meat dress back in 2013, so there's people that aren't comfortable supporting this brand. If anyone remembers, she did go on Ellen and say it was a statement about LGBTQIA+ rights in the military, and women not being a piece of meat. In my opinion, total wrong way to go about it, and also really super gross. I wasn't happy about it. But, it was 6, almost 7 years ago, and I think it's safe to say she's grown, and we all make the best decisions we can at that time, even if they're not the actual best decisions we could have made; hindsight is always 20/20. It's also safe to say what she was trying to represent are causes I also find really important to veganism and just important in general. Being a vegan is about human rights too, and I'm all for that. So, that's up to you to decide your opinion on it and where you stand on her in general. This is just my two cents about it. I've never been that vegan that wants to tell you that you should do/think/eat/drink/take/live/love like this or that, nope, I'm not preaching. I'm just giving my opinion and the reasoning I remember her giving, the rest is up to you to decide, of course, and either way, I support it! I have an entire blog post I want to write about vegans shaming other vegans, but that's for a different time and place.
Today, I'm going to talk about the Le Riot Lip Gloss my mom got me for Christmas, in shade Entranced, which is a sheer color, just a few shades away from clear, with light pink pearl. This is the perfect natural lip color for literally every single person that wants a pop to their lips but doesn't want to go crazy with shades. I applied mine on top of my lip balm, and it creates a really pretty natural lip. It's perfect for day or night, work or play. You can wear this over matte lipsticks as well to add a little pop of pearl and you want something different, with some shine. The gloss itself is thick but not uncomfortably so, and there isn't any flavor that I noticed. As with any lip gloss, your hair is gonna get stuck in it. It's not so much that it's stickier than any other lip gloss, but it's still lip gloss. That's the nature of the beast.The ingredients list are far from "green beauty," which they don't advertise themselves to be. I do prefer my makeup with more natural ingredients. So that's really my biggest complaint, but I knew what it was before I asked for it for Christmas. It's not a brand I would fill my makeup life up with, but I did want to try it.
The applicator wand is shaped to fit all the areas of your lip; your cupid's bow, the corners, it's not a brush and it's not the basic flat lip gloss wand, it's shaped more naturally for lip application. I just really love the packaging too. As I mentioned above, it is sleek and durable. At the bottom, the matte black coloring of the tube kind of ombres to the color, which is a cool effect. The wand has a roof-like shape to it, furthering the idea of their brand, "our haus, your rules" and I think that's whimsical. It's simply stated but you could tell what they were going for with the design.
Each shade is $18 and worth it, in my opinion. Have you tried Haus Laboratories yet? What are your thoughts?