My Quarterly Vegan Beauty Box came! Four times a year, I paid around $40 (with free shipping) to get a makeup box that's got about 4-5 full size items. It's strictly makeup or makeup related (brushes, tools, bags) and no skin care. I prefer the no skin care due to my extremely sensitive acne prone skin. Like if they could include body or hair care in there, I would be good with that. However, I understand the reasonings for just a makeup box. Here's this months box:
I'm gonna be honest with you, I don't love this box. I'm really sad because my Spring box I was over the moon for, but this Summer one is kind of, blah.
I'll tell you what I love is the makeup bag. Not that I need another one (I only have probably close to 10 of them), but this one is right up my alley. I'm kind of obsessed with the sky, and stars and constellations, and the moon.. and I love that each constellation is an animal. It's going to be my new daily makeup bag (I'm sorry Little Mermaid, I still love you!), because I'm obsessed with the design so much. And it's huge. Plenty of space for whatever you want to carry!
I'm also excited for the Pacifica Rainbow Crystal highlighter, since I'm obviously obsessed with highlighter. I got the color Nebula, which is like a reflective violet, and that's the color I chose on my beauty quiz for this box, so I am excited about that.
The lipstick I couldn't really care less about. I haven't been all that big a fan of Au Naturale Cosmetics anyway. The color I got was Primrose. It's a warm soft pink. Probably a pretty and subtle color for work. Whether or not I'll use it, I can't say, but we'll see. We just got a lip gloss last month, I feel like they should've switched it up and not included another lip product.
The other thing that bothered me was that there was really essentially two eye products in this box. The Emani Eye Color Trio in Tantalizing. The colors are basic, and what I typically would use. There's a shimmer white, a shimmer tan, and a shimmer bronze. They're complementary colors so you know they'll look nice together. But I got one of these in my Vegan Cut Box way back when, in a different shade, so it wasn't super exciting.
Then we also got the Manna Kadar Cosmetics Prime Time Eye and Lip Primer. I get why they included it, since they included both an eye shadow and lip stick. But I don't really use primer on my eyelids since I just use some of my Illuminare foundation and that seems to do the trick. And I've never used a lip primer a day in my life since I have no real need for it.
I guess my complaint was that this box didn't feel very diverse, whereas the Spring box did. Why not include maybe a blush? Or a nail polish? I would absolutely friggin LOVE if they included some perfume in the boxes. Like the travel size spray bottles of Saint and/or Sinner from KVD that's both vegan and cruelty free and retails for $22! It would fit perfectly!
Last box they included a bronzer/highlighter duo, lip gloss, eye lash curler, mascara, and eye shadow. That's a pretty diverse box. This one felt lackluster for me.
If it wasn't for the makeup bag and the highlighter, I would've been highly disappointed. The value is still good overall, which is total value of $102. I'm keeping my fingers crossed the Fall box is amazing, since that's my favorite season anyway. I'll be posting reviews once I use the products.
Have you received your box? What are your thoughts?
Today makes 3 wonderful years since I've been vegan! For me, celebrating your Veganniversary is like celebrating your birthday, but it's more about reflection than presents (although, I do almost always buy myself a present, simply because I like presents!) After 3 years of being a vegan, I've really learned a lot, and I've seen such a shift in the world that I truly hope by this time next year, I know some other people celebrating their veganniversary too!
In the past month alone, I've had several people approach me and ask for help on how to begin a meatless lifestyle. Apparently there's a new and powerful documentary on Netflix called What The Health that's been making waves amongst meat eaters and actually giving them the desire to change their ways! It's from the makers of Conspiracy, so while I haven't watched it (I never watch those types of documentaries, it's too hard being an empath), I know that is has to be some powerful stuff. I'm thrilled that these documentary creators have been able to take facts that us vegans have known, and create a film that puts them in the most easily absorbed terms and inspires that change in people. This shows the progression of veganism in the mainstream world.
My advice to those asking for help is this: I encourage ALL meat eaters to start with vegetarian first, to limit the shock to your body, and then gradually make your way to being vegan. It's a marathon, not a race. Try multiple kind of faux meats, they tend to help make the transition easier. Look up recipes and find vegan cook books to help inspire your meals. Try foods you've never tried before, whether it be tofu, eggplant, lentils... whatever, try them all. Your palette will adapt as you go. Eating a variety of foods will ensure you're getting the right nutrition. Supplement with vegan vitamins, I do, even though I have a healthy diet. You will slip up, and that is fine. If you're truly dedicated to the lifestyle, your heart is going to be in it, and you'll have no problem getting back on that horse. Have daily affirmations and find a mantra. Something like "This cow and my dog are exactly the same. You can't eat one and love another." Follow various vegans on Instagram, read tons of blogs (like mine!), visit sanctuaries, donate your time to help at them if you can, volunteer, and enjoy the journey. This vegan life is not one of convenience, but it is one that's rewarding. You'll have to work hard for those rewards, but eventually it does get easier, and it becomes second nature. Mentally, physically, and emotionally, going vegan and doing it right is the single best decision you'll ever make for yourself. It has been for me.
I have been participating in a lot more activities the past year. I've been going to several new vegan places that I've seen popping up, I've been attending fund raisers, I went to a wolf sanctuary, I went to an animal sanctuary, I'm doing Yoga with Dogs tomorrow, and I've been trying really hard to be the healthiest I can be. I got a FitBit and have been walking regularly, I've cut out all caffeine, and I've been eating the best I ever have. As a vegan, you need to be the voice for the voiceless, and you certainly can't do that if you're not well. My health hasn't been great, with the discovery of Hypothyroidism that literally affects all aspects of your body and mind too, but I'm working on it. Seeing a therapist, working on my anxiety, and taking medication to help is essential to my overall well being. I can't help animals if I'm a crazy person in the nut house!
I've really learned to use my voice over the past year, and speak up for what I believe in. Because I fear confrontation so, its easy for me to let someone say their peace and me just try to keep the peace without really saying what I believe in. Not anymore. I've heard on several occasion that being vegan is crazy, it's extreme, all vegans are extreme. Nope. People tend to confuse passion with extremeness. Having a deep rooted passion for not wanting animals to suffer for our food, clothes, entertainment, beauty products, cleaning products, and for us in general... that's not extreme. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, as was said by Einstein himself. It's insane for me to think that by letting people have their opinion on veganism, which is often riddled with inaccuracies, without voicing mine, which is full of facts since it's how I live my every day life, will never help to promote the positive change our society needs. I want to be more of an activist, and this is the first step in doing so.
This past year has not been an easy one, but it's been a rewarding one. As I overcome and conquer my issues, I'm learning that I'm a lot stronger than I am. And if I'm going to fight for the rights of the animals that can't fight for themselves, I'm going to need that strength.
Cheers to another beautiful vegan and cruelty free year!
The amount of blog posts I need to catch up on is absurd. Today I want to talk about upcoming local fundraisers for really awesome organizations.
Earlier this month, Kevin and I went to The Greyhound Cafe where 30% of your bill went to The Humane Society. They had raffles, and the top prize was a beautiful 11x15 canvas custom pet portrait by artist Amanda Lynn.
Kevin and I had a wonderful dinner and devoured some delicious food, and I bought 10 raffle tickets. AND GUESS WHO WON FIRST PRIZE?! This girl! 🙌🏼 I was just floored that I won. I was thrilled that Amanda was willing to work with me to get all 4 of my cats in the portrait. They're all my babies, and I could never pick just one! Amanda is currently working on the portrait, she just finished a rough sketch with some of the ideas I tossed around with her, and I truly can't wait to show you the finished product! 🙌🏼
Here's her website. She also has a FB page that you should definitely like!
Tomorrow, June 29th, California Pizza Kitchen is doing a BUNrasier (😂) for Luv-N-Bunns, a non-profit organization that rescues abandoned, unwanted, and abused bunnies and finds them new homes! They will be donating 20% of your bill to their organization. My sister is going with me to this and I'm really excited!
I've taken the liberty to include some photos of the *delicious* vegan options they're gonna have. Literally, my mouth starts drooling every time I read the list.
Truth be told, I find it odd that they would even offer a dressing with honey in it and mention that strict vegans avoid honey. Vegans avoid honey. If you eat honey, you're not a vegan, in my personal option. However, I'm glad they mentioned it. This isn't a vegan restaurant so the fact that they're doing this at all is pretty great, and despite the honey, I am very happy to support this.
There's going to be raffles, so I have to remember to bring cash. They're also accepting non-cash donations as well.
I want to run out tomorrow and grab a few things to donate. Everything helps, especially when you're running a non-profit.
This is from 10am-11pm, so go for lunch or dinner (or both, I don't judge!) and eat a delicious meal for a good cause!
July 1st is Yoga with Dogs at the Providence Animal Center, formally known as the Delco SPCA. Check the link below for some details:
You can bring your own dog or rent a dog, which I'm doing since sadly I don't have my own pup. The money you spend goes right back into the shelter, and you get to spend some time with some shelter dogs. I have no idea if it's actually yoga with dogs or just playing with dogs and pretending to do yoga for an hour while playing with dogs. I also bought some food and bones to donate. Since I can't adopt a dog (yet!), at least I can leave them with something to keep them happy after I leave. Tickets have to be bought in advance, so don't miss out! This is right around the corner!
Lastly, July 14th at The Greyhound Cafe again is having another fundraiser for Luv-N-Bunns.
It's really truly a beautiful thing to see so many places doing fundraisers for great organizations. It's wonderful to be able to eat a delicious meal knowing that part of your bill is going towards helping animals in need. That's what this lifestyle is all about.
I hope to see some of your faces at these events!
Truth be told, I'm not a lipstick girl. Like once the color rubs off, it starts to look weird then you have like half colored lips and everything you drink gets your lipstick on it and it's just a hassle. I wore it for my wedding, and that was essentially it. But, Pacifica had this really pretty shade called Beach Goth, which is like a purple but not an in your face purple. So, I wanted to give it a shot. It was buy one get one 40% off, so I bought the eye shadow palette (which I already reviewed) and this lipstick.
I decided to wear it the next day, just running some errands.
Also, can we just mention for a second how amazing my new floppy hat is? It reminds me of Lydia Deetz from Beetlejuice and I basically fell in love as soon as I saw it. It was either $15 or $20 at Target and worth every penny. I only wish I had more reasons to wear it.
Back on track, the color is really pretty. It's subtle but it does make your lips pop. My lips felt pretty soft and I only applied lip balm underneath then maybe once on top of it, and even as the color faded, it faded evenly to a nice shade. It lasted a lot longer than I anticipated it would've too. Truthfully, I was impressed. I've worn it several times so far. Going out to dinner, maybe just around the house so I feel fancy when I'm a hot mess and I'm cleaning. I like it and am using it much more than I thought I would have!
You can find this shade and all the other Devocean shades at Ulta or on their website. You can use coupons at Ulta and I find they're often having a sale too, so bonus points for that. Check it out!
You don't expect a lot from Monday's because they're Mondays. But today has really been a shit show of a Monday. I've got a list, but this post is gonna focus on one, and it's a sad one.
I open my email to see that The Tree Kisser, one of my favorite shops ever, is closing. My heart is sad.
I watched her video on her Instagram story, and read the email. And I understand where she's coming from. I highly suggest you watch it yourself and read it.
She's not quitting. She's an animal advocate first and I think from what it seems like that's where her heart lies. She wants to be able to be more vocal and have a platform to do that uncensored without worrying about losing customers. Since she makes clothes not just for vegans, for animal lovers alike. If she were to be overly vocal about it, she could put her business at risk. I have nothing but respect for that choice. She's done so much good for animals by donating after all of these years, and I can't wait to see what she does next.
She also mentioned the copyright infringement, and how when she first started there wasn't really a company like hers; that made clothes for animal lovers to help animals but without being so in your face. And now a days, there's a lot of that. And she never saw them as competition, which is really amazing.
She's been nothing but humble about all of this. I own so many of designs and I will wear them with pride. The Tree Kisser will live on through everyone wearing her designs.
I will continue to follow her and support her and I hope you'll do the same. She's a kind hearted soul. And even though my hearts broken I'll never get to buy a new Tree Kisser shirt again, I'm so happy that she's following her dreams and doing her thing. She's got my support, 127%!
I know it's been awhile since I've posted, so I wanted to do a two part blog. The first part being what's been going on in my life, and the second being some re-reviews of products I've used.
I've kept you guys pretty up to date on my health issues, which are still about the same. I get my blood work checked again in the beginning of July to check my thyroid levels again, see where we're at, and see if I have Hashimoto's. I can tell you that I definitely feel more energetic taking the Levothyroxine. That being coupled with actually sleeping pretty decently, for me anyway, I have noticed a difference. I know I'm actually sleeping well since Kevin's been getting up throughout the night because of his sunburn, and I haven't woken up once. Typically he breathes and I wake up. I'm still taking my anti-anxiety medicine daily, writing in my anxiety journal, and seeing my therapist. Everything is day by day.
Also, I'm in the end processes of going back to school! I've been doing a lot of work on getting my transcripts sent over, and doing my FAFSA and all of that. It's going to be online. And my end goal is to be an Addictions Counselor. I've always felt like my purpose was to help people. And sadly, addiction runs in my family on both sides. I've seen what it does, to those who go through it and those around them, and it's a truly devastating thing. I know I can help. I can feel it. I'm still waiting on financial Aid, that's what's taking forever. But other than that, I'm enrolled and I have my first term semester classes scheduled for a July 5th start date. I'm actually so excited to do school again. I wish I could quit my job and go to school full time, but online school works too. You have to make your education work for you, and that's what I'm trying to do.
Now, let's talk re-reviews. I wanted to revisit some products I've blogged about before, now that it's been some time that I've used them I wanted to give you an updated opinion. Also in advance, please ignore the cat hair in all of my photos. I have 4 cats that know no bounds lol. They lay, climb, sleep, play, and jump on everything that I own. So their fur is pretty much everywhere, despite my constant vacuuming and lint rolling.
UPDATE: Tea Infused Lip Butter from David's Tea.
I originally blogged about the Honeycrisp Apple flavored one, which I have since lost somewhere in my apartment and despite my best efforts to find it, I'm fairly positive my cats have hid it in some random crevice and I'll never find it again. But, I actually went out and bought two more flavors, Birthday Cake and Vanilla Orchid.
I've been using the Birthday Cake one for some time now, and it does smell amazing, just like birthday cake! But I've been waking up with very dry lips as well as getting various pimple like bumps on my lips, and pimples around my lips. The pimple like bumps aren't pimples but look like a reaction of sorts. I slather lip balm on because I hate the feeling of dry lips. But it's clear to me that whether it's the formula, the fragrance, or something in these products, they're causing issues both for my lips and the skin directly around my lips that I didn't have before using them. I have extremely sensitive skin so you think I would've known better. Either way, I'll be heading out to buy new and more natural lip balms soon. So these are no longer a go for me, despite the fact that they smell amazing and for a short amount of time keep my lips soft and pretty.
UPDATE: BHA9 by Paula's Choice.
If you've been following my blog for awhile, you've seen Pacifica products mentioned and reviewed several times over, even from the beginning. Today I have a review for one, and I'm gonna tell you ahead of time and take away all the guess work, it's not a good one.
I was over the moon excited that Pacifica started offering sun care. It's hard to find vegan sun care, and considering it came from a brand I respect as much as Pacifica, I didn't hesitate buying it.
My husband and I were taking a beach trip, and I convinced him to try this one with me, since we could both use it together instead of having to buy two different ones.
I got the SPF 50, which is the strongest one I saw, and considering my husband is so pale and he burns almost instantly, I thought this would be the best option. I was wrong, and my husband paid for it.
My husband is a little self conscious about his body, but I wanted to post these photos just so you can see how bad his sunburn truly is. Also, it's the strangest sun burn pattern I've ever seen. He's like a paint by numbers picture, except with only red and white.
This sunblock, as you can read for yourself, is supposed to be 80 minutes water resistant. My husband didn't even go in the water! Sweatproof? Not even close. You can see the spots he didn't burn from where he was bending and sitting. I know how to apply sunblock. My husband is probably the most pale man on the planet. Even though I don't particularly burn, I've really gotten used to it by applying it on him. I applied so much he was actually annoyed. Apply 15 minutes before sun exposure? ✔️ Apply after 80 minutes of swimming or sweating? We weren't there long enough to apply it a second time, so ✔️
Also it says it's supposed to apply more transparently? Inaccurate. My legs looked chalky when I applied it. Also, it's SO OILY and it stays that way so it doesn't really absorb in. Did it deliver hydration? That I can agree with, since my legs felt slimy the whole time and not dry. My legs were like a slip and slide, even with the sand sticking to them.
I greatly appreciate that Pacifica offers sun care that's vegan, and I appreciate that they're trying to infuse skin care and sun care, but this one is a giant failure. They need to redo this formula, and figure out what went wrong. I used it on my (already tanned) legs and didn't really burn, but like I said, I don't really burn.
I emailed Pacifica as soon as I got home, asking for a refund, despite the fact that I bought it at Target. I think a manufacturer's refund is absolutely fair considering how faulty the product is. I sent them the same photos you see here, because they should know that they're selling a product that isn't good. They responded promptly and are sending me a check to cover the costs of two products, so I thought that was great customer service.
There is a silver lining though. As you can see in the first photo, I also bought their Sun and Lip Care Mineral Balm in Peach, it offers skin care and sun protection with a pop of peach color. The color was really pretty, and my lips didn't get burned, so that's a bonus. I don't feel like it was very moisturizing overall, but it did protect lips from getting a sun burn.
This is what the color looks like:
The color was pretty too. I think this was somewhere around $5-$6 dollars. At least I didn't feel like that was a waste!
I've rarely had to write a bad review about a Pacifica product and truly it hurts to write, but I can't let what happened to my husband happen to anyone else if I can avoid it.
I still remain a loyal and dedicated Pacifica fan. I told them that in the email. Things happen, and products don't always work as advertised, I just wish my husband didn't have to learn that the hard way. But, I'm happy with their response. I actually have some good Pacifica reviews coming your way, so stay tuned!
Pacifica released three new eye shadow palettes recently and I've been itching to get my hands on one (or all) of them. I chose the Beachy Punk palette because the colors aren't typical of my style. Trying new things is fun right?!
I also bought their Beach Goth lip stick which I'll be reviewing later.
The colors are really pretty and very versatile.
The palette is a mixture of dark colors, gray and blues, brown, with some bright oranges and purple, and even a lime green! Some are matte and some are shimmer.
Here's some looks I've created with mine:
As with all Pacifica products, you get good quality for your money. I think this was $14, which is a great value for 10 shades. There's coconut extract infused into each color too! Despite my sensitive skin, I haven't had really any issues with my contact dermatitis.
I got mine when it was buy one get one 40% off which made it a deal too good to pass up, which is why I bought the lipstick too.
I do look forward to getting the other palettes as well. Do I need more eye shadow? No. Do I want more eye shadow? Yes. Priorities lol.
I used one of my new nail polishes from OCC Makeup, and I wanted to share my thoughts on it!
This is "Strange and Unusual."
Every time I say the name I think of Lydia from Beetlejuice.. "I myself am Strange and Usual." Me too girl, me too.
The color is beautiful. It's a really pretty plum shade, and it's got black and silver glitter in it. They call it "metallic darkroom plum." Whatever you wanna call it, it's really pretty. It's equally as pretty on your toes too!
I used a base coat, two coats of polish, and a top coat. The Ella+Mila Fast Dry top coat really works to dry your nails fast, so I recommend that as well, even if that's not what this post is about.
Overall I love the color. It's different for me even if it's still dark like my usual color choices. All of their polishes retail for $10, but as I said in my previous post, I got mine for $6 on sale because of their Memorial Day sale. I'm so glad I bought it when I did!
Follow them on IG and sign up for their emails so you never miss a sale. Everything by them in both cruelty free and vegan so they're an awesome company and you should buy from them!
This is the second most question I get when I tell people I'm vegan. The first being the infamous "where do you get your protein?"
My answer is a simple one.
"Why not vegan?"
This answer is often meant with confusion, and a hint of offense. People can tell me a million "reasons" why not to be a vegan, but none of them are real actual reasons.
"because bacon/hot dogs/lunch meat/(insert any processed meat food here)!" Bacon etc.. will kill you, it's a scientific fact. Give it time. It was nice knowing you though.
"because turkey burgers and lean meat aren't bad for you!" Yes they are, don't fool yourself.
"because protein!" Guaranteed, I get more protein in my diet than you do. Protein isn't solely found in animal products, as hard as that is to believe. And also, people's idea of how much protein they really need is incredibly misconstrued.
"because cheese/ice cream/milk/etc.." Dairy is not meant for human consumption. It doesn't matter how many times you tell yourself that it is, it's not. Humans make their own milk for their own babies. Mommy cows make their own milk for their baby cows. Did you ever stop and wonder why they make infant formula (if you don't use your own breast milk) to feed babies and specifically say milk is not a formula replacer? And how about lactose intolerance? Lactose is a sugar found in milk. More than 3 million people have lactose intolerance, and that number is probably way less due to misdiagnosis and under reporting. Your body simply isn't meant to digest milk and any of its products from any other animal than a human being. No matter how much you love cheese, it'll never love you back.
"because meat is delicious!" Just do some research, watch Earthlings and Cowspiracy. Stop being so blinded by your taste buds and listen to your heart. Get that farm to table connection back. Maybe you never grew up with the idea that meat isn't delicious, most people don't. I come from a heavy meat eating family; I used to love steak as a kid. And McDonald's Chicken Sandwiches were my jam. But none of that stopped me from doing research when I got older and learning, and I learned that not only is meat not delicious, but it's mean. All that bad karma you put in your body, that's bad for your health, on top of meat already being bad for your health.
"because iron!" My iron is perfect. I have blood work results to prove it. You don't need animal products for that.
"because the animals will overrun the world if we don't eat them." If you had a clue, I mean literally even one clue, about how much damage factory farming is doing to not just the animals, but to the Earth, and to us ourselves as humans.. you would realize how ridiculous of a statement that is to make.
"because we're the top predators and that's just how it works." We my friends, aren't the top predators. Go swim in shark infested waters and tell me how much of a top predator you are. Go in the jungle with the big cats without any weapons and tell me how you got this. Strip away the farm machines used to torture and confine the farm animals, so they can barely move or function, while they live an incredibly sad and horrible life until they are brutally murdered, not before being tortured first of course, and tell me that's the "circle of life." Human only think they're the top predators because of weapons and machines. Pardon my French, but fuck your "circle of life" bullshit. Nobody cries "circle of life" when a shark eats a person! No that's just a "tragic accident." Not saying it's not horrible for a person to get eaten by a shark, but how is that any more horrible than a pig, after being tortured and suffering its entire life, being slaughtered then eaten by a human? You would think with us having the advanced brains we have we wouldn't be so damn stupid and naive.
Any other "because" you got, I've heard it all before. The easiest way to be vegan? Just listen to your heart, that's it. Look at your cat or dog, and imagine them suffering, dying a horrible death. Then imagine them being sliced up, weighed and being packaged in their little styrofoam and plastic wrapping. No name, nothing.. just the weight and the price. Then you go to the food store, pick up your now sliced up pet meat, grilling them up, and putting them on your plate and chowing down for dinner. Makes you feel pretty sick huh? That love you feel for your pets and that sick feeling you get about something happening to them, imagine that's every single animal on your plate. Yours just got lucky it didn't end up on your plate or someone else's.