There are special days in your life that stick out to you. Birthday, of course, anniversaries, cat's birthdays (my Leo is also a Leo), holidays... and of course, your veganniversary! Veganniversaries are so special, because it's another year you can celebrate living a compassionate lifestyle, another year you chose your heart over your stomach, and another year of being part of the solution. Today makes 4 years I've been doing all of those things, and more. So, before this day is officially over, I wanted to do a post to share the 4 things I've learned over the past year, and how my veganniversary was.
Let's talk lessons learned:
1) Some people can't be reasoned with. You can certainly try to have a conversation, where there's no pointing fingers or insults, with an omnivore. Some people are willing to listen, and it's even better when those people are willing to try a vegan meal you made, or check out a vegan place with you. Then, there's other people, that just love to fight you, tooth and nail, front and back, on your lifestyle. It doesn't matter how many valid points you make. "We've always eaten meat, it's natural, plants have feelings too (they don't FYI), you're eating my food's food...' the list goes on. I've learned that, when it comes to those people, just let them be. Sure, I want everyone to be vegan. A compassionate lifestyle for everyone is my dream. But it won't happen, and stressing yourself out and wasting time on those types of people is wasted energy you could be using to help animals, or talk to someone more open minded.
2) The "Where do you get your protein from?" question will never ever end. Some people are just ignorant to how food works. They've been told their whole lives protein comes from animals and animal by-products, so it's impossible to get enough protein, complete protein at that, on a vegan diet. I probably get more protein than your average omnivore, and I've got blood work to prove it. Legumes, quinoa, beans, peas, nuts, protein shakes, protein bar, protein non-dairy milk... I get my protein from food, just like everyone else.
3) Organic, vegan, and gluten free are all different; but get confused constantly. If I had a nickel for every time someone tried to offer me an organic or gluten free option as a vegan option, I wouldn't have to work anymore. Again, this is just a lack of knowledge and understanding. I believe, if food's class is still a thing in schools, all of these options should be explained and offered. Knowledge is power, my friends.
4) Never stop being a voice for the voiceless. Vegans still get a bad rep for being pushy, judgey, extreme.. blah blah. I'm not saying that there aren't those types, just like there's those types within every group of people you meet. What we hear for being vegan I think justifies our attitude at times, because people can be downright mean once they hear you're a vegan. I've gotten sighs, eye rolls, rude words.. you name it. But, I don't let that take away from why I'm a vegan: I love animals. I will always stand up for animals, because animals cannot stand up for themselves. You cannot convince me that there's a reason for that burger to be on your plate. I won't be silenced. I have a voice, and I will use it for those who can't. Love it, or leave it.
As for my day itself, I had errands to run early in the AM. I went to the bank, got blood work done, picked up cards for those I think need them, WENT TO A NICK FOLES BOOK SIGNING AND TALKED TO HIM FOR A SECOND (AMAZING!), got an extra book to give to my uncle as he's recovering from surgery. It always feels good to send positive vibes back into the world, especially on a day like today.
Lastly, to celebrate, my husband and I went to a favorite spot of ours, The Greyhound Cafe, to have a delicious vegan meal. We started with guac, he got the Impossible Burger, and I got Eggplant Part, and just when I think I can't fit anything else in my belly, here comes Joe, the owner of the restaurant.
We've been going to this place since the beginning; literally we went their very first day, when they had their soft opening. Joe has been nothing but kind and friendly every time we go there; and he always goes out of his way to speak to and get to know his customers. He kindly treated me to batter and crumb's Chocolate Cake with a scoop of Chocolate Hazelnut Ice Cream to celebrate 4 years of veganism. I was honored and touched by his generosity. And I can't begin to put into words how good the cake was. It was sweet but slightly salty, decadent, and delicious. The ice cream you wouldn't have known it was vegan. You can ask my husband, even he thought so, and he's like an ice cream connoisseur.
4 years down, and a lifetime more to go. #teamvegan #peacebeginsonyourplate
I have since made an additional purchase from Thrive Causemetics, but before we get to those reviews, let's finally talk about thus Glossy Lip Mark in shade JoAnn.
I think this shade is universally flattering. It's considered a plum mauve. I'm surprised by how well it lasts, and the fact that I'm not reaching for my lip balm like I am with my other lip sticks. This is unique: it's a liquid lipstick and stain, but also a gloss, and it's actually hydrating.
It's a habit for me to always have lip balm on my lips, so I did apply it post lip balm. I want to try it on bare lips. But overall, the color lasted really long even with my balm on. I think the color is naturally pretty too. There's no feathering, but it is a little sticky but not nearly as bad as other lip glosses. This is actually my new favorite (sorry KVD, still love you!) I wish there was more shades. There's only 8 total, but I hope they'll include more as their business grows. For $26, the price is hefty, but honestly, it's worth it. I say that not just because of the price, but notice the name of the company- Thrive CAUSEmetics - makeup with a cause. For every product purchased, one is given to a woman going through cancer treatment. They partner with a lot of great groups, like Make A Wish and various cancer foundations, in order to give their products and services, which I think is a really beautiful thing. I'm always happy to spend money on quality products that give back. And, every product is cruelty free and vegan! Treat yourself, and someone else at the same time!
As I have mentioned more than once, I'm turning 30 this year, on September 3rd. 30 is scary. I'm out of my 20s, in a new decade, reflecting on my previous decade, kinda feeling like a failure because I thought I would have had more accomplished as this age... but, instead of being negative, I was like, let's just try some new things. So, I decided to try this...
Now, I had sent an email to them asking if it would work on my hair; showing them the bayalage on my ends, and how parts were really light, and according to the photo they sent me, I anticipated my hair would be a rose gold tone. This was my hair before:
And here's how the light parts of my hair should've turned out, according to the information and photo I received:
When I opened the bottle, I was shocked by how pink the color was, but I wasn't too concerned. I figured either way, it would be new and different and I dig that. I had ladies night with my girls Alexis and Amber, and Alexis did my hair for me. They said let it sit for 15 minutes; I definitely let it sit longer, approximately like 45 minutes to an hour. Here was the result:
Is it rose gold? No, it's not. It was like a pink/red shade, depending on the light. But, the more I looked at it, the more I loved it. Keep in mind- this is a colored vegan conditioner, not a hair dye. It's temporary, not meant to last. The dying process was pleasant- the scent of the conditioner is rosemary and mint. It smells like toothpaste, but ironically, not unpleasant, even if it sounds like it should. As a conditioner, it's fantastic. My hair is so soft and it really does make hair easier to manage, considering how tangled it gets, as well as the daily conditioner that came with the system for color maintenance. It's been near a month since I've done it, and it has faded a lot, and definitely need to have it redone soon. However, it didn't fade to an ugly shade, and the maintenance conditioner has helped, but the color deposit from the maintenance conditioner is minimal.
Overall, I'm pretty impressed, especially for a colored conditioner, not even a hair dye. It's good for your hair, no bad smells or harsh chemicals, and works much better than I anticipated. Sure, it's not the rose gold I wanted, but $45 well spent. I'm debating when I'm done if I'm going to get a different shade and mix colors, or if I'm going to chop my hair off for a drastic change, or dye it black and be my usual self lol.
Despite the lack of rose gold results, I really couldn't recommend this stuff more. There's a lot of shades, and because it's temporary, it's easy to change your hair up. If you're thinking of trying it, give it a shot, especially if you have light hair, especially blonde hair. Blondes will definitely get the best results, I think. Either way, a big thumbs up from this girl!
I've done a post like this before, and my goal is to round up all my favorite non-beauty related items each month, and make a post about them. So, as June is coming to a fast end, let's talk about my favorite things I got in June!
Favorite Thing #1: Hedgehog Ped Socks
How cute are these? These were $5, which for one pair of red socks seems expensive, but they're from The Animal Rescue Site, so all proceeds go to helping animals in need. There is other different pairs (including a fox pair that I definitely need), and you should totally check them out and buy a pair or two. Look cute, and help the animals while you're at it!
Favorite Thing #2: Avocado Crop Top
I do not wear crop tops. I was like, hey I'm almost 30 let me try a crop top. JK, I still won't be rocking a crop top by itself in public. I got a medium, and I definitely should've gotten a small. I tried to shrink it, but that didn't work. I'll wear it for walks, working out, or with a tank top underneath. It's an olive green shade, which also isn't my color, but again, almost 30 let's try something new. This is from a company called Wholesome Culture, which has a ton of awesome designs. This one spoke to my soul: Everything in Moderation. Except Avocado. Because there is no moderation with avocados in my life. There's no like, eat half and save half. Save half?! Crazy talk. Eat the whole avocado.
Favorite Thing #3: My Cinderella TOMS
I saved my favorite for last because I mean, DISNEY! This is actually my first pair of TOMS, and I love that they offer vegan versions, and I love that these Disney ones are vegan, and that they're releasing a new collection every single month. So, expect every favorite things to include a pair of these lol. I want to buy the other pair with Gus and Jaq that are ADORABLE, and it's hard to say no. But, SINCE I'M GOING TO DISNEY IN AUGUST (yes, you read that right!), I feel like I need to be prepared for all the characters I'm going to meet! That includes with my footwear. They're not cheap, but certainly worth it. They're comfy and cute and DISNEY.
That's this month's edition of Ashley's favorite things!
YOGA! WITH! CATS! I mean, could anything be better?! I was so excited when I saw the Providence Animal Center was offering Yoga With Cats I could hardly contain myself. Last summer, I did Yoga With Dogs and that was awesome. But we all know cats are where my heart lies. I am The Vegan Crazy Cat Lady, after all. There was about 5 kittens, 6 weeks old, running around and playing while we were doing yoga. How cute were they, you ask? Don't worry, I have pictures.
I actually did partake in the yoga, and did almost all of it, with a few exceptions when I stopped to take some photos or get some kitten love. Actually, I had one laying right underneath me at one point when I was in the process of holding a position that if a kitten wasn't underneath, I probably would've let up some. But, the kitten kept me motivated, and actually assisted in my work out! Cats, always, FTW!
Tickets were $25, and all proceeds go to helping the animals at the center. Make sure you're signed up for emails from them, and you follow them on Instagram and Facebook, because they do a lot of events that you definitely don't want to miss out on, like Yoga With Cats!
These kittens were A) adorable and B) will be ready for adoption in about 1-2 weeks. So, if you're in the market for a new sweet fur baby angel to love (I always am), contact the Providence Animal Shelter to get the info. And don't forget, older cats need homes too. Kittens are, of course, too cute. Older cats have a higher rate of living out their lives in a shelter, or being put down, and that just breaks every ounce of my heart. As always, #adoptdontshop <3
Yes, my leggings had sphinx on them, because cats, always cats! Cats FTW!
I know by now you know, highlighter is one of my favorite beauty products. I wanna shine, and it's so multi-purposeful. Highligher, eyeshadow, fake like you've slept for 8 hours... all the things. When KVD released some limited edition products for her 10 year anniversary, I wanted everything. However, I settled on just the highlighter.
This highlighter is just so pretty. From the box, to the compact to the product itself.
Would you look at that shine?! It's not the gaudy gold, it's a fresh take on gold. Like, I don't feel like I need to grab a big gold chain while I'm rocking this highlighter lol.
The photo on the left is without Gold Skool, and the photo on the right is with one quick layer of Gold Skool. I love that it's buildable... you can either flicker like a star, or shine like the galaxy with this highlighter. I used a mini kabuki brush to apply it, but I have a thicker brush that I may use when I want to really shine.
This highlighter is $30, and like all KVD products, worth every penny. I just love her, and love her products, and this is still in stock if you're interested! Head on over to the KVD Beauty website to buy it!
I know like, next week is the beginning of summer and the Summer Beauty Boxes are going to be coming out pretty soon, BUT, I have some reviews of the products from the Spring Box and I'd like to share them. Typically, Vegan Cuts has sales of their boxes, this one may still be available, but if not, I'm sure you'll get another chance. They make great gifts for the vegan makeup lady in your life too, and it's never too early to think about Christmas shopping! I'm like 40% done mine already. #teamvirgo
Back on track... let's talk about some makeup!
Mascara is one of those products I am INCREDIBLY picky on. The brush has to be just right, it needs to be blacker than black, no flaking, not irritating my eyes, etc... So, how does this one by Emani stack up?
The tube is sleek and shiny. I won't lie, it's shaped a big provocatively, if you know what I mean, and when I posted this photo on my Instagram, someone commented saying they thought it was something else lol. I prefer something with more of a grip to it, because nothing is worse than dropping your mascara mid-application and getting mascara all over the place.
I'm just gonna come out and say it: I hate the brush. I prefer small thin brushes, because I have two rows of eyelashes, and it's hard to get close enough to the lid to really accentuate my lashes with a plush brush. So, I end up with some on my eyelid literally every application. I just smudge it in so it looks like smudged liner, but I would prefer not to. For me, the brush is a no-go.
In the image above, my left eye (which is on the right because of how the photo was taken) has one coat of mascara on, and the other doesn't. The formula isn't bad. It goes on smoothly, and doesn't flake. I do feel like it doesn't hold my lashes in place as well as other mascaras I've used. By the end of my workday, my curled lashes are just lashes. It's a natural mascara, so it's better for you than most other mascaras. It's a soy based mascara that's organic and contains jojoba oil, so it's meant to nourish your lashes as well. The color is Midnight, so it's nice and dark, just like I like it. I don't hate it, I just don't love it. This retails for $20, and I wouldn't buy it for that price. I've spent less on mascaras I like more.
This is actually a two for one, because I used the (insanely expensive) $29 eyeshadow brush to apply these eyeshadows too.
I want to tell you I love these, I want to, but I don't. The brush is fine, but I absolutely wouldn't pay that for an eyeshadow brush. For the palette, Impeccable doesn't even show up, despite multiple efforts to try. The other colors are neutral, and I love neutral, but they don't have a ton of pigment. And I applied them over eyeshadow primer. I'm just not totally impressed.
Considering the prices of these individually, $29 for the brush and $28 for the palette, I wouldn't purchase them personally. Just not enough color payoff for me, and again, $29 for an eyeshadow brush, no way.
I've got two more products to review. One of which I've used but I'll use again because I can't remember if I got a photo or not, and another I haven't used yet. But, I'm working on it.
Blogging is a great release for me- it takes me away from the constant routine of work and school, and I love trying new products and reviewing them. My goal is to work on blogging more , and taking better care of myself. Self-care is just as important as work and as school. <3
Long lost friends! How have you been? Life has been, well... it's been. Stats and Neuroscience have presently taken over my life, and I actually feel like I'm cheating on my homework by blogging. That's where my brain is right now. Remember those commercials for anti-drugs that were with the egg and the frying pan and they were like "this is your brain on drugs" ... as it turns out, that's also strikingly similar to your brain on Stats. I'm almost halfway done these two classes though and I am THRILLED.
Enough about school, REVIEW TIME! I can't tell you all the things I have to review for you, but there is a lot. So, let's begin.
When I bought this at Target, I literally only bought it because it was vegan lip balm. If it's vegan and lip balm, I have to try it. Gimme all the vegan lip balms. It said it was $3.99, which is about average. I go to self-checkout to pay, $0.88! I was like WHAT?! Total steal. I might go back and by more if they still have them (this was a few weeks ago), and SURPRISE, everyone is getting vegan lip balm in their stocking lol.
The flavor is very fruity, personally a little too fruity for me. Like, when I have it on and I drink water, it gets stuck to the water and all I taste is a fruitiness with my water. This is just a small Ashley problem, and most people probably couldn't care less. The fruits are: Dragon Fruit, Lychee Berry (which is the dominant flavor), and Green Apple extracts.
The formula is actually really good. It goes on clear and smooth, makes your lips look pretty and shiny, and a little goes a long way. I was surprised by how good the staying power for this is. Literally, for $0.88, you can't beat it.
The ingredients are where it's at. Imbe Oil is great for your skin. It's got loads of Vitamin C and it makes your lip skin healthier with use, and we all know Aloe is super soothing. There's also 100% pure Coconut Water, another great hydrator that nourishes skin. Your lips are the only skin in your body without glands for self lubrication, that means you gotta make sure you're taking care of them! They're also one of the first parts to show aging.
In addition to being cruelty free and vegan, it's also certified organic with natural and fair trade ingredients, and there's none of the icky stuff, like: parabens, phthalates, propylene glycol, mineral oil, sulfates, or petrolatum. You ingest your lip balm, so you always wanna make sure the ingredients are safe.
TLDR: go to Target, scrounge up some change from your car, and buy this $0.88 lip balm while you still can!