I'm such a picky person when it comes to makeup brushes. I've tried a variety of brands, but I always come back to EcoTools. Want to know why?
1)They're cruelty free!
2) They're super soft.
3) Everything from the brushes to the packaging is eco friendly.
4) They're so affordable. This five pack of brushes and carry bag you see above was only $12.99! And my blush brushyou see below was only $8.49!
5)There's a brush for every product. Liquid and powder foundation, blush, bronzer, finishing powder, eye shadow, eyeliner.. you name it! They even have hair brushes and body brushes, facial sponges, and spa essentials!
6) The bamboo handles are so sleek and strong.
7) They barely shed.
8) I have washed them a few times and they're still just as soft as they were when I first got them.
9) Because they're cruelty free, they hold less bacteria than animal hair brushes.
10) They're readily available.You can find them at drug stores, Target, Ulta, and various websites online!
You really can't go wrong with EcoTools brushes! I can't recommend them enough!
Today, I'm going to tell you about the two current foundations that I use. I know that foundation is probably the most difficult makeup for most women to choose. Between finding the perfect shade, the perfect coverage, and the perfect texture while still making sure it reacts well to your skin, doesn't make you break out, and looks natural on your face is next to impossible. Even still, I haven't found my holy grail foundation. But, I haven't given up hope. I don't hate the foundations I'm using now, and honestly if I could find a concealer that I really love (which is a whole different battle in itself) I would be much happier. Now that the weather is starting to cool off, my face is naturally looking better with less grease and shininess, and my makeup is looking better as a result. So, here's the deal:
My skin type: Oily/acne prone
My skin concerns: Acne scars, unevenness, sometimes redness
My current skin prep: I wash my face with Yes To Tomatos Acne Control Gel Cleanser ($9.99 Target) then I pat it dry. I use a drop of Yes To Tomatoes Repairing Acne Treatment ($8.69 Target), and mix it with a drop of Osea Malibu Atmosphere Protection Cream ($44 per 2 oz. bottle, www.oseamalibu.com) and apply that all over my face and neck. Let soak in for about 10-15 minutes.
*PS: I have reviewed all of these products in previous posts if you would like to check them out!*
What I use:
EcoTools Mineral Powder Brush and Concealer Brush (which I got in a kit of 5 brushes for $12.99)
Alima Pure Satin Matte Loose Mineral Foundation in shade Beige2 ($28 for 0.23 oz./6.5 g)
Too Faced Cocoa Powder Foundation in Light Medium ($34 Ulta/toofaced.com)
*As you can see, I'm still working on finding a concealer and finishing powder that I love. But for now, this is what I use on daily basis.*
I've always had difficulty applying foundation. Like there's really no right way considering everyone uses different tools and has different skin and uses different products, so I just do what works for me. I use my EcoTools Mineral Powder Brush for both foundations. I apply the Alima Pure foundation first. I take my brush and dip it into the product and basically pat my face with my brush to apply, and then I blend it as needed. This method gives me pretty decent coverage. Next, I use my Concealer Brush and use a little bit of the Alima Pure foundation as a concealer as well. I dip my brush into it, and pat the areas I needed until it covers well. Then, I use the same patting and blending method with the Cocoa Powder foundation. I apply as many layers as needed to achieve the coverage I want, which is usually about 1 full layer of each foundation. Sometimes I'll do two layers just around my nose and cheeks because I get can some redness there. And that's it! Easy enough right? Even though I'm using two foundations, my face still feels like it can breathe and my skin never feels heavy.
So why two foundations you ask? I feel like I get better coverage with two different foundations. Also, I feel I get the best shade match with these two foundations. The Cocoa Powder foundation is a little dark for my regular skin on it's own, so I blend it with the Alima Pure which is the closest match to my skin of any foundation I have ever used but isn't like 100% perfect. Together, they match really well. And, depending on the season, I just use more of less of each one depending on if I'm tan or pale as a ghost!
Pros of the Alima Pure Foundation:
1) There are lots and lots of shades to choose from, so you're bound to find one that matches your skin.
2) There aren't a lot of ingredients, which has been excellent for my sensitive skin. It hasn't caused me to itch or break out.
3) The coverage is natural, but buildable.
6) They offer affordable samples ($1.75 each) with a decent amount of product so you can try before you buy a full size container.
7) It can double as a concealer if you have *minor* imperfections to cover. Focus on the word minor! It's still only a foundation, but it's a nice bonus if you need it.
Cons of Alima Pure Foundation:
1) The foundation alone doesn't last long. Touch ups are definitely necessary.
2) Loose foundation is so messy. You waste so much product because of it.
3) I don't really love the price of $28 considering how much product goes to waste when you apply it.
Other facts about Alima Pure Foundation:
1) Like most mineral foundations, the foundation color changes as it mixes with the oils in your skin. Which is why at first when I apply it it looks too light, but after about a half hour, it blends to my skin shade. It doesn't oxidize and turn orange, but it will darken. So definitely try the samples before you buy them, so you can test them out for a few days before you decide to buy it.
Overall opinion of Alima Pure foundation: Alima Pure is a pretty great brand. They offer a lot of vegan products, use primarily natural ingredients, and are cruelty free. I think I'll like their pressed foundation much better than the loose one because I always prefer pressed over loose. The loose powder honestly does last a long time. I ordered mine May 15th of this year, and I still have a little less than 3/4 of the container. So while it's pricey, it does last. They sometimes offer sales too, like for Labor Day and those kind of holidays, so you can score it for cheaper. Also, they offer free domestic shipping on $35 orders, which is easy to spend. Also, the fact that they offer so many shades and offer affordable samples of those shades is such an awesome thing. If you're looking for natural coverage, this is your foundation. You can build it up, but it takes some work. It won't build up to full coverage, so if you want that, you might want to look elsewhere. But overall, I absolutely recommend you try them out.
Pros of the Too Faced Cocoa Powder foundation:
1) It smells awesome. Like, seriously so good. It smells just like cocoa, as you would expect. The smell doesn't last on your face which is a good or bad thing, depending on your preference.
2) It's pressed foundation which I love.
3) The coverage is buildable.
4) It's got a lot of great ingredients for your skin.
6) It's oil absorbing.
7) It does last a decent amount of time before I have to touch up. But I personally need a touch up by mid afternoon.
8) It's provides a matte finish.
Cons of the Too Faced Cocoa Powder foundation:
1) There's only 8 shades and I don't feel like that's enough to allow everyone to find a shade.
2) The price is a little crazy. I feel like a good chunk of that $34 is because of the Too Faced name brand.
3) They label it as "medium to full coverage" but it's definitely not. Maybe with a different method, but with just a powder brush it's barely pushing medium coverage.
4) While the main ingredients are good for your skin, it's got a lot of filler ingredients I could do without. It hasn't done clogged my pores or anything, or made me break out like crazy, I just wish it was more natural.
Overall opinion of Too Faced Cocoa Powder foundation: Too Faced is an awesome company, I wish they were all vegan but they are 100% cruelty free. I've repurchased this on 2 different occasions. Clearly, I've liked it enough to repurchase it. It goes on smoothly and when I wash my face at night I still have it on at the end of my day. I just wish they had more shades! If you purchase it, definitely go into Ulta and meet with one of the girls because it's definitely difficult to shade match. If you can find your shade, definitely give it a shot! Ulta offer a 30 day money back guarantee so you can't lose by trying it, even if you hate it.
Have you guys found your holy grail vegan foundation? If you have a recommendation, I would LOVE to hear them and try them out!
I love trying new products. Whether it's makeup, hair care, body care, household products; you name it. I am always on the look out for new stuff. Which is ironic, because in every other aspect of my life, I hate trying new things and I hate change. I guess this is whether my adventurous side lives. So one day recently, my fiance and I were at a Target that we usually don't go to, mainly because it's the next state over (which is only 20-30 minutes from us so still not super far), and we have 2 local Targets within 10 minutes of us. But, we were shopping in wonderful tax free Delaware for a new router, so of course, we had to stop at Target. Target is my favorite store. Really, I hate physically going out to shop, unless it's Target. So, I was browsing the natural beauty aisle at this Target and I spotted a new brand that I've never seen at my Target. Ironically, I was almost out of conditioner at home so I said what the hay, let's check this out.
The "worry free ingredients" label is what caught my hair. So I picked up the bottle, and like I do with everything else in my life, started reading the description and ingredients.
I discovered that Attitude is a cruelty free company based out of Canada. I don't know if all of their products are vegan, but I was thrilled to see that this conditioner was. I was also really pleased by the ingredient list. Only 16 ingredients, and I could pronounce all of them. Most regular conditioners you see have about 35+ ingredients and you're reading them like, what in the world is this?! I was really surprised to find that, according to their label, that cancer causing chemicals and toxins are still legally allowed in hair care products. What goes on your body goes in your body. Do you want cancer causing chemicals anywhere near on or in your body? Any and all sane people would say no.
Overall, I enjoy this conditioner. I assume the sunflower on the front represent the scent, which is what I think it smells like. It has a nice fresh and subtle scent, kind of like a clean floral scent. The texture isn't too think or too thin. It makes my hair feel soft after each use. It does definitely look shiner too. I don't know about the volume part, but I don't put it on my roots, only my ends. So perhaps if I put it on my roots I would notice more volume. Would I purchase this again? I'm not sure. I appreciate their level of commitment to healthy and simple ingredients. And I always appreciate a cruelty free company. But, the price is a little high, at $9.99 per bottle. I know in comparative to other brands, that's cheap. Nothing about it blew me away enough that I would run out and buy it again. So we'll see. I always suggest trying it for yourself and seeing what you think! If you do, please be sure to comment below and let me know what you think!
I know I've mentioned before, but my hair gets really greasy. So, I'm a firm believer that using a clarifying shampoo at least weekly if not more, makes a huge difference in my hair. If you have greasy hair and use a lot of products, you definitely want to make sure you're using a clarifying shampoo to remove all that gunk from your hair.
The thing to remember is, not all clarifying shampoos are created equal. Some clarifying shampoos are made with chemicals and weird ingredients you can't pronounce and are definitely questionable as to whether they actually clean your hair or make it worse, let alone, are even safe to use. Like most things in my life, I prefer natural over chemical. Avalon Organics is an organic cruelty free brand that makes a variety of products, including skin care, hair care, body care, and baby products. They're a 100% vegetarian company, and most of their products are vegan. To find out which non-vegan ingredients they use, I sent an email to their customer service department, and this was their response:
So, all but their lip balms and baby products are vegan. Yay!
Back to the shampoo, here's the ingredient list:
Below are the pros and cons to this shampoo. I'll begin with the pros:
1) It smells like Lemon Pledge, which might not be everyone's cup of tea, but I enjoy the smell. Maybe it's because I associate the scent of Lemon Pledge with my mom cleaning when I was a kid, so I associate it with cleanliness. Either way, it's a plus for me.
2) It's gentle enough to use every time I wash my hair, especially in the summer. This means I use it 2-3x a week. During the cold weather months, once a week will still give you the benefits of this shampoo.
3) I love that it's organic, as I prefer organic ingredients.
4) It makes my hair very shiny every time I use it.
5) My hair does feel genuinely clean after each use.
6) My hair is smoother and feels lighter after each use.
7) I feel like it truly does get the grease and oil out of my hair without stripping it of it's natural oils. My hair doesn't feel dry or brittle afterwards.
8) It's natural and not full of chemicals.
Now for the cons:
1) It's a very thin shampoo, which means I need a lot for my hair. I feel like I use more than I do with other shampoos because it is so watery.
2) Elaborating on what I said above, the price is high considering how much I need to use. The website has it for $10.50, but I bought it at my local food store for $7.49, and I think that's the regular price. I don't recall seeing a sale tag on there. Either way, at $7.49, $10.50, or anything in between, considering how much I use each time, I don't know if I would say it's cost effective for me. If you use it 1x a week (which I will once the winter hits), the price is more bearable.
Also, this is the part where I can't classify as a pro or a con, but I felt these tidbits were worth mentioning:
1) I don't want to say that it makes my hair too clean, but literally, after I rinse it out, my hair squeaks it's so clean. It's fine once I dry it.
2) The lemon scent does not linger after I dry my hair. My conditioner is all I smell after my hair is dry and styled.
Overall, I have already and will again repurchase this shampoo. Out of all the clarifying shampoos that I have used, this is my favorite. And I've been using it for years. My aunt, who's a vegetarian, bought me this way back when I was in high school to try, and I've been a believer ever since.
Have you tried this shampoo, or any other Avalon Organics products? What are your thoughts?
I am a certified lip balm junkie. That's no joke. I have one in my purse, three at work, one on my nightstand, one downstairs, and about 4 million back ups. I take lip balm with me every where I go. If I was stuck on an island and could only bring 3 things, one, if not two, of them would be lip balm. I have it on my lips 24/7/365. With that being said, every time I hear of a new vegan lip balm, I'm like, I need to try this! I was browsing through Instagram, I stumbled upon a post from someone I follow ranting and raving about Epic Blend lip balm. Naturally, I had to try it.
Epic Blend is a Canadian company that offers both vegan and non-vegan lip balm. They're a cruelty free company, that uses only high quality natural ingredients. They're products are gluten free, petroleum free, and they don't use any GMO's. They have hemp balms and also more moisture lip balms, both are non-vegan. They even offer a tinted balm, which is also non-vegan. Most of their ingredients are organic.
They offer a variety of flavors, but they only have 4 vegan flavors. They are: peach, chocolate, wild berry, and pineapple mint. I do hope to see more vegan flavors in the future. I chose to order the chocolate and wild berry. I received my order and was surprised to see that they included an additional lip balm for free!
The lip balms came in a cute little reusable drawstring eco-friendly bag.
Here's the lip balms themselves:
As tempted as I am to open them all and try them all, I refrained and only opened the chocolate as I needed a new one for work. The chocolate scent is awesome. It reminds me of a warm cup of hot chocolate. The lip balm is smooth and it goes on very nicely and lasts a few hours before I had to reapply. Overall, I'm really happy with my purchase and I recommend that you try them too!
You can purchase any of their products from their website. They offer free shipping on Canadian orders of $15, and USA orders of $20. And, if you sign up for their mailing list, you get 20% off your first order. Each balm is $3.49 CAD. When you pay it converts to American dollars. I ordered 2 lip balms, plus $4 shipping, and my 20% off, and my total was $9.58 CAD. When I paid through PayPal, I ended up paying $7.58 USD, which I thought was a pretty fair price.
If you have any vegan lip balms you think I need to try, leave me a comment! I'm always on the prowl for new ones!