The Difference Between Cruelty-Free and Vegan

Quite recently I decided to make the transition to only cruelty-free makeup products. Now I had thought that the horrendous practice of animal testing in the makeup industry was a thing of the past. However, many of the common and popular brands still test on animals. I did know that many of the products found on the shelves were not vegan, but that didn’t really concern me. Going vegan is not something that I think I will be doing any time soon. Although, I have researched and considered it in the past. So I thought since I wasn’t going vegan, I didn’t have to worry about it. Then I found out that not all, not even most, of the products found on the shelves are cruelty-free. So this brought up several questions. Previously I had no idea that there was distinctions between cruelty-free and vegan.

What is the difference? Cruelty-free makeup products are those that are not tested on animals, or have ingredients that are tested on animals. There is no inhumane treatment of animals that happens while going into the making of the products. However just because something is cruelty-free does not mean it is vegan. These products might still have animal products (i.e. such as beeswax, honey, etc.) in them. I am only using products that are cruelty-free from now on.

Vegan products are ones that are made cruelty-free, and without any animal products in them. There is actually quite a few options out there for those that want to go 100% vegan. Like I said, this is not the option I’ll be taking, but I will list a few brands that are vegan for those of you who are. Two are E.L.F., and The Body Shop. I have used both of these off and on for years. I actually really like these brands. Just a side note: The Body Shop’s parent company is L’oreal which is neither vegan nor cruelty free. However, I think it is progress that they have started cruelty-free and vegan products. Hopefully, they will transition to all cruelty-free. Also, Urban Decay has alot of vegan products.

Since I am going 100% cruelty-free I thought I would mention a few brands that I do enjoy or plan to in the future. On the high-end there is Hourglass, Too Faced, and Urban Decay. For Drugstore there is: L.A. Colors, E.L.F.,  NYX,  and Wet n’ Wild. Burt’s Bees is also cruelty-free, but their parent company Clorox is not.

I am thinking about doing a “My Makeup Collection” post once I have bought all cruelty-free products. What do you think? Also, what are some other cruelty-free makeup brands that I could try.

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Making the Most of the Fading Tan

Summer is coming to a close, and with that comes the end of the tan. Soon I will go from sun kissed bronze to pastey white. However, there is a few ways to make what is left of your summer tan stand out. I will certainly be using them.

1. Neon or Pastel nail polishes. The bright colors will stand out against your skin and pull the bronze out. The pastel colors will complement what is left of the tan, making it more noticeable.

2. Coral or Orange-Red Lipstick. The brightness of the color combined with the rich tone will help make what little tan you have left stand out.

3. Gold Jewelry. This works well if the gold tone is close to or darker than your skin tone.

4. Moisturizing. Keeping your skin hydrated will help reduce the shedding of dry skin flakes. This should help your tan to stick around for at least an extra week. Not to mention the added benefit of having baby soft skin.

Hope you found this list helpful! Sorry for how short this post is, I promise next time will be better. For more find me on Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest.

Garnier Fructis Conditioner and Product Review

Recently while at the store I spotted a rather bright, flashy new product to try. Also, it came with a “free” hair product. Loyal as I am to my current conditioner I could not resist. That and the fact that I am kind of a hair product junkie weighed heavily on my decision to buy it. I have been using the conditioner every day, and the product every few days.

I actually had high expectations for the conditioner. With the words ‘Brazilian Smooth’ flashing before my eyes, I had images of a shiny sheet of long, dark hair flowing in sunshine. Dramatic I know, but true. It has Argan Oil in it, which I have used before in my hair with fantastic results. So I went home and gave it a try.

Conditioner

It didn’t turn my hair into Real Housewives of Miami dream hair. However, it didn’t disappoint either. It is thick and rich. It does a good job of thoroughly conditioning and detangling my hair. The frizz was also dramatically decreased. I will say that when it came to leaving my hair in its natural state, I noticed that it was more poofy than its usual wavy. It also wasn’t as soft as my regular conditioner usually made it. I think for someone with thicker hair, it would be great. I happen to have rather fine hair, so a heavy conditioner tends to be a bit much. Would I buy it again? Yeah. It’s not a bad conditioner. Nothing terrible happened. Nothing very wonderful happened either. It is a decent conditioner that loosely holds up to its promises.

I also had high hopes for the product, which was a bonus taped to the bottle. I use several Garnier hair products on a regular basis, and I love them. This one promised to cut down straightening time, and make the straightness last longer. It is consistent I every time I used it, I’ll give it that. I got the exact same results every time I used it.

Flat Iron

First off, it is heavy. It left my hair greasy. At first I thought I was using too much, but even after cutting the amount in half it didn’t make much difference. One good thing was it did decrease my straightening time. I only had to run my flat iron over each section once or twice. Another thing was that it in no way increased the time the straightness lasted. In fact it was only an hour later when I started to notice the wave coming back. Two hours later and it looked like I hadn’t even used a flat iron. Usually, I straighten my hair and it lasts for upwards of 12 hours. Would I buy this again? No. I was disappointed.

To end on a positive note I still like Garnier. The Flat Iron Express was a disappointment, but the conditioner held its own. I will still continue to use Garnier products, just not all of them. I encourage you to try these products and share your results!

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Matrix Biolage Smoothing Shine Milk Product Review

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     A several years ago, I went to a hair stylist who showed me this product for the first time. Being the high school freshman I was, I only knew of three types of hair products: hairspray, mousse, and gel. The existence of a milk was completely new to me. Fast forward five years and I can still be found using it on a regular basis. This product is AMAZING and I will swear by it!

It is by Matrix Biolage from their Styling line. It is a Smoothing Shine Milk that is supposed to help control frizz and leave your hair soft and glossy. This product is not a hairspray. It says light hold on the bottom of the bottle and it means it. It won’t hold your pony tail in place or keep your bangs out of your face. Rather, it will make you want to run your fingers through your own hair.

A bonus, though a frivolous one, is the bottle. The white bottle with the blue cap is an attractive look. The product name and logo are neatly placed. Everything about it is pretty straight forward. It is in a medium-sized bottle. It is too big to practically fit in your purse, but it is smaller than most mousse bottles. The milk itself is white. It doesn’t discolour your hair though. The thickness is there loose. It is definitely a liquid state which makes sense because it is called a milk. The consistency or colour reminds me of coconut milk.

Another thing I absolutely love about this product is the smell. It smells kind of like a salon, but minus hair dryer/hair colour smell. It isn’t super strong either. You can smell it pretty strongly at first when you spray it on, but after a few moments it fades to just a hint. I never noticed how hard it is to describe a smell. That’s the best I can do.

They used to have one with a white cap which was their original formula. Now they changed the cap to blue and use a Blue Agave formula. Some people are saying that the original was much better, and that the new formula is completely different and has dried out their hair. I have been using the blue agave for several months and have not noticed ANY difference from the original. It does exactly the same thing, smells exactly the same, feels exactly the same to me. Maybe the are spraying too much on. I don’t know. You really do not need much. I have long hair and use 3-4 sprays. It says to “mist lightly” so if you are applying a large amount in an attempt to get a hairspray-like hold out of it, it might give your hair a weird texture. The bottle says to spray on damp hair, but I have used it on my hair after it is fully dried and it works just as good.

For me, I have pretty healthy hair, so if you struggle with dry, brittle hair, I’m not sure what results you might get. I can only speak for myself and how it works on my hair type. I also do not know how it works on tightly curled or textured hair. If you have just plain old straight or wavy hair, this product is incredible. At $16.00 a bottle, it is a bit expensive to buy if you are not sure if you are even going to like it. I would recommend using a tester, or even taking the cap off and spraying some on your hair to see if you like it before taking it to the register.

Everyone’s hair is different, but I would highly recommend giving this product a try. I would give it a 4.5 out of 5. It is fantastic. It makes my hair so soft and silky. Here is link to Ulta’s website so you can check it out and purchase it, or you can find it in most stores that sell hair products.

Please feel free to comment your opinions on this product if you have tried it.

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