How To Go Cruelty-Free

Let me set the scene:

You’ve recently discovered the horrible truths about animal testing and you are completely outraged. Then, you look through your makeup bag and your bathroom counter and you see all of those brands that you now know test on animals. You’re thinking, what do I do now? Do I throw everything away and start over? But, where do I start? DO VEGANS EVEN WEAR MAKEUP?! 

Let me assure you, I was there a little over 5 years ago. I was in the same place, freaking out about what my next step was going to be. The good news is I made it through and I’m here to share my tips with you for going cruelty-free!

  1. Use up the products you already own: When I went cruelty-free I did not start from scratch. I tried to use up all of the non-cruelty-free products I already had. This gave me time to find cruelty-free versions of my favorite products and do research  without being wasteful.
  2. Check to see if anything you currently own is already cruelty-free:bunny There are so many mainstream brands that are cruelty-free. Do some research and read the labels of the products you already own because some of them might be cruelty-free already.
  3. Do your research: Read sites like Logical Harmony and Ethical Elephant. These sites are great resources for staying updated on the cruelty-free statues of brands. They also have vegan product lists as well.
  4. Don’t rule out the drugstore: Now that you want to go cruelty-free that doesn’t mean you have to avoid drugstore brands. Check out your local Walgreens or Target to find affordable cruelty-free brands. These brands include:
    • Wet N Wild
    • ELF
    • Pacifica
    • Yes To
    • Physician’s Formula
    • Alba Botanica
    • Milani
  5. Be flexible and try new brands: One of my favorite things about being cruelty-free is finding new brands to try that I wouldn’t have otherwise sought out. Some of my most favorite products are not from mainstream brands. I encourage you to have fun with your cruelty-free journey and not be overwhelmed with trying to be perfect.

Just remember, there are so many resources out there to help you along the way. You are doing the right thing and the animals thank you 🙂


Where Have I Been?


The last half of 2017 was quite the whirlwind. I am proud to say that I have accomplished all of the goals I set for myself last year. I went out of my comfort zone and pushed myself to do new things, even things that scared me. I moved to a different state back in September and started a new job. This was my first real attempt at “adulting”. (I’m not too fond of that term). What I am trying to say is that 2017 was a pivotal year in my life.

In December my grandmother passed away and it hit my like a ton of bricks. In my grief, I realized that my grandma led a pretty amazing life. More specifically, she lived her passion. She did what she loved. She did the things that so many of us wish we could do. My grandma was a music teacher for over 30 years. Everyday she was able to do the work she loved to do and nothing stopped her.

I was so inspired by this realization that it kickstarted my goals for 2018 and the future. I have the power to choose how I want my life to go I just need to do it. I just need to start. It dawned on me that I was living with a lot of uncertainties, which is normal for a 23 year-old but I was just floating. Floating from one thing to the next without any real plan or purpose. I was neglecting to do what I love. I was only focused on what I thought was practical. I wasn’t actually trying to reach my goals.

Now, I’m not going to quit my day job because that’s not how life works but, I want to incorporate the things I love in my everyday life. I’ll spare you all from the specifics of my goals but, I am going to be more active when it comes to blogging. It brings me a lot of joy and opportunities that I wouldn’t otherwise have. I’m feeling very motivated to be more active in my local vegan community as well. I have wanted to that for a long time and now seems like the perfect opportunity.

So, in short, if you’ve been wondering where I’ve been and what I’ve been up to, this is it. I’ve been thinking and planning and now it’s my time to start doing.

Let me know if you have any suggestions on incorporating the things you love into your schedule. Are there any tips and tricks to making time for doing what you are passionate about? Let me know in the comments! Thanks as always 🙂

Collective Haul – Video

Hello again, I have a collective haul for you guys, showing you all of the things I have purchased over the past couple months. I hope you enjoy! As always, if you have any feed back I would love to see it in the comments!

Pacifica Mineral Sunscreen and Face Stick


I was beyond jazzed when I heard that Pacifica was coming out with sunscreen.  Protecting your skin from the sun is very important however, most conventional sunscreens contain harmful ingredients that defeat the purpose of wearing it in the first place. Pacifica did a great job of using safe ingredients in this new sun-care line. This line is exclusively sold at Target stores which makes it is very easy to find.  If you want to know how these products performed just keep on reading 🙂

Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50: I will start by saying that the sunscreen ingredient in this sunscreen is zinc oxide. Zinc Oxide is the most natural form of sunscreen however, it does leave a white cast. If that bothers you this sunscreen may not be for you. Personally, that’s not something that bothers me. The other thing I want to point out is how oily this sunscreen is. Once you’ve rubbed it into your skin it looks and feels like you have just rubbed your body with tanning oil. When I first applied this spray I was having a lot of trouble getting it rubbed into my skin. After playing around with it a few times I learned that if you spray the product into your hands first then rub it into the skin it works best. If you spray it directly on the skin you end up using more than you need.

Mineral Face Stick: This facial sunscreen comes in a convenient stick form with an SPF of 50. The  product looks very white but, when you apply it, it goes on clear. I usually rub the product into my skin just to make sure my whole face is covered. The formula isn’t greasy or sticky and it did not cause me to break out. So far, I am really impressed with this product and it is my favorite out of their new sun-care line.

As a note: Everything I mention on this blog is vegan and cruelty-free! Thanks for reading!

Z natural life Deodorant Review


As many of you have probably experienced, finding a natural deodorant that actually works can be difficult. There are so many on the market and quite frankly, a lot of them suck. To add to my problem I have very sensitive skin and cannot use deodorants that contain baking soda. Baking soda is a common ingredient in natural deodorants because it is really great for neutralizing odor. Luckily, I have found two awesome baking soda-free deodorants (that really work!) and this one from Z natural life is one of them.

For starters, this deodorant is free of any nasty chemicals and aluminum that are common in conventional deodorants. Additionally, it is free of artificial colors and fragrances so it is really great for sensitive skin. To be honest I didn’t have high hopes for this product. I thought it was either going to irritate my underarms or it wasn’t going to work. Over the past six months I have learned that this deodorant is actually really great. Four of those months I have spent in central Florida where it is easy to get very sweaty.  Because there is no aluminum in this deodorant you will still sweat however, sweat does not cause the deodorant to wear off. I found that it lasts all day and it has not irritated my skin at all.

The deodorant comes in a squeeze tube with a “glide-on applicator tip” which is very easy to use. I really love that you don’t have to apply it with your hands like some other natural deodorants.

Overall, I think this deodorant is worth giving a try if you are having trouble finding a natural deodorant that works for you.  I love that it is sensitive skin friendly and it has a very light scent. Most importantly, it is cruelty free and vegan!

I bought my deodorant off of amazon here –

Vegan Makeup Starter Kit (Budget Friendly)


When I first went vegan 4 years ago, I found it to be a fairly easy transition. I had no problems eliminating animal products from my diet however, I did struggle with finding vegan makeup. I love makeup and I really didn’t want to part with my favorite products that weren’t vegan. I had no idea where I was going to find vegan products and if they would even work for me. Over the years of testing different products, I’ve put a lot of research into this topic. I wanted to put together a “starter kit” for those who are wanting to transition to the vegan lifestyle in hopes that your journey might be a little easier.

First off, two brands I would highly recommend you look at are ELF Cosmetics and Lily Lolo. ELF Cosmetics is a very affordable and accessible brand. All of the ELF Cosmetics products are vegan and cruelty free. Their ingredients aren’t the best but, for the price you can’t beat it. You can find their products online, Target, Walmart, and even some drugstores.

Lily Lolo is quickly becoming one of my favorite brands. They are an all natural brand that offers many vegan friendly products. Each product says whether or not it is vegan on the their website. Additionally, none of their products contain any toxic ingredients. Lily Lolo products are more pricy than ELF Cosmetics but, if you want green beauty products they are the way to go. You can find their products at

The products that I have assembled for this starter kit are meant for anyone who is wanting to try vegan products. I tried to include affordable options and natural options depending on what you are looking to try. Vegan and natural makeup can get expensive so, I wanted to share some budget-friendly options in this list.

Foundation – I really enjoy the OCC tinted moisturizer as my everyday foundation. It is lightweight and works for me in every season. I talk more about this foundation in my previous post here. ELF cosmetics also makes a great variety of inexpensive foundations. My favorite is the Flawless Finish Foundation. I have a full review of that foundation here.


OCC Tint and Silk Naturals concealer

Concealer– I am currently using the Silk Naturals stick concealer (I broke mine and it is pictured in the clear jar to the right). It’s very inexpensive, natural, and creamy. Pacifica also makes two really great concealers: the transcendent concealer and the dreamlit concealer. I have a full review on the dreamlit concealer here. If you are looking for a more traditional concealer the transcendent one is the way to go.

Powder-Lily Lolo makes my favorite powder foundation. It rivals the Bare Minerals foundations in my opinion. I use this both as a foundation and a setting powder. To use it as a setting powder I just use a smaller amount of product.

Blush– Pacifica makes my favorite affordable blush. It is the color Camellia. This blush is a shimmery peach color that is similar to Benefit Coralista (Camellia leans a bit more pink) . This blush also comes in a more rose shade called Wildrose.


Pacifica Camellia

Contour– Hands down the best contour powder I have tried is the ELF Contour Palette. I talk more about this palette in a previous post here.


Pacifica Aquarian Gaze (waterproof) Mascara and Wet n Wild Megaliner

Mascara– Pacifica makes the best vegan mascara. They offer 3 different types and all are non-irritating to the eye area. I talk more about the Pacifica Dream Big mascara here.

Eyeliner– I love the Wet n Wild Megaliner liquid eyeliner. It is very black and very easy to use. I can wear it all day long without it smudging or fading. The best part is the price. It is only 3 dollars at most drugstores and Target.

Eyeshadow– Silk Naturals makes the most affordable, natural eyeshadows. I couldn’t recommend them enough. I have a full review on these eyeshadows here. I also love the ELF Mad for Matte palettes. All of the shadows are easy to apply and have great pigmentation. I have a full review on the Mad for Matte 2 Palette here.


ELF Mad for Matte 1 Palette

I hope this post was helpful to anyone who is new to vegan makeup. Please leave a comment if you have any affordable favorites that are cruelty-free and vegan!







4 Ways to Declutter Your Closet


Image- Popsugar Photography

In my previous post, My Journey into Minimalism, I discussed my want to live lighter. I have decluttered my belongings and, more importantly, I decluttered my closet. I realized that I was holding onto a lot of clothing that I barely wore or I didn’t even like.

Depending on your level of clothes hoarding, decluttering your closet may seem like a daunting task. I found that if you go through your closet with a clear objective it is much easier. I have come up with a list of 4 easy ways to get started. These tips can help you find a starting point for what you may want to get rid of.

1. Items that are too big or too small– Everyone has at least one item of clothing that doesn’t quite fit them right. Chances are if you lose or gain weight you are going to want to buy new clothes rather than wear the old clothes you are holding on to.

2. Non-vegan items– This is more directed at vegans or people who only want to purchase items that an animal didn’t suffer for. When I went vegan I kept a lot of my non-vegan items. I thought I would still wear them and it would be a waste to get rid of them. The truth is, I felt too guilty to wear those items again and they ended up sitting in my closet collecting dust. I have since donated those items to people who will get better use out of them. I also encourage you, especially at this time of the year, to donate your down or wool coats to people in need. There are so many people who need a warm winter coat no matter the material. If you have one sitting around please donate it!

3. Things that are uncomfortable– Maybe it’s a pair of shoes that always gives you a blister or a shirt that is too tight in the arms, if you are uncomfortable wearing something you should get rid of it.

4. Items with bad memories– Sometimes the clothes we wear when we get bad news or something bad happens to us can hold onto those memories. You don’t want to keep an item that when you wear it you are reminded of that bad memory.

I hope these tips are helpful and give you a good place to start when decluttering your closet. Please let me know if you have any tips to share!

Vegan During the Holidays


Since being vegan for four years now I’ve experienced the holidays in a new way. This isn’t a bad thing, it’s just a bit different. The holidays present a situation that can be stressful if you’re unprepared. Here are my tips for having the happiest of holidays as a vegan:

  1. Bring food to gatherings– Prepare one (or a few) of your favorite vegan dishes to share at gatherings. Not only will this ensure you have something yummy to eat, it can also introduce vegan food to your family and friends.
  2. Bring a dessert– Sometimes there will be vegan dishes at gatherings but vegan dessert can be hard to come by. Surprising your family and friends with an awesome dessert is a great way to show them that vegans eat more than tofu and kale.
  3. Be prepared to answer questions– Your family and friends are going to ask you questions about your lifestyle. Use this as an opportunity to educate them about veganism. I always love it when the people around me show a genuine interest in veganism.
  4. Avoid arguments– In many families there is usually a relative that is not so supportive of your lifestyle choice. If this relative is being argumentative, I find it’s best to avoid this person. The holidays are meant to be a happy time and arguments can spoil an otherwise great gathering.

I love the holidays and it can be a great time to showcase all that veganism has to offer. Leave a comment with what your favorite dish is to bring to gatherings!

My Journey into Minimalism


I’ve always been a collector. As a kid I would collect keychains, pencils, stuffed animals, you name it. I never threw anything away. Over the years, as you can imagine, I acquired a lot of stuff; too much stuff. At this point in my life I have come to the realization that clutter makes me anxious. Even my “organized” clutter was out of hand. I needed to make a change. I found that my stuff and my desire to acumulate more stuff was getting in the way of the things  I truly wanted.

I stumbled upon the concept of minimalism about a year ago and I was really intrigued by its message. I thought that by adopting this lifestyle I could fix the problems I was seeing in my life. This didn’t really go as I had hoped. Most likely because I didn’t make a plan. I didn’t set any goals. My mistake was not understanding what exactly I was doing wrong.

Since then I have really evaluated my lifestyle and identified what my problem areas are. I have established that I want to save money and live lighter. So, here’s what I’ve been doing so far to work towards these goals:

  1. I slowed down my shopping habits: I realized that I have everything that I need. When I do purchase something I think about it fully. I used to fall victim to the impulse purchase. Thinking through my purchases has allowed me to weed out things that I probably would have bought on impulse. Going to the store with a list really helps.
  2. I decluttered: I got rid of everything that I didn’t use. The main thing I decluttered was my closet. Having a closet full of nothing to wear was something that I always felt like I was going to have. I had so many clothing items that I needed to sift through to get to the clothes I did want to wear. The problem with this is I didn’t see the clothing I love and ended up feeling like I needed more. *Blog post about this topic coming soon*

I still have a long way to go and I am not a minimalist by any means. I won’t have a house full of white walls anytime soon. I simply want to be more conscious of my lifestyle. I want a space full of only the things I truly love and I want to be more in control of my money.

If you’ve been trying to reach similar goals, please share your ideas in the comments!