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!

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Pacifica Mineral Sunscreen and Face Stick

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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

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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 – https://www.amazon.com/Natural-Life-Extra-Strength-Deodorant/dp/B01LZ80SBE/ref=lp_14354310011_1_3_a_it?srs=14354310011&ie=UTF8&qid=1495569506&sr=8-3

Vegan Makeup Starter Kit (Budget Friendly)

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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 lilylolo.us

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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!

8 Easy Ways to Lead a More Sustainable Lifestyle

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Recently I have become very conscious of my lifestyle and the idea of sustainability. I have started to examine my everyday behavior and have realized that there is a change I need to make.

Sustainability is the concept that allows the current generations’ needs to be meet without sacrificing the needs of future generations. This is important. The rate at which we currently use resources is not sustainable in the slightest. At first this problem is completely overwhelming. And no, you can’t fix it by yourself. This thought made me anxious beyond belief. After taking a step back I realized that I can make a difference. The little things do add up and leading by example has always served me well.

Without going down the rabbit hole of all the horrible things humans do to the planet I have compiled a list of 8 things you can do to lead a more sustainable lifestyle. It’s easy, I promise.

  1. Never throw something in the trash if it can be recycled in some way.– This one seems obvious but, I was still throwing away recyleable items out of sheer laziness. Believe me, I have scared myself out of that habit.
  2.  Stop or slow down shopping. – The rate at which we consume things also contributes to pollution, deforestation, worker exploitation and other bad things. We end up with excess amounts of junk that creates stress in our lives and not to mention a waste of money. Before you buy something think of these three questions:
    1. Do I really need it/love it? – be honest with yourself
    2. How long am I willing to keep it? – If the answer is “I’ll wear it once”, don’t buy it.
    3. What will I do when I no longer need it? – Think of the entire lifecycle of the product.
  3. Shut off the water – Take shorter showers and don’t let the water run while brushing your teeth. Be conscious of the water you use.
  4. Bring a reusable bag everywhere – It’s so simple to keep a reusable bag or tote in your purse or car. If you’re going shopping make sure you have your bag with you.
  5. Cut down on the paper you use – I love to have physical books, notebooks, etc. but, use digital forms whenever possible. The key is to cut back!
  6. Research brands – When you want to make a purchase look into the company you want to purchase from. Do they have eco-friendly business practices? Be a conscious consumer.
  7. Go VEGAN! – …If you haven’t already. Veganism is the best diet for the planet and yourself.
  8. Ride a bike or walk – It’s great exercise and can be a fun change of pace. This is weather permitting of course but, make an effort to ditch the car whenever possible.