My Top Five DryBar Hair Products

Most recently my very old, cheap, blow dryer kicked the bucket. It was not by a cruelty-free brand but it was purchased many, many moons ago when I hadn’t yet realized animal testing in the personal care world was a thing. I had never spent big bucks on a hair tool before, so I agonized over purchasing a pricy blow dryer but eventually gave in. I settled on the Baby Buttercup Blow Dryer and honestly, I freaking love it and do see a HUGE difference in my hair. And it doesn’t hurt that their hair tools are all a pretty yellow color making them just so freaking cute!

While Drybar is a pricier brand, it is much more affordable than a lot of salon brands whose hair tools get up into the $300s.

As I was going through the products I currently have on my shelf and perusing their website, it was tough to come up with only five. There were also a lot of products I was interested in trying out. So I decided to add a sixth product at the end, the item I’ve been eyeing the most but haven’t tried yet.

The reason I settled on the five that I did is 1) because I really do like these products but 2) because these were products that were either hard for me to find originally in the cruelty-free world or products that I had tried from other brands but never really loved until I tried the BryBar version.

So here they are –  my top five (in no particular order of favoritism)!

1) Baby Buttercup Blow Dryer – I LOVE this blowdryer. Period. I didn’t think a blower could actually make that much of a difference to my hair, but oh boy was I wrong!

First off, the reviews were very good for this guy so that’s what ultimately convinced me. Even though this is the travel version, it does the job. I have fine hair, though I do have a lot of it. It dries my hair quickly and leaves it feeling smooth and healthy. For those thinking – well, I have thick hair or a ton of it or curly hair so this might not work for me – while I can’t personally speak to that, obviously, I did read many reviews from people just like you who all said the same thing – this blow dryer gets sh*t done!

My old blow dryer would heat up so much that when I touched my hair immediately after, I’d have to pull my fingers away as quick as a bunny. It honestly felt like my head was on fire sometimes and I’d have to pause in the drying to let it cool down. So when this dryer didn’t make my hair catch fire the first time I used it, I thought something was wrong. Silly me. It dried my hair quickly and didn’t fry the f*ck out of it in the process. I recently went through a massive hair color transition, going from dark brunette to blonde, and my hair definitely felt the transition. Lots of dry, scraggly ends. Constantly. While that is pretty normal when you bleach your hair, my old dryer was most definitely exacerbating the issue. Since I started using this blow dryer, I was pretty shocked by how much healthier my ends look. Simply put, my hair just looks better and is easier to manage without all the dry ends and frizz I was used to.

When it comes to the details of this beautiful little guy, it does not have a “cool shot” button like the full-size big mama. It also only has two heat settings instead of three. However, the baby has two-volt settings so you can use it in the US and overseas and it is obviously more compact making it easy to pack for travel. While I don’t bring a blow dryer on every trip, there are definitely trips where I need one and a good one. We went to Europe in June of this year and I didn’t bring a blow dryer thinking there would be one in every hotel we stayed at. Good news, there was. Bad news, every single one of those blow dryers was so weak that it took me, me with fine, me with straight hair, FOREVER to dry it. One of the cities we visited was pretty humid and  I simply gave up and went out with damp hair every night. Luckily, it was just the hubs and I vagabonding about Europe and it didn’t matter but if I was going for a wedding or a similar occasion, I’d really want to have a blow dryer that could do the job.

Wow, who knew I had so much to say about a blow dryer?!

2) The second item on my must-try list is the  Lemon Drop Daily Detangling Brush. Yes, it’s just a brush. How great can a brush be, you ask? Am I really about to tell you I’ve never used a brush like this before? No, I’m not. I’ve used brushes I liked in the past but they were not made by cruelty-free brands or they contained actual animal hairs, ew. The cheap one’s kind of sucked anyway and the “good” ones were way too freaking expensive. This brush is very reasonably priced at $20 and does exactly what its name says. It detangles my hair like a pro and gets all those small, annoying, wet knots out easily. Plus, it’s cute. I use every day on dry and wet hair and love it. What more could a girl ask for?

3) The product that started it all for me . . . Detox Dry Shampoo! Comes in the original scent, which doesn’t smell like much of anything and Lush scent, which is super overwhelming in my opinion but everyone is different so you do you. This stuff is seriously the best though! I use it several times a week and it does an excellent job of absorbing excess oil. I truly mean EXCELLENT job. I can wear my hair down longer (three days) and my hair up without washing it for a good six days if I need to. Not that I recommend not washing your hair for that long but if you find yourself minus shampoo or time, it saves the day.

For example, last Labor Day, the hubs and I went to Santa Fe, NM – I washed my hair on the Thursday evening before we left next day and didn’t wash it again until Tuesday night once we got home. I was able to wear it down EVERY SINGLE night on that trip, even after a six-hour car ride, a stop and mini hike at the  Great Sand Dunes (in Colorado – if you haven’t been, you should go!), and after going on a sweaty hike in New Mexico in 90+ degree heat. Just saying.

***Remember while washing your hair daily can strip the natural oils from your scalp, going too long without washing while using products like this or any products can cause build up that can leave your scalp equally unhealthy. So, find that happy medium!

4) One of my other favorite products is the Prep Rally Prime & Prep Detangler. I LOVE this stuff. Spray it on liberally after towel drying your hair for detangling action plus added hydration without any weight. My hair feels so much healthier since using this stuff. Not joking. It’s got vitamin B & D, which nourishes and strengthens hair and helps keep that scalp healthy. Don’t forget your scalp, guys. That’s where the hair comes from after all. If the scalp and roots aren’t healthy, the rest sure won’t be. A few spritzes on the root area will do. Don’t go overboard. It also contains biotin, which protects hair against heat and seaberry oil, which I have learned is great for sealing in moisture.

This is one of those products that I’ve tried before from many different brands. I’ve been on the lookout for a good heat protector for years. Usually, I feel like they either don’t work or are way too heavy for my hair. This one is perfect. One of the best heat protectors I’ve ever used!

5) Finally, if you are blonde and are looking to get rid of yellowish/orange/warm tones try the Blonde Ale Brightening Shampoo. Anyone who has ever lightened their hair significantly has probably at least heard of “purple shampoo.” The purple color helps to counteract and neutralize warm tones. I had dyed dark brown hair with a warm undertone for about 13 years and decided to try to get back to a color that was closer to my natural strands (think ashy/cool dark blonde). I have used this stuff religiously this past year and it really does help with the process. I used it every time I washed my hair, think three to four times a week (I washed my hair more than normal during this process so I could use the shampoo). If you wash your hair every day, I would recommend starting out by using this a couple times a week and your normal shampoo the rest of the time to see how it affects your strands. The more often you use it, the better the results but it can dry out and strip hair. As I already mentioned, my hair is fine so generally, I imagined it would be prone to stripping but I didn’t have any problems using it three to four times a week.

Now, even though I am at a blonde tone I like, I still use it every few washes just to make sure those warm tones stay gone.

There are a ton of “purple shampoos” out there and some of them really don’t work. Most of them simply aren’t cruelty-free. This one is so great because it actually makes a difference and was originally recommended to me by my hair stylist as a good one to try.  It’s a little less potent than the toning shampoo they use at most salons and this is on purpose to prevent at home accidents where you end up over processing, which can damage hair and give you a weird grey color.

Tip: if you are really looking to banish the golden tones, coat dry hair with the shampoo, leave it on for five to 10 minutes and then shampoo out. This is ONLY recommended for those who are still undergoing the process – meaning your hair is not yet a super light/icy color. If your hair is already very fair/cool in tone, this method may dye your hair purple for a few days.

***DryBar does make a Blonde Ale Conditioner but it really doesn’t do much as far as removing warm tones. It’s mostly just a good, moisturizing conditioner meant to counteract dryness caused by the shampoo. This was also confirmed by my stylist. I found it to be too heavy for my hair and didn’t end up using it.

Something extra I’ve been eyeing . . .

6)  Bay Breeze Hydrating Shots comes in a pack of four and are basically a shot of moisture for your hair. Think deep conditioning but without the weight. If you’ve got naturally dry hair or keep on damaging your hair with heat or hair dye like me, check this stuff out. It’s got Apricot kernel oil and sage leaf extract to deeply hydrate and keep stands moisturized. It also contains candelilla extract which reflects light and gives hair a high gloss finish. I can’t speak to this product personally, as I obviously haven’t tried it yet but I plan to.

After shampooing your hair, spay an entire bottle into your strands and scalp, leave in for five minutes, and rinse out. The reviews look great saying these little guys actually work, leave your hair super soft, and don’t make your roots feel greasy at all. If you have pretty short hair, using half a bottle should do the trick.

 

1) Baby Buttercup Blow Dryer

Price: $135

Available at:
DryBar
Sephora
Ulta
Amazon ($167.30)

 

2) Lemon Drop Daily Detangling Brush

Price: $20

Available at:
DryBar
Sephora
Ulta
Amazon ($27)

 

 

3) Detox Dry Shampoo

Price: $23

Available at:
DryBar
Sephora
Ulta
Amazon ($33)

 

4) Prep Rally Prime & Pre Detangler

Price: $23

Available at:
DryBar
Sephora
Ulta
Amazon ($40)

 

5) Blonde Ale Brightening Shampoo 

Price: $27

Available at:
DryBar
Sephora
Ulta (two sizes: 8oz $27 & 33.8oz $59)
Amazon ($37)

 

6) Bay Breeze Hydrating Shots

Price: $38

Available at: 
DryBar
Sephora
Ulta
Amazon ($56)

 

Cruelty-Free Haircare Brands

Let’s talk cruelty-free hair products and hair tools.

Most people know that products like shampoo and hairspray can be tested on animals; however, don’t forget about hair tools, like brushes and curling irons. While a curling iron itself is not going to be tested on an animal (at least, not to my knowledge), your basic Target or grocery store curling iron is very likely made by a company that also makes hair styling products and tests those products on animals. So while technically that curling iron is a cruelty-free product, the brand is probably not.

If you really want to spend your money on truly cruelty-free items, make sure the brand in it’s entirely is cruelty-free. This isn’t difficult because either the brand is or it isn’t – meaning brands either test all their hair styling products on animals or they test none of them. I haven’t run into a situation yet where the shampoo isn’t tested on animals but the hairspray is.

Rule of Thumb: if you are shopping at Target, Walmart, Walgreens, your local grocery store or an equivalent, look for a PETA or Leaping Bunny logo, which you can see here. If you don’t see one, you are probably better off staying away from the brand. You can also do a quick google search to see if the brand sells their products in China. If they do, they are not cruelty-free. Keep in mind that most brands found in these stores are not cruelty-free – meaning the brands a lot of us grew up with (like Panteen and Revlon are NOT cruelty-free). Target does have brands that are but those generally carry a PETA or Leaping Bunny logo.

Remember: There are going to be smaller and newer brands that do not carry those logos and may have a logo of their own indicating cruelty-free status – think brands that are up and coming, organic or natural – usually it’s much more likely that they actually are cruelty-free rather than a bigger brand on a Target shelf using its own logo (I’ve actually run into this before – the brand said “not tested on animals” but a google search found a press release that they expanded sales to China years ago).

Also, some bigger brands may simply choose not to carry either logo even if they are certified by PETA or Leaping Bunny. You can search both sites to see if the brand comes up as cruelty-free though. Other’s may choose not to be certified as it is voluntary and they can still be cruelty-free. The only way to know for sure in these cases is to check out the brand’s website regarding their policy on animal testing. If the policy is really short, like “we do not test any of our products on animals” then asking them directly about the policy surrounding their ingredients and suppliers is recommended. The final product may not be tested on animals by the brand, BUT if the ingredients are before the brand receives them, then the product is not cruelty-free.

One last note – I really appreciate all that PETA does to help end animal cruelty of all types. However, their cruelty-free brand list is, well, sometimes, not quite all that accurate. For example, if you search Conair on the PETA site, it is listed as a cruelty-free brand. However, based on my research it sounds like while they don’t test final products on animals and don’t require any of their suppliers to test on animals, they have no idea if their suppliers or ingredients do/are tested on animals. On the other hand, PETA does get it right a lot of the time too. So doing your own research is the best way to make sure you are truly buying cruelty-free.

I realize a lot of people may not have time to go this in depth when shopping, so below I am providing a list of a few of the hair care brands that are cruelty-free! There are some caveats so please read the notes below and then shop away my friends!

 

 

Aveda – is a cruelty-free brand but it is owned by Este Lauder which does test on animals.

Remington– from all my research, I believe Remington is cruelty-free as all it appears to make is hair tools and no other hair products. I have contacted the brand to double check this. If or when I receive a response, I will update.

Paul Mitchell – Paul Mitchell is sold in China but through extensive research, the products are ONLY sold in salons in China, not in regular stores so the products are not required to be tested on animals. Additionally, Paul Mitchell has a long history of being cruelty-free and making that a priority long before it became a more common thing.

Deva Curl is made specifically for those with curly hair and Shea Moisture specifically for those with natural hair!

Kevin Murphy is used in a lot of salons so even if the salon you go to uses other products you aren’t sure about, just ask them to only use this brand on you!

Jack Black – specializes in men’s products – the hubby uses this brand!

My favorites are as follows: Alba Botanica, Davines, DryBar, IGK, Ouai & Verb.

 

INIKA Organic: Vegan & Healthy Makeup

Let’s talk about INIKA Organic, an Australian brand that is starting to get noticed and it should!

It is, of course, cruelty-free, certified by Choose Cruelty Free Australia, the Australian version of the Leaping Bunny certification in the US.

The products are also 100% vegan and are certified organic by Organic Food Chain Australia. While standards differ on what get’s to be called “organic” depending on the agency or non-profit providing the certification (as there is not a worldwide standard for this term), in this case, it means the products contain 70% or more organic ingredients, which is pretty damn good in my book.

I’ve personally tried multiple products from their line and will be buying most of them again. Right now, the products are available only through the INIKA Organic website or on Amazon. I’ll post direct links to each of the products below.

If I don’t feature a product, it’s because I haven’t tried it but as a brand, I recommend it and if you are looking for something specific that I don’t mention, I would give it a go. The only product I have tried and am leaving off on purpose is the regular eyeliner (not the liquid). It’s full of good ingredients & carmine free (which is made from crushed bugs and can irritate and even infect eyes) and I wanted to love it but for me, personally, it smudged very easily and would end up in my crease or on the side of my face if I touched my eyes. It does have good reviews and may work better for you and others.

So let’s get to it!

PRODUCTS

My favorite product is probably their (1) Organic BB Cream and I will definitely be buying it again and again and again! It has 80% organic ingredients and is packed full of vitamins and antioxidants. It’s also got prickly pear, avocado, and jojoba oil, which add tons of moisture and help tighten pores. The consistency is light and smooth and has some buildability to it. It’s much lighter in its coverage than a foundation; however, it definitely smooths out the skin, covering up smaller imperfections. It creates the perfect canvas for the rest of my makeup and I can easily add concealer to any areas that need a little extra coverage. It’s perfect for anyone needing light to medium coverage.

Tip: For added dewiness, I use a beauty blender, which I wet (making sure it gets soaked through) & then squeeze the excess water out. Apply drops of the BB Cream to the areas I want coverage in and then dab the BB cream in with the beauty blender.

While I have not personally tried this product, I’m adding the (2) Liquid Mineral Foundation to this post based on how much I love the BB Cream. It’s also got a dose of vitamin E and aloe vera and jojoba oils to moisturize and soothe the skin. It’s buildable and great for anyone wanting medium to full coverage. It’s got good reviews with the only caveat being that if you have extremely oily skin, this may not be the foundation for you, according to one reviewer.

My second favorite product and one I’ve already bought several times is the (3) Certified Organic Rosehip Oil. I have a different face oil I use as a regular part of my skincare routine am & pm. However, this oil is super easy to transport as it comes in a round tube with a pump. I like to throw it into my purse or work bag and a apply a drop or two throughout the day to any areas that feel extra dry. I also like to use it right before makeup application on any areas that either need a little extra moisture or any areas I’d like to look extra dewy. If you should choose, it can also act as your daily oil or moisturizer, depending on what your skin needs in that department. The best part – it’s literally made from Rosehip oil and nothing else!

I really like the (4) Certified Organic Light Reflect Cream, which is basically a liquid highlighter. A little goes a long way, so don’t overdo it! I like to mix it into my BB Cream or face lotion for an all over added glow. This is especially useful when I am only doing the bare minimum with my makeup and need something to add some life back into my skin. It has a pinkish tone to it, not overwhelmingly so, but something to consider. It can also be used as a highlighter for specific areas or features; I just personally prefer a powder based one for that, which brings me to my next item.

The (5) Baked Mineral Illiminisor is perfect for highlighting cheekbones and any other areas you like. Depending on the color you pick, it can also be used as a light bronzer for the face. It’s sheer and silky and is super easy to apply. Also, it’s literally baked on a terracotta tile in Italy!

The next item is the  (6) Long Lash Vegan Mascara. It definitely lengthens and defines the lashes and I love that something I’m putting this close to my eyes is natural and healthy. So far, this is probably my favorite natural mascara that I’ve found. Just a heads up, I find that it takes a bit longer to set than some of my other not so natural mascaras and can smudge fairly easily in the first few minutes. However, once it sets, I don’t have any smudging issues with it nor does it end up under my eyes. If you are looking for a natural mascara, I would definitely give this one a go!

The final item is the (7) Certified Organic Lip Serum which is really a clear gloss that enhances your lips natural color and has no stickiness. It’s got vitamin C & E,  shea butter & rosehip oil. It moisturizes the lips and provides an antioxidant boost while giving them a gentle shine. I have this stuff with me at all times because it leaves my lips with a flushed pink tone and acts as a chapstick – perfect for natural makeup looks and anytime your lips need some love.

 

 

(1) Organic BB Cream

Comes in eight shades.

Price: $45

Available at: INIKA Website & Amazon.

 

 

(2) Liquid Mineral Foundation

Comes in eight shades.

Price: $49

Available at: INIKA Website & Amazon.

 

 

 

(3) Certified Organic Rosehip Oil

Price: $25

Available at: INIKA Website & Amazon.

 

 

(4) Certified Organic Light Reflect Cream

Price: $29

Available at: INIKA Website & Amazon.

*This is currently out of stock on the brand website but they do restock so check back. This is currently available on Amazon but in limited quantities.

 

(5) Baked Mineral Illuminisor 

Colors:  Dewdrop (pictured) & Starlight

Price: $49

Available at: INIKA Website & Amazon.

 

 

(6) Long Lash Vegan Mascara

Colors: Black & Brown

Price: $33

Available at: INIKA Website & Amazon.

 

 

 

(7) Certified Organic Lip Serum 

Price: $27

Available at: INIKA Website & Amazon.

 

 

 

Travel: Skincare Essentials

Traveling is the best!

But, seriously.

And since I was traveling recently, I wanted to put together a list of must take products, all of which are, of course, cruelty-free.

As amazing as travel can be, it can also be rough on the skin, especially when flying. Airplanes dry the sh*t out of my skin and the stress of travel can also cause additional skin issues. My philosophy when traveling is to be to bring products that multi-task, work well regardless of the condition my skin is in, and that help protect.

First and foremost, that means washing it at the end of the day no matter what, EVEN WHEN TRAVELING!

Second, it means hydration and sunscreen!

 At home, if my skin is feeling particularly oily, dry, or irritated, I have a product or two I may use to help with that specific concern. Mostly, though, I try to use products that are gentle on my skin, versatile and work well under any circumstances, as I find that when I go easy on my skin, it tends to feel better.

So be kind to your skin, especially if it’s irritated or breaking out. I have generally found that when my skin is out of balance, products with harsh ingredients tend to only irritate it more.

For shorter trips, I may carry on so some of the below products may not make the list simply for that reason. However, this most recent trip was international, so I had some room for the goods!

Check out my Instagram for in-depth descriptions of these products. 

Below are quick summaries only.

So, here are the TRAVEL ESSENTIALS!

***I am not a dermatologist, so as always, please use your knowledge of your own skin to determine what is right for you or go see your dermatologist if needed.***

 

Milky Jelly Cleanser

 

Glossier – Mikly Jelly Cleanser

Quick Summary: it’s hydrating, gentle & cleansing. It is also a master at makeup removal and that’s one less thing I have to worry about bringing!

It’s pH-balanced, made with five skin conditioners, and is great for all skin types.

UPDATE: Now comes in a smaller size as well, perfect for travel!

Price: $18

Available at: Glossier Website.   

 

Virgin Marula Facial Oil

 

Drunk Elephant – Virgin Marula Facial Oil

Quick Summary: this might be my favorite product of all time! Its one of the few products I’ve encountered that has truly made my skin feel different. This also doubles as my eye serum! Just a few drops for the face and one drop on the ring finger for the eye area.

Nourishing and hydrating, plus it helps fight fine lines.

Comes in two sizes: 0.5oz & 1oz

Price: $40-$72

Available at: Drunk Elephant Website, Sephora, & Amazon.

Lala Retro Whipped Cream

 

Drunk Elephant – Lala Retro Whipped Cream 

Quick Summary: super simple, antioxidant-rich, yet gentle moisturizer. I always have this one on hand regardless of what another moisturizer I may be rotating in and out of my routine because it’s gentle enough to use when my skin is irritated or unbalanced, which makes it perfect for travel.

Free from fragrances and essential oils, which can be irritating to the skin, also makes it a great option for those with more sensitive skin.

Price: $60

Available at: Drunk Elephant Website, Sephora, & Amazon.

Bright Eyes Mask

 

100% Pure – Bright Eyes Mask

Quick Summary: made with aloe, cucumber, and caffeine (tea) to help hydrate, sooth, and de-puff tired eyes. Comes in a pack of five or in a single making it easy to try out. The slim packaging also makes it easy to take with you anywhere!

Price: $7-$30

Available at: 100% Pure Website & Amazon.

 

 

 

Invisible Shield Daily Sunscreen

Glossier – Invisible Shield Daily Sunscreen

Quick Summary: sunscreen is a MUST when traveling and for everyday! This is the perfect size for travel and you don’t need a lot for it to be effective. Comes in a clear gel that quickly absorbs into skin, has a dose of vitamin E, and doesn’t have a harsh sunscreen smell or white cast!

Price: $25

Available at: Glossier Website

 

Wholesome Culture: Clothing with a Cause

Wholesome Culture was started in 2016 by a young entrepreneur (& female badass) with the goal of raising awareness and educating individuals to help everyone slowly integrate more of a plant-based lifestyle. The ultimate goal is to reduce animal suffering and protect the environment, which I LOVE, obviously!

Their clothing is made in Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP) certified factories which promotes safe and fair working conditions.

They use recycled shipping packaging and 15% of the net profits are donated to animal rescue organizations like the Gentle Barn and Rancho Relaxo, which help rescue farm animals (and a few other animals as well like kitties and puppies)!

They are aiming to donate approximately $40,000 in 2018 and right now, they are also having a SALE.

Just saying . . .

Below are some of my favorite items (I own several tank tops, a t-shirt, a sweatshirt and a hat) and a link to the general website can be found HERE.

(direct links to products in the captions)

 

Tote Bags

 

Best Things In Life Are Cruelty-Free Tote Bag

I love tote bags! Seriously, I LOVE them. No such thing as too many of them, especially when we are all trying harder to stop using plastic and other disposable items. I use these as my bag aka purse when running errands, perfect for the shopping, beach, lake etc. And these ones support animals rescues, so, you know, even MORE LOVE!

They have four of them, all in this “natural” color but with different messages made from recycled cotton.

Price: all $17.95

(The link in the caption to all tote bags).

 

Friends Not Food Muscle Tank

 

Friends Not Food Muscle Tank

I own this one and obviously think it’s the cutest. Just look at those little animal drawings! I got a medium in this for a loose fit and I can tie the bottom in a knot with higher rise jeans or for a tighter look.

Made from bamboo and organic cotton.

Reg. Price $38
SALE Price: $28

Colors: White & Black

 

 

Eat Sleep Rescue Animals Repeat Muscle Tank

 

Eat Sleep Rescue Animals Repeat Muscle Tank 

Ordered this one! The message on this one is perfection. The kitties will definitely approve of this one.

Made from bamboo and organic cotton.

Price: $38

Colors: White & Black

 

 

 

Eat More Plants Do More Yoga Muscle Tank

 

Eat More Plants Do More Yoga Muscle Tank

Reg. Price: $38
SALE Price: $26

Colors: Light Gray & White

 

 

 

 

 

Team Herbivore Racerback Cropped Tank 

 

Team Herbivore Racerback Cropped Tank

Also, love this tank style and the little dino drawings! Ordered! If your regular size is a small in tops/tanks, I would suggest a medium in this for a typical fit.

Reg. Price: $38
SALE Price: $32

Colors: Heather Olive

They have a few different ones of this style as well – from colors to messages.

 

 

 

 

Holy Guacamole Sweatshirt

 

Holy Guacamole Sweatshirt

I own a similar sweatshirt and went with the size small as it was the smallest size they had. The sweatshirt was still a bit big as it is meant to be unisex. So I would say size down if you can. It will shrink some in the dryer but not a whole size.

Reg. Price: $45
SALE Price: $37

Colors: White, Black & Burgandy normally

(but it only lets me select Black currently for this specific sweatshirt – other similar ones available in more colors).

 

 

 

Powered by Plants Heavyweight Hoddie

 

Powered by Plants Hoodie Heavyweight Hoodie

This one is also unisex so act accordingly. It is lined with a polyester & cotton blend fleece for added warmth.

Price: $60

Colors: Charcoal Gray

 

 

 

 

Young Wild & Cruelty-Free Jean Jacket

 

Young Wild & Cruelty-Free Jean Jacket

LOVE this! They have two versions of this jacket, the front of both are plain with no writing/message. Ordered one of these in a size small. Will update when I get it.

Reg. Price: $90
SALE Price: $80

Colors: Jean

 

Target Mule Shoe Party

Once again, Target got me.

I tend to end up in the shoe aisle a lot there, especially as of late. Target has really upped its shoe game in the last few years. I went a couple days ago for a few other things and, of course, ended up buying another pair of shoes. I mean, it’s hard not to when the shoes are great and the price is even better. And these days, the quality has definitely improved as well. Also, with Who What Wear (a popular online fashion magazine) coming out with a line of clothes and shoes for Target, well . . .

Basically, Target has all my money.

Well played Target, well played!

While I only bought one pair from my last trip, there were a few others I tried on and loved. But I had to show some willpower, right?! Below are the ones I’m still thinking about . . .

I will add these to the ‘Vegan Shoe’ tab in a couple days. Direct links are in the photo caption as usual.

 

 

Junebug Backless Mules

Junebug Backless Mules

I bought these because they were too cute not to and because believe it or not, I don’t own a pair of white shoes aside from sneakers! I know, it’s shocking but has now been rectified. These are super sleek and felt comfy. They are versatile and work well for a casual or dressed up look. The reviews online are great too. My regular shoe size is either an 8 1/2 or a 9 and the 9 in these fit better.

Price: $22.99

Colors: White, Silver & Black

(The white is featured separately online – the white ones are linked in the photo caption and the silver & black ones are linked HERE).

 

 

Kona Slip-On Loafer Mules

Kona Slip-On Loafer Mules

These are SUPER comfortable and cute. I own a similar pair from last year in a silver color though not the same silver these come in now. However, I can say that I have worn mine many, many times and they still look and feel great and the fit is pretty identical to these. I tried on a size 9, which fit perfectly.

Price: $22.99

Colors: White, Silver, Gold & Black (the silver ones have a glitter look to them)

(The black ones are featured separately online and are linked HERE).

 

 

 

Velma Slip On Pointy Toe Mules

Velma Slip On Pointy Toe Mules

I tried these on in both colors and seriously wanted both. If you haven’t noticed yet, I seem to have an obsession with mules at the moment. If you have two sizes that fit you like me or are generally between sizes, definitely recommend sizing up 1/2 size. These were very cute and have good reviews online, all raving about their cuteness. The only thing I will say is that the top portion felt a little stiff, a bit like cardboard. It didn’t feel uncomfortable per se, and some reviewers say they stretch a bit with wear, but I wonder how the quality would hold up long term. On the other hand, for the price, it may not matter much.

Price: $22.99

Colors: Pink & Black

BC Footwear Vegan Booties For the Win

Talking all about BC Footwear’s vegan bootie line –

Guys, I seriously LOVE their shoes. I own several pairs and can personally attest to the fact that they are well made and comfortable. They also look great. Sometimes fake leather can look . . . well . . . fake, but I promise, at least with the ones I own, nothing fake looking about them.

One of my absolute favorite booties is sold out which makes me very sad because I also wanted to get them in Black (I have a taupe color) but unfortunately can’t seem to find them anywhere. If I do, I will be sure to post immediately! In the meantime, there are a ton of other great options from BC Footwear. Not all their shoes are vegan so beware. Their website has a “vegan shoe” section.

My regular shoe size is an 8 1/2 or 9. I got an 8 1/2 in their booties and they fit perfectly.

All these will be added to my Vegan Shoe page in a few days.

(links directly to BC site in the caption)   

 

Kettle Bootie 

 

Kettle Bootie

These are very similar to the ones I rave about above aside from the heel height. Mine have a lower heel while this heel stands at 3 inches. Perfect for dressing up a summer outfit when you don’t feel like wearing real heels!

Price: $90

Colors: Taupe & Black

 

 

 

 

Blaze Bootie

 

Blaze Bootie 

I WANT these and might just have to get them as soon as I’m done with this post . . . (I have a shoe problem, I know). These are casual and sleek and according to the website, sneaker comfortable! Yep, probably getting them.

Price: $ 70

Colors: Black, Black Exotic, Grey Exotic (exotic = snakeskin look), Gold Metallic & Silver Metallic

 

 

 

Union 2 Bootie

 

 

Union 2 Bootie

For a little fancy pants dazzle option, I love these! The heel is a comfortable height at 2 inches and they simply look fab!

Price: $ 80

Colors: Black/Gold & Black/Black

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top Three Budget-Friendly Mascaras

Whether it’s my budget or the ease of being able to find products at my favorite grocery store, which, let’s be honest, I visit far more frequently than specialty beauty stores, I love having go-to items.

Especially, when it comes to mascara.

I’ve always had a go-to grocery store brand and have generally used my budget-friendly mascara finds more often than their fancier and pricier counterparts. While I do shop online frequently, I don’t always plan ahead but I do end up at places like Target A LOT where it’s easy to grab whatever I’m low on.

And these days, there are some seriously great cruelty-free mascaras without the sticker shock.

Here are my top three picks (all of which I have personally tried) and the BEST part is they are all vegan!

 

#1: Pacifica Beauty – Steller Gaze Length & Strength Mascara (PETA Certified)

        Price: $14

The brand makes several different types of mascara, all of which are vegan and infused with vitamin B and coconut oil. Additionally, they are formulated without carmine, phthalates, petroleum, or silicone.

Side Note:
Carmine is an animal-derived product used for coloring made from crushed beetles and does not have known negative health effects. The other three ingredients are potentially linked to negative issues from clogging pores to lung and reproductive problems to cancer.

The Steller Gaze Length & Strength Mascara is my favorite as it comes in brown and a lovely dark blue color that isn’t too bright or funky but adds a bit of fun to your look. Also if you happen to be blue-eyed, browns and blues help your eyes pop!

If you are looking for a traditional black mascara, the Aquarian Gaze Water-Resistant Long Lash Mineral Mascara is the jam.

Stellar Gaze Length & Strength Mineral Mascara
Aquarian Gaze Long Lash Mineral Mascara

 

Available in-store at Target, Sprouts, Whole Foods and ULTA retailers.

Available online here: 
Target 
Ulta
Pacifica Beauty

 

 

 

#2: e.l.f. Cosmetics –  Volume Plumping Mascara (PETA Certified)

Price: $3

Personally one of my favorites for daytime and work. It defines the lashes without overdoing it. I use it anytime I’m going for a more natural look.

And the price. I mean, seriously, the price!

And it’s vegan.

There is a waterproof version though I have used the regular one on a snowy day and had no runoff issues. No regular residue under my eyes either (one of my constant annoyances)!

Another good one from this brand is the Mineral Infused Black Mascara.

e.l.f. Volume Plumping Mascara
e.l.f Mineral Infused Mascara

 

 

 

Available in-store at Target.

Available online here:
e.l.f. Cosmetics
Target
Amazon 

 

#3: Wet n’ Wild – MegaVolume Mascara (PETA Certified)

Price $2.99

It comes in very black and makes my lashes pop (the most out of all three, I would say) but doesn’t reach the fake lash super glam look.  It’s also my favorite for volume while the other two on the list are better for length and definition. The brand has a ton of options; a mascara for every need.

This mascara is vegan; however, not all Wet n’ Wild products are. They do provide a list on their website of what is and isn’t vegan which you can find here.

Also, the price!

 

Wet n’ Wild MegaVolume Mascara

Available in-store at Target and ULTA.

Available online here:
ULTA
Target
Wet n’ Wild

IS THIS CRUELTY-FREE?

This post is a quick snapshot of how you can tell if a product is cruelty-free just by looking at it when you are in a rush and on the go. One of the first things I realized when discussing this with friends was that most were not familiar with the cruelty-free symbols used on products. This shouldn’t have come as a surprise to me as I wasn’t aware until a few years ago when I started researching all this myself. In fact, I was astonished that my face cream was still being tested on animals at all!

So, how can you tell if a product is cruelty-free? The simple answer – look for the Leaping Bunny (“LB”) or PETA symbol.

If your product has one of these symbols, it’s fairly safe to assume it has not been tested on animals. These will appear on both personal care items, like face lotion and toothpaste, and household items, like bathroom cleaner and dish soap. However, these symbols do not apply to vegan clothing items such as faux down or vegan leather.

Leaping Bunny Logo
PETA Logo

PETA and LB certify that companies which produce personal care and household items are cruelty-free. They each have their own standards for how to approach certification and LB’s are considered more rigorous. Please note that certification is voluntary so simply looking for the symbol this isn’t the end all be all. Companies can be cruelty-free and not certify. They can also certify with either but choose not to carry the symbol on their products or they can create their own symbol instead. For more information on animal testing policies and PETA’s and LP’s standards head over to the Cruelty-Free Basics Tab.

So what does this mean ultimately? If you are on the go and don’t have time to research the brand or product, look for one of these two symbols. If you see it, you are good to go.