Thursday, March 19, 2015

Honey, Lemon, Sugar Scrub

I was feeling the need to do a facial exfoliation after hearing about one of Christie Brinkley's secrets to aging well...exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate! Here's what you need:

1/2 cup of granulated sugar 
1 tbsp olive oil 
1 tbsp of honey 
1/2 of a lemon, fresh

Now is the hard part. Mix the sugar, oil, honey and lemon together until they are blended well. Voila! Add it to your favorite jar and "Easy peasey, lemon squeezy" it's done!

Lemon:  Acts as a natural brightener while evening skin tone.
Olive Oil:  Excellent moisturizer packed full of antioxidants to protect against sun damage and environmental pollutants.
Sugar:  Granules for scrubbing away dead skin cells.
Honey:  A moisturizer excellent for skin without clogging any pores. Effective for assisting to prevent and clear acne. Anti- aging. 

When making home made scrubs feel free to choose from a variety of other ingredients. 
1). Choose your oils. Organic almond, organic coconut, jojoba, organic olive, rose hip oils are all excellent choices for your skin. 
2). Sugar. Choose either white or brown sugar. Both work great to exfoliate dead skin!
3). Choose more than just fresh lemon juice. You may like to add the lemon rind in addition. You may also prefer to use essential oils such as lavender, rose or orange.  The right kind of essential oils have excellent benefits for skin and can otherwise be used to make your scrub smell oh so nice!

Enjoy your super soft skin!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

ULTA Fabulous Face Primer - As good as high end brand foundation primers

About this product: Formulated to reduce the appearance of of pores, fine lines and wrinkles creating the perfect base for foundation application. This formula also extends the wear of your foundation for a flawless look all day long. Cruelty Free. Sold at ULTA stores.

Review: No need to spend a ridiculous amount of money for a foundation primer after having tried this stuff! I use this primer under my foundation with great results. It's smooth, great for hydrating skin and is easy to  apply with fingertips. All you need is a pea size amount.  Liquid or powder foundation is then more easily applied and the overall look results in a more flawless appearance. Ulta also has a matte primer (same bottle but in black) which is oil free and contains 1.5% salicylic acid to target acne. 

Retail price $12.50 - (30ml). Compare that to Smashbox photo finish primer at $36 - (30ml)

This primer has been compared to high end brand primers with just as good of results. Don't be fooled by the big leagues!

Most often Ulta brand products are accompanied with a beauty steal deal such as, "Buy 2 get 2 Free". You can mix and match items such as lip gloss, nail polish and eyeliner to get these great deals. 

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Vegan, Lemon, Raspberry Cheesecake

      This is the first vegan cheesecake I have ever made and it turned out beautiful and oh so yummy!

My family loved it...especially my 9 year old step son who said it was, "so delicious!"

There are different ways to make vegan cheesecake. Some methods really come very close to tasting like the real deal and unless you're a food connoisseur, you wouldn't know the difference. I have yet to learn those methods. But I will be honest that although this is classified as a "vegan cheesecake", it really doesn't taste like cheesecake. Regardless, it's healthy, unique in that it's main ingredient is cashews and it tastes wonderful.

Time: 30 min
Serves: 12
  • 2 cup Graham crackers pulsed into crumbs
  • 5-6 tablespoons melted coconut oil or vegan butter ( I used coconut oil )

  • 2 ¼ cups of raw, salt free cashew nuts 
  • 1 ½ cup raspberries (for pink filling)
  • ½ cup raspberries (to be arrange around inner spring foam pan)
  • ¾ cup water
  • ¾ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 6-8 tablespoon agave or honey ( I know honey doesn't make it 100% vegan )
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup coconut oil, melted

  • 1 cup raspberries (I used fresh raspberries)


1. Soak cashews in water for 6hrs or over night, (I choose to soak overnight). If they soak longer that is completely fine.

2. Line a loose bottom/spring foam (7-8 inch) cake pan with baking paper. (Optional)

3. Pulse crackers and slowly add melted oil or butter. Press mixture firmly into base of pan. Mixture should be just firm enough yet somewhat crumbly. 

4. Place drained cashews in food processor along with water, lemon juice, vanilla, agave or honey. I used both honey and agave until I obtained desired sweetness. I know that doesn't make this cake 100% vegan but it's pretty darn close! Pulse. Add melted oil and pulse. Make sure mixture is very smooth and not gritty. Taste test for texture. (It will have a unique and unusual taste but hang in there... the results are awesome!). Set aside 1 cup of this mixture which will be used for your 1st layer. Now take remaining 1 ¼ cup of mixture, add 1 ½ cup raspberries to it and pulse. 

5. Layer your crust with the white cashew mixture originally set aside. Line ½ cup raspberries around outer edge of pan. Let sit in fridge for approx. 20 minutes to firm a little before applying the pink layer. After 20 minutes add the pink raspberry layer and smooth with spatula to finish. Top your cake with raspberries for decoration. 

6. Place cake in freezer for at least a total of 2 hours. When you take it out of the freezer, let it thaw for at at least 30 minutes. Unhook your spring foam pan and there you have a beautiful vegan, lemon, raspberry cheesecake! 

Friday, March 6, 2015


Pleased to announce that after all of the hard work and effort of those who have sought to free these elephants from the Ringling Bros. circus act, come 2018, these elephants will be given their freedom!

After years of protests from upset public on how these creatures have been abused and mistreated, parent company Feld Entertainment has decided to fully eliminate elephants from the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus acts by the year 2018. Elephants will be relocated to, The Center for Elephant Conservation in Florida.

Upon first news of this, I couldn't help but cry tears of joy! Here are some pictures of the circus protests against Ringling Bros. I have participated in. I have met some of the most absolutely wonderful people ever with the biggest of hearts. We will continue to protest on behalf of the other animals in the circus such as tigers, horses and zebras.

Every creature deserves FREEDOM.



IT Cosmetics CC+ Lip Serum Review - LOVE

($24 - 0.11oz)
About this product: Developed by leading plastic surgeons, CC+ Lip Serum Hydrating, Anti-Aging, Color Correcting Gloss is clinically proven to color correct and provide intense hydration to your lips. This Lip serum is packed with good for you, anti-aging ingredients such as clinically proven collagen, peptides, hyaluronic acid, plus 9 essential butters and oils for the ultimate lip treatment. Paraben free. Cruelty free.

Review: I'm in love with this lip serum! The shade I have is in the color, LOVE which I would describe as a rose color.  It's a beautiful gloss which provides a stunning flush of color that makes lips look flattering, youthful and healthy. I can honestly say it's shine in combination with it's color is strikingly gorgeous. It also works excellently to hydrate lips. My lips are super soft as a result of using it which is a huge improvement because I suffer from really dry lips. It looks great whether used by itself or on top of another lip stick.

I find the color lasts up to 4 hrs if untouched. It otherwise needs reapplying every once in a while to keep it looking it's best.  It also has a yummy vanilla mint scent. 

It CC+ lip serum is available in 3 different shades which include, Love, Laugh and Live. All three are in the pink range. I hope It Cosmetics creates more color varieties as it's now one of my absolute favorite lip products. 

If your lips need a dose of hydrating treatment or you're just looking for a pretty new shade to try, I highly recommend trying this awesome lip serum. 


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Cruelty Free Cosmetics VS Vegan Cosmetics


For a product to be truly cruelty free, there should be no testing on animals at any time during the process of creation. It is important to understand that many products manufactured by companies do not test their finished products on animals and therefore justify themselves as being a cruelty free company. Some companies go as far as to label their products as, "NOT TESTED ON ANIMALS", when in fact the ingredients used to make those products were tested on animals by a third party. This does not make for a true cruelty free product.

One of the best ways to know if a product is cruelty free is to look for the Leaping Bunny logo. The Leaping Bunny standard is clear for both cosmetic and household products. It states:

"The Standard is short for the Corporate Standard of Compassion for Animals, a voluntary pledge that cosmetic, personal care, and/or household product companies make to clear animal testing from all stages of product development. The company's ingredient suppliers make the same pledge and the result is a product guaranteed to be 100 percent free of new animal testing. All Leaping Bunny companies must be open to independent audits, and commitments are renewed on an annual basis." 

Please note that a company may have undergone the process of becoming Leaping Bunny certified without sporting the logo on their products. You can view a complete list of companies who are Leaping Bunny certified in the, Compassionate Shopping Guide.

Can a company be cruelty free without being Leaping Bunny certified? Absolutely. However, Leaping Bunny does not guarantee a company is truly cruelty free without certification.

PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) offers their list of companies and brands that are cruelty free at, Caring Consumer Guide.

* It is important to note that although a brand may be Leaping Bunny or PETA certified, some of these certified brands are owned by parent companies that test on animals. (Example: Urban Decay is PETA approved and has the logo on it's finished products. Although Urban Decay does not test on on animals, is owned by parent company L'Oreal which does tests on animals.) 


Vegan cosmetics are free of all animal ingredients or animal derived ingredients.

Weather an ingredient was derived from an animals is not always clear. Many companies remove the word, "animal" from their ingredient label in order to avoid putting off consumers and to increase profit margins. Animal ingredients are used not because they are better than vegetable-drived or synthetic ingredients but rather because they are generally cheaper. Today's slaughterhouses must dispose of the byproducts of the slaughter of billions of animals every yearend have found an easy and profitable solution in selling them to food and cosmetic manufacturers. -PETA

For a detailed list of animal ingredients to avoid and their alternatives, please see PETA's, Animal Ingredient List.  PETA's Caring Consumer Guide notes which products are vegan and cruelty free.

Vegan products may or may not be tested on animals so again it is best to refer to the guides in order to help make the best choice.


Tuesday, February 24, 2015


  • a.dorn ~ 100% vegan!
  • A Girl’s Gotta Spa ~ 100% vegan!
  • ABBA Pure Performance Hair Care ~ 100% vegan! 
  • Ahisma Naturals ~ 100% vegan!
  • AILA Cosmetics ~ 100% vegan!
  • Arbonne ~ 100% vegan!
  • Aromi ~ 100% vegan!
  • Au Naturale ~ 100% vegan!
  • Beautisol ~ 100% vegan!
  • Beauty Blender ~ 100% vegan!
  • Beauty Without Cruelty ~ 100% vegan!
  • Bio Follicle ~ 100% vegan!
  • Biokleen ~ 100% vegan!
  • Box Naturals ~ 100% vegan!
  • Bronze Buffer ~ 100% vegan!
  • Bye Bye Parabens ~ 100% vegan!
  • Cocoon Apothecary ~ 100% vegan!
  • ColorProof ~ 100% vegan!
  • Color Club ~ 100% vegan!
  • Concrete Minerals ~ 100% vegan!
  • CoverFX ~ 100% vegan!
  • Cozette ~ 100% vegan!
  • Crazy Rumors ~ 100% vegan!
  • Crystal Body Deodorant ~ 100% vegan!
  • Dahliana Naturals ~ 100% vegan!
  • DermOrganic ~ 100% vegan!
  • DeVita ~ 100% vegan!
  • Dose of Colors ~ 100% vegan!
  • Earthly Body ~ 100% vegan!
  • Eco Tools ~ 100% vegan!
  • Elysian Nail Lacquer ~ 100% vegan!
  • Ella + Mila ~ 100% vegan!
  • Ellovi ~ 100% vegan!
  • Emani ~ 100% vegan!
  • Everyday Minerals ~ 100% vegan!
  • EVOLVh ~ 100% vegan!
  • Flo + Theo ~ 100% vegan!
  • Forager Botanicals ~ 100% vegan!
  • Furless Makeup Brushes ~ 100% vegan!
  • Geek ~ 100% vegan!
  • Georgie Beauty ~ 100% vegan!
  • Glam Natural ~ 100% vegan!
  • Green Tidings ~ 100% vegan!
  • Harvey Prince ~ 100% vegan!
  • Hempz ~ 100% vegan!
  • HeartCoeur ~ 100% vegan!
  • Hugo Naturals ~ 100% vegan!
  • Hurraw! ~ 100% vegan!
  • Johnny Concert Glamour ~ 100% vegan!
  • JustNatural ~ 100% vegan!
  • Kaeng Raeng ~ 100% vegan!
  • Kelley Quan ~ 100% vegan!
  • Kester Black ~ 100% vegan!
  • Kimono ~ 100% vegan!
  • Kosia ~ 100% vegan!
  • La Fresh Eco Beauty ~ 100% vegan!
  • Laughing Devil Designs ~ 100% vegan!
  • Light Mountain Natural Hair Color ~ 100% vegan!
  • Lime Crime ~ 100% vegan!
  • Lina Hanson ~ 100% vegan!
  • Lip Glosserie ~ 100% vegan!
  • LVX ~ 100% vegan!
  • Mad Hippie ~ 100% vegan!
  • Mei Yin Naturopathics ~ 100% vegan!
  • Meow Meow Tweet ~ 100% vegan!
  • Metamour Skin Care ~ 100% vegan!
  • Method ~ 100% vegan!
  • Modern Minerals ~ 100% vegan!
  • Mount Purious Raw Skincare ~ 100% vegan!
  • Mr. Bean Body Care ~ 100% vegan!
  • MUN ~ 100% vegan!
  • My Konjac Sponge ~ 100% vegan!
  • Nature’s Gate ~ 100% vegan!
  • NCLA ~ 100% vegan!
  • North Coast Organics ~ 100% vegan!
  • Not A Sponge ~ 100% vegan!
  • Nouveau/Organica ~ 100% vegan!
  • Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics (OCC) ~ 100% vegan!
  • O.R.G. Skincare ~ 100% vegan!
  • Own ~ 100% vegan!
  • Pacifica ~ 100% vegan!
  • Pelle Beauty ~ 100% vegan!
  • piCture pOlish ~ 100% vegan!
  • Piggy Paint ~ 100% vegan!
  • Preserve ~ 100% vegan!
  • Priti NYC ~ 100% vegan!
  • Purbliss Candle Co. ~ 100% vegan!
  • Raven’s Creek Soap Co. ~ 100% vegan!
  • Red Apple Lipstick ~ 100% vegan!
  • Relogy ~ 100% vegan!
  • Replere ~ 100% vegan!
  • Rock Your Hair ~ 100% vegan!
  • Root Science ~ 100% vegan!
  • Sappo Hill Soapworks ~ 100% vegan!
  • Schmidt’s Deodorant ~ 100% vegan!
  • Scotch Naturals ~ 100% vegan!
  • Sevin Nyne ~ 100% vegan!
  • SkinTea Ochaya Organics by Sayuri Marie ~ 100% vegan!
  • ShiKai ~ 100% vegan!
  • Sir Richards ~ 100% vegan!
  • Soultice Spa ~ 100% vegan!
  • SpaRitual ~ 100% vegan!
  • Sugar & Oats ~ 100% vegan!
  • Swagger Cosmetics ~ 100% vegan!
  • The All Natural Face ~ 100% vegan!
  • The Fanciful Fox ~ 100% vegan!
  • Tiki Bar Soap ~ 100% vegan!
  • Trust Fund Beauty ~ 100% vegan!

Thursday, February 19, 2015


"Pythons skinned alive and left to die in agony" -Daily Mail, 2015. This is the ever familiar truth behind the fashion industries obsession for animal skins.

It is estimated that 440,000 pythons are slaughtered in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Veitman each year to be made into handbags and shoes. In addition there are other breeds of snake, reptiles and crocodiles slaughtered by the millions annually for the exotic skin trade.

Snakes are hunted and taken from their homes in the jungles. They are usually bolted to a tree where they are cut open from one end to the other and skinned alive. Because of the snakes low metabolism, many remain alive for hours and even days before dying a slow agonizing death. Some snakes receive a blow to the head. A pipe is then logged down their throat and they are pumped full of water as their bodies expand. Throats are tied up so that water cannot escape and they are left this way for several minutes. Their heads are then impaled on a meat hook and skin forcefully ripped from their body.

                                                            Snakes often skinned alive

Lizards are decapitated or have their throats slowly cut and struggle to breathe while they remain alive. Crocodiles and alligators are kept in filthy over crowded conditions and are bludgeoned to death or otherwise shot.  Some are killed by using a chisel or mallet to sever the animals spinal cords which causes paralysis to the body. Many are skinned alive.

From designer Calvin Klein's aligator jackets to stars Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce and Kim Kardashian, famous for wearing skins and fur, how is it that we as a people support and admire such a people as this?

Please choose to not purchase animals skins. To otherwise do so, one is supporting a cold blooded and cruel industry. You can encourage others to stop wearing skins by sharing the video link below narrated by actor and animal activist Joaquin Phoenix.



Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Looking for a great salon shampoo and conditioner that's not tested on animals? How about Kenra!

Shampoo $23 - 33.8 oz
Conditioner $31 - 33.8 oz


Kenra Professional Moisturizing Shampoo replenishes moisture to dry damaged hair. Formulated with extra emollients and hydrolyzed wheat protein. 

Kenra Professional Color Maintenance Conditioner revitalizes colored and chemically treated hair to a softer, smoother, shinier conditioner. Silk proteins repair and strengthen while emollients detangle chemically treated hair.


I realize I should have probably purchased the Color Maintenance shampoo to go along with the Color Maintenance Conditioner, but regardless this is an amazing moisturizing salon shampoo that has replenished softness to my hair.  It lathers well, cleans thoroughly and has a nice soft scent.  

The conditioner detangles leaving hair feeling smooth and healthy. I love the added volume I get once hair is blown dry. The large bottles are worth getting because they last such a long time. 

I made my purchase at Ulta. If you're looking for an excellent salon brand of shampoo and conditioner, Kenra is an excellent option. Kenra is also featured on Peta's, "Don't Test List" which means that both ingredients and finished product are cruelty free!



Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Derma/e, Hydrating Facial Wipes, (Cruelty Free) Review

Price: $7.99

ABOUT THIS PRODUCT: These pre-moistened, ultra soft facial wipes deliver a surge of natural hydration while lifting away makeup, oil and impurities. Contains Hyaluronic acid, grape seed extract, maqui berry. Manufactured in solar powered facility. 

REVIEW: I've been searching for cruelty free makeup remover options and discovered Derma/e Hydrating Facial Wipes which are a convenient grab at local stores such as Ulta. The wipes work effectively to remove makeup and my skin looks healthier after almost a months use. The main ingredient is hyaluronic acid which helps to moisturize, combat aging and heal skin. The cons are that it comes in a package with 25 wipes rather than a 30 day supply. Packaging could be improved as the seal does not hold up well.

Overall, I'm happy with this purchase and would buy it again. There is also the liquid base makeup remover for those who prefer liquid remover over wipes. Please see: Evenly Radiant Makeup Remover with Chamomile and Cucumber.

                                                                 (Back of package)