Wednesday, August 19, 2015


I am loving Mario Badescu products! I was extremely thrilled when I found out this line is cruelty free. Though not Peta or Leaping bunny certified, Mario Badescu does not sell in China indicating they are a true cruelty free company as claimed. For anyone unaware, all cosmetics sold in China are tested on animals. 

What's wonderful about Mario Badescu is that these high end products are designed to accommodate all skin types from aging skin to acne prone skin at exceptionally reasonable prices. Mario Badescu believes that everyone deserves to have great skin at an affordable price. Additionally the products are full of natural, good for your skin ingredients which more and more women are turing to. 

Here's a list of my 3 favorites by Mario Badescu to date: ( I'm normal to dry skin type)

Enzyme Cleansing Gel (8 oz) - $15 Non foaming daily cleanser removes makeup, dirt, oil. Love it! I was skeptical at first about using a makeup remover that didn't foam because that's what I'm used to. However, typically makeup removers which form a lather have Sodium Laurel Sulfate which can be drying. This does not and so it's much more gentle on the skin. It's effective in taking some eye makeup off but I use my Tarte Maracuja Oil to get the last of that pesky black mascara. 

Glycolic Acid Toner (8 oz) - $18 Sloughs of dry cells for healthy skin. Anti - aging. Great for wrinkles and pigmentation. Glycolic Acid in any product is used as an exfoliant and therefore promotes healthy new cells which in turn decreases the depth and appearance of lines and wrinkles. Beneficial to anyone interested in Anti-aging products. The toner leaves my skin feeling fresh and clean. A new must have in my daily routine. 

Botanical Exfoliating Scrub (3.4 oz) - $26 Gel based formula sloughs off dead skin cells promoting new healthy cells for younger and brighter looking skin. This product is amazing and the beads aren't abrasive which can otherwise lead to skin irritation. It has a perfect texture with beneficial ingredients such as ginger, ginkgo, green tea, aloe and coconut. I have really come to believe that exfoliating is a must do in anyones skin care routine.


In addition, I tried out a couple small samples of the Peptide Renewal Serum and Cream. Because they are small samples and otherwise designed for mature skin, it's fair to say I can't give an honest review. However, based on customer reviews where I work, the Peptide Renewal cream is preferred of the two and an excellent option for middle aged women and older. 

Peptide Renewal Serum (1 oz) - $45 Targeted for dry to mature skin types.  Though I do not have mature skin I was able to try out this serum. Serums typically have smaller molecules than creams or lotions and penetrate more deeply into the skin. This product is slightly tacky/ sticky and best applied at night after cleansing. If you prefer the texture of a cream you can try out the Peptide Renewal Cream which combats fine lines, sagging skin and wrinkles. Recommended for anyone who is looking for anti -aging products. 

Peptide Renewal Cream ( 1 oz) - $35 Fight fine line, wrinkles and sagging skin with a blend of peptides, nourishing botanicals and other naturally derived ingredients to nurture aging skin. Leaves skin feeling soft. 

If you haven't tried Mario Badescu...TRY IT!


Monday, August 17, 2015


It's no secret that the European originated, St. Tropez brand is the world leader in sunless tanning. After having tried out their product, I can say they really do have the best body bronzers available on the market. In addition, there's a new line of body care by a brand called WHISH which carries a self tanner. I noted that some people are comparing it's effectiveness to ST. Tropez and had to try it out. Here's the low down on both tanners:

About Product: St. Tropez enriched nourishing body moisturizer provides long lasting hydration and a touch of self tan for natural looking radiance. This gradual tanner will build up a golden glow over time. Simply massage into your body for a gradual tan. Suitable for daily use. 

Review: I love this self tanner! If you want a tan that looks gorgeous, NATURAL and streak free...try this stuff! I have fair skin so what worked best for me was to apply the tanner daily for the first 3 days to build and achieve a beautiful glow. After that you can re-apply it every few days to maintain color. I found that I could shower just like normal without the color coming off and going down the drain. Obviously when you shower some color will come off as you exfoliate and cleanse but still the color maintains well. The bottle retails at $30 and lasted me about a month and a half. At first I had a hard time bringing myself to spend more that I'd like on a tanner. Realizing I wanted to achieve excellent results without the hassle that drugstore tanners often bring, I opted to try a professional tanner and now I can firmly say I will never look back. I find the moisturizer hydrating and helps my skin to look healthy. It  can be used alone or in addition to the most famous of the ST Tropez products, Self Tan Bronzing Mousse which is their biggest seller. Video link below. An excellent solution to tanning beds. CRUELTY FREE. ST. Tropez does not test on animals. ST. Tropez uses natural ingredients.

About Product:  Whish self tanner is the perfect every day all over tanner. It will keep you skin soft and radiant. Our formula: firmer feeling with kigelia african fruit, seaweed extract, and coffee arabica extract. Refines and clarifies with goji berry, soap bark extract and moisturizes with organic shea butter mango and organic aloe. Natural DHA provides a non- streaking beautifully natural tan. 

Review: If you want a great tan in a matter of few short hours, this tanner delivers. It was about 3  - 4 hours after the 1st application when I looked down at my legs and said, "Whoa...where did you come from?!" I honestly didn't expect to bronze up like that and so quickly. My only recommendation is that for the knee, ankles, feet, elbow areas, make sure to blend really well. I like to apply moisturizer before and after to those parts of the body just to make sure the product won't develop overly in those areas. Retail: $30. Not tested on animals. All natural ingredients. 

In summary, I think both tanners are excellent with benefits of their own individually. ST. Tropez is more moisturizing, a little more natural looking and distributes a little more evenly. Whish tanner develops more quickly and in my opinion delivers more of a darker tan. Both long lasting results. I seriously would have to question which one I'd repurchase before the other but if I had to put my money on it at this very moment, I'd have to go with St. Tropez. 


Thursday, July 9, 2015

So you suffer from dry skin??? Derma e Hydrating Creme with Hyaluronic Acid might be your answer!

About Product: Derma e Hydrating Day Creme. Good for dry to normal skin types. This lightweight long lasting protective moisturizer is formulated for day use and enriched with Ester-C, Green Tea Extract and Vitamin E. Hyaluronic Acid (HA) is a moisture magnet capable of retaining up to 1000 times it's own weight in water and attracts and retains moisture for the skin. Derma E's HA formulas blend this remarkable ingredient with skin vitamins and botanicals to maximize hydration while helping diminish the appearance of find ones and wrinkles. Product is Gluten free, paragon free, hypoallergenic and is not tested on animals. (Retail price: $25.99 - 2 oz/56gr).

Review: What first caught my attention about derma e products was the fact they are cruelty free, vegan and contain more natural ingredients. I'm finding it more and more appealing to go with products which are natural based rather than synthetic because it makes me feel better about what I am putting on my skin. The magic ingredient in this cream is the ever popular hyaluronic acid which helps smooth, plump, hydrate and is a key to helping reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Even though it's a day cream, I like to apply it both morning and night. I love the way this lightweight lotion melts into my skin and leaves it feeling smooth and hydrated. No dry skin at all! I recommend this cream to ladies of any age group who have dry and flaky skin.
For those needing more intense moisture, you can try the Hydrating Night Creme which contains Allantoin, Macadamia Oil, Vitamins A and E and provides extra rich hydration.  

Driven by Beliefs

derma e® is passionate about a future with healthier skin, a healthier environment and a healthier world.
  • To respect our skin, every derma e® formula is paraben-free, phthalate-free, GMO-free, gluten-free, sodium lauryl sulfate-free, petrolatum-free, mineral oil-free and dye-free.
  • To respect our animal friends, every derma e® formula is 100% vegan and cruelty-free. Finished formulas are never tested on animals.
  • To respect our environment, derma e® products are made with recyclable material, and we offset 100% of our electrical usage with wind energy certificates.
  • To respect our world, derma e® actively volunteers and supports the humanitarian organizations, animal welfare and land conservation programs that are near and dear to our hearts, including Special Olympics, Meet Each Need with Dignity (MEND), the World Wildlife Fund and Polaris Project. A percentage of all our product sales is donated to The Paraguay Project, a non-profit program we established to aid the disadvantaged people, rainforest and land of Paraguay.

Derma e 
Derma e_Facebook

Thursday, July 2, 2015


Hi anyone and everyone that may come across this post! So let me be straight up honest that I received these items as part of training for my job. I am happy to announce to anyone unfamiliar with this makeup line that Tarte Cosmetics is PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) approved and sports the cruelty free bunny logo on it's products. This is wonderful for many ladies because as I have come to discover, these high performance natural cosmetics are indeed fantastic. The question I am posing today however is, "Are Tarte Cosmetics truly cruelty free?". 

Though this is now old news, it may be new to some that Tarte Cosmetics was purchased by Japanese cosmetic brand Kose, in 2014. Kose is a company that tests on animals. As per Tarte Cosmetics founder Maureen Kelly, "Tarte will not be testing on animals or ever test on animals. We are a cruelty free company and will remain one". I hope this statement remains true because if Tarte cosmetics were  to expand into the Asian market, as per Asian gouvernment law, cosmetics must be tested on animals. 

What does this all mean to me? I am thankful that Tarte cosmetics is a cruelty free line because that is superior to many alternative brands that do test on animals. I am disappointed that Kose is 93.5% owner of Tarte and I do believe that Tarte cosmetics made a huge mistake of selling out to an animal testing company to expand their line for larger profit. Tarte in my opinion has backed up Kose and now keeps an animal testing company ever more alive and thriving. I know many are strongly disappointed and no longer purchase Tarte cosmetics. For others, just to know the line is cruelty free is good enough. It all comes down to where each of us individually draws the line. 

I encourage ladies to purchase cosmetics that are NOT owned by parent companies that test on animals. For those who do not have as strong a feeling on this matter, it is my hope that one chooses to at least  purchase from brand lines that do not test on animals such as Tarte. I do credit Tarte in having some nice makeup to choose from many of which are vegan products. To see a full list of the vegan products click the following link: Tarte_Vegan_Products
And because Tarte cosmetics has more natural ingredients than many brands, for people who are sensitive to makeup, it may be a suitable alternative (especially over companies that specifically test on animals to see what kind of allergic reaction us humans might have). 

Tarte cosmetics are High Performance Naturals formulated without parabens (preservatives), mineral oil (generally synthetic oils that often make skin break out), sodium laurel sulfate (foaming agent which tends to dry skin), gluten (wheat, causing allergic reactions), synthetic fragrances and triclosan (anti-bacterial agent) to name a few. 

Amazonian butter lipstick: (Retail $17).  Colour in, "Park Avenue Princess". This neutral colour I found to be extremely pale and did not work for me. Other colours to choose from. 

LipSurgence Lip gloss:  (Retail $19). This gloss is called, "energy". I thought all glosses were created equal until I tried this stuff. Hint of pink colour. Makes lips look incredibly glossy and brings them to life in addition to wearing my favorite lipstick. Made with vitamin E, jojoba oil, flower extract. Vanilla scent. 

Smooth Operator Pressed Powder:  (Retail $34). In the colour, "Fair". I'm more of a liquid foundation girl so this is only so so for me. For those who prefer pressed powder foundation, this delivers buildable coverage, helps to cover pores and skin imperfections. Good for oily prone skin. In my experience it's a nice way to gently finish off a liquid foundation to mattify any glow.

Amazonian clay blush:  (Retail $28). Colour in , "Blissful". Long lasting 12 hr blush. Yes, it does last that long in my experience. Made from clay that travels down the amazonian river, collected and baked in the sun. All blush colours are naturally formed by oxidization of the clay from the earth. Beneficial for both dry/oily skin. 

Maracuja Rainforest Glow:  (Retail $39 - 5.0 oz ) Instant, matte, waterproof body bronzer. Comes with glove. This stuff is AMAZING and looks incredibly natural. A little goes a long way. I am currently using this on my face in place of a foundation . Because a little goes a long way I use 50/50 primer and rainforest bronzer otherwise it would be to dark for my complexion. Made from Amazonian clay. Highly recommend this bronzer in place of most bronzers/tanners on the market of which most are tested on animals.

Maracuja Oil: (Retail $48 - 1.7 oz) Extracted oil from the maracuja fruit in the Amazon. One bottle contains 45 fruits. Rich in essential fatty acids and vitamins. Excellent for rejuvenating skin both dry or oily. Helps people with acne. This oil will help to absorb oil for those with oily prone skin. 

Airbrush review:  (Retail: $34) Brush is made of soft, versatile, synthetic bristles. Cruelty free. I don't mind encouraging people to purchase Tarte brushes since they are 100% cruelty free. If one chooses to use Tarte's full coverage liquid foundation, it is highly recommend to use this brush for superior, flawless results. 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Zoya Nail Varnish - Cruelty Free & Vegan

About this product:  Zoya has over 300 long-wearing, toxin free, chemical free, vegan nail polishes to choose from. 

Review:  The pretty Zoya polish in these pictures is in the color, "Lillian". What I love most about Zoya are the gorgeous variety of colors and the fact that it's cruelty free, vegan and lasts a long time. As much as many people love Zoya polish and swear it's the best brand ever, I do find the polish to be slightly thick with a soft buttery texture. Surprisingly though, it took only 5 minutes for my nails to dry by air which was awesome! Regardless that it's a bit thicker than I'd prefer, I liked the polish enough I would definitely make other purchases. Besides, the fact that Zoya doesn't test on animals puts brands like OPI, Essie & Red Carpet to shame! Lasts about a week before need for a re-do. Retail price $9. 

 Make sure to check out Zoya's Nail Polish Remover!!!


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

It's a 10 Miracle Leave in product for hair / Cruelty Free

About this product:  It's a 10 Miracle leave in product has 10 essential benefits for your hair.  Works on all hair types to bring out natural luster and manageability while also making hair stronger and healthier with each use. 

Review: So my co-worker occasionally raves on about how great, It's a 10 product is. I believed her because she has some of the most healthy, shiny hair I've seen all of which is 100% natural.  I was super excited when I was received a sample to try and was thrilled to find the leaping bunny logo on the back of the bottle indicating it's cruelty free. How awesome is that?! 
When it comes to certain cosmetic/hair products, I figure you have to give them a fair trail period to prove results. I'm not much of a believer in 1st, 2nd, 3rd time use and a sudden miracle happens. I think the average product needs a good 30 day trial to prove it's worth. However, after just one use of it's a 10, my hair surprisingly felt and looked healthier. I'll base each of the 10 things this products does for your hair on a scale of fair, good or great as follows in my own personal experience after using it only a handful of times. 
  • repairs dry & damaged hair ( GREAT )
  • Adds shine ( FAIR )
  • smoothes & controls frizz ( GREAT )
  • seals & protects hair color ( FAIR )
  • detangles ( GREAT )
  • prevents slit ends ( GREAT )
  • stops hair breakage ( GREAT )
  • creates silkiness ( GREAT )
  • enhances natural body ( GOOD )
  • flat iron & thermal protector ( GREAT )
Keep in mind that all hair types are different and I lucked out in seeing immediate results. I know not all will have the same experience so allow time for this product to work it's magic if needs be. To sum up, if you're hair needs of dose of something good to help restore it's luster, control damage and restore it to life,  it's a 10 will do just that. All you need is 3-4 spritz of spray (or more depending on your volume of hair ) on your washed, damp hair and style as usual. Retail price: $18 - 4oz. Pricey but lasts a long time and well worth it. To check out It's a 10's other products, click the link below.


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Vegan Chocolate Cream Pie!


Pie Crust:
  • 1 pie crust 

For Filling:
  • 3 Tbs cocoa powder 
  • 1/4 cornstarch
  • 1/4 salt
  • 1/4 organic sugar
  • 3 Tbs agave nectar (optional but recommended)
  • 1 + 1/4 cup chocolate almond milk
  • 1 14 oz can coconut milk (the higher the fat content the better)
  • 100 grams/4oz 70% dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 Tsp vanilla (alcohol free is preferred for better taste results) 
  • vegan whipped cream of choice
  • extra chocolate for topping


  • 1. Make and bake your favorite vegan pie crust.
  • 2. Whisk cocoa powder, cornstarch, organic sugar and salt in saucepan.
  • 3. Whisk almond milk and full can of coconut milk into dry ingredients. (The coconut milk used in this recipe had a fat content of 14%). 
  • 4. Over medium heat, whisk constantly until mixture comes to a boil.
  • 5. Whisk constantly at a boil for approximately 2 minutes until thick like pudding. Do not over cook. Remove pan from stove. 
  • 6. Taste test to see if you would like to add a sweetener such as organic agave. Add sweetener and stir. 
  • 7. Add chopped chocolate and vanilla. The heat from mixture will quickly dissolve chocolate pieces. 
  • 8. Pour pudding mixture into pie crust and let cool for at least 3 hours in fridge.
  9. Serve with your choice of vegan whipped cream. This pie was served with So    Delicious Vegan Coco Whip and yes, it was so delicious:)

Note: Pie is more easily cut if it has been in fridge for more than the required 3 hours resulting in a more presentable pie slice if you're shooting for presentation when served. 

I was really happy with the way this pie turned out. I didn't know if it would be too bitter having used 70% chocolate but it wasn't bitter at all. I ended up adding agave because during the taste test it lacked sweetness. Rather than add more sugar, I chose to add agave to keep things a little healthier. I don't think the recipe would have turned out nearly as well had I not added some additional sweetener. 

Try it, I think you and your family will love it vegan or not!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Healthy, Raw, Vegan, Berry Tarts


  • Crust:
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 10 pitted dates
  • 1 Tbs shredded coconut (optional)
  • 2 tsp chia - ground
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch sea salt
  • 2-3 Tbs water 
  • 1 tsp organic confectioners sugar (optional)

  • Filling:
  1 cup fresh strawberries 
  1 cup black berries (or blue berries)
  1 ripe avocado
  2 Tbs vanilla (with no alcohol results in a better taste)
  pinch salt
  1 tsp fresh lime or lemon juice

  1. Combine all crust ingredients, except water into a food processor such as a Ninja or Vitamix and process until ground. Add the water while the processor is running. This 
will help combine ingredients and result in a better texture.
  2. Press crust into the base of individual tart pans or pie plate of your choice. If using a pie plate, it's preferable to choose one that is shallow rather than deep. 
  3. Combine filling ingredients into food processor and process until smooth. Pour filling over crust and even out with a spatula. 
  4. Place in freezer for at least 2-3 hours to set. Keep in mind that this dessert is better served when mostly frozen. You do not want to serve it thawed. Makes for a wonderful summer treat!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

AG Hair Cosmetics Professional Shampoo & Conditioner Review

About Product: Colour Savour Sulfate free shampoo - Gently cleanses hair with rich, luxurious lather. Proteins and herbal extracts soothe and repair. Contains sunflower seed extract and natural polyphenols to provide both UV and free radical protection and significantly extend the life and vibrancy of colour. 
Sleek argan conditioner - Transforms coarse, kinky hair into sleek and smooth. Formulated with nutrient rich organ oil and shea butter. Leaves hair shiny and soft. 

No salt
No Parabens
No Gluten
Not tested on animals
Every bottle contributes to educating girls in Africa

Review: What I love most about AG hair care is that it revives dull, frizzy, dry, lifeless hair. It makes your hair look and feel incredibly healthy and soft. Both shampoo and conditioner lathers so well that a small amount goes a long way. I realized after having purchased the one liter bottles that I am most likely to have them on hand for up to 6 months before I possibly run out. It smells heavenly and cleans without stripping down natural oils or hair colour. Though I don't wash my hair every single day because I find that's not personally healthy for my hair and scalp, I believe anyone who wishes to do so would benefit from using AG hair care products as they contain excellent ingredients such as keratin and herbal extracts to help retain moisture. The line is also specifically designed for color treated hair and caters to other hair care such as volume, curls, dry shampoo and more. It's being sulfate free is a big bonus as sulfate can tend to irritate and strip away natural protective oils from hair. Products price range is around $25 to $50 per bottle depending on size. Take into consideration that every bottle purchased contributes to building schools for girls in Africa, is cruelty free and should last you a long time depending on how often you wash you hair. Can be purchased at many salons, online stores or at AG cosmetics website. 

“Women are at the core of AG Hair’s business and we feel both passionate and obliged to help women without any means achieve their potential to create change through education. With each bottle of AG Hair product that we sell, a contribution is made to Women Leading Change. 100% of our donation goes directly towards building schools in Africa. Learn more about where you can find AG Hair products.” - AG Hair Cosmetics


Monday, April 20, 2015

Looking for an excellent waterproof eye liner?

About Product: No - Tug Waterproof Gel Eye Liners glide on saturated rich color without tugging on your delicate eyelids. These liners are clinically proved waterproof even after eight hours of wear! They're also infused with anti-aging technology and skin care benefits including hydrolyzed collagen, silk proteins, and vitamins C and E for younger looking lids. Paragon-free, fragrance-free, sulfate-free, cruelty-free. 

Review: Finally I've found a great eyeliner that I love! I've been searching for a good eyeliner for the longest time because I've been disappointed repeatedly. I don't like eyeliner pencils that you sharpen because most don't apply easily. I don't care for gel liner where you dip the brush in the gel because it takes some real talent to get that technique down. Lastly, most liquid liners I find to dry to come out the tip of the pen. 
I love this liner because it's a gel based pencil which glides on smoothly and makes application so much more easier. I chose my color in black which proves to be a rich and bold color. The one set back as is with most eyeliner pencils, I wish it were a more thinner. It can be a little hard to achieve the perfect line along the upper lash and generally I need a Q-tip to even things out just a bit. However, in comparison to other eyeliners, this is my absolute favorite. It does come with a sharpener you pull out at the base of the pencil which is kinda cool. Doesn't smudge, doesn't run, lasts all day! Retail price $22.00. Kind of pricy for a pencil but it works well and contains ingredients that are good for your skin. 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Dairy Free, Cherry Cheesecake

Vegan or not, you're going to love this recipe! It tastes very much like real cheesecake and it's easy to make.  My last vegan cheesecake was made with cashews which was delicious but this time around I wanted to try a different method. My goal is to discover new methods to create desserts or dishes which are both vegan and in many cases healthier than ordinary recipes that contain dairy. Though this cake calls for powdered sugar, sometimes you just need a little sugar in your life:) 

I used organic powdered sugar which I purchased at the "Harvest Health" store but you can get it at most any health food store around. To my understanding that makes for a true vegan recipe because organic sugar is bone char free. If ever I use sugar in my future recipes it will now be organic which is a win win because it's  both vegan and as far as sugar goes, organic may help you stay closer to your health goals. Here's the recipe...give it a try!


  • Crust:
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs (Nabisco graham crackers are 100% vegan)
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs non dairy butter such as Earth Balance, melted
  • 2 Tbs organic powdered sugar only if using graham crackers without honey to make for a true vegan recipe)

  • Filling:
  1 (8 oz) package of Firm Silken Tofu ( I purchased a 16 oz and had to cut it in half )
  1 (8 oz) container of non dairy cream cheese ( I used Tofutti purchased at health food     store)
  1 freshly squeezed lemon
  1 Tbs vanilla
  1 cup organic confectioners sugar
  1 Tbs cornstarch
  2 Tbs non dairy milk
  1 (21 oz) can cherries or 1 1/2 cup fresh cherries


1. Preheat over to 350 degrees
2. Mix together graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Press into lightly greased spring foam pan (or pie plate). I choose a spring foam pan to make the unique crust as pictured. The crust can be pressed upwards against the interior of the spring foam pan. Bake for 5 minutes. 
3. In blender ( I used my ninja for extra smooth results but you can probably use a regular blender ) combine tofu, vegan cream cheese, lemon, vanilla, sugar and blend until smooth. Add cornstarch to soy milk and whisk. Add to blended ingredients. Poor filling into crust and smooth with spatula. 
4. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes then reduce heat to 325 for 15 minutes. Let cool for 2-3 hours. I let mine cool in the spring foam pan in the fridge. 
5. Prior to removing spring foam pan, gently add cherry topping without touching the sides of the crust as it is delicate. Gently remove spring foam pan without disturbing the crust. Because the crust is delicate I did not remove the spring foam pan base when cutting and serving. The crust was was crumbly but it sure looks beautiful doesn't it?!