Favorite Finds of the Month: April

Beauty, Food

This is the third in a series of posts highlighting my favorite product finds each month. 

Can you believe we’re already more than a third of the way through 2019? Christmas feels like it was forever ago at this point but I still can’t believe how fast this year is flying! I’m not complaining, though, as I have some great things to look forward to this summer (including my golden birthday). Summer is my fav season by far so I can’t wait!

But before we look ahead to the next few months, let’s rewind to April and check out some of the best products I discovered last month!

1) Coco Bakes Gluten Free Sourdough

Bread has been one of my biggest fear foods since my eating disorder but it’s also been one of the foods I enjoy the most. Go figure! I pretty much eat almost entirely gluten free when I’m at home, not because I’m celiac or have been diagnosed with an intolerance, but I just feel better when I avoid wheat (however, I’m down to enjoy gluten when I go out to eat, since I typically only eat out once a week, and sometimes I still seek out GF options if that appeals to me at the time) so it’s hard to find GF bread that’s also vegan and tastes good. I have found a couple brands (Little Northern Bakehouse and O’Dough’s bagels) that are available at Sprouts that are pretty decent, but I was craving real bread, ya know, not just sandwich slices or bagel thins.

Lots of bloggers/Instagrammers I follow raved about Coco Bakes, a small-batch bakery in LA that specializes in GF vegan sourdough. I had had a similar sourdough before (from Bread SRSLY, based in the Bay Area) and wanted to give another, slightly cheaper version a try so I bit the bullet and ordered a loaf.

Since it was coming from LA, it arrived in my mailbox just a few days after it was baked, which means it was nice and fresh when it was delivered. And I gotta say, this bread lives up to the hype! It is perfect for toast (it crisps up nicely in the toaster even after I sliced it and put it in the freezer) and it has a great, chewy texture and that slight sour flavor that I missed from legit bread.

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Honey wants in on the sourdough toast action!

Each loaf costs $20 (plus $7.99 for shipping), which seems expensive for bread, but for bread this good (that’s made in small batches, no less) it’s worth it. I’ve already ordered it twice and I plan to make it at least a monthly purchase.

Also, you should definitely follow Cocobakes on Instagram for serious toast inspo plus the founder of Coco Bakes (Coco Kislinger) is really hilarious and down to earth in her IG Stories!

2) Trader Joe’s Sweet Basil Foaming Hand Soap

I am typically a ride-or-die Bath & Body Works girl when it comes to hand soaps (though I make an exception around the holidays when I stock up on the Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day peppermint soap). I haven’t shopped at B&BW for a few months as I’m saving my last Christmas gift card for their summer scents, so when I ran out of hand soap in my bathroom, I decided on a whim to try one of TJ’s soaps.

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Even the bottle is supah cute!

I’ve loved nearly everything I’ve ever bought from TJ’s, including this soap. It smells just like a fresh bunch of basil, and it foams up just as well as the soaps from Bath & Body Works (I prefer foaming hand soaps). Also, it’s cheaper at just $2.99 per bottle, and much more convenient to buy, since I’m at TJ’s almost every week.

3) Kaleidoscope Juice #LoveUp Sport

Hydrate but make it compassionate. That’s basically the gist of Kaleidoscope Juice’s #LoveUp Sport drink. I’ve already professed my love for Kaleidoscope here but within the last month they introduced a totally new kind of sports beverage. Move over, Gatorade, cuz #LoveUp Sport is way better for you (and for the community…more on that in a sec).

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Even dogs love it (JK, Honey doesn’t get to drink this)!

Whereas Gatorade and most sports drinks are made with sugar, sugar and more sugar (and fake colors/flavors), #LoveUp Sport is made with blue majik spirulina powder (giving it its pretty ocean-blue color), monkfruit (a natural zero calorie sweetener), lime juice, Himalayan pink salt and trace minerals to help you replenish your electrolytes after a tough workout.

The flavor of #LoveUp Sport is subtle, but that’s why I love it. But I also love that it supports the #LoveUp Foundation, which supports kids in the foster care system. Now that’s a sports drink I can get behind!

4) Herbaland Calcium & Vegan D3 Gummy Vitamins

Canada is really leading the way when it comes to vegan gummies (since most gummies are made with gelatin and aren’t even vegetarian). First it was SmartSweets which makes some awesome sugar free gummy candies (2 varieties are vegan), now it’s Herbaland coming in clutch with the vitamins.

Most of us probably don’t get all the nutrients we need from our diet, especially vegans. While many people are hung up on the protein thing, there are key vitamins that vegans can struggle to get from food, namely calcium/vitamin D3 and B12. I strive to eat a balanced diet full of fruits and veggies, but I make sure to supplement so I can stay healthy, and that’s where Herbaland gummy vitamins come in.

I am not a fan of the huge pills you have to swallow or even powdery chewable vitamins (yes, I’m basically a 5-year-old) so gummies it is, but it can be hard to find vegan gummy vitamins that aren’t super expensive. Luckily, I came across Herbaland when searching for vitamins on Amazon, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that none of their vitamin bottles cost more than $20, which is about half the cost of most vegan gummies! I ordered the calcium & D3 variety (because I already take B vitamins in the hair gummies I have).

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Taking vitamins is easy when they’re this yummy!

I love that these are gluten free and sugar free, because many vegan vitamins have glucose syrup, which I’m not a fan of. Plus, they taste pretty good and you can’t beat the price ($16) for a month’s supply.

I plan to try more of their vitamins, including the vegan collagen booster and cold brew energy gummies.

5) Trader Joe’s Jalapeño Sauce

Y’all know I like things spicy. So I’m always down to try a new hot sauce, especially if it’s from TJ’s.

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This sauce pairs perfectly with tofu potato tacos (recipe on my Insta!).

This green sauce is different from most hot sauces in that it’s creamy, but it is in fact totally vegan! It reminds me a lot of dairy-free crema I’ve had at many Mexican places, so it works really well drizzled on top of tacos, but I’ve also used it to dress up a vegan poke bowl. It’s just good on anything.

What new products did you try last month? 

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My Picks for the Sephora Beauty Insider Sale 2019

Beauty

My Sephora beauty insider sale picks

It’s my favorite time of the year — Sephora Beauty Insider Sale time! Honestly, I was a little worried that Sephora wasn’t doing one this year because typically, it happens in early April and here it is almost May and I haven’t gotten any emails about it. Thankfully, we’re just a few days away from one of the best sales of the year for beauty lovers.

I actually used to be a VIB Rouge member, but after being unemployed for several months last year, I wasn’t able to spend the $1,000 I needed to by the end of 2018 to maintain my Rouge status for this year, so I was dropped down to just VIB. If I can work my way back up to Rouge, that would be great, but truth be told I’m not really in a rush to make that happen. I still get decent perks as a VIB (including more birthday gift choices and earning more points per dollar spent) and I only have to spend $350 in a year which is much more doable.

I actually haven’t shopped at Sephora in a few months, as I’m trying to be more mindful with spending when it comes to beauty products (clothes on the other hand…) and I’ve only been buying the essentials, like BB cream and concealer and fake lashes (yes those are essential cuz I wear them daily and they only last so long) and I’ve been able to make do buying those at Ulta for the most part. But I’ve had several things in my virtual Sephora cart for awhile, and now is the time to take advantage!

For those not in the know, the Sephora Beauty Insider Sale happens twice a year (typically April and November). Rouge members get first dibs (the sale started on April 26th for them) and the best discount (20%), while VIBs get 15% off and Beauty Insider members get 10% off and have to wait until May 2nd to shop the sale. I like to use the sale as an opportunity to splurge on some things I normally wouldn’t buy and rack up more points. So here are my picks for this season’s sale!

1) Glow Recipe Pineapple-C Brightening Serum ($49)

Glow Recipe’s newest product just came out within the past month or so, and I’ve been dying to get my hands on it. I already am obsessed with their watermelon glow sleeping mask and I need more fruity products in my life. This sounds like it will be really good at improving redness and dryness, which I definitely need. And if it’s anything like their watermelon pink juice moisturizer, a little goes a long way so it’s worth spending $$$.

2) Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Water ($28)

I’m used to tanning lotions and even airbrush-style sprays, but tanning water? Judging by how often this product sells out on Sephora’s website (it’s sold out right now, and I’ve probably signed up for restock emails 5+ times since it debuted) it must work really well.

I’m a sucker for pretty packaging, and I love the colorful bottle this comes in. I also like the fact that it comes in 3 shades and it has the Clean at Sephora seal, so I can trust that it doesn’t have any weird ingredients. Oh, and like everything on my list, it’s vegan and cruelty-free #win

Since it’s sold out at the moment, I may have to make a stop at the Sephora near me because apparently it’s available there!

3) Four Sigmatic Mushroom Lemonade Mix with Charcoal & Chaga ($30)

I am all about the charcoal — my toothpaste, deodorant and facial bar all have charcoal as a main ingredient. So I’m definitely not scared off by a charcoal lemonade. I’ve tried one by a local juice company and it tastes so good, plus the color is cool.

So many wellness bloggers have raved about the Four Sigmatic mushroom coffee, but I’m not a hot coffee drinker so I’ve never tried it. But this sounds really refreshing for Arizona’s summers and it’s supposed to be good for digestion and skin health, so why not?

4) Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask Set ($39)

I’ve had my eye on Glow Recipe’s sleeping mask sets since they came out a few months ago, but haven’t purchased them yet. It comes with an adorable sleep mask, so how could I not?

I was actually debating about getting the avocado version, but I’ve yet to try that mask and some reviewers said it made them break out, so I’m thinking I’m going to go with the watermelon since it’s a tried and true favorite.

This is normally $45 but right now (even without the sale discount) it’s only $39!

5) IGK 1995 2-in-1 Shampoo & Texturizer ($25)

As y’all know, I only wash my hair once or twice per week, which has saved me a fortune in shampoo & conditioner costs. But I am about one wash away from running out of my shampoo so I need to restock.

IGK is my go-to brand now because they’re vegan and cruelty-free (le duh) and more affordable than a lot of other high-quality brands. A lot of people have raved about the 1995 2-in-1 Shampoo & Texturizer and says it really works to give their hair more volume and oomph, so I think it’s going to be my next shampoo.

6) Summer Fridays Mini Jet Lag Mask ($26)

This actually isn’t in my cart, so I may or may not actually buy it, but I’ve wanted to try the Summer Fridays Jet Lag mask forever (I already have and love the Overtime and R+R masks). When I saw they came out with it in a mini, I knew I couldn’t lose.

I love minis because they let you try something without committing to a bigger product that you may not use up if you don’t love it. The Jet Lag mask is supposed to be amazingly hydrating, so I’d love to give it a spin and see how it compares to their other masks.

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I just noticed that most of my picks are skincare items, with no actual makeup to be seen! That’s because I honestly don’t really need any makeup rn — I just bought some things from Ulta during their sale, and I have so many eyeshadow/highlighter palettes it’s not even funny. But I can always use more skincare products!

Do you love the Beauty Insider Sale? What are your picks for this season’s sale?

Favorite Finds of the Month: March

Beauty, Food

This is the second in a series of posts highlighting my favorite product finds each month. 

Back again with another round-up of my favorite product discoveries of the month! I don’t know about you, but I am not one of those people who can eat/use the same products all the time and be content. Sure, I have my all-time favorites I come back to over and over but I always love to try new things and mix up my routine when it comes to food and beauty. I hope these posts inspire you to try something new!

1) Memebox I Dew Care Cake My Day Hydrating Sprinkle Wash-Off Mask

This has probably the longest name of any beauty product ever but it definitely lives up to the name. First, what got me to buy this was the fact that it’s cake-scented. Y’all already know my obsession with cake-flavored/cake-scented anything. So it was basically required for me to get this. But I also love how hydrating it is without being too heavy on my face. Plus the actual sprinkles in it are fun.

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The packaging is too precious. 

Let’s talk price, because I typically buy face masks in the $40-$60 range. This is $25. $25. Seriously, for a 3.52 ounce container. What a steal! And before you think it must be poor quality, this mask is cruelty-free, and formulated without parabens, sulfates, phthalates and silicones so it is good for your face AND your wallet.

I got this at Ulta but they also sell it on the Memebox website for the same price.

2) Kaleidoscope Juice

Sorry to any non-Arizona locals who can’t give this adorable juice bar a try, but I had to give it a shoutout because I recently fell in love with it and their products.

There are sooooooo many juice bars out there now. While I generally buy my juices from Whole Foods or Sprouts or Target to save money (and I’m partial to Suja Juice, as you may know), it’s fun to swing by a juice bar to try out their offerings every now and then. It’s even better when you can support a local business. Like I really do love Nekter Juice Bar for their vegan Skoop ice cream, especially now that there’s a location less than 10 minutes from home, but I’d been hearing good things about Kaleidoscope Juice and wanted to check them out.

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I love supporting local businesses, especially if they have yummy products!

They have 4 locations in the Valley, all in Scottsdale and Phoenix, which is not convenient for me but the downtown Scottsdale location is about 10 minutes from my office so I stopped by after work one day to see what the hype was about. First of all, it’s a really cute storefront. It seems like the perfect place to hang out with health-minded friends on a sunny afternoon. The baristas are really friendly and offered to help me pick out a juice.

Because it was my first time, I wanted to try a few things so I could really get a feel for their offerings. I got the Pink Illuminating Water, Charcoal Electro-light and because I couldn’t resist, a container of vegan/gluten free peanut butter patty style cookies. I will say that their products aren’t cheap. I got all of these things for about $32, including tip. Not terrible, but definitely not a habit I can keep up all the time. It is definitely worth the splurge every once in awhile though! The two juices I bought were very tasty and refreshing, and I could tell they were made with only high-quality ingredients. And the cookies…damn, those were amazing! I wish there were more than four in a container because I had to spread them out over four days to enjoy them longer.

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Girl Scouts peanut butter patties who?

If you live in the Valley — go check out Kaleidoscope!

3) St. Tropez Gradual Tan Watermelon Infusion Lotion

Living in Phoenix, you’d think I’d be tan year round. Welp, that is definitely not the case. It takes about a week of laying in the sun for half an hour each day to start to build up any color, and I usually don’t get the chance to do this except on weekends during pool season when nothing else is going on. So most of the year, I’m fairly pale. Which is okay in the winter when I’m wearing layers but once March rolls around, I’m wearing alllll the dresses and skirts…and shorts and tank tops while running and I feel like a freaking ghost. Self-tanner to the rescue!

Now I’ve tried a lot of different self-tanning brands: Jergen’s Natural Glow, L’Oreal, even Tarte makes some solid self-tanners. But the HG (holy grail) has to be St. Tropez. I’ve used several of their formulations, and they all add a nice color without being streaky. So when they introduced a new product to the lineup, I knew I had to get my hands on it, especially because it’s watermelon-scented (I also love anything watermelon).

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Even the bottle is beautiful. 

If you’re turned off from self-tanners because of the smell, this one smells just like a lotion you’d get from Bath & Body Works. The scent is light and fruity and not at all like the typical self-tanner. It goes on white and absorbs almost instantly, so you don’t have to wait around for it to dry before getting dressed. It builds color gradually, but you’ll definitely notice a difference in a couple of days, and it moisturizes your skin so you won’t look all scaly.

I always apply it after a shower just like I would a regular lotion, and use it daily. The color doesn’t turn out super dark, so it’s best for those with lighter skin looking for a natural glow (St. Tropez has other formulations that are much darker). And for a high quality, vegan tanning product, it’s actually very reasonably priced at $25 for a 6.7 oz bottle.

4) Quinn Snacks Chocolate Peanut Butter Filled Pretzel Nuggets

Peanut butter and pretzels are a match made in snack heaven. Throw chocolate in the mix and you’ve got the whole package: sweet, salty, nutty, creamy. Make the pretzels gluten free and you’ve got a crave-worthy but still healthy-ish treat.

I try to eat gluten free most of the time because I feel better eating this way, so when I saw that Quinn made a gluten free AND vegan AND chocolate version of this yummy snack, I knew I had to buy it. And these little nuggets don’t disappoint. They’re like a more grown-up version of the pretzel nuggets you remember growing up — not too salty or sweet.

Pretzels

I am obsessed with salty+sweet combos.

I like that the ingredients list is fairly short and easy to read, and sugar is the seventh ingredient (1 serving has just 3 grams) so it’s definitely not overly sugary. It makes a good dessert option if you’re craving something crunchy.

The pretzel nuggets are sold at Whole Foods for $4.99 a bag.

5) Hard Frescos Brewing Co. Alcoholic Aguas Frescas

Wanna know a secret about me? I hate beer. Okay, maybe that’s not a secret but whenever I would go out for drinks with people from work, most of them would get a beer. I know it’s common for men to drink beer, but even women opted for beer rather than wine or a cocktail in many cases, making me feel like the odd one out. I’m just not a fan of the flavor of beer or how filling it is. Gimme a lighter drink with complex flavors and I’m all in!

I’ve tried hard seltzer before because I love La Croix and Spindrift sparkling waters, but most hard seltzers don’t come in flavors beyond citrus and maybe berry. Enter: Hard Frescos Brewing Co. and their hard aguas frescas.

I first discovered them at the Downtown Mesa Brew Fest in early March. True to the festival’s name, it was mostly beer tents but there were a few offering other adult beverage options, including the aguas frescas. And when I saw it came in flavors like tamarind and cucumber lime, I knew I had to try it.

Agua_Fresca

Alcohol that’s refreshing? Yes please.

I had the hibiscus flavor, and it was so refreshing. I can see enjoying this drink poolside this summer. And I love that their ingredients are so simple (plus the aguas frescas are gluten free and low carb).

If you have a Total Wine near you, you may be able to find this there. When I used their store locator online, it said the closest store to me was in Vegas, but then I found it at the Total Wine in Tucson when I visited for spring break.

 

 

What fun products did you discover in March? 

 

Favorite Finds of the Month: February

Beauty, Food

What can I say — I’m a sucker for blog series. It makes it a lot easier to write a post when there’s a built-in theme, ya know? Plus it’s fun for me to look back and see what I was into during a specific time in my life.

In this series, I’m going to be sharing a few of my favorite product discoveries that I make each month. I love love LOVE trying new things, whether it’s vegan food or beauty products, and I want to share the love with y’all in case you’ve seen these things on Insta or in stores and wanted to try it, but weren’t sure if they’re worth the money. I don’t know about you, but I feel a lot more confident buying something if there are good reviews about it. So let’s get to it!

1) KeVita watermelon rose sparkling probiotic drink

I can’t remember when I first tried KeVita, but I do know it was my first foray into the wonderful world of cultured probiotic beverages. As a self-professed kombucha addict/expert, I’ve tried many booches and booch-like products over the years, and KeVita’s drinks rank high on my list of favorites. Whether it’s their Master Brew kombucha or their sparkling probiotic drinks, I haven’t had a bad experience with them.

The watermelon rose version is one of their newer flavors, and being that February is the month of love (I guess?) and roses are a symbol of love, I had to give this one a try this month. I picked my bottle up at Sprouts from the kombucha section for $3.29, which is fairly inexpensive for a probiotic-packed drink.

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I also love the gorgeous packaging. 

I tried it for the first time on Valentine’s Day (of course), pouring half the bottle into a wine glass and enjoying alongside some goodies from the Whole Foods salad bar for a nice single lady V-Day dinner. I was struck by how light and fruity it was — I’ve had floral-based kombuchas before that were definitely a lot more perfume-y and flowery than this, but it definitely had a nice flavor. Not surprisingly, the ingredients include rose water, rose hips powder and rose extract, which give it that floral but not too floral taste. I also detected the watermelon flavor, but it wasn’t over the top.

I really enjoyed just sipping on this, but I think it would make a nice base for a fancy cocktail.

2) Summer Fridays R + R Mask

Going along with the V-Day themed products is my next find. I first discovered the brand Summer Fridays in the fall when I saw them all over Insta and the Sephora app. At the time, they had just two products: the Jet Lag mask and the Overtime mask. I bought the Overtime mask based on reviews saying it smelled like pumpkin pie and it most definitely does. Plus it works its exfoliating magic to make my skin feel refreshed, so it’s definitely a solid addition to my skin care routine (still gotta try the Jet Lag mask).

But when I saw Summer Fridays was coming out with a new mask, I had to jump on it. I literally ordered it the first day it was available on the Sephora app. If it’s rose gold, smells like flowers and is a face mask, you know I can’t say no.

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Definitely worth the $50+ price tag. 

This is officially my favorite mask. It makes my skin so glowy and keeps it from getting dehydrated. Plus it literally smells like a bed of roses.

At $52 for a 2.25 oz tube, it ain’t cheap, but definitely more affordable than some face masks (looking at you, $80 Peter Thomas Roth 24K Gold Mask) and a little goes a long way. I use it once or twice a week when I want to #treatmyself.

3) Trader Joe’s Neapolitan Puffs Cereal

Oh Trader Joe’s, how I love that you’re always coming out with new products that I have to get my hands on. But I also dislike it because I end up spending more than I planned on…oh yeah, and because your products are so popular, they often go missing for weeks/months after they make their debut so I regret not stocking up.

I’m not sure if this will be one of those cult favorite TJ’s products, but I do know that it’s new (saw it and bought it for the first time the weekend before Valentine’s Day) and it may not be available for long because it seems kind of V-Day-ish. Kind of like how candy cane Joe Joe’s are only around for like the first week of December.

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New cereal plus some old favorites.

I’ve mostly been eating grain free granolas when I want a cereal fix, but this caught my eye because I love the combo of chocolate, strawberry and vanilla. Maybe not in ice cream, since I tend to go for more unique flavors, but a good combination nonetheless. But I did like that this cereal was bean-based, with the first ingredient being garbanzo bean powder and some brown rice flour in there for the texture. I’ve had bean-based cereals before and liked them, so I figured this would be a winner. And it is. It’s nice that the ingredients list is fairly short and has normal ingredients in it, plus it’s gluten free and higher in protein (6 grams) compared to most cereals. But it also tastes good too — not overly healthy like you might expect from a cereal with these ingredients but also not too sweet.

Each box is $3.99, which is a steal compared to the tiny bags of paleo granola I’ve been buying. Since I don’t eat breakfast, I’ve been enjoying this cereal as a nighttime snack mixed with vegan protein powder, almond milk and berries.

4) Urban Outfitters UO Nail Polish

I used to be a ride-or-die Julep junkie. Ever since my friend introduced me to the brand in 2014 and I signed up for my first subscription box, I stopped buying the cheap-o Sally Hansen nail polishes from Target and switched to Julep. I loved that they were vegan and free from weird chemicals like formaldehyde and toluene that are in drugstore polishes. Plus the subscription boxes were fun because I got to pick 3 colors per month (or beauty products, but I usually went for polishes) and it gave me points that I could use toward a free box a couple times per year. And the boxes were a good deal — $25 for 3 polishes, vs. $14 per polish on Julep’s website.

I actually just got notified recently that Julep has discontinued the subscription boxes, which is a little sad but not really ’cause I stopped subscribing a year ago when I was first unemployed. I had already stockpiled enough nail polishes to last me awhile and couldn’t spend the $25 a month so I said goodbye to my subscription.

Long story short, I no longer have an unlimited supply of nail polish and I sure as hell don’t wanna pay $14 for new Julep polishes so I started looking for cheaper options. I love Urban Outfitters for their clothes and other beauty products, so when I saw they had nail polish that was 3 for $10, I had to get some.

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Sadly this color is no longer available at UO but it should last me awhile.

I do like their selection of colors because I typically go for the brighter shades, but they also have some decent, non-boring neutral colors too. As for the quality, the nail polish does chip after a day or two but that happens to me no matter the price point of my polish, so I’m not mad about it. I should probably start using a topcoat if I want my polish to last. But it gives me a good excuse to change my color every few days. Also, for a cruelty-free nail polish, it’s pretty cheap!

5) NadaMoo! Marshmallow Stardust vegan ice cream

Usually when I see a new vegan product pop up in my Insta feed, I jot it down in my notes on my phone to remember later, because I know I probably won’t find it in stores for weeks or even months. Not so with this new NadaMoo! ice cream flavor. The very same week I saw it on IG, I found it at my local Sprouts grocery store. Side note: Sprouts has really upped their non-dairy ice cream game, and I. Am. Here. For. It.

When I saw it in the frozen case, I literally had a moment where I was like, “Is this real life?” Because I was totally not expecting to find this brand new product so soon. And mind you, I don’t live in some small town (Phoenix is the 5th largest city in the U.S., and the metro area is the 11th largest) but it seems like new product launches can take some time to get here, which is crazy. Anyways, of course I had to add it to the cart, but not before taking a picture of it in the aisle like a crazy person blogger.

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A+ on the cute packaging!

Because the name isn’t super descriptive (but nice sounding nonetheless…and the packaging is adorable), I wasn’t sure what flavor to expect. I knew it would include marshmallows, which are hard to find in vegan form, let alone in vegan ice cream. Basically, the ice cream tastes a lot like Lucky Charms, or more specifically, the milk that’s leftover at the end when you’ve eaten all the cereal and just have the marshmallows dissolving. Growing up, I had Lucky Charms a handful of times because we were a healthy cereal eating family (think cereals like Basic 4, Cracklin Oat Bran, Great Grains, etc.) and my sister and I only got to indulge in kid cereals when we would go camping and my mom bought those tiny cereal boxes that came in a 6 pack. My sister and I would usually fight over who got the Lucky Charms and the Trix cereal and leave the boring Honey Smacks to our parents. But this totally reminds me of Lucky Charms in a very good way.

The lavender color of the ice cream is beautiful, and there are definitely enough marshmallows to satisfy my tastebuds. As for nutritional content, it’s honestly not that terrible. It’s higher in sugar than some of their other flavors but I like the NadaMoo! ice creams are lower in sugar than most other nondairy ice creams.

Sprouts (at least the ones near me) have many NadaMoo! flavors on sale right now for $4.99 so it’s a good time to try a pint if you’re curious.

What fun new products did you try in February?

My Favorite Vegan & Cruelty-Free Products: Hair Care Part 2

Beauty

Hair Care

*This is part of my series highlighting my favorite vegan and cruelty-free beauty products and brands*

“Happiness is a good hair day.” (-Anonymous)

When we last talked about hair, I shared some of the products I use to cleanse and condition my locks. Today, it’s all about them styling products!

Story time: my hair used to be fairly straight until seventh grade-ish. That’s when I noticed it was kinda wavy, and as a middle school girl in the mid-2000s, that wasn’t cool. So I begged my mom to buy me a straightener so I could have pin-straight hair like the popular girls. Thus began my foray into styling my mane.

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Lovin’ these waves!

After awhile, I realized straightening my hair was a futile exercise, as over the years it became more and more wavy, and wouldn’t stay straight through a full day. I also got into curling it, but that was usually for special occasions. Mostly, I embraced my natural texture and left it wavy. But some days, those waves were a little wonky, so I needed something to make them look effortless and beachy. Enter: wave spray.

I’ve tried many wave sprays over the years but currently, I don’t use one. Instead, I rely on scrunching my hair with my hands post-shampoo for relaxed waves and if I want a deeper, more mermaid-like wave, I use my ceramic deep waver tool.

 

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Worth every penny for the gorgeous waves it gives me.

I had had one quite a few years ago but didn’t use it much and forgot about it. Then sometime last year, my mom bought me the TIGI Bed Head Wave Artist tourmaline ceramic deep waver, and I was hooked. This tool is hella awesome because it heats up in seconds and doesn’t take long to make the waves I’ve always dreamed of. I know there are probably higher quality wavers out there, but for 25 bucks, this does the job well.

Of course, when it comes to heat tools and colored hair, a protectant spray is definitely needed. The one I’m using currently found its way into my life in a weird way. It’s made by a company called Juice Organics, and while it is sold at Target, that’s not where I got mine from. It actually came as a free gift with a purchase I made from Thrive Market, which sells healthy groceries online (a subject for another blog post, perhaps!) and I was pleasantly surprised how well it works. I struggled to find a heat spray that was color-safe and vegan and actually works, and this fits the bill. I just spritz a little all over my hair before running the waver through it.

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So great for colored hair!

You know that I’m pretty relaxed when it comes to my hair care routine, so I’m always down for a product that allows me to extend the time between shampoos without making my hair a grease ball. That’s where Adorn’s hydrating hair oil + perfume comes in. I personally think Urban Outfitters’ beauty section is highly underrated, as they offer a ton of cruelty-free products for much less than Sephora or Ulta, plus things you won’t find anywhere else, like this spray/oil/perfume.

 

 

 

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Plus it’s millenial pink, so totally #ontrend.

Of course, it smells delicious. Otherwise, what’s the point? Fortunately, it’s not oily at all like the name sounds, just enough to add some life to dry ends and give your second (or third…or fourth…or fifth) day hair some oomph. The bottle is small-ish at just under 4 ounces, but a little goes a long way, and for $18, how can you say no?

Finally, my hair care regimen would be nothing without one of my favorite beauty products ever — HUM Nutrition Hair Sweet Hair gummy vegan vitamins. Yup, I said
“gummy vitamins” and “vegan” in the same sentence, because these are some of the only vegan-friendly gummy supplements out there. I am a child who refuses to take vitamins any other way, so when I saw these, I knew I had to have them. I’ve used them on and off for about a year and a half and they really do work. I experience less breakage when I consistently take these vitamins and I love that they’re packed with the B vitamins I need as a vegan. Plus the taste makes you want to eat more than 2 a day, if ya know what I mean.

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Delicious AND nutritious!

I know my styling routine is pretty *basic* (insert dramatic hair flip) but it works for me ’cause I love my hair (most days) and I don’t want to spend hours a day working on it. That time is better spent doing my makeup — jk, I have that down to a pretty quick 15 minute routine that I’ll be sharing with y’all soon!

What is one of your go-to styling products? Have you tried beauty gummies?

My Favorite Vegan & Cruelty-Free Products: Hair Care Part 1

Beauty

Hair Care

*This is part of my series highlighting my favorite vegan & cruelty-free beauty products and brands* 


“Invest in your hair, it is the crown you never take off.” (-Anonymous)

I haven’t had virgin hair since I was a preteen, when I began getting my (then) light brown hair highlighted. I was blonde for awhile in high school and college, then went dark brown just before I started my first job in 2014. A few months later, one of my new friends and I decided on a whim to color our own hair. I picked up a box of auburn hair dye, and the rest is history. I decided that red is my color, and I’ve mostly colored my hair myself since then, aside from having it colored professionally at Ulta once.

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Summer 2013. When I was hella blonde and thought I was cool wearing fake hipster glasses.

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Back to the dark side in March 2014. I miss those bangs tho.

Colored hair is more prone to damage from heat styling, UV exposure and even shampooing. Up until recently, I used to shampoo and condition my hair every other day because I was worried about greasiness. Now, I shampoo and condition twice a week at most, and my hair is so much healthier. I also credit the products I’m now using in my mane — specifically, the IGK line of hair care.

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New hair, who dis? November 2018 after getting my hair professionally colored.

I first fell in love with their Smoke & Mirrors conditioning cleansing oil. When I started washing my hair less often, I would use this in between washes to keep my hair looking clean. This stuff smells great and works as advertised.

Another winner — the Low Key cleansing walnut scalp scrub. I don’t know about you, but my scalp can get itchy and oily, especially after coloring my hair. This scrub purifies the scalp, washing away product buildup and keeping my scalp looking and feeling healthy. The sweet, minty smell is a nice bonus.

Of course, IGK makes some fabulous shampoos and conditioners. Though they come in small bottles (8 oz.), they last a long time if you wash your hair only once or twice a week. I currently use the Hot Girls shampoo and conditioner because my hair is in desperate need of hydration. They really nourish my dry ends and help my locks look good without needing to shampoo all the time.

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IGK Hot Girls shampoo & conditioner; IGK Direct Flight multi-tasking matcha dry shampoo

Sometimes, you just gotta use dry shampoo, especially when you wash your hair less frequently. Enter IGK’s Direct Flight multi-tasking matcha dry shampoo! I used to be a ride-or-die Living Proof dry shampoo girl, until I discovered this. This smells and works even better than my old fav. It doesn’t leave behind that annoying white residue like most other dry shampoos AND it’s safe for color-treated hair.

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So fresh and so clean clean. IGK Smoke & Mirrors conditioning cleansing oil and Low Key cleansing walnut scalp scrub.

I am dying to try their new Speechless dry oil finishing spray for hair & body, Rich Kid coconut oil gel, Down & Out dirty spray and their Trust Issues instant scalp rebalancing treatment.

IGK products are vegan, cruelty-free, contain no parabens or sulfates and are color safe.

I’ll be back soon with Part 2, focusing on my favorite vegan/cruelty-free styling products!

Do you have a holy grail dry shampoo? Have you ever tried IGK’s products?

My Favorite Vegan & Cruelty-Free Products (A NEW Series!)

Beauty

Cruelty Free Beauty

“The most beautiful makeup of a woman is passion. But cosmetics are easier to buy.” (-Yves Saint Laurent)

I’ve been vegan since 2012, eschewing animal products at a time when most of my peers (I was a sophomore in college then) were taking advantage of all-you-can-eat dining halls with endless (and often unhealthy) food options. I have always loved animals, but my motivations to go vegan were a little murkier than that. I really just wanted an excuse to restrict my diet without seeming like I was starving myself. I was (and am) a recovering anorexic, and thoughts of restriction have run through my mind for the past decade. That’s a topic for another post, however. I now consider myself a vegan for ethical, environmental and health reasons, not just to stay thin.

While I’ve eaten a plant-based diet for nearly 7 years, I haven’t always paid as close attention to the products I put on my body. I didn’t purposely go out and buy makeup owned by companies that tested on animals (I have never bought anything from MAC, ever), but I also didn’t really think to look at the ingredients of the products I was buying. I figured, if it came from Sephora or Ulta, it had to be high-quality. But it wasn’t necessarily cruelty-free.

At the beginning of 2018, I made a resolution to clean up my beauty routine. By that, I meant I was only going to buy products that are cruelty-free and vegan. Sounds simple, right? Not exactly. There are websites that have a full breakdown of brands that do not test on animals or use animal products but it can still be tricky to figure out which brands really conform to this.

Fortunately, I have found a handful of brands that not only offer vegan/cruelty-free products, but their stuff actually works well and I feel comfortable recommending it. Just to note, I am DEFINITELY not sponsored, these are my honest opinions. I hope this guide helps you navigate the growing landscape of vegan/cruelty-free beauty products. Stay tuned for full reviews of my favorite hair/skin care, makeup and beauty supplements!