Bathing Beauties: Soaps, Scrubs, and Body Butters

Bathing Beauties: Soaps, Scrubs, and Body Butters

A while back, someone on the CFF Facebook page asked about cruelty-free bar soaps, and there were some great suggestions. Although I’ve already written about bath products that are faves (bunches to explore in the Personal Care & Cosmetics category!), I decided to break away from my tried-and-true to check out some other products so I could share new finds with you… Kiss My Face I’m a big fan of many KMF products: always good quality, relatively inexpensive, and pretty easy to find at local stores and pharmacies. The olive-oil based bar soaps are no exception. The Olive Oil/Aloe is my favorite, but the unscented is a good one, too. LUSH Bubble Bars and Body Melts take soap to a whole new — and fun! — level. So many of my friends, vegan and non-vegan, are huge fans of this Australian-based company that’s taken the US by storm. If you’re lucky enough to have a store nearby, treat yourself to a browse. It’s kind of like a grownup’s candy store. Strawberry Hedgehog Thanks to my lovely friend Kezia for turning me onto this line of handmade soaps! I had to order mine online because my local Whole Foods is not one of the locations that carries them. Bar soaps include Lemongrass-Ginger, Ginger-Peach, Strawberry Basil Lemonade: I’m hardly opposed to using anything on my skin that sounds yummy. That said, some of the other less fruity bar soaps are equally enticing. Among the many choices, I added a Bamboo Detox bar to my online shopping cart. And to smooth on the body after a bath, try SH’s Organic Whipped Creme: a...
Hair & Makeup at Fabulous Stylez, L.A.

Hair & Makeup at Fabulous Stylez, L.A.

While I was in Los Angeles for The Genesis Awards, I needed to have my hair and makeup done for the event. I wanted to find a place near our hotel, The Beverly Hilton; I also wanted to ensure that whatever products the salon used would be cruelty-free. As many of you know, I’ve been a fan of Aveda products and salons for a long time, so an easy way for this out-of-towner to find a place for prettying up was by checking out the Aveda site. There were a few locations listed on the Aveda web site that were within just a few miles of the hotel. After a little extra searching on the internet for some customer reviews, I decided on Fabulous Stylez on Melrose Avenue in the West Hollywood neighborhood. First, Ashleigh did my hair in an up-do inspired by the hairstyle worn by actress Berenice Bejo at this year’s Academy Awards. (This proved particularly fitting, as I ended up hanging out with the canine star of The Artist, Uggie, later that evening.) After my hair was taken care of, Alexia worked some make-up magic. Thanks to both ladies at Fabulous Stylez for helping me get ready for a truly fabulous evening. Bonus tip! I’ve visited Aveda salons in several cities. If you find yourself in a town you don’t know very well and you need a hair cut, a touch up, or an up-do, Aveda is like an old friend you can always count on. NOTE: After posting this, one of our CFF Facebook friends pointed out that Aveda is owned by Estee Lauder, a company...
Feminine Products

Feminine Products

Ladies, there’s plenty to talk about when it comes to products we use on a monthly basis that end up in landfills and in our oceans. Let’s pause and just think about all those plastic tampon applicators we’ll go through in one year alone. Plastic wreaks havoc on the environment — taking up to 1,000 years to degrade — and it imperils marine life. In addition, if you’re a tampon girl like I am, let’s think about what we’re putting into our own bodies on a regular basis! If ever there was a product I wanted to be organic, chlorine-free, and dye-free, it’s the tampon I’m using. Organic cotton only, please! There are a few products to choose from — tampons and pads/liners that are available at Whole Foods and other natural markets: NatraCare Organic tampons and pads/liners. Personally, I like the pads with the wings. The tampons are without applicators… not my thing. Seventh Generation Organic cotton tampons and chlorine-free pads/liners. Tampons also without applicators. Azalea Brand launched by Whole Foods. Tampons have an organic cotton core, paperboard (recycle bin!) applicator. For those of you who are really adventurous… Glad Rags Washable pads. A little too earthy for me, but I know some people consider this the best option. The Diva Cup An alternative to the conventional tampon. Reusable cup made from silicone (latex-free) that you can use for up to ten years. I haven’t tried it; but, again, some of you may find the cup is the option that best suits you. *For other  favorite ways to reduce a household’s use of plastic, please check out my previous post:...
Vegan Beauty Market online

Vegan Beauty Market online

I’ve written in the past about vegan megastores that make it easy for anyone anywhere in the country to practice cruelty-free living. I’m excited to share with you today an online hub for skincare products and cosmetics, Vegan Beauty Market. This one-stop shop is like walking into a huge cosmetics department or a store like Sephora that’s home to multiple brands, with the added assurance that every single product for purchase is cruelty-free. Verifying that cosmetics and skincare products are, in fact, cruelty-free sometimes can be tricky business. Cosmetic companies often are fuzzy on the details when it comes to their animal testing policies. They also might be making “cruelty-free” claims that are misleading: they might be outsourcing any testing; or, they might be testing individual ingredients but not the product per se, and so they’re able to add the “not tested on animals” to their labels. For this reason, I’ll take any help I can get to ensure my purchase power is not supporting animal testing. It’s nice to have VBM bringing together the products that truly pass muster. Categories of products available: Face Body & Bath Hair Make-up Fragrance Kids Sun Gifts Free Samples! When it comes to skincare and cosmetics, I’m always on the lookout for new finds, but I always want to sample because I need to see how my skin is going to react. At a walk-in store, I’m drawn to the “tester” items, and I’ll accept any little packets of moisturizer, hand lotion, or shampoo that someone offers me (also great as a “travel-size” for the next overnight stay somewhere). Buying online from VBM, we...
Shopping with specials by Vegan Cuts

Shopping with specials by Vegan Cuts

For those of you who get super-excited whenever you find a deal (and who doesn’t?), Vegan Cuts offers weekly specials that make it fun and easy to shop vegan while staying within the budget. It’s the GroupOn for all of us trying to use products and services that are aligned with a cruelty-free lifestyle. Deals range from food products to cosmetics to fashion. To give you a better idea of the possibilities, here are some recent highlights: 52% off Nicobella Organic and fair Trade Truffles Assortment $12 for 10 PureFit Bars ($19.90 value) 43% off Vegan Cosmetics & Skin Care (by various companies including Aubrey Organics, Beauty Without Cruelty, Ecco Bella) 50% off gift card for Compassion Couture Vegan Cuts is a terrific way to find bargains, and it’s also a fun way to learn about and try new products. As we all know, trying out new products can be risky business; no one can love everything, and so sometimes it seems easier just to stick with what we know. But when you can get such great prices on products and services, even the most risk-averse among us are likely to re-discover their inner-adventurer. And keeping it fun — so that choosing cruelty-free is more about what we can have, rather than what we can’t have — is the surest way to make a cruelty-free lifestyle a lasting life-long commitment. Enjoy exploring alternatives with the help of Vegan Cuts, and  please let me know if you discover any new...
Taking some (tub) time for yourself

Taking some (tub) time for yourself

Right now I’m in the middle of law school exams, so I need to make the most of whatever time I can grab in between studying to help reduce stress and keep myself energized. Just fifteen or twenty minutes in one’s own bath tub can work wonders. Relax, restore, renew. But even for those not in school and facing finals, this time of year can be incredibly hectic and stressful. During the holiday season — after working, shopping, and then coming home and cooking — this little indulgence will go a long way to making sure we don’t look totally wiped out by the time we get to New Year’s Eve. Here are some of my current favorites for bath bliss. Add a few soy candles and some soothing music (maybe a glass of vegan-friendly wine, if you’re not taking exams). EO Bubble Bath (French Lavender) EO Bath Salts (Hinoki Ginger) Salt of the Earth Bath Salt by Bubble Genius Harmonizing Soak Tonic by SPAritual Bonus Tip! Mask-imize your relaxation by freshening up your face at the same time. While I’m soaking, I like to treat myself to an at-home facial. Alba Botanica makes some great ones that are the perfect inexpensive pick-me-up, and they’re available at so many stores — from Whole Foods to Walgreens. In the winter months, when my face needs extra nourishing, I use the Deep Sea Facial Mask (4 oz. tube is only $9.95); in summertime, I like the Papaya Enzyme Facial Mask....