Best Of March 2017 (Cruelty-free and Vegan)

This is the best time of the month, right?

By: Amber x Dani

~ Dani ~

1. Gressa Skin Purifying Mist

Two words. Bulgarian rose. Yup, that’s the only ingredient in this mist, so it’s completely pure. And it’s so obvious when you spritz it on your face. Super refreshing and clean. Love, love, love this mist, however I do wish the spritzer was slightly more of an even spray. But that’s okay, right now we just spray a little on a cotton pad and spread it over our faces like a normal toner. It’s worth it. Really, really like this toner.

2. Gressa Skin Purifying Cleanser

For anyone switching over or trying a plant-based cleanser for the first time, this one makes the transition completely painless. It’s creamy (not thin or watery), and the neroli notes are fragrant as you massage it into your skin, which is almost therapeutic. It truly cleanses your skin in a satisfying and healthy way. It’s like the Levi’s of cleansers…classic and always reliable.

3. BUTTERelixir Body Oil

Besides the Ellis Brooklyn Excellent Body Milk that I’m obsessed with, I’ve recently been exclusively moisturizing my body with oils. I love it. I find that oils keep my skin hydrated longer – at the end of the day my legs are still supple and smooth, which is saying a lot considering the weather we’ve been having in New York. The BUTTERelixir oil … I’m not particularly a lavender girl, but I will say the scent of this oil is relaxing and so nice before bed.

4. Message Candles

First off, I just love the idea of of being able to put a message on a candle. I always say if you want to surprise me with a gift, just get a candle. It’s probably one of the only things that you could get me that I’m going to actually enjoy…especially if it’s from Message Candles. Perfume is great, but it’s a bit more personal than a home scent. I’ve been burning it since I got it and I will say the most impressive thing about these candles is that they don’t smoke! If you are a frequent candle burner you know the struggle of having your fire alarm go off because of your candle. Not to mention the smoke-stained walls. They also come in crystal glass holders, and are made with a completely non-toxic wax. So no GMOs, pesticides, herbicides, paraffins, or palm oil. Oh, and can we have a moment for the super cool packaging?

5. Inkling Scents

We love supporting indie businesses. Especially when they’re all about what we’re all about. Ditto that when they’re started by sisters who are partners and friends just like us. So, not news, but finding cruelty-free fragrance is way harder than it should be. Knew we had to check out Inkling Scents when we found out that all their perfumes and colognes are made 100% with fragrance and essential oils. That means no drying, sometimes irritating (if you have sensitive skin) alcohol. Perfume is something that goes directly on your skin so you don’t want it to contain weird, toxic crap.

Something to know: because the scents are formulated in a more healthy way than traditional perfumes, when you first put it on you don’t get that blast of fragrance. But it did last way longer. It’s a trade off, but I personally value longevity so Inkling wins. If you love the ease of a rollerball, definitely check out their selection. If you prefer to spritz, they have these cool edgy flasks that actually make a nice decor statement too. My favorite scent was Tigress, so good. 

6. Hyaluroil Lip Treatment

Lately, I’ve become such a lip balm person, which, if you know me, is pretty shocking since I used to only use lipgloss to top up during the day. And even though this isn’t a balm, it still fits in the vain of actually conditioning your lips rather than only dressing them. My favorite part about this lip treatment is that it dispenses through a glass rollerball and when you apply it to your lips, it feels so soothing and relaxing. Especially if its a little cool. You’re supposed to use it sparing, every once in a while when your lips are feeling extra dry or chapped, buutt I’ve been using it several times a day (are you surprised? You guys know I love anything with hyaluronic acid and vitamin E in it). I’m addicted. I have to stop though, or else its going to be gone in another two weeks!


~ Amber ~

1. Beauty Pie

The natural skeptics we are, we thought there was a catch when we read about BeautyPie, the emerging cosmetics company that let’s you buy luxury cosmetics at factory prices? Meaning $5 foundation, $2 lipsticks, under $8 smoky eyeshadow palette?? First of all, that’s cheaper than drugstore prices and these are high-end products, the kind that would normally be found behind the counter at Barney’s, Bergdorf’s, Saks, you get it.

So here’s the deal: all you need is a monthly subscription, which comes at the low price of $10. Cool, right? With either your 3, 6, or 12-month subscription, you have an allowance of $100 each month (tallied at full retail price) so everyone has a chance to get their hands on the goods, got to be fair, guys. But don’t fret. Remember, everything is under ten bucks. So at minimum, you can get 3-6 bomb new additions to your makeup collection every month. Whatever you don’t use from your allowance rolls over. Oh, and BTW, if you’re not a member you can still get some of their gorgeous products…but 10x the price.

(Psst: here’s the shortcut to join Beauty Pie.)

2. Ny’ala Skincare Hydration Spray NO. 1

Plant-based skincare is probably not what you’re thinking it is. Don’t roll your eyes. I see you. It’s really just about using real ingredients, no chemicals and no fillers. Nature knows what it’s doing. You don’t have to exclusively use plant-based products, especially if you have acne-prone skin, but you can definitely take your skin to the next level by incorporating a few into your regimen. When Dana told us about her versatile line of sustainable luxury skincare, we knew we had to try a few things.

CONFESSION: I’m a chronic mister. I like to mist everything. My face, my body, my hair, my clothes, my sheets, my room, you get the picture. So of course, I fell for her hydrating mist. My favorite way to use it is when using clay masks. I usually let them sit for 15-20 minutes and refresh it every few so that all the ingredients are activated throughout the entire time.

If you are a lover of aromatherapy, or just really love the scent of lavender, you’re going to love this one. Dana’s products are also handcrafted in NYC, so especially if you live in the area, you should show your support.

3. ‘What Do Women Want’ by Daniel Bergner 

So, I’m a woman and I’m not afraid to admit it: I don’t really know what I want. Do you? I picked up this book (you know, downloaded it) because I was intrigued what a male had to say about what we want.

Turns out, it’s full of scientific research done by lots of women to find out what women truly desire. My favorite section is about monogamy. It confirms what I strongly believe, women are no better at monogamy than men and the whole women are built for a long-term committed relationship because (they’re emotionally attuned) thing is bullshit. Turns out, the female libido hates monogamy and this whole fallacy that this “inchoate idea that monogamy girds against social chaos and collapse” started with Christianity making Eve out to be the root of all evil. Basically, people were so scared of the strength of women’s desire and our libidos that it was embedded in society that a woman who’s sexually expressive, you know, bites the forbidden apple, is a whore, slut, you know how it goes, when it’s our nature to reject monogamy.

Oh, and yeah, I’m still massively confused as to ‘what we want’. But this book is definitely enlightening. Science has never been more fun.

4. ThirdLove

Two things. It’s as hard to find a bra that is pretty and comfortable as it is to find a guy who won’t send you D pics after spending your lunch break with him at a juice bar, amiright? Other thing is, it’s hard to tell if you really love a bra after just hastily trying in on in a dressing room, right? You need to test-drive it for at least a week to see if it works. Well, ThirdLove’s got the game all figured out. In a nutshell, it goes like this: you peruse their collection online, place your order, try your bra for 30 days (!), and are charged on the 30th day. If you don’t love it, you have that 30-day window to send it back and you won’t be charged. Cool, right?

The reason I appreciate ThirdLove as a brand is because no one is really doing what they’re doing. Flexible nylon-coated, nickel-free wires. Foam-padded closure with tagless label. Memory foam push up cups that form to your body so there’s no VBL (visible bra line). I mean, do you know another company that’s going through so much to make their bras comfortable and gorgeous?

My favorite is their 24/7 Lace-Balconette Bra, which Yes, I do happen to actually wear 24/7 (only exception is when I’m working out) because I’m one of those (rare?) types who just loves eating, sleeping, working, pooping in a pretty bra. Why this style? One, I have a strong penchant for anything lace. Two, if it weren’t for the necessity of the nude bra, I’d have a drawer filled of all black everything. Three, the demi-cup is super flattering on my slender boobs (they have a Breast Shape Dictionary — go, find out what your shape is before you start judging). It’s supportive without being too much and it’s so French. I also adore the gold hardware. Makes it look super high-end.

5. Kristen Leo’s YouTube Channel

You know we’ve totally given up fast fashion (yup, even Zara got the deuces thrown) and now we’re working on rebuilding our wardrobe with high-quality, ethically-made clothing. Well, whenever we need a little boost of intelligence, we head to her channel and watch her latest video. Kristin Leo is all about living a conscious lifestyle from curating a wardrobe exclusively filled with ethical fashion to veganism. She also a lover if travel and makes some gorgeous vlogs that you can watch on her channel.

One of our favorite recent videos of hers is “H&M x Lies,” where she goes in about how the fast fashion retailer is grossly misleading customers into thinking the brand is dedicated to making sustainable fashion — less than 15% of their garments uses sustainable fabrics, which they reportedly churn out more than 600 million (!) pieces a year. You do the math. (With a calculator, guts, it’s not school). “The Richest Criminal In The World” is also such an important video to watch. She exposes how Armando Ortega (you know, the $70B+ owner of Zara) has managed to dominate the fast fashion industry.


Sharing time, guys! Leave a comment below with some of your favorites for the month. Anything we need to try? Read any good books and have a recommendation?

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