Best Of November 2017 (Cruelty-free And Vegan)
We have some new holy grails!
By: Amber x Dani
Ever since we decided to exclusively shop from 100% cruelty-free beauty and cosmetics brands, it’s been a serious challenge to find any lip colors that we actually love to wear. We’re still on the hunt for our perfect my-lips-but-better shade, which was formerly MAC’s Touch (BTW, if you know a shade from a cruelty-free brand, pretty please share in the comments below!)
“Mauve Brown/Cool Crème” was our first foray in Gabriel Cosmetics and we have to say it only do we really enjoy this lip shade, but it’s made us super curious to try more lip products from the range. Love that these lipsticks are vegan and the quality is really great.
One thing we look for in lipsticks (well, pretty much everything) is versatility. This formula is great because you can either lay it on thick for a deeper, bolder look or if you’re a little more shy when it comes to statement lips, you can sheer it out (which is how we love wearing it) and it still looks great, not undone like some formulations tend too. The color is completely buildable and it lasts pretty well too. The finish is close to a luster, so not totally matte, but not shiny either. It’s very natural-looking on the lips.
We’re always down for trying a new scent as we haven’t Exactly found *our* scent yet. You know, that scent that you’re supposed to discover around age thirty and wear on repeat for the rest of your life? The one that people start to mindlessly associate with you so that ass soon as you strut into a room, they know you’ve arrived? Yeah, not much luck in that department, but we’re getting warmer.
Agonist is a Swedish niche brand that we’ve tried two scents from and judging by the two, they aren’t playing. All the scents in the collection are unisex and play dangerously on the edges of femme and butch, so any of them make a great gift to give to a couple or to share with your S.O.
Honestly, we tried “White Lies” because of the cheeky name, but the scent is equally magnetic. It’s meant to be as very seductive scent and we can conquer. This has notes of jasmine, patchouli, vanilla and raspberry, but our favorite if the touch of citrus: lemon. It’s subtle, but changes it from a really deep dramatic scent to one that’s lighter but not too light, sweeter without being girly and makes you smelling like you’re not taking it too seriously. Considering the three-figures price point, this is definitely a higher end fragrance, but it’s also not really a scent you’d wear daily. It’s one of those for nights out…or in.
Ah, the packaging on this beauty! It’s simple minimalistic black and white vessel is the perfect addition to your coffee table or shelving unit or night stand. And true, it’s a candle that is meant to be burned, but why not make amazing swoon-worthy decor while serving its purpose. Okay, switching gears from aesthetics to olfactory beauty.
We’ve burned a ton of premium candles, but never have we experienced what smells like burning perfume. Literally. Like this made us realized there’s actually a profound difference between a “scented” candle and what ROADS deems a “perfumed” candle. While this burned, we were constantly wishing this wax was one of those kinds that you can smooth on your skin or hair once it burns because it smells that’s good. The fragrance is very bold and in your face so if you tend to go for more subtle fragrances, this isn’t the scent or perhaps line for you. But we absolutely love how boldly and quickly it fills the entire apartment unapologetically. Another element we love is that the vegetable and mineral wax is completely vegan.
Danielle Ryan, the owner of ROADS, specifically worked with fine perfumers to understand the difference between a fragrance mixing with someone’s skin and diffusing through heat. In other words, she didn’t just pour some of her scents into wax and call it a line of luxury candles. Honestly, you can definitely tell she didn’t take any shortcuts. “Keep Kissing” is a stunning blend of tuberose, jasmine, iris, peony, vetiver and musk. The combination of the base, heart and top notes is nothing short of exquisite.
We’ve been in the moisturizing with fast-absorbing facial oils mode lately because not only have we decided to minimize our routine because of some stubborn recent breakouts, we love how powerful oils can be. But sometimes layering a nice cream under or over (which is better?), you know?
The oils in our collection are all extremely dense with botanicals, nutrients and antioxidants. So if we do go for the cream step, it’s got to be up to par. We demand that every product in our routine be workhorses. No shoe ponies allowed on our top shelf.Patyka has been a brand that we’ve quietly coveted for a while. It started with the stunning white minimal packaging and grew with all the buzz that kept swirling around. You might remember that we tried (and seriously loved) the body scrub and it instantly made our favorites list this spring. That left us desperate to get our hands on some of their facial care products.
Turns out the Tea Tree Face Cream is a winner. It has a creamy but not thick or heavy consistency. Tea tree oil, which is nature’s form of benzoyl peroxide, naturally has a very pungent, sort of minty fragrance, but it’s not overpowering in this cream and quite pleasant. This cream is perfect for rebalancing your skin as well as clarifying it, so if you have acne-prone or combination skin, it’s worth investing in. Once you apply, it definitely feels like your skin is absorbing it up versus just sitting on top of the outermost area. Love that. Patyka seems to nail their packaging on every product and love that this cream is crowned with a pump. You get just the right mount you need with one pump and you don’t have to dig around in a jar.
We’re still waiting for the debate on whether you can guy great skin to come to a conclusion with a clear verdict. In the meantime we’re going to continue to try great brands who make great promises…and deliver. We were already impressed with Andalou Naturals when we red that they’re the first Non-GMO Project Verified beauty brand, but were even more impressed when we tried a bunch of products from their Clear Skin collection, which is super affordable as skincare goes.
We’re drawn to any product with “clarity” in its name and since we’re obsessed with asking…yeah, this one was a no-brainer. These four-bucks-a-pop masks come individually packaged. You peel open the lid and spread the creamy mask over your entire face. The great thing is we always have leftover so will get two masks out of one pod.
We’re all for clay-based makes and even though the ready-made masks are allegedly less potent than the powder versions, the latter gets super messy and when traveling or after a super long day grinding, ain’t nobody got time for them. This clarity mask contains french blue clay as well as argan oil. So as much as the french clay works to unclog pores, the argan oils works to keep your skin nourished and you don’t get that tight, dried-out feeling some clay masks leave you with once you wash your face.
Let’s talk packaging first. Minimalism at its finest. We love the simple glass bottle and silver top, also the white print. Now, when it comes to scent, let’s point out the most important things first. These fragrances have absolutely NO parabens, sulfates, phthalates, or phosphates and every perfume is totally vegan.
Onto the actual notes. Their Rosie scent is a blend of red rose, moroccan rose, nude musk and a touch of vanilla. This scent sits so well with our body chemistry. It’s light, floral, but still fresh, and not overwhelming. We get so many compliments every time we wear it. Bonus is that the price is very affordable, but honestly if it were double the price, we’d still purchase more. Dying to try their Tilly scent.
Lately, we’ve been going hard on body scrubs. This one we particularly love because of how abrasive it is. It really does exfoliate dead skin and makes your skin feel incredibly smooth afterwards. It’s made of fair trade sugar, shea butter and a blend of herbs and clay, including some of our favorite favorite ingredients: coconut oil, rosehip, chamomile, calendula, witch hazel bark and vitamin E. We also really enjoy the scent – an earthy and reviving mix of lavender and rosemary. The fact that this scrub is only ten dollars makes us very happy. Definitely going to repurchase. Seriously, get this scrub and you won’t be disappointed.
This scrub is heavily oil-based which we love because after you rinse, it leaves a layer of moisture behind – a mix of grape seed, sweet almond, and vanilla oils – so you don’t even have to apply lotion after you towel off. Perfect for right after you shave. And, oh my gosh, our skin is the softest it’s ever been thanks to this little jar of goodness.
Over the past year, using clean, nontoxic household products has become just as important (if not more important) as using clean beauty products. Ever since we dipped our toes into the proverbial pond of green cleaning we just can’t phantom going back to cleaning our table (that we eat on), washing our dishes, or doing our laundry with harsh, chemical-laden products that smell offensive and…just horrible. Even typical air fresheners has disappeared from our cabinets.
We’ve tried a few different brands that offer nontoxic cleaning supplies and Common Good & Co. is at the top of the list for highest performing products. An added bonus is that their products smell absolutely amazing, nothing like traditional cleaning products if that’s what you’re used to.
We really love every product we’ve tried, but our favorite product is their linen water. The Lavender scent is perfect for bedding and towels. We love that you can add it to the wash or attach the spray nozzle to the (gorgeous glass) bottle and use it as a refresher for things like the carpet, curtains or couches.
Ever since trying out Estrella’s Blanco toothpaste, black toothpaste has become an obsession of ours. The powder form is fine, but it’s a bit too messy for us so we love that this whitening toothpaste comes in a beautifully packaged, neat tube. Of course, the toothpaste is vegan and cruelty-free, but it’s also gluten, fluoride, triclosan, sls and peroxide free. What this formula does have is coconut and tea tree oils to remove plaque build-up and promote healthy oral care overall. If you’ve never tried a black toothpaste, this one is a great one to start with because you get the black bristled brush and toothpaste in one set, so its not complicated at all.
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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**FTC: this post is not sponsored and no compensation was received, however some products were sent to us. Opinions are our own, of course.**