Best Of July 2017 (Cruelty-free And Vegan)
There's a lot to cover this month, so grab a snack.
By: Amber x Dani
Hello. Our names are Amber and Dani, and we are misters. (Not dudes, we just love spraying our faces with infused water to keep hydrated.)
When you run out of your ride-or-die face mist and the brand is temporarily sold out so you take a risk and try and new one and you. fall. for. it. hard. Well, at least that’s exactly what will happen if you try Alexandra’s toner mist.
We don’t even know how we used to make it without a facial mist in the summer (or any time of the year, really). Of course, it’s not that our skin gets dry — the air is so humid, it’s a joke that’s not even funny. But there’s something our skin absolutely loves about being refreshed throughout the day, especially after being in the sun for a beat, when it’s hot and muggy out. It’s also ideal for NYC because the subways have the harshest air conditioning (like Siberia-grade AC) so after a thirty-minute commute, it’s the perfect thing to revive your skin and keep it from getting irritated.
We’ll admit — if you’re not a habitual facial mist user, you’re probably thinking that spraying your face with virtually water after you’ve already cleansed your face is just dumb. Well, it’s not just water. It’s has rose extract (which is amazing for toning), aloe extract (this draws in moisture and soothes), and one of our favorites, neroli (gives it a luxe citrus-y scent). So you’re basically spraying your face with the dew from rose petals…or at least that’s what we like to pretend we’re doing when we spray. Best part abut this mist is every ingredient is organic and it’s hand-blended in London. How posh, right?
It’s a perfectly versatile product to have on your topshelf. It can be used to prep your skin for makeup and lightly tone or to refresh throughout the day. We like to give a few sprays right before bed about thirty minutes after we’ve done my full nighttime routine. If spraying toner directly on your face isn’t your thing, you can just dampen a cotton pad and apply that way. If you have perpetually dry skin, investing in a great mist to layer under your moisturizer is a really good idea. And even if you have oily acne-prone skin like us, a mist is a great way to keep everything hydrated so your skin doesn’t dry out and start producing more oil than it needs to. Being proactive is the key to keep breakouts at bay, always.
Finding sunglasses that fit our faces, is such a struggle, especially online. And by fit we mean two things really: number one, we’re talking ergonomically, as in when we bend over they don’t fall off our faces. And two, they flatter our slightly different, but equally angular bone structures. These sunglasses fit us both perfectly and we’re obsessed with the round shape right now. Total Tumblr vibes, right? We love these frames, but we also really love this brand. Their awesomeness is next level. Besides designing super cool, eco-friendly sunglasses and readers that are all made from sustainable bamboo, wood and cork, and recycled plastics and metals, for every pair sold, they will help restore sight to a person in need. It feels so good when you buy something and you know it’s going towards a great cause.
And guess what? Thanks to the sweet people at Blue Planet, we have a discount code for you (because who shops online without a discount code anymore?). You can use GOCO20 to get 20% off your first order from their website.
Our eternal search to find the perfect leggings to work out and potentially peruse Whole Foods in came to an abrupt halt when we discovered a brand after our own hearts, Onzie. Let us backtrack. Buying American-made clothing recently became super important to us. For one, we’re supporting our own economy. Two, it’s a surefire way to ensure that our clothing has been made sweatshop-free. Everything it takes to make Onzie’s garments goes down in LA, yup, everything from the knitting and dyeing and cutting, to the photography, marketing, distribution and design.
Onzie is athleisure at its finest. Of all the pieces we’ve tried, our favorite is the mesh-perfect Half/Half Capri Pant. We’re the sheer-everything kinda girls (because, why not?), so these naturally appealed to us as we were scrolling their site. The mesh takes what would otherwise be a basic item to a whole other level. We also have the coordinating bra because we love a coordinate set every once in a while, but both pieces look amazing mixed and matched with other pieces.
These are the kind of leggings we’ll be like, “Wore these yesterday, but going somewhere different today, so…” Do you do that too with your favorite pieces? Drop a comment below if you do! But as flattering as these are, fit and comfort are the two most important components for finding leggings that work, right? These are beyond comfortable and aside from being cut perfectly, it’s what they call “free-flow fabric technology” that makes them a real winner. The worst is cute leggings that are cheap or flimsy. If there’s one thing you don’t want to re-buy every season, it’s leggings. We prefer a nice collection that we can keep on constant rotation. These feel like $200 leggings, but are actually a fraction of the cost. There’s also no droopy crotch issues with these and the waistband fits perfectly.
Unless it’s the dead of winter, we’re not fans of full-length leggings because we think they look weird with sneakers. We like for there to be a slight gap and these are the perfect length for me. The best part is how much the designers at Onzie pay to details. The hem of the pants (right before the mesh begins) is a curved hem. It’s so much more flattering and leg-extending than a blunt horizontal cut.
We’ve been really loving the texture of this balm so much more lately, probably because the heat has melted it slightly and made it glide on and sink into the lips so effortlessly. And the birthday cake scent is so good. Glossier can do no wrong. Always on the edge of our seats for any new releases. If you’ve never shopped at Glossier, just head to our rep page and you’ll get 20% off your first purchase. By the way, have you heard the news? Glossier is making international shipping happen! First up is Canada, so if you’re a GOCO Canadian, now’s your chance to get all the goods.
It’s no surprise that Maison Louis Marie has a rabid following. They do some of the most beautiful personal and home scents (this candle, though!). So many people seem to be obsessed with their number four scent, which we will admit, we were pretty tempted, we’re so glad we choose this one to try first. It’s genuinely one of the best perfumes we’ve ever owned. The bottle is to die for, so gorgeous, and the scent is multi-layered, but not overpowering at all. We’re much more into genderless fragrances than anything that leans too pink, which is why we tend to wear niche fragrances. Even though this is clearly a women’s fragrance – it’s incredibly sweet and flirty and very sexy – it doesn’t feel over-the-top femme.
Confession: we’ve never gone commando because, well, discharge. It’s inevitable (if you’re healthy) and don’t try to act like it doesn’t happen to you too. But enough vagina talk because we’ve found another more hygienic way to go commando: the Vermont-based brand (yay, made-in-USA!) that will make you desperately want to mention your unmentionables. We’ve been dying to try out pieces from their collection for a while now. Every since we saw a couple of their bodysuits on NAP we’ve been in love with their philosophy that shapewear, underwear, and leggings should feel like nothing. So when they said they were sending some goodies we were frantically checking our mailbox for the package every day. Okay, multiple times a day.
We immediately gravitated towards their seamless Ballet Body bodysuits because what can we say? Bodysuits are everything. We like the smooth lines they create and yeah, we also like when we’re getting dressed/undressed we can pretend to be the ballerinas we’ve always wanted to be.
Commando has a gorgeous selection of bodysuits (we. want. them. all!), but we’re in love with the mock neck one because there’s nothing chicer or more elegant than a high neck silhouette. Necklines are so iffy for us sometimes. We love the look of a v-neck, but can never find the right cut for our frame (we both have a cleavage-y 34B). We also like the simplicity and sometimes insouciance of a crew neck, but those never seem to work for us either. So it’s either a high neck like this sleeveless mock-neck bodysuit or no neck (you know, off-the-shoulder). We don’t usually go sleeveless either just because we’ve always been self-conscious about the discoloration under our arms (switching to natural deo has helped this, BTW), but we love this bodysuit for layering under a cool bomber jacket or sleek blazer. You can style this easy piece (that feels like a second skin) with a pencil or midi skirt or wide-legged trousers for a super sleek, professional look, with ripped boyfriends or skinnies on the weekend, or you can dress it up with a floor-skimming a-line maxi skirt. It’s one of the most versatile pieces you can add to your wardrobe, and nothing is more crucial than versatility when curating a fully functional wardrobe. The thong part? One of the best features because nothing is worse than wearing a bodycon skirt or a nice pair of pants with a bodysuit and seeing VPL. How gauche.
Oh, and if you’re still buying granny panties from Rite Aid, then you should definitely snag a few of their panties. Tried these too and it literally feels like you’ve…gone commando. It’s brilliant actually.
Is there anything more convenient than a reversible bikini? We really don’t know.
This one is our favorites from the collection, which is so predictable, we know. And we have no defense; we like what we like and there’s just something about a classic black string bikini that calls our names. The coolest part is that the entire beachwear collection features original art licensed from Haitian artists Ras Kimy and Pizaro, and Frantz Zephirin. Yanvalou Designs also works with the Ethical Fashion Initiative, a flagship program of the International Trade Centre, a joint agency of the United Nations and World Trade Organization.
By now you know we’ve completely given up purchasing leather and have fully committed to a 100% cruelty-free closet. It was one of the hardest things to do because growing up, wearing genuine leather designer shoes and handbags was the ultimate status symbol (and goal). Even though there are brands who claim to use “ethical” leather in their collections, we think it’s complete bullshit. A full rant on that is here. The issue comes in the meager selection of stylish footwear sans animal products. Most of it is cheap, poorly-constructed crap from fast fashion brands, high-end and unaffordable like Stella McCartney, or pure hideousness from brands who only consider ethics and not aesthetics.
Summertime is decently simple. We just wear espadrilles since they’re usually made from canvas, rope, and rubber. We also love denim and satin versions. But F/W is the hard part. We’d been desperately searching for cruelty-free shoes that we could add to our collection for this coming fall when we stumbled upon Ahimsa, a made-in-Brazil cruelty-free brand that had the perfect combat boots for the last quarter of the year. Their Women’s Work Boot is definitely a fall boot, but we’ve worn them on rainy days and they’re perfect. The vegan leather doesn’t look weird or pleather-y. It’s pretty nice, and even better, the shoe is super durable, which was a big fear of ours when we gave up leather: not being able to find shoes that will last.
Ahimsa currently has the only 100% vegan shoe factory in the world, which is quite sad, but we certainly hope other designers follow in their footsteps. We’re going to be wearing these to death in a few months.
Okay, we’re not even finished this novel yet, but we had to add it. It’s a super short 208 pages, but everything is so beautiful we just keep rereading every line, every fragment over and over and over again. This is the kind of book we’d love to see win the Pulitzer, not only because it’s beautifully written and unique, but because most of the literary fiction winners of this award are hard to read, hard to understand and written either pretentiously or just meh, like don’t get it. This book isn’t like that. It’s gripping from the start and yeah, it’s “gay fiction,” but everyone can relate to the emotional drama. Besides, what’s hotter than reading about two men having sex all over an expensive European city?
Yes, there’s sex! A lot of it and usually that’s just eye-roll worthy, but Garth Greenwell writes about sex in a way that no author we’ve ever read has managed to do. It’s the farthest thing from 50 Shades you’ll ever get. We have a hunch that a lot of the emotions and even scenes were drawn from his own experiences because it feels so real. Obsessed with this novel so far.
Sharing time, guys! Leave a comment below with some of your favorites for the month. Anything we need to try? Also, if you have any questions about any of the products, just drop them in the comments section below and we’ll get right back to you as always.
P.S. You can be the first to know about our giveaway and get other cool shit sent straight to your inbox by joining our squad. Sign up here!
**FTC: this post is not sponsored and no compensation was received, however some products were sent to us. Opinions are our own, of course.**