10 Vegan+Cruelty-free Bronzers for Brown & Black Ladies

Bronzers are an amazing product. You can use them as a blush, a contouring powder, a highlighter, or even as eyeshadow. However, some bronzers on the market are not designed for Women (and Men) of Color. These bronzers tend to be too light causing an ashy appearance on darker skintones. 

These bronzers listed below are for darker-skinned beauties looking for a fresh look this Spring and Summer. 

* = VEGAN-FRIENDLY

Bronzers

  1. Wet n’ Wild Color Icon Bronzer SPF 15 in Bikini Contest ($4)
  2. Colourpop Bronzer Bronze Me ($8) *
  3. Milani Baked Bronzer in Dolce ($9)
  4. Shea Moisture Illuminating Mineral Bronzer ($15)
  5. W3LL People Bio Bronzer ($22)
  6. Lily Lolo Bronzer in Honolulu ($26) *
  7. Urban Decay Beached Bronzer in Bronzed ($28) *
  8. TARTE Amazonian Clay Matte Waterproof Bronzer in Hotel Heiress ($30) *
  9. Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil Bronzer ($30) *
  10. 100% Pure Cocoa Pigment Bronzer Cocoa Glow ($35) *
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Ultimate Cruelty-free and Vegan Mascara Guide

Hello lovelies! I hope everyone is enjoying their holidays with family and friends; eating great food and creating new memories. With that said, as the new year is approaching, it is time to educate you all on mascara. Now, mascaras are a great way to create definition, volume, and length without the use of faux lashes. But not all wands are created equal. 

I have created a handy guide to help you pick the right mascara for the occasion. 

*= Vegan-friendly

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Curling Mascaras

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Lengthening Mascaras

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Volume Mascaras

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Waterproof Mascaras

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Does-it-all Mascaras

Skincare for EVERY Age: A Vegan and Cruelty-free Guide to your changing Routine

Some people are born lucky. These people can use the same skincare products from their teenage years all the way until their 70’s and beyond. My mom is one of these lucky people. She has been using the same Clinique products as long as I can remember and still looks amazing.

However, while this works for her, the products I use my teenage years don’t and can’t match my skin now in my 20s. I once had oily, acne-prone skin, now I am leaning more towards combination with occasional breakouts. My once favorite skincare products are just too harsh. But thankfully, with the rise of women and men creating and purchasing skincare products, there are items out there to address all kinds of skin concerns.

Below are just some of the various skincare products available for all ages!   

*= VEGAN-FRIENDLY

Skincare Routine 20s (1)

While in your 20s, your hormones should be calming down from your awkward puberty days. However, now what is left are dark spots and an oily, persist T-zone. To help combat these problems look for products that are meant to ease the occasional breakouts and fade those dark spots. 

Skincare Routine 30s (1)

They say, “30s is the new 20s.” But with that said, your skin maybe telling a different story. Dryness will start creeping up on you. Stop dryness by finding hydrating moisturizers and soothing scrubs to buff away dead, dull skin. 

Skincar Routine 40s (2)

Aging is a blessing. But there is no shame in keeping wrinkles and age spots away. In your 40s, your skin is losing collagen, a protein that keeps your skin’s elasticity tight. While this is just part of nature, a healthy diet and a strong skincare routine may slow the process.

Skincare 50s+ (1)

When it comes to aging, it is but a number. Starting a good routine in your 20s, 30s, and 40s, will greatly help your skin when you are in your 50s and beyond. The main concern now is just keeping your skin smooth and fading away wrinkles. Look for products designed for mature skintypes or have BHA/AHA ingredients to regenerate your skin.  

8 Cruelty-free + Vegan Highlighters for Darker Ladies (and Gentlemen!)

Since Fall is around the corner, ditch the bronzer and whip out the highlighters for a sparkly change. Just remember! Gold and bronzy highlighters look best on darker skintones but you are more than welcome to try all shades~HAPPY SHOPPING!

*= VEGAN-FRIENDLY

Highlighters (2)

  1. Dose of Color Baked Highlighter in Sunkissed $28.00 (Powder)
  2. COVER FX Enhance Click in Rose Gold $18.00 (Cream) *
  3. Milani Illuiminating Face Powder in Hermosa Rose $9.99 (Powder) *
  4. NYX Bright Idea Illuminating Stick in Topaz Tan $8.00 (Cream)
  5. 100% Pure All Over Glow in Deeply Sunkissed $35.00 (Liquid) *
  6. Colourpop Highlighter in Candyman $8.00 (Powder) *
  7. COVER FX Custom Enhancer Drops in Candlelight $42.00 (Liquid) *
  8. Plain Jane Beauty Bronze it! Mosaic in Coppers & Robbers $16.50 (Powder)

4 Best Vegan + Cruelty-Free Cleansing Facial Oils

There seems to be a little debate whether washing your face with oils are the best thing for you, especially if you have oily skin. Obviously, rubbing ‘bad oils’ such as pure mineral oil wouldn’t do the trick however ‘good oils’ such as Jojoba, Flaxseed, or Coconut oil can help your skin stay soft and healthy. I use oil cleansers to wash away stubborn makeup at night and I enjoy the feeling of super soft and bright skin. 

Cleansing Oils

  1. Desert Essence Creamy Oil Cleanser $14.99 *
    • This luxurious, pure oil-based cleanser helps keep skin clean and perfectly balanced. Perfect for all skin types, it’s infused with Organic Coconut, Evening Primrose, Argan and Jojoba Oils to cleanse makeup and impurities without stripping skin of moisture. Antioxidants and Omega-6 Fatty Acids provide deep nourishment, helping to preserve skin’s natural moisture barrier.
  2. W.S Badger Argan Face Cleansing Oil $19.99
    • If you were the queen of an ancient civilization, you would have used this amazing blend to cleanse your beautiful skin.  Inspired by thousands of years of skin care tradition, our Argan Face Cleansing Oil deeply cleanses all skin types. Castor oil lifts impurities while Argan, Sunflower, and Jojoba replenish essential vitamins, fatty acids, and lipids. Clears away makeup and impurities—leaving your skin feeling clean, balanced, and glowing! Clinically tested non-comedogenic.
  3. Shea Moisture Sensitive Skin Facial Cleansing Oil $9.99
    • This natural cleansing oil gently yet thoroughly melts away make-up, dirt and impurities without leaving an oily residue. Enriched with skin-nourishing certified organic Shea Butter and our proprietary complex of Alpine, Damask and Musk Rose Oils, it transforms into a creamy, soft emulsion when blended with water. Sensitive skin is left softer, smoother and refreshed.
  4. 100% Pure Organic Flaxseed Cleansing Oil $35.00 *
    • This moisturizing cleanser restores, softens and soothes while gently removing makeup and other impurities. Flax Seed Oil is rich with Omega 3, 6 and 9 essential fatty acids, B vitamins and zinc which are highly beneficial for all skin types, even gentle enough for skin that is sensitive or affected with eczema or psoriasis. Detoxing herbs and essential oil further purify.

Top 10 Vegan + Cruelty-free Acids in Skincare

Don’t let the article title scare you! Acids are a great way to restart your skin. Whether it is to fade dark spots, diminish wrinkles, or even moisturize dry skin, acids are a good option to add to your skin routine.

With that said, if you have extreme skin issues, please consult a dermatologist to discuss acid options before trying them at home.

*= VEGAN-FRIENDLY

Acids in Skincare Part 1

Acids Skincare part 2

  1. Acetic Acid S. W. Basics Toner $22.00
    1. Found in vinegar, acetic acids are not meant to be placed directly onto skin because of its high acidity. However, acetic acids are great at removing excess oil and fading hyper-pigmentation when diluted correctly. 
  2. Citric Acid 100% Pure Brightening Serum $45.00 *
    • Similar to acetic acids, citric acids are potent. Deriving from citrus fruits (lemons, oranges, grapefruits,etc.) it isn’t the best idea to rub raw fruit onto your face, especially if you have sensitive skin. But under the right conditions, citric acids can brighten dull skin by slowly exfoliating dead skin cells; a good alternative to harsh skin lighteners. 
  3. Glycolic Acid Reviva Labs Glycolic Acid $12.00
    • One of the most common AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acid), glycolic acid acts as an exfoliator. Made from sugar cane, glycolic acids are great  in treating acne-prone skin, fading age spots, and even diminishing fine lines. Do not be alarmed if you see percentages on the packages. If working with these acids, start off with a lower percentage before moving up to a higher one to make sure your skin reactions well to the product.
  4. Hyaluronic Acid Earth Science Maximum Hydration Hyaluronic Acid Serum $20.00 *
    • Fun fact: not all acids are meant to exfoliate! Hyaluronic acids occurs naturally within our skin. But with age, environmental factors, or just plain genetics, our skin can lack moisture leading to lackluster, dry skin. With the help of hyaluronic acid, you can add moisture back to your skin for more of a youthful texture. 
  5. Lactic Acid Ren Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask $55.00
    • For our vegan brothers and sisters out there: lactic acid doesn’t always mean milk! Lactic Acid can occur within fruit and vegetables too! Said to be more gentle than glycolic acid, lactic acid can do all the benefits of a exfoliator and calming cleanser.  
  6. Kojic Acid- DeVita Skin Brightening Serum $28.95 *
    • Obtained from mushrooms found primarily in Japan, Kojic acids are found to lighten hyperpigmentation. Not as harsh as chemical-filled products or hydroquinone creams, Kojic Acid are still consisted a skin lightener so make sure to put on sunscreen whenever outside! 
  7. Malic Acid- Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel Full Strength $45.00
    • If apples are your favorite fruit, here is another reason why to love this beloved fruit. Malic acid, commonly found in apples, cherries, and peaches, is another great exfoliator with skin-penetrating properties. While some of the other acids on this lists are not the best for sensitive skintypes, malic acids are gentle enough for weekly usage. 
  8. Retinol Acid- Mad Hippie Vitamin A Serum $32.99 *
    • Derivative of vitamin A, retinol acid are most used for more mature skin where Retinol Acids are made to diminish wrinkles, bolster skin’s thickness and elasticity, slow the breakdown of collagen, and lighten hyperpigmentation caused by prolong sun exposure. 
  9. Salicylic Acid- Natural Acne Solutions Maximum Strength Spot Treatment Cream $13.00
    • If you have acne-prone, oily skin, you have probably have seen this word before on any wash, cream, or moisturizer you have bought. As a BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acid), Salicylic Acid is known as a keratolytic agents also. By this, these acids slow down or strip the skin of dead cells to keep the skin smooth and healed. While most people have used Salicylic Acid to treat acne, it is also known to help psoriasis, ichthyoses, dandruff, corns, calluses, and warts on the hands or feet. 
  10. Tartaric Acid- Dr. Dennis Gross Clinical Concentrate Radiance Booster $68.00 *
    • I have never heard of this acid but hailing from grapes, Tartaric Acids are found in many body and skincare products. Classified as a AHA, Tartaric Acids are very similar with other AHAs.  Try this acid if you have had issues with other products to treat those struggle skin problems. 

 

 

 

Eye Spy: TOP 5 Vegan & Cruelty-Free Eye Creams

We live in a fast-paced, stressful world. We stare at screens for hours and sometimes do not get well-deserved sleep every night. While at the moment it does not seem like a big deal, the lack of sleep and poor diet can show up in the forms of dark circles and underbags. You can definitely reduce these issues but applying eye creams once or twice a day–even if you feel like these problems are written in your genes.

Most eye creams are designed to target all of the following:

  • Puffiness
  • Dullness/ Tired Eyes
  • Dark Circles
  • Fine Lines/Wrinkles
  • Underbags

So no matter your age, including a simple eye cream into your skin routine isn’t a bad idea. I have found some of the best eye creams out there–listing from budget-friendly to splurging.

Eye Spy_ Top 5 Vegan Eye Creams

1. Affalia Everyday Coconut Replenishing Eye Cream $8.99

Ideal for all skin types, this eye cream has coconut to hydrate dry skin without feeling heavy for oily skin types.

2. Acure Eye Cream Chlorella + Edelweiss Stem Cell $16.99 VEGAN.

For more mature eyes, Acure has created an eye cream that tackles those crow’s-feet and fine lines. Made with Edelweiss flowers, this product can do wonders! For more information about this plant: Click HERE.

3. Nourish Organics Renewing + Cooling Eye Treatment Cream $19.99 VEGAN.

Meant for Normal to Dry Skin types, this cream will renew, restore, and cool tired and dull undereyes.

4. Athara Moroccan Coffee Eye Cream™ $24.95 VEGAN.

Quoted from their site, the mix of Coffee Seed Oil and Green Tea is meant to provide anti-inflammatory benefits and reduce dark circles and puffiness.

5. 100% Pure Organic Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream $25.00 VEGAN.

By far the most popular on the market, 100% Pure is organic and gentle to fix those undereye bags and dark circles for all skin types! Just google before and after photos–a picture can say a thousand words!

National Novel Writing Month Day 4: Oil Blotting Paper

I love oil blotting paper! I wear makeup every day–but sadly, I suffer from oily/combination skin. If I did not use oil blotting tissues, I will look like a wet mess!

Thank goodness some of my favorite cruelty-free brands have these miracle-making tissues!

Oil Blotting Paper

  1. NYX Tea Tree Oil Blotting Paper ($6.00/100 sheets) is made from green tea powder and pulp to remove excess oil without distrubing your makeup. NYX has three other tissues to choose from (Green Tea, Matte, and Fresh Face).
  2. Mineral Fusion Shine-Free Blotting Tissues ($7.99/100 sheets) are made from 50% Abaca leaf and 50% soft wood pulp. Abaca leaf is considered a natural fiber that is not only fine so it wouldn’t remove your makeup but also strong so you can remove more oil.
  3. 100% Pure Anti Bacterial Wood Pulp Oil Blotting Paper ($8.00/50 sheets) is made from wood pulp & hemp oil. Hemp oil has been shown to help all kinds of skin issues. Therefore, these tissues are safe for all skin types.
  4. Tatcha PETAL FRESH Original Aburatorigami ($12.00/30 sheets) is made from Abaca leaf and gold flakes. Listed as fragrance-free and powder-free.
  5. Jane Iredale Facial Blotting Paper ($11.00/100 sheets) is interestly made from organic flax seeds, which keeps your skin super soft.

Day 2: Tinted Moisturizers/ BB/ CC/ DD Creams

Day 2 of this challenge! Today, we are going to tackle the tricky business of this ever growing beauty market by looking at the differences between tinted moisturizers, BB, CC, and (now) DD creams!

Tinted Moisturizers

100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20

100Pure_TintedMoisturizer

 What is it?

As in the product name, a tinted moisturizer is a cream or lotion that has a skintone matching tint to them. Adding hydration and color all in one simple product!

 Who is it for?

Tinted moisturizers are designed to be more lightweight than a liquid foundation. Though some tinted moisturizers can be buildable, most have a light to medium coverage. So anyone with extreme discoloration or dark spots might find a tinted moisturizer to be too light in coverage. With that said, this also applies to oily skin individuals. The dewy finish on most tints might make you appear oilier (unless you apply a matte setting powder). Normal to dry skin types will love tinted moisturizers though! 100% Pure’s Fruit Pigmented Tinted Moisturizer ($42.00) quotes:

Moisturizing formula colored from fruit and vegetable pigments for a flawless complexion. Organic white tea, acai oil, pomegranate oil, vitamins and antioxidants deliver necessary, skin beneficial nutrients for the most healthy skin.

BB Cream

Jane Iredale Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream SPF 25

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What is it?

BB creams or Beauty Balms/Blemish Balms were first developed in Germany to find a single product that can moisturize, conceal, prime, treat and protect all in one go. However, when the product came to countries such as South Korea and Japan, BB creams exploded! The trend finally made its way to the US where it has become an essential skincare product.

Who is it for?

BB creams are for those are blessed with good skin who need to even out their skin tone and have sun protection. Because BB creams are slightly heavier than tinted moisturizers but lighter than foundation, it is a great product for those who want to look as natural as possible but still feel as if they aren’t completely naked!

With that said, normal to oily skin types can use BB creams with no problem!

Jane Iredale’s BB cream ($48.00)claims to minimizes pores and help disguise fine lines and wrinkles while smoothing and brightening the skin. This product is vegan and gluten-free.

CC Cream

Cover FX CC Cream Time Released Tinted Treatment SPF 30 

cc_cream_neutral_x_deep

What is it?

Branching off BB creams, CC Creams or Color Correcting creams are meant to correct redness, dark spots, discolorations, and sallowness. PLUS! Doing the job of moisturizing, priming, treating and protecting the skin.

Who is it for?

Individuals who experience redness, discoloration, dark spots, acne scars, or any other skin issue might like to try a CC Cream. CC creams are still lighter than a foundation, but are a tad bit heavier than a BB cream (to conceal the problem areas more). Don’t worry! You will have the feeling of naturalism without feeling cakey. This is great for oily to combination skin types.

I always talk about COVER FX but their products are lovely and vegan! Their CC Cream ($45.00) does not contain gluten, mineral oil, fragrance, parabens or talc; the five most common ingredients that can cause inflammatory reactions in the skin. Their CC Cream also mentions:

Retinoid-like ingredients deliver antiaging benefits without irritation or sun sensitivity while pH reactive, time-release complex provides optimum anti-aging benefits that work on and below the surface of the skin to visibly lift, and firm and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. This oil-free, licorice root extract infused formula helps clarify and brighten skin tone.

DD Cream

DermaDoctor DD Cream Defining BB Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 30

dd_ddcream

What is it?

I honestly do not know about DD creams until a few weeks ago! I was starting to understand BB and CC creams until out of nowhere DD creams popped up. There are so new, there are few DD creams out there but the ones that are available should be worth the try. Marketed as Double-Duty or Diminish & Disguise creams, DD creams are next level in skincare.

Who is it for?

DD Creams are the heaviest on this list. Just like their cousins, BB & CC Creams, DD cream are meant to do-it-all in one product. However, the twist to DD creams is the target group: individuals who have mature skin. Hence diminish (wrinkles) & disguise (fine lines/age spots, sun damage). DermaDoctor’s DD cream Defining BB Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 30 ($38.00) has 15 benefits all in ONE PRODUCT. Some disadvantages to this DD cream are: it is not vegan and it comes only in one shade to match all skin tones. Cruelty-free. Paraben-Free.

I wonder when the next alphabet cream will be released!

Continue reading “Day 2: Tinted Moisturizers/ BB/ CC/ DD Creams”

Say No to Hydroquinone: How to Safely Remove Dark Spots

Hydroquinone is a common skin lightening agent. When used correctly, under a doctor’s care, hydroquinone can help individuals with extreme discoloration or dark spots achieve even skin tone. However, this technique is usually used on patients with lighter skin. When used on darker, deeper skin, hydroquinone can cause ochronosis, a bluish-black discoloration WORSE than the discoloration previously.  So instead of buying products with this ingredient, there are safer options to remove those lingering dark spots! Remember– be constant with applying these products and wear sunscreen daily to help with the fading process. It will take time; be patient!

Dark Spots Removal

Here are the Top 5 dark spot removals on the market:

1. 100% Pure Dark Spot Remover $38.00

2. Burt’s Bee Brightening Dark Spot Corrector $20.00

3. NOW Solutions Dark Spot Serum $15.99

4. Reviva Labs, Lighten & Brighten, Dark Spot Serum $19.00

5. Shea Moisture Spot Correcting Serum with Songyi Mushroom $14.99 Continue reading “Say No to Hydroquinone: How to Safely Remove Dark Spots”