• Ten on Tuesday

    Ten on Tuesday: 6/18/13

    1. I am now officially on vacation! Wheeeeeeeee!

    2. I have discovered vegan cream cheese. Bagels, how I missed you.

    3. Hello, gorgeous.

    4. Why do magazine companies send you the renewal notices so darn early? I’m getting renewal notices for a magazine that doesn’t expire for another whole year. A YEAR, you guys. I’m pretty sure I’ll have ample opportunities to renew it before it expires.

    5. So just in time for my birthday, the temperature decided to dip again, which is okay on the one hand and crappy on the other since it means no ritual birthday swimming trip. Maybe we can still go hiking?

    6. Hair turbans are a lazy girl’s best friend. I’m just saying.

    7. Speaking of hair–a big congrats to the wonderful bubbly lady who cuts my hair–she is quitting her job at the Ulta salon to open her own salon! It’s always awesome to hear of other people’s successes. I think when you share in another person’s happiness it makes your own life seem a little happier, too.

    8. Is it just me, or did the t-shirt wall at Hot Topic used to have much cooler t-shirts for sale? There are hardly any of the cool rock bands I listen to, but they do carry Justin Bieber and One Direction t-shirts. In the men’s section. Let me repeat that for emphasis, THEY ARE CARRYING ONE DIRECTION T-SHIRTS IN THE MEN’S SECTION. I’m not trying to stomp all over anyone’s personal taste but I was hoping for something more like the Dropkick Murphys or AC/DC. What the hell, Hot Topic.

    9. On the other hand, I found a slew of cool handmade shoulder bags at the local record store, and they have a cat prowling around inside now for belly rubs. I think we can see a clear winner emerging here.

    10. And here’s your promised song of the week. I love the long twist in the video too. We finally bought the album and it’s slowly growing on me.

  • Beauty,  vegetarian

    Product review: Burt’s Bees Pink Grapefruit Lip Balm

    I normally prefer vegan lip balms, but when I was out, chapped and desperate, I picked up this Burt’s Bees balm, figuring it was at least better than buying something laden down with nasty chemicals.

    The product: Burt’s Bees Pink Grapefruit Lip Balm, $4 at drugstores

    The claim: 100% natural lip balm to hydrate and soothe. Free of petrochemicals and Leaping Bunny certified.

    I tried it: Right off the bat, I have to say that I love just about anything citrus scented and I loved the fragrance of this product. I also love anything pink, natch. From there, it’s kind of downhill. For starters, I didn’t feel like this product was terribly moisturizing. I have very dry lips to begin with but I don’t think I should have to constantly reapply a lip balm in order to stay moisturized.

    I’m also not thrilled with the ingredients list. Yes, it’s mostly natural, but two ingredients stand out to me: limonene, which is an allergen and toxin (listed 6 out of 10 on Skin Deep’s hazardous chart), and lanolin, which is derived from sheep fat. Honestly I just think that’s kind of gross, and I don’t want it in my beauty products, especially when there are so many vegan lip balms out there that work so much better!

    (Edited: it was pointed out to me that I misphrased the bit about lanolin. While it’s referred to as “sheep fat”, it’s the sheep’s sebum, which collects in their wool and is collected after shearing. So, not a fat from a dead animal–but for vegans who wish to avoid the wool industry, which tends not to treat animals very well, it’s still a no-go. (And even if the animals are not harmed, I would still personally rather avoid having an animal’s secretions on my lips. Yuck.) Sorry if that bit caused any confusion!)

    I have mixed feelings about Burt’s. On the one hand, it’s great that they’re giving consumers without ready access to natural and vegetarian beauty products a mass-market alternative. On the other hand, I feel like they’re not as “green” or as “kind” as they might be marketed, and it also bugs me that most people don’t realize they’re owned by Clorox, which is decidedly not green or animal-friendly. On a totally personal and opinionated note, I also feel like their products are a poor cross-section of the green/vegetarian beauty community, since many of them are a little more expensive and not quite as effective as other brands out there (Nature’s Gate, Giovanni, etc.)–so consumers might use them and say “meh, I don’t know what’s so great about this stuff!” before returning to their other brands. I hope that doesn’t offend any Burt’s Bees lovers out there–if the products work for you, great! They’re just not my first pick.

    My verdict: I was good enough to get me through until I could go to the health food store for a different lip balm, but I would not recommend or repurchase this product.

  • Beauty,  cruelty-free,  product review,  summer,  vegan

    Product review: Beautisol Tea Tan Glow

    Disclosure: This product was sent for consideration by iFabbo and Beautisol. However I was not compensated in any way for writing a positive review and as always all opinions are my own.

    Another tanning product for you on the blog! Hey, just because I don’t mind being pale doesn’t mean that I don’t like testing out self-tanning products. This one is a little different though–rather than a gradual sunless tanner, it’s an instant body bronzer that washes off with soap and water, so there’s no wait time and no commitment. Gimmicky or cool?

    The product: Beautisol Tea Tan Glow Wash-Off Body Bronzer; $25/4-fl.oz. through the Beautisol website. Use the promo code “ifabboglow” to get 20% off!

    The claim: (From the Beautisol website) “Instant tan in a bottle – with no major commitment! Gives an immediate bronzing effect with tea coloring so you look tan and gorgeous instantly! Helps hide skin imperfections and enhance your natural coloring, moisturizes & nourishes the skin with anti-aging properties, and washes off easily with soap and water. Think of this as your “one night tan”!” Beautisol products are cruelty-free and vegan, and free of parabens, propylene glycol, and sodium laureth/laurel sulfates.

    I tried it: You know those Pinterest how-tos and beauty website tip sheets on the little beauty cheats models use to look fabulous in a hurry? One of the items that always makes the cut is Photoshop leg makeup, or an instant body bronzer similar to this one. The idea is that if legs look a bit pale or have flaws, an instant bronzing lotion or spray gives them a light glow and helps to mask the little bruises, scars, veins and other imperfections.

    I will admit that while I have no problem with my paleness, sometimes my legs make me cringe. Because I am a klutz and can be kind of careless, I’ve managed to wind up with a few choice bruises and little veins showing on my legs, and they’re more noticeable when I’m glowing like a moonflower. So I was curious to see what exactly this famous model-worthy item would do for my skin.

    Like the Beautisol tanning mousse that I reviewed earlier this week, the Tea Tan Glow comes in a pump bottle with a soft cloth mitt for application and a guide card with application tips. The mousse is dark but thins out and absorbs quickly into the skin. As with the self-tanner, I recommend working in small sections and otherwise following any steps you would take when using a self-tanning product so you get even coverage.

    One coat of the mousse dries quickly and imparts a very subtle glow. On my pale skin it’s less like a “tan”, really, and more like a nice healthy boost to my coloring that makes me look less like the book-obssessed hermit that I am. Here’s a comparison of my legs with and without the Tea Tan Glow. I think it looks slightly darker in person. (These pictures were taken a couple of weeks ago, before I tested out the Beautisol self-tanning mousse, so this is how pale my skin is naturally.)

    (Eek, sock lines!)

    This makes me think of the “Kate Middle-tan” that was so popular a year or two ago. It’s not really a true “tan” per se, it just makes you look vibrant and glowy and healthy and princess-in-waiting-y. If you really want to enhance your legs, you can use a bit of highlighter down the center of each leg to enhance the beautifying effect. It’s a nice way to make your legs look better in five minutes flat if you suddenly realize your legs are radioactive white and you don’t have time to apply a self-tanner and let it kick in.

    Beautisol advises against wearing light clothing while using this product to avoid staining, and obviously you have to avoid water. I didn’t feel like this product left my skin feeling particularly tacky or icky as you might expect. And true to the claim on the bottle, it washes right off with soap and water, no muss, no fuss.

    My verdict: While I couldn’t see using this all over my body on a regular basis–it’s a bit expensive for me, and a little too much fuss, in my lazy opinion)–I will definitely use this on my legs when I want to throw on a short skirt in a hurry and feel like my legs are glowing a bit too white and bright. Thank you Beautisol for another lovely tanning product that doesn’t turn me orange!

    Want more Beautisol? Find them on Twitter (@beautisol) or Facebook!

    Disclosure: This product was sent for consideration by iFabbo and Beautisol. However I was not compensated in any way for writing a positive review and as always all opinions are my own.
  • Beauty,  blogs,  Fashion

    Blog posts I loved this week! 6/13/13

    So it’s more like “blog posts I loved over the past two weeks”–I haven’t been much for blogging or blog reading this week. But here are a few gems for you to check out:

    Dancing Branflakes shared a vegan lasagna recipe that has my stomach growling. I’m always looking for ways to incorporate more vegetables into my daily meal plan and this looks like a darn tasty way to do it.

    Beauty Redefined by Pang has swatches of the Milani Naturally Chic Shadow Eyez eye shadow pencils and I want them all!

    On a more serious beat: several bloggers have shared this post from Lehmann Laughter about being kind to others, but I think it’s worth sharing again. Seriously, take a few minutes to go read it. The beauty reviews and OOTDs will still be here when you get back. Adventures With My Enemy Melanoma also has a good post about assumptions and Blair’s Headband has a good quote from Aristotle.

    I love the way Wendy’s Lookbook paired this feminine dress and sandals with the more masculine utility jacket, so much so that I copied the look this weekend (but sadly, forgot to take pictures). And speaking of beautiful outfits, take a moment to drool with me over Beauty Passionista‘s gorgeous OOTD featuring a luxe sari, amazing jewelry, and YSL heels!

    I already mentioned this on Facebook, but if you didn’t catch it, Sifa’s Corner has a great tutorial on contouring and highlighting the face to enhance or create more defined bone structure.

    Ana Goes Green is thinking of starting up a #greenbloggers Twitter chat, so if that’s something you’d be interested in or you have any suggestions, drop by and let her know! And thanks to The Serena Saga, I’m now a member of The Hunt–if you’ve ever scrolled through Pinterest and thought “I need to find that!”, this site will help you do it.

    Ready to wrap up? First you need to go enter these awesome giveaways: a NYX Parallel Worlds makeup box from Hello Miss Niki and a Zoya Stunning or Irresistible Collection from The Polish Hideout!

  • bath products,  Beauty,  product review,  travel

    Product review: Perlier 8-piece Mini Set

    Disclosure: This product was sent for consideration by iFabbo and Perlier. However I was not compensated in any way for writing a positive review and as always all opinions are my own.

    I’m a huge bath and body junkie–I always love trying out new shower gels and lotions. So when iFabbo offered up this 8-piece set of travel-size shower gels and lotions from Italian brand Perlier, I jumped at the chance to try a new brand. Read on for my thoughts on the four different scents!

    The product: Perlier 8-piece Mini Set, $19.95; available through HSN. Use the promo code “ifabbo5” to save $5 off your Perlier purchase!

    The claim: Moisture-rich scented products leave skin silky-soft. Made with natural ingredients like olive oil and organic honey. Not tested on animals.

    I tried it: I went through these scents multiple times to get a good impression of them, and my most surprising find was that the shower gels and lotions smelled a bit different from each other–that is to say, one might be too strong and the other just right. So I’ll go through the shower gels first, and the lotions separately.

    The full eight piece set comes in a clear zippered TSA-style bag (not pictured). I plan to reuse this during travel, as it’s just the perfect size for toting beauty essentials. The shower gels come in 1.6-oz. tubes and have a nice middling consistency, neither too thick nor too runny. These would be awesome for tucking in a travel tote. I kind of wish the lids had a flip top rather than screwing on, but that’s a minor gripe; I just think it would have been easier to handle in the shower.

    The shower gels have fairly mild scents. The White Almond turned out to be my least favorite; this scent just reminds me of hotel showers, for some reason! The Olivarium smells mildly of olive oil, but not so much as to be overpowering. The Honey is mild and calming, while the Shea Butter & Citrus was probably my favorite; I have a soft spot for citrus bath products and this one doesn’t have that artificial orange smell of some bath gels.

    Now, on to the lotions. The 1-oz. tubes don’t offer much if you’re going on vacation for multiple days but I would say there is enough product to cover the body at least 2-3 times. The consistency is fairly thin, with the White Almond a bit more like a hand lotion and the Shea Butter & Citrus akin to a hand cream. These also have a screw-on cap which makes it easier to squeeze out the last drops of lotion.

    The White Almond was again a miss, not for formula’s sake but only because I’ve never been a huge fan of this particular scent. The Olivarium, surprisingly, was a huge miss; the scent was far too strong, especially compared to the shower gel. It was actually difficult for me to finish the tube, tiny as it was! The Honey was nice, but my favorite was the Shea Butter & Citrus, which was rich enough to use as a hand cream/cuticle cream. I used this on my legs while testing out a round of tanning products to ensure my skin stayed soft and hydrated.

    My verdict: Overall, I think the concept is cool, the fragrances just weren’t quite my cup of tea. For myself, I’m not sure I would repurchase the full size of these products, as they are a bit on the expensive side and are not as natural as they seem to appear–the bath gels do contain sulfates, which I prefer to avoid. As a gift set, this would be nice for someone whose fragrance preferences you just don’t know–with four to choose from, you’ve got better odds of finding a winner!

    Disclosure: This product was sent for consideration by iFabbo and Perlier. However I was not compensated in any way for writing a positive review and as always all opinions are my own.