5 Cruelty-Free Brands That You Have To Check Out

Cruelty Free Beauty

The Makeup Wars crew is back and this time we’re highlighting our favorite cruelty-free products. I have my own theories about what “cruelty-free” actually means but I’ll save my rant for another day. I do know that there are many of you cruelty-free lovers out there so I know that you guys and gals will love this post. And so without further ado, check out 5 of my favorite cruelty-free brands.

Tarte Cosmetics

It’s no surprise, is it? I love me some Tarte. From their skincare products, to their lippies and liners, everything that Tarte releases impresses me. And it’s not just the quality of the products either. The packaging of all of their beauty goodies ALWAYS rocks. The Tarte team clearly thinks about branding and they rock. If you like higher-end cosmetics with a “natural” spin to it, you’ve got to check out Tarte Cosmetics.

NYX Cosmetics

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Girl yes. I love me some NYX. Where else will you get affordable makeup, that is great quality and easy to find? And what other brand releases an entire collection of just mascara? Yeah. NYX will always have my heart.

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics

OCC Lip Tars

I’ve been rollin’ on the OCC train for quite some time. Saying I’m obsessed with them would be just a little too cheesy but it’s certainly accurate. This brand is not for the weak. If you love supporting semi-indie brands and aren’t afraid of color, mixin’ and being BOLD, OCC is the way to go. I can’t waiiiiiiit to stop by their booth at The Makeup Show Orlando later this month.

St. Ives

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I’m a total skincare snob but I am open to using any brand as long as they are low in fragrances, dyes and synthetic crap. And that’s why I love St. Ives. They have recently reformulated a lot of their products and they are even more amazing. Three words: Green Tea Scrub.

[NOTE: Welllll, it looks like St. Ives may not be cruelty-free anymore but to be safe, check out the brand Desert Essence. They are definitely cruelty-free and one of my favorite skincare brands!]

Salma Hayek NUANCE

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I love love looooove this CVS-exclusive brand. Their skincare products are pretty awesome but so are their cosmetics too. And it’s a brand that caters to brown girls so the pigmentation of their shadows, lippies and blushes are dead on. Woot!

Check out some of the other cruelty-free brands and products of my Makeup Wars girls.

Makeup Wars: My Top 3 Favorite Oils

This week my Makeup Wars sisters and I are talking about oils. Weeeee!!

Cosmetic oils

Oils are totally a fad and er’thing now but honey, when I was growing up, oils were staples. Just like the butters. Brands think they are being all innovative by dumping naturally extracted oils in their products  but I’ve been using these oils in their original origins for yearsssss. I hoard many because they all have their uses but my favorite are these three…

Coconut oil

Coconut oil

Yes, girl. Yes. Coconut oil is the TRUTH! I use it daily and on every part of my body. Coconut oil gets slathered all over after a shower. I use it in my hair. I use it to remove makeup. I put it on my baheh, I use it to lubricate the nips after pumping (TMI nothin’…if you’ve ever put your nip in a baby’s mouth or in a flange, you know how badly the nippies need to be soothed afterwards) and I use it to moisturize cuticles. And if I’m craving an omelette or green smoothie, I’m using a teaspoon of coocnut oil. We don’t use PAM cooking spray. We use coconut oil. And don’t even get me started on coconut milk. Basically, El Coconut needs to run for President so that I can be its Campaign Manager.

Maracuja Oil

I hadn’t heard of maracuja oil until Tarte released it. And then I fell in love. It’s far from cheap if you get it from them but it’s worth the investment because this is one oil that doesn’t feel…oily. It’s amazing! I can slather this stuff all over and don’t feel like I can slip and slide down the tile floors. Elle’s super dry skin loves maracuja oil. Her skin sucks it up and while it won’t leave an oily film, it still feels nice and moisturized. Tarte also sells a version of this in a roller ball dispenser.

Best idea ever because now I can oil up on the go!

Argan oil

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I first learned of argan oil when I was aimlessly scrolling on TV and got trapped by QVC. Josie Maran was talking about her argan-infused products and I made my first purchase and then fell in love. To be such a light oil, argan oil is powerful! A little goes a long way and like maracuja oil, it doesn’t leave me feeling greasy. I also really adore argan oil because it plays nicely when placed in other products. I’ve even mixed my BB cream with this stuff and it didn’t cause any problems.

 

Honorable Mentions:
-Jamaican black castor oil
-grapeseed oil
-olive oil
-sweet almond oil
-jojoba oil

Check out some of my Makeup Wars girls’ favorite oils.

Do you have a fave?

Rx for Brown Skin’s Purifying Moroccan Mineral Mask

I’m not gonna lie – I thought Rx for Brown Skin wasn’t around anymore. When I received this glorious mineral mask to review I was in all kinds of shock. But apparently, they are still around and kicking. I think I confused their not being in Sephora anymore with them just not existing.

Rx for brown skin

But naw…they are here and I am soooo here for them.

My skin is on the highest level of trips right now so I haven’t used this yet but I still wanted to feature this glorious mask. Ready Freddy?

Rx for brown skin Skin Purifying Moroccan Mineral Mask

I’ve done several reviews on this brand before and I just love the idea of having a skincare brand that caters to the needs of those with brown skin.

Rx for brown skin mask packaging

Rx for brown skin mask ingredients

Rx for brown skin packaging

And of course I love that it’s fragrance-free.

It’s not cheap though. This tiny jar retails for $40. But you know how I feel…I never put a cost on skincare. Yes, girl. I will invest a ton to keep my skin looking clear, healthy and radiant.

Rx for brown skin Skin Purifying Moroccan Mask

Rx for brown skin mask

Have you tried anything from Rx for Brown Skin lately? Or am I the only loser that didn’t know they were still around?

Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion is like…more dramatic

I remember when I first got into skincare. I was in 5th or 6th grade. My face was gettin’ all teenage acne-ish on me and I wanted to be  cool like my Mom and have like a REAL skin care routine. Mama Clumps trekked me on down to Governor Square Mall in Tallahassee, Florida and we made our way into Dillard’s and I got my first skin care consultation at a Clinique counter. And I left away with this baby…

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion

I had the entire 3-step skincare system but the golden lotion was my truest love. Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion holds a special place in heart because it was my first big girl moisturizer. How this stuff could get any better is beyond me. But the magicians at Clinique had some tricks up their sleeve and they have made this popular moisturizer even awesomer. Yah. Let’s pretend that awesomer is a word, mkay?

Clinique moisturizing lotion

Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion is now going to give us…

-All day hydration.
-Improvement in skin’s barrier strength in 8 weeks.

Clinique

Not HUGE improvements as I’ve always thought this lotion gave my skin a nice dose of hydration but hey, I trust ‘em. I’ll be honest though. It feels and looks the same to me. Which, I guess, is a good thing. There’s a reason why this lotion is a staple in many households.

Look for it at your nearest Clinique counter or at Clinique.com for $26 for a 4 oz bottle. Rock on, Clinique. Rock on. And keep making more of your amazing nail polishes. I looooove them.

Celebrate National Honeybee Day with these LUSH goodies

Hey honayyyyyyy. National Honeybee Day is this Saturday, August 17th and I am all over it. I’ve always had an affinity for bees. I think they just so wonderful for our ecosystem and the health benefits of honey just doesn’t end. I keep our home stocked with local honey and local raw honey. The second I feel like I’m coming down with a cold, I run to my beloved honey. LUSH is lovin’ on honey too. I was sent these products to review in honor of National Honeybee Day.

National Honeybee Day

They have a ton of goodies in their line that are honey-based. Like the Honey Bee Bath Bomb and the Fair Trade Honey Shampoo. Both are available online and at LUSH stores nationwide.

I’ve been taking more baths lately and now that my skin isn’t as wonky (thanks to giving up gluten), I can’t wait to give this Honey Bee bath bomb ($6.95) a whirl.

LUSH Honey Bee bath bomb

Aside from a few of ‘em being overly fragrant, I adore bath bombs. This one is toffee-scented and packed with Moroccan Rhassoul mud, aloe vera gel and soothing honey. Basically it’s heaven on Earth. Can’t wait to try!

And then there’s the Fair Trade Honey Shampoo ($9.95 – $29.95)

LUSH Fair Trade Honey shampoo

This preservative-free shampoo is moisturizing and is supposed to give hair a nice sheen. I can’t wait to try this either. I’ve been washing my hair daily these days (one of the many perks of shaving off my hair) and I could use the extra moisture. Plus this shampoo smells so so nice and doesn’t have an obviously strong smell.

Thanks for celebrating bees, LUSH! Of course you’ll be able to find these and more honey-inspired products at LUSH.com and LUSH stores nationwide.

Busting Beauty Myths + Giveaway!

Water

So girls (and the handful of guys that read this blog)…let’s talk about beauty myths, shall we? I could probably write a book on ‘em because there are just THAT many. The sad thing is, when it comes to skincare and my obsession with trying to have and KEEP clear skin, I’ll probably try anything. Except dab pee on my pimples.

Naw. I can’t get down with that. I don’t know if it’s a rumor within the family or not but my girl cousins have this running joke that Grandma has always had clear skin and her “liquid output” is the reason why. Everyone is too afraid to ask her. And to try it. I mean come on, dude. I’m comfortable with my body but I’ve gotta draw a line somewhere.

Check out my list of beauty myths…

Black don’t crack.
Yeah no. Everyone gets wrinkles.

Good skin is all genetic.
Not always. Good skin is also determined by lifestyle and diet.

Water is important for hydration but it won’t necessarily lead to healthier skin.
So not true. Our skin contains a good amount of water and hydrated skin is healthier skin.

Black girls don’t need sunscreen.
Yeah no. The sun don’t discriminate, mamacita. EVERYONE needs protection from the sun.

Going a day without washing your face never hurt anyone.
Pfft! Lies! I can’t be the only who has gone to sleep without washing their face only to have pimples greeting me the next morning. It’s good to get in the habit of always washing the face before bed.

Eucerin skincare
My favorite Eucerin skincare products for when my skin needs that extra hydration.

 

I could list a dozen more but I’d love to hear some of yours. Are you forever running into crazy beauty myths? How ’bout this…you tell me what they are and you could be entered to win the following:

· $125 Visa Gift Card
· Eucerin Daily Protection SPF 15 Moisturizing Body Lotion
· Eucerin Daily Protection SPF 30 Moisturizing Face Lotion

You could use that gift card to treat yourself to a massage, or take yourself out to eat or if you’re practical like me, you could use it to put some gas in your car. Ha! Press your luck by entering the Rafflecopter below. Remember, it takes a minute or two to get goin’ so be patient.

Good luuuuuck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

* Disclosure: I am a Eucerin ambassador and while I do not get paid to write these posts I did receive these products and a gift card as gifts.

Wrapping Up Summer With Eucerin

So we really know there is no “end of summer” when it comes to living in Florida. Like seriously. It’s so hot that even alligators are sneaking in peoples’ houses to stay cool. Ha ha. I’m kidding about that last part. My Eucerin ambassadorship is still truckin’ along and this time the cool kids at Eucerin have asked me to talk a little bit about hydration and how insanely important it is. Especially during these hot months.

CamelBak and Eucerin

In this month’s pack I got an awesome CamelBak bottle.

Purple CamelBak water bottle

Have y’all ever used these? I’m in love with them. I’ve purchased 2 of my own but I love everything about this one because it’s larger than my standard 22 oz bottle. Woot! I carry around a water bottle daily and the CamelBak rocks because it’s virtually indestructible and the straw makes for easy gulping.

CamelBak water bottle

It’s some kind of cool. And as always, I’m slathering my faithful Eucerin Daily Protection Moisturizer all over.

Eucerin Daily Protection SPF 15 Moisturizing Body Lotion

It’s my favorite daily moisturizer because it not only keeps the ash at bay but it also keeps me all protected with the SPF 15 dumped inside. This, y’all, is a necessity for everyone. And of course I especially love it because my eczema doesn’t go all crazy on me. This tend to happens when I’m wearing body moisturizers that have a ton of fragrances in them. Thank you, Eucerin. Thank you so much.

I hope you gals and guys are staying cool. Later this month I am going to be hosting a Eucerin giveaway so stay tuned to those details. In the meantime, stay hydrated and keep that gorgeous bod of yours protected with SPF!

* Disclosure: I am a Eucerin ambassador and while I do not get paid to write these posts I did receive these products and a gift card as gifts.

The Very Cool Schick Quattro TrimStyle razor

This sponsored post is brought to you by Glam! Remember that time I told you I’d be reviewing the Schick® Quattro for Women® TrimStyle®? Well, I’m baaaack. I’ve had my eyes on this razor for years and I can’t believe I’m just now reviewing it. I’m not going to be hitting the beach and pools as much as I’d like to this summer but that doesn’t mean I don’t have to keep the hair situation in tact. Y’all know I have no issue with hair on the body but let’s face it, rockin’ shorts, skirts and swimsuits looks a lot better when you don’t have grizzly-like hair crawling up your legs. Trust me on this. And so the Trimstyle is crazy useful. I had a quick trip to NYC a few weeks back  and what better time to test drive a new beauty product than when you’re traveling?

Schick razor

Things To Love About The Schick® Quattro for Women® TrimStyle® Razor:
-The trimStyle razor and bikini trimmer is a battery-powered vibrating trimmer.
-The handle is easy to control.
-Portable. Although it’s heavier than the average razor, it is still small enough to toss in a bag.
-Contoured rubber handle. It doesn’t seem like a big deal but the rubber handle gives great control.

Schick Quattro

Gorgeous handle, huh? My biggest issue with shaving is that a lot of the times the handles just won’t fit nicely in my hands. I don’t have that problem with this baby. The battery-powered vibrating trimmer just needs 1 AAA battery and it is housed nicely in the handle. You won’t have to worry about any water seeping in. I’m not sure if the vibrating makes much of a difference when shaving but hey, it’s a nice little feature to have.

Schick blade

Schick Quattro razor

Perfect for taking on trips and for keeping in the shower, I’m adding this razor to my list of awesome razors. I’ve already got a few other Schick razors on that list so this kid will be in great company. So yes, my loves…if you’re looking for a razor this summer, I’d definitely take a look at this one.

Quattro

Schick® Quattro for Women® TrimStyle® enables women to shave, trim and transform themselves with a simple flip of the handle. Getting your garden ready has never been this much fun thanks to the Prune for June Pinterest contest. Share your best summer style for a chance to win

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Schick® Quattro for Women® TrimStyle® via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Schick® Quattro for Women® TrimStyle®. amazing prizes.

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