1.30.2015

December Vegan Cuts Beauty Box Review

This will be my last Vegan Cuts Beauty Box. I like both the Petit Vour and Vegan Cuts Beauty Boxes but realistically I only "need" one box so I had a make a decision. ($35 on sample size makeup each month is a little ridiculous.) I tend to like the colors I get in the Petit Vour boxes, use more of the stuff they send and it's the smaller and cheaper box (while I'm drowning in so many sample sizes from getting two boxes for so long) so - Petit Vour was the winner.

Therefore I'm am very melodramatically announcing that this is my last review of a Vegan Cuts Beauty Box.

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Becca & Mars Lavender Love Mask & Scrub: This wasn't even listed on the inventory card included in the box so I'm guessing it was an extra, like the nail file. It, like most scrubs these days, comes as a powder that you combine with water. How much, you ask? I have no idea! There are no instructions so I had to find their Etsy store to get directions and to figure out what was in the scrub. Not to be outdone by scrubs that instruct you to combine them with a liquid as pedestrian as water, this scrub suggests liquids such as milk, yogurt, carrot juice, olive oil, honey...oh wait, water too. So, I used...water. Anyway, I tried it and it was so abrasive that I actually checked to make sure it wasn't a just body scrub. (It's a scrub and mask so it will still be abrasive when trying to get it off your face.) Will use as a body scrub. 

Bellapierre Cosmetics Copper Brown Polish: Not my favorite polish color; it "read" as metallic black once on. I ended up putting a coat of silver glitter over it to look less goth. The quality of the polish was pretty decent though - it went on well and lasted a decent amount of time though, in this color's case, I kind of wish it hadn't. Would buy other colors by the same brand. You can see the color on me in this post: here.

Delizioso Cream Blush in Outrageous:  I'm not sure if the color is named Outrageous and it's just the only color so far or if the Cream Blush is branded as "Outrageous" (and, also, only one color is available). Seriously, these are things I ask myself ?  Anyway, it's bright pink in the pot. It looks really pigmented when you first apply (think Brett Michaels in Poison) but it blends well. It's a respectable pink blush color and I'm happy to use it. I enjoy creme blush and I am still using the last of my Urban Decay cream blush in Score (which I'd stockpiled before they were bought out by a company that tests on animals). I'd like other color choices in the long run but this is do-able. It has a similar consistency to some whipped moisturizers in the pot.

21 Drops - Essential Oil Blend #18 Sleep: When I get essential oils in beauty boxes I'm dubious. I feel like I have very little use for essential oils. I know I'm crunchy but, come on. There's a limit to my woo woo-ness. I especially hate oils that request you do not apply them to your skin. If I'm getting a beauty box, I expect everything in it to be safe to put upon my person in its designated area. I don't want stuff I have to dab on my pillowcase. So, two things in this oil's favor: 1) apply directly to the skin, 2) it actually made me sleepy. Good job, #18. I don't know if I've fallen victim tot he power of suggestion but my boyfriend has found this vial in our bed because I've fallen asleep with it clutched in my grubby little paws. Others received #09 Focus -- and if #18 Sleep works so well, part of me is infatuated with how productive I could be if I bought #09 Focus? I will let you know if (when?) I spend the $30 on essential oils for productivity.

I cannot withhold this customer review because it's too good (yes, it's in all caps and misspells "concentrate"). This is what I'm missing out on.

I AM A GOLFER AND THE FOCUS BLEND HAS, WITHOUT A DOUBT, IMPROVED BY SCORE BY HELPING ME TO BETTER CONCENRATE ON ALL ASPECTS OF MY GAME! I KEEP IT IN MY GOLF BAG AND INHALE WHEN I NEED AN EXTRA BOOST OF FOCUS.

North Coast Organics All Natural Spray Lotion: I have used NCO's Death by Lavender deodorant and liked the product so I was happy to try another of NCO's products. What is spray lotion, you ask? This seems to be an oil-based lotion (it separates in the vial), that is dispensed by a pump. It feels like an oil vs a highly absorb-able hand lotion. Nice lavender smell, if you like that thing. However, too oily for me to be interested in! Sorry, NCO! 

Vegan Cuts Nail File: It's always nice to have an extra nail file around.

Overview: Liked the cream blush, liked the essential oils. No thanks on the polish color (but the brand is decent) and the spray lotion. 

1.28.2015

December Petit Vour Beauty Box Review

Here's my review of the December Petit Vour Beauty Box. I know, I'm really tardy. I buy the box myself so no one is currying favor with me by giving me freebies. Also, December was the deadline for me to pick which beauty box I'd keep subscribing to -- Petit Vour or Vegan Cuts. I had been getting both for a while and I just don't need that many tiny bottles. It's overload. I ended up keeping my subscription to Petit Vour -- so, this very box. Why? I liked the products (and color choices) better more consistently -- and it's cheaper. I also like the design better, although that wasn't a deal-breaker. There were a lot of things I liked in the Vegan Cuts boxes, too, but I had to make a choice.

Despite all that text, I swear it only took me about 5 minutes to decide. I'm aware it wasn't like, deciding which of two children gets to live or something.


Dec pv beauty box

Meow Meow Tweet Lavender Deodorant Cream: I am a big fan of Schmidt's and Soapwalla for all my natural deodorant needs so that's the bar I use for any new contenders. (For full disclosure, I follow up all natural deodorant with baby powder because they are not antiperspirants, so I never use them solo.) This cream is way softer than either of those and works well...but not quite as well as Schmitd's or Soapwalla so I don't see a reason to switch but I'm happy to have tried it since I heard so many people recommend it.

Trust Fund Nail Polish in Just Talk to My Lawyer: This was a deep dark red with a more metallic look - yes, it included sparkles but not like glitter. Microsparkles. I thought the application and wear on this one was pretty great. I appreciate red variations so I'm happy to have this color but it reads pretty dark - people thought I was wearing black metallic at times. Would definitely buy this polish brand again.

Everyday Minerals Power Blush in All Smiles: I usually use cream/creme blush but I have used powder bronzer so I understand how to apply colored powder to my face. But because this is loose powder, I feel like I have a little less control with how I apply it to the brush before I apply it to my face, which means it's a little less consistent than I'd like. Help? Other than that, I like the color - I think it works on me and it seems like it would be pretty versatile.

Blissoma Peace Evening Calming Creme: I have to say that when I looked at this I was not that excited. It's yellowish in the bottle and it has a strong hippie-ish smell. But I found that I actually really liked it. I can't say that I actually saw any noticable difference in my skin but it just felt better. In fact, I looked up how much it costs and uh, I'll probably just use this bottle sparingly. I like it but I don't know if I $26-per-bottle like it, nahmean?

Overview: I liked pretty much everything in this box. Good job, Petit Vour!

1.14.2015

Vegan Style: black on black on black

Haven't done this in a while - outfit post. In the meantime I've mostly been dressing like this or more casual. I'm trying to not wear sneakers to work every day and pretend I'm an adult who can wear real shoes. We'll see how long that lasts.

I wore this to: work, eat some soup, do some errands and walk around like an old man because I'm in pain from my personal trainer appointment yesterday


Outfit
tent dress/American Apparel
leggings/Maggie's Organics
shoes/Cri de Coeur via Mooshoes

Outfit

1.08.2015

5 Ethical Style Things I Did This Week

I recently started reading The Non-Consumer Advocate and she regularly posts Five Frugal Things posts, listing what she did to stay frugal. While that kind of minutiae first intrigues me (creepy voyeur!), reading it on a regular basis tires me out. However, I was thinking that it must be so helpful for her in keeping the focus on being frugal -- the actions of which are often not buying things. And I thought about that in relation to this blog. And how I feel like I post what I buy and end up with a shopping blog instead of what I intended -- a "thoughtful consumer" blog, which often means not buying something.

At any rate, I decided to bore you with my minutiae. At least for today.

5 Ethical Style Things I Did This Week:

1) Made a list of the things I actually "need" --- booties, winter boots and winter socks

2) Slowly going through my closet to figure out what doesn't fit and what I won't use so I can find new homes for them and have an easier time finding what I will use

3) Planned a vegan ladies clothing swap for February

4) Held off looking for sweatshirt or sweater dresses from ethical companies online when I saw a blog feature some cozy-looking options -- either I will find one at Beacon's Closet or I won't

5) Cancel my Vegan Cuts Beauty Box subscription. I still have my Petit Vour subscription and I think that's enough for me

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^ last month's Vegan Cuts polish color - minus the glitter ^

And bonus, 6) Read this post about soy textiles.

1.06.2015

November Petit Vour Beauty Box Review

My disclaimer for the November review is that I totally love Ashlee Piper from The Little Foxes -- and she curated the November Petit Vour box -- but I did try to keep that from tainting my opinions of this box. Pinky swear. But I'm giving you full disclosure. (I buy the box so there is no bias in terms of getting free stuff.)


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Beauty box

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Earthbody Skincare Dream Body Oil: I like this just fine as body oil. I typically use moisturizer but it's nice to upgrade in the winter months and I don't usually buy body oil so it's a "nice to have" for the season. It smells like sandalwood - like a lot of sandalwood.

French Girl Organics Tinted Balm: As you know, I frickin' love tinted lip balms in the red family. This lip balm had tint that was actually visible (it amazes me how often this isn't the case). It's a red/wine color with a bit of a metallic color to it. It covers like a standard lip balm (thinner than Crazy Rumors but not anywhere near as thick as Soothing Touch vegan balms). It's a good match for Hurraw's tinted red balm with this being a darker shade.

LA Fresh Waterproof Makeup Remover: (Other people's boxes had a Caru Rose Facial Serum) Uhmmm...I would have preferred the serum but you get what you get and you don't get upset. I've actually used these makeup wipes when I stayed in a hotel that provided them and I liked them. And I was super excited to see a hotel provide a vegan product.

Au Naturale Concealer and Cream Eye Shadow: The concealer didn't do me any great favors, which is a shame because I've been looking for a good vegan concealer now that my ancient tube of Revlon died. (I've also tried e.l.f. and Pacifica and find them too thin.) But this one was too white and chalky on me...and I"m pretty pale. The cream eye shadow, however, was a nice sparkly gold and I wore it to a fundraising gala and thought it was perfect. Not too overdone on the sparkle but just enough to feel like I was wearing something. I used it with my regular black liner and mascara (primed with loose facial powder) and it worked out well for the evening.

Overview: My favorites were the French Girl Organics tinted balm and the Au Naturale gold cream eye shadow. I can see buying the tinted balm but probably won't need more of the gold cream eye shadow beyond what I already have. The body oil is totally a nice-to-have that will get used. The concealer was not so great for me and the makeup remover wipes are a nice-to-have if I can remember I actually have them.

1.05.2015

Out with the Horse; In with the Goat...or Sheep?

2014. Year of the Horse. Bad luck. I'm not sure what to blame it on but the previous 12 months really really sucked. It started off with putting my 15 year-old cat to sleep on New Year's Eve of 2013. Then getting 2 flus thanks to traveling for family holiday and work stuff, which eventually kicked off horrible health issues, rendering me pretty helpless in even daily life.  [Apparently I had post-flu idiopathic gastroparesis, which took 4 months to fully manifest and then took 6 months to gradually fix with little help from western medicine interventions. Turns out I was lucky - it can stick around for up to 3 years, if resolved at all.]  I'm glad to be done with 2014 and I'm glad to almost be done with Year of the Horse.  I know that seems arbitrary but I feel like I need some closure so I'll take it where I can get it.

What do I plan to do in the Year of the Goat? Back in 2014, I came up with 12 ethical fashion goals for myself and only touched on 6 of them so far. I would like to hit all of them so I will just continue them for 2015 (without attaching them to any month). I'm also planning on finishing the 20 Days of Sustainable Style prompts in January...I swear. The holidays sort of took over but I have been doing some continuous Day 4 work, which was about culling your wardrobe.

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goat barn, Farm Sanctuary

Why is Day 4 taking me so long? I eventually realized that I had culled my wardrobe based on my old size (culling what I no longer wanted) and not based on what actually fit.  Thanks to being gravely ill, I went down to 98 pounds and then up another 22 pounds, at least 10 pounds over my heaviest. I expected get back to my regular weight when my metabolism kicked back in, but it still hasn't happened. I've finally come to terms with needing to cull my wardrobe for things that fit now. I can save what I hope to fit into and check into it 6 months from now. (I really thought I'd be back to my old "normal" by now but I gave myself runner's knee and haven't been able to run in a while.) So I stalled because I thought I would be back to "normal" -- and it took me a long time to realize that it's entirely possible that my new size might be "normal" or at least it will be my "normal" for some time longer. Now I just have to go through everything again.

What did being sick teach me about how I consume? When I was really sick, I didn't buy anything because I couldn't even leave the house unescorted. Then when I was a different size, I needed things and I didn't have the time to look through resale shops constantly to cobble together a new wardrobe so I bought a lot of new stuff. And now I'm finally at a point where I can take the time and energy to look through resale shops again. That made me realize how you need to be privileged with time and energy to shop that way (especially when you need something specific). For the time-poor or chronic pain- or fatigue-havers, you're probably not able to opt-in to shopping that way.