Natural, Organic, and Eco-Friendly Vegan Makeup Brands

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If you are new to being vegan, you might not know that a lot of makeup companies still test on animals. I honestly have no idea why animals need to be tested for mascaras and lipsticks. It seems a bit outdated to me. But, not to worry because more companies everyday are becoming cruelty-free and are making their ingredients vegan. So, I’ve compiled some of my favorite companies that are organic, natural, and eco-friendly. If you are like me and you like to change up your makeup for summertime, then make sure to check these makeup brands because they offer lightweight, colorful, and fun products for summer. But make sure to read to the end to find even more vegan makeup options at the drugstore and high-end vegan makeup options at places like Sephora and Ulta.

Before I dive in, I’d like to note that certain vegan makeup brands are excluded from this list because while they retail in the US as vegan, however, they sell to China which tests all their imported makeup on animals making them not vegan.

Pacifica

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This is a wonderful, budget-friendly brand. They offer quite a range in skin care as well as makeup items. Their primers, skincare, lotions are by far some of their best-sellers. But I happen to like their eyeshadow palettes because they make have natural colors as well as colorful, smoky palettes as well. Most products range from $10-$20, making these makeup items easily affordable and accessible.

Shop Pacifica online here.

Real Purity

RealPurity

This makeup brand is perfect for those that are new to vegan, cruelty-free makeup because they are best known for being able to select sample colors to choose from, which makes it easy for you to pick the right color for you and your skin tone. So, you can easily get samples without having to commit right away to the investment of a whole bottle or tube of product. What I like best about this company is that their products are made from all-natural botanical and plant-derived ingredients. Plus, they affordably range from $10-$30 per product.

Shop Real Purity online here.

Juice Beauty

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This natural and organic makeup company is best known for moisturizers and anti-wrinkle treatments and serums. But this company takes eco-friendly to the next level by being USDA certified Organic, using local sources for its ingredients, and using solar and wind power in the manufacturing as well as using recycled packaging. Not only are they vegan and cruelty-free, they also give back to charities as well. They are priced from $20-$40.

Shop Juice Beauty online here.

Afterglow

Afterglow

Afterglow is a great brand for those with sensitive skin because their organic, natural ingredients blends minerals and natural pigments to carefully formulate their makeup to be soy-free, gluten-free, cruelty-free, vegan and fair trade. They are best known for the colorful pigments which are exemplified best by their color range in blushes and lipsticks. What’s also unique about this brand is that their products can be refilled (not wasting its packaging) and their packaging is made from recycled materials. Most products range from $20-$40.

Shop Afterglow online here.

Alima Pure

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This makeup brand is highly regarded for its inclusiveness for having their signature powder foundation for all skin tones. They have an amazing wide range of diverse skin colors to choose from, so if you have a skin tone that is harder to find in most makeup brands, make sure to give this makeup brand a try because I’m sure you’ll find your shade with them. Their signature powder foundation is like Bare Minerals, but their high-quality, pure ingredients never includes synthetic dyes to achieve its color. Not only does this company dedicate itself to uncompromising natural and organic beauty, they also are eco-friendly. They use soy-inks on recycled paper for packaging, they are carbon-neutral, and their compacts are refillable. Pricing for their foundations is $28, with eyeshadow pigments costing $14 per color. So, it is a little bit pricier, but it’s still comparable to brands like Bare Minerals.

Shop Alima Pure online here.

If natural looking makeup isn’t your go-to look and you prefer brands at the drugstore or brands at stores like Sephora or Ulta, then below are bullet point lists with a few more of my favorite vegan companies that are sold at these places. And if you are interested in seeing more vegan makeup companies, then make sure to check out Cruelty-Free Kitty. They introduced me to many of the vegan products I have listed here, but they have a great compiled list of vegan makeup brands. And now, onto some of the best high end and drugstore vegan makeup brands.

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7 Vegan Side Dishes for Easter Brunch

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With Easter right around the corner, there is easily a maddening rush to get to the grocery store and cook some homemade dishes. But if you don’t have a lot of time to make Easter dinner then no worries because I’ll show you readily available options that you can most likely pick up at your local grocery store. Whether you’re making Easter dinner and you want to try to include vegan sides for your vegan guests or you are vegan and will be attending as a guest to an Easter dinner then keep reading to find seven vegan side dishes for your Easter brunch or dinner. Try one, two, three dishes or try them all, I guarantee you’ll be very happy and satisfied this Easter.

Deli Options

At your local grocery store there is usually a deli that offers fresh options such as salads. Here are three recommendations that you can most likely find at your local grocery store (specifically in the deli/fresh-made section).

Three-Bean-Salad

  1. 3 Bean Salad – This salad is very hearty and full of protein and most of the time is made vegan. But do be careful because some variations include mayo or adds bacon bits into it, so if you aren’t sure about the ingredients just ask the deli counter. A 3-bean salad typically comprises of three different types of beans, celery, onion, parsley, rosemary, vinegar, sugar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. So simple, yet so delicious.

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2. Kale and Cranberry Salad – This delicious salad is in a lot of delis now thanks to the popularity of kale. The only thing to look out for in this dish is the addition of cheese. Some, not all, do include goat cheese, however the last few times I’ve seen this salad in the deli they didn’t include the cheese, but instead offered it after you ordered, so the batch is made vegan with the option of adding cheese. This tasty salad is made of kale, dried cranberries, toasted almonds, vinegar, orange juice, mustard, shallot, and garlic dressing.

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3. Tabbouleh Salad – This Mediterranean dish is a vegetarian salad made of tomatoes, finely chopped parsley, mint, bulgur, and onion, and seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. This is simple enough to make at home, but I often find it in the deli sections in most grocery stores. So, it can be one less thing you have to make on Easter day.

Frozen Options

This next section covers options that are available in the frozen aisle in your local grocery store. My suggestions cover frozen foods available at Trader Joe’s, however you can find similar frozen food options at other grocery stores.

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  1. Zucchini Fries – Trader Joe’s offers a lightly battered zucchini in their frozen aisle. Luckily, its batter doesn’t include any dairy, making these bad boys completely vegan. You can have these as a side or serve them as an appetizer. These are great for making at home (it takes a short time with no fuss) and bring over to a lunch gathering.

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5. Vegetable Pakoras – This isn’t the typical side dish you’ll see at Easter brunch, but it’s a fun option to offer a different flavor to the meal. These vegetables ae delectable and if you don’t have a Trader Joe’s near you, alternative versions of these can easily be found in your local grocery store.

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6. Aloo Chaat – This is a potato snack originating as street food from northern India. It’s typically made of potatoes, spices, and oil served with chutney. Again, this dish isn’t a traditional Easter dish, but it will provide a hearty yet delicious palette to your meal.

Homemade Recipe

If you want to try making a simple side dish at home, then let me introduce you to my vegan Macaroni salad recipe. It’s simple enough to not take too much time, yet it’s so delicious that I often have my friends praising it.

macaroni-salad

7. Macaroni Salad

Ingredients

1 Bag of Macaroni Pasta

1 Large pot of Water

1 Red Bell Pepper

¼ Large Red Onion

2-3 Stalks of Celery (If you don’t like celery, then just replace this with carrots)

1 Large Pickle

6-8 Tablespoons of Vegan Mayo

4-6 Tablespoons of White Vinegar

2-3 Tablespoons of Yellow Mustard

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Once water is boiling, add the bag of macaroni pasta. This will cook for about 10-12 minutes, make sure to continuously stir to avoid the pasta sticking to each other and the bottom of the pot.
  2. While pasta is boiling in pot, chop up red bell pepper, red onion, celery (or carrots), and pickle. Place all chopped vegetables in a large mixing bowl.
  3. After pasta is cooked, drain the macaroni into a colander. Rinse with cold water, and after pasta is fully drained add pasta to the large mixing bowl with the vegetables.
  4. Mix in Mayo, Vinegar, and Mustard and stir until everything is evenly mixed in. Feel free to add more of anything you want to get desired taste and/or texture. I usually skip seasoning with salt and pepper but feel free to add those if you want.

I hope these great vegan finds will make your Easter brunch or dinner taste even more delicious. And I wish you a wonderful Easter filled with family, friends, and delicious vegan food.

EasterLamb

Here is a cute little Easter lamb just for you for reading until the very end 🙂

Easy Vegan Easter Dinner

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Easter is a holiday spent in the comfort of your home with friends and family. A big component of this holiday is the Easter brunch or Easter dinner. I remember as a kid the excitement of finding Easter eggs followed by a delicious lunch with some of my favorite foods. This Easter I hope to recreate my childhood Easter dinner but with vegan options instead. If you are planning on making your own Easter dinner, then keep reading to see how easy it can be to pull off a vegan Easter dinner.

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When I think of Easter, I think of the traditional Easter ham. I don’t know how I would make a a vegan ham from scratch, but luckily, I won’t have to. Tofurky makes a delicious Vegetarian Ham Style Roast. It comes with a delicious beer glaze that adds a nice sweetness on top. The great thing about this ham is how super easy it is, you just pop it in the oven and about 15 minutes before it’s done cooking you add the glaze on top. And for about $10, it’s a great buy that can easily 4-5 people. If ham isn’t your thing, then I recommend trying Tofurky’s Holiday Roast, which is another great option to affordably feed about 4-6 people.

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A great side dish to go with the vegan ham or vegan roast is gravy. Finding vegan gravy can be difficult, but I found a couple of options that can make your ham or mashed potatoes even more delectable. The easiest one to find in a grocery store near will be Campbell’s Mushroom Gravy. If you prefer organic, then I recommend Simply Organic Vegetarian Brown Gravy, or Imagine’s Vegetarian Wild Mushroom Gravy or, Pacific’s Vegan Mushroom Gravy.

And one of my favorite childhood foods that was always made with our Easter dinner are Pillsbury’s Crescent Rolls. Believe it or not, these crescent rolls are accidently vegan with no dairy, butter, or milk in them, yet they are still amazingly delicious. So, make sure to get your hands on these delicious dinner rolls for your table this Easter.

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Now that you have your main staples for dinner, here are a few of my favorite side dishes that are easy to pick up from the store and add to your dinner. I absolutely love the Zucchini fries from Trader Joe’s. You can either serve them as an appetizer or they make a great side dish to your meal.

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Another one of my favorite side dishes that you can find at Trader Joe’s or at your local grocery store is Tabbouleh Salad. This Mediterranean dish is a vegetarian salad made of tomatoes, finely chopped parsley, mint, bulgur, and onion, and seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. This is simple enough to make at home, but I often find it in the deli sections in most grocery stores. So, it can be one less thing you have to make on Easter day.

tabboulehSalad

If you want to whip up a side dish, then I recommend trying this vegan potato salad.

VeganPotatoSalad

Ingredients

5 to 6 red, white or Russet potatoes

1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise (I like the Trader Joe’s brand best)

3 tbsp. vinegar

1 medium redonion, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

1/3 cup dried cranberries (optional)

Top and mix in 2 teaspoons of paprika for a smoky taste addition

Add 1/2 cup of yellow mustard to add some extra tang to the dish

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes.
  2. Drain the water from the pot and cool the potatoes completely, about 15 minutes.
  3. Peel the potatoes completely and chop into bite-sized pieces. Set aside (Alternatively, you can leave the peels on some potatoes for more texture)
  4. Gently toss together all the remaining ingredients in a large bowl, add the potatoes gradually and cover with the ingredients until evenly distributed.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Chill for at least one hour before serving, if you have enough time. The flavors would be best after an overnight refrigeration.

And to make your easy vegan Easter dinner complete, don’t forget about dessert! When I was a kid, it was my favorite thing to frost the sugar cookies at Easter. My mom would bake sugar cookies in the shapes of Easter eggs and us kids would get to decorate them with icing and sprinkles. For this easy Easter dessert, I recommend using Annie’s Sugar Cookie Box Mix. The mix calls for milk and eggs, but you can simply replace these. For milk, you can use soy, almond, or coconut milk. And for every egg you need you can replace it with 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. This dessert will be fun for both adults and kids alike.

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If you are attending an Easter dinner this year, make sure to stay tuned for my next article where I’ll share some easy vegan side dishes you can bring to dinner.

This Easter, you won’t have to fret or worry about compiling a vegan meal. Instead, you will see that there are many options available to you to make this Easter dinner your easiest one yet.

EasterBunny

Here is a cute little Easter bunny just for you for reading until the very end 🙂

Save Like a Girl Boss: Issue 1

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One of my new year’s resolutions this year is to save money where I can, but it’s a little hard when I like to spend certain expenses on taking care of myself. I think it’s important to do things that make you feel good as well as boost your morale and self-esteem. For me, that means getting my nails done once a month. I limit myself to once a month, so I don’t spend a lot, but recently I found a way to cut my expenses in half.

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I normally get a fill with gel polish, which costs $26, and including a tip makes it about $30-$31. I have no idea why nail salons charge $10 more just because of the gel polish. However, I do like the gel polish because it can last 3-4 weeks on acrylic nails. But a whole bottle of gel polish costs less than $10. So, for this past Christmas and birthday, I asked for gel polishes that came in plenty of different colors to start my own mini salon. I found some good collections that are reasonably priced on Amazon. This one here has six bottles for only $16, making it less than $3 per bottle. What a steal!

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I still go to the nail salon once a month. But, now I ask for a fill with no polish, no top coat, nothing. This costs $16, and with a tip makes a total of about $18-$19. Afterwards, I go home and apply whatever polish I want to. And recently, I got a chrome kit that included nine colors for only $16 on Amazon, which I’ll link here. Below, you’ll see the evidence of how good this stuff works. I’ve had it on my toes for two weeks and the chrome is still great.

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At the salon, they charge $15 for chrome nails, but for a dollar more you can get a set of nine chrome colors.

Initially, you’ll have to put up some money to invest in a few good bottles of gel polish, but overall, it’ll be cheaper. If you can get gel polishes gifted to you like I did for Christmas and your birthday, then you’ll save even more money like a girl boss!

Why You Need Vegan Leather in Your Life

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Leather is a bit of a paradox in that it has a beautiful aesthetic but comes at an ugly cost. I’ve been a vegan for two years now, but just recently, I learned disturbing facts that forever changed my opinion on leather goods. So, prepare to hear the worst, but also prepare to hear how you can change and hopefully prevent this ugly practice.

China is the world’s leading producer of cheap leather, which means that a lot of animals are killed every year to produce purses, gloves, belts, etc. But, what if I were to tell you that dogs make up a large amount of the slaughtered animals to provide cheap leather for you to wear? How does that make you feel to hear that man’s best friend are turned into gloves, belts, and wallets?

According to the Guardian’s report on this issue, “The US banned the importation of dog and cat fur and skin, which is punishable by fines up to $10,000, as part of the Dog and Cat Protection Act of 2000. But distinguishing dog and cat leather from cow, sheep and pig leather is no easy matter, making it possible for unscrupulous manufacturers to pass off leather from dogs as leather from legal animals. A report by the Congressional Research Service shows that in 2014, the US imported $8.5bn in leather articles from China. It is unknown how much of each year’s total might be dog or cat leather.” Essentially, it is almost impossible to discern dog from other animals like lambs or cows. After the leather is tanned and cured they all look alike, and the only way to prove its species is to use a DNA test; and even that might be difficult since hardly any DNA might be left after all the chemicals used to process it.

According to One Green Planet, “the Chinese Leather Industry Association claims that they have no knowledge of dog leather industry, [however] an undercover investigation from PETA showed that this horrific practice is alive and well in the country.” In November 2014, an undercover investigator for People for the Ethical Treatment (PETA) Asia infiltrated one of the slaughterhouses where dogs were being bludgeoned and skinned to be made into leather. According to PETA, “one employee told the investigator that this facility bludgeons and skins 100 to 200 dogs a day.” Just this one facility kills upwards of 200 dogs per day. I’ll let you do the math per week, per month, per year. Now multiply that figure with however many slaughterhouses you think are doing this in China. No matter how you calculate it, the outcome is too high.

There’s no denying it. This is a horribly gruesome practice. There are currently no laws protecting the slaughter of dogs in China since they are considered livestock, not pets. There are also no laws that dictate how the animals (in this case, dogs) are slaughtered. So, many are bludgeoned to death. This made my heart break to hear about this practice, but I cried upon seeing PETA’s undercover footage showing this practice. In that moment, I felt so helpless. Mainly because, this was happening half-way around the world. What could I possibly do?

Well, after researching, I learned that no matter what you think, there is always something you can do to help. In this case, the most effective way to end this horrible practice is to use the power you have with your money. Let your dollars, your economic decisions, speak for you and say no to leather.

I understand that leather has a nice aesthetic look to it, and if you’re like me then you like the way leather looks. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. That’s why I want to share with you these vegan leather purse brands that provide that beautiful leather appeal without the pain and torture of being made from dogs, or any animal for that matter.

Here are my Top 5 Vegan Leather Purse Brands that offer great quality and affordable prices.

  1. Gunas

If you are a fan of the Hermes Birkin bag, then you are in for a treat. Gunas offers a Birkin dupe called Hermit that looks fashionable at around $100.

  1. Urban Expressions

If you are a fan of Chanel boy-bags, then you should check out Urban Expressions Sheena for only $55.

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  1. Melie Bianco

This L.A. based company offers a great selection of fashionable bags. Be sure to check them out at the end of the season for their sales. I ordered two purses from here because they had their buy one get one free promotion. You can easily find purses in the $35-$70 range, plus free shipping on orders more than $50. Just signing up for their newsletter can get you 50% off your first order.

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  1. Matt & Nat

This company offers the most variety with the types of bags they have. They are a little bit pricier with bags ranging from $70-$200. However, they also offer vegan leather shoes and belts. I’m in love with their vegan leather boots for Fall.

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  1. Urban Originals

This is another great brand that sells their bags at retailers like Nordstrom’s and Macy’s, making it easier to find these vegan leather purses in person.

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Here are other Brands that are also selling Vegan Leather Purses

  1. Mod Cloth
  2. Free People
  3. Nordstrom
  4. Saks Off 5th

Just make sure to type in “vegan leather” in the search engines on their websites and a lot of results will come up for you.

But if want a high-end fashion bag, well there’s also an option there for you. Stella McCartney only sells vegan-leather products. So, you’ll never find any real leather, feathers, or fur at her store, which is awesome!

So, just remember that the cost of cheap leather from China is a lot higher than you might think. But, you don’t have to let any dogs, or any animal for that matter, die for your fashion. All you need is vegan leather in your life. And with every dollar spent on this material, you help drive the economic push towards sustainable fashion without ending a single life. Hopefully, someday soon, the practice of killing dogs for leather goods will be outdated and gone forever.

Further resources and works cited

  1. Kearney, Lauren. “Could Your Purse Be Made Out of Dog Skin? The Truth Behind the Dog Leather Industry.” One Green Planet, 12 Apr. 2015, onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/the-truth-behind-the-dog-leather-industry/.
  2. Weissman, Alanna. “Is Your Leather from China? It Might Be Made of Dog or Cat Skin.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 31 July 2016, theguardian.com/business/2016/jul/31/dog-cat-leather-china-us-congress-trade-peta.
  3. “Dogs Bludgeoned and Killed in Leather Industry.” PETA Investigations, PETA, https://investigations.peta.org/china-dog-leather/.

The Best Fall Trends This Year: From the Runway to Your Closet

I love everything about Autumn, from the leaves changing colors to the cozy, comfy sweaters. There’s a lot to expect during the fall season. For me, I usually expect orange, yellow, and brown to be prominent colors on the runways and in stores. And I expect to see sweaters, leggings, and oversize coats to be in fashion. While these are all on trend this fall, there have been unexpected surprises on the runway. Here are the top five trends in season this fall.

  • Red

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(Victoria Beckham, Fall/Winter 2017)

You would think Taylor Swift’s Red album was just released this fall based on the love affair designers have with red this season. On the runway, models wore head-to-toe red as a monochromatic statement piece. But when I say red, think ruby red – no pink or orange undertones here. This color is usually seen during Christmas time or even in mid-summer. And if red is seen during the Fall it tends to be a dark, deep red like maroon. Seeing this ruby red on the runways is bold and bright and beautiful. For easy everyday styling, I’m seeing pops of red like a red purse, red lipstick, or red nails, which makes it easy to incorporate into your style.

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  • Pastel Pink

Nina Ricci RTW Fall 2017

(Nina Ricci, Fall/Winter 2017)

This is a color that has been trending since last Spring. In fact, it was also a very popular color for Summer too. On the runway, this color popped in floral patterns as seen on dresses. But other garments like jackets and midi-skirts were also in pastel pink. Here, I’ wearing a sweater wit faux pearls adorning the front. I found this at a vintage boutique for $18. Pearls were also a major decoration on shoes, jeans, and shirts this past summer. So, with this sweater I’m carrying a little bit of a summer trend into the fall.

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  • Crystals/Rhinestones

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(Chanel, Fall/Winter 2017)

One of the most memorable runway shows this fall was Chanel’s space-inspired collection. And the most memorable item from the Ready-to-Wear were the crystallized boots. But I won’t be buying Chanel boots anytime soon because a) they are made from leather and b) they are way too expensive to justify spending thousands of dollars on just a pair of boots. However, I did find affordable crystallized shoes that are cruelty-free. I’ve been on the look-out for a good pair of flats since last spring when my other pair got holes in the sole. And the wait was worth it. I found these crystallized pair of flats at goodwill for only $8. But these pair of flats are brand new and came with the original price tags. Not a bad steal, right?

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  • Midi-Skirts

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(Carolina Herrera, Fall/Winter 2017)

Skirts are always on the runway year-round, but what’s so unexpected is that this fall midi-skirts are in. Usually, midi-skirts are a spring and summer staple. And fall brings the more sturdy and reliable skirts that are thick and warm. So, to see midi-skirts on the runway for fall is quite a surprise. But, as seen in previous trends, it’s another trend carrying over from summer into fall. This is great if you’ve already invested in summer trends like the midi-skirt since you can continue on using this and get your money’s worth out of it.

  • Bare/Natural Face

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(Dior, Fall/Winter 2017)

There are some pretty crazy makeup trends this fall on the runways. From the wavy eyebrows to the wavy lips, these makeup looks are far out there to be used for an everyday look. But what’s also on trend is natural and light makeup. This was predominantly seen on models on the runway. The light makeup was probably done purposefully to better accentuate the eccentric bold trends and make them stand out. But, if you’re like me and want to skip on those crazy trends, then you’re in luck! Because instead of the darker, grungier makeup look that was seen in past fall seasons, we are seeing light and natural and fresh faces which means it’s easier than ever for you to copy this runway trend at home.

This fall season have a little fun with your wardrobe and use whatever you have in your wardrobe to mix it up or buy secondhand to afford the latest runway trends for less.

Can Vegans Use Non-Vegan Makeup?

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With the prominence of beauty gurus emerging on social media platforms such as Instagram and YouTube, makeup is fashionably at the forefront of shopping habits for many boys and girls. You even have big celebrities creating their own makeup like Kylie Jenner’s cosmetic line, Kylie Cosmetics.  And with makeup gaining popularity, gaining commercial success, more companies are opting for cruelty-free options and vegan ingredients.

As a vegan, I love finding these new vegan products and companies. However, I still have some products from before my vegan transition. The dilemma is then, what do I do with these non-vegan makeup products? Do I throw them away? Do I give them away to someone else?

I don’t recommend throwing away unused or lightly-used non-vegan makeup because it is very wasteful and will contribute to the increasing trash in landfills. Plus, makeup is not cheap. You spent your hard-earned money on that. You wouldn’t throw a twenty-dollar bill in the trash, would you?

As for giving away your non-vegan makeup, I think this can be a good idea. You can be both conscientious about the environment while simultaneously being thoughtful to someone else. But keep in mind, used makeup can carry people’s hygiene since it is evasive and personal to the face. Most people don’t regularly sanitize their makeup. Meaning, you can potentially and accidentally pass along your cold, disease, bacteria, (you name it) etc. to someone else. So, if you do select this option then make sure you sanitize your makeup before gifting it as a courtesy to whoever receives it.

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If you feel like those two options don’t suit you, then you can do what I do – wear it! To be clear, I do not buy non-vegan makeup products anymore, but every now and then I am gifted these expensive makeup products. Naturally, I wish they had purchased a vegan product, but I am grateful and appreciative that they think of me. So, I do accept these makeup gifts. When appropriate, I subtly hint my favorite vegan makeup brands by saying something along the lines of, “Thank you for this beautiful lipstick, it reminds me of one of my favorite lipsticks from Benefit. That’s one of my all-time favorite makeup brands.” By saying something like that, I am showing my gratitude and appreciation while subtly informing them of future gift purchases they can make for me.

So, I tend to use all the non-vegan makeup I have until it is all used up. That way I’m not being wasteful and I don’t have to worry about accidentally giving someone an infection. This is what I prefer. But of course, you can do whatever fits you best. And the best part is when I’m all out I can replace it with a vegan product.

Some things I currently have that are non-vegan and animal tested consist of my foundation (a medical formula which is required by law to be tested) and a few lipsticks from various companies. Again, these were gifted to me which is why I have them to begin with, but once they are used up I’ll replace them with a vegan product.

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Here, I’m wearing a Dior Addict lipstick in a beautiful dark pink shade (shade 976). It’s one of my favorite picks for Summer with the current Pink Trend happening at the moment. Click here to read more about that fashion trend.

Listed below you’ll find the name of companies that are cruelty-free and 100% vegan to help you decide your future makeup purchases, courtesy of crueltyfreekitty.com. This list has helped me immensely, especially at places like Ulta or Sephora where there is an overwhelming amount of makeup in stock. And I hope this list helps you take on step closer to becoming more aware about what goes into makeup and empowers you to use your dollars to demand change in the beauty industry, because no animal should have to suffer for our beauty.

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Think Pink for Summer

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This Spring, pink is the prominent color of fashion. But not just any pink – a light, airy, blush of pink is this year’s favored color. And as spring turns into summer, I predict pink will not be going anywhere. In fact, I think the fashion palette that you’ll see everywhere in stores is going to resemble very closely to a summer sunset with various shades of that blush pink with hints of gold and orange.

The thing about fashion though, is that these trends are swiftly changing. And with fast fashion chucking clothes out at an unprecedented rate, sometimes I hesitate to be swept up by these trends because I don’t want to buy something that I won’t wear frequently and, ultimately, I don’t want to contribute to the poor labor laws that enables fast fashion and the textile waste that impacts the environment very drastically. If you are interested in learning more about the impact of fast fashion, I highly recommend watching the documentary The True Cost which is available to watch on Netflix. Or if you don’t have a Netflix account, click here to watch Real Stories’ undercover investigative documentary which exposes the horrible conditions workers endure at fast fashion sweatshops.

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If you want to be a conscientious fashionista, then I recommend buying used clothing. Not only does this help environmentally with recycling already made fabrics, it can also help people in your community through your purchases if you buy from organizations like Goodwill.  Or if you prefer a vintage style, you can also buy at thrift stores or boutiques which will help local, small businesses thrive in your community. Wherever you choose to buy your used clothing, you can easily recreate today’s fashion trends with clothing that is already made. And this pink trend is one that you and I can easily jump on board since it is just a simple color palette instead of some crazy pattern or some design that is risky or uncomfortable.

The gold and pink combination is my favorite at the moment since it brings out the femininity of spring and summer as well as making anyone instantly look elegant and well-dressed. This light-pink blouse is one that I already owned for four years. And just because it’s old doesn’t mean it’s lost its quality or appeal. I love the color block design this shirt has with pink as the prominent color with a pop of sandy-brown and burnt-orange that compliments the flaps and sleeves.

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Here, you can see I paired the blouse with this amazing gold skirt I found at my local Goodwill for only $3. What a steal! This beautiful skirt has a subtle floral pattern which is also trending right now. And even though it is used, the stitching on this skirt truly showcases its great quality, which makes me happy knowing this skirt will last me years to come.

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And to finish the look, I paired the outfit with some simple wedges that I’d already owned for five years. These shoes were not cheap, however, they are super comfortable and durable as they have lasted me this long and are still in good condition.

To me fashion is all about creativity and reinventing yourself by simply dressing yourself in something new. And I love how in doing that fashion makes me feel confident and beautiful, but I believe it’s important to be aware of the impact fast fashion has on the world, impacting the environment as well as worker’s lives. By buying used clothing, you can afford to try more trends and be creatively expressive through your fashion while also being a mindful fashionista. And that’s something that will always be trendy for years to come.