If you’re going to use conditioner – try this one.

My extended stay in America has been fabulous. The repeated failure of Greyhound to take me home has resulted in a complimentary voucher for the next time I travel, and extra time for me to spend with my boyfriend and other NH lovelies. I’ve been here since December 5th, and don’t leave for home until tomorrow. I’m already eager to return for New Years Eve.

gosh-cosmeticsWith that said, I can never get my brain to stop with the many blog possibilities. I was hesitant to post about this almost daily winter-time love of mine, because I fear the cruelty-free status of this product is questionable. If anyone has any information on the cruelty-free status of Goshgoshmuchmore Cosmetics – feel free to comment below!

Peta still continues to list them on their Companies That Don’t Test list, however, when I click on the link to their site (GoshAmericas.com), I get a generic “page cannot be found” message. They still exist at Gosh.dk (their Danish website), so I am hoping they are undergoing some sort of overhaul on their American website.

Their Much More Moist! Conditioner is a product I’ve used in the colder months, when just using apple cider vinegar or white vinegar as a rinse won’t cut it. The product includes ingredients like seaweed, honey, and hyaluronic acid. It’s got a unique smell to it – kind of.. vegetable-y? I am not sure if I’m smelling the beet root in it, or what.

I use a small amount of this conditioner (which comes in a convenient pump, and lasts just about forever), on the ends of my hair, and leave it in for about 3-5 minutes in the shower. It leaves my hair so soft and looking lovely. It has a relatively short list of ingredients, which I prefer to the extensive lists I see in many cosmetics / skin care products. It often goes on sale at Shoppers Drug Mart for $7-8. If you’ve got dry hair, and would prefer not to go without conditioner, I’d suggest you check this out 🙂

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Cruelty-free: What is your standard?

The majority of feedback I receive on this site is in relation to what is or isn’t cruelty-free. I do my best to report on what I know is cruelty-free, and if you think I may be wrong, or misinformed, please let me know! The last thing I want to do is to be promoting a product from a company I think is fantastic, when they actually stink major trucker balls.

There are two variations of cruelty-free that I have noticed. First of all, there is the concept that a product can be considered cruelty-free or animal-friendly if that sole product or that entire product line is not tested, yet the parent company does test (or at least doesn’t claim they don’t test) on their other lines. We see this with L’Oreal’s EverSleek / EverCreme / EverStrong lines, who claim their products to be “100% Vegan – Formula not tested on animals. Contains no animal byproducts.” – as it states on these product lines. But within the animal welfare community, L’Oreal is in no way considered a crusader for ending animal testing on cosmetics.

Secondly,  there are companies whose products are 100% cruelty-free; none of their products contain animal ingredients, nor do their ingredients come from tested sources, and the final product is also not tested on animals.

Of course we also have standards set by organizations like Leaping Bunny, or PETA. Companies can apply to be certified by these animal welfare organizations, and it often involves a signed commitment to being cruelty-free (according to the standard set by the particular organization), and even detailed disclosure of testing practices. These organizations serve as a helpful shopping guide, though they are not the be-all-end-all of cruelty-free possibilities.

What is your standard of cruelty-free?

I’d love to hear from you on this issue. Will you support companies like L’Oreal who have product lines that are not tested on animals, but who do not, in any way, ensure their other products are cruelty-free? Or will you only purchase from companies who are 100% cruelty-free in their practices and ingredient sources? Does a company have to have a PETA, LB, or similar certification in order for you to purchase it?

Let’s get the conversation going, everyone! Like this post and comment below if you want to discuss!

Derma E & Yes To Carrots: A guy’s perspective!

I am asked by everyone how they ought to take care of their skin, and what would work for their particular skin type. Lately, I’m being asked by more men than women! I thought it would be great to get a male perspective on some of my favourite products, and since I’m 100% woman, I gave about a two week sample of two of said favourites to a male friend of mine. I sent him three questions to answer about the samples.

The products, as well as my thoughts on them, are as follows:

  • Derma E’s Very Clear Problem Skin Cleanser: It isn’t often that I purchase a product twice, but this cleanser works great when I use it twice a day, and leave it on for 5-10 minutes as a pseudo-mask at night. It is creamy, rich, cooling (because of the tea tree oil), and gets rid of blemishes better than any other cleanser or mask I have tried!

Currently on sale on Derma E’s website, for $12.50!

and

  • Yes To Carrots’ Repairing Night Cream: Such a light, yet hydrating cream! I bought this for under $15 at Shoppers, and it works so well with my dry skin (I use it as a day moisturizer and a night moisturizer), that I don’t even need to apply extra coconut oil or intensive moisturizer to my face for adequate hydration (as I most often do).

Click on the photo to learn more about this night cream!

And the questions, plus his answers:

1) What was your favourite thing about using each of these products?

Derma E Cleanser: “Other than its effects on my pimples, my favourite part would have to be the tea tree oil! At first, this cleanser smelled like something you would find at the Home Depot in the paint section (ha ha, good one, Jake!). I don’t mean this in a negative way because I actually like its smell. After the first night, I noticed this pimple yard below my bottom lip completely gone (not even exaggerating). I’ve never tried anything like this before and kind of thought it should have been illegal. Thankfully, it isn’t! I will surely be using this from now on and wished it were introduced to me ten years ago.”

Yes To Carrots Moisturizer: “I really enjoy the smell of this cream. It feels really thick which is exactly why I do not need to use a lot. Luckily it will last me a while! After cleaning my face and a good shave, applying this moisturizer makes me want to touch my face all day. I like how it isn’t shiny either so it’s hard to tell that I’m using anything at all. My face does get dry all year around and especially during winter so I am sold on this product!”

2) If you could change something about either of these products to improve them, what would it be?

Derma E Cleanser: “I’m pretty sure that I was using the right amount but I would not mind if the cleanser either bubbles up or just stays white just to let me know that all areas of my face have been covered while cleaning.”

Yes To Carrots Moisturizer: “I can’t really think of anything here. Smells great, feels great!”

3) Did you notice an improvement in the condition of your skin, and how it felt or looked?

“After using the two products together I have definitely noticed an improvement in my skin. I never really was into cleaning and taking care of my face before but after being introduced to these items, I won’t stop using them. I was skeptical at first and one should be until one gives it a fair shot.”

Jake has since purchased both of these products! As far as everything except shaving-related products, guys don’t have to stick to male-specific skin care lines to take care of their skin. It also doesn’t have to be expensive.

Expect more talk from willing male testers and reviewers soon!

Arbonne’s RE9 Collection

I wrote about Arbonne’s FC5 collection awhile back, as well as my experience hosting a party for myself and my mother. I had a sweet Arbonne representative named Denise (whose information I will post below, in case any of you are interested in placing Arbonne orders, and you have questions) come by, and pamper my mother and I on a lovely spring afternoon.

Let me please say, that while I do not think the entire FC5 collection was good for my skin type / preferences, there were a few items I did really enjoy. On top of that, their cruelty-free message and uncompromising ingredient standard far surpasses that of many cosmetic companies, and I have to commend them for that.

With that said, I bring you my thoughts and experience with their RE9 Collection! Here are the goodies I sampled:

  • Smoothing Facial Cleanser
  • Restorative Day Creme with SPF 20
  • Corrective Eye Creme
  • Regenerating Toner
  • Night Repair Creme
  • Intensive Renewal Serum

The entire line has a delightfully light and calming seabuckthorn-ish organge-creamsicle scent. I preferred this scent to the intense fruity pizzazz from the FC5 line. One of my favourite scents is lavender; I’m a grandmother at heart.

My favourite product from this collection has to be the Intensive Renewal Serum. This was a delightfully creamy serum that didn’t dry out my skin, and gave my skin such a soft texture. I am 29 (as of today – Happy Birthday to me!), so I’ve been told that I need to start looking at a line of skin care catering to anti-aging, but I find that most of these lines lack the intense hydration and attention to sensitive skin that my skin needs! I’m not quite sure if it was a coincidence or not, but I also broke out (and I don’t break out often), while testing out this line. I think lack of hydration was a major culprit.

I also enjoyed the Night Repair Creme, which did hydrate, but it was the least level of hydration that I’d prefer (I actually needed to use that during the day, because the Day Creme was not at all moisturizing enough).

The least favourite in this collection was the Smoothing Facial Cleanser. It wasn’t hydrating enough, and didn’t impress me (especially for the price!).

If your skin isn’t as extremely in need of hydration like mine, and you are interested in investing in an anti-aging line, I would definitely suggest RE9. This line is quite expensive, but if you’ve got the money to invest – go for it!

If you have any questions about Arbonne, their products, or want help placing an order, send the wonderful Arbonne representative Denise Wreford an email, at denisewreford@gmail.com. Her Sponsor ID is 115484888!

Birthday weekend, and NYX is 20% off at Rexall!


Picked up these two lovely jumbo eye pencils from NYX yesterday! They are only $5.99, but were 20% off! I’m heading out to a roller derby game this evening, and a lady’s got to look her best! I must say, these pencils are extremely creamy and soft going on. The two colours I got were Dark Brown and Purple.

A Facebook friend informed me that NYX products are gluten-free. I’ve confirmed this with a Google search; I found a blogger who contacted them regarding this manner, and posted NYX’s response. How fabulous is that?! To have a brand that is cruelty-free, and gluten-free! On top of this, I’ve enjoyed their products for quite some time. I’ve yet to try their nail polish – but it won’t be long before I do.

Mayhaps I will take some photos of the look I do for this evening and show you all! I love having a beauty blog – the perfect excuse to look ridiculously glamourous at any given time.

Check out the swatches for these goodies!

Ending Animal Testing: Who DOES and DOESN’T test?

Unilever is the mother-company of these brands, and not only are these brands of crap quality ingredient-wise, they are also a part of the animal-testing crisis we see today.

Part of the major reason why I began this blog, was because of my close connection with animals, and my disgust that these precious creatures were being abused, and tested on for something as superficial as cosmetics, or household supplies. I oppose animal testing of all forms, and whether it is through my animal sitting services, this blog, or how I care for any animal I meet, it is the passion that drives me!

/end sentimental portion

I was in the drug store earlier today, and that’s what sparked my desire to write this entry for you all. I needed to buy mouthwash, and unfortunately the shelves were dominated by the likes of Colgate and Crest. I picked the Tom’s  of Maine baking soda mouthwash. Love this stuff!

I’m always trying to reform the choices I make, and to keep up with what is and isn’t cruelty-free. I wanted to buy some tea, and I reached for some Lipton black tea with lemon, then realized it was Unilever (duh, Alyson!). This is NOT a cruelty-free brand. The product may just be tea, but on some level it is funding the company’s continued abuse of animals.

I think it’s high time, and extremely useful, to be able to provide my readers with a collection of reliable animal welfare organizations, who all compile their own shopping guides aka lists of brands that DO test, and that DO NOT test. For the longest time, PETA was the most common organization to do this.  Unfortunately, their reputation has been compromised, and they no longer seem to be a commonly considered reliable source for cruelty-free consumers.

And here are the organizations I will recommend you take a look at! Click on their logos to visit their websites and begin browsing for cruelty-free brands!

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There are more of these organizations out there, so I would appreciate it if people commented below with links to more. Each of these organizations have their own unique standards, but overall, they are quite consistent with their anti-testing policies.

There are many little things people can do, whether it is switching their brand of toothpaste, or choosing not to consume meat from factory farms. All of these efforts work to limit, and hopefully eventually bring an end to needless suffering.

My darling Stella (pictured above) thanks you for reading, and hopes you will consider to make cruelty-free choices in your future.

Boy, do these Clean Well!

I have gone wipe crazy!

While I don’t really like getting ripped off, I picked these up at a health food store local to me (one of the many). They were almost 50% off, so I couldn’t resist! Now, I’ve gotten really into wipes for so many things. They’re great for cleaning, but I was always looking for eco-friendly, cruelty-free, and ingredient-quality brands!

Notice how they say they work for hands and face – well boy, did I take advantage of that! They’re great for removing makeup, though I’d use them at most once a day on my face.

There is no alcohol in this product – so it will not dry out your skin like so many  skin care cleansers, toners, wipes, moisturizers, etc. And more, its antibacterial qualities will help even better with those blemishes, than a regular facial wipe.

The primary ingredient in these wipes, which provides the antibacterial germ killing property, is thymus vulagris oil, or, thyme (as we know from our mom’s kitchen)!  Here‘s some info on thyme’s benefits!

Wipes are convenient, and easy to use. This brand’s kid-friendly, moisturizing, and sensitive skin  formula has me sold!

Check out CleanWell’s site, to browse and purchase more of their classy-approved products!

I’ve Been Nominated (again, how sweet)!

Image

The darling organic beauty queen at Storybook Apothecary nominated me for a Sunshine Award! If that isn’t a reason to smile, I don’t know what is! First of all, I’ve loved pretty much every entry on the Storybook Apothecary blog. Aside from having a serious interest in purchasing some of the amazing products (which I will once I’ve got some other major things paid for), I admire her desire to show us fun alternative solutions to skin care! Hurray for essential oils!

So thank you, my dear, for this nomination!

Rules for those nominated are as follows:

_____________________________________

• Include the award’s logo in a post or on your blog.

• Answer 10 questions about yourself.

• Nominate 10-12 other fabulous bloggers.

• Link your nominees to this post and comment on their blogs, letting them know they have been nominated.

• Share the love and link the person who nominated you.

______________________________________

Questions:

1. Favorite colour? TEAL!

2. Favorite animal? Unicorns, mermaids, and SLOTHS!

3. Favorite number? Really don’t have one!

4. Favorite non-alcoholic drink? Cold Kombucha drinks (like GT’s Organic Raw Kombucha)!

5. Prefer Facebook or Twitter? Facebook all the way.

6. My passion? Animal welfare / bioethics, and cruelty-free beauty.

7. Prefer getting or giving presents?  There’s much more satisfaction in giving the gifts. I often make custom cards, and have such a great time making personalized gift bags. Not gonna lie – I love receiving ’em too.

8. Favorite pattern? Horizontal stripes (I lack hips, so I’ll take any enhancement I can get), or really intense chunky patterns.

9. Favorite day of the week? Friday!

10. Favorite flower? Phalaenopsis Orchids!

Who I nominate:

  • everysensory: the rooster-loving author of this blog posts about many different things, skin care related, chicken-related (I love them too :); I love her nail polish posts, and her thoughtful feedback to my posts. Definitely a blog worth checking out!
  • anonymoushedonist: this lady is hilarious! On top loving her beauty-related entries, I am a huge fan of sarcastic humour, and each time I feel a little blue, I check out this lady’s blog!
  • Product Junkie Girl: she’s got a great variety of posts, and I love that she’s also an animal lover. Although her darling beagle Oreo passed away, you ought to check out the pics of her new two puppies!
  • sugarmitten: her fabulous moustache shows this lady has a great sense of humour. Her nail polish reviews, and pics of what she’s got on her nails always excite me! Love it!
  • Little Pink Corner: Let me just say, that this lady has me intrigued! She’s an animal lover, and began her blog to discuss literature, politics and philosophy. As an ethics major, I’m definitely drawn to the philosophy aspect, and am also very interested in politics (from a market anarchist perspective). I just wish she would write more in English (or I knew Spanish!). Viva la Revolucion!

**I am only nominating 5 for this, as I’m still new to the community, despite being a beauty blogger since January 2011. Only since March 2012 have I really gotten involved, and I’m LOVING IT!

One Voice Responds; Re: Yves Yocher’s Status

As promised, here is the response I received from the French animal welfare organization, One Voice. Keep in mind, their response (which is italicized) is in European French, so I’ll do my best to translate for you all. Parts of the message that are highlighted are of particular importance, and I’ll jump in mid-response to explain what is meant. The gist of it: Yves Rocher no longer maintains the requirements of the One Voice label.

“Bonjour,

Merci pour votre message.

Notre label est plus complet dorénavant car il s’étend à d’autres produits que d’hygiène et cosmétiques.

Nos nouveaux critères : aucun ingrĂ©dient testĂ©, pas de matière animale et bio, sont plus exigeants et en lien avec notre Ă©thique ; mais ils correspondent Ă©galement aux modes de consommation Ă©mergents.”

  • One Voice has newer standards than they used to, and this now includes: all ingredients that make up a product must NOT have been tested on animals, and must be organic
  • These principles, though more stringent, are more in line with One Voice’s ethics. One Voice sees this reflected in consumer trends

“Nous communiquons par produits et non plus par gammes et entreprises comme avant. Yves Rocher avait notre ancien label.”

  • Yves Rocher was certified under the previous standards of One Voice

Nous contactons les entreprises qui avaient notre ancien label pour leur présenter le nouveau et puis analyser leurs produits pouvant correspondre à nos nouveaux critères. Bien évidemment, la condition sine qua non d’obtention du label, comme pour notre ancien label, est ce qu’aucun ingrédient n’ait été testé.

  • One Voice reached out to the companies who met their old standards, to see if their products qualified for One Voice certification under new standards
  • Of course, the mandatory condition to qualify was that not one ingredient in any of their products (not the final products themselves) had been tested

“Quand les entreprises communiquent, elles parlent en termes de produits finis ; n’ayant pas le droit de faire mention des ingrĂ©dients. Il n’ y a Ă©galement aucune obligation de mettre un logo sur les emballages.”

  • Many companies often speak only of the final product, when they make cruelty-free claims; neglecting the individual ingredients

“La liste actuelle n’est pas exhaustive car nous avons de nombreux dossiers en cours.

http://label.one-voice.fr/produits/

Merci pour l’intérêt que vous portez à nos actions et la défense animale.

Bien cordialement,

Michèle
Responsable des relations
02 51 83 18 10
12 rue Gustave Eiffel   44810 HÉRIC
Tél. 02 51 83 18 10 / fax 02 51 83 18 18
www.one-voice.fr

  • This last part mentions a link that I’d been searching for, where a consumer can search for a product to see if it meets One Voice standards
  • The list is obviously constantly being updated / changing because of situations such as this, and they’ve always got several open cases under investigation

So there you have it. I’ll gladly contact more organizations, if people like. But at this point, I’m quite certain we can file Yves Rocher into the cruelty category.

Thank you for reading!