Splish Splash…I Was Taking a Shower — November 19, 2017

Splish Splash…I Was Taking a Shower

Taking a shower has the ability to clear your head and relax your muscles as you start your day ahead….and should be both refreshing and relaxing.

Although there’s really no wrong way to take a shower, there are several things to know in order to make the most of this time.

The following tips will help take your everyday shower from ordinary to indulgent.


Although a steaming hot shower can be a great way to warm up on cold mornings or unwind after a stressful workday, hot water can actually be bad for our bodies. Hot water strips the skin of its natural oils, can make common problems like eczema even worse, and damage the skin faster.

Instead stick to a lukewarm, or cooler, shower.


    Taking too long of a shower can actually remove much-needed moisture from the skin. This will leave your skin feeling dry and itchy.

    The shorter the shower, the better. Keep your shower time down to no more than five to ten minutes.


    There is no hard-and-fast rule as to how often you should shower…but most of us can cut back to a few times a week. Just don’t cut back so much that you smell or risk having skin infections.


    Washing your hair no more than two times a week should help maintain the natural oil production, while achieving moisture balance.

    Washing your hair too often can be drying, especially for anyone with gray hair or colored hair…Washing your hair too seldom can cause a buildup of oils that lead to flaking and redness.

    Always brush your hair before you get in the shower to work through any tangles. This will also help prevent clogged drains. After you shower, brush your hair again. Plastic vent brushes are best because they have multiple bristles.

    Put a quarter size amount of shampoo in your hands. Distribute theshampoo evenly throughout the hair, instead of simply pouring it on top of your head. Avoid using too much shampoo on your ends because they’re prone to dryness and brittleness.

    Make sure to get the nape of the neck, scalp, and roots because this is where dirt and oils usually collect. Scrub for a complete minute before rinsing.


    Instead of using a regular conditioner, apply a deep conditioner once or twice a week. The heat and steam of the shower will help the deep conditioner penetrate hair strands.

    Apply the deep conditioner, oil-based serum, or simply olive oil to your hair immediately after rinsing the shampoo out. Leave this on while you wash the rest of your body. 

    Applying conditioner above your crown line will lead to grease and unnecessary oil production. Instead, focus on your roots first because this is the area that requires the most moisture and attention.

    Finally, wrapping your hair tightly in a towel can cause severe damage to your hair. Instead, gently squeeze out excess moisture with a cotton t-shirt or a dry towel. Pat hair dry, rubbing your hair too roughly can cause knots and frizz.


    Soap contains surfactants, chemicals that attract both oil and water and that are able to bond with and remove the natural oils in your skin…leaving your skin feeling tight, dry, and itchy. 

    Use a creamy soap-free, water-based body wash or cleansing oil instead of drying soaps. These will moisturize with natural oils, without stripping your skin of its own. 

    Look for products labeled as “cleanser” instead of “soap.”

    Avoid shower gels and body washes with excessive lather. The more bubbles or lather a cleanser has, the more it strips your skin of its natural oils.

    Both Dove and Olay make excellent body wash products that strip fewer lipids and proteins from the skin, leav ing the skin better hydrated than most other body washes.

    Be sure to rinse the soap completely off of your body. Not properly rinsing soap off can cause skin irritation and dryness. Harsh cleansers can be irritating if left on the skin, because of the chemicals and fragrance these soaps contain.


    Doing a mask in the shower is great because the steam from the shower opens your pores and allows the nutrients and vitamins to actually be absorbed into your skin much more easily.

    A gel-based mask is better than a creamy version. Although the mask is still emollient, it will not  slide off your wet skin

    Masks should only be applied before washing your face, not after. Washing your face both before and after a mask may be too drying for many skin types.

    Anything applied after a shower will be more rapidly absorbed and may cause breakouts. Instead, apply a moisturizer after your shower to add back and seal in moisture.


    The biggest mistake people make is responding to dry, flaking skin with harsh exfoliation. Actually exfoliating more than twice a week can actually irritate your skin.
    There are three different levels of exfoliation…

    The first level involves simply adding a bit of raw sugar or iodized sea salt to your loofah along with your normal body wash.

    The second option is to buy a sugar scrub or make your own.

    For example, try this homemade coffee sugar scrub. This scrub has so many benefits. The coffee beans reduce inflammation and redness of the skin. The cinnamon acts as a drying agent, can help clear your acne, and helps bring blood and nutrients to the skin’s surface. The coconut oil acts a moisturizer, and helps slow down the process of your skin aging.


      Homemade Coffee Cinnamon Scrub
      1/2C ground coffee
      1/2C used coffee grounds
      1C sugar
      1/2C coconut oil
      tsp cinnamon

      A third option is dry brushing. Dry brushing involves stroking from your feet upward with a natural-bristle brush for three to five minutes before stepping into the shower. 

      This improves circulation, stimulates skin cells, flushes toxins surrounding these cells, and sloughs off dull, dead skin cells. 


                 Giving your feet a good scrub while you are in the shower will help you avoid foot fungus or bacteria.Be sure to (Actually you should take the time every day to thoroughly wash your feet with mild soap and thoroughly dry them every day.)

                Rub any conditioner that is left on your hands after you condition your hair onto the heels of your feet and into your toenails.


                Shave at the end of your shower so that the hairs are already damp and soft and that the pores are already opened. This will allow you to get the closest shav and reduce your chances of getting an ingrown hair.

                Consider swapping traditional shaving cream for a hydrating shaving oil.

                Make sure the water is warm, not scalding hot. Scalding hot water will cause your follicles to swell and your hairs to be more likely to break before they can be removed.

                Drying Off

                How you dry off is just as important as how you shower.
                Rubbing your skin vigorously with a towel can cause irritation, leave you itchy, and make dry skin get even worse. 

                Instead pat yourself dry. This leaves some water on the skin, which can be sealed in with moisturizer after each shower.
                Be sure to dry certain areas-any skin folds, between your toes, in the groin area, and under your arms-in order to prevent rashes and infections.


                 if you don’t moisturize your skin right after your shower, you can be doing your skin a great disservice. Applying moisturizer to freshly-showered skin maximizes its absorption.

                Applying a thick all-over layer of moisturizer right after lightly patting skin dry, even when you’re still damp, will lock the water into the skin and protect the epidermal barrier. Moisturizing while the shower door is still closed will help your skin absorb the product 

                People with dry skin should try a cream moisturizer instead of lotion. Look for a cream containing ceramide or alpha-hydroxy acid. 

                Look for a fragrance-free cream or lotion with humectants, such as glycerin and hyaluronic acid, which actually attract water vapor to the skin’s surface and promote its absorption. 


                 Always wash the loofah thoroughly and wring it out. Store it in a dry place, not in your shower.

                When you use a loofah, dead skin cells become lodged in the nooks. These dead skin cells become a breeding ground for bacteria, mold, and yeast. Never share your loofah for this reason.Allow your loofah to dry completely between uses. This is the best way to keep your loofah clean. 

                Replace your loofah frequently, at least once a month. 

                  10 Cruelty-Free Beauty Subscription Boxes  — November 17, 2017

                  10 Cruelty-Free Beauty Subscription Boxes 


                  We have all heard time and time again that choosing organic foods and beauty products would be doing yourself and the planet a great deal of good….about as many times as we heard our moms tell us that we need to eat all the food on our plates because there are starving kids in China.

                    But how many of us have been taught about organic foods and beauty products when we were growing up in the Deep South…and how many of us have the time to actually study organic foods and beauty products now…

                      Perhaps subscription boxes can provide the crash course that many of us need in order to fight the growing health concerns that more and more of us are having in regards to chemically-produced makeup.

                        Organic subscription boxes can introduce women like you and me to those certified-organic skincare products that best cleanse, tone, exfoliate and moisturize our skin without using any of these noxious artificial chemicals or additives. 

                        1.  Bare Bliss Box

                        • What it will cost you…$49.99
                        • What you will get…four to six samples
                        • What others like you are saying…


                          2.  Glowing Beets

                          • What it will cost you… $29.95 per month
                          • What you will get…three or four deluxe-sized samples or full-size beauty products 
                          • What others like you are saying…Review


                          3.  Good Being Box

                          • What it will cost you… $21 per month
                          • What you will get…a mix of full and deluxe size samples customized to your profile
                          • What others like you are saying…Review


                          4.  Honest Beauty

                          • What it will cost you…$50 per month
                          • What you will get…three full-size items 
                          • What others like you are saying…Review

                          5.  LaRitzy

                          • What it will cost…$24.99 per month
                          • What you will get…a mix of full-size and deluxe sized samples
                          • What others like you are saying…Review


                          6.  Love Goodly

                          • What it will cost you…$29.99 every other month
                          • What you will get…full size “premium” products 
                          • What others like you are saying…Review


                          7.  Petit Vour

                          • What it will cost you…$15 per month
                          • What you will get…four samples, some of which may be full-size
                          • What others like you are saying…Review


                            8.  Terra Bella Box

                            • What it will cost you…$37.95 per month
                            • What you will get…5-6 small-batch natural beauty items 
                            • What others like you are saying…

                            9.  Vegan Cuts Beauty Box

                            • What it will cost you...$18.50 per month or $39.95 per quarter
                            • What you will get…four to seven products including at least one or two full-size products
                            • What others like you are saying…Review


                              10.  Yuzen 

                              • What it will cost you…$33 a quarter
                              • What you will get…full-sized samples along with a non-beauty item like chocolate 
                              • What others like you are saying…Review

                                Saving Money on Body Care, Skin Care, and Cosmetics…Things to Take — November 14, 2017

                                Saving Money on Body Care, Skin Care, and Cosmetics…Things to Take

                                Take time to read blogs… There is a ton of information to be gathered from reading other people’s blogs. A few of the best beauty/fashion blogs are…  

                                Take time to read online reviews…


                                Take advantage of free samples. 

                                • Company Websites…Request samples directly from company websites.
                                • Coupons…Use coupons to get free beauty products at Target and drugstores such as Walgreens and CVS. 
                                • Department Stores…Request free samples from department stores like Macy’s, Clinique, Lancome, Benefit, Origins-give free samples when you ask. 
                                • Facebook…Find your favorite makeup companies and become fans of them on Facebook. 
                                • Online Shopping...A lot of the beauty stores-such as Sephora and Ulta-will send you free makeup samples if you place an order online. Just look for the option of requesting makeup samples during checkout. 
                                • Product Test Groups...Some companies-Allure Beauty Enthusiasts, BzzAgent, CrowdTap, Elle Inner Circle, Glamour Glam Spotters, Good Housekeeping Tester, House Party, Influenster, InStyle Trendsetters, L’Oreal, PinchMe, Redbook Club Red, Smiley 360, Swaggable, The Pink PanelToluna, Vogue Insiders-offer free samples in exchange for your writing reviews.
                                • Sephora…Ask a salesperson, and you should be able to get up to three free samples per type of product.
                                • Subscription…Sign up for beauty company subscription programs, such as Amazon Beauty Box and Walmart’s Beauty Box, that offer the first box free.
                                How to Be Kind on Cyber Monday — November 6, 2017

                                How to Be Kind on Cyber Monday

                                One of the first steps to making a lifestyle change is finding websites and actual stores where you feel comfortable shopping for cosmetics and skincare.

                                  Below is my rendition of an online shopping guide for online sources  primarily focused on vegan and vegan-friendly cosmetics and skincare.




                                  1.   Citrine

                                  Brands…Jane Iredale, Tata Harper, RMS Beauty, Kjaer Weis, May Lindstrom, and many more

                                  Mission.. to promote healthy choices while exuding the most luxurious and glamorous aspects that all beauty products should have

                                  Started…opened their flagship store at Biltmore Fashion Park’s UNION in Phoenix AZ in November 2012

                                  Products…the latest and best in all natural and clean beauty products
                                   2. Credo…Credo stands for I “believe,” and we believe in a world of beauty where effective makeup and skincare products are safe and clean. We provide you eco-friendly and cruelty free and organic cosmetics that will give you the complexion you desire without causing any health issues.

                                  3.  Edson FarmsBrands…Acure, Aura Cacia, Mineral Fusion, Pacifica, Simpler’s Botanicals, Tom’s of Maine, ….


                                   4.  Grove Collobaratives

                                  Products…the best affordable and effective natural products for your home and family – from non-toxic laundry detergents that are tough on stains to sustainably sourced argan oil that will make your hair and skin glow

                                  Purpose…to help everyone create a healthy, beautiful home



                                    5. IHerb

                                    Company…one of the world’s largest online stores for natural products…the world’s leader in bringing the best overall value in natural products to its customers

                                    Prices…typically 30 – 40% less than what you may find at health food stores and natural pharmacies

                                    Products Offered… over 1,200 brands and 35,000 brand name products of cruelty-free skincare, bath, toothpaste, shaving, laundry, 

                                    Reviews…only honest and candid customer product reviews  written by iHerb customers who have actually ordered the specific product from iHerb

                                    6.   Makeup Geek

                                    Company Goal
                                    …to make applying makeup easy and fun, and enhance your makeup skills in the comfort of your own home…to help even just one person feel more beautiful

                                    Products…cruelty-free makeup at affordable prices

                                    Website…a variety of videos on almost every makeup technique


                                     7. Petit Vour
                                    Based out of...Austin, Texas


                                    Founder…Madeline Alcott

                                    Mission…to be a lifestyle brand that caters to modern, educated women with a softness for animals, nature, and life’s little luxuries

                                    Number of clients…
                                    over 10,000 women worldwide, each and every month.

                                    only cruelty-free makeup to body products

                                    8.  Sephora

                                    Founded…in France by Dominique Mandonnaud in 1970

                                    Known for……
                                    unparalleled assortment of prestige cruelty-free brands and product, unbiased service from experts, and interactive shopping environment

                                    …to inspire clients to “play” in a world of beauty

                                    Number of stores.
                                    .approximately 2,300 stores in 33 countries worldwide, with an expanding base of over 430 stores across the Americas

                                    Opened its first U.S. store..
                                    .in New York’s Soho neighborhood in 1998

                                    Owned by…
                                    LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the world’s leading luxury goods group

                                    …”every stroke, swipe and dab reveals possibility”

                                      9.  The Detox Market

                                      Valerie, a health and wellness coach, and breast cancer survivor

                                      to create an educated community of health and beauty experts and to educate and serve our community of like-minded and like-hearted individuals who believe in the power of pure products

                                      pure, effective and elegant cruelty-free and vegan natural products

                                      10. Ulta

                                      Company…the largest beauty retailer in the United States and the premier beauty destination for cosmetics, fragrance, skin care products, hair care products and salon services

                                      Founded…opened its first store in 1990

                                      Number of stores…1,010 retail stores across 48 states and the District of Columbia

                                      Products…more than 20,000 budget-friendly and high-end products from approximately 500 well-established and emerging beauty brands across all categories and price points, including Ulta Beauty’s own private label…a full-service salon in every stores featuring hair, skin and brow services

                                      11. Vitacost

                                      • Prices…offers savings up to 50% off retail 
                                      • Products…over 45,000 different healthy products from more than 2,500 leading brands—vitamins, supplements, health foods, sports nutrition products, bath & beauty favorites, home and pet products
                                      14 Cruelty-Free Blogs to Help Get Out from Lifestyle-Change Fogs — November 4, 2017

                                      14 Cruelty-Free Blogs to Help Get Out from Lifestyle-Change Fogs

                                      First deciding to make the change to a different lifestyle-–whether it be cruelty-free beauty, veganism or vegetarian, mndful living, or even a minimalistic lifestyle—can be a bit overwhelming.

                                      If our goal is to actually change our way of living, and not simply claim to have picked up on such lifestyles because they just happen to be the “latest and greatest trend,” it is important to find like-minded people as you journey along the path.

                                      Cruelty free blogs are one great source to find such like-minded people as you journey along the path to cruelty-free beauty. 

                                      Not only will blogs allow you to connect with others making that same journey, but cruelty-free blogs will help you find out whether your favorite beauty brands test on animals, discover the latest cruelty-free product releases, and exchange cruelty-free beauty tips and inspirations.

                                      More and more bloggers today focus on cruelty-free cosmetics, animal rights, vegan lifestyle, being mindful about the products you choose on a daily basis, and anything and everything else related to that topic.

                                      Below is a list of such blogs that I have recently started following on a daily basis.

                                      I hope you will also find those blogs useful and inspiring as we move slowly, step-by step, towards having a better quality of life–one individual at a time, one product at a time..


                                      1.  A Life Cosmethic

                                      Author…managed by two sisters – Carolyn and Sarah, and the story of their journey to find the best cruelty-free and ethical available “cosmethics”

                                      ……Combining “cosmetics” with “ethics” to create “cosmethics.”

                                      …to provide information to help readers choose, find and buy great cruelty-free and ethical cosmetic brands and products.

                                      Topics covered
                                      …everything cruelty-free–from baby products, through fragrances and make up, to cleaning products


                                        2. Coffee and Heels 

                                        Author…Sascha Camilli, a “fashion-obsessed” vegan who currently lives in London in 2011. In 2013 she was selected for the Marie Claire UK Inspire & Mentor Scheme and mentored to launch Vilda, the world’s first online vegan fashion magazine.She also manages public relations for PETA UK.

                                        Mission Statement…
                                        “I don’t write only for the vegan crowd, but for everyone who’s curious towards a more compassionate lifestyle. And if you think about it…coffee and heels are two of the things that we new vegans have to “tweak” to adapt to our new lifestyle is, well, the coffee (that has to have soy milk instead of cow’s milk) and the heels (that have to be faux leather). So there’s a thought to that.”

                                        .”Compassion is a true source of happiness” – Dalai Lama

                                        Topics covered…
                                        a personal diary infused with vegan fashion, cruelty-free beauty, yummy recipes and other adventures, plus travel diaries and my thoughts on everything from vegan chocolate cake to following your dreams.

                                        3.  Cruelty Free Kitty


                                        …to provide a complete, honest, and trustworthy resource about cruelty free brands and products

                                        Topics covered..
                                        probably the most accurate and up to date information 

                                        4.  Je T’aime by Hotashi
                                        Author…Hotashi, a Canadian

                                          Topics covered...cruelty-free beauty products available in Canada, her personal experience with living cruelty-free, the difficulties she faces and how she overcomes them.  

                                             5.  Logical Harmony

                                            Author…Tashina Combs

                                            Mission…to show that you can be animal-friendly without giving up anything

                                            Topics covered…vegan beauty, product reviews, and the promotion of a healthy and animal-friendly lifestyle.

                                            6. Lovely Witches

                                            1. Author…GemIma from South Wales, UK
                                            2. Purpose…to provide positive and encouraging place to find  recommendations for cruelty-free beauty products
                                            3. Topics covered…cruelty-free cosmetics, skin care, hair care and vegan products…switching to cruelty-free products 


                                            7. My Beauty Bunny

                                            Author…award-winning, Los Angeles-based beauty blogger Jen Mathews

                                            Founded…April 2009

                                            Mission…to find the best in beauty from companies who do not test on animals

                                            Topics covered…the absolute latest and newest cruelty-free beauty, hair, makeup and skincare products


                                            8.  Paint + Tofu


                                            Topics covered…vegan recipes and DIY projects


                                              9.  Phyrra

                                              Author…Courtney, a writer and a beauty addict

                                              Topics covered...cruelty-free products and brands, honest reviews, how-to’s, lifestyle tips, pale girl beauty, hooded eye makeup, cruelty free beauty, and vegan fashion

                                              10.  The Little Foxes

                                              Author…Ashlee Piper

                                              Mission Statement…“I believe in living a conscious, compassionate, bold, passionate, fearless life with two primary goals: 1) Be happy and appreciative, and 2) Do things that help others (people, animals, this big spinning eco-system we live in) live better, rest easier, and flourish”

                                              Topics covered…vegan lifestyle blog featuring beauty, recipes, fashion, and cruelty-free beauty giveaways

                                              11.  The Vegan Chickpea


                                              Mission Statement...I’m going to make everything around me beautiful- that will be my life.”-Elsie de Wolfe

                                              Topics covered...vegan beauty and fashion advice, what’s hot or not in the vegan community, inspirational and helpful product reviews, conscious consumerism, cruelty-free beauty, living a minimalistic, vegan lifestyle, and maintaining a healthy, active existence.


                                              12. The Vegan Taff

                                              Author…Kelly, a beauty obsessed vegan from Wales

                                                Topics covered…budget-friendly cruelty-free beauty products, reviews arranged by alphabetical order so that you can quickly find the product which you’re looking for

                                                13. Vegan Beauty Review

                                                Author…Sunny, who has been living a cruelty-free lifestyle since the year 2000…co-author of The Compassionate Chick’s Guide to DIY Beauty which is filled with recipes for vegan, gluten-free and cruelty-free makeup, skin and hair products
                                                Founded…the first vegan beauty blogger to hit the internet in 2007 
                                                Topics covered...the latest scoop on cruelty-free beauty products, the “expert” in vegan and cruelty-free deodorants, mommy and baby vegan products, cruelty-free resources, reviews, and recipes  

                                                  14.  Vegan Consultant
                                                  Author…Jenn from Las Vegas, NV 

                                                    Purpose…to help you make cruelty free, plant-powered, compassionate, healthier, and more sustainable choices…to build a community of understanding where each of us in our journey and help inspire positive change through leading by example

                                                    Topics covered…resources, guidance, recipes, tips, tricks and inspiration to help you make these changes and to help make the choices easier for you

                                                        Book Review—Cruelty Free Living by Jennifer Thomson — November 3, 2017

                                                        Book Review—Cruelty Free Living by Jennifer Thomson

                                                        Living Cruelty Free is a much-needed guide full of tips and advice on how to start making more informed choices as a consumer, living a cruelty-free lifestyle, and perhaps even becoming a vegetarian 

                                                        This book sparked my interest because I have begun a journey to embrace a more cruelty-free, natural, and minimalistic lifestyle.

                                                        The title, Living Cruelty Free, is appropriate because the book exposes the truth about cruel experiments on animals, factory farming, forced labour, and the cruelty that goes into meat production and cheap clothing. 

                                                        This theme is carried out throughout the book as evident by her ability to teach us how become more aware of the impact we each have on the environment, and the book adequately pinpoints the message of the book by providing facts, resources, and tips on how to be an ethical consumer and live a more compassionate lifestyle.

                                                        Having first read the title of the book, I expected the book to be a finger-pointing shame-on-them commentary about how meat eating is cruel.  

                                                        The author of the book is Jennifer Thomson, a freelance writer, who has been a vegetarian for 29 years and has always tried to live a cruelty free life. 

                                                        The main purpose of the book is to teach consumers how to avoid buying cosmetics, foods, and other products that have been tested on animals.

                                                        I particularly liked the fact that the book provides a plethora of information without ever sounding preachy, even though she is obviously writing about a cause that is very close to her heart. The author doesn’t push the reader into changing their lifestyle or beliefs or quit eating meat tomorrow.

                                                        The book was really interesting to read and easy to understand.

                                                        I would highly recommend this book mainly to readers who are interested in beginning to live a cruelty-free lifestyle..

                                                        After researching, and becoming more than a little bit frustrated, online switching to a cruelty-free lifestyle online, it was so nice to finally find a resource that lays everything out in a very organized manner that gives the reader the information they need 

                                                          Do the Bunny Hop — November 1, 2017

                                                          Do the Bunny Hop

                                                          Today there are thousands of “cruelty-free” brands available, but terms like “cruelty-free” and “not tested on animals” are not actually regulated. So any product can claim to be “cruelty-free, ” even though it actually is tested on animals.

                                                          How can you as a consumer know which brands are actually cruelty-free and which brands simply claim to be?

                                                          Here are some tips…

                                                          1.  Always be mindful of the source you are getting your information from. Do not depend on cosmetic brand websites to check that brand’s cruelty-free status. You’ll be amazed when you realize how much information cosmetic companies simply leave out on their websites.

                                                          2.  Try to always check a third-party source such as PETA’s Caring Consumer cruelty-free list, Leaping Bunny’s list of certified brands, and Cruelty Free Kitty’s lists.

                                                          3.  “When required by law”…If a brand states that it “does not test on animals except when required by law” this means that if the cosmetic brand is currently selling products in a market or entering a market that requires animal testing by law, such as mainland China, this brand will comply with the regulations of that market. 

                                                          4. Mainland China... Animal testing is required in China by law for foreign  cosmetics companies, so if a particular brand is sold in mainland China, it’s not cruelty-free. 

                                                          5.  Look for the bunny. Many brands use the image of a bunny on their product packaging to indicate that their products are cruelty-free, but know that there are only three bunnies that you can actually trust. Any other bunny logo is not “bona fide.” 

                                                          • Choose Cruelty-Free Rabbit
                                                          • Leaping Bunny Logo…sponsored by Cruelty-Free International and the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CCIC), a worldwide organization working against animal testing. 
                                                          • PETA Caring Consumer Bunny