What’s the difference between Cruelty-Free and Vegan Products?

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In the beauty and lifestyle industry “Vegan and Cruelty- Free” are definite buzz words that we are exposed to on a daily basis. Here on Beauty by Buffy, I aim to educate and encourage you all to make the best decisions for your specific needs. Whatever fits your lifestyle needs that will lead to a healthy and happy life. In order to properly do that we need to first identify & define these terms and determine how they best fit into our life.

(If you want to learn even more each of the Logos presented will be linked at the bottom of the page)

What is a Cruelty- Free Product?

For a product to be considered Cruelty-Free, the entire development process of the products (from the early production process to distribution) must not have any association to animal testing AT ALL. Pay close attention to the companies that say things like “we only test when Required by Law”! In the past I personally thought it was okay, but then I quickly learned that companies that engage in this practice probably test their finished products on animals. They use a third-party in order to get away with claiming their Cruelty-Free status and to comply with various regional laws around the world… this makes them not so Cruelty-Free if you ask me. Tashina and Justin from logicalharmony.net do a really great job on updating the lists of companies you can trust so be sure to check it out!

A great example of a company that develops products that are cruelty-free but NOT strictly vegan, is Shea Moisture. Although they do have a variety of products that are vegan their focus is on Non-Toxic products and advocating for great causes such as inclusion, diversity, women empowerment, etc… (you can see why I lalalove this brand!). They have a strict NO animal testing policy and they are certified cruelty-free by both Leaping Bunny and PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies Program, however, most of their products contain animal-derived ingredients like milk, lanolin, honey, royal jelly, and carmine.

So the choice really comes down to what you value and what you can realistically commit to on a day to day basis. I personally aim for non-toxic and ethical brands, I certainly do not condone animal testing as I truly believe it is an unnecessary evil.

What is a Vegan Product?

In order for a product to qualify as Vegan, it shouldn’t have animal or animal part ingredients. Some examples we see on a day to day basis are  animal fats, or any ingredient derived from an animal, ( for example: honey, beeswax, yogurt, etc.) Many products may seem Vegan at first, because many times they are marketed as a non-toxic or natural product and these all fall under the ethical and health & wellness umbrella.

For example, a beauty product that contains beeswax can be Cruelty- Free but NOT Vegan. This is where your judgment comes in and it is up to you to decide if you are strictly Vegan, Cruelty- Free, Organic, etc.  This touches upon a personal choice that can only be made through experience and research.

So how can you tell which products are Vegan? Well, some great organizations have provided our community with Cruelty-Free Logos that help identify trusted products & brands. The Vegan Society and Vegan Action (click on names for more info) have provided us with logos to demonstrate that a product has no animal ingredients or animal-derived ingredients so that we can shop our little hearts out, guilt free.

Is There Such a Thing as Vegetarian Cosmetics?

You might’ve noticed on one of my previous the Think Dirty August Subscription Box (click here to read) I mentioned various different ‘labels’. They offered Vegan, Cruelty-Free, AND Vegetarian products. I was pleasantly surprised to see that some of my favorite beauty brands, like 100% Pure carried all three labels on their products.

This is an image of a logo you may see on beauty products, toiletries, cleaning products and even food for Vegetarian Products:

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So down to the nitty gritty, the difference between vegan and vegetarian cosmetics is basically the same as the difference between vegan and vegetarian foodie lifestyles. A vegan doesn’t eat animals (including meat, fish, seafood, etc.) and doesn’t eat anything produced by an animal (including eggs, milk, butter, cheese, etc.) and a vegetarian doesn’t eat animals but does eat products made by animals… that’s a lot to take in I know but re-read it a couple of times and you’ll get it, hehe.

So essentially the major difference between vegan and vegetarian cosmetics is that products labeled vegetarian will probably have natural animal-made ingredients (you will see quite often honey & beeswax). Ultimately I encourage you to ALWAYS do your own research and ask questions! It is our right to know.

What Can You Do to Help?

  1. Start supporting Cruelty-Free companies! Unfortunately the only way many companies will take action and listen is through their sales. So when you buy Vegan or Cruelty-Free you are speaking with your money!
  2. Check out all of the organizations mentioned that make these logos possible:
  3. Support fellow Cruelty-Free and Vegan beauty Bloggers
    • Some of my favorite Vegan & Cruelty Free Instagram accounts to follow are:
      • @Rihan
      • @Logicalharmony
      • @Crueltyfreekitty
      • @FashionVeggie
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Think Dirty August Subscription Box: REVIEW

The Think Dirty Curated Beauty Box ($95 USD) is by far one of the best Organic and Natural Beauty Subscription boxes on the market. They are in partnership with Green Beauty companies that have a clean rating of 0-3 on their app, which makes it that much easier to make the transition to cleaner products in both the beauty and lifestyle department. I love subscription boxes as they make it a fun way to discover new brands for the fraction of the price if you were to buy each product individually, this box, in particular, had over $200 worth of products!

As you all know I’ve been on a journey to living a healthier and happier lifestyle. I’ve been swapping products I use on a daily basis and using the Think Dirty app along the way has helped me out immensely. I’ve become obsessed with using this app to swap out conventional toxic products for natural and organic options. For more info on this app and some more resources to help you make the switch check out my previous blog-post here. I am so grateful and super excited to receive the Think Dirty August Limited Edition Beauty Box, keep reading for details on the amazing products below! I am going to touch on the products I am most curious or super excited about. Comment below if you’ve tried out the Think Dirty box or let me know which Green Beauty box is your favorite! There is a coupon code for you lovies at the end so make sure you read through it all so you don’t miss out!

100% Pure Everywhere Sun Stick

100% Pure is on the top of my list when it comes to organic makeup brands and I trust their skincare with my sensitive and acne-prone skin. I haven’t had the chance to try much else from their brand. So when I received the Everywhere Sun Stick ($20 USD) I was really happy because A. it is a travel sized sunscreen… I’m obsessed with travel size products, they’re so convenient and cute! What’s not to love? B. it is SPF of 30 using non-nano ingredients and C. it is sunscreen, but stick version, which leaves no room for mess. The SPF 30 provides broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.

The formulation for stick sunscreens are infamous for their white cast. However, leave it to 100% pure to solve that problem for ya. This stick applies creamy and fades away after warming it up on your skin. If you have acne-prone or sensitive skin do not worry I did not breakout when using this the other day, and it is non-comedogenic

Ingredients: Zinc Oxide (2.5 %) Titanium Dioxide (8%) other ingredients: *Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Oil, Argania Spinosa Kernel (Argan) Oil, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Calendula Officinalis (Calendula) Flower Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Tocopherol (Vitamin E) *Certified Organic Ingredients 

LUCID n Dirty Coffee Scrub

Lucid n Dirty is a coffee based scrub that is to be used in one to two sessions per week which in turn will help reduce stretch marks and remove the dead cells from the surface of your skin. The fresh aroma of coffee is amazing to wake up to in the morning, but I have to be honest with you guys, I don’t think I will be purchasing this specific scrub anytime soon. Going for $50 USD, it is way too pricey for my budget, although it does deliver as a great exfoliator it performs on the same level as my Shea Moisture Drugstore version… I also couldn’t find a list of their ingredients on their site which worried me.

Elate Clean Cosmetics

Ingredients: Mica, Iron Oxides, Ultramarines, Bambusa Arundinacea (Bamboo) stem extract. May contain: Titanium Dioxide 

Pictured from left to right: Fairy,Magi, Ethereal

Although the elate eyeshadows ($18 USD) didn’t come in every box the ThinkDirty team was super sweet in sending me not one but THREE different shades! I am super impressed with how pigmented they were and how you can use them as blushes, highlights, or shadows. For my tan skin tone the shades were a little chalky at first but once it warmed up on my skin, it settled nicely. 

Cleaning Essentials: The Original Bottle

I was SO excited about this glass refillable 16 oz blue spray bottle ($16 USD)  that gives you a guideline in making the perfect all-natural, nontoxic homemade cleaners. It makes it sooo simple for you to toss the toxins and clean away using simple natural ingredients. All you have to do is choose a recipe, add ingredients to the fill lines on the bottle, shake, and you’re ready to clean! Every time you mix up a batch of cleaner, you not only are helping eliminate the waste of a plastic bottle (indirectly helping to save the universe), but you also avoid the shipping and production costs associated with that bottle and reduce your family’s exposure to toxic chemicals!

(description by ThinkDirty) Each reusable spray bottle has 5 cleaning recipes printed on the outside. These homemade recipes use naturally aromatic and antibacterial essential oils to replace harsh chemicals. The tile cleaner works well for whitening grout and cleaning tile. The wood cleaner gently and naturally brings out the beauty of wood furniture and floors. The bathroom cleaner is a great antibacterial all-purpose cleaner for not only the bathroom but any room of the house. Our ammonia-free glass cleaner works well on any surface that needs a streak-free shine. Finally, the powerful kitchen cleaner is the one to put to work on hard jobs, thanks to its excellent degreasing properties.

I’ve been meaning to go homemade with my cleaning supplies so this came in perfect timing! I will try each recipe out for you guys and post an update to let you know if the claims really do work!


Lumion Skin Oxygen Serum + HOCL

This is a lightweight serum (full size $38 USD) that is formulated to defend skin against signs of aging, softens fine lines, and aids in the reduction of skin irritations. This would be a perfect serum to apply when you are trying out new products, as the skin tends to get sensitive and irritated unexpectedly at times. Its ingredients are supposed to mimic the body’s natural immune defense system, interesting…. I have yet to try but am really curious to see if the claims are true! Will keep you guys updated.

Ingredients: Electrolyzed oxygenated water, sodium magnesium fluorosilicate, sodium chloride, hypochlorous acid, hydrogen chloride.

Spinster Sisters Soap

Spinster Sisters Soaps are produced in small batches using the cold process soap method.  Using a base of olive, coconut, palm (sustainable/organic), castor, apricot kernel and Argan oils, cocoa butter and fair-trade Shea butter will leave the skin super hydrated. This soap retains the natural glycerin that is produced while you shower, which provides added moisture to the skin! The 0.9 oz sized bar ($2.75 USD) is another perfect product to store in your travel size product pile…if you don’t have one of those create one! It will make packing for when you travel stress-free!

Ingredients: Olive oil, coconut oil, sustainable palm oil, castor oil, fair-trade shea butter, argan oil, apricot kernel oil, cocoa butter, botanicals, exfoliants, and essential oil (EO) or fragrance oil (FR). 

Rosemira Organics Sample Kit

Rosemira Organics uses Essential oils as their staples. The products are meant to moisturize, balance and support your skin’s natural capacity to regenerate and rejuvenate. They were sweet enough to put together this cute package for the ThinkDirty box, it includes an eye cream, hydrating rose toner and a repair serum. Can you guys guess where this baby is going!? If you guessed in my travel size kit then you guess right, hehe! I am officially prepared for my next travel dates.

All Products Included in Beauty Box are Cruelty-Free:

Rocky Mountain Soap Company: Tea Tree Deodorant
LUMIONskin: Oxygen Serum + HOCL (travel size)
Cleaning Essentials: The Original Bottle (16oz)
Rosemira Organics: Sample Kit
Spinster Sisters Co.: Rosemary Mint Bar Soap (0.9oz)

Vegan
Zuii Organics: Certified Organic Foundation Primer (samples)
NIUCOCO: Renewing Hair Serum (15 ml)

Vegetarian
100% Pure: Everywhere Sun Stick SPF 30

Overall I give major props to ThinkDirty for surpassing my expectations and supplying such a great variety of quality products for any green junkie or person who is a little curious about what all this “green” fuss is about. Please comment or share to anyone who is on a Green Beauty journey to a healthier lifestyle!

Use the code below to save $5 at checkout! (this is not an affiliate link I just like to share the wealth!)

BUFFY5OFF

 

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Ethical Fashion #OOTD

I am surprisingly getting more and more comfortable showing you guys my day to day outfits since being in New York City… I mean can you blame me? Once I step foot in the concrete jungle my creative juices start flowing and I find myself instantly inspired again. Finding ethical and sustainable clothing has been a fun journey so far and I wanted to show you one of my favorite outfits to date featuring some of my go to brands that represent an ethical standpoint.

 Shirt with Cut out In Animal Stripe Leopard Print: $69 now on sale for $42: ASOS Made in Kenya

Vegan Leather High Waisted Shorts: Nastygal (find similar here

 Faux Leather Gladiator Sandals $40: JustFab (find similar here)

The star of the show is this lightweight, fitted cut-out shirt with the most adorable detailing you just can’t miss. With a mix of stripes and leopard print, this fun number gives a little surprise on the back. Check on this mini video where I give you a 360 of the outfit and the ruffle detailing on the back, on my Instagram @beautybyBuffy . Don’t forget to check the rest of the blog post where I give you more details about the brand.

Faux Calf Hair Crossbody Purse: Free People (find similar here)

Made Spike Drop Hoop Earrings $24: ASOS Made in Kenya 

 My all time favorite brand to shop at latley has been ASOS. I am super excited to see their initiatives come to life as they trailblaze new paths in the fashion industry when it comes to giving back and providing ethically sourced clothing to the public. The shirt and earings showcased in this outfit are from the brand SOKO Kenya. Since 2010 ASOS has teamed up with the charitable initiative clothing workshop SOKO Kenya. For this latest ASOS Made In Kenya collection, the SOKO Kenya initiative incorporates designs from local wildlife and foliage into its maxis and ruffle mini dresses, which are made under fair-trade principles. The drawings by local primary school children have been turned into prints on beautiful articles of clothing.

Please go and show some support to this cause and rock some pretty dope clothes while you’re at it. 😉

Comment below if you want to see more Ethically Sourced #OOTD’s that fit your style!

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Brands to Look Out For: Modern Minerals 100% Vegan & Cruelty-Free Natural Makeup Brand

Modern Minerals Makeup is by far one of my favorite eco-chic brands. It believes in spreading the movement for conscious beauty & living true to your beliefs. Not only is it an 100% Natural brand that you can wear with confidence, it is 100% Cruelty Free and Vegan. None of their products are tested on animals and they do not use carmine. The founder of Modern Minerals, Diane Read is a true badass and everything this industry needs right now. After studying in NYU and Parsons in the field of architecture and interior design, she decided to take a huge risk and pursue her true passion. She wanted to provide a healthy and clean alternative to women that helped make them feel beautiful inside and out. The result was Modern Minerals Makeup, a line created to inspire both inner and outer beauty.



Reasons to ♥ Modern Minerals

♥Modern Minerals Make up is based on two principles: Truth + Beauty.

♥ Vegan & Cruelty Free and 100% Natural

♥Only use non-nano minerals

♥They offer an array of bold and neutral eye shadows perfect for any look.

♥ They offer ‘Try & Travel’ sizes of their foundations and Eye Shadows! (Such an amazing way to save space when traveling and trying out all of the shades before you commit to full size).

♥If you have some melanin in your skin they have yellow & red under-toned foundations for tan and darker skin!

♥ Manufactured in the U.S.A

Mineral Eye Shadow

I cannot rave enough about these eye shadows! They never irritate my skin and sensitive eye area, which gives me the freedom to get as creative I want with my eye makeup. When it comes to finding natural and cruelty-free brands that cater to makeup artistry is a pretty difficult task. But, I am sooo happy too say you can create any look from dark smokey eyes, to pretty flirty looks, glitter cut creases, you name it! You no longer have to sacrifice the well being of your eyes to slay a glam look! Seriously I am OBSESSED. Retails for $13.50 on their website.

Invigorating Lip Gloss

One of my favorite clear glosses to date! It doesn’t give you that sticky annoying feeling we all are way too familiar with, instead it glides helping you achieve a hydrated kissable lip. When applied it gives you an invigorating tingly sensation, which in my opinion helps with plumping your lips and making them appear fuller. How do they create this sensation? Well, they use the sweet, tingly refreshing properties of Ayurvedic, Swertia Chirata Extract, and Asian Dragon Fruit to enhance the appearance of fullness.  They have an array of shades available from peachy, pink, and deeper red tones, however they all apply pretty sheer giving you the perfect flush of color. If you want a more pigmented look, be sure to layer with a lipstick. Retails for $ 25 click here.

Highlighter

I am in with anything that gives me a dew and this baby truly does its job. One of their newest shades, the creamy highlighter in Modern Moonstone is my new go to. It  is made with Organic Coconut and Jojoba for a super smooth application, complete with a hint of rose gold perfection you can place on lips, eyes or cheeks, and is  perfect for tan, olive and darker skin tones. The silky formula is so lightweight it glides onto skin, allowing it to blend beautifully and make you shine from the inside out, no glitter, just glow perfect for day to night transformations. Retails for $ 30 click here.

Blush

Currently hooked on this beautiful blush in the shade Love, perfect for any season but my favorite is to wear it along with my Fall looks creating that rosy cheeky look we all love. It is a warm medium pink with berry hues and mauve undertones perfect to go with that “Kylie Jenner” Mauve lip trend! Best part about it are the simple clean ingredients. Retails for $ 20 click here.

Ingredients: Mica, titanium dioxide, magnesium violet

Duo Fiber Brushes 

Their brushes are hand-made using a luxurious & soft, synthetic fiber. These babies are  hypoallergenic which is amazing for people with sensitive skin like myself to avoid any reactions or breakouts.  I use the face brush to effortlessly apply my blush, the duo fiber brush helps avoid applying too much in one sitting. Super soft and chic with white and silver handles that match my white marble, hehe. Retails from $12-26 click here.
“We believe that choosing natural make up for your daily beauty rituals doesn’t have to mean sacrificing your love of beauty + style. This inspired us to create a line of make up that we felt good about putting on our skin and is kind to the earth.”-Modern Minerals
What are your favorite Organic Brands I should look out for?! Comment Below!
 All products provided by Modern Minerals. All opinions are my own. 
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e.l.f Massaging Eye Wand Launch: PRODUCT REVIEW

I was beyond blessed to receive this high frequency beauty instrument before anyone else, during the #elfbeautyscape weekend in Austin, Texas with e.l.f cosmetics! Lucky for you it is already on their website where you can purchase for just $25 a pop click here. You might ask why this is a higher ticketed price item on their site? Well,  I’m going to give you a little inside scoop before anyone else, read more below! (All products mentioned are Vegan and Cruelty-Free, as per usual).

After this exciting jam packed trip with the incredible ladies and gents from e.l.f cosmetics, my under eye area needed a little love. So I decided to give it a try and MY GOODNESS  was I impressed, this device is so freakin’ cool! It’s innovative technology makes applying eye cream not only more effective but pretty fun as well! This just isn’t your typical applicator, it works for you and only you as it has a smart senor that ignites once your fingertip touches the metal part of the wand. All you need is 1 AAA battery (included in box) and you are good to go! Place the metal piece under your eye and work the products from the inside out, slowly gliding it outward. You can use if for up to three minutes, while you are typing at your desk, watching your favorite T.V show, or starting your morning with a little spa session.

If your battery ever runs out do not panic! I personally believe you can reap some benefits with using the metal part alone, especially in the morning when you want need little wake up call as you feel the cool metal sweep product under your eyes.

“This beauty device helps smooth the skin around the eye area, and preps the skin to maximize the benefits of creams and serums for flawless skin. The gentle vibrations and heat help the skin retain moisture to better absorb product.” -e.l.f cosmetics website

Things to LOVE ♥

♥Heats up to the touch

♥Maximizes the benefits of creams and serums to prep eyes for flawless makeup application

♥Gives off a super gentle vibration which helps your skin retain moisture leaving your under eyes plumped and hydrated

The massaging wand is best if used with the Illuminating Eye Cream which contains high-performing hydrators, such as purified water, antioxidant-rich green tea and anti-inflammatory cucumber. The beauty is that it has a lightweight feel with a thick enough consistency  where your skin feels sufficiently plump and hydrated, but never greasy.

For days when you are really in a rush or traveling pop on e.l.f’s Hydrogel Under Eye Masks. These patches are super thin and stay in place, and are infused with Purified Water, Seaweed Extract, and Licorice leaving your skin super hydrated without all the gunk left over! These babies come in a set of 3 for just $8 click here.

What are your favorite under eyes products and routines?! Comment below, let’s chat!

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