Cruelty-Free Cosmetics

Is Your Makeup Bag Cruelty Free

Guess what I should be doing right now? Homework. Guess what I’m not doing right now? Homework.

I’ll get to it….eventually.

But in the meantime, I wanted to write another post regarding animal testing. I’ve mentioned previously that there are brands out there that are cruelty free (an amount that seems to be increasing!) so a post about those brands is long overdue.

Before we dive into the beauty that is cruelty-free makeup, however, I want to briefly mention some of the well-known  brands that AREN’T cruelty-free in hopes that you will steer clear of them from here on out!






Rimmel London




Make Up For Ever (MUFE)


Yves Saint Laurent

Estee Lauder

As you can tell, there are a lot of popular drugstore brands that aren’t cruelty free. I know it can be frustrating and difficult to avoid these brands when you’re on a budget, but have no fear! There are many more cruelty-free drugstore brands that are not only ethical, but affordable and of good quality.


E.L.F. Cosmetics


Sonia Kashuk



Physicians Formula

BH Cosmetics



*NYX is owned by L’Oreal, so although they’re cruelty-free, their parent company is not. So essentially your $$ and business is going to L’Oreal. It’s totally up to you whether or not that affects your purchasing!


Too Faced (my personal favorite!)

Anastasia Beverly Hills

IMAN Cosmetics

Becca Cosmetics

Hourglass Cosmetics

Cover FX

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics

Jeffree Star Cosmetics



Urban Decay*



Bite Beauty*

*Again, these brands are each owned by companies that are not cruelty-free.

If I didn’t mention a brand that you’re not sure about, you should definitely check out the

PETA and Leaping Bunny shopping guides!

Cruelty free kisses

All By Myself

I hadn’t realized how much I do on my own until I found myself uncomfortable with doing something on my own. Let me explain.

Tonight I went over to Target to pick up some things for my Halloween costume (a post on that to come later!) and as usual, the shopping wore me out. And made me very, very hungry. It’s hard work spending money.

Because I’m lazy, however, I didn’t feel like making myself dinner. In fact, I wanted to treat myself to something extra yummy to eat because, well, why not? Since it’s been a rainy, cold day, nothing sounded better than a hot cup of soup. So I headed over to Panera.

During the entire time I spent driving to Panera, I was deciding whether or not I should eat there or take it to-go. If I took the latter route, it would be cold by the time I got home. But if I didn’t, that would mean I’d have to eat at the restaurant. Alone.

It’s funny; I’m a very independent person. I like to do things on my own. I prefer to do most things on my own, actually. But there’s something so terrifying about sitting alone in a restaurant, as vulnerable as can be.

Why should it be any different than eating my breakfast alone in my room every morning? It shouldn’t. Eating alone in public doesn’t mean I’m a loner, or that I’m strange, or anything else of the sort. What it does mean, however, is that I am comfortable with myself. That I enjoy my own company. That I don’t need someone else next me to enjoy a cup of soup and a caesar salad.

I like to think of it this way: I took myself on a date tonight. As cheesy as it sounds, I was the best possible date for myself because I know me better than anyone else ever could. I know what makes me happy, I know what I want, and I know what I deserve. Sometimes it’s nice to just be there for yourself; to know that you really are all you need.


Fall Style!

Hiya pals! I sincerely hope that you all have been enjoying this beautiful fall weather as much as I have.

(Let’s not talk about winter yet. Or ever.)

I’ve been having a lot of fun creating some of my own looks this season, so here’s a post of a few of my favorite ones! Also, please note that I’ve jumped on the Rachel Green bandwagon with a few of these. How could I resist?!

This one is definitely one of my all-time favorites! The dress is from Urban Outfitters and I snagged the green button up from Francesca’s.

Outfit 5

Jean jackets + sweaters = happy, cozy Riah. Jean jacket is from h&m, sweater is Old Navy, and these high-waisted black jeans are from Urban Outfitters!

Outfit 2

Suede is in this fall and I’m LOVING this trend. I picked up this brown suede dress at T.J. Maxx and the leather jacket is an oldie from Target.

Outfit 3_Fotor

Diggin’ the vintage look of this light coat. I found it at an antique shop and paired it with my waisted jeans again!

Outfit Four_Fotor

I thrifted this cute little retro top from Rick’s Relics and this staple dress came from h&m!

Outfit 1

Hope you enjoyed these looks as much as I do! It’s sad to think that my opportunities to wear dresses are winding down along with the temperature. Booooooo!

It’s That Time Of The Year Again


Summer has come to an end and I am back at school, but perhaps most importantly, I have quite possibly the world’s cutest dorm room (in my humble opinion, that is). I invited you to take a peak into the tiny yet cozy space I’ll be inhabiting for the next nine months!



Yes, that is most definitely a pillow pet. I’m an adult, right? Right?



There’s something incredibly calming about fairy lights…I imagine they give the same effect as a night light does, bridging the gap between pure darkness and light. Except in my case, it’s not so much the dark that I’m afraid of this time (homework, responsibility, adulthood, running into someone in the bathroom when I wake up at 4 in the morning to pee, etc, etc…).

Or maybe it’s simply because they’re called fairy lights. I suppose that’s a good enough reason to keep calm.


Come on, you didn’t think it’d be my room without some sort of One Direction paraphernalia, did you?


Is this not the cutest jewelry holder you’ve ever seen?! I snagged this from the Farmers Market this summer for only $10!!! (If you’re reading this, thanks, Patty!)

P.S. please note the bag of chocolate covered espresso beans. I’d love to say that these are solely for when I’m up late at night beep-boppin away at my homework, but let’s be real–ya girl just really loves chocolate.


I’m looking forward to this year, and hopefully I’ll be seeing a lot of you on this virtual space in the time to come!

Lush Products & Reviews

Happy summertime! The birds are chirping outside my window, the sun is shining, and life feels pretty darn good.

Since it’s summertime and my skin gets a little extra loving from the sun, I thought this would be the perfect time to make a post about some of my favorite products from Lush. I’ve said this many times before, but Lush is a GREAT COMPANY! Seriously, if you haven’t checked them out yet you’re missing out!

So, without further ado, welcome to my little Lush collection!

Love Lettuce

Love Lettuce 2

 Love Lettuce: $6.95 (in stores only)

* * *

Love Lettuce was the first ever fresh face mask that I bought from Lush, and it’s perfect for my sensitive/dry/acne prone skin! It’s calming and gentle while still being a scrubby mask. I give it 3 stars out of 5 based on the fact that it doesn’t necessarily create much difference in your skin–it’s just nice to use every once in a while to give your face a little extra lovin’ and attention!

Jackie Oates

Jackie Oates 2

Jackie Oates: $16.95

* * * *

This is a colour supplement that can be used as either a tinted moisturizer, concealer, or foundation. I typically use my Jackie Oates as a foundation because it’s incredibly lightweight and it has wonderful coverage! It never looks cakey and it genuinely feels like I’ve just got a bit of moisturizer on my face. It also gives off a more dewy look, which is great for dry skin that’s in need of hydration! This product earns 4 stars from me because the only negative about it is the price; it’s a little steep for the amount of product you get (0.7 oz) but I just make sure to use it wisely!

Aqua Marina

Aqua Marina 2

Aqua Marina$12.95-$31.95

* * * *

First of all, this just might be the strangest hygienic product I have ever encountered! I decided to give Aqua Marina a try after reading the positive reviews on it, and I am extremely pleased that I did. This is what’s known as a “cleanser roll” and you essentially just take a chunk out of it and add a bit of water to it, rub it into your hands, and apply it to your face (or anywhere else you desire). The seaweed in it helps to nourish the skin, while the pink extract is useful for sensitive/irritated spots. I’m a huge fan of this cleanser and I’ll definitely be restocking whenever I run out! The only “bad” thing about this product, in my opinion, is the slight smell it gives off–it’s not awful, but it’s certainly not my favorite scent.


Celestial 2


* * * * *

Prior to Celestial, I had struggled to find a facial moisturizer that suited my skin type, but now I can’t imagine myself using anything else! Not only does this product smell wonderful (vanilla and almond, mmm) but it leaves my skin feeling soft and hydrated. Since it has almond oil as an ingredient, there is a tinge of “greasiness” that comes along with it, so if your skin is naturally oily I would check out the many other Lush moisturizers that could better suite your skin type. Just a dab of this does the trick after each face wash, and your face will be thanking you in return!

Mask of Magnaminty

Mask of Magnaminty 2 

Mask Of Magnaminty$12.95-$24.95

* * * * *

Minty, minty, minty! This face mask is one that will definitely wake you up and liven up your skin! Much like the Love Lettuce face mask, it is an exfoliant that goes on easy and is a sure treat for your skin. I use this mask once or twice a week because I don’t want it to overdo it (trust me, just a few times a week is plenty) and I always end up feeling rejuvenated and awake. I love everything about this mask, especially the fact that my dull skin comes to life whenever I use it.

Let me know if there are any Lush products that you’ve tried (and love) that I haven’t mentioned here! I hope this summer is one filled with laughter, memories, and happy skin!

Inspiration From A Friend

Have you ever come across something that really moves you? Something that stirs up a pot of emotions in your soul? We can find inspiration and beauty in even the simplest of things, and today I am going to tell you a bit about one of my very own inspirations.

If you didn’t already know, I have many “internet” friends, two of whom I was lucky enough to meet this past summer. My friend Ren is a beautiful spirit who has greatly contributed to my inner growth and success, and she never fails to inspire me.

As I was scrolling through my YouTube today, I came across a new video of hers: “Eleven Things You Should Know About Deaf People” and let me just say that there may or may not have been a few tears in my eyes by the end of it. Nevertheless, I believe this video sends a message that everyone needs to receive. Because I won’t be able to do it justice, I’m going to leave the video here for you to emerge yourself in.

Don’t overlook the power and strength of the people you love–let them be a reminder that we all have something to give, and we all have something to learn.

Favorite Etsy Shops


Since we’re nearing the end of this school year, my bank account is dwindling very quickly. So what do I do when I have no money to spend? Online shop, naturally. AKA, put a ridiculous amount of items in my cart, look at the total, remember I’m broke, sigh deeply, and close out of the tab. It’s a vicious cycle.

I’m a big Etsy lover, and whenever I’m in the mood for something unique and fun, I always head there to see what I can drool over. I have had a positive experience with my Etsy purchases in the past, so allow me to share my favorites with you!

1. Amordress

I bought a dress from this shop last spring, and I love it! There are pages upon pages of cute dresses, bags, and jewelry-and they’re all relatively inexpensive. It ships from Thailand, but the shipping is quick and reliable. Plus, this dress is absolutely darling.

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 2. Soapwalla Kitchen

I have only bought the deodorant cream from Soapwalla before, but they have so many different products to suit different needs. The best part? They’re all organic and cruelty free!

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3. PetitPlat

 I haven’t gotten around to actually purchasing anything from this shop yet, but about 90% of my favorited items are all from here! They are such cute, delicate, quirky pieces of jewelry. There’s just something about miniature fruit that sucks me in.


Feel free to share your favorite Etsy shops with me-the more the merrier!


I’m going to try to make this post short and sweet, but it is something that has been on my mind since yesterday and I feel I should address it.

There’s this thing people like to do called ‘invalidating someone’s feelings.’ As many of you probably know, a member from One Direction left the band yesterday and it was a big deal for a lot of people, including myself.

I’ve seen too many people mocking, judging, and essentially just being rude to those of us who are genuinely upset over the situation. The most common claim is that “teenage girls are crying over nothing,” which is problematic in multiple ways. First, to negatively label everyone as “emotional teenage girls” is disgusting-why is it so easy to invalidate a “teenage girls” feelings because of her age and her gender? This is definitely linked to the way young girls are treated in our society: as if they’re shallow, unintelligent, hormone driven people who are apparently a tumor to the intellectual world. But let me just say this: I have never known more compassionate, smart, dedicated and kind people than the teenage girls that have been in my life. Although I am now 21, I have been a teenage girl once and I will always take offense when you belittle someone like that.

Next, people tend to see this entire situation as childish and shallow, but those are the people who have literally no idea what this band means to its fans. It’s deeper than just attractive boys and catchy music, and for a lot of us it is personal. This band has been a big part of our lives for four or five years and when you become invested in something for that long, when you create bonds because of it and you grow up alongside it, it obviously means more than what’s at the surface. I was going through a strange time in my life when I discovered this band, but because of it I met some of my closest friends, I have learned things that I wouldn’t have otherwise learned, I have become a better person, and I have felt like I’ve really belonged. For many of us it has been a constant in our lives, something to always go to whenever we needed because we knew it would always be there. So excuse us for hurting and excuse us for having legitimate feelings.

Of course there are always going to be “bigger and more important” things happening in the world, but that doesn’t mean your personal issues and emotions aren’t worth anything. If you see someone who is clearly affected by something, no matter how insignificant you deem it to be, just respect their feelings. Show some sympathy. Life isn’t about making people feel ashamed for what they love just so you can feel superior for the time being. People can hurt in ways that you might not understand, but that doesn’t mean they’re not hurting.


An Eventful Week

Where do I even begin?

Last Saturday was my 21st birthday, so my friends and I celebrated accordingly. Although I unfortunately didn’t have the chance to see my family on my birthday, it was still one of the best birthdays that I have ever had. It was a beautiful, sunny day in Duluth and I was surrounded by so many wonderful people who worked so hard to give me an amazing day!

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As you can see, I was a birthday princess. Can I wear that crown around all the time?

On Monday, Reena and I hopped on a bus to Chicago for our “spring break in the city” and we spent the week adventuring, shopping, walking, eating pizza, walking some more, taking the subway, getting lost, and did I mention walking?

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This past week has been one of the most memorable of 2015 and I am so lucky to have had the opportunity to spend my 21st with such caring friends, and to have traveled to a new city with my best friend. Coming back to school and having to put last week in the past is certainly tough, but I am looking forward to all that the future has to bring for me.

“The soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience.” -Emily Dickinson.


I also want to thank my friends for showing me an immense support for this blog. I’m constantly overwhelmed by the kind words and encouragement you all throw my way. It means the world.


Spring Is Near!


 Whenever someone has asked what my favorite season is, my response has always been “fall” and I’ve only recently realized that I’m a liar. I have been lying for nearly 21 years about what my favorite season is. And I didn’t even know it!

There’s just something about spring that lifts my spirits. Perhaps it’s the distinct smell, the sun peeking out more and more, the sound of birds chirping again, or the simple fact that everything is coming back to life. It’s beautiful.

After months of bitter cold and snow, it’s a miracle when the temperatures start rising to 30 and 40 degrees. I love being able to go outside in just a light sweatshirt. I love seeing the trees grow their leaves again. I love the slight breeze. I love the melting snow. But most of all, I love how happy I am when it’s springtime. It’s almost as if I come back to life, too.

Here are some songs on my spring playlist:

Bloom-The Paper Kites

Shine On-The Kooks

Hero-Family of the Year

Into the Wild-Lewis Watson


What’s your favorite part about spring? What are you looking forward to in these next few months?