My Favorite Cruelty Free Products

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Recently I wrote a post about animal testing and cruelty free products (which you should totally check out if you haven’t already!!!) and today I decided to show you all some of my absolute favorite cruelty free products. None of these are makeup products, but I plan on doing a post about that in the near future!

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Prior to December I would wash my hair every day. Every. Single. Day. At the time I wasn’t aware of how bad that is for your hair, but over the past three month I’ve trained my hair not to need to be washed everyday! I usually shampoo about once a week, so on my off days I use dry shampoo. I’ve never been a fan of dry shampoo before; it always made me feel dandruffy and messy, but I was convinced to try out the Blow Pro Faux Dry  ($20). Long story short-I LOVE IT! It’s a powder substance, much like baby powder and all you do is shake it and then squeeze the bottle directly onto your hair and Voila! No more greasy hair!

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I started using the Yes To Tomatoes face wash ($9.99) and moisturizer ($11.19) only about a week ago, but I can already see major improvements. Not only does it clear up acne really well, but it also helps to get rid of those pesky, blotchy red spots. I use these every morning and night, and I wake up every morning with bright, glowing skin! One of the cool things about the Yes To brand is that they have different lines of products for a variety of skin types: normal/dry, sensitive, oily/acne prone, fine lines/wrinkles and uneven skin tones. And each of them are accompanied with different fruit or veggie based products!

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I’ll be honest with you, natural deodorants are not fun. I’ve tried three different natural deodorant sticks and I’ve been extremely unhappy with each of them-I stunk. It got to the point that I was so fed up with them and myself that I took to google to see if anyone had any advice on this particular subject. Thankfully I found a blog post about it and a lot of the people in the comments were suggesting SoapWalla. I found the SoapWalla shop on Etsy and decided to try out their deodorant cream ($14.99). It has completely changed my life for the better. It’s made of vegetable powders, clays and essential oils so it hasn’t got the most appealing scent, but it is incredibly effective. I went like, three days without showering and I still smelt amazing. Okay, maybe “amazing” is a bit over the top, but I definitely wasn’t stinky anymore!

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I’ve been using the Organix brand of shampoo and conditioner for quite some time now, and it easily trumps any other shampoo/conditioner I’ve used before. My favorite is the Argan Oil ($7.99) one, but there is a HUGE selection of different scents that suit different types of hair. This shampoo has never left my hair feeling greasy or straw-like or anything of the sort. Plus it smells delicious!

 Hopefully this is helpful for those of you who are in the process of adopting a cruelty free life! Have a good weekend!

Negativity? No Thanks!

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I’m not sure if it’s something that comes naturally with getting older, but I’ve found that I no longer give a damn about what everyone else thinks of me. When I was younger, in high school especially, I was always so paranoid that people were talking about me when I walked by, or that the giggles I heard behind me were due to the fact that something was terribly wrong with my outfit.

It caused me so much stress and uneasiness because everywhere I went I was wondering what was wrong with me, mentally going through all the ways to not draw attention to myself.

I don’t know if you realize this but that’s kind of a really terrible way to live life.

Perhaps it was college, or maturity, or just some weird happenstance, but eventually that just stopped. Don’t get me wrong, I care a lot about what my friends and family think, but outside of them…nope. From time to time I still get a sense that people are talking about me (it’s a bit obvious when they get into a group and they all take turns looking at you and then proceed to talk in hushed voices) but all I can do is shrug. Because the fact of the matter is that 99.9% of the time those people don’t know me, they’re just making assumptions about me based off of shallow things. All that really matters to me is that I’m happy with myself.

And you know what? I am.

So if you’re battling the same fear that I was, I urge you to take into consideration how little those people know of you. Instead, think of the people close to you who know loads about you and love you unconditionally. Do not base your worth on what some stranger says, it’s simply a waste of time.

You do you, friend. You do you.

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Introversion

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No, I’m not antisocial. No, I’m not a loner. No, I don’t hate fun.

I’m just introverted.

What does that mean exactly? Well, introversion is a personality trait  that consists of things such as being quiet (for the most part), observing, thoughtful-but most of all, introverts tend to get their energy from being alone.

I like to be on my own. In fact, I love it. But that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy spending time with others. Usually whenever I’m socializing I hit this wall where all of a sudden I have no more energy to contribute to the occasion. It’s like pulling out the white flag and waving it around while whispering “Okay, I’m done. I’d like to be alone now. Thank you.”

While extroverts get most of their energy from being around people and being social, introverts are quiet opposite. Give me a day (or three) to recuperate after an exhausting social event and I’ll be ready to go again!

Here’s a handy dandy little guide about introversion:

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Whether you’re an introvert, extrovert or even an ambivert, you’re awesome. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!

Thanks for reading!

What I Love About Myself

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Believe it or not, I had a great Valentine’s Day. And I’m single.

In the past I’ve always dreaded Valentine’s Day (partly because the mix of red and pink makes me nauseous) but this year I was content. More than content, really. I was happy.

Spending the weekend with my best friend, Reena, and eating junk food upon junk food and watching rom-coms was certainly helpful in having a good Valentine’s experience, but the fact that I’m currently the happiest I’ve ever been with myself was icing on the cake.

Contrary to popular belief, you can celebrate Valentine’s Day even if you’re single. It can be a day full of lovin’ yourself, and does it get any better than that?

So in honor of Valentine’s Day I’ve decided to make this post about self-love. Here are 10 things that I love about myself.

1. I love my independence and the fact that I can enjoy my own presence when I’m on my own.

2. I really love my eyes.

3. The fact that I’m passionate about certain issues.

4. How confident I’ve become with my body over the years- I’ve gone from cringing whenever I looked in the mirror to actually checking myself out sometimes! Ha!

5. I’m trustworthy; I don’t tell people other peoples business. Gossiping is boring to me.

6. The fact that I’ve unlearned so much internalized misogyny and problematic thoughts.

7. My desire to constantly learn more and become a better, stronger person.

8. My sense of humor.

9. My love for dogs (which probably trumps my love for humans, if I’m being honest.)

10. I’ve got a kick-ass smile.

A few years ago I probably wouldn’t have even been able to come up with 5 things that I love about myself. Progress is a beautiful thing.

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Now it’s your turn; what are some things that you love about yourself?

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CRUELTY FREE

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You know what I love? Animals. You know what I don’t love? Animal testing.

Like, really. Animal testing is one of the most aggravating things to me. It also makes me cry. A lot. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve cried while watching videos of animals that had been tested on. My soft heart simply cannot take it.

Over the last year and a half I became extremely conscious of animal testing and in doing so I began to realize how many of the products I had been using were tested on animals. Umm…pretty much every single product I owned.

So with the new knowledge I had of animal testing and doing research onto alternative methods of testing that DON’T involve torturing animals, I adopted a Cruelty-Free life. I will admit that it wasn’t easy; it took quite a while to weed out all of those tainted brands that I had been using for so long (damn you drugstore makeup) but now I am cruelty-free and oh so happy about it!

Here are some links that can describe alternative ways to test much better than I could, so please check them out!

http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-experimentation/alternatives-animal-testing/

http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/cosmetic_testing/facts/alternatives_animal_tests.html

One of my favorite companies is called Lush, and the reason I love Lush so much (besides the fact that all their products makes me feel like a soft, delicious-smelling baby, minus the drooling and lack of teeth) is the fact that they work to fight animal testing. And guess what? Their products work AND they’re very successful! Huh, it’s almost as if animal testing isn’t necessary to maintain a good business….weird…

http://www.lushusa.com/on/demandware.store/Sites-Lush-Site/en_US/AboutUs-OurStoryShow?cid=about-animal-introduction

Please check them out and while you’re at it, buy yourself a bath bomb. You deserve it friend.

So how exactly does one go about adopting a cruelty free life? It’s actually quite simple. All you have to do is look for either of these two symbols on any given product:

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If you don’t see these anywhere on the product, try looking to see if there is anything that says “This product was not tested on animals.” Sometimes it’s tricky to find it next to all the writing, but it’s worth the search.

Another method you can use to see if something is cruelty free is to use this neat little shopping guide. Just type in the brand you’re considering and it will let you know if it’s cruelty free or not!

http://www.leapingbunny.org/shopping.php

And if you’re really devoted to finding good products, I recommend the Beagle Freedom Project’s “CRUELTY CUTTER” app for your smartphone.

I have so much more to say about this topic but I’ll leave that for another day. In the meantime, here’s a video of some beautiful babes feeling grass under their paws for the first time since they were rescued from a laboratory.

A Weekend In Winona

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This past weekend I had the opportunity to take a trip down to Winona with my best friend Reena to surprise our other best friend, Tricia. We arrived in Winona around 5:00 Friday night and met up with a few of Tricia’s friends and needless to say she was quite surprised when she found us sitting on a couch in her friend Bekah’s house.

It was a really great weekend spent meeting many of Tricia’s friends, eating yummy food, exploring Winona and above all, still somehow finding a way to waste hours upon hours doing absolutely nothing. It’s what we do best.

Before we left yesterday, however, Tricia took Reena and I to this cute little cafe called Blooming Grounds. We drank hot cocoa and chai’s and simply sat and enjoyed each other’s company.

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This weekend reminded me how wonderful these two girls are and how lucky I am to be able to call them my best friends. I always feel so comfortable with these two, and they are so supportive of me and everything I do. (They even listen to my feminist and animal right’s rants :) )