ILLUMA Cosmetics – Face Serum and Eye Shadow Reviews

Company: Illuma Cosmetics

Products:

Ink Matte Eye Pan $10.00 USD

Vegan Algae Serum (2 oz.) $48.00 USD

Reviews:

The Ink Matte Eye Pan is a navy blue eye shadow that can be used all over the lid or as a liner. When applied with a dry brush, the color is very sheer (see the top swatch), and can be used to create a light smokey eye. When applied with a wet brush as I did in the middle swatch, the color is much more intense. The bottom swatch was done with a wet liner brush.

I love using a dark blue shade as a liner instead of the same old black liners. It really defines and brightens the eye. When applied wet, this shadow has great staying power, but I recommend using a primer like I do with all shadows.

The Vegan Algae Serum is a light organic serum made for all skin types. The star ingredients include blue green algae extract, white willow bark extract, vitamin E and aloe vera leaf juice. It is made to reduce inflammation and redness, while tightening and brightening the skin. It can be used under moisturizer or added to oils or creams.

When used alone on bare skin, this serum can become a little tacky. I preferred to mix this serum into my face moisturizer which added skin loving nutrients to my routine and got rid of the stickiness. This serum made my skin feel tighter and helped to calm the redness in my cheeks.

The Bottom Line

ILLUMA Cosmetics creates organic, vegan and cruelty free products that are made to enhance everyone's natural beauty. The eye shadow is fantastic when used wet. The face serum is packed with nourishing ingredients that can improve anyone and everyone's skincare routine! Follow ILLUMA Cosmetics on Instagram @illumabeauty and check out their products!

Thank you, ILLUMA Cosmetics, for sending me these products to review!

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Pistil & Bark Face Serum and Detoxifying Mask Reviews and Discount Code

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COMPANY: Pistil & Bark

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PRODUCTS:

Alpine Rose Luxury Face Serum 60ml $20.79

Canadian Glacial Clay Detoxifying Mask 60g $12.47

Reviews:

The Alpine Rose Luxury Face Serum is made to hydrate and nourish your skin while reducing and preventing fine lines. The star ingredients of this powerhouse serum are rosehip oil, pomegranate oil, grape seed oil, carrot tissue oil, borage oil, neroli oil, chamomile oil, rosehip seed oil, essential oils, and argan oil.

I used this serum as part of my bedtime skincare routine. I only needed 1 pump of the product to cover my neck and to have a little left over for my chest (I put it where the sun hits… gotta help that skin too!). This serum is a light oil and is easily massaged into the skin. I definitely think that it is better for night time use because you can feel it on top of your skin initially. That's not a bad thing because you wake up to moisturized and calmed skin!

This serum reduced the redness in my cheeks and has made my skin softer, for sure. I have dry, sensitive skin with occasional breakouts (I'll get to that in a minute!) and I am trying to use more anti-aging products. I have the slightest fine lines around my eyes and mouth, so I need those to get out of here and fast! Rosehip Oil and Carrot Seed Oil are known to help with collagen production and reducing signs of aging, so I will definitely continue to use this product!

To make this even better, Pistil & Bark donates 10% of proceeds from this product to the "Canadian Women's Foundation – Empower Girls program, which is dedicated to inspiring confidence in at-risk Canadian girls through science and technology, sports and leadership skills." How awesome is that?

Next, I'd love to talk about the Canadian Glacial Clay Detoxifying Mask! This product is fragrance-free and the ingredient list includes activated charcoal, Canadian glacial clay, papaya extract, guava extract, strawberry extract, and aloe vera extract. We've all seen those charcoal masks and teeth whiteners on social media, and I was so excited to try this one out! I have no idea what those other masks have in them, but this list of ingredients purifies your skin with activated charcoal and Canadian glacial clay while providing vitamins and minerals from fruit extracts along with moisture from aloe vera.

Since this mask is a dry, pitch black powder, it is best to mix a small amount of product in a small cup or bowl and add the desired amount of liquid to it (I used water). I also suggest that you use a washcloth to remove it once it is completely dry on your face, or just jump into the shower. Inevitably, you will get some of the mask on your countertop or sink, but it is easily wiped away.

So, how did it work? Man… I love this mask! My skin is dry and has clogged pores. They usually don't turn into breakouts, they just hang out under the skin making it look textured and unpleasant. I was really hoping that this mask would help with that, and I am happy to report that it did! My skin is looking smoother and this mask also made it much easier to extract my clogged pores after using it. I also tried this as a spot treatment and it really helped!

Also, "10% of proceeds from this product will be donated to Wildlife Preservation Canada – a non-profit organization that saves critically endangered species by breeding and releasing and building numbers when habitat protection alone is not enough." AH-MAZ-ING!

The Bottom Line

Pistil & Bark is a new company that creates vegan, cruelty-free, naturally effective products with a purpose! They work fabulously on their own, but I highly recommend that you try them out together! The packaging is beautiful and the prices are great for the quality ingredients that are in these products. My skin looks more radiant, smoother, and healthier. I really think these products are fantastic. On top of getting beautiful skin, you also get to feel great that a portion of your purchase will help animals or people in need!

Head on over to Pistil & Bark's Etsy page and support this wonderful company! Use code "LOVEVTH" for 15% off of your order, and let me know how you like their skin care!

Moon Luv Vegan Skin Care Reviews

Company: Moon Luv Vegan Skin Care

"Moon Luv Vegan Naturals is a natural skin care line that is vegan-friendly, cruelty-free and contains no parabens, sls, phthalates nor genetically modified ingredients and is dedicated to bringing you the best in vegan beauty & vegan skincare."

"Lastly, as we mentioned before, all of our products are cruelty-free. We do not use ingredients from any company that tests on animals. We believe that if a product must be tested on an animal in order to determine whether or not it is safe for human use, then maybe the human the humans shouldn't be using that product. Maybe, just maybe, there are too many chemicals in that product. Those are chemicals that are, eventually, going to do more harm than good. Those are chemicals that we, at Moon Luv, consider not worth incorporating into our products. We take our customers' body health and skin health very seriously and we feel that we have a social responsibility to not contribute to the detriment of any other being on this planet."

Products:

Apres Sun Body Polish (8 oz/226g) –  $32.00 USD

Apres Sun Body Oil (8 oz/226g) – $29.00 USD

Apres Sun Body Soak (8 oz/226g) –  $32.00 USD

Reviews:

Moon Luv  is a new company that creates cruelty-free, vegan products that are truly luxurious and unique. Their raw ingredients are sourced from all over the world, and each product line features a specific crystal. The Apres Sun Summer Collection (meaning After the Sun) features Citrine, a crystal known to carry the power of the sun. Admittedly, I am not a crystal expert, but I have always been interested in them. After a little research, I found that Citrine comforts and energizes while turning negative thoughts into positive ones… How cool is that?!

The Apres Sun Body Polish is a perfect scrub to use before you hit the beach to tan. It's vibrant yellow color and bright fruity scent is perfect for summer! This truly special scent smells of pink grapefruit and mango, and possibly a little bit of sunshine!  The scrub is made of cornmeal, which is a very gentle, yet effective exfoliant. This body scrub left my skin feeling soft and smooth. Cocoa butter, almond oil, and shea butter work together to hydrate the skin to prepare it for some time in the sun!

The Apres Sun Body Oil is made to be used under your SPF. It contains raspberry seed oil that has a natural SPF of 28-40, while Shea oil, Buriti and Ucaaba oils moisturize and nourish. This oil is thin and is easily massaged into the skin. It leaves a sheen, which is perfect for showing off those arms and legs you worked so hard for all year (push ups and squats for days, am I right?).

The Apres Sun Body Soak is an awesome, unique product. Have you ever soaked in a tub full of crystals? I couldn't say that I had, until trying this. This body soak has the same bright scent as the body polish, maybe even a little bit stronger. It contains Citrine crystals and aloe, making it the perfect after-sun skin treatment. While you're soaking, you can't help but feel happy and energized while your skin is softened and pampered.

I was also given a sample of Moon Luv Hibiscus Coconut Monoi Bath Soak, which I must admit, was one of my favorite bath products to date! The scent of Gardenias, Hibiscus, Lilac, Jasmine, and Coconut fill your bathtub and calm your senses. This soak contains Rose Quartz, the stone of love, beauty, and fertility. Dead Sea Salt and strawberries detox and tone the skin while the sophisticated floral fragrance melts your worries away!

The Bottom Line

Moon Luv Vegan Skin Care is a high quality, luxury skin care line. Their products are made with ingredients that you really don't see everywhere, and the scents are truly special. The frosted glass packaging of the body polish and soaks, along with the metallic bronzey-gold lids, look fantastic on top of your vanity or counter.

The Apres Sun Summer Collection is the perfect line to nourish and protect your skin after summertime sun exposure! I recommend these products to anyone that is looking for luxurious ingredients, bright summery scents, and crystals to energize your senses!

Thank you, Moon Luv Vegan Skin Care, for sending me these products to review!

 

Kylie Jenner Is Vegan Now?

It was announced today that Kylie Jenner is trying out a "vegan" lifestyle, according to her Snapchat account. With over 96 million followers is Instagram alone, this could be HUGE for the vegan movement.

There are many skeptics, though, for good reason. Kylie has often been seen all over social media wearing fur, leather, and eating animal products.

People can change, right? After all, very few of us grew up vegan. We all changed at some point, so let's give her a chance! Read the VegNews article, here.

Fivesso Coffee Scrub Reviews

Company: Fivesso

Products:

Mint Coffee Premium Coffee Scrub 4 oz. $15.99 USD

Lavender Premium Coffee Scrub 4 oz. $15.99 USD

Cinnamon Premium Coffee Scrub 4 oz. $14.99 USD

Reviews:

If you love coffee, you'll really dig these scrubs! They're made of natural, organic ingredients and smell like a dream!

The Mint Coffee Premium Coffee Scrub smells like sweet, refreshing mint and freshly brewed coffee. The Cinnamon Premium Coffee Scrub is probably my favorite scent. It's smells just like a cinnamon latte and reminds me a little bit of Autumn and cooler weather. The Lavender Premium Coffee Scrub is an interesting scent combination. Who would have thought that lavender and coffee would smell nice together? Well, it works!

The coffee grounds make these scrubs abrasive enough to remove dead skin cells to make your skin nice and smooth, without being too rough or irritating. Coconut oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, and cocoa butter really work together to moisturize the skin. You're left smelling delicious with skin that is radiant, hydrated and healthy. I really liked using these scrubs in the morning. The smell of coffee perks me right up!

The Bottom Line

These scrubs smell fantastic and really do a great job smoothing and moisturizing the skin. These would also be perfect to use before applying self tanner or pampering dry feet. These scrubs contain honey, so they may not be suitable for all vegans.

Thank you, Fivesso, for sending me these samples to review!

Splash Soaps Review

Company: Splash Soaps

Splash Soaps are perfect for adding some fun to your bathing routine! These soaps are handcrafted with love making them truly special! 

Talk about unique products… check out this vibrant orange Loofah Soap! It smells of sweet citrus making it perfect for summer time! It creates a rich lather and the attached loofah makes getting clean fun, quick and easy. It leaves a subtle scent on the skin. This is such a great idea. You can really tell that it is “Made With Love.”

These Rock Soaps are SO COOL! These glycerin soaps are clear with vibrant pops of gemstone-like colors. Every soap is different in shape, size, and color. I’ve never seen anything like these before!

This lavender flower soap is as cute as can be! The beautiful purple shade has irridescent glitter that catches the light and just glows! It looks so pretty on your countertop! It easily lathers up and shea butter leaves your hands feeling soft and beautiful. 

Right now, Bath Bombs and Rose products are taking over the internet and everyone’s bathtubs, so you really can’t go wrong with this English Rose Bath Bomb! It smells like fresh roses and leaves behind the floral scent on your skin after taking a long, relaxing bath. My skin smelled gorgeous after using this and was definitely moisturized, thanks to coconut oil! 

Who says you need your partner to give you a bouquet of roses? Drop this English Rose Bath Bomb into your bathtub, pour yourself a glass of wine, and you’re all set!


This big, fizzy bath bomb is for your feet (they deserve to have their own moment, right?)! It quickly dissolves in warm bath water and contains shea butter and dried mint leaves. If you have ever used bath bombs or soaks that contain dried flowers or herbs, you know that it feels like floating in a big cup of tea! If you’re looking for a bunch of bubbles, this isn’t for you. If you’re looking for a relaxing, aromatic foot bath after a long day, you’ll love this one!

This Clean Linen Scented Bath Bomb is fizzy, smells fresh and wonderful, and softens your skin thanks to shea butter!

 I love bath bombs that moisturize the skin because it really is the most convenience way to hydrate your entire body (and unwind at the same time). These bath bombs contain shea or coconut butter. Both ingredients are excellent all around moisturizers,  yay! 

The Bottom Line

 It is easy to see that Splash Soaps products are made with love, care and attention. They are as cute as can be, but they also leave your skin clean and hydrated. With their wide range of truly unique soaps and bath bombs, I highly recommend Splash Soaps! Their website is currently under construction, but you can check out their products on their Instagram feed @my.splash. I will link to the products when the website is up, so check this post for updates! 

Thank you, Splash Soaps, for sending me these awesome products to review!!!

Thesis Beauty Skincare Review

CompanyThesis Beauty

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Products:  Rose Garden Body Oil – 4 Fluid Ounces (120 ml)  – $19.95 USD

Rosemary Citrus Makeup Remover – 4 Fluid Ounces (120 ml) – $19.95 USD

West Indies Poppy Seed Facial Scrub – 4 ounces (112 grams) – $22.95 USD

Reviews:

Alright! Let’s jump right in and talk about the Rose Garden Body Oil!

The star ingredients of this antioxidant packed oil are organic cold-pressed Macadamia, Jojoba, and Rosehip oils. This oil is light and absorbs quickly into the skin, leaving it soft, smooth, and hydrated. I like to use it right after the shower to lock in moisture and to smell fantastic for the rest of the day!

I wish I could accurately describe how fabulous this oil smells! If I had to smell like one scent for the rest of my life, this would be it! I want to buy 5,000 bottles of this to keep in my closet, ya know, just in case! It’s fresh, light and sweet. I would have to describe the scent to be like a delicious macadamia nut cookie straight out of the oven mixed with a little fruitiness! This scent makes me feel beautiful… I know, I know beauty comes from within but girl, this stuff smells good!

This product is multitasking meaning that it can be used on your skin, in your hair and cuticles, as a massage or bath oil, and for shaving. I really like using this on the dry ends of my hair to make them look smoother and, of course, smell really nice!

The Rosemary and Citrus Makeup Remover is made with organic Jojoba, Sunflower, Apricot Kernel Oils, as well as Sweet Orange, Spearmint, and Rosemary essential oils. The scent is citrusy, herbal, and minty, and is refreshing to use at the end of a long day. I used this remover to take off my concealer, foundation, bronzer, eyebrow pencil, liquid eyeliner, eye shadow, and mascara. This remover did a good job taking off all of these products. It is gentle enough to use around the eyes and it did not dry out my skin. I always let my cleanser or remover rest for 10-20 seconds on my eyes so that it can break up my makeup without having to pull and tug at my skin and lashes. I used this method with this makeup remover, and it worked!

The West Indies Poppy Seed Facial Scrub is made with Kaolin Clay, Organic Poppy Seeds, Organic Orange Peel, Organic Rosehips, and French Green Clay. This is a powder exfoliant, so you need to mix a teaspoon of the product in the palm of your hand with a small amount of water. This scrub is very gentle on the skin, since poppy seeds are the main exfoliant, as opposed to sugar or salt scrubs. The scent is natural, sweet, and somewhat earthy smelling due to the clay. It massages easily into the skin and leaves it smooth and glowing. The clay helps to detox the skin while rosehips provide nourishment. My skin is mostly dry but has been looking a little oily lately. This scrub helped to remove excess oil and dull skin, giving me a radiant complexion!

The Bottom Line

I couldn’t recommend these products more! They are organic, all natural, and effective. The products smell WONDERFUL and perform very well! The prices are great, especially since you only need the smallest amount to work (with the exception of the makeup remover… if you wear a ton of makeup, you’ll need a little more product). The packaging is adorable. It reminds me of old school apothecary bottles with a natural, modern twist. Of course, Thesis Beauty products are vegan and cruelty-free and contain only good-for-you ingredients, I mean, what’s not to love?

Thank you so much to Thesis Beauty for sending me these products to review!

 

Crossroads Los Angeles

 Crossroads

8284 Melrose Ave.

Los Angeles, CA 90046

(323) 782 – 9245

Atmosphere:  As you walk into Crossroads, the motif is what first grabs your attention! Chandeliers, dark wood accents, cathedral ceilings, and crisp white linens create a sophisticated and upscale environment with a just a touch of mystery. The hostess quickly asks “Do you have a reservation?”, which of course, I did not. Nonetheless, my boyfriend and I were seated quickly at a small table with a chair on one side and a long, wooden booth that ran the length of the entire dining area.

It seemed clear that there were many visitors like myself… those interested in vegan food  in general, and those wanting to try out the Impossible Burger, like the couple sitting next to us. When I looked up, I couldnt help but notice that Kat Von D was there. Quietly dining and keeping to herself. I liked her even before my vegan days (way before hers), but I couldnt bring myself to even wave. She was just there to eat some great food, afterall.

Food: The Weekday Lunch Menu includes Sandwiches and Hotplates, Cold Plates, Soups and Sides, as well as a selection of milkshakes, alcoholic drinks, coffees, teas, and others like kombucha and lemonade. I knew that I had to order the Chicken & Waffles ($14.00 USD) which consisted of “fried chicken, waffles, and warm maple hot sauce.”

The Chicken & Waffles arrived to the table quickly. I didn’t know it at the time, but my life was going to change after I took my first bite! The fried chicken was… CHICKEN?! The taste, texture, and smell were the absolute closest plant-based meat product that I have EVER had! The breading was light and fried to perfection with hints of black pepper and herbs. The maple hot sauce BLEW MY MIND! I’m not the biggest hot sauce fan, but somehow the warm maple syrup blended in perfect ratio with the hot sauce amped up the chicken even higher! The waffles were tender and chewy with just the right amount of crispiness. I honestly have no idea how they did this, I just know that I want more!!!

Midway through the meal, I decided to order the Mac and Cheese ($6.00 USD) I mean, I was at Crossroads, can you blame me? Let me tell you, it was absolutely outstanding. The pasta was cooked to pefection (slightly al dente) and the cheese sauce was thin and mild. It tasted to me like a blend of American Cheese with a hint of Cheddar. Salty parm was sprinkled on top, which only brought out the delcious cheese flavors. UGH. I give this Mac and Cheese a million stars!

Dig it OR Ditch it?

If you’ve made it to this point, you can guess that Crossroads is an absolute DIG IT! The ambience, service, and mind-blowingly delicious food truly created a unique and fantastic experience! If I lived in LA, I would be there as much as possible. Who am I kidding, I would probably be there every damn day and camp out in front so I could be served first. Crossroads has truly opened my eyes as to how fabulous vegan food can be. That is saying a lot since I’ve had more than my fair share! My boyfriend is not vegan, and raved about this place as much as I did. This would be the perfect place to take skeptics and those that are considering veganism, to show them that they can have food even BETTER than they are used to.   If you have the opportunity, PLEASE go here. You will regret it if you don’t!

 

 

La Pink Rose Donut Soap Review

Company: La Pink Rose

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Products:

Poppin’ Pink Donut Soap – $5.00 USD

Chocolate Glazed Donut Soap  – $5.00 USD

Review:


Can we just take a minute and talk about how CUTE these soaps are? They’re (just about) realistic looking enough to eat! From the frosting to the sprinkles, the design of these soaps is spot-on!

These donut soaps measure about 3″ in diameter, making them a good sized hand or body soap. They lather up quickly and nicely with a light to medium lather that rinses off easily. Your hands are left feeling clean, soft, and lightly fragranced. I noticed that this soap does not leave you with that slick (and unpleasant, IMO) feeling that most glycerin soaps leave behind. After multiple uses, the soap still looks pretty on my countertop.

The fragrance certainly smells like super-sweet baked goods. It actually makes me want to whip up a batch of actual donuts and eat them all in one sitting (don’t judge me!). The main ingredient of these soaps is coconut oil, but I feel obligated to state that they do contain palm oil, which may not be considered vegan to some people.

The Bottom Line

If you want some cute soaps, check out La Pink Rose! Just tell your boyfriend or whoever that they’re soap, so they don’t accidentally eat them! La Pink Rose also has body butters that are vegan and sound delicious! Use code “VTH10”  for 10% off of your order!

Thank you, La Pink Rose, for sending me these products to review!