MoNat Hair Care

Guys, the struggle is real. My hair has always been a source of frustration, anger, desperation – you name it. “Blessed” with naturally wavy/curly hair, of course I have spent my life attempting to force it into straight submission.

Needless to say, my poor hair puts up with a lot, with being dried and straightened and restraightened every. single. day. I am picky about products and this was one area where I had yet to be really happy with a brand – until now. I’ve tried everything from salon brands to dollar store shampoos (“it’s all the same isn’t it?”) to all-natural blends. Nothing really felt right until Alexis from MoNat hooked me up with some free samples.

MoNat products are natural AND vegan (woo hoo!) but I was a bit leery considering I’ve tried other ‘natural’ shampoos before and hated the way they felt. There was even a warning that the MoNat shampoo might not lather as much as my usual shampoo (because it doesn’t contain any of the chemicals that create the later effect). However, I found it lathered plenty compared to others I’ve tried, and I wouldn’t have even noticed a difference!

I had never heard of MoNat before and now I can’t stop talking about it! I have tried three of the samples I received and am an enthusiastic believer. You know how commercials often talk about how you have “buildup” on your hair? After using the Revive Shampoo and rinsing it out, before putting conditioner in, my fingers were “squeaking” through my hair. I’m not even kidding – my hair felt “squeaky clean” to the point where I actually stopped and starting feeling my head to see if it was real, because I don’t recall that happening with any other shampoo. I went ahead and finished off with the Revitalize Conditioner and couldn’t believe how good my hair felt after.

About a week later, I finally got around to using the Rejuvenique Oil Intensive; I had held off because I figured I would never really use a product like that, I don’t have time to sit around and wait for something on my hair and I saw how pricey it was and thought I’ll never order it anyway. Well – it turns out, unlike a lot of hair remedies, this one can be applied as a pre-shampoo treatment and doesn’t have to be on as long as others. So I slicked back my hair with it while I washed my face before getting in the shower. When it came time to do my hair I rinsed it out then used my usual drugstore brand of shampoo and conditioner I wanted to finish off. I was shocked at how manageable my hair seemed after. It blow dried straighter and faster.

If you can’t tell yet, I am a complete MoNat convert. So much so that I joined up as a “Market Partner” (with an initial cost) in order to get the product discounts, which is something I would never usually do. Yes, the products are pricey but I would say they are comparable to many salon brands, especially if you sign up as a VIP customer (requires auto-ship ordering) or a Market Partner and receive the discount.

I ordered the shampoo and conditioner right away, and am now planning to order the Oil as well. For the moment, I can’t imagine using anything else on my hair. The products are also meant to prevent thinning hair and hair loss (bonus! My hair has already gotten thinner from all the straightening) and there are testimonials from people who previously suffered from eczema on their scalp having banished it forever thanks to MoNat! I hope you will check them out and be as happy as I am!

MoNat shampoo and conditioner

I’m actually excited to wash my hair tonight lol! It’s usually such a chore.

Arm The Animals!

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Mr. Big and I sharing a contemplative moment on Earth Day…

Happy Earth Day! Here in the GTA it’s a beautiful spring day; what better time to wear my new Arm the Animals t-shirt! This is a brand I recently learned about, and if you are as passionate about animal welfare as I am, you’ll be placing an order after reading this post… if you make it to the end!

Based in California, for the past six years this clothing company has made giving back a part of its mission. When you buy from them, you can feel good about your purchase because a portion of the proceeds go to NO-KILL animal rescue groups and shelters (I highlight the no-kill part because that is an important distinction for me, personally). Also, they typically give to smaller groups where the money can have the most impact. This speaks straight to my heart, being on the board of a small Toronto-based rescue group myself that relies on donations and has no (over)paid executives!

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My shirt is so soft and comfy and I’ve had so many compliments on it already at work today. It’s a great way to get people talking about an issue that’s otherwise not easy to bring up.

Of course, the best part is that the designs are awesome! I’ve already found so many more pieces I want, and I love how once you find a design you like, it comes in a multitude of colours and shirt options, from hoodies to tanks and tees. Here are some of my favourite items available now (all prices are in US dollars):

If you’re like me and like so many items you find it hard to choose, watch out for their “3 for 30 deals” where you choose one of their themes (for example; cat shirts!), and you’ll get 3 randomly selected cat design tees in your size – fun!

If you like my tee, you’ll find it here.

Arm the Animals Rabbits Kiss Women Tee

So head on over to Arm the Animals and get shopping! I’d like to thank Arm the Animals for my tee, and my wonderful model Mr. Big thanks you for choosing a cruelty-free lifestyle!

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Mr. Big says THANK YOU!

Eye Makeup Remover – the Saga Continues

Okay, it’s not really a “saga”… but several people have been asking about the Dollarama “Delon” brand eye makeup remover I posted about a long time ago. It’s a staple for me, but lately it’s nowhere to be found on store shelves – sadly. This happened once before, and all of a sudden, months later, it came back with new packaging. So there’s still hope!

In the meantime, I ran out of my last bottle and had to scramble to find an alternative. I thought I would share this since many readers seem to be having the same issue. If you are looking for something easily accessible, I have tried Marcelle’s in the past (available at Shoppers Drug Mart) and it does the job, but I find it oily (I think they have an oil-free version now but I haven’t tried it). My choice for a substitute product is by Beauty Without Cruelty (it’s all in the name, huh?!), and I ordered it from well.ca here.

Yes, it’s smaller than the Dollarama one, and much more expensive – we had it good, didn’t we? On the bright side, it’s the closest one I’ve found – same consistency, not oily, etc. It is comparable in price to others on the market.

Anyone found any other makeup removers they like?

Beauty Without cruelty eye makeup remover

Review: LaRitzy Cruelty-Free Monthly Beauty Box

I was lucky enough to be gifted December’s beauty box by LaRitzy. Until contacted by them, I had no idea this existed and I think it’s awesome! If you didn’t get what you wanted this Christmas, wait no more – buy yourself the gift that keeps on giving every month. The only downfall I have to mention is that all prices are in US dollars and as you probably know, our dollar is terrible right now and not looking to get any better anytime soon. So the exchange into Canadian dollars will hurt a bit. That’s not the company’s fault though, obviously.

LaRitzy box

My first impression upon opening the box was wow, they packed a lot of stuff into this little box. In total there are 7 items included. Aside from 2 mini samples, everything appears to be the standard size you would get if buying the product on its own somewhere. I haven’t heard of ANY of the companies included so bonus! 6 new cruelty-free companies to be aware of. A card giving information about each product and its value is included. I checked out the values on my own and they all hold true.

LaRitzy Box Opened

I’ve seen beauty boxes in the past that friends have received and been unhappy with because the products included seem to be the colours no one can use, or products no one really wants. This is not the case here. I feel like everything I got is useful and appropriate, and I am picky! So let’s get to the details!

My box would have cost $29.99US (including shipping) for 1 month (the price goes down if you sign up for a longer term). Items included this month:

1. Trust Fund Beauty nail polish – full size. It’s a sparkly silver polish made for the holidays. Doesn’t get more seasonally appropriate than this. To purchase this item alone would be $15US.

Trust Fund Beauty Silver Nail Polish  Trust Fund Beauty Nail Polish Box

2. Studio Aroma nail cuticle oil – full size. Made in British Columbia! Again, seasonally appropriate, something I definitely need in these dry winter months. Value is $12 Canadian. Already close to making up for the cost of the box!

Studio Aroma cuticle oil

3. The Konjac Sponge Co. facial sponge – my coworker oohed and ahhed over this one. She is a makeup fanatic and thinks these are amazing for washing your face with. I had never heard of them but it sounds great – it’s a vegetable fibre sponge that exfoliates and removes makeup with or without cleanser. Value of $12US.

Konjac Sponge Co.

4. GlamNatural Mascara – Black, full size. This is a $28US value on its own! Amazing. I generally wear brown mascara but I recognize that I’m in the minority and for most people, this is an awesome item to receive. If I like it, I’ll definitely be ordering it in brown – it’s exciting for me that they even make brown because a lot of cruelty-free companies don’t for some reason! NOTE: after publishing this post and taking out the mascara to use – it’s actually BROWN that I was sent – SCORE! wahoo!

GlamNatural Mascara

5. m.o.t.d Cosmetics Brush – vegan and crusty-free smudge brush (a type I actually don’t have!), $9-12US value. Basic and useful.

m.o.t.d cosmetics smudge brush

6. GlamNatural blush sample – a cream blush sample that is a basic colour, nothing crazy.

GlamNatural Blush Sample GlamNatural Blush sample back

7. Bodisafe Beauty Night Cream sample – I am very interested to try this as I find there aren’t that many cruelty-free night creams out there and the Arbonne one I’m currently using is costly so I’m going to try this one and see what the cost difference is.

Bodisafe Night Cream

Overall, I was thoroughly impressed. Remember, I wasn’t sent a “curated” box just for me. I was sent the same December box sent to all subscribers. Time would tell if every month it holds up the value with more great products, but so far I’m dying to sign up for more! There are 3 options – month to month at the $24.99 (plus $5 ship)US price, or the price goes down if you sign up for 3 months at at time, and the best value is received by signing up for a whole year at once. I was mostly excited to discover all of these brands I had never heard of, when I consider myself pretty knowledgeable about the cruelty-free beauty space.

ORDER YOURS NOW AND USE COUPON CODE HOLIDAY5 FOR $5 OFF!

Big News in Winter Jackets

I am BEYOND excited to be able to share this news with you. I was recently contacted by CFL player James Yurichuk (#47, Toronto Argonauts) about his new cruelty-free outerwear line that was created specifically to rival Canada Goose’s popularity.

I have long been a Goose hater – seeing this jacket on so many during the past few winters has seriously driven me crazy! I want to run up to everyone and say “Do you know coyotes are very close to dogs? And you have a dead one around your hood?”. Anyone who says you “need” animal fur or down to stay warm is LYING. Mammoth Outerwear has set out to prove it.

The product line launches TOMORROW, November 24 at 12:01 a.m. I am dying to get my hands on one of these jackets. Please watch and share the amazing Kickstarter video with everyone you know, and check out mammothouterwear.com! Here’s hoping they kick some goose butt this winter!

Hair Heat Protection

I’m not sure about your area, but around here last week was hot, hot, hot! And with the heat came humidity. I generally flat iron my hair every day but in weather like that it’s pretty pointless – as soon as I step outside, it just starts growing. I’ve been looking for a product to help with outdoor issues from the sun and moisture as well as damage from blowdrying and flat ironing.

I decided to try Fuzion “hot headed” spray that I found at Dollarama for 2 whole dollars (oh happy day!). And I was pleasantly surprised. I am pretty sure this is leftover stock that Dollarama bought (i.e. not a made-for-dollar store item). My hair felt great after and following a blowdry, I didn’t bother flat ironing it and my hair stayed the same throughout the day. Very impressed!

The bad news – the web site for the company doesn’t work. It relinks to another company where Fuzion isn’t listed as a brand. I can’t find out anything about the company online. I have a sinking feeling that the company has gone out of business and that’s why leftover stock is being sold off at Dollarama. So all I can say is – get it while you can! Very sad, considering that not only is it cruelty-free, it’s also “Proudly Canadian”! 🙁

Fuzion hot headed spray Fuzion hot headed spray back label

Free Natural Deodorant Sample!

Get a free sample of Purely Great natural cream deodorant here! I chose the unscented and it took about two weeks to come in the mail. I keep forgetting to actually try it… oops! This is a Toronto-based company. The downside is – even if I like it, I personally find the price prohibitive since I am happy with my current roll-on by Naturally Fresh (about $4.99). That being said, right now the Purely Great deodorants are on sale, $3 off ($12.99 instead of $15.99) and having never purchased it, I can’t say how long it lasts compared to other brands so the price may be more than fair. Let me know if you try it, what you think!

More Dollarama Finds

So, I braved the deep-freeze here and went out to do my grocery shopping and other errands on Sunday. I needed a couple of things from the dollar store, and everywhere I looked I kept finding more great cruelty-free products! So, I present to you, my most recent Dollarama Finds:

1. Daily Defense Shampoo and Conditioner with Moroccan argan oil: okay I know this is a total “fad” ingredient right now and I got completely sucked in. But how could I resist? $2 for each of these and they are HUGE. I used it last night and so far, so good. No problems to report! And BONUS – it’s made in Canada!

Daily Defense Morrocan oil shampoo and conditioner

shampoo back

2. DELON Body Cream – Coconut Lime. They also had Mango – I regret not getting both! I wanted to test it out first, though. This cream is nice, rubs in easily. Made in Canada!

body cream

And here are a few things I saw that I didn’t particularly need right now, but I thought were great deals:

Daily Defense Hairspray

Daily Defense Hairspray

Freeman Bare Hands Lavender Hand Cream

Freeman Bare Hands Lavender Hand Cream

Freeman Bare Foot Cream and Scrub

Freeman Bare Foot Cream and Scrub

Delon Baby Oil - Made in Canada!

Delon Baby Oil – Made in Canada!

HAPPY SHOPPING!

Flower Cosmetics now at Walmart

An old friend notified me that “Flower” brand cosmetics are now in Walmart locations across Canada, so I made a point of checking them out. The signage blends into the background so I didn’t notice it at first:

Flower Cosmetics at Walmart

Created by Drew Barrymore, the brand’s philosophy is to make high-end cosmetics without the high-end price. How? They say that they do not spend on advertising in order to keep the price low while using the same ingredients as more expensive cosmetic lines. All products are cruelty-free and made in the U.S.

I was happy to see a “lip stain” type pencil product as that is my favourite way to apply lip colour (it’s called the “Lip Suede Velvet Lip Chubby” – what a mouthful!):

lip stain

Check out the range of products online here or at your local Walmart!

Breaking News – Eye Makeup Remover

Shocked to visit the Dollarama in my hometown of Exeter, ON (home of the white squirrel!) (I’m here visiting for a few days) and find Delon brand eye makeup remover BACK IN STOCK! Woo hoo! It used to be known as PUR(e) but was always listed as being made by Delon. Looks like it went missing while undergoing new branding/packaging. It remains $2.50 a bottle. I didn’t really need any at the moment, but after lamenting the loss of this from shelves, I bought one anyway just in case! Happy shopping!

Delon Dollarama eye makeup remover