Cruelty-Free Hair Colour

As promised, this is the item I get the most emails and questions about.. unfortunately I have ZERO experience in this area. Believe it or not, I have never once used hair colour in my life – I’ve never had highlights, nothing! I mean not all of us can be like rare unicorns with my natural red hair right? Why mess with perfection? 😉

All kidding aside, I feel bad that I’ve had to respond with little to no help to so many people, so I finally sat down and did some research for you – you’re welcome! Here are just some of the options available to us in Canada:

  1. Pravana seems to be a favourite among many bloggers. Available from Canada Beauty Supply.
  2. Arctic Fox – for a wide range of more “out-there” colours, this brand is vegan on top of being cruelty-free. Amazon.ca seems to be your best bet for purchasing.
  3. Paul Mitchell – an old favourite. Always ask salons what brand of colour they use, but there are many Paul Mitchell salons in Canada.
  4. Oligo Professionnel – also a salon brand, with heavy presence in Quebec and New Brunswick with a few other salons scattered about the rest of Canada – zoom in on the map here to find a location.

I hope this brief list helps a bit. If you know of any other brands, PLEASE comment below! I have tried to keep the list to products that are easily attainable in Canada.

Life Lately

I generally don’t get too personal on this site even though it technically is a “blog”. That’s not what this particular blog is about. I just wanted to let all of my readers and subscribers know that I’m still here and looking forward to posting more in the near future. My summer hasn’t been the best – okay, that’s an understatement. After being sick for awhile, my grandfather died July 3. So it was somewhat expected, but I think I was in denial until he was actually gone. We were close, and my entire family is still just devastated and missing him like crazy.

Three weeks later, my sweet Laura-Bell, my Snookums (my dog who you may remember from my post “New Family Member”), died from cancer. She was diagnosed back in April but again, I was in complete denial because she had no symptoms (the cancer was discovered basically by accident). This was the first time I’ve had to make the decision to put an animal down, and so in addition to my grief, I was feeling guilt as well.

I feel like I’m slowly emerging now, battered and beaten down but finally ready to pick up life again, including this site. I hope you all understand my absence and stick around for more to come.

My wedding - never too old to sit on my grandfather's lap.

My wedding – never too old to sit on my grandfather’s lap.

Holding Snookums (Laura-Bell) this past April at a Big on Beagles event.

Holding Snookums (Laura-Bell) this past April at a Big on Beagles event.

Batty’s Bath

I’ve been using the Primer Facial Moisturizer from Batty’s Bath for just over a week now, and it has convinced me to switch from the very expensive Arbonne cream I’ve been using for a few years now. Have you met Batty yet? She started her line after years of battling with acne since the age of 10, and finding that none of the usual commercial products worked, and also wreaked havoc with her skin. Batty still makes all of her products by hand (with a bit of help, of course) in London, Ontario (just half an hour north of my hometown, yay!).

The moisturizer I tried says it’s meant for those with rosacea – now, I don’t have rosacea that I know of, but I am still suffering from acne in my 30s, and I have redness in my face that drives me nuts. The thing that first struck me about the moisturizer as soon as I put it on, was that I looked in the mirror and my skin was matte. I’m used to using creams that have SPF in them and so they tend to be greasy. Batty’s cream has natural sun blocking ingredients in it. I wouldn’t use it alone if I was outside all day, but for work last week, I was out running at lunch and although I got a big of redness on my chest and shoulders, my face remained burn-free – success!

I also noticed over the week that my skin was less red, less oily and my acne has started to calm down. I am so excited to try out other products from Batty’s; I’m hopeful that adding more of them into my routine will have me seeing a “transformation” like so many customers mention in their testimonials. Even her own is shown on the site –  yes, you can see Batty’s own “before” and “after” photos here.

Speaking of trying more of these great products – TODAY ONLY – JUNE 20 – is FREE SHIPPING at Batty’s Bath! Just enter code “HELLOSUMMER” at checkout.

Reading this post later? No problem! Make sure to sign up for email and you will receive a coupon code for 10% off your first order.

Batty's Bath Primer Facial Moisturizer

88 Handbags

Although my blog is specifically about products that are tested on animals, I try my best to avoid “cruel” products in all areas. I know, leather is a hard thing to give up. It’s included on more clothing items and shoes than you might think. But I try hard to avoid it when buying new stuff.

So I’m happy to promote “88 Handbags“, a company that makes vegan bags. Not only are they beautiful and cool, they are also fairly priced. Being the thrifty shopper I am, this is a win-win situation! I personally am coveting so many of their cross-body bags; perfect for my weekend errands and thrift shopping, when I like to have both hands free!

Here are some of my favourites (click image to see larger):

The best news – for Canadian shoppers, their bags are offered through amazon.ca here – so you see the prices in Canadian dollars, and they are eligible for free shipping and Amazon prime! Awesome! Have a look through and let me know which are your faves. Happy shopping!

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!

Kelly_Big_5

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