Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Vegan Beauty Review Has Moved!

Please visit the new site: Vegan Beauty Review

Thank you! XOXO

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Knock off some years with Holistic Serums

The number of "FDA approved" beautifying products on the market are burgeoning... but unfortunately so many of them are chemical-laden and animal tested. Holistic Serums has taken the business of beauty treatments into their own hands. They manufacture anti-aging serums, facial and hair serums and all sorts of 100% natural remedies that are sure to benefit your deserving body.

A few highlights:

Orchid Anti-Aging Serum ($29.99): Holistic Serums calls this their "Botox-in-a-Bottle." This serum will help restore elasticity and work against wrinkles, sagging jowls and laugh lines. This miracle serum contains orchid extract, Vitamin E oil and Macadamia Oil. A few drops go a long way - a 1oz. bottle will last 2-3 months! I use this serum before I go to bed and I can feel a difference in my skin's texture when I wake up. My skin feels conditioned and super smooth. I'm a big fan and I'm an even bigger fan of the fact that the ingredients are as pure as can be. The healing properties of Mother Nature never cease to amaze me.

Natural Hairgrow Serum ($29.99): After using these serums regularly for awhile, I can tell that they are powerful. I feel a change in my skin and scalp almost immediately after only my first application. As you know from my previous post, I've been having hair issues (which I'm happy to say they are pretty much 100% gone). My hair was falling out, brittle and dry. I was using a combination of treatments on my hair and scalp and this was one of them. This hair serum has Centella, Indian Gooseberry and Camellia Oil - which are used by Indians and Geishas, known for having exquisite, beautiful, healthy hair. In 2-3 weeks users notice new growth and general improvement in texture of hair. My intricate hair routine that I've been rockin' for the past 2 months has made a huge difference in my life. I'm usually really skeptical about wonder products, but my hair was litterally transformed. It went from fragile, dry and hard to manage to smooth and strong. My hair is as healthy as it was in my youth and I'm soooooo stoked! Many of these serums are available in sample sizes, so if you're not sure you want to commit, save yourself some money and put it to the test.

Eyelash Lengthener ($59): This serum, which contains Camellia Oil, helps give the appearance of longer and fuller eyelashes. With Latisse being all the rage right now, it's nice that there's a 100% natural option as well. I happen to be a regular user of false eyelashes because my natural eyelashes aren't very long or full. I decided to give this serum a whirl 'cause I have nothing to lose. Most users notice a difference in 1-4 weeks. I've been using this lash lengthener before I go to bed and on days that I don't have to go to work for about a week and a half. First of all, it this serum can act as a clear mascara if you want to wear it for that purpose alone. This serum also allows regular mascara to go on smoothly after application. As far as results go, I feel a subtle difference. My lashes do seem a bit fuller. I feel like I need to give it about a month to make a complete assessment but as for now, I am satisfied with what I've seen so far. I will definitely post an update after I've used this product for a full month. I have a hunch I'm going to be thrilled!

For more info: Holistic Serums

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

LA Times mentions VBR

On August 23rd, Susan Carpenter of The Los Angeles Times wrote an article on green beauty and she was kind enough to interview me and mention Vegan Beauty Review. Yahoooo! Here is an excerpt (featuring my quotes) from the article Vegan beauty care: When going natural isn't enough

"It's easy to be girly nowadays and vegan at the same time. You can still wear nail polish and cruelty-free makeup. There are products out there that don't hurt the Earth or the animals and are better for your skin," said Sunny Subramanian, 29, a Panorama City-based model and actress who runs the Vegan Beauty Review website (www.veganbeautyreview.com).

"Our skin absorbs 60% of what we put on it, so it's just as important as the food we eat."

For the complete article click here.

Dog shampoo worked for this bitch ;)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Giveaway winner!

I'm so happy about the number of people who participated in this giveaway. I wish I could hook everybody up. All I can say is there will be many more giveaways to come.

The winner of the Blooming Lotus Pedi to Go Kit is...

Monica Hayes! Congrats!

Her 3 reasons for needing a pedicure:

1) I'm a busy, single mom of 3 very active kids
2) I haven't had a pedicure in over 5 years so I'm overdue
3) This year has been a very stressful one and some self pampering sounds like a real treat.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The answer to all of your sticky situations...

The other day, while on my way to meet a friend, I scarffed down some take-out Mexican food in my car, and subsequently I had some seriously potent-smelling burrito fingers. Luckily, I keep a stash of Giovanni's organic, antibacterial travel towelettes in my glove compartment (I also keep a stash in my purse for emergencies). After using a Peppermint Surge towelette, my fingers were minty fresh and tingly. I even used the other side of the towelette on my arms and legs.

These essential oil-infused, cruelty-free, biodegradable towelettes (which don't contain synthetic perfumes or detergents) come in three scents : Grapefruit Splash (energizes and refreshes), Lavender Calm (soothes and relaxes) and Peppermint Surge (awakens and recharges). These towelettes are multifunctional and are individually wrapped so they travel nicely. They're great for freshening up – they work wonders for your face, hands, feet and legs. Take these babies to the gym and you won't have to worry about all those nasty germies that are lurking on every machine and on every floor mat.

To make these mini refreshers even that more oomphy, put them in the fridge for a bit before using them. Seriously, the Peppermint Surge towelettes (which are my fave) are tingly, amazing smelling and they give me energy and help clear my mind... and when they are chilled, fugetaboutit! No joke, these towelettes are some of my favorite vegan finds ever.

If you can't settle on a scent, you can order the Mixed Bag of Towelettes (20 towelettes, ~$7.50). That's what I'm rockin'.

By the way Giovanni makes amazing skin and hair care products that I highly recommend (and you can purchase them at Target)! I will write a post about all of their fabulous goodies in the near future.

For more info: Giovanni

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Smooth, sexy toesie wosies? Um, yes please! *Giveaway*

It's flip flop season – are your toesies beggin' for a makeover? Even if you aren't a flip flop aficionado, I'm sure you spend long hours on your feet and your footsies are in need of some TLC too!
Now I need to preface my post with admission to my love affair with all things minty. I'm beyond addicted to the tingly factor and I've yet to find a single minty product I haven't become enamored with. And as we all know, pedicure products almost always contain mintiness, so you can expect me to be excited... which I am!
Blooming Lotus has a line of Papaya Gingermint Pedicure products that I'm smitten with. Seriously, I gave myself a Blooming Lotus pedicure over an hour ago and my feet are still tingly fresh (not to mention divinely smooth and minty smelling).

The terrific trio of pedi must-haves:

Effervescent Pedicure Pods ($26 for 5): Bubbles! These fizzy pods are fun. I felt like a cat watching a birdie in the window. I watched the fizzy action diligently until the full pod dissolved. I let my feet soak in this pod-enhanced foot bath for a good ten minutes before moving onto the foot scrub. This was extremely relaxing. Seriously, I felt like I could do this every day for eternity.

Ingredients: Epsom salt, baking soda, citric acid, organic shea butter, papaya enzymes, essential oils and love

Bamboo Pedicure Buff ($22): This exfoliating scrub contains organic cane sugar, tumeric, papaya enzymes, bamboo, brown rice powder and gingermint essential oils. This scrub feels so relaxing and does an amazing job at getting rid of all the rough spots. I really went to town and gave myself a deluxe foot massage using this scrub and I felt like I was getting a professional pedicure. I did such an amazing job I considered giving myself a tip. ;) I couldn't help but think what a treat this would be for a loved one. You can't go wrong with the gift of pampering.

Shea Butter Pedicure Créme ($24): This quickly absorbing formula contains shea butter, coconut oil, jojoba oil, papaya oil and gingermintiness. Just use a little bit of creme and massage into your feet and voila, you're finito. You'll be enjoying the smoothness for quite some time. This creme smells like mint candy. I want to eat it!
My feet feel really special. If they could talk, I know they'd be thanking me. I just need to paint my toenails and then I'll be a rockstar.

The Pedi to Go Kit which has travel sized versions of all three of these fabulous products is $26 and comes in a cutesy take out box. These kits make awesome gifts. Ahem, and I'm giving one away!

Attention, VBR peeps: I will be giving a Pedi to Go Kit to one of my lucky readers! All you have to do is e-mail me three reasons why you are in need of a pedicure (i.e. I work long hours on my feet, I'm an athlete, I'm a busy mom, I wear heels too often, etc.)
I will announce the winner on August 26th! Send submissions to sunbundelicious@yahoo.com. Good luck!

Some other great offers you might be interested in:
Blooming Lotus is offering a free Pedi to Go Kit to the first 50 online orders of over $75.
Also, Vegan Beauty Review readers get a 20% discount at checkout when using the code: VeganBeauty

*There are a few Blooming Lotus Products that contain honey or beeswax so check the ingredients on their website before ordering. Their Papaya Gingermint Pedicure products are completely vegan.

For more info: Blooming Lotus

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Sunny raves about another scrub-a-dub-dub

Portland, Oregon is on my list of places to visit a.s.a.p. Why? 'Cause those Portlanders (Portlandinos? Portlandians?) sure know a lot about veganism... vegan food, vegan treats, vegan beauty products, etc. Alexandra Avery Body Botanicals (Portland-based) is just another reason why Portalnd is so awesome. Alexandra Avery Body Botanicals are all cruelty-free and are made with 100% natural ingredients. Ms. Avery herself uses herbal extracts, nut and veggie oils, antioxidant vitamins and essential oils to create fabulous skin care products to help detox and rejuvinate the skin.

A few of my faves:

Enzyme Exfoliating Mask ($14): Fruit enzymes are a great alternative to Alpha Hydroxy acids. They help get rid of your dead skin cells to help make way for a healthy, smooth complexion. This oat-rich mask did make it seem like I was spreading oatmeal all over my face, which I didn't mind, but it was a little tricky to wash off once it dried. I recommend using a washcloth and circular motions to rinse off the mask. I will say that afterward, my face felt revived, refreshed and super clean.

Ingredients: Papaya and pineapple enzymes, organic oats, essential oils of ylang ylang and orange... simple, love it!

Jungle Blossoms Body Oil ($7 for 4oz): This body oil smells beautiful. The orange essential oil is most prominent in this blend, which I love. I'm not too big on body oils but this one is quite lovely. This oil works perfectly during and after bath time and it makes for a great massage. I personally like to dab a little oil on my legs after bathing. It works better than lotion most of the time and a little goes a long way.

Ingredients: Seseme oil, safflower oil, sweet almond oil, wheat germ oil, avocado oil, Vitamin E, essential oils of orange, rose, geranium, neroli and ylang ylang

Hibiscus Salt Scrub ($10): This scrub is my favorite Alexandra Avery product. It's a mix of sea salt, Vitamin C, hibiscus flowers and essential oils of orange, geranium and ylang ylang. I used it as a hand scrub and it was a divine experience. Scrubs are one of my favorite beauty products ever. To me, hand scrubs are like little massage wonders. In less than a minute, your hands get maassaged, exfoliated and delicately scented. Follw this up with your favorite lotion and I guarantee you'll be quasi obsessed with your soft hands for quite some time. This scrub is part of Alexandra Avery's Spa Bar. Other products in the spa bar include cleansers, creams, masks and other wonderful smelling scrubs.

*Note: Not all products in the Alexandra Avery line are vegan; some contain beeswax, so just be sure to read all the ingredients before ordering from the website.

For more info: Alexandra Avery

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Turn up the heat in the bedroom, vegan style!

Okie doke, I know that my niche in the blogging community is primarily beauty-based, but every once in a while I feel inclined to feature products that seem to be a bit off topic. In a way, this post is related to health and skincare... or at least that's what I've been telling myself to justify this occasion. :) Anywhoo, this post is more of a highlight than a review per se. I want my fellow vegan peeps to extend their green, eco-friendly lifestyles into the bedroom. That's right, I'm talkin' 'bout sex. Also, for all of you non-vegans – who really wants to put propylene glycol, poluquaternium 15 and propylparabens on their naughty bits anyway? Those are all ingredients found in conventional lubricants. Can we say yuck?

As far as vegan lube goes, there are a handful of products to choose from. Astroglide is a company that has been making lube for quite some time. They recently came out with Astroglide Natural, which is an eco-friendly, all-natural, botanical personal lubricant that doesn't contain any glycerin, alcohol, fragrance, flavorings or hormones. I have confirmed with an associate of the company that this lube is 100% vegan. Also, it's packaging (carton and bottle) are recyclable and are printed with soy-based ink. Astroglide Natural contains Xylitol (corn cob-derived, a natural, sugar-free humectant that helps retain and absorb moisture), Aloe Vera (which soothes and moisturizes), Vitamins C & E (powerful antioxidants) and chamomile extract (which also soothes and has anti-bacterial properties). It's water-based, water soluble, latex safe, smooth and "long lasting." You can pick up this vegan lube in most major drug and chain stores. It's $9.99 for a 2.5 fl oz. bottle.
Click here for a free sample.
For more info: Astroglide Natural

Looking for vegan condoms? Well look no further than Glyde. These jimmy hats are made without milk protein (found in some latexes) and are totally vegan and aren't tested on animals. No snickering, people! These condoms are made out of latex and are lubricated with a silicone-based lube that is free of spermicides. They are available in 3 (~$4) or 12 (~$8) packs in Ultra (regular), Maxi (extra large), Special (slightly smaller), Strawberry, Blueberry, Vanilla, Wildberry, and Cola. What, no Sexual Chocolate?
For more info: Glyde Condoms

I also highly recommend that if you are going to use sex toys, buy the eco-friendly versions that don't contain PVC (polyvinyl chlorides) and get yo'self some eco-friendly, sustainable, organic cotton bed sheets.

A couple more eco-friendly tips for gettin' it on:
Turn off the lights during sexy time and shower together afterward (save gallons of water)!
And if you haven't already, go vegan. Vegans taste better. (I had to throw that in)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I'm going nuts over my natural detergent

I love how cleaning products keep getting greener by the second. I've been recently acquainted with Eco Nuts, an affordable, sustainable, antimicrobial, hypoallergenic, natural, fragrance-free, reusable product which is packaged in the USA. It's mild enough for delicate fabrics and its packaging is 100% compostable.

Eco Nuts is made from the sun dried fruit of the Sapindus Mukorossi tree in Nepal via Fair Trade. The shells of these nuts contain saponin, a natural detergent, which gets sudsy in water. Since Eco Nuts doesn't leave any residue, you can actually skip the rinse cycle and save gallons of water, energy and money.

I'm sure you're skeptical - believe me, I was too. How can a satchel of dried nuts get my stinky clothes clean? Quite brilliantly.
These nuts look freaky deaky, I won't lie, but they totally work. When I washed a load using Eco Nuts, my clothes came out just as clean as with any other wash (sans the nasty chemicals, perfumes and toxins). These nuts are odorless so don't expect any fresh laundry scent. If that's something you'll be missing, I can suggest some amazing all-natural scented sprays (feel free to e-mail me).

So basically this is how it works:
You place 4-5 Eco Nuts in the reusable wash bag which is provided, Next, you put it in with your laundry and then wash your clothes as you normally would. At the end of the wash, remove the bag and set it aside to dry so that you can re-use it for your next load. You can re-use them 4-6 times until they become mushy and discolored at which point you can toss them in your compost heap.

A heads up: These nuts do a great job of preserving colors in fabrics but you might want to use some natural whitener (i.e. eco-friendly oxygen bleach) for keeping your whitey whites white.

Eco Nuts Trial size (reusable 5-7 loads) $4.50
Eco Nuts Family size (50 loads) $12 - order 3 or more and shipping is free.
For more info: Eco Nuts Organic Laundry Soap

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Beat the heat with mood lifting misters

Dropwise Essentials is a San Francisco-based manufacturer of cruelty-free, all-natural aromatherapy body products. They use pure essential oils, organic herbs and hydrosols to make hand-crafted, mood enhancing goodies. I want to focus on their amazing body sprays. I've been going to town with these bad boys - they are fantastic! Whether you're seeking to relax, get energized, get an attitude adjustment or simply feel divine, there's a spray to fit your mood.

Aromatherapy Mist Sprays ($12.50 each): These portable misty sprays are pretty versatile. You can use them as body splashes, facial pick-me-up spritzers or air fresheners and they are light and FAA compliant so you can take them along with you when you travel. I personally like to spray them all over my face in the am and pm. I make a point to deeply breath in the aromatherapy goodness to get my mind in line with the mood I'm trying to set. I tell ya, a lil' misty action on these hot summer nights, while sitting in front of a fan is beyond refreshing. Sometimes I like to chill these babies in the fridge for a little while for that extra boost of coolness.

Aromatherapy scents to choose from:
Divine - perfect for relaxing and pampering, excellent for balancing mature skin (featuring lavender, geranium, ylang ylang and vanilla)
Inspiration - intended to brighten up your mood and spark creativity (featuring sweet orange, tangerine, patchouli, elemi and ginger)... the patchouli is subtle so don't freak out. :)
Refresh (my favorite; I have a soft spot for minty things) - cooling and energizing, perfect for the summertime or whenever you need to recharge your battery (featuring spearmint, peppermint, lime, grapefruit and patchouli... again, subtle)
Revitalize - also cooling, refreshing, stimulating, helps clear the mind (featuring cedarwood, pine, lemon, eucalyptus)
Soothe - calming, for when you want to chill out (featuring lavender, chamomile, geranium and clary sage)
They all smell amazing and feel refreshing!

* Heads up - some of their products i.e. their lotions, creams and balms contain beeswax but their body washes, body oils and aromatic misters are 100 % vegan.
* Sale alert: 30% off all body oils until July 31st.
* Sign up for Dropwise Health & Beauty News E-zine for tips, discounts and special offers.

For more info: Dropwise Essentials

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Kazam - straight from Mother Nature

Kazam Natural Body Care is a family based business that manufactures natural, organic, handmade health and beauty products like lotions, soaps, natural perfumes, shampoos, conditioners, as well as products for men and babies.
Marjorie Moutari, the founder and CEO of Kazam Natural Body Care not only has a knack for making amazing beauty products but she also has a giving nature and a kind heart. She has conducted workshops and seminars to train African women to make their own beauty products which enable them to gain independence and generate income for their families. Moutari is a also a supporter of the American Cancer Society.

Products I highly recommend:

Beautiful Hair Conditioner ($14): This conditioner couldn't be more perfect for my hair type. My hair is over-processed, dry and frizzy which calls for intense conditioning. This conditioner is not only vegan and mineral oil and petroleum free, but it smells aromatherapeutically beautiful! It's packed with plant oils and extracts which moisturize and nourish the hair and scalp. I've been using this conditioner every day for a week and I've fallen in love with how manageable and smooth my hair is when I use it.

Ingredients: Water, aloe, sopropyl palmitate, cocoa and shea butters, Vitamin E, fennel, sage, yarrow, jojoba, bergamot, geranium, rosewood, ylang ylang and rich moisturizing oils.

I love essential oil perfumes - they don't contain any synthetics, petrochemicals, parabens, alcohols or chemicals.
Kazam has quite an array of essential oil perfumes to choose from: Aphrodisiac, Angelic Presence, Sweet Dreams, Prosperity, Exotic Pleasure, Sweet Romance and Lavender.

Prosperity Essential Oil Perfume ($18): As much as I wanted to try the Sweet Romance perfume, I figured I could use a lil' help in the prosperity department (seeing I'm all set with the romance *wink*). When I got this perfume in the mail, it came in a super duper cute ruffley, green organza baggie. The specific essential oils for this perfume were not listed on the bottle or on their website and I made a conscious decision not to inquire about the ingredients because a) it's probably a secret "prosperity" formula and I know that if I had come up with it, I wouldn't want to share that info and b) I wanted it to simply be a prosperity perfume for prosperity's sake. I didn't want to dissect the formula and spoil the magic. In these rough economic times I'm sure we're all seeking a little extra prosperity. I've been wearing this perfume for about a week and I love it! It smells exactly like my Tinkerbell Perfume from when I was a little girl (how did they do that?) . You know how powerful sense memory can be... It makes me feel young when I'm wearing it and it has a feminine, girlie smell to it. To top everything off, how cool is it to tell my peeps that I'm rcokin' Prosperity Perfume? It's cool. :) As far as beckoning prosperity with my perfumey potion, I believe a week is too soon to tell, so I'll have to keep you all posted.

For more info: Kazam Body Care

Kazam Natural Body Care Boutique
239 Broadway (between 9th and 10th Streets)
Bayonne, NJ 07002

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Your luscious locks can help save the rainforest!

Did you know that saving the rainforest can be as easy as washing your hair? Save Your World is a vegan skin & hair care company that is partnered up with Conservation International and the Government of Guyana Forestry Commission, so for every product you purchase, you help save 1 acre of rainforest for a year. Save Your World offers a variety of body care and hair care products to choose from that are handcrafted, fair trade, vegan, organic, paraben-free and packaged in recyclable containers.

Ever since back in the day, when I read in a beauty magazine that it's always good to keep switching up your hair care products (because your shampoo and conditioner can become less effective once your hair gets too used to them), that's what I've done. If you color your hair as often as I do, then you'll want to check these out:

Color-Safe Rainforest Shampoo ($12.98): This shampoo is not only safe on colored hair but it's also cruelty-free and doesn't contain parabens or Sodium Lauryl Sulfate - just organic ingredients like yerba mate (which contains over 24 vitamins and minerals and 15 amino acids). This shampoo is packed with UV protection and has an earthy scent of rainforest and wood-berry. It's a light formula that won't weigh down your hair which is especially great for peeps like me with fine hair.

Color-Safe Rainforest Conditioner ($14.98): This conditioner perfectly complements the shampoo. It's super light and it helps prevent tangles. So, it's a win-win. You help save the rainforest and in exchange you have these fabulous shampoos and conditioners that are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that smell wonderful. By the way, these hair care products are also available in Oasis Fruit scent, Regal Blossom and Pure Mist. By purchasing the shampoo and conditioner together, you'll be saving 2 acres of rainforest!

FYI, Save Your World is having a huge sale on shampoos and conditioners (excluding the color safe line) starting from $3.49-6.99 (from their original prices). That's an awesome deal!

For more info: Save Your World

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

This post is for the ladies...

I know I often write about what goes on our bodies but it's just as (if not more) important to be just as picky about what goes inside of our bodies -- and I'm not just referring to organic, whole foods and nutrition.
All of you healthy ladies who care about your bodies, listen up!
Did you know that conventionally grown cotton is not only bleached with chlorine but it is also full of pesticides? When possible, you should only buy organic cotton clothes and undergarments - and I'm sure this isn't the first time you're hearing this. Now, I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm going to assume we're all on the same page when I say I don't want pesticides and bleach in my sacred region.

Natracare is a brand of feminine hygiene products that you need to check out. They manufacture organic cotton tampons, wipes, pads, liners, incontinence pads (sexy, no?), maternity products, toiletries and baby wipes.

Go to your local health food market and pick up some of these:

Natracare Organic All Cotton Tampons (~$4): These are very similar to o.b. tampons sans the chemicals and pesticides. Natracare tampons are 100% certified organic cotton, non-chlorine bleached, rayon-free, perfume-free, plastic-free and biodegradable. They come in regular, super and super plus absorbency (no surprise). They are awesome!

For more info: Natracare

On a related note, I wanted to promote Vulva Love Lovely. You can find her on etsy. She has a variety of products (including jewelry, plushies and vegan skin care) that truly celebrate everything female.

On my wish list:
"My Uterus is a Super Hero" plush
($20) - it's made of soft flannel and animal friendly fiberfill. This plush is truly unique and in my humble opinion, genius. Check out the cape!

Tampon Pouch ($16.99) - It's pink and purple and absolutely fabulous (not to mention functional). Again, all materials used for this pouch are 100% vegan (as stated on her etsy page). I would love to sport this baby as a purse. It's 8 1/2"x 7" so you can use it to carry lots of things. But hey, having extra tampons in a cute pouch is pretty perfect.