Vegan Natural Beauty

Confession: I am an obsessive beauty product junky addict!

There's just something incredibly fun about experimenting with products!
As soon as my hands are on something brand spanking new, I wanna try it out right away, especially lipsticks. I would wipe off the balm on my lips and slap on the new colors, anxious to see if purchase made was a hit or miss.
Now I've been on the slippery slope all year since starting veganism.
Products by Carol's Daughter, Burt's Bees, Shea Moisture, Say Yes To Carrots, and items made by big name corporations used to be safety nets. Now they are thoroughly used up and never to be purchased again to make room for animal/cruelty free brands and my homemade experiments.
Olive oil is usually one of my biggest kitchen staples, but since dabbling on and off with the Forks Over Knives route of cooking/eating, I've discovered that olive oil is a magical wonder to my natural roots and skin. Blended with coconut and almond oils and with shea and cocoa butters, EVOO is a beneficial ingredient in many beauty products- even lip balm!
So here, I'm sharing vegan favorites, my maxed out etsy shopping, and swear by recipes. They may not be for everyone, but as always, this Beauty Section is another "to be continued" process.
I don't own all of the world's best kept vegan beauty knowledge, but as the saying goes- "gotta start somewhere...."

Hair
 Currently using Vital Goods Patchouli Black Soap Shea Butter Shampoo and Jamaican Black Coconut Milk Conditioner. 

As everyone knows, I enjoy Vital Goods, an etsy store specializing in dreadlocks hair products. The good thing about her shampoos and conditioners is that they can be used for all hair types.
I've had a huge dryness issue since becoming a natural sistah.
Carol's Daughter had been my main product for several years.
Maybe I wasn't using  it correctly, but my hair never reached the desired look I was going for.
Thus, since the switcheroo to more natural products like Africa Black Soap and Vital Goods products, my hair has been on the mend, on this great bill of health.
The shampoo is not lathery, but it smells nice and gets the scalp clean while the conditioner is thick and creamy and leaves my strands in strong, impressive condition. Africa Black Soap is good at getting rid of build up and itchiness from leaving braids/cornrows too long. *coughs*
Plus, I add hot olive oil treatments twice a month prior to hair washing (leaves my hair softer than ever!) and use a mixture of cocoa and shea butters and coconut and olive oil as a balm as it dries after shampooing and conditioning.
Now my hair is softer, more manageable, shinier, and growing at a healthier rate.
That's because I am taking better care of it and wear suffocating hats and bandannas less and less.

Face
Clearly Neem Facial Soap pictured at the top & karite soap at the bottom.
Using Befine's Warming Clay Mask With Cardamom, Arnica, & Pomegranate.
Best product ever! And with a duck towel too! :D
I normally use Karite soap, but Vital Goods gave me a small free sample of Clearly Neem Facial Soap Bar.
Azadirachta indica or neem is an Indian evergreen tree and the fruit and seeds from them are pressed into oils used for cosmetic purposes- which means neem will make for a rewarding ingredient.
This soap makes a nice foamy lather, cleanses dirty residue with ease, and leaves behind a soft, dewy complexion. Karite, on the other hand, due to being made with shea butter is better because the skin isn't ashen once dry, though for measure, toning and moisturizing are still a necessary benefit.
Also in my regime includes Befine Food Skin Care products- I love their Warming Cardamom, Arnica, & Pomegranate Clay Mask, Ginger And Willowbark Toner, and Rosemary, Pomegranate, and Rice SPF 15 Daily Moisturizer and St. Ives Apricot Scrub (it's paraben free now!). 
Not just for eating- mashed bananas, mashed avocado, and a scrub recipe comprised of olive oil & sugar for both face and body work wonders too.
Since my shop was out of the karite soap, I'm trying out the Olive Oil Soap. So far so good...

Raw Apple Cider Vinegar, a best kept beauty remedy. 2 parts water and 1 part apple cider vinegar spritzed onto face after cleansing gives skin a refreshing, balanced tone. Don't worry that repugnant smell does go away!


Body

 Africa Black Soapis amazing for the body and hair! 

The only soap a girl's body needs is Africa Black Soap!
Making my skin feel beyond clean with refreshing properties and healing tendencies, this amazing, smell good, all natural black soap bar has seriously cleared up the discoloration on my knees and elbows. Still have a long way to go, but seeing the progress has been truly astounding to witness.
After showering or bathing, I slather towel dry skin with a homemade oil blend and use raw shea butter as a lotion coating for added measure.
Winter dryness be damned!



This homemade concoction of shea butter & coconut, olive, & almond oils does not make my skin miss lotion!


Beauty

I'm not huge on wearing much makeup.
After washing and moisturizing my face, the deed is done!
Once upon a time I used L'Oreal, Maybelline, and Sally Hansen and then upgraded to Bare Minerals and Physician's Formula while browsing Sephora stores for Urban Decay and paraben free cosmetics.
Nowadays, lip balms are one of my biggest splurges.
The Replenishing Lip Balm With Pomegranate Oil and Nourishing Lip Balm With Mango Butter by Burt's Bees used to be stocked up in my cabinets and under pillowcases.
Funny how things change in the course of a year. 
Alba Botanica has a nice line of balms in pleasant flavors of Coconut Cream, Passion Fruit Nectar, and Pineapple Quench at $3.99 a stick (though at my local health food store Alba is often 40% off). I am also an avid fan of their sheer glosses. After those dry out (Passion Fruit Nectar is my fave), my lips have a very soft feeling to them.
Their colored glosses not so much. In fact, my bottom lip starts cracking and peeling. It's actually kind of gross.
Booda Butter, however, is my hands down favorite balm! It just has everything my lips need to survive in the world. It only has 5 ingredients coconut, jojoba, olive, and sweet almond oils combined with plant based candelilla wax that give the lips a softened, pliant life. No soy. No bees. And is gluten free.
Their slogan is "Vegan bliss for your lips!" for good reason.
As far as other makeup goes, using etsy as a guide, I'm already finding shops that make vegan bronzers, eyes shadows, blushes, and other goodies that must be tried! 

Easily one of the best vegan balms ever tried, Booda Organics keeps my lips moist, lightly glossed, & chap free!

This Berry Smooth Vegan Tint Lip Balm was a recent purchase made at Mum Mum's Crafts. It smells absolutely delicious, gives lips that pucker perfect kissability factor,  & has a pretty pink tone.



Mahya Mineral  Mini Lipsticks are cute for on the go wear! They are a bit shimmery, go on the lips smoothly, & some colors look better on my skin tone than others. At $13.99 these would make for a lovely gift set!



Hygiene

I still use my Burt's Bees Hand Sanitizer, but that could change soon with all of the etsy shops that are catering to vegan needs inside and outside of beauty stratosphere. Kiss My Face makes a great line of hygiene products- deodorants and toothpastes especially and Mrs. Meyer's has delightful handwashes and home cleansers that I use around the apartment.

For hand washing, I adore Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day brand, especially the lavender one. Also, Jason's & Alba have great lines for the hands too!

Kiss My Face's Liquid Rock deodorant is awesome sauce!!!! Gives my pits solid protection all day long! :D

Kiss My Face also makes my favorite toothpaste.





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