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    My Interview with Leaping Bunny

    All the questions you wanted to ask about the Leaping Bunny program!
    Leaping Bunny is known as the gold standard of cruelty free beauty lists. They certify cruelty free brands, and they’re the ones behind the jumping bunny logo you have probably seen on your favorite beauty and cleaning brands. You can see a full list of Leaping Bunny certified cruelty free brands here.

    Recently I interviewed a senior VP from PETA to learn more about their methods. I wanted to compare and contrast a bit and learn more about how Leaping Bunny differs from PETA, so I interviewed Kim Paschen, the Program Manager for Leaping Bunny to find out more about how they certify brands, and what their stance is on China and post-market testing.
    In my interview, I included the questions you guys wanted me to ask, as well as some questions of my own. Whether you’re a cruelty free consumer or a brand who is wondering how to get certified with Leaping Bunny, this should help.
    Kim Paschen works for the American Anti Vivisection Society. As part of the CCIC, they have been chair of the Leaping Bunny program since 2007, and they oversee its administration. Kim is the Program Manager for Leaping Bunny.
    I conducted a phone interview with Kim (who I have known for years!) and these are my notes from that call (not her words verbatim).

    Kim Paschen, Program Manager, Leaping Bunny
    Which organizations make up Leaping Bunny? 
    By 1996, cruelty-free shopping had become popular, but it was also confusing, sometimes misleading, and ultimately frustrating. Companies had begun designing their own bunny logos, using their own definition of ‘cruelty-free’ or ‘animal friendly’ without the participation of animal protection groups.
    In response, eight national animal protection groups banded together to form the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CCIC). The CCIC promotes a cruelty-free standard and an internationally recognized Leaping Bunny Logo. They work with companies to help make shopping for animal-friendly products easier and more trustworthy.
    What does a brand have to do to become Leaping Bunny certified?
    When a brand contacts Leaping Bunny, they ask some preliminary questions. They create an account via their website and ask them to apply. The company fills out the Application for Approval which asks them in-depth questions about their operations.
    Brands need to have a “fixed cut-off date” after which time they agree to have no ingredients or finished products that have been tested on animals. Pretty much all ingredients have been tested at some point (even water), so the fixed cut-off date ensures there will be no testing in the future.
    You’d think because many ingredients have been tested, there would be no need for animal testing today. Unfortunately, there is still a lot of cosmetic testing on animals being done around the world today.
    The company that is applying for Leaping Bunny certification is the one to complete the application. They also must get signed declarations from each supplier after the company’s fixed cut-off date. Or, they can submit amended purchase orders which contains language requiring that the supplier will not test on animals.
    If a company has distributors that sell in countries outside of the US, the brand must also include language in their contracts that says they cannot sell to any countries that require animal testing.
    I have read their application but they asked me not to make it public. I can tell you it’s VERY thorough. You can learn more about the application process here. You can read about their Corporate Standard of Compassion for Animals here.
    An important note – if a brand is using a third-party manufacturer, only the manufacturer has to submit a declaration (not the ingredient suppliers themselves), though the manufacturer is required to implement its own cruelty-free Supplier Monitoring System independently. Leaping Bunny would ask the manufacturer to sign a declaration saying they are only working with cruelty free ingredient suppliers. Most of the time manufacturers will not reveal who their ingredient suppliers are – they consider that proprietary information.
    Is the Leaping Bunny logo recognized in countries outside of the US? Are the standards for approval different outside of the US?
    The North American brand of Leaping Bunny covers US and Canada. Their partner is Cruelty Free International (CFI), based in the UK. CFI certifies all other countries. Leaping Bunny and CFI share the same cruelty free brand list, so if CFI certifies a brand, they can add them to their list and vice versa.
    Do brands pay to join the Leaping Bunny program or to license the logo? If so, how does that work? 
    Leaping Bunny certification in North America is free. Companies do not have to pay to be listed as cruelty free. The only cost associated is for brands to license the logo for packaging and/or website. 
    But, Leaping Bunny certification outside of North America (via Cruelty Free International) DOES have an annual listing/administrative charge.

    Does the EU’s animal testing (because of REACH laws) have any effect on the Leaping Bunny list?
    The particularities are slightly different in regard to CFI’s process in the UK and EU vs Leaping Bunny’s process in North America. Safety rules (such as the EU’s REACH laws) can mean that some EU ingredient suppliers are being forced to test on animals. Leaping Bunny doesn’t allow REACH tests for North America but CFI does have some exceptions. More and more chemicals used in cosmetics are being tested under REACH, and there is currently no way to avoid it.
    Their shared goal is to do as much research as possible and find alternatives to chemicals tested under REACH. So if an ingredient supplier (who makes raw materials) has never tested on animals, but REACH required one test, that could be an exception for CFI. This is not common and doesn’t happen often.
    Important food for thought: As I often say, the world of cruelty free beauty is never black and white. If an ingredient supplier in the EU is forced to test on animals, a cruelty free brand and their manufacturer might not even know about it! That brand might even be a US brand (the supply chain is becoming more and more global). Another caveat is that one ingredient supplier may be asked to test a chemical on animals, and other suppliers may use that safety data going forward. They didn’t conduct the test but they used the data…so are they innocent? You can read more about how murky the definition of cruelty free can get here.
    Is there a specific number of years required for a fixed cut-off date for animal testing by ingredient suppliers? What about for brands (i.e. if a non-cruelty free brand stopped testing TODAY, how long would you want them to wait before applying)? 
    There is no specific timeline, but a fixed cut off date for animal testing is required. There is no waiting period, so if a brand said their fixed cut off date was today, they could potentially be Leaping Bunny certified tomorrow. But Kim said that doesn’t happen often.
    How is the Leaping Bunny cruelty free brand list different from the PETA brand list?
    They require companies to recommit annually. They check with each brand and if info is not up to date then the brands can’t stay on the list. They also do in-person audits to 20 random companies each year using a third-party auditor (more on this below).
    Do you note if a brand is vegan? Is there any specific requirements to be listed as vegan?
    No, they do not mention if a brand is 100% vegan or not, and it is not required for Leaping Bunny certification.

    Do you note if the parent company is cruelty free or not?
    Yes, when you view the list of Leaping Bunny certified brands, you will see a symbol to note if a parent company is not cruelty free.
    Are companies required to recommit each year? 
    Once a year, brands have to go through the recommitment process. The Leaping Bunny team re-checks their status and looks for things like being acquired by another company, selling in China, changing or adding ingredient suppliers or manufacturers, etc. If anything changes, new declarations are required.
    How often do you audit brands? What does an audit entail?
    They do in-person audits to 20 random companies each year using a third-party auditor (who is an independent consultant). They make sure purchase orders and records correspond to manufacturers and suppliers that they have declarations for. The auditor meets with the brand to discuss China, parent companies, supply chains, etc – making sure what is in the system is correct and hasn’t changed.
    How do you assure that brands are not conducting pre-market and post-market testing when entering China?
    Currently, the North American arm of Leaping Bunny does not allow companies to sell in mainland China (except via cross border e-commerce – which is not regulated by the Chinese government – no registration or tests are required). It’s important to note that pre-market animal testing requirements for imported goods in China continues to be a big problem. But, we discussed and agreed that post-market testing on animals just isn’t happening. Kim also agreed that in the event of a complaint, a recall is more likely than animal testing.
    However, all that being said, CFI (the UK arm that approves Leaping Bunny applications for the UK and EU) started a Leaping Bunny pilot program for EU brands to sell in China. It includes a small handful of brands such as Bulldog Skincare, 7th Heaven, Brighter Beauty and Neal’s Yard Remedies. The companies in that program are able to bottle and/or manufacture their finished products in China and are selling non-special-use cosmetics (using the same standards as PETA).

    My final thoughts
    I think most people will agree that Leaping Bunny is truly the gold standard, and the best cruelty free list out there. They go the extra mile to make sure brands are cruelty free, and they re-check every year.
    But, there is no way for the Leaping Bunny list or ANY cruelty free list (including mine) to be 100% airtight. It’s just not possible. Ultimately, we all have to take what the brand representatives say at their word. Whoever is filling out the questionnaires could be ignorant or even lying. Just as an example, I’ve had so many brands tell me they are Leaping Bunny certified, and when I go to the site to check, they aren’t listed. I’ve talked to a lot of people in the beauty industry and it seems that everyone wants to believe their brand is cruelty free (even if it’s not).
    At some point though, you just have to rely on the brands being honest and truthful (and knowing what their ingredient suppliers are doing), and there have to be repercussions for the ones who are caught lying.
    Exceptions also have to be made for government laws because at this time, there is really no way around it. That is why I have changed my views on post-market testing in China. I have learned that they are not so different from Western laws (including REACH laws in the EU). You can read more about that here.
    We just need to keep being LOUD and telling brands that we want them to pledge to go cruelty free! I can tell you that a lot has changed since I started this cruelty free blog in 2009. There is a lot more interest in cruelty free cosmetics from consumers and that has made brands take notice. More

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    Best Budget Cruelty Free Brands at Target

    Raise your hand if you’re addicted to shopping at Target? Yes, girl, ME TOO! And do you need to shop the beauty aisles every time you go — even though you only went there for cleaners and paper towels? ME TOO! I love that I have so many cruelty-free options to explore whether I’m shopping online or in-store. I think Target has done a great job at expanding its cruelty-free options and wanted to make sure all our readers knew all the great budget-friendly choices we have available to us!

    Pixi Beauty – I have sung the praises of this brand for just about forever! Pixi Beauty really can do no wrong in my eyes and I’ve tried just about every single line of skincare they put out there. I’ve got an almost embarrassing amount of their makeup in my vanity organizers and I’m pretty obsessed with their rose-infused line. But lately, I’ve turned into a total sucker for their Jasmine oil and Retinol Eye Cream. I enjoy using the antioxidant-rich Jasmine Oil in the evening as a final step in my skincare and the Retinol cream is working hard (but gently) to keep my eyes looking young.

    Milani – Milani carries just about everything you need cosmetics wise while delivering a luxurious feel but at WAY affordable prices — a combination I’m all for! If you’ve tried any of their blushes you would know what I’m talking about.  The rose powder blushes will always have a special place in my heart but I’ve been wearing their Baked Blush in “Luminoso” lately and it feels like the perfect Summer-y peach for my complexion. Peach not your thing? Their high pigment baked blush comes in lots of other colors to choose from. P.S it’s also vegan!

    Burt’s Bees – You really can’t go wrong with a basic set of Burt’s Bees lip balm. I mean, they’re just like chips — can’t have just one! Stash those balms everywhere! Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balms always apply so smooth and I love the peppermint scent — especially helpful when your lips feel super chapped and burned. Prefer a lip balm with a little color? Their Tinted Lip Balms are super pretty and give some subtle color.

    Honest Beauty – I love Jessica Alba and her Honest Beauty line! She created Honest Beauty when she couldn’t find products that worked well for her and her reactive skin so she sought out to make a clean beauty line that was simple, easy, and beautiful to use. I’ve watched some of her makeup tutorials and I always love how she does her eyes. The finishing touch? Her Extreme Length Mascara and Lash Primer makes a noticeable difference in lashes with its gripping primer and smooth, rich black mascara. I’m all about definition and this one is a winner!

    Pacifica – if there is one brand that will always catch my eye with it’s beautiful packaging its 100% vegan and cruelty-free Pacifica. There are almost too many favorites from Pacifica, but their wipes always get two thumbs up from me! The Moisture Rehab Makeup Removing Wipes in rose & coconut scent smell so good and are a great first step to removing the day’s makeup away for a clean slate at night time without drying out or irritating the skin.

    E.L.F – E.L.F has been one of those brands I’ve been buying from for ages! It was one of those brands where you could buy a TON of product to try things out and has blossomed into a more refined brand today. I’d even venture to say that some of their products rival some of the prestige brands out there. They always have good makeup brushes and this new set from their Retro Paradise Collection makes me have heart eyes for it. Can’t go wrong with a couple of face and eye brushes to create a full look!

    Bliss – The Bliss brand is cruelty-free, and carefully formulated to be free of over 1,300 harmful substances following the strict European Union standards for skincare. If I need a spa night, I know I can always reach for a Bliss spa-quality face mask to wind down the evening with. One of my favorites (and repeat purchases) is their Mighty Marshmallow Bright & Radiant Face Mask which goes on smooth and leaves my skin glowing, and their supercooling Mint Chip Mania Cooling & Soothing Face Mask. Trust me when I say these are bomb!

    NYX – Did you know that NYX started out at a professional-only brand? Lucky us that it finally trickled down to the mass consumer because their products are amazing and affordable all in one! I might have owned a drawer full of Butter Glosses over the years, but their Filler Instinct Plump Lip Color is getting some serious applause right now. This glossy lipstick is vegan and available in 6 semi-sheer shades.

    CoverGirl – It was so exciting to see when CoverGirl announced they were Leaping Bunny certified cruelty-free because their mascaras are a staple in so many beauty bags! Want volume? Their LashBlast Volume formula is a favorite! Hate clumps and want definition? Go with their LashBlast Clump Crusher that has a silicone wand to define and separate with its all-in-one primer and mascara formula.

    Coloured Raine – Black-owned, cruelty-free beauty brand, Coloured Raine sits on our radar for having some gorgeous, pigmented products that don’t break the bank. Their vegan Matte Lip Paint can be precisely placed on with its doe foot applicator and comes in ten budge-proof shades.

    Derma E – If you’re looking for good skincare, Derma E has something for all skin types. Not only are they cruelty-free, but they also are 100% vegan and eco-conscious. Their Hydrating line that incorporates hyaluronic acid into all of its products is amazing. I love using the mist but their sulfate-free Hydrating Cleanser is a MUST have for my combo and sometimes sensitive skin!

    Undone Beauty – If minimalist makeup is your thing, then you’ll want to get acquainted with Undone beauty. Simple, straight-forward and ultra-wearable, Undone Beauty made sure to make vegan and cruelty-free products that remain affordable but with a luxurious touch to them. Their Lip to Cheek 3-in-1 Cream Tint and Warm Up 4-in-1 Radiance Bronzer give you multiple ways to create customizable looks with these compact palettes. You’ll love how these will fit in your bag and work for an on-the-go lifestyle. 
    Do you have a favorite cruelty-free brand that you purchase at Target? Share in the comments section below!
    Looking for cruelty free beauty brands sold on Amazon? Click here! More

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    Amazing Cruelty Free Brands You Didn’t Know Were on Amazon

    With so many of us shopping online these days, there’s almost no need to step into a store when everything we want and need is available at the click of a button. I don’t know about you, but I love receiving packages and relate to that meme of the lady sitting by the mailbox with her purse in her lap waiting for my goodies to arrive — maybe you do too!  That dang Amazon prime shipping always seals the deal for me!
    Cruelty Free Brands on Amazon
    To fuel your online shopping needs and keep you safe at home on your couch, I’ve rounded up some amazing cruelty free brands that you didn’t know were on Amazon!

    Pacifica Beauty
    This 100% vegan, cruelty-free, clean beauty brand not only carries skincare for the face, but a huge variety of makeup, body care, and wellness products all at affordable prices. Not to mention some of the cutest packaging that adds to the overall appeal of this compassionate beauty brand.
    Some of my favorites are the Cherry Velvet Matte Setting Powder and their Underarm Deodorant Wipes. I find the setting powder works well for minimizing pores and controlling shine on my combo skin without making other areas of my face dry. The underarm wipes are always a nice refresher to use throughout the day and smell really nice.

    Ilia
    If you’re looking for a clean beauty brand with a minimalist, skin-centric approach, Ilia beauty offers some of their award-winning products on Amazon. Ilia pride themselves on developing formulas that not only perform beautifully on the skin but offers a benefit to it as well by using natural and organic ingredients. 
    Their Natural True Skin Serum Foundation is a huge hit for clean beauty lovers with its light-medium coverage and natural skin-blurring abilities. Ilia Beauty is gluten-free, dairy-free, and Leaping Bunny certified cruelty-free. 

    Kosas
    Another clean beauty, skin-focused cosmetics brand is Kosas. The company believes taking care of your skin should also include the makeup you use on the regular. Their botanical formulas not only are carefully formulated to create effortlessly beautiful looks, but are designed to nourish the skin at the same time.
    I’ve yet to come across a lipstick that is comparable to their Weightless Lip Color that feels like silk on the lips with beautiful color payoff. 

    Glamcor Riki
    You can’t have flawless makeup if you can’t see what you’re doing! Access to natural sunlight is the best bet, but when you’re doing your makeup (or let’s be real – plucking tiny hairs) in the evening, a Glamcor Riki mirror is just what you need.
    You can find the Glamcor Riki Skinny Mirror on Amazon. It comes with a 5x magnifying attachment and magnetic phone clip so you can film your own makeup tutorials.

    Anastasia Beverly Hills
    If there is one brand that knows how to make brows on point, it would have to be Anastasia Beverly Hills. ABH became famous for patenting the golden ratio method for brow shaping and developed not only brow products for a customized to each person look, but a full line of color cosmetics that keep us on our toes.
    Need defined waterproof brows to get you through your busy day? Check out their Dip Brow Pomade! Or something a little softer to draw in singular strokes? Their Brow Wiz is a good choice!

    REN Skincare
    Finding skincare that works for sensitive skin types can be difficult, which is why UK-based REN Skincare came about. REN skincare uses only sustainably sourced components to produce clean formulas that avoid skin un-friendly ingredients, like synthetic fragrance or sulfates.
    What products make the brand popular and is a best seller not only at Sephora and Amazon? Their Skincare Ready Steady Glow Tonic, an AHA toner that exfoliates with the help of lactic acid and willow bark extract while azelaic acid helps impart a healthy glow. 

    Sunday Riley
    Visible results are what we all hope for when we invest in skincare and that’s what Sunday Riley strives to give. Using active ingredients at potent enough levels to produce notable changes in our complexion with science-based formulations — all while avoiding questionable ingredients and giving back through their Sunday Shares Initiative.
    Snag their famous Good Genes Lactic All-In-One Treatment (with free Amazon Prime one-day delivery!) that clarifies, smoothes and retexturizes in one easy step for plumper, more radiant, younger-looking skin. 

    R+Co
    Looking for salon-quality hair products? R+CO was developed by a team of editorial and salon stylists that know exactly what your hair needs to keep it looking gorgeous. All their products are color-safe, heat and UV protective, vegan, and gluten-free.
    Say hello, to sleek and smooth hair with their Television Perfect Hair Shampoo and Conditioner.

    Stila
    Used by celebrity makeup artists and beauty lovers all around, Stila is a brand we’ve all grown to love since the ’90s. They have so many amazing products and in my opinion, are underrated! 
    From their cult-favorite clickable lip glazes to their best-selling budge-proof Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner, Stila offers something to create signature looks for each and every one of us. 

    Grande Cosmetics
    Can’t get your lash extensions right now? Tired of using false lashes and want to grow your own? Grande Cosmetics has received praise over the years for its results-producing lash and brow treatments. That further led into the brand developing other makeup hybrids that enhance the lips, hair and face!
    Get those lashes growing with their Grande LashMD Lash Enhancing Serum.

    Perricone MD
    Developed as part of a three-tier system of wellness, Perricone MD products are known for their powerful and cutting edge formulations that have gone through extensive clinical studies. Their antioxidant-rich products fight free radical damage and reduce the signs of aging due to inflammation at the cellular level.
    What product is a hot seller all around? Perricone MD No:Rinse Intensive Pore Minimizing Toner that visibly tightens pores and leaves behind a matte finish. 

    PMD
    Love tech-y beauty tools? PMD is famous for its premier at-home beauty devices like their personal microderm (exfoliation tool), PMD Kiss, and PMD Clean sonic cleansing tool.
    The PMD Personal Microderm Classic is a great place to start if you are looking to even skin tone, reduce blemishes, and reduce fine lines all without having to make a visit to a professional office. It may not create the same exact results but keeps their customers pleased making them loyal fans of the brand. 
    What cruelty-free brands have you discovered while shopping on Amazon before? Are you using any of the ones I shared above? Share in the comment section below! More

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    Are We Getting Closer to an Animal Testing Ban in the US?

    We are all watching and waiting for an animal testing ban in the United States. I feel that we are SO far behind with this, and the US needs to catch up to the almost 40 other countries (including the EU) who have enacted bans. These bans are not without their loopholes, but they have made a difference. We are making progress, year by year, and it’s time for the US to ban all animal testing for cosmetics.
    What is the Humane Cosmetics Act?
    The Humane Cosmetics Act prohibits new animal testing of cosmetics and their ingredients and prohibits the sale in the United States of cosmetics that have been tested on animals. (Read more from the Personal Care Products Council here.) It is not without its loopholes:
    • Prohibits animal testing and bans the use of evidence from animal testing to establish the safety of a cosmetic or cosmetic ingredient unless there is no non-animal alternative method or strategy recognized by any Federal agency or the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development for the relevant safety endpoints and other very strict criteria are met.
    • Requires the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to promote scientific advancements in this area.
    • Bans cosmetics manufacturers from including “cruelty free” claims on their packaging if animal testing data was used to establish the safety of the product or any of its ingredients.
    • Creates a national uniform standard for animal welfare.
    So would our products be safe without animal tests?
    Absolutely. There are differences between the species, so many of the animal tests out there are not even applicable for humans. This is an older article, but it explains some of the alternative tests that can be used for cosmetics safety. PETA also has an in-depth article on animal testing alternatives here.
    The Humane Cosmetics Act was first introduced in 2014. In 2019 it reached the US Senate and House of Representatives. Sad that it’s moving so slowly, I know. But it is gathering more support from brands, who are pushing for change. If you want to do more, you can easily send a message to your legislators here:
    Please take action for animals:
    Send a letter to your representative asking them to co-sponsor the bill via the Humane Society of the United States
    Humane Society’s Update
    The following is from a press release put out by the Humane Society of the United States:
    This week, we reached an important milestone with 300 independent companies now officially endorsing the Humane Cosmetics Act, in addition to nearly 600 member companies of the Personal Care Products Council, which also supports the bill. The measure would end animal testing for cosmetic products and ingredients in the US and prohibit the import of cosmetics that have been tested on animals anywhere in the world. Most of the endorsements come from small businesses that are already proving that high-quality cosmetics can be formulated without testing on animals. But the list also includes industry heavyweights such as Unilever and P&G, and known brands such as H&M and LUSH.
    Kitty Block, CEO and president of the Humane Society of the United States and Sara Amundson, president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund wrote in their joint blog today:

    “Cosmetics companies can choose from thousands of ingredients that have a history of safe use to create new and innovative products the cruelty-free way. For new ingredients, animal tests are increasingly being replaced with non-animal methods that are often quicker, cheaper and more reliable as predictors of toxicity in humans. But there is a more fundamental reason to replace conventional animal tests for cosmetics products like shampoo and mascara—the tremendous suffering they cause as rabbits, mice, rats and guinea pigs have substances variously forced down their throats, dripped into their eyes, or smeared onto their skin. They are often left to suffer for days on end without any pain relief.”

    Cosmetics companies are already obliged to comply with laws in California, Nevada and Illinois, which ban the sales of cosmetics newly tested on animals. Nearly 40 nations, including member states of the European Union, Australia, Guatemala, India, Israel, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan and Turkey, have also passed laws prohibiting or limiting cosmetics testing on animals, thanks in no small part to the efforts of Humane Society International and its partners worldwide.
    This bipartisan bill has already been introduced in the House and the Senate.
    Here is a list of companies who are endorsing the Humane Cosmetics Act: More

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    Cruelty Free Summer Beauty Favorites

    Unpopular opinion – I DO NOT like summer! I am not good with heat – I feel like my brain is melting. Summer in Los Angeles with a crappy air conditioner that can’t get the room cooler than 84 degrees is such a bummer. I need a summer home in Iceland or somewhere north of the equator!
    My family and friends call me the polar bear because I can’t deal with hot temperatures. But this polar bear still wants to look cute in the summer, so I’ve rounded up some of my favorite cruelty free summer beauty must-haves for ya!

    When it’s hot, and I’m dehydrated, my hair gets super dry and easily tangled. I have fine hair and don’t want to weigh it down, but I also have curls that need a little more moisture. I have found the Ivy & Elder Wave Spray and Leave-In Hair Mask to be the perfect combo.
    The Wave Spray is a quick and easy way to get those beachy waves without a lot of fuss. And the Leave-In Hair Mask feels like a body cream in texture, which scared me at first. I put about a nickel-sized amount on damp hair from mid-shaft to ends, and surprisingly the cream is EXACTLY what my hair needs! It curls up beautifully and is not weighed down in the slightest.

    Since we’re talking about hair products, I also have to mention R+Co Thickening Spray and Dry Shampoo Mist. I DO NOT want to break out the hair dryer and diffuser when it’s hot. And with the quarantine, I’m not doing much hair styling anyway.
    The Thickening Spray is easy to use and smells good (kinda earthy). I spritz it on the crown of my head when my hair is wet for some extra volume up-top. Sometimes I use it all-over if I want really big, Texas-sized hair!
    The R+Co Dry Shampoo Mist is my favorite dry shampoo at the moment because it’s got a gentle floral/citrus/vanilla scent that is not overpowering. There’s no heavy aerosol spray to make me choke or give me headaches. And it doesn’t leave a white mess. My hair actually feels clean when I use it – not perfumed.
    I’m definitely hooked on this Leaping Bunny certified cruelty free hair brand and I want to try more of their products. Their Watermelon Wave Spray looks amazing!

    Since it’s summer, a lot of you are on team oily skin. Welcome! I live here year-round! Farmacy Deep Sweep is a deep pore cleaning toner with salicylic acid, moringa seed extract and papaya enzyme to exfoliate and clean out those pores!
    I also really like their Daily Greens Oil Free Gel Moisturizer. As an acne-prone gal, I have never been a big oil-fan, and if I do use oils, there are only a few I trust. So in general, I like a lightweight, oil-free moisturizer like this one. It has moisturizing and exfoliating ingredients to keep pores clear.
    Farmacy is clean, cruelty free and these products are vegan.

    The COOLA Scalp and Hair Mist is one of those “why didn’t I think of that” type of products. You spritz it on your scalp (your hair, your part or wherever you’ve got skin showing) to keep it protected from sunburn. It’s easy to use and not greasy.
    It’s vegan, reef-safe, broad-spectrum, 70% organic, water-resistant, and made with natural oils to protect your hair and your scalp from UV rays. It’s a chemical sunscreen (not a physical sunscreen), so just something to be aware of.

    Since we’re on the topic of non-greasy sunscreens, Verabella’s MoistureScreen SPF 45+ is at the top of the list! It is waterproof, broad-spectrum, non-greasy, and smells like cucumbers. Most importantly it leaves ZERO white cast so it’s great for all skin tones.
    It is an underground cult favorite of celebrities and supermodels. I know this because I help the company with their social media (give them a follow!), and I hear about the A-listers who swear by this stuff!
    It comes in tinted and un-tinted varieties. The tinted version goes on easy and doesn’t look like makeup. My husband uses both, and it’s so thin, you’d never notice, even if he applied it in a hurry.

    Milani Fruit Fetish lip balms come in several delicious flavors. They aren’t sticky, but they do feel like a balm (if that makes any sense). They are cruelty free and vegan. They have a sheer tint of color (some darker than others) but not very noticeable once you put them on (for me anyway).
    My favorites are Dragonfruit Peach and Strawberry Lemonade. You can find them at Ulta (but they are sold out as I’m writing this).

    My face is oily year-round, but ESPECIALLY in the summer. Too Faced’s Primed and Poreless powder keeps my skin looking matte and blurs my pores (which is good because I have very textured skin).
    It’s very finely milled and translucent and doesn’t make me look “over-powdered.” Definitely a fan of this one!

    I guess no summer must-have list during the times of COVID-19 would be complete without hand sanitizer. Wild Pure by Ellis Day is the BEST SMELLING hand sanitizer I’ve come across (and I’ve tried many)! It is scented with bergamot, which I think is one of the best scents on the planet.
    It’s cruelty free, vegan, non-sticky and made with 70% ethyl alcohol to keep the germs away.
    I’m also trying out their Phage Serum, which kills the bad bacteria on your face while keeping the good ones happy. I’m hoping it can help clear up my cystic acne, because let me tell you – it sucks to be 40 years old and still dealing with acne! More

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    My First Time Trying Kosas

    There are Kosas billboards all over the area where I live. I keep hearing about them via social media and fellow influencers. They are achieving quite the Queen Bee status lately. Their products are known for being extremely clean, as well as Leaping Bunny certified cruelty-free. Kosas sent me some makeup samples to review, so […] More