Inside the August/September Box!

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We carefully curate each LOVE GOODLY box with healthier products, always vegan, nontoxic and cruelty-free beauty and skincare that you can use every day. Click here to learn more about banned ingredients.

This month’s August/September box features a full-sized KINDri Organic Beauty Oil, one of our favorite beauty oils, and a Johnny Concert glamour eyeshadow in 10 various colors perfect for Fall and all-year round. The box has a retail value of $82.

Now, scroll down to see what’s inside!

KINDri Los Angeles Organic Beauty Oil, value $45

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Our all-time favorite beauty oil including Argan, pumpkin, and grapefruit — effective, certified organic, light citrus-y smell and fast-absorbing from celeb-fave esthetician. Try using as an eye makeup remover. Nontoxic, vegan, sustainable, organic, made in the USA, fair trade, cruelty-free.

Johnny Concert Glamour Eyeshadow, value $15

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With expressive rich colors, Johnny Concert uses skin-soothing botanicals, natural, and certified organic ingredients. 10 assorted shades. Certified vegan, cruelty-free, and made in the USA. Subscribers have the chance to pick their own color! Please refer to your order confirmation email for more information.

Red & Howling, Custom Frenchie Print, value $9

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This framable print made exclusively for us by Red & Howling who has a deep love for animals and for our planet. Their designer is the co-founder of Adopt-a-Pet.com and a Be Kind activist. Handmade in the USA.

Z Natural Life Deodorant, value $9.99

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We love this natural botanical essential oils deodorant as it keeps us fresh after working out. Free of toxins like aluminum, certified vegan, and Leaping Bunny approved.

Garden of Life Organic Plant-Based Protein Bar in Sea Salt Caramel, value $2.95

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Delicious! Delivering 20 grams of complete multi-sources, organic plant protein, and 10 grams of soluble fiber, they are Certified USDA Organic, NSF Certified for Sport, Non-GMO Project Verified. Certified Vegan and Certified Gluten-Free.

This month’s box is supporting Farm Sanctuary, whose mission is to protect farm animals from cruelty, and promote compassionate vegan living. Click here to subscribe.

A picture may say a thousand words, but we can’t possibly convey the quality, taste, and feel of these products. Want to try them for yourself? You can subscribe to the box here, or purchase the one-time gift box here.

Subscribe now!
https://www.lovegoodly.com/get-the-box

7 Hidden Animal Ingredients in Beauty Products

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You are standing in the store for what seems like hours trying to decipher the list of ingredients on the back of a shampoo bottle. Is this vegan? We know why choosing vegan and cruelty- free products matter. But finding vegan beauty products can get hard and intimidating. We have compiled a list of common hidden animal ingredients (some may be a bit explicit) in beauty products to help you make the most mindful decision for yourself and the planet.

Lanolin
Lanolin is commonly found in various creamy skin care products like moisturizers, conditioners, and lipsticks. It is a wax product produced by glands of wool-bearing animals and extracted from their wool. Sheep are commonly used to get Lanolin for beauty products. Like animals kept for their fur, these sheep are crammed into hot spaces, used and slaughtered. Lanolin is also known as Lanolate, Lanogene, Laneth, Lanolin alcohols, Lanosterols, Aliphatic Alcohol, Cholesterin, wool wax and wool fat.

Cysteine
Cysteine can be found in hair care and cream products. It is an amino acid from various kinds of animal hair. Cysteine can also be found in baked goods and healing ointments.

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Image via Pexels

Estrogen
Commonly found in perfumes, creams and lotions. In beauty products, estrogen is a type of drug from pregnant horse urine. It is also used in birth control pills and for reproductive problems.

Carmine
Cochineal bugs live on cactuses and feed on red berries. Female cochineals and their eggs are collected by the thousands and boiled. Once boiled and dried, they are crushed, producing a bright red pigment. This dye is used in beauty products that require color like lipstick and blush. Carmine is also known as Cochineal, Carminic acid, and Dactylopius Coccus Extract. 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Palette uses fruit and vegetable pigments as an alternative.

Gelatin
Leftover tendons, skin, bones and ligaments of cows and pigs are boiled to make gelatin. Gelatin is not only found in nail products, face masks and shampoos, but also in common sweets like candy, Jell-O and marshmallows.

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Tallow
Tallow is created by boiling slaughtered animals until a fat substance arises. It is used in lipsticks, foundations soaps, paint, crayons, etc.… yuck! Tallow is also known as Fatty acids, Sodium salts, and Stearic acid.

Keratin
The protein of grinded up hooves, horns, feathers, and hairs of other animals make up keratin. Keratin is in shampoos, hair and nail treatment products. It is also known as animal protein, Hydrolyzed protein, Cheratina, Detoxin, and Cocodimonium Hydroxypropyl. LVX nail polish is Keratin –free.

LOVE GOODLY makes the search for 100% vegan beauty products effortless. From foundations, lipsticks, to face cleansers and moisturizers, LOVE GOODLY provides 100% vegan and cruelty-free products.

Guest Editor: Jackie Johnson of Natch Beaut

This month’s Guest Editor is Jackie Johnson, founder and host of Natch Beaut, a fun podcast all about modern trends, cruelty-free beauty and skincare, and the golden years known as the late 90s to early 2000s. We chatted with Jackie about why she started her podcast, her favorite LA vegan sushi spot, and Weird Al (um, you will have to read on to find out…)

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Image via Jackie Johnson

How start doing a podcast?
I have been doing live comedy in LA for several years, and last year I got really into Snapchat. I discovered it as a way to directly address my audience in a conversational way, and people started watching and the audience grew. Through the growth, I was encouraged by some fellow comedians to parlay this into a podcast so more people could find me and hear what I was doing. I knew doing a podcast on something as visual as makeup might sound crazy, but I had a hunch it would work if I handled it correctly. And a few months later, Natch Beaut was born!

What is your biggest challenge with producing a podcast? biggest reward?
The biggest challenge I have personally is relinquishing control. I planned an all vegan wedding last year and learned that about myself- I am a control freak. Luckily, I trust my producer Steven Ray Morris along with the entire team at Feral audio implicitly, and they help guide me down this path of team work. I still answer every email I receive myself because the audience is very important to me. I want them to know I am grateful for them for spending an hour of their week with me. The biggest reward hands down are the daily messages I get saying I have opened so many people’s minds up to the plant-based lifestyle and cruelty-free makeup and skincare world. Natch Beaut gives full transparency about the harsh truths of the beauty industry that no one really talks about, and I love that so many listeners have vowed to no longer support these injustices with their wallets!

How do you partner with Feral Audio – explain what they are?
Feral Audio is a “fiercely independent” podcast network (like a TV network, but for podcasts instead of TV shows), which means they host Natch Beaut on their server and allow me to record in their beautiful studio. Every show on Feral is 100% creator-owned, uncut, and unfiltered. When I started shopping Natch Beaut around, I knew I wanted it to be on Feral for those reasons. Plus, the name makes me think of kitties and raises important awareness of the importance of spaying and neutering your pets! We can all get behind that message.

Why is cruelty-free beauty important to you?
Beauty to me is not about achieving perfection. It is about self-care, taking time for yourself, and feeling like the most confident and best version of yourself. As a vegan and an animal lover, having animals harmed for the sake of my beauty would be an absolute irony of the entire point. We can all look beautiful and feel beautiful, animals included, without anyone being hurt in the process.

Detox your skincare and beauty.Go cruelty free. (1)

Who inspires you?

My sister, who makes motherhood of two look easy. She still hot rollers her hair every day and had both of her babies all-natural at home. She is beautiful, inside and out, and has eaten a plant-based diet since she was a child.

My dog Chooch because she lives her life with such wild trust and unconditional love of all people and things. She is also vegan and the most gorgeous creature I’ve ever seen.

Lisa Simpson for being one of the first people (albeit a cartoon person) for first presenting me with the idea of not eating animals if you love them.

Weird Al Yankovic for being one of my first big comedic inspirations, as well as a longtime friend to the animals.

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Image via Jackie Johnson

What is your morning routine?
The first thing I do every morning is take Chooch on a walk. Then I wash my face with my face wash du jour. Right now I am all about Source Vital apothecary, which is an all-natural, cruelty-free skin care line out of my home state of Texas. I love their algae deep cleanse, and their custom facial cocktail has changed my life. I would bathe in it if I could! I also ALWAYS sunscreen my face and neck. I’ll give the hair and teeth a good brushing as well. I may or may not do makeup, as I love to take a break and enjoy a natch-faced day when I can. I also start every morning with a cup of organic jasmine green tea with a splash of almond milk. I am a big tea lady! And I will most likely check all of my social medias a few times throughout this whole process, let’s be honest.

 

What is your favorite restaurant?
I love the all-vegan sushi restaurant in Los Angeles called Shojin. I have every birthday/anniversary/excuse to celebrate there that I can. They have truly elevated the art of vegan cuisine there, and they are also so ridiculously nice there. The bathroom is also very cute. Go eat there and go in the bathroom and you will see what I mean!

…vacation?
My husband and I love to travel! We love to go on local trips in California, like to the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo, or down to San Diego where the vegan cuisine scene is top-notch. We did a Euro trip for our Honeymoon and it was absolutely magical. We also love a short jaunt to Vegas for some slot machine action and our favorite vegan pizza place, Slice of Vegas inside of Mandalay Bay!

…Drink?
I don’t drink alcohol, but if I could drink a cold pressed juice from Kreation juice every day of my life, it would be the ultimate #LifeGoals. Everything in that place is delicious and makes my life brighter, although my favorite is the illuminate juice! It is truly the organic nectar of the Gods.

…Thing to do in LA?
I love taking my dog to the beach. She comes to life when her paws hit that sand. She also loves to sunbathe, which she got from her mom (although I SPF myself to a comical degree!) My favorite one is the Huntington Dog Beach. We always get lunch at Vegan Nirvana beforehand, so it’s not an entirely selfless excursion.

If you could have dinner with any 4 people in the world, who would they be?
This is a very difficult question, as I love having dinner with people and have a lot of favorites:

Paul McCartney because he means more to me than any person in the world I’ve never met for many reasons (He is a Beatle, he is a longtime animal advocate, and I like to think on some level that he is my dad.)

Howard Stern because I have been listening to him for so many years and following his life and career. We spend so many countless hours together- it would be nice for me to finally be able to respond to the conversation.

Weird Al. Is it weird that I’ve mentioned him twice in this post? Too late cause I’m going there.

And, Adam my husband who is my favorite person in the world to dine with.

Any advice for budding entrepreneurs?
Just do it. I waited for years to start my podcast because I kept talking myself out of it. “There are already so many podcasts; no one will listen to it. Get a life and stop listening to so much Weird Al, ya goof!” I was just afraid of “failure” or of what people might think. I was being lame. Don’t be lame like me. Put your art into the world. It will resonate with people who appreciate it and that is truly the only thing that matters. Do YOU, honey!

 

Our Favorite Eco Retreats

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Image via Pexels

Wellness and eco retreats are the vacation spots for those of us looking to be inspired, to stay mentally and psychically fit, or simply to unplug from everyday life. We looked at a few favorite wellness escapes from around the world that are unique and incorporate yoga, spas and all things healing.

Kamalaya Koh Samui – Thailand
A vacation spent at the Kamalaya Koh Samui wellness sanctuary and spa resort on the Koh Samui Island in Thailand means healing and detoxing amongst the lush green forests and baby blue seas. Along with Kamalaya Koh Samui’s wellness, yoga, and recreational facilities, the escape offers a bunch of wellness programs (in areas like healthy lifestyle, detox, stress & burnout), all soothing for the soul.

Xinalani – Mexico
If truly falling off the grid to rejuvenate is your thing, Xinalani is the place to be. This eco-retreat center is only accessible by boat in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Surrounded by the healing elements of the earth, Xinalani provides a safe haven for spiritual growth and the restoration of the mind and body. Find yourself in the midst of a yoga session or swimming alongside dolphins. The activities at Xinalani are endless. 

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Image via Pexels

Floating Leaf – Bali
Floating Leaf Eco- Luxury Retreat in Bali is a favorite because it not only provides yoga and spa programs but also a chance to see the treasures of Bali and learn Balinese traditions. From surfing to photography to Balinese healing, Floating Leaf nurtures both the healer and traveler within us.

The Coast Ridge Retreat – San Francisco, California
If you love fitness or up for a physical challenge, the Coast Ridge Retreat is your perfect getaway. Located between Mt. Tamalpais and the Pacific Ocean, the program is a 4-day retreat that challenges your approach to life. The retreat aims to reboot yourself physically and mentally: realizing purpose, relearning health, nourishing love, play and fitness.

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Image via Two Bunch Palms

Two Bunch Palms – Palm Springs, California 
We love Two Bunch Palms for its naturally healing mineral waters. You will not find any more creative offering of classes, including “Discover your power animal”, “Harmonic vibrations sound bath” and “Vino & Van Gogh” to name a few. Of course you still get a luxury 77 acre resort with delicious farm-to-table cuisine, and full spa offering from Shamanic Healing to Reiki and one of our favorites, Thai massage. 

Esalen Institute – Big Sur, California 
If your idea of a blissful vacation is working on your spiritual self, and naked moonlit Jacuzzis over the cliffs near Big Sur, you will love Esalen. Esalen is a spiritual retreat center with a rich bohemian past that welcomes all those who seek beyond wisdom, a higher conscience, what is beyond society. Esalen provides workshops, hot springs, meditation, and most importantly a community with opened arms. *Esalen reopens July 28th 2017

And don’t forget to pack your cruelty free and nontoxic beauty and skincare from LOVE GOODLY! A few of our favorites include the Pas de Rouge with SPF protection from KINDri, Ocean Travel-Sized Cleanser from OSEA, 100% Pure BB Cream with SPF (Luminous, Aglow, Radiance) and Sun Lip Balm with SPF 15 from Hurraw!

Down to Earth: Natural Ingredients to Nurture the Skin

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Image by Mindbodygreen.com

Our skin is the largest organ in our body. Along with eating the right healthy foods, natural ingredients can also support the skin’s everyday functions by rejuvenation and nourishment.

SALT

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Sea salt contains an abundance of minerals that our body and skin needs. Sea salt can help keep the balance of minerals in our skin and provide protection.

Other salts such as Epsom and Pink Himalayan salt also contain healing and detoxify qualities. Add salts into your beauty routine with hellomellow’s Relax Pink Himalayan Body Scrub or Mullein & Sparrow’s Mini Rose Bath Salts.

CHARCOAL

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Activated charcoal has powerful absorbing properties. It has been a popular ingredient in a variety of beauty and skin care products. Activated charcoal used in beauty is best known for drawing dirt and skin pollutants from the skin, leaving it glowing. Skin is also known to combat breakouts.

100% vegan Little Barn Apothecary Charcoal + Aloe Face Cleanser contains a combination of activated bamboo charcoal and the benefits of aloe which makes it a great daily facial cleanser or treatment cleanser.

Complete the facial cleanse with:

OILS

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From coconut oil to jojoba oil to argan oil, we are no strangers to beauty oils.They are packed with antioxidants and fatty acids that rejuvenate, hydrate and nourish our skin. Amal’s Moroccan Organic Argan Oil is one of the rarest oils in the world. It is known to help moisturize and contains skin regeneration properties through its richness in Vitamen E and linoleic/okeic acids.

KINDri Organic Beauty Oils contain a variety of ethically sourced oils such as grape seed, sunflower, and sweet almond. Oils can also act as a makeup remover or cleaner like the Mullein & Sparrow Cleansing Oil “featuring the anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties of black cumin seed.”

ALGAE

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Algae are simple, diverse group of organisms found in aquatic environments. We are quite familiar with algae like seaweed. Some algae used in skin-care products contain soothing properties and antioxidants. Red Algae like in OSEA’s Red Algae Mask may also help with aging. OSEA’s Undaria Algae Oil can be applied to the body, leaving the skin supple.

Inside the June/July Box!

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We carefully curate each LOVE GOODLY box with healthier products, like nontoxic and cruelty-free beauty and skincare that you can use every day. Click here to learn more about banned ingredients.

This month’s June/July box was guest-curated by Skully Smith, founder of Modern Compassion and one of our favorites advocates for vegan, animal-friendly, and cruelty-free living. She selected one of her favorite beauty products, Kat Von D Beauty’s Everlasting Liquid Lipstick.

Now, scroll down to see what’s inside!

Kat Von D Beauty’s Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Lovecraft, value $20

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Our fabulous guest curator and Los Angeles vegan influencer Skully’s brand pick — and one of the most popular liquid lipsticks! From the vegan, cruelty-free beauty line by Kat Von D, a life-proof lipstick in stunning Lovecraft (a mauve pink nude) that will not wear off! Newly reformulated with safe, nontoxic ingredients, this creamy formula glides over lips like a gloss and sets to a true matte finish. Along with 24-hour wear and high-pigment color, it’s packed with natural moisturizers, includeing Vitamin E and Sunflower Seed Wax. Cruelty-Free, vegan, and nontoxic.

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Faby Nail Polish in assorted Summer Colors, value $12

Big 5-free professional grade nail polish in 10 fun summer colors. This means no DBP, Toluene, Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, or Camphor, and no TPHP, no Paraben, no Xylene. We love the long-lasting, high-shine results. Each box has one beautiful assorted summer color; from nautical blue to summer brights to summer white. Vegan and cruelty-free.

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GemTye Custom Heart Bracelet and Hair Tie in Black or Turquoise, value $28

This custom-designed, dual-purpose hairband and bracelet from GemTye features either a black or turquoise enamel heart charm on a black cord. Wear alone or stacked with your wrap or bead bracelets, or for those of us with longer locks it’s the perfect stylish hair accessory during hot yoga classes! Fair Trade, Vegan, Charity.

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Fred + Far Trillion Pin, value $12

The future is bright, and so are you! Join the self-love movement and wear this pin on your jacket or bag as a reminder to choose yourself on a daily basis. The diamond-shaped pin signifies self-love and what’s better than that?! Fred + Far has created a sisterhood with a powerful message of loving yourself. Charity, Made in the USA, Vegan.

New Chapter Perfect Hair, Skin, and Nails, value $17

Nourish healthy hair and build strong nails with 100% Daily Value of probiotic fermented Biotin to promote your body’s natural production of keratin. Also includes plant-sourced Astaxanthin, a powerful antioxidant – supporting skin elasticity – made from organic algae, and superfood botanical blends. Non-GMO Project Verified, ICS Organic Certified, made in the USA, 100% Vegan. 15 Day Supply.

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This month’s box is supporting Farm Sanctuary, whose mission is to protect farm animals from cruelty, and promote compassionate vegan living. Click here to subscribe.

A picture may say a thousand words, but we can’t possibly convey the quality, taste, and feel of these products. Want to try them for yourself? You can subscribe to the box here, or purchase the one-time gift box here.

Subscribe now!
https://www.lovegoodly.com/get-the-box

 

Why Cruelty Free Beauty Products Matter

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image via BoredPanda.com

Cruelty free products are manufactured without harming or killing animals, especially skincare or beauty that do not test on animals. The world is slowly turning away from animal-testing, which are often painful and cause the death of millions of animals every year, and towards alternative testing methodsMany countries like India and those in the European Union have banned the sales of cosmetic products that use animal testing or are in the process.

However, many beauty product brands in our local U.S. drugstores and department stores still use animal testing. These tests commonly include rabbits, mice, rats and guinea pigs inhaling or being exposed to chemicals that cause unnecessary mutilations and suffering. Although The Humane Cosmetics Act was introduced in 2014, there is still no U.S. national law banning animal testing on beauty products. Additionally, China still requires animal testing for cosmetics that are imported into the country. Thus, many large cosmetic brands still use or started using again animal testing in order to continue reaching China’s large market.

Detox your skincare and beauty.Go cruelty free. (1)

Popular brands like Aveeno, Cover Girl, Dove, L’Oréal Paris, M.A.C., Neutrogena and Nivea still use animal testing. Here is a more comprehensive list of popular brands that uses animal testing.

Each and every one of us has the power to voice what we value and support by the purchases we make. Where your dollars go speaks volumes. Let’s choose cruelty-free.

In a nutshell, cruelty-free products are products that are not tested on animals. Instead, companies use other alternative methods such as using artificial skin to assure products are safe for consumers.

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The following 3 cruelty- free labels may be trusted. Products with these labels meet the cruelty-free standards set by each organization. To double check, look for the product’s company name on the organization’s website to verify.

LOVE GOODLY always carries cruelty-free beauty products (brands like LINNÉ Botanicals, Hellomellow, Lippy Girl, and OSEA). LOVE GOODLY also supports the Beagle Freedom Project which helps rescue laboratory animals from testing.

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GO CRUELTY-FREE!

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Behind the Brand Part 2: Kat Von D Beauty

To learn more about Kat Von D Beauty, we asked some insiders: Tara Buenrostro and Kelseyanna Fitzpatrick, two incredible vegan makeup artists who are a part of Kat Von D’s Artistry Collective. They chatted about working with Kat, Farm Sanctuary, and our June/July guest curator Skully Smith.

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Instagram kelseyannaf / Image by Kat Von D

What inspired you to go vegan?

Kelsey: The day that changed my life forever was at Circle V, a vegan festival in LA, sitting on the ground listening to Gene Bauer (Farm Sanctuary), Kat Von D and Nathan Runkle (Mercy For Animals) speak about veganism. They are such powerful and positive vegan role models. They spoke to what was in my heart and made me feel like I CAN DO THIS, for the animals, the planet, and myself. My favorite quotes that motivate me every day are from Kat “Doing our best is the least we can do” and Mercy For Animals “Do what is right. Not what is easy”.

Tara: I can list a million reasons why going vegan is the most beneficial thing you can do for yourself, animals and the planet. In the beginning, making the transition myself was not easy. I was turning a blind-eye to the truths behind animal exploitation as well as consuming animal products. When I first became vegetarian, I made that decision because of my love for animals. I was vegetarian for about 2 years and eventually started feeling guilty about dairy and leather goods. One day I finally took the plunge and gathered the courage to keep my eyes open during Earthlings, a documentary that was rumored to be graphic but would be the necessary truth I needed to convert to veganism. The reality of what animals go through for fashion, entertainment, food and scientific research and how WE, the consumer, take a life that is not ours to take is and was absolutely heartbreaking. My friend, Kat Von D told me one time that, ‘Every dollar is a vote’ that has stuck with me every time I’m put in a situation that exploits animals. I’m proud to say that those things no longer have my vote, nor hold my interest. It’s true that every “dollar” counts, because every dollar not spent on those things saves lives. People always talk about how hard it would be for them to go vegan, and I used to be able to relate to that statement. But if they could open their eyes to the truth, they would see veganism as I do: “Vegan, that sh*t’s easy!”

Recommended Documentaries: Earthlings, Forks Over Knives, Cowspiracy

 

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What made Kat decide to reformulate the Kat Von D Beauty line to be vegan and cruelty-free?

 

Kelsey: Kat Von D Beauty has always been cruelty-free. Kat has been a passionate animal lover her whole life. She was not vegan when she started the line, but once she became vegan, she didn’t feel right producing non-vegan products. This inspired the reformulation, which Kat has worked so hard on! I agree when she says that true cruelty-free beauty is vegan.

Tara: Kat Von D Beauty was, is and has always been cruelty-free! Any and ALL Kat Von D Beauty products will never be tested on animals. The only way Kat will ever test products, is on herself! When Kat first created Kat Von D Beauty 10 years ago the line wasn’t completely vegan, nor was she. When Kat became vegan she wanted to practice what she preached and prove to the world that high quality products don’t need animal products. Even if it takes longer or costs more to find replacements, she would not stop until her line was is completely vegan. It’s inspiring to not only see Kat evolve and make changes to better the environment and save animals on a personal level, but also in her makeup line! It’s like the two are growing together. Being able to work for a brand that represents what CRUELTY-FREE is so rewarding.

We love that you support Farm Sanctuary like we do! What is it like volunteering at their sanctuaries?

 

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Image / Instagram kelseyannaf

Kelsey: I love Farm Sanctuary so much, I wish I could be there every week! The animals melt my heart. They are so sweet and the staff is so dedicated to them. We spend time playing but also work hard cleaning their barns, laying new hay, and helping rebuild the sanctuary. I learned about where each animal came from, their personalities, and the horrors of the animal agriculture industry. Although it is heartbreaking, their ability to forgive and love humans gives me the strength to stick up for them!

 

Tara: Volunteering at Farm Sanctuary was one of the most inspiring days of my life. Not just because of the animals, but because of the people who take the time out of their lives to save another. Loving these animals is so rewarding. The way these animals look at you will melt any heart.

What is your favorite vegan restaurant?

Kelsey: In my hometown, Vancouver BC, my favorite is Virtuous Pie (pizza)!

Tara: CROSSROADS in Los Angeles! Holy Mackerel! The first time Kat took me there I couldn’t believe the entire menu was vegan.  It was the best food I had ever tried. The Crossroads Impossible Burger and Kale Salad is mouth-watering and unbelievably delicious!

Three words to describe yourself.

Tara: Compassionate, Hard Working, Creative

How do you stay balanced in your life?

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Image / Instagram kelseyannaf

Kelsey: I wouldn’t say I have a particularly balanced life, but, I try to stay focused on what is really important to me, instead of forced obligations. I give myself breaks, and try to make time for a few people I love.

Tara: My husband, my dog, and COFFEE keep my feet on the ground. I am nothing without them! As for my diet, I do not miss dairy or meat at all. To stay balanced when being vegan I recommend stop making excuses and comparisons, truly educate yourself, embrace the changes and stay motivated!

What is your daily morning routine?

Kelsey: I start with my skincare routine using Luminance Skincare, listen to music and play with my dog Loki!

Tara: I can honestly say I don’t have an exact routine besides saying a prayer,  brushing my teeth and feeding my dog! Every morning is different with my husband’s job, as well as the amount of traveling I do with the Kat Von D Beauty Artistry Collective. I at some point try to find or make myself an iced coffee with a splash of coconut milk, and eat some sort of cereal or on-the-go vegan coconut cookies from Starbucks! They’re delicious!

You are friends with our guest curator Skully Smith. What’s your favorite thing about her?

Kelsey: I have never met Skully myself, but she is close with my friends. I love that she is a passionate vegan.

Tara: I met Skully through my friend Leah and started following her on social media years ago. When I was becoming interested in veganism, I reached out to her many times with questions. She was always so nice and helpful in her responses. In following Skully and watching her posts about animal cruelty, I found myself inspired to educate myself on the truths. I can honestly say Skully inspired me initially to make the transition from eating meat, to becoming vegetarian. She posted about a documentary called COWSPIRICY and that was truly the start of my road to becoming vegan. I love Skully because she has always been so helpful and her compassion for animals shines – THANK YOU SKULLY!

Behind the Brands: Kat Von D Beauty

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Image / ClearlyVeg.com – LAIKA Magazine – melissjs

She is known as a famed tattoo artist, but Kat Von D changed the game with her vegan and cruelty-free makeup line, Kat Von D Beauty. Her most popular Everlasting Liquid Lipstick is a favorite with makeup artists, celebrities, bloggers and influencers, and makeup lovers everywhere. We are so excited to feature the shade Lovecraft in our June/July box – in addition to being vegan and cruelty-free, we were thrilled to discover the new formulation of the lipstick is also toxin-free!

We had the chance to chat with Kat about what inspired her to go vegan and what she loves about her BFF (and our guest curator!) Skully Smith

What inspired you to go vegan?
After watching the documentary, Forks Over Knives, the connection between what we put in our bodies and our health really hit home with me.  I had been a vegetarian for years prior to watching that film, but after that, I dropped eggs and dairy right away and have never looked back. But it wasn’t until I learned about the thousands of ways we exploit animals on a daily basis, that I really became vegan for reasons outside myself.  I encourage everyone to watch the documentary, Earthlings, to really get a grasp on what we as human beings are doing to the animals and to the environment.

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Image / Instagram thekatvond

What made you decide to re-formulate your Kat Von D Beauty line to be vegan and cruelty-free?

When I first created KvD Beauty ten years ago, I was not vegan at that time. Hell, I wasn’t even sober yet! So it was only natural that the more I learned about veganism, the more I needed the ingredients in my beauty products to align with my morals. And yes, it took a lot of work, a bit of money and patience, but it was well worth it!

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Image / LAIKA Magazine – melissjs

We love that you support Farm Sanctuary like we do! What is it like volunteering at their sanctuaries?

Volunteering at Farm Sanctuary is truly a selfish act for me, considering how much joy it brings me. Being able to spend time with these lucky animals who have survived the tortures of factory farming and animal abuse gives me a certain amount of hope. As an animal activist, I find it vital to be able to see the other side of the harsh truth out there – and it’s a perfect place for people like me, who somehow became so disconnected with the human and non-human animal connection.

What is your favorite vegan restaurant?

Crossroads in Los Angeles.  Hands down.  I could eat there forever and die happy.

Three words to describe yourself?

Trying my best.

How do you stay balanced in your life?

Hm. I wish I truly knew balance, but in all honesty I think its my instability that makes it possible for me to do so much.  I think being as hyper sensitive and obsessively passionate about creativity makes it extremely difficult to balance relationships and socializing in general. I tend to be the happiest in my solitude.

What is your daily morning routine?

My daily routine varies depending on what projects I’m working on or my travel schedule.  But for the most part I wake up quite early, cuddle cats in bed before working out and breakfast, and then dive straight into whatever the day may offer.

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Image / Skully Smith

You are friends with our guest curator Skully Smith, what’s your favorite thing about her?

I love Skully for many reasons – but one of the things I admire the most is her ability to be a modern day representation of a vegan.  No offense to the stereotypical vegan out there who likes to eat granola and wear hemp Birkenstocks, but I myself, am a modern vegan. And I think its important to show the world that standing up for animals doesn’t mean sacrificing ones personal style, and Skully makes being vegan sexy as fuck.

On-The-Go De-Stress Kit: Natural Stress Relief Techniques

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Image via Unsplash

Stress. It’s good for us. Stress can push us to get things done and focus on what really matters. Overwhelming stress is what we try to avoid. This stress is debilitating and leaves us mentally and psychically drained. We can get stressed anywhere and, as good as it sound, sitting in a bath tub with a glass of wine to reduce stress just isn’t always possible with our modern day schedules. With places to be, responsibilities and obligations, it can be hard to properly reduce stress when you’re out and about.

The On-The-Go De-Stress kit has you covered.

We filled this kit with recommended items and natural stress relief techniques so you can reduce stress anywhere, anytime. When you’re stressing out at your office desk at 3pm, this kit will do the trick!

BUT FIRST THINGS FIRST…

As much as we like to think stress relief techniques can reduce our stress, they can. But only temporarily. You can exercise as much as you’d like but until you solve or come to terms with the roots of your stress, it will come back to you.

To permanently reduce stress, identify the stressor. Ask yourself: What am I stressed about? Once you identify the stressor, find a solution. If you are stressed about a deadline, make plans to start now. If it’s general lifestyle stress, what can you take out or add into your life to reduce  it?

On-the-go De-Stress Kit:

  • Calm Meditation app Many studies have shown that mindful meditation can reduce psychological stress. Calm is an app (available on Android and iOS) that provides guided meditation in categories like breathing to help you slow down the heart rate and blood pressure, kicking in your relaxation mode. You can meditate anywhere; during lunch breaks, while you’re walking or in your car. It only takes 10 minutes!
  • Black Tea According to a study done by University College London, “drinking black tea may speed up our recovery from the daily stresses in life.” Lower levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) were detected in those who drank black tea after a stressful event as opposed to those who drank a placebo tea. Bring a couple of organic tea bags with you to brew at work or prepare a bottle of tea before going out.
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Image via Tantris.com

  • Office Yoga Yoga is a great stress relief technique. We might not have the time to roll out the mat and spend 30 minutes in practice. Office yoga is the perfect solution to reap the stress alleviating benefits of yoga while on a time crunch. On your next break, try some of these beginning poses.

  • Chewing Gum Chewing gum has been linked to reducing stress as well as increasing productivity. It is an inexpensive stress relief technique. Generic chewing gum contains synthetic ingredients like polyisobutylene (a rubber used to make tire parts). A sustainable alternative is organic Chicza gum.

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  • Take a walk Walking reduces stress and puts our brain in a calmer state. It doesn’t have to be far or long. Don’t check your phone while you’re walking. Put it on Airplane mode and engage with the present moment. 

  • A Healthy Snack In order for our brains to think properly, we need to make sure it has the proper nourishment. A brain that lacks fuel will only heighten stress levels. Pack nutritious and filling snacks like carrot sticks with vegan peanut butter. You can’t go wrong with fruits, veggies and nuts.

  • Turn off the Phone Read this, watch that, answer me! There is no doubt our phones can overwhelm us with information. This doesn’t mean you have to drop off the face of the internet for hours. Some of us rely on our phones for important work. Turning off your phone for half an hour is still effective.