Another month down, so it’s time for another installment of Cruelty Free Favorites! July was a month of trying to switch things up on the makeup front, so I feel like it’s unfair to mention some of the makeup that I may love, but didn’t use frequently. That said, I had a bit of a go-to eye look, as well as some skin and hair favorites…plus a semi-random one, though it might be expected if you’ve seen some of my other random inclusions. 😉 So, as per usual, let’s just get to it!
I’m going to start with a hair favorite. Well favorites I guess since there are two related products. I started using the Rahua Hydration Shampoo and Conditioner in July and I’ve really enjoyed them! The last time I had my hair dyed, my stylist suggested a hydrating shampoo (not a cruelty free brand though, so I hunted for an alternative). I do have super processed and, thus, dry, brittle hair so it made sense to me to go with a hydrating formula, but I also have rather thin hair (which is shedding like mad, though I think it’s been getting a bit better recently). I was nervous because hydrating formulas are notorious for weighing down fine, flat hair – aka my hair. I was so pleasantly surprised that the Rahua Hydration line seemed to leave my hair feeling nourished without it being heavy and suctioned onto my head! As an added bonus, it’s formulated with Passion Fruit and Mango so it has a beautiful, soft fruity scent too! 😍 As with all Rahua products, these are made with organic, “natural,” “pure plant derived” ingredients. Rahua partners with the indigenous Quechua-Shuar people who harvest Rahua oil, the magic ingredient that started it all, in the same sustainable manner they’ve used for generations. Rahua products are also free of parabens, sulfates and gluten, as well as being cruelty free and vegan. The Hydration line uses Rahua, Sacha Inchi, and Morente oils, as well as protein bonding sugars for moisture and strength. I’ve been so pleasantly surpised by Rahua’s Hydration Shampoo and Conditioner because not only are they color safe, hydrating, and don’t weigh down my fine hair, but a little bit goes a long way…which is great because they are expensive at $34 and $36 respectively. You do get a smidge more product than most shampoos and conditioners though with 275mL / 9.3oz (I ordered these from Dermstore when they had a promo code that knocked a bit off the total). Despite the high price tag, I’m sold on the Rahua Hyrdation line! 🎉
For washing my face, I’ve really been enjoying the Jordan Samuel Skin The After Show Treatment Cleanser. This is a really cool cleanser because it’s an oil cleanser, but in a gel form. You apply it to dry skin, just like a traditional oil cleanser, but since it’s somehow made into a gel, you’re not fighting to keep the oil in your hands before getting it to your face. Once you put the gel onto the skin, it kind of melts and has a similar oil-like consistency, but it’s not greasy or heavy. After massaging the gel all over, you add a bit of water and, just like a traditional oil cleanser, it gets that milky consistency as the water emulsifies with the oils. After massaging that into the skin, just rinse with water or remove with a washcloth and you’re ready for the rest of your skin care! It’s brilliant and I’ve really enjoyed using this cleanser. In addition to having olive, jojoba and grapeseed oils to help remove makeup, dirt and sunscreen, the “treatment” part comes from the sugarcane, apple and willow bark extracts that provide a very gentle chemical exfoliation. I’m not sure I notice a tremendous difference in my skin after using this cleanser, but I really enjoy the experience. Plus it leaves my skin feeling soft and hydrated without ever feeling stripped, tight or uncomfortable. I don’t think this is the greatest cleanser for oilier skin types just because it leaves behind the tiniest bit of residue (that sounds bad, but you can still feel some hydration on the skin after rinsing it off). If you are oilier and want to use this, I’d rinse it off with a washcloth to remove any lingering oils. That said, if you’re just dipping your toes into oil cleansers, you dislike traditional oil cleansers because they’re too runny, or love oil cleansers, want to try something a little different that also has some gentle skin brightening gentle exfoliating ingredients, or just want a great new cleanser, definitely look into the Jordan Samuel Skin The After Show Treatment Cleanser. There is a 15mL / 0.5oz travel size for $9 if you don’t want to commit, as well as the standard 84mL / 3oz tube for $20, and a giant 240mL / 8oz tube for $43.
Sticking to skincare, I have found a fantastic new hydrating serum from Volition Beauty. It is the Snow Mushroom Water Serum, which is formulated with snow mushroom extract which can hold about 500 times its weight in water, thus feeding the skin that hydration at least I desperately need! I should say that at this point my skin is pretty much balanced, but I do get a fair amount of flaking / peeling in areas. This magical mushroom also supports collagen production and helps filter free radical damage. The serum doesn’t stop with hydration though! It also has Mineral-charged Marine Water to help minimize pores and calm the skin, Watermelon and Apple extracts help brighten skin with a good dose of Vitamins C & A, and Lentil extract that further helps retain moisture while being rich in B5 to help soothe the skin and make it appear smoother and firmer. As far as the use of this serum, I do feel like I’m going through it quickly despite using only the pea-size drop recommended twice a day, but it soaks into the skin beautifully and leaves my skin feeling plumped and hydrated from deep within the tissue. It kind of feels like hyaluronic acid on steroids! The serum doesn’t leave my skin feeling greasy, sticky or otherwise uncomfortable; it just feels wonderfully hydrated and plumped…and stays that way all day! I could see this being fantastic in the cooler, drier months. I feel like pretty much any skin type would enjoy this, but if you’re dry or dehydrated, highly recommend the Volition Beauty Snow Mushroom Water Serum! It’s an absolutely wonderful moisture-giving serum!!!
Last in the “skin care” department, I wanted to mention an older favorite that I haven’t ever stopped using. However, in July I stopped using it as religiously and noticed a definite difference – for the worse! There’s just something about Lucas’ Pawpaw Ointment that makes and keeps my lips really soft and smooth. I used this constantly while I was taking Accutane and never had much trouble with dry lips, which is pretty shocking actually! After finishing the Accutane, I’ve tried going back to some of my former lip products and every time, I regret it. I don’t love that the Pawpaw Ointment is petroleum based, but for some reason – I think it’s the inclusion of the chemically exfoliating pawpaw fruit extract – this just keeps my lips pretty much flake-free and never chapped! They always feel comfortable and well hydrated. If you can deal with the petroleum-based nature of the Lucas’ Pawpaw Ointment, it is fantastic for fixing and preventing dry, flaky lips!
Now for the makeup! 🎉 I seem to have had a go-to eyeshadow look in July. When not using the Urban Decay Born to Run Palette (reviewed here), I always reached for the ColourPop Mar Eyeshadow Palette. More specifically, the shades “El Rey” and “Boozy.” These two shades are so pretty together! They’re both golden orange shimmery shadows that I wouldn’t ordinarily think I’d go for, but something about them just spoke to me and I couldn’t stop wearing them! I almost always put “El Rey” on the inner third of my lid, “Boozy” in the center, and then added “Top Down” in the outer corner with “Sorbet” in the crease. It’s just been a fun, summery look without being too out there. I haven’t played with other shades in the palette too much, but the quality seems on par with ColourPop’s typical pressed shadows – pigmented, though a bit dusty in the pan, but applies and blends well on the eyes. The shimmers are most intense when applied wet or with a finger. Overall, the quality is good and I’ve found these easy to work with. The ColourPop Mar Palette is just a fun Summer palette that has gotten me slightly out of the neutral box in July! 😍
Last but not least, I have yet another podcast favorite. And yes, if you’ve seen me mention podcast favorites on the blog before, it’s another one from good ole Crooked Media. This one is called “The Wilderness” and it’s a documentary series about the Democratic political party. The history, where it is now, where it’s lacking, and where it needs to go. I just finished episode 6 and I’m really enjoying it. Not only is the production value fantastic, but I just find it really interesting. They’ve interviewed some really interesting, insightful people from pollsters to Trump-Obama voters to former office holders, strategists, historians and more. I’m not sure what more to say about it. 😄 It’s very well done and if for no other reason, I appreciate that! I’m just a huge Crooked Media fan and I love most of what they’ve put out, though not everything is my cup of tea. If you’re looking for a very well made, interesting documentary podcast about the Democratic party, give “The Wilderness” a go!
That’s it! July has come and gone, and now we’ve gone through the best cruelty free stuff from the month. I guess that means August can officially begin…well, it has! 😄 I’m trying not to think too much about the rapidly approaching Fall months…I know we’re not quite there yet, but the thought keeps creeping into my head. I’m definitely a Summer person and have been loving the insanely warm weather! I’m not looking forward to it fading, but then there are great things about Fall too. That’s a rant more for next month’s favorites though, so I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing the things I’ve been really enjoying in July. Here’s to hoping everyone had a fantastic July, and that August brings even bigger and better things! Here’s to you and yours and I hope to see you back again soon!!! 😘