Kari Gran


Best of Cruelty Free Beauty 2017 – Skin Care

Today’s Best of 2017 is focusing on Cruelty Free Skincare. This is a bit of a tricky category for me because 2017 was the year that I finally started taking Accutane for my stubborn acne. If you’re unfamiliar, Accutane is an often controversial drug taken to (hopefully) “cure” treatment-resistant acne. It has the side effect of completely drying out everyone’s skin, so the second half of the year I was doing everything I could to keep my formerly combo-to-oily skin as hydrated as possible while taking the drug. Having said that, you now know what skin types we are working with here, and since I had two majorly different concerns throughout the year, I will specify which type of skin I had while using the product if it’s relevant. If it worked well either way, I won’t specify the skin type unless it’s still somehow relevant. So, with that out of the way, let’s just get going because there is a lot!

Cruelty Free Sephora VIB Sale Recommendations – Spring 2017

It’s the second most wonderful time of the year for those of us with massive Sephora addictions! 😝 That’s right! The Sephora VIB Sale is almost here!!! I thought I would go through some of my favorite cruelty free products available at Sephora to give you a few recommendations while considering what new goodies to pick up this go-round. Real quick, the details as I understand them are that the sale runs from April 18th through the 24th for VIB Rouge members and your discount will be 15% off of everything as many times as you choose to shop in that time frame! Similarly, VIB member will receive 15% off between April 19th and 24th, while Beauty Insiders will be getting 10% off from April 20th through April 23rd. If you’re one of these lucky Sephora Insider members, you should receive a card in the mail as well as a code in your email that can be used over and over again during the above mentioned dates! There has also been some fantastic cruelty free news: Tashina from Logical Harmony has confirmed that Smashbox and Marc Jacobs Beauty (not the fragrances) have been added to her cruelty free list (Stila‘s back too)!!! Discounts and new brands and cruelty free goodness, oh my! 😜 Enough silliness, let’s get to the recommendations (linked to reviews if I have one). 😉

Sephora VIB Sale 2016 – Cruelty Free Options!

Ahhhhh!!! It’s that time of year again! Yup, Sephora’s annual VIB / VIB Rouge 20% Off Sale! If you’re a Rouge member, you are probably aware that the sale just began for you (code “20ROUGE”)! ? For Rouge members, the sale runs from November 4-7, while VIB members get a go at the sale from November 11-14 (code “20VIB”). Given this always exciting event, I thought I would share some of my cruelty free recommendations with you today! So let’s get started as this could become rather lengthy. ?

Favorites Revisited – May 2015


Time to take a walk down memory lane again and revisit my May Favorites from 2015! I’m going to try and do these more towards the middle of the month from now on so there aren’t so many favorite-based posts stacked up together, but planning hasn’t been my strong suit lately! 😀 Anyway, the point of this post is to go through favorites from prior years and see how I feel about them today. In other words, did my love for them stand the test of time? 🙂 There weren’t a whole lot of things that I mentioned in 2015, so hopefully I can keep this relatively short…fingers crossed! 😉 Instead of rambling, let’s just jump right to it!

May Favorites w/ Ardency Inn, Kari Gran, NARS, FAB & Not Your Mother’s

Well, May has come to a close and it is unofficially Summertime! I’m not gonna lie. May was not that kind to me and I’m only mildly sad to see it go. JI haven’t been sleeping very well which has kind of thrown everything off balance. Given that, I don’t really have a ton of favorites this time around. I may actually be able to keep it short and sweet for once! J So, here we go….

Firstly, skin care. As I mentioned in my post on Skin Care Game Changers, my skin seems to react well to glycolic acid. Since I am still trying to reduce the congestion in my skin, I turned to the First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads. I’m usually not a fan of pre-soaked products, but I’ve been using these in place of my toner at night and they have been helping a lot! They are drenched in lactic and glycolic acids to gently exfoliate, tone and brighten. They’re very gentle and have definitely helped break down a fair amount of the clogged areas of my face. Though I only have the smaller jar of these pads, they haven’t dried out at all, which is one of my biggest complaints with pre-soaked products. I think the screw on jar-like container helps maintain the moisture in the pad. I have the larger size of the Skin Rescue Blemish Patrol Pads as well and, though I’m just about finished, they haven’t dried out a bit. I would definitely recommend the Facial Radiance Pads to anyone having trouble with clogged pores, congestion, breakouts, dullness, or even dryness. Really, I think anyone could benefit from these! I just ordered the full size and intend to test out using them twice a day.

I guess this is still skin care – the Kari Gran Tinted Lip Whip! This is absolutely the best overnight treatment for your lips!!! I recently reviewed this little jar of magic, which you can read here. There’s really not a whole lot to say other than it’s wonderfully hydrating, softening, gentle, natural, cruelty free (obviously) and just lovely for the lips! Unfortunately it’s not Vegan, but if you’re ok with beeswax, then definitely give this a go! It’s not my favorite during-the-day kind of balm, partly because it’s in a pot, but I also find that I need to reapply quite often during the day and it’s not the best under lipsticks. However, as a lip treatment, there is no beating the Kari Gran Tinted Lip Whip! I wake up every morning with perfectly conditioned lips and I’m loving it. J
Moving on to hair, I’ve been grabbing for the Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Refreshing Dry Shampoo a lot lately. I have had this can for quite a while, but rarely reach for it because I don’t really love the scent. It’s not bad, it just makes me think of a men’s hair product for some reason. I’ve managed to hold my breath long enough to spray it on my overly greasy hair and I’ve realized that it’s actually a fantastic dry shampoo! I don’t find that it leaves a white cast (as best I can tell, there is absolutely zeropowdery residue), it doesn’t make my hair feel gritty or dirty or sticky, and it actually helps my hair to look like I may have washed it in the last 24 hours. JPerhaps best of all, it doesn’t make my scalp too itchy. I still try not to use it for more than a day or two before washing my hair again. I find most dry shampoos that are in spray form (and are more effective on those “I really needed to wash my hair” kinda days) almost always make my scalp really itchy and often flaky. The Not Your Mother’s Dry Shampoo is gentle, effective, not white and powdery, affordable, and definitely at the top on my list!
Another recently reviewed product from the month that have pretty much been the only lip colors I’ve been wearing are the Christopher Kane for NARS Lip Glosses. I really love these and I really can’t choose a favorite shade (I do not have “Nucleus,” but “Mezmer,” Nebulous,” and “Glow Pink” are fantastic!). The colors are kind of subtly bright, very comfortable, staining and really easy to slap on and go. I kind of wish NARS had more glosses in a staining formula like this. These are absolutely gorgeous shades though and I will be heartbroken when they’re gone. If you’d like to see a more detailed review, check it out here. I definitely would check out the Christopher Kane x NARS Lip Glosses.
The last product I will mention this month is something I’ve actually been using for quite a while, but just never mentioned. It is the Modster Smooth Ride Supercharged Eyeliner from Ardency Inn in Black. I tightline my upper lash line with this regularly, often not adding any other liner. It is so black, so pigmented and so creamy, plus it stays put! It’s another one of those smudge-able gel liners that won’t budge once it sets, but it’s so much better than the others! J It’s softer, creamier and blends better than most and it definitely is budge-proof once it sets. I do find that if I rub my eye, it can rub off of my upper waterline a bit, but it doesn’t transfer much if at all to my lower waterline (unlike everything else). It’s easy to apply and is surprisingly forgiving should you be a bit messy. Absolutely lovely! J These liners also come in a ton of fun and unusual colors which is always fun, especially in the summer. Definitely recommend giving the Ardency Inn Modster Liners a try, especially the black for thightlining…should it ever stay in stock for more than 2 minutes at a time! J

I guess that’s going to do it for May’s Favorites. Like I said, not a ton this month but enough to ramble on about. What I lack in quantity, I make up for with quality, right? JI hope your May has included more sleep than mine and I hope you’ve had a lovely month just generally speaking. JI’d love to know what some of your favorites have been throughout the month, so leave a comment telling us what your absolute can’t live without products have been in May. I’m always curious to know what other people are loving! Here’s to the last full month of Spring and a warm welcome to Summer! As always, thank you for stopping by and I hope to see you again soon!!! J

Kari Gran Tinted Lip Whip – Nectar From the Gods!!!

Keeping my lips soft and smooth can be a real battle. I feel like it is for a lot of people. I find scrubs and balms help, but somehow never fully corrects the problem. That is until I found the Kari Gran Lip Whip! This seems to be a relatively new addition to Sephora and I am so glad because I am not sure I would have found it otherwise. With regular use, the Lip Whip, along with the Paula’s Choice Scrub, has pretty much completely healed my lips! I’ve talked about a fair number of lip balms and treatments on the blog before, but I think I have finally found the one!!!

Given that this miraculous wonder balm works so well, it almost certainly is filled with some strange potentially horrible for you ingredients, right? Nope! J It is literally just natural oils, waxes and flavor most of which are organic. It’s truly amazing! Having said that, you might be able to make something similar in your kitchen with a little bit of know-how, but I am totally willing to pay for this because it is so spectacular!

Ingredients for the Tinted Lip Whip: Organic Castor Oil, Organic Beeswax, Organic Sunflower Oil, Organic Camellia Seed Oil, Organic Olive, Sunflower and Calendula Oil, Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Carmine, Tocopherol (non-GMO Vitamin E from Sunflower), Wildharvested Pimenta Berry Oil, Organic Cinnamon Bark Oil or Organic Peppermint Oil.

So, what makes it so glorious? Well, I’m not sure quite how to explain it. It is definitely a nighttime treatment type of balm because it is quite thick. It’s not going to work well under other lip products. Because of that I kind of wish the tint (I have the Tinted Peppermint version) were a bit stronger, but whatever. I sleep with it on my lips and that’s sufficient to keep them at their healthiest. It’s one of those textures that feels kind of pillow-y and cushioning upon application. It has a definite mask-like consistency to it. It’s a bit like the Bite Agave Lip Mask (see my review here), but without any lanolin and not quite as I guess greasy and almost slippery (I’d test them next to each other, but I can’t find the Bite Mask at the moment). The Kari Gran literally just feels like thick, nourishing goodness on your lips. You only need a pea-sized dab at most to cover your lips. It isa tad slippery and plush, if that makes sense, but not in an uncomfortable greasy manner. I feel like you can really feel the product soaking into your lips, not just sitting on top and protecting them. It does protect as well, but I really feel like it’s hydrating, plumping, softening and conditioning at the same time. After wearing it overnight, you definitely still feel it there in the morning. Interestingly, every time I press my lips together, it almost feels like moisture is released upon contact too. I seriously cannot say enough good things about the Lip Whip!

In addition to the amazingness of the Lip Whip, Kari Gran also sells other Natural, Organic, Wildharvested, non-GMO products that are always paraben and toxin-free. Everything is handmade and hand poured in Seattle, Washington as well!!! Love that. JThe Lip Whips are available in Untinted, Tinted, as well as the shades Radiant, Naughty, Nice and Marsala. Perhaps the more color-oriented shades have a bit more color to them, but I have yet to try any of them. The line also consists of skincare and mineral makeup. I believe Sephora is only carrying the Untinted and Tinted Lip Whips right now, but if they’re successful, I’m sure more will be added. The other products can be ordered from Kari Gran’s website. Check out the brand’s Philosophy here because it is absolutely amazing! I love this quote: “We believe that beauty is achieved by how you live your life, and the choices you make and that beauty comes from being kind to yourself and to your skin.” Words to live by!

The Tinted Lip Whip comes in a 0.25oz/7g pot that retails for $15 and can be found at Sephora and the Kari Gran site. Definitely check this out – your lips will thank you!!! J

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