One of the most popular beauty treatments these days is to get eyelash extensions. There are three types of lash extension sets you can get; classic, volume, or hybrid. With a classic set, it is more natural looking, but can have a little bit of drama depending on the curl and length. A volume set is high drama, and a hybrid set is a nice blend of the two. There are also different lengths, techniques, and styles of lash extensions that you can get, and of course there are a variety of different prices.
Usually it will cost less to go to someone who does it themselves rather than going to a salon to get them done. I personally prefer not to go to a salon to get mine done when I do, just because I know that the majority of the cost is going to the salon and not the individual, which is also why I do not work in a salon doing lash extensions either. It is also always important to ensure the person you are going to see is professionally certified. Never go to see someone who has not been professionally trained because they most likely will not know all of the safety precautions that need to be taken when it comes to the glue and tools. Better to be safe then sorry and see someone who is certified.
The first thing to know before getting lashes done is what look you are going for. Your lash technician should be able to let you know which look will be best for your eye shape, if you would like a cat-eye effect, natural, tapered, etcetera. It is also important to ensure that you are wearing no eye makeup, especially mascara, so that your lash technician does not have to remove it because the glue may not properly adhere to your natural lash.
While getting your lashes done, it is extremely important to not open your eyes. The slight fumes from the glue are not pleasant and will sting the eyes if you open them. Do not open your eyes unless your lash tech tells you to. Also, do not consume caffeine if it makes you jittery before your appointment. I have had clients with jittery eyes come in because of caffeine and it makes the application a lot more difficult, and due to that, makes it a longer appointment.
After the appointment, try not to get your lashes wet for about 24 hours as it may make the glue loosen and the lashes may fall off faster. It is important to also brush your lashes daily. Your lash technician should provide you with a mascara wand for you to brush your lashes which you should do when you wake up, after a shower, after a swim, basically any time you get your face wet, and before you go to bed. Do not rub your eyes or pick at your lashes, if your eye is itchy and you have the urge to rub, try to do it around the lashes. It is important not to use strip lashes on top of the extensions or use mascara. You can wear eye makeup as long as it is not oil-based and when using makeup remover, do not aggressively rub your eyes and use oil-free makeup remover because the oil will loosen the glue.
When you get your lashes done, your lash technician should go over the aftercare with you. This is why it is important to go to someone who is certified, because they will give you the most accurate information on how to take care of your lashes so that they last as long as possible.
Eye lashes fall out naturally and re-grow so depending on how long your natural lashes last, will also determine how long you will need to go between fills. Make sure to properly take care of your lash extensions and follow the instruction of your lash technician for how to take care of them to lengthen the amount of time they last.
With so much emphasis on the importance of cruelty-free, it is so great that there are so many brands out there that follow this position regarding animal testing. It is crazy that animal testing still goes on today. Personally, I think it is great that brands are taking a stance against animal testing and are doing their part to ensure their products are even vegan friendly! This is a list of 10 beauty brands that are 100% cruelty-free. They do not test on animals or sell their products in mainland China where animal testing is required by law. The list is not in order from best to worst or anything like that, but just ten of the brands out there that follow this great policy.
10. Lush Cosmetics
Lush is a brand that is very well-known, and is also well-known for being cruelty-free. The brand makes products for skincare, makeup, haircare, and anything to do with cleansing the body. The brand is probably most popular for its bath bombs and bubble bath. Walking by a Lush Cosmetics store, the intoxicating scents of natural ingredients can be smelled and it indices the customer to come into the store. Everything that is sold in the store is handmade and is full of natural ingredients. One of the best things about this brand is that the brand is 100% vegetarian, with quite a few vegan options, as well as every single product they sell is cruelty-free.
There is the symbol of two rabbits on every container symbolizing that the brand is part of the fight against animal testing. The containers can also be returned to the stores for recycling. This brand is all about helping people as well with their campaigns, like the Charity Pot, and there are a number of articles on their website explaining what they do, how it works, and to bring awareness to human and animal rights.
9. The Body Shop
This is another brand that carries vegetarian products and fights against animal testing. The Body Shop carries lines for skincare, makeup, body wash, and perfumes. Similar to Lush, except the products are not handmade. If it was not enough that they were the first global beauty brand to fight against animal testing in 1989, they have recently had 8 million signatures on a petition they started to end animal testing in the industry. They will be taking this petition to the UN to get animal testing banned globally, not just in certain countries.
This is a huge step and while it is the biggest campaign The Body Shop has, they also work towards fighting other things such as sustainability. The Body Shop, along with Lush, is a brand that really encompasses the fight for not only animal rights, but human rights and recognizes the need for change in the industry.
8. Anastasia Beverly Hills
One of the biggest names in the brow game is now a full makeup line, which is also cruelty-free with regard to their product formulation, development, and testing. Anastasia has expanded from brows to a full line in the last couple of years, which has brought more attention to the brand and it is so great that they do not test on animals. The line has even expanded to offer vegan options as well, which a lot of bigger name brands are starting to do so that they can cater to the growing number of people who do not want to use animal-based products.
While there is no current program for professionals in the beauty industry, Anastasia Beverly Hills has a Pro program coming soon with amazing benefits.
7. First Aid Beauty
This brand is focused on skincare and they have vegan options available for everyone. This is a huge brand that is sold in stores like Ulta, Walmart, Sephora, etc. They have a line for every skin type, which makes it even more great that they do not test on animals. The brand even has a “no-no” list of over 1300 ingredients that they do not put in their products because it is either harmful to the skin, or just plain unnecessary.
First Aid Beauty is PETA certified Beauty Without Bunnies and does not test on animals or use third parties who test on animals. They are owned by Procter & Gamble, which is unfortunately not cruelty-free, but First Aid Beauty continues to be 100% cruelty-free. While the brand is a larger one, they do have an application for anyone who would like to be an affiliate, although it is a bit more difficult to become one because the brand is so well known.
6. NYX Cosmetics
NYX is a huge brand that is cruelty-free. The company was purchased by L’Oreal back in 2014, which caused a stir as L’Oreal sells products in China, which allows animal testing. L’Oreal ceased testing on animals in 1989, however due to laws in China requiring testing on animals, the company is not completely cruelty-free but claims to work towards not testing on animals in mainland China.
NYX Cosmetics will remain 100% cruelty-free even though the brand is now under the ownership of L’Oreal. NYX also has quite a generous selection of vegan products available for their customers, and of the big name makeup brands, one of the largest selections of vegan products on the market.
This is a brand that was started by Jenny Frankel and her two daughters, Ally and Taylor, who are the face of the company. The three of them believe in natural makeup looks with a pop of colour and it shows in their products. The products are meant to be easy to use and give a fresh-faced look. Jenny Frankel is a former product developer for MAC and is the co-founder of Cover FX, and her two daughters helped her start the company while they were both in high school, which is pretty awesome on their part.
The brand’s products have no preservatives, no parabens, no gluten, and are cruelty-free. Nudestix is perfect for anyone who does not like to wear a lot of makeup and who loves the natural, no-makeup, makeup look. Their products are very natural in colour with some being pop of red or pink.
4. The Ordinary
This brand is owned by DECIEM, and as the website states, it is ‘focused on advanced, functional beauty’. The Ordinary is a brand that is honest and takes special care to ensure that they are not only a brand that values honesty, but integrity as well. They do not use ingredients that would be harmful to the skin, and if there is a product that their customers don’t see as part of their lines, they encourage people to reach out to them and request it. Customers can purchase all kinda of products from skincare and haircare, to makeup and even suncare products that have antioxidants in them, and the products are very reasonably priced.
DECIEM is the umbrella company for The Ordinary, and does not support or take part in animal testing. They also do not sell their products in mainland China because of that, which not a lot of brands do.
3. Bite Beauty
Bite is a brand that sells all things lip-related. The products they have range from lipsticks and glosses to lip scrubs and balms. While there is unfortunately no ‘About Us’ section on their site, they do have a disclaimer at the bottom of every page that they are Leaping Bunny certified as this is a cruelty-free brand that does not test on animals. The brand is not vegan, however they are paraben-free as well as gluten-free in most products.
The products are sold in Sephora, not heir own website, online at Beautylish, and they have what they call Lip Labs in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Toronto where customers can go in and work with experts to create their own signature lip colour. There is also free international shipping on products that are $50 or more before taxes, which is great for anyone placing larger orders.
2. Dose of Colors
Dose was launched by Anna Petrosian in May of 2013 and has become a huge brand since then. The products are highly pigmented and used by makeup artists, beauty bloggers and vloggers, and non-professionals alike. The brand has some vegan options and the entire brand is cruelty-free, being Leaping Bunny and PETA certified. The ingredients for all of their items is listed on their website and along with some products being vegan, they also have gluten-free and paraben-free products as well. The brushes they sell are also made with synthetic fibres instead of animal hairs, but work as well as animal hair brushes when it comes to applying products.
Dose of Colors can be purchased directly on their website, or at ULTA in stores and online. On their website, they also offer payment instalments for orders through Afterpay, which is great for customers who can’t afford a huge order all in one go. After pay is available for orders anywhere between $35.00 and $1000.00. The brand also only allows no moe than two of any one item to be purchased so that it limits the chance of popular items to run out quickly.
Kat von D Beauty
The Kat von D brand is probably the best known brand that is cruelty-free. The brand is not only 100% cruelty-free, but also 100% vegan. Kat von D herself is a vegan and an animal activist who believes in delivering the best and most effective products that are entirely free from animal testing as well as animal-derived ingredients. The brand is hugely popular and a lo of the products are considered some of the best not he market. Her brands products can be found at Sephora and online on the Kat von D website.
There is also a Pro membership available for anyone who is in the industry, whether they are a student, or working professional. There are obviously some requirements to prove that the individual applying for the membership is working in the industry and certified, but there is also a chance for anyone who is an artist on YouTube or Instagram to apply. The program also states that $5 of every pro purchase will be donated to an animal rights charity, which is awesome and just further proves that the Kat von D brand is really working to change the industry and support the fight for animal rights and the fight against animal testing in the beauty industry.
A few other notable mentions for brands that are cruelty-free are CoverGirl (newly cruelty-free as of November 2018), Tarte, Jeffree Star, Ardell, Buxom, Charlotte Tilbury, elf, Hourglass, Marc Jacobs Beauty, MILK, Stila, Too Faced, and Urban Decay.
Some big brands that are not cruelty-free, whether they are required by law to test on animals (such as in China) or not are L’Oreal, Sephora, NARS, MAC, Benefit, Rimmel London, Yves Rocher, Nuxe, Clinique, and Makeup Forever. Nowadays, brands are starting to pull out of China, where the laws require animal testing, so that they may gain cruelty-free status. There has been talks in recent years that China will move towards changing their laws to slowly eliminate animal testing, however those changes are not actively being implemented.
I have to start this blog post by saying, I am a pretty simple person (even though I have an ‘extra’ side). I barely wear any makeup, if any at all, on my day-to-day, and my hair is usually the same style everyday. Some people may say this is boring, I say it is simple and I keep a positive mindset about it. I have my routines when it comes to beauty, even though I am always on the lookout for new products to try out for hair, makeup, and skincare, but usually I stick to the same looks for my day-to-day. People that know me joke that I am basic, and I definitely embrace this because I have no shame in my game and I am proud of the person I am (even though, like everyone, I have my insecurities too).
There are so many bloggers, Instagrammers, and YouTubers out there that always appear to have their hair and makeup done to the nines. I am just not like that. Maybe it is because I can be the laziest person on the planet (or just because who really has the time), but I just don’t care to look like I am going out to an event every day. Now, don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with getting dolled up every day. All the power to the people who do it, I just am not that person. I will post a picture (and in future videos) on getting glam and hopefully soon be doing tutorials on YouTube, but my every day look is pretty basic and simple.
I like to be quick with my hair and makeup (probably because I am always late), so I usually do my hair the night before, or if I don’t have to be at work until later on in the day, I take my time before work to do it. My hair is usually curled and rarely do I wear it straight (I just find it gets oilier faster if it is straight, so someone please let me know how to fix that). I curl my hair with a straightener because to be honest, I find it easier than using a curling iron and my hair stays curled longer. I have burned myself pretty bad using a curling wand so even though they work great, I am terrified that one day I will burn an ear off or something.
The way I curl with a straightener (eventually I will post a how-to video about this onYouTube), is to section the hair off from bottom to top (see images below). I do this layer by layer from bottom to top and usually I section it in three’s unless I am going out, then I do more layers of curls. I then take small pieces from each layer, clamp the straightener at the top of the piece of hair, twist the straightener, and pull. I usually leave about an inch at the bottom that is straight to give it more of a ‘beachy-wave’ look after I have finished. I repeat this process by section and at the end, run my fingers or a wide-tooth-comb through my hair and flip it so that the curls loosen up.
The curls will fall after a while and usually my hair will stay wavy for a couple of days, even after I sleep on it (I don’t always use hairspray either, but when I do the curls will stay curlier longer). The next day, depending on how I slept, if my hair is not very knotted, I will run my fingers or the wide-tooth comb through it. If my hair is a bit knottier I will brush it with a paddle brush. My hair will still stay wavy either way, and I don’t need to retouch it, unless there are too many pieces that are super straight compared to the rest of my hair.
The hairspray I use is the Tresemme Tres Two Extra Hold Hairspray, and I also use a root booster (but not as often) by Eufora that is called Boost and is a root lifting spray. Every second time I wash my hair I use Bio Silk’s Silk Therapy original and run it through my damp, towel-dried hair before blow drying. This keeps my ends soft, especially since my hair is quite blonde, I need all the help I can get keeping it healthy. If I ever use dry shampoo, my latest one that I have been using is the Dove Volume Dry Shampoo. I love the scent because it just smells clean, and I find that it does not leave a powdery, white residue like most other products do.
My go-to make up always takes less time than my hair. I am pretty simple with my makeup (when I actually do wear it) unless I am going out to an event or a night out with friends. But for when I go out to work or shopping or even taking photos for Instagram, I usually have one go-to look and it is very simple. So if you are expecting a crazy look for day-to-day, you won’t get it in this post.
**Please, note all products mentioned are products I am currently using for my every day wear and does not include extra ones I may use for evening looks.**
I love having my lashes done, it saves me so much time during the day, and also if I am going to have any part of my face done, it’s my lashes. When I do my makeup for the ‘everyday’ I start with a primer. I am not usually picky about primer and currently I am using Sephora Beauty Amplifier matte gel primer, and I apply it in my T-Zone. I apply the primer with my fingers and let it sit for about 30 seconds before applying the rest of my makeup.
After primer, I use the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind dark circle eraser concealer under my eyes, around my nose, and a little on any blemishes I may have at the time. Then I take the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter and apply it with the wand applicator all over my face. I do not use much, because it is technically a liquid highlighter, but acts more as a sheer foundation (for me at least). I use a flat top foundation brush to blend it all in and I like to blend it down past my jawline. Then I alternate between RCMA No-Color Powder (if I want a more matte look) or Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Skin Perfecting Micro Powder (if I am looking for more of a glow) with a powder brush.
Next for me is a light contour with NARS contour duo. I do not use the highlighter (not just because I am out of it), but I use the bronze contour powder. I apply it with an angled blush brush under my cheekbones, the hairline on my forehead, the sides of my nose (usually with either a smaller brush or by pinching the angled brush so that it creates a thinner line), and ever so slightly under my jawline. After the contour, I use NARS Orgasm blush, which is by far my absolute favourite blush colour. I apply the blush lightly on the apples of my cheeks and bring it up my cheekbones a little (not too much because I don’t want to look like a clown, because clowns freak me out and its not a good look). After the blush is applied, I start on the brows.
I don’t always nee to fully do my brows, because I have been using the Maybelline Tattoo Studio Brow Gel, which lasts for a couple of days. If anything I will just need to touch it up, but this product actually lasts a couple of days without having to fully reapply. Side note – how amazing is that?! Anyways, after my brows are done, I move on to the last step; highlighter. I use a MAC highlighter because it is a little more subtle and there is already a little bit of shimmer in the Orgasm blush. I finish he whole look off with the Urban Decay All-Nighter Spray to set it and that’s all there is to it!
There it is, my daily routine for hair and makeup! Mind you, when it comes to my hair, I don’t curl it every day (as I mentioned earlier), but I do like the look of the fallen curls on myself. I will eventually be posting videos that will be tutorials on this and many more makeup looks, once I figure out how to properly use my camera and how to properly edit videos so they are not crazy long.
Until then, go over to my YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook and give them a follow for updates on my life, blog, and see some cool photos that I post!
**Before reading this post, please note that I am not affiliated with any of the brands mentioned, nor am I receiving incentive for posting about them.**
I am one of those people who can’t handle being pale. I curse my pasty white skin because it makes it so hard for me to tan in the summer and I just feel like clothes don’t look as good on me (also because I’ve gained 25 “love pounds”, none of my clothes fit…but that’s a story for a different time). Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying pale skin is ugly, I just don’t like being pale myself. I have seen women with the most beautiful fair skin and I wish I could pull it off, but personally I feel more confident and better when I have a tan.
Now, unfortunately, living in Vancouver, BC makes it impossible to get a natural tan all year round unless I am constantly flying to tropical places, which I definitely can’t afford (yet). Also, with the amount of moles and beauty marks I have, stepping into the tanning beds is a big no-no. So, what am I left with if I want glowing skin? Self-tanner! There are so many different brands out there to choose from and trust me, I have tried most of them. I will go over the brands and products that I have used and the pros and cons of the various types of products out there.
First off, I will start with my beginner tanning products. The ones I tried after being told I had to stop going to the beds by my doctor. I literally was going 6 times a week and after having to get a newly formed mole removed because they thought it was cancerous (thankfully it wasn’t) I decided maybe it was time to try out the creams. I started with drugstore brands like Jergens, Life, and Oil of Olay. These brands at the time came out with lotions that gave the person who used them a gradual tan.
I liked the end result of these brands for the price I paid, but they did not smell the greatest. I am not sure if the formulas have changed at all since then as this was 10+ years ago, but back then the scent was similar to olive oil. At least thats the only way I was able to describe it. The tan that these brands gave me did not leave my skin looking orange, but rather it gave a natural looking glow. The other thing I liked about these products, from what I can remember, is that there was not really any transfer onto my clothes. Again this was 10+ years ago so I am not aware if the brands have changed their formulas so that they are better or not as good. Maybe soon I will do a review of them as I would like to try them out to see if there have been any changes.
Eventually I stopped using the gradual tanners and upgraded to the more expensive St. Tropez brand as they had a 4-hour express dark tanning mousse. This mousse was interesting. I have to admit, the application mitt that this brand sells is amazing and I still to this day use it for any self tanning brand I use. I switched over because I am a highly impatient person and I like to see quick results. Needless to say, I was impressed with the dramatic result of the tan, however there were a few misses from this brand. St. Tropez tanning products were brought to my attention by co-worker and she always had such nice, glowing skin. She recommended the brand and claimed it was the best, so I had to try it for myself.
At first, I loved it. I would put it on at night and instead of washing it off after 4 hours, I would sleep with it on. I would wake up, shower, and have glowing skin for at least a week and a half, or so I thought. My girlfriends quickly notified me that it was a bit orange looking and splotchy (it sounds bitchy but I would rather the honesty then to walk around looking like an oompa loompa). I thought, maybe I did not loofah enough before putting it on, as the instructions said to exfoliate your skin before application. Nope, this did not help. I figured I got a bad bottle so I exchanged it for a new one because it was only a week and a half and I had only used it once. I got home, hopped in the shower to loofah my life away and apply it again. This time it worked well. I used it for a while, until one day I noticed it was turning my skin orange again. I heard they had changed the formula so I stopped with that brand as I figured it was clearly meant for people with more of an olive tone, whereas I have more golden undertones.
On to the next brand, I thought. So I waltzed in to Sephora, determined to walk to of there with an amazing product that I had heard so much about, Vita Liberata. This brand is actually amazing, but with a bit of a price tag. At $65CAD, the pHenomenal 2-3 week tanning mousse had better be worth it, I thought. I had heard great things about it and I was blown away. It was the same idea as the St. Tropez in the sense that I would loofah in the shower before applying, leave it on overnight, and in the morning, rinse off with warm water in the shower. I stepped out of the shower after the first application and finally had the tan of my dreams.
This product was amazing and I used it for so long before I realized it was a bit too expensive for me. Thankfully the bottle lasted a long time, even though I used it once every week and a half. The tan did last about 2 weeks, but I had a need to be as tanned as possible. This product even worked well on the face without causing breakouts, which for me was a huge bonus because I did not need to buy the face tanner. To this day I highly recommend this brand, the only reason I stopped using it was because of the price.
More recently, I started using a brand called Fake Bake. This has been my absolute favourite brand to use for self tanner and I will never look back. I am open to trying other brands, but this one just stuck with me as the best one. I heard about this brand thanks to my best friends younger sister who does amazing spray tans, and when I went into the beauty supply store to grab some hair products, I noticed they sold some of their products. It was so inexpensive that I grabbed a bottle of the Original lotion to try out. It was absolutely amazing! Not only did I get little to no transfer on my clothing, The tan was pretty perfect. The application was simple and lasted longer than expected! I applied it with the gloves that came in the package after exfoliating in the shower, let it sit overnight, and rinsed of in the morning and was left with the most amazing glow. I had finally found my holy grail tanning product!
I also bought the double shot espresso tanning lotion that Fake Bake makes, but found I did not like it as much. I actually use it mixed in with my body lotion and apply it with a tanning mitt when I am out of the original lotion and can’t make it to the supply store to get a new one. This brand works so well and I recommend it to everyone! I have to say though, I have only ever seen it at West Coast Beauty Supply, which is only available to people in the beauty industry (i.e. makeup artists, hair dressers, aestheticians, etc.) and I am not sure where else you can get this product other than on their website, but it is so worth the order.