March 16, 2017

Raising Awareness

On March 11, W5 aired a special highlighting animal testing in a lab in Montreal. I didn't watch it - I don't need to, I've seen enough videos and pictures on animal testing to last me a lifetime. Programs like this serve to raise awareness - and mine is already raised - on this issue, anyway. Or at least I like to tell myself that.

I'm glad they aired it - there seems to be a lot more awareness right now on my social media feeds regarding this issue. And that's a good thing. I hope that it continues, and that Canada makes changes to existing animal protection laws, which, let's face it, are a bit of a joke.

You can help. Don't support companies that test on animals. Write your MLA, MP, the PM; write whoever will listen. Make a choice to educate yourself, and educate others - be that "annoying" person on Facebook (it's not so bad, trust me).

I'm going to make more of an effort to post regularly - I'll share my favorite cruelty-free finds, and news. Thanks for stopping in. Come back soon :)

May 07, 2015

Unite "Boing" for Curly Hair

At my hairdresser's shop a few weeks ago getting a trim, we got to talking about choosing cruelty free products, and the different brands she sells in her shop. I was very pleased to discover that almost all of the brands she sells are cruelty free. One such brand is Unite.

Always being on the hunt for new curly-hair friendly products, I went home with a bottle of "Boing" curling cream. Well, let me tell you, this product does NOT disappoint! My hair, while it *looks* like I get out of bed, shake my head and end up with this wild head of curls, actually takes some very precise product use and care to avoid looking like this:




I use a microfibre towel, and "plop" my hair down on it while it's still wet, but has been finger-combed. I let it sit for about five minutes or so, while I put lotion on, etc. Then, I put the Boing (I do love saying that!!) and scrunch it up. I mostly let my hair air dry, but I do use a diffuser in short bursts to "plump" up the curls and dry the front enough so that I can put a curl in the front part (long bangs, I have the worst cowlick that, left untreated, scares small children).

Boing is one of the best curly hair products I've found since I went cruelty free. It has a purplish colour, pleasant scent, and a creamy texture. Once your hair is dry, it is a teensy bit "crunchy" but not in a bad way, and all you have to do is hand-scrunch the curls, and the crunchiness is gone, but soft, frizz-free texture remains. And my hair smells delicious all day!

I don't remember the exact price I paid, but it was in what I think of as "normal" range for stylist-purchased hair products. I will buy this again, and I'm excited to try more of their product line!

Unite can be found here: http://uniteeurotherapy.com/ or at your stylist's salon.





April 02, 2015

Let's Talk Toothpaste!

A while ago, one of my friends asked me what kind of toothpaste I was using now that I have gone cruelty free. I still had a stockpile of stuff I bought at Costco once upon a time, so I didn't have any suggestions, as I hadn't tried any yet. When that ran out, I was excited to try some new-to-me, cruelty free brands.  So far I have tried two of them, and here is my review.

Kiss My Face Triple Action 

Cool Mint Gel flavour


This is the better of the two that I have tried so far. I actually really like this, and think it will be my new brand of choice. I have other Kiss My Face products, and really like all of them so far (reviews to follow!).

This had a nice, minty flavour, but not that “artificial” overpowering mint flavour that “commercial” (aka non CF) brand toothpaste has. There was another hint of something in it – perhaps the tea tree oil? But it wasn’t too strong and  didn’t burn my mouth but my mouth did feel nice and clean afterwards. It does foam a little bit but nowhere near what commercial brands do.

It was a mostly clear with a slight green colour – not unpleasant at all. It is also fluoride free.

Here is a little blurb from Well.ca:

With shockingly great taste, Kiss My Face Triple Action Fresh Mint Paste Toothpaste helps your mouth feel healthy and fresh with Antioxidant Defenders and nature's most trusted ingredients: Tea Tree Oil, Olive Leaf Extract, Xylitol, Silica, Peppermint.
Perfect for the whole family!
Benefits:
·        Removes plaque with Xylitol & Tea Tree
·        Whiten with Icelandic Moss
·        Prevent tartar build up with Zinc Citrate
·        Gluten Free
·        Vegan
·        No Animal Testing
·        Paraben Free
Ingredients: Vegetable Glycerin, Water, Hydrated Silica, Sorbitol, Xylitol, Calcium Carbonate, Olea Europaea (Olive) Leaf Extract, Cetraria Islandica (Iceland Moss) Extract, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Stevia Rebaudiana Extract, Natural Flavor, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Citrate, Potassium Sorbate

You can buy it off Well.ca for $7.29. I have seen it at my local health food store (shout out to The Vitamin Farm, who carries many CF brands!!) and Planet Organic here in Edmonton.

Yes, it’s pricey – double (if not more) than conventional brands. I have found that I am paying more for many household items, in order to remain cruelty free. That’s something I would like to address in a follow up post, in a couple of days. Also, I want to do a post on Well.ca – so stay tuned!!


Jason Powersmile Whitening Toothpaste 

Powerful Peppermint flavour





This one was not as good as the Kiss My Face toothpaste. I found it had a rather odd flavour; there was still a minty flavour, but there was something else - almost like artificial sweetener flavour – it’s difficult to describe. The toothpaste itself came out white, and foamed slightly less than a conventional toothpaste.

I will use the tube, because this was about $7.00 as well at my local health food store, so I don’t want to waste it. It’s not so unpleasant you can’t use it. But I probably won’t buy it again.

There are many other CF brands that are easy to find, here’s a few that I found on well.ca with a quick search:


  • Logona (well.ca)
  • Green Beaver
  • Tom’s of Maine (note: Tom's of Maine is owned by Colgate-Palmolive a non CF-parent company – they remain independent and are still Leaping Bunny certified, but I think it’s important to note so you can decide for yourself if you choose to support them or not)
  • Desert Essence
  • Nature’s Gate
  • Redmond Earth Paste

There are many more CF brands that make toothpaste, and these can all be found at places like organic food stores (Whole Foods, Planet Organic, etc.) and local health food stores. There is one small health food store in the downtown mall close to where I work, that has dozens of CF brands. They are much easier to find than you think.

I am finding that so much is trial and error – but once I find a brand I like, it’s so worth it. I am using more “natural” products now, with less “evils” like parabens, and I feel good about that. 

Have you tried any CF toothpaste? Share your experiences in the comments - I'd love to hear them!

March 04, 2015

Tints of Nature Hair Colour - Review

I have been colouring my hair since I was a teenager. I've had it all, from black, to blonde, to red, even green, blue, and pink!

The last few years I've stayed a more natural colour, and as my hair started to go more grey, *gasp*, I went with highlights to help cover the re-growth.

Since going cruelty free, one of the challenges I faced was how to continue to colour my hair. I didn't want to change my salon, because I adore my stylist, but I needed a hair colour that was cruelty free. Also, I'd been getting allergic reactions to hair colour, and wanted something more natural that I wouldn't react to quite as badly.

Some people say, just stop colouring. But I'm not ready to give into the grey quite yet!

I tried henna. Now, I know most people swear by it, but I hated it. It made my hair feel like straw (although that may have been the weird clarifying mud I put in it before colouring it) and I didn't see much of a change in the grey.

A quick Google search led me to Tints of Nature. Cruelty-free, more natural than most. Sounded too good to be true. The website was full of information and FAQ about this seemingly lovely product. The only problem was, where to buy. You could order it off the website, but the shipping prices made it cost prohibitive unless you bought six items (either colour or other hair care like shampoo etc.). I wasn't willing to do that until I tried it first.

One day at one of our organic markets here in town, I found that they carried most, if not all, of the Tints of Nature line. YAY!! (Planet Organic for those in Edmonton - I believe Whole Foods carries it, and I have seen it at other health food stores, and although they have limited stock, most are willing to order it).

The first colour I tried was a nice auburn red. I mixed two colours, a 6R and 7N - they say to use an "N" colour to help cover grey. My hair turned out a beautiful shade of darker auburn. Perfect!


(That's me after the 6R and 7N mixed application)

Grey was 100% covered. And when it faded, it faded to a red-then-blonde type shade.
Very pretty!

The smell wasn't overpowering - I was able to apply in my small bathroom with the door half shut and wasn't overwhelmed by the fumes. Also, very minimal allergic reaction! There are still some chemicals in this, but it is ammonia and paraben free, and made up of mostly natural ingredients. One other thing - any colour I spilled on the floor, counter or wall (yes, I'm super messy when I colour my hair) wiped up easily. And any I got on my face came off without scrubbing! I would recommend putting some lotion around your hairline before colouring.

I have since used it again, using it to colour my hair a very dark brown. The result has been equally beautiful. There are reviews out there that say the colour will be darker than on the box - this is true, but only slightly darker. I have found that to be true of almost all box do-at-home colour, and it will fade a bit over time, depending on how often you shampoo your hair. Also, the second time I used it I had zero allergic reaction.

If anyone is looking for a home colour that is more natural and gentler on your hair than drugstore colour, I would highly recommend Tints of Nature.

They make permanent colours, semi-permanent colours, and a lightening/highlighting kit. I have only tried the permanent colours so far.






February 09, 2015

Companies That Test Infographic

Ok, so it's not really an "infographic" per se, but I couldn't find another word that accurately describes the picture that is the subject of this post.

There are a lot of questions about which companies test their products on animals. And the answer can sometimes be overwhelming. Beagle Freedom Project created a poster that lists many of the popular well-known companies that test on animals.

People are quite often surprised by the companies on this list. It's one thing to hear a name or two, but quite another to see dozens of companies all laid out in one place.

This isn't an exhaustive list, but it does list the major companies that still conduct animal testing. I hope you find it helpful.