New Brands Added to the Safe List

Conscious Skincare {P}

Freedom Makeup

INIKA {P}

Make Up Store

Spiezia

Swell

Tata Harper Skincare {P} {L}

TATCHA {P}

W3LL PEOPLE

Zoeva

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Review: Jordana Cat Eye Liner (01 Black Leather)

Picture found at Walgreens.com

$2.99/ 0.057 fl. oz (1.7 mL)

http://www.jordanacosmetics.com/p-173-cat-eye-liner.aspx

This eyeliner is described as being “Lightweight, Long Wearing, Smudge-Proof Color that Lines & Defines Eyes”, “From Novice to Pro; Easy To Use, Tapered Brush Applicator”, and having “Smooth Application”.

Ingredients:

Water (Aqua), Propylene Glycol, Acrylates Copolymer, XanthanGum, Cellulose, Hectorite, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Disodium EDTA, Mica.+/- May Contain: Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI77499), Red 40 (CI 16035), Blue 1 (CI 42090), Carmine (CI 75470), Ultramarines(CI 77007), Black 2 (CI 77266), Chromium Oxide Greens (CI 77288), ManganeseViolet (CI 77742)..
This product is a black liquid liner with a shiny, vinyl-like finish. It is housed in a long tube with a very fine brush applicator. The applicator is slightly tapered.
Jordana Cat Eye Liner (01 Black Leather) Swatch IMG_1266
I found that about half of the claims associated with the product are accurate. This is a pigmented, very black liquid liner that provides smudgeproof wear for the whole day. The brush is so fine that you can get really thin lines and really sharp points. However, it is not at all easy to use. Because it is a brush tip and not very tapered, it is really easy to make mistakes. So I would definitely NOT recommend this for novice eyeliner-wearers as the blurb suggests. Because it is a brush/inkwell type design instead of a pen, if I draw into the roots of the lashes I get my lashes coated with the product. I can work around this, I just gently run makeup remover over my lashes, but I can see this being a problem for inexperienced makeup wearers. If you are already boss at doing liquid liner and have trouble finding a product that allows you to draw fine enough lines or points, this is definitely check this out though.
Another thing is the consistency of the product. It has a very strange consistency when it dries; the product binds together. This makes it really resistant to running or smudging (I’ve taken showers with this on and have come out with my liner intact), however, if you rub it it balls up and rubs off completely without much hassle. This only happens with liner on my eyelids, not swatches on my hands, leading me to believe that water or oil breaks down bonds between the skin and the product. This makes the product really easy and not at all messy to remove when you actually want it to, which is great. Thankfully I think the gentle rubbing is key; I have quite oily lids and haven’t had this peel off of its own accord throughout the day (unless I accidentally rubbed my eyes) even without wearing primer underneath. It never rubbed off my hand without water. So if you have super oily eyelids, I would suggest putting a bit of primer under your eye makeup; for drier lids this should work fantastically.
The finish is a bit strange, being slightly shiny- if you are familiar with the L’Oreal vinyl finish liner (I don’t know the exact name), I think this is similar if memory serves correctly. I can’t exactly say for sure if this is an exact dupe because I only have used my friend’s about 4 years ago, but I think if you like that one this one could be a good replacement. It’s also significantly cheaper!
Overall, I think this is a really good product if you are really good at doing liquid liner and like the vinyl look. It has great wear, yet is easy to remove when you want it off; it is super black and can draw really fine lines. And for $2.99 you can hardly beat it! I would be interested in seeing if Jordana INCOLOR Fabuliner has the same performance as this liner in terms of formula, but with a little bit easier application.
Rating: A-

Changes to the Safe List

I have received some information about developments in the world of cruelty-free products, thank you to those commenters.

Brands Removed:

Boscia

Darphin

Stila

Rimmel

In the cases of Rimmel and Stila, the wording of the statements include “when required by law” or some variation on that sentiment. Christine from Phyrra tweeted Stila to discover the change (see here), indicating they might use third-party testing. Please note: they still display a cruelty-free badge on their site. Rimmel now has a new policy as well, listed on their site. Though their site does not acknowledge that they sell in China, the “when required by law” implies that they do (see here). Both companies do not show up on either PETA’s do or don’t test list.

Other brands have been removed because they were identified as unsafe by PETA

 

Status of Parent Company Changed

NYX has been purchased by L’Oreal, but is still supported by PETA so is remaining on the list with the necessary denotation.

Tarte has been purchased by Kose, a Japanese conglomerate that also sells in China, but is still supported by PETA. Tarte itself does not seem to be expanding out of the US and Canada, so the individual brand’s status should not change.

 

Brands Added

Joan Collins Beauty

Pink’s Boutique

 

Other

I was informed that Laura Mercier tests on animals. However, when I looked into it I could find no indication that this was the case. The FAQ on the site  (as of 13th September 2014) is about as unambiguous as you can get (see here). Their site does not list China among its international locations. Sephora.cn does not carry their products, even though the American Sephora does. Paula’s Choice lists them under their “Don’t Test” list (see here). The PETA does not list them on either list, but I believe they never listed them so it’s not as if the brand has been removed from the list. Gurwitch’s (owner of Laura Mercier) other brand, ReVive, has identical results. Perhaps the evidence is out there, but I am not finding it. If someone has up-to-date proof just pop me a comment 🙂

 

Review: Acure Lemograss + Argan Stem Cell Everyday Clarifying Shampoo

$9.99/8 oz

http://www.acureorganics.com/Lemongrass-Argan-Stem-Cell-Shampoo-p/024.htm

Acure Lemongrass + Argan Stem Cell Clarifying Shampoo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This shampoo is a clarifying shampoo suitable for all hair types and supposedly gentle enough for everyday use. It “promotes shiny, healthy, clean hair” using “organic Argan Oil, Argan Stem Cells + CoQ10 help support hair keratin and strengthen the follicle connection”. In addition,  “organic Avocado Oil provides vitamin B12 and moisture while lemongrass cleanses and clarifies”. It is color safe, vegan, gluten free, sulfate free, paraben free, phthalate free, and cruelty free.

Ingredients:

Organic Euterpe oleracea (Acai) Berry, Organic Rubus fruticosus (Blackberry), Organic Rosa canina (Rosehips),Organic Punica granatum (Pomegranate),Organic Fair Trade Certified™ Rooibos,Organic Aloe Barbadensis Vera Leaf Juice, Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate (from Coconut), 100% Naturally-derived Betaine (from Sugar Beets), Vegetable Glycerin, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate (from Coconut + Amino Acids), Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate (from Coconut + Amino Acids), Cocoglucosides Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride (Sugar Conditioner), Sodium Levulinate (from Corn), Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride (Guar gum conditioner), Potassium Sorbate (food grade preservative), Organic Argania Spinosa (Argan) Oil, Organic Fair-Trade Certified™ Olea Europea (Olive) Oil, D-Alpha Tocopherol Acetate (vitamin E), Ubiquinone (CoQ10), Argania spinosa (Argan) Stem Cells,  Organic Persea americana (Avocado) oil, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus (Lemongrass), Lavendula Dentata (French Lavender), Evernia Prunastri (Oakmoss), & Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Essential Oils

I love love love this shampoo, it might even have pushed my beloved Body Shop Rainforest Shampoo (review here) out of its spot as my #1 favorite shampoo of all time. It does a fantastic job of cleaning my fairly oily roots without stripping my hair, especially my dry ends, of their moisture. It smells fantastic, light and citrus-y- I assume that’s the lemongrass. The smell is very fresh and invigorating, although does not remain in the hair long after washing. What really pushes this shampoo above my Body Shop darling is how easy it lathers. That was the one complaint with my Body Shop one- like some sulfate shampoos it didn’t lather terribly easily. This shampoo is also sulfate-free, but somehow it still lathers like it has its sulfates. I’m not sure how they did it, but I love it.

The real test for me for shampoos is how long I can go with my hair looking relatively clean. With normal shampoos, I can go around 24 hours before my hair starts to look nasty. With this one, if I don’t do anything like get a bit sweaty, I can go around a day and a half. This is pretty amazing for me.

My hair is shiny and healthy-looking, but it could also be my conditioner. In any case, this shampoo is not taking anything away- if it helps as well, that’s great. But really what I’m looking for in shampoos is their cleansing ability, and here Acure has knocked it out of the park.

I’m not sure exactly how this shampoo performs on really dry hair, but it didn’t dry out my semi-dry ends which is a good sign. However, I’m not sure how much use a person with really dry hair would have with a clarifying shampoo, so this may not be an issue. Maybe for product build-up?

I would highly recommend this product to most everyone, except for maybe the afore-mentioned super-dry haired people. Not that I think this product would damage your hair, but that it might just not be what you’re looking for. If you have normal to oily hair, though, this is a lifesaver.

Rating: A+

 

Brand Overview: IKOVE

http://www.ikove.ca

A while back I was given some samples from a brand I had never heard of before, IKOVE. They are an all-natural Canadian-based company focused on using organic and fair-trade ingredients from the Amazon rainforest. All their products are certified by ECOCERT, IBD/IFOAM, and USDA Organic, and are made in Brazil. Many, if not all, the products are vegan. Currently they sell only to Canada and the US, and in health food stores. If you are in the Houston area, Central Market carries them. If they do not sell in a brick-and-mortar establishment near you, you can also purchase their products through their online store. I would also like to say the sample sizes were very very generous, which I greatly enjoyed.

I was given three products to try: Acai and Chocolate Shampoo, Copaiba Bath and Shower Gel, and Acai and Chocolate Radiance Moisturizing Cream

Acai and Chocolate Shampoo

250 mL/8.45 fl oz

$19.95

http://www.ikove.ca/index.cfm?DSP=ProductDetail&ProductID=6452&SubCatID=0&CategoryID=1345&pagepath=Shop_online/Hair_Care&id=42451

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Decyl Glucoside, Acerola Fruit Extract, Mate Leaf Extract, AçaiFruit Extract, cocoa Extract, Rosemary Leaf Extract, Lavender extract, Viola Odorata Extract, Orange Oil, Potassium Sorbate, Xanthan Gum, manderin oil.

This shampoo claims to “nourish, protect, and hydrate your hair” and “help reverse damage to color treated or sun damaged hair, without stripping hair nutrients”.

I was a little bit split in my opinion on this shampoo. On the one hand, I loved the effect. This is probably one of the most effective sulfate-free shampoos that I have ever used, and that tops my beloved Body Shop Rainforest Balance Shampoo (review here) and my Acure Clarifying Shampoo (review here). But while this was the case, it was so difficult to work with- it didn’t lather at all. This is even less than my Body Shop one. Ultimately this means more product being used, which considering the price point I’m not keen on. Once you get into the habit of using it is somewhat doable. On the bright side you get really strong hands and arms! It is a bit of a trade-off, really. If you are accustomed to working with sulfate-free shampoos and don’t mind the extra work, this shampoo leaves your hair so so clean. If not, I would go with something like the Body Shop one or the Acure one.

 

Copaiba Bath and Shower Gel

250 mL/8.45 fl oz

$19.95

http://www.ikove.ca/index.cfm?DSP=ProductDetail&ProductID=6434&SubCatID=0&CategoryID=1344&pagepath=Shop_online/Body_Clean&id=42450

Ingredients: cocoamidopropyl betaina, Aloe Barbadensis leaf juice, Decyl Glucoside, Aqua (Water), Copaifera Officinalis (Copaiba) extract, Symphytum Officinale (comfrey) Leaf Extract, Casearia Sylvestris (Guacadonga) Leaf Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, xantham gum, Cupressus Sempervirens Oil, Cymbopogon Martini (Palmarosa) Oil, Geranium Maculatum Oil, Potassium Sorbate

This product is described as a gel that you can use in the shower or pour a bit under your tap for a bath. It is created for blemished, sensitive, or irritated skin, or for after sport for a “deep calming and relaxing effect”.

I loved this product so so much. The smell was so interesting and refreshing, it’s really hard to describe; the only thing I can think of is that it smells a bit like Rivella (a Swiss soda)- kinda herby. It’s really really beautiful. It is also really really relaxing. I can’t say much on the other skin care claims, because I don’t actually have any of those problems. According to Wikipedia though, Copaiba is a stimulant (which I think causes the muscle relaxing properties), and has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties (which definitely should help with blemishes. Wikipedia also says it is “anti-tumor” too so hey, I guess that’s always a plus…

I only ever tried this in the shower because I never read the site until after I finished my sample, but I can imagine this being really really great in the bath. It is rather expensive, so if I was to buy it I would probably use it for baths if I needed some stress relief. Although, I guess Molton Brown body washes are more expensive, and might not have the same skincare benefits. I would probably be interested in purchasing it!

 

Chocolate Radiance Moisturizing Cream

50 mL/1.7 fl oz

$49.95

http://www.ikove.ca/index.cfm?DSP=ProductDetail&CategoryID=1346&SubCatID=0&ProductID=6463&pagepath=Shop_online/Facial_Care&id=42452

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Aloe Vera Juice, Babaçu oil, brazil nut oil, lavender tintucture, chamomilla recutita tintcture, horsetail tintucture, açai tintucture, calendula tintucture ,cacao liquor extract, carnauba wax, rice extract, vegetable glycerin, Candeiaalfa-bisobolol, Xanthan gum, cocoa butter, manderin essential oil, sweet orange oil, Lavender essential oil, Murumuru kernel oil, cupuaçu butter

This product claims to “restore the skin’s natural radiance and balance, leaving the face soft and protected all day long”. The acai and chocolate also provide some pretty serious antioxidant powers. It is supposed to be used daily.

So this is the kind of product that I can imagine working really really well for some people. I would say this would be best for those with fairly dry skin. It is a rather thick cream, and pretty seriously moisturizing. While I was using it, I had some dry patches near my mouth and cheeks, and a sort of oily forehead. This cream did a really good job on the dry patches, but it was a bit heavy for my forehead and the skin there tended to get a bit shiny. To be fair though, for a cream that moisturizing, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I would have expected. On the parts of my face that weren’t greasy already though, the cream sat really nicely and made a smooth barrier on top of the skin. I think this would be really good under makeup. I don’t think I would be purchasing this; it’s not completely suitable for my skintone, and also I am pretty young so investing in more expensive face creams isn’t really practical. However, if you do have dry, dull skin and are willing to make the investment I think this is a really great product.

 

 

 

Review: Marc Anthony Oil of Morrocco Sulfate Free Conditioner

250 mL/8.4 fl oz

Ulta: $7.99

http://www.ulta.com/ulta/browse/productDetail.jsp?productId=xlsImpprod4180927

 

Found on MarcAnthony.com

This conditioner is formulated with Keratin, Grape Seed Oil and Argan Oil to “nourish, strengthen and infuse moisture into your hair” as well as “fortify, add high luster and improve manageability… [and] protect from damage and color fade”. It is a very thick consistency and has a strange, almost nutty smell. The smell does not stay in the hair after the conditioner is washed out.

Ingredients:

Water, Cetrimonium Chloride, Cetyl Alcohol, Cetyl Esters, Stearyl Alcohol, Amodimethicone, Trideceth-12, Dimethicone, Cyclopentasyloxane, Behentrimonium Chloride, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Propylene Glycol, Parfum (Fragrance), Panthenol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Helianthus Anuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Keratin, Sodium PCA, Sodium Lactate, Arigine, Aspartic Acid, PCA, Glycine, Alanine, Serine, Valine, Proline, Threonine, Isoleucine, Histidine, Pheynlalanine, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Disodium EDTA

This conditioner did make my hair soft and shiny while I was using it, but I think it wasn’t so much from the nourishing keratin and argan oil as the two silicones listed above the “key” ingredients in the ingredients list. After discontinuing the conditioner, my hair was not any less dry than it was than before using the conditioner. In essence, it had no long term reparative benefits.

If you’re ok with silicones I guess this is a good product for you, but honestly I’m looking for more than surface benefits: I did not find this conditioner to “nourish” or “strengthen” jack, and it most certainly didn’t “infuse” any kind of moisture into my hair.

Rating: C

Review: Catrice Defining Blush in 060 Rosewood Forest and 030 Love & Peach

Rossman: ca. €4

http://www.catrice.eu/products/face/blush/detail/product/defining-blush-080.html

Catrice Defining Blushes in Rosewood Forest and Love & Peaches

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Catrice Defining Blushes in Rosewood Forest and Love & Peaches

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

L: Rosewood Forest  R: Love & Peaches

L: Rosewood Forest
R: Love & Peaches

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These blushes are “ultra-fine, highly-pigmented”, and are formulated with vitamins C and E. They should “spread easily, set fresh accents, emphasize your cheekbones and model the contours of your face”. Rosewood Forest is a dusty mauve shade, and Love & Peach is a true coral (equal amounts pink and orange). Both shades are completely matte.

 

Ingredients:

SHADES 020, 030, 040, 050 TALC, MICA, MAGNESIUM STEARATE, ISOCETYL STEAROYL STEARATE, OCTYLDODECYL STEARATE, SILICA, PEG-8, TOCOPHEROL, ASCORBYL PALMITATE, ASCORBIC ACID, CITRIC ACID, TIN OXIDE, METHYLPARAPEN, PROPYLPARABEN

SHADE 060 TALC, MICA, MAGNESIUM STEARATE, OCTYLDODECYL STEARATE, ISOCETYL STEAROYL STEARATE, PEG-8, TOCOPHEROL, ASCORBYL PALMITATE, ASCORBIC ACID, CITRIC ACID, METHYLPARAPEN, PROPYLPARABEN, CI 15850 (RED 6 LAKE/RED 7 LAKE), CI 45410 (RED 27 LAKE), CI 77499 (IRON OXIDES).

 

Europeans, be happy! A cheap blush that performs phenomenally. There is nothing really that I can find fault with. They are silky and blend really easily, they are pigmented but still easy to work with because of the blendability, and the colors are just gorgeous. Rosewood Forest, the mauve shade, is a great all-in-one blush for fairer skinned people. The pink in it gives a nice color to cheeks, but as it is matte and has the more subdued quality it can be used almost as contour as well. However, I’m not sure the shade would show up on darker skin tones at all. Love & Peach is a great bright coral for spring and summer, for many different skin tones. It can be kept sheer and pretty for fairer skin tones or those that are a bit scared of bright cheek colors, or can be built up to give quite a vibrant effect.

The packaging as well is really nice, especially for a drugstore brand. The clear plastic looks simple and chic, and shows off the pretty detailing in the powder as well. These would also be really easy to depot to put in a magnetic pallette, if you would want to do that. 

Overall, I love love love these blushes. I was so impressed by the texture and the pigmentation, especially as these retail for under €5. On a side note, powder products from Catrice seem to be top of the line: their eyeshadows are amazing as well (review of one shade here). When I visit Germany again I will have to pick up more of these! Highly recommend.

Rating: A+

NOTD: Sally Hansen Insta-Dry in 170 Expresso

NYC Grand Central Topcoat over

NYC Grand Central Topcoat over

This color is a gorgeous dusty rose color in a cream finish. This is kind of surprising considering the name, but I’ll go for it. I was so impressed by this polish: its pigmentation is incredible (this is literally only one coat!) and it did dry extremely fast. Thanks to the wide, stiff brush, application was also a breeze. It isn’t the shiniest polish out there, but this doesn’t  bother me because I always use my fabulous NYC topcoat (review here) anyway. I am looking forward to trying more from this line, if they are all like this my wallet may be in trouble!