L’Oreal EverStyle Volume Boosting Mousse

I posted before about L’Oreal’s “Ever” line. It’s the sulfate-free, cruelty-free (vegan) line of hair care products, including the EverStyle line of hair stylers. I’ve really liked every product I’ve tried in that line, and this mousse is no exception.

I have a lot of long, wavy hair that’s fine. It looks great as soon as I wash and style it, but soon it gets oily and weighed down. I have to wash my hair every day or else risk looking like I used WD40 instead of hairspray. So I don’t use much in terms of styling product because it tends to make my hair look limp. But I have been pleasantly surprised by this EverStyle Volume Boosting Mousse. In addition to being sulfate free and vegan, it’s also alcohol free.

I run it through my wet hair and then blow dry it upside down using a vent brush (for a straighter style). It gives me volume while keeping frizziness at bay. When I wear my hair wavy, I blow dry with the diffuser, and the mousse does a good job of keeping the curls. Also, it’s refreshing to use a styling product that doesn’t tangle my hair while I’m trying to dry it–that’s a big pet peeve of mine. Lastly, it has a light coconut fragrance–not sickeningly sweet pina colada coconut but fresh milky coconut. It’s a nice enough scent that I’m happy when it lingers for several hours after I use the mousse.

Proposal for Non-Animal Testing Strategy

Courtesy of HSUS

Courtesy of HSUS

A proposal by the FDA, the Health and Environmental Sciences Institute, and the Cardiac Safety Research Consortium proposes the use of two non-animal approaches to testing for drugs that are toxic to the heart: computer modeling and human cell-based assays. The goal is to have the tests ready for use in two years to completely replace animal testing in this area.

“This is a truly exciting initiative, which confirms that the extensive international work by The Humane Society of the United States, Humane Society International and other organizations in moving away from animal testing in chemical safety evaluation will lead to more effective human health outcomes,” said Catherine Willett, PhD, director of regulatory toxicology for The HSUS.

Bath & Body Works Hand Soap

I have always liked Bath & Body Works, and I know I’m not the only one. I have great memories of going to the mall with my teeny-booper friends and being drawn to the wonderful fragrances pumping out of the Bath & Body Works store. And I remember when I got my first apartment and made sure that the first thing I bought was hand soap for the guest bathroom from Bath & Body Works. Even now, whenever they have a sale, I buy 10 or 20 bottles to stock up.

So I was super pleased the other day when, lamenting how much “cruel” stuff I still have to get through before I can buy and try more cruelty-free products, I looked at the label of one of my 30 or so bottles of Bath & Body Works hand soap and saw that it was not tested on animals! I wondered how this had escaped my attention for so long and rushed to its website to learn more. Sure enough, according to its policy on animal testing, none of its products are tested on animals, and most of the ingredients are not animal derived or animal tested.

So now I don’t have to figure out a way to use up all the delicious-smelling hand soap I have stored in my linen closet, nor to I have to feel that familar twinge of guilt whenever I use a cruel product leftover from last year before I decided to go cruelty free. I can enjoy this soap just like I have for many years, and I can share the joy with others! I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that this hand soap is (1) anitbacterial, (2) free of plastic microbeads that accumulate in our oceans (those “beads” in the soap and antibacterial gel are biodegradable), and (3) come in a dazzling array of wonderful fragrances.

Insect Repellents

Insect repellent can be nasty stuff. Many contain DEET, a pesticide that is toxic to the nervous system. According to the EPA, DEET is not harmful to people… but just in case they want you to:

  • Not apply on broken skin
  • Wash hands immediately after applying, and wash off after coming indoors
  • Not “over-apply” it
  • Wash clothing that has touched the product before wearing again
  • Not apply on children at all

Based on the EPA’s recommendations, I’m going to go ahead and assume that DEET is not really all that great for people and animals.

Luckily there are lots of alternatives for keeping mosquitoes and ticks away. Here are two that I’ve tried.


Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent smells like lemons and works great. Because it’s basically just essential oils, the consistency is oily. A little bit goes a long way, and you really need to rub it into your skin. This stuff lasts a nice long time too, about 5.5 hours!


All Terrain Herbal Armor Natural Insect Repellent is my favorite repellent. I took it camping once and people who had other repellents kept asking to borrow mine. It’s a spray lotion, which means it doesn’t blow all around is you spray it outside. You spray it on and rub it in, and it absorbs nicely. It smells really good, and it works fabulously. I do have to reapply it every 2 hours or so, but it’s worth it.


Mosquitoes and Insecticides

First off, I know I’m really late to post on this topic considering summer is almost over. But I spent my summer moving instead of blogging, so you guys will just have to keep this stuff in mind for next summer. 🙂

Insecticides, which you apply to your lawn to kill pests like ants and mosquitoes, can also be toxic to people, pets, birds, and non-pest insects (like those handy spiders and grasshoppers that eat pests, or those bees that incidentally pollinate our crops and support worldwide food production). Some scientists are linking colony collapse disorder to the widespread use of insecticides by commercial farms (read about it here if you don’t feel like having hope for the future for a while). So if you value your life, the lives of your children and pets, or, you know, eating, you should be steering clear of synthetic insecticides. That includes services like Mosquito Joe, which spray residential areas (although Mosquito Joe does offer an all natural option, which is great).

But then how do you deal with mosquitoes and the diseases that they potentially transmit? And what about ants that invade your home? I’ve found two good products for indoor pests and mosquitoes.


For mosquitoes, I used Dr. T’s Mosquito Repelling Granules (I found it on Amazon). This stuff is totally safe for people and pets and works like a charm. I noticed a difference pretty much immediately after I applied it to my lawn. A 5 pound jug covers 4,000 square feet. It was awesome while it lasted; I didn’t get a single mosquito bite. It only lasted about 3 weeks, which is a shame, but it’s worth it to me to reapply because it really works. Side note: it kinda stinks, but the smell goes away after a day or two.


For ants and roaches in the house, I used EcoSmart Ant and Roach Killer (I found it at Home Depot). I had ants in my kitchen, I sprayed this stuff around the perimeter, and the ants were gone after a couple days. It worked great, but it was very strong smelling. Not bad, just be sure to open a window.



USDA Announces Landmark Rule to Crack Down on Online Puppy Mills

Michelle Neff

Progress for dogs! Tens of thousands of dogs suffering in substandard, filthy, and overcrowded cages for years on end will finally get the protection they deserve as a result of a rule the U.S. Department of Agriculture will formally adopt today. This change, a long-held aspiration for The HSUS, the Humane Society Legislative Fund, and the Doris Day Animal League, is decades in the making and will extend federal oversight to thousands of puppy mills that do business online.


More info on Wayne Pacelle’s blog.

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