Abba Smoothing Blow Dry Lotion

abba_blowdrylotion

I don’t blow dry my hair often because it usually ends up a big frizzy mess, and then I have to use a flat iron or curling iron to tame it. Which ends up being an hour-long endeavor, so I just skip the blow dry and let it dry naturally (which results in other issues, but I digress).

But on the rare occasions I do blow dry, I need to use some sort of product to keep the frizziness down. I had a bunch of weapons at my disposal before going cruelty free, but now I don’t have many options for good hair styling products that aren’t tested on animals.

My one go-to is abba’s Smoothing Blow Dry Lotion. It really does make my hair smoother looking, reducing fly aways and making the ends of my hair look “piece-y” instead of like straw. I use it on my towel-dried hair before blow drying and sometimes after, just on the ends to make them look healthier. The big plus to this is that it’s a lotion. I’ve had pretty bad luck with cruelty-free sprays, gels, etc. because they make my hair feel sticky (you’ll hear that complaint a lot when I review some more hair styling products down the line). This product is a must have for those of us with big hair.

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‘Oppose the Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Act’

This act may require animal testing in the Unites States, which is a huge step backwards when many countries are banning animal tests! Please check this out and sign the petition. Thanks!

Cruelty Free Consumer

This post is important.  I am posting this now because I want to make sure that if you didn’t catch it before… you see it now.  You need to be aware of this NOW.

If you love and care about the welfare of animals… you must read this and take action!

I have taken, well, borrowed, the below emails from 2 very strong and passionate women whom I respect.

Jen Mathews, of My Beauty Bunny….

“I don’t do these types of emails often. This is really important to me, or I wouldn’t bother you with it. Animal testing may soon be required in the US if the Safe Cosmetics Act passes. We have to stop it. Pls sign and share! It literally takes two seconds. Thank you!

I just signed the petition “Congress: Stop the potential for the U.S. to require animal testing that would occur if the Safe Cosmetics…

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Dishwasher Detergents

I have tried a few dishwasher detergents in the past year and decided to write a post covering all of them to make it easier to compare and contrast. The TL;DR version: liquid detergents don’t work as well for me, and the Safeway store brand “green” packets worked best. In the interest of full disclosure, (1) I have an old dishwasher that probably doesn’t clean like it used to and (2) my husband often doesn’t even rinse the dishes before putting them through the wash.

Honest Auto Dishwasher Gel

Honest_dish

Grade: B

I used about half of the bottle of this gel before basically giving up on it. That was maybe 15 dishwasher cycles. The main issue was that dishes came out of the washer with food stuck on them. As I noted, my husband loves to test the detergents with challenges like cookie sheets we used to cook turkey sausage, Pyrex dishes that we used to make lasagna, and turkey meatloaf pans–all with barely a rinse under hot water. So it doesn’t surprise me that the liquid detergent would not work as well. I would be willing to bet that if you scrubbed off most of the food before loading your dishes in the washer, this detergent would work fine. I will absolutely be trying Honest’s detergent packs next.

Method Smarty Dish Dishwasher Tabs

Method_dish

Grade: B+

These tabs work pretty well. Maybe once every 3 washes I’ll find some stuck-on food, but overall I’m happy with the results. The bonus (IMO) of these tabs is that they’re not encapsulated in a gummy clear film–they are packed powder detergent (kinda like a Flintstone’s vitamin). I have no idea if that makes a difference in terms of residue, but my suspicion is that it does. Method also makes a “plus” version of the smarty dish tab that has “triple action cleaning power,” so maybe those of us too lazy to pre-rinse our dishes should try those.

Seventh Generation Automatic Dishwasher Gel

Seventhgen_dish

Grade: C

I was given about half a container of this dishwasher detergent by a friend who wasn’t going to use the rest of it. She didn’t think it worked very well, and I have to agree. Again, it would probably be fine if we scrubbed our dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. But as it is at my house, I was finding at least 2 or 3 dishes in every load that needed to be washed again. The dishwasher packs may be more effective.

Bright Green Automatic Dishwasher Detergent Packets

Brightgreen_dish

Grade: A

Bright Green is Safeway’s green cleaning product line. This detergent product is the only one of the line that I’ve tried, and I’ve got to say that I’m impressed. These packets work really well and don’t seem to leave behind any residue. I’ve used almost an entire container of these (so maybe 25 loads), and have only once found a dish with caked on food. And best of all, I found it right on my grocer’s shelf next to the other dish detergents. Also, I remember that it was very reasonably priced (of course I couldn’t find a link to purchase it, so I can’t say exactly how much it was).

Intro to Leaping Bunny. Why YOU need to know them: recognize their logo. PART 1.

More important information on the Leaping Bunny certification and what it means.

Cruelty Free Consumer

Cruelty Free Consumer makes shopping for LB certified cruelty free products easy Cruelty Free Consumer makes shopping for Leaping Bunny certified cruelty free products easy

Think that scrumptious smelling shampoo you’re using is cruelty-free? Maybe it is. Or maybe some unfortunate rabbit had to sit in a restraint for hours while a substance was dripped in its eye to see what happens. It’s actually pretty hard for conscientious consumers to make heads or tails of all the ‘no animal testing’ labels on products (i.e. is it just the final product or its ingredients too?), especially since there are no federal guidelines in place to assess the validity of these claims.

That’s where Leaping Bunny comes in.  This cruelty-free certification program provides the best assurance that a product is free from any new animal testing. What does that mean exactly? Well, in reality, most substances (even water!) have been tested on animals in the past, so the Leaping Bunny Program requires companies and…

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Body Shop Shea Body Mist

shea-body-mist_l

I posted recently about having a hard time finding cruelty-free fragrances. The most success I’ve had is with The Body Shop. It has lots of different types of fragrances (eau de parfum, eau de toilette, perfume oils, and body mists) in lots of different scents. It also offers men’s fragrances AND home fragrances (candles, room sprays, and oils). I can’t wait to try the Aloe and Soft Linen home fragrance oil.

The only one I’ve tried, however, is the Shea Body Mist. In the spectrum of types of fragrances–with perfume oil being the most potent and body mist being the least potent–this body mist falls in line. The scent is light and airy and certainly does not last all day. However, I am a fan of subtle scents, so I really like that it doesn’t hang like a cloud around me all day. The Shea scent itself is warm and earthy: a little vanilla-y, a lot nutty. And at $12 for 3.3 fl.oz., it’s worth getting a few to stash at the office, in the gym bag, etc., when you want to reapply.

Challenges to Going Cruelty Free

Courtesy of White Rabbit Beauty

Courtesy of White Rabbit Beauty

The writer over at White Rabbit Beauty (a site dedicated to selling only cruelty-free beauty and household products) wrote this post about the challenges we face when adopting a cruelty-free consumer stance. She addresses our main concerns:

  1. Cost
  2. Knowing which products are cruelty free
  3. Hard-to-find products like mascara and antiperspirant

I found the article really helpful. I hope you do too. 🙂

Love and Toast Candied Citron Perfume

candiedcitron

I have been in the market for cruelty-free fragrance, and boy is it hard to find! Thankfully, Ulta has a few in stock that don’t break the bank, so I’ve been able to try them.

Love and Toast is a Margot Elena company whose tagline is “Natural not Neutral.” Aside from that, I can’t really tell much about its mission or natural policy because the site is a little sparse. But the packaging for the fragrance states that it’s cruelty free, so that’s all I need to know.

The company makes several varieties of fragrances, but the only ones available at Ulta are the rollerball perfumes. Which is great for me–I love the convenience of carrying a rollerball in my purse. And, because I tend to have no fewer than 25 fragrances in my drawer at all times, I like that it’s a small amount–then I don’t feel so bad when it goes stale before I’ve used it all up. (I am not the poster child for commitment.) Anyway, I tried the Candied Citron Roller Perfume, and I love it. The scent is really nice–sweet and citrusy as you might imagine–and not at all overpowering. My one gripe, which I have about lots of perfumes BTW, is that the fragrance doesn’t seem to last long enough. It’s not like I’m sitting there smelling my wrist every half hour and taking notes, but after a few hours I’ll think “Hmm, that really doesn’t smell at all anymore.” But, again, that’s the beauty of having it in my purse. I just reapply. And because it’s not knock-you-over strong, I don’t worry about people noticing.

Funding Animal-Free Testing

ARDFLogo

I just found out about this great foundation that offers grants for scientific research and development that uses alternatives to animal testing. The Alternatives Research & Development Foundation just announced its 2014 Alternatives Research Grant Program to fund projects “for scientists who have interest and expertise in alternatives research.” Learn more on its site, and check out its mission:

The mission of Alternatives Research & Development Foundation is to fund and promote the development, validation and adoption of non-animal methods in biomedical research, product testing and education.