Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Clean Well All-Natural Hand Sanitizer Review (Orange Vanilla)

I should begin by apologizing for abandoning my blog for about a month or so. Unfortunately I was without a laptop for most of that time and with new school year starting things got even more hectic. Anyway, I will be making a few more posts later on this week to make up for my long absence! 

Since school has begun again, I thought it would be an appropriate time to make a little post about vegan hand-santitizer. Having to be at school (or work, the mall, etc.) during lunch/dinner times often means minimal access to soap and water. As a result, it also means some pretty dirty hands. I have looked for vegan hand sanitizers in the past but they really do not seem to be very popular at all. About a week ago I was lucky enough to come across Clean Well's hand sanitizer on well.ca's site. It is not listed as vegan on that site but after a little digging I was pleasantly surprised to discover that this product was in fact vegan. Actually, Clean Well is apparently a vegan company. You can find that info here.

I purchased the 30 ml spray bottle for $2.79 on sale. Bear in mind that well.ca does increase their prices quite dramatically for many things so you likely can find it cheaper elsewhere. 

I can't say I'm very fond of the scent but it does do the job. Unlike many hand sanitizers I remember from my pregan days, there is no residue once the product dries which is lovely. Even better, the packaging is super sleek and convenient with a flip up top and functional spray nozzle. Yeah...I don't think there's much else to say.

Bottom line: But it, try it!

Thymus Vulgaris Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf, Citric Acid, Copper PCA, Sodium Decylglucosides Hydroxypropyl Sulfonate,Sodium Coco-Sulfate, Hydrolized Oats, Sodium Citrate, Origanum Vulgare (Oregano) Oil, Water, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Vanilla Planifolia (Vanilla Fruit Extract). 

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

DermaMed Acne Wash Review

Thus far, all of my review post have have been pretty positive so now I think it would be a good time to blog about a product I absolutely hate. One of the first products that comes to mind is DermaMed's Ance Wash.

I should begin by saying that my skin isn't exactly oily or acne-prone, however it does begin to look pretty wretched come exam time or other stressful periods of my life. For the most part it's usually just groups of small pock marks that appear within my t-zone and occasionally larger blemishes. I usually can manage them well but there are times where my skin is nothing if not unruly. I decided to buy and try this wash during one of those times.

Assuming you actually were able to use this product regularly, a 240 ml bottle would probably last you a couple months. This isn't too bad since a bottle is only about $15 at most drug stores/whole food stores. And here comes the big but: unless you have incredibly oily, acne-prone skin (and I mean full on breakouts every single day), you will likely toss this product just like I did.

I have tried using this product on multiple occasions but come the third day of daily use my skin always looks like a poorly maintained vintage leather handbag (boo leather). It's absolutely awful. Not only does this wash siphon the moisture right out of my skin, it also does very little for my acne blemishes. If anything, it only makes them appear more red and angry-looking. I truly could not be more unhappy. The only thing positive thing I could say about this wash is that I like it's funk green colour (which is at least a little suspicious, especially for something you're going to slather all over your face).

Bottom line: Unless you have INCREDIBLY oily skin, do not buy or try this - you will likely be wasting your money. 

Ingredients: Water, Vegetable Base from Coconut, 2.0% Salicylic acid, Green Tea Extract.

Friday, 2 August 2013

Drink Local: Toronto (Vegan) Beer

I'm not much of a drinker but when I do drink it's almost always beer. As of lately I have really been enjoying local Toronto beer so I thought I would share my enjoyment with all of you.

With regards to local vegan beer, one of my top picks is Stonewall Light beer. This beer is made in Etobicoke by Cool Beer Brewing Company Incorporated.  It has a fairly mild, refreshing flavour so it definitely is a great choice for those of you who aren't very big beer-drinkers in the first place. Aside from taste and being local, I absolutely love the fact that it is made by a small, local company and that it is widely available in Toronto. Oh, and EVERYTHING they sell is completely ethical and animal-product free. What else could a vegan gal ask for? I should note that I have tried their other products (Cool Lager and Millennium Buzz Hemp Beer) but I don't like either quite as much. There is just something about it's light, subtle lime flavour that I adore. A single 275 ml bottle costs only $1.25 at the LCBO.

Next up is Steam Whistle's Premium Pilsner. It is made by Steam Whistle Pilsner right in Toronto's downtown core (the Historic John St. Roundhouse to be exact). It doesn't have an incredibly interesting flavour but it does have that classic North American taste many of enjoy. If you like domestic beer, this is by far one of the best choices could make. One thing that I love about this beer and company is that they are fairly socially and environmentally conscious and ethical. Really, how many other breweries put green initiatives into place? This is a beer I can proudly stand behind. I don't know the cost of single bottles off hand but a 6 pack of 341 ml glass bottles costs $12.95 at the LCBO (rounding up to about $2.16/bottle). 

Another few favourite local beers of mine are created under the brand name Upper Canada. These beers are brewed by Sleeman Brewing located in Guelph, Ontario. One thing I like about these beers is that they have that deep, rich German/European flavour. Loaded with calories I'm sure but the stomach (heart) wants what it wants. It has been a while since I've purchased this beer but I can definitely say that the Lager and Cream Ale were both memorable. Unfortunately these beers apparently do not have a website of their own so I can't say a whole lot more than that. I cannot remember the actual price right now but if I do remember correctly, it is about average for beer. The last time I purchased any Upper Canada beer was from Magnotta Winery located in Vaughan, however they do sell this at the Beer Store and likely the LCBO as well. 
Last but certainly not least is Amsterdam Brewery's Oranje Weisse. Not only does this beer come in a funky orange bottle but it's local to Toronto (John Street as well) and completely vegan. I first tried it last summer after a little adventurous trip to LCBO and I was anything but disappointed. The flavour is very unique and fresh. I really could not do this beer justice so I'll just say that you really should go out, buy a bottle, and see for yourself. My only complaint is that this beer is that it is seasonal to summer which means that my winter cravings will just need to be satisfied in other ways. Sigh... Ingredients: Water, malted barley, unmalted wheat, hops, yeast, orange peel, coriander, anise. One 500 ml bottle costs $4.25 at the LCBO.

*** I am not 100% sure if ALL Amsterdam Brewery products are vegan however I will send them and email and give you all an update soon. ***

I hope this was at least somewhat helpful and informative for all my fellow vegans and Torontonians. Happy long weekend and drinking everyone. xx

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Reviva Labs Makeup Primer Review

I will begin by saying that I truly love this primer. It makes my face feel like velvet and look like porcelain - I really couldn't ask for much more. 

The product itself is clear and has a slight oily texture. Due to this, I don't usually wear moisturiser under it because it's not really necessary. 

I apply it to my entire face, including my eyelids. I don't always wear foundation but when I do I wear Everyday Mineral's It Base. This primer manages to keep my foundation on for basically the entire day. Surprisingly, it also works fairly well as an eye shadow primer.

Normally a 1 oz bottled costs about $20 but I was able to pick one up for just $12.09 on Vivacost. For that price, you really could not find a better make-up primer. 

Bottom line: Yes, buy it and try it! 

Ingredients: Cyclopentasiloxane, dimethicone, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol), olive oil, coenzyme Q10, squalane.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Study Buddy: Steaz Energy (Berry Flavour) Review

Since I'm currently on a study-with-Steaz-energy binge I thought it would be the perfect time to do a quick little review of this drink so here it is!

If you don't know what Steaz is already, it's a company which makes tea-based beverages with an emphasis on environmental sustainability and enviro-ethics. I'm not entirely sure about their other products but this energy drink is fair-trade, and certified both organic and vegan.

I was once a bit of an energy drink junkie during my pre-vegan days in high school. Rockstar, Redbull, Amp, Monster,... none of that nonsense did anything they claimed they would for me. Like many people, each drink just gave me an hour of hyper productivity until I crashed and slept good 8 hours. I'm happy to report that I won't be categorizing Steaz with the energy drinks of my past.

This stuff actually keeps me wide awake for at least an extra 3 hours. It may not sound like a lot but if you're a student you should know that a few hours can make the difference between an B+ and an A.

Obviously, being an energy drink and all, it is not the healthiest thing you can pour down your throat. It is a pretty high in sodium, carbs, and sugars however it is still much better than many of the other energy drinks on the market. The only thing that Steaz Energy really has in common with other energy drinks is that they all are expensive. One box of 4 cans costs about $9.99 but I always wait until these are 50% off at the Superstore before I buy any. Quite frankly I don't think they're worth their regular retail price.
I should note on here that the energy drinks I have purchased thus far are not the new ones listed on their website. The only differences between the old and new appear to be the packaging and a the last 3 ingredients (the new ones contain Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine HCL), Folic Acid, and Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin) in addition to the old ingredients)

Bottom line: Yes, it's worth trying but probably not buying regularly. 

Ingredients: Sparkling Filtered Water, Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Organic Acai Juice, Natural Flavor, Organic Yerba Mate Extract, Citric Acid, Organic Guarana Extract, Fair Trade Certified™ Organic Green Tea Extract, Sodium Citrate, Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)

Saturday, 13 July 2013

North American Hemp Co. Soak It Up Moisturising Conditioner Review

If I had a top 5 list of must-have products, a good hair conditioner would be at the top of the list. To put it simply, my hair is an unruly tangled mess without it. After purchasing and using one particular shampoo bar off of Etsy about a year ago the usual mess has gotten worse. I think it's safe to say I have tried just about everything to make things at least a bit more manageable. From Green Beaver to Live Clean, to Nature's Gate, Desert Essence, Avalon, henna, argon oil, DIY "moisturising" shampoos and conditioners - I have never been very happy. However, I have finally found a product that works for me at a fairly reasonable price.

I'll come out and say it: I love North American Hemp Co. right now! I picked up a bottle for about $7.50 at my local Healthy Planet store. It does seem expensive but it is worth every single penny. Upon the first time using it I was actually able to run my fingers through my hair in the shower for the first time in over a year. I'm completely serious, my hair had gotten to the point where I had to leave some bits tangled and let the blow dryer and a heavy duty brush deal with the mess when it dried. Such awfulness is of the past, thank Jebus.

 Aside from a few obscure ingredients, I have absolutely no complaints about this conditioner. This conditioner has restored my hair to it;s former glory and I could not be happier!

Bottom line: Yes, buy it and try it!

Ingredients: Aqua, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Brassicamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Glycerin, Sesame (Sesamum indicum) oil, Caprylic/Capric triglyceride, Orange (Citrus Aurantium Dulcis) Oil, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Oat (Avena Sativa) Protein, Panthenol, Flavour, Grape (Vitis Vinifera) Seed Extract, Green Tea (Camellia Sinensis) Extract, Ginseng (Panax Ginseng) Extract, Chamomile (Anthemis Nobilis) Extract, Algae Extract, Bearberry (Arctostaphylos Uva-Ursi) Extr

Nature's Baby Organics Face & Body Moisturizer Review

After hearing that Nature's Baby Organics Face & Body Moisturizer made a great facial moisturizer I decided to give it a try for myself. I have been using Desert Essence's Gentle Nourish Day Cream SPF 15 for the last little while and although I absolutely love it, it's really putting a dent into my poor student budget. Rather than paying about $15 for a mere 60 ml of facial cream, I took a trip to vitacost.com and spent $8.59 on a 250 ml bottle of this little wonder.

I've been using this moisturizer for just over a week now so I thought it would be a good time to finally do a little review. Unfortunately moisturizer is another one of those products I have to be pretty  picky about. Since going vegan a few years ago and refraining from using "unnatural" synthetic chemical-based products my skin just will not tolerate many things. Kiss My Face and Green Beaver are just two moisturizer lines that set my skin on fire even though their products claim to be suitable for sensitive skin. I'm happy to say no such things happen with this moisturizer! My face almost immediately feels softer and I'm not bombarded with strong fragrant smells.

I love seeing vegan labels (it means
 this vegan can be a little lazier). 
My only complaint is that it is a little on the oily side. Although you can wear it with make-up I choose not to because of this. Instead I use it as a night-time cream - it's not a perfect arrangement but it does leave my face feeling like a baby's butt in the morning. After washing my face I only need to apply a fraction of the amount of Dessert Essence facial cream I used to and I'm good to go.

Bottom line: Yes, buy and try it!

Ingredients: Organic aloe barbadensis leaf juice, carthamus tinctorius (safflower) seed oil, ethylhexyl palmitate (from coconut), glyceryl stearate, sorbitan olivate, butyrospermum parkii (shea butter), macadamia ternifolia seed oil, olea europaea (olive) fruit oil, simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil, glycerin, rosa centifolia flower water, tocopherol (natural vitamin E), hydrocyethylcellulose (cellulose gum), xanthan gum, organic symphytum officinale (comfrey) extract, organic chamomilla recutita (matricaria) flower extract, organic calendula officinalis flower extract, capryloyl glycol (amino acid), undecylenoyl glycine (amino acids), sodium benzoate (food preservative), potassium sorbate (food preservative), glycine (amino acid), citric acid.