A Completely Vegan Alternative to Lush

IMG_2398Author Bio: Echo Overstreet is the CEO of Echo Underground, an apparel and lifestyle company. She is also a licensed Makeup Artist and Esthetician. She prides herself on helping people feel beautiful through fashion, beauty, and skincare. She believes that all companies (including her own) should ensure that they are ethical in all business practices. Instagram: @echo.underground & @echo.echo.echoes
                                            Facebook: EchoUnderTheGround Twitter: @Echo_Ground


Bath bombs, body scrubs, and artisan soaps; the rise of the at-home spa treatment is dominating the beauty industry.

Our Instagram feeds are exploding with fizzy treats turning bath water magical colours filled with glitter, body scrubs that make bodies glow, and at-home face masks and DIY treatments that promise perfect skin.

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It’s no wonder we all want to relax with everything going on in the world, but at what cost? One of the most popular at-home spa companies claims to be one of the most ethical and animal friendly options: Lush.

However, Lush is “100% Vegetarian,” this does not mean they are vegan. In their mission statement they state that over 80% of their products are vegan but in some cases they will use ingredients like honey, yogurt and eggs in their vegetarian products. While this is still an excellent practice for a beauty company to have, I would like to present a better option: a completely vegan alternative to Lush.  

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Enter Mooi Labs, a company dedicated to being completely vegan and cruelty-free. In working with this company they have discussed with me their dedication to caring for the animals we so deeply care about. When asked about their commitment, they released a statement saying:

“We believe that no animal should ever be harmed in the making of our products. That is why we take additional measures to ensure our products are free of animal ingredients and animal testing from source to shelf. Animals are here on this Earth with us, and not for us!”  

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This company ensures that no animals are harmed or used for their by-products through the entirety of the cosmetic creating process. This isn’t to say that Lush isn’t a wonderful company that does its best to create cruelty free ethical products. However, when a company becomes as large as Lush, it becomes difficult for them to maintain the high standards they started with; and while they say that they ensure that any animal by-products are ethically sourced, it’s impossible to say how well they are able to check, being as large as they are.  

Mooi Labs is a small company based in the United States, they employ veterans and military spouses, and they donate 5% of every sale to a charity benefiting animals.

Personally, I would rather support small business that dedicates themselves to giving back and being ethical than a large company that cares more about profit than their ethical responsibility. They also ensure that all of their products are without toxic chemicals and ingredients that are harsh on our bodies and the environment. 100% of Mooi Lab’s products are paraben, sulfate, petrochemical, and phthalate free. What this means for the consumer is that you can feel safe using their products for yourself and the people you care about.  

My company Echo Underground was started with the intent of finding and providing products to my customers that give them exactly what they want and need in the fashion and beauty industry.  I proudly carry Mooi Lab’s bath bombs, artisan soaps, body care, and cosmetics, and every time a customer purchases them I feel confident that they are receiving a quality product that is ethically and carefully sourced.  

Our world is filled with companies that are constantly trying to “do better.” Wouldn’t it be better if companies started out doing their best? Our world depends on us to be mindful of it and to be caretakers, not exploiters of the animals and resources it gives us. Support companies that support our Earth, and maybe it will help encourage other businesses to practice safe ethical sourcing.  

You can find Mooi Lab’s products on www.echounderground.com or at www.mooilab.com

6 Natural Deodorant Mistakes

KasiaAuthor Bio: Kasia Rothe is the CEO of the natural deodorant and skincare brand  Rustic Maka, which is a family-owned natural personal care company, dedicated to work towards reclaiming your well-being, through the use of exceptional ingredients, sustainable applications, no animal testing, and above all, honesty.


  • 1.) Making a Choice Without the Research

    Become a big proponent of doing research before putting anything on your body. Just because it says natural on the front, it can still contain something you might not necessarily want to be using. Marketing ploys trying to sell miracles in a bottle are far too common, but the ingredients can be far from perfect. Take your time and turn the bottle to find out what’s lurking in-between the advertised ingredients and where these ingredients came from. Are you looking for organic, natural, vegan? These can be very different from each other. Take time to figure out what’s important to you.

     

  • 2.) Sticking to old habits during application:

    Swiping up and down multiple times might have been necessary with your old stuff, but with natural deodorants, moderation is the key. Keep in mind that each person is unique, so finding the right number of swipes that work with your body is crucial. Those with shaven underarms might need a different number of swipes to stay fresh throughout the day as opposed to the women and men with underarm hair. Over applying deodorants may lead to slower drying time, thus creating an environment where excess product will stain your favorite shirt. No one wants that.

     

  • 3.) Giving up too soon:

    With the initial switch to natural deodorants, the detox phase can affect anyone. Whether you are seeing more than usual amount of sweat on your shirts, or the stink starts to come through mid-day, your body might be purging impurities and build-up. Now that you’ve allowed your sweat glands to properly breathe, you need to give it time for your body to catch up. If you are struggling to get through the detox phase, add simple steps of cleansing, exfoliating and moisturizing to help ease this transition, while providing a clean, daily routine for your underarms.


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  • 4.) Confusing underarm rash with detox

    If you are experiencing underarm discomfort with visible signs of irritation or rash, this is your body’s way of telling you something is not working right. While detox symptoms will vary from excessive sweating and smelling more than usual (sometimes a whole lot more), ignoring signs of underarm rash with a hope of “getting through the detox phase” may lead to bigger problems down the road. If you are experiencing anything unusual, stop using the product and get in touch with your deodorant company. Most likely, they’ve dealt with a similar issue before and will be able to answer any questions or point you in a right direction.

     

  • 5.) Applying at night!:

     This might have been a great suggestion when you were using traditional antiperspirants, which work by clogging sweat ducts, thus preventing moisture to surface. The night application allowed antiperspirants to soak in properly to be the most effective. Natural deodorants work on skin’s surface by neutralizing odor-causing bacteria that thrives in the presence of sweat. Unless you have a reason to not be stinky at night there is no added benefit of applying a deodorant before you hit the sack.

 

  • 6.) Assuming All Scents Are Equally As Effective: 

    We’ve all heard that “each body chemistry is different.” This cannot be more true for differently scented natural deodorants. What works for someone else, might not necessarily work for you. If you love the way the deodorant applies, but it makes your underarms smell weird, your body chemistry might not be matched well with that scent. In today’s market, most companies are happy to send a replacement deodorant if you are not satisfied with the way the deodorant smells or how it works with your body.


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Follow Up Review By Our CEO Samantha Joy: 

I find all of these hints extremely helpful when on a natural deodorant search. Using traditional antiperspirants can be quite dangerous to the body.

I’ll let Dr. Mercola share just a few of these side effects with you.

Quoted by Dr. Mercola

“If you look at the ingredients in your antiperspirant, you’ll likely find that it contains aluminum, which acts as a “plug” in your sweat ducts to reduce sweating.

Aluminum antiperspirants may act as a long-term source of exposure to aluminum, which research suggests may accumulate in breast tissue in women.

This is problematic for a number of reasons, as aluminum may cause alterations to DNA as well as epigenetic effects that could potentially support cancer development.8

Aluminum (specifically aluminum chloride and aluminum chlorohydrate) is also known to interfere with estrogen receptors in breast cancer cells, and estrogen plays a well-known role in breast cancer.

Studies also show a high incidence of breast cancer in the upper outer quadrant of the breast, nearest to where antiperspirants are applied, together with “genomic instability.”9 Back in 2005, researchers concluded:

Given the wide exposure of the human population to antiperspirants, it will be important to establish dermal absorption in the local area of the breast and whether long term low level absorption could play a role in the increasing incidence of breast cancer.”

In 2013, researchers found increased levels of aluminum in nipple aspirate fluid from women with breast cancer compared to women without the disease. They also detected increased levels of inflammation and oxidative stress, noting:10

” … [O]ur results support the possible involvement of aluminum ions in oxidative and inflammatory status perturbations of breast cancer microenvironment, suggesting aluminum accumulation in breast microenvironment as a possible risk factor for oxidative/inflammatory phenotype of breast cells.”

Parabens in Deodorant May Be Linked to Breast Cancer

Parabens are preservatives that are found in many antiperspirants and deodorants. These chemicals have estrogenic activity in human breast cancer cells, and research published in 2012 found one or more parabens in 99 percent of the 160 tissue samples collected from 40 mastectomies.11

Separate research also detected parabens in 18 of 20 tissue samples from human breast tumors.12


About The Products:

However, aside from this information, I absolutely love the smell of two deodorants that I have from an all natural deodorant brand called, “Rustic Maka”.

The first scent that I have is called, “Sweet Lemonade” and I plan to wear this during the summer when I want to smell extra sweet! The second scene that I have is called, “Calming Fields”, which has beautiful ingredients, such as lavender and bamboo extract!

Young Living Essential Oils for Perfume Usage

AIbEiAIAAABECOaNkartmvPZkgEiC3ZjYXJkX3Bob3RvKihhMDE4YzgxOGU3MTFmMDU2ZTQyYjJhZjNhYzUxZjVhOGMyNTQ0MmZkMAEqLRyp6Ql3_Jo9HObTil7u7n_7jAAuthor Bio: Emma Giffels is a vegan who is always looking to make life a little more plant based and a little more wholesome.  She is a Young Living Distributor as well as a fitness instructor.  While traveling the United States with her fiancé, she seems to find herself exploring new trails and finding the best essential oils combos.  Emma can be found at essentialtoemma.com and Instagram essentialtoemma.

 

I’ve never been a proper perfumer.  I’m either 2 minutes late and spraying on some body splash from Christmas 6 months ago or rubbing an overly priced department store perfume all over my wrists.  I’ll go months without using it and then the supposedly sweet smelling concoction will turn colors in the bottle and start to smell a bit off.  Many perfumes use synthetic ingredients as well as animal products which leave you with a chemical filled, non-vegan friendly product.  Essential Oils give you a different option.

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Essential Oils have, in so many unquantifiable ways, caused me to slow my life down.  Using these bottles of magic for my daily perfume has been one of them.

Instead of rushing around, putting on makeup, blow drying my hair, slamming down my smoothie, and then spraying something I know nothing about all over my body, I’m taking deep breaths and I’m oiling myself up.  My hair, my face, my arms and legs, they all deserve oils!  When it’s all said and done, I’ve found just enough time to oil up, continue my morning routine, and realize that my body deserves time to be taken care of.

With any essential oil, it’s important to dilute so it will a) not evaporate into thin air and b) spread to more areas than just where you put the oil.

To do this you need a carrier oil.  Carrier oils are pure vegetable oils like coconut oil, grape seed oil, or olive oil.  They are the ying to the yang of essential oils.  If you want your new perfume routine to take off, hear a girl out and use a carrier oil!

Once you’ve got your carrier oil situation figured out, you’re probably wondering what essential oils to try.  The truth is, so many will work and I have fun trying new combos every day.  Currently I’m using Peace and Calming as my morning perfume.  Peace and Calming is a Young Living Essential Oil blend of Tangerine, Orange, Ylang Ylang, Patchouli, and Blue Tansy.  The combination of this blend promotes peace and emotional well-being.  It lifts tension for me and when I’m starting to run around like a mad woman, it reminds me to take those big deep breaths.  It may also help reduce depression, anxiety, and stress.  Did I mention it smells like… pure ecstasy?

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Others I use on a regular basis include White Angelica, Stress Away, and Joy.

White Angelica has been said to help buffer negative feelings of others.  On days where my confidence or mood is lower than I would like, I use this baby to keep away all that negative energy.  Who needs it?  You don’t.

You need to feel secure and whole about who you are as a being on this planet.

Myrrh, Bergamot, Sandalwood, Geranium, Ylang Ylang, Spruce, Rosewood, Coriander, Hyssop, Melissa, Rose and Angelica all contribute to a floral scent that is strong and unique to each person as they apply it.

Stress Away has a simpler list of ingredients.  This Young Living Blend includes Copaiba, Lime, Cedarwood, Vanilla, Ocotea, and Lavender.  It’s perfect for not only relieving your daily stresses but aromatically sweetening your day.  It’s so citrusy and warm, it’s like you just walked into a bake shop planted in the middle of a lime farm.  Unlike White Angelica, it’s a softer aroma.

Joy is a blend of Bergamot, Ylang Ylang, Geranium, Lemon, Coriander, Tangerine, Jasmine, Roman Chamomile, Palmarosa, and Rose and it’s a pep in every beauty’s step.  It’s strong like White Angelica but a bit more feminine in its nature.  This is my date night perfume as it makes me feel oh so romantic.

These four Young Living Essential Oils blends are the ones I use most often.  That being said, the versatility of oils allows you to create your own blends and create your own times to wear these.  For instance, I was a bit congested recently so I mixed Eucalyptus Globulus with Ylang Ylang.  Eucalyptus Globulus is a natural decongestant while Ylang Ylang can balance my energy to meet another’s (also it smells so flowery and whimsical!).

Essential oils can be a wonderful way to rid your life of toxins and try something totally pure, totally chemical free, and totally animal product free.  Properly perfuming can be part of that too!

 
** I am an independent distributor with Young Living.  Suggestions or guidance given in this post in regards to essential oils is exclusive to Young Living.  They are beyond organic and never use pesticides, herbicides or any harmful chemicals. Their soil has never been exposed to them as well.  If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me! 
If you are interested in trying these oils, please clicking the link to Emma’s website in her “Author Bio” above.

Organic & Vegan Beauty Review Series: Blue Sunday Cosmetics “No Makeup Tutorial”

The article and video series called the, “Organic & Vegan Beauty Review” series has officially launched today. In our first episode, we are reviewing the natural brand “Blue Sunday Cosmetics”.

Aside from their charming name, the makeup brand uses the cleanest ingredients and the overall look of the products are dewey with feminine colors. All of the products are reviewed in the video below, however, I would just like to mention that I saw a significant amount of improvement in my skin from using the “luster drops”. They have helped me to have a more even complexion and skin-tone with an overall glow.The products are absolutely beautiful, however, these mentioned products can best be used for a “no makeup” look.

Check out the video below the photograph for a complete review on these products.

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If you are interested in these products, click this link to view the Blue Sunday Cosmetics Website.

Vampy Makeup Tutorial: Organic, Cruelty-Free, & Vegan Tutorial

This look that I am going to be showing you here today is a Vampy makeup tutorial that features all natural products that are healthy for your skin, for you, and for the environment.

In addition, they are cruelty-free, which means that there was no animal testing involved. Each time that you purchase a product, you are voting for the values that you believe in and I want my dollars to be going towards cruelty-free business that are working to give back to our planet and all of the beings in it.

In this video, I share with you my surprise, which is that I will be starting a new series called, “Organic Beauty Brand Review!” Make sure to check it out.

Also, don’t forget to sign-up for my contributing blogger program, where you can have your own section in our magazine!

Watch the video below to view the tutorial.

xoxo Samantha Joy

Acne Skincare Routine

This video shows what I am currently doing to heal my acne-prone skin. Although I no longer have severe acne, I still have to care of my skin, as if I do, in order for it to stay healthy.

If you have any questions about my journey to finding clear skin, please feel free to comment below or e-mail me at themindfulnessmission@gmail.com .

If you have any other acne related brands that you would like to see my try, please also e-mail me with those requests, as I am always updating my skin routine.

Cruelty-Free Makeup Brands That Will Make You Ditch Your Favorite Beauty Products

So you may be wondering, “what is all of the hype with cruelty-free cosmetics”?

In the year 2017, some of the world’s most famous cosmetic brands, such as Avon and Estee Lauder, are still testing their products on animals. While some companies blame the process on the “country’s regulations” for the area in which they are selling to, and other brands pay third party companies to complete the testing, the fact of the matter is that our cosmetics are causing great harm to animals that did not sign up to “take the heat” of our mistakes in the lab.

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However, as a society, we continue to purchase these products because when are in a cosmetics store looking at the flashy packaging and the sparkling rose-tint of this summer’s hottest blush, the idea of animal cruelty just doesn’t come to mind.

According to “DoSomething.Org”, “Over 100 Million animals are burned, crippled, poisoned, and abused in US labs every year”. While countries such as Israel and India have already banned the idea of animal cruelty for the price of beauty, most American brands still partake in this inhumane act.

When you choose brands that test on animals, you are most likely not just purchasing cosmetics that could have contributed to the suffering of an animal, but there could also be actual animal parts within your cosmetics.

Specifically, an ingredient in Givenchy’s Rouge Interdit Satin Lipstick in shade “Marble Rouge Revelator” contains “Lanolin Oil”. “Lanolin is the excretion from wool-bearing mammals and is found in most lipsticks and makeup removers”.

As if that news wasn’t bad enough, the Colour Pop Cosmetics eye shadow in shade, “Come and Get It” contains the ingredient carmine, which is also called “cochineal”. “Cochineal is extracted from the cochineal, specifically the female, a species of insect that belongs to the order entomologists refer to as the “true bugs’”. In other words, cosmetics brands crush these cochineal beetles in order to produce a red powder that will aid in the production of creating the “perfect” red shade for their lipstick.

Unfortunately, these two ingredients are just the beginning of the long list of animal products that are sneakily imbedded within the cosmetics that women rub onto their skin on a daily basis.

If you are hoping to get a new start in avoiding cosmetic brands that are placing these uncleanly ingredients into your body, considering that much of what we place on our skin is absorbed into our bloodstream, here are the top 5 cruelty-free cosmetic brands of 2017:

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Pacifica Cosmetics: Talk about affordable, cruelty-free, and high-quality cosmetics, Pacifica is a brand that is transforming the cosmetics industry by recreating popular shades with healthier ingredients in order to show customers of all ages that healthy makeup can still make a statement. With their products being sold at Target, Ulta, Whole Foods, and online, Pacifica Beauty is most certainly accessible. Pacifica’s goal is to prove that natural cosmetics can deliver great results through making eye-shadow palettes that have an array of both natural and bold colors. My favorite palette would have to be the “Solar” palette, which contains shadows such as “Mermaid Aqua” and “Glow”. They are also known for their irresistible perfume scents, such as “Sugared Amber Dreams”, which no pun intended, is a treat to your scenes. All of their products are 100% vegan and gluten-free, and to top it off, all of their packaging is 100% recyclable so they can have pride in their title as an eco-friendly company.

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Axiology Beauty: Axiology Beauty lipsticks are a force to be reckoned with. With their tag line being, “sustainably sexy”, their bold colors not only contain natural ingredients, but their bright pigmentation allows them to compete with the best. While the brand does contain natural pink shades, such as “identity”, they also contain fun and spunky shades, such as the light purple lipstick called “Enlighten”. Their “ingredients page” allows their customer to feel comfortable with their products, as each ingredient is shown as a fruit, vegetable, seed, nut, or plant. Talk about natural goodness!

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Au Natural Cosmetics: The purpose of this cosmetic brand is in the name,: “natural”. Au Natural Cosmetics sticks to their policy of acquiring their ingredients from their “farm to face” program, in which they promise their customers the highest quality ingredients. Their “Celestial Organic Crème Highlighter Stick”, is clearly a fan favorite, as it features pure ingredients such as jojoba seed oil and lavender for the ultimate dewy glow. In addition, their “Organic Crème Eye Shadows” blend seamlessly for the ultimate smokey look that you can take from daytime to night.

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Elate Cosmetics: Elate Cosmetics don’t just see their products as self-enhancing beauty tools, but as a true act of self-care because of how their natural ingredients truly soothe and heal your skin. The company stands by their policy of only using natural ingredients and it shows through their intriguing color pallets that represent the natural colors that you would find in nature. Definitely check out their “Universal Cremes” and the natural tones within their “Create Eye Colour” eye-sh Once you pick out your favorites, you can even purchase a Bamboo Pro Palette for your collection, which truly makes you feel like a makeup pro!

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Orglamix: The Orglamix website is the holy grail of vegan eye-shadows. Endless shimmery shades are available in a loose, cream, and pressed fashion. The website has makeup tutorials and shade suggestions for every eye-color and each shade has specific notes from the owner of the company, Tracy, that will allow you learn great tips and tricks as to how you can get the best wear out of the shadow of your choice. In addition the brand offers makeup kits with pre-made looks that allow your makeup routine to become quick and simple, but also eye-catching and unique.

With high-quality cosmetics brands, such as these, there is truly no reason to resort to brands that are causing great harm to animals. After all, if an ingredient that is a part of your makeup routine is considered to be risky to the point where it needs to be tested on animals before it can be “tested” on you, do you really want to rub these chemicals onto your skin anyway? Treat yourself in the year 2017 to ingredients that will not only give your skin a glowing look on the outside, but ingredients that will truly nourish your skin and body from the inside-out.

 

Quick Orglamix Tutorial!

Hi everyone! This is a quick version of one of my Orglamix eye-shadow tutorials. If you love these shadows, you can purchase them in my store: http://orglamix.com/?aff=122

If you ever need help choosing a shade or color matching for your skin-tone or eye-color, please never hesitate to e-mail me at themindfulnessmission@gmail.com .

I Hope that you love them just as much as I do!