Cruelty Free Haircare

To say that I have become extremely invested in my hair since I decided to grow it out is an understatement. Three years ago I was bald (I shaved my head with my dad to support his ongoing battle with Cancer). Growing out my hair was initially extremely difficult because there was little I could do with it in terms of styling. With every little inch I became more dedicated to taking care of it and making sure it was healthy so it could grow long and strong!

Some may believe that you have to compromise on quality to buy cruelty free but I am here to tell you that you are sadly mistaken. I was so excited to put this post together because the best haircare products Ive ever used have been Cruelty Free coincidentally and this has lead me to seek out more amazing brands that can produce and manufacturing amazing products without testing on animals!

I have used every kind of product for my hair from inexpensive to very expensive and I have always come back to my all time favourite, Pureology! My parents used Pureology when I was growing up and still to this day it is my favourite shampoo and conditioner. When I made the decision to buy cruelty free products in the New Year I was so thankful that Pureology is not only cruelty free but completely vegan, as this is a brand I don’t think I could ever stop using. Ive always used the Hydration Line because of our extremely dry weather here in Edmonton its always given me the added moisture my hair needed but if your hair needs are different, Pureology has an entire line including Curl, Volume, Strength, Colour Treated and my fav Hydrate!

Another Pureology product I have recently fallen head over heels for is the Colour Fanatic Spray that you apply prior to blow drying! The spray features 21 essential benefits including detangles hair, conditions and moisturizes, reduces blow dry time, treats and prevents split ends, protects against breakage from daily brushing, repairs damaged hair and protects against heat and environmental damage to name a few, its the only leave in condition you will ever need and I refuse to wash and blow dry my hair without it! PS this is totally not sponsored haha #Iwish #pureologyobsessed.

There are some other cruelty free brands that I have tried and continue to use that are also worth mentioning! Kevin Murphy is a great brand with high quality hair products, some of my favourite products of theirs includes Eazy Rider Anti Frizz Creme, Ive used this product since I had a pixie cut and continue to use it after I’ve curled my hair to help get the tossed look without all the frizz! Their Doo Over Dry Poder Finishing Spray is amazing for second or third day hair to add volume and hold, I just don’t like using it on freshly washed hair as it tends to feel to chalky! Lastly Ive also loved their Body Builder volumizing mousse, its a great mousse for flexible hold and added volume!

When it comes to dry shampoo my two favourite cruelty free brands are Batiste, they have a huge range of options including a dark brown shade for brunettes (my personal favourite!) and Kevin Murphy’s Fresh Hair Dry Shampoo which is a white powder but long last and leaves hair volumized and fresh!

Lastly Ill talk about hairspray, my go to use to be Garnier but because they are not cruelty free I set out to find a better alternative! I had several recommendations on Kenra so I went with their Volume Spray 25, I have been so happy with it and it gives me great hold and volume without feeling crunchy!

I have listed more Cruelty Free Brands below as well as brands that do test on animals. I hope the information above provides you with the confidence that we don’t need to test on animals to have great products and we don’t need to buy from companies that do because there are so many other great options out there!

Thanks so much for reading!!

Sarah xo


Cruelty Free Hair Care Products

  • AG Hair
  • Batiste
  • DryBar
  • Has
  • Hempz
  • Kevin Murphy
  • Kenra
  • Madison Reed
  • Moroccan Oil
  • Oribe
  • Ouai
  • Pacifica
  • Paul Mitchell
  • Pravana
  • Pureology
  • Rahua
  • Rare Elements
  • Shea Moisture
  • Verb


Haircare Products That Test On Animals:

  • Alberto V05
  • Aussie
  • Bumble and Bumble
  • Clairol
  • Fekkai
  • Got2b
  • Garnier
  • Head & Shoulders
  • Herbal Essences
  • Hoyu
  • Joico
  • John Frieda
  • Just for Men
  • Kao USA
  • Kerastase
  • Matrix Essentials
  • Mizani
  • Natural Instincts
  • Nexxus
  • Nice ‘n Easy
  • Pantene
  • Physique
  • Redken
  • Rogaine
  • Schwarzkopf
  • Sebastian Professional
  • Soft & Beautiful
  • SoftSheen
  • Suave
  • Sunsilk
  • TRESemmé
  • Vidal Sasson





Cruelty Free Makeup

This New Years I made the decision that I wanted to be a more informed consumer. My goal included being more aware of the products I am buying, where they are coming from, what their ingredients contain, what is the process behind which they come to market, i.e. animal testing and why animal testing was still necessary.

So what does Cruelty Free mean? Cruelty free means that the manufacturing of products does in no way involve experimentation on animals. Simply, companies that are cruelty free do not test on animals.

When I first started researching this process I couldn’t believe everyday products I was using that resulted in animal testing, deodorant, toothpaste, lotions, fragrances, skincare and most influentially makeup. I wanted to understand why these companies were animal testing, were they using such harmful chemicals/ingredients that they had to make sure they wouldn’t harm consumers? Was it required by law? Was it the companies choice? All of these questions I hope to answer for you below and help you to understand my reasoning and also most importantly to educate you as my readers, education is power and the more we know, the more informed decisions we can make regarding the products we are spending our hard earned money on.

One of the most prominent answers I found when it came to animal testing was that Mainland China requires animal testing on all cosmetics and skincare products sold in the country. This means if you are a cosmetic or skincare company and you want to sell to the 1.3 billion people living in the country, you require legal documentation proving you have tested on animals to legitimize the safety of the products. This also means that it comes down to each individual company to decide whether or not they choose to test their products on animals.

This also led me to question the reasoning and justification behind this, how can companies like The Body Shop, Kat Von D Beauty, Tarte and Urban Decay produce extremely high quality makeup and skincare, in my opinion some of the best on the market and be cruelty free? Through resources like Cruelty Free Kitty I found that there are over 7,000 safe ingredients that do not require animal testing because they have already been proven safe to use, which means there are other options, options that are not compromising the quality or safety of the product and do in no way need to harm animals in the process.

Cruelty Free Kitty has been an amazing resource for me in starting this process, her information is logical, precise and well researched and I appreciate forums like this that exist for individuals like me who wish to start this process. The Cruelty Free Shoppers Guide that she provides is an amazing resources for beginners and something that has really come in handy for me! If you are looking at making this change I highly recommend taking a look at this guide to help you navigate products and also suggestions for products you may be struggling to find!

In closing I realize there is so much information out there and it can be very overwhelming to process. I am no where near an expert and I am not trying to preach or convince any of you to make this lifestyle change but it is something i think is really important even if you just become more aware of the products you are buying I feel like I have done my job! I also don’t want to imply that every single product I am buying is 100% cruelty free, I am still in the very beginning and learning stages but I am realllllllly making an effort to avoid products (especially makeup) and not purchase products that result in cruelty to animals. In embarking on this journey it also became very clear to me that we as consumers dictate the market and what is being sold, if we don’t start to educate ourselves and ask these questions we are going to damage our environment and its inhabitants. Even a very small impact, is still intact an impact!

Below I have included a small list of companies that are and are not Cruelty Free as well as Makeup tools that are Cruelty Free. I will also be talking about Cruelty Free Skincare, Haircare and Fashion in the coming weeks so stay tuned!

Thanks so much for reading!

Sarah xo


Cruelty Free Makeup

  • Anastasia Beverly Hills
  • BareMinerals
  • Beauty Blender
  • Becca
  • BH Cosmetics
  • Bite Beauty
  • Buxom
  • Coloured Raine
  • ColourPop
  • Cover FX
  • Dermalogica
  • Dose Of Colours
  • E.L.F.
  • First Aid Beauty
  • Gerard Cosmetics
  • HourGlass
  • House Of Lashes
  • It Cosmetics
  • Jane Iredale
  • John Russo Beauty
  • Jordana
  • Josie Maran
  • Jouer
  • Kat Von D
  • Kylie Cosmetics
  • LIT Cosmetics
  • Makeup Geek
  • Marc Jacobs Beauty
  • Marcelle
  • Melt
  • Morphe Brushes
  • NYX Cosmetics
  • OFRA Cosmetics
  • PUR Minerals
  • Real Techniques
  • RMS Beauty
  • Smashbox
  • Stila
  • Tarte
  • The Body Shop
  • Too Faced
  • Urban Decay
  • Wet N Wild


Makeup Brands That DO Test On Animals

  • Almay
  • Artistry (Amway)
  • Avon
  • Benefit
  • Bobbi Brown
  • Borghese
  • Burberry
  • Calvin Klein
  • Chanel
  • Chapstick
  • Cle de Peau
  • Clinique
  • CoverGirl
  • Demeter
  • Dior
  • Dolce & Gabbana
  • Estee Lauder
  • Flirt
  • Giorgio Armani
  • Givenchy
  • Guerlain
  • Helena Rubinstein
  • L’Oreal
  • Lancôme
  • MAC
  • Make Up For Ever
  • Mary Kay
  • Max Factor
  • Maybelline
  • OPI
  • Pat McGrath
  • Prescriptives
  • Rimmel London
  • Revlon
  • Shiseido
  • Shu Uemura
  • Sinful Colors
  • Sephora (brand)
  • Tom Ford
  • Tony Moly
  • Yves Saint Laurent

For a complete lists of companies that test on animals click here


Cruelty Free Makeup Brushes:

Real Techniques– Available at Walmart at very reasonable prices they also have the best beauty sponge in my opinion, the miracle complexion sponge, just as good as the beauty blender but 1/3 of the price!

Morphe Brushes – These are my most favourite brushes, I use them daily and was sooo happy to find out they are cruelty free!

Sigma – They have started to process of converting their brushes to cruelty free, the SigmaTech line and SigMax line are both vegan and cruelty free

Too Faced’s – made with their signature “teddy bear hair” bristles, they grab and blend color without any of the cruelty or hygiene problems associated with animal-hair brushes!

Tarte – Easily one of my favourite cruelty free brands, their brushes are formulated without paragons, mineral oil, phthalates, sodium laurel sulphates & gluten

The Body Shop – My favourite skincare brand and dedicated to using synthetic, cruelty-free bristles with sustainably sourced wooden handles.



Every makeup product I used on this look is cruelty free!

Primer: Tarte 2hr Primer

Foundation: NYXCosmetics Stay Matte

Concealer: NYX Cosmetics Concealer Wand

Eyeshadow: Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette

Brows: Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz

Eyeliner: Kat Von D Tattoo Liner

Mascara: Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes

Bronzer: Too Faced Matte Soleil Bronzer in Milk Chocolate

Blush: Too Faced Blushing Bronzer

Lips: Lipsense


Outfit Details (All YEG Businesses!!)

Earrings: Eliasz & Ella

Necklace: Bodhi Soul Bead Works

Sweatshirt: A Beautiful Inspiration


New Year Goals & Unique Watches Giveaway

I look at New Years as a great excuse for a fresh start! With a new year comes new changes and with that should come new goals!

The coming new year is definitely bringing new changes to the Pankiw house hold. Clayton was laid off over the holidays so we have decided that he is going to stay home with Cash for a couple months while I go back to work (Mr. Mom!!) which I am so excited about as he was away a lot this past year so it will give them the time to bond and build an even better father/son relationship!

I am back to work in the New Year and this is definitely going to be adjustment for me! I am both excited and nervous about it! Even just thinking about juggling family life, the blog, work, my lipsense business and life in general seems a bit overwhelming but I am looking forward to the challenge! With that here are a couple goals I am setting for myself this coming year!

Cruelty Free

One of the biggest goals I have set to start in the New Year, somewhat of a life goal, is to become more aware of where the products I am buying are coming from and what they are doing to our environment/animals. I would really like all of the products I buy to be cruelty free from now on this includes makeup, skincare, body products and fashion and I also want to be more aware of where our food is coming from, buying from local businesses and farmers. Now that being said I am no where near perfect but in doing research and educating myself I know that I can become a more responsible consumer and also feel positive about the products I am using and also the products I am sharing with you guys on the blog!

I have been compiling a couple blog posts over the holidays and working diligently on them, these include posts on cruelty free makeup, skincare and other body products, as well as cruelty free fashion and I will be sharing all of these over the next coming weeks!

I know it will be a challenge, I know it won’t be easy and possibly difficult at times but Im looking forward to embarking on this positive journey!


I think every New Year goal should include something in regards to health and I know everyoneeee and their sister have new years resolutions that involve health and wellness but we only have one body and our health is so important so i think its a valid resolution!

Clayton and I considered buying a gym membership but considering my upcoming work schedule and his potential of working after the next couple months we wanted a solution that would be flexible and something we could do in our home, on the road or while working out of town!

We landed on the 8Fit app after seeing several commercials we decided to look into! We really wanted not only a fitness app but a nutrition app as well and 8Fit matched all of the above! Ill be sure to keep you guys updated on our fitness journey as well!



This is something I have really struggled with in the past and something I really want to focus on and be better at this year. I want to be more present when I am with my family, especially now that Clayton is home full time. Im hoping by creating a schedule I can designate an hr to the blog or work but at the end of the hour walk away for the day. This is the plan so we will see how it goes!

Clayton and I have also agreed not to have phones in bed or after 8pm and this has already substantially helped up put my phone away and be present and connected with my family!


Jord Watch Giveaway

Last but not least lets start the New Year off right with an AAAAmazing Giveaway!!!!

Word Watches was so gracious to gift me this beautiful watch and I wanted to pass along the kindness and gift this gorgeous watch to one of you!! This hand crafted Frankie Series Jord Watch is absolutely stunning in person and is just one of three prizes that Jord Watches has been kind enough to offer to my followers!!

What better way to start off the New Year that with a beautiful new watch from Jord Watches!!! Jord Watches offers sophisticated and elegant wood watches for both men and women, perfectly flattering for your winter wardrobe! Jord Watches are made with 100% hand crafted natural wood with stunning sapphire crystal glass and make a beautiful accessory for your wrist!

First Prize: This Frankie Series Jord Watch (shown below)

Second Price: $100 Gift Code for Jord Watches

Third Prize: Everyone who enters will receive a $25 Gift Code for Jord Watches!!!

**********To enter fill out the Jord Watches entry form here and that’s it!**********

If you’re not already you can follow Boots & Bassets on Instagram @bootsandbassets and on my Facebook page Boots & Bassets Lifestyle Blog

The giveaway will close January 14th, 2018! The winner will be announced here!





Wooden Wrist Watch

Holiday Recipes 2017

I am still trying to wrap my head around the fact that it is December!! This is my favourite month of the year for so many reasons and this year more than ever because it’s Cash’s First Christmas!!!!! I wanted to share some fun holiday recipes as well as my favourite holiday drink that my family and I bake every year!


Eggnog Hot Chocolate

This drink has been on repeat this month, my favourite go to especially on those cold morning (although the weather this year has been amazing!)


  • I pour about 1/4 of eggnog in my mug and throw it in the microwave for 40 seconds
  • I then fill the rest of the mug with boiling water and add two scoops of Hot Chocolate & one pump of sugar free Vanilla syrup and stir!
  • I then reheat both together in the microwave for another 30 seconds, it really helps blend everything together
  • Lastly I add whipped cream on top and sprinkle with some nutmeg!

You could replace the hot chocolate with coffee if you’re a coffee drinker or instead of the Vanilla syrup, add some baileys for a little pick me up!!


Christmas Baking

I have come to accept the fact that I will be living off of eggnog and sweets this month haha! I am not much of a baker at all during the year but as soon as the holidays come around I am in over drive! My typical baking day involves eggnog, christmas music blasting and some dancing lol!  My two favourite recipes are my Nan’s Fudge & Poppycock recipes and I wanted to share them with you!

Nan’s Fudge

3 cups sugar, 3/4 cup margarine, 160mls evaporated milk, 350 gms (1pk) chocolate chips, 198g jar of marshmallow creme, 1 cup chopped nuts & 1tsp vanilla

Combine sugar, margarine & milk in saucepan, bring to a boil, stirring constantly! Continue boiling over medium heat for 5min, don’t stop stirring! Remove from heat, stir in chocolate chips, marshmallow creme and vanilla. Beat well into 9×13 pan. Cool, cut into squares and serve!

Crazy Crunch Poppycock (to die for!!)

2 quarts popped popcorn, 1 cup pecans, 1 cup almonds, 1 1/3 cup sugar, 1 cup margarine, 1 tsp vanilla, 1/2 cup corn syrup

Mix popcorn, pecans and almonds on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper. Combine sugar, vanilla, margarine and syrup in pan. Boil for 10min to light caramel colour. Pour over popcorn, almonds, pecans. Mix well and spread to dry.

Hint: Double the recipe, this treat will disappear quickly!!! I promise!!

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

Sarah xo


Holiday Gift Guide – Canadian Made for Him

Im not gonna lie, finding quality mens products made in Canada ended up being a difficult task just because I really had never made it priority! Luckily I was up for the challenge and ended up finding some great Canadian pieces for those hard to buy men in your life!

All of the products listed below are Canadian made/designed, as mentioned in my kids guide and women’s guide, its so important to shop local even if it takes a bit more effort!

Hope you enjoy!

Happy Holidays!

Sarah xo


Top: Herschel WalletGo Wood SunglassesStrong Body Workout Apparel

Middle: Rocky Mountain Flannel Company Robes & PJS, Herschel Backpack, Mammoth Beard Products

Bottom: Wings + Horn SweaterSorel SlippersBrave Leather Belts


Here are a couple other Canadian companies with some great items for this hard to buy for guys!

Buttercream Clothing

Muttonhead Apparel

Needs & Wants

Raised by Wolves



Holiday Gift Guide – Canadian Made for Her

I had asked on my instagram stories if there would be any interest in some holiday guides and it was a resounding yes, so as promised I’ve shared my Canadian Holiday Gift Guide for Kids and now I wanted to share a guide for that special lady in your life, all Canadian made!!

I wanted to give props to all my favourite Canadian companies geared towards women, its so important to shop local and support small business this time of year because you know you are supporting families and their dreams in doing so!

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

Sarah xo



Top: House of Koopslie Headband – I lovve these headbands, perfect for any length of hair and any and all activity! They also create beautiful pieces of clothes, leggings and beanies!

Eliasz & Ella Earrings – These are my absolute favourite earrings right now! E & E is local to Edmonton and they have a beautiful line of earrings, necklaces and bracelets!

Rebecca King 3 Way Sweater – I own two of these RK sweaters and they are my absolute go to when the weather get cooler! They are made in Saskatchewan and the material and styles are stunning, perfect for dressing up or down!


Coal & Canary Candles – These Canadian made wood wick candles are an asbolute favourite of mine and the scents are to die for! They perfect stocking stuffer or gift this holiday season!

Chelsea King Scrunchies – I recently came across this company and fell in love! Chelsea is making the scrunchies so stylish and i love all of the patterns, especially her new Velvet collection!!

Piperwest Watches – These watches are so stunning and such a classic piece of jewelry! They have a range of colours and bezels to please that special lady in your life!


Jackson Rowe Scarf – This brand has been a long time favourite of mine, they make beautiful sweaters, scarves and capes all classic pieces that will take you from year to year!

Love Fresh Body Products – You gotta love a Canadian made beauty brand and Love Fresh has you covered with the most amazing body butters, deodorants, lotions and scrubs! Their scents are to die for!!

Justine Ma Tags – Justine is a local Calligrapher and I absolutely love her work! She has a beautiful shop and offers so many cute pieces for home and decor!


I wasn’t able to fit all of my favourite Canadian brands in this collage so here are some more!


Bodhi Soul Bead Mala Necklace – Rebecca creates beautiful Mala jewelry, beautiful for the body and soul! You can choose a piece from her online shop or contact her to make a custom piece for your special lady!


Rocky Mountain Flannel Company– Both Clayton and I own PJS from RMFC and we lovvve their flannel pieces, a robe is next on my wish list!! Everytime we go to Canmore its a must stop!



A couple of my favourite Canadian Makeup Brands Include:

Bite Beauty & NudeStix

Holiday Gift Guide – Canadian Made For Kids

Shopping for my baby has got to be one of my favourite activities as Im sure it is yours too, its fun and literally there are the cutest things these days for kids! I wanted to round up my favourite Canadian Kids brands just in time for the holiday season to give you some great ideas for gifts and stocking stuffers!

Hope you enjoy!

Sarah xo



Top: Urban Baby Boutique Swim Diapers (30% off Nov20-Dec 1st Code: CYVERWEEK17 – This is a newer brand for us that we recently came across at the Make It Edmonton Expo! We love their swim diaper and they also have a line of cloth diapers and tethers!

Aura Leaf Sling If you follow me on instagram you know how much I love Aura Leaf Slings, they have been a lifesaver for me and makes my life sooo much easier! Aura Leaf is made by a local Edmonton mama!

Wylo & Co Harem Leggings – If memory serves me correct Cash has worn every size of these leggings so far! They are made of bamboo, sooo soft, and made locally in Alberta!!



Otherware Duo Teether We have had both the duo teether and pacifier clip from Otherwise since Cash was born and both have been two of our most used baby items. Whenever Cash is in his car seat these two pieces are essential, and they are made in Alberta!!

Xo One Berrie Towel  – I actually got this towel before Cash was born and we have used it ever since his first bath! One Berrie is made by a BC mama with gorgeous soft, bamboo material and it is seriously a genius design to keep baby dry and warm while helping mom and dad dry after bath time!


House of Hale Teepee  – We were actually gifted a House Of Hale teepee just after Cash was born and it has been such a beautiful and fun addition to his playroom! Its made locally in Spruce Grove and the patterns and craftsmanship are out of this world stunning!

Jack’s Mama Booties  These beautiful crochet booties are made by a local Edmonton mama and are an absolute staple when in comes to dressing your baby for those Canadian winters!

My Mila Pom Toque  – We love these pom pom toques made in Alberta and lovvve the fact that they also have mommy/daddy and mini matching toques!