I know its been awhile but I have to come on and share my recent experience with Smile Brilliant’s At Home Teeth Whitening Kit! I want to be up front as well, this is a sponsored post and I received a complimentary kit for my honest review!
I want to start out by saying I have really no experience in the field of teeth whitening, I have tried crest strips teeth whitening many many years ago and was very unsuccessful but nothing since so I was really excited when Smile Brilliant reached out to me. I was also thrilled to find out that Smile Brilliant is a cruelty free company! I am a regular tea drinker so I have been self conscious about the colour of my teeth and was really excited to start the process of whitening to have the ability to improve the appearance of my smile and in turn my confidence!
The process starts by Smile Brilliant sending you a casting kit. You mix the pastes in a mold to create custom molds for your teeth and then you send these casts back to Smile Brilliant for them to create your customized molds. Once received, they send you your custom fitted trays and the teeth whitening gel and desensitizing gel. The whole process was made extremely easy and simply with step by step instructions.
I found the two most convenient times to whiten my teeth was before I had my evening shower (by the time I was out and my hair was blow dried I was ready for bed and it was time to take them out) or first thing in the morning (before i get ready for the day, once i was done my hair and makeup I could take them out and be ready for the day)!! You can wear them anywhere from 45min-3hrs and I averaged about an hr each time. I also found that I had little to no tooth sensitivity so I only used the desensitizing gel every 2nd or 3rd time.
The process has been made so easy and I am thrilled with the results to far! I mean look at those before and after’s! I am so excited to continue using Smile Brilliant to enhance and whiten my smile and even more excited to share that I have partnered with Smile Brilliant to give one of my amazing followers their own teeth whitening kit!!!!
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!!
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!
Cruelty Free Makeup
Makeup Brands That DO Test On Animals
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
Eyeliner: Kat Von D Tattoo Liner
Mascara: Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes
Blush: Too Faced Blushing Bronzer
Outfit Details (All YEG Businesses!!)
Earrings: Eliasz & Ella
Necklace: Bodhi Soul Bead Works
Sweatshirt: A Beautiful Inspiration
Ive been scouring websites, emails, instagram and Facebook to round up all of my favourite sales for Black Friday!!! We do almost all of our Christmas shopping on Black Friday so I wanted to make it easy for you guys to find a variety of deals to fit everyones wish list! I will be continually updating this post as I find new deals/sales!
Hope you enjoy!
Miss Boss > Online & In Stores > 30% off Everything! (Starts Thurs 9pm)
Eliasz & Ella > 20% off site wide + gift with purchase over $100 Code: BLACKFRIDAY2017
Bodhi Soul Bead Works> 15% off Sitewide AND free shipping in Canada & USA!!
Cloud 9 Pjs In Store > 20% off Entire Store
West Coast Kids In Store > Up to 50% off Storewide
Lipsense > Kissable Lips By Sarah Pankiw > 15% off Orders over $65
The Body Shop > 40% off
Sephora > Makeup > Up to 50% off
Gentle Fawn >Womens Fashion > 40% off code: FRIYAY2017
Chelsea King > Hair Scrunchies > 15% off site wide Code: BLACKFRIDAY
NYX Cosmetics > Makeup > Up to 50% off
Aritzia > Up to 50% off
Brunette The Label > 30% off with code: BLACKFRIDAY2017
Mac Cosmetics> Makeup > 25% off Sitewide Code: MAC25
Bombay Hair> Hair Styling Tools > Up to 50% off + Free Shipping Code: BFCM50
Morphe Brushes > 25% off Sitewide
La Sensa > Lingerie > 50% off
Wylo & Co > Children’s Apparel & Accessories > 40% off site wide (Code: blackfriday)
True North Slings > Baby Carrier > 20% off site wide
Beluga Baby Wraps > Baby Carrier> 25% off site wide
One Berrie Towels (best baby/toddler towels!) – 20% off site wide
Baby Bird Creations > Baby/Kids Accessories > Code: SHOPSMALL17 for 15% off any purchase. Also code: FREESHIP17 for free standard shipping on minimum orders of $45
Zara > Family Fashion > 30% off Entire Site
Nordstrom > Extra 20% off Sale
Roots > Family Fashion> 40% off Outerwear > 30% off Entire Store
Abercrombie & Fitch > 50% off site wide
Joe Fresh > 30% off all apparel Code: BLACKFRIDAY17
Old Navy > 50% off entire purchase
Gap > 50% off with code: GAPFRIDAY plus an additional 10% off with code: GAPY4OU
American Eagle > 40% Off
Ideal of Sweden > Phone Cases – 30% off Code: BLACK (sponsored)
Jord Watches > Click Black Friday 5X for up to $125 off Men’s & Women’s Wood Watches (Sponsored)
Zenni Optical > Prescription Eyewear > 20% off Code: FRIYAY
This year when we were planning our Halloween costumes we knew we wanted Cash to be a turtle so we wanted all of our costumes to relate to a turtle! From that we went with an ocean themed family costume, and I landed on a mermaid with Clayton being a snorkeler and Cali being a Lobster haha!
Products I Used:
Fishnet stockings for the scales
BH Cosmetics Palate for the Eyes & Colour of the scales
Rhinestones from Michaels for the head crown
Lipsense in Purple Reign and BH Cosmetics Palate for the Lips!
Thanks for reading!
Lately I have had some amazing feedback in regards to my skin and I have noticed such a huge difference in my skin that I wanted to share my updated skincare routine! (PS i should note this is not a sponsored post, I purchased all of these products with my own $$!)
When I was initially looking for a new skincare regiment I set out to find a natural, plant based skincare that was Vegan, did not test on animals and would not break the bank, this lead me to The Body Shop.
Cleanser: Vitamin E Gentle Facial Wash (literally so creamy and so soft!) I wanted something I could use everyday that would not irritate or dry out my skin, that I could use throughout the year regardless of season and I have to say I absolutely love this cleanser!!
Moisturizer: Initially I had tried the Seaweed Oil-Control Mattifying Gel Day Cream. It has a creamy gel consistency and applies great however I have to admit I love it, it does its job well but I needed more moisture so I purchased the Vitamin E Moisture Cream. I lovvvvve this moisturizer, Ive gone through two tubes in the span of a couple months! It leaves my skin moisturized but not oily and gives the perfect amount of hydration without clogging pores or leaving my skin feeling heavy!
Night Cream: Because I have been loving the Vitamin E line so much I decided I wanted to try a night cream/oil. This would be my first night cream as I would usually just use my daily moisturizer in the past. I went with the Vitamin E Overnight Serum In Oil and have been using it for about two week now and I absolutely lovvve it. The hydration it gives my skin without leaving it really oily surprisingly! Ive also combined it with my Vitamin E Moisturizer in the mornings if Im need a bit more hydration! You could also add it to you tinted moisturizer or foundation to add hydrating in the coming winter months! This will be a repeat product for me 100% because of the versatility and because
Eye Cream: An eye cream is another product I have wanted to try (its never to soon to get ahead on the anti aging!) and I decided to go with the Vitamin E Refreshing Eyes Cube Stick. The applicator is very easy to use and I apply it on my eyelids and under my eyes, like a half circle or C motion to tackle those crows feet too. Initially I found the skin around my eyes felt very tight after applying so I decided to apply it before I apply my moisturizer to lessen that tight feeling and this sequence ended up working great!
Anti Aging: I have been using the Drops of Youth Serum for several months now and it is my favourite product from The Body Shop, it is also super highly rated and I can understand why! The serum enhances surface skin condition, leaving it looking smoother, fresher and healthier. It utilizes technology from plant stem cells from Edelweiss, Sea Holly and Criste Marine to help boost surface skin cell renewal, leaving skin feeling immediately moisturised and instantly softer! They have an entire line of Drops of Youth products and I will definitely be looking to expand my routine to include some of these products!
Masks: I have been using the Chinese Ginseng and Rice Clarifying Polishing Mask and the British Rose Fresh Plumping Mask for the past several months and am almost out of both! I will definitely be going back for the polishing mask as it is the perfect clarifying/pore cleansing masks i need for my oily/combination skin. I find it works so well I actually tend to get acne for a couple days after I use it and then my skin clears right up! I do like the plumping mask, for those that may need some add volume in their skin I would definitely recommend it however my next mask I will be looking to get will be the Ethiopian Honey Deep Nourishing Mask to help protect and comfort my skin for the upcoming dry and harsh winter and the Amazonian Acai Energizing Radiance Mask to increase the natural glow and overall look of my skin!
My Morning Routine
Step 1: Vitamin E Gentle Facial Wash
Step 2: Drops of Youth Serum
Step 4: Vitamin E Moisture Cream
My Nighttime Routine
Step 1: Vitamin E Gentle Facial Wash
Step 2: Drops of Youth Serum
*Every week I have been alternating with my two masks
I highly recommend you go to your local Body Shop and check out all of their amazing products, they have such a variety of lines that cater to any age and skin type! Lastly their pricing is so reasonable, as a mom on maternity leave I do not have hundreds of dollars to spend that being said I wanted a quality product and found it at the Body Shop! Also keep an eye out, they currently have buy 3 get two free and they do have a 40% off sale every once in a while!!
Thanks for reading!