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cruelty free skincare

Valentine's Day Self Care Gift Guide

Beauty, Entertaining, wellness, LifestyleMaría Elena RodríguezComment
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I know, I have made it pretty clear that I am not a fan of Valentine's Day. If you are new to this blog or don't know what I'm talking about, check out this post and this post

But this year, after all that happened in 2017, I'm a new María Elena and I want to embrace love more than ever. But because I still believe Valentine's Day is just an excuse to make us shop for useless stuff we don't need, I decided to look at V-Day as a self-care day to embrace self-love. The best part? Your friends and/or significant other would truly enjoy and use these gifts!  

Forget about going out to dinner! Self-care is all about feeling cozy and being comfortable in your own skin and who doesn't love some cozy pj's and fuzzy socks for a night in?! But if you decide to have a steamy night with your lucky guy/girl, you can also take your Netflix & Chill time to a whole new level with a cute throw and indulgent aromatherapy like these candles or my current personal favorite, essential oils. And if you are thinking about a Galentines day, why not have a girls night in with some extra fancy skincare like this scrub or this mandarin orange body scrub that I'm dying to try! You can finish the night with a good nourishing recipe from a plant based cookbook like this one

Finally, I decided to throw in a crystal book, because yeah, I've been into some crystal healing magic lately. Thanks Gwyneth! And no, I'm not talking about Breaking Bad, by the way. Let me know if you are not totally weirded out by this topic and I will happily make a post about it. One of you guys already noticed them in one of my Instagram stories

However you decide to spend your Valentine's Day, it's ok. Just remember that you should always be your own priority. Give yourself some love!

Let me know how are you spending this VDay!

Until next time, 

María Elena

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8 Things You Learn After Going Cruelty-Free

Beauty, Lifestyle, Real TalkMaría Elena Rodríguez6 Comments
animal cruelty-free beauty

I’ve been cruelty free for almost 6 months now and I can honestly say it has been a bumpy ride. I’ve read almost every article on Cruelty Free Kitty and stalked PETA’s Cruelty Free list many, many times but still, I’ve purchased brands that I thought were cruelty free only to find out they weren’t (I’m looking at you Jurlique Rose Water Spray!). Needless to say, I’ve become very aware of what I purchase because I really don’t want to support brands that agree with animal testing.

Sadly, all this research has lead me to one hard conclusion: In the beauty blogging community, the awareness about brands that test on animals is practically non-existent. This is why I think it’s my responsibility to do my part and show you the reasons why I strongly support the cruelty-free movement by creating this list for you. So here you go, 8 things you’ll learn after going cruelty-free:

1. Going Cruelty-Free is not as simple as you may think 

I flirted with the idea of going cruelty-free many new years eve. But my love for Sephora, Nordstrom, CVS and Walgreens was too strong and I didn’t feel mentally ready to give up on most of my beloved brands. My advice to you is to do your research on all of the horrible stuff these brands do to innocent animals just so you can have the perfect shade of long-wearing lipstick. If that still doesn’t make your eyes watery, just think about your pet going through that stuff just so you can look a little prettier.

2. You’ll be disappointed with the amount of brands that test on animals

Once you do your research you’ll learn that most of the brands you love and use daily test on animals, even if they they claim to be “natural”, like Originins and Khiels.

3. The wildlife will make you happier

I was never a big animal lover, but ever since I attempted to go vegetarian and went completely cruelty free, I have more appreciation towards animals. I hate looking at them in cages or aquariums and I just wish I could set them free.

4. You’ll feel better about yourself

We all know there are many ways society does inhumane and animal cruel things every day. But by going cruelty-free you are helping make the world a more compassionate place, because you know that everything you’re putting in your face was not tested on innocent creatures for your pleasure.

5. You’ll find a lot of really cool and indie brands that you wouldn’t have given a chance if you weren’t cruelty free

Hence Tarte, Josie Maran and my most recent love affair: Farmacy Cosmetics!

6. Many cruelty free brands are more natural focused

Win win!

7. Buying cruelty free brands at the drugstore is the hardest

Most of the big brands are cruelty free, but here is a cool link from the blog Cruelty Free Kitty that will actually help you on your next trip to the drugstore. For the record, my current favorite drugstore brand is NYX. :)

8. You’ll consider going vegetarian or vegan on all aspects of your life

So this is a tricky one! I experimented with going vegetarian for a while and it worked for like three months. -- It ended on Christmas, can you blame me? -- And even though I am not currently a vegetarian or a vegan, I feel guilty at times and I wish I could go back. Maybe one day... I’ll keep you guys updated.

 

Hope this helps you make the switch! Believe me, it is worth it.

Until next time,

María Elena