May Favorites 2016

Happy Thursday Wellness Warriors! This week's blog kicks off a monthly series where I share a few of my favorite things with you from the month prior.  Everything in this post is something that I have tried, loved, and would highly recommend.

I've been making the switch to cruelty-free and vegan beauty products, as I run out of certain things and I've been really impressed with the following:

1. Jane Iredale Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream
I have a confession to make. I have heard of Jane Iredale over the last few years, in passing, but I made the weird assumption that it was a brand marketed towards older women. (Ugh, I know, such a weird thought!) Of course, to my surprise, Jane Iredale is a mineral based makeup line free of perfume, alcohol, artificial dyes, and nasty chemicals. Luckily for pale people like myself, most of her products also have SPF. During my research, I found a ton of great reviews for the Glow Time BB Cream and decided to give it a go. I was really looking for something that was full coverage to replace my Estee Lauder DoubleWear Foundation (which is, sadly, not cruelty free) and after checking out some color swatches I decided on the color BB 3. I am in LOVE with this BB Cream! It does, indeed, provide a full coverage and great finish. For reference, I am very fair, with a slight case of rosacea/redness, and normal skin. The BB cream retails on the Jane Iredale website for $48.00 US but I actually got mine on for $35.49 US which is comparable to most other mid-priced foundations.

2. Evolvh Leave- In Conditioner
I have recently become a huge fan of  the "green" beauty movement and was perusing Credo Beauty when I came across the Evolvh hair care line. I decided to try the Smart Start Leave-In Conditioner as an introduction to brand. For reference, my hair is colored, a little dry, and prone to tangles, and this product delivered on it's claims to detangle and soften. I love that there are no harsh ingredients and my hair is left silky, shiny, and lightly scented. I bought the full sized (8.5 oz) bottle which may be a little pricey for some at $27.00 US, but I feel like it will last a while. If you want to try it before committing, Credo Beauty does have a 2 oz bottle for $10.00 US.

3. Pacifica Dream Big Mascara
I had some extra time before meeting a friend one day and so what else is a girl to do but check out the local Target? I was browsing the beauty aisles when I came across some new Pacifica products. I was familiar with their perfumes and candles, but recently they have built up their line of beauty products and cosmetics. Let me rave about Pacifica here for a moment. All of their products are vegan, cruelty-free, marketed at a great price point, and can be found at Target and Ulta. I purchased the Dream Big Lash Extending 7 in 1 mascara at Target that day and (full disclosure) perhaps it was partly due to the fact that there were stars and unicorns on the packaging. (It was basically calling my name.) I think this is a fantastic mascara and reasonably priced at $15.99.

I've also been working hard on my personal health and fitness goals so I'd thought I share some of my recent favorites from that category.

4. NuGo Bars
Of course whole foods are best, but when I'm traveling or out for a day, I really like a snack that I can toss in my bag or leave in my car for emergencies. Also, I have a sweet tooth and the fact that these have really nice ingredients (especially considering this is a packaged, grab-and-go snack) and are vegan gives these bars a lot of bonus points! They even passed my husband's taste test and he does not like very many bars.They come in lots of different flavors but my personal favorites are the NuGo Dark Mint Chocolate Chip and the NuGo Dark Chocolate Pretzel with Sea Salt. You can find them by the box on Nugo Nutrition Website for $19.00 or (as with most things) for slightly cheaper on I also buy them individually at my local Whole Foods.

5. New Rules of Lifting for Women Workout
 I bought this book years ago after it started getting raves in some of the fitness forums I frequented. I tried it for a while and started seeing results so I have no idea why I stopped. I think it's because I didn't belong to the gym at the time and didn't have enough equipment to do the workouts at home. I've tried many other workouts since then, with varying degrees of success, but decided to dust this book off about 2 months ago. I had not lifted in a while so starting this workout program definitely left me struggling to get up the two flights of stairs in my house. As the weeks go by I can definitely feel myself getting stronger and leaning out. Bonus- the Stage 1 workouts are about 30 minutes if you do them at home with the "home workout alternative exercises" that they provide. This book can be purchased on Amazon for $14.00. (I also encourage you to check out your local library.)

6. Vega One Sport Performance Protein Powder
After transitioning to the vegan lifestyle about a month or so ago, I was on the lookout for a tasty plant-based protein powder that I could use in smoothies. The Chocolate flavor tastes like chocolate caramel and I love it! I also like the extra calorie boost that it gives me, especially on days when I'm weight lifting. I usually add this to almond milk, bananas, and spinach for a delicious snack that tastes like a milkshake. I purchased mine at Whole Foods but it is also available at Amazon for $41.00 and comes in Berry, Vanilla, and Chocolate.