Creme de La Cruelty-Free
What’s up fam?! I’m excited to share this amazing box of goodies with you all! I am collaborating with Petit Vour monthly to bring you my thoughts and reviews on the different products that come with each box. Petit Vour is a trusted site for all beauty things, non-toxic, cruelty-free and vegan. I’m looking forward to discover as many wonderful cruelty-free and vegan products as possible. With each box you receive 4 to 5 sample or full size products for you to try out – and every month provides a different set. If you’re a beauty geek, like myself, this is a perfect way for you to keep up with all the newest and best quality beauty products. And on the other hand, if you’re a newbie to the beauty sphere, this is an ideal way to learn and experiment with different products, especially since they’re hand selected for you.
This month’s (December 2017) Petit Vour box includes:
- Province Apothecary Full Brow Serum
Price: $16 (full size $36)
I am quite excited about this product because I’m an eyebrow girl. What that means: if I were to wear one thing on my face when I walk out of the house, it’d be my eyebrow gel. Eyebrows frame the face. You’ve heard it before, and it’s damn true. So with this product, I’m all about growing my brows to make them appear more full. I’ll update you in this post and on Instagram, if I’m loving it and whether, I’ll be purchasing the full product in the future.
- Odacité Synergie Immediate Perfecting Beauty Masque
Price: $6 (full size $59)
This product claims that it will “…detoxify the pores, brighten and even skin tone, peel dead cells, and firm skin.” Sounds like a keeper to me.
- Juice Beauty Phyto-Pigments Ultra-Natural Mascara
Price: $10 (full-size $22)
Second to my favorite beauty product category is mascara. Most days, I just wear mascara and do my brows. I’m always looking for new mascara products to try out. This one gives a very subtle and natural look, and is perfect for everyday. It doesn’t clump and make my lashes droop; it’s very light and the wand helps create this effect. Try it out, if you desire a natural look. Something else to take into consideration: I personally have pretty short lashes, but mine don’t have difficultly staying up if I curl them once.
- True Moringa Lip Whip in ‘Truth’ – Full Size
I love this! It’s sheer and adds just a touch of color. I think it will work great with any skin tone. I’m usually a dark lip or liquid lipstick kind of girl, but this is perfect for those days I’m in a rush and am looking for a quick application that still lets my lips stand out.
- Ursa Major Golden Hour
Price: $6 (full size $48)
Oooh, this night cream is just what I needed for this dry, cold winter. I can really feel my skin retaining the moisture while the nutrients is getting properly absorbed into my skin. I have pretty sensitive skin, and it knows right away when something is working the way it’s needed, and when it isn’t. I suppose a lot of people could say the same. Skincare is so important to me because I’ve realize the effects it has long term on our health. It’s imperative that we provide our skin proper care because it’s the largest organ in our body and it will immediately soak up whatever we feed it.
This little decadent 5 piece sampler was just the convincing I needed to continue subscribing to Petit Vour’s monthly Beauty Boxes. It’s only $15 a month; this is for U.S. residents when you sign up for a yearly subscription. For full pricing details visit Petit Vour. You can also browse the site to purchase other beauty and fashion items. Let me know if you decide to purchase your own box. I want to hear other people’s thoughts as well. Leave me a comment or hit me up in DM’s. 🙂
Hello, it’s been a while. If I’m going to be completely honest, the infrequent blog posts are due to my hectic mental state. Sometimes life makes you more than blue; it’s more of a deeper, darker color – perhaps we’ll say like a navy. My outfit photos are of course always unplanned and on a whim so that adds to the inconsistency. I am a moody person and a lot of what I do is based on how I am feeling at the moment, so I’m sure you can only imagine how stressful that can be. Healing comes with time while practicing self-love, and I am making an effort to be better. Thank you to those who have stuck around and have been patiently cruising along with me on this blogging journey. I really, truly appreciate it. I hope with each post, no matter how rare, it inspires you to make more conscious decisions.
This photo shoot was empowering. A quick one, but that’s all it takes. I was barefoot. I was bra-less. The entire time I tried to be mindful while channeling self-care, albeit struggling lately with my body image among other insecurities. My boyfriend is my biggest supporter and it shows through how he captures me, every time. No matter how I’m feeling, he manages to snap a shot that captures me beautifully – a reflection of unconditionally how he sees me. I am so grateful to have someone in my life who encourages me to be better an stronger, despite my downs and my rocky moods. Body image issues come in waves, and affects me most when I’m at my most vulnerable states. However, learning to be confident in front of the camera (because it hasn’t always been this way) has truly helped me be more self-accepting and comfortable in my own skin.
Now, on to this simple, yet bold outfit. I purchased this dress VERY recently from Reformation’s sale, which is STILL going on! I’ve just been really wanting a dress – I have no other reason or need. This one in particular is flow-y and comfortable, yet elegant, which is exactly the type of dress I go for. If you’re itching to buy something new, it is important to get into the habit of purchasing from ethical and eco-friendly companies. Check out ‘The True Cost,’ the documentary to learn more. Feel free to also research fashion waste and the fashion industry’s corruption. This dress is called the ‘Naya Dress,’ and it is made with Ecoballet fabric which is 92% micro tencel and 8% spandex. All of Reformation’s clothes are made in an ethical factory. Then the other piece to my outfit is this gold statement choker by Soko. Their stunning pieces are handmade by artisan entrepreneurs with recycled brass. Please note that they are not a fully vegan company and some of their pieces do include reclaimed cow horn and bone. Make sure to double check each piece.
Typically, my outfits are simple because I like to let each piece stand out. It is important to me that every bit of my outfit signifies something to me or helps me feel good because we all know how much feeling great in an outfit can change our mood. Although, I guess you could say I’m just extra sentimental. I’m all about simplicity as long as it allows the intricacies shine.
Each of you are aware of what works for you in regards to your shopping habits and your personal style, then from here all it takes is a few extra steps to be conscious of the impacts these decisions have. You can most definitely still dress mindfully for the planet, the people, and the animals.
Photography by Neivy // Instagram: @neivy
Details*: Reformation Naya Dress (Sold Out – but they have a SALE!) || Soko Luxe Collar Necklace
*100% Vegan. 100% Cruelty-free.
The most awkward wardrobe transitional period is from winter to spring, especially here in New York because it’s not subtle. East coast winter can be brutal. When it is icy cold out, and you leave any bit of your skin exposed, you’ll instantly become a popsicle. This makes you look forward to spring days while envisioning outfits such as ripped denim with a flowy top or a breezy midi skirt and short sleeves. Then comes one of those winter days where hints of spring weather are in the air. I chose this outfit to ensure that I am covered up when it gets chilly, but not over-layered to avoid any icky and unnecessary perspiration.
I am wearing a long sleeve off the shoulder crop top under my cropped vegan leather jacket. It’s the perfect combination for this seasonal transition.
I wore these lightweight high-waisted and comfortable pants which might the best type of pants to wear on one of those cooler spring days, next to denim. And of course, I finished off my outfit with these shoes that are a definite favorite. If you follow my blog, you have already seen them featured here before. My boss-lady and entrepreneurial friend, Bianca designed them and I am in love with her artistic eye. Her entire collection is quite eye-catching and wonderfully versatile. She has some of the best all-season shoes for transitional days which can be worn into spring and summer. Go check out her site, Susi Studio now for a special sale, with 10% of proceeds going towards Planned Parenthood.
Photography by Neivy.
Details*: UNIF Cropped Vegan Leather Jacket || Striped Off the Shoulder Crop Top || American Apparel Pants || Susi Studio Emerson Shoes.
*100% Vegan. 100% Cruelty-free.
This post is coming to you a little later than expected. I had forgotten all about these photos and happened upon them today. This look was taken around January, I believe. I was at a vintage shop and I fell in love with these awesome 70’s plaid flared pants. Disappointingly at first glance, these pants were labeled by the store as “Wool Pants”. However, when I felt that fabric, I was 70% sure it wasn’t. Keeping my fingers crossed, I checked the tags and to my relief they were 100% acrylic. I recommend checking tags, always! You never know – fabrics may surprise you… Although, fur is pretty obvious and repulsive. Buying leather or wool second-hand may be more acceptable (in terms of sustainability) than opting for new, but I personally do not buy or wear any clothes that use animals as fabric regardless of leniency to sustainability. The decision is yours.
These pants definitely needed, and still requires an alter. I haven’t had the time to get done and since winter is coming to an end, I might even just postpone the adjustments until next season. 😅 You just might see them again next fall or winter, styled in a completely different look.
The snow makes me smile, but by the end of this shoot my toes were freezing. I indubitably concurred that I was not wearing enough layers; not to mention, the shoes I am wearing are not ideal for trekking through snow. Outfit impracticality is my specialty. This look altogether is a little different than what I’m used to aka not my usual, normal style. Sometimes, it’s fun to experiment with your style so go be bold and wear whatever inspires your mind. Even the nonsensical outfits can complete a killer look. Remember, fashion has no rules. As long as you are expressing yourself and it is representing you, no one can tell you no.
Photography by Neivy
Details*: ASOS Jacket (yes it’s 100% polyester) – options here, here and here || White Long Sleeve – options here and here || Vintage Plaid Pants || Boots (Old) || Vaute Hat
*100% Vegan. 100% Cruelty-free.
새해 복 많이 받으세요! Happy Lunar New Year!
The Lunar New Year, more popularly known as the Chinese New Year is celebrated across many East and South East Asian countries. Referred to as Sul Nal (설날) in Korean, it is one of the major holidays of the year in South Korea. It is also the day that Koreans celebrate becoming one year older, literally. Koreans have their own age – a year old when you come out of the womb, and you turn another year older when the (Lunar) New Year comes around. Definitely research it further if you are intrigued, especially since my explanation was simple and it can be a confusing concept to grasp if you haven’t grown up with these traditions. 🙂
From the time I was born until my pre-teens, every year on a set date in January, my family of four and all my closest relatives would gather at my grandmother’s house. I have a memory of when I was about 7 years old, running around my grandmother’s house in a red and green two piece traditional Korean dress called a han-bok (한복). There was a yellow and blue plastic Fisher Price bench set up in her living room that all the kids (me, my brother and my cousins) sat around to play on. As kids we all looked forward to a two things: games and New Years money. One important tradition is the bowing ritual given to your elders called 세배, where afterwards they would hand you an envelope of money. This meant – the more elders in your family, the richer us kids would be into the New Year. Every year, I bowed in my long poof-y dress the way all the ladies are supposed to bow, and my brother would bow the way boys and men are supposed to bow. During these gatherings, I was always reminded of how to behave “lady-like.” My aunts would show me how to bow and sit properly and how as girls, we should not play rough, instilling these gender roles at a young age. Growing up a tomboy and as a feminist in the making, those gender roles didn’t fly with me. At the same time, my mom was a huge advocate for me to voice my opinions and relentlessly encouraged me to express myself mostly due to the fact that I was such a shy kid. Traditionally, in Korean cultures male and female clothing and mannerisms differed as well (comparable to Western cultures). No different than the cultures we grew up with as Americans, women would spend time in the kitchen to prepare all the food. Grandmothers, mothers, aunts, daughters, and daughter-in-laws would sit or stand around in the kitchen busily frying up some mung bean pancakes or stuffing dumplings. Hanging around the kitchen meant opportunity to pick at all the traditional Korean food set up on the dining room table. My grandmother’s cooking was mouth-watering and I looked forward to this day to engorge myself in rice cakes and all the foods.
Today’s post is in collaboration with Ann from Plant Crush, who has the most delightful blog with absolutely scrumptious looking recipes. I drool at the sight of anything on her blog. With this collaboration, I wanted to branch out a little and do something unrelated to fashion. Both of us being advocates to see more of the Asian American voice reflected in our everyday and as the Lunar New Year was approaching, I thought what better way to highlight our cultures and our stories. Asian Americans and persons of color in the vegan movement is disproportionately smaller, therefore it seems that there is a lack of awareness around how to “veganize” traditional cultural Asian dishes. Ann’s blog already does an amazing job at sharing vegan Asian inspired recipes, including Vietnamese, Korean, and Chinese. With my background as a Korean American, and Ann’s as a Vietnamese-Chinese American, we each decided to share a recipe and a little interview featuring our mothers.
My parents immigrated here in the late ’70s and became American citizens in the early ’90s. Korean culture has always been a big part of my life infused into our American traditions, to best explain it’s like eating kimchi with a burger. Through this, I am able to share my mom’s story – a brief unique perspective of being a Korean immigrant in the United States and how the traditions my mom grew up with might clash with her new home. Below I share an interview with my mom, and am excited to share it with you all. I am grateful to her for willingness to take this time to share her input.
The following is translated from Korean and transcribed from a conversation I had with my mother. 🙂
What the Lunar/ Chinese New Year mean to Korean culture?
Mom: Family and a time to celebrate something new. It is a chance for our entire families to get together – family members you don’t normally see on a daily basis. We all get to really sit down with each other and share our stories from the past year, and grow one year older together. It is also a day to pay respects to your elders by spending time with them and through the bowing ceremony where envelopes of money and given to all of the children. The Lunar New Year is a very special time – it’s comparable to what Christmas means to Americans. Some people travel long, long distances to go see their parents and relatives. For Koreans, family and respecting elders is a huge part of our culture and this day is a reflection of that. It’s a day where the closest people gather together, catch up, make food, and play games. Everyone’s talking and laughing – it’s definitely a special and joyous time.
What Korean New Year was like in your hometown?
M: Everyone is off work, people are walking around the streets wearing han-bok, and there is a cheery feel in the atmosphere. How the Lunar New Year is represented in the U.S. versus Korea – it’s unparalleled. You really feel the significance and importance of this holiday in Seoul or where ever you are. It’s presence is unmistakable. I mostly recall playing a lot of the games, and of course the food. We used to play a lot of the traditional Lunar New Year games such as, Yut (윷놀이) and Korean hackey sack (제기차기). (Note, my mom left Korean when she was 18).
What was the New Year like after you came to the states? (My mom came to the U.S. alone, leaving her family behind to find better opportunities.)
M: When I came here, there was an older friend whom I met and she invited me over to her house every year. I’d go over and spend time with her family eating dduk guk and play the traditional Lunar New Year games like Yut (윷놀이). I met her through church gatherings. I attended a local Korean church and found a community there where I made friends. Coming to a different country where the language is foreign to you, and still be able to find a familiar cultural community makes me grateful for the diversity that America offers. Then when I got married to your father and had you, every year we’d go over to your grandma’s. I’d prepare and make mandu and bring it over.
What’s your favorite part of the holiday?
M: Eating and chatting away with loved ones. I love being able to sit down and catch up with everyone I haven’t seen in a while.
What’s your favorite CNY (Korean) food?
M: Mung bean pancake without meat (녹두 부침개) and Kimchi dumplings (김치 만두).
To make our mothers proud and to top this blog off, Ann and I will be sharing vegan-ized versions of two traditional Asian dishes – one Korean and one Vietnamese/ Chinese. Check hers out here. This was actually my first attempt at a vegan version of this traditional Korean dish which is typically made with beef broth and egg. This special soup is supposed to represent purity, luck, a fresh start, and growing a year older. Enjoy!!
VEGAN Korean Rice Cake Soup (떡국) Recipe
Total time: 35 minutes
- 10 cups of water
- 8 whole dried shiitake mushrooms
- Half a long sheet of dried kelp aka Dashima (다시마) – in Korean or Kombu – in Japanese)
- 1 medium head of a yellow onion, peeled & cut in half
- 3 scallions, cut off for the white ends and light green ends, reserve the dark green parts
- 7 small or medium garlic cloves, peeled & left whole
- Half of one small daikon radish
- 3 tbsp Soup Soy Sauce (국간장) or find gluten-free soy sauce/ tamari, and more to taste
- 1 tsp Salt
- Black pepper to taste
- 1 tsp Sesame oil
- Roasted and seasoned dried seaweed, crumbled and crushed
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Korean red pepper flakes
- Scallions, dark green parts
- Shiitake mushrooms from the stock, sliced
- Dried kelp from stock, thinly sliced
- 1 lb of (coin shaped) rice cake or dduk (떡), soaked in cold water for 3o minutes.
(Ask for the rice cakes for rice cake soup or dduk guk dduk (떡국 떡). They should be heavily available this time of the year at any Korean supermarket. Also, try a Chinese or your local Asian market.)
- 2 tbsp vegan egg by Follow Your Heart (Optional)
- In a large pot, pour water and place in shiitake mushrooms, onion, dried kelp, radish, scallion ends, and garlic. Cover and bring it to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Then leave on simmer, and covered for 20-25 minutes.
- (Optional) If you decide to use vegan egg, frying a thin layer as if you are making a crepe or a very thin omelette. Then, take it to the cutting board and flatten out. Cut it in half and slice thinly into small strips. (I did not include it into my dish, but I highly recommend it!!). Leave aside.
- Prepare rest of the garnish. Chop the remaining green onion stems. After 15 minutes, remove the kelp and shiitake mushrooms from the broth and slice thinly. Take sliced pieces of shiitake into a small mixing bowl. Add a pinch of salt, a dash of sesame oil, and sprinkle in red pepper flakes. Mix it up and you have your second garnish.
- When the soup finishes boiling, with a skimmer or small metal strainer scoop out all the remaining vegetables from the broth and discard. Return the soup to a boil. Stir in soup soy sauce, salt, and pepper to taste.
- Drain the rice cakes and add into broth. Boil for about 3-5 minutes.
- Finally, ladle the dduk guk into individual bowls. Top with any garnish combination: green onions, shiitake mushrooms, kelp, vegan eggs, and roasted seaweed crumbles. Ta-da!
Hope this was insightful for you all! I give kudos to Ann and any other food blogger for the amount of work that goes into creating recipes for their blogs. This very first recipe blog post gave me a chance to introduce food to my blog for you all. Although, recipes will be probably a rarity, if you would like – recommend me some things you’d like to see, and I’ll be happy to oblige! I am especially open to vegan-izing Korean food as I personally have experimented with quite a lot of dishes and that it will be a unique contribution to the vegan community.
Thank you for letting me share this recipe and special thanks to Ann of Plant Crush for collaborating with me. You can also find her on Instagram.
Leave your comments below!