#BeCrueltyFree for the Holidays!

The festive season is now in full swing around us; Hanukkah and Christmas are quickly approaching.  Shops are bustling with busy bodies buying up all kinds of goodies to stuff stockings and hide under the tree. I am a big lover of the Christmas season, I always have been. For my fellow Canadian’s and I, it is a time of year that is full of great beauty in nature; snow covered trees, icicles delicately hanging and reflecting the warm light from inside of the homes they adorn. The best kind of energy is abundant, kindness, hospitality, generosity and love are everywhere – the real human spirit truly shines.

 I can’t think of anything that I enjoy more than sitting around my parent’s living room with my siblings and our children on Christmas morning, eating the clementines that my Mother tucked into the tops of our stockings. Last week I told my 3.5 year old boy about this tradition (I told him that Santa brought the clementines not Nana), and he looked at me like I was crazy when I told him it was my most favorite part of Christmas. He continued with “Isn’t there chocolate? What about the toys?!. I giggled of course, remembering the excitement as a child, at the thought of all that could be hidden in those boxes and bags and how the eventual predictability of the clementine in my stocking likely took a few years before it became a joyous little surprise from the “big man” himself.

Our family use to go absolutely nuts buying gifts for each other every year. There were 4 of us kids and my Mother and Father. Some years, a couple of my cousin’s would join in on our celebration. Then the significant others began to creep in, and eventually our own children. The tree would literally be cascading through the living room with wrapped boxes, bows and bags.  It just grew and grew and grew.  It wasn’t until a few years ago that we all realized how completely ridiculous it had managed to become and we all decided that this tradition of spending and over the top gift giving had to evolve.

Now, we try and keep things festive, but minimal. The stockings still hang at the fireplace, full of small treasures and treats that we all contribute to. The children receive a gift from Santa, and one moderate gift from each of the adults/couples. The adults have all agreed that there is no buying of “things” for each other anymore. Instead, we all come together from different corners of the world, we sit and watch the children enjoy the special day and we indulge in as many home-made treats as we can fit into our happy bellies.

My contribution to the stockings is always cosmetic; make-up, nail polish, skin care, hair product, men’s shaving lotions and potions, etc. It is my industry after all, and everyone is always very happy to receive what I believe to be the very best of the best in each category.

I am very serious about using my hard earned dollars as a means of voting for the products and companies that I believe in. Those which are developing the best new ideas, using the most fantastic and clean ingredients, sourcing them ethically, and not testing them on sweet little bunnies are the ones that get my vote. Sadly, some of these criteria are not always easy to come by. It is shameful that cosmetic testing on animals still exists within North America; an absolutely unnecessary practice now-a-days, but one that is actively used by most commercial cosmetic companies. In fact, many people that I come into contact with are surprised to hear that Canada continues to allow cosmetic testing on animals. Many consumers assume that this is an archaic form of testing that might have happened in the 1940's, but couldn’t possibly be going on in the year 2014. Brands that refuse to change their ways no longer get my vote in dollars. It’s as simple as that. In fact, I am taking it a step further.  I have recently been asked by Humane Society International, in partnership with Animal Alliance of Canada to lend my voice to their nationwide #BeCrueltyFree campaign. As a professional make-up artist in Canada, I was initially hesitant, as I am vocally asserting myself against the practices of some of the biggest cosmetic companies in the world, many of which have actually written my pay cheques in the past. It is for that exact same reason that it is most crucial for someone like me to raise my voice in aid to this important cause.

It is partly in thanks to the #BeCrueltyFree campaign that cosmetic animal testing has been officially banned in the European Union, Israel and India. This campaign is driving policy change across the globe.  Legislative bans have been proposed in the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Brazil. Even China, the toughest nut to crack in this battle of eliminating animal testing, has made progress. As of June 2014, cosmetic animal testing is not mandated on domestically manufactured finished products. #BeCrueltyFree played an instrumental role in this change. 

Humane Society International's #BeCrueltyFree mission is to pass legislature and ban all cosmetic testing in Canada.

I want to encourage any and all cosmetic purchasing, whether it be personal, professional or this year’s Christmas shopping for others to #BeCrueltyFree. To celebrate the holidays and some of my most favorite cruelty free brands, I will be reviewing 6 individual beauty products and have collaborated with their inventors to give them to YOU for Christmas!

Stay tuned over the next 2 weeks for product reviews and giveaways from Pelle Beauty, LUSH Cosmetics, Kevin Murphy, Ellovi & Urban Decay and PLEASE join forces with us this holiday season and say “NO!” to cosmetic testing on animals in Canada by signing the #BeCrueltyFree petition here: 

https://action.hsi.org/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=104&ea.campaign.id=32712&ea.tracking.id=billboard



Petit Vour - Beauty & the Box - Review

Petit Vour - Beauty & the Box - Review

Petit Vour - Beauty & the Box - Review

Oooooh la la! This month's Petit Vour Luxury Beauty Box was my absolute favorite collection so far! Curated by the gorgeous Tashina Combs of www.logicalharmony.net, one of the leading authorities on cruelty-free and vegan beauty. Tashina has spent years researching, testing and reviewing countless brands of skincare, haircare, make-up, nail polish, self tanners and body products to help make it easier for you to transition out of using any products that may still test on animals, and to hopefully go a step further by ensuring that they do not contain any animal bi-products. In the cosmetic world, this doesn't only mean a little bit of honey, beeswax or gelatin. Have you ever seen the ingredient 'tallow' listed on the packaging of your lipstick, eyeshadow, foundation, shampoo, shaving cream or skin care product? Tallow is created by rendering the fat of an animal carcass. These animals are usually sourced from labs, slaughterhouses, zoos, shelters and yes, roadkill. Umm... NO THANK YOU (for so many reasons)! Unfortunately, that is only one of the not so lovely ingredients used in some of the most popular beauty products on drugstore shelves right now. The Logical Harmony website will help take all of the guess work out of finding clean beauty products that perform just as well as (or better) than the majority of commercial products out there.

Because Logical Harmony has paired up as one of Petit Vour's main curators, I always trust that whatever that little hot pink box contains, is going to be absolutely fantastic stuff. This month was no exception, with products from ELLOVI, LILY LOLO, ROOT SCIENCE & YAROK.

ELLOVI - Tinted Lip Butter - $5.00

ELLOVI - Tinted Lip Butter - $5.00

ELLOVI, a small line of skincare for face and body from California, owned by Kelly Winterhalter and Ryan Pamplin, was created to help disrupt a beauty industry that is ruled by products laden with artificial ingredients and cheap fillers. Ellovi is passionate about crafting pure and nourishing skincare products from plants, if it doesn't come from nature, it doesn't go into their products.

The 6 ingredient lip balm that they have created is simply divine. A super smooth and creamy formula made from Hawaiian coconut, sunflower, hemp, macadamia, Gh anaian marula, and shea. The colour in the tinted version is from the red root of a Mediterranean flower called the alkanet.

This product has now earned itself a secure spot in my personal make-up bag, as well as my professional kit. Beautiful on its own, on any skin tone, or underneath whatever other lip products you might choose to put on top. For only $5.00, this is an absolute must have!

Now, to get my hands on (and in) a pot of their luxurious, hand-made body butter!

LILY LOLO - Mineral Eyeshadow - $12.00

LILY LOLO - Mineral Eyeshadow - $12.00

LILY LOLO Mineral Cosmetics, is a gorgeous, award winning line of 100% all natural makeup from London, England. Just recently made available in the US & Canada (hooray!) Each of their products is made with organic ingredients, and is free from any harsh chemicals, dyes and fillers. Not to mention they proudly show off their Bunny Approved and Cruelty Free badges, making this company a very safe bet for those of you who are actively avoiding products and brands that do continue to test on animals.

This company provides a complete range of products including concealers & foundations of different coverages and shades as well as lip products, eye shadows, mascara, primers & brushes. Unfortunately, I have only tried the Mineral Eye Shadows so far. Once I am able to get my hands on more of their seemingly gorgeous product, I will review, review, review.

The Mineral Eye Shadow included in this month's beauty box was perfection. They are highly pigmented, long lasting and durable. Like most mineral products, you can use this shadow wet or dry to create different textures and opacity. The shade Vanilla, one of the shades I have, is stunning for a highlight colour. A sweep across the brow bone, bridge of the nose, or top of the cheekbone. Maybe a little bit on the cupid's bow of the upper lip, or a pop in the inner corner of the eyes to bring light and youthfulness to the face - absolutely gorgeous. Lily Lolo does about 40 colours (give or take) in the Mineral Shadow collection. They also do pressed shadows, duos and quads.

Unlike many of the all natural eye shadows I have tried, this company truly nailed their formula. It isn't washy, it doesn't crumble or fall. It performs with excellence.

First thing in my shopping kit on Lily Lolo today, one of each of their 1`00% vegan make-up brushes & a whole bunch of these lovely little eye shadows.

ROOT SCIENCE - Youth Serum - $80.00

ROOT SCIENCE - Youth Serum - $80.00

ROOT SCIENCE, an absolutely fantastic skin care line based out of Northern California, founded by Gigja Hlín Wesneski and her partner Derek. Gigja drew inspiration from her home country of Iceland, where medicinal plants have been used through out history to prevent, treat and cure almost everything. The land is pure, clean and minimalistic and that is reflected in their formulas. Few plants are able to survive the harsh climate of Iceland, the truest test there, is survival of the fittest.  This inspired Gigja to select only the most powerful and effective ingredients, resulting in highly active formulas, without any inactive fillers. Root Science believes in the gifts that nature has provided for us – those which start as a root and not in a test tube.

Root Science's Youth Serum is an absolutely astounding product. It showed up unexpectedly, I had no knowledge of its existence and right away it created conflict in what I thought was my already perfect skincare ritual. I was a very dedicated user of Pelle Beauty's Stellar Oil, so I was quite doubtful that anything would ever compare to it's performance. However, this product floored me after the first use and now I combine the two for a seriously lethal skincare routine that I keep on me at all times. Yes, I take my skin oils wherever I go! I use Youth Serum first thing upon rising around my eyes, the center of my face and my forehead (where I most require some extra TLC). After it has settled in, I apply Pelle Beauty's Stellar Oil to the rest of my face and neck. In the evening, I apply more of the Youth Serum to my entire face, and hit the hay for my beauty sleep. Each of these products on their own is amazing, but combined, the results are heavenly. My skin is smooth, visibly nourished and youthful. Even this week, after 5 days of doing make-ups backstage for Toronto World MasterCard Fashion Week, in a large tent full of hair spray, not drinking enough water and too much coffee, no sleep and a lot of pressure, I am still getting compliments on how great my skin looks. I love, love, love the Youth Serum by Root Science.

Free of parabens, petrochemicals, phthalates, sulfates, synthetic dyes, synthetic fragrances and triclosan this product is as clean as a whistle with only the cleanest of ingredients: Jojoba Oil*, Grape Seed Oil*, Camellia Oleifera Seed Oil*, Cranberry Seed Oil*, Pomegranate Seed Oil*, Sea Buckthorn CO2 Fruit Extract*, Blue Chamomile Essential Oil*, Proprietary Blend of Organic and Wild Harvested Essential Oils, Non-GMO vitamin E. *Certified Organic.

Pure Balance features Blue Chamomile, which contains a high level of Azule, a powerful anti-inflammatory and skin healing component. Chamomile also contains anti-allergenic, antibiotic and antibacterial properties. This powerful oil assists in the healing and prevention of acne, eczema, dermatitis, broken capillaries and wounds. An added benefit of Chamomile is its sweet and calming scent that helps alleviate stress and tension.

This skin oil is perfect for normal or combination skin types. A definite must try!

YAROK -Feed Your Ends  Leave-In Conditioner - $13.20

YAROK -Feed Your Ends  Leave-In Conditioner - $13.20

YAROK, meaning 'green' in Hebrew, was founded by renowned Israeli hair stylist Mordechai Alvow, an editorial stylist who's work has been featured in VOGUE, Allure, ELLE, InSTYLE and Marie Claire as well as on the runways of some of the most major international designers. The Yarok philosophy is to make the greatest positive impact on hair and scalp health with the least negative impact on the natural environment. Each of their formulas is a gorgeous blend of organic and all-natural botanicals that are consciously sourced and responsibly harvested. There are very few hair care companies that can claim their entire line of product is free of alcohol, parabens, sulfates and cruelty to animals, all while working beautifully and effectively in your hair.

Feed Your Ends Leave in Conditioner helps to prevent damage from heat styling. Perfect for someone like me who is constantly blow drying and curling my hair. This product has a list of simple, earthy ingredients that don't just mask the problem like many commercial treatments, but actually protect the hair by feeding it with vitamins, minerals and essential oils like jajoba, olive, grapeseed, apricot, primrose, rosemary and may chang that nourish your lovely locks prior to heat styling.

This product is very rich, for me, a little went a very long way. This product would be especially amazing on anyone with dry, very dry, course or damaged hair. This product also works as an excellent detangler. If you are prone to knots after shampooing, especially on children - this is great stuff.

Petit Vour - Luxury Beauty Box

Petit Vour - Luxury Beauty Box

Petit Vour caters to beauty addicts interested in living a more compassionate lifestyle by delivering fresh beauty miniatures - culled from beauty’s kindest - right to your doorstep each month. Inside your box, you’ll find 4-5 personalized beauty products for you to apply, blend, buff, lather, soak and spray. The samples are generously sized (and sometimes full-sized!), with enough product for you to figure out if it’s right for you. Only $15.00 per month in the USA, and $23.00 per month in Canada! Visit www.petitvour.com for details and subscriptions.

Petit Vour Review & Giveaway!

Petit Vour Luxury Beauty Box - Be Bold Be Kind

Petit Vour Luxury Beauty Box - Be Bold Be Kind

Have you had the good fortune of discovering the wonderfully fun and exciting world of  subscription boxes yet? These services make every month feel like it's your birthday! How they work: You pay a subscription fee, like you would for a monthly magazine, and a box of product is shipped directly to your door, each month! Services like this exist all across the boards and all across the world. There are boxes for men, women, babies, foodies, make-up junkies, crafting, fitness fanatics, pets and wine. Most of them are excellently curated, adorably packaged and chalk full of fantastic products that are hot off the press for you to try.

Petit Vour is a luxury vegan beauty box subscription service. It has an amazing price point of $15 USD each month, and you receive a beautiful pink box, filled to the brim with both mini and full sized samples of the most prestigious, cruelty free and vegan beauty products they can get their well manicured hands on.

As a professional make-up artist, I am completely obsessed with this service. I love, love, love trying new products and incorporating them into my working kit. It does happen that they don't always make it into my kit; I fall so deeply in-love with some of the items that they never leave my own personal make-up bag.

The incredibly high demand by the consumer, that animal cruelty & testing within the beauty industry be abolished, has made room for hundreds of new skincare, haircare and make-up companies to open their doors, show off their goods and brag about their ethically sound practices. This has also created thousands and thousands of jobs, opening up a whole new division of the beauty world that is growing at a jaw dropping rate. When consumers initially decide to make the change over to a more responsible beauty regimen, they often don't know where to begin. As a make-up artist, I hear this every single day. "I want to switch all of my skincare over to product that is not tested on animals, I don't want to support that anymore.", or, "How do you know what products are more natural and safer for my body and my skin?". You can slowly creep along the beauty aisles of the drug store, reading the fine print on all of your go to products, hoping that you understand the long, bizarre list of ingredients in each one. You can try contacting each brand, requesting information about their testing procedures, fingers crossed that their PR people give you an honest, simple answer. Sadly, I can tell you that most will give you a complicated, skirt around the question styled response that leaves you more confused about their practices than you were initially.

Subscription services, like Petit Vour, take all of the leg work out of the search. They do all of the investigating for you, so that when your sweet little box of product arrives on your doorstep, you don't have to question the ingredients or the practices behind any of it. When you fall in-love with one of the lotions or potions you receive, you simply visit their website and order more!

The goodies inside the June beauty box:

EVOLVh UltraShine Moisture Shampoo & Conditioner. | $17
For hair that's strong, silky and smooth, this color-safe, nutrient-finused hair duo cares for your hair by balancing its pH level. Actives like seaweed extract, mango, and apricot deliver crucial nutrients to thirsty stands, while amino and fatty acids restore hair from the inside out and provide rejuvenative benefits.

MUN No. 1 Aknari | Full-size | $95
Prickly pear Seed Oil and Argan Oil combine to transform the appearance of your skin, while soothing Rose Oil lightly scents your sweetest dreams. HOW: Apply evenly to cleansed face every evening for even complexion.

ncLA 5 Free Luxury Nail Laquer | $16
Pair your next ensemble with this dreamy, summery shade and enjoy a little California love on your fingertips.

TAY Rosehip Balancing Cleanser with Seabuckthorn | Full-size | $35.00
Specially harvested Rosehip Oil facilitates hydration absorption and maximizes delivery of nutrients to your skin. Nourishing Seabuckthorn is added for its strong vitamin composition and its restorative properties.

My personal favorite of the June beauty box:

Evolvh UltraShine Moisture Shampoo & Conditioner

Evolvh UltraShine Moisture Shampoo & Conditioner

EVOLVh UltraShine Moisture Shampoo & Conditioner. I am OBSESSED with both of these. I have officially switched over from what was my favorite (Alba Botanical) to EVOLVh's line of hair care products. The smell is other worldly (dramatic I know). For those of you who remember the days of Herbal Essence, when it first became a "thing", and you couldn't stop smelling your own hair because there hadn't been anything so delicious smelling on the shelves before. It's like that, but better! It's floral, and fruity, and musky all at the same time. Girly & masculine. It is just the perfect, delicious combination of everything good smelling. It's ingredients give it the ability to nourish the hair from the inside, out. Providing lovely moisture and protecting color treated hair. I am hooked!

Petit Vour has generously decided to collaborate with me for an awesome Beauty Box giveaway! If you haven't yet had the pleasure of receiving one of their boxes, now is your chance to try it for free for one month. This giveaway is exclusive to Instagram, so head there next and follow these rules:

You must be following both myself @caitmizzi and @petitvour to participate. You must like my current photo of the July Beauty Box and repost it with the hashtag #FCPVgiveaway and #veganbeauty, tagging both myself and Petit Vour. The contest is open to North America (Canada & the United States) until August 2nd, 2014. The winner (chosen at random) will be announced the morning of August 3rd, 2014.

Good luck to all of you gorgeous people!

Be Bold Be Kind

Be Bold Be Kind

Pelle Beauty - Product Review

Pelle Beauty TM

Pelle Beauty TM

A few months back when I began reaching out to various companies about the expansion of Flourchild and the new Beauty section, everybody I contacted was eager to jump on board and the product started pouring in faster than I could have ever imagined. A few of the companies I had never heard of, but friends of friends passed contacts along and thus I discovered some really fantastic people and product, one being Pelle Beauty.  I didn't expect that this small independently run company from Ontario Canada would end up providing me with a product that I now use every single day and recommend constantly because it is actually liquid gold.

As I mentioned, Pelle Beauty is Canadian. A growing skin care company from Mississauga, Ontario and owned and operated by a very kind, generous and patient Marnie Cipriani. She has over two decades of experience in the beauty industry and a strong business education to pull it all together. Pelle is cruelty free, vegan friendly and au natural! Their products contain no parabens or mineral oil. Her mantra; if your skin glows radiantly, so do you!

Because I also have a decade of experience in the same industry and am horribly picky about products when it comes to my own skin, I am often reluctant to try new things. That has now changed as I am committed to giving full product reviews that include trials on my own skin, as well as on camera for professional use.

 

Pelle Beauty - Travel Kit

Pelle Beauty - Travel Kit

It was late summer when I received the package from Pelle Beauty, and truthfully, my skin was in a state. The last couple of years have been full of ups and downs for my skin, my hair and my body as I settle back into “normalcy” (whatever that means) from having had a baby. My skin was dehydrated, breaking out and not at all the same as it once was pre-baby. Marnie sent me the Travel Kit Deluxe and I plucked out the items that I felt would benefit me best. That evening I used the Stellar Multitasking Facial Oil to cleanse my face and to moisturize before bed. And then, everything changed. By morning there was a noticeable difference in the texture and glow of my skin. Within a few more days, I was blemish free, supple and back to my old self. I almost didn’t believe that it was the product. I thought of all of the things I had eaten, if I had drank more water, or maybe did I work out more? But really, there was nothing different about my routine other than the oil.
 

Pelle Beauty - Stellar Multitasking Facial Concentrate

Pelle Beauty - Stellar Multitasking Facial Concentrate

I can relate Stellar Multitasking Facial Oil to the Shu Uemura Cleansing Oils, for anyone who has any experience with those. Sadly, I react pretty horrendously to the Shu oil and was always a little devastated by that because I adore skin oils and especially multi use formulas.

Stellar works perfectly as a makeup remover, makeup primer, mixing medium and lightweight moisturizer. The formula is fast absorbing so that your skin is not left oily looking after use. It contains no water, preservatives, dyes, fillers or synthetic fragrances. Its composed of all natural ingredients like, Meadowfoam, Babassu & Black Currant oils and Neroli & Sandalwood essential oils; meaning its high in essential fatty acids and antioxidants. This product with its all of its uses only consists of 9 ingredients. All plant based, natural and delicious for your skin. I, am in love.

Pelle Beauty currently has another 3 oils to choose from in addition to Stellar. They also do facial mists (which I am also obsessed with), lip balms, eye balm, cleanser (it’s SO good!), etc. Take a peek at their website www.pellebeauty.com and see for yourself, they hide behind nothing, all of the ingredients are right there for you to see and the customer service is incredible because you are almost always dealing directly with the owner.

For your chance to win some fantastic products from Pelle Beauty, please find FlourchildCA on Instagram, follow us, like the Pelle Beauty giveaway photo and share it on your own account. The contest will run all weekend and a winner will be announced on Monday.

Pelle Beauty TM

Pelle Beauty TM

Vegan Cosmetics

In under two weeks, Flourchild will be celebrating its very first birthday!

There have been 27 posts made in the past 12 months. If you have read most or all of them then you will have learnt a little bit about me (Cait) as well. You will have come to know that I am the mother of an incredible, loving and hilarious little boy named River; the very thing that my entire world revolves around. You may have also picked up that I am vegan (hardy-har-har), hence the plant pushing (eat your greens!). What many of you might not know, is that I have been working as a professional makeup artist in Canada for close to a decade. I am represented by one of the country's top agencies (Judy Inc) and work mainly in commercial advertising; both in print, and television. I have been the featured beauty expert on a weekly makeover show for L’Oreal Paris on the country’s most popular morning show (Breakfast Television). My work has been published in many fashion and beauty magazines both in Canada and abroad and I have the absolute pleasure of working alongside the incredibly talented Grace Lee for Toronto’s World Mastercard Fashion Week each spring and fall. With the valuable experience that I have under my belt, why wouldn't I want to share my tips and tricks and product discoveries with all of you? As Flourchild’s birthday is quickly approaching, I think it is excellent timing for me to launch the brand new Beauty section of the blog! Here you will discover information about why it is important to consider cruelty free beauty products, that are as clean as possible. After all, it’s not just what you eat that is important, what you put on your skin can have just as much of an impact on your health, and the health of our planet.

Model: Kuyan / Elmer Olsen Models Photographer: Gabe Toth  Makeup & Hair: Cait Mizzi / Judy Inc

Model: Kuyan / Elmer Olsen Models
Photographer: Gabe Toth 
Makeup & Hair: Cait Mizzi / Judy Inc

As a makeup artist, it can be tricky to exclusively work with all vegan cosmetics all of the time.There is a lot of work to be done in the formulation and availability of certain specialty makeup and hair products that can be labeled as 100% vegan. Especially products that get the job done while maintaining the very high standards that not only the fashion and advertising industry expect to see, but also the consumers. Soon enough, “cruelty free” will be an industry standard that all companies will have to abide by, and that that will be upon us very quickly. Mark my word. Makeup companies like Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, Lime Crime & Lippy Girl (only to name a few) are fantastic lines that provide high quality products which are suitable to both consumers and professionals alike. These brands are setting the bar for vegan beauty products, and are quickly surpassing many of the most mainstream and high end brands in performance and popularity.

I will be using this section, to uncover and review new and old companies who are certified cruelty free, and focus on reviewing their 100% vegan makeup, hair, nail and skin care products.

If you are or know of a brand who prides themselves on being cruelty free, that uses only vegan ingredients in most or all of your/their products and would like a review on Flourchild, please submit an email to flourchild@hotmail.ca including the name of the company, the country of origin, whether you/they are certified cruelty free and/or vegan and what type of product you/they focus on (makeup, skincare, hair, etc).

Let the reviewing begin!

Photo Credit: Gabe Toth