I'm sure I spend a fortune on vegan, all-natural lotions, hair products, soaps, face wash, etc. But a girl needs to look good, and she needs cruelty-free beauty and hygiene products to get her there. I could make my own, but let's be honest, I'm way too busy cooking and eating to worry with mixing up potions and creams.
Enter Emily's Natural Beauty. A few weeks ago, Emily Alves, a college student at Washington University in St. Louis, emailed me to ask if I'd like to sample some of her homemade vegan beauty products. She makes all sorts things — body butters, toothpaste, sunscreen, deodorant, even lip gloss and Crayola lipstick — and sells them for VERY reasonable prices in her online Etsy shop! She let me pick out a few to sample, and here's what I chose.
That's Peppermint Toothpaste, Latte Sugar Scrub, Mango Butter Body Butter, Dark Chocolate Lotion Bar, and two Crayola Lipsticks (in red and pink!). Each product is packed in adorable, reusable four-ounce jars (but she sells eight-ounce jars for some products).
The package arrived while I was at work, and since I had to brush my teeth that night, the Peppermint Toothpaste was the first thing I tried. It's made with organic coconut oil, baking soda, and essential oils.
I'd never tried homemade toothpaste, and I gotta say, it was quite lovely. The baking soda really shines though, and it leaves your mouth feeling all fresh and clean and minty. I like it better than the Jason or Kiss My Face creamy toothpaste that I usually buy. And let me tell ya, four ounces is a LOT of toothpaste! And this jar retails for only $5. I'm certain it will last for months.
I tried the Latte Sugar Scrub in the shower the next morning. It's made with coffee grounds, olive oil, sugar, and vanilla.
One sniff of this and there's no need to drink a cup of coffee in the morning! It smells like Starbucks, and it's great for exfoliating my stupid dry skin. Okay, confession: I did still need coffee after my shower. But the java scent definitely helped wake me up. This also retails for only $5! Emily also sells a Chai Sugar Scrub if you're more of a tea drinker.
When I got out of the shower, I lotioned up with the Dark Chocolate Lotion Bar, which is made with cocoa butter.
As I mentioned earlier, I have super dry skin, and I need extra-strength moisturizers. And this did the trick! It kept my skin soft for hours after my shower. And the scent was heavenly. A few years back, Memphis was lucky enough to have its own Lush store, and I always kept their Nutts lotion bar in stock in my bathroom. It was also made with cocoa butter, and it smelled JUST LIKE THIS! God, how I've missed that bar. This will be my new replacement. And it's even cheaper than Lush at $8.
The following morning, I tried out the Mango Butter Body Butter. It's made with coconut oil, cocoa butter, shea butter, mango butter, and essential oils.
I loved the whipped texture of this, and like the lotion bar, it worked to keep my skin soft for hours. Shea butter is a miracle dry skin cure, so it's no wonder this stuff works! The scent of mango is faint but natural. No artificial mango added. A four-ounce jar retails for $15, but you can get eight ounces for $20!
Finally, I tried the Crayola Lipstick! It's made with coconut oil, pigment, olive oil, and vegan wax.
The colors of red and bright pink look very bright. But they actually go on naturally. On separate occasions, I applied each color and then topped them with shiny lip gloss. Perfect. The red went on as a light, natural red. And the pink applied as a fun light pink. And the best part? They're only $3! And Emily will customize whatever color you ask for. That's a bargain. Most vegan lipstick I buy runs anywhere from $15 to $25. I think I'll be switching to Crayola Lipstick from now on.
Check out Emily's Etsy shop. And if you live in the St. Louis area (and sometimes Miami, her hometown), she'll deliver! For the rest of us, shipping costs are very reasonable. Also, here's her Facebook page.