Lotions and chapsticks and shampoo, oh my!

When I was younger (pre-vegetarian days), I learned about the horrors of animal testing. Even though I was still eating meat, I made a conscious effort to buy products that weren’t tested on animals.

As I committed myself to vegetarianism years later, I made even more of an effort to use products that were “cruelty-free.” The reason I stopped dying my hair almost ten years ago is because the company still employed animal testing.

Back in the day, products weren’t as clearly labeled as they are today and the selection was slim. Now, as consumers are becoming more informed on what goes into the process of making their beauty products, there is a better selection to choose from.

I don’t wear make-up (save from Halloween and the occasional touch of mascara or lipstick) but I love lotions, oils, soaps, and the like. Here’s a look at the products that have my loyalty. All of these products are vegetarian and cruelty-free, but some of them aren’t vegan. The product groups are discussed left to right in the order of the photo.

For more information, please visit www.thepugnaciousvegetarian.com!

My hair is pretty curly. I have fought the frizz for years. It’s only been the last few years that I have really liked my hair and that has to do with finally finding a hairdresser who gets curly hair. I have been trying to find a good shampoo/conditioner forever and I have tried a lot, even some from my beloved Lush and nothing made me truly happy, until I discovered Beautiful Curls curl activating shampoo and leave-in conditioner. Beautiful Curls uses Certified Fair Trade shea butter and is cruelty-free. If you have curly hair, I strongly recommend these products. They have changed my hair! Locals, you can buy the shampoo and conditioner at Healthy Living in Burlington, VT.

On a recommendation from my best friend, I started using Andalou Naturals products, specifically, the Meyer Lemon Creamy Cleanser (Note: this is not vegan, as it contains honey). I have also purchased Chia Omega Radiant Skin Polish. It’s a nice exfoliator on the days when I don’t have a chance to make my own. The smell of these products is amazing and they can also be purchased at Healthy Living in Burlington, VT.

I have been a devotee of Lush for a while now. Since the closest shop is in Montreal, a lot of time I have to go on blind faith with what I buy. My best friend gifted me a bottle of Grass shower gel. It smells so fresh and it contains a favorite scent of mine, neroli. What the smell really reminds me of is the old Herbal Essence shampoo that I used as a kid. I think this will be my go to shower gel for some time. Also, a little drop or two in your bath water makes for some nice bubbles.

I am lost without lip balm. When my lips aren’t too chapped and I want a little shimmer, I go for Smith’s Minted Rose Lip Balm. When I need to call in the big guns (and when winter ravages my poor nose skin), I call on Carmex. They have a strawberry chapstick now! It reminds me of the one I used to use as a teenager! Also pictured is a tube of Lip Love in Licorice from Lunaroma. Lunaroma is a Vermont based aromatherapy and natural body care product shop. They use Vermont honey and beeswax. I have their meditation balm and I love it.

Now a razor isn’t exactly a beauty product, but I think this one belongs here. I ran across Preserve Triple Razor at the grocery store. I had already bought some of their food containers, so I was familiar with the brand. What really like about this company is their recycling policies.

As I previously mentioned, I am terribly sensitive to scents, which makes wearing perfumes a challenge. However, in high school I discovered Egyptian Goddess from Auric Blends and it’s been my go to scent for about twenty years now. I always get compliments on how it smells on me. I wear it almost daily and I still love it. I primarily use the oil but I am a fan of their solid perfume as well. Another scent that has worked itself into my life is Lear from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab (scroll down the page for the description). It smells like autumn to me. As a matter of fact, I am wearing it today based on the weather here!

About eight years ago, I developed a pretty bad allergic reaction to a crystal rock deodorant. After that happened, I used a couple of all-natural stick deodorants, but I didn’t like them much. A few years ago, I bought Sage & Geranium Herbal Deodorant Spray from Funny River Trading. It really works on me and is very refreshing. I also have some of their balms as well. All of their products are locally made and only use Adirondack (I grew up in the Adirondack mountains.) beeswax.

Speaking of winter, my skin is really dry, especially my feet and legs. I use a few different products to help alleviate my itchy dry skin. For lotion, I love Very Emollient Body Lotion from Alba Botanica. It works well on my skin and it’s unscented, which is very important to me. I get headaches from certain scents and my poor sinuses can’t take heavily scented lotions. I am also a big fan of using sweet almond oil on my body. I buy International Collections Almond Oil at the grocery store and I store it in my fridge. I pour a small amount into a different bottle ease of use. On my face, also on a recommendation of a friend, I use jojoba oil. It’s the only thing that doesn’t make my face feel greasy. I love it!

What are some of your favorite cruelty-free beauty products? I would love to hear about them!

The next time we meet, I hope to talk to you about vegan corn chowder, which I hope to make this week. I have some great local multi color carrots and local new potatoes. Have a great night and I will see you soon!

Remember me?

Hi there! My summer was super busy, so I didn’t blog AT ALL! I will say though, this was probably the best summer I had in a long time.

A quick recap: I saw a lot of music (both local and well known acts), met a lot of great new people, hung out with old friends, traveled a bit, drank gallons of Switchback Ale, obsessed over Harry Nilsson, played in the woods, and just generally had fun. Now that autumn is settling in, so am I.

One of the main reasons I didn’t blog is because I didn’t really cook over the summer. We put our garden in at the end of May, thinking we would get the jump on things and have an amazing bounty of veggies. Sadly, it rained for most of June and our summer was very short. So, all of the beautiful vegetable dishes I hoped to create didn’t happen and I was left uninspired. But with the cooler days approaching, my desire for warming and hearty meals is awakening.

I harvested some of the veggies we had in the garden last week and paired them up with some local veggies purchased from the co-op in town. Here’s what I pulled from our garden:

I simmered some salt, pepper, garlic, and shallots in some olive oil and threw all of our small harvest (minus the hot cherry peppers) together with zucchini, portobello mushrooms, shallots, and fire roasted tomatoes.


I topped the bowls with slice of locally made bread and tosome grated asiago cheese and popped them under the broiler for just a bit. I had some Newcastle with my portion. It was very delicious!


Now, let’s catch up with some random photos, shall we?

Over the summer, I bought myself this little teabot. One of my best purchases of the year!

Since the temperatures are cooling down, I feel that I can finally dress myself successfully. I am just terrible at summer dressing!
Outfit details: vintage purse-thrifted, orange sweater-retail but promptly fell apart after I bought it, dress-a gift or thrifted (I don’t remember), belt-belongs on another dress, nude fishnets-clearance, shoes-thrifted, lucite ring-gift, look on my face-the result of the wind blowing something in my eye.

One last photo. Here are some of my favorite trees. I think they look like they are dancing. This was taken at Point au Roche.


And there you have it! I am still around and I need to post more. I miss all my blogging buddies and I hope you forgive my absence. As a preview of what’s to come on the blog, I got an email from my contact at Ez Tofu Press/ about what is coming up on my “tofu agenda.” He asked for my tofu scramble recipe a while ago and I just got to busy to write it down. So, look for my tofu scramble recipe in the next week or so.

Have a great day friends and keep cooking!