21 June, 2012

Aid the Animals Giveaway!

Dear Vamps,

I do believe it's time for another giveaway! Instead of waiting for 600 fans on Facebook, I've decided to start the giveaway right now! Also, it will be a way to help the animals that I love so much.

7.07.2012 Update: Our winners have been announced! - 1ST - LEAH M., 2ND - SHAYLYNN R., 3RD HOLLY E.! ... Holly, you've won a 3-Sampler perfume pack! Please message me on Facebook or mail me at SarawenArt(at)gmail.com for your address and scent choices. 

Interested? Then please read on ...

A large part of why I'm doing this giveaway earlier than planned is to give more attention to an animal shelter in Afghanistan called Nowzad, a registered UK charity. Their mission is to help stray, abandoned, and abused animals, usually dogs, donkeys, and cats. They also introduce spay/neuter programs, as well as educate the local people about non-cruelty. Some of the animals even find loving homes in the UK or North America and are flown to their new families (some by the same soldiers who rescued them!).

Right now, they are in dire need of funding - they are about to be kicked off the land on which the shelter is built on. They need to relocate and fund a new shelter to be built in July. Let's give them a hand!

There are plenty of ways to enter, and the prizes are going to be fabulous!! The giveaway starts now, and ends Friday July 6, 2012, midnight EST.


1st Prize, ONE WINNER - Two 4.5ml perfumes of your choice, a 60ml jar of Cream Lotion in scent of your choice, vegan nail polish in "Diva" by A'dor Beauty, a Victorian inspired bookmark by Sweet Turquoise 

2nd Prize, ONE WINNER - a perfume sampler of 6 in the scents of your choice

3rd Prize, ONE WINNER - it's a surprise!!

Who knows, there might even be EXTRA goodies that I haven't mentioned yet. ;)

Good luck!! Please share and tell your friends and family about the giveaway and Nowzad!!

Enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

09 June, 2012

May's Glossybox

Dear Vamps,

Yesterday, I was pleased to finally receive my Glossybox! If you don't know what Glossybox is, it's a subscription program where you are mailed a box of five surprise beauty goodies every month from various companies. Glossybox started business in Canada early this year, but their inception was in Europe several years ago, and I believe they are also available in the US.

I signed up because I was interested in discovering new luxury or niche beauty and cosmetic brands, and also to find out if the products and companies they are marketing are cruelty-free.

As many of you know, I am a vegetarian and advocate for animal welfare - I avoid animal-tested or animal-derived makeup and household products. To me, purchasing cruelty-free products is very important. My blog is not a soapbox, so I won't go down that road, but if you are curious about this subject, I recommend doing some research on the web. Look at both sides of the issue and decide for yourself. Regardless on how you stand, I just think it's very important in general to know where the stuff you put on your face and body comes from. Be an informed consumer! 

Anyway, Glossybox is well-known for being one of the top beauty boxes around, so I decided to give them a try. And at only $15 CDN a month, which includes shipping and all taxes (you can cancel at any time), it's certainly a deal.

The luxurious box arrives beautifully packaged with a lined top and sturdy base. Not a box you want to throw out! Use it to store stationary, letters, extra cosmetics, etc. Or at least recycle it.

Inside the box. It includes an informational card with a list of items, their retail value, and where you can purchase the full-size products.

Let's take a look at each of the products, the companies, see if they are cruelty-free ... and if it's a product I would buy.

CUREL Foot Cream
Not exactly a glamorous item I was hoping for! But useful for some people I suppose. I really didn't need or want a foot cream, but I may use it as a hand cream. Maybe.
Curel is owned by KAO Inc. I sent them an inquiry regarding their stance on animal testing, and received an automatic message saying they will get back to me. So I'm still waiting on an answer. UPDATE 6.11.2012 - they sent me a reply letter with good news! They do NOT animal test and have no plans to do so in the future. FYI, they also own Biore and Jergens.

PANDORA'S MAKEUP BOX Lip Gloss in colour: Luv Ya
My eyes lit up when I saw this one! Pandora's Makeup Box is a Canadian cosmetics company based in Toronto, Ontario. Their goal is to create cosmetics that are stylish, easy-to-wear, travel-friendly, and eco-friendly too.

They do NOT animal test! This makes me incredibly happy since this is a company I would definitely buy from again, and even better that they are local and indie. This product is my favourite item in the box ...

 The colour Luv Ya is a rich coppery, almost red gloss with a light spearmint-sweet flavour (yum!). It's perfect for my darker olive skin tone, and it would also look fabulous on lighter skin tones if you want a pop of more dramatic colour for your lips. And the best part, I'm not allergic to it! This past year I've had to throw out a zillion lip products from my makeup drawer because, for some reason, I had become allergic to something in them.

SIMPLE SKIN CARE Facial Wash and Eye Make-up Remover
I wasn't familiar with this company so I looked them up. The bottle labeling says they are manufactured by Alberto-Culver, who operate under the huge umbrella corporation of Unilever. They do animal test, so I will not be buying these products.

When you sign up for Glossybox, you fill out a beauty profile so that they know what type of products you'd like to receive. I'm pretty sure I didn't include haircare in my profile, so this was a disappointment. Apparently, it is 'volumizing' shampoo, something that my thick ethnic hair truly doesn't need!

Sebastian Professional is owned by Wella Inc., who is owned by (another) huge umbrella corporation Proctor and Gamble. They do animal test. I will not be buying from them.

Overall, I give May Glossybox five stars out of ten. I had hoped to receive items more along the indie or niche lines, and seeing products from Unilever and Proctor and Gamble was disappointing. I would have been happier to receive another makeup product, even if it was only a sample, instead of the foot cream and shampoo, since that's what I mainly indicated in my beauty profile.

The only item I'll likely be using is the lipgloss from Pandora's. However, the retail value of the lipgloss is $16 CDN, and I paid $15 for the box, so I still got my money's worth! And I'll be using the box to store some of the perfumes and makeup I've purchased from Etsy friends. :)

Visit Pandora's Makeup Box!