100% Pure Vegan Cosmetics in Annapolis, MD

20141115_141926    I stumbled upon this  100% Pure  shop in the Annapolis Mall, in Maryland.  They sell vegan cosmetics and lines for skin care, hair and nails, and makeup brushes, and also baby and children’s products.  This shop has only been open a month or two, but I was told they have plans to open 20 more stores around the country.  I bought the Vanilla Bean Nourishing Body Cream for $17 and I do like it a lot.  They’ll give you a product sample if you ask, so that’s something to take advantage of.  They have lots of products and I’ll be trying more.  Be warned that various items do contain honey, but many of their other products are indeed vegan.  Please note there is also a very nice Lush store in this same mall, and that some vegan lines like Too Faced can be found at the Sephora store.  And all products can be had by mail order online.  You can listen to my podcasts on vegan makeup  and  vegan personal products on this site, or on ITunes, Stitcher, and other podcatchers.

Nubian Heritage Soap

I’ll start this post by saying not all Nubian Heritage soaps or other products are vegan, unfortunately, but these three are.  And they are very nice soaps, especially when the dry air of winter is upon us.  For my favorite, I’m torn between the Coconut and Papaya with Vanilla Beans, and the Carrot & Pomegranate with Calendula Extract & Cranberries (see photo below), but I also like the Raw Shea Butter with Soy Milk and Oils of Frankincense and Myrrh (perfect for Christmas).  All of these would make great stocking stuffers and are somewhat affordable at around $5 per each 5 oz. bar when bought singly.  I like that there is no plastic wrap on the soap bars, as it’s better for the environment.  I found these at Whole Foods, but they are also sold in stores like CVS.  I checked these soaps out on Skin Deep and their toxicity rating is 1/3 that of Ivory Soap or Dial Soap.

The ingredients, for example, in the Coconut and Papaya soap are:  coconut oil, shea butter, cocoa seed butter, palm oil, coconut milk, papaya extract, Vitamin E, vegetable glycerin, essential oils and vanilla beans.  These soap boxes say “Ethically Traded Ingredients,  Sustainably Produced,  No Animal Testing” and they have the Cruelty Free bunny logo, and a tiny circle that says “Organic Ingredients.”  I emailed the company, which has a very minimal (too minimal) web site, with almost no information.  To their credit, I got several prompt replies, including a spreadsheet that was a bit confusing.  Here are their two different replies to my question asking which of their products are vegan:

Nubian Heritage wrote: “Hi Amanda, Many of our products contain silk, so we wouldn’t consider the line vegan. We can send you a list of ingredients, if you please email [email protected]. Thank you.”

Our products are vegan and contain no animal ingredients or by-products, with the exception of our Goat’s Milk and Chai collection, and Black Seed and Honey Collection.  Kind regards,   Carly Tineo| Retail Customer Service Team Leader|Inside Sales Representative | Sundial Creations, makers of SheaMoisture and Nubian Heritage brands | 631-842-8800 M-F 9:30-5 ET| [email protected]| www.SheaMoisture.com|www.NubianHeritage.com

So, my conclusion is that these three extra-nice soaps are vegan, but I would look closely at any other Nubian Heritage labels.  Maybe it is their lotions or shampoos that have silk in them, which would be weird. One caveat is that I tried the Indian Hemp with Haitian Vetiver lotion and I had to throw it out, as neither Lars nor I could take the strong, odd smell of it.  And I like Vetiver (not everyone does).  Maybe this sounds like a strange review, but until we get clear labels on products, questioning what’s in things is part of the process.  Why are there animal products in Corn Flakes and many other popular cereals, for example?  I don’t know, but when I find something I like, I’ll post it here, and hopefully build up the Beauty and Personal Care category on this site in the New Year, including cosmetics.

Crazy Rumors Vegan Lip Balm

I first heard about Crazy Rumors vegan lip balm on one of my favorite podcasts; Midwest Vegan Radio.  I went to two health food stores but could not find them,  and every single lip balm they did have contained beeswax.  In the end, I found these at Whole Foods.  And I really like them a lot!  I apply lip balm over my lipstick all day long, and can say after a couple of months of using this product that it does not clump up.  It’s light and smooth and smells great too.  Great for boys and girls, men and women, these are also going in the Stocking Stuffer category on this site.  Fun flavor lines include Perk (coffee), Brew (tea), Fresh Squeezed (citrus),  A La Mode (ice cream), and Soda Pop.  They also have Hibiskiss feminine lip balms that are tinted, but I haven’t tried these yet.  The regular lip balms are $3.99 at Whole Foods in Annapolis, and $3.29 on the Vegan Essentials web site.  Ingredients include jojoba oil, extra virgin olive oil, shea butter, soy wax, stevia, natural and organic flavors, etc.

p.s.  I also bought Merry Hempsters brand Vegan Hemp Balm in Vanilla flavor, but it went rancid on me, yuck.

Vegan Nail Polish, and Nail Polish Remover

It’s time to start thinking about Stocking Stuffers!   I’ve tried three different vegan nail polishes and Zoya is my favorite so far.  I also like the No Miss brand.  The Zoya colors I’m showing here are Caitlin (the smoky medium purple) and Grace (the shell pink).  They are non-frost colors, which I prefer, and the company maintains that they are “vegan friendly.”  These colors are respectively chic and natural, but with 300 colors, they get as crazy as you wanna be.  Regarding nail polish remover, I don’t buy the Zoya nail polish remover because it does have formaldehyde in it.  I do buy the Almost Natural Polish Remover by No Miss, the ingredients of which are listed as:  Fruit acid solvent (Methyl-Pentan-2 One, multi-fruit acids), amber acid (derived from plant lichens), deionized water, vitamin A, natural vanilla fragrance.

p.s.  I did write an email to the Zoya company last September and received this prompt reply:  Good afternoon,  Yes! In addition to being Formaldehyde, Toluene, DBP, and Camphor free the nail polish is also vegan friendly! Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns that I can help with!  Thank you,  Danielle LaGrange, Elite Salon and Spa Coordinator,  Art of Beauty, Inc. 

Desert Essence Organics Lotions and Creams

Here’s the first post for this new category of Vegan Beauty and Personal Care.  I heard about these vegan lotions on a wonderful podcast I stumbled upon in itunes.  It’s called Midwest Vegan Radio, and I think they have 15 episodes so far.  They were really talking about the Perfect Pistachio Foot Repair Cream but then when i went to Whole Foods, i also saw a variety of Desert Essence Organics hand and body lotion flavors.  I ended up choosing Sweet Almond flavor and I love it.  it smells better than Jergens and doesn’t have all the toxic stuff in it.  I mean, the first three ingredients are aloe juice, sweet almond extract and shea butter.  Do I want to see radish root, jojoba, vitamin E and honeysuckle in my hand and body lotion?  You bet I do!  The 8 oz. tube of Hand and Body Lotion was $8.99, but it was also $8.99 for the 3.5 oz. tube of Foot Cream, so beware the price difference.  This product line is 100% vegan, and wheat-and-gluten free.  And importantly, no petroleum products!  Their manufacturing supports wind power.  Desert Essence Organics has all kinds of other products (such as sun screen, face cream, lip balm, etc.) and I’ll be trying more of them.   There are no parabens, no sodium lauryl/laureth sulfates, no phthalates, no artificial fragrances or colors, no silicones, etc.  The skin is the largest organ in our body and it absorbs whatever we put onto it, into our bloodstream.  That’s why medicine and nicotine patches are so effective.  p.s.  The pistachio foot cream really does smell delicious too.