Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Beauty Review: Vegan Mascara Showdown - Manic Panic vs. Lush Cosmetics

I have been using Ecco Bella's fantastic black mascara forever, but sometimes a girl just wants to switch it up a bit, so I set out to try a few other vegan mascara's to see what else is out there.

I've been impressed with Lush's line of cosmetics so far (I use their color supplement foundation in light pink and their black liquid liner called Independence - both are vegan and cruelty-free!), so I was stoked to try their mascara called Eyes Right. I had heard stellar things about Manic Panic's mascara, so I opted to try their black Raven color. I've tried both for a few weeks and you can find my thoughts on them below.

The black Raven mascara by Manic Panic was by far my favorite. I prefer really dark mascara that gives me a full, heavy fringe of lashes and makes my eyes pop, and this was the clear winner. I only had to apply one or two coats to get gorgeously dark lashes. It was extremely long-wearing, didn't smudge and held up all day long. Added bonus: this mascara is pretty cheap at around $10 and can be purchased in-stores or on-line. The only con with this mascara is that it can tend to clump if you put too many coats on.

The Lush Eyes Right mascara gave me a much more natural look, but I wasn't as happy with this mascara. It was hard to apply with its short brush design, took at least three coats for me to even notice I had put any mascara on (and I have relatively light-colored natural lashes) and it didn't have the impact I was looking for. Plus, it left me with a smudgy mess at the end of the day...we are talking raccoon eyes here! It is also pricey at $18.95 both on-line and in-store. On the plus side, it didn't clump, went on extremely smooth on every coat and is made from natural, healthy-for-you ingredients like wheatgrass.

Neither mascara irritated my eyes in any way (I have sensitive eyes and some mascaras I've used have made my eyes water or get red) and I didn't lose any lashes taking the mascara off at the end of the day. Both mascaras came off relatively easy with some makeup remover (I use jojoba oil or Lush's 9 to 5 cleanser).

In my case, Manic Panic was my favorite vegan mascara because it gave me the thick lashes I was looking for, so I will continue to use it as well as my go-to Ecco Bella mascara from now on. If I want a more natural look, I may use the Lush mascara, but I doubt I will ever purchase it again.

Buy Manic Panic Raven Mascara on Amazon!
Buy Lush's Eyes Right on the Lush website!
Buy Ecco Bella Mascara on Amazon!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Food Review: Trader Joe's Vegan Mozzarella Style Shreds

I have been hearing about Trader Joe's Vegan Mozzarella Style Shreds for quite some time now (they were on-shelves at the tail end of last year), but have only now gotten around to trying them! To be honest, I was a bit skeptical about these shreds...I am a big fan of Daiya vegan cheese and I really didn't think Trader Joe's brand could live up to Daiya.

However, while grocery shopping at TJ's the other day, I finally decided to try their vegan cheese since I had a craving for quesadillas and was all out of Daiya. It's funny, I can eat Daiya shreds right out of the bag and think it is pretty tasty (though Mister Spooky begs to differ and gives me such a withering look when I do this, ha!), but when I tried to eat the Trader Joe's vegan shreds "raw" they had an unpleasant taste. This wasn't too big of a deal since I hadn't bought the shreds to eat right out of the bag, so I went ahead and made quesadillas with the TJ's vegan cheese.

The Trader Joe's Vegan Mozzarella melted very quickly into a nice gooey consistency. It didn't take much time or heat to get it nicely and evenly melted. Once cooled, I took a bite and was pretty impressed! The flavor wasn't unpleasant (like when I ate it raw) and was actually quite subtle and delicious. The texture was pretty close to what I remember dairy cheese tasting like and the vegan mozzarella was even stringy and stretchy like dairy cheese.

I liked how it wasn't as rich or heavy like Daiya...I love Daiya but sometimes eating too much of it can leave me feeling kinda icky and bloated. So I really appreciated how the Trader Joe's vegan cheese was much lighter while still retaining a stretchy cheese texture.

Trader Joe's Vegan Mozzarella Style Shreds were a big surprise and a big hit. I can't wait to try making a pizza with this product or even trying it in enchiladas or lasagna!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Spooky Vegan Now on Vine (Expect Lots of Random Videos)

My Vine Profile

Hi fiends! I'm now on Vine, the new video app where you share snippets of your life in 6 seconds or less. I love this app as I find it fascinating to be able to view little bits and pieces of other people's lives in other places. Are you on it? If so, let me know so I can follow you!

If you'd like to find me on there, just search for Spooky Vegan. I think the app is only available on the iPhone at this time, but you can also check out my videos on Twitter (though I don't post all of them on there) if you can't get the app.

Here is a sample video from last week I posted:

Sunday, March 10, 2013

New Vegan Products from Natural Products Expo West and Veganism on SNL!

Bring it on down 2 Veganville!

2013 is shaping up to be the year of the vegan!

First off, there are a ton of new vegan products set to debut this year! This past weekend, Orange County hosted the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim. While I didn't attend, I've been drooling over tons of photos posted by my favorite vegans and vegan companies of new vegan products!

My most anticipated vegan products I've seen from the expo are:
  • Tofurky pockets (vegan hot pockets!) and pot pie (swoon!)
  • Daiya pizza, cheese slices and cream cheese (om nom nom!)
  • Gardein jerky (wooooooo), "chicken" sliders (mmmmm) and GoGo Cuisine meals (yum!)
  • Earth Balance P.B. Popps (peanut butter popcorn - OMFG!!!)
  • So Delicious Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Coconut Milk Frozen Dessert (drooooooool!)
  • Kettle Brand Maple Bacon Potato Chips (yes, they are vegan!)
  • Follow Your Heart Bleu Cheese Dressing (vegan bleu cheese...yes please!) 
  • Pacifica makeup line (love their vegan perfumes, cannot wait for their new makeup line!!)
I'm sure there were certainly LOTS of other vegan products, but these were the ones that really made me go "WOW!" 

If all the great vegan products weren't awesome enough, last night on SNL Justin Timberlake (who is reportedly a vegetarian) did a skit that WASN'T offensive to veganism! "Bring it On Down 2 Veganville (Vegan Shake)" had Timberlake dressed up as a giant tofu singing about all the benefits of veganism. Check it out below!

It is going to be an awesome year for vegans!
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