Tag Archives: vegan makeup

My everyday styling routine

Today I’m going to take my readers (hey guys!) through my everyday styling routine and showcase some of my favourite vegan products.

Feel like you’re experiencing déja vu? You just might be. I did a post like this a little over a year ago, but that was before I was really confident with my photography skills and even had the know-how to actually set up portrait shots. My confidence in my skills has definitely changed drastically over the last year, but so has my makeup routine, so I thought I’d provide a more detailed and high-quality post into what my routine looks like most days!


My everyday (vegan) makeup look in five minutes or less!

vegan makeup

I’m so excited, you guys! I’ve been putting off doing a makeup post for a very long time — I always get really, really close and then scrap it. One of the biggest factors is waiting to get decent photos taken (the first draft contained a mirror selfie at the gym. OMG). The next factor is that, well, my look changes up a lot. I don’t wear makeup all the time (I like to give my skin room to breathe), but when I do wear makeup I like to have a lot of fun with it, and I’m always trying my hand at something new.

This look, however, is my “tried and true” look, a method I’ve been perfecting since high school. It might seem high-concept or like a lot of product at first, but I’ve actually managed to get my routine down to a pretty simple process.

One thing that has always inspired me was the book The Five-Minute Face by Carmindy. I read the book in high school and have spent the past decade following the philosophy of a simple, radiant look that doesn’t get too trendy.

Because I’m a full-time working gal, my products do go up on the price scale on occasion. Of course, there are also some great vegan makeup products in the low-end price range, many of which I use every day. I try to include alternatives for cheaper products when I have enough in-depth knowledge of the product, and I’m definitely open to suggestions!

Please note that while I only buy 100% vegan cosmetics myself, not all of my products purchased are from companies that ONLY make vegan products. I would love to be in this position one day, but I’ve chosen to go with options from companies that are most accessible.

I’ve also found that some companies who generally get a pass as “vegan” but do not reveal their full ingredient list or vegan lists have actually been less-than-truthful on the subject, therefore I only give my business to companies that actually provide the information upfront. Some companies also present their products as “vegan” but don’t consider products such as beeswax and lanolin to be non-vegan! (I’m looking at you, Wet ‘n’ Wild).

For vegan products I rely largely on sites like Logical Harmony and Vegan Makeup on Tumblr.

My “everyday” vegan makeup routine (and yes, it only takes 5 minutes)


I’ve always had naturally pretty good skin, but like everyone, it has its picky elements. I tend to break out a lot between my eyebrows and on my chin, especially around my period, and I have extremely dark (purple-ish) under-eyes. But I have a lot of positive aspects to my skin too — I really like the tone of my skin and I feel like my cheeks have a nice natural glow. I generally don’t like my foundation to take away from that, I just like it to do a bit of evening out here and there. That’s why I just use a little lightweight primer to bring a nice, bright tone to my face. For spot-concealing I tend to use a heavier, more buildable concealer, and I apply it with a concealer brush. I’ve used the Kat Von D concealer for awhile now and it’s hands-down the best concealer I’ve ever used — both for under-eyes and blemishes! Despite being a full-coverage concealer, it’s never given my skin any problems or made my breakouts worse. Lastly, I set with a nice fine finishing powder, because I have a tendency toward shine, and it helps all my makeup blend better. Finally, I add some shimmery pink blush on top of my powder (I find powder dulls the shine of blush, so I put my blush on top for a more distinct glow). For a more glow-y blush I just swipe the colour on the very top of my cheekbones — I’m not gonna lie, I think it makes me look mega-cute when I smile.



Eyes are something I’ve gone back and forth on since I first started wearing makeup in high school. When I first got into makeup, all of my peers were going through the Avril Lavigne phase of really thick black eyeliner on top and bottom with very little fade and tons of thick black mascara. Somehow I could never quite master the look! Of course, being a dancer I’ve owned a lot of eyeshadow in my life (I won’t tell you how much of it was blue, but here’s a hint: a metric shit-tonne). I do like eyeshadow and tend to prefer it over eyeliner in more formal situations, but for an everyday look I find a single line of liquid liner pulls my look together really nicely. Just like I learned in The Five Minute Face, I dot a few lines along my lower lashes and then blend with a smudge brush (or you could use a Q-tip). I like to curl my lashes before applying a light coat of black mascara. I’m not Twiggy, so I don’t put any mascara at all on my lower lashes (anyone who can actually pull this off, let me know and I’ll buy you a Daiya Pizza). I also cannot emphasize enough how much effort I put into my eyebrows! I used to be self-conscious of my thick eyebrows when I was young (not to mention I apparently inherited the patented “Rody scowl” and constantly have a furrowed brow) and couldn’t wait to get them waxed off when I hit high school. Now, I love my mean eyebrows! I mostly fill them in tracing along the top of my brow, then lightly shade down from that line. I don’t do anything to altar or enhance the shape of my brow, just to enhance its current shape and colour!



Okay, this is actually a simple one. For everyday wear, I don’t wear any lipgloss or lipstick — I find my lips look most glowing when they’re moisturized and healthy. Lip balm is probably the hardest vegan product to find — even “natural” companies don’t seem to prefer using cruelty-free candelilla wax to beeswax! Why oh why is it I can find soy candles but I can’t find soy-based lip balms? Anyway, two of my favourite vegan lip balms that you can actually find locally in Toronto are Hurraw! and Bare English. Hurraw is definitely more oily and has a glossier finish, while Bare English has a nice waxy feel. Both make tinted versions as well (I prefer Bare English’s tinted balm shades). They both come in an ever-increasing range of scents and flavours (Hurraw has 23 varieties!), but my all-time favourite will always be Hurraw’s lip balm in Root Beer. I’ve not really talked about my deep dark secret on this blog very much, but I’m a total root beer addict.

On the odd chance I feel like adding a bit of lip gloss, I always stick to ELF with their classic Super Glossy Lip Gloss in Pink Kiss. I don’t find beige works as a “nude” for me, since I have so many blue-ish pink tones to my skin, and despite looking bubble-gum in the tube, this gloss actually gives that “your lips but better!” shade everyone always aims for.

Spread the love: September edition

Spread the Love

One tradition I really do miss from the “old days” of my blog was my “things I’m loving lately” series. I always knew I’d keep the tradition alive, but I did re-name the series since every single lifestyle blog on the planet calls these posts “things I’m loving lately.”

I don’t want to sound silly or anything, but Urban Garlic really is all about love, you know? Love for yourself, love for animals, love of food and cooking (do I sound obnoxious? Don’t care!) So this is me spreading the love to some of my favourite things right now. Here goes:

  1. I’ve started using Ritual lately when I don’t pack a lunch. I work in a really busy, corporate-but-stylish area of Toronto (Adelaide and Spadina), meaning every restaurant (particularly those with vegan and/or healthy options) is packed at lunch time. Ritual is a really good way for me to speed up the process. Even my coffee orders go way faster now. For those who don’t know how it works, Ritual is an app (available for Android or iOS) that connects you with downtown Toronto restaurants. You place an order and pay for it on your credit card, and it’s available for pickup when you come in. It’s a great line-skipper! (Note: Ritual is still in beta, but if you know someone with the app, they can invite you. You can also access the app if your company has already been approved and you have an email address with the company).
  2. I finally worked up the courage to spend $600 on a blender and got a Vitamix. For how much I make that is blended, the purchase made a lot of sense and thus far I am in love with it. I love that it came with a straining bag, which I’ve been using to make some fresh juices lately.
  3. I’ve always used ground turmeric in a lot of recipes, but fresh tumeric really enhances anything that you like to give a bit of savoury tanginess to. The little roots kind of look like strange turds (yep, I went there).
  4. Buckwheat has become my go-to grain lately. I love blending buckwheat groats into porridge or into creamy sauces, grinding it into a flour or topping my smoothies with it. You’ll see a sweet buckwheat recipe coming to the blog in a few days, so stay tuned!
  5. After a year of being obsessed with Mac DeMarco (who is only my age, which is hard to believe) I’ve gone down that rabbit hole of finding new, trippy dream-pop artists and have come across the British musician King Krule. He’s a small-looking ginger Brit with a crazy-unique voice and some awesome, grungy, hip-hop influenced music that can’t really be placed on the genre spectrum (I’ve tried).
  6. My Tilt campaign recently finished for my e-book (and I’ve decided on a title/theme for it, too, which will be revealled in an upcoming post)! My experience with Tilt was amazing and I can’t wait to continue using it. It’s not just a crowd-funding platform, it’s actually also a really cool way to collect money for group things — like if you’re all going on a trip and you want a central platform to add the funds to, instead of worrying about collecting cash in person.
  7. I developed a love affair with Target when I went to Chicago this summer (I spent about $75 U.S. in the store!!) and bought a giant tub of Just Mayo. I’ve never experienced a more perfect mayonnaise. NEVER. For those with allergy concerns, the mayo is not only 100% vegan but is also free of soy and gluten, AND it’s proudly a non-GMO company if that’s a concern for you. I’m just hoping my container will last me until Jarrod and I go to New York for Christmas.
  8. Kaelyn Gray’s Tap Dance Tutorials have been a tremendous resource for me over the past three months. I’ve been using a lot of her techniques and combos to enhance my own kids’ lessons. If you’re a tap teacher or even just a tap dancer looking to get back into the groove and diversify your steps, I’d highly recommend these videos.
  9. This past spring, Logical Harmony released its vegan list of Kat Von D’s makeup line, and most of the brand is indeed vegan. I’m in love with pretty much everything, but my absolute favourite product is the Shade & Light contour kit. I love contour SO MUCH (WAY TOO MUCH) and use this whenever there’s some sort of special occasion or outing. It really makes my bone structure stand out.
  10. You know what the bread and butter (or, bread and Earth Balance) of this blog is garlic (my publisher, who started reading my blog, recently asked me, “What is it with you and garlic?!”) so naturally, last weekend, my partner and I went to the garlic festival. We weren’t too stoked about the festival in general, but we did walk away with our new favourite thing — a plate for grinding up garlic! It comes with a crazy little rubber tube for taking the garlic skin off, and you can honestly just mash the garlic into a fine puree right on the dish. Woot! We mixed a couple cloves of  pureed garlic in with a few tablespoons of Earth Balance and some dried parsley flakes and voila, we had a nice garlic butter for our toast!

Things I’m loving lately: March edition

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And just like that, March is over. Crazy how February is the shortest month and yet March zoomed by like nothing compared to cold, sad February.

Must be something about the weather. You know, it’s funny, everyone around me is complaining about how spring “came and went” and how we’re “back to winter.” I say, have some perspective, people! Is it not so much warmer than it was a month ago? And is it not like we’re down at -20 or even -10. A few degrees below the zero won’t kill us. And look beyond the number on the thermometer. We have sunnier days, earlier sunrises and later sunsets. Lots to be glad about, if ask me.

And I have a lot of things to be glad about, too! Here’s my list of things I’m loving lately.

  1. Jackfruit. I tried the jackfruit sandwich at Porter House recently and I was in heaven. I’d heard a lot about jacfruit, but I never imagined it could be so savoury and amazing! I’ll definitely be picking up a few chunks of jackfruit (did you know that a full jackfruit weighs about 30 lbs and costs around $120 to buy in Toronto, if you can even find one? And opening it is basically surgery). But expect some jackfruit recipes up here soon.
  2. Arkells’ new music video, “Hey Kids!” I was a big fan of “Leather Jacket” but hoped they would follow it up with something a bit more fun and lively. The kids in this music video are adorable, and “Hey Kids” is also really fun to play on the piano.
  3. My old haircut. That’s right, I’ve been a pixie for a month and I miss the mohawk. GIMME SOME CLIPPERS!
  4. The Piston on Friday nights, aka Motown nights. I love a good funk, retro or Motown night. If you live in Toronto and feel like getting down without all that sweaty grinding, check out the Bloor and Ossington area.
  5. Lemonade. I was just saying to my partner that when the weather warms up and we get into “patio weather,” I actually don’t really like drinking alcohol outside that much. I get really bad heat stroke, and alcohol only makes me more tired and nauseated. But I’m one of those people who has just as much fun (probably more) without any booze in my drink, and lemonade is by far my favourite non-alcoholic drink. I’m looking at experimenting with some lemonade recipes this spring, and I’ll definitely be sharing my more successful ones!
  6. I like things that are low-maintenance, so this yeast-free thin-crust pizza dough recipe is really turning my crank. I can just imagine my perfect pizza. Tomato sauce, broccoli, cauliflower, pineapple and onion. What, that’s totally normal, right?
  7. Disclaimer: I don’t work for, hold stock in or have sponsorship by Old Navy. Just clarifying because I do realize that this is the second time in two months I took to my blog to brag about an Old Navy purchase. But this jersey “fit and flare” dress is hands down the most comfortable yet elegant things I’ve ever worn. I can honestly fool anyone into thinking I’m sophisticated!
  8. Pacifica’s Purify coconut water cleansing wipes are always with me in my backpack or purse. I almost never wear makeup, which helps my skin stay really youthful and healthy, but when I do — or even when I don’t — these wipes are a great pick-me-up throughout the day, especially now that it’s getting sunnier.
  9. Death Cab for Cutie’s Kintsugi is being streamed online. Go. Go now.
  10. I’ve finally been able to make the vow to commit to a new show (wow, Bree, what a mature, adult commitment there!) and I’ve chosen — Broad City. Expect me to get into my comfy jammies tonight and watch the first season or so.