20
    Sep
    2017

    What’s The Deal With MICROBLADING? | Featuring: The “Bladerunner” Amber Garton

    You’ve undoubtedly heard of the expression “death by a thousand cuts.”

    These days, though, you hear more about deathly amazing eyebrows by a thousand cuts!  Especially if you live in Dallas, Texas; the stomping grounds of “The Bladerunner,” i.e. Amber Garton of Enlighten MD.

    I’ve always had brows on the wispier side; a little bit light and sparse in certain areas.  If you’ve followed me for awhile, you know that I am a makeup minimalist to say the least. But I would at LEAST try and fill in my brows every day, which was a total pain.  So after hearing murmurings about microblading for a year or so, I finally decided that I wanted some brows that were, as the kids say, “on fleek.” (Do they still say that?)

    Full disclosure: I stalked Amber, hard, before pursuing getting my eyebrows microbladed by her. She has an Instagram that showcases her work (check it out), and I would sit there, mesmerized, for 30 minutes at a time– just watching her transform her customers’ entire faces with teeny tiny strokes of a blade.  And she was GOOD.  Her creations zero percent appeared to be “tattooed on,” even when the she had very little to work with at the start.  Another thing that set Amber apart from the rest, in my opinion, was that her brow aesthetic wasn’t one-size-fits-all.  There are quite a few talented microbladers are out there these days (not to mention the no-so-talented ones… Just do a quick search on Instagram), but most of them have a certain “look” that they tend to execute regardless of the nuances of their canvas; oftentimes, its a signature dark, super-arched brow, or one which starts out lighter at the inner corners and then deepens substantially at the outer corners.  But what I was really looking for was someone who would give me the right brows for MY face– and that meant the right color AND the right shape.  Remember– this is a semi-permanent tattoo on your face. This is not the time to choose someone on a whim, or to bargain shop.

    So I took a deep breath, messaged Amber, and a couple of weeks later I found myself entering the doors of Enlighten MD, a luxury, much-buzzed-about medi spa.  While I introduced myself around to the friendly, super cute girls who work there (I wanted them all to be my friends), I noted the chic clothing/accessories boutique attached to the spa.  Welp, I knew what I would be doing to pass the 30 minutes it took for the numbing cream to kick in.  Two candles, a necklace, and a pair of yoga pants later, I was finally reclining in Amber’s exam room.  Amber is about 5 feet tall, basically a gorgeous little smoky-voiced pixie, with big blue eyes and hair down to her butt.  She has long, colorful nails covered in glitter, and she listens to the blues while she stares intently at your face. I was immediately put at ease; she has the air of someone who wants to take really great care of you; the air of someone who can slice you open with a superfine blade, but you barely notice because you are singing out loud with her to Otis Redding.

    I was right- we had a blast throughout our 3-hour-long appointment.  But through the fun, you could see her perfectionism and professionalism.  She took the time to explain to me her methodology; the veggie-based, organic ink she loves to use; and the purpose of each little tool.  She drew a brow on me and asked how I liked it– did everything look perfect, did I feel comfortable with where it started and ended? You can tell that she truly loves what she does.  The pain level was about a 5. No big deal. Worth it for perfect brows, am I right?  The most daunting thing is that you really have to be careful with your new brows for a couple of weeks afterwards.  No scratching them– and chilllddd, they will itch for a few days!  And no sweating– this would make the ink leave your pores. You need to keep the brows shiny with a petrolatum product; but not WET, lest the scabs loosen.  Amber explained all of this multiple times in a patient, concerned manner… She can only do so much,  it’s up to us to maintain her work.  I mention all of this because: just like choosing the right technician is très important, so is making sure that it is the right time to get this procedure done.  Don’t get your brows ‘bladed right before you start training for a marathon or go on a scuba diving trip. Also, you probably shouldn’t get them done the day before a photo shoot– the brows will be noticeably darker than average for about a week or so while they heal.

    I left Amber that day feeling like a strong-featured goddess. I actually loved the phase where my brows were super dark– it’s a cool look!  I babied my eyebrows for a couple of weeks, enjoying the for-once-valid excuse I had not to go to the gym, and then returned to Amber for my touch-up.  She went back over areas that didn’t “take” the pigment as well, or areas that just needed a little extra “oomph.”

    I have been biding my time before writing this review, because I wanted to be able to honestly describe how well the brows hold up.  I got mine microbladed about 5 months ago, and they are still going strong! They will hopefully last for at least a year before I go back to Amber for my maintenance visit.  I do think that it is safe to say: I am hooked. I don’t have to think about my brows whatsoever, except to pluck a few strays every couple of weeks or so.  As Amber and I discussed– some girls need to be high maintenance in order to be low maintenance.  I am one of those girls; I love never having to put makeup on my face or think about my brows or worry about what I eat… It’s such a carefree way to live.  But because I am not naturally glowy-complexioned, full-browed, or fit, this means that I invest in 3 “high maintenance” things that I will probably be hooked on for the rest of my life: good skincare, microblading, and personal training. And out of those 3, microblading really is by far and away the least time consuming or expensive– you just need to come in once every year or two! Well worth it for fleeky brows, if you ask me.

    If you have any questions AT ALL about the process or my experience, please feel free to ask, as always.  But let me leave you with my final thoughts, in the order of importance, on microblading: A) Find a good tech!!! Don’t be wooed by techs who boast low prices around the $200-300 range; most likely, they are just trying to build up a portfolio and get their feet wet. You want someone outstanding.  B) Choose the timing carefully so you don’t screw up the aftercare;  C) Don’t worry about the pain.  It’s barely worth mentioning, but it’s definitely one of the questions I get the most.  If you don’t live in Dallas, I would do extensive research before choosing a brow specialist  (remember, its a tattoo…on your face)  and I would even consider making a trip in order to go to Amber.  Especially if you’re into that cruelty-free life, as she uses all animal-friendly materials.

    Love you guys!  Send me pics of your new brows when you get ’em!

     

    xoxo

    M

    Info on my technician:

    Amber Garton at Enlighten MD

    214-964-0860 for questions or appointments

     

     

     

     

    18
    Sep
    2017

    Our California Mini-moon! | Featuring: Inn at Laguna Beach

    Those of you who have planned a wedding can likely relate…. Following our 180-person Labor Day weekend vegan wedding extravaganza, we were EXHAUSTED.  So much so, in fact, that I was hesitant to go anywhere except straight home to my own bed.  But Matt convinced me that it would be a good idea to get away for a few days and decompress.

    The man is rarely right, but I’ll give him credit for this one. It turns out, we <3 Laguna!  It is a super romantic, easy-going, vegan-friendly spot where you can truly relax.  I would not recommend going to Laguna if you want a bar and club filled party weekend; I would, however, recommend it for a romantic beach getaway.

     

    The Stay:

    Wearing our super-basic WIFEY and HUBBY t-shirts (ha!), we took a Lyft from John Wayne airport to our beautiful hotel, The Inn at Laguna Beach. We were feeling relaxed immediately upon stepping foot into the open, nautical-themed, breezy lobby… But when we got to our room, it was heaven.  We could hear the waves crashing and smell the salt from our balcony over the ocean, and the room was clean and very zen-like with insanely comfortable beds… I think we slept until 10am every single day.  My new husband was obsessed with the basketball court and volleyball court, which was literally a stone’s throw away from us; meanwhile, I was equally obsessed with the beautiful rooftop bar.

    the inn at laguna beach

     

    The Grub:

    the stand laguna beach vegan food

    the stand laguna beach vegan food

    Right outside our door and within walking distance of The Inn at Laguna Beach:

    • The Stand.  All vegan, long-time establishment (since 1975) with a HUGE… and I mean HUGE… menu. I highly recommend them for delicious smoothies and breakfast… Matt loved their breakfast burritos, and I was totally enamored with their vegan blueberry waffles.  All utensils/cups/etc. are compostable and eco-friendly, and the staff knows everything there is to know about the town.
    • Urth Caffe.  This has been a Cali favorite of mine for about 10 years (y’all know I used to live in LA, right?), and since I last visited them they’ve come out with TONS of vegan options!  My favorites: The vegan chili and the vegan cheese pizza. I happily overdosed all week long on their almond milk boba green teas… so good.
    • Taco Loco. Y’ALL, I love this funky little outdoor place. Major chill surfer vibes… This is not the spot for a fancy, civilized date!  The have a vegan blackened tofu “phish” taco that you can pair with a vegan brownie or cookie of your choice while downing a Corona… Adios, wedding diet!

     

    What To Do:

    swimsuit laguna beach

    (swimsuit: goodnight macaroon… go one size down!)

    • Grab a book and head to the beach!  It isn’t a noisy beach, so it’s perfect for napping and reading.
    • Check out the many art galleries along the main street (Coast Hwy)… My favorite one, mostly contemporary, was Las Laguna.
    • Play H-O-R-S-E or beach volleyball!  The courts are literally RIGHT outside.  Or, if you’re single, just watch the people playing… If you know what I mean.
    • Go on a little pub crawl!  Tons of little beachy pubs and dive bars all along Coast Hwy.
    • Go shopping!  My favorite one that I couldn’t actually afford was Anastasia; a girl can dream, right?  My favorite one I COULD afford was Isla Boutique.  There are loads more, though!

     

    Thank you guys so much for always being so interested in my little veggie-friendly travel guides!  I hope this helps, and I’m sorry it came a little late this month.  Definitely consider a stay at The Inn at Laguna Beach, as well… You won’t regret it!

     

    xoxo

    Molly TRANCHIN! (ahhhh!)

     

     

     

    11
    Sep
    2017

    plaine products : eco-friendly packaging + natural ingredients

    PLAINE PRODUCTS is on a mission to eliminate single-use plastic!

    Let’s talk about the reasons that you should join them:

    • Did you know that only 5-10% of plastic is reclaimed for recycling? And even then, most of it ends up in landfills and in our oceans.  It is killing our ocean earthlings, and is scary for our future. According to Plaine’s website, it is projected that unless we make a change by 2050, there will be more plastic in our oceans than fish!!! Heartbreaking.   Plaine has decided to provide a much more eco-responsible alternative: aluminum packaging! Even the boxes they use in shipping their products to you are made of 100% recycled materials. When you are running low or out of your product, just let Plaine know, and they’ll send you a refill!  You can use the same box your refill comes in to send back your old jar to be reused.  For further explanation about how their refill service works, go HERE.
    • Their products are vegan, cruelty-free (in case you are new to my page, anything ever featured on this blog will be vegan and cruelty-free!), non-gmo, free of sulfates/parabens, phthalates, palm-oil-free (I’m trying to totally eliminate palm oil, personally, so this makes me happy), chemical-free, kid-safe, and biodegradable.  Healing, nutrient-rich aloe vera is the main ingredient. Check out the specific ingredients further HERE.
    • Onto my more shallow values when it comes to the products I purchase: these products look and smell great (it reminds me of what you’d find in a fancy spa), and I love the way they look in my shower. I consider this merely a bonus, but it is still worth mentioning!

    Try Plaine Products and let me know what you think.  I love the peace of mind that comes with knowing that I’m part of the solution, not the problem, when it comes to our ocean pollution.

    XOX

    M

    plaine products in shower

    17
    Aug
    2017

    Free People x Fashionveggie | Pt. 1: Rose Gold

    top (this color is “ginger”) | jeans (size up! available in many colors) | booties (also in black and white)

    free people rose gold

    I wanted to acknowledge Free People this month on the blog; because in addition to being one of my favorite places to shop (I really identify with the free-spirited, boho-luxe aesthetic, and they always have lots of animal-friendly options to choose from), they just collaborated with PETA for a vegan fashion look book.  Whether you love or hate PETA…  If you’re an animal or an animal lover, this is a good thing; so I for one want to support and honor it!

    So. The way to do monochrome:  different variations in the same color family.  In this case, I paired a peachy, super soft boyfriend tee over feminine, slightly destroyed, dusk-colored denim.  The kitten heel, rose gold, vegan leather booties and gold pendant necklace coordinate perfectly, while keeping the whole look from becoming “too pink.”

    For reference, go a size up in the jeans!  Booties and tee are true to size. 

    Sidenote: while I was shooting this, I got stopped by two women saying they loved my outfit.  I swear, guys– monochrome with a metallic accent is an easy-peasy way to look like you have your act together!

    XOXO

    Molly

    21
    Jul
    2017

    Nordstrom Sale!!! | FashionVeggie top picks

    Hey guys!  Chances are that you’ve heard of the YUGE Nordstrom sale going on… It’s seriously amazing.  I have things in my cart right now that I would typically never be able to afford– 95% of which are under $100, and most of which are under $50!

    I’m going to keep this short and sweet since I’m currently out of town in Cape Cod visiting my fiancé’s family, but I wanted to share my favorites (all animal-friendly, le duh) from the sale with you all.  Remember… If you love something, buy it quick!!! These items sell out crazy fast during this sale, and I’ve already missed out on my favorite pair of vegan leather mules (cry emoji!).

    Tips:

    -Shop fast!

    – I have my top picks divided into the following categories: Clothing; Shoes; Handbags; Beauty; Accessories.

    Click the arrows on either side of the image to shop all the items in each category. (My commentary underneath the photos may help you with sizing, quality, etc.)

    – HAPPY SHOPPING!

     

    CLOTHING

     

    HANDBAGS

     

    SHOES

     

    BEAUTY

     

    ACCESSORIES/ RANDOM

     

     

    nordstrom sale sweater

    nordstrom sale outfit, matching bag and dress

    20
    Jul
    2017

    vegan dog food (featuring v-dog): is it animal cruelty? is it healthy? and just… why???

    Hey guys!  I have been waiting patiently for July (the first ever #VeganDog month!) to talk to you about my dogs’ diet.  I am excited because I really believe in this diet for my fur kids, and have seen their health improve with my own eyes… But I’m also a tad nervous because I know that for every open-minded “oh wow, thats cool, I’m so interested to hear how dogs thrive on a plant-based diet,” there’s a judgmental “you’re abusing your dogs by forcing your belief system on them.”

    So–  let me get this out of the way: I did not decide to make my dogs go vegan simply because I am vegan.  HELL no. I love my babies. And as strict and passionate a vegan as I am, I would feed my dogs meat in a heartbeat if I thought they’d be unhealthy without it.  Without hesitation.

    I was suspicious of store brand dog food way before even becoming vegan myself.  Did you know that dog food may legally contain “4-D” meat: meat from dead, dying, diseased and disabled animals? Typically, these dog food brands also include mill floor sweepings (which they call “grain”) cheap fillers like corn (that are often contaminated with high levels of pesticides and have thereby been deemed illegal to feed humans).  Think about it, you guys… Would YOU eat this stuff? If not, why would you feed it to your best friend who depends on you for survival?

    I was vegan for almost a year and a half before I put my dogs on a veggie diet. I spent that year and a half slowly and thoroughly researching the history of vegan dogs, the teeth and nutritional history of dogs, the current state of the dog food industry and the ingredients of the so-called healthy dog food brands I had bought in the past. I kept on hearing about V-Dog, a family-owned, American, plant-based dog food company, so I decided to check it out. And now we are hooked!

    Why I love V-Dog:

    1. It’s healthy!  24% pea protein, L-Carnitine, Taurine, and vitamins. No fillers, only fresh and wholesome ingredients like peas, lentils, brown rice, and quinoa. I mean… I would eat this stuff.
    2. It’s easy!  I have a subscription, so every month I get 4 bags of kibble and a bag of bones delivered to my doorstep. Zero thought is put into it… Yay!
    3. It’s made in the USA, which is always my preference. Also, eco-friendly, sustainable packaging!
    4. My dogs THRIVE on V-Dog.  Most of my friends’ dogs are overweight (in fact, over 40% of dogs are overweight, and this shortens their lifespan substantially), but my dogs are lean and fit.  My pitbull used to have super watery eyes (allergies) and ever since being on V-dog, its completely gone away.  EVERY veterinarian I’ve ever come into contact with demands to know what I feed them to keep them so lean and shiny with healthy teeth (literally, this happened this morning when I took my youngest baby to get some shots), and they are shocked when I tell them that it’s vegan dog food.  ***IMPORTANT NOTE!!!!! It is important to remember that vets have had little to NO nutritional training, whatsoever. So if your vet throws shade at your dog’s vegan diet, it’s always good to listen to a professional, but my advice is to take it with a grain of salt and do your own research.

    Oh!  Before I forget, be sure and check out these Top 5 Vegan Dog Myths and Facts.  This page drove me to do a lot of my own digging and eventually get on board with the concept of a plant-based diet for my dogs.

    Alright, y’all.  If nothing else, I urge you to simply CONSIDER what you are feeding your beloved animals.  We owe them that much.  Do 5 minutes of research.

    As usual, please let me know of any questions you have about V-Dog, vegan dog food in general, or whatever else.  I am here to help!

     

    15
    Jul
    2017

    Milk + Honey Spa (More Animal-Friendly Than It Sounds) | Austin, TX

    You might have noticed, if you follow me on Instagram, that I often spend time in Austin, Texas. Can you blame me? Its the most fun, musical, vegan-friendly place in Texas!  I kept hearing about this “super cool, cruelty-free, premier day spa” in town, so of course I had to go check it out.  That’s when I discovered the pure magic of Milk + Honey spa, in the heart of Austin’s downtown.  The interior is uniquely beautiful, the services are spectacular, but most importantly– the spa owners vet the hell out of any product line before carrying it.  Cruelty-free is their bottom line– none of their products for sale or used at the spa have been tested on animals (let me repeat!!! NONE of the products!) and most are 100% vegan (with the exception of an occasional product in their signature line with beeswax and/or honey).

    Let me start by telling you about MY experience at Milk + Honey spa (there is also a location in Houston, FYI).  I come in early and spend extra time in the light-filled, modern reception area, because it is filled with fun products that you can shop– from SpaRitual nail polish, to locally-made soy candles. to their signature brand’s delicious-smelling, plant-based body lotion.   The two skincare lines they carry and use in their treatments are: a) my longtime FAVORITE brand, Osea Malibu (you might remember me raving about them back in this post 6 months ago) and b) Cosmedix (another cruelty-free brand!).

    So after I spent way too much time and money in the lobby (I maintain that I truly needed a foot massager ball and 5 new colors of nail polish!), I head from the reception area to the locker room.  This area is also super fabulous and stocked with everything you might need to get relaxed or to get ready.  I put my things in a locker, resist the temptation to stay in their steam room for the rest of the evening, and go instead into their super zen, fruit-and-nut-and-cucumber-water-filled waiting area. It is beautiful and cavernous and I feel the stress of the day slipping away while I wait for my aesthetician to come and get me for my hour-long Signature Facial.

    milk + honey spa

    The girl in charge of giving me the facial of a lifetime is named Bridget.  She is amazing and I love her immediately… You can really tell that she is passionate about what she does, and she has a very calming energy about her.  She uses all natural, organic Osea Malibu products on my face, which I love.  She also does extractions with her sterilized instrument, which is pretty much the most satisfying thing EVER to watch. I thought I already knew everything about the Osea line (because I’m a fangirl), but she coaches me on each products nuances as we go through each step, and I walk away from the facial not only feeling like a new woman… but also like a true expert.  Bonus:  I was able to grab some of my favorite products on my way out, since they sell Osea on site!

    Bottom line:  I would HIGHLY recommend this premier day spa to anyone in the Austin or Houston area.  5 star rating, hands down my favorite. You will not be disappointed!

    Milk + Honey Spa

     

    (photos: Casey Dunn)

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