Sister is Staying

Last week I discussed major drama in the YouTube influencer community between James Charles and Tati Westbrook. If you haven’t read that post, I’ll link it here so go check it out! As a reminder, I talked about how Tati exposed James Charles in a 43-minute video. If you were James Charles what would you do after seeing that?

Now that I’ve given you a moment to think, I’ll tell you exactly what James did. James responded with his own 43-minute video titled “No More Lies” which now has over 41 million views. After hearing James’s story people were very quick to change their opinions about him. Kylie Jenner being one of those people. We saw sister James and sister Kylie dancing the night away at her new Kylie Skin launch. I was also one of those people. I went from #teamTati to #teamJames really fast.

Courtesy of Instagram/@jamescharles

After really thinking about how James responded I could see that there was definitely a major strategy behind it. I see his thought process going something like this: “How can I get my 15 million subscribers to believe me and not Tati?”

James chose to respond after a week. If I had allegations like that against me and I knew I had not done anything wrong, I would post a response the next day, maybe even sooner. James Charles had to pick and choose what information would get his name in the clear and let me tell you, he did a good job at that. So that leads me to think well is he telling the truth?

I don’t think James made the script of that video. He probably had a lengthy meeting with his whole team who then made all the decisions for him. That’s the beauty of social media. I don’t think it has anything to do with who is telling the truth or not. I think it’s about who has their story the most put together. Once you have the more compelling and data filled story, that’s when people will believe you.

After keeping my thought process in mind, I changed my mind about believing James Charles. I don’t know what to believe or who to believe anymore when it comes to this matter. I’m starting not to care though. If you don’t like James Charles, don’t watch his video. You’re just putting more and more money into his bank account. And if we know anything about scandals, they just blow over after a while.

Our Plastic Problem.

Courtesy of Urban Decay

If you’ve revisited my page, you’re definitely a makeup lover. You know that makeup brands constantly get called out for their shade ranges and sub-par product launches, but have you ever noticed makeup companies never get called out for the amount of plastic packaging that they are using?

In a recent New York Times article, the authors, Eduardo Garcia and Henry Fountain, urge consumers to understand and learn about the uses and the life cycle of the plastics they are using. They emphasize that plastics are not all the same and knowing how to dispose of your plastics can help our world combat climate change.

Why am I talking about climate change on a makeup blog? Let’s get to a language we understand, makeup. Although makeup companies use a plastic called Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET), (I promise this isn’t a science blog now it’s just the name of the plastic), which is the easiest plastic to recycle it is only has a one-time use. Let’s be honest, when you’ve just bought a new makeup product that you’re so excited to use, is the first thing you think of to recycle the packaging?

This topic of plastic use in the makeup industry also got me thinking about how we have so many brands that are making great efforts to become cruelty-free, but what about to become eco-friendly? We put so much pressure on brands to become cruelty-free, but as consumers shouldn’t we also pressure them to help our planet?

I have seen only one cosmetic giant vocalize the concerning topic of climate change. That brand being L’Oreal. L’Oreal is working “towards 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging by 2025 or sooner.” Don’t get me wrong, this is amazing, but it also shows that brands are not producing reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging today, in 2019. To further prove this, a Euromonitor sent Teen Vogue global data on plastic packaging in the beauty industry, and before I tell you the number just get yourself mentally prepared. In just 2017, the beauty industry generated roughly 76.8 plastic packed units.

If brands, other than L’Oreal, are not going to step up, I think that as consumers we should be the ones to either pressure them to or make the effort to do a better job recycling the products that we love.

Bye Sister…

Courtesy of

If you’re as involved in the beauty YouTube community as I am, you may have heard that Tati Westbrook basically just ended James Charles career in the industry. If you haven’t heard then don’t worry, it is my pleasure to catch you up!

So how did it all start? Tati was one of James Charles’s only supporters when he first decided to enter the beauty community on YouTube. Why was this the case? She claims that when she met him as a 17-year-old, James Charles had an immature attitude about life and people that he crossed paths with. Tati tried to help him change so he could be an influencer for all of the right reasons.

Why are the two no longer friends? In April, at Coachella, James Charles could not stand being in the VIP section, so he decided to reach out to Sugar Bear Hair, a hair supplement company that is Tati’s number one competitor for her brand, Halo, to see if he could get some artist pasts. If you don’t know what a Coachella artist pass is, it’s basically the best pass you could get which gives you access to be behind sets, hang out where the performers do and even meet the artists. Obviously Sugar Bear Hair wanted something in return for giving James these elite passes, so he then promoted the company to his 15.2 million followers on Instagram. That’s kind of shady when you considered Tati one of your best friends.

Tati then decided to take all of this information and publicize it in a 43 minute YouTube video which now has over 48 million views. She also brought up behaviors that James Charles has that she did not agree with and as a matter of fact no one should. If you think you don’t have time to watch the video, I watched in while cleaning my room and it made time move really fast.

Since that video was released James Charles has been condemned by the beauty community as well as celebrities such as the Kardashians and Miley Cyrus. If that wasn’t the worst part of it all, James Charles lost over 3 million subscribers on his YouTube channel, while Tati gained over 5 million. James’s “sisters” (a term he uses for his subscribers) have definitely turned their backs on him and for that we say… BYE SISTER!

How To Fix Any Broken Powder Makeup

It happens to all of us, even the best of us. You open your bronzer, blush, or any powder makeup product just to see that is has broken into a million pieces. Your heart breaks and then you search where to buy a new product. The only problem is that you have to spend about another $30 on something that should have never been broken in the first place. From now on there is no need to worry about that price tag because there is actually a really easy fix to this problem.

So how do you fix broken powder makeup? Let me tell you all!

Step 1: Make sure you have all of those tiny broken and unbroken pieces of makeup inside its original packaging and crush it all up with the back end of a makeup brush or literally anything, you can get creative!

Step 2: Pour about two or three teaspoons of rubbing alcohol after you have crushed it all up, lay down a piece of plastic wrap over (to help prevent your hands getting messy) and smooth it out as much as you possibly can or to a smooth surface that looks good enough for you.

Step 3: Wait until it’s dry. This may take one or two nights and it’s hard to not see your results quickly, but I promise it is worth it!

So basically all you need is a tool to crush your makeup, rubbing alcohol, plastic wrap, and patience and you will have a brand new product. If you don’t have plastic wrap you can use literally anything like a paper towel, plastic bag, again just get creative!

I tried this on my beloved Benefit Hoola Bronzer and it worked just as well as it did when I bought it from the store! Here’s a video by YouTuber AlexandrasGirlyTalk to help you visualize.

I hope this works for you just like it did for me. Show me your results via Instagram direct message @ashleyakhavan.

The Era of Kylie Cosmetics

Ever wonder why Kylie Cosmetics Lip Kits cost so much? I do. I remember when they first launched, I was reading so many articles and watching so many videos explaining how her products include the exact same ingredients as ColourPop Cosmetics. The only difference is that the price tag on a Kylie Lip Kit is $29 while the price of a ColourPop lip product is just $7.

This price difference is controversial to me. I look at it one way and think that Kylie Cosmetics is considered to be a high-end makeup company, while ColourPop is meant to be a more affordable one. Kylie Cosmetics prices are comparable to other high-end brands, so in a sense it makes sense. On the other hand, if you haven’t discovered some insane formula and it’s known to be the same as ColourPop why are you charging so much.

The answer? Because she can. I always tell people that Kylie Jenner could put her name onto tissues and they would sell for at least $20 a box. It’s unfortunate though that people continue to help Kylie sell out her lip products time and time again, while there are brands like ColourPop who sell a product that is just as good and way more affordable.

I took it upon myself to buy both products and see which one I preferred (if any). I found them to feel pretty similar. The Kylie Lip Kit that I used quickly made my lips dry and tacky. The ColourPop Liquid Lipstick that I used did the same, but I wasn’t as mad because of their affordable price point. I understand Kylie fans will always be Kylie fans, but if you’re ever wondering which one to buy, I would personally go for the ColourPop as it is more affordable and a very similar product.

Have you tried using either of these products? I’d love to know what you think in the comment section below. Till next time! For now, look at the comparisons one Instagram user found between the two products.

Courtesy of Instagram/@sf_stef

Underrepresented? Don’t Think So.

Influencer culture is something that everyone seems to be familiar with. They definitely take up my Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat feeds talking about the next best thing or simply just showing off their lives. James Charles, a famous makeup artist on YouTube, recently attended the MET Gala and that was surprising to me and a lot of my friends. What put the cherry on top was that in an interview, James Charles said that he feels like it is important that he is there because he feels influencers are underrepresented. Knowing how I feel about influencer culture, I decided to ask my friend Lauren how she feels about it.

Courtesy of Instagram/@jamescharles

Question 1: Are you familiar with any influencers?

Lauren: Yes, I regularly go on YouTube to watch anyone’s latest videos.

Question 2: What influencers are you most familiar with? What kind of content do they post?

Lauren: My favorite influencers to watch are Tati, Jaclyn Hill and James Charles. They are all influencers in the beauty community. If that’s what it’s even called.

Question 3: Oh, I’m glad you brought up James Charles. Did you see he attended the Met Gala?

Lauren: Oh, of course I did. I was really confused as to why he was there.

Question 4: Did you see his Instagram caption that night? It was “Being invited to such an important event like the ball is such an honor and a step forward in the right direction for influencer representation in the media and I am so excited to be a catalyst.” How do you feel about what he says about “influencer representation?”

Lauren: Yes, I saw that. I was shocked that he said that. It really doesn’t make sense to me. I never thought influencers were underrepresented. In fact, they have such an impact in our society today. I’m not like this but I see a lot of people who are consumed with influencers lives, even more so than celebrities sometimes. I think a lot of people took offense to that statement, as did I because influencers are far from being underrepresented. I guess I wouldn’t even say I was offended by the statement, I was more confused than anything. James Charles lives an above average life and he is far from being underrepresented.

You can see his look and read his Instagram caption here.

Why Are You Still Using These Products?

Courtesy of Instagram/@maccosmetics

This week, I took it upon myself to ask my friends why they still use products from MAC and Lancome. I chose to ask about these two companies because I know they still animal test. I asked my friends these three questions without telling them that these brands animal test and without asking them if they know that these brands still animal test. I broke the news to them after the interview.

Question 1: What products by MAC and/or Lancome do you use?

Friend 1: I use MAC foundation, bronzer and lipstick.

Friend 2: I use Lancome’s liquid foundation and occasionally use MAC’s powder foundation, eyeliners and lipsticks.

Question 2: Why do you use these products? What do you like about them?

Friend 1: I use these (MAC) products because they are the best that I have tried. Another plus is that they aren’t a totally ridiculous price, but still better than drugstore products.

Friend 2: I use the Lancome foundation because I like a more full coverage look, but it can also sometimes be a bit heavy so I’ve strayed away from that and started using MAC’s powder foundation for a more natural look especially when the weather gets hotter.

Question 3: Have you ever tried similar products from an alternate brand?

Friend 1: If somethings not broken, why fix it? Just kidding. Yes, I use Glossier products because they also have a good price value. What I have found with Glossier products is that they don’t provide as much coverage so I always find myself reaching back to my MAC products.

Friend 2: I have tried similar products from different brands and I haven’t liked them or they just haven’t worked for my skin tone. Occasionally, I’ll mix a BB cream from Smashbox with some sunscreen and I have found that that works fine for me.

After asking these three questions, I asked my friends if they knew that these companies still test on animals. Their responses? Short answer, they weren’t sure if they still did which made them feel better about using these products. I explained to them that they still do in China due to the law there requiring companies to test on animals.

I then asked if knowing this changed anything for them. They said no and explained that because it is not happening here in the United States then the companies clearly see the problem. I love my friends, but I have to disagree. As consumers we should also have ethics when it comes to the products we buy, especially because we expect these brands to have ethics. If the brands do not, then that is when it becomes on us to stop purchasing from these companies.

I gave my friends a list of many other products they could use instead of the MAC and Lancome ones. They said they would give it a shot, but I’m not sure if they actually will. If they do though, expect a blog post with what they think!

So Are You Animal Testing or Not?

Courtesy of Instagram/@NARSISSIST

Back in 2017, NARS Cosmetics used to be one of my go-to makeup brands, if not my favorite makeup brand. It’s 2019 and now I never hesitate to just walk past the NARS counter at my local department store or Sephora. Why? NARS used to be a cruelty-free makeup brand until the company decided to sell their products in the Chinese market where by law, makeup companies are required to test on animals before their products can be placed onto shelves.

Although NARS backs up their decision of expanding to the global market, specifically to China, they also acknowledge that animal testing needs to come to an end. This is a little contradicting, isn’t it? In a statement made by NARS via Instagram the company said, “We want you to know we hear you. The global elimination of animal testing needs to happen… We have decided to make NARS available in China because we feel it is important to bring our vision of beauty and artistry to fans in the region.” You can find the full statement here.

Even with the backlash NARS received from lifelong customers, their decision still stands as is. NARS unfortunately, will continue to sell in the Chinese market.

Kat Von D, a famous makeup artist and owner of Kat Von D beauty, also had a lot to say about this decision. In an Instagram post, Kat Von D begins her statement by saying, “I am so confused/heartbroken that after all these years they would choose a paycheck over compassion.” This is how many past NARS users feel. As a makeup brand owner herself, Kat Von D ethics over increased profit by selling in the huge Chinese market.

So what is NARS doing to combat animal testing in China like they claim they want to? Well, they say they support the Institute for In Vitro Sciences (IIVS) an organization focused on advancing non-animal methods in China and around the world. Unfortunately, they are still selling in China and many consumers believe they are doing this mainly for profit. It seems the only way a company could prove they do not stand with animal testing would be to simply not sell in markets that require you to by law, right?

The #saynotoanimaltesting began trending because of their decision to expand into the Chinese market. Hopefully, for their sake and especially for the animal’s sake, NARS could be the reason for #chinasaysnotoanimaltesting. At the end of the day, NARS is a company and companies are all about making profits, but I personally think they were probably doing just fine in the U.S. market, don’t you?

Five Brands That Don’t Test On Animals

You love makeup, right? I’m assuming that’s why you’re here. I’m personally someone who loves animals AND makeup. So I always do my research to find 100% cruelty-free cosmetics. I thought I’d share my top five personal favorite brands that don’t test on animals and why I love them so much. This list and these products will probably vary for everyone, but let’s get started!

  1. Tarte Cosmetics. When I first discovered makeup brands that I used to love were still testing on animals I was heartbroken. I never thought I would find brands that could compare, but then I found Tarte. Not only do they make amazing makeup products. The companies 100% vegan skincare range is something I swear by every day.
  2. Smashbox. When I knew I needed throw away my M.A.C. foundation, Smashbox was the first company I went to. Their Studio Skin 15 Hour Wear Hydrating Foundation has been my holy grail for the past five years. If you’re checking that out right now, make sure to check out their Photo Finish Primer which will even further prolong the wear of your makeup.
  3. e.l.f. Cosmetics. I never thought I would be able to find a drugstore brand that did not animal test, but ta-da, e.l.f. is here and it’s here to stay. Their low prices and high quality products are only two of the reasons why I continuously go back for more, and of course, because they don’t animal test.
  4. Kylie Cosmetics. Although I personally am not a dedicated Kylie Cosmetics user, I think it is important to bring to light how as a new company, Kylie Jenner and her team, were able to create hundreds of formulas without ever having to test on animals. Isn’t it shocking that companies like M.A.C. who have been around for decades are still testing on animals and Kylie Cosmetics has never and is dominating the makeup industry?
  5. Becca Cosmetics. Last but certainly not least. If you love an ultra glowing highlight, look no further than Becca Cosmetics. I personally recommend Champagne Pop if you don’t know which one to get, but all of the company products are amazing.

Again, those are just some brands I wanted to bring attention to, but the list is ongoing. Take the time and do some research to see if the brands you stand by are testing on animals. If they are, maybe you should consider switching to other brands. I know it sounds scary, but trust me, I did it and have found brands that I love so much more than the ones I used to use.

Animals or Makeup – Which Would You Chose?

Are you a conscious consumer when it comes to buying cruelty-free makeup? I hope the answer is yes, but if not that’s okay. After researching about brands, I have become dedicated to only purchasing cruelty-free products. It gets tricky when brands aren’t clear about their ethics. Some brands are cruelty-free in the United States, but not in other countries, for example, China, because of their laws.


Cruelty Free International is this awesome nonprofit I came across that is dedicated to combating animal testing in laboratories by exposing them and their practices. They strive to educate people about the necessary respect level we should have for animals in our society.

In a world where information could be found at our fingertips, why is it so hard for us to get true facts about companies and whether or not they animal test. That is why nonprofits like Cruelty Free International should be important to us. They lead the largest global campaign to end cruelty-free cosmetics pressuring governments and politicians around the world to stop animal testing now.

In fact, Cruelty Free International brings attention to the fact that transferring results from animal tests to humans is not always accurate. There are actually quicker, cheaper and more effective ways to test products to assure they are safe on humans where animals are not involved in the process. As consumers, it is important that we do our research and support nonprofits like this one to pressure cosmetic companies to end practices that should not be around anymore.

Rabbits, guinea pigs, mice and rats are consistently tortured in laboratories and then disposed of when testing is no longer needed. I get that mice and rats generally have a negative impression, but no animal deserves to be treated like this! Don’t you agree?

Photo: The Odyssey Online
Photo: The Odyssey Online

Some of my favorite companies that are 100% cruelty-free are Tarte, Smashbox, elf (a very affordable makeup brand), Becca, bareMinerals and IT cosmetics. You can find the whole list at Cruelty Free Kitty. So put down your M.A.C. foundation, try something new and help these animals! If you would like to help combat the animal testing industry, donate to Cruelty Free International here.