Eco-Friendly / Vegan Beauty & Style Finds: From Tutus & Cosmetics to Soap

Emelda De Coteau
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Emelda De Coteau

Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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Graphic by Emelda De Coteau, Live In Color Blog
Graphic by Emelda De Coteau, Live In Color Blog

This is the beginning of a new blog series – Beauty / Style Finds  – where I’ll highlight awesome brands (every other Friday) which are eco-friendly / vegan, along with small shops created by Mompreneurs. I am meeting so many wonderful Mama entrepreneurs on Instagram, and sharing their lovely products fills my heart with delight. What better way to spend a Friday, right?

Featured Shop – Ruffles Ribbons N’ Bows Boutique

Michelle Dowell Photo courtesy of Michelle Dowell
Michelle Dowell
Photo courtesy of Michelle Dowell

Our first featured shop is Ruffles Ribbons N’ Bows Boutique, run by Michelle Stephanie Dowell. Founded in 2011, this is a cruelty-free boutique – no lead, animal parts of any kind (leather, fur, etc.)  If you follow my blog here, or on Instagram, you know she’s my bestie / sis.

This multi-talented lady creates lovely handmade tutus and hair accessories for toddlers, tweens, fellow Mamas and everyone in between! The many mom-affordable items also include dresses, tutus, rompers, hairbows, headbands, room decor and more. Sizes range from newborns to women’s plus size!

Her shop just re-opened, and there is currently a spring / Easter giveaway (ends Wed., March 10), and sale so head on over to her blog for details.

Follow Ruffles Ribbons N’ Bows Boutique on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest for the most up-to-date news on all the latest creations!

Flyer courtesy of Ruffles Ribbons N' Bows Boutique
Flyer courtesy of Ruffles Ribbons N’ Bows Boutique

 

Photo courtesy of Ruffles Ribbons N’ Bows Boutique
Photo courtesy of Ruffles Ribbons N’ Bows Boutique

 

Cruelty-Free Cosmetics – Shea Moisture

Photo via Hype Hair
Photo via Hype Hair

 

A few years ago I discovered Shea Moisture when looking for organic baby and hair products. Last fall while shopping in Target I found their cosmetics, and have been a huge fan ever since. From an array of foundations for women of color to lipsticks / gloss, concealer, blush, eyeshadow and more they have us covered, ladies. This family-owned company is built on their Grandmother Sofi’s legacy of hard work and dedication to her community in West Africa.

Dr. Bronner’s     

Photo via VitaSun Blog
Photo via VitaSun Blog

 

Dr. Bronner’s became a staple in my home while searching for an organic product to mop our floors. Our beagle girl Foxy would sometimes pee in the hallway, and we needed something strong but not off putting to eliminate the scent.

Fast forward to today and we use a variety of Dr. Bronner’s soaps for a number of purposes – washing dishes, bathing (the lavender scented soap helps our little Nai sleep) and cleaning numerous household surfaces.

They also sell other cleaning  supplies, too, plus body care, tooth paste, lotions, and baby / sensitive skin products. It’s affordable, and best of all, a little goes a long way!

Celeb Style Spotlight: Solange

Emelda De Coteau
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Emelda De Coteau

Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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hm-solange
Solange at an H&M event in Mexico City
Photo Source: AfriPOP!

Style rebels decimate boxes, crushing rules with stilettos, sneakers, timberland boots, or any other form of fabulous footwear! Solange, singer and founder of record label Saint Heron, easily fits this description, a free spirit willing to take risks. In our era of stylists and filtered selfies, it’s refreshing to watch a celebrity experiment.

Years ago, she embraced her natural tresses, eschewing straight weaves which show up on female entertainers of color from red carpets to magazine covers. Folks were upset, tweeting furiously: Who did she think she was cutting all of her hair off like that? Wearing it natural?  Why?

We love Solange for not allowing the pettiness of public opinion to dissuade growing feelings of freedom and joy. Her taste is a genuine reflection of a global sensibility; some of our favorite pieces marry African prints with bold colors and intricate shapes. Lately, these looks are catching our eye:

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Live In Color – Emelda

Nicki Minaj Collection at Kmart

Emelda De Coteau
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Emelda De Coteau

Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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Nicki Minaj surrounded by models at collection opening in October
Photo Credit: Vibe Vixen

A few months ago, someone nonchalantly mentioned Nicki Minaj launched a clothing line at Kmart (October 9 officially). Honestly, my first thoughts were pink, cheap, cheesy, and next! I had zero confidence in her collaboration with the big box retailer.

Still, I think of her as a style icon. She reintroduced pink and red lip hues to young African-American women. Those full bang wraps she rocked remain smoking hot, and that oversized bum inspires booty photo shots, and butt lifts all over the world. She is hip-hop’s Lady Gaga – sexy, raunchy, and over the top!

Photo Source:  Blond-a-holic Buzznet
Photo Source:
Blond-a-holic Buzznet
Photo Credit: Complex Magazine
Photo Credit: Complex Magazine (October / November 2010)

Despite all of this I remained uninterested, especially with overwhelming work and family obligations. Well, on Christmas Eve with just an hour to spare, I hit Kmart, less than a mile from home. Other holiday shoppers hurriedly searched for presents; talk about an intense mood.

I intended to buy Bentley and Zion (my 2 baby boys) pajamas. I looked to my right and there it hung, the Nicki Minaj collection. Against all of my reservations, I stood mesmerized for several seconds. Yes. My eyes squinched, the bottom lip dropped. The line is presented like visual art; it’s vivid and eye catching. Wait. Am I standing in Nordstrom or Kmart?

What Christmas Pajamas? In a matter of seconds, this Baltimore woman became a “Barb” in Nicki’s world. The collection is beautiful, sexy, unique, well thought out, and true to her personal style. All the pieces I selected were under $30, and the sweetest part? I could take an additional 40% off!

Well, I hear your next question. Where would you wear these clothes? I think of it mostly as unique party wear. There are some pieces for the office, like a tailored white blazer with a large gold button.

But you know what? This is ground zero for rebels, bad women who resist regular, and love to break rules. Sound like you? This is your line.

My only precaution is to care well for these pieces, laundering on a gentle cycle, and purchase your true size. The fabrics look great, but are not as resilient as higher end ones. Sizes range from small to extra large so if you have curves like I do there is a range of beautiful, tasteful options to express your personal style.

Beauty and fashion for the masses! No matter what your bank account looks like, you too can be fashionable, fabulous and bold!

Live In Color – Valencia