Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

A Hairy Situation: An Alternative To Boar Bristle Hair Brushes

Published on November 1, 2011 by   ·   2 Comments Pin It
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For as long as we can remember,  Mason & Pearson brushes were the only brushes used in our home and by hair dressers at the salon or at photoshoots.  Now compassionistas who are serious about their hair have an alternative to wild boar bristle brushes to care for their hair–Cebra, a company in the UK, makes sisal fiber hair brushes with sustainable beech wood handles.  They’re a more affordable and humane alternative to the $150 Masons boar bristle brushes, and can be found on eBay for shipment to the States here.  Even if we weren’t vegan, we’d be totally icked out by brushing our hair with the hair of another species.  Creepy.

Cebra Vegan Sisal Hairbrush, $34 @worldofgood.ebay.com

via C. Eden Di Bianco – a hair and make up pro who specializes in cruelty-free looks. Book her for your next cut, color, or event styling at www.edendibianco.com

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  • Exclusive: Top 10 Cruelty Free Beauty Products – Plus: Enter To Win A Make Over!Exclusive: Top 10 Cruelty Free Beauty Products – Plus: Enter To Win A Make Over!"I will not retire while I've still got my legs and my make-up box." Bette Davis Eden Di Bianco's existence is like spotting a pink unicorn; truly adorable and very rare.  Ever heard of a cosmetologist who specializes in providing cruelty-free beauty services on location (that means in your living room if you so deem it) for affordable rates who comes bustling in with a smile and a gluten-free cookie? How about a hair and make-up pro who will come to you and do anything from your color to your brows using only natural (if that's your bag) products for incredibly reasonable rates? Eden DiBianco (above) The artists we've found who use cruelty-free products often have made us look worse than when we came in.  Eden actually provides glam bang for the buck, which is why we've chosen to share our glam squad secret with you, we aren't the type to keep our beauty finds to ourselves. Educated at the Carsten Aveda Institute in NYC and trained in French hair cutting technique, this superstar of animal-friendly celebrities, fashion shoots and runway (all the images in this exclusive are of her work!) is our in-house girl for cuts, color, and glam face before a big event.  All the hair and make-up products she uses are cruelty-free, and our girl promises to never put anything on your face or hair that she wouldn't use on her own.  Plus 10% of anything she makes is donated to organizations that help rehab and place homeless or abandoned dogs. So when Eden offered to not only share her top 10 favorite products with us but offer one of our deserving readers a make over we said..... yes, please! Oh, did we mention you can win a make-over with her by leaving a comment below?  Details on that later.  First, GirlieGirl Goodies! The Top Ten Items In My Kit That I Don't Do A Photoshoot Without: by Eden Di Bianco 1) e.l.f. mineral eyeshadow in Elegant: This shadow has a soft subtle shimmer to it that is great for brightening up the eye area and is an amazing base for any eyeshadow look from natural to a fierce smokey eye.  The shade is an ivory with a slight goldish reflection.  I have yet to find a skin tone this color does not look amazing on either in the corners of the final look for a wide eyed look or as a brow highlight.  Best part?  It's only $3 a pop.  That's right, $3, and is available online or in your local Target. 2) Beauty Without Cruelty Full Volume or Ultimate Mascara: BWC Mascara provides beautiful lashes that pop without flaking, parabens, animal ingredients, or potentially irritating fragrance. This mascara lasts all day and washes off without leaving you looking like a raccoon. 3)bdellium Vegan Green Bambu brushes: The handles of theses brushes are made of sustainable bamboo, and each brush has a wonderful balance of softness and bristle density for smooth and consistent applications.  Best part?  These cool vegan brushes are truly professional tools whose price makes them super accessible for everyone. 4) Logona Naturkosmetik: Bamboo Hairstyler: Don't go telling everybody my secrets, but I turn to this amazing German product for blow dries with bounce and volume without sacrificing hold on humid days.  It's light and airy, and the bamboo extract lends a beautiful flexibility to hair.  Plus it's non aerosol and contains no artificial colors or nasty chemicals--you can see right through it.  It boasts organic chamomile and hops and a smell that I can only describe using the technical term "yummy". 5) Tara Smith Basecoat Serum: I'm fond of saying "I'm a beautician, not a magician!" but this stuff makes me feel like one.  It's great after a blow dry to soothe dry damaged or flyaway hair because it nourishes and leaves hair silky and shiny, not clumpy and greasy.  Also great on damp hair before a blow dry to protect delicate strands, or to finish a look for photos. 6) Gabriel Cosmetics Lipsticks: These Candelilla wax based lipsticks are free of lead, gluten, and petrochemicals, and are so far the best vegan reds I have found so far, which is an absolute must for any glamor girl. 7) My favorite vegan tinted moisturizer/medium coverage foundation hands down is from Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics.  They offer surprisingly good coverage for a tinted moisturizer that is definitely buildable.  The biggest boon for me when looking for vegan foundations is that OCC comes in a variety of shades for compassionistas of ALL colors. As a Latina, this is an issue I have had with other companies that have good products but with limited availability for women with deeper skin tones, which for some reason remain invisible to several major luxury cosmetic companies. 8) Back to my old friends e.l.f.:  their high definition powder is outrageously similar to the Make Up Forever High Def powder. Both are translucent fine milled mineral silica powders that provide a soft focus effect and mattify any slick spots without caking up on skin--except that MUF's is $30 and e.l.f.'s is $6 for the same amount of powder.  I own and use both, and the e.l.f. version is a steal. 9) MAC Magically Cool Liquid Powder: This stuff is delicious.  It goes on with a cool refreshing feeling, and the powders reflect light in a way that gives you a soft glow. 10) AVEDA Air Control Hairspray: By far the best flexible but firm hold I've found in a hairspray so far for the grueling demands on some of my work.  Hair moves and doesn't look wet or hard, and holds up to demanding hairstyling like bridal up dos.  It's an aerosol but has zero net impact, doesn't smell chemical and nasty, goes on dry and holds using pine resin and certified organic flax seed. NOW FOR THE GOOD STUFF! Enter for a chance to win a Girls Just Wanna have Fun cruelty free makeover from Eden! Enter by leaving a comment here telling us when you feel the most beautiful and why you (or someone close to you) deserves this makeover, then like our new page on facebook.  There is no right or wrong answer.  Beauty is about who we are inside as well as out, and it's OK to embrace both and to want to save the world and get a thrill out of a new pair of shoes at the same time. Winners will be announced on August 1st 2011 exclusively on GGA. Subject to availability, prize redeemable until 02/08/2011 in the NY area only. And it's not over yet: Here are some dramatically discounted package deals exclusive to GirlieGirl Army readers!  Email or call Eden (contact information below) to book your appointment and mention GGA for these special rates. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun - $125 Have your HS reunion coming up?  Going to your ex's wedding? Just land your dream job and going out to celebrate? Give good face for any special event by booking this package.  Includes a hair set for red carpet worthy locks, brow grooming, and party proofed make up so you can go ahead and let your girls tag you in those pictures on Facebook.  This is an absurdly good deal for all of these services together under your very own roof and saves you a lot of time running around to different locations. Give It To Me Straight: $45 Scalp massage and blow dry or flat iron: Humidity got you down?  Tame that unruly mane with a banging blow out or flawless flatiron. Shine On $145 Haircut, Diamond Shine Gloss, Deep Conditioning Treatment: Restore the health of your hair by cutting off those dead ends (aka stripper ends) causing flyaway’s and dullness and turn on the shine with this restorative treatment. California Girl: $175 Highlights, Gloss, and Trim: Carefully weaved summer highlights for a look that's sexy, not stripy, plus a gloss for shine and multidimensional tones and a trim to keep it clean. Here Comes the Bride -$350 Comprehensive cruelty free bridal package.  Includes pre-wedding consultation, trial and Day Of expert hair styling and make up application including premium lashes for luscious locks and a flawless face that will smile back at you in photos for a lifetime.   Add grooming services for the Groom to the package for only $25!  Special packages available for LGBT weddings! *Please make inquiries for bridal packages as far in advance as possible, all Saturdays for July are already booked and August will fill up fast! GGA BFF C. Eden Di Bianco is an Aveda trained hairstylist/make up artist/brow expert extraordinaire who specializes in cruelty free hair & make up services on location.  Working in your home, hotel room, or even office, she provides amazing service on your schedule. This flexible and highly personalized service model is a lifesaver for Mamazons (who can get beautified while Baby naps) night owls, nurse, bartenders (whose work shifts that make scheduling time for beauty nearly impossible). or for anyone looking for cruelty free glamour without the attitude or commute to the salon!  Eden’s clients (well, those she can talk about) include chef/author Alexandra Jamieson, comedian Leo Allen, The NJ Housewives, Elizabeth Olsen designer/founder of olsen Haus shoes, and our very own Chloé Jo Davis and family. You can reach her via EdenDiBianco.com, email, twitter, or by calling her at 646.243.8930. She's housetrained and doesn't […]
  • A Glorious Mouthful: The Best Gluten-Free Red LipstickA Glorious Mouthful: The Best Gluten-Free Red LipstickMay was Celiac Awareness Month, and to cap off a month of gluten free goodness, gluten free make up and hair artiste C. Eden Di Bianco (who is our very own go to green glam girl) shares her latest gluten free/vegan beauty find.  Prepare to channel your inner siren! My favorite way to finish an outfit isn't earrings, though those are nice.  It's not a belt, though my Dad has been trying to get me to wear one for years because he's cooler than I am.  For me, it's red lipstick.  Most of us remember lipstick as our first foray into all things girly.  At 4, I called it "mystic", which amused relatives and captured the way I felt about it perfectly. I remember watching my mother put it on in amazement at how it brightened up her face and squealed excitedly whenever a female relative would leave a tiny imprint of their kisses on my cheek. 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On hot days, I keep my creme or satin lipstick in place by using lip liner in a coordinating shade and filling in my lips very lightly to give the color a base to stick to, applying lipstick, and blotting very lightly.  I then reapply a little more color with light taps to the top and bottom and pressing my lips together GENTLY so as not to kill the sheen, and then finish with a precision concealer brush around the lip line to provide a barrier against my natural skin oils and sweat contributing to any feathering...plus it gives a nice clean and sharp line around the lips. Pomegranate: a vibrant, deep red with a violet/bluish undertone, very true to its namesake, and very come-here-and-kiss-me-if-you-dare. Currant: more of a neutral red, almost like a brick red (but not like the mud colored stuff we used back in the 90s!) More of a little red schoolhouse brick red. 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Eden Di Bianco is a NYC based Aveda trained Cosmetologist who specializes in cruelty free on-location hair & make up services for the conscious beauty.  She has lent her talents to the likes of GGA's own Chloé Jo Davis, author of Living Vegan for Dummies and The Great American Detox Diet Alexandra Jamieson, the 25th Anniversary Farm Sanctuary Gala, and NY Fashion Week.  The recent Mrs. Di Bianco lives in Queens with her husband, their rescue pitbull Franklin Beans, and a porch full of enviably large bright red […]
  • DIY: Snakeskin-look NailsDIY: Snakeskin-look NailsNail treatments with patterns and texture are all the rage right now, but this new manicure technique may be taking the obsession with animal print and extreme nail treatments a tad too far.  Read on and decide for yourself if this new technique is revolting or the ultimate in recycling; Monterey, California nail tech and Bio Sculpture educator Terri Silacci had a light bulb moment when her son brought home a piece of snakeskin his science class was studying.  She began work to develop a strange and slithery new trend--using real snakeskin in a gel manicure.  A snake's skins are shed naturally through the snake's molting process 4-8 times a year as it loosens its outer layer of skin to accommodate growth and then passes between rough places to catch the loose outer layer and slough it off.  The skin that is left behind is sterilized and prepared into sheets that can be handled for this unusual manicure process. A gel base is applied to the nail the same as it is for a regular gel nail service and then cured with UV light (which we know has been linked to higher instances of skin cancer on the hands of women who regularly get their nails done).  The sheets of snakeskin are then hand trimmed to fit the nail surface, dipped in clear gel before being applied to the prepared nail surface, and applied like wallpaper.  The process takes about 2 1/2 - 3 hours, and using real snake skin will cost you a whopping $300. That's right.  $300 to have the discarded outer membrane of a reptile glued to your hands.  What is this world coming to!?!? If the thought of dishing out mucho moola to have snakeskin glued to your nails makes your blood run cold, there are of course other less creepy ways/more vegan ways to achieve this look.  There are faux versions of the treatment available at nail salons from coast to coast, but if you'd rather hang onto your dollars for a plane ticket to go visit the Amazon, you can get this look at home by following the easy instructions below. Materials: Nail file/Buffer Base color polish Polish in contrasting color for scales Piece of fine tulle, tight knit fishnet, or lace  (size is not particularly important, you can use on large strip or cut one up into smaller pieces for each individual nail.  Just make sure to use a piece that will be big enough for you to grab with your opposite hand to pull off!) Topcoat *Optional: make up sponge 1.) Soak, trim, file, and push back cuticles as needed.  To achieve a cool nail look that lasts, start off with nails that are clean, dry, and smooth. 2.) Apply basecoat if needed to protect nails from being stained by polish.  (Some polishes do not require a basecoat, depending on what brand you use.) 3.) Apply base color.  Snakeskin prints look great on an incredibly broad range of base colors like silver, bronze, copper, dark maroon, metallic blue, yellow, orange, jade green--let your imagination be your guide!  Allow to dry thoroughly. 4.) Next, take the tulle/fishnet/or lace and stretch it over the surface of your fully dried nail.  Take your contrasting nail color and apply it with the brush over the fabric, allowing the color to seep into the gaps in the weave.  *Alternately, you can spill out some of the contrast color onto a piece of paper or cardboard and apply in gentle tapping motions with a make up sponge. 5.) Allow contrast color to dry on nail surface with the fabric until the layer of polish feel sticky/almost dry to the touch. 6.) Remove fabric and repeat with a fresh bit of fabric on the next nail!  Finish with Topcoat when dry if you'd like, skip it if you want to keep the texture prominent. Voilá!  Snake skin nail art without the animal skin or the steep price tag! C. Eden Di Bianco is a hair and make up artist in New York who is creating conscious beauty, one individual at a time.  You can visit her site or book her for her incredible all-natural services via her site: […]

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Readers Comments (2)

  1. Linda says:

    WOW! Thanks so much for posting this, I used to have a boar bristle brush when I was younger but now I would never even consider it. My brush is getting quite old and it’s a fancy expensive canadian one because my hair is so thick and curly that the ones available in Australia with their stupid bobbles on the end just rip my hair out! I will definitely be looking into this!

  2. Ally says:

    Thankyou so so much for this information! I’ve just trawled through so many sites with ‘vegans’ saying boat bristle can be cruelty free. Hardly. The whole point of being vegan is not to use other beings for our own benefit and capture steal from them.This is the most useful post I’ve found thank you again!!




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So when Eden offered to not only share her top 10 favorite products with us but offer one of our deserving readers a make over we said..... yes, please! Oh, did we mention you can win a make-over with her by leaving a comment below?  Details on that later.  First, GirlieGirl Goodies! The Top Ten Items In My Kit That I Don't Do A Photoshoot Without: by Eden Di Bianco 1) e.l.f. mineral eyeshadow in Elegant: This shadow has a soft subtle shimmer to it that is great for brightening up the eye area and is an amazing base for any eyeshadow look from natural to a fierce smokey eye.  The shade is an ivory with a slight goldish reflection.  I have yet to find a skin tone this color does not look amazing on either in the corners of the final look for a wide eyed look or as a brow highlight.  Best part?  It's only $3 a pop.  That's right, $3, and is available online or in your local Target. 2) Beauty Without Cruelty Full Volume or Ultimate Mascara: BWC Mascara provides beautiful lashes that pop without flaking, parabens, animal ingredients, or potentially irritating fragrance. This mascara lasts all day and washes off without leaving you looking like a raccoon. 3)bdellium Vegan Green Bambu brushes: The handles of theses brushes are made of sustainable bamboo, and each brush has a wonderful balance of softness and bristle density for smooth and consistent applications.  Best part?  These cool vegan brushes are truly professional tools whose price makes them super accessible for everyone. 4) Logona Naturkosmetik: Bamboo Hairstyler: Don't go telling everybody my secrets, but I turn to this amazing German product for blow dries with bounce and volume without sacrificing hold on humid days.  It's light and airy, and the bamboo extract lends a beautiful flexibility to hair.  Plus it's non aerosol and contains no artificial colors or nasty chemicals--you can see right through it.  It boasts organic chamomile and hops and a smell that I can only describe using the technical term "yummy". 5) Tara Smith Basecoat Serum: I'm fond of saying "I'm a beautician, not a magician!" but this stuff makes me feel like one.  It's great after a blow dry to soothe dry damaged or flyaway hair because it nourishes and leaves hair silky and shiny, not clumpy and greasy.  Also great on damp hair before a blow dry to protect delicate strands, or to finish a look for photos. 6) Gabriel Cosmetics Lipsticks: These Candelilla wax based lipsticks are free of lead, gluten, and petrochemicals, and are so far the best vegan reds I have found so far, which is an absolute must for any glamor girl. 7) My favorite vegan tinted moisturizer/medium coverage foundation hands down is from Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics.  They offer surprisingly good coverage for a tinted moisturizer that is definitely buildable.  The biggest boon for me when looking for vegan foundations is that OCC comes in a variety of shades for compassionistas of ALL colors. 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Some seriously unpretty truths: Aside from gluten and icky animal ingredients, a startling number of lip products on the market have been found to contain toxic impurities such as lead, arsenic, beryllium, and a host of nasty potential chemicals like FD&C Red #3 and propylene glycol.  Do you know what propylene glycol is?  It's an ingredient in ANTIFREEZE--and it can enter the bloodstream via ingestion or through skin absorption!  It is then stored in the body for days and weeks at a time, where it can cause kidney damage and liver abnormalities.  The scary thing is that use of this harmful ingredient that we expose ourselves to every day we wear lipstick is perfectly legal because it is only considered toxic in "large doses".  I don't know about you, but I'd say eating 18 tubes/4lbs of something potentially dangerous constitutes pretty large dose over the course of a lifetime! Enter Gabriel Color Cosmetics and their fashion color line, Zuzu Luxe to save the day.  Vegan, gluten free, lead/PABA/petrochemical free, and chock full of beautiful plant based lip conditioners like Jojoba and Safflower seed oil, I was eager to try them out. I tested several of their reds in a variety of finishes (satin, matte, gloss), and this is what I found: The satin finish colors were Gabriel Color in Currant and Pomegranate.  I generally don't wear a lot of satin/creme finish lipstick in darker colors because they tend to lose some of their depth with the shine, but more moisture rich products in bright colors look very fresh.  You might also prefer a satin or creme finish because dry lips with a bright color on them attract the wrong type of attention! On hot days, I keep my creme or satin lipstick in place by using lip liner in a coordinating shade and filling in my lips very lightly to give the color a base to stick to, applying lipstick, and blotting very lightly.  I then reapply a little more color with light taps to the top and bottom and pressing my lips together GENTLY so as not to kill the sheen, and then finish with a precision concealer brush around the lip line to provide a barrier against my natural skin oils and sweat contributing to any feathering...plus it gives a nice clean and sharp line around the lips. Pomegranate: a vibrant, deep red with a violet/bluish undertone, very true to its namesake, and very come-here-and-kiss-me-if-you-dare. Currant: more of a neutral red, almost like a brick red (but not like the mud colored stuff we used back in the 90s!) More of a little red schoolhouse brick red. Gabriel Color also has several matte finish shades, and their Matte Rose was far more sexy than the demure sounding name implies.  By far my favorite of ANY red I've worn, the Matte Rose wore like a dream all through a busy day with minimal touch ups and reads as a bright warm chili red with a slightly orange undertone.  I have light skin with yellow/warm undertones and am pretty pale, but I think this color would work well on a wide variety of skin tones because of its orange tone.  Bonus: brights and white on white are so in this season, and this color sets off a golden (spray) tan and a white linen ensemble with an ease and elegance that Lauren Bacall would envy. I tried Zuzu Luxe lipstick in Siren and Starlet and the gloss in Caliente.  The lipsticks were also moisture rich, but with a slightly drier/more matte finish than the Gabriel Color Satin finishes, I found.  Siren was a more low key brownish red with a hint of gold shimmer, perfect for every day wear with a 5 minute face and work clothes.  Zuzu Luxe Starlet is a bright true red with a good balance of blue and red.  Bonus: true reds can make your teeth look whiter!  I blotted it down to more of a stain finish and topped it off with a smooth coating of the gloss in Caliente and felt like a movie star even while sporting jeans and slight garlic hummus breath after lunch! If you've been wanting to try reds but were held back by want of a vegan or gluten free option, you are now out of excuses! C. Eden Di Bianco is a NYC based Aveda trained Cosmetologist who specializes in cruelty free on-location hair & make up services for the conscious beauty.  She has lent her talents to the likes of GGA's own Chloé Jo Davis, author of Living Vegan for Dummies and The Great American Detox Diet Alexandra Jamieson, the 25th Anniversary Farm Sanctuary Gala, and NY Fashion Week.  The recent Mrs. Di Bianco lives in Queens with her husband, their rescue pitbull Franklin Beans, and a porch full of enviably large bright red […]
  • DIY: Snakeskin-look NailsDIY: Snakeskin-look NailsNail treatments with patterns and texture are all the rage right now, but this new manicure technique may be taking the obsession with animal print and extreme nail treatments a tad too far.  Read on and decide for yourself if this new technique is revolting or the ultimate in recycling; Monterey, California nail tech and Bio Sculpture educator Terri Silacci had a light bulb moment when her son brought home a piece of snakeskin his science class was studying.  She began work to develop a strange and slithery new trend--using real snakeskin in a gel manicure.  A snake's skins are shed naturally through the snake's molting process 4-8 times a year as it loosens its outer layer of skin to accommodate growth and then passes between rough places to catch the loose outer layer and slough it off.  The skin that is left behind is sterilized and prepared into sheets that can be handled for this unusual manicure process. A gel base is applied to the nail the same as it is for a regular gel nail service and then cured with UV light (which we know has been linked to higher instances of skin cancer on the hands of women who regularly get their nails done).  The sheets of snakeskin are then hand trimmed to fit the nail surface, dipped in clear gel before being applied to the prepared nail surface, and applied like wallpaper.  The process takes about 2 1/2 - 3 hours, and using real snake skin will cost you a whopping $300. That's right.  $300 to have the discarded outer membrane of a reptile glued to your hands.  What is this world coming to!?!? If the thought of dishing out mucho moola to have snakeskin glued to your nails makes your blood run cold, there are of course other less creepy ways/more vegan ways to achieve this look.  There are faux versions of the treatment available at nail salons from coast to coast, but if you'd rather hang onto your dollars for a plane ticket to go visit the Amazon, you can get this look at home by following the easy instructions below. Materials: Nail file/Buffer Base color polish Polish in contrasting color for scales Piece of fine tulle, tight knit fishnet, or lace  (size is not particularly important, you can use on large strip or cut one up into smaller pieces for each individual nail.  Just make sure to use a piece that will be big enough for you to grab with your opposite hand to pull off!) Topcoat *Optional: make up sponge 1.) Soak, trim, file, and push back cuticles as needed.  To achieve a cool nail look that lasts, start off with nails that are clean, dry, and smooth. 2.) Apply basecoat if needed to protect nails from being stained by polish.  (Some polishes do not require a basecoat, depending on what brand you use.) 3.) Apply base color.  Snakeskin prints look great on an incredibly broad range of base colors like silver, bronze, copper, dark maroon, metallic blue, yellow, orange, jade green--let your imagination be your guide!  Allow to dry thoroughly. 4.) Next, take the tulle/fishnet/or lace and stretch it over the surface of your fully dried nail.  Take your contrasting nail color and apply it with the brush over the fabric, allowing the color to seep into the gaps in the weave.  *Alternately, you can spill out some of the contrast color onto a piece of paper or cardboard and apply in gentle tapping motions with a make up sponge. 5.) Allow contrast color to dry on nail surface with the fabric until the layer of polish feel sticky/almost dry to the touch. 6.) Remove fabric and repeat with a fresh bit of fabric on the next nail!  Finish with Topcoat when dry if you'd like, skip it if you want to keep the texture prominent. Voilá!  Snake skin nail art without the animal skin or the steep price tag! C. Eden Di Bianco is a hair and make up artist in New York who is creating conscious beauty, one individual at a time.  You can visit her site or book her for her incredible all-natural services via her site: […]

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    • Exclusive: Top 10 Cruelty Free Beauty Products – Plus: Enter To Win A Make Over!Exclusive: Top 10 Cruelty Free Beauty Products – Plus: Enter To Win A Make Over!"I will not retire while I've still got my legs and my make-up box." Bette Davis Eden Di Bianco's existence is like spotting a pink unicorn; truly adorable and very rare.  Ever heard of a cosmetologist who specializes in providing cruelty-free beauty services on location (that means in your living room if you so deem it) for affordable rates who comes bustling in with a smile and a gluten-free cookie? How about a hair and make-up pro who will come to you and do anything from your color to your brows using only natural (if that's your bag) products for incredibly reasonable rates? Eden DiBianco (above) The artists we've found who use cruelty-free products often have made us look worse than when we came in.  Eden actually provides glam bang for the buck, which is why we've chosen to share our glam squad secret with you, we aren't the type to keep our beauty finds to ourselves. Educated at the Carsten Aveda Institute in NYC and trained in French hair cutting technique, this superstar of animal-friendly celebrities, fashion shoots and runway (all the images in this exclusive are of her work!) is our in-house girl for cuts, color, and glam face before a big event.  All the hair and make-up products she uses are cruelty-free, and our girl promises to never put anything on your face or hair that she wouldn't use on her own.  Plus 10% of anything she makes is donated to organizations that help rehab and place homeless or abandoned dogs. So when Eden offered to not only share her top 10 favorite products with us but offer one of our deserving readers a make over we said..... yes, please! Oh, did we mention you can win a make-over with her by leaving a comment below?  Details on that later.  First, GirlieGirl Goodies! The Top Ten Items In My Kit That I Don't Do A Photoshoot Without: by Eden Di Bianco 1) e.l.f. mineral eyeshadow in Elegant: This shadow has a soft subtle shimmer to it that is great for brightening up the eye area and is an amazing base for any eyeshadow look from natural to a fierce smokey eye.  The shade is an ivory with a slight goldish reflection.  I have yet to find a skin tone this color does not look amazing on either in the corners of the final look for a wide eyed look or as a brow highlight.  Best part?  It's only $3 a pop.  That's right, $3, and is available online or in your local Target. 2) Beauty Without Cruelty Full Volume or Ultimate Mascara: BWC Mascara provides beautiful lashes that pop without flaking, parabens, animal ingredients, or potentially irritating fragrance. This mascara lasts all day and washes off without leaving you looking like a raccoon. 3)bdellium Vegan Green Bambu brushes: The handles of theses brushes are made of sustainable bamboo, and each brush has a wonderful balance of softness and bristle density for smooth and consistent applications.  Best part?  These cool vegan brushes are truly professional tools whose price makes them super accessible for everyone. 4) Logona Naturkosmetik: Bamboo Hairstyler: Don't go telling everybody my secrets, but I turn to this amazing German product for blow dries with bounce and volume without sacrificing hold on humid days.  It's light and airy, and the bamboo extract lends a beautiful flexibility to hair.  Plus it's non aerosol and contains no artificial colors or nasty chemicals--you can see right through it.  It boasts organic chamomile and hops and a smell that I can only describe using the technical term "yummy". 5) Tara Smith Basecoat Serum: I'm fond of saying "I'm a beautician, not a magician!" but this stuff makes me feel like one.  It's great after a blow dry to soothe dry damaged or flyaway hair because it nourishes and leaves hair silky and shiny, not clumpy and greasy.  Also great on damp hair before a blow dry to protect delicate strands, or to finish a look for photos. 6) Gabriel Cosmetics Lipsticks: These Candelilla wax based lipsticks are free of lead, gluten, and petrochemicals, and are so far the best vegan reds I have found so far, which is an absolute must for any glamor girl. 7) My favorite vegan tinted moisturizer/medium coverage foundation hands down is from Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics.  They offer surprisingly good coverage for a tinted moisturizer that is definitely buildable.  The biggest boon for me when looking for vegan foundations is that OCC comes in a variety of shades for compassionistas of ALL colors. As a Latina, this is an issue I have had with other companies that have good products but with limited availability for women with deeper skin tones, which for some reason remain invisible to several major luxury cosmetic companies. 8) Back to my old friends e.l.f.:  their high definition powder is outrageously similar to the Make Up Forever High Def powder. Both are translucent fine milled mineral silica powders that provide a soft focus effect and mattify any slick spots without caking up on skin--except that MUF's is $30 and e.l.f.'s is $6 for the same amount of powder.  I own and use both, and the e.l.f. version is a steal. 9) MAC Magically Cool Liquid Powder: This stuff is delicious.  It goes on with a cool refreshing feeling, and the powders reflect light in a way that gives you a soft glow. 10) AVEDA Air Control Hairspray: By far the best flexible but firm hold I've found in a hairspray so far for the grueling demands on some of my work.  Hair moves and doesn't look wet or hard, and holds up to demanding hairstyling like bridal up dos.  It's an aerosol but has zero net impact, doesn't smell chemical and nasty, goes on dry and holds using pine resin and certified organic flax seed. NOW FOR THE GOOD STUFF! Enter for a chance to win a Girls Just Wanna have Fun cruelty free makeover from Eden! Enter by leaving a comment here telling us when you feel the most beautiful and why you (or someone close to you) deserves this makeover, then like our new page on facebook.  There is no right or wrong answer.  Beauty is about who we are inside as well as out, and it's OK to embrace both and to want to save the world and get a thrill out of a new pair of shoes at the same time. Winners will be announced on August 1st 2011 exclusively on GGA. Subject to availability, prize redeemable until 02/08/2011 in the NY area only. And it's not over yet: Here are some dramatically discounted package deals exclusive to GirlieGirl Army readers!  Email or call Eden (contact information below) to book your appointment and mention GGA for these special rates. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun - $125 Have your HS reunion coming up?  Going to your ex's wedding? Just land your dream job and going out to celebrate? Give good face for any special event by booking this package.  Includes a hair set for red carpet worthy locks, brow grooming, and party proofed make up so you can go ahead and let your girls tag you in those pictures on Facebook.  This is an absurdly good deal for all of these services together under your very own roof and saves you a lot of time running around to different locations. Give It To Me Straight: $45 Scalp massage and blow dry or flat iron: Humidity got you down?  Tame that unruly mane with a banging blow out or flawless flatiron. Shine On $145 Haircut, Diamond Shine Gloss, Deep Conditioning Treatment: Restore the health of your hair by cutting off those dead ends (aka stripper ends) causing flyaway’s and dullness and turn on the shine with this restorative treatment. California Girl: $175 Highlights, Gloss, and Trim: Carefully weaved summer highlights for a look that's sexy, not stripy, plus a gloss for shine and multidimensional tones and a trim to keep it clean. Here Comes the Bride -$350 Comprehensive cruelty free bridal package.  Includes pre-wedding consultation, trial and Day Of expert hair styling and make up application including premium lashes for luscious locks and a flawless face that will smile back at you in photos for a lifetime.   Add grooming services for the Groom to the package for only $25!  Special packages available for LGBT weddings! *Please make inquiries for bridal packages as far in advance as possible, all Saturdays for July are already booked and August will fill up fast! GGA BFF C. Eden Di Bianco is an Aveda trained hairstylist/make up artist/brow expert extraordinaire who specializes in cruelty free hair & make up services on location.  Working in your home, hotel room, or even office, she provides amazing service on your schedule. This flexible and highly personalized service model is a lifesaver for Mamazons (who can get beautified while Baby naps) night owls, nurse, bartenders (whose work shifts that make scheduling time for beauty nearly impossible). or for anyone looking for cruelty free glamour without the attitude or commute to the salon!  Eden’s clients (well, those she can talk about) include chef/author Alexandra Jamieson, comedian Leo Allen, The NJ Housewives, Elizabeth Olsen designer/founder of olsen Haus shoes, and our very own Chloé Jo Davis and family. You can reach her via EdenDiBianco.com, email, twitter, or by calling her at 646.243.8930. She's housetrained and doesn't […]
    • A Glorious Mouthful: The Best Gluten-Free Red LipstickA Glorious Mouthful: The Best Gluten-Free Red LipstickMay was Celiac Awareness Month, and to cap off a month of gluten free goodness, gluten free make up and hair artiste C. Eden Di Bianco (who is our very own go to green glam girl) shares her latest gluten free/vegan beauty find.  Prepare to channel your inner siren! My favorite way to finish an outfit isn't earrings, though those are nice.  It's not a belt, though my Dad has been trying to get me to wear one for years because he's cooler than I am.  For me, it's red lipstick.  Most of us remember lipstick as our first foray into all things girly.  At 4, I called it "mystic", which amused relatives and captured the way I felt about it perfectly. I remember watching my mother put it on in amazement at how it brightened up her face and squealed excitedly whenever a female relative would leave a tiny imprint of their kisses on my cheek. Red lipstick is bold, powerful, and instantly glam.  If you're not sure which shade is right for you, this helpful guide can help steer you in the right direction.  It can be daunting enough to find a vegan red lipstick that stands up to your demanding day and looks luxe and appropriately dangerous.  Add concerns about gluten sensitivity, and you might be ready to throw in the towel and let your lips go au naturale.  (Perish the thought!) What's the big deal about buying gluten free lipstick anyway? Well, the average woman inadvertently consumes about 18 tubes or 4 lbs of lipstick in her lifetime.  Many brands have gluten in them, which sneaks into lip formulas in a variety of ingredients from Vitamin E to emulsifiers, and are labeled so ambiguously that there is no way of knowing what ingredients in there might pose a threat to a Celiac sufferer. Some seriously unpretty truths: Aside from gluten and icky animal ingredients, a startling number of lip products on the market have been found to contain toxic impurities such as lead, arsenic, beryllium, and a host of nasty potential chemicals like FD&C Red #3 and propylene glycol.  Do you know what propylene glycol is?  It's an ingredient in ANTIFREEZE--and it can enter the bloodstream via ingestion or through skin absorption!  It is then stored in the body for days and weeks at a time, where it can cause kidney damage and liver abnormalities.  The scary thing is that use of this harmful ingredient that we expose ourselves to every day we wear lipstick is perfectly legal because it is only considered toxic in "large doses".  I don't know about you, but I'd say eating 18 tubes/4lbs of something potentially dangerous constitutes pretty large dose over the course of a lifetime! Enter Gabriel Color Cosmetics and their fashion color line, Zuzu Luxe to save the day.  Vegan, gluten free, lead/PABA/petrochemical free, and chock full of beautiful plant based lip conditioners like Jojoba and Safflower seed oil, I was eager to try them out. I tested several of their reds in a variety of finishes (satin, matte, gloss), and this is what I found: The satin finish colors were Gabriel Color in Currant and Pomegranate.  I generally don't wear a lot of satin/creme finish lipstick in darker colors because they tend to lose some of their depth with the shine, but more moisture rich products in bright colors look very fresh.  You might also prefer a satin or creme finish because dry lips with a bright color on them attract the wrong type of attention! On hot days, I keep my creme or satin lipstick in place by using lip liner in a coordinating shade and filling in my lips very lightly to give the color a base to stick to, applying lipstick, and blotting very lightly.  I then reapply a little more color with light taps to the top and bottom and pressing my lips together GENTLY so as not to kill the sheen, and then finish with a precision concealer brush around the lip line to provide a barrier against my natural skin oils and sweat contributing to any feathering...plus it gives a nice clean and sharp line around the lips. Pomegranate: a vibrant, deep red with a violet/bluish undertone, very true to its namesake, and very come-here-and-kiss-me-if-you-dare. Currant: more of a neutral red, almost like a brick red (but not like the mud colored stuff we used back in the 90s!) More of a little red schoolhouse brick red. Gabriel Color also has several matte finish shades, and their Matte Rose was far more sexy than the demure sounding name implies.  By far my favorite of ANY red I've worn, the Matte Rose wore like a dream all through a busy day with minimal touch ups and reads as a bright warm chili red with a slightly orange undertone.  I have light skin with yellow/warm undertones and am pretty pale, but I think this color would work well on a wide variety of skin tones because of its orange tone.  Bonus: brights and white on white are so in this season, and this color sets off a golden (spray) tan and a white linen ensemble with an ease and elegance that Lauren Bacall would envy. I tried Zuzu Luxe lipstick in Siren and Starlet and the gloss in Caliente.  The lipsticks were also moisture rich, but with a slightly drier/more matte finish than the Gabriel Color Satin finishes, I found.  Siren was a more low key brownish red with a hint of gold shimmer, perfect for every day wear with a 5 minute face and work clothes.  Zuzu Luxe Starlet is a bright true red with a good balance of blue and red.  Bonus: true reds can make your teeth look whiter!  I blotted it down to more of a stain finish and topped it off with a smooth coating of the gloss in Caliente and felt like a movie star even while sporting jeans and slight garlic hummus breath after lunch! If you've been wanting to try reds but were held back by want of a vegan or gluten free option, you are now out of excuses! C. Eden Di Bianco is a NYC based Aveda trained Cosmetologist who specializes in cruelty free on-location hair & make up services for the conscious beauty.  She has lent her talents to the likes of GGA's own Chloé Jo Davis, author of Living Vegan for Dummies and The Great American Detox Diet Alexandra Jamieson, the 25th Anniversary Farm Sanctuary Gala, and NY Fashion Week.  The recent Mrs. Di Bianco lives in Queens with her husband, their rescue pitbull Franklin Beans, and a porch full of enviably large bright red […]
    • DIY: Snakeskin-look NailsDIY: Snakeskin-look NailsNail treatments with patterns and texture are all the rage right now, but this new manicure technique may be taking the obsession with animal print and extreme nail treatments a tad too far.  Read on and decide for yourself if this new technique is revolting or the ultimate in recycling; Monterey, California nail tech and Bio Sculpture educator Terri Silacci had a light bulb moment when her son brought home a piece of snakeskin his science class was studying.  She began work to develop a strange and slithery new trend--using real snakeskin in a gel manicure.  A snake's skins are shed naturally through the snake's molting process 4-8 times a year as it loosens its outer layer of skin to accommodate growth and then passes between rough places to catch the loose outer layer and slough it off.  The skin that is left behind is sterilized and prepared into sheets that can be handled for this unusual manicure process. A gel base is applied to the nail the same as it is for a regular gel nail service and then cured with UV light (which we know has been linked to higher instances of skin cancer on the hands of women who regularly get their nails done).  The sheets of snakeskin are then hand trimmed to fit the nail surface, dipped in clear gel before being applied to the prepared nail surface, and applied like wallpaper.  The process takes about 2 1/2 - 3 hours, and using real snake skin will cost you a whopping $300. That's right.  $300 to have the discarded outer membrane of a reptile glued to your hands.  What is this world coming to!?!? If the thought of dishing out mucho moola to have snakeskin glued to your nails makes your blood run cold, there are of course other less creepy ways/more vegan ways to achieve this look.  There are faux versions of the treatment available at nail salons from coast to coast, but if you'd rather hang onto your dollars for a plane ticket to go visit the Amazon, you can get this look at home by following the easy instructions below. Materials: Nail file/Buffer Base color polish Polish in contrasting color for scales Piece of fine tulle, tight knit fishnet, or lace  (size is not particularly important, you can use on large strip or cut one up into smaller pieces for each individual nail.  Just make sure to use a piece that will be big enough for you to grab with your opposite hand to pull off!) Topcoat *Optional: make up sponge 1.) Soak, trim, file, and push back cuticles as needed.  To achieve a cool nail look that lasts, start off with nails that are clean, dry, and smooth. 2.) Apply basecoat if needed to protect nails from being stained by polish.  (Some polishes do not require a basecoat, depending on what brand you use.) 3.) Apply base color.  Snakeskin prints look great on an incredibly broad range of base colors like silver, bronze, copper, dark maroon, metallic blue, yellow, orange, jade green--let your imagination be your guide!  Allow to dry thoroughly. 4.) Next, take the tulle/fishnet/or lace and stretch it over the surface of your fully dried nail.  Take your contrasting nail color and apply it with the brush over the fabric, allowing the color to seep into the gaps in the weave.  *Alternately, you can spill out some of the contrast color onto a piece of paper or cardboard and apply in gentle tapping motions with a make up sponge. 5.) Allow contrast color to dry on nail surface with the fabric until the layer of polish feel sticky/almost dry to the touch. 6.) Remove fabric and repeat with a fresh bit of fabric on the next nail!  Finish with Topcoat when dry if you'd like, skip it if you want to keep the texture prominent. Voilá!  Snake skin nail art without the animal skin or the steep price tag! C. Eden Di Bianco is a hair and make up artist in New York who is creating conscious beauty, one individual at a time.  You can visit her site or book her for her incredible all-natural services via her site: […]