Cruelty-Free Makeup Brands

What do you mean companies are still testing their products on animals? Shouldn’t we know by now what works and what doesn’t? How are we still performing this cruel type of behavior?

Believe it or not, some countries require testing on animals in order to sell there. That’s right, even if a company states they do not test their products on animals, in the small print it could say except where testing is required. Companies will use these tactics to hide the fact that they’re still performing this inhumane act. 

So how do you know if your products are cruelty-free?

Knowing what to look for helps- pay attention to how the description is worded and flag the ones that sound suspicious. Websites like cruelty-free kitty and ethical elephant are great resources as well! For the mean time, check the list I’ve compiled of my favorite CF cosmetic brands!












After learning what products are cruelty-free, I now only support those companies. Not only are those brands extremely credible, but they’ve chosen not to test on animals. I choose to stand behind those companies because testing on animals is unnecessary, cruel and inhumane. Join the movement and say yes to cruelty-free makeup!

Wondering what cosmetic brands still test on animals? Check the following list and get ready to say goodbye to some of your favorite brands! Perhaps these companies don’t test on animals in the United States, but if they sell in China they automatically test on animals there! Not everyone has the time to do research – so I hope this list assures you what brands support animals and what brands don’t.












This article was written in April of 2018, and I will try to keep update it as policies continue to change. I hope with having this knowledge, you’ll decide which brands to love, share and support. Please visit the following website to learn more about CF and Vegan brands:

Remember that time you were perfect? Oh yeah, me either… Embrace those flaws!

Ever walk past a mirror and can’t help but stare? Ever try clothes on and have a nervous breakdown? Ever rewatch your Snap story ten times and think ‘creative genius’? Ever compare yourself to people you don’t even know and feel like you don’t measure up?

Most of us can agree that we have experienced a version of said thoughts. Some days you feel like Beyoncé, and other days you feel like you’d rather get punched in the face by Regina George than leave your house.

We all have insecurities, whether we like to admit them or not. Surprise! You’re a human being! All of us have flaws, and it’s okay to admit them! Be real and be human. [Fake news was so 2017]. If someone says, “I don’t have any flaws,” that should raise an eyebrow… they probably have more than they can count. #yikes.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with being confident or comfortable in your own skin, but being able to admit that you have flaws is empowering. Embracing your flaws shows how secure you truly are.

I challenge everyone reading this blog to recognize and embrace your insecurities.* Dr. Steve Marboli’s world renown book, Unapologetically You, argues that “there is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. To me, that is the true essence of beauty.” Marboli’s insight makes me think about imperfections in a different way. Although I’m still guilty of comparing myself to others or not wanting to wear certain things because I feel insecure, I am trying to accept myself the way I am. And since I’m trying to practice what I preach.. I figured I’d share one of my biggest insecurities with you all.

“How cute is my Psoriasis?” - Said no one ever..

Some days it’s hardly noticeable; other days I feel like a scaly boa constrictor. I’ve had ‘difficult’ skin for as long as I can remember.

When I was a kid, I had Eczema, and we all thought I was allergic to peanut butter..

Thank G that ended.

Next, was the aggressive chicken skin that showed up when I was a tween.

After that, I welcomed Psoriasis into my life when I went to college.

And to the weirdest skin disorder I’ve had.. A Fungal infection from the Sun. Tinea Versicolor affects the color of your skin.

My skin and I have had a love-hate relationship for as long as I can remember. I didn’t really have acne growing up, and if I did I always said it was a bug bite. (no one ever believed me, of course). If I forget sunscreen, I won’t burn, so that’s nice. And when my skin isn’t having a temper tantrum, it feels as soft as a baby’s bottom. Some days I try to “love the skin I’m in”, and other days I’m a volcano waiting to erupt.

The one thing I can connect my currently-trending skin problem, psoriasis, is to stress. When I’m having a bad day, my skin will flare up. And I notice the more I think about how “ugly” my psoriasis is, the more stressed I feel..and the vicious cycle begins. Maybe if I just accept myself, and my skin for how it is, I won’t even notice it anymore.

I think a lot of times, we are so consumed by our flaws and begin to obsess over them, and convince ourselves that everyone notices them as much as we do. Is that actually true though? Do people walk around searching for other people’s flaws? I’d like to think no. Let’s accept ourselves and each other for who we are and how we’re designed. Embrace those flaws and support people for doing so! There’s nothing wrong with having flaws.. It’s human. And after all, your “flaw” could be what we find most beautiful on you.

* I never said it was easy

What I Wish I Knew

What I Wish I Knew:

This isn’t going to last forever.

There is nothing wrong with you.

What I Wish I Knew:

Stand up for your friends.

Stand up for yourself.

What I Wish I Knew:

Don’t fight fire with fire.

Fight fire with water.


I am twelve years-old.

Boys are mean.

I am teased.

I am patient.


What I Wish I Knew:

Don’t tattle tail.

But don’t take shit.

What I Wish I Knew:

Don’t sacrifice who you are

For the convenience of other people.

What I Wish I Knew:

There is no direct solution.

Ignoring them doesn’t work.

Yelling back doesn’t work.


I am thirteen years-old.

Boys are cruel.

I am taunted.

I am patient.

What I Wish I Knew:

You are not alone.

You have your self.

What I Wish I Knew:

Not everyone is happy with who they are,

They will take it out on you.

What I Wish I Knew:

Don’t let them knock you down.

Keep your head up.


I am fourteen years-old.

Boys are vicious.

I am tormented

I am getting impatient.


What I Wish I Knew:

Use their words as motivation.

Head for the light at the end of the tunnel and don’t look back.

What I Wish I Knew:

Jennifer Lawrence got bullied.

Jennifer Lawrence obviously won that battle.

What I Wish I Knew:

They don’t have a soul.

Don’t let them take yours.

Middle school was an anxiety-ridden prison cell for me. I remember walking home one time, and a group of boys ran out like a stampede and threw me against the ground. It was covered in snow. I walked home in wet clothes that day, feeling numb. From the cold or from exhaustion, I’m not quite sure.

I wish I could go back-in-time and revisit myself that day. I wish I could give myself a hug, and tell myself that this won’t last forever. Life is tough, but so are you.

The world doesn’t have to be a cold place. You might feel alone, like you’re the only one going through this, but unfortunately, that is far from the truth. Bullying has no preference. It will pick anyone; it is desperate and insecure. Hearing other people share their stories shows me that we’re in this together.

Activist, Demi Lovato opened up about her experience with bullying. She shares a powerful message, “The last decade has taught me a lifetime of lessons. I’ve learned that secrets make you sick, I’m learning how to be a voice and not a victim. I’ve learned that sex is natural. I’ve learned that love is necessary, heartbreak is unavoidable, and loneliness is brutal. I’ve learned that the key to being happy is to tell your truth and be OK without all the answers.”

I had no choice but to learn to ‘tell my truth’ and to love myself so hard that other people’s opinions eventually didn’t matter. And looking back, I now agree with Paulo Coelho more than ever, “How people treat other people is a direct reflection of how they feel about themselves.” It’s hard not to take things personally but Demi’s suggestion, “be a voice and not a victim” should help you realize millions of people are fighting this battle. Stand up for yourself, and stand up for each other. Together, we can overcome bullying. 

And a message to all the bullies out there – think about what you say and how you say it. Words can never be taken back. Try to spread love and not hate. And remember to treat others the way ALL HUMAN BEINGS deserve to be treated.


Please visit this website for more information on bullying:

New Anxiety, Who Dis?


“Hey, is Kayla there?”

“Nah, this is anxiety. She’s out for the day. Or week. Or month. Whatever.”


As many of you know (or I hope you know), the past week was Mental Health Awareness Week, with October 10th marking “World Mental Health Day.” After reading an Instagram post by a dear friend, Cristina Laforgia (@cristinalaforg), I immediately felt compelled to write my next blog on it.

Anxiety comes in all shapes and sizes:

Generalized Anxiety Disorder 

Panic Disorder

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Social Anxiety Disorder


Lucky for me, I’ve only been diagnosed with the first two, so naturally, I’m convinced I have the third one too.

Anyways… I’m not positive where my anxiety stems from, but I have a hunch. It’s a complication of events. It’s genetic. And it’s definitely ironic. Until only a few years ago, I was incredibly stubborn about taking Advil or putting medicine into my body. ‘My mind and body will heal itself.’ Well, that worked out well – I now take an anxiety medication

So, How Did You

& Anxiety Meet?

If I was destined to cross paths with anxiety, you would think I would’ve back in 2012 when I moved across the country by myself. I moved from Massachusetts all the way to San Diego to attend college. But back then, I was your typical 18-year-old free-spirited naive teen. I felt invincible. Nothing could touch me. Not even this so-called ‘anxiety.’

After my freshman year, being far away from home started to sink in, and transitioning into adulthood came with its own challenges. I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder my Sophomore year. I got nervous before tests. I had trouble making decisions because I feared I would make the wrong ones. My hands got clammy before interviews.

This new disorder did not affect my everyday life, however. All of these symptoms seemed manageable. And then came the paranoia. I hated being alone. Ask my college boyfriend. If I had to sleep alone, I would cry fearing something would happen to me. But for some reason, when spring break came, I decided to stay at my college house while all my roommates went home. I figured I would be busy working on a film project, and besides, my roommate’s cat would keep me company. Maybe I was staying to conquer my fears. Either way, it didn’t work.

I became so paranoid one night I ended up calling 911.

My anxiety was in full-on swing. After that night, anxiety and I became best friends. We started doing everything together. It would randomly show up during school telling me to leave my classes. It would come to my job. It would interrupt my movie nights. It was the definition of a stage-five clinger.

Eventually, it started to interfere with my everyday life. I finally decided to go back home for the summer where I would be surrounded by childhood friends, family, my precious dog and a town I felt comfortable in.

When I came back to San Diego for my Junior year, I felt motivated. I had two years left to finish school and figure out what to do with my life. Maybe I just needed a security guard to make sure I was always safe. So what did I do? I hired a bodyguard.

No, I’m kidding. But I did adopt a German Shepherd.

As the year went on, I felt more and more stressed about school, work, my friends, family, and the hardships of life. My paranoia was at an all-time high. Don’t believe me?

One night, I went to watch a scary movie with my two roommates and was convinced there was a shooter in the theatre. I had a full-on panic attack and ran out hyperventilating. I broke out into hysteria. I even left my favorite water bottle behind. I realized how ridiculous I looked, but it didn’t matter. In the moment, I felt like my heart was going to explode..

The next attack I experienced was a month later – I was on my college campus walking to my class. I skipped class and sprinted to the  urgent care where I was monitored for two hours. I was prescribed emergency medication to slow my breathing and calm my central nervous system. The next few months were a nightmare.

I struggled between classes, work and even spending time with my friends. I was scared to leave my house, drive, go to the gym or interact with anyone. I was terrified when my next panic attack would sneak up on me. I felt like such a burden to everyone who had to deal with my irrational thoughts.

"But it's all in

your head."

I either felt isolated. Scared. Stupid. Tired. Irritated. Or


I still can’t decide what was worse: feeling all of those things or feeling nothing. When I felt all of those things I felt paralyzed. It was so hard to be in-the-moment without being in my head. And when I felt nothing I ended up skipping a 200 point final exam because I didn’t want to get out of bed. My anxiety controlled my life. I prayed a therapist would cure me. I did everything in the book, but still couldn’t manage all of my symptoms.

Finally, I started taking medication. It took me so long to accept it though. Not only is there nothing wrong with taking medication, taking it doesn’t make you weak. Shortly after starting it, my symptoms started to diminish. It’s like I started to see things in color again. The more I opened up about my anxiety, the more I realized how common it was. According to National Institute of Health, a mental health disorder affects 1 in 5 adults in America. This breaks down to 43 million people.

Since that’s a high number, you would think that it would be no big deal to open up about it, right?

Me too…

Think about it. Why don’t people talk about it more often? Maybe because it’s frowned upon? Maybe people are too scared to speak up?  Maybe they’re embarrassed? Maybe it’s too hard to articulate how they feel? Maybe they’re afraid of being judged? Maybe they don’t want to be seen as incompetent or weak? It’s sad that even I contemplated whether or not I should write this blog. The second my fingertips pressed on the keyboard I thought: What will future employers think?

If idolized celebrities like Ryan Reynolds, Lena Dunham, Demi Lovato, Kerry Washington, Cara Delevingne, Adam Levine, Kesha,  Ellen Degeneres, Jennifer Lawrence, Leonardo DiCaprio, Lady Gaga and so many more can openly talk about disorders they’ve experienced, then why can’t I?

My transition was by no means overnight. It took persistence, consistency and a positive attitude. Being able to freely speak about my experience has helped me acknowledge it and move forward. I am so lucky to have a strong support system to help me through this journey. I know there are so many others who are not as fortunate. I hope that this blog inspires others who are struggling with a mental health disorder. Finding what makes you happy and pursuing it can provide relief, and in my personal experience, there is no better feeling than an inner sense of comfort.