Aug 23, 2017

Velvet Report Launches Vegan Beauty Boxes

Lindsey Arnold of the Velvet Report is a Seattle style blogger and animal lover who believes that there's more to vegan beauty than you might think, so she's created a line of limited-edition beauty boxes to help persuade you. "The more I researched, the more I realized that there are some really amazing vegan skincare and beauty products out there. The beauty boxes are my way of sharing my discoveries," says Lindsey. The first beauty box launched earlier this summer and Velvet Report has plans for even more featuring luxurious beauty products that are full-size, tested, and hand selected for quality. I recently had the chance to check out the Vegan Makeup Starter Set and became a fan the minute I opened the box. 

Featuring four full-size beauty products packaged in a beautiful keepsake box, the Vegan Makeup Starter Set includes a lipstick, liquid blush, eyeshadow palette, and mascara. Basically, everything you need to put on your "face" in the morning, minus the foundation/concealer. 

The lipstick in the beauty box is from a brand called Axiology and it's the perfect mix of color and shine. Packaged in a gold tube the lipstick looks chic and it's all-natural and of course, cruelty-free. There are two color shades to pick from including "Noble" which is a peach-pink and "Elusive" which is a darker wine color. I chose "Noble" and loved the natural look it provided with just a sheer hint of color. 

My next favorite product in the set is the Gressa Lumière Fluid. It's a liquid blush that can also be used on your lips and eyes for a hint of color. It's a gorgeous color that can be easily blended for a gorgeous glow and best of all, it's made from all-natural ingredients. 

The Antonym Eyeshadow Palette is another favorite from the debut make-up box! I judge eyeshadow based on two factors: how well it blends, and how rich the pigment is. This eyeshadow quad passed the test with flying colors. I used the light pink to do a color wash on my eyes, used the pale yellow to highlight my brow bone, used the bronze in the crease, and used the dark gray in the outer corners. The beauty box comes with 2 palette options, one for an all-natural look and a second (pictured above) with some warmer/darker colors. 

Last but not least, what would a beauty set be without a great mascara? This one by Lily Lolo rounds out the Velvet Report Vegan Makeup Starter Kit and worked perfectly on my long lashes. I have a hard time with mascara because they often weigh down my lashes and prevent them from keeping a curl. This one was light enough to hold my curl and provided enough thickening to meet my needs. 

Priced at $75 for four full-sized products this box is a great way to experience a curated selection of vegan beauty brands. If you're interested in vegan beauty products you'll also want to check out the Velvet Report rose-inspired beauty box

3 Questions with Velvet Report founder Lindsey Arnold

Q1- What criteria do you use to select the brands you feature?

Well, first of all, they have to be vegan (no animal-derived ingredients), cruelty-free (no animal testing), and they have to be clean. I'm still figuring out what clean/green/non-toxic beauty means to people, but to me, it means having no chemicals or fillers and it has to be as organic and plant-based as possible. I personally try all the beauty products we feature. 

Q2- What vegan beauty product can you not live without?

Rosewater toners! I'm obsessed! I have a very streamlined skin care routine that involves cleansing, toning, and moisturizing. I've noticed a huge difference in my skin since cutting out the merry-go-round of products. I'm working on developing a simple French skincare line that will debut later this year!

Q3- Why is vegan beauty important for the environment?

Everything we do in this world is connected. When we purchase products that have been tested on animals or have resulted in the death of animals for ingredients, we are contributing to suffering in this world. I believe that what we buy and use should be a reflection of our values. By thinking about beauty products holistically, we can all make a change, and that will make all the difference. 

For more information about the Velvet Report visit


Everything you need to know about Universal Standard

Fashion For All:
Universal Standard kicks-off national tour with a Nordstrom pop-up September 8th and 9th 

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Universal Standard has announced its national tour and it starts right here in Seattle on September 8th. With offices in Redmond and New York, this bi-coastal brand is changing the way the industry thinks about size-inclusive fashion. Founded by Polina Veksler and Alexandra Waldman in 2015, the brand carries fashion-forward apparel for women in sizes 10-28. The vibe is downtown chic and the aesthetic is classic with a twist. The assortment ranges from wrap tops to leather skirts and also includes must-have items for fall including the coveted puffer coat

The tour kicks off at Nordstrom on Sept. 8 and will include 12 cities stretching from coast to coast. 
"We're working hard to represent a broader range of sizes for our customers," says Tricia Smith, Nordstrom Executive Vice President and General Merchandise Manager for Women's and Designer Apparel, "We believe this partnership with Universal Standard will give us the opportunity to better serve our customers and shine a light on the need to be more inclusive."

Nordstrom will be hosting six of the twelve Universal Standard pop-ups around the country. Tour stops include Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Austin, Houston, Dallas, St. Louis, Washington D.C., Chicago, Colombus, and New York. Fans will have the opportunity to experience the brand in person, try on their favorite styles, meet the founders, and shop. The entire assortment of Universal Standard styles will available at the pop-up and guests are encouraged to learn more about the brand philosophy and Universal Fit Liberty
With the belief that clothing should always fit, feel, and look good, Universal Standard created the Universal Fit Liberty, which vows to replace clothing from the core collection if your size goes up or down. This means women can shop with zero anxiety and rest assured that if their size fluctuates within a year of purchase, they can request a new piece in a different size, free of charge. Bonus karma points: Returned clothing is laundered and donated to charities supporting women in need. 

The Seattle pop-up will be held at the Downtown Seattle Nordstrom store in the Encore department (4th floor) on Sept. 8 and 9 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. If you can't make it downtown there will be three more opportunities to connect with the Universal Standard brand including:
  • Showroom open house in Redmond: Sunday, Sept. 10 from 12 - 6 p.m. 
  • Founders event at The Riveter on Capitol Hill: September 12 from 6 - 8 p.m. 

To coincide with the tour, Universal Standard will also kick off a national model search to find the face of their next campaign. In partnership with The Lions Model Management, finalists from the model search will be flown to New York to meet with executives and have the opportunity to be considered for a modeling contract with the agency. The Seattle model search for Univeral Standard will be held on Monday, September 11th at Sole Repair on Capitol Hill from 1-4 p.m. Anyone size 10-28 is welcome to come by. 

Universal Standard is setting a new standard for consumers who are size 10 and up. 

Don't miss your chance experience this brand in person and meet the founders. It will change the way you think about plus-size fashion. A full road trip calendar can be found here

Seattle Universal Standard Events:

Universal Standard x Nordstrom Pop-up 
September 8-9th
500 Pine St. 
Seattle, WA 98101
Encore dept. / 4th Floor
11 a.m. - 7 p.m. 

Universal Standard Showroom Open House
September 10
4138 148th Ave. NE Bldg. H
Redmond, WA 98052
12 p.m. - 6 p.m. 

Universal Standard Pop-up at Sole Repair
September 11
Sole Repair
1001 E. Pike St. 
Seattle, WA 98122
1 p.m. - 7 p.m. 

Universal Standard Model Search
September 11
Sole Repair
1001 E. Pike St. 
Seattle, WA 98122
1 p.m. - 4 p.m. 

Universal Standard x The Riveter
September 12
The Riveter
1517 12th Ave. 
Seattle, WA 98122

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Aug 9, 2017

Event Recap: Creating Influential Word of Mouth

The Riveter delivered another inspiring event for women in business last week on Capitol Hill that focused on personal branding and the power of building your tribe. The evening's speakers included Sue Bird of the Seattle Storm, Jane Park of Julep, Emily Carrin of Apptentive, Jill Donnelly from Baby & Co., and Linda Derschang of The Derschang Group. The discussion was moderated by Jennifer McCullum, Editor of Gray magazine, and focused on the epic task of building your personal brand and learning how to navigate obstacles along the way. Nothing was off limits- speakers shared their most intimate failures in business- and most importantly, they shared how they got back on their feet.

Linda Derschang told the group about the early day's of Linda's Tavern when the beer suppliers were reluctant to sell her beer because she was one of the only female bar owners in the city and didn't belong to "the boys club". Sue Bird spoke about a PR crisis in the early days of her career that forced her to re-think her communication style and put out more meaningful messaging. She spoke openly about the importance of truly knowing who you are and what you stand for so that in moments of chaos you can quickly come back to center.

From a fashion perspective, I enjoyed hearing from Jill Donnelley, who bravely took ownership of Baby & Co. back in 2008 at a time when many small shops in the city were closing their doors. She spoke about her early days in retail, learning customer service from Nordstrom back when the company had only eight stores and talked about the importance of staying on-brand and being laser focused on the task at hand, regardless of what the competition is doing.

Jane Park, founder of the cult nail polish and beauty brand Julep, acknowledged that putting your brand out there can be hard because it opens the floodgates for feedback, both positive and negative. This can be tough for new brands who are trying to figure out their place in the world of social media but it's important because it allows for an open dialogue between the brand and the customer. Jane also encouraged women to focus on the talents they possess rather than dwelling on the things they still have yet to learn. If you're passionate about something go for it and play up the skills you do have and be willing and open to learning the rest.

The women on the panel also discussed the importance of forming your tribe to help you succeed. Surrounding yourself with like-minded women that you can bounce ideas off of and seek advice from is crucial for success. Women in business need other women in business, end of story. "Have women business friends," said Linda Derschang, "Tell each other things. Build your tribe." Jill Donnelley echoed that sentiment and added, "Given the current political climate, women are looking for a tribe." Band together. Do something meaningful.

Creating influential word of mouth and shaping your own personal brand isn't for the faint of heart, but it is an important step for women in business, regardless of where you are in your career. The panel featured a wonderful mix of women who "live their personal philosophies in their professional lives", as noted by moderator Jenny McCullum. I couldn't have said it better myself. Although I did enjoy Sue Bird's last words of advice about personal branding, "Don't be a douche."

Photo Credit: Jenna Lynn Photograhy

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