Black Velvet | Vegan Lifestyle, High-Fashion, Beauty Blog & Shop with a sophisticated edge



BeautyAmarilis SarangoComment

Once a year, Halloween allows me to be a kid again and dress up! I can even wear black lipstick without getting curious looks and stares. lol. It’s by far one of my favorite holidays besides Christmas. If you’ve been following me for awhile, you wouldn’t be surprised. Instead of going for my usual Maleficent look, I wanted to do a minimalist and effortless Halloween kitty look for those looking for last minute ideas. 


As a vegan momma of two black kitties, this also gives me the opportunity to bring awareness that black cats are subject to mistreatment and abandonment during this time of year. Black cats are iconic for Halloween but they shouldn’t be used or bought just for the purpose of entertaining a holiday. I read that it’s a myth that shelters prevent adoption of black cats during this time to prevent potential abuse, and that there is no substantial evidence that this is even true. However, I rather be safe than sorry, and keeping my kitties indoors because you never know. With that said, lets get to the look!

Step 1

Verb Ghost Prep is perfect for that silky smooth hair finish. I use about a quarter sized amount, which is enough for my long hair, and rub it in my palm before applying it evenly throughout my hair. It lasts all day keeping my hair frizz-free and moisturized. Brushing with a short bristle brush afterwards gives it that extra shine.

Step 2

I like to use my daily moisturizer, Aloe Soothing Day Cream by The Body Shop, before applying any foundation. It goes on super smooth, not tacky or oily at all (which tends to be a problem with most natural/vegan moisturizers). It’s thicker and creamier than most daily moisturizers but not overwhelming—it actually has a whipped light texture that absorbs really well. Its perfect for my dry skin especially during the fall/winter season. Sometimes I’ll use a face primer afterwards but this moisturizer is usually enough for easier foundation application and ensures that my foundation lasts all day while keeping my skin hydrated. 

Step 3

The Body Shop Fresh Nude Foundation serves as my base before applying any shadows or powders. I wet my beauty blender a little bit with water then apply minimally on my entire face, edges, and jawline making sure to blend into the neckline. This allows for a lighter more translucent finish. It evens out my skin tone with a slightly glowy, semi-matte finish. 

Step 4

For a little drama, blending a bit of e.l.f.’s matte dark brown shadow from the Sculpting Silk Eyeshadow in Rose All Day palette on my eyelids and crease compliments my green/hazel eye well and makes them pop. Adding a bit of the same shade around the lower lash line defines my eye for more depth and dimension. I then go back in with a blending brush to soften the edges.

Step 5

What’s a cat look without a cat eye eyeliner?! To create the perfect winged eyeliner, I like to use a cream eyeliner. For this look, I use The Wet N Wild’s Fergie on Edge Creme Black Eyeliner in Little Black Dress. I’ve had this forever! So it’s not sold anymore and I probably should have already thrown it away a long time ago but the conservationist in me wants to use it all up. There’s an e.l.f. Cream Eyeliner alternative I’ll list with the rest of the e.l.f. featured products at the end. Pro Tip: If you have an old cream liner that you’re not ready to part with but has dried up, add a few drops of Vitamin E oil, mix it up a bit with a brush, and it’s good as new. Before I apply, I always flatten out my liner brush and press it between my thumb and index fingers to make sure the line comes out super thin. With small strokes, I line my upper lash line and draw a winged flick on my outer eye corner, imagining my lower lash line extended. This gives the illusion of having a long lash at the tail end of the lashes. Since I’m going for a minimal look, I skip lining the inner eye corners, and just lightly line my lower lash line.

Step 6

False lashes always irritate my eyes, so I usually avoid them. I just use a few sweeps of e.l.f. Mineral Infused Mascara to give my upper natural lashes an extra lift and thickness. I don’t use an eyelash curler because to me it looks like a forced unnatural curl. Instead, immediately after applying the mascara, I hold my lashes up with the length of my index finger for about 15-20 sec until the mascara dries slightly. 

Step 7

For a hint of color and slightly nude lips, I use The Body Shop Matte Lip Liquid in Windsor Rose. When using this velvety and creamy liquid lipstick, a little goes a long way. It has a long-lasting matte finish that stays put without over drying!

Step 8

Using the same eyeliner, I went for a simple kitty face makeup and only drew on the bottom of the nose, with a thin line through my cupid’s bow dimple. No whiskers, just 3 dots in an upside down triangle shape on each side of the line above my lips.

Step 9

Nine steps for nine lives—no that wasn’t on purpose. lol. Time for the kitty ears! I made mine by hand from felt and attached silver studs on each ear. I then attached them to a thin head band. And that’s it! If you enjoyed this look, please be sure to share!
Happy Halloween!




The majority of Verb’s products are vegan with the exception of Sculpting Clay and Forming Fiber. They believe animals make terrible test subjects and all their products are 100% cruelty-free. Most of their products are made and shipped from California. Learn more.

Ghost Prep
100% Vegan, Cruelty-Free, Paraben Free, Gluten Free, No Harmful Sulfates
Key ingredients include Glycerin, Morning Seed Oil, Pro-Vitamin B5. It has a light Grapefruit Oatmeal fragrance, which isn’t overwhelming. It’s great to use solo for silky smooth hair and also for sleek ponytails and braids! 

The Body Shop 

The Body Shop, based in the UK, is known for standing for quality products that “Enrich not Exploit”. They set a high standard for enriching people, products, and the planet. They have also made an epic stance against animal testing through their Forever Against Animal Testing campaign with Cruelty Free International aims to end animal testing in cosmetics worldwide. They’ve impressively collected over 8 million signatures (including mine) to end animal testing in cosmetics forever. They are now on their way to the United Nations with all our signatures. All their products are 100% Vegetarian, and never have animal-ingredients obtained through animal slaughter. They also have “All Vegan” (no animal-derived ingredients such as honey and beeswax) products listing under each category in their website navigation, which makes it a lot easier to distinguish the difference!

Aloe Soothing Day Cream
100% Vegan, Cruelty-Free, Paraben-Free, Fragrance-Free, Color-Free, Preservatives-Free, Alcohol-Free
This particular product is great for sensitive and dry skin and made from enriched community trade Aloe Vera from Mexico. It’s fragrance free but has a pleasant smell, unlike other natural fragrance-free moisturizers I’ve tried that smelled awful.

Fresh Nude Foundation 
100% Vegan, Cruelty-Free
This foundation is enriched with English rose water and aloe vera. It provides full coverage so that’s why I dilute it with a little water on my beauty blender sponge.  It has a nice semi-matte finish but moisturizing enough so my skin feels like it can breathe. It’s suitable for sensitive skin and dermatologically tested.

Matt Lip Liquid in Windsor Rose 
100% Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, Carmine-Free
This lipstick is enriched with community trade marula oil from Namibia and community trade beeswax from Cameroon. This replaced my NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in London, which I used to love but stop using after NYX was bought by L'Oréal. NYX used to be cruelty-free, and still makes claims to be cruelty-free but ultimately it’s not because they are now under the umbrella of a company that sells to China which requires the testing of products on animals. Although the Matte Lip Liquid is not vegan because it uses beeswax, I trust the safety of its ingredients versus NYX. Although I’m still in search for a completely vegan alternative, I was told by an associate at The Body Shop that the honey is only harvested after the bees have left their hives as to not disturb the natural rhythm of bees without killing them. Learn more about their traditional sustainable beekeeping techniques.


I love e.l.f. because they are the most affordable vegan & cruelty-free beauty products! Unfortunately their products are a hit or miss, and they aren’t the healthiest alternative. The cheaper the product, the more I question the ingredients, safety, and whether it’s toxic-free. Unfortunately, the products I have were not listed on the sites I usually check to verify: and Healthy Living App. If anybody has another site or app suggestion, please comment below! 

Sculpting Silk Eyeshadow in Rose All Day
100% Vegan, Cruelty-Free
Great little shadow trio. The powder is velvety smooth as advertised. 

Mineral Infused Mascara 
100% Vegan, Cruelty-Free
This mascara contains all-natural mineral wax infused with Kaolin and Zinc Oxide to create full, healthy-looking lashes. The brush head is designed to minimize clumping for optimal application. It’s good for a barely-there mascara look. The bristles separate the lashes well, and there’s no clumping as long as you don’t apply too much between coats. 

Cream Eyeliner
100% Vegan, Cruelty-Free
This is the Wet N Wild alternative cream eyeliner I mentioned earlier. I have this liner, but in the Coffee shade. It’s just as good and very creamy, great for a super smooth application for that cat winged eyeliner look.


BeautyAmarilis SarangoComment

5-Free, Vegan Nail Polish

Black nail polish, once solely reserved for the goths and punks, can be just as versatile and sophisticated as an all black wardrobe. Sometimes I keep my nails natural and simple, but my favorite look, of course, is black and polished. In search for a vegan, toxin-free nail polish, I stumbled across Target’s in-house nail polish beauty line Defy & Inspire (Source Link). I reached for the blackest color in the mix, Mom the Manager (The shades are playfully named after reality-shows). Reading the label, I was happy to find out it was a 5-Free formula—No DBP, Toluene, Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, or Camphor. I gave it a try and I was happy that I could get away with only 1 coat for a deep, high-gloss finish. Surprisingly, It lasts for about 3 days before any noticeable chips. I’m sure it would last even longer if I used the base and topcoat, but that’s still great for a non-gel polish. I hope Target continues to expand their beauty line with more vegan, toxin-free products!



women who defy & inspire

The tagline on the bottle, ‘Defy the Ordinary, Inspire the Extraordinary’, really resonated with me and sparked the idea for this blog post. I wanted to nominate a few women that defy and inspire. There are so many incredible women that can make that list! But to narrow it down, I wanted to feature vegan/vegetarian women that have a defyingly rebellious sense of style and that are inspirational in their own unique way.

Original Image | Unknown

Original Image | Unknown


Probably one of the most well-known luxury fashion brands that brought sustainable fashion to the forefront is Stella McCartney. A Central St. Martins graduate, her designs are known for her signature sharp tailoring, natural confidence and sexy femininity. A lifelong vegetarian, Stella McCartney does not use any leather or fur in her designs. Her style is inspirational and she defies an industry that still needs a lot of change by helping set a standard that luxury fashion shouldn’t come at the cost of people, animals, or the environment. Although her line is not completely vegan (use of silk and wool materials), it’s still leaps and bounds from most well-known luxury fashion brands that have a long way to go. Recently, McCartney’s is collaborating with Bolt Threads to create a product called Microsilk, which is bioengineered to mimic the chemistry and strength of real silk created by spiders in nature. No insects are killed or harmed, the use of petroleum is limited, and manufacturing it does not require resources like land or water (Source Link). This is hopeful for vegan fashion companies that are emerging and searching for cruelty-free alternatives.

Original Image | Unknown

Original Image | Unknown

maggie q

Ever since Maggie Q’s performance in the TV drama series Nikita, she’s been on my list of favorite actresses. Besides her killer style and moves (trained by no other than Jackie Chan’s martial arts company), it was inspirational to see her play a leading heroine that was flawed but tough and ultimately lead with her heart. Defyingly she was the first to play the part as an Asian American. This kickass model-turned-actress is also known as an animal rights activist. A long time vegetarian, she participated in 2 PETA campaigns and turned vegan sometime post 2008 . She was also declared as one of PETA’s three ‘Sexiest Vegan’s of 2017.’

Original Image | © Mert and Marcus via Vogue

Original Image | © Mert and Marcus via Vogue

rooney mara

Another actress favorite, but admittedly wasn’t even on my radar until her portrayal of one of my favorite characters, Lisbeth Salander, in David Fincher’s Oscar winning film adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’. Nobody can replace Noomi Rapace’s gripping performance in the Swedish version, but Rooney’s interpretation was still very memorable. Her breakout role defied typical female casting and defined a new type of sexy.  A more modern take of the intense dark drama, Rooney completely transformed into a troubled, misunderstood, and mysterious hacker that nobody would want to mess with. Mara is known for charity work and lives a vegan lifestyle since 2013 along side her sister, Kate Mara. She's currently working on her own sustainable, cruelty-free, 100% Vegan clothing brand 'Hiraeth'. (Source Link)

Original Image | © Todd Barry via GQ Magazine

Original Image | © Todd Barry via GQ Magazine


Nobody embodies that rebellious attitude quite like Ruby Rose. I enjoyed her role as the villain Ares in ‘John Wick 3: Parabellum’ and she made me laugh in ‘Orange is the New Black’. Not shy to nonconformity and the epitome of defying the ordinary, her androgynous style is both badass and inspiring. She’s a longtime vegetarian, and despite her struggles, she’s on the path to a full vegan lifestyle and urged her twitter followers to do the same. I’m on that same journey, so I can relate and appreciate her honesty and perseverance. Everybody’s experience is different and as long as we all have the same goal in mind and try, thats all that matters.

I hope you enjoyed this post! What’s your favorite vegan, non-toxic nail polish? Who would you nominate as a woman that defies the ordinary and inspires you? Let me know in the comments below.


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