On this website (which seems legit), I found the following distinction between the religious life and the consecrated life. Problem is, I still don’t see the difference between the two:
Religious life is a form of consecrated life within the Church wherein the members profess vows of chastity, poverty and obedience within a Congregation or Community approved by the Church. Shared community life is an integral part of this form of consecrated life. In professing vows and living within community, the members individually and as a whole witness to a life of communion with Christ, the Church, and one another.
Apostolic religious congregations develop their own traditions based on the original vision of their founders or foundresses, while continuing to focus their ministries to meet the needs of the Church today. While every religious congregation is unique, together they form a rich source of inspiration for the entire Church.
Read more about religious life here
Consecrated life, in the canonical sense defined by the Catholic Church, is a stable form of Christian living by those faithful who feel called to follow Jesus Christ in a more exacting way recognized by the Church.
It “is characterized by the public profession of the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience, in a stable state of life recognized by the Church”.
The Code of Canon Law defines it as “a stable form of living by which the faithful, following Christ more closely under the action of the Holy Spirit, are totally dedicated to God who is loved most of all, so that, having been dedicated by a new and special title to his honour, to the building up of the Church, and to the salvation of the world, they strive for the perfection of charity in the service of the kingdom of God and, having been made an outstanding sign in the Church, foretell the heavenly glory.