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Friday, July 21, 2017

What better way to start your Friday than a good ol'haul? Granted, this one is pretty huge (about 2,000 words) so I'll keep the intro short and sweet: basically, I ran out of a lot of product at the same time and was feeling antsy not having certain items cruelty-free, so I did a lot of research - it really was a lot when it came to buying the best of the best products that aren't always mentioned or focused on.

Everything you see here is cruelty-free and vegan, some of it completely or as near to being fully natural as possible, and is all readily available in the UK (everything was purchased from Cult Beauty and Naturisimo) which is FAB-U-LOUS! So let's get straight to it, ready to add to your wishlist....?

Indie Lee Clearing Mask -  Looking for cruelty-free/vegan beauty to replace products I'd finished, a mask was top of my list seeing as I've got one on my face every other night. The indie lee mask had amazing reviews on Cult Beauty and was frequently out of stock when I went to order it, but finally got my hands on it and I'm so impressed - it smells a bit similar to the Mario Badescu drying lotion, containing zinc and sulphur to dry up any spots and unclog sebum, but a bit more subtle so some consolation for your nostrils ;) I've used it three times now and have found my spots reduced in size, pores decongested in my most oily areas, and a lot of gunk being brought up and sent packing. I really like that I can leave it on a bit longer than recommended so it dries spots out without affecting the rest of my face, and I'd definitely recommend if you have acne/spots. One thing I don't like it the packaging - the box it comes it makes you think you're getting more product than you do and the extra space feels a bit wasteful, that's my only gripe!

Cosrx Acne Patches - When searching vegan products on Cult, these little patches came up and of course that voice in my head was like 'buy them' because I didn't necessarily need them, but they sounded pretty good - I've had spots in the past that I really need to leave alone but just look so angry you want to get rid. These patches come in 3 sizes and are perfect at covering up a spot, sealing it off from any exposure or pollution, all whilst breaking down the bacteria and sucking out all the gunk. I've tried wearing them both on bare skin and under makeup, and with the latter it does look like you've got some plastic stuck to your face, so best if it's a more concealed area I.e. Side of chin, but you might look a bit suspish otherwise. In the day however, it's great, you can leave it to do its job and when the patch has turned white you know it's done it's job. You can only leave one on per day and for around 8 hours, but they're good at getting rid of the most stubborn spots or at least helping them bugger off quicker ;)

DNA Renewal Scar Therapy Cream - I've had bacne for a few years and it's really affected my self esteem. Aside for scrubs and masks, there's not been much else I've found to help until I spotted this again on Cult. It's cruelty free and vegan, and is a DNA enzyme cream that helps rebuild the DNA cells to get rid of scaring and pigmentation. Now I've got a lot of that on my back so snapped it up immediately, and have been using it twice a day on my back and chest as recommended. It's been two weeks and I've already noticed my pigmentation and scars start to fade and become lighter, and blemishes and congestion I had are starting to either come out or clear up. It's great, I'm so impressed, and even if you use it for post-surgery or for skin concerns you'll be impressed too!

REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask - this is the first of three repurchases, and as I've mentioned it plenty of times on the blog I'ma keep this sort and sweet; the Ren Glycol Lactic Mask is amazing at breaking down dead skin cells, sebum, and generally renewing the skin's texture. It smells like marmalade, is gentle yet powerful, and is my absolute go-to for a skin texture refresh. 10/10 recommend!

Pacifica Stellar Gaze Mascara - I've been looking for a cf/vegan mascara that's also waterproof and a brand that came up a lot was Pacifica. Currently they're only mainly in the US but Naturisimo has a few products including the Stellar Gaze Mascara, a lengthening and volumising product with natural ingredients. I'd say it's similar to Too Faced Better Than Sex (more below) or Maybelline Lash Sensational, but you're paying more for a natural and more ethical brand. I love the packaging and brand ethos, and it's definitely becoming my go-to va va voom lash.

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara - Too Faced have so many vegan products working their cruelty-free brand, including their much loved hero mascara. I've heard loads about Better Than Sex and picked up this mini with a Kat Von D liner (also vegan/cf) in Debenhams to test it alongside my other mascaras. I've only worn it a few times but my lashes look so dramatic and voluminous, and I've noticed the formula also dried very quickly so it's a 'apply it fast for serious lash' situation, but I'm loving the fluttery volume so far!

Ere Perez Volumising Waterproof Mascara - Now this is probably my fave mascara out the lot, mainly because it's waterproof but also because the formula is so unique; it applies only what you need for a natural coating, lengthens the lash, separates for natural volume, and really holds a curl. It's cheaper than Fairydrops and also much more ethically produced, being vegan and cruelty free. Honestly, I'm blown away with how well it applies and how great it looks - even with liner on you can still see how naturally dramatic the lashes look with it on. *cue me stocking up*

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner - As I mentioned before I picked this mini up with the Too Faced Mascara, however I have tried it previously. That last one did dry up quickly but I had obviously opened it up and gave up on attempting cat eyes, whereas this time round I'm nailing it. I know liquid is the way to go but my hands aren't steady yet so this is super easy to faux a neat line and flick out a little - all hail the lazy girl liner.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Medium Brown - My OG brow product. I thought I was doing okay with powder inbetween finishing my last Brow Wiz and this new one, but honestly this makes brows look so much more natural and is easier to get in the gaps. Pro tip, backcomb your brows using the spoolie and product, fills in more areas and add's serious volume to your hairs - hiya big brows!

Becca Aqua Luminous Perfecting Foundation - The main product I wanted to get sorted was foundation, everything I had was either solely CF, was minimal coverage, or at least two shades too dark. EEEEK indeed! After much research, I landed on Becca - the brand is fab, they know how to glow, and they're vegan also which meant adding to my basket pronto. I was colour-matched beforehand and wouldn't you know it, I'm between shades, so have been mixing Fair and Porcelain together and it's a pretty decent match - it gives me a bit of colour, and is buildable if you carefully use thin layers (otherwise the glow is strong with this one), but I love the finish and how it hydrates my skin through the day.

W3ll People Bio-Correct Concealer - This brand is pretty much sold out on Cult Beauty, but luckily their concealer and lipbalm had a few shades available which I snapped up quickly. W3ll People are an all natural cruelty-free and vegan brand, being the most green makeup range on Cult Beauty and have a wide range of products from mascara to foundation to powder to moisturiser. The concealer was highly rated and after watching a few YouTube reviews, I picked up Light which was closer to my skin-tone with foundation, however I've found two shades either side can rock this as it has amazing blendability and colour matching pigments. When you dispense the product, some liquid comes out which may be off-putting but when you remix it with the concealer, it allows it to stretch further and also cover more of your face - honestly as teeny pin head will do your under-eyes and nose easily! I love the coverage, I love the pigmentation, and I love how they've nailed a green brand that works so well!

W3ll People Nudist Colourbalm in Cherry - I'd been wanting a vegan lippy that didn't come in a tub for hygienic reasons, and this looked right up my street! Again, every shade bar Cherry was sold out so I'm hoping to try the nude version soon, but Cherry is bloody amazing - it applies like a glossy balm but becomes matte over time which is great, and it has a slight pink tinge that wears down as the hours go on. If you wear it over liner, the colour will stay all day after the gloss has gone, but it's easy to whack on sans mirror, is a lovely formula and pigmentation, and obviously you're not ingesting any nasties when wearing/eating in it!

Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel - It wouldn't be a beauty haul without repurchasing one of my favourite cleansers now would it? This is my absolute morning go-to, refreshing the skin and making it bright and glowy thanks to the fruit acids and gorgeous formula, and I've written about this product so much before that you get the gist, but it just works magic! It's cruelty-free and vegan, as natural as you can possibly get with ingredients, and is all made in the UK which is fab. Dry, oily, acne, sensitive, pretty much anyone can use this cleanser and everyone should.

Pai Camellia and Rose Hydrating Cleanser - Another favourite cleanser, this time for the evening. Pai's creamy cleanser is so soft and gentle that it makes removing makeup easy and it smells divine too! I decided to super-size and get the 200ml version because I know I'll get through it especially with double cleanses, and it does work out a lot cheaper too so great on your bank balance (£10 more for double product? Yes!) Despite being a creamy cleanser, it does contain some oils which helps to break down makeup and grime a lot easier, and because it's cruelty-free/vegan and designed with comfort and sensitvity in mind, you can massage it all over your face and eyes without it irritating at all. My skin feels so soft and balanced after each use, and definitely think it's a product everyone should use, especially dry or sensitive!

Acure Organics Dry Shampoo - Finally, the last product! I went off dry shampoo a while ago but hair washes are far between for me so I needed something that would minimise oils, look natural, and also be cruelty-free. The most popular option was Acure, a powder product which you shake into your roots or apply to a brush and disperse either with fingers or by brushing. I've tried both and personally feel applying straight to the root, working it in and then brushing is the best method. I will say that shaking it into the roots can be a little messy and feels like you lose some product, however I have tried holding the product in place along the hairline and then squeezing the bottle so it comes out in a concentrated space - I'd say either or works, however you're more likely to look grey if you concentrate on one area! The product is so lightweight and fine you wouldn't realise it was there, and as someone who hates product in their locks, this is a dream. My hair looks just washed again, it feels soft, and all the ingredients are kind and environmentally friendly too which is just amazing. It is a small amount for the price, but if you're looking for something more natural and minimal product feel with maximum volume (there is maximum volume) then this is worth every penny.


Some products in this post may have been sent for review or gifted, and will be marked with a * or c/o. All opinions are mine are not influenced by brands or companies. Please see my full disclaimer for more.

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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

I was one of those kids who wished they'd broken their arm so I could wear a cast and have people sign it - pretty weird, but it felt like some rite of passage to wear a neon bandage like all the other cool kids (in hindsight I'm glad I have no broken bones because bodily things out of place, in or out, makes me vom now, so I'm glad to have kept all my femurs in place.)

Back on topic, another thing I always wanted was to wear glasses - my parents wore them, Harry Potter wore them, and I actively blame David Tennant and Tumblr for wanting to wear clear frames for most of my teenage years. I wasn't actively hoping for poor eyesight, in fact it was my mum's worst nightmare for me to have less than 20-20 vision, but that didn't stop me popping the plastic lens out my 3D glasses and pretending.

I've always felt glasses suited my face (and also hid the fact I was bad at eyeliner) and added some sort of interest, made my eyes look more noticeable, and after many many years staring at a computer screen, my eyes began screaming for a break and I got my first prescription. I've had a basic frame since autumn for watching TV and driving in (I'll admit I did forget to watch TV a few times wearing them and it was a strain oops) but had been looking for a new ~cooler~ pair for a long time when David Clulow invited me along to get my eyes re-tested and pick out a pair of frames from Ray Ban - finally, the dream glasses I'd always wanted!

Myself and Jaye headed to their Covent Garden store a few weeks ago to have a look at some frames, and got lots of helpful advice from the team there - it was great that they weren't just selling pitch, but actually looking at our style, face shapes, and colouring to determine a pair that would really suit us long-term. After a quick scout, we headed downstairs for the eye-test which was a complete breeze (and sans air blow in the eye breeze which we all know is the worst part, makes my head rush!) and I've honestly never seen such a detailed variety of lenses to create the perfect unique prescription for your eyes. I really felt they'd treated each eye individually and made sure everything was as clear as possible, and after thinking my prescription had gotten worse, I found I was exactly the same as last autumn - result!

With the eye test done, we headed back upstairs for an intense try-on session; I really liked the idea of oversized round or cat-eye glasses, but was worried it wouldn't suit me or there wouldn't be the right shape for my face. I picked up a few pairs I knew were safe options, but kept looking back at the round options, and luckily the assistant noticed and encouraged me to try - I have to admit, judging a pair in a small mirror can really skew how something looks on your face, but as soon as I went to their full-length mirror the glasses looked different and more importantly suited me! After much toing and froing I went for the RX5283 and have been so pleased with my choice since.

We had some quick checks to test how they'd sit on our nose, and also had our old glasses cleaned (because some smudges won't budge) and were told they'd take about 8 days to be made to prescription and back in store, however 3 days later they were ready for collection - that's some speedy service I can get on board with.

In the time it took to come back and pick up my frames, I'd completely forgotten how they looked, so trying them on first time with lenses was great because 1) I could see and 2) they looked so much more stylish than before (I also have to credit my Haim-vibe outfit I was rocking). The manager was so helpful, making sure they fit on our head properly, that we could see, and that we also were 100% on the frame, and he and the whole team who helped us along the way did an amazing job with amazing service. It was all amazing, can you tell?

So with new glasses and a pal in tow to help with photos *wink wink* it was time to show 'em off!

I'm truly living my art student dreams of glasses and high-waisted jeans, coupled with some serious double denim - blame the Haim obsession, I am a wannabe Este Haim through and through. After a few days wearing my Ray Ban specs now, I'm please to report they've only left my face for sleep, eating, and showering (the three most important tasks) and I'm in love with the shape; I've taken numerous selfies, practised with my eyeliner more for better 'makeup for glasses' skills, and they've almost become part of me. Of course, I don't have to wear them all the time and my eyesight is still good, but I'm so pleased with my vision and the look of the frames I just can't go without!

A huge thank you to the team at David Clulow Covent Garden for their advice and service from start to finish, and for hooking up us short-sighted folk with stylish frames, and finally Jaye for being on photo duty for me - you papped me good ;)

Glasses were courtesy of David Clulow, however all views and specs appeal are my own! Thank you to Talented Talkers for asking me to be part of this campaign.


Some products in this post may have been sent for review or gifted, and will be marked with a * or c/o. All opinions are mine are not influenced by brands or companies. Please see my full disclaimer for more.

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Monday, July 17, 2017

I'm going to start today's post off-topic because it's currently Sunday afternoon and it's just been announced that Jodie Whittaker is the first female Doctor and I'm very, very emotional (I've cried twice). I don't think I realised how much female representation was needed until a few years ago, and I too was very happy in my male-led sci-fi bubble, but I feel so much appreciation and happiness seeing a woman at the centre of my favourite childhood TV show (which hopefully now becomes 'All Time Fave' again thanks to a new showrunner as well) and I'm so excited for the spring when she starts - might be time to get my old merch out again ;)

Back to the beauty, and I'm so excited to be getting into more cruelty-free/vegan features on the blog, not only because I've got to purchase a few new products as replacement, but because there's so much variety! The range of brands that are cruelty-free now is so impressive, and I'm kicking it off today with a look at some Perricone MD products I've been testing.

Until recently, I called Perricone MD the 'readily accessible Glossier' due to fact they have similar 'no makeup makeup' vibes, but as Glossier is set to come to the UK in a few months it'll be interesting to see their differences, especially since they're both mainy cruelty-free (with Glossier having some vegan products in production). But that doesn't mean Perricone is any less worthy of a spot in your makeup drawer - the formula of each product is seriously impressive, covers the key elements you really need, and looks pretty in it's packaging too (not that I'm fickle at all ;))

Let's start with base: the No-Foundation Foundation comes in two shades, Fair and Medium, of which I wear the former and think it's a bit too light on me, making me look more white and pale than I normally am. It's also quite light yet buildable coverage, so a paler shade that still highlights redness or spots maybe isn't as great as a darker shade to hide imperfections with subtle tan. The medium shade also isn't much darker, so the range isn't well catered to darker skintones - hopefully this is somethign the brand is looking in to as the formula is worth sharing across the board!

I like the finish, between dewy and normal skin almost, and it looks natural on the skin. I've mixed it with other bases too and it still holds true to a skin-like complexion, so if you're a fan of something easy to apply and wear daily this is definitely up your street. I'd like more coverage, but really, I just want better skin so I can wear the foundation more often!

Blush is something I've tackled with over the years, but the No-Blush Blush is a very nice natural flush for those who like the low-key vibe - it takes a few goes to get the perfect application and amount for your skin (don't use 3 drops, I looked like Lil' Poundcake) but it's a very nice bright yet warm pink flush that makes any usual cheek redness look a bit more done. This is probably my least used product, but when autumn comes round I think I'll reach for it a bit more.

I love a minimal eye that still adds depth and a bit of summin'summin', and the No-Eyeshadow Eyeshadow is a fab taupe-beige, literally your natural eye colour with a bit more grey and two tones darker. It's subtle and evens out the eye-socket, it's buildable, and it works well with other powder or cream products. You don't need a lot, but it makes a big difference to me and is my favourite product out of the ones I've tried. A must for any low-key neutral eye gal!

Highlighter is another thing I'm a bit hit-or-miss with, but this glow is so easy to apply I need some restraint in the department. The No-Highlighter Highlighter is a cool-pink tone, but it blends effortlessly into the skin which I think would make it easy for anyone to wear. I apply three dots to either cheekbone, two on my nose, and one on my forehead and cupid's bow - it's soft yet eye-catching, and really adds a nice dimension to my face (because I need dimension) another easy on-the-go product that will do a lot of work with such little product.

Finally, the No-Lipstick Lipstick; this is currently sold out due to Gal Gadot wearing it in Wonder Woman, and no wonder (excuse the pun) because the shade is gorgeous - it's meant to mimic the natural rosy colour of your lips, very easy to throw on and a great finish too, a bit matte but softer. I will say it's quite drying in a different way to the usual mattes, it's as if over time it slowly draws moisture out your lips and even with a generous amount of balm underneath the stain still leaves you a bit dry, which is sad considering the lovely colour. Regardless, I love the colour and am still working out how to keep it lasting all day and soft on the lips, to stay tuned!

If you prefer minimal coverage and a natural look, I'd recommend looking at a few of the products, specifically the eyeshadow and highlighter, and the foundation if you are paler. I think there could be more of a colour range across the board, and that the lipstick could be more hydrating, but other than that, it's inspired me to keep my skin clear and happy so I don't need to wear as much makeup when popping out - the fact it's cruelty-free is an added bonus too!

I'll be doing a lot more cruelty-free/vegan reviews and roundups over the next few weeks, so keep your eyes out for that, and if you have any recommendations let me know below!


Some products in this post may have been sent for review or gifted, and will be marked with a * or c/o. All opinions are mine are not influenced by brands or companies. Please see my full disclaimer for more.

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Friday, July 14, 2017

If you follow my Insta-stories, you'll know I spend at least one day a week at The Juice Smith sipping juice and eating my weight in Vegan Nutella and Banana Waffles - no shame at all, they're that darn good.

With the summer really making it's presence known (I haven't been able to sleep in my room the last few weeks because I am going to combust) the Juice Smith updated their menu with a few lighter options and some AMAZING vegan ice-creams, which means I just had to go try the whole menu, for review purposes of course ;)

So what's new? Well the Buddha Bowl certainly comes top choice for me, with a range of flavours, textures, and nutrients you need to keep you full until your next meal. My particularly favourite element was the coated chickpeas and marinated butternut squash, the flavour was incredible and made me want to experiment more at home with dressings and flavours, and combined with grounding quinoa and al-dente veg it keeps giving you more satisfaction with every mouthful. I'd definitely recommend this or the avo toast as your first foray into the cafe!

Another dish I was excited to try was the Pad Thai; I'd never really been into it before but had a raw version which I really loved so had high hopes for something similar, however I personally found it needed something sharp to cut through the cashew and sesame sauce, or even a different fresh texture like raw pepper stirred through - wasn't for me sadly but my Mum really liked it; if you're a Pad Thai fan I'd give it a fair taste for yourself!

With new dishes came new waffles (heart eyes) and the added topping combo of vegan butter, blueberries, and syrup. We watched a couple devour a large serving between two - it was actually 40-60, the woman was not letting him get the last bite and rightly so when it comes to sweet treats.

I decided to give these a go over my usual chocolate and banana, and I'd say if you want something a bit more moist (sorry) and fruity fresh then this will hit the sweet spot. The syrup isn't overly sugary which allows the fruit to naturally sweeten and add a kick, and the butter has a little vanilla kick which is subtle but works with all the ingredients well. I'll admit, it wasn't my chocolate and banana, but if you want something lighter that you can dowse in lots and lots of syrup, you'll hit the mark with this.

The PiƱa Colada smoothie has been on the menu since late Spring and I finally got to try it a few weeks ago (and had it twice since) I'm not usually one for creamy drinks but damn this is delicious - perfect blend of coconut milk and cream with pineapple and lime, it's heavenly, and I would have one every day if I could. Get this with the avocado toast and pretend you're beach side in Hawaii, a bit of foodie escape ;)

Finally we have the newest addition to the menu - vegan ice-creams. Oh. My. God. They are so good, they're heavier and bigger than a magnum, almost like a cake on a stick but with a thick shell and filled with ice-cream and soft center. There were 5 flavours to start, but we opted to try the Salted Caramel and Lemon Vanilla when visiting - it was probably wise because you need something to balance out the rich chocolate and zingy lemon, so alternate every second bite ;)

Salted Caramel starts out like a Magnum, that classic rich dark chococlate contrasting the soft vanila cream, and then two bites in you hit the caramel core - it's sweet, thick, gooey, and oh my lord it transforms the ice-cream. I'm so hungry right now I can't even tell you. Lemon Vanilla is as it sounds, a lemony outer shell with vanilla cream yet almost moussey filling, and a lemon curd centre that really adds a sharp zing. It's the perfect balance, fresh yet indulgent, and the ice-creams were both so big we had to wrap them up to take home with us - you could easily go in just to eat ice-cream, but if you're a true champ you'll have finished them (unlike me, couldn't make the last two bites)

All round, the new menu is spot on for the variety of dishes, and even the ones I wasn't huge fan of still tasted great and are all made with organic, plant-based ingredients which is great for digestion and health, which is pretty darn great if you ask me.

If you ever fancy a venture outside of London, or are a Surrey local looking for a new hot-spot, then you should make time for a trip to The Juice Smith - just don't sell out the ice-cream or you'll have my angry stomach to answer to ;)


Some products in this post may have been sent for review or gifted, and will be marked with a * or c/o. All opinions are mine are not influenced by brands or companies. Please see my full disclaimer for more.

Website | Flickr | Tumblr | Twitter | Bloglovin | Instagram | Pinterest

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