Featured

High street favourites to get your toiletries cruelty free

Convenience for me has a huge impact on how I purchase, however shopping with convenience in mind it can be easy to fall into bad habits. I have three high street favourites when shopping for cruelty free products and toiletries which are also very reasonably priced. Almost every high street will have one of these stores too so it keeps your shopping simple, convenient and still cruelty free – Win Win!

For those who would rather not venture into the high street, all three of my favourite stores have great websites too.

two white bottles beside potted plant on bathtub

Superdrug

Superdrug has done a fantastic job of introducing their own brands and ensuring the ‘leaping bunny’ logo is clearly displayed on the packaging. You can be reassured that the products you’re purchasing are cruelty free, thanks to the official seals of approval.

Toiletries for men and women, including deodorants, toothpaste and shower gel are all available in Superdrug’s own brand. These are easily identified by the star logo in the corner of the products and are extremely well priced. My hero product is the Superdrug Charcoal Toothpaste.

Superdrug Charcoal Toothpaste – £1.50

superdrug-toothpaste-e1575891957344.png

The Charcoal helps to remove stains, actually whitens teeth and gives you brilliantly fresh breath. The toothpaste is in fact black, but don’t be put off its just the charcoal. Superdrug also offer a sensitive version of this toothpaste too and often do a buy one get one half price deal. The toothpaste does contain Fluoride so for those looking for an organic product this isn’t for you.

Body Shop

The Body Shop continues to lead the way on corporate social responsibility projects, including their most famous movement of being Cruelty Free and campaigning for this in the UK and Europe too. The Body Shop price points are slightly higher than other high street brands but the quality easily justifies this. You can also be confident that anything you purchase will be Cruelty Free.

Moringa Shower Gel – £5.00 250ml

Body Shop Shower Gel

My hero toiletry product (as I have many favourite products from the Body Shop) is their Shower Gel. They have a fragrance to suit everyone and all part of a broader collection of soaps, hand creams and body butters. The shower gel is £5 for 250ml which may sound more expensive than most but I use a lot less due to the incredible formula, so it lasts twice as long. The best thing about the body shop shower gel is it actually feels indulgent and leaves your skin soft and smooth, not dry and dehydrated.

Holland and Barrett

A lot of people still think of Holland and Barrett as a health food store that sells lots of vitamins too. What your missing is a huge range of incredible beauty brands from Shampoo to toothpaste to sheet masks, Holland and Barrett have you covered. The best part of shopping there is their sales and promotions that are almost all year round, keeping it nice and easy on the purse strings.

Holland and Barrett are the only national retailer to have introduced an entire range of toiletries free from parabens and sodium lauryl sulphates so you can check for Cruelty Free and know they are clean products too. I have a lot of brand favourites that are sold at Holland and Barrett, including Dr Organics and Sukin. You can learn more about Dr Organics on my post here. But for toiletries my hero product has to be the Salt of the Earth deodorant.

Salt of the Earth Natural Unscented Stick Deodorant 90g £4.99

Deodorant

This isn’t your usual deodorant stick and for those used to spraying, this can be a huge change. Salt of the Earth encourage you to work with your body, not against it, using this classic natural, effective stick deodorant. It’s simple but powerful formula works without blocking the skin’s pores or leaving white marks on your clothes.  The Salt of the Earth deodorant lasts up to 24 hours and  must be applied to wet skin or the crystal must be wet before applying. Give this little crystal a try, I think its worth it.

 

Cruelty Free doesn’t mean its clean

You do need to remember when purchasing cruelty free, this does not guarantee the products are organic or free of nasty chemicals. Check out my post here on how to avoid those dirty ingredients.

woman making fun with her eyes

I hope this quick guide has helped make your shopping trips that little bit easier. I remember the first time I went cruelty free shopping with my mum she was rather overwhelmed so please let me know how you get on, she didn’t have this guide though.. Good Luck!

Beauty Boxes – The Cruelty Free must have subscription

The best way to try and discover new brands is to subscribe to a beauty box. It is also a little self indulgence and an exciting treat to receive.  Beauty box subscriptions are usually sent once a month with a rolling monthly payment of around £15-20 which is the same price as just one full size cleanser (and a reasonably priced cleanser too).

Before becoming completely cruelty free I subscribed to Glossy Box and Birchbox, both of which were good value for money and introduced me to a whole new world of brands and cult favorites.

However since going cruelty-free I really missed my monthly beauty box delivery and trying to find new brands was even more challenging, as I didn’t always want to spend money on a product I’d never used before. So after clicking through my favorite search engine, I discovered The Cruelty Free Beauty Box.

The Cruelty Free Beauty Box

The Cruelty Free Beauty Box recently won The Veggie Awards in 2018 as all products sent our are also vegan.

I get the impression the company is still relatively small as the boxes feel really personal but with their website. The Cruelty Free Beauty Box implemented a box re-design which was a great move, as the look and feel is much more professional and organic to their branding.

The Cruelty Free Beauty Box founder created the company through frustration, trying to navigate her way through the huge number of brands and ensuring they didn’t cause unnecessary suffering. Well a huge thank you – you have definitely made my life easier and trying new brands a lot cheaper and more enjoyable.

beauty box

So how does the Cruelty Free Beauty Box work?

Visit their website (Cruelty Free Beauty Box) and click onto their subscribe tab which gives you multiple options. Monthly box subscription (my personal favorite at only £14.95 inc postage), Gift Subscriptions, Gift Cards and one off beauty boxes. Choose which option suits you (I use the rolling month subscription) and you will then be asked a small number of questions to ensure the products you receive are what you would actually use. No point giving someone who doesn’t self tan a whole host of tanning products.

After completing the survey you will then click through to the payment screen where again there are a few payment options including debit card or pay-pal. It’s that simple.

Whats in the box?

The Beauty Box comes with a diverse range of different products each month from Makeup, Skincare, Fragrance, Bath & Body, Hair Care and Nail Care. The Cruelty Free Beauty Box mention on their site that you will never receive the same product in a 12 month period and you will receive five products in each box worth at least £30 value and averaged over £40 value during 2018 – which is in my opinion fantastic value for money.

Each month within your box, you’ll receive a card listing all five products detailing their retail price, box price and description. My mum loves to collect hers in a little binder to refer back to when she uses the products, which I think is such a great idea as it can be hard to know how to use a completely new brand.

Every single product is guaranteed by Cruelty Free Beauty Box to be Vegan and Cruelty Free. If the companies don’t have the official accreditation they have to sign up to the Cruelty Free Beauty Box’s own policy.

Cruelty Free Beauty Box - Example products

Love whats in your box?

If you fall in love with a specific product like both I and my Mum have, you can purchase the products off of the Cruelty Free Beauty Box website too. It also has a huge product range if you fancy purchasing something alongside your box. They have a lot of Eden fragrances available which is my favorite Cruelty Free, Vegan perfume (post coming soon).

If you do decide to give the Cruelty Free Beauty Box a try it would be great to know what you think. My mum and I are addicted.

 

Budget Beauty – How to get clearer, calmer skin with clean products

During the winter months, trying to keep my skin clear and moisturised is almost impossible. Central heating, cold air and quick temperature changes are all doing their best to remove moisture and nutrients from the skin, making it a bit of a problem.

Clean Beauty.jpeg

Normal spot or problem skin treatments focus on removing excess sebum (oil) from the skin which in my case leaves it feeling extremely dry, flaky and tight in a lot of areas. Overly dry skin can then lead to more breakouts as there is no natural barrier on the skin to prevent or reduce bacteria.

Dr Organic Skin Clear range

During a visit to Holland and Barrett I stumbled across Dr Organic – a brand that carries a vast selection of products for all skin types with multiple awards under their belt too. I noticed their Skin Clear range and was so pleased with how reasonably priced it was – the face wash, moisturiser and 5 in 1 treatment gel are available as a set for £19.98.

Dr Organic’s Skin Clear range has an anti-bacterial and purifying solution for problem-prone skin. They have created a targeted range of treatments that work to clean, mattify and re-balance even the most problematic complexions. The Tea Tree Oil, Orange and Grapefruit Extracts create a soothing sensation on the skin leaving a calm, hydrated feel.

I have been using Dr Organic Skin Clear range (Face wash, scrub, moisturiser and 5 in 1 targeted gel treatment) on and off  for almost a year and have now put the face wash and 5 in 1 treatment gel in my emergency skin care first aid box – for when I know my skin needs a quick pick me up or some serious help.  The products are organic and contain no nastys (click here to find out more on avoiding dirty ingredients) so you can feel comfortable using this range consistently regardless of the condition of your skin.

The Skin Clear Spot Treatment Pack

Deep Pore Cleansing Face Wash 

The face wash was highly commended at the OK Beauty Awards in 2017 and I can understand why. The face wash contains Tea Tree Oil, Orange and Grapefruit Extracts which act as natural anti-bacterial ingredients. The face wash also includes fruit acids and Willow Bark extract to help calm the skin and reduce redness. The smell is delightful with the grapefruit really coming through, which is extremely refreshing in the morning.

Directions for use: Wet your face then gently massage a small amount (emphasis on small, a little goes a long way) in circular motions, focusing on the Tzone (forehead, nose and chin), then rinse with cool water. To achieve the best results use as part of your daily skin regime.

Skin Clear - Deep Pore Face Wash

5 in 1 Treatment Gel

The 5 in 1 gel is like my mini rescue remedy and I apply the product once a day at night on specific areas – Note this is not a miracle worker, it will not get rid of a blemish etc straight away however is does dramatically reduce redness, calm the skin and increase cell renewal. The gel has been developed to target spots, blemishes and breakouts, with a rich concentration of natural AHAs (Fruit Acids) and Salicylic Acid.  The treatment gel was highly commended at the OK Beauty Awards in 2017 and won silver at the Beauty Awards 2017 and the Reveal Summer Beauty Awards 2017.

Directions for use: Apply to affected area as and when required.

Skin Clear - 5 in 1 Treatment Gel

Oil Control Moisturiser 

The moisturiser is the one product from the set I feel I can swap in and out, as I love to try something new far to often. However the price point is so reasonable it’s a great product to keep using for consistent reliable results. Dr Organics do recommend this product is used daily to help reduce the appearance of spots whilst minimising pores and redness but personally using the wash and treatment gel I find enough. The moisturiser was also highly commended at the OK Beauty Awards in 2017 and won silver at the Beauty Awards 2017.

Directions for use: Apply a small amount daily after cleansing and toning. This product can be used both morning and evening.

 

Skin Clear Moisturiser

Dr Organic says on their website that “Here at Dr Organic we seek out the treasures of the natural world to discover the purest and most potent extracts, delving deep into centuries old traditions and supercharged botanicals to create breakthrough formulations that make you look and feel incredible.” and so far I have not been disappointed by that statement.

Your cheat sheet to help avoid those “dirty” ingredients in your skincare

Over recent years people have started to really look at what is in their food and understand from an ingredient list, what is and isn’t good for you. Unfortunately this happens a lot less when it comes to skincare.

The skin is our largest organ in our bodies and we need to make sure we look after it. So I have done a lot of research into cosmetic ingredients and created a simple dirt ingredient cheat, to help you keep an eye out for what to avoid and why.

pexels-photo-544112.jpeg

Why use dirty ingredients?

There are many reasons that our cosmetics supplier use these dirty ingredients. They are usually cheaper than their cleaner alternatives. Dirty ingredients also act as thickening agents, prevent mouldy products, create foamy lathers and much, much more.  But we don’t have to put up with this as there are so many amazing products on the market that do not have such toxic side effects. Bare in mind that even some organic cosmetics may contain some dirty ingredients below – click here read my post on what truly makes a product organic.

What do the side effects mean?

A Skin irritant is a substance which, while not corrosive, causes a temporary or reversible inflammation of living tissue (such as eyes, skin, or respiratory organs) at the point of contact.

Allergies are when the ingredient could cause your skin to have an allergic reaction, this could be as little as red, itchy skin to extreme reactions such as hives.

carcinogen is any substance that has the potential to cause cancer in living tissues and exposure can occur from the inhalation, ingestion, or absorption of many different types of substances.

pexels-photo-594421.jpeg

Hormone imbalances occur when an ingredient interferes with the production, transportation, breakdown, binding or elimination of our hormones. This includes our thyroid, adrenals, ovaries, pancreas, hypothalamus and pituitary glands.

Reproductive defects can occur similarly to hormone imbalances. This is when an ingredient interferes with the bodies natural development and maintenance of the reproductive system.

Toxic references an external toxin which are toxins outside of our bodies, that can be ingested or absorbed. External toxins are capable of causing disease on contact with our skin.

The Cheat Sheet 

Ingredients

Do you need something faster?

If you are still not sure or would like a guide that can do the research for you while you’re shopping, download the “Think Dirty” app. This app provides a dirty rating on a scale of 1-10 listing the chemicals in your products that make them “dirty”. The other amazing part of the “Think Dirty” app is if the product you have selected rates high on the dirty scale, it will recommend much cleaner alternatives. Pretty cool eh.

Like to learn more?

The great thing about today is that we have the internet, so no need to go rummaging through the library to do research. However if you would like a book to use as a reference I recommend reading A Consumer’s dictionary of cosmetic ingredients.

pexels-photo-46274.jpeg

 

5 simple life hacks, solved with your beauty essentials

There are a lot of articles and posts incorporating general household items into your beauty regime. Olive oil as cleanser, apple cider vinegar as toner and blotting your face with coffee filters are just a few. But what if your beauty products can solve not only their own, but other little problems too. Here are my top five tried and tested..

Hack One – Static Clothing 

There is literally nothing worse than being out and all of a sudden your dress or blouse becomes the most clingy, static mess of all time. I personally do not own enough of these materials to bother putting in a drying sheet, but this still happens and drives me crazy. Grab a hand Cream or moisturiser and rub onto your skin or tights, this will prevent the static from occurring – This hack was tried and tested today while I was at a trade-show and worked instantly.

suit-couple-blue-shoes.jpg

Hack Two – Wrinkled Clothing 

Just as your just about to walk out the door as you are putting on your shoes you notice a great big wrinkle in your clothes. Then the internal debate starts, can I get away with it, probably not, but I don’t have enough time to get the iron out of the cupboard. To get this sorted quickly, turn on the straighteners and as soon as they are warm you can literally straighten the wrinkle out.  I am terrible at ironing so I use this hack more often than I use the iron.

ironing-iron-press-clothing-53422.jpeg

Hack Three – Dress jewelry turning you green?

For as long I can remember I’ve had a love for dress jewelry, quirky rings and necklaces can change any outfit instantly. But after a while the rings start to turn my fingers green, which is definitely not a good look. So to prevent this happening, paint two layers of clear nail varnish on the inner facing surface, wait for it to dry and say goodbye to green skin.

pexels-photo-355206.jpeg

Hack Four – Fogging bathroom mirror

I love doing my makeup in my bathroom mirror as the lighting is great, but I hate having to wait for the mirror to defog. This is easily preventable, just apply a small amount of shampoo onto a paper towel or kitchen roll, rub onto your mirror and wipe off with a clean cloth – Simple.pexels-photo-271631.jpeg

Hack Five – Cleaning your makeup brushes

There is absolutely no need to use a special brush cleaner to rid your makeup brushes of product and dirt. Using your shampoo will do the job and a good one at that. If its good enough for your hair, its good enough for your brushes – be sure to check out my post here on the hair care brand that bought my hair back to life.

pexels-photo-318379.jpeg

Have you got any hacks you can share, if so drop a comment below – Remember sharing is caring!

 

The secret to using pigments..

When I first started using makeup I was told to use pressed eye-shadows, with pigments seen as a mythical product used only by professionals. It was only when I started training as a make-up artist that I was introduced to pigments, and since then I have become addicted.

pexels-photo-612977.jpeg

What are pigments

Pigments are the main ingredients in eye-shadow. Usually with pressed eye-shadows a binder is added which dulls the pigment’s color. Without binder, the intensely coloured loose powder is known as pigment—they can be matte, shimmery or glittery. Pigments give you the ability to control the coverage, opacity and intensity of the finish.

Loose Pigments

Loose pigments are a fine, loose powder which are very multipurpose. These can be used wet or dry to create a vast range of looks. Loose pigments can unfortunately have a lot of fall out (falling onto other areas), so I find applying the pigment to my eyes first, gives me the chance to wipe my skin free of the fall out, before applying my base.

color-colored-powder-india-holipulver-colorful-57724.jpeg

Pressed Pigments

Pressed pigments are made with over 80% pure pigment which offer intense colour, shimmer and multiple dimensions. Pressed pigments are ideal when looking to create a range of looks.  Developed to deliver the coverage, rich colour payoff and finish of a loose powder without the inconvenience or mess.

pexels-photo-324654.jpeg

Face

Pigments can be used as blushers, highlighters and to contour your face. To use, tap the pigment onto a flat surface and use either a fan or angled brush to pick up the pigment (don’t forget to tap off the excess) and sweep along the desired area of your face. Be sure to choose colored pigment that complements your skin tone.

Body 

Perfect for a night out, festivals or holidays, loose pigments can be mixed into your body lotion or simply dusted onto your skin to create a body shimmer and give you a great all over glow.

Eyes 

Loose pigments can be used as dry or wet eye-shadows, or as eyeliners. To reduce fallout I would always recommend using an eye-shadow primer to create a base for the powder to adhere to. The application is also made easier when using a brush with dense bristles to pat the colour on and use a fluffier brush to blend. Pressed pigments can be used in the more traditional sense alongside pressed eye-shadows. Again use a fluffier brush to blend.

pexels-photo-208052.jpeg

Lips 

Loose pigments can be mixed with a gloss or balm and applied to the lips – this is sometimes a little trickier than it sounds, so practice the look first. I have used pressed pigments over the top of matte lipsticks to  create an ombre effect – and I love it. This is definitely a great look for an evening out.

Nails 

I know your thinking, how am I going to use pigment on my nails. Well its all too simple really. You can add your favorite loose pigments to a clear nail varnish, add into a small pot, stir well and paint away. pexels-photo-709803.jpeg

Budget Beauty – Give yourself the chance to sparkle

I am a huge fan of all things glitter, especially for a girls night out or on holiday. I love looking at new ways to incorporate a little shimmer into my life be that through my highlighter, eyes or skin . I need to make sure I get the balance right though as there is nothing worse than looking like a disco ball. I always found this rather challenging, that was until I tried GlitterEyes.

What is GlitterEyes?

GlitterEyes is a relatively new brand with a fast growing social media following, and for very good reason. The products are developed in the UK and are 100% vegan, non toxic and cruelty-free. (They test all their products on themselves!) All of this is great but are the products any good?

FullSizeRender

The Collections

GlitterEyes are continuing to innovate their products, bringing new colors, pigments and glitters to their collection. They have multiple different types of products but I will be talking through the ones I use most.

GlitterEyes Pressed Pigment

GlitterEyes have a large range of pressed pigments all of which can be used anywhere on the skin. Pigments are now my go-to eye-shadows but I also use them as highlighter and on my lips.

IMG_2026

The application is easy and can be done with either a makeup brush or finger. The pressed pigments glide on the skin without much fall off and can be built up gradually to create a natural or dramatic look without looking cakey or thick. The GlitterEye pressed pigments are also easily blended to create a smokey eye or ombre lip. The colour layoff is brilliant especially considering these are only £6.99 and you also have the option to create your own palette of colours on the GlitterEyes website. So no need to have that one shadow you never use and feel guilty throwing it away.

IMG_2124

GlitterEyes Pressed Glitter

GlitterEyes hand make all their pressed glitters in house within the GlitterEyes lab and the best thing about their pressed glitter is that no adhesive is needed. These can be applied with a brush (more intense) or finger (less intense) straight onto the skin.

I love using the pressed glitter over the top of the pigments to add a little more drama to a look. These can also be applied round the eyes which looks great at festivals. The pressed glitters are easily removed with water and a microfibre cloth without going everywhere in the process.
IMG_2136

GlitterEyes Loose Glitter

Loose Glitter can be dusted onto the skin to create an all over sparkle or if you are looking for something more concentrated onto a particular area you can use an adhesive which GlitterEyes has available. Loose Glitter is great for festivals, parties and being a little bit over the top – because why not.

The loose glitter stays in place all day – I wore this for a 100km bike ride (long story) and it did not budge at all but was easy to remove when I eventually wanted to do so.

IMG_2131

 The Verdict

The GlitterEyes products are fun to use, they make me want to do something a bit different and they also work really well.

You can purchase GlitterEyes on their website and through a whole host of online boutiques. Be sure to check out their Instagram page for some amazing looks and sneak peaks at brand new products.

Click here to see the range GlitterEyes