I must be the last blogger on the planet to do one of these posts. I haven’t been avoiding it but to be honest it never really crossed my mind to open up my own bag to the viewing public. For some reason though, the other day (specifically, yesterday), I came home from meeting my friend, emptied the contents of my vintage bargain bucket satchel on the bed and took some snaps of the contents.
The colour co-ordination aspect surprised even myself – I clearly like red! I can also verify that nothing here has been planted, it really is what I had in my purse…..the paperclips are there because they come in very handy. In fact I was using them as makeshift clamps for a shoot I was on a while back. See? Handy.
I’m never without a pack of tissues and this Russian Doll clad pack are just too cute, I couldn’t resist buying them. Ditto lipbalms/sticks. I feel ever so slightly vulnerable if I don’t have a bright lippy on me – you know, for those unexpected moments when you need to add a little glam. I actually use the pots of colour for my cheeks, they are great blusher substitutes and blend really nicely. Lipbalm – well, who doesn’t have one of those in their bag?!
My iphone is my life. Yes, I am a self confessed addict when it comes to all things Apple and indeed all things social media – just try and take my instagram offa me and you’ll see what happens! Oh, and my Peter Jensen print screen saver is an instagram pic I took at my very first London Fashion Week (Feb 2012, in case you’re wondering) – it was the wallpaper in the cafe, tres cool, no?
I’m kinda old school when it comes to my money storage. I like coin purses for my change and a small wallet for my paper money and cards. What can I say, it works for me and I’m not sure I could go back to a gigantic all encompassing purse come wallet come brick in my bag. I have ‘em, I just choose not to use ‘em.
My keyrings are an accumulation of memories. I’ve always wanted a Citroen Dolly so my Husband bought me a mini one in the meantime – unfortunately it’s lost almost all its wheels and headlights now but I’ll probably still be using it when it’s just a carcass. The Cath Kidston dotty keyring was a gift and I bought ‘The Cat in the Hat’ one when I was at Universal Studios in Florida.
Obviously I would be in serious trouble without my spectacles. I swap and change the styles but I would be lost without a pair in my bag. And the teabag? Well, being vegan I err on the side of caution, which means carrying random food/drink items with me just in case I find myself in a situation where there are no eating or drinking options for me to partake in. Therefore, I can whip out my green tea (or whatever else I happen to have on me at the time) and be, y’know, social. This particular tea is a longtime favourite of mine and it’s comforting just knowing it’s close by should I fancy an impromptu sup.
what’s in my ‘vintage’ bag…..kleenex tissues/Jackson’s of Piccadilly Green Tea with Lemon/Inika creme colour for lips and cheeks/Lavera Lipbalm/Barry M ’Lip Paint’ lipstick/Assortment of Keyrings/Specsavers Glasses ‘Bunty’/iphone/paper clips from The Works/fabric wallet/coin purse
I’m slowly emerging from the fog I feel like I’ve been living in the past fortnight. I haven’t been remotely tempted to lift my camera until today but when I came home from work I just decided to snap some pics of my latest favourite ‘cruelty free’ beauty products…..and as far as I can tell (but do double check) are also all suitable for vegans!
You may have heard me blabber on before about how incredible Superdrug is for vegans – none of their own brand products are tested on animals (yay), many are vegan friendly (double yay) and everything is labelled clearly (mega yay). My kind of store.
I have used the shampoo before but they’ve mixed it up a little since I last purchased it by adding the lime but i’ve never known a dash of lime to diminish anything so I fairly certain it’s a safe bet. You’ll notice I opted for the ‘oily hair’ ‘poo – yes, I am prone to a greasy mop so am hoping this product will keep it in check some.
Skipping swiftly onto the deodorant (and this is why I can’t be 100% sure everything here is vegan friendly although Rituals products are definitely not tested on animals), which admittedly was bought in haste at the airport when I was hurrying home to Ireland last week. Luckily it turned out to be a total winner – double winner seeing as I snaffled both the roll on and spray. I normally avoid sprays like the plague but I felt I need extra underarm protection. Anyway, all I can say is it may be (as in, it totally is) the best anti-perspirant I have ever used and that is saying something. It has kept me completely fresh and dry for the past two weeks during some pretty stressful moments, smells delightful (not too overpowering like many deodorants) and, whilst being a tad pricey, is actually totally worth the money. Okay, so I might be a wee bit obsessed with this brand right now so forgive my overly glowing recommendation.
And now the face oils. Oh man, these are good. I mean, really really good. I’ve taken to alternating between the Nude ProGenius oil and my regular moisturiser for my nightly routine and it is working for me big time. I had a super annoying dry patch on my cheek for months and after using this oil it completely disappeared and hasn’t reappeared since. I haven’t sampled the Weleda Almond oil yet but I’ve never been disappointed with anything from that brand so I’m giving it a preemptive thumbs up.
Eye cream can be tricky one because I still feel like i’m at that in-betweeny stage. Whilst I know I’m no spring chicken I don’t feel like I should be using anti-aging products just yet, so this Superdrug ‘Optimum’ cream seemed like a good compromise. I’ve only been using it a few days so will report back on it’s effectiveness at a later date but so far, so good.
Whilst we’re still on the topic, Superdrug have an excellent make-up range now (much to my delight), which is affordable and really quite fantastic. Thankfully I can assure you this eyeliner is most definitely vegan friendly as it says so on the pen – thank you Superdrug, yet again. I am not easily impressed when it comes to eyeliner but this is a goodun – I could probably put it on one handed if I wanted too, as these pictures demonstrate… ‘cept this is obviously taken longs after the liner had been applied but hey, you get the idea. In case you’re interested I had been wearing the liner all day when these were snapped and not a smudge in sight!
If you like your make-up, happen to be vegan and prefer not to spend a small fortune on cosmetics, you will probably already have heard of E.L.F.. I’ve long since been a fan and actually rate them better than most higher end brands. I’d been having trouble finding a foundation that suited my colouring, and had previously been recommended a terrible shade in a certain well known make-up outlet that will remain nameless, until I came across this one and I’m pretty certain I’m going to stick with it for the foreseeable future. I’ll admit the concealer could give a bit more coverage but for the price I ain’t complaining.
Ooompphh, that was a long one. Until next time folks!
I thought it about time I do a little vegan beauty haul post – such as it is. I sort of take it for granted that my readers know I use only vegan/sustainable cosmetics, and that extends to shampoo and even cotton buds. If I’m being totally honest with myself the cotton buds are kind of a guilty pleasure in that they are not exactly essential to my routine but I’m still totally addicted to them. I know, I know, it’s no excuse but they are just so unbelievably handy for fixing eyeliner and other make-up mishaps I can’t let them go.
I like to avoid buying too many products and so I stock my bathroom with only the bare essentials. Shampoo is, in my opinion, pretty essential (I’m not ready to forfeit clean hair anytime soon) but I do find it difficult to find one that fits the bill….the bill going a wee bit like this:
2. Reasonably Priced
4. Yummy smelling
In that order.
This Faith in Nature shampoo is the only one I’ve come across that ticks every box. Pick it up in any good health store or (where I purchased it) Oxfam. Doin’ your bit for charidee and keeping your hair glossy n’ clean equals win, win!
I use double faced large cotton pads virtually every day and to that end I try to keep them either fairtrade or organic (even better if you can find ones that are both!) – I care about people as much as I care about the planet ya know! I do favour Boots for cotton pads (these ones to be exact) but this is what Hubby brought back from Sainsbury’s, and at least they’re fairtrade, so they’ll do the job in the meantime.
Another product I often struggle to find is vegan deodorant. I loathe sprays and had been resorting to a Superdrug one (it makes me sneeze for an hour after using it – not good) until I found this Faith in Nature crystal roll-on in Oxfam. I cannot recommend this brand enough. Vegan or not, their products are super.
Keeping your beauty routine vegan is one way to lessen your impact on the planet and unnecessary suffering of animals. It’s not something I like to harp on about (it becomes white noise after a while I find) but if given the option I’m confident everyone would choose products that have not been tested on animals. For me, the vegan symbol is just a mark of reassurance that the product is as kind as it possibly can be and what’s not to like about that?
I’ve been wanting to cover this for a while so I’ve finally stopped procrastinating and put together a little post featuring some of my favourite and most used make-up products. You could say this is my daily routine, give or take a few products – I don’t exactly rock around in red lippy during the day, although maybe I should. Nothing brightens your day like a lick of the bright stuff.
First up, here is a list of the brands I’m currently using…..
Let’s skip the small talk and get right to it. The Body Shop is owned by L’Oreal. This is a fact we can’t escape. Another fact we can’t escape is that Anita Roddick was a great woman who did some seriously incredible work. Anita took a lot of flack when the company was first listed on the stock market and then eventually sold to L’Oreal. Many said she was a sell out and despite all her amazing achievements, this infamous sale would almost (but not quite – thank goodness) become her legacy. To me that is a tragedy – a lifetimes work marred by a decision made towards the end of her magnificent life.
Let me be absolutely clear. I am not anti-capitalist nor am I against big business. In my opinion we can use our consumer power to send a message to these colossal, influential companies that can be a catalyst to instigate real change. Call me naive, a dreamer, an optimist, whatever, but my attitude is more of a ‘let’s work together’ one and in this case I believe it is slowly working – L’Oreal have said they are committed to a future without animal testing (hasn’t happened yet but it will – see, optimist!) and I really believe the purchase of The Body Shop had a huge part to play in this. Yes, actions speak louder than words and all that but still I remain hopeful.
Given the choice most people will always choose the product which is not tested on animals. It’s just that, for the most part, they’re not aware what is and isn’t a cruelty free product. Labelling has a lot to answer for – I had to go on the Simple site to discover their products are deemed suitable for vegans. Wouldn’t it be easier to just put it on the bottle?
Mac is a difficult one. It’s recently been removed from the PETA cruelty free list but the details are unclear. Reading between the lines it would seem that the only products that are tested on animals are those sold in China – apparently they are required by law. I purchased this particular concealer before the announcement was made and was so disappointed to discover that, along with Urban Decay, they would be testing some of their products on animals.
Okay, so I’ve briefly touched upon some of the more contentious issues. I wish I could devote more time to them but this is a blog post, not an essay but I’ll return to these topics hopefully at a later date.
Onto the other brands. Barry M is definitely not tested on animals and have a huge range of vegan cosmetics. I won’t list all the suitable ones here but suffice to say double check each product prior to purchase if you are in doubt. Another brand that has a huge range of vegan products is e.l.f. I’ve become a fan recently and it certainly doesn’t hurt that they’re so reasonably priced – stop sending me emails why don’t ya, I’m finding it hard to resist buying more stuff I don’t need!
Of all the brands mentioned, the one that truly is safe (not tested on animals, 100% vegan) is Beauty without Cruelty. They have a small but brilliant range of quality cosmetics that I can’t get enough of. Fortunately (or unfortunately) for me, my local health store happens to stock it.
Oooh, and before I forget, all my brushes are synthetic – not all of e.l.f.’s brushes are made from synthetic hair, so do check before buying.
Here’s an uber quick run down of my ‘routine’…elf tinted moisturiser followed by a dab of mac concealer on my chin, nose and under eye area. Then I use an eyelid primer, a slick of pixi’s lid last shadow pen (this stuff is AMAZING!) and a double dose of eyeliner – Barry M’s wink marker pen and e.l.f.’s liquid eye liner. My preferred mascara is Barry M but I do use e.l.f. too and like their ‘exact lash’ mascara for my bottom lashes. After that I dab a little bit of The Body Shop’s radiant highlighter around my out eye area, I dust some powder (either ‘beauty without cruelty’ or e.l.f. although I’m almost out of both!) all over my face and finally apply blush – peachy matte for day and shimmery for evening (both Body Shop). Occasionally, I might put a slick of red or orange lippy on otherwise I go au natural. And that’s it!
Remember last summer when I uploaded a few videos to youtube? No? Well, I did…….ahem. Obviously I’m a glutton for punishment as I’ve just gone and uploaded my latest offering, which is essentially my ‘cruelty free’ guide to summer, showing you what I’ll be wearing on the beach, on my feet, on my skin and on my head. You’ve probably seen a few of these items already but hopefully there are a few other featured items that may be of interest – insanely blue nail polish anyone?
I’d received a few requests on my previous vids asking me to do some more and that was the main instigator for filming these ones and they seem to have gone down pretty well – phew! Thank goodness the reaction has been more positive than critical. There are some seriously angry peeps out there and most of them seem to gravitate towards youtube.
I must admit though, having you guys hear me
talk waffle is a wee bit nerve wracking but what hey, eh? Also, I totally forgot there’s a limit on how long youtube videos can be, which is why I had to divide it into two parts – what a dope! Anyways, hope it’s helpful. Any questions, queries, comments welcome!
Oh, and guess what?!! We booked our holiday last night. Santorini Baby! So. Excited.
I love to nest. For someone who has pretty much never spent more than a year in any one place I have become very adept at making my surroundings my own very quickly.
With that said, I’m always on a mission to de-clutter and simplify my life. Stuff smothers me. And even though I love vintage collectibles, I never buy anything that doesn’t have a use. Ornaments don’t really have a place in my home – evil dust gatherers – but I do love prints and pictures and am currently filling my walls with an assortment of images that make me smile.
My home reflects me, which means it’s not perfect. Some of it is a little confused, some of it not quite sorted, some of it is exactly the way the way I want it.
You might be wondering what’s the deal with the freaky jewellery hand stand…..it’s not exactly my style. It was actually getting chucked out by my neighbour and I’d been on the lookout for a stand so thought what the hey, I’ll make it work. It might’ve scared the bejeezus out of me the first night it sat on my dresser.
My belt hook has been with me for years, yeeeaaarrrrrssss. Seriously, since I was like fourteen. I like her.
Oh, and my scarves. My scarves! I’m a sucker for a pretty vintage scarf (you know that already) and I definitely do have too many so I’m considering popping a few on etsy. Speaking of which, I’m really happy with how my etsy shop is progressing – I need to urgently re-stock though……
I’ve been meaning to do this post for way too long now. So long, in fact, my usual products have run out and been replaced with lotions and potions I didn’t actually purchase myself, which kinda puts a different spin on proceedings but hey ho.
Case in point, the Weleda pomegranate (amazeballs) shower cream was in my Daily Express goodie bag when I completed my internship. A few others came from Sublime too, so a mix of carefully chosen products and gifts, none of which I dislike.
Luckily for me all the products have NOT been tested on animals and I’m fairly sure they are all vegan friendly but please, please, please double check before buying anyway. I do try and ensure all my products are vegan, of course, but the stuff I have been gifted occasionally may not be – I usually share these products with friends and family but I never throw anything away even if it isn’t totally vegan, as I personally think that is a huge waste.
With that said then, let’s get down to the nitty gritty of my daily grooming routine. It rarely deviates although the products do change but the routine is pretty much always the same. I am a creature of habit.
….showertime…..I always use a exfoliating mitt when using showergel or soap. Some people might find this a little extreme but I’ve been doing it for years and I know it works for me in keeping my skin smooth.
I’ve been experimenting with organic shampoos lately and whilst I don’t want to name and shame because that’s not what my blog is about, I’ve been less than impressed with the results. That’s why you see here a tea tree and mint one from the co-op. It’s vegan but not necessarily the best natural option but it’s the only thing that makes my hair feel clean. I don’t wash my hair everyday, by the way – more like two to three times a week.
I stopped using liquid conditioner a while back and instead opt for a leave in conditioner (more on that below).
I use a facial scrub about once a week and I’m currently loving this Green People one. It’s the biz. I do use a regular facial wash but I’ve currently run out, which is why it’s not featured here – I’ll probably get my usual paraben free one from Superdrug.
After showering….. I apply a body lotion. I feel so weird when I don’t moisturize everyday. Probably a bad habit but the skin on my body is prone to dryness so I find it necessary. I’ve posted about the Good Things Body Lotion before here. This is the other variety and I have to say I can’t choose a favourite, they’re both equally yummy.
I then use a natural deodorant, my current fav being this one from Jason. It keeps me super dry all day and is really gentle on my underarms.
After that I towel dry my hair, spray on some leave in conditioner (again, from Jason) and blow dry my hair. Having a bob haircut and a fringe means air drying is not an option unless I want to look like I’ve been dragged through a bush backwards. Not usually my favoured look.
Then it’s…. face time…. I keep it super simple – moisturizer, eye cream, go.
This ‘natural high’ daily moisturizer from Superdrug is excellent and I quite like this earth line eye cream too – bonus that it lasts forEVER!
Now, here’s when I apply my make-up but that’s a whole post in itself so let’s skip to the taking off of said make-up….
…..cleantime….I always dampen two organic cotton pads (large, round – I prefer the ones from the baby section) and apply a small amount of eye make-up remover. At the moment I’m using Simple, which does the job nicely and isn’t harsh on the delicate eye area. That will use up one side of a cotton pad, so I use the other side (which I usually fold to avoid getting icky black stuff on my fingers) to remove my make-up. A specific make-up removing cleanser is always my preferred option and this Green People ‘OY!’ one is perfect. It might be for young skin but I don’t let a small detail like that stop me.
My make-up removing routine wouldn’t be complete without a refreshing spritz of toner. This Suti one couldn’t be more natural – it only has two ingredients – and I simply adore it. Hmmmm, peppermint. Love!
I reserve this earth line cream for night time because it’s quite rich but I really love it.
For my hands (I am a hand cream freak) this Antipodes one is just about as good as it gets. I always apply hand cream before going to sleep. Always.
Sometimes my skin needs a little somethin’ extra. In those intances, I go for a super strong moisturizer like Weleda’s skin food. Hands, heels, elbows, knees. You could say I’ve got all areas covered.
And that’s that! Phew. Cup of tea anyone?
I’m always on the lookout for really great vegan beauty products. Having a weakness for lotions and potions can be tricky when trying to lead a cruelty free existence although thankfully it is becoming easier with amazing brands, like Good Things, becoming more mainstream.
I remember when this brand first emerged a few years back. It was relegated to the bottom shelf with L’Oreal and the likes taking centre shelf stage – big brands, big bucks, big influence. Now though, it can be found near enough alongside the big bods depending on where you shop. Sainsbury’s had the range on the top shelf and Boots had it in a prime spot next to Jergens.
Gradually, it would seem, we are learning about the nasties (namely parabens) hidden in our creams, gels, powders and and are no longer happy to slather ourselves in chemicals that have been linked to the big C.
Away from such serious topics, when it comes to body lotion I am, as most girls are, more than a little particular about what I like. I take into consideration the following things…
Consistency. I like a reasonably thick cream.
Smell. I loathe anything heavily perfumed and having sensitive skin I generally avoid creams with a fragrance.
Ingredients. As natural as humanly and indeed humanely possible. That means without parabens please and definitely not tested on animals – ya get me!
In this instance, Good Things scored highly on every count. The consistency was perfect and melted into my skin without any greasy residue. I felt perfectly moisturized for the entire day. I would also add it was particularly soothing and cooling – perfect for taking on a summer holiday.
The smell was heavenly. Made from fruit extracts and avocado oil, it is delicate but delicious. Total yummers – me likey mucho.
Best of all, the ingredients list have several notably absent culprits that are on my ‘I don’ fink so’ list – parabens, sodium laureth sulphate, mineral oils and animal ingredients. Get in!
Yup, all in all, this is a goodun and I will continue to champion this lovely, not so little anymore, brand. Good things, you get a double thumbs up from me. Keep up the good work my fabulous beauty friends. Keeping it real yo, keeping it real.
It would seem my food blog is slowly morphing into a lifestyle blog. I hope this doesn’t bother too many of you. I can imagine any male readers I have will be less than impressed with yet another outfit post and for this I can only apologise. Sorry? Recipe tomorrow to make up for it?
I can’t deny I’m enjoying my blogging life more now than I ever have because I don’t feel so restricted. Don’t get me wrong, food is my passion but I have so many other loves in my life it seems a shame not to share.
One other significant obsession of mine is vintage clothing. I’ve always shopped this way, much to my Mothers horror-I’m not so sure she appreciated me spending my pocket money on second hand goodies from Oxfam but it’s just a lifestyle I was always drawn to. Lord knows where this thrifting bug came from but it has stayed with me right through adulthood and is slowly determining my professional life. What weird karmic action is going down there?
This little number (a wicked pink and orange 1960s psychedelic mini dress) was not actually my own find but rather my Sisters – it would seem this thrifting bug is contagious! She was parting ways with it a few years back and luckily I found it before it made its journey to the charity shop – close call! I’ve even been photographed for a magazine wearing it when I took part in a ‘come dine with me’ style feature a while back.
I donned it again for a very special birthday party we were supposed to attend on Sunday. A certain legend, namely the incomparable Des O’Connor, was turning 80. The man is eighty!
After making an effort (which is more than can be said for some of the attendees, ahem) we were hugely disppointed to not actually get in-too many ‘priorities’ apparently. Ugh. And so we found ourselves all dressed up with nowhere to go.
Off we trundled then to the O2 arena to catch a film only to have the worst cinematic experience EVER! Not only was the film not up to much (The Devil Inside-we were late for everything else) but the audience were so phenomenally bad mannered they ruined the entire film from beginning to end. Based on this one truly awful experience I will never return to this cinema again. The place itself was also so totally mind blowingly soulless, we couldn’t even bring ourselves to stay for a drink. You failed to impress O2 arena and with us it’s one strike and you’re out. Harsh but necessary – there’s just too many cool places to hang out in London, we can’t be wasting time on below par establishments.
Ah well, at least I got to wear a pretty dress.
dress – vintage tights – topshop shoes – peacocks coral lippy – barry m
Oh yes! Another piece of exciting news (for me anyway) is that I’ve signed up to etsy and opened my own little vintage store – cool, eh? Do stop by for a browse! It may be a little barren at the moment but I have items lined up to photograph and upload etc. so the shop will be an ever evolving thing. Do let me know if you like the look of any of the items, I’d love any feedback x
So it would seem one post a week it all I can muster whilst I’m interning. Hmmm. Still though, I hope I can content you with a rundown of what I’ve been currently cooking, eating, drinking, wearing and generally loving over the past few weeks.
I wholeheartedly intend to post a recipe tomorrow though just so you don’t forget this is in fact a food blog. When I say recipe, of course, what I really mean is a dish that requires no more than a few steps – so, yet again, an ‘assembling’ jobbo. Likewise, just about all I can muster when I either a. get up in the morning, b. come home in the evening or c. can be bothered to make at the weekend whilst I am recovering from my working week.
On the plus side, I’m pleased to say my stamina levels are on the up and up, as I slowly acclimatize to my new 9-5 routine (or 10-6, as the case may be).
Dinner has generally been a rushed affair although no less tasty than usual and as I grapple with adjusting my already existing recipe repertoire to fit in with my new lifestyle I am finding new ways of cooking and eating on the hop. Sushi rice seasoning is a great way of injecting a bit of flavour and zing to my stirfries and where I would normally allow my tomato sauce to simmer for hours, I’ve found a bit more herb, balsamic and muscovado sugar action goes a long way to bringing out flavour in a short space of time.
To further save us time and energy, we have succombed to having our fruit and veg delivered. After much research we settled on The Organic Delivery Company who provide us with an enormous box of seasonal produce on a weekly basis – all of it so wonderful we could never go back to Supermarket stock again. Quite honestly, it is the best 40quid (we opted for the largest box) we part with and even though we always ate a substantial amount of fruit and veg, our intake has probably now doubled. They also deliver cupboard essentials like pulses, canned tomatoes and tofu – a good range of it too. Fantastic.
Clothing wise, I’m still a thrifter at heart and therefore most of what I wear is vintage, second hand etc, which I usually pair with basic essentials from places like Zara, Gap, H&M although I aim to be a bit more selective in the future where I get my newbies from, as I really loathe partaking in fast fashion although I can’t deny it is my one of my biggest downfalls.
We’ve totally curtailed our spending since February and I have to say we are doing pretty darn well on the frugal front with less and less being spent on non-essentials. However, in my world cupcakes and coffee are still regarded as essentials….
Friday saw the end of my internship with The Daily Express although I wasn’t too sad as I have a feeling I’ll be back at some point for another little stint with the fashion team. I can’t thank everyone enough for the magnificent opportunity to work there, it’s been an invaluable stepping stone in my endeavour to make this styling/writing lark an actual career. I was so chuffed with my goodie bag too, full of super pretty things -including several eco-conscious items from ecotools and weleda. They know me too well.
I might as well end with my enduring love for Marmite. If you don’t know how I feel about the stuff already, then read this and you’ll be in no doubt about how greatly my regard is for this sticky, salty glorious goo that I spread on toast, dollop in sauces and, at times, eat straight from the jar.