Rosie Huntingdon Whitleys cruelty free make up collection at M&S beauty haul/review

One of my favourite cruelty-free collections on the high street must be Rosie Huntingdon Whitley’s collection for M&S. I love M&S anyway the food is amazing they have a good free from section and lots of gluten free and vegan sweets (Percy pig or Colin caterpillar anyone?); so, I was happy to see that they stock a good range of cruelty-free beauty products too. All M&S own brand beauty and makeup products are cruelty-free and leaping bunny certified!


I just wanted to share with you all some of the items that I have been enjoying, and show how many different cruelty-free options there are out there! When you decide to go cruelty-free it should feel like a choice not like you are giving anything up!


I heard about this collection in a magazine and quickly became obsessed. Even before I was cruelty-free I loved Rosie’s concept behind the range and the colour selection. The idea behind this collaboration with M&S was to create easy to wear, easy to use make up for women on the go, which sounds like me. All the shades are easy to wear and will suit most skin tones, and you can mix and match most eye pallets and lip colours in the collection. Most of the collection consists of pinks and browns, but there is also some beautiful reds and silvers for that old Hollywood glamour look.

The packaging is beautiful and reminds me slightly of Charlotte Tilbury, there are even little roses imprinted on the lipsticks. It’s a strong rose gold/bronze colour coupled with some blacks and browns. I think it defiantly looks high quality.


The first thing I purchased was the large makeup pallet for £25, it contains 6 eyeshadow a bronzer a blush and a highlighter. I like this palette and the eyeshadow and bronzer are well pigmented and high quality for the price. The eye shadows are amazing sparkly colour and all very buildable so it’s easy to create a smoky eye effect. The blush and highlighter are well pigmented but being in a palette I found them hard to apply, let me know if you have any suggestions!

The eye palette is my favourite purchase so far from Rosie's and I got the shade Deco Diamonds which has both pearl and matte finishes. It is a collection of beautiful neutral tones and although they are very pigmented I have enjoyed wearing them in the day to work for a subtle look. The palette is quite cool however and I think I will get a warmer one for summer when I have a tan; it is defiantly a winter/spring palette. 

I have been cursed with odd scraggly eyebrows, so maintenance is essential! I got the Rosie for Autograph eyebrow pencil in natural brow but was worried it would be too light. When I apply it however it seems to be the right colour. This would be a good cruelty-free dupe for Estee Lauder 04 Dark Brunette, but the spooly is much better. I do like this but I think next I would like to try Anastasia Beverley Hills for my brows.
Now...colour sticks. If you are the kind of person who likes to smear on their eyeshadow with a finger whack on some mascara and go these are for you. The pigmentation is amazing and you can apply and blend in about one minute flat. This kind of product is right up my street and I intend on collecting all four shades but currently, I have Almond eyes. All four are fairly easy to pair with any skin tone and would look equally beautiful on light and dark complexions.
One of my most recent Rosie purchases is the sweetie darling lipstick. This smells amazing. I know that shouldn't matter for a lip product but it really does! This isn't very well pigmented and I would say it’s more of a stain or a gloss effect, just giving you a hint of colour. I would really like to try some of the other lipsticks to see how they apply and if the pigment is any stronger. With most of this collection, I have found most things easy and simple to apply without needing any fancy brushes.
The last product I have is the highlighter in Get the Glow. I have wanted to try contouring for ages and I know I am very late to the party but I thought I should start with a highlighter. Before now maximum I would use some bronzer on the cheeks so I have enjoyed experimenting with this. I love the shine but it’s very pigmented so I've been applying it really lightly! If you are a fan of heavy highlighter this may be the one for you! it’s very high shine and I'm still getting used to it on my face!

I can't wait to try out more from this collection I think it has so many good basics and staples for my makeup bag. I would like to try a lipstick next I think, if you have tried anything from this collection let me know your thoughts below.

I hope this may have inspired some people to try more cruelty-free brands, and show more of the choices there are out there. :)


March Cruelty Free Favourites, make up, beauty and looking forward to summer

March this year has consisted of work work work and a little more work while trying to squeeze in some me time! But with spring well and truly here and the daffodils out in full force, it’s made me start to think about all the things to look forward to this summer. I can almost smell the BBQ’s and Pimms, sitting in the sun by the river and picnics in the park, all the things I love about summer.
Spring time is always a time for a change and a time for looking forward to the rest of the year and exciting summer plans. I would love to hear about some of the things you are looking forward to this summer however big or small! Exciting holidays or spending time relaxing with friends, it’s a time to enjoy the sun, food and the company!

As March is nearly over I would love to share some of my favourite products I have been coveting this month. The first is the Moroccan Tea body scrub (paraben free), made with amber tea and fresh mint from &Otherstories.
This is defiantly a hard, rough sugar scrub which I like, and the smell is amazing. I will be really sad when this runs out as the smell is unbelievable, and the results are amazing. Whenever I smell the sweet minty smell it reminds me of being in a Riad in Marrakesh drinking sweet mint tea.
My next March favourite has to be my Charlotte Tilbury luxury eye palette in The Rebel, a mix of golds and greens. This is hands down the best green eyeshadow pallet I have ever had. Being cruelty-free is just an added bonus! The palette contains gold two olive greens and one emerald, all perfectly pigmented. The colours are so rich but blend well, I have tried mixing Prime and Smoke for a night time look or pop for a hint of colour at work. I personally like to pair the green shades with nude pinks and hot pinks for a contrast, I just love green and pink together! I think I will be using this for the rest of the year and I can't wait to try out more Charlotte Tilbury products!
I have been mixing my Charlotte Tilbury palette with my new Illamasqua colouring pencil in Woo. This is my next March favourite, and my most recent purchase this month. My previous experience with Illamasqua has not been amazing but I decided to give it another go and I have to say I was so impressed with this! This lip pencil is also an excellent dupe for the Chanel natural no.34, with a similar colour and easier application. The colour is so well pigmented and the application so strong for a neutral lip liner. I bought this on recommendation and am now obsessed! I can't wait to get more liners in other colours!

I hope you enjoyed my little end of month review I always love other peoples product of the month reviews so I thought I would do my own. let me know your March favourites or any cruelty-free recommendations!

Staying healthy and reaching my goals: Vegan protein review

I love fitness and nutrition. Four years ago I began my fitness journey, and since then I have never looked back, now I can't imagine life any other way. Since January I have been re-evaluating my fitness goals and having a big nutritional shake up, literally.  One of the newest additions to my life is drinking a crazy amount of protein shake, and I aim for two every day. This has proved difficult to keep up, and I'm finding it hard to stick with it, to be honest. One of the biggest problems I have found as I am dairy and gluten free is finding a nice vegan protein that tastes good and mixes well.  Finding a good vegan protein that mixes well and tastes good is like finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. I have been searching now for the last year for a vegan protein supplement to help me reach my goals in the gym. The more I seem to cut down on products derived from animals the harder it seems to be to keep my macros steady and get all my daily protein. If like me you have been struggling with finding a nice vegan protein then I hope this post is helpful; if you have found any good protein powders or good vegan sources of protein, please let me know and comment below!
The stripped Vegan lean protein I found on Amazon and cost about £15 for 490g. It is made from pea and hemp protein which I was excited to try as I have heard hemp is an excellent protein source. Per serving there is 21g of protein which I was very happy with, but it also contains 9.3g of carbs which I thought was a bit high.

When I opened the box a beautiful vanilla smell drifted out, smelling very promising.  The packaging is plain but I like it, and it reminds me slightly of protein worlds packaging. The first time I tried stripped  I blended it with almond milk and a banana for a good post workout drink. The consistency was ok, not too thick but there wasn't much flavour and it didn't blend that well. The flavour isn't bad but because of the smell my expectations were high, it is sweet but plain.
The second time I tried it on its own and blended it for longer which got rid of more lumps but the flavour wasn't great. I will be happy to carry on using this but I don't think I will get it again in this flavour, I would maybe try another flavour from STRIPPD to see if the flavour is stronger.
Reflex Nutrition is a really good reliable protein brand so I was hopeful with this purchase. I  bought 2.1kg for £35! Such a good price! Reading the label on the back the macro breakdown looks good with 18.5g of protein with 1.4g of fat and 1g of carbohydrates very promising. This protein also contains the addition of digestive enzymes, which is good for me as I take them anyway to promote a healthy gut.
The taste of this protein is what I can only describe as the taste of cheap chocolate mixed with artificial sweetener. I have had other people try this one and they don't find the taste as bad but it really wasn't for me. On the plus side, it does mix really well with almond milk, but the texture is slightly grainy. I have tried making protein flapjacks with this, as I didn't want to waste it but the taste is too strong for me. I have heard amazing things about Reflex Nutrition's whey protein, but wouldn't get the vegan one again.

The third protein I have tried recently is Natures Garden 90% soy protein £13  for 454g that I bought from Holland and Barret. This protein is not vegan! But it is suitable for vegetarians or people who don't eat dairy as it contains some egg solids. Looking at the back of the pot this protein also contains amino acids and 14 different vitamins and minerals. I was pretty pleased with this as I feel that in the fitness world people often neglect either their macros or their micros depending on goals, but it's always good to have a well-balanced approach. This protein is made from soy and boasts 18g of protein with 0.7g of fat and 0.5g of carbohydrate! Natures Garden has by far the best nutritional profile I have seen so far. I bought Vanilla flavour and had a little sniff in the shop and it smelled delicious.

The packaging for this protein is not that good but I have to say it is the best one I have tried so far! It is thick and creamy and blends well in both a shaker and a blender with minimal lumps. The flavour is a little blander than expected but tolerable and goes well in smoothies or if you want to bleed it with just a banana post workout it's good! I will be getting this again but I might try a different flavour if I can find one. I have seen results since I increased my protein intake and am happy moving towards my 2017 fitness goals! More healthy yummy vegan protein sources would make this a tastier journey though!










Should we blame the parents?



Flicking through Issue 24 of Vegan Life magazine, I found an article called the ‘parent trap’ discussing opposing opinions about parent companies. When I started my cruelty-free journey a few months ago, I didn’t know much about parent companies or brands that sell in China. Reading ‘the parent trap’ it becomes clear why many people don’t want to go cruelty-free, there are so many loop holes and opposing opinions, sometimes it just feels like there is no point. Even within vegan and cruelty-free communities the issue still seems to be hotly contested.

Reading the article, it puts forward one point of view of a blogger, saying "when a smaller company is bought out it can make the parent company share ethical suppliers with them, and be more aware of cruelty-free vegan markets. I decided to do some more research on the issue, watched some you tube videos and read some other bloggers articles. While some were committed to boycotting brands entirely, others believed continuing to buy from brands that have been bought out will ultimately change the parent company values. For example, when they see how well one of their cruelty-free brands is doing, it might encourage them to become cruelty-free also.

These are choices for the individual to make, I think everyone should form their own opinion, however, I wanted to put forward my own. I know that it is a hard decision going cruelty-free, but you can’t ignore the fact that by purchasing from brands with unethical parent companies your money is still funding animal testing; you also can’t ignore the fact that these brands will never ever change their values without disinvestment. Why on earth would a large billion-pound company make a change like that for no reason? Alienating a large portion of the market (China) where nearly 2 billion people live, if they see one of their smaller conglomerates are doing well? Where is the incentive to change? Wouldn’t it be better for them just to continue getting more money and selling in China and testing on animals?

The most powerful way people can make large businesses hear their voice is by disinvestment. Disinvestment is one of the most powerful tools the consumer has and can change a business’s direction. Brands follow the market. Everyone has the right to choose and form their own opinions, but I think sometimes remembering the reason for going cruelty-free in the first place is important. Going cruelty-free isn’t easy and does require lots of research and commitment and I have found it quite hard. It is defiantly a process and a transition that requires dedication and passion for what you are doing. I have probably bought products from parent companies while being unaware and I don’t think that this is something to be shamed or judged.

If ever I blog about something that is owned by a parent company I would like to be told because it is difficult to be well informed all the time. I have enjoyed reading Vegan life and other bloggers opinions, becoming more informed is always a process and it defiantly takes time to learn about all the loopholes and product accreditation's and what they mean.

I just found Bloglovin!

Bloglovin was recently recommended to me, and oh my gosh! I never knew that there were so many beautiful creative blogs out there! I'm looking forward to finding more amazing blogs to read and now if you are interested in following my blog you are welcome to do so on Google+ or Bloglovin!

:)


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Spring Cruelty free nude nail varnish/ avoiding toxins staying healthy


After learning about the toxins in nail varnish (mainly formaldehyde, toluene and dibutyl phthalate), I decided to treat myself to a new nude. But finding a cruelty free varnish without toxins, in a nude shade I liked was actually quite challenging. Many of the brands I looked at had lots of good bright and neon shades, but limited nudes.

Some people enjoy painting their nails every colour under the sun, others, seem to stick to the same ones. If I am having my nails done, I always go for pinks or nudes as they as super classy and go with everything.
Nailberry L’Oxygéné range caught my eye as its British, cruelty-free and it does not contain formaldehyde, DBP, toluene, synthetic camphor, or formaldehyde resin. Also, the packaging and design of the bottle is exceptional, I love the white label with black text and a classic bottle shape. I wanted something that looks good on the dressing table and on my nails!

I chose Au Naturel as it looked perfect to wear to work, as an everyday polish. The quality of the varnish is what I would expect for the price, two coats is defiantly enough to cover the nail and give a strong colour. The polish is a good colour and I would say a nice dupe for the Rimmel Super Gel in Soul Session, however it is triple the price. I was really happy with the quality but they are not cheap and the gift box I ordered came in the wrong colour.
Toxins in nail varnish had never really been a concern before I heard about it on RHOBH, but it does make sense to me. Nails are breathable surfaces and to cover them in a substance that contains formaldehyde etc. doesn’t sound great. I think that this will defiantly be a consideration for the future when I’m choosing a nail varnish.

Lush spring favourites review / a good place to start

As my blog is about my experience changing my beauty choices and going cruelty-free, beginning with Lush spring favourites seemed like a good place to start!

Most people have heard of Lush, I feel like it’s a pretty good example of how you can get cruelty free and/or vegan products on the high street. It’s also really important to me that they use a lot of natural ingredients too (as I have sensitive skin).

During spring time, I always feel like my skin is really dull and sluggish, winter has left leaving me with dry skin and probably a mild vitamin D deficiency. This is such an important time to look after your skin, especially if like me you always forget to moisturise! I find so many products are often greasy and irritate my sensitive skin, I end up with red blotches all over me.

Spring time is when I start preparing my skin for summer holidays and making sure I get rid of any dry skin!

I chose these Lush products because I found them to be ultra-hydrating, especially the Lush New Charity Pot. This is made from cocoa, aloe and moringa oil and is very thick; it makes my skin so smooth and soft, so I don’t need to use it as often as other everyday moisturisers. This is good if like me you often forget. Another bonus of the New Charity Pot is that it is just that, a charity pot. 100% of the money from the pot goes to help fund NGO’s and charitable causes which I think is an amazing idea. I chose FrackFree Dee as my charity but there are many others to choose from that help support environmental and social causes.

I have been using the Charity Pot after shaving my legs with D’Fluff Strawberry shaving soap, (to help keep my skin smooth) and they seem to do the trick.
Using the shaving foam was a bit different at first I am used to the ones that lather up in your hands, so I was a bit dubious of this one which didn’t seem to do very much. However, after rubbing it on my legs and having a shave I was impressed. It was so soft and light and smells amazing! It’s made from real strawberry’s and maple syrup, I was slightly tempted to eat some.

Since going cruelty-free I have also switched my face scrub from St. Ives peach scrub to Lush Herbalism, not only because of its cruelty-free but because I’m trying to stop using microbeads. I started using the Dark Angels scrub which uses black sugar and charcoal but found this too harsh on my skin. When I went back into Lush again, the sales assistant recommended Herbalism as she said it was much gentler and uses ground almonds. This has been fantastic! It unclogs my pores, gets rid of left over makeup and the green nettle helps sooth my blotchy skin.


My last favourite Lush Spring product is the face mask I received for free from returning (and recycling) 5 pots to lush (amazing idea). The face mask is called Brazened Honey and obviously smells amazing. If you don’t like strong honey smells this is not for you, it is very strong and sweet, perfect for a girly pamper night. This is the first Fresh face mask I have tried from Lush and it won’t be my last! The smell of the fresh fruits, spices and honey is intoxicating, and although I don't notice any of the brightening effects, my face was kissable soft.

(All products are cruelty-free, D'Fluff and Brazened Honey are not vegan, Herbalism and the New Charity Pot are vegan)

Introduction

I have always been very passionate about health, beauty and living an ethical lifestyle, this blog is my expression of my passion in my own way. I recently got a job in marketing and it has opened my eyes to the disconnect between consumers and the rest of a products life cycle. I have made a decision to make more conscious health, beauty and fitness choices, and explore the alternative products and life choices that are out there. 

This blog is about my experience going cruelty-free and looking for better choices to make while also empowering other people to regain their power as consumers and become more engaged with the world. I'm hoping to discover many unique ethical brands and improve my own carbon footprint and my impact on the environment :)