Five reasons to go cruelty free now

1. You love animals and wouldn't want a company to hurt them on your behalf.

2. Animal testing results in the death of 115Million animals every year.

3. The tests can involve not only small animals like rats and mice but also cats, dogs, horses and other farm animals.

4.Changing your purchasing habits can really make a difference!

5. There are loads of alternatives especially when testing for cosmetics making this very needless.

Love lula cruelty free beauty box/ Review

I've never tried a subscription box before, let alone a beauty subscription box. I always have been dubious about their quality and felt like they were a scam to tie you into a never ending contract. I have seen other reviews before on You Tube and by other bloggers but I was never really very sold on the idea.

This changed when I decided to go cruelty-free and had a hard time finding new brands and products I liked that weren't Lush or very expensive. I saw a review of a few different cruelty-free beauty boxes and decided to investigate. The one that stood out for me the most was Love Lula which stood out due to its low price, no postage cost and the fact that you can cancel the subscription anytime and for any reason.

I ordered my box in early March and it took about 6 weeks to arrive which seemed like forever, I had actually forgotten by that point!  

When it arrived it came with four full sized products, one sample and a 20% off voucher and I must say I was very happy!
I'm yet to use all the products in the box I'm still working my way through, but the ones I have used I am quite happy with. The box is excellent value for £12.50 a month and the packaging is easy to recycle. 

This box contained an Apple and Bears small body was which smells divine and is made from organic ingredients. It is a small ish bottle but it lasted for a good 4/5 showers which I was happy with.

There was also a Soapberry Handwash from Green Frog Botanic which I had never heard of and has a very strong smell. I have heard about soap berries and using them as an alternative to clean laundry, but this is the first time I have seen it in hand wash which was new.

The box also contained a MADARA brightening peel mark which I am very excited to try as I love peel masks! This may make it into an April favourites!

Another item in the box was the FOM London Hydra plump and firm face cream which I have used a lot of. This is quite a nice light moisturiser but the smell is quite strong. I have been using it morning and night and think it's light enough to use twice a day.

The last item in my Love Lula box has to be my favourite! This was the sample of Marlenha flourish moisturiser and after one use I have to say I was sold. This is so rich and thick I managed to get about 5 applications out of the sample! Only using this at night I could feel a huge difference in the morning, and felt it hydrating my skin! I was very impressed with this, but the only down side is it is expensive! I would recommend this to anyone who is looking for an anti ageing product or a rich moisturiser, and I hope for now there are more samples in the May box!

KIKO bronzer cruelty free make up review

I think I may be the last person to have heard about KIKO being cruelty-free, but when I did I thought it was time for a little treat!

I decided to treat myself to a new bronzer and brush for the spring and to replace my old non-cruelty free bronzer. The KIKO bronzer is enriched with moringa seed and cotton flower scent. It is meant to be full coverage with a concealer incorporated into it. Although I love my new bronzer I do not think this is full coverage at all! It's a very light and natural bronzer, just giving light definition to the cheekbones.

I love the compact's design, the colour is beautiful and I like any tactile compacts. This was designed by Ross Lovegrove and I would defiantly say it's a success.
To accompany the bronzer I got the face blush brush as it was on sale and I have never owned a blush brush (shock horror!). This is designed to accentuate cheekbones, blend flawlessly with a perfect finish. The brush has a matte black wood handle, which I personally really like. This is the first time I have really used my own blush brush and it does improve the application. The brush was much softer than I expected for the price and doesn't feel rough or itchy on my skin.

A definite little thumbs up for my treat and first experience of KIKO!

As KIKO sell and manufacture all makeup in the EU it is all cruelty-free, but I'm unsure whether they are vegan. As far as I know, they are not leaping bunny certified or PETA certified, but when I tweeted them they explained that they are cruelty-free. There is a section on the website that explains their policy on animal testing very briefly.

Why Easter is my favourite celebration/ Vegan Gluten free treats

I love Easter. And that isn't just for the food, it's my favourite time of year and my favourite celebration. The most important thing about Easter is spending time with loved ones for Easter dinner, friends and family are what makes Easter special for me. Don't get me wrong the food is pretty good too! All the traditional chocolates and cakes are delicious, but it's the company that makes it a special time for me.

I just thought I would share some of my thoughts on Easter with you all, as well as some of my favourite Easter treats. My gift to people this year was little gluten free macarons that I found on a local market stall. Fernandes macarons are local, home baked, bespoke macarons. I chose these as I thought it would be something different for my family this year, that doesn't include chocolate.

People waste so much money on poorly made low-quality chocolate at Easter I always think it is nice to get people something unique and homemade instead.
As I am dairy and gluten free I know it is always awkward finding me an egg. This year I received the Kinnerton Luxury dark chocolate egg, which I have to say was very tasty! The egg was fairly thick and it wasn't a bitter tasting dark chocolate, that I know a lot of people don't like. Although it said on the back of the packet that it contains 8 portions, I ate it to myself with a lovely cup of peppermint tea in about 15 minutes. Delicious!
At Easter time remembering why we celebrate is important and I hope everyone enjoys this bank holiday with family. Easter is ultimately a celebration of love and forgiveness, and I hope everyone remembers that at this special time of year.

What makes Easter special for you?

Natural hair care for long thick hair /Lush Review and Haul

Keeping long hair in good condition is a full-time job. It's hard enough waiting for it to grow let alone resisting the urge to constantly style it. Since going cruelty-free finding a good shampoo and conditioner for my hair has been a little difficult. These are some of the lush products I have found so far!
The Montalbno shampoo bar is one I recently received in a gift box of a few lush products. It isn't something I would usually choose for myself as it is quite a citrus scent and made with olive and rosemary oils.  The bars at lush sometimes put me off as they can get quite messy and sticky if you don't buy one of their tins. However, I have fallen in love with this shampoo bar! The smell is not my favourite but it is very cleansing and brightening. I usually have to rinse and repeat a couple of times with a shampoo as my hair is long, but this works well with just one application. After using this I also noticed my hair was much shinier and had more of a gloss to it. Will defiantly be repurchasing!
Another shampoo bar I recently tried is the Trichomania softening and conditioning shampoo.  Trichomania is made with creamed coconut desiccated coconut and vetivert oil, so it's very rich and conditioning.  I love coconut and this is super coconutty! If you have dry hair this is very moisturising, so if you style your hair a lot this may be for you. I like using it when my scalp is sore to sooth it and calm it if it's itchy.

The R&B hair treatment is a new purchase for me, as usual, I use coconut or olive oil on my hair. I thought I would try the R&B hair moisturiser to see if it would make a difference to my split ends. So far, I have enjoyed using it though it's not the usual scent I would go for. Made with a multitude of oils and butters with oat milk, it claims to enhance elasticity and encourages growth. So far I haven't noticed any improvements compared to using coconut oil. It is, however, more practical as it absorbs into the hair follicle much faster meaning your hair looks less greasy when you apply the product.

I love American Cream it is defiantly my favourite Lush conditioner; Last time I visited the Lush soap, however, I decided to try something new. Retread was recommended to me as a more moisturising conditioner, that would be suitable for long hair. It is a good conditioner, but personally, it isn't rich enough for my hair. I find American Cream a lot more moisturising and nourishing. This would probably be suited to quite greasy hair that gets oily easily as it is quite a thin formula.

American Cream is one of my all-time favourite Lush products and suites my long hair so well. It's made from fresh strawberries, orange juice and lavender and has beautiful sweet strawberries and cream fragrance. It is the only product in a bottle and I would prefer it to be in a tub like the others because I find it's easier to get some out. The formula is quite thick and sits on the hair quite well smoothing the follicles. Definite repurchase!

What are your favourite cruelty-free shampoos? Have you used any lush hair products?

Illamasqua foundation blush and primer review/ Cruelty free beauty haul

Illamasqua is one of my favourite beauty brands in the world. Not only because it's cruelty-free, not only because of their anti-fascism letter but because of the quality of their products. I've had some hits and misses with products in the past but I have always found their foundations, primers and blushers to be excellent.
I'm not a big blusher person but when I go out I like to put some on. This is one of my favourite cruelty-free blushers mainly because of the pigment. Mine is in the shade Bronzerella which I initially thought would be too dark for me, but it actually suits my skin tone well. It is however very pigmented so you only need a little to get a good coverage and high definition.
The top shade is matt and quite dark red, the bottom is a more of a pearl finished bronzer. I usually don't mix the two, and I am saving the bronzer for summer time to go with my tan. If I ever decide to contour my face this may also be a good pallet to experiment with....
The skin base foundation is my all-time favourite cruelty-free foundation! It is light coverage and very buildable but it still gives you a good level of everyday coverage without being cakey. The lovely girl in Selfridges in Manchester recommended this to me after I complained that my current cruelty-free foundation was too dry for my skin. I am really happy with this and will be repurchasing, as it is perfect for lazy mornings before work, it gives me a fresher appearance in one minute flat.
Hydra Veil re hydrating gel is to put under your make up as a primer, to help your foundation stay on all day. I have tried this once as I got it free with an Illamasqua order, and it does what it’s supposed to. It is very lightweight and applies evenly to the face, without a harsh chemical smell. However, with the large price tag, I will not be using this every day. I use it under my foundation on special occasions and for now, I will defiantly just stick to bog standard moisturiser for my primer!

Have you tried any Illamasqua products? What are your hits and misses?

10 Little ways you can help the environment / Save some money

I know that not everyone cares about animals or caring for the environment, but to me, this is really important.  I would consider myself fairly knowledgeable on this topic and I am always interested in new ideas and new ways of living. For people who don't think they can make a difference in the world, or for people who don't know how I put together a little list of just some easy simple things we can all do.  This kind of small changes can make a big difference and I hope you find these inspiring!

1. Develop your own personal style avoid fast fashion

The fast fashion industry is one of the most polluting in the world! Producing billions of textiles a year not only uses valuable resources but contributes to the pollution of waterways and exploitation of women. Moving away from this industry was one of my new year's resolutions for 2017, and since then I have discovered so many new exciting brands and places to shop! Buying from brands with good ethics, or buying second hand is now part of my lifestyle and I'm actually enjoying it! Shopping with brands that use organic cotton or that manufacture their garments in the UK has actually been quite fun. I like to have unique things that no one else has or wear an outfit I put together from signature pieces so this has worked well for me. One of my favourite new places to shop online is Vestiaire Collective where you can find amazing designer pieces cheap and second hand!

2. Recycle and Reuse

This is so important! Making an effort to recycle and compost your waste can make such a difference. It's also handy because then you get free compost for your garden! Recycling tins plastic and food all play a part in reducing our effects on the environment but it's also important to recycle and reuse other things in the house. Clothes, old books and items you no longer need can always be of use to someone. Taking things to charity shops or finding a second use for them in the home can save you money and help the environment!

3. Tweet Brands

Many people often feel like there is no point caring about animals or other people in the world because that's just the way things are. This isn't true things are always changing and society is forever evolving. This is why it's so important to be involved in social and environmental change, to ensure what the world is developing into is a good place. If we look back 100 years women didn't have the vote, now we have female firefighters and CEO. Change is always happening and there are easy simple ways you can be involved in it.

One of the most powerful tools to implement change is social media and the Internet. What we put out publicly into the world can change peoples lives for the better. Tweeting brands and publicly asking them questions about their labour policies, cruelty-free status and the environmental impact of their products can create real change. If brands know that these issues are becoming real conversations and they may lose money if they don't change gives them the incentive. Also tweeting or showing support for more ethical brands also lets big businesses know they need to change.

4. Choose organic, local and vegan food where you can

Food! Instagram is filled with it, people obsess over it, health, diets what not to eat. But away from all of the fuss, there are health impacts that many people don't think about when buying food, the health of the planet. Sometimes when I talk about these things I can literally hear people groaning, but I can't think of anything more important than making sure everyone in the world has enough to eat and has the choice to stay healthy. Choosing organic, fair trade and local food is a really good way to help support farmers and protect the environment. Also going vegan is amazing for the planet and a really good way to lose weight if that's your goal.

If you are interested you can click HERE for a short quiz on the impact of your diet on the environment.

5. Switch your energy supplier

This millennium has seen the advent of the switch to renewable energy! But how can we take advantage of this? Another amazing way to help the environment is to invest your money in a green energy supplier. Ovo, Ecotricity and Good Energy are all amazing energy companies that make their energy through renewable, making this switch will help their businesses grow and lessen your impact on the natural world. They also have better company ethics and some donate large portions of their profits to charity.

Ecotricity have topped the Which? Best Energy Company survey for two out of the last three years!

6. Meal prep

This may sound like an odd one but meal prepping your meals is not only good for saving time and money but can also help cut down on energy usage too! Its also so handy for when you come home from work and already have a delicious meal waiting. YUM

7. Meat free Mondays- avoiding red meat

I salute the vegans of this world but I am not yet on the same page. I still eat red meat and eggs most days but since learning about the amount of water consumption that is needed to produce one steak (1200 litre) I decided to cut down my intake. I always have bought organic higher welfare meat as I'm against animal cruelty; recently I have also started cutting down on my meat consumption and now enjoy vegetarian or vegan options a few times a week. I don't personally believe that meat occasionally is bad for you, or shouldn't be eaten, but I do think the high demand encourages lower welfare standards and in large quantities isn't good for the human body.

8. Sign Petitions

Don't forget that you have a voice! There are always new petitions being created so issues can be debated in Parliament. If you feel strongly about something you can make one or if you have a look on the gov.UK page you might find something you would be interested in changing too! After you have signed it is really easy to share on FB and Twitter so you can show your friends what you are passionate about.

9. Move your money!

When you put your money in the bank the bank then invests money around the world in lucrative ventures. This can include war, weapons, animal cruelty and practises that create suffering around the world. Putting your money and your savings in a more ethical bank stops your funds going to unethical practices. Moving your money to an ethical bank like the Co-op who have publicly stated that they will never invest in bad practice, is a good way of showing your support for ethical and Eco-friendly values.

I think the Co-op bank making this choice just shows that change can happen!

10. Engage with nature

The last thing I think that is really important not only for the environment but for ourselves is to make sure we all spend time engaging with nature and the natural world. Too many people forget all the wonderful places there are to explore and all the fun you can have outdoors. When you forget to spend time in the countryside you forget it's worth, and how valuable the natural world can be.

Soap and Glory Review/Haul my cruelty free beauty favourites

When Soap and Glory were released in 2006 a new bath time favourite was born. I can't think of one friend who doesn't like it or one negative comment about a product from anyone. In the last 11 years, it has become a boots staple, and it will probably please many girls to know that it's also cruelty-free! Both Boots and Soap and Glory say they are committed to fighting animal testing and Boots is part of FRAME the Fund for the Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments.

I hope you enjoy my haul and let me know in the comments of any S&G products you love!
I got these in a gift set for Christmas and they all smell amazing! Putting on hand cream isn't really my thing, but if I ever feel the urge this is one of my go to products as it smells exactly like the 'Righteous Butter' which I love! It's very rich and hydrating and takes a while to sink in but it does make your hands silky soft. I think this is what often puts me off about hand creams, you put them on and then you are stuck for 10 minutes waiting for it to sink in! These hand creams are both beautiful, however, and I should probably use them more.
The 'scrub of your life' is another product I got in the Christmas gift set, and again is something I wouldn't normally choose for myself. It's quite a light scrub one which you could easily scrub onto your cellulite every day without irritating the skin. I have enjoyed using this more regularly and I'm sure it has made a difference on my knees! 
The Righteous Butter is probably one of the only beauty products I regularly purchase. It's a thick luxurious moisturiser and I love using it year round. I'm not sure what the smell is but it's not sweet, and it's very rich. This is a really soothing product and is really good at tackling any shaving rash post shave.
Moving on to my little ones! There is a story behind this spray; I recently went to Ludlow on a day trip to have a potter around the town. I was in a rush to get in the car and forgot to put any deodorant on, and by the time we got there on a hot day, I could smell sweat! Yuck! I literally ran into Boots and was searching the shelves for a pump spray when I came across this one. I never knew that S&G did body sprays! There are four different ones but I chose this as it smells like 'The Righteous Butter' and wasn't as sweet as the others. Long story short the smell lasts well and is quite strong, I now keep it in my handbag for emergencies! 

If you are looking for a hand sanitizer you search is over 'Hand Maid' is amazing. It turned me into a sanitizer convert, and I now keep it in my handbag wherever I go! The packaging is really sweet and it doesn't have the strong alcohol smell that many other sanitizers have. 
As I have got further into my twenties plumping moisturiser is a must buy! I'm determined to keep my face youthful looking so I have recently been investing in more moisturiser. This is another item I got in one of the famous S&G Christmas packages, and when I ran out of my Nip and Fab moisturiser, I decided to start using this one instead. This is slightly thinner than the one I was using before, but it seems to work just as well on the skin. I have been using it morning and night and will generally apply some of it after using my Lush facial scrub or the S&G vitamin C facial wash. I have enjoyed using this, but it's slightly less rich than I would have hoped.
These four apart from the 'Butter yourself' were also from a Christmas gift set and I have to say I love them all. The 'Smoothy Star' body milk is incredible and I will defiantly be repurchasing. 
The 'Sugar Crush' range for those who don't know, is extremely sweet. It's made from sugar and lime extract and the smell will defiantly wake you up in the morning! It's quite strong but if you like sweet smells this is for you. Also, the body scrub in this collection is one of my favourites ever, and will get rid of any hard skin on problem areas!
This reminds me of a slightly thinner and quicker drying version of the 'Righteous Butter', it smells the same but with a slightly watered down scent. Personally, I prefer the thicker version in the short pot, as it's richer and the pot is easier to reuse.
This has to be one of my favourite S&G purchases of all time! This smells incredible and is made with almonds, oat milk and vanilla. It goes on quickly and you can slap it on straight after a shower, and it soaks in very fast. It makes your whole body feel soft, and smell like vanilla for the whole day. This isn't very rich, but if you are looking for something to use when you are in a rush this is perfect! Personally, I would say thin moisturisers are for when you have little time in the morning before work, thick ones are for putting on at night before bed to give them time to sink in.
The last item in my haul is the vitamin C facial wash which is a daily wash that you can use on problem skin. This product is really cleansing and works really well, I get stress spots and this has helped keep them at bay. The vitamin C in the wash seems to be working its magic and it defiantly has made my face clearer. On the down side this is quite drying so I wouldn't recommend using it too much or if your skin is dry already.

Overall I love Soap and Glory and it's one of my high street faves! The branding and packaging are amazing and so girly! They always have offered so it's easy to get a bargain, and the sets make perfect presents! However, I would personally really love it if they made more of a fuss about themselves being cruelty-free, and did a little more ethically. There are some amazing brand initiatives out there at the moment like Lush's pot recycling and the banning of the use of micro beads, TOMS one for one, and Illamasquas fight against fascism. I would love to see more initiatives like this from Soap and Glory as they have such an amazing product and such a large fan base. 

Long hair don't care/ Faith in Nature Review/ Cruelty free shampoo

I have heard so many amazing things about the Faith in Nature brand and some of my friends swear by their products. All the products are organic, cruelty-free and vegan and smell amazing! So I decided to try their new watermelon shampoo and conditioner as shampoo is one of the things I have struggled with since becoming cruelty-free.

I bought this set from Amazon for £10.99 and it was cheaper to get the set than just the shampoo and conditioner so I thought why not? I love watermelon everything and this shampoo and conditioner had five stars on loads of reviews which is why I chose this scent.

All three were delivered really quickly and delivery was free which is good. The bottles when they come are quite big and I would defiantly say its value for money! This set was for dry hair and is made with natural fragrance whilst being free from parabens and SLS which can make hair dull.

This review is only how I have found this product for myself and my particular hair type; I have very long thick dark brown hair down to my waist which gets oily at the roots and dry at the ends. My scalp and skin overall are quite sensitive, and generally, I like hair products that make my hair feel clean and soft while keeping the ends nourished.

When I opened the shampoo in the shower I have to say the smell is beautiful, and for those who say they don’t like the watermelon, I would still get it. It’s obvious that the fragrances are natural as it’s not a strong, fake, sweetie smelling watermelon smell, but more of a honey-like understated watermelon. Safe to say I loved it! The conditioner and shower gel are the same, and I would recommend all three of the products for watermelon fans but I'm not sure if I will repurchase. 

Both shampoo and conditioner lather up well in the hair and rinsed out easily which can be a concern if you have thick hair. After washing my hair felt squeaky clean and smelled lovely, however, I noticed some scalp irritation around my hairline. I usually just leave my hair to dry naturally as I don’t want to damage it and will either plait it or possibly style it after it’s dry.

When my hair was dry I did find that the ends didn’t feel that good; they were quite brittle and frizzy and knotted. The conditioner is quite thin so overall I don’t think it was hydrating enough for me. As my hair is so long this is one of the most important factors for me in a conditioner, as I like to keep the ends healthy to avoid the hairdressers!

The shower gel contains vitamin E and organic glycerin to help skin feel super smooth and soft, and it seemed to do just that! This is also made with 100% natural fragrance with organic watermelon extract and free from parabens and SLS. It’s made with mainly vegetable derived ingredients and is very super soft on the skin. 
Overall as my first Faith in Nature experience, I would say it's positive, they were good value and smelled amazing. I would get the shampoo and shower gel again but the conditioner was not rich enough for my long hair. I would love to try some more products from this brand and I'm thinking about getting some of their vegan face wipes as they are biodegradable!

Has anyone else tried this watermelon shampoo? Or have any recommendations for very long hair?