Sunday, 18 September 2016

Vegan Home | Cruelty-Free Scents For Autumn

Vegan Candle & Pacifica Reed Diffuser Review

At the moment I'm in the stressful process of moving house, and I'm really looking forward to getting settled into the new place. It's always the small details that make a new house feel like home, like a squishy blanket and a familiar scent. I adore Pacifica's Island Vanilla perfume, which has been a favourite in my handbag this summer and last, so I was very happy to try out their natural reed diffusers to have some comforting scents at home too.

The Tuscan Blood Orange* diffuser is very fresh and citrus smelling, perfect for a kitchen or living room. The strong orange notes are delicious, like an enticing cocktail. It's my favourite of the two scents and the bottle looks very cute nestled in next to my plants. I have it next to the kitchen sink and it even helps to lift my mood when I'm doing the washing up. Live the little things and all that!

Hawaiian Ruby Guavais more sweetly perfumed and suits a bedroom. It's a fruity scent, like raspberries with just a little bit of coconut. Neither scent travels far, so I can't really smell the diffusers through the whole room. However they both smell strongly when you're close to them, so I'd recommend putting them wherever you spend a lot of time to enjoy them the most.

As the nights get longer, I can't think of a better way to spend an Autumn evening than by cosying up on the sofa with a good book and a favourite candle burning. Harper's Bizarre soy candles have always impressed me with their strong scents and longevity. This raspberry one has a lovely warm scent that makes me imagine a berry pie baking in the oven. It's an exclusive from a recent Vegan Kind box but I really wish I could get my hands on another! The candles always fill the room with their aroma and last for hours and hours, plus they make great little presents.

What are your favourite candles or home treats? Any Autumn recommendations?


Saturday, 3 September 2016

Cruelty-Free & Vegan Resources | August

Cruelty-Free & Vegan Resources | August

Introducing a brand new series, I wanted to put together a round up of recent posts for all things cruelty-free and vegan. I'm hoping to make it a monthly thing, so if you write a cruelty-free blog yourself then do send me your posts if you'd like the chance to be featured. 

There's been a lot happening in the cruelty-free community this year and although some brands have sold to testing parent companies or even begun testing on animals themselves, mostly events have been encouraging - such as Australia introducing a ban on cosmetics animal testing. So I wanted to begin a series to keep up with cruelty-free news, as well as share interesting posts about veganism and maybe some cruelty-free beauty too.

Cruelty-Free News

Household brand Method revealed that they are now testing on daphnia. The brand along with parent company Ecover (who also test on daphnia), retain their Leaping Bunny certification. Unfortunately Leaping Bunny do not consider daphnia, invertebrates, to be animals so this doesn't look set to change. If you're looking for cruelty-free alternatives for cleaning and household products I'd recommend Astonish and Co-op.

It Cosmetics sold to L'oreal, but have stated they will remain cruelty-free. If you're confused about what this means, you can read more in my post Animal Testing & Parent Companies. Whether you decide to buy from these brands or not is completely up to you.

In good news, China are considering using alternatives to animal testing. Currently Chinese law requires that all cosmetics be tested on animals, so this could be a huge step forward for animal rights. Hundreds of cosmetic companies like L'oreal, Benefit and MAC would no longer be required to test on animals to sell to the Chinese market, so hopefully it goes ahead!

Resources & Events

Why you should never rely on a company's website (or social media) to tell you if they test on animals.

I will always support the message of Adopt Don't Shop and absolutely agree that there's no such thing as a dangerous dog.

Mica has been continuing to raise awareness for the plight of orcas in captivity, and recently collaborated with Lush to hold a Blackfish event at their Oxford Street store. They hosted a Q&A with former Seaworld trainer Jeffrey Ventre.

Farplace Animal Rescue are holding the first Welsh Vegan Festival in Cardiff on September 25th.

Vegan Food

Adding to Cardiff's many vegan options is recently opened juice bar The Moos who serve lots of vegan snacks and a very delicious chai latte. It's really exciting to see the vegan community in Wales grow!

If you're planning a day trip, check out Sarah's discoveries of vegan eats in Cambridge and Brighton.

I love vegan 'What I Eat In A Day' posts as they always give me new ideas for quick and easy meals to make.

And if you fancy going on a sunny holiday before Autumn arrives, take your pick of Vegan Friendly Mediterranean Destinations.


Thursday, 11 August 2016

Vegan Hair Styling | Relaxed Loose Waves

Relaxed Loose Waves | Vegan Hair Styling

For the last few years, I've always used straighteners to curl my hair. Sounds counter intuitive, which it kind of is. If you have thick, stubborn hair like me the process can be quite time consuming, which is why my straighteners have always been safely tucked up in a box and only brought out for special occasions.

So when Octer invited me to try out their site and choose something to review, I knew that a curling wand was at the top of my list. I did a fair bit of research on what kind to buy, as I knew exactly how I wanted my hair to look. My 'dream hair' if you will; very loose, relaxed waves that could pass as natural. I wanted a wand that could give me this boho everyday look as well as polished, tight curls for weddings and parties.

It also had to be a cruelty-free brand of course, so Paul Mitchell for me was an obvious choice. I picked the Neuro Unclipped Styling Cone* which has turned out to be exactly what I was looking for. The large barrel is tapered so, depending on your hair length, you can get that really natural finish or a tighter curl if you only use the top end.

Paul Mitchell Neuro Unclipped Styling Cone Review

It does take a few goes to get the hang of using a curling wand - the best tip I've read is to practise winding your hair around the wand before turning it on. Obviously I was in a rush the first time I used it so promptly ignored this advice and burnt my forearm, which I don't recommend! There are also heat-proof gloves you can buy but I haven't felt the need for them, as after a good few tries I'm more confident with it now.

Curling my hair has become much quicker and easier than using my straighteners. I feel like I have much more control over how I want the curls to look and I don't have to worry so much about what size of sections I'm curling.

I love the results and am much happier to style my hair more often now. Unfortunately for me the results don't last until the next day, however it would be unfair to expect them to when my hair is so naturally straight. I'm looking forward to trying out some new styling products to see what effects I can achieve - a new cruelty-free mousse or curling cream is next on my shopping list. Let me know if you have any favourites!

Cruelty-Free & Vegan Hair Products

I also wanted to share with you three vegan products that have been regulars in my hair routine for a year or more now. I've just repurchased my third bottle of Yarok's Feed Your Ends, which is both a heat protector and leave in conditioner. I can't rave about it enough and it's one of my all time favourite products. The smell is lovely and it works wonders for the condition of my hair, even with heat styling.

I don't feel Yarok's Feed Your Shine is quite as effective but it is worth a mention. A rich coconut hair serum, I only need one drop to smooth through my mid length hair and it also offers heat protection. The bottle is tiny but after a year of using it I'm only halfway through, which certainly makes up for its size. However for the price I would expect more shine so I'll probably look for something that packs more punch once it's finished.

Lastly, Lush's R&B hair moisturiser is like buttery goodness for your hair. It's particularly nourishing for dry hair and I originally bought it for my split ends, which are long gone now. As only a teensy amount is needed, it's another super long lasting product and this pot has been going strong for a year and a half with no chance of being finished any time soon. I had such a frustrating time with frizziness before I started using these products and now I wouldn't be without them. Three to try if you have unruly hair!

What hair products are you loving right now? Any styling tips I should know about?


Thursday, 23 June 2016

Weekly Pampering | Beauty Treats For Self Care

Weekly Pampering | Cruelty-Free & Vegan Beauty

I'm totally new to the idea of self care, but I do like to have something of a weekly pampering routine. If I've had a bad week, having some nice beauty treats to use is always a pick me up, so I wanted to share some recent cruelty-free and vegan favourites.

First up I've been using the very lovely Faith In Nature Intensive Conditioner*. Made with lavender, geranium, jojoba oil and (vegan favourite) avocado, it's very thick and smells very yummy. I usually have the old classic of greasy roots and dry ends so a generous squidge of this conditioner has really been helping to lend some moisture to my hair, and calm the frizziness that it loves to do in summer.

I only tend to wash my hair twice a week, and what I really like about this conditioner is that you can leave it on for longer as a hair mask. This way I don't have to remember to use an extra product and I'm still giving my hair a little TLC. I rinse it out after about five minutes, or as long as it takes to wash my face and exfoliate. The gorgeous lavender scent lingers afterwards and whether I'm using it as a regular conditioner or a mask, it leaves my hair feeling soft and smooth to touch.

After really liking Botanical's natural facial polish, I was very happy to try out the Mandarin & Chamomile Cleansing Melt* to add to my skincare routine. Like the facial polish, this cleanser is made without water so it's much like a solid balm that melts as you rub it in. The mandarin is a nice citrus scent and it's very gentle on the skin. It's always nice to take a few minutes at the end of the day to look after my skin and go to bed feeling refreshed.

To take it off I've been using the Botanicals Organic Muslin Cloth* which I've found is softer than my similar organic one from Pai, and still holds up in the washing machine. Lately I've had trouble with spots on my chin and the right side of my face, which I'd put to down to hormones. So I was delighted that using this cleanser and cloth duo has cleared them up. 

Barry M Gelly Summer Almond Review | Cruelty-Free & Vegan Beauty

Friday evenings are my favourite for catching up on Netflix and painting my nails. Barry M are always my go to for cruelty-free and vegan nail polish and I've been loving their Gelly Summer Almond shade. It's a pale lilac grey, or a perfect 'dirty grey', which is a colour I may have been obsessed with for a good few years. 

This is the only Gelly polish I own so I really want to try more from the range, even though I have far too many nail polishes already! I always use the clear top coat as well which helps the polish last up to a week (so long as I remember to wear rubber gloves to do the washing up).

Lastly is my Deep Steep sugar scrub, for weekly exfoliating. This scrub starts off quite coarse with large grains of sugar, so depending on how hard you rub you can get a really good scrub with it (exactly what you want if you've just got home from a festival). The sugar quickly melts in a warm shower, which then leaves a generous amount of argan oil to moisturise your skin. The lavender vanilla smell is subtle but lovely and I'm happy to use this scrub year round to get my skin nice and glowing come rain or shine.

Do you have any self care tips? What are your favourite beauty treats right now?


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