Tuesday 30 June 2015

Itha Organic Lip Glow

Itha Organic Lip Balm

Itha Vegetarian and Vegan Lip Balm

I first heard about Itha after reading an interview with the founder Kelly and they quickly made my list of brands to check out. So when Kelly got in touch to see if I'd like to try some of their tinted lip balms, I was very pleased to accept. Kelly was very quick to reply with clear answers to my questions about Itha's animal testing policy and reassured me that all their products are cruelty-free and vegetarian. Itha have just launched a new line of vegan lip balms too, so I picked Rose Kiss from the original vegetarian line and Cherished from the new vegan range to try. 

Itha's lip balms are handmade in the U.K with natural and organic ingredients like cocoa butter and jojoba oil. Both of these lip tints are very natural looking, with just a hint of pink. I was a little scared to go for the darker colours in the range but now I know how sheer they are I'm lusting after the colour Infatuated. The balms are very conditioning and soft on the lips and to my happy surprise they actually taste a little sweet too. Below is me wearing Cherished - I think it certainly gives my lips a glow!

Itha Organic Vegan Lip Glow in Cherished

I've been carrying Cherished around in my bag with me and keeping Rose Kiss on my bedside table. The balm is so lovely and creamy they're a joy to apply, plus I'm quite sure they're going to last me ages. I'm obviously not the only one to fall in love with them as their organic Lip Glow Sweet Bomb has been shortlisted for the Make-up category in the Free From Skincare Awards. Good luck Itha!

What's your favourite lip balm? Do you love tinted ones like these?

Tuesday 23 June 2015

Vegan & Natural Eye Make-Up | Shopping For Sensitive Eyes

Natural and Cruelty-Free Eye Make-up

The great thing about natural beauty is that it's chemical free, making it gentler to your skin and the environment. I've blogged before about my sensitive eyes and whilst learning how to deal with them I've found that natural make-up is a lot less likely to make them sore and dry. Knowing I'm not putting any chemical nasties near my eyes that are going to irritate them is such a relief! So here's my pick of the products I've got my eye on (pun intended). All of them are vegan and of course cruelty-free.

1. PHB Ethical Beauty Black All-In-One Mascara 

Water resistant and flake free, after reading reviews of all the natural mascaras out there I decided to buy this one! Thoughts coming soon.. 

2. Tropic Skincare Illuma Brightening Concealer 

A little out of my price range but the packaging and the promise of boosting botanical actives sure caught my eye!

3. Neal's Yard Remedies Lengthening Black Mascara 

With lots of organic ingredients, this was the runner up in the mascara stakes and one I may well try in the future.

4. Beauty Without Cruelty Liquid Concealer & Highlighter 

At a great price, my only worry is that this shade might not match my skin tone. But I'm fairly sure I'll be purchasing this one after taking a peek at the reviews.

5. PHB Ethical Beauty Moroccan Earth Mineral Eyeshadow 

These eyeshadows look beautiful. All the colours seem so rich it would be hard to choose just one. Oil free, they promise to be extra gentle to the eyes.

6. 100% Pure Dark Chocolate Long Last Liquid Eyeliner

With a name like that how can you resist?! Liquid eyeliner was not something I expected to find with natural cosmetics so I was pleasantly surprised to come across lots of options out there.

7. Everyday Minerals Shimmer Eyeshadow in Jane Eyre 

A brand I've yet to try but I've been keen to for a long while. I love pink, pretty make-up in the warmer weather.

8. Lush Liquid Eyeliner in Dynamic 

This eyeliner doesn't have all natural ingredients, but mostly. I think it's a brilliant summer colour for a statement eye.

9. 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Eyeshadow in Pewter 

I'm very intrigued by the idea of fruit pigmented make-up and with ingredients like rosehip oil and avocado butter this eyeshadow looks irresistible.

Also worth a look are Green People and Lily Lolo, both of which offer some vegan products and have rave reviews for their mascaras. Let me know if you like the look of any of these - I certainly had a lot of fun coming up with the eye puns! ;)

Do you use any natural make-up?

Sunday 14 June 2015

Animal Testing & Parent Companies

Animal Testing and Parent Companies

Parent companies and animal testing can be a confusing and tricky subject, especially if you're just beginning to shop cruelty-free.

Read on if you want to know what it means if a cruelty-free brand has a parent company, and what to do if they test on animals.

What is a parent company?

Without getting super technical, a parent company is one company that owns another or multiple other companies, the owned company being called a subsidiary or brand of the parent company. With regards to animal testing, a parent company, and its brands may have identical animal testing policies or completely different ones.

Here are some examples:

  • The cruelty-free brands Alba Botanica, Avalon Organics and Jason are all owned by the parent company Hain Celestial - who are also cruelty-free and Leaping Bunny approved.

  • Urban Decay is also Leaping Bunny approved, meaning Urban Decay products are certified as never tested on animals. But Urban Decay is owned by parent company L'oreal, who have always tested L'oreal products on animals and continue to do so.

What if a parent company tests on animals?

Does that mean the brand they own is still cruelty-free? Many people define the term cruelty-free in different ways. Some will say that if a brand has a parent company that tests on animals, that brand is not cruelty-free no matter what the brand's own animal testing policies are. However, I think this can be really confusing for people who are just beginning to look for cruelty-free brands and even deter them from trying. 

When a brand is owned or bought by a parent company, often that brand will remain independent of the parent company in many ways. This means their products can be made entirely separately and without animal testing. 

For example, The Body Shop are a company founded on the ethics of no animal testing. In 2006, the company was bought by L'oreal, one of the worst offenders of animal testing for cosmetics. This might seem jarring, but The Body Shop still retain their Leaping Bunny approval, meaning their own products, and the ingredients used to make them, are never tested on animals.

Which cruelty-free brands have parent companies that test on animals?

Here's a short list of well known cruelty-free brands with testing parent companies. The parent companies they are owned by are listed in brackets.

bareMinerals  (Shisheido)
Bite Beauty  (Kendo)
The Body Shop  (L'oreal)
Burt's Bees  (Clorox)
Liz Earle  (Avon)
NARS  (Shisheido)
NYX Cosmetics  (L'oreal)
Superdrug  (A.S. Watson)
Tarte  (Kose)
Urban Decay  (L'oreal)

Should I buy from brands with parent companies that test on animals?

This is a very divisive issue in the cruelty-free community. On one side it is thought that supporting a cruelty-free brand, one with a testing parent company or one without, sends the message that a large number of consumers only want products that have not been tested on animals. 

However, other people say that buying from these brands would be funding animal testing - because the parent company performing the animal testing will still receive the profits from its cruelty-free brand.

If you're just starting to shop cruelty-free, buying from brands with testing parent companies gives you more options. However, if you then decide to only use products from brands without parent companies, this does mean going through a second process of finding alternatives to the products you've been using. 

It is completely up to you to decide which brands you feel comfortable buying from. It might help you to research the brand in question a little more. 

  • Were they a cruelty-free brand bought out by a larger company? 
  • Was that to prevent their brand being discontinued? 
  • What are the ethics of the brand now? 

This way you can make an informed decision on who to buy from. 
Whatever you decide, the best way for consumers to help end animal testing is by boycotting the companies that do test on animals - so keep choosing cruelty-free!

What are your thoughts on brands with parent companies that test on animals? Do you buy from them or boycott them?

Thursday 4 June 2015

Chop Chop!

Long Bob Mid Length Straight Hair

I've cut my hair off! It's something I've been wanting to do for a long time, as my hair was becoming so out of control that it was a massive chore just to wash it and dry it. So I'm loving my new do! My sister very kindly chopped it off for me and it took ages to hack through it. This is, I think, the third time I've gone from very long to short hair so I knew I wouldn't miss it. I love that now I can wash my locks whenever I want without dreading the task. 

My inspiration was mostly these long bobs - a bit messy but easy to manage. I'm also really excited to have a go at heat styling, I've never really done it before! I feel like a whole new world of hairstyles has opened up to me ;)

For a little reference, here's one of the ponytails we cut/sawed off.

Dip Dye Ombre Ponytail Hair

And even more hair went on the floor! Obviously my blonde dip dye has gone, which I'd had for a few years now, but change feels good :) If you're fed up of your hair like I was then I'd definitely encourage you to go ahead and change it!

Have you ever had a drastic haircut?
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