Saturday 29 August 2015

August Cruelty-Free & Vegan Favourites

The response to my July Cruelty-Free & Vegan Favourites was awesome - thank you so much! I've also been getting amazing replies to my Reader Q&A which are so lovely to read. A lot of you want to see more lifestyle posts which is great, because I love just writing away. So I thought I'd give you a little update here on what I've been up to lately. 

This month was my blog's first birthday and I'm running my second ever giveaway to celebrate. I was also super excited to win a Barry M goodie bag of nail varnish and nail art pens in a Superdrug competition! A few of my friends and I had a lovely afternoon drinking tea and painting our nails for the competition (scroll to the first entry here to see my winning nail art) so I'll be sharing my prize with them. 

We also went out for veggie food and I had some terrible vegan sushi at a place that shall not be named, the food is always hit or miss there for me, but luckily for dessert I'd made some brilliant vegan cookies from the Sticky Mix in my Vegan Kind box. They went down very well! And my boyfriend and I went to check out Cardiff's all vegan shop Simply V, who have a brilliant selection of vegan food and cruelty-free beauty products. They've just moved to a new bigger premises, so do head over if you find yourself in the lovely Welsh capital. 

On to the products I've been loving...

Cruelty-free and vegan beauty favourites

The Favourites

Superdrug Hairspray Extra Firm Hold

This hairspray doesn't seem to be online, but I can definitely recommend picking it up in store if you get a chance. Earlier this month I curled my hair to go to a wedding, and was really impressed that this hairspray kept the style all day. My hair is stubbornly straight so I never expected it to hold! The spray doesn't make your hair sticky or hard at all and it brushed out the next day. Perfect.

B. Makeup Brush Cleanser

A nifty little tool for quick and easy brush cleaning. I've also discovered this is super handy if you're going away and only want to take a few brushes with you.

White Rabbit Skincare Toning Eye Cream & Frankincense Toner

These two products have quickly become new favourites in my skincare routine, particularly the eye cream has it has such great results. I'm really excited to try more products from the White Rabbit line and support an independent handmade business.

Superdrug Extracts Conditioner Coconut & Sweet Almond

This conditioner is exactly what my hair needs right now. It's never greasy, light enough for summer and makes my hair feel super soft.

The V Nice Life

Sarah is a fantastic vegan blogger who always inspires me to be more conscious about my everyday choices. I loved reading about her recent trip to Brighton and all the wonderful vegetarian and vegan shops and eateries she found there. Get to know her better in my interview where we chat about blogging and buying cruelty-free.

More from the month of August...

Posts to check out

Natalie's advice for What To Do If A Vegetarian Is Coming For A Barbecue

Yasmina's picks to Beat The BBQ Blues Vegan Style

Steph's great Tips For Meatless Healthy Eating

Lucianna's cruelty-free morning and evening skincare routines

Zusterschap's awesome collective of cruelty-free bloggers sharing their stories about sterotyping

Kate's Nine Favourite Creative Instagram Accounts

Some recent Instagrams

 Vegan Life Magazine Pink flower

Products I'm lusting after
 Autograph Twist Up Cheeks Blusher in Soft Coral     GOSH BB Cream in Sand

Autograph Twist Up Cheeks Blusher in Soft Coral, GOSH BB Cream in Sand (all vegan)

Plus check out my Birthday Beauty Wishlist for even more cruelty-free products I'm currently coveting. What have you been loving this month?

Tuesday 25 August 2015

White Rabbit Skincare | Handmade & Vegan

White Rabbit Vegan Skincare

Recently I mentioned wanting to support more independent businesses, and White Rabbit Skincare are definitely a brand I had in mind. All their products are natural, vegan and handmade in Scotland. Just this month they've had a rebrand with a new look and new products in recyclable packaging. 

The two products above are from a little while ago and no longer available - shame on me for not reviewing them sooner! As alternatives for when these two run out, I'm looking at the Chamomile and Carrot Seed Eye Cream and the Orange Blossom and Aloe Vera Toner. Not to mention the Rosehip and Camellia Day Cream and Comfort Cleansing Balm might also find their way into my basket!

Toning Eye Cream

This eye cream features the same essential oils, chamomile and carrot seed, as the new product so I'm hoping the formula is similar. Because despite being quite thick in consistency, this moisturiser absorbs really easily around the eye area. The natural ingredients don't bother my sensitive eyes in the slightest, something I'm always hesitant about when trying new products. Before using it, I hadn't even realised that the skin around my eyes was a little dry and had been blaming my concealer for clumping up. In a few short months, it's really helped to hydrate and smooth the skin around my eyes, so now applying concealer is a breeze. I'll certainly be hanging on to this when Autumn arrives!

Frankincense Toner

It's been years since I've used a toner - they fell out of my skincare routine and were never replaced until now. I use this one after cleansing my face in the evenings and it helps my pores look a teensy bit less noticeable the next day. I was really surprised by how little product you need - two dabs on a cotton pad covers my face and neck easily. A mix of frankincense water and natural essential oils, it feels so soothing on my skin and I just love the scent. Drifting off to sleep, I'm happy in the knowledge that my skin is completely clean and I'll have a fresh face to wake up with in the morning.

Have you tried anything from White Rabbit Skincare? What are your favourite skincare products right now?

Saturday 22 August 2015

Birthday Beauty Wishlist | Cruelty-Free & Vegan

Having just celebrated my first year of blogging and with my own birthday coming up in two weeks (September 3rd if you're interested ;) I've put together a little wishlist of products I'd like to add to my beauty stash. All of these are of course cruelty-free and vegan friendly too!

Lush Bubblegum Lip Scrub

The thriftiness in me says that this is a completely unnecessary product - I've always used my toothbrush to exfoliate my lips before putting on lipstick. But after seeing so many bloggers rave about it, particularly how tasty it is, I'm really keen to try it.

Neal's Yard Remedies Organic Eye Make-up Remover

Whilst I'm very happy with my B. Micellar Water for taking off my make-up, I do wonder if something natural would be gentler for my eyes as they get sore so easily. This claims to soothe and calm tired peepers and is also ethically made to boot.

GOSH Velvet Touch Lipliner in Cardinal Red and Antique Rose

I'm ashamed to say I have never owned a lipliner! It always seemed like such an 80s thing to me, but having read many times that they increase your lipstick's staying power tenfold I feel like it's time for me to go retro.

Lush Dark Angels Cleanser

This cleanser is described as a super exfoliating face scrub that uses charcoal to draw out any nasties in your skin. I have blackheads that took up residence on my nose back when I was a teenager that I have vowed to get rid of this year. Hopefully Dark Angels will help me fight them!

Lily Lolo Laid Bare Eyeshadow Palette

I'm currently building my collection of natural eye make-up so I can wear eyeshadow without worrying about it irritating my sensitive eyes. This palette was recommended to me on Twitter and those daytime shades look absolutely gorgeous.

Barry M Gelly Summer Almond Nail Paint

Who can resist a Barry M nail polish?! Despite my pretty decent collection I've never tried any of the Gelly range but I'm told it's excellent. With such cute colours I hardly need an excuse right? ;)

What beauty products are you lusting after right now? Let me know and make sure you check out my reader Q&A and my Lush giveaway too!

Thursday 20 August 2015

Lush Giveaway!

Lush vegan bath bombs giveaway

In celebration of my first year of blogging, I wanted to say thank you to my lovely readers by holding a small giveaway :) One lucky reader will win these three awesome Lush bath bombs, which are Think Pink, Fizzbanger and Dragon's Egg. A few little treats for bathtime! All three are vegan and of course cruelty-free. Enter below - you only need one entry to win, but the more entries you have the more chances you have of winning ;) Sadly it would cost too much to post these internationally, so this giveaway is for the U.K. only. At the end of the giveaway I'll be announcing the winner on my Twitter. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday 18 August 2015

Lovely Witches 1st Birthday & Reader Q&A

Flowers for my first year of blogging

I'm very pleased to say that Lovely Witches has just turned one! I am so happy to have kept this blog going for a year, and to still say that I love writing it. I want to say thank you to all of you who read my blog, send me wonderful comments and tweets and always make me smile. The cruelty-free and blogging communities are absolutely brilliant and I am always inspired by what other bloggers are creating. Writing this blog has made me more motivated, more self disciplined and always pushes me to try harder. So I thought that now might be a good time to look back at my blogging goals for 2015 to see what I've achieved.

Improve my photography

I would definitely like to say I've improved on this! After many months of borrowing my sister's camera for my blog photos, I hope to get my very first DSLR camera of my own soon. I also really like editing photos, it's a relaxing thing to do in the evenings whilst listening to music and podcasts.

Write varied content

I'd completely forgotten that I had set this goal! I'm actually quite happy to be beauty focused, particularly as my aim is to help others find cruelty-free products they love. But I would like to throw some more lifestyle posts into the mix as I really enjoy reading them on other blogs.

Time Management

I feel like I'm actually starting to get a handle on this now and that I'm getting a lot more done than I used to. This means getting up earlier, enjoying my free time more and spending less time procrastinating on my phone. Small habits build up to make a big difference!

Find a style

This is another goal I'd forgotten about?! Earlier this year, I bought a new blog template from Pipdig that I love (I'd certainly recommend them). Now I get to spend more time writing blog posts instead of trying to fix the endless little things on my blog layout that I wasn't happy with before. Hooray!

Go to a blogger meetup

This is the only goal I set that is super specific and the only one I haven't really achieved - yet! I did go to a blogger event in March to do some crafting which was really fun, so I'd certainly like to go to more creative events like that plus a blogger meet-up this year.


And now over to you guys - I'd really love to know what you want to see more of here on this blog, what you want to see less of and any other feedback you have for me. So I've set up this little questionnaire to find out! I will be forever grateful if you fill it in :) Also this week I'll be hosting my second ever giveaway to celebrate my first year of blogging and say thank you, so check back for that!

Create your own user feedback survey

If you're on a mobile or can't see the survey, click here. Thanks so much for filling out my Q&A - I'm hoping your answers will help me carry on improving my posts here on Lovely Witches. And as always, thanks for reading!

Saturday 8 August 2015

An Interview With Sarah of The V Nice Life

An Interview With Sarah of The V Nice Life

Sarah is a lady who I find so inspiring - she promotes cruelty-free in such a positive way and I love following along with her on social media as she goes to awesome vegan events and seeks out the best places to eat. She also organises vegan social evenings and has recently started the #veganbloggers Twitter chat. It's on every Wednesday 9-10pm UK time, and it's a brilliant place to get vegan tips and chat to other animal lovers. Sarah blogs at The V Nice Life and I'll let her tell you all about it :)

Cruelty-free and vegan blogger Sarah of The V Nice Life

Hi Sarah! Tell us a bit about yourself and your blog.

Well.....where to start!? I'll give you the facts first! I am a 32 year old animal loving woman originally from London now living in Essex. I live with my husband Andy (or 'Mr K' as I like to refer to him online!), our 2 Chihuahua doggies and our 2 cats. We don't have any children but consider our pets as our babies! They mean the world to us. In my spare time I love to blog, spend time with friends, go shopping and interact with others on social media. We also LOVE to travel and are always planning our next trip away. For our honeymoon we were fortunate enough to travel all over Asia for 5 weeks which was an amazing experience and if anything this has made us want to travel more. My favourite destinations are Ibiza (where we got married), Dubai, Miami, Thailand & Bali. One day we hope to set up home in Ibiza and my ultimate dream is to have some land there where I can provide a refuge to animas in need.

2 years ago I made the decision to go fully vegetarian after having been practically veggie for a number of years. I started to feel like an animal loving hypocrite and could see no difference between the pets that I love and the animals who are slaughtered for meat. Last September I began to educate myself more about Veganism and watched a number of films such as Vegetated (Netflix) and Earthlings (YouTube) which really impacted on me to such a degree that I could no longer contribute towards the cruelty of the dairy industry. I began to try to lead a fully cruelty free lifestyle and made the transition over to becoming Vegan. Soon after that my husband also joined me and after being a massive meat eater he too decided to give it up which was a huge step for him but it means we both get to enjoy the same amazing meals!

My blog is called 'The V Nice Life' and it promotes compassionate living. The 'V' in it stands for all things Vegan, Veggie & very nice! I mostly blog about all things Vegan, cruelty free and animal rights. However, I have also started to blog more about myself lately as these posts have proved to be quite popular so occasionally you may see posts from me about my life, things I love, stationery, travel and all sorts.

When did you start blogging and what inspired you to start your own?

I started blogging towards the end of last year and during my transition into Veganism. I found that I really wanted to share my journey with others and also offer people ideas and suggestions on how they can lead a cruelty free lifestyle. I knew from the beginning that I wanted my blog to be about positively promoting Veganism to the masses and in a non preaching or judgemental way. I wanted to be able to make my friends, family and followers see how easy it is and take inspiration from that. I also wanted to try to change peoples perspectives on Vegans who I believe have had a slightly bad reputation for being crazy hippies or slightly militant in the past. I love writing and taking photographs so a blog seemed to be the perfect outlet for this. Since then it has gone from strength to strength and my followers are increasing daily which is amazing to see. With such a huge variety of blogs out there now I really like how mine is very refined in its area of focusing on compassionate living.

What are your favourite cruelty-free products?

Firstly for me if a product is truly cruelty free it has to be Vegan! It's a lot easier shopping for products that are CF only opposed to V & CF.

I have to say that on my journey into living a cruelty free lifestyle that I have been most impressed by Superdrug. I absolutely love how this is a standard high street shop, accessible to everyone, which offers up affordable own brand Vegan & CF products. Now I buy all my essentials from there - deodorant, hairspray, toothpaste, moisturiser, sun cream, wipes etc. It just couldn't be easier! I now tell all my friends and family that if they want to do one thing to help animals then they must buy from there. It's just a no brainer in my opinion!

For make up I adore Elf Cosmetics. I was absolutely gutted when they closed their UK online store though and we're still waiting for confirmation as to when the new one will be reopening. I was fortunate enough to be in the States in May and I therefore made a huge order via their US site and had it delivered to my hotel room! I really stocked up however that supply is already starting to run low so i'm about to start worrying! My other back ups for CF make up are Body Shop, B Cosmetics & Illamasqua, however none of them have worked as well as Elf on me.

For my shower gels and hand washes I love Faith in Nature and frequently make orders from their site. And for my hair care I am a huge fan of Phil Smith's range available at Sainsburys. I am also, like everyone else, partial to a Lush bath bomb & face mask!

What advice would you give to someone who wants to buy cruelty-free?

Go to Superdrug! It's as simple as that really. I think so many people are put off shopping cruelty free and / or Vegan because they think they'll have to go out their way and spend loads of money. I like to encourage people to shop big store own brands as 9 times out of 10 they tend to be cruelty free especially within supermarkets. But for Vegan & CF - Superdrug is the one!

What's your favourite part of blogging?

I think blogging has changed my life so much for the better. There are so many great aspects about it from having a creative outlet, to being excited for trying out new products and places to eat, to sharing experiences and meeting new people. But for me my favourite part of blogging has to be the online community who have allowed me to feel less isolated in my journey and who continually show support and encouragement. I feel as though I have an amazing collection of Vegan & CF & blogger friends now, some who i've met face to face which has been awesome! This makes a huge difference especially when very few people around you care as much about this as you do! Social media is a huge part of my blog and promoting my posts and I love the daily interaction I have with people and hearing their kind comments.


Thank you Sarah for such a brilliant interview! Make sure to also check out my interviews with Emily of The Bell JarMorag of mo'adore and Kelly of The Vegan Taff for their thoughts on blogging and buying cruelty-free.

Tuesday 4 August 2015

Quick & Easy Beauty Solution | B. Make-up Brush Cleanser

B. Make-up Brush Cleanser

Suitable for vegetarians and vegans

It may be a near universal agreement that washing make-up brushes is a chore. Personally, I leave it as long as possible before washing mine because I'm a big avoider of things I don't like doing. So if you're like me and the thought of cleaning your whole make-up brush collection fills you with dread, say hello to your new friend the B. Make-up Brush Cleanser.

Now when I first bought this product, I was hoping for it to speed up the amount of time I have to spend cleaning my brushes. And it absolutely does, just not in the way I expected. This spray is not made for deep cleaning. What it is brilliant for though, is quickly spritzing your brushes clean and, depending on the size of the brush, only having to wait a few minutes for them to dry.

So when I 'forgot' to clean my make-up brushes last weekend, I only had to spray them with a little of this magic formula and wipe the make-up off on to a tissue to get them clean. My eyeshadow brushes were dry within a minute, and my big powder brush within three. Easy peasy!

How do you clean your make-up brushes? Is it something you love or loathe?

Saturday 1 August 2015

July Cruelty-Free & Vegan Favourites

July cruelty-free and vegan favourites

I've never done a favourites post before, because I thought that perhaps I don't try enough new products and my favourites would be usually more or less the same as the month before. But one of the things I love about writing this blog is that I'm always on the look out for something new to try, so I thought I'd give the favourites thing a go!

As well as the products I've been loving, I'll be making these favourites posts a round-up, catch up and general chat with some extra bits. Let me know what you think! Now on to the products... all cruelty-free and vegan!

July cruelty-free and vegan beauty favourites

Itha Organic Lip Glow

This is such a gorgeous tinted lip balm and it's all natural too. I'd really love to start supporting more independent and handmade brands like Itha who have compassion for animals at the heart of their business.

Pacifica Island Vanilla Perfume

Sweet sweet summer vanilla in a handy roll on bottle. Pacifica, please bring more of your products to the U.K. for us to enjoy!

Lyonsleaf Beauty Balm

As I wear sunscreen most days through the summer, I need to give my face a proper clean in the evenings. This balm is so lovely and soft on the skin and easily removes all the dirt and grime. I switched from using it with a flannel to a softer muslin cloth so I can use it every day.

Barry M Speedy in Lap of Honour

Obviously, purple is my thing. Pretty pastel purple polish that dries quicker? The dream!

Vegan Life

I can't praise this magazine enough, it's packed full of everything you could want as a cruelty-free, vegetarian or vegan shopper. The issues are a good few hours worth of reading material and I find the interviews and articles so inspiring to live a better, more animal friendly lifestyle. You can read my guest post review here.

The Bell Jar

In case you missed it, here's my interview with cruelty-free blogger Emily. She's a super cool lady who blogs about beauty, books and her adventures. I really liked her recent post about her Colouring Books, Scrapbooking and Planner DecoratingI'm very excited to interview more cruelty-free bloggers this year and make it a regular feature.

#Veganbloggers Chat

On Wednesday I hosted the brand new #veganbloggers Twitter chat, which was so much fun! I chose the topic of 'going vegan' so there were tons of tips and recommendations for easy meals and vegan resources. Lots of people joined in and also said afterwards how much they'd enjoyed it! The lovely Sarah started the chat only a few weeks ago so it's wonderful to see it grow.

More from the month of July...

Posts to check out

Elephant In The Room's excellent explanation of What Makes A Product Cruelty-Free?

Nadia's 4 Illamasqua Products To Try Right Now 

Mica's search for cruelty-free and vegan laundry products

Morag shares her tips for making vegan pizza at home

Sarah's tour of her Bloggers Paradise

Kelly's awesome list of cruelty-free bloggers

Some recent Instagrams

Purple flowers in jug Vegan Kind box July Blogger Beach Essentials

Products I'm lusting after

 Everyday Minerals Blush Wardrobe Kit Pacifica Alight Multi-Mineral BB Cream Lush Emotional Brilliance Face Powder

Everyday Minerals Blush Wardrobe KitPacifica Alight Multi-Mineral BB Cream, Lush Emotional Brilliance Face Powder (all vegan)

What have you been loving this month?
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