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Dry shampoo and I do not have a good relationship.

Despite my best efforts, it's a product I've never been able to make work for me. The sprays I've tried have smelt floury, left a white cast on my dark roots, and haven't improved the overall appearance of my hair. Washing it has always been the easy option.

But then KiteNest got in touch. KiteNest are a British brand, they make 100% natural, handcrafted beauty products, and they never test on animals  exactly the kind of company I like to support. 

They have two dry shampoos on offer: one for light hair; one for dark hair. And I began to hope that there might be a cruelty-free bad hair day solution for brunettes after all.

KiteNest Dry Shampoo

KiteNest Organic Dry Shampoo* (v), £10 for 150g

The packaging caught my attention as soon as I opened the parcel  how cute are all the different colours and patterns? The tube is fully recyclable, too, so there's no need to worry about waste.

As for the product itself, this dry shampoo comes in the form of a powder that you sprinkle on your roots, rather than a spray.

Unfortunately it took me ages to open the hole at the top  you have to stab it so you can get to the little holes that create the sprinkle effect and stop the product from pouring out. I got there in the end with one of those skewers that you use to check whether a cake has baked, but it was bloody hard work. The sprinkler doesn't fully close, either, so you can't take the dry shampoo with you unless you decant it into a smaller, more secure tub.

(Once it's open, don't do what I did and treat the tube like a flour shaker, or you'll end up with powder all over your clothes. It came out of my jeans with a cloth and some lukewarm water.)

What about the ingredients? The dry shampoo is made from clays, plant powders, and essential oils, with no artificial additives in sight. The only difference between the light hair and the dark hair version is the type of clay used; the light hair version contains kaolinite clay, while this version contains Moroccan lava clay instead.

The essential oils are a gorgeous, citrus-y combination of grapefruit peel and lime, making this one of the best-smelling products I've ever tried.

But does it work?

KiteNest Cruelty-Free Dry Shampoo for Brunettes

To use the dry shampoo, you sprinkle some onto your roots, massage the product in, then wait for 30 seconds to a minute before you brush your hair through and style it.

It doesn't leave any white residue once you've massaged it in, unless you go to town and end up with a bit more than you bargained for. Less is more with this one.

Once massaged in, it gives my fine hair a good volume boost and absorbs any extra oil. It also makes up-dos easier to style, particularly the high ponytail, and gives hair that textured, undone look. I have a sensitive scalp but I haven't experienced any irritation, which is a bonus!

So, would I recommend it? At £10 per tube it costs a lot more than your standard high street dry shampoo, but then this isn't your standard high street dry shampoo to begin with: it's natural, cruelty-free, vegan, and  wonky sprinkler aside  it works. It's best used sparingly, so you'll get your money's worth, and you'll be supporting an independent cruelty-free company. I'll be buying another tube for future bad hair days.  

What are your thoughts about dry shampoo? Do you have a favourite? Let me know in the comments!

Product sent to me by KiteNest for consideraton of review. As always, all words and opinions are my own.

Review: KiteNest Cruelty-Free Dry Shampoo

Dry shampoo and I do not have a good relationship.

Despite my best efforts, it's a product I've never been able to make work for me. The sprays I've tried have smelt floury, left a white cast on my dark roots, and haven't improved the overall appearance of my hair. Washing it has always been the easy option.

But then KiteNest got in touch. KiteNest are a British brand, they make 100% natural, handcrafted beauty products, and they never test on animals  exactly the kind of company I like to support. 

They have two dry shampoos on offer: one for light hair; one for dark hair. And I began to hope that there might be a cruelty-free bad hair day solution for brunettes after all.

KiteNest Dry Shampoo

KiteNest Organic Dry Shampoo* (v), £10 for 150g

The packaging caught my attention as soon as I opened the parcel  how cute are all the different colours and patterns? The tube is fully recyclable, too, so there's no need to worry about waste.

As for the product itself, this dry shampoo comes in the form of a powder that you sprinkle on your roots, rather than a spray.

Unfortunately it took me ages to open the hole at the top  you have to stab it so you can get to the little holes that create the sprinkle effect and stop the product from pouring out. I got there in the end with one of those skewers that you use to check whether a cake has baked, but it was bloody hard work. The sprinkler doesn't fully close, either, so you can't take the dry shampoo with you unless you decant it into a smaller, more secure tub.

(Once it's open, don't do what I did and treat the tube like a flour shaker, or you'll end up with powder all over your clothes. It came out of my jeans with a cloth and some lukewarm water.)

What about the ingredients? The dry shampoo is made from clays, plant powders, and essential oils, with no artificial additives in sight. The only difference between the light hair and the dark hair version is the type of clay used; the light hair version contains kaolinite clay, while this version contains Moroccan lava clay instead.

The essential oils are a gorgeous, citrus-y combination of grapefruit peel and lime, making this one of the best-smelling products I've ever tried.

But does it work?

KiteNest Cruelty-Free Dry Shampoo for Brunettes

To use the dry shampoo, you sprinkle some onto your roots, massage the product in, then wait for 30 seconds to a minute before you brush your hair through and style it.

It doesn't leave any white residue once you've massaged it in, unless you go to town and end up with a bit more than you bargained for. Less is more with this one.

Once massaged in, it gives my fine hair a good volume boost and absorbs any extra oil. It also makes up-dos easier to style, particularly the high ponytail, and gives hair that textured, undone look. I have a sensitive scalp but I haven't experienced any irritation, which is a bonus!

So, would I recommend it? At £10 per tube it costs a lot more than your standard high street dry shampoo, but then this isn't your standard high street dry shampoo to begin with: it's natural, cruelty-free, vegan, and  wonky sprinkler aside  it works. It's best used sparingly, so you'll get your money's worth, and you'll be supporting an independent cruelty-free company. I'll be buying another tube for future bad hair days.  

What are your thoughts about dry shampoo? Do you have a favourite? Let me know in the comments!

Product sent to me by KiteNest for consideraton of review. As always, all words and opinions are my own.
GOSH hold a special a place in my heart.

They were one of the first brands I turned to when I went cruelty free and didn't know what to buy anymore. They were the first high street brand I found that sold foundation in a proper pale shade. The quality of their make-up is high  the Velvet Touch lipsticks are a noticeable stand-out  but without the high-end prices.

So when they offered to send me some of their new products for AW17, I couldn't say yes fast enough. (I may have squealed a little bit.) Let's see what the new season brings.

GOSH Make-Up A/W '17

Primer Plus Skin Adaptor Anti-Pollution in Chameleon* (v), £14.99
I haven't been able to test this the way I'd like to because it has a tint which is too dark for me, so I'd suggest swatching it in your local Superdrug first. (It does even out the skintone, but I've only been able to wear it round the house.) Primer Plus contains anti-pollution ingredients and I can only wish there'd been something like it available when I was working in London! If you live and/or work in a big city, aren't ghostly pale, and need protection from everyday pollution, this might be worth a try.

Colour Corrector Kit in Mix 001*, £11.99
Colour correcting seems to be having a moment and I'm all for it - it can work wonders if you have any skin discolouration or uneven patches. The colours in this kit have a cream-to-powder formula that you pat onto bare or primed skin before applying your foundation and concealer.

There are five to choose from: a fairly light shade of concealer; yellow to neutralise dark circles; green to neutralise redness; purple to eliminate yellow undertones; salmon to brighten the eye area and give olive skin radiance.

I've been using the yellow shade every time I wear make-up. I draw the pigment on in an upside-down triangle shape under my eye, the same way I would concealer, and then pat it in until the colour disappears and the blue tones are less obvious. I also really enjoy using the green shade, which calms down the appearance of flushed, red skin. I get a fair bit of redness around my nose and this evens it out before I dab concealer over the top.

All the shades tend to blend in without leaving any tell-tale colour behind. They do, however, have a tendency to sit in lines if you don't use a primer or set your handiwork with powder, so I've found it's best to use them when you're not in a rush. I find color correctors really useful but I also tend to reach for the same shades all the time and I'd love to see some individual colours available. I'd also like to see kits with darker shades of concealer available  not everyone fits in the Light/Medium bracket.

GOSH Make-Up A/W '17

Mix & Fix Blender Brush* (v), £9.99
Mix & Fix is flat-topped and has a little well built into the bristles, which makes it ideal if you need to blend two foundations together to create the perfect shade, or if you like adding skincare products to your base. I've been putting a few drops of liquid foundation and rosehip oil in the well and then using the brush to buff it into the skin. This gives a beautiful, healthy finish  polished, but natural  and the hairs are synthetic, so it's suitable for vegans.

Lift & Highlight in Nude 001*, £9.99
This double-ended pencil is designed to make your eyes look as wide-awake as possible, something I'll no doubt be grateful for once the mornings get darker and I get sleepier (there's definitely a correlation). There's a matte end, which is a pale nude shade, and a shimmery end, which is lighter and golden. Both can be used on the inner corners of the eye, the cupid's bow, and under the brow bone to lift and brighten.

I like to use the shimmery shade in the corner of my eye  the gold really accentuates blue eyes  and the matte shade underneath for a bit of definition. The matte shade is creamier and easier to blend, but both stay put throughout the day. The pencil adds an extra something, whether you've gone all-out or kept your face quite natural.

GOSH Make-Up A/W '17

My Favourite Mascara in Black*, £9.99
The best thing about My Favourite Mascara is the brush, which separates lashes with ease and creates a natural, everyday look. It can hold a curl, but with continued wear I've found that the pigment can drop when it's humid, leaving you with panda eyes. While I doubt this will be a problem as we go into autumn, it means I tend to wear it on my top lashes only.

Lumi Drops in Rosegold* (v), £7.99
I like using the Lumi Drops as a highlighter. Normally I squeeze a little bit of product on the back of my hand, then use my fingers to dab it along my cheekbones and on my cupid's bow. You can also mix the drops with foundation or body lotion, something I might try next time I need to dress up a bit.

How gorgeous is this shade? There's a reason so many of us love rose gold. This particularly interpretation of the colour isn't too pink, too yellow, or too shimmery (unless you choose to pile it on) and it creates a healthy glow that reminds me of summer evenings and sunsets. It'll also look beautiful in candlelight when you're all snuggled up and, dare I say it, it'll be a lovely addition to your festive make-up looks come Christmastime.

So what would I recommend? The Colour Corrector Kit if it suits your skintone and you want to create an even base. The Lumi Drops for sure (that glow!) And the Mix & Fix brush  you may end up creating a whole new foundation/skincare hybrid for yourself.

Will you be trying anything from GOSH this autumn? Let me know in the comments!

(v) = vegan. For a full list of GOSH's vegan products, click here.

Products were sent to me by GOSH for consideration of review. As always, all words and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links, which means if you go through to the retailer and purchase an item, I'll receive a small percentage at no extra cost to you.

GOSH Make-Up for Autumn/Winter 2017

GOSH hold a special a place in my heart.

They were one of the first brands I turned to when I went cruelty free and didn't know what to buy anymore. They were the first high street brand I found that sold foundation in a proper pale shade. The quality of their make-up is high  the Velvet Touch lipsticks are a noticeable stand-out  but without the high-end prices.

So when they offered to send me some of their new products for AW17, I couldn't say yes fast enough. (I may have squealed a little bit.) Let's see what the new season brings.

GOSH Make-Up A/W '17

Primer Plus Skin Adaptor Anti-Pollution in Chameleon* (v), £14.99
I haven't been able to test this the way I'd like to because it has a tint which is too dark for me, so I'd suggest swatching it in your local Superdrug first. (It does even out the skintone, but I've only been able to wear it round the house.) Primer Plus contains anti-pollution ingredients and I can only wish there'd been something like it available when I was working in London! If you live and/or work in a big city, aren't ghostly pale, and need protection from everyday pollution, this might be worth a try.

Colour Corrector Kit in Mix 001*, £11.99
Colour correcting seems to be having a moment and I'm all for it - it can work wonders if you have any skin discolouration or uneven patches. The colours in this kit have a cream-to-powder formula that you pat onto bare or primed skin before applying your foundation and concealer.

There are five to choose from: a fairly light shade of concealer; yellow to neutralise dark circles; green to neutralise redness; purple to eliminate yellow undertones; salmon to brighten the eye area and give olive skin radiance.

I've been using the yellow shade every time I wear make-up. I draw the pigment on in an upside-down triangle shape under my eye, the same way I would concealer, and then pat it in until the colour disappears and the blue tones are less obvious. I also really enjoy using the green shade, which calms down the appearance of flushed, red skin. I get a fair bit of redness around my nose and this evens it out before I dab concealer over the top.

All the shades tend to blend in without leaving any tell-tale colour behind. They do, however, have a tendency to sit in lines if you don't use a primer or set your handiwork with powder, so I've found it's best to use them when you're not in a rush. I find color correctors really useful but I also tend to reach for the same shades all the time and I'd love to see some individual colours available. I'd also like to see kits with darker shades of concealer available  not everyone fits in the Light/Medium bracket.

GOSH Make-Up A/W '17

Mix & Fix Blender Brush* (v), £9.99
Mix & Fix is flat-topped and has a little well built into the bristles, which makes it ideal if you need to blend two foundations together to create the perfect shade, or if you like adding skincare products to your base. I've been putting a few drops of liquid foundation and rosehip oil in the well and then using the brush to buff it into the skin. This gives a beautiful, healthy finish  polished, but natural  and the hairs are synthetic, so it's suitable for vegans.

Lift & Highlight in Nude 001*, £9.99
This double-ended pencil is designed to make your eyes look as wide-awake as possible, something I'll no doubt be grateful for once the mornings get darker and I get sleepier (there's definitely a correlation). There's a matte end, which is a pale nude shade, and a shimmery end, which is lighter and golden. Both can be used on the inner corners of the eye, the cupid's bow, and under the brow bone to lift and brighten.

I like to use the shimmery shade in the corner of my eye  the gold really accentuates blue eyes  and the matte shade underneath for a bit of definition. The matte shade is creamier and easier to blend, but both stay put throughout the day. The pencil adds an extra something, whether you've gone all-out or kept your face quite natural.

GOSH Make-Up A/W '17

My Favourite Mascara in Black*, £9.99
The best thing about My Favourite Mascara is the brush, which separates lashes with ease and creates a natural, everyday look. It can hold a curl, but with continued wear I've found that the pigment can drop when it's humid, leaving you with panda eyes. While I doubt this will be a problem as we go into autumn, it means I tend to wear it on my top lashes only.

Lumi Drops in Rosegold* (v), £7.99
I like using the Lumi Drops as a highlighter. Normally I squeeze a little bit of product on the back of my hand, then use my fingers to dab it along my cheekbones and on my cupid's bow. You can also mix the drops with foundation or body lotion, something I might try next time I need to dress up a bit.

How gorgeous is this shade? There's a reason so many of us love rose gold. This particularly interpretation of the colour isn't too pink, too yellow, or too shimmery (unless you choose to pile it on) and it creates a healthy glow that reminds me of summer evenings and sunsets. It'll also look beautiful in candlelight when you're all snuggled up and, dare I say it, it'll be a lovely addition to your festive make-up looks come Christmastime.

So what would I recommend? The Colour Corrector Kit if it suits your skintone and you want to create an even base. The Lumi Drops for sure (that glow!) And the Mix & Fix brush  you may end up creating a whole new foundation/skincare hybrid for yourself.

Will you be trying anything from GOSH this autumn? Let me know in the comments!

(v) = vegan. For a full list of GOSH's vegan products, click here.

Products were sent to me by GOSH for consideration of review. As always, all words and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links, which means if you go through to the retailer and purchase an item, I'll receive a small percentage at no extra cost to you.
Welcome to the latest installment of Eco-Friendly Beauty! I've been trying my best to cut down on the amount of waste in my everyday life, so I've started with beauty products.

In today's post I'm going to talk about solid soaps and scrubs. Until recently they were products I'd never really considered using, soap because I have vivid memories of getting a rash from a bar of Dove when I was little, scrubs because I thought they'd be a bit of a faff.

But things change. I'm keen to cut down on the amount of pointless packaging and plastic I use  switching to solid shower products is a simple step to take.

Fortunately, it doesn't have to be an expensive one. PHB Ethical Beauty make a range of soaps and scrubs, with all of them leaving you with change from a fiver. They come in boxes made of card, so while they're not completely free of packaging, there's also no plastic (and the card can be recycled).

PHB Ethical Beauty Aloe Vera Natural Soap

PHB Ethical Beauty Aloe Vera Natural Soap* (v), £3.95
I was never a fan of soap until I tried PHB's offerings. There's a difference between what they have to offer and your standard supermarket soap  there's no animal fat, no palm oil, and this one is scent-free. (If you want something with a fragrance then I highly recommend the grapefruit one.) The base of all the soaps is a mix of shea butter, olive oil, and coconut oil, so it's quite moisturising, although I still like to use some kind of lotion afterwards.

I use the Aloe Vera soap in place of shower gel, massaging the bar into my skin to create a lather. It won't foam up quite as much as your standard shower gel but it's effective all the same, gently cleaning the skin with drying it out. A little goes a long way and my bar has barely shrunk since I started using it in July. I can't see myself going back to bottles of shower gel once I've used my existing collection up.

I've hunted high and low on the LoveLula website for some kind of budget soap tin and I can't find one, so I'd suggest either storing the soap in its original packaging, keeping it away from the bathroom and any wet surfaces, or buying a non-plastic container elsewhere.


PHB Ethical Beauty Avocado & Olive Handmade Sugar Scrub

PHB Ethical Beauty Avocado & Olive Handmade Sugar Scrub* (v), £4.95
This is surprisingly robust for something made of delicate sugar. It's on the scrubbier side, so make sure your skin is soaking before you use it  the bar can feel scratchy if you go in with too much enthusiasm. I massage into the skin in circular motions and there's something very satisfying about sloughing off dead skin, particularly on elbows and knees. You can't smell the avocado or olive, but this is a moisturising product so their presence is noticeable.

Unlike the soap, the Sugar Scrub wears down quite quickly. It's not an everyday product, so mine has lasted a good few weeks and will probably last one or two more, but it's something to bear in mind.

PHB Ethical Beauty Foot Scrub Bar with Dead Sea Salt & Orange

PHB Ethical Beauty Foot Scrub Bar with Dead Sea Salt & Orange* (v), £4.75
The skin on my heels is rough. While my feet are in a slightly sweeter state now I no longer dance en pointe on a regular basis, they're still not pretty. (Are anyone's though?) So finding an exfoliator that actually, well, exfoliates them properly isn't always easy.

The Foot Scrub Bar works, though. The dead sea salt helps to soften tougher areas like the heels and because the skin there is less delicate, you can be a little rougher. It's not a miracle cure  my feet aren't baby-soft just yet  but I can see an improvement. And the salt cuts through the orange to create a delightfully earthy scent.

So what if you want to start using solid shower products too? I'd recommend trying a soap bar first. They're reasonably priced, last for ages, and can be used to wash your hands if you decide it's not your thing.

Have you tried solid shower products before? Would you ever use them on a regular basis? Let me know in the comments!

(v) = vegan

Products were sent to me by LoveLula for consideration of review. As always, all words and opinions are my own.

Eco-Friendly Beauty: Solid Shower Products

Welcome to the latest installment of Eco-Friendly Beauty! I've been trying my best to cut down on the amount of waste in my everyday life, so I've started with beauty products.

In today's post I'm going to talk about solid soaps and scrubs. Until recently they were products I'd never really considered using, soap because I have vivid memories of getting a rash from a bar of Dove when I was little, scrubs because I thought they'd be a bit of a faff.

But things change. I'm keen to cut down on the amount of pointless packaging and plastic I use  switching to solid shower products is a simple step to take.

Fortunately, it doesn't have to be an expensive one. PHB Ethical Beauty make a range of soaps and scrubs, with all of them leaving you with change from a fiver. They come in boxes made of card, so while they're not completely free of packaging, there's also no plastic (and the card can be recycled).

PHB Ethical Beauty Aloe Vera Natural Soap

PHB Ethical Beauty Aloe Vera Natural Soap* (v), £3.95
I was never a fan of soap until I tried PHB's offerings. There's a difference between what they have to offer and your standard supermarket soap  there's no animal fat, no palm oil, and this one is scent-free. (If you want something with a fragrance then I highly recommend the grapefruit one.) The base of all the soaps is a mix of shea butter, olive oil, and coconut oil, so it's quite moisturising, although I still like to use some kind of lotion afterwards.

I use the Aloe Vera soap in place of shower gel, massaging the bar into my skin to create a lather. It won't foam up quite as much as your standard shower gel but it's effective all the same, gently cleaning the skin with drying it out. A little goes a long way and my bar has barely shrunk since I started using it in July. I can't see myself going back to bottles of shower gel once I've used my existing collection up.

I've hunted high and low on the LoveLula website for some kind of budget soap tin and I can't find one, so I'd suggest either storing the soap in its original packaging, keeping it away from the bathroom and any wet surfaces, or buying a non-plastic container elsewhere.


PHB Ethical Beauty Avocado & Olive Handmade Sugar Scrub

PHB Ethical Beauty Avocado & Olive Handmade Sugar Scrub* (v), £4.95
This is surprisingly robust for something made of delicate sugar. It's on the scrubbier side, so make sure your skin is soaking before you use it  the bar can feel scratchy if you go in with too much enthusiasm. I massage into the skin in circular motions and there's something very satisfying about sloughing off dead skin, particularly on elbows and knees. You can't smell the avocado or olive, but this is a moisturising product so their presence is noticeable.

Unlike the soap, the Sugar Scrub wears down quite quickly. It's not an everyday product, so mine has lasted a good few weeks and will probably last one or two more, but it's something to bear in mind.

PHB Ethical Beauty Foot Scrub Bar with Dead Sea Salt & Orange

PHB Ethical Beauty Foot Scrub Bar with Dead Sea Salt & Orange* (v), £4.75
The skin on my heels is rough. While my feet are in a slightly sweeter state now I no longer dance en pointe on a regular basis, they're still not pretty. (Are anyone's though?) So finding an exfoliator that actually, well, exfoliates them properly isn't always easy.

The Foot Scrub Bar works, though. The dead sea salt helps to soften tougher areas like the heels and because the skin there is less delicate, you can be a little rougher. It's not a miracle cure  my feet aren't baby-soft just yet  but I can see an improvement. And the salt cuts through the orange to create a delightfully earthy scent.

So what if you want to start using solid shower products too? I'd recommend trying a soap bar first. They're reasonably priced, last for ages, and can be used to wash your hands if you decide it's not your thing.

Have you tried solid shower products before? Would you ever use them on a regular basis? Let me know in the comments!

(v) = vegan

Products were sent to me by LoveLula for consideration of review. As always, all words and opinions are my own.

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Beth, 23, South East England. I'm a writer with a love of books, lipstick, and the Oxford comma. I love beauty and I also love animals, so I only buy, use, and feature products from cruelty-free brands. (Seriously though, I am the person who stops to fuss over every dog she sees.) You can also expect posts about vegan/vegetarian food, and plenty of musings about life as a 20-something. Want to get in touch? Email me at beth.toasty@gmail.com

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