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Recently I've noticed a shift in attitudes when it comes to ethical living.

Partly fueled by the brilliance of Blue Planet, partly fueled by the blogger/influencer fur scandal (you're wearing and promoting real fur in this day and age? Really?), a lot of us have been looking at our own lifestyle choices and what we can do better.

Whether it's cutting down on the amount of animal byproducts we consume, going completely vegetarian or vegan, or only buying cruelty-free products from now on, people are taking steps to reduce the impact they have on animals and the environment. Even famous YouTubers like Louise Pentland are getting stuck in, which could have a significant impact on people's buying habits.

These changes have also led to the unfortunate but also unsurprising chorus of 'Why are you interested in cf beauty when you eat meat?' and other such questions. While I agree that the two don't fully match up, everyone has to start somewhere, and it's counterproductive to criticize people for not being cruelty-free enough when they're trying to do what they can. One thing will often lead to another, but it takes time to adjust.

With all of this in mind, I thought it was about time for another Going Cruelty Free post, and this time I've compiled some of the best advice I've heard about switching to a cruelty-free beauty routine, including some thoughts from members of the Love Lula Natural Beauty Club. I'm still learning about leading a more ethical lifestyle, but I hope you find this guide useful, and please feel free to add any other nuggets of wisdom in the comments.


Start slowly

It can be so tempting to fling everything out and make a fresh start once you decide to go cruelty free. But you don't need to.

"Personally, I'd say don't chuck out everything you own," says Sarah. "As each item starts to run out, read blogs and do your research on the individual item, rather than be overwhelmed by the feeling of having to choose lots of products."

Depending on the products on your bathroom shelves and the contents of your make-up bag, you might have a lot to replace, so take it slow. When I first decided to go cruelty free, I mostly owned make-up by Revlon, L'oreal and Max Factor - all brands that test on animals. I threw out everything that had expired, used up the rest, and gradually started refreshing my collection until I was happy.

Bryanna agrees: "Don't throw away what you have - either use it up or give it to someone who wants it (or swap it in a Facebook group). While finishing what you have, start to build up your essentials - skincare, make-up etc. If you're not sure where to start, do a quick Google search. By replacing what you need slowly you won't break the bank!"

Do your research

Speaking of Google, it's especially handy when scouting out cruelty free brands to try. But if you don't have the time to scout out each individual website and read all the ethical policies (or if you notice the lack of an ethical policy  that's normally a solid clue a company tests), then don't worry. You can head to an online database instead.

"Cruelty Free International have a complete list of brands that are Leaping Bunny approved," notes Joanna. Companies who have earned the Leaping Bunny logo will have passed a strict set of standards  you can find their Little Book of Cruelty Free here.

Or why not try a blog like Logical Harmony? Tashina has a cruelty free list with vegan options, a brands to avoid list... I always find what I'm looking for when I visit her site.


Find your go-to shops

It's good when you're able to sit down and plan what you're going to buy, but what happens when you need to dash into a shop and buy toothpaste or deodorant?

If you're on the high street, head into your local Superdrug and look for their own-brand products, which are all Leaping Bunny-certified and sold at budget prices. Or try ordering from a website like Love Lula, which only stocks cruelty-free brands.

Try natural brands too

"I tend to choose natural brands/products first and foremost," says Rena, "and their hearts are usually in the right place."

I don't think I could ever go completely natural with beauty, but Rena's right  natural brands are normally more switched on when it comes to animal welfare. My favourites include Alchemy's gorgeous hair oils, Sukin's gentle skincare selection, and Lyonsleaf's do-it-all multipurpose balms.

It's okay if you can't do everything

A common piece of advice (and the most important, in my opinion) is to be kind to yourself.

"Appreciate and celebrate every new purchase you make that is supporting a cruelty-free brand," says Jo, "but don't beat yourself up when you're not able to. We still buy cat food from a brand that tests on animals, as it's medicated and suits out cat's needs as a diabetic. So although I'd rather make a different choice to support a more ethical company, it's more important for me that he stays healthy and stable." (Check out Jo's blog here and her Twitter account here.)

This brings me back to the one thing I would say to anyone and everyone who'd like to go cruelty free: do what you can. All you can do is your best, and doing something is better than not doing anything at all.

Want to catch up? You can read previous posts from my Going Cruelty Free series here:

Going Cruelty Free: Advice From People Who've Been There

Recently I've noticed a shift in attitudes when it comes to ethical living.

Partly fueled by the brilliance of Blue Planet, partly fueled by the blogger/influencer fur scandal (you're wearing and promoting real fur in this day and age? Really?), a lot of us have been looking at our own lifestyle choices and what we can do better.

Whether it's cutting down on the amount of animal byproducts we consume, going completely vegetarian or vegan, or only buying cruelty-free products from now on, people are taking steps to reduce the impact they have on animals and the environment. Even famous YouTubers like Louise Pentland are getting stuck in, which could have a significant impact on people's buying habits.

These changes have also led to the unfortunate but also unsurprising chorus of 'Why are you interested in cf beauty when you eat meat?' and other such questions. While I agree that the two don't fully match up, everyone has to start somewhere, and it's counterproductive to criticize people for not being cruelty-free enough when they're trying to do what they can. One thing will often lead to another, but it takes time to adjust.

With all of this in mind, I thought it was about time for another Going Cruelty Free post, and this time I've compiled some of the best advice I've heard about switching to a cruelty-free beauty routine, including some thoughts from members of the Love Lula Natural Beauty Club. I'm still learning about leading a more ethical lifestyle, but I hope you find this guide useful, and please feel free to add any other nuggets of wisdom in the comments.


Start slowly

It can be so tempting to fling everything out and make a fresh start once you decide to go cruelty free. But you don't need to.

"Personally, I'd say don't chuck out everything you own," says Sarah. "As each item starts to run out, read blogs and do your research on the individual item, rather than be overwhelmed by the feeling of having to choose lots of products."

Depending on the products on your bathroom shelves and the contents of your make-up bag, you might have a lot to replace, so take it slow. When I first decided to go cruelty free, I mostly owned make-up by Revlon, L'oreal and Max Factor - all brands that test on animals. I threw out everything that had expired, used up the rest, and gradually started refreshing my collection until I was happy.

Bryanna agrees: "Don't throw away what you have - either use it up or give it to someone who wants it (or swap it in a Facebook group). While finishing what you have, start to build up your essentials - skincare, make-up etc. If you're not sure where to start, do a quick Google search. By replacing what you need slowly you won't break the bank!"

Do your research

Speaking of Google, it's especially handy when scouting out cruelty free brands to try. But if you don't have the time to scout out each individual website and read all the ethical policies (or if you notice the lack of an ethical policy  that's normally a solid clue a company tests), then don't worry. You can head to an online database instead.

"Cruelty Free International have a complete list of brands that are Leaping Bunny approved," notes Joanna. Companies who have earned the Leaping Bunny logo will have passed a strict set of standards  you can find their Little Book of Cruelty Free here.

Or why not try a blog like Logical Harmony? Tashina has a cruelty free list with vegan options, a brands to avoid list... I always find what I'm looking for when I visit her site.


Find your go-to shops

It's good when you're able to sit down and plan what you're going to buy, but what happens when you need to dash into a shop and buy toothpaste or deodorant?

If you're on the high street, head into your local Superdrug and look for their own-brand products, which are all Leaping Bunny-certified and sold at budget prices. Or try ordering from a website like Love Lula, which only stocks cruelty-free brands.

Try natural brands too

"I tend to choose natural brands/products first and foremost," says Rena, "and their hearts are usually in the right place."

I don't think I could ever go completely natural with beauty, but Rena's right  natural brands are normally more switched on when it comes to animal welfare. My favourites include Alchemy's gorgeous hair oils, Sukin's gentle skincare selection, and Lyonsleaf's do-it-all multipurpose balms.

It's okay if you can't do everything

A common piece of advice (and the most important, in my opinion) is to be kind to yourself.

"Appreciate and celebrate every new purchase you make that is supporting a cruelty-free brand," says Jo, "but don't beat yourself up when you're not able to. We still buy cat food from a brand that tests on animals, as it's medicated and suits out cat's needs as a diabetic. So although I'd rather make a different choice to support a more ethical company, it's more important for me that he stays healthy and stable." (Check out Jo's blog here and her Twitter account here.)

This brings me back to the one thing I would say to anyone and everyone who'd like to go cruelty free: do what you can. All you can do is your best, and doing something is better than not doing anything at all.

Want to catch up? You can read previous posts from my Going Cruelty Free series here:
I love a good Christmas gift set, but only when it's clear a lot of thought has gone into it, something I've found Green People are particularly good at.

Every year they partner with a charity and make a donation for each product sold, plus the packaging is always extra special. Here's what Green People have to say about this year's charity, Plant Life:

With each Modern Botanicals gift sold, Green People makes a donation to Plant Life. This UK charity works nationally and internationally to save threatened wildflowers, plants and fungi, the life support for all our wildlife, with their colour and character lighting up our landscapes. Without this help, our priceless natural heritage is in danger of being lost.

After impressing me with their beautiful butterfly collection last year, I was excited to be able to try something from 2017's Christmas range, Modern Botanicals.

Green People Modern Botanicals

Green People products are:

  • Cruelty-free
  • Vegan
  • Fairtrade
  • Organic
  • Certified by the Soil Association
  • Free from ingredients like SLS, parabens, alcohol, synthetic colours and synthetic fragrances

Green People Spice & Root Hand Cream

Spice & Root Hand Cream(v), £7.75

This is a light, silky cream with a very earthy ginger and lemongrass scent, which is balanced out with a sweet hint of citrus. It sinks in quickly and moisturises all the sore, cracked skin on my knuckles and in between my fingers. I've been keeping it by my bed so I remember to use it every evening, and it's made a noticeable difference over time  my hands are nowhere near as dry as they normally get at this time of year. 


Green People Leaf & Stem

Leaf & Stem Scent-Free Body Collection* (v), £22.95

There are lots of lovely, festive fragrances around at this time of year, but not everyone can enjoy them. My skin always feels extra sensitive in winter  I blame the cold weather  and sometimes scented products are irritating, so I was happy to see a set for sensitive skin is part of the collection.

Inside the box there's a shower gel and a body lotion. The shower gel lathers up well, especially for a sulphate-free product. It's very foamy, which feels luxurious after a long day at work, and you don't need to use much to wash your whole body.

The lotion has a lovely, light texture but still manages to soothe dry, irritated skin. It can take a little while to absorb, but it doesn't linger so long that you have to wait before you get dressed (or get into your pyjamas). I often get blotchy patches on my skin after showering, but they fade away after I use this. I'd buy a bigger version without hesitation. 


What are your thoughts on Christmas gift sets? Have you tried anything from Green People before? Let me know in the comments!

(v) = vegan

*Products were sent to me by Green People for consideration of review. As always, all words (except for the quoted text) and opinions are my own.

Modern Botanicals: The Green People Christmas Collection

I love a good Christmas gift set, but only when it's clear a lot of thought has gone into it, something I've found Green People are particularly good at.

Every year they partner with a charity and make a donation for each product sold, plus the packaging is always extra special. Here's what Green People have to say about this year's charity, Plant Life:

With each Modern Botanicals gift sold, Green People makes a donation to Plant Life. This UK charity works nationally and internationally to save threatened wildflowers, plants and fungi, the life support for all our wildlife, with their colour and character lighting up our landscapes. Without this help, our priceless natural heritage is in danger of being lost.

After impressing me with their beautiful butterfly collection last year, I was excited to be able to try something from 2017's Christmas range, Modern Botanicals.

Green People Modern Botanicals

Green People products are:

  • Cruelty-free
  • Vegan
  • Fairtrade
  • Organic
  • Certified by the Soil Association
  • Free from ingredients like SLS, parabens, alcohol, synthetic colours and synthetic fragrances

Green People Spice & Root Hand Cream

Spice & Root Hand Cream(v), £7.75

This is a light, silky cream with a very earthy ginger and lemongrass scent, which is balanced out with a sweet hint of citrus. It sinks in quickly and moisturises all the sore, cracked skin on my knuckles and in between my fingers. I've been keeping it by my bed so I remember to use it every evening, and it's made a noticeable difference over time  my hands are nowhere near as dry as they normally get at this time of year. 


Green People Leaf & Stem

Leaf & Stem Scent-Free Body Collection* (v), £22.95

There are lots of lovely, festive fragrances around at this time of year, but not everyone can enjoy them. My skin always feels extra sensitive in winter  I blame the cold weather  and sometimes scented products are irritating, so I was happy to see a set for sensitive skin is part of the collection.

Inside the box there's a shower gel and a body lotion. The shower gel lathers up well, especially for a sulphate-free product. It's very foamy, which feels luxurious after a long day at work, and you don't need to use much to wash your whole body.

The lotion has a lovely, light texture but still manages to soothe dry, irritated skin. It can take a little while to absorb, but it doesn't linger so long that you have to wait before you get dressed (or get into your pyjamas). I often get blotchy patches on my skin after showering, but they fade away after I use this. I'd buy a bigger version without hesitation. 


What are your thoughts on Christmas gift sets? Have you tried anything from Green People before? Let me know in the comments!

(v) = vegan

*Products were sent to me by Green People for consideration of review. As always, all words (except for the quoted text) and opinions are my own.
I'm currently doing my best to wrap up this year's Christmas present buying (pun intended) without going over my budget or getting something unwanted.

But I've found that no matter how (un)organised you are, there's always that one gift you leave till the last minute, or forget about completely amidst all the festive build-up. Maybe you're just not sure what to buy for someone, and feel awkward asking them about it  or you tried quizzing them in a subtle way and got nowhere. 

If you have a friend who's into, or looking to get into cruelty-free products, need an ethical Secret Santa gift, or just want to treat yourself because you've been working bloody hard, then these gifts are for you.  

3 Cruelty-Free Christmas Gifts £10 and Under

PHB Ethical Beauty 100% Natural Soy Wax Candle in Cinnamon & Clove* (v), £9.95

I'm yet to meet anyone who doesn't like a nice candle  there's something so cosy about lighting it, curling up under a blanket (or getting into a warm bath) and relaxing as the room fills with a beautifully blended fragrance.

And is there any scent more festive than warm cinnamon? My mum always has candles like this one burning in December, so the smell reminds me of coming home for Christmas.

PHB's candle is a mix of cedarwood, cinnamon, clove and orange essential oils, and it's lovely  warm, sweet and tangy all at once, with a woody, herbal kick. I've had mine burning for about three hours now and it's barely melted (PHB estimate that each candle burns for about 20 hours).


PHB Ethical Beauty's candles are made from natural soy wax, so you don't need to worry about animal byproducts or paraffin, and they're blended and poured by hand. If cinnamon and cloves aren't your recipient's thing, there's also a Peppermint & Rosemary candle available.


Pacifica Solid Perfume in Tuscan Blood Orange* (v), £10

Perfume is a really personal thing, but if you know someone who has a favourite scent (regular readers will know I adore anything citrus) then Pacifica's solid perfumes will make a lovely, handbag-worthy gift.

These are the most long-lasting natural perfumes I've tried and they just melt into the skin, lingering there for hours and hours.

Scents include:
  • Sweet: Indian Coconut Nectar; Island Vanilla
  • Floral: Tahitian Gardenia; Persian Rose; French Lilac; Waikiki Pikake
  • Fruity: Tuscan Blood Orange; Mediterranean Fig; Hawaiian Ruby Guava


Joik Citrus Bath Truffles* (v), £10

I tried the white chocolate version of these after receiving one in a LoveLula beauty box and it was one of the most relaxing baths I've ever had. My skin was so soft afterwards and the smell is just divine, to the point where Joik stick 'do not eat' labels on the box.

Of course, I couldn't resist this one after finding out it contained orange, lemon, and grapefruit essential oils, as well as plenty of cocoa butter. It didn't disappoint  the fragrance reminds me of lemon-flavoured ice cream.

Fair warning: half a truffle is more than enough. Any more and you might struggle to climb out of the bath (I speak from experience). The good news is that although there's six full-size truffles in the box, you or the recipient will get 12 baths out of it.

You won't get a jazzy, bath bomb-esque spectacle, but you will get an indulgent soak in the tub and extra-smooth skin, which I think is better.

How do you plan your Christmas shopping? Are there any cruelty-free gifts on your wishlist? Let me know in the comments!

(v) = vegan

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

3 Cruelty-Free Christmas Gifts (£10 and Under)

I'm currently doing my best to wrap up this year's Christmas present buying (pun intended) without going over my budget or getting something unwanted.

But I've found that no matter how (un)organised you are, there's always that one gift you leave till the last minute, or forget about completely amidst all the festive build-up. Maybe you're just not sure what to buy for someone, and feel awkward asking them about it  or you tried quizzing them in a subtle way and got nowhere. 

If you have a friend who's into, or looking to get into cruelty-free products, need an ethical Secret Santa gift, or just want to treat yourself because you've been working bloody hard, then these gifts are for you.  

3 Cruelty-Free Christmas Gifts £10 and Under

PHB Ethical Beauty 100% Natural Soy Wax Candle in Cinnamon & Clove* (v), £9.95

I'm yet to meet anyone who doesn't like a nice candle  there's something so cosy about lighting it, curling up under a blanket (or getting into a warm bath) and relaxing as the room fills with a beautifully blended fragrance.

And is there any scent more festive than warm cinnamon? My mum always has candles like this one burning in December, so the smell reminds me of coming home for Christmas.

PHB's candle is a mix of cedarwood, cinnamon, clove and orange essential oils, and it's lovely  warm, sweet and tangy all at once, with a woody, herbal kick. I've had mine burning for about three hours now and it's barely melted (PHB estimate that each candle burns for about 20 hours).


PHB Ethical Beauty's candles are made from natural soy wax, so you don't need to worry about animal byproducts or paraffin, and they're blended and poured by hand. If cinnamon and cloves aren't your recipient's thing, there's also a Peppermint & Rosemary candle available.


Pacifica Solid Perfume in Tuscan Blood Orange* (v), £10

Perfume is a really personal thing, but if you know someone who has a favourite scent (regular readers will know I adore anything citrus) then Pacifica's solid perfumes will make a lovely, handbag-worthy gift.

These are the most long-lasting natural perfumes I've tried and they just melt into the skin, lingering there for hours and hours.

Scents include:
  • Sweet: Indian Coconut Nectar; Island Vanilla
  • Floral: Tahitian Gardenia; Persian Rose; French Lilac; Waikiki Pikake
  • Fruity: Tuscan Blood Orange; Mediterranean Fig; Hawaiian Ruby Guava


Joik Citrus Bath Truffles* (v), £10

I tried the white chocolate version of these after receiving one in a LoveLula beauty box and it was one of the most relaxing baths I've ever had. My skin was so soft afterwards and the smell is just divine, to the point where Joik stick 'do not eat' labels on the box.

Of course, I couldn't resist this one after finding out it contained orange, lemon, and grapefruit essential oils, as well as plenty of cocoa butter. It didn't disappoint  the fragrance reminds me of lemon-flavoured ice cream.

Fair warning: half a truffle is more than enough. Any more and you might struggle to climb out of the bath (I speak from experience). The good news is that although there's six full-size truffles in the box, you or the recipient will get 12 baths out of it.

You won't get a jazzy, bath bomb-esque spectacle, but you will get an indulgent soak in the tub and extra-smooth skin, which I think is better.

How do you plan your Christmas shopping? Are there any cruelty-free gifts on your wishlist? Let me know in the comments!

(v) = vegan

*Products sent by LoveLula for consideration of review. As always, all words and opinions are my own.
You know when the name of a brand pops up when you ask for recommendations, and then you start hearing about them more and more, so you think, 'Ooh, I'll check them out', and then you never do? That was me with White Rabbit  until now.

I've become a lot more picky with skincare over the past couple of months, and a lot more reluctant to introduce new products to my existing routine. If anything stressful happens then it shows up on my face almost instantly (normally in the form of acne on my forehead, which is delightful) and then there are hormonal spots to contend with every month. The brands I've been leaning towards recently make gentle products that often contain lots of natural ingredients, and that's where White Rabbit come in.


White Rabbit make luxury vegan skincare. Based in Scotland, they're a cruelty-free company who make their products by hand in small batches.

As well as being animal-friendly, they also take the environment into account. All of their packaging is fully recyclable and you can send it back to White Rabbit HQ. For every product you send back, you get 50p off each product you order next, which is a nice incentive, especially if you're a regular customer.

I tried four products from the range:

  • Comfort Cleansing Balm
  • Coconut & Lime Cleansing Water
  • Chocolate Orange Lip Balm
  • Orange Blossom & Aloe Vera Toner


Comfort Cleansing Balm* (v), £7 for 15ml or £25 for 100ml

This is thick, even for a balm, and it takes a while to melt into the skin  I've found it works best if you wait a minute for it to soften before removing it with a flannel, otherwise it can tug around the eye area. Even so, it does a good job of washing off the day's make-up. It's also a good vegan alternative to balm cleansers which contain beeswax.

I find the Comfort Cleansing Balm a little rich for my oily T-zone, but I imagine it'd provide some welcome relief for dry skins, especially at this time of year. 

Ingredients list

Shea butter, castor seed oil, olive fruit oil, olive wax, rosemary leaf oil, eucalyptus leaf oil, lavender oil


Lime & Coconut Cleansing Water* (v), £8 for 30ml or £30 for 200ml

When I saw this I thought of micellar water, but it's a little thicker than most, which I presume is thanks to the coconut oil? I was expecting it to smell quite zingy, but the overall scent reminds me of cucumbers more than anything.

The Lime & Coconut Cleansing Water works well as a second cleanse and is good at getting rid of stubborn mascara residue and liquid lipstick. It feels very cooling and soothing on the skin, which makes it lovely to use at the end of a long day, although during the week I do prefer something more substantial, like a gel. This would be a nice addition to your collection if you wear minimal make-up most of the time.

Ingredients list

Water, orange flower water, coconut oil, polysorbate 80, sodium benzoate & potassium sorbate, lime oil


Chocolate Orange Lip Balm* (v), £7 for 15ml

There was one night last month when I was so tired that I mistook this for the cleansing balm and tried to rub it into my face, before getting a whiff of the orange scent and realising what it was. 0/10, would not recommend.

As a lip balm, however, it's lovely. It softens and moisturises the skin, sinks in quickly, and has quite a matte finish, which makes it good for layering under lipstick. And then there's that delicious chocolate orange scent. I'd be perfectly content if all my products smelt like Jaffa Cakes from now on.

Ingredients list

Shea seed butter, cocoa butter, almond oil, castor seed oil, olive wax, sweet orange oil


Orange Blossom & Aloe Vera Toner* (v), £9 for 30ml or £25 for 100ml

I seem to go through phases with toners. One week I can't live without them, the next I barely give them a second thought.

You can use this one on a cotton pad or as a facial spritz throughout the day, and I much prefer the former. I find it difficult to predict how the spray is going to come out of the bottle because it never goes where I think it's going to, which makes misting your face something of a gamble.

The scent of the orange blossom is noticeable, but the aloe vera is the star ingredient  it's so soothing, especially when you're having a skin flare-up, and I find it refreshing in the morning when I need a bit of a wake-up call. The Orange Blossom & Aloe Vera Toner is my favourite White Rabbit product.

Ingredients list

Orange flower water, water, aloe leaf juice, glycerine, sodium benzoate & potassium sorbate, sweet orange oil

Overall I'm very impressed with White Rabbit, and think they're worth looking into if you prefer to buy products that are both cruelty-free and vegan. I love how short the ingredients lists are  and how much easier they are to understand.

The full-size products are on the pricier side, but the smaller sizes are affordable and a good option if you don't want to splash out without sampling anything first. There's free shipping on UK orders too.

Have you tried anything from White Rabbit before? What do you look for in a skincare brand? Let me know in the comments!

(v) = vegan

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

Testing White Rabbit Skincare

You know when the name of a brand pops up when you ask for recommendations, and then you start hearing about them more and more, so you think, 'Ooh, I'll check them out', and then you never do? That was me with White Rabbit  until now.

I've become a lot more picky with skincare over the past couple of months, and a lot more reluctant to introduce new products to my existing routine. If anything stressful happens then it shows up on my face almost instantly (normally in the form of acne on my forehead, which is delightful) and then there are hormonal spots to contend with every month. The brands I've been leaning towards recently make gentle products that often contain lots of natural ingredients, and that's where White Rabbit come in.


White Rabbit make luxury vegan skincare. Based in Scotland, they're a cruelty-free company who make their products by hand in small batches.

As well as being animal-friendly, they also take the environment into account. All of their packaging is fully recyclable and you can send it back to White Rabbit HQ. For every product you send back, you get 50p off each product you order next, which is a nice incentive, especially if you're a regular customer.

I tried four products from the range:

  • Comfort Cleansing Balm
  • Coconut & Lime Cleansing Water
  • Chocolate Orange Lip Balm
  • Orange Blossom & Aloe Vera Toner


Comfort Cleansing Balm* (v), £7 for 15ml or £25 for 100ml

This is thick, even for a balm, and it takes a while to melt into the skin  I've found it works best if you wait a minute for it to soften before removing it with a flannel, otherwise it can tug around the eye area. Even so, it does a good job of washing off the day's make-up. It's also a good vegan alternative to balm cleansers which contain beeswax.

I find the Comfort Cleansing Balm a little rich for my oily T-zone, but I imagine it'd provide some welcome relief for dry skins, especially at this time of year. 

Ingredients list

Shea butter, castor seed oil, olive fruit oil, olive wax, rosemary leaf oil, eucalyptus leaf oil, lavender oil


Lime & Coconut Cleansing Water* (v), £8 for 30ml or £30 for 200ml

When I saw this I thought of micellar water, but it's a little thicker than most, which I presume is thanks to the coconut oil? I was expecting it to smell quite zingy, but the overall scent reminds me of cucumbers more than anything.

The Lime & Coconut Cleansing Water works well as a second cleanse and is good at getting rid of stubborn mascara residue and liquid lipstick. It feels very cooling and soothing on the skin, which makes it lovely to use at the end of a long day, although during the week I do prefer something more substantial, like a gel. This would be a nice addition to your collection if you wear minimal make-up most of the time.

Ingredients list

Water, orange flower water, coconut oil, polysorbate 80, sodium benzoate & potassium sorbate, lime oil


Chocolate Orange Lip Balm* (v), £7 for 15ml

There was one night last month when I was so tired that I mistook this for the cleansing balm and tried to rub it into my face, before getting a whiff of the orange scent and realising what it was. 0/10, would not recommend.

As a lip balm, however, it's lovely. It softens and moisturises the skin, sinks in quickly, and has quite a matte finish, which makes it good for layering under lipstick. And then there's that delicious chocolate orange scent. I'd be perfectly content if all my products smelt like Jaffa Cakes from now on.

Ingredients list

Shea seed butter, cocoa butter, almond oil, castor seed oil, olive wax, sweet orange oil


Orange Blossom & Aloe Vera Toner* (v), £9 for 30ml or £25 for 100ml

I seem to go through phases with toners. One week I can't live without them, the next I barely give them a second thought.

You can use this one on a cotton pad or as a facial spritz throughout the day, and I much prefer the former. I find it difficult to predict how the spray is going to come out of the bottle because it never goes where I think it's going to, which makes misting your face something of a gamble.

The scent of the orange blossom is noticeable, but the aloe vera is the star ingredient  it's so soothing, especially when you're having a skin flare-up, and I find it refreshing in the morning when I need a bit of a wake-up call. The Orange Blossom & Aloe Vera Toner is my favourite White Rabbit product.

Ingredients list

Orange flower water, water, aloe leaf juice, glycerine, sodium benzoate & potassium sorbate, sweet orange oil

Overall I'm very impressed with White Rabbit, and think they're worth looking into if you prefer to buy products that are both cruelty-free and vegan. I love how short the ingredients lists are  and how much easier they are to understand.

The full-size products are on the pricier side, but the smaller sizes are affordable and a good option if you don't want to splash out without sampling anything first. There's free shipping on UK orders too.

Have you tried anything from White Rabbit before? What do you look for in a skincare brand? Let me know in the comments!

(v) = vegan

*Products were sent to me by White Rabbit for consideration of review. As always, all words and opinions are my own.
It started with Nadia's review.

I'd been looking for something extra to add to my skincare routine, and there it was: a cruelty-free face mask that promised to calm down all my spot-related woes.

My complexion was the clearest it had ever been earlier in the year  I suspect it was the extra Vitamin D I got in Dubai that did it  but I've accepted that it will normally flare up at the first signs of stress, upheaval, and raging hormones.

And since over the past two months I've interviewed for, accepted and started a new full-time job, moved house twice, and had a car accident that's knocked my confidence in a huge way, my skin has been doing all kinds of weird and wonderful things.

(The positives are that I really like my job, have lovely housemates and am slowly getting back into driving, so there's still lots to be grateful for, but it's been overwhelming to say the least. This is why I haven't been posting on here as much as usual.)

I ordered Bloomtown's The Clearing Black Clay & Tea Tree Treatment Mask (v) for oily and acne-prone skin before all of that happened, but I was happy to have it on hand when everything kicked off.

I know there's more to self care than face masks  being kind to yourself, saying no to what stresses you out, and talking to the people you love are all important, for example  but there's something calming about taking the time to use one. I find that it slows me down after a busy day (and I always get a laugh out of how my face looks when the mask is on. Hello, horror film).

Bloomtown Botanicals The Clearing Treatment Mask

I'm also happy to support a brand like Bloomtown. You can read all about their ethical policies on their website, but here's a quick rundown:
  • They only use suppliers who treat their workers fairly.
  • They don't use palm oil or ingredients derived from palm oil.
  • They don't test on animals at any stage in the production process, and no animal ingredients are used, making them cruelty free and vegan.
  • All Bloomtown products are free from palm oil, animal products, wheat, sulphates, SLS, parabens, synthetic fragrances, colours and detergents.
  • Recycled and recyclable materials are used for packaging. Their packing peanuts and bubble wrap are biodegradable.

Ingredients list
Plant-derived glycerine; kaolin clay; natural black clay; radish root ferment filtrate; coconut fruit extract; tea tree leaf oil; white willow bark extract; bergamot fruit oil; cedar wood oil; pine leaf oil; juniper fruit oil; rosemary leaf oil; d-limonene; limonene

Tea tree oil, a known spot-buster, is anti-bacterial, while white willow bark is an anti-inflammatory. The black clay doesn't set because of the glycerine, which keeps moisture locked in the skin and stops the mask from being too drying, so you can still speak and move your face while the mask is on.

The smell of tea tree hits you as soon as you open the pot, which may not be to everyone's tastes, but I guess my brain just associates tea tree with skincare routines now, because I quite like it.

I used the mask the same day it arrived, scaring both my parents in the process, and saw a noticeable difference in my skin the next morning. All the redness and bumps had gone right down, and existing spots had dried up significantly. The gunk hiding in my painful, under-the-skin spots had been drawn right to the surface.

Bloomtown Botanicals The Clearing Treatment Mask

It wasn't a first-use fluke, either  I see results every time I use the mask. It calms down redness and has reduced the appearance of my acne scars, plus my chin in particular is less bumpy and has fewer blackheads.

What I really love is that The Clearing is gentle enough to use several days in a row if you've got a particularly stubborn breakout. It's not a mask to use before an event or big night out because it tends to bring brewing spots to the fore, but for significant, long-term results this is well worth the money. I'll be buying it again and again.

The Clearing treatment mask costs £12 for 100g of product (I've had mine since mid-August and I've got about a quarter of a jar left). Anyone who signs up for a Bloomtown account can earn stars to put towards discount vouchers, too. I'm tempted to do the whole multimasking thing and order their soothing face mask next...

Have you tried anything from Bloomtown before? What's your favourite face mask? Let me know in the comments!

Bloomtown The Clearing Black Clay & Tea Tree Treatment Mask

It started with Nadia's review.

I'd been looking for something extra to add to my skincare routine, and there it was: a cruelty-free face mask that promised to calm down all my spot-related woes.

My complexion was the clearest it had ever been earlier in the year  I suspect it was the extra Vitamin D I got in Dubai that did it  but I've accepted that it will normally flare up at the first signs of stress, upheaval, and raging hormones.

And since over the past two months I've interviewed for, accepted and started a new full-time job, moved house twice, and had a car accident that's knocked my confidence in a huge way, my skin has been doing all kinds of weird and wonderful things.

(The positives are that I really like my job, have lovely housemates and am slowly getting back into driving, so there's still lots to be grateful for, but it's been overwhelming to say the least. This is why I haven't been posting on here as much as usual.)

I ordered Bloomtown's The Clearing Black Clay & Tea Tree Treatment Mask (v) for oily and acne-prone skin before all of that happened, but I was happy to have it on hand when everything kicked off.

I know there's more to self care than face masks  being kind to yourself, saying no to what stresses you out, and talking to the people you love are all important, for example  but there's something calming about taking the time to use one. I find that it slows me down after a busy day (and I always get a laugh out of how my face looks when the mask is on. Hello, horror film).

Bloomtown Botanicals The Clearing Treatment Mask

I'm also happy to support a brand like Bloomtown. You can read all about their ethical policies on their website, but here's a quick rundown:
  • They only use suppliers who treat their workers fairly.
  • They don't use palm oil or ingredients derived from palm oil.
  • They don't test on animals at any stage in the production process, and no animal ingredients are used, making them cruelty free and vegan.
  • All Bloomtown products are free from palm oil, animal products, wheat, sulphates, SLS, parabens, synthetic fragrances, colours and detergents.
  • Recycled and recyclable materials are used for packaging. Their packing peanuts and bubble wrap are biodegradable.

Ingredients list
Plant-derived glycerine; kaolin clay; natural black clay; radish root ferment filtrate; coconut fruit extract; tea tree leaf oil; white willow bark extract; bergamot fruit oil; cedar wood oil; pine leaf oil; juniper fruit oil; rosemary leaf oil; d-limonene; limonene

Tea tree oil, a known spot-buster, is anti-bacterial, while white willow bark is an anti-inflammatory. The black clay doesn't set because of the glycerine, which keeps moisture locked in the skin and stops the mask from being too drying, so you can still speak and move your face while the mask is on.

The smell of tea tree hits you as soon as you open the pot, which may not be to everyone's tastes, but I guess my brain just associates tea tree with skincare routines now, because I quite like it.

I used the mask the same day it arrived, scaring both my parents in the process, and saw a noticeable difference in my skin the next morning. All the redness and bumps had gone right down, and existing spots had dried up significantly. The gunk hiding in my painful, under-the-skin spots had been drawn right to the surface.

Bloomtown Botanicals The Clearing Treatment Mask

It wasn't a first-use fluke, either  I see results every time I use the mask. It calms down redness and has reduced the appearance of my acne scars, plus my chin in particular is less bumpy and has fewer blackheads.

What I really love is that The Clearing is gentle enough to use several days in a row if you've got a particularly stubborn breakout. It's not a mask to use before an event or big night out because it tends to bring brewing spots to the fore, but for significant, long-term results this is well worth the money. I'll be buying it again and again.

The Clearing treatment mask costs £12 for 100g of product (I've had mine since mid-August and I've got about a quarter of a jar left). Anyone who signs up for a Bloomtown account can earn stars to put towards discount vouchers, too. I'm tempted to do the whole multimasking thing and order their soothing face mask next...

Have you tried anything from Bloomtown before? What's your favourite face mask? Let me know in the comments!
Lucky Cloud have been on my radar for a little while.

I saw a product of theirs in a blog post, thought 'Ooh, that looks interesting,' and then didn't do anything about it. So when the brand appeared on LoveLula, I decided it was about time I tried something and swiftly added the Sweet Orange + Vanilla Hydrating Body Balm* (v) to my shopping basket. I'm a sucker for anything with a citrus scent.

About Lucky Cloud
Lucky Cloud make luxury, cruelty-free products with natural, plant-based ingredients and everything is suitable for vegans. Their products are free from formaldehydes, sodium lauryl sulphates, sodium laureth sulphates, mineral oil, and animal ingredients. All their packaging is recyclable, including the shipping bags and boxes.

This is exactly the kind of approach I look for, so I was looking forward to trying the body balm for myself. Let's see if it lived up to expectation.

Lucky Cloud Hydrating Body Balm

The balm comes in a sturdy glass jar with a screw-top lid. Normally I would pick a tube or pump bottle over a jar (even though jars look that much fancier) but in this case it's much easier to scoop the product out because it's quite thick.

The first thing you notice when you open the product is the scent  it's very sweet, and smells like a Terry's Chocolate Orange, or the jelly part of a Jaffa Cake. The vanilla really comes through, but the sharpness of the orange is (thankfully) still there. Despite the scent being so strong, it's never irritated my skin, even the cracked, drier areas on my elbows and hands.

Ingredients List
Apricot kernel oil; hydrogenated soybean oil; sunflower seed oil; shea butter; cocoa seed butter; calendula flower extract; vitamin e oil; jojoba seed oil; orange peel oil; alcohol; benzoin essential oil; rosemary leaf extract; d-limonene; linalol

Lucky Cloud Hydrating Body Balm

The body balm's texture is thick and a little sticky, but not unbearably so. It reminds me of Vaseline, but this sinks into the skin and moisturises it, instead of just acting like a barrier.

The pot holds 60ml of product, so I reserve the balm for the driest areas of my body  elbows, knees, feet  and anywhere else that needs a bit of extra hydration and comfort (at this time of year, my hands always need help). I alternated using between this balm and Lyonsleaf's Calendula Cream when I had a cold last week, and both of them soothed the skin around my poor nose and stopped my skin from getting so flaky. It can also be used on eyebrows and eyelashes, post-shave, and as an aftersun.

At £16.50, it's not exactly a budget buy, but Lucky Cloud have created a lovely, soothing balm that will hydrate even the driest of winter skins. One to invest in if you want a natural, cruelty-free product (and you don't mind smelling of chocolate orange).

How do you feel about multipurpose products? Are they worth the money? Let me know in the comments.

*Product sent by LoveLula for consideration of review. As always, all words and opinions are my own.

Introducing Lucky Cloud

Lucky Cloud have been on my radar for a little while.

I saw a product of theirs in a blog post, thought 'Ooh, that looks interesting,' and then didn't do anything about it. So when the brand appeared on LoveLula, I decided it was about time I tried something and swiftly added the Sweet Orange + Vanilla Hydrating Body Balm* (v) to my shopping basket. I'm a sucker for anything with a citrus scent.

About Lucky Cloud
Lucky Cloud make luxury, cruelty-free products with natural, plant-based ingredients and everything is suitable for vegans. Their products are free from formaldehydes, sodium lauryl sulphates, sodium laureth sulphates, mineral oil, and animal ingredients. All their packaging is recyclable, including the shipping bags and boxes.

This is exactly the kind of approach I look for, so I was looking forward to trying the body balm for myself. Let's see if it lived up to expectation.

Lucky Cloud Hydrating Body Balm

The balm comes in a sturdy glass jar with a screw-top lid. Normally I would pick a tube or pump bottle over a jar (even though jars look that much fancier) but in this case it's much easier to scoop the product out because it's quite thick.

The first thing you notice when you open the product is the scent  it's very sweet, and smells like a Terry's Chocolate Orange, or the jelly part of a Jaffa Cake. The vanilla really comes through, but the sharpness of the orange is (thankfully) still there. Despite the scent being so strong, it's never irritated my skin, even the cracked, drier areas on my elbows and hands.

Ingredients List
Apricot kernel oil; hydrogenated soybean oil; sunflower seed oil; shea butter; cocoa seed butter; calendula flower extract; vitamin e oil; jojoba seed oil; orange peel oil; alcohol; benzoin essential oil; rosemary leaf extract; d-limonene; linalol

Lucky Cloud Hydrating Body Balm

The body balm's texture is thick and a little sticky, but not unbearably so. It reminds me of Vaseline, but this sinks into the skin and moisturises it, instead of just acting like a barrier.

The pot holds 60ml of product, so I reserve the balm for the driest areas of my body  elbows, knees, feet  and anywhere else that needs a bit of extra hydration and comfort (at this time of year, my hands always need help). I alternated using between this balm and Lyonsleaf's Calendula Cream when I had a cold last week, and both of them soothed the skin around my poor nose and stopped my skin from getting so flaky. It can also be used on eyebrows and eyelashes, post-shave, and as an aftersun.

At £16.50, it's not exactly a budget buy, but Lucky Cloud have created a lovely, soothing balm that will hydrate even the driest of winter skins. One to invest in if you want a natural, cruelty-free product (and you don't mind smelling of chocolate orange).

How do you feel about multipurpose products? Are they worth the money? Let me know in the comments.

*Product sent by LoveLula for consideration of review. As always, all words and opinions are my own.
Finding a concealer that suits you can be a mission and a half.

Is it a good colour match? Will it go cakey? Should you get a liquid, a stick, or a solid product?

I've found a couple of close contenders in my time, but so far the perfect concealer has eluded. So when Botanical Brands got in touch to ask if I'd like to try Living Nature's Concealer in Light*, I figured it was worth a go.

Living Nature is based in New Zealand and was created after its founder, Suzanne Hall, was inspired to use native New Zealand plants to heal her skin as safely as possible. The company only uses sustainably sourced ingredients that have been certified natural, their packaging is all recyclable, and they don't test on animals. Sounds promising, but did the concealer work the way I wanted it to? Let's find out.

Living Nature Base Products

Packaging
A sleek, matte black tube. I like this because it's easy to squeeze out the right amount of product, and it's more hygienic than a pot. It's small enough to take on the go, although if you're going to reapply it in the middle of the day then I'd recommend bringing a brush with you, too.

Key ingredients
Manuka honey for nourishment, manuka oil for protection, and minerals for skin health. It's also worth noting that it contains shea butter (albeit further down the list), which can cause some problem skins to break out.

Texture
This concealer is quite a thick liquid, which means it sits better over blemishes than it does on the delicate skin underneath the eyes. Unfortunately, it can cling to dry patches, even when applied sparingly. It blends well with a concealer brush, but doesn't do so well if you just use your fingers - it's all in the tools with this one.

Interestingly, you're meant to apply the concealer before your foundation, not after. I do this anyway because my foundation of choice is mineral, but if you prefer liquids you might want to experiment to see what works best for you.

Coverage
Medium. It conceals redness and dark circles with ease.

Shade match
I could just about get away with this when I first came home from Dubai and had less of a milk-bottle complexion, but after my skin returned to its usual, uber-pale state I found that Light was in fact too dark. Fortunately, my mum, whose skin tone is much warmer than mine, was happy to take the concealer off my hands, and she's really enjoying using it.

Living Nature Base Swatches

Staying power
This concealer lasts longest when it's been set with a light dusting of powder. It has better staying power on drier skins, but I wouldn't recommend it if you really suffer from dryness because of its tendency to cling. One for those for whom oiliness and dryness aren't too much of an issue?

Price
£22 for 7ml. Would I be prepared to pay this? No. I don't mind splashing out on make-up occasionally, but it has to be something special and this isn't quite right for me.

In short
Pros: Sleek, hygienic packaging; covers blemishes and uneven patches; blends well with a brush; stays put with a little powder dusted over the top.
Cons: Shea butter makes some people break out; clings to dry patches; light shade won't suit the palest skins; v. expensive.

Living Nature's Concealer doesn't come in the right shade or formula for me, but if you have a medium skin tone, or skin that tans easily, and not many problems with oil or dryness, then this might strike the kind of balance you're looking for.

What do you look for in a concealer? Let me know in the comments!

*Product was sent to me by Botanical Brands for consideration of review. As always, all words and opinions are my own.

Review: Living Nature Concealer in Light

Finding a concealer that suits you can be a mission and a half.

Is it a good colour match? Will it go cakey? Should you get a liquid, a stick, or a solid product?

I've found a couple of close contenders in my time, but so far the perfect concealer has eluded. So when Botanical Brands got in touch to ask if I'd like to try Living Nature's Concealer in Light*, I figured it was worth a go.

Living Nature is based in New Zealand and was created after its founder, Suzanne Hall, was inspired to use native New Zealand plants to heal her skin as safely as possible. The company only uses sustainably sourced ingredients that have been certified natural, their packaging is all recyclable, and they don't test on animals. Sounds promising, but did the concealer work the way I wanted it to? Let's find out.

Living Nature Base Products

Packaging
A sleek, matte black tube. I like this because it's easy to squeeze out the right amount of product, and it's more hygienic than a pot. It's small enough to take on the go, although if you're going to reapply it in the middle of the day then I'd recommend bringing a brush with you, too.

Key ingredients
Manuka honey for nourishment, manuka oil for protection, and minerals for skin health. It's also worth noting that it contains shea butter (albeit further down the list), which can cause some problem skins to break out.

Texture
This concealer is quite a thick liquid, which means it sits better over blemishes than it does on the delicate skin underneath the eyes. Unfortunately, it can cling to dry patches, even when applied sparingly. It blends well with a concealer brush, but doesn't do so well if you just use your fingers - it's all in the tools with this one.

Interestingly, you're meant to apply the concealer before your foundation, not after. I do this anyway because my foundation of choice is mineral, but if you prefer liquids you might want to experiment to see what works best for you.

Coverage
Medium. It conceals redness and dark circles with ease.

Shade match
I could just about get away with this when I first came home from Dubai and had less of a milk-bottle complexion, but after my skin returned to its usual, uber-pale state I found that Light was in fact too dark. Fortunately, my mum, whose skin tone is much warmer than mine, was happy to take the concealer off my hands, and she's really enjoying using it.

Living Nature Base Swatches

Staying power
This concealer lasts longest when it's been set with a light dusting of powder. It has better staying power on drier skins, but I wouldn't recommend it if you really suffer from dryness because of its tendency to cling. One for those for whom oiliness and dryness aren't too much of an issue?

Price
£22 for 7ml. Would I be prepared to pay this? No. I don't mind splashing out on make-up occasionally, but it has to be something special and this isn't quite right for me.

In short
Pros: Sleek, hygienic packaging; covers blemishes and uneven patches; blends well with a brush; stays put with a little powder dusted over the top.
Cons: Shea butter makes some people break out; clings to dry patches; light shade won't suit the palest skins; v. expensive.

Living Nature's Concealer doesn't come in the right shade or formula for me, but if you have a medium skin tone, or skin that tans easily, and not many problems with oil or dryness, then this might strike the kind of balance you're looking for.

What do you look for in a concealer? Let me know in the comments!

*Product was sent to me by Botanical Brands for consideration of review. As always, all words and opinions are my own.
Welcome to the latest post in my Going Cruelty Free series.

Last time I talked about shopping for cruelty-free beauty on the high street, but I appreciate that for many people it's necessary, or much easier, to order online and have parcels delivered. I also find that zooming in on what you're looking for takes less time (plus you can online shop in your pyjamas, which is a victory all-round I think).

I've discovered the majority of my favourite brands through the internet, be it via a trusty Google search or reading reviews and blog posts, and it's made me realise that there's far more out there than you'd expect. Lots of companies only sell their products online, so it's well worth looking around to see what takes your fancy. It's always helpful to have a starting point, so here's a list of cruelty-free beauty retailers on the web.

Walden Natural Perfumes

LoveLula
LoveLula offers a huge range of brands to choose from, all of them selling natural and organic beauty products. Animal testing by and on the behalf of the brands is a complete no-no, so you can browse without having to pick out the cruelty-free products  they're all cruelty free, which is the dream. They also have a section of their website dedicated solely to vegan products(If you want to chat all things guilt-free beauty, you can join their Natural Beauty Club on Facebook.)

Shipping costs: Free for orders over £10. £2.95 for orders under £10.

Free returns? Only if a product was faulty when it arrived, in which case you can send it to a freepost address.

What to buy: Lyonsleaf's Beauty Balm* can be used as a cleanser, a thick moisturiser, and a soothing ointment for dry skin. Skin & Tonic's Mini Calm Balm* is handy to keep in your bag for panicky moments, and Walden's natural perfumes are beautifully blended fragrances unlike anything you'd find on the high street. My favourite is Castles in the Air*, a mix of citrus, tropical flowers, and lavender that is sweet and sensual at the same time.

GOSH make-up

Superdrug
I included Superdrug in my previous post about high street shopping, but if going there in person isn't convenient for you or you need to make a bulk order, then it's good to know you can head to the website. The search function isn't the best  there have been a couple of times when I've looked for something and it hasn't appeared in the results, only for me to find it by going through the brand's page  but delivery is reasonably quick and I can't fault the customer service team (they were very helpful recently when I had password problems).

Shipping: Free for Health & Beauty Card members who spend over £10. £3 otherwise.

Free returns? Yes.

What to buy: Superdrug is excellent for cruelty-free basics like deodorant and toothpaste, which are often quite difficult to find in supermarkets. I'm also a fan of their own-brand body creams, which come in huge tubs for tiny prices, and you can find make-up brands like GOSH, theBalm and Sleek.


Naturisimo hair products

Naturisimo
Naturisimo has a large selection of organic brands to choose from, although you have to be careful because not every product they stock is cruelty free. This is a site to browse once you have a solid idea of which brands you're happy to buy from. Naturisimo offer quick shipping and they often sell Discovery Boxes, which contain miniatures of products that all have a similar theme  it could be hair care, winter skin soothers etc. You can also pick up to five mini samples with your order, which is handy if you've got your eye on a product and aren't sure whether or not you want to splash your cash.

Shipping costs: Free.

Free returns? No.

What to buy: Antipodes are my go-to brand if I've saved up for a serious treat. The Aura Manuka Honey Mask is the perfect blend of purifying and soothing, making it ideal for spotty combination skin, and the Kiwi Seed Oil Eye Cream always leaves my eye area super-smooth.

Lily Lolo products

Lily Lolo
I love Lily Lolo. Their mineral make-up is gentle, but it packs a punch all the same. The blushes are pigmented but won't look too clown-like on cheeks, while the base products cover redness without causing irritation or looking like a mask. Most of the products are vegan, too.

Shipping costs: £1 for orders £6 and under. £2 for orders over £6 and under £30. Free delivery over £30.

Free returns? No.

What to buy: The Mineral Foundation in Porcelain is my absolute favourite, whether my skin is spotty or not, and it's worth buying the Super Kabuki Brush to go with it. The large, rounded top is perfect for buffing in the pigments.

Tropic products

Tropic
The brainchild of The Apprentice's Susan Ma, Tropic is a vegan beauty brand which uses natural formulations, and lists all their ingredients in everyday English so you can see exactly what you're putting on your skin. They boast an impressive range of skincare, body care, and make-up, and are currently donating 10% of their sales to Breast Cancer Care if you buy a tube of Body Love Firming Buttercream.

Shipping costs: £3.50 for standard delivery.

Free returns? Yes.

What to buy: The Smoothing Cleanser will leave skin feeling comfortably clean, while the Tamanu Balm soothes chapped lips, cracked elbows, and dry hands.

Fairypants Lip Products

Fairypants
If you'd like your beauty to be a little bit different, you can't go wrong with Fairypants. Everything they make (cosmetics, body care, and perfume) is vegan and their scents range from tangy cola bottles to sweet apple crumble. Fairypants also happen to be one of the loveliest brands ever, so do get in touch with them on social media if you have questions.

Shipping costs: £3.50 flat rate.

Free returns? No.

What to buy: They have lots of cocktail-flavoured lip balms, so pick your tipple and enjoy (mine is Margarita).

Where are your favourite places to buy cruelty free? Have you tried any of the sites on this list? Let me know in the comments!

Going Cruelty Free: Where to Buy Products Online

Welcome to the latest post in my Going Cruelty Free series.

Last time I talked about shopping for cruelty-free beauty on the high street, but I appreciate that for many people it's necessary, or much easier, to order online and have parcels delivered. I also find that zooming in on what you're looking for takes less time (plus you can online shop in your pyjamas, which is a victory all-round I think).

I've discovered the majority of my favourite brands through the internet, be it via a trusty Google search or reading reviews and blog posts, and it's made me realise that there's far more out there than you'd expect. Lots of companies only sell their products online, so it's well worth looking around to see what takes your fancy. It's always helpful to have a starting point, so here's a list of cruelty-free beauty retailers on the web.

Walden Natural Perfumes

LoveLula
LoveLula offers a huge range of brands to choose from, all of them selling natural and organic beauty products. Animal testing by and on the behalf of the brands is a complete no-no, so you can browse without having to pick out the cruelty-free products  they're all cruelty free, which is the dream. They also have a section of their website dedicated solely to vegan products(If you want to chat all things guilt-free beauty, you can join their Natural Beauty Club on Facebook.)

Shipping costs: Free for orders over £10. £2.95 for orders under £10.

Free returns? Only if a product was faulty when it arrived, in which case you can send it to a freepost address.

What to buy: Lyonsleaf's Beauty Balm* can be used as a cleanser, a thick moisturiser, and a soothing ointment for dry skin. Skin & Tonic's Mini Calm Balm* is handy to keep in your bag for panicky moments, and Walden's natural perfumes are beautifully blended fragrances unlike anything you'd find on the high street. My favourite is Castles in the Air*, a mix of citrus, tropical flowers, and lavender that is sweet and sensual at the same time.

GOSH make-up

Superdrug
I included Superdrug in my previous post about high street shopping, but if going there in person isn't convenient for you or you need to make a bulk order, then it's good to know you can head to the website. The search function isn't the best  there have been a couple of times when I've looked for something and it hasn't appeared in the results, only for me to find it by going through the brand's page  but delivery is reasonably quick and I can't fault the customer service team (they were very helpful recently when I had password problems).

Shipping: Free for Health & Beauty Card members who spend over £10. £3 otherwise.

Free returns? Yes.

What to buy: Superdrug is excellent for cruelty-free basics like deodorant and toothpaste, which are often quite difficult to find in supermarkets. I'm also a fan of their own-brand body creams, which come in huge tubs for tiny prices, and you can find make-up brands like GOSH, theBalm and Sleek.


Naturisimo hair products

Naturisimo
Naturisimo has a large selection of organic brands to choose from, although you have to be careful because not every product they stock is cruelty free. This is a site to browse once you have a solid idea of which brands you're happy to buy from. Naturisimo offer quick shipping and they often sell Discovery Boxes, which contain miniatures of products that all have a similar theme  it could be hair care, winter skin soothers etc. You can also pick up to five mini samples with your order, which is handy if you've got your eye on a product and aren't sure whether or not you want to splash your cash.

Shipping costs: Free.

Free returns? No.

What to buy: Antipodes are my go-to brand if I've saved up for a serious treat. The Aura Manuka Honey Mask is the perfect blend of purifying and soothing, making it ideal for spotty combination skin, and the Kiwi Seed Oil Eye Cream always leaves my eye area super-smooth.

Lily Lolo products

Lily Lolo
I love Lily Lolo. Their mineral make-up is gentle, but it packs a punch all the same. The blushes are pigmented but won't look too clown-like on cheeks, while the base products cover redness without causing irritation or looking like a mask. Most of the products are vegan, too.

Shipping costs: £1 for orders £6 and under. £2 for orders over £6 and under £30. Free delivery over £30.

Free returns? No.

What to buy: The Mineral Foundation in Porcelain is my absolute favourite, whether my skin is spotty or not, and it's worth buying the Super Kabuki Brush to go with it. The large, rounded top is perfect for buffing in the pigments.

Tropic products

Tropic
The brainchild of The Apprentice's Susan Ma, Tropic is a vegan beauty brand which uses natural formulations, and lists all their ingredients in everyday English so you can see exactly what you're putting on your skin. They boast an impressive range of skincare, body care, and make-up, and are currently donating 10% of their sales to Breast Cancer Care if you buy a tube of Body Love Firming Buttercream.

Shipping costs: £3.50 for standard delivery.

Free returns? Yes.

What to buy: The Smoothing Cleanser will leave skin feeling comfortably clean, while the Tamanu Balm soothes chapped lips, cracked elbows, and dry hands.

Fairypants Lip Products

Fairypants
If you'd like your beauty to be a little bit different, you can't go wrong with Fairypants. Everything they make (cosmetics, body care, and perfume) is vegan and their scents range from tangy cola bottles to sweet apple crumble. Fairypants also happen to be one of the loveliest brands ever, so do get in touch with them on social media if you have questions.

Shipping costs: £3.50 flat rate.

Free returns? No.

What to buy: They have lots of cocktail-flavoured lip balms, so pick your tipple and enjoy (mine is Margarita).

Where are your favourite places to buy cruelty free? Have you tried any of the sites on this list? Let me know in the comments!
I'm a firm believer that the contents of a product are most important, not fancy packaging, but that doesn't mean I'm not a sucker for something pretty.

Fortunately, Pacifica appear to have mastered both style and substance. I've been testing some of their make-up and perfume over the last few months and I'm hooked. Not only is the packaging beautifully designed  just look at those metallic accents  but the formulas are a pleasure to use, and do what they're supposed to do.

I knew Pacifica were a cruelty-free brand, but I didn't realise absolutely everything they made was vegan until I had the opportunity to try their products myself. Everything is also free from lead and phthalates, and the ingredients are all natural and as sustainable as possible.

Pacifica French Lilac Solid Perfume

French Lilac Solid Perfume* (v), £10
Normally I use sprays, not solid perfumes, but I liked the idea of being able to take a scent with me in my bag without worrying about a bottle breaking, or losing a teeny little tube. This tin is a good handbag size and easy to find, so mission accomplished.

The perfume is made from organic soy and coconut wax, then blended with natural and essential oils, including French lilac, star jasmine, and hints of orange and driftwood. French Lilac is first and foremost a floral scent, but the orange and driftwood, although subtle, make it fresh and not too twee. It's a very feminine fragrance. I'd say it melts into the skin and lingers there for a good 6-8 hours, so ironically I haven't really needed to take it with me when I leave the house.

Pacifica Transcendent Concentrated Concealer in Light

Transcendent Concentrated Concealer in Light* (v), £15.99
Light looks darker than the shades of concealer I normally go for and I did worry it wouldn't be a very good match, especially since it's so pigmented. However, once I blend the concealer out it fades into my skin quite nicely and covers up any redness or blemishes (the hormonal acne on my chin currently visits once a month with a vengeance).

It also brightens up the under-eye area and won't sit in fine lines. I have quite a deep crease under each eye, so it does tend to settle, but that's the same for every single product I've ever applied there. A little bit of mineral powder helps to set the concealer and minimise this.

As for the ingredients, coconut water is said to reduce fine lines, sweet iris stem cells are said to have a firming effect, and ginseng extract is said to support circulation. While I haven't really noticed any changes in this regard, I'm not going to complain because I buy concealer to cover up. If it also improves the texture of my skin then that's a nice bonus, but my main concern is hiding spots and scars, which this does.




Enlighten Eye Brightening Shadow Palette* (v), £15.49
These pressed mineral eyeshadows are infused with coconut water and although I wouldn't describe them as buttery, they apply evenly with eyeshadow brushes and blend out beautifully. I chose Enlighten because the purple and coral shades are different to any other colours I own, although all four shades are lovely.

Skinny Dip: Matte nude. A swish of this will brighten eyes in an instant.

Coral Sand: Pinky-nude, a shade I would normally use on lips rather than eyes. This isn't so pink that it'll make your eyes look squinty, but might bring out red tones if your skin is prone to flushing.

Golden: Shimmery gold, looks particularly good on the inner corners of the eye.

Urchin: Purple with gold tones. Urchin is lighter than it appears in the palette, so it's not the substitute for black LoveLula suggest, but it's pretty all the same. A nice weekend alternative to neutral colours.

You won't get a dramatic smoky eye with this palette, but you will get a wash of colours that define and brighten the eyes, and look a little different to everyday browns and taupes.


7-Free Nail Polish in Totally Coral* (v), £9.99
It's always good to find a cruelty-free nail polish that sits on the right side of £10, since I've found most of the free-from ones to cost a fair bit more (and let's face it, even £9.99 isn't particularly cheap). Pacifica's nail polishes are formulated without parabens, phthalates, toleune, xylene, camphor, formaldehyde, resin, and animal ingredients. The colour is opaque and and long-lasting  I painted my toenails with Totally Coral at the beginning of August and it lasted almost the whole month (with top coat). I swear toenail polish would survive the apocalypse.

What started out as curiosity has turned me into a full-on Pacifica fanatic. I love the gentle, natural formulas, I love that everything does what I want it to do, and the packaging makes me happy. This stuff is special, and worth a try if you're looking for a brand to bridge the high street/high end gap.

Has anything from Pacifica caught your eye? 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.

The Prettiest Vegan Make-Up from Pacifica

I'm a firm believer that the contents of a product are most important, not fancy packaging, but that doesn't mean I'm not a sucker for something pretty.

Fortunately, Pacifica appear to have mastered both style and substance. I've been testing some of their make-up and perfume over the last few months and I'm hooked. Not only is the packaging beautifully designed  just look at those metallic accents  but the formulas are a pleasure to use, and do what they're supposed to do.

I knew Pacifica were a cruelty-free brand, but I didn't realise absolutely everything they made was vegan until I had the opportunity to try their products myself. Everything is also free from lead and phthalates, and the ingredients are all natural and as sustainable as possible.

Pacifica French Lilac Solid Perfume

French Lilac Solid Perfume* (v), £10
Normally I use sprays, not solid perfumes, but I liked the idea of being able to take a scent with me in my bag without worrying about a bottle breaking, or losing a teeny little tube. This tin is a good handbag size and easy to find, so mission accomplished.

The perfume is made from organic soy and coconut wax, then blended with natural and essential oils, including French lilac, star jasmine, and hints of orange and driftwood. French Lilac is first and foremost a floral scent, but the orange and driftwood, although subtle, make it fresh and not too twee. It's a very feminine fragrance. I'd say it melts into the skin and lingers there for a good 6-8 hours, so ironically I haven't really needed to take it with me when I leave the house.

Pacifica Transcendent Concentrated Concealer in Light

Transcendent Concentrated Concealer in Light* (v), £15.99
Light looks darker than the shades of concealer I normally go for and I did worry it wouldn't be a very good match, especially since it's so pigmented. However, once I blend the concealer out it fades into my skin quite nicely and covers up any redness or blemishes (the hormonal acne on my chin currently visits once a month with a vengeance).

It also brightens up the under-eye area and won't sit in fine lines. I have quite a deep crease under each eye, so it does tend to settle, but that's the same for every single product I've ever applied there. A little bit of mineral powder helps to set the concealer and minimise this.

As for the ingredients, coconut water is said to reduce fine lines, sweet iris stem cells are said to have a firming effect, and ginseng extract is said to support circulation. While I haven't really noticed any changes in this regard, I'm not going to complain because I buy concealer to cover up. If it also improves the texture of my skin then that's a nice bonus, but my main concern is hiding spots and scars, which this does.




Enlighten Eye Brightening Shadow Palette* (v), £15.49
These pressed mineral eyeshadows are infused with coconut water and although I wouldn't describe them as buttery, they apply evenly with eyeshadow brushes and blend out beautifully. I chose Enlighten because the purple and coral shades are different to any other colours I own, although all four shades are lovely.

Skinny Dip: Matte nude. A swish of this will brighten eyes in an instant.

Coral Sand: Pinky-nude, a shade I would normally use on lips rather than eyes. This isn't so pink that it'll make your eyes look squinty, but might bring out red tones if your skin is prone to flushing.

Golden: Shimmery gold, looks particularly good on the inner corners of the eye.

Urchin: Purple with gold tones. Urchin is lighter than it appears in the palette, so it's not the substitute for black LoveLula suggest, but it's pretty all the same. A nice weekend alternative to neutral colours.

You won't get a dramatic smoky eye with this palette, but you will get a wash of colours that define and brighten the eyes, and look a little different to everyday browns and taupes.


7-Free Nail Polish in Totally Coral* (v), £9.99
It's always good to find a cruelty-free nail polish that sits on the right side of £10, since I've found most of the free-from ones to cost a fair bit more (and let's face it, even £9.99 isn't particularly cheap). Pacifica's nail polishes are formulated without parabens, phthalates, toleune, xylene, camphor, formaldehyde, resin, and animal ingredients. The colour is opaque and and long-lasting  I painted my toenails with Totally Coral at the beginning of August and it lasted almost the whole month (with top coat). I swear toenail polish would survive the apocalypse.

What started out as curiosity has turned me into a full-on Pacifica fanatic. I love the gentle, natural formulas, I love that everything does what I want it to do, and the packaging makes me happy. This stuff is special, and worth a try if you're looking for a brand to bridge the high street/high end gap.

Has anything from Pacifica caught your eye? 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.
Cheesecake has been my favourite dessert since I was a child. Sweet, creamy, and comforting, it's perked up numerous bad days and made already-good ones even better. But I'd never attempted to make my own before  until recently.

There was one gloriously sunny Sunday back in August when we went blackberry picking, so I kept a portion of our findings for myself and decided that now was the time to try. I'm more of a cook than a baker — far more at home with curries than with cake  but cheesecake is simple, right?

Wrong.

I wanted to make a vegan cheesecake, because I like to use as many dairy-free products as possible, and it had to be nut-free because my brother has allergies. (Between us, in our family, we are allergic to nearly everything. Christmas is a nightmare.)

My parents were packing up to move and there were boxes all over the house, most of them secured with tonnes of tape. I had no baking tin, nothing with a pop-out base, nada. I carried on regardless, since nothing comes between me and food, and ended up using a little casserole dish.

The recipe itself was an amalgamation of two  one for the topping, one for the base. This was a mistake, seeing as one was for a baked cheesecake and one for a no-bake cheesecake. (Although I did do this so my brother could actually eat it, so I guess I win big sister points.)

Blackberry picking

Ingredients
  • 1 pack Hob Nobs
  • 3 tbsp dairy-free butter (I used Koko)
  • 2 tbsp dairy-free yogurt (I used Koko)
  • 2 tbsp dairy-free butter
  • 1 punnet blackberries
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp apricot jam
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Half tsp salt


  • Crush the biscuits with a rolling pin until they resemble crumbs.
  • Melt the butter and mix evenly with the biscuit crumbs. Press the mixture into the bottom of a baking tin so it forms a base.
  • Blend the rest of the ingredients together and pour on top of the biscuit base.
  • Bake until the topping sets. This took 45 minutes in my oven, but may be less in others.


Blackberry pudding

The topping was... interesting. It was nice, and oddly charming in a school-dinner-pudding kind of way, but it resembled blackberry jam more than anything else. The biscuit base, on the other hand, was deliciously moreish. I enjoyed it, but it definitely wasn't a cheesecake. (My brother only had one bite, the bastard.)

Would I make this pudding again? Not in its entirety. I'd use the base as part of a cheesecake, hopefully with a creamier topping this time. And the blackberry mixture would make a lovely filling for sponge cake  I'm thinking Victoria sponge with lots of vegan buttercream and icing sugar. The hunt for vegan cheesecake continues.

Have you ever tried to make vegan desserts before? Do you have any favourite recipes? Let me know in the comments!

The Blackberry Cheesecake Experiment

Cheesecake has been my favourite dessert since I was a child. Sweet, creamy, and comforting, it's perked up numerous bad days and made already-good ones even better. But I'd never attempted to make my own before  until recently.

There was one gloriously sunny Sunday back in August when we went blackberry picking, so I kept a portion of our findings for myself and decided that now was the time to try. I'm more of a cook than a baker — far more at home with curries than with cake  but cheesecake is simple, right?

Wrong.

I wanted to make a vegan cheesecake, because I like to use as many dairy-free products as possible, and it had to be nut-free because my brother has allergies. (Between us, in our family, we are allergic to nearly everything. Christmas is a nightmare.)

My parents were packing up to move and there were boxes all over the house, most of them secured with tonnes of tape. I had no baking tin, nothing with a pop-out base, nada. I carried on regardless, since nothing comes between me and food, and ended up using a little casserole dish.

The recipe itself was an amalgamation of two  one for the topping, one for the base. This was a mistake, seeing as one was for a baked cheesecake and one for a no-bake cheesecake. (Although I did do this so my brother could actually eat it, so I guess I win big sister points.)

Blackberry picking

Ingredients
  • 1 pack Hob Nobs
  • 3 tbsp dairy-free butter (I used Koko)
  • 2 tbsp dairy-free yogurt (I used Koko)
  • 2 tbsp dairy-free butter
  • 1 punnet blackberries
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp apricot jam
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Half tsp salt


  • Crush the biscuits with a rolling pin until they resemble crumbs.
  • Melt the butter and mix evenly with the biscuit crumbs. Press the mixture into the bottom of a baking tin so it forms a base.
  • Blend the rest of the ingredients together and pour on top of the biscuit base.
  • Bake until the topping sets. This took 45 minutes in my oven, but may be less in others.


Blackberry pudding

The topping was... interesting. It was nice, and oddly charming in a school-dinner-pudding kind of way, but it resembled blackberry jam more than anything else. The biscuit base, on the other hand, was deliciously moreish. I enjoyed it, but it definitely wasn't a cheesecake. (My brother only had one bite, the bastard.)

Would I make this pudding again? Not in its entirety. I'd use the base as part of a cheesecake, hopefully with a creamier topping this time. And the blackberry mixture would make a lovely filling for sponge cake  I'm thinking Victoria sponge with lots of vegan buttercream and icing sugar. The hunt for vegan cheesecake continues.

Have you ever tried to make vegan desserts before? Do you have any favourite recipes? Let me know in the comments!
Welcome to the latest post in my Going Cruelty Free series.

If you've decided to take a stand against animal testing, are in the process of decluttering your make-up bag, and want to know where to find some cruelty free replacements, then this guide is for you.

(Live overseas? There's a post about buying cruelty free products online coming your way in the next couple of weeks.)

When I first decided to avoid brands that conducted animal testing, I was shocked at how many of my everyday staples I could/would no longer use, and also by how widespread animal testing is in the beauty industry. Why torture rabbits and mice for the sake of a lipstick or mascara when there are so many humane alternatives out there?

Finding brands I could use always felt like a victory. Sometimes it was easy  some companies take great pride in their ethics. Others are a little quieter, but if no animals are harmed then I'm happy to buy. It's always lovely to support independent brands, but sometimes you just need to stock up on well-priced essentials while you're out doing your shopping, and where better to do that than the high street?

GOSH products

Superdrug
If you're planning a one-stop shop then Superdrug is the place to go.

They have an impressive range of own-brand products, all of them certified cruelty free and bearing the Leaping Bunny logo. Superdrug's products also specify if they're suitable for vegetarians and vegans, so you don't need to research if you're in a hurry. B., their make-up and skincare range, is completely vegan.

Popular brands available at Superdrug include Barry M, GOSH, Sleek, e.l.f., theBalm, and Lottie London. Prices start at £1 for MUA and Makeup Revolution products, which is a godsend if you're on a particularly tight budget (I used their make-up a lot during my student days).

I should point out that Superdrug are own by a testing parent company, but whether or not you buy from a brand with a parent company is completely up to you. If you're only just making the switch to cruelty free and want to keep your options more open, then Superdrug are an affordable, accessible starting point.

My picks: Solait Moisturising Sun Lotion SPF30 (v); GOSH Lumi Drops in Rosegold (v); B. Men Daily Moisture Cream (v); Barry M Mani Mask in Birthday Suit (v); theBalm Mary Louminizer (v)

Oatifix

Lush
Beloved by many for their delightfully scented bath bombs and bubble bars, Lush also have an impressive range of cruelty free skincare products, make-up, and perfumes. Lots of products are suitable for vegans (and clearly labelled if so). Lush are out and proud when it comes to their ethical stance  they even sell a canvas bag with Against Animal Testing written on it.

I find that Lush is a good place to go if you're looking buy a specific type of product, e.g. shower gel or a hair treatment, but aren't sure what to get. I've had some lovely experiences with the assistants, who are always happy to grab lotions and potions for you to sample in-store before you make a decision. Some of them will even throw in free sample pots of products they think you might like, and you can request samples if you're curious about a product but don't want to part with your cash straight away.

I know some people are put off by what I've been told is 'the Lush smell', but if that doesn't bother you then you can't go wrong.

My picks: The Fresh Face Masks (I like Catastrophe Cosmetic (v) and Rosy Cheeks (v); my mum prefers Oatifix (v)); Ultrabland Facial Cleanser; Dream Cream (v); Sex Bomb (v); Butterbear (v); Cheer Up Buttercup (v)... it's very rare for me to find a Lush product I don't like.

The Body Shop base products

The Body Shop
Since being bought by cruelty-free parent company Natura, The Body Shop has been back in the good books of cruelty free consumers everywhere. They're a good place to go for targeted skincare, plus their bronzers and shimmer wave blush compacts give the complexion a gorgeously healthy glow. They're currently trying to veganify as much of their range as possible and promote their existing vegan products, which is so encouraging to see.

My picks: Vitamin E Cream Cleanser (v); Tea Tree Oil (v); Baked to Last Bronzer in Warm Glow (v); Shimmer Waves in Coral (v); Instaglow CC Cream for Light Skin (v)

Cruelty-free make-up

Marks & Spencer
Although not every product they sell is animal friendly, Marks & Spencer have brought several cruelty free beauty brands to the high street, brands that you could only previously buy online, such as Pixi. Their cult Glow Tonic is available in two different sizes (and often sold out) but they also have a range of other, less-talked about products that do just as good a job. I love the Glow Mud Cleanser, which clears up congested skin, and the MultiBalm sticks  pretty, multi-purpose creams for lips and cheeks.

M&S also have their own lines. Rosie Huntington-Whiteley's make-up range, Rosie For Autograph, is absolutely stunning, both in terms of packaging (metallic rose gold) and formula (the Cream Blusher in English Rose Flush is one of my everyday go-to products). If you're looking for a brand to bridge the gap between budget and high end then this is it.

My picks: Rosie For Autograph Cream Blusher in English Rose Flush (v); Rosie For Autograph Lipstick in Super Model Kiss (v); Pixi Glow Mud Cleanser; Pixi MutiBalm in Wild Rose

I hope you found this guide helpful. Committing to only buying cruelty free is a big change, but it doesn't have to be a stressful one  there are plenty of accessible, ethical brands out there. Happy shopping!

Where do you like to shop cruelty free on the high street? Let me know on the comments!

(v) = vegan

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.

Going Cruelty Free: Where to Buy Products On the High Street

Welcome to the latest post in my Going Cruelty Free series.

If you've decided to take a stand against animal testing, are in the process of decluttering your make-up bag, and want to know where to find some cruelty free replacements, then this guide is for you.

(Live overseas? There's a post about buying cruelty free products online coming your way in the next couple of weeks.)

When I first decided to avoid brands that conducted animal testing, I was shocked at how many of my everyday staples I could/would no longer use, and also by how widespread animal testing is in the beauty industry. Why torture rabbits and mice for the sake of a lipstick or mascara when there are so many humane alternatives out there?

Finding brands I could use always felt like a victory. Sometimes it was easy  some companies take great pride in their ethics. Others are a little quieter, but if no animals are harmed then I'm happy to buy. It's always lovely to support independent brands, but sometimes you just need to stock up on well-priced essentials while you're out doing your shopping, and where better to do that than the high street?

GOSH products

Superdrug
If you're planning a one-stop shop then Superdrug is the place to go.

They have an impressive range of own-brand products, all of them certified cruelty free and bearing the Leaping Bunny logo. Superdrug's products also specify if they're suitable for vegetarians and vegans, so you don't need to research if you're in a hurry. B., their make-up and skincare range, is completely vegan.

Popular brands available at Superdrug include Barry M, GOSH, Sleek, e.l.f., theBalm, and Lottie London. Prices start at £1 for MUA and Makeup Revolution products, which is a godsend if you're on a particularly tight budget (I used their make-up a lot during my student days).

I should point out that Superdrug are own by a testing parent company, but whether or not you buy from a brand with a parent company is completely up to you. If you're only just making the switch to cruelty free and want to keep your options more open, then Superdrug are an affordable, accessible starting point.

My picks: Solait Moisturising Sun Lotion SPF30 (v); GOSH Lumi Drops in Rosegold (v); B. Men Daily Moisture Cream (v); Barry M Mani Mask in Birthday Suit (v); theBalm Mary Louminizer (v)

Oatifix

Lush
Beloved by many for their delightfully scented bath bombs and bubble bars, Lush also have an impressive range of cruelty free skincare products, make-up, and perfumes. Lots of products are suitable for vegans (and clearly labelled if so). Lush are out and proud when it comes to their ethical stance  they even sell a canvas bag with Against Animal Testing written on it.

I find that Lush is a good place to go if you're looking buy a specific type of product, e.g. shower gel or a hair treatment, but aren't sure what to get. I've had some lovely experiences with the assistants, who are always happy to grab lotions and potions for you to sample in-store before you make a decision. Some of them will even throw in free sample pots of products they think you might like, and you can request samples if you're curious about a product but don't want to part with your cash straight away.

I know some people are put off by what I've been told is 'the Lush smell', but if that doesn't bother you then you can't go wrong.

My picks: The Fresh Face Masks (I like Catastrophe Cosmetic (v) and Rosy Cheeks (v); my mum prefers Oatifix (v)); Ultrabland Facial Cleanser; Dream Cream (v); Sex Bomb (v); Butterbear (v); Cheer Up Buttercup (v)... it's very rare for me to find a Lush product I don't like.

The Body Shop base products

The Body Shop
Since being bought by cruelty-free parent company Natura, The Body Shop has been back in the good books of cruelty free consumers everywhere. They're a good place to go for targeted skincare, plus their bronzers and shimmer wave blush compacts give the complexion a gorgeously healthy glow. They're currently trying to veganify as much of their range as possible and promote their existing vegan products, which is so encouraging to see.

My picks: Vitamin E Cream Cleanser (v); Tea Tree Oil (v); Baked to Last Bronzer in Warm Glow (v); Shimmer Waves in Coral (v); Instaglow CC Cream for Light Skin (v)

Cruelty-free make-up

Marks & Spencer
Although not every product they sell is animal friendly, Marks & Spencer have brought several cruelty free beauty brands to the high street, brands that you could only previously buy online, such as Pixi. Their cult Glow Tonic is available in two different sizes (and often sold out) but they also have a range of other, less-talked about products that do just as good a job. I love the Glow Mud Cleanser, which clears up congested skin, and the MultiBalm sticks  pretty, multi-purpose creams for lips and cheeks.

M&S also have their own lines. Rosie Huntington-Whiteley's make-up range, Rosie For Autograph, is absolutely stunning, both in terms of packaging (metallic rose gold) and formula (the Cream Blusher in English Rose Flush is one of my everyday go-to products). If you're looking for a brand to bridge the gap between budget and high end then this is it.

My picks: Rosie For Autograph Cream Blusher in English Rose Flush (v); Rosie For Autograph Lipstick in Super Model Kiss (v); Pixi Glow Mud Cleanser; Pixi MutiBalm in Wild Rose

I hope you found this guide helpful. Committing to only buying cruelty free is a big change, but it doesn't have to be a stressful one  there are plenty of accessible, ethical brands out there. Happy shopping!

Where do you like to shop cruelty free on the high street? Let me know on the comments!

(v) = vegan

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.
It can be difficult to know where to start when you first begin to look for vegan beauty products.

Sure, there's Google (and there are some lovely brands out there), but if you want to see the products in person, read the ingredients label, and try before you buy, then you can't beat B.

B. is Superdrug's own brand and everything they sell is reasonably priced, cruelty free, and completely vegan. There's a range of make-up, in swanky new matte, black packaging, brushes and tools, and skincare for all kinds of concerns.

The skincare products cater to men, women, and teenagers alike, so I roped my mum and brother in to help me try some of B's latest offerings.

B. Nourished Cooling & Soothing Face Mask

For Mum: B. Nourished Cooling & Soothing Mask* (v) £8.99 for 30ml
This face mask is from Phase 4 of B's skincare range, which is designed for women in their late fifties and beyond. It contains witch hazel to control shine and hyaluronic acid for an extra moisture hit, and you leave it for 10-15 minutes before massaging any excess product into the skin.

My mum is blessed with plump, young-looking skin but she still has concerns when it comes to dryness, so she eagerly took this off my hands. She didn't find it particularly cooling (although storing it in the fridge will solve that), but she did say it was hydrating and soothed dry, irritated skin. It also calmed down an insect bite she had on her cheek  unfortunately being a mosquito magnet runs in the family.

B. Men Daily Moisture Cream

For my brother: B. Men Daily Moisture Cream* (v) £12.99 for 140ml
Daily Moisture Cream is a multi-purpose moisturiser for the face, body, and hands, which appeals to the lazy minimalist in me. If it wasn't for the strong, standard male toiletries scent  we all know the one  I would have had a hard time handing the tin over.

So, what did my brother think?

"I like it; it works," he said when I asked him (he's never been one to go into detail). Once I'd pressed him for more information, he told me he's been using it on dry patches on his face, neck, and arms. His skin no longer feels tight or itchy, and it's hydrated but not too oily.

"I have lovely skin," he concluded.

I noticed he took it with him when he went back to university last month, so if that's not a good sign I don't know what is.

B. Blending Sponge

For me: B. Blending Sponge*, £4.99 (v)
B's blending sponge is free from latex, which is great news for anyone who has an allergy. I've found that the sponge is better at blending products over a targeted area  highlighter along cheekbones, cream blush on the apples of the cheeks, concealer over blemishes and redness  than it is at blending base products over the entire face. I think this is because it's quite solid as far as sponges go. The colour also leaks if the sponge gets wet, which is a bit of a pain when you wash it. It's a nice item to have, but I'd suggest using one of the brushes instead if you fancy trying some of B.'s tools.

Have you tried anything from B. before? What do you think of their makeover? Let me know in the comments!

(v) = vegan

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

Testing New Products by B. at Superdrug

It can be difficult to know where to start when you first begin to look for vegan beauty products.

Sure, there's Google (and there are some lovely brands out there), but if you want to see the products in person, read the ingredients label, and try before you buy, then you can't beat B.

B. is Superdrug's own brand and everything they sell is reasonably priced, cruelty free, and completely vegan. There's a range of make-up, in swanky new matte, black packaging, brushes and tools, and skincare for all kinds of concerns.

The skincare products cater to men, women, and teenagers alike, so I roped my mum and brother in to help me try some of B's latest offerings.

B. Nourished Cooling & Soothing Face Mask

For Mum: B. Nourished Cooling & Soothing Mask* (v) £8.99 for 30ml
This face mask is from Phase 4 of B's skincare range, which is designed for women in their late fifties and beyond. It contains witch hazel to control shine and hyaluronic acid for an extra moisture hit, and you leave it for 10-15 minutes before massaging any excess product into the skin.

My mum is blessed with plump, young-looking skin but she still has concerns when it comes to dryness, so she eagerly took this off my hands. She didn't find it particularly cooling (although storing it in the fridge will solve that), but she did say it was hydrating and soothed dry, irritated skin. It also calmed down an insect bite she had on her cheek  unfortunately being a mosquito magnet runs in the family.

B. Men Daily Moisture Cream

For my brother: B. Men Daily Moisture Cream* (v) £12.99 for 140ml
Daily Moisture Cream is a multi-purpose moisturiser for the face, body, and hands, which appeals to the lazy minimalist in me. If it wasn't for the strong, standard male toiletries scent  we all know the one  I would have had a hard time handing the tin over.

So, what did my brother think?

"I like it; it works," he said when I asked him (he's never been one to go into detail). Once I'd pressed him for more information, he told me he's been using it on dry patches on his face, neck, and arms. His skin no longer feels tight or itchy, and it's hydrated but not too oily.

"I have lovely skin," he concluded.

I noticed he took it with him when he went back to university last month, so if that's not a good sign I don't know what is.

B. Blending Sponge

For me: B. Blending Sponge*, £4.99 (v)
B's blending sponge is free from latex, which is great news for anyone who has an allergy. I've found that the sponge is better at blending products over a targeted area  highlighter along cheekbones, cream blush on the apples of the cheeks, concealer over blemishes and redness  than it is at blending base products over the entire face. I think this is because it's quite solid as far as sponges go. The colour also leaks if the sponge gets wet, which is a bit of a pain when you wash it. It's a nice item to have, but I'd suggest using one of the brushes instead if you fancy trying some of B.'s tools.

Have you tried anything from B. before? What do you think of their makeover? Let me know in the comments!

(v) = vegan

*Products were sent to me by B. 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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