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I love me some non-fiction  in fact, it's all I seem to read at the moment  but I have mixed feelings when it comes to self-help books. There's something about them that just seems a bit, well... wanky and pretentious.

I flew by myself for the first time at the start of 2017 and since I get quite nervous on planes, I downloaded a lot of new books on my Kindle to serve as a distraction. One of them was the much-raved-about The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck by Sarah Knight. It's been all over the blogosphere over the last few months and I can see why.

It's sweary, it's straight to the point; it's my kind of self-help book.

While it would be a massive cliche (and also a lie) if I said that it had changed my life completely, it's definitely helped me to put things into perspective and figure out what's important right now.

The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck


Running Out of Fucks to Give

I love me some non-fiction  in fact, it's all I seem to read at the moment  but I have mixed feelings when it comes to self-help books. There's something about them that just seems a bit, well... wanky and pretentious.

I flew by myself for the first time at the start of 2017 and since I get quite nervous on planes, I downloaded a lot of new books on my Kindle to serve as a distraction. One of them was the much-raved-about The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck by Sarah Knight. It's been all over the blogosphere over the last few months and I can see why.

It's sweary, it's straight to the point; it's my kind of self-help book.

While it would be a massive cliche (and also a lie) if I said that it had changed my life completely, it's definitely helped me to put things into perspective and figure out what's important right now.

The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck


We've reached the next stage in my quest to find and try more independent cruelty-free brands, and today it's the turn of vegan beauty brand Fairypants to go under the metaphorical microscope.

Fairypants started back in 2009, selling handmade products at Chester Market. Increasing demand from family and friends caused the business to grow and they now sell cruelty-free cosmetics, skincare, and perfume with snazzy retro packaging.

Absolutely everything in their range is vegan  how wonderful is that?

There are so many different products and shades to choose from that I wasn't sure where to start (I kinda wanted everything!) but in the end I bought myself a lip balm, a lip paint, and a lip brush; a vegan lip kit, if you will. Lets take a look.

Fairypants Vegan Lip Kit

A Vegan Lip Kit from Fairypants

We've reached the next stage in my quest to find and try more independent cruelty-free brands, and today it's the turn of vegan beauty brand Fairypants to go under the metaphorical microscope.

Fairypants started back in 2009, selling handmade products at Chester Market. Increasing demand from family and friends caused the business to grow and they now sell cruelty-free cosmetics, skincare, and perfume with snazzy retro packaging.

Absolutely everything in their range is vegan  how wonderful is that?

There are so many different products and shades to choose from that I wasn't sure where to start (I kinda wanted everything!) but in the end I bought myself a lip balm, a lip paint, and a lip brush; a vegan lip kit, if you will. Lets take a look.

Fairypants Vegan Lip Kit

Normally I save anything political for Twitter, but on Friday a newsletter appeared in my inbox and it was too important not to talk about in more depth.

In a nutshell: High-end make-up brand Illamasqua have made an anti-fascism pledge and shared it via email and on their website. It outright states that they do not support Trump and his values and they do not wish for his supporters to buy their products.

Illamasqua Pledge

Illamasqua's Anti-Fascism Pledge

Normally I save anything political for Twitter, but on Friday a newsletter appeared in my inbox and it was too important not to talk about in more depth.

In a nutshell: High-end make-up brand Illamasqua have made an anti-fascism pledge and shared it via email and on their website. It outright states that they do not support Trump and his values and they do not wish for his supporters to buy their products.

Illamasqua Pledge

Every winter, without fail, my hands get chapped, cracked, and sore.

So every winter I rummage through my stash of hand creams and slather them on in an attempt to stop this assault on my skin in its tracks.

Some people hoard foundations; I hoard hand creams.

I'm in Asia at the moment, so the temperatures here aren't exactly freezing, but I've used everything in this post in the run-up to Christmas and right up until I flew out here at the end of January, so I know all too well how these products fare when it's bloody freezing outside.

Last year's selection was a good one, but this year I think I might have gone one better with my weapons of choice. Let's take a look.


Intense Cruelty-Free Treatments for Your Hands

Every winter, without fail, my hands get chapped, cracked, and sore.

So every winter I rummage through my stash of hand creams and slather them on in an attempt to stop this assault on my skin in its tracks.

Some people hoard foundations; I hoard hand creams.

I'm in Asia at the moment, so the temperatures here aren't exactly freezing, but I've used everything in this post in the run-up to Christmas and right up until I flew out here at the end of January, so I know all too well how these products fare when it's bloody freezing outside.

Last year's selection was a good one, but this year I think I might have gone one better with my weapons of choice. Let's take a look.


Why?

That's the question a lot of the people I know asked me when they found out I was going vegetarian.

And I get it, I really do  I come from quite a meat, vegetables, potatoes kind of family  but sometimes they say it with a sort of... incredulity, or faint horror.

(My aunt actually went 'No!', all shocked. I cracked up; you'd have thought I'd announced I was pregnant or something.)

So I thought this post would be a good opportunity to share some of the questions I've been asked since I turned pescatarian (five months ago) and subsequently vegetarian (at the start of 2017) and clear up any queries and misconceptions people have about what it's like to adopt a vegetarian diet.

These are just my experiences but I hope this post is useful, whether you're thinking of going vegetarian, a vegetarian in need of some solidarity, or simply curious.

Breakfast
This is an old picture of a breakfast I made last summer, because where I'm living in Asia at the moment the avocados cost the equivalent of £7.40. EachIs it bad that the lack of avocados here would genuinely put me off emigrating?

FAQ — Going Vegetarian

Why?

That's the question a lot of the people I know asked me when they found out I was going vegetarian.

And I get it, I really do  I come from quite a meat, vegetables, potatoes kind of family  but sometimes they say it with a sort of... incredulity, or faint horror.

(My aunt actually went 'No!', all shocked. I cracked up; you'd have thought I'd announced I was pregnant or something.)

So I thought this post would be a good opportunity to share some of the questions I've been asked since I turned pescatarian (five months ago) and subsequently vegetarian (at the start of 2017) and clear up any queries and misconceptions people have about what it's like to adopt a vegetarian diet.

These are just my experiences but I hope this post is useful, whether you're thinking of going vegetarian, a vegetarian in need of some solidarity, or simply curious.

Breakfast
This is an old picture of a breakfast I made last summer, because where I'm living in Asia at the moment the avocados cost the equivalent of £7.40. EachIs it bad that the lack of avocados here would genuinely put me off emigrating?

When I decided to branch out and try some new cruelty-free brands this year, Bloomtown Botanicals were at the top of the list.

Bloomtown Botanicals was born after its founders (Preyanka Clark Prakash and Medwin Culmer) moved to Bali and saw the destruction palm oil cultivation can cause. They stopped using products that contained palm oil and eventually began to create their own. 10% of their profits go to environmental and animal rescue charities, which I think is wonderful!

I'd read some positive reviews and when I looked at their website I was taken in by the array of products they make. All the products are available in Bloomtown Botanicals' signature scents, such as:

  • The Grove (blood orange and pink grapefruit)
  • The Hedgerow (blackberry and honeysuckle)
  • The Meadow (lavender and rose geranium)
  • The Spring (blue clay and indigo leaf)
  • The Woods (vetiver, cedar and bergamot)

I chose The Hedgerow because the smell of blackberries makes me feel all nostalgic  we used to go blackberry picking with my grandparents when I was a kid and then bake pies. (Which were delicious. It's been a long time since I've had homemade blackberry pie.)

Bloomtown Botanicals

Bathtime Treats from Bloomtown Botanicals

When I decided to branch out and try some new cruelty-free brands this year, Bloomtown Botanicals were at the top of the list.

Bloomtown Botanicals was born after its founders (Preyanka Clark Prakash and Medwin Culmer) moved to Bali and saw the destruction palm oil cultivation can cause. They stopped using products that contained palm oil and eventually began to create their own. 10% of their profits go to environmental and animal rescue charities, which I think is wonderful!

I'd read some positive reviews and when I looked at their website I was taken in by the array of products they make. All the products are available in Bloomtown Botanicals' signature scents, such as:

  • The Grove (blood orange and pink grapefruit)
  • The Hedgerow (blackberry and honeysuckle)
  • The Meadow (lavender and rose geranium)
  • The Spring (blue clay and indigo leaf)
  • The Woods (vetiver, cedar and bergamot)

I chose The Hedgerow because the smell of blackberries makes me feel all nostalgic  we used to go blackberry picking with my grandparents when I was a kid and then bake pies. (Which were delicious. It's been a long time since I've had homemade blackberry pie.)

Bloomtown Botanicals

It can be hard to find high end brands and products that are also cruelty-free. Companies will hit you with the old 'We are against animal testing' mantra, but look a bit closer and you'll soon find that they 'do not test on animals, except where required by law'.

So you do test on animals then?

There are a couple of high end brands I love, like NARS and Urban Decay, but while they themselves are cruelty-free, their parents companies aren't. I'm happy to buy from them, in order to show demand, but others feel uncomfortable doing so. Both approaches are okay, I believe  you've gotta do what's best for you and what you think is right.

But all of this has got me thinking that it might be time to look beyond the beauty counters, so I started hunting down some natural high end alternatives. LoveLula were very kind and sent me some make-up to try, so I'll be sharing my thoughts with you today.

RMS Un-Cover Up

Natural Alternatives to High End Brands

It can be hard to find high end brands and products that are also cruelty-free. Companies will hit you with the old 'We are against animal testing' mantra, but look a bit closer and you'll soon find that they 'do not test on animals, except where required by law'.

So you do test on animals then?

There are a couple of high end brands I love, like NARS and Urban Decay, but while they themselves are cruelty-free, their parents companies aren't. I'm happy to buy from them, in order to show demand, but others feel uncomfortable doing so. Both approaches are okay, I believe  you've gotta do what's best for you and what you think is right.

But all of this has got me thinking that it might be time to look beyond the beauty counters, so I started hunting down some natural high end alternatives. LoveLula were very kind and sent me some make-up to try, so I'll be sharing my thoughts with you today.

RMS Un-Cover Up

Shop My Favourites


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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