Cruelty-Free Updates & Blog Posts I Loved | April 2017

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Welcome to my new Cruelty-Free Updates series!

As promised, I'll be doing my best to bring you cruelty-free news at the end of every month. I've been making a note of the stories I've seen so that you can find them in one handy place  feel free to tweet me if you think I've missed something important or you'd like to see a specific topic addressed.

I'll also be sharing the love and linking to my favourite blog posts, because I read a lot of them that make me laugh, or make me nod along in agreement, or make me reevaluate, plus who doesn't love a good read? Enjoy, and feel free to link to your own posts or recommendations in the comments.

Cruelty-Free Updates (April)

Two Cruelty-Free Cleansers Under £10

Thursday, 27 April 2017

I'm a huge fan of double cleansing.

I wear SPF every single day and make-up more often than not, so I like my skin to feel clean  but not stripped  before I go to bed.

And although I'm willing to invest in good skincare when I can, if I can find a high-quality, cruelty-free product at a reasonable price, then I'm sold.

Enter Sukin.

About Sukin

An Australian brand, Sukin was created when its founders spotted a gap in the market for natural, reasonably priced skincare.

Their tagline is 'Skincare that doesn't cost the earth' and it sums up their philosophy perfectly. Everything is carbon neutral, affordable, cruelty-free, vegan, and made from lots of lovely, natural ingredients.

There's also a long list of ingredients Sukin won't use, including parabens, preservatives, sulphates, mineral oils, artificial colours, synthetic fragrances, and propylene glycol.

As you can imagine, I was very excited when the brand got in touch to ask if I'd be interested in testing out two of their cleansers. I chose the Cream Cleanser (for make-up removal) and the Oil Balancing Cleanser (as my second cleanse). I've been using them every day since the beginning of March, so I thought it was time to share whether these products are as good in real life as they are in theory.

Sukin cleansers

I'm Bored of the Vegan/Vegetarian Backlash

Monday, 24 April 2017

I had a really clear vision of how I wanted this post to turn out.

And yet, now I've sat down to write it, I'm finding I can't get my words out just right. But I'm gonna try my best.

You see, there's something that's been getting on my nerves for a while, something I noticed even before I went vegetarian, and that's the attitude many meat-eaters seem to have towards vegetarianism and veganism.

There appears to be an assumption if you've taken steps to cut down on your consumption of animal derived products, or cut them out completely in the case of veganism, then you're pushy and even militant about it.

We all know this stereotype. They're the person who just has to drop their dietary habits into every conversation, who lectures everyone, and generally Won't. Shut. Up.

vegetarian cafe

Cruelty-Free First Impressions

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Being away for much of early 2017 meant coming home to lots of exciting post, including two LoveLula beauty boxes.

The LoveLula beauty box is similar to other beauty boxes you might have heard of, in that you get a selection of products to try out every month, but what makes this one so much better in my eyes is that everything you get is guaranteed to be cruelty-free.

You also get to discover products that aren't normally available on the high street, so it can be a good way to start supporting more independent brands and shop more ethically, something I've become more conscious of recently.

March's box arrived just as I was planning to write this, so I decided to do a bumper cruelty-free first impressions and let you know which products I love  and which products I'd leave behind.

LoveLula products

Some Thoughts About Minimalism

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

A few weeks ago I spent a rather lovely, lazy Sunday morning watching documentaries in bed. One of them was Cowspiracy, which I'll be writing about next month. And one of them was Minimalism.


Minimalism: A Documentary About The Important Things follows Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, aka The Minimalists, as they go on a tour to promote their book, Everything That Remains.

(The documentary is available on UK Netflix if you fancy it.)

I was aware of the concept of minimalism before I watched the documentary  I'd read a few blog posts about it, notably on The Private Life of a Girl  but seeing real-life play out on a screen threw it all sharply into focus for me.

In a nutshell, minimalism involves simplifying your life so that everything you own has purpose and value. Life becomes less about owning stuff, or searching for happiness by buying more things (something I think we all do  who hasn't had a therapeutic shopping trip?), and more about practicality and experiences. Quality over quantity.

Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips in Kim K-W
Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks may be expensive, but I use them all the time and they're excellent quality, so I don't mind so much.

Mum's First Lush Face Mask

Monday, 17 April 2017

I found five empty Lush pots underneath the bed last month, and we all know what that means.

(A free face mask, just in case Lush isn't really your thing.)

When it comes to Lush's Fresh Face Masks, I have two firm favourites, Catastrophe Cosmetic and Rosy Cheeks, but I have other products I'm using at the moment. So I decided to treat my mum, who rarely has the time or the patience to use extra skincare treatments but enjoys them nonetheless. We headed down to our local Lush and the assistant  who was lovely  asked for her preferences before trying out all the samples.

Now, my mum hates almonds and bananas, so which mask did she choose?

Oatifix. In which two of the main ingredients are almonds and bananas.

Lush Oatifix

15 Scary Things That Make Me Feel Like An Actual Adult

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

23 is a funny age.

I've emerged from the student bubble relatively unscathed, but I'm not quite used to life post-uni yet. (Not having a set routine or a set place to live probably have something to do with that.)

I'm no longer in mourning for my university days, although I do miss my third-year housemates a lot, but the idea of being an adult  a functioning one  has me in two minds.

On the one hand, I can't deny that growing up, having some stability, and being taken more seriously aren't appealing.

On the other hand, I still feel like teenage Beth a lot of the time  really bloody scared of life and all it entails, and utterly bewildered by how quickly the years seem to be passing.

So in order to make myself feel better about all of this, I started writing. And what I ended up with was a list of silly but also kind-of-scary things that make me feel like I might just be a grown-up.

(And I also reminded myself of something my mum says frequently, which is that no one ever fully feels like a grown-up because everyone is winging it. Puts it all into perspective.)

In case you're wondering why this beautiful stretch of coastline is relevant, this is Porthcawl in south Wales and it's one of my favourite places in the entire world. You know when people say you should 'go to your happy place'? Porthcawl is one of mine. It's where I dream of being when adult stresses get too much.

My Favourite Vegetarian Cafe

Monday, 10 April 2017

A good vegetarian cafe is a gem, so I was more than a little bit excited when I found one in Kent.

The Wallflower Cafe is vegan and vegetarian friendly, with everything on the menu 100% plant-based. (They also cater for coeliacs.) There's something for everyone  I've taken non-veggie friends there to eat and they always come away feeling slightly amazed that meat-free food could be that good, despite me insisting that there are plenty of options out there.

Sweet potato and avocado wrap

Brightening Skincare from PHB Ethical Beauty

Sunday, 9 April 2017

I'll admit it  I'm slightly obsessed with PHB Ethical Beauty.

Their products are cruelty-free, palm oil-free, vegan, and Halal, plus 15% of their profits go to charity. They make practically every beauty product you can think of, from mascara to body scrubs to candles, and their prices are reasonable too, starting at £3.95 for a bar of soap. (And their soaps last forever.)

Basically, they're an excellent starting point if you'd like to branch out from the high street and try an independent cruelty-free brand.

Today I'm going to be looking at two products that are designed to brighten your skin and even it out, to see if they live up to the claims. Let's get started.

Brightening Skincare from PHB Ethical Beauty

What's In My Bag? ft. Matt & Nat

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

I've reached a point where I feel pretty comfortable with my eating habits and life as a vegetarian, so it was only a matter of time before I turned my attention to another cause.

And it seems that doing research about where my food comes from has led me to reflect on where my possessions come from, too. Specifically, I've been wondering whether the clothes and accessories I normally buy are made in an ethical way.

Sadly, I suspect the answer most of the time is no.

This needs to change, but it's not that simple. Having looked on the websites of several ethical fashion providers, I've found that I simply can't afford to spend that much money and I'm definitely not the only one. But then again, I'd rather buy less, save up, and put my money towards a brand whose ethics I believe in.

In the meantime, I reverted to the old I'll put it on my wishlist move, and I was very lucky to unwrap a saddle bag from Matt & Nat on my birthday last month. So in honour of this rather beautiful creature, today's post is my first-ever What's In My Bag?

What's In My Bag

5 Favourite Vegetarian Recipes from Around the Web

Monday, 3 April 2017

The internet is a godsend.

Whenever I get stuck in a food rut all I have to do is go on Google and there they are  plenty of vegan and vegetarian recipes for me to try.

Sometimes I'll try a recipe once and never go back to it. I had a disaster with a meat-free alfredo pasta and some cashews the other day which I'm still really disgruntled about; I had such high hopes.

Other recipes become a staple part of my diet, like the ones listed here. Generally I like wholesome, natural foods with lots of complementary flavours, although I can never normally resist an enormous bowl of mac 'n' cheese (my biggest weakness in this world, aside from petting strangers' dogs).

Today I'm sharing five of the best vegetarian recipes I've found and why I love them so much. Enjoy, and please feel free to leave links to your own favourites in the comments!

First Impressions: The Body Shop Almond Milk & Honey Range

Sunday, 2 April 2017

It's been a very long time since I bought anything from The Body Shop.

But the Almond Milk & Honey range caught my eye. Made especially for dry, sensitive skin, it's designed to relieve dryness, dehydration, and irritation, which sounds perfect for me right now. The skin on my body has been reacting to everything recently  it almost feels prickly at times  so anything that makes it feel comfortable is more than okay with me!

The almond milk in question is organic and sourced from Spain, while the Community Trade honey is from Ethiopia and has antibacterial properties.

I picked up a Cleansing Bar, £4, and a mini Shower Cream, £2.

The Body Shop Almond Milk & Honey Cleansing Bar

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