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Cruelty-Free First Impressions

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

True Love  I'd Buy It

Maggie Anne Nail Polish in Jasper (v), £10.50 for 11ml
Not too brown and not too pink, Jasper is an ideal everyday shade with impressive lasting power  it lasts almost a week on me. This is the perfect nude nail polish and it's so, so shiny.

Laidbare For Richer For Porer Pore Minimiser Facial Masque (v), £7.99 for 50ml
Some clarifying face masks can be too drying, and some hydrating face masks can be too rich for oily and combination skin. This one gets the balance just right, gentle exfoliating as it nourishes the skin. (I've yet to notice a difference in my pores, but then you can't change the size of your pores anyway.) I've used For Richer For Porer many times now and my skin always looks brighter the next day. And at £7.99, it won't break the bank.

Apple & Bears Luxury Body Silk in Bergamot & Green Tea (v), £22 for 250ml
Comparing your body lotion to silk is a bold move but it's justified in this instance. This is gorgeous, with a light texture that almost melts into the skin and leaves it hydrated and soft. I really like the bergamot scent, too. I'd consider investing in this next time I need a new body lotion.

Ooh! Oils of Heaven Natural Marula Replenishing Face Oil (v), £9.50 for 15ml
Marula oil contains plenty of Vitamin E and Vitamin C, and it's so, so moisturising. My skin feels really smooth after use and it's always comfortable and hydrated when I wake up the morning after. The smaller size is perfect for travel but I prefer the dropper that comes with the larger bottle because I get paranoid I'm going to spill it everywhere!

Hurraw! Papaya Pineapple Lip Balm (v), £4.99 for 4.3g
This lip balm smells amazing, like a fancy tropical cocktail. It leaves your lips feeling extra soft and there are no nasty ingredients, just lots of oils and butters (plus a little candelilla wax). What more could you want?

Weleda Skin Food, £10.95 for 75ml
This cult classic really does live up to the hype! I've been using it on my elbows, knees, and anywhere else that feels a bit dry and it always soothes the skin. Its texture is very thick but thankfully it's not greasy in the slightest. (Be aware that Skin Food contains peanut oil, so avoid it if you have nut allergies!)

LoveLula products

I Like It  You Might Love It

PHB Ethical Beauty Brightening Hand Cream with Neroli and Ylang Ylang (v), £10.95 for 50ml
This is light and moisturising, although not quite as heavy duty as I like my hand creams to be. I noticed a temporary brightening effect so I like to think this would develop over time. It wouldn't be my first choice of hand creams, but it's certainly a nice one to have at my disposal.

Greenfrog Botanic Body Wash Neroli & Lime (v), £8.80 for 300ml
This body wash smells lovely  it's the kind of scent that perks you up in the morning, thanks to the zesty, citrus smell of the lime  and it left my skin feeling clean.

Madara Multi-Action Micellar Water with Hyaluronic Acid (v), £14 for 100ml
A useful product but it's micellar water  I don't want to pay a lot of money for it when I only use it to tidy up my eyeliner. I do like that this one contains hyaluronic acid, though. If you use micellar water on a regular basis and want to invest in a nice one then this could definitely be an option.

Laidbare Pack Your Bags Lighten & Tighten Eye Cream (v), £7.99 for 30ml
I've featured this eye cream on the blog before so I was happy to have another tube in my stash. It doesn't feel too heavy on the delicate under-eye area and while it doesn't have a miracle effect on dark circles, it does make your skin feel incredibly soft and moisturised.

Balm Balm Rose Geranium Organic Face Balm, £8.95 for 30ml
This scented, multi-purpose balm melts down until it's more of an oil. It's very moisturising, perhaps a little too much for oily/combination skin, but the good thing is that despite the name, you don't have to use it solely on your face. It works wonders on dry areas like elbows and knees, cuticles, and even your feet.

LoveLula products

No Strong Feelings Either Way

REN Evercalm Global Protection Day Cream, £28 for 50ml
This isn't moisturising enough for me but someone with oilier skin might find it just right. (There are probably cheaper options out there, though.)

Seascape Island Apothecary Unwind Body Wash, £16 for 300ml
This foamy body wash has a lavender scent, so it's ideal for bedtime, but it's not a product I can see myself reaching for regularly.

I'm Never Using This Again

Kimberly Sayer Ultra Light Organic Facial Moisturiser SPF30, £26.50 for 120ml
My face felt pretty tight after I used this, although it was also very smooth, which was nice in an eerie sort of way. It's designed for oily and combination skin, which is very much my skin type, but it wasn't moisturising enough and my skin felt quite suffocated. Not for me.

John Masters Organics Evening Primrose Shampoo for Dry Hair, £17 for 237ml
This shampoo isn't suited to my hair type  it left it clean and shiny, but not for as long as I'd like (probably because my scalp is quite oily). My hair looked greasy less than a day after I'd washed it. It's such a shame, because the John Masters Rose & Apricot Hair Milk is one of my favourite hair products in existence.

So there you have it! It's difficult to pick an absolute favourite but if pushed I can narrow it down to three  the Maggie Anne nail polish, the Laidbare face mask and the Hurraw! Papaya Pineapple lip balm. Dreamy.

Have you ever tried the LoveLula beauty box before? What are your favourite ethical cruelty-free brands? Let me know in the comments!

(v) = vegan

Note: This post uses affiliate links and products were sent free of charge. As always, all words ad 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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