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So it's the last day of June, we're officially halfway through 2017, and the theory that time moves faster as you grow older seems to be correct, at least from my perspective. Anyone else?

This month I've flip-flopped between being super-motivated and not having the energy to write or engage with social media much. I say that  it's mainly been the latter. I'm just permanently tired, so I'm more than ready for my summer holidays. A break will be just the breather I need to refresh and refocus and I have lots of plans for new blog content.

Shall we get to it?

The Body Shop Vegan Base Products


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

So it's the last day of June, we're officially halfway through 2017, and the theory that time moves faster as you grow older seems to be correct, at least from my perspective. Anyone else?

This month I've flip-flopped between being super-motivated and not having the energy to write or engage with social media much. I say that  it's mainly been the latter. I'm just permanently tired, so I'm more than ready for my summer holidays. A break will be just the breather I need to refresh and refocus and I have lots of plans for new blog content.

Shall we get to it?

The Body Shop Vegan Base Products


I've made no secret of the fact I'd like to go vegan one day.

When I stopped eating meat last September I originally gave up dairy as well, before it became a bit too much trying to cut so many things out of my diet at once. A slow and steady approach works best for me, so I stopped eating meat, then stopped eating fish a few months later. I'm a vegetarian, but I try and use vegan alternatives wherever possible (I don't even remember the last time I drank milk that wasn't made from coconut or rice) but adopting a fully vegan diet isn't realistic right now. I'm doing as much as I can.

So I really, really don't like it when I see people  flexitarians, pescatarians, vegetarians etc  being criticized for not doing enough. It was an advert Liv shared on Twitter that inspired this post  something about a piglet not thinking that meat-free Mondays are worth it. And while I can see that side of the argument, if you've only just begun considering your intake of animal products and you need a place to start, seeing an advert like that probably isn't going to encourage you to take those first steps; it's going to make you wonder why you should bother in the first place.

If you're trying your best to lessen your impact, be it through making more vegetarian dishes at home or going completely vegan, then you should be applauded for making those decisions. Imagine if everyone did the same  it all adds up.

Green Smoothie

Veganism: Why I Don't Like The All Or Nothing Approach

I've made no secret of the fact I'd like to go vegan one day.

When I stopped eating meat last September I originally gave up dairy as well, before it became a bit too much trying to cut so many things out of my diet at once. A slow and steady approach works best for me, so I stopped eating meat, then stopped eating fish a few months later. I'm a vegetarian, but I try and use vegan alternatives wherever possible (I don't even remember the last time I drank milk that wasn't made from coconut or rice) but adopting a fully vegan diet isn't realistic right now. I'm doing as much as I can.

So I really, really don't like it when I see people  flexitarians, pescatarians, vegetarians etc  being criticized for not doing enough. It was an advert Liv shared on Twitter that inspired this post  something about a piglet not thinking that meat-free Mondays are worth it. And while I can see that side of the argument, if you've only just begun considering your intake of animal products and you need a place to start, seeing an advert like that probably isn't going to encourage you to take those first steps; it's going to make you wonder why you should bother in the first place.

If you're trying your best to lessen your impact, be it through making more vegetarian dishes at home or going completely vegan, then you should be applauded for making those decisions. Imagine if everyone did the same  it all adds up.

Green Smoothie

Well, the good news is that I haven't bought any beauty products yet.

The not-so-good news is that I've still given in and ordered Deliveroo a couple of times. But there's a reason for it, I swear! There have been some days when the choice was Deliveroo or don't eat, and I'm always going to choose food in that situation; I can't function without it.

Not the strong start I was hoping for, but a reasonable start all the same.

The Shoestring Chic Spending Ban

The Shoestring Chic Spending Ban: Weeks 1&2

Well, the good news is that I haven't bought any beauty products yet.

The not-so-good news is that I've still given in and ordered Deliveroo a couple of times. But there's a reason for it, I swear! There have been some days when the choice was Deliveroo or don't eat, and I'm always going to choose food in that situation; I can't function without it.

Not the strong start I was hoping for, but a reasonable start all the same.

The Shoestring Chic Spending Ban

Blush has gone from being a product I paid no attention to, to a make-up must-have.

Even if I can't be bothered to put anything else on my face (which is most days right now...) I always fill in my eyebrows and blend a dot of cream blush into the apples of my cheeks. The difference it makes to the way your face looks is undeniable  it creates a healthy glow, no matter how you're feeling.

Illamasqua's Cream Blush in Zygomatic is the first piece of high-end make-up I've treated myself to for a while. I've admired Illamasqua's ethos for a long time, particularly their anti-fascism pledge, and while their Skin Base Foundation wasn't quite right for me, I appreciate that such a well-known department store brand has plethora of vegan options available and is very open about it. (You can check out the vegan section of their website here.)

I had high hopes for the cream blush, so let's see what it's like..

Illamasqua Cream Blush in Zygomatic


Review: Illamasqua Cream Blush in Zygomatic

Blush has gone from being a product I paid no attention to, to a make-up must-have.

Even if I can't be bothered to put anything else on my face (which is most days right now...) I always fill in my eyebrows and blend a dot of cream blush into the apples of my cheeks. The difference it makes to the way your face looks is undeniable  it creates a healthy glow, no matter how you're feeling.

Illamasqua's Cream Blush in Zygomatic is the first piece of high-end make-up I've treated myself to for a while. I've admired Illamasqua's ethos for a long time, particularly their anti-fascism pledge, and while their Skin Base Foundation wasn't quite right for me, I appreciate that such a well-known department store brand has plethora of vegan options available and is very open about it. (You can check out the vegan section of their website here.)

I had high hopes for the cream blush, so let's see what it's like..

Illamasqua Cream Blush in Zygomatic


Self acceptance is something I've struggled with for as long as I can remember.

My insecurities have changed over the years, but they've always been there  I've worried that I'm too shy/too boring/not good enough/a crap writer and I've picked at so-called flaws like my nose (inherited from Grandma), the gaps in my teeth, and the way my voice sounds. (It ranges from anything between Hermione in The Philosopher's Stone to a strong Kentish dialect with missing letters.)

Like many of us, and many women in particular, I've spent more time than I care to admit feeling bad and even feeling guilty about the way I am, but I don't want to be sorry anymore. Looking after myself has become the priority it always should have been since I graduated last year and that includes (gradual) self acceptance, how difficult it might be.

Last month I read a wonderful blog post by Jasmin  8 Things I've Stopped Apologising For. It's a polite but brilliantly blunt list and it got me thinking about what my own would be. On Self Acceptance and Not Being Sorry was the result.

Beth vs bruschetta
Tackling the most garlicky bruschetta I've ever tasted in my life. I kept my distance from everyone for the rest of the day but it was most certainly worth it.

On Self Acceptance and Not Being Sorry

Self acceptance is something I've struggled with for as long as I can remember.

My insecurities have changed over the years, but they've always been there  I've worried that I'm too shy/too boring/not good enough/a crap writer and I've picked at so-called flaws like my nose (inherited from Grandma), the gaps in my teeth, and the way my voice sounds. (It ranges from anything between Hermione in The Philosopher's Stone to a strong Kentish dialect with missing letters.)

Like many of us, and many women in particular, I've spent more time than I care to admit feeling bad and even feeling guilty about the way I am, but I don't want to be sorry anymore. Looking after myself has become the priority it always should have been since I graduated last year and that includes (gradual) self acceptance, how difficult it might be.

Last month I read a wonderful blog post by Jasmin  8 Things I've Stopped Apologising For. It's a polite but brilliantly blunt list and it got me thinking about what my own would be. On Self Acceptance and Not Being Sorry was the result.

Beth vs bruschetta
Tackling the most garlicky bruschetta I've ever tasted in my life. I kept my distance from everyone for the rest of the day but it was most certainly worth it.

When someone mentions The Body Shop, I don't think of make-up. I think of body butters, soap, shower puffs, and skincare.

So when they got in touch with me to ask if I'd be interested in trying out some of their vegan make-up, I was pleasantly surprised and immediately said yes.

The Body Shop seem to be going back to their cruelty-free roots  I'm really hoping the rumours that L'Oreal will no longer be their parent company are true  and it's a welcome update.

[Edit: The day this post was published, L'Oreal announced they were in talks with Natura about selling The Body Shop, which is wonderful news!]

The Body Shop Vegan Lip Stains

Vegan Make-Up From The Body Shop

When someone mentions The Body Shop, I don't think of make-up. I think of body butters, soap, shower puffs, and skincare.

So when they got in touch with me to ask if I'd be interested in trying out some of their vegan make-up, I was pleasantly surprised and immediately said yes.

The Body Shop seem to be going back to their cruelty-free roots  I'm really hoping the rumours that L'Oreal will no longer be their parent company are true  and it's a welcome update.

[Edit: The day this post was published, L'Oreal announced they were in talks with Natura about selling The Body Shop, which is wonderful news!]

The Body Shop Vegan Lip Stains

Turns out this eco-friendly thing can be pretty overwhelming.

Last month I decided I was going to make a conscious effort to be less wasteful in everyday life, which is a decision I'm proud of, but where to begin?!

In the end I decided to start where I'm most comfortable  beauty products  and when I saw some sustainable bathroom essentials by Preserve on LoveLula, I couldn't resist trying them out.

Preserve Products

Eco-Friendly Beauty: Bathroom Essentials from Preserve

Turns out this eco-friendly thing can be pretty overwhelming.

Last month I decided I was going to make a conscious effort to be less wasteful in everyday life, which is a decision I'm proud of, but where to begin?!

In the end I decided to start where I'm most comfortable  beauty products  and when I saw some sustainable bathroom essentials by Preserve on LoveLula, I couldn't resist trying them out.

Preserve Products

I'm on a six-week spending ban.

I'm still reading up on minimalism and slowly trying to incorporate it into my everyday life, and this change of approach happened to coincide perfectly with Charlotte of Shoestring Chic's spending ban challenge.

So I thought: what if I use the spending ban as a way of weeding out what's not important? By taking note of the impulse buys my brain is tempted by, I can figure out how to stop them, save my money, and become less wasteful, all in one. (That's the plan, anyway.)



Minimalism and the Shoestring Chic Spending Ban

I'm on a six-week spending ban.

I'm still reading up on minimalism and slowly trying to incorporate it into my everyday life, and this change of approach happened to coincide perfectly with Charlotte of Shoestring Chic's spending ban challenge.

So I thought: what if I use the spending ban as a way of weeding out what's not important? By taking note of the impulse buys my brain is tempted by, I can figure out how to stop them, save my money, and become less wasteful, all in one. (That's the plan, anyway.)



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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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