The Vegan Kind November Beauty Box Review

Okay so I’ve still not got the lifestyle box think it’s going to be my new year’s resolution to get it. I am still loving the beauty boxes. I love how many different products and brands you get in the box and I’m still surprised by how many new brands I discover through the box.

Dr Organic tropical invigorating cream – I have never heard of this brand before being honest this is the product I’ve used the least just because I have a few moisturisers that need using up. This feels very lightweight, so I have been using it in the morning. It sinks into the skin quickly and has a lovely smell. The thing I like most about this product is the packaging. You squeeze the product out rather than putting your fingers into a pot which makes it very hygienic!


Noughty To the Rescue Hair mask – The size of this product is amazing I will definitely get a lot of use out of this. I love a good hair mask nothing feels better than having soft hair.  This is an intense hydrating mask for dry/frizzy hair. I only use a very small amount of this and leave it in for a maximum ten minutes as it is so hydrating if it was left on any longer on my type of hair I think it would weigh it down. If you have dry hair you need this mask.


Fruu Colour Balm – This a very cute little lip balm. Nice and handy for travelling and when you’re out and about. The best thing about this is the smell. It’s like watermelon and makes me want to eat it off my lips!  For a tinted balm the colour is quite strong which I like. I have been wearing this a lot on no makeup/ minimal makeup days to add a bit of colour to my complexion. If you’re looking for a lip balm that is super hydrating and repairing this is probably not going to be your product. It smooths onto the lips lovely and feels great all day, but my lips are quite dry and cracked from the weather and I didn’t find this helped repair my lips.


Bella Peirre illuminator Excite- I was so excited when I saw this product in the box. Bella Peirre is a brand I’ve been looking at for a while but have never purchased anything before. I am a little unsure of what this product actually is. Its either an eye shadow or a highlighter but I’ve been using it as both. This a little more on the silver side than I’m used to as I always wear more gold tones, but I have really enjoyed this product. This highlighter/eyeshadow whatever it is, is blinding. It’s so glittery and metallic it’s pretty much glow in the dark. This product will last you a long time as a little goes such a long way. I can’t wait to wear this more in the run up to Christmas as its very party appropriate.


Maggie Anne nail polish Suzie – In my first TVK beauty box I received the Maggie Anne nail polish remover which I absolutely love and still use at the moment. I have bought two nail polishes from them since and a top coat. I’m never disappointed with the products and really love the brand. When I saw the nail polish colour in the box this month I was a little disappointed. It was red, yay I love red but it had a metallic shimmer to it which I really don’t like. I usually always wear plain colours. I decided to give it a go and try the colour and actually really like it. It’s a very festive Christmassy colour and I  got a few compliments on this! I Can’t wait to wear this colour and the Bella Peire illuminator at Christmas time think they will be the perfect combination.


Ashley xx


Thoughts on shopping cruelty free

Roughly just over a year ago I completely stopped buying from companies that tested on animals. I can’t really remember how I started considering the practice of animal testing, I just remembered hearing things like Max Factor and L’Oreal test on animals and decided to look further into it. You would think animal testing is a black and white subject. Number one, why do you test on animals and number two, it will be clear what brands do test and what brands don’t.

As I said its been roughly a year that I’ve tried to shop cruelty free and its definitely far from black and white. The grey areas in what brands are cruelty free and what aren’t and the motives for testing are at times very confusing. Firstly, why do brands test? I thought this would be simple, that they tested on animals to make sure the products were safe for humans. Obviously, this is completely unnecessary for so many reasons. However, from the research I have done and the statements I have read from companies on animal testing it seems to me that the reason a lot of cosmetic brands test is because law requires it, a law made in China in particular.

You can’t sell products in China without them being tested on animals, this is why so many big companies that sell products in China state that they only test if it’s required by law. To me it all boils down to money. If brands didn’t sell in China they would lose money, and therefore they must test. This is just ridiculous. I don’t understand why humans think it’s acceptable to exploit animals in all the ways they do. Recently one of my favourite brands Nars, who have been well known as a cruelty free brand for years, started selling their products in China. The backlash they received was incredible resulting in them in making a laughable statement to their reasons for selling in China. To put it bluntly, they SOLD OUT.

Finding out if a brand is cruelty free or not can be very confusing. The language used by companies that do test is misleading and any brand can say that they are cruelty free even though there is no evidence that they are. They might not test their products, but they don’t know whether the ingredients used have been tested meaning their third parties aren’t cruelty free. As I said it can get quite confusing. The best tips I have found for shopping cruelty free is using websites like Logical Harmony which has a massive list of brands that do and do not test and looking out for Leaping Bunny certificates/PETA approved. Also, if you’re not sure you can email the companies yourself which I have done a few times just make sure they are clear about not selling in china and they know their manufacturers/third parties don’t test.

So, once you know a brand is cruelty free surely the confusion stops there? Not quite. A lot of brands are owned by a parent company which owns multiple other brands. For example, Estee Lauder owns Clinique, Jo Malone, Too Faced etc. L’Oreal owns Armani Beauty, Urban Decay etc. If you look at Too Face and Urban Decay both are Logical Harmony approved cruelty free brands but are owned by companies that test. Should you buy from these brands? This is something that’s troubled me for a while and I’m still not sure on my thoughts on it.  A few months ago, I got a job at Bare Minerals. I love my job working at a makeup counter. I love meeting new people every day and talking about products I love. When I got the job at Bare Minerals I was so pleased to be working for one of the few cruelty free counter brands. However, Bare Minerals is owned by Shisedo which is a company that tests.

Recently Hourglass was bought over by Unilever, another company that tests, but Hourglass is cruelty free and has also announced its plans to make only vegan makeup which I think is amazing. Talking about Unilever, they own Ben and Jerry’s ice cream which has just launched vegan ice cream in the UK. Here’s where the confusion for me starts; I want to support cruelty free brands and support their new vegan launches but that may result in me given part of my money to a brand that tests. For now I’ve decided to support all cruelty free brands despite their parent companies. If a brand like Hourglass or Too Faced decided to launch more vegan products I definitely want to be able to support this.

Looking at my makeup now, I have one last product from a brand that tests on animals, Benefits erase paste (this stuff has literally lasted years). It’s on its last few uses and I’m excited to replace it with a corrector from a cruelty free brand. Most of the makeup I am using now is vegan and from now on I am only buying vegan products. Despite the research needed for shopping for cruelty free products I won’t go back to using anything from a brand that tests. Using guides like Logical Harmony and knowing how to word emails to find out if the brand tests have made it pretty easy. I love all the new brands I’ve discovered through Instagram and I am super excited to see the rise of brands deciding not to test!

Ashley xx

What I bought at Charlotte Tilbury

What’s your favourite make up brand? If I had to answer that question it would probably be Charlotte Tilbury. The brand is the full package for me. Great products, fabulous packaging and clear passion for the brand from the owner herself. The brand isn’t owned by a parent company meaning its totally cruelty free and there is a long list on logical harmony of vegan products. Win win. I can’t remember how I first discovered the brand but I do remember sitting one night watching all ten youtube videos of her doing the full looks of dolce vita, golden goddess etc. I then spent days scrolling through the website reading about who the different looks were inspired by, where the dolce vita would go on holiday or what the rebel would wear. I was so hooked and totally bought into these personality’s she had created for her brand.When I heard the news a counter was being put in house of Frasers in Glasgow I was so excited. Going into the counter it feels like the set of an old Hollywood movie.


When I was in London I knew I had to go to the boutique in Covent gardens. The first item I picked up was the new instant eye shadow pallet. Rewind a few years ago to myself at the age of 16-18 and I couldn’t leave the house without eye shadow, black eye shadow at that. 19 to 20 it might now have been as dark and heavy but I still always had eye shadow on. Whenever doing my makeup I have always put so much focus on my eyes. Iv had every naked pallet and used to really enjoy lifting my eye and making them more almond shape and sultry with eye shadow. However as I’v got older I’v not felt the need for anything on my eyes and begun wearing less and less. Doing some research into eye shadow I found that so many pallets aren’t vegan as they have carmine in them (crushed beetle most commonly found in red shades). My interest in shadows had pretty much dwindled until I seen some press on this new pallet. The shades looked so pretty and I love how if you cant think of anything to do that day the shades are pretty much paint by numbers. But of course it probably wasn’t going to be vegan. One night I decided to humor myself and put the ingredients in vegan double checker and was surprised to to not see any red flags only things that could potentially not be vegan. I decided to email them and got a quick reply from customer service confirming the pallet is vegan. Yaaaaayyyy. I snatched it up in the boutique absolutely no regrets despite the price!

The other two products I picked up wear cream eye shadows. I rarely use eye shadow primer and instead opt for a cream shadow as I feel it gives a lovely sheen under the shadows and if the shadow fades you know the cream will be there. I used to use a teeny pot of bikini tini from benefit and a maybeline bronzey colour tattoo pot. I have been eyeing up eyes to mesmerize for a while and decided it was time to treat yo self. I got a nice light sparkly shade perfect for every day to brighten the eyes and a bronzey shade for the perfect everyday smokey eye.

Check out my Instagram to see selfies of how im wearing the pallet and eye creams!

Ashley xx

Vegan Kind Beauty Box Review


So this is my second beauty box from the vegan kind and I am so happy I decided to get the beauty box subscription. Whenever I see the lifestyle box being posted it looks amazing and I am always jealous so I’m seriously considering getting both! If you don’t know what the vegan kind is or anything about the subscription boxes I have explained them more in my last review a few months ago!


Chirp body hair mask – This was the first product I used in the box, it’s a lovely hydrating mask made up of natural oils. You apply to dry hair relax for half an hour and then wash out as normal. Make sure when you are applying this you’re in the bathroom or have a towel nearby. I stupidly started applying this in my room and didn’t realise how runny it would be and got it everywhere. When I washed this out I felt my hair could have went without conditioner as it was feeling really soft already, I applied a little conditioner anyway just as I have so much hair it helps if its soft when I brush it through.  Once my hair was dry it was hydrated and shiny and was so easy to style afterward. I usually use coconut oil as a hair mask but I feel like this was a lot easier to wash out and lighter in my hair!


Figs and Rouge face and body cream – This has been one of my go to products lately as it works for both the face and body its really handy to have in your soap bag. This cut down space in my holiday bag as I didn’t need to take two separate moisturisers for face and body. It has a nice subtle smell to it but nothing too strong which is nice when putting it on the face. This also has hyaluronic acid in it which I believe keeps the skin plump and hydrated, this would be great for people with dry skin.


Zerreau towel of body wash – I wasn’t a massive fan of their towel off shampoo which I got in the last box but I gave it to my mum and she really liked it! This body wash was great when I was on holiday and got hot in the heat and just wanted to quickly freshen up before dinner. Just apply to areas where you want a little freshness and towel off. I think this would be fab if you went to the gym and also would be ideal for festivals!


Faith in nature Shampoo – This shampoo smells lovely and coconutty one of my favourite scents. I found this really moisturising in my hair, would be amazing to try if you had dry hair. Faith in nature products are pretty easy to get in the UK as I’m sure they are sold in Holland and Barret.


Tisserand Happy roller ball– I have used Tisserand deodorant before, it had a lovely rose smell to it. I was excited to see one of their products in the beauty box. I have never used a roller ball before but have seen lots of good things about them, this had an amazing citrussy smell and complemented the eden perfume no.17 I have been wearing. I do think the scent brightened my mood and made me happy whenever I applied!


Eden Daisy 309 perfume – Eden is a cruelty free vegan perfume brand based in Brighton. I first saw their products at vegan festival at the end of last year and ever since discovering them I have been beyond obsessed. If you’re going to take the step to only buy cruelty free products start with Eden perfumes they have lots of scents similar to big brand perfumes but for half the price.  The sample size in the box is like Marc Jacobs Daisy, its a very light floral woody smell. I don’t think anyone wouldn’t like the smell as it’s not too over powering. I was so happy to get this in my box and definitely recommend checking the brand out!

Ashley xx

Why I use Synthetic Brushes

The tools you apply your make up with are equally as important as the quality of product you use. We all have that favourite brush that never fails to blend or create the perfect flick for your eyeliner. Makeup brushes typically come in two different types of bristles, natural bristle haired brushes and synthetic brushes. So what is the difference between natural bristle brushes to synthetic bristle brushes?

Natural bristles are made with animal hair typically from squirrels, minks and horses. Natural haired brushes have their pros, there usually very soft and great for application of powders and blending. There are quite a few cruelty free company’s such as bare minerals and too faced that have natural bristle brushes in their collection. So, is using animal brushes from cruelty free company’s okay?  Over the past few years mink lashes have risen in popularity and many brands have claimed no minks are hurt in the process. Minks are naturally not tame animals and the same can be said for squirrels. The amount of demand for these mink lashes and animal brushes is massive therefor trying to get the fur of millions of naturally un tame animals is not going to be an easy job and we can probably rule out that no cruelty is involved.  So even if the brand themselves don’t test and do try to get the fur from a good source it’s a massive probability that cruelty to the mink/squirrel was involved. No matter how soft a brush is I don’t think the risk of harming animals is worth it. I view animal hair in brushes the exact same way I view using it for clothes. Its just unnecessary. There are other cons for natural bristle brushes, they are usually more expensive and if they are cheaper their probably not going to be the best quality. Over time natural bristles can lose their shape from washing etc which is not great if its for a specific use like contouring etc.


Synthetic brushes are made from man made materials. There are many pros of using synthetic brushes. Makeup is everywhere right now and everyone is a makeup artist, youtube and Instagram have opened the door to millions of brands, products and tips and tricks for applying everything, meaning lots of brands have had to up their game to deal with all the competition.  This has resulted in lots of great brands coming out with quality synthetic brushes, spectrum, real techniques and Zoeva to name a few. All my synthetic brushes work just as well any natural bristle brushes I have owned. All the brushes I have owned from these brands are super soft and great with powders and liquids. Real technique brushes are all synthetic and the easiest to access in the UK being sold in pretty much all boots and superdrugs. Synthetic brushes are usually more affordable as well being a student this is a massive plus for me! I also find that when I wash my synthetic brushes they stay in great shape. I am always going to buy synthetic brushes now over natural bristles as the quality of them now is so great and the price is usually better.


My Sythenic makeup brush recommendations –

For professionals – Zoeva are fantastic quality and were recommended to my fashion makeup class at the start of the year as the brushes to buy for the quality and price. Zoeva is what I use in my kit and you can get great core collections at a reasonable price. They also come in nice plain colours which I like to use in my kit as I think it looks more professional.


For personal use – Specturm brushes are fantastic quality you can get great core collections as well for a great price but they also come in crazy and beautiful colours. I have the original mermaid brushes and they look gorgeous on the top of my drawers!


For beginners – Nanshy brushes have an amazing set for around £50 it comes with pretty much most brushes you will need and I find them really easy to use there maybe not as soft as zoeva and spectrum but the shape of all their brushes are great making them easy to apply product with.

What I bought In Boots|Cruelty Free

I was in shopping in Boots earlier this month and picked up a few great cruelty free products. Shopping for cruelty free items is extremely easy! You would be surprised how many large high street brands stock a variety of cruelty free products!
The first product I picked up was dry shampoo. I can’t live without dry shampoo, I have really long hair and I am so guilty of leaving washing it until I absolutely need to. So I got myself some dry shampoo by Batiste, batiste is cruelty free and their dry shampoo is also vegan! This product is fairly cheap and easy to get in most stores, There is a number of different great scents I bought the tropical scent as it was reminds me of summer.
Another product I can’t live without is fake lashes. I don’t feel right if I’m out for a special occasion or night out without fake lashes! A lot of eyelash brands are cruelty free, Yay! Ardell Demi Wispies are a great set for natural looking lashes. I bought the normal wispie ones which are slightly longer than the demi wispies but still really natural. I love how the lash band is clear it makes them easier to apply. I also got two pairs from eyelure including a set of the new Cheryl Cole lashes in the style belle of the ball. These are very dramatic so I will save these for when my eye makeup is slightly heavier. The last pair I got from eyelure were from their new enchanted collection the style was called jasmine and that’s what attracted me to them as I love the smell of jasmine! These lashes have turned out to be my new favourites they give lots of volume and Iv had so many people complimenting them!
Yes To is a cruelty free skincare brand found in boots I’v used their cucumber face wash before and loved how gentle it was on my skin and the smell was great too. I was at a wedding recently and decided to get one of their new face masks to prep my skin the night before the wedding. I got the Yes To grapefruit brightening mask. It’s a two step product where you use the facial scrub first to buff away dead skin and then the brightening mask to give your skin a glow. This smelled great and made my skin super smooth and perfect to apply makeup on after.
I picked up a few essentials whilst I was there. For me hand moisturizer is an essential   as my hands can get very dry as I am either washing them or sanitising them before applying makeup on people for work so they can dry out easily. The soap and glory hand food is really nourishing and smells fabulous! I also got body wash. This body wash by the brand original source is amazing! They come in a variety of scents that all smell delicious and are all vegan to. I got the sweet apple and vanilla milk one its really sweat and I love the pink colour in my bathroom. You can usually get original source on offer for a pound in a number of stores. I’d definitely recommend choosing a cruelty free brand when it’s so easy to get and cheap!
Finally I got two lip products, I’ve been looking into dupes for mac lip liner in spice and this Nyx lip liner in the shade Ever kept coming up. The lip liner cost less than three pounds, applies easy and the colour looks pretty much the same from what I can see online.  I love when you find a cruelty free dupe that is also really affordable. In Boots they have lots of beauty counters. The one make up counter that is cruelty free is Bare minerals. I treated myself to this lipstick from Bare Minerals in the shade Sex Pot. It’s a great beige nude and lovely and moisturizing on the lip. The lip liner and lipstick go great together and work well to make your lips look bigger!

Vegan Kind Beauty Box Review

I recently received The Vegan Kinds Beauty box. I have been wanting to try their beauty boxes for ages and can say I was defiantly not disappointed.
The Vegan Kind started in 2013 providing subscription boxes filled with vegan goodies which has now grown into an online vegan supermarket. I discovered TVK through Instagram and it has been a massive help since I have become vegan in discovering new products!  For me Instagram has been the best source for discovering accounts like TVK and vegan makeup / clothing brands etc.  The Vegan kind do two subscription boxes a lifestyle box and a beauty box and here is my review on the beauty box!

Amie, Deep Pore Exfoliating Polish – I recently went on holiday where my forehead got seriously burned, lesson learned factor 50 from now on! When my skin began to peel I found this product amazing at buffing away the dead skin while still being gentle enough on the sensitive skin. The directions advise for this to be used twice a week. I use this on a weekday and before I go on a night out! I l love using the body shop charcoal mask before a night out so my skin looks great and the makeup applies smoother. However, that can make your skin very red after use and I find the Amie polish works the same without making your skin red! This stuff also smells delicious, it reminds me of solero ice lollies making it super summery! I would definitely buy this again and have checked the price on Amie’s website at £5.95 its super affordable!

Maggie Anne Beauty, Strawberry and Grape Nail polish remover – The smell of this product is driving me insane. It smells so familiar but I can’t figure out what it smells like! Apart from giving me deja vu the smell is lovely and fresh much better than the typical chemical smells of ordinary nail polish remover. This has easily removed all nail polishes I have worn including reds and shimmers! It doesn’t dry your nails and fingers out the way I’m used to with other removers! I’ve been on the Maggie Anne beauty’s website and would re purchase and would love to try some nail polishes, I have my eye on the colour grace a lovely summery pink.


Zerreau Towel off Shampoo – This is a dry shampoo foam that you work into your hair like a hair mouse the foam lifts grease and product build up and you then towel dry your hair to remove the product. This unfortunately didn’t work great in my hair. I have very dark hair and lots of it so when I applied this and toweled it of I could still see residue in my hair which almost made it look greasier, not ideal. I used this a few times and found the best way to apply was directly onto your hands and then work into small sections of the hair. This had an amazing coconut smell and I would defiantly recommend to people that find typical dry shampoos like batiste to harsh and drying on your scalp this would be a great alternative.
Phb ethical beauty all in one mascara – I am very picky with mascaras I usually avoid fat fluffy brushes with wet formulas.  I like thin plastic brushes as I typically find they catch all your lashes easier.  However, this has quickly become one of my favourite beauty products at the moment. This product is amazing! It coats all my lashes and the colour is super black! It makes them look fuller and fluffier but still gives them length which I like. It can get a little messy and maybe isn’t ideal for lower lashes but I really don’t care about that as I’ve found it so great at giving me huge lashes! This claims to be water resistant and this is very true not once have I ever had smudging with this mascara but it’s still very easy to remove and doesn’t take all your lashes with it when removing! I can’t believe this is made with natural ingredients as it performs so well, its made with botanical oils that are supposed to strengthen and lengthen your lashes. Iv defiantly noticed my lashes have been stronger since using this. I usually have gaps where lashes have fallen out but haven’t noticed that recently! I will defiantly re purchase! This has a mid-range price tag at £15.95 but I believe its worth it!

Aquaesse Equilibrium water – This is a very smart little product. Its water with vitamin B12 added to it. B12 is something most commonly found in animal products so when going vegetarian or vegan make sure you consider how to incorporate the vitamin into your diet. I usually take B12 tablets or multi vitamins with B12 in it. Another great source is fortified cereals! This product however is a 2 in 1 as it also hydrates you! it tastes just like water and the pink colour is so pretty.  It comes in a lovely glass bottle which I’m going to keep and use as a vase.


Vita Coca coconut oil – Finally in the box you get a sample size of coconut oil. I already have the larger jar of this so will bring the coconut oil sample the next time I travel. I don’t have enough good things to say about coconut oil. This is the product I would take with me to desert island I used it for everything! I used it too cook with. And basically, for all beauty needs! If you’re not on the coconut oil band wagon yet where have you been?