I have naturally dark hair and sallow skin you would think I would tan just by looking at the sun but that’s not quite the case. I’ve never really had a natural tan, I’ve caught the sun a little on my shoulders, hips and tops of my feet before but that’s honestly been the extent of my natural tan. This year I wanted to change that, this year I was going to get a full deep body tan. I was determined. I was going on holiday in May and I had visions of my fake tan free, golden skin in the sun. Before my holiday I started using sun beds, it did give me a little colour before going on holiday but I defiantly think it over exposed my skin to uv rays. On the first day of my holiday my determination to carry on getting that glow was strong. I lay out with no sun protection in the mid-day heat for hours. I came home with a red face and thought nothing of it. Until over the course of my holiday my face, particularly my forehead began to swell, on the last day it was so bad one of my eyes had swelled shut. This was my first experience of proper sun burn and has defiantly made me wise up on the damaging effects of the sun and UV rays.
In a little over a weeks’ time I’m jetting off again to sunnier, hotter weather and I have become very conscious of protecting my skin. The first step I am taking in my sun protection mission is simple, I have bought a hat. My hair as I said before is naturally really dark and acts as its own sun trap. On holiday, my head is always roasting so I don’t know why I’ve never thought about getting a hat before. I got a nice simple straw fedora style hat, the material will be nice and light and the brim of the hat will hopefully keep my face sheltered from the sun.
The second step I’ve taken to keep my skin protected is sun screen. I’ve always had mixed feelings about sun screen. Years ago, somebody said to me that sunscreen is bad for you and that has always stuck in my head so I decided to have a look into sunscreen. There are two different types of sunscreen Chemical sunscreen and mineral sunscreen. Let’s first talk about the chemical option. Chemical sunscreen works by the chemicals being absorbed into your skin. They include a lot of chemical ingredients such as avobenzone, oxybenzone and octocrylene. For me I feel a bit odd about that all being absorbed into my skin and have read a few articles about the dangers of these chemicals in the skin being linked to risks of cancers etc.
The second option is mineral sunscreen, this works by acting as a mirror and reflects the sun rays of your skin. The main ingredients in this are usually Zinc oxcide and titanium dioxide. Generally, because these ingredients are more natural they are going to be gentler on the skin better for sensitive skin etc and the way they work appeals to me more by acting as a reflection rather than being absorbed by the skin.
After the research, I’ve done and the number of different articles I’ve read I decided to go for a mineral sunscreen. Of course, it had to be cruelty free so instead of searching through the high st I decided to go online to buy. I have been scrolling through naturisimo for around a year now it has lots of brands from all things beauty to clothes and nutrion. All cruelty free and many natural and vegan options too. I came across Jason mineral sunscreen spf 30. I bought Jason sunscreen last year the chemical option as I wasn’t aware of the differences. This has no smell and doesn’t have a sticky feel to it! Hopefully I can get some sort of colour on holiday but still stay protected! defiantly won’t be lying out for hours again. Lesson has been learned!
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.
I love when you smell something and it instantly takes you back to a memory. Like when you step out of an airport and there is that familiar smell of being on holiday. The way things smell has always been important to me, I always like to have my perfume smelling of the season we are in as well as my body wash and candles. I love wearing light florally fragrances in the spring and when it gets colder wearing something more musky and rich. One of my favourite things at Christmas is getting Christmas yankee candles! This summer I have some body products, perfume and candles that I have loved and have really got me in the summer spirit.
I bought a candle from Harpers Candles after seeing them in a recent Vegan kind lifestyle box. I decided to go for the scent “A slice of Paradise” which is a mix of coconut and mango. The smell is subtle, not too over powering it has a really warm coconut smell and reminds me of sunscreen. I really like how the candle had two wicks, it helped it to burn better, I’d love to try some more of their candles!
I was recently in the body shop and picked up a few great items. The body shop has recently been bought by a Brazilian company Natura. Natura themselves is a cruelty free brand meaning the body shop will no longer be under a parent company that tests on animals. I know a lot of people have issues with parent companies so this will be great news to many! Whilst I was in the Body Shop I got a new body wash and body butter. They are both in the same scent Indian night Jasmine, both smell absolutely incredible and I’m obsessed. Jasmine is overall probably my favourite scent it’s a sweet and musky smell. I look forward to smelling these after they are on my skin. The smell lasts all day and is great for both day and night.
I’ve mentioned before how Instagram is the best source for finding great cruelty free companies, a few months ago when I was doing my nightly scroll through Instagram I came across Eden Perfumes. Eden perfumes are a brand based in Brighton, all their perfumes are cruelty free and vegan and if that doesn’t sound amazing already all their perfumes are at the small cost of £18 that’s inclucding post and packaging for 30ml! They make most of their perfumes to smell similar to big brand perfumes like Channel and Dior etc. On their website if you type in for example Channel No5 it will come up with their alternative! I think Eden perfumes has been the best thing I have discovered all year I have been raving about them to all my friends and family. I first bought their alternative of black opium and got so many complaints with so many people not knowing the difference between the two! For summer, I decided to try something different so I bought their version of Dolce and Gabbana Light Blue. Light blue isn’t something id typically go for as it’s a light citrus scent and I prefer more heavy and floral. However, I am so glad I went for this it smells amazing and absolutely perfect for summer. It doesn’t smell chemically at all just super fresh and summery! Layered on top of the jasmine body wash and butter this makes the ultimate summer Scent!
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?