Wednesday, 13 August 2014

The Vegan Kind #TVK10 Unboxing


Not one, but TWO offerings from The Vegan Kind this month!! Last week I brought you the contents of their debut beauty box and now I'm back with an unboxing of their August #TVK10 box. Regular readers will know that I love getting my TVK boxes every month. They've been a real treat and introduced me to a whole world of new, cruelty free products and treats. 


For those not in the know, The Vegan Kind were the first to offer a 100% vegan monthly subscription box service in the UK and they're now onto their 10th box! It's been a pleasure to watch their business grow with more and more vegan (and non vegan) subscribers every month. It really is a great way to introduce more cruelty-free, eco friendly and wholesome products into your life and discover just how delicious vegan treats can be. This month's box, for me, is one huge snack attack! Here's the run down of what's in the box...





I'm munching on my bag of Sweet & Salty Propercorn as I type. I've had a bit of an addiction to this for a long time so was delighted to find my favourite snack when I opened the box. This box is all about the snacks. There are also strawberry flavour Freedom Mallows, which I have been keen to try for quite a while, a Pulsin Vanilla Choc Chip protein bar (remember how much I loved the Pulsin Brownie I got in my first ever TVK box) and some super-healthy Nothing But Mange Tout and Red Pepper snacks. Literally, all they are is dehydrated veggies so it's actually one of your 5-a-day! 

The two non-food items in the box have got me very excited indeed. I have so much trouble sourcing cruelty free laundry detergents so I'm over the moon with the Living Naturally soapnut laundry tabs. These are a world first product and are organic, hypoallergenic and completely biodegradable. Yay for the planet!! And how cute is this "Fuelled by Compassion" wristband from TeenVGN? They even matched the colour perfectly with my blog theme hehe. TeenVGN are an amazing vegan youth organisation aimed at helping compassionate young people connect with each other and inspire others. 

*****

This month's TVK featured charity is Nut House Hen Rescue who, since opening their coop in 2011, have rescued almost 5000 ex battery hens. TVK are a wonderful, compassionate company who also have great fun on social media so make sure you connect with them on Facebook and Twitter

For more info and to subscribe to The Vegan Kind, visit
www.thevegankind.com




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Sunday, 10 August 2014

The Month In Manicures - July/August 2014


Hello beauty seekers! First off, apologies that the quality of the photos for this post may be slightly under par. I'm hurrying to try and schedule a couple of posts for while I'm away next week and this was a last minute addition with photos snapped on my phone. I haven't done a Month in Manicures post in AGES because my nails have been going through a bit of a difficult phase, but they've started to improve now so over the latter part of July and beginning of this month I've been painting them with pride once again. So this is a kind of mid-month edition. As always, these polishes are featured in chronological order with oldest first...



1) Nails Inc 'Sheraton Street'

You've all seen this one before on this blog and you know how much I adore it. It's my dream pale blue polish so, of course, it was my first choice when the time came to start painting my nails again after a little break. I got this as part of their In The Nude colour collection at the beginning of this year and I've been getting use out of all the shades, but this one is my secret favourite. 

2) Barry M Limited Edition Nail Paint (no shade name)

I have such a love/hate relationship with this polish. I picked it up as a freebie last summer as part of a Superdrug promotion and was instantly sold on the acidic, neon green. As beautiful as the shade is, it's a BUGGER to apply and stains quite badly, even with basecoat. For some reason though, I still can't resist it when the weather is as glorious as it has been recently. Neons are mandatory at this time of year!



3) Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine 'Dragonfruit'

I hardly ever go for pink on my nails. Not sure why, but it's just not my favourite shade to paint them any more. I think I spent so much time as a teenager painting my nails nothing but pink that I just went off it. However, I felt like something different last week and plumped for Dragonfruit, finished off with Barry M's new matte topcoat. 

4) Mavala 'Bamako'*

Another summer favourite from last year brings us bang up to date. Also a continuation of the summery green theme, but entirely different from the Barry M polish above. This shade is a deeper take on the aqua green polish trend (Barry M Greenberry and suchlike) and is almost earthy whilst retaining just the right amount of bright for summer. I've fallen in love with it all over again!

*****

It feels brilliant to be out of my nail-painting slump! My nails are such that they stay long and strong and gorgeous for so long, then after a period they all seem to break at the same time and go through a sad phase. I think I'm over the worst now and praying they will be back in all their former glory in time for Autumn so that I can bust out all of my berry and neutral shades once more. 

What colours are you wearing on your nails lately??


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Thursday, 7 August 2014

MUA Luxe Velvet Lip Lacquer


Matte lips are EVERYWHERE on the high street at the moment! It seems that every drugstore brand has taken their cue from Limecrime and brought out their own take on the velvet, matte lip. I'm a huge fan of the Limecrime Velvetines, however, my bank account really isn't. Imagine my joy one afternoon, mooching around in Superdrug (a regular occurrence for me) and spotting the MUA Luxe Velvet Lip Lacquers on 3 for 2! After a little studying of ingredients, I deemed them vegan friendly and picked up one of each shade they had in stock...


These really are a great budget option if you're looking for a long-lasting matte lip. Very easy to apply and, once dry, perfectly matte. The longevity is fantastic as well. One tip though... I did find that after several hours, it did become a little 'grainy' on my lips but this was fixed by a quick wipe with a tissue followed by a touch up. The swatches below might as well have been a tattoo. It took washing up liquid and a scourer to shift those badboys once they had dried! As you'll see, the pigmentation is fantastic and the colours range from raspberry red, to hot pink, to nude. There's even a Limecrime dupe in there (more on that in a future comparison post).

  L-R: Halcyon, Atomic, Reckless, Funk


The only lip swatch I did was for Halcyon, which is a nude shade that can't seem to decide whether it is pink or peachy in tone. Depends on the light I suppose. It's definitely the one I've been wearing most and is extremely versatile. I think if I'd tried to lip swatch them all, my lips would have been raw. They really do take some removing! This isn't even all of the shades. There are nine in total (really rather gutted I haven't been able to get my hands on the purple shade). 

These lip colours are great for summer as you can just apply it and forget about it for hours and because they're matte, they're not going to melt off your lips at the faintest hint of heat. I'd say they're worth every penny of the £3 price tag and a very worthy budget competitor for the higher end versions. 

Check out the full shade range and shop MUA online at
muastore.co.uk


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Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Summer of Skincare


This post was supposed to be a July Favourites... but when I got to picking out the products, they turned out to ALL be skincare. So now it has evolved into yet another summer skincare round-up. I posted a summer skincare post a little while ago with a few new products I'd acquired, but my skin is being so evil just lately that I seem to have switched everything up again. I've discovered even more new products and repurchased a couple of older favourites. I think I'm finally onto something here as my skin is finally starting to behave itself again! 


Amie Skincare 'Morning Light' Hydrating Moisturiser

Whenever Amie bring out a new moisturiser I just have to have it and, as this one is a hydrating day cream, I knew I had to give it a whirl. I'm a huge fan of their mattifying moisturiser as well as their Skin Shield. This one doesn't have the SPF that Skin Shield has but my skin has been so smooth and touchable (without getting greasy) when I've used it, that I can forgive it. Amie products are affordable, cruelty free and suitable for vegetarians and vegans. Full review coming soon!

Superdrug 5-in-1 Skin Perfecting BB Cream - Medium

If you're a long time reader of this blog you'll know that I go bonkers for BB creams during the summer months when I can't be doing with a heavy foundation that's going to melt off my face as soon as the weather heats up. This Superdrug budget version is fantastic and contains vitamin c, hyaluronic acid and caffeine with mineral pigments and SPF15. There is also an Anti-Age SPF30 version in the range. 

Indeed Labs Hydraluron

You have my permission to scold me. I've only just got around to discovering the magic of Hydraluron. What kind of a blogger am I?? Hydration is a huge issue for me, even though I have combination skin, and I need products that will quench my thirsty face without turning my t-zone into an oil slick. This product acts as a supercharger for any moisturiser you team it with, allowing the skin to retain the moisture more effectively. I NEED to get my hands on their new Moisture Jelly to go along with it because it's LOVE! This product is currently a third off at Boots.


Elemis Balancing Lavender Toner

I posted about this product and the Lime Blossom cleanser that goes along with it quite a while ago now. I can't believe I've only just got around to repurchasing it! It's been a godsend while the weather has been warmer. I've been keeping it in the fridge and spritzing my face with it and it feels soooooo good!! The lavender fragrance won't be for everyone but I particularly enjoy it at the end of the day, after removing my makeup just to freshen my skin up and prep my skin for moisturiser. It's very soothing.

Una Brennan Superfacialist Neroli Brightening Cleanser

This popped up in my last skincare post as another product that I'd forgotten I loved and I'm loving it again for very similar reasons to the Elemis toner. It's just wonderfully freshening with a floral scent and leaves my skin feeling firmed up and smooth. I mainly use this product in the morning before I've put on any makeup to wake my skin up. 

White Rabbit Skincare Lime and Coconut Cleansing Water

I received this product in my The Vegan Kind Beauty Box last month and it was instant love. This product is completely handmade using spring water, orange blossom water, coconut oil and lime essential oil. The scent is out of this world! It's milkier in texture than your usual micellar-type cleansing waters, and I'd go easy around the eyes with this one (lime oil - yikes) but it does an amazing job of removing makeup whilst cleansing the skin. The lime and orange blossom are also great antibacterial ingredients and the coconut oil helps to smooth. 


Origins High Potency Night-A-Mins

Last but not least... I loved this product to death in the new year and the latter half of Winter, but my skin seemed to get sick of it after a while so it has been sat in my stash waiting for another chance to shine. It got that chance a couple of weeks ago after I felt that the Superdrug cream I'd been using was starting to leave me a little oily. Sure enough my skin welcomed it back with open arms and they are friends once more. Read my original review here.

*****
Those were my current summer skincare crushes. I'm hoping this love affair will carry on into Autumn/Winter as the harsh elements seem to take it out of my skin every bit as much as the summer sun. I haven't felt great about my skincare routine for a little while now so it's great to finally have a winning set of products... until the next time my face gets bored and demands something else. I guess we shall see. 

What are your skincare must haves?? Is hydration an issue for you?? What products can't you live without during the summer months??
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Saturday, 2 August 2014

Smells Like Nostalgia: Impulse Vanilla Kisses


No P.E kit was complete without it. Every girl in my form reeked of it. We were ALL obsessed with it. Any 90s teenager will need no introduction to classic Impulse fragrance, Vanilla Kisses*. This stuff was like crack in a can to teenage girls. Fast-forward almost two decades and, at the age of (almost) 32, I once again find myself marinating in it! Surreal to say the least. To celebrate Superdrug's 50th Birthday, Impulse have relaunched Vanilla Kisses and, just as we've all matured a little since those good old days, this iconic fragrance has been given a grown-up, designer makeover...


The 90s revival seems to be in full swing this summer. Scrunchies, jelly shoes and chokers are popping up all over high streets and catwalks. What better than a nostalgic scent to go along with them? Vanilla Kisses has been reformulated with real perfume oils by the fragrance experts behind Dior and Calvin Klein. It still has that signature sweet vanilla base with notes of apple and peach, just with added grown-up chic. These quality ingredients means that the fragrance lasts longer making it a great, on the go, handbag (not school bag) essential. 

Vanilla Kisses is a limited edition release and is currently available exclusively at Superdrug and

superdrug.com


Did anyone else go mental for this fragrance back in the day? I used to team mine with 17 Heatherberry lippy and my Morgan school bag. Oh the memories!
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