Sunday, 22 February 2015

The Move to Cruelty Free

The Back Story
I'm not entirely sure what inspired the initial thought, but this year I've decided to make a transition into only using cruelty free products and clothes. I've been vegetarian for 8/9 years now and so I find it hard to make sense of that while I've been extremely careful about what I'm eating, I've not been so careful about what I've been using and wearing.

When the idea of going completely cruelty free crept into my head, I was sat with my rabbit Benjamin and I couldn't think of a single reason to not make the change that was more important than the life of an animal. The majority of horrible cosmetic testing photos you see are of rabbits and I couldn't imagine my own bunny going through something like that.

The Research
With this formed thought in my mind came hours and hours of researching. 

Peta is a good place to start researching, particularly for more well known and US based companies - check out this page to search products that are cruelty free, lists of companies that do/don't test and FAQs. However, I have heard some people say that the lists aren't as up to date as they good be. 

The Leaping Bunny also has information here about which the cruelty free stance of companies.

Some companies, despite not having logos on their physical products, may have in depth information on their websites about their views and involvement in animal testing (some are refreshingly honest, others are quite vague). 

Also, don't be afraid to contact a company if they don't have enough information to put your mind at rest!

The Transition
I won't be throwing away any products I already have in my collection by companies which do test on animals. It seems like a huge waste of money and pointless since they've already been bought from the company. However, I won't be re-purchasing them if the products aren't cruelty free. Same goes for any clothes, handbags and so on I have which are leather, suede etc.

To start with, I am using products by companies who are cruelty free but whose parent company may not be. For example, I am using The Body Shop products as they are cruelty free although some people won't as The Body Shop is owned by L'Oreal (who do test). Hopefully in the future I'll be able to products from entirely cruelty free companies and parent companies but currently it's not so easy. 

I'm also not vegan so I won't be committing to using vegan only products, but I see it as a bonus if they are. 

The Disclaimer
I am by no means an expert in this field, I'm still relatively new to cruelty free and I'm learning as I go. This post wasn't written in order to push anyone to make the change to go cruelty free nor was it written to force my views on anyone. I wanted to write this in order to share my experiences in making changes to my cosmetic and style purchases. 

Furthermore, if you see any products in upcoming blog posts which are tested on animals, please note the above - I'm not throwing away anything currently in my collection but it won't be repurchased in the future. 

Let me know in the comments your favourite cruelty free companies and products

Hollie Mae

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

The (late) January Favourites

Potentially the furthest into a month a favourites post has ever been posted, but better late than never! January is the month I re-discovered reading after a long time and found my favourite liquid lipsticks (and possibly lip product) of all time. 

Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet Lipsticks 
(Nudist and Happy Nude Year)
I currently own 5 shades of these lipsticks but found myself reaching for 'Nudist' (a berry toned nude) and 'Happy Nude Year' (a pink toned nude) over December and January as they're perfect shades for everyday.  A matt finish and a texture like nothing else. 'Velvet lipsticks' is spot-on, they truly feel like velvet on the lips - incredibly soft and lightweight. They take a little while to set but once they do they are extremely long lasting and yet don't dry out the lips out at all. I'd recommend these over and over and over.

Rimmel Lip Pencils
Exaggerate in 067 Eastend Snob
Lasting Finish in 011 Spice
If I haven't been wearing the rouge edition velvet lipsticks then chances are I've been wearing one of these two Rimmel lip liners. Eastend Snob is known for it's ability to create a Kylie Jenner lip and while I find it too pink on my skintone for that, it looks great on the lips. It's a soft twist-up liner with a matt finish that's easy to work with and is long lasting. Perfect.

If I'm looking for something a little darker on the lips, I've been using the lasting finish liner in Spice. I'm not head over heels for the formula (doesn't stay on as long as Eastend Snob despite having a 'stay on' formula and it's slightly drying) however the shade is unlike anything else I have in my collection.  

Gosh Long Lasting Brow Pen in 004 Wheat 
I've never been satisfied with a brow product before, and while this Gosh pen isn't perfect, it's the best I've tried so far. Although there is a slight red hue to the shade, it's much more cool toned than drugstore pencils which gives it a natural look on the brows. The finish is slightly sheer which means it's pretty difficult to create a heavy, drawn on look and it's easy to layer strokes. I like use the pen to create the shape then use MAC's Omega eyeshadow over the top to set my brows. 

 I received the original Kindle as a birthday present a few years ago, although I hadn't used it much within the past year. I had a ton of 'real' books that I had yet to read so I made an effort to get through those before buying anything else. Fast forward a year and I am back into the swing of using my Kindle. It's a perfect size to pop into your handbag and it's particularly useful, if you're impatient like me, to get your hands on books straight away if you can't wait to visit a bookshop.

Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult 
Jodi Picoult is by far one of my favourite authors, mainly for the plots of her novels. If you haven't heard of her, most of her books tend to explore controversial topics through the courtroom and the families that the situation surrounds. Things are not quite as they first appear in her novels, which I something I personally love in films and books.

This particular novel focuses on a murder of a newborn baby which occurs on an Amish farm and leads onto the trial that follows. The book gives a real insight into life in an Amish community, teenage pregnancy and the courtroom.

Fire N Gold - Bea Miller


I came across this song after hearing a few covers on vine (check out Andrew Bazzi's cover with Rajiv Dhall on vine) and I've it on repeat ever since. I was surprised to find out Bea Miller is only 16 and competed on the US X Factor a few years ago. I love the tone of her voice and the song, particularly the chorus, it's really addictive. Definitely give it a listen! 

What is your current favourite song? Let me know in the comments below!

Hollie Mae

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

The Lush Haul

I can't say there's anything particularly like Lush. I love knowing exactly what goes into each products, they don't test on animals and they seem to put so much thought and care into everything they do. I'm a big fan of their skincare for this reason but nothing quite beats their bath products. 

Bath bombs make me sit on the floor of my bathroom with my chin resting on the bath like a child and watch in awe as they work their magic on the water. And bubble bars relax me the most as climbing into a pile of cocooning bubbles is almost like climbing into a bed with fresh sheets.  

With a declining Lush collection and a very good sale, I decided to go ahead and add enough bath products to keep me going for a good few months. Oh, and obviously this post is late as a lot of this is Christmas related but I had to share my finds. 

Star of Wonder Gift Set - No longer in stock

Contains (L-R)
A sparkling, crackling, fizzing bath bomb. Quite certain this was released for Bonfire Night.

Shoot For The Stars
Toffee scented bath bomb that fills the bath with number of colours and silver shimmer. The same scent as Honey I Washed the Kids.

Snow Fairy 
A candy scented sparkling shower gel that smells of candy floss and pear drops. Looking forward to using this before special occasions.

Candy Mountain
Vanilla cotton candy scented bubble bar in pearlescent white and pink.

Star Light Star Bright
Crumble this shimmering bath melt under running walk to create a turquoise shimmered moisturing bath. Shea butter and coconut oil aim to soften dry winter skin.

Snow Fairy Sparkle
A snow fairy scented sparkling massage bar that has a moisturing centre of shea butter. Also evens out skin tone! 

Granny Takes a Dip
Bath bomb with antibacterial ginger, warming and clarifying black pepper oil and uplifting and refreshing lemon oil

Bath bomb that changes colour, crackles and fizzes, first releasing a citrus apple scent, then moving to a warm and spicy apple-pie scent with cinnamon and sweet ylang ylang. This bomb has refreshing petitgrain which slows the heartbeat and reduces signs of anxiety. 

The Comforter
Mini version of the original bubble bar. Contains comforting and fruity cassis absolute, blackcurrant and bergamot. 

Brightside (mini) 
Mini version of the original bubble bar. Contains mandarin, tangerine and bergamot. Basically smells of oranges which is great for a morning wake-up. 

Luxury Lush Pud - Limited Edition (no longer in stock)

Bath bomb that fills your bath with a multitude of neon colours and fills the room with a powerful scent. Apparently the scent is the same as the permanent Twilight bath bomb 

Cinders - Limited Edition (no longer in stock)

Spicy cinnamon bath bomb with popping candy that crackles like a warm winter fire.

Do you have any permanent favourite Lush bath products? Let me know in the comments!