Self Care Sundays: Issue 1

It is important to take a beat for ourselves on a regular basis. Whether it be enjoying a hobby or trip somewhere you enjoy. With our busy lives, it’s nice to take time for ourselves.

As much as I wish I could, I don’t take every Sunday for myself. But when I do, I like to pamper myself a little.

This usually includes doing my nails, or taking a long bubble bath with my secret stash of Lush bubble bars and bath bombs. I like to throw in a hair mask and a face mask when I can to.

Every now and then, I’ll be throwing one of these posts to let you know some of the products I’ve been using and what I can and absolutely cannot recommend you guys go out and use!

Superdrug Face Mask

Superdrug has a great range of face masks for 99p. The first time I bought these masks, I actually bought them for a hen party goody bag. They’re all very well labelled as to whether they’re vegan or not. They also write on the front what skin type they’re best for.

This week, I used a black seaweed peel off mask. I’m not usually a fan of a peel off mask as I feel like they’re more effort than they’re worth, but for 99p, it was worth a shot.

An image of the mask. I’ll save you from the inappropriate selfie!

The mask was easy to apply and I used it all over my face. I used the entire pack which I don’t actually recommend. You can probably use half of one and achieve the same effect. Because I used the whole pack, it took a while for the mask to dry but once it did, it was easy to peel off.

My skin felt lovely afterwards. The oil had been stripped of my face and I felt super clean.

Lush Bath Bomb

For good measure, I threw in a bath bomb from my secret stash of Lush bath bombs! In fact, it’s so secret that I forgot about it and I’m pretty sure they don’t sell it anymore!

The bath bomb is called Shoot For The Stars and left a lovely blue colour in the bath. The stars were creamy and moisturising and it smelt lovely. It’s a shame that it’s not available anymore because I definitely recommend this bath bomb.

Keep an eye out for my future Self Care Sundays posts with various products that I’ll be using to pamper myself! If there’s anything you’d like me to try and write about then let me know in the comments.

June Samples: Natura Sheet Mask and Lue by Jean Seo Serum

As I mentioned in my last blog post, I have plenty of older beauty box items that I still need to get through. It’s about time to start trying all the products I’ve been storing for no good reason and writing about them for you!

This months trial products are:

These 2 products have been hanging around in my samples box for a while now and I thought I’d treat myself to a pamper evening before an episode of Love Island so here we go!

Natura Herb Infused Sheet Mask

I’ve always loved a sheet mask. My mum always used to get them from SKII when she used their skin care so sheet masks are not unusual territory for me. The description on the back is as follows:

Packed with a variety of Herbs and Vitamins, this multi-tasking mask rebalances skin time, reduces enlarged pores, brightens complexion while offering deep hydration and nourishment.

Sounds great, right?! I ripped the mask open and put it on straight away. The smell of the mask was amazing. It was subtly fragrant and incredibly moisturising. I relaxed for 15 minutes while I waited for my skin to absorb in all the goodness. Once time was up, I patted my skin down to remove excess product. I’ve read that washing your face after a face mask will just negate all the good work it’s done!

Even though my skin might not look like it’s improved at all, it felt amazing on and as described, nourishing! It sounds silly but my skin feels lighter and much more refreshed. If nothing else, it was a nice treat to relax!

I provided a link to the product from The Cruelty Free Beauty Box but after a quick Google search, they’re available on many other websites and in so many different infusions so make sure you have a good read, but I fully recommend their product.

Lue by Jean Seo Balance Serum

After using the Lue by Jean Seo Clear spot treatment which I also received in one of my Cruelty Free Beauty Boxes, I had high hopes. The Clear spot treatment is absolutely amazing so I definitely recommend that!

I didn’t expect much from the serum. I’m not sure why but I was never huge on serum. I always found most serums quite tacky and not particularly absorbent. This serum really surprised me.

The pump released quite a lot of product which I wasn’t expecting, but also came out much more watery than I expected too. All that aside though, I wasn’t disappointed by the product.

It promises to firm, tone and control oil and shine to minimise pores. I haven’t been using it for long enough to confirm it’s firming and toning promises, but it has definitely improved my oil and shine! I’ve been using it only in the evenings after I’ve cleansed, but it does recommend to use it morning and night.

At the rate I’m going with products, I will be oil free in no time and there’ll be no need for all these mattifying products anymore!

So that ties up my June sample trials. I’ll try some more products next month and let you know how they go too!

The Cruelty Free Beauty Box Deluxe: 1st Edition [June 2019]

I’m so excited to write this post! I used to subscribe to The Cruelty Free Beauty Box before I had too many and couldn’t use enough of the products before the next one arrived. It all got a bit overwhelming so I regrettably cancelled my subscription (I’m still making my way through some of the old products!)

When I cancelled, they contacted me to find out why and asked for my feedback. I let them know that the make up colours weren’t suited to me, the products were often too similar, and that I would prefer to have a box every other month instead of every month. To resolve the colours, they amended my account to change my make up preferences so the next time I subscribed I’d get different colours.

A few months later, they were offering new boxes, sent every other month with more options. It was as if all my prayers had been answered! In reality, the team listened to customer feedback and made those changes. I subscribed to the Deluxe Beauty Box pretty much as soon as I could! This version of the box includes Lifestyle and Snacks which I didn’t even know I wanted but now it is, I want it! The monthly price is a tad expensive at £39.95, but as this blog post will describe, I think it’s worth every penny.

So, let’s start with the very First Edition of this box! It arrived on Wednesday just gone, in a nice big cardboard box and had some serious weight to it. I was so excited! The classic stamp was on the box, and stickers made of sugar can were used to keep the box closed during delivery.

Inside, the leaflet on top describes all the products inside, and also includes a description of the changes that the new boxes include! To summarise, the packaging is more eco-friendly now with things being recyclable, compostable and bio-degradable. Additionally, that specific piece of paper is seed paper which you can grow! I think I’ll give the growth a go and see what turns out.

Product List

  • Bumi Face Polish in Juniperberry, Saga, Hemp & Volcanic Ash (15ml) – RRP £9
  • PHB Ethical Beauty Bio Gel ‘Skin Brightener (Full size) – RRP £25
  • Articka Nourishing Hair Oil (10ml) – RRP £4.95
  • Sknfed Espresso Body Butter Bar (60g) – RRP £7.95
  • Love Byrd Hippy Dippy Facial Serum (Full size) – RRP £18
  • Bain and Savon Peony Salt Scrub Foot Bar (Full size) – RRP £1.50
  • Phase Zero Lip Gloss in Dark Burgundy (Full size) – RRP £12
  • A handmade Turkish towel – RRP £14.95
  • Soffle’s Pitta Chips in Rosemary & Thyme – RRP £1
  • Ananda’s Round Up’s Wagon Wheel – RRP £3

As you can see from the image of the haul above, the box comes with so many goodies. As it only arrived a few days ago, I haven’t been able to make use of everything yet, but I will be soon! And totalling the RRP values of each item comes to just under £95!

The beauty products smell amazing, and the snacks look great. All of the products seem like great quality, and the smaller sized products are perfect for travelling and keeping in your handbag.

I’ve seen Ananda’s at vegan events before but I’d never tried them before. I tucked straight into the wagon wheel and it really hit the spot! Thank you Ananda Foods!

My favourite product has to be the towel! I know it’s not a beauty product, but it’s beautiful and I can’t wait to take it on holiday to use at the beach.

I am absolutely thrilled with this box and I highly recommend those who are interested in subscribing to take a look at what The Cruelty Free Beauty Box has to offer. This box won’t be perfect for everyone, but there’ll be a subscription more suitable for you!

And let’s importantly not forget that everything in these boxes are vegan and cruelty free!

Revolution Beauty: Mattify and Pore Blur primers

I recently came to end of my trusty KVD primer so I decided to mix it up and go for a more accessible high-street brand. It didn’t take long to find Revolution Beauty as they are everywhere! In fact, I even managed to get their products on ASOS.

Revolution Beauty are PETA Cruelty-Free approved and have an extensive vegan range of products. There has been some speculation over the PETA Cruelty-Free stamping due to some controversy over the brand, Wet ‘n’ Wild. Read about it here on the Ethical Elephant.

Moving on…

As I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts before, I have very oily skin and as a secondary point, the pores on my nose are very prominent. I decided to purchase 2 primers, Mattify and Pore Blur. At £6 each, they were a bargain. Additional bonus points for ASOS having 20% off at the time too.

I thought the Mattify and Pore Blur would be the best options for my skin but they have a huge range of different primers, found here, so I recommend doing some research.

I used Mattify first and was really impressed. The product reminded me a lot of the bareMinerals primer which is much pricier. It comes out clear and has a silicon based style texture. It applies well across the face but doesn’t absorb as well as other primers I’ve used. The only other comment I feel I should make here is that I had to use more product than I first thought as it didn’t spread as far as I’d hoped.

I then used Pore Blur the next day and had a very similar experience. Pore Blur has a slight tint to it but not enough to be heavily noticeable across the skin so I still need to apply foundation on top.

Both had great staying power and really lived up to their names. The Pore Blur primer did a great job of covering up my pores and my skin didn’t feel clogged up. The Mattify primer really, really did keep my skin matte all day. I was so impressed with it and I highly recommend it for those with oily skin. And at those prices, you really can’t go wrong.

As much as I love Kat Von D beauty, I’m definitely going to be making room for these 2 Revolution Beauty primers in my permanent collection!

May 2019’s Lush Purchases

Now that May is over and we’re into June, I’m going to post about my purchases from the well known Lush Cosmetics.

Tom’s sister, Hannah, bought me a gift voucher for Lush for my birthday which I had yet to spend. For those of you that know me, I absolutely love shopping… online. I detest shopping IRL, out in swarms of crowds… It’s really just not for me.

As we were already out for the Swansea Vegan Mini Market, I took the trip to the Swansea Lush store to pick up some treats. I have various gripes with the Lush in-store model. Although staff are trying to be helpful, I also feel like it’s a hard sell. I usually know what I’m looking after some research, but it seems like they assume that all customers are just casual browsers. Once you push past this, it’s usually a pleasant experience.

Hard selling aside, I’d seen on the Lush Cardiff Instagram page a post about their Jade Roller naked cleansing balm. It was smaller than I thought it was going to be but at £4.95, it was a decent price. It smelt lovely and I’m excited to try it.

I also picked up a Peng bath bomb out of a whole new range of bath bombs and bubble bars. It smells incredible and the colours really pop. I haven’t yet used it but I bet it’ll be lovely.

Finally, I picked up my usual Ocean Salt which is my favourite exfoliating scrub. For those looking out for this, make sure you check the labels as they do a version that’s not vegan. The self-preserving one is the vegan one. I have been a habitual user of Ocean Salt for years and I will continue to be. It always leaves my skin clean and fresh and isn’t aggravating to my skin.

In addition to this, I must have gone on a good day, as I received a fresh face mask for free in Cupcake. As it’s fresh, it had to be kept in the fridge, but it smelt so chocolatey and I very nearly ate it!

As much as I love Lush, they’re only vegetarian but do sell many vegan products which are incredibly well labelled. The products are lovely but you have to make sure you buy for your skin type. I find that some products are too heavy for my skin and don’t go with my oily skin type so do your research before buying!

Figs And Rouge

I can’t wait to write this blog post about Figs & Rouge. My friend, Vicky, was a subscriber of the Cohorted box and she told me about the April box being vegan! She raved about the products so I decided to pay the extra for the one-off box.

At £50 for a box, it’s incredibly pricey. But after a rave review and the savings compared to the usual RRP of the products, I thought why not treat myself!

I’m going to take this brief moment to put something negative up… Vicky does not rate Cohorted as a company so I most certainly would not recommend them. Firstly, they’re not vegan and put various non-vegan product in their subscription boxes; but secondly, their customer service is terrible with lack of replies and information and items have been missing from her boxes.

With that over, let’s focus on Figs & Rouge!

The entire contents of the Cohorted April 2019 Figs & Rouge box

In this beautiful box of goodies, I received the following Figs & Rouge products:

  • Morning Revival Face Cream
  • Day Detox Micro-Refining Serum
  • Illumination Eye Balm
  • Pore Perfect Matte Veil
  • Glow Drops
  • Morning Revive Oil

Everything is fantastic. The quality of the packaging is great and the product is incredibly luxurious. I’ve sampled everything in the box at least once now and here are my favourite items…

The Glow Drops pictured above are amazing. I used it as a highlighter and it gave me a lovely, natural glow. Apparently, you can mix it with a moisturiser to use all over your face for an instant, illuminated soft focus effect. It absorbs into the skin beautifully and leaves a fresh glow. A big fan!

As I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts before, I have really oily skin. This matte serum is incredibly. It feels amazing on my skin, and really did it’s job! I used it as instructed, across my T-zone underneath my make up and it really did it’s job. My face didn’t get shiny by the end of the work day and I didn’t need to top it up either.

I haven’t used anything else extensively but it’s all lovely, but those 2 products really stood out for me. I highly recommend them both, and as a brand, they stand for everything I need it to.

Proudly vegan and cruelty free. Their products are never tested on animals and source all luxury grade vegan based raw materials ethically.

Thanks for reading! Let me know in the comments if you have any questions and let me know if there’s anything specific you’d like me to blog about in the future.

Bondi Sands Liquid Gold Tanning Oil

I have to be honest with you guys, I am a complete fake and self tan noob. I had a spray tan once back when I was like 19 which I thought was great but I came out super tanned and never tried it again.

I have so many weddings to attend this year, 1 of which I’m Maid of Honour for. My boyfriend and I have no holidays planned this Summer which means no tan for me this year. I can’t lie, I look much better with a little colour on me and with this being a year full of photographs, I decided to trial self tanning!

One of my favourite Instagrammers is Nicole, the @veganbeautygirl. If you’re not already following her, you definitely should. Here is a link to her corresponding blog!

I read her post on vegan self tanning products last month and decided to take the plunge! My first wedding this year is June 22nd so I thought I’d get in early to get some practice in before the big day.

The first company mentioned on the blog were Bondi Sands (There are plenty of other brands on the post to so make sure you give it a good read to find out what’s best for you). I’d heard of Bondi Sands before. Some of my sister’s friends recommended them. They’d also made it into the press recently because of their Liquid Gold Tanning Oil not needing to be washed off, so I did it. I bought it! Along with their tanning mitt.

So the delivery came along and off I went to the bathroom for my first attempt at a fake tan! It was easy to use, even though I was really nervous about the outcome. You simply spray the fake tan over your body and use the mitt to spread it evenly across your body.

Before and After

I was really pleased with the outcome. I could see the colour developing after only an hour which was great. The website says the product is buildable and for a deeper tan, apply more product after 30 minutes.

I’ve not been left streaky and the smell is more than tolerable! I say this as I know most fake tans have a very distinct smell. The Bondi Sands Liquid Gold Tanning Oil has a coconut smell, but there’s still a light fake tan smell.

It was only my first attempt so the fake tan left on my hands needs to be rectified but practice makes perfect!