Self Care Sundays: Issue 6

January always feels like a slow month. After the Christmas rush, it’s important to take a beat and relax.

I’ve been back at work for a full week now and getting back into routine is exhausting! So finally it’s the end of the week and before the week starts all over again, I treated myself to a nice long bath and face mask.

Luxury Lush Pud

The first of my Christmas bath bombs to be used, I have 2 Luxury Lush Puds so to make my way through them, why not start with the duplicate. It’s colours enticed me too to be honest.

The bath bomb had a lovely scent and fizzed away nicely and made some lovely colours in the bath. I have to admit, I did add some bubbles by running the Candy Cane bubble bar under the tap for a few minutes.

A plain bath is not sufficient anymore, I always have to have a bath bomb or bubble bar to keep me entertained as I only ever bathe instead of shower to relax.

Sand & Sky Australian Pink Clay Mask

I wrote about this clay mask a few weeks ago which you can read about here.

I am noticing improvements to my pores and skin after each use but whether that’s due to the mask specifically or the other skin products I’m using is hard to tell.

It’s a nice, but very expensive treat to have. There are many dupes out there that can be bought now so I think after this pot is finished, I’ll definitely be trying a cheaper dupe to see how that fares.

Pixi FortifEYE Patches

I do love these Pixi FortifEYE patches. They’re so easy to use and there’s so many of them in the pot that they’ll last me a while.

My only minor issue with them is that the shape of them doesn’t quite fit with my face shape. It’s a minor annoyance that I can live with and the soothing benefits outweigh it.

Natracare: Plastic Free Periods

For those of you who don’t like too much information or discussing women’s sanitary needs, please stop reading now. Those of you who aren’t bothered and are completely interested, make sure you keep reading because it may change your life (a little dramatic but seriously!).

Prior to my veganism, I used Always sanitary pads and Tampax tampons. I like to use both products for different reasons. Since turning vegan and being more exposed to ‘kinder’ products, I decided to be more conscious about the products I was using inside my body.

I came across Natracare by chance when I was browsing in Brontosaurus in Swansea. I didn’t buy it then and there, but they were on my radar and I started following their Instagram account.

I’ve had the contraceptive implant in for around 8 years now, and during the majority of that time, I didn’t have any periods. Over the last few months, they’ve surprised me by returning! As it was a surprise, I had to use what I had at home which were the Always and Tampax products.

Did you guys know that most of these mainstream products contain plastics, other synthetic products and chemicals? Surely none of these should be put into your body for long periods of time?!

I decided to replace my existing products with Natracare products from a local health store in Cardiff, Beanfreaks. I then donated my old, unused products to a local women’s homeless shelter. I recently found out that Ripple Living on Albany Road have a basket in their shop where you can donate your sanitary products.

I picked up a few products which included:

  • Natracare Panty Liners
  • Natracare Applicator Tampons
  • Natracare Maxi Pads
  • Natracare Ultra Pads

I don’t even know where to begin with these. They are really life changing. There is a very noticeable difference in the effectiveness of the organic, chemical-free Natracare products compared to Always and Tampax. I personally found them to be far much more absorbent. But not only this, they were 100% more comfortable!

I wore a Natracare tampon all day and didn’t even notice it at all. The applicator was a bit fiddly compared to the Tampax Pearl, but with the benefit of not having any extra plastic, that minimal extra effort is worth it.

With the added benefit of not putting anything unfriendly into my body, switching to Natracare is a complete no-brainer. If you’re still unsure, visit their website to research and understand the business and their products.

Self Care Sundays: Issue 5

After a very busy weekend last weekend celebrating marriages and working overtime until the early hours of Sunday morning, I skipped a blog post to take some time for myself and relax.

I’ve written various blog posts in my Self Care Sundays series and although I like to earmark a Sunday for self care, remember that every day is a self care day so look after your minds and your bodies!

Lush Peng Bath Bomb

I love a bath bomb. They may not always have any skin benefits, but they’re a nice treat and they always have the bath in pretty colours and smelling lovely.

Peng wasn’t the best bath bomb I’ve ever used but it smelt nice enough and was interesting enough. I would probably go for a more fragrant one in future.

Natura Pumpkin Sheet Mask

As some of you may be aware, I have subscribed to The Cruelty Free Beauty Box which is delivered every other month. One of the treat in October’s box was the Natura Pumpkin Infused Sheet Mask.

I finally used it last weekend in the bath for the full 15 minutes (possibly longer). Sheet masks have become very popular and they’re so easy to use and remove.

Apologies for the terrifying images above and the extra skin on show! I just wanted to show those of you who weren’t familiar with sheet masks what they’re like.

My skin felt great afterwards and the mask smelt amazing. This isn’t the first Natura sheet mask I’ve used before and I’m a big fan of them. They’re not a regular feature in my beauty regime as they aren’t cheap but, as with a bath bomb, they’re a treat.

A quick note on the sheet masks, don’t wash off the product after use! Let it sit on your skin and be absorbed so you can really get the full effects of the mask.

That’s all for this issue of Self Care Sundays! There’ll be more to come in the future.

Sand & Sky Porefining Face Mask

You may have heard of cult skincare brand, Sand & Sky. I’ve seen many Facebook/Insta ads and many influencers have jumped on the bandwagon.

In the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales, Sand & Sky were offering 20% meaning that the Porefining Face Mask was only £33.52.

After a quick search on their FAQ, I was able to find that the Porefining Face Mask was vegan and did not contain any animal products or animal by-products. The brush applicator is also synthetic and not made of animal hair. Click here for the FAQ details.

My order was dispatched and arrived within a few days!

Branding and packaging were very appealing! The applicator brush is so cute and so useful. It made it so much easier to apply on my skin. The mask did tingle as I applied it but it stopped very shortly after. I looked online and apparently this is normal…

I managed to rope Tom into trying the mask with me too!

After 10 minutes, the mask was mostly dry with a few patches of thicker not quite dry yet. I went upstairs to wash off the mask with warm water. My skin felt so clean afterwards, it did however feel very dry and tight.

Tom has a very different skin type to me and the reaction to the mask wasn’t as good as mine. His skin got much tighter and drier than mine and it didn’t help that he didn’t moisturise.

I followed the mask with my facial oils to help hydrate my skin and it made all the difference. You can read about the oils I’m using in my blog post last week here. I do feel like my pores have been reduced and my skin is just much cleaner in general.

It’s recommended that for oily skin, you should use the mask 2 – 3 times a week. I’ll try to do this to see how much of an improvement it’ll make.

Based on this first try of the mask, I do like it, however I’m not sure if I would buy it again. It’s quite a high price point for such a small pot and unless it suddenly does wonders for my skin, I’ll probably stick to Natura sheet masks!

Adopt, Don’t Shop

It’s approaching Christmas time, and we all know how popular pets are to be given as gifts. I don’t often do serious posts but I feel this topic is important to write about.

Animals are amazing, and I’m sure my vegan readers out there will be agreeing with me. Pets bring life into your home. They become one of you with their personalities being known to you and the love you have for one another. They become a member of the family.

I never had pets when I was growing up as I was never allowed them, but when Tom and I moved in together, we took in his childhood dog, Max, from the family home. Max was not adopted by his parents but was a cheap buy back in the day! He was a gorgeous long haired border collie with a speckled ear and one eye patch. We sadly lost him 2 years ago, and my heart was in pieces. I still miss him terribly to this day.

Dog breeding is becoming a serious problem in the world. They’re being so heavily bred that they are starting to have serious genetic health problems, all just so that designer breeds such as pugs and frenchies exist for people to buy.

Every Christmas, numerous dogs are left on the streets and abandoned due to families not being able to take care of them or their expectations not being met. For me, this is no different to abandoning a child. It is not acceptable to bring someone into your home, only to leave them when it doesn’t suit you anymore.

Some shelters will euthanise animals due to the unmanageable numbers they receive which is horrendous and unfair. An animals life is not the decision of others which is why I urge you to re-home an animal instead of buying.

Sami

Sami was adopted by Tom’s mum and dad a few years ago after they found her roaming around Greece looking for scraps. She was a stray dog with fleas and matted fur. They took her to the local dog home, Animal Rescue Kefalonia, but couldn’t bare to leave her so started the adoption process. Sami joined us back in the UK only a few short weeks after and has slotted into the family.

Sami has so much love for everyone and has such a gentle demeanour. She’s well behaved with the backyard chickens, and has even been known to pick up their eggs gently without cracking them! She’s cheeky but soft and loving and we all love her unconditionally.

Ned

Ned is a feral cat that Tom’s sister, Hannah, adopted from a local rehoming centre. Like all cats, he’s incredibly independent but has had no issues settling into the family home. He’s a cheeky cat who snuck into his first pack of Dreamies and ate the entire bag! He gets along well with their Alsatian, Shadow, and is now an integral part to their family.

Even Lucy Watson, reality TV star from Made In Chelsea, has said previously that she regrets not rehoming her first 2 pets and has since re-homed a kitten.

Before you go out and search for pets, please strongly consider adopting and rehoming one. There are so many different homes and kennels where there are plenty of animals who require forever homes.

Here are just a few well known re-homing centres, but make sure you put in the research as there are plenty of them all over the UK!

Men’s Vegan Grooming Gifts

As a woman, it can be difficult trying to find good gift sets for men. The market is definitely catered more for women than it is for men. I did a spot of shopping a few weeks ago and was inspired to write this post based on what I saw!

Here’s just a few recommend brands and products and if I come up with some more ideas, I’ll make sure I write another post.

Superdrug

So when I was wandering around my local Superdrug the other day, I was enticed by their Christmas section and also pleasantly surprised. I found a few of their own brand men’s gift sets which were lovely and also very reasonably priced!

If you’re unsure what to buy for someone, a gift set like this is a great alternative as they usually contain useful things that they are likely to use.

What’s also great about Superdrug is that their items are clearly labelled vegan which makes it much easier to shop.

Browsing online with Superdrug has also become so much easier as they have a vegan Christmas section which you can find here!

Manmane

Manmane are a completely vegan brand that sells male grooming products. We’ve seen them at vegan events around the country before, and being welsh myself, it’s nice to support local business!

Tom loves their products. They’re high quality and there are so many different options.

I highly recommend taking a visit to their website to have a look at the products. A few include: bread oils and balms, soaps, perfumes and candles.

If you have a bearded loved one in your life, you should absolutely check out Manmane for their products! They make wonderful gifts and they’ll be hooked going forward.

Maria Nila

This one will be a short one but I do have to rave about it. Maria Nila sell vegan wax grooming products that are perfect gifts!

Tom has always really struggled to find good hair product for his hair type. He’s got fine hair but a lot of volume.

I took a punt and bought him the Maria Nila Gneiss Moulding Paste. He absolutely loves it and can now style his hair properly without the unnecessary gunk of product all over his hair. And an added bonus is that it smells great too!

The Cruelty Free Beauty Box Deluxe [October 2019]

Another 2 months has passed us by so it’s time for another run through of my latest delivery of the Deluxe Cruelty Free Beauty Box! I was lucky enough to win this box this month in their usual sharing giveaway. I was so chuffed.

If you want to read about the box before this, click here for the post. Previous posts can be found under the Beauty section.

As always, the box did not disappoint and had so many goodies that I cannot wait to try!

This months box contained the following:

  • My HairCare Rescue My Hair Hydrate Shampoo Bar (RRP £14)
  • Natura Pumpkin Sheet Mask (RRP £5.95)
  • Fairypants perfume (RRP £1.50)
  • Palm Bar Body Butter Bar (RRP £5)
  • Bellapierre Liquid Gold 24k (RRP £30)
  • Niu Body Glow Facial Serum (RRP £27.95)
  • Gardner’s Halloween Cookie (RRP £2)
  • Vegan Bunny Chai Latte Soy Candle (RRP £13)
  • Jeavon’s Rizo (RRP £2.75)

The total value of the Deluxe box comes in at £102.15 but will only cost you £39.95.

I’ve eaten the cookie and Rizo bar already and both were a dream. I haven’t had shortbread for a long time and the Gardner’s cookie was a delicious shortbread.

I’ve written about Natura products in various other blog posts I’ve written and I love the sheet masks. They’re a really lovely treat so I’m looking forward to using this pumpkin one.

My final favourite is the Vegan Bunny Chai Latte candle. I’ve actually bought Vegan Bunny candles off Etsy before, but not for myself! I’ve bought Christmas scented candles as stocking fillers for my family members and regretted not buying one for myself. The Chai Latte smell is incredible! I haven’t lit the candle yet but I can’t wait till I do!

I absolutely cannot recommend The Cruelty Free Beauty Box enough. They only send every 2 months which is more than enough for me, and every month is full of new and interesting treats. I adore The Deluxe box with the lifestyle treats. It’s so nice to receive new things that I’d never normally buy for myself or want to try.