Cruelty Free Staples

I’ve been back in the UK for over six months now, so I’ve had plenty of time to “just pop into Superdrug” and leave with half the store. So now that I don’t have to meticulously plan what I want to buy six months in advance, I have more freedom to try new things. After many trails and tribulations, these are the cruelty free products I think everyone needs in their collection.

Superdrug Coconut Water Hydrate & Shine shampoo and conditioner

I’m not huge on coconuts. I don’t use coconut oil, I don’t drink coconut water – but damn, do I love this stuff. After using these, my hair feels soft and doesn’t break at the slightest touch. I use them as my usual shampoo and conditioner in between my weekly foray into purple shampoo and it definitely helps to hydrate my damaged hair. I also find that because it doesn’t build up any residue, my hair stays feeling and looking cleaner for longer. It doesn’t hurt that they also smell AMAZING too.

It’s also vegan friendly!

Colab dry shampoo in London

I know I just said that my hair stays cleaner for longer, but I don’t turn to this dry shampoo for reasons of cleanliness. One of the biggest battles of my life to date (y’know… other than the ones with my crippling anxiety and depression) is with my limp, flat hair. I could just never do anything with it. But a blast of this stuff through the roots and body really gives it life. What makes this my favourite dry shampoo though, other than the whole cruelty free thing, is how you don’t get that 18th-century-France-white-wig-effect all over your hair. Sold!

And hey, this one’s also vegan friendly.

Superdrug Soft Pink anti-perspirant deodorant

Finding a good cruelty free deodorant has always been a challenge for me. A very sweaty challenge. But recently, Superdrug came to the rescue with this. There’s not much to really say about a deodorant… other than I feel protected all day and that it smells very nicely of rose. Awesome.

Lush Ultrabland cleanser

I never knew what a truly cleansed face felt like until I tried this baby. After giving up makeup wipes a few years ago, it was a lot of trial and error before I found the right cleanser for me. Not only does Ultrabland remove all my makeup without irritating my skin, I genuinely believe it’s improved my skin condition in general. It helps to hydrate it without being overwhelming, all the while cleansing my face of any nasties.

B. Pure Micellar Water

Despite just gushing over a cleanser, sometimes I’m super lazy and just don’t want to go to the bathroom for my usual evening skincare routine. Or my flatmate is taking a forty minute shower and I just want to go to bed. Enter this micellar water. I’ve tried a cruelty free micellar water before in the form of Soap & Glory, but found its scent quite overwhelming. This one, however, is much calmer and is great for taking my makeup off in a pinch. I often use it in addition to Ultrabland, just to make sure I’m really getting all my stubborn mascara off.

Another vegan find!

Lush Enzymion moisturiser

How many times can I praise this moisturiser? My skin is the most awkward thing about me. It gets dry super easily, but breaks out if I even so much as glance at a moisturiser. Enzymion has been the only one to hydrate my skin without opening the door to an influx of blemishes. It’s super gentle on the face whilst managing to keep me from resembling a scaly lizard queen. Yes, that was a Simpsons reference.

Guess what? Also suitable for vegans.

Lush Buttered Brazils lip balm

With dry skin, comes dry lips. Especially if you wear as many matte lipsticks as I do. I bought Buttered Brazils on a whim on a trip to Florence and since then it’s become a staple of my skincare routine. A quick layer of this before bed and in the morning ensures I have super smooth lips ready to torture with a liquid lipstick.

And this one’s vegan friendly too.

So there you have it, a selection of amazing products that everyone should introduce into their stash. And they all happen to be cruelty free. Who says you can’t have beauty without bunnies?


Lies I Tell Myself & Body Positivity

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Every week I fluctuate between being happy with how I look and absolutely hating it.

When I first started thinking I was fat, I was 21. Looking back at photos of myself at that age – it’s painfully obvious how wrong I was. But at the time, I was completely distraught over how I could no longer fit into my favourite size zero dress or how I didn’t resemble a literal pencil anymore. Then I moved to Spain. As a vegetarian, not only did my social life rely heavily on carbs and cheese – but my mental health did too. My depression in Madrid was at an all time low and sometimes the only thing that fixed that was a baguette smothered in alioli.

And so the obvious happened, I gained weight.

Now I’m approaching 25 and long gone are the years I could eat anything and not worry about it. This is where the Internet cries “body positivity! You’re beautiful! Love yourself!” (not my Internet, I still get the occasional hate comment calling me fat despite not being relevant online since 2012). And I get it, because I do it too. I hear people complaining about their weight and I’m all up in their face telling them how wrong they are – and I’m being honest! But it’s hard to apply those ideologies to yourself.

Logistically speaking, I know I’m not the monster I make myself out to be. I buy size 8s and 10s depending on the day and know deep down that I’m not in any danger of ill health. But when I think of myself, I picture how I was at 18 or even 21. So sometimes when I see myself, it catches me off guard. I find it hard to accept that this is what I look like now.

Somedays I look in the mirror and think I might even look good and that I don’t need to go back to how I was before. I’ll buy a size 8 shirt that properly buttons over my boobs and think I’ve cracked it. But then I’ll take a bad picture or look frumpy in my favourite shirt and the cycle starts all over again. Like last week, when I downloaded a calorie counter app.

I know I’ll never be as tiny as I was at 18 and sometimes I feel okay with this. Other times I feel that life won’t be complete until I have a flat stomach again.

But I don’t want to feel this way. I want to be healthy and look my best, sure – but not at the extent of my happiness. I’ve spent way too many lunch hours forcing kale into my mouth for one lifetime. So here’s what I need to remember:

  1. Stop paying attention to labels because they clearly make no sense anyway
  2. There are ways to fix a bad day other than a giant cheesy pizza
  3. Not everyone I meet is silently judging me on my weight

And so, in an attempt to truly get rid of these toxic beauty standards I hold myself too – here’s some super flattering upward angle photos. Behold, my many chins in all their glory.


Maybe one day I can stop letting this consume my life.