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?

Cruelty Free Lipstick Collection


If I have one beauty vice, it’s lipstick. Back in the UK, one of my favourite pastimes was diving into Superdrug at every opportunity and perusing the super cheap cruelty free offerings. In Spain, however, my cruelty free choices are severely lacking, so I’ve found myself more on the higher end of the makeup spectrum. Combined, this means I have a pretty good mix of different lipsticks. Add in the fact that I culled my collection first when I went cruelty free and secondly when I moved to Madrid, and it’s been streamlined to only the most impressive offerings. So here’s another lipstick collection post to throw into the blogosphere! I was originally attempting to swatch all of these babies on my actual lips, but fuck that. So where I can, I’m including a photo of me actually wearing the lipstick. Less aesthetically pleasing, but I’m lazy af and it’s 23 degrees right now and uuuuugh can’t be bothered. Also you get to enjoy my ever-changing hair colour/style.


(L-R: Double Dare, Antique Rose, Sirius, Perfect Day, Simply Red, Vega, Nosferatu, Confident)

We’ll begin with the darkest, for my inner gothic soul. Vamos!


Lush- Confident

This is a recent purchase and one that I’m still figuring out how to fully utilise. When I bought it, I was under the impression it was matte, but I think that was a language barrier mishap because I bought it in Italy. It’s a pretty versatile shade. A dark vampy purple that can be built up from a light berry shade to something fitting for the Queen of Darkness. For me personally, I prefer to dab it on lightly for a more subdued colour, but maybe one day I’ll be brave enough to wear the full out purple. It doesn’t have the best staying power, but that’s the price you pay when you abandon the matte.


Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick- Nosferatu

THIS LIPSTICK. This is the perfect red lip and I’m sure it would go with any skin tone. It’s a medium to dark red but without being super scary. First off, I love the formula of these lipsticks. They last so long and can even survive stuffing your face with a giant burrito with only a slight retouching in the middle necessary. This is my go-to lipstick for when I want to hide the fact I’m tired, sick, or just having a bad face day. It’s pretty much a miracle worker. If you’re not used to liquid lipsticks, it can be kind of tricky to apply for the first few uses— especially because it’s so bright— but you quickly get used to the wand. If you take anything away from this post, buy this damn lipstick.


Barry M Gelly Hi Shine Lips- Vega

When I realised I only wanted to have matte lips forever, I donated pretty much all of my sheer lipsticks to my mother. But I couldn’t part with this one. I’m a huge Barry M fan, especially of their Gelly Hi Shine nail range, so when they brought out the lipstick equivalent, I was sold. It’s a cherry red shade, but you can build up its intensity depending on how much you apply. Admittedly the staying power is pretty terrible, but because it’s a pencil style design and has a sheer consistency, it’s easy to reapply on the go. So plus points for that, I guess.


GOSH Velvet Touch Lipliner- Simply Red

Okay, okay, so it’s not a lipstick. But I wear it as one by using it to fill in all of my lips. This is the quintessential classic red. It goes great with a cat eye for a super classic look, and most importantly, lasts all night through countless glasses of wine. Which tbh is what we all want from a lipstick.


Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Satin Lipstick- Perfect Day

Despite my unquestionable bias for matte lip products, this sheer lipstick is one of my all time favourites. I was searching for a shade that meant I could wear red lipstick in situations where red lipstick isn’t reaaaaally appropriate (like my job, where no other teachers seem to wear lipstick? Whatever, they’re missing out). This is the lipstick that’s always in my bag ready to apply, because it goes with pretty much any makeup look I throw together. It’s also super hydrating! Which is a great break for my lips in between days of countless matte products.


Barry M Gelly Hi Shine Lips- Sirius

I never thought bright pink lipsticks where for me, but this one changed my mind, and I still haven’t found another that’s swayed me away from it. Even if the winning reason for me buying this lipstick was the fact it shares its name with a Harry Potter character. The smell of these products might be off-putting to some, but I think they smell like cough medicine, so I can pretend wearing it is for medicinal purposes and not superficial ones.


GOSH Velvet Touch Lipliner- Antique Rose

Up until recently, this was my lip colour. The one you could always count on me to wear. Despite the influx of reds/purples in this post, and my above comments on bright pinks, dusty rose colours are my jam. Maybe it’s something to do with being called Rose, idk, but whatever it is it works for me. As well as being super cheap so you can buy 82 of these and keep them in all of your bags so you’re never without one, they’re pretty great at overlining your lips a la Kylie Jenner.


Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick- Double Dare

So why is the GOSH lipliner not my favourite anymore? WELL I’M GLAD YOU ASKED, IMAGINARY BLOG READER. Because I moved to a country with a Sephora and discovered Kat Von D’s Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks. Double Dare was the first shade I purchased from the range and it definitely won’t be the last. Originally I couldn’t decide between this baby and Lolita, but since everyone and their cat has Lolita, I decided to be different. If I could only wear one lipstick every day, it’d be this one. It’s described as “cocoa blush”, whatever that means, but I’d say it’s a medium to dark pink that can be kind of… coral-y? I can’t describe it but I love it and I want to have it forever.

So that’s my lipstick collection. Four shades I wear all the damn time and four I bring it whenever I feel like I need a change. I think it’s a good system. Right now I’m working on adding a proper nude colour to my collection and then I think it’ll be complete. Until I move back to the UK and have easy access to Superdrug once more, that is.

Too Faced Born This Way Foundation Review

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I’m very loyal to foundation. If I find one I like, that’s it. Which means I do a hell of a lot of research before I invest my money. Which is exactly what I did with this foundation, Too Faced’s Born This Way. There’s definitely a divide among among the reviews I read, so I’m here to add my opinions into the mix. ‘Cause I’m so important, obvs.

First off, again, an explanation of my skin type. Dry as Pride Rock when Scar’s ruling the place. This means I need something which won’t cling to any dry patches. It’s also super sensitive. And is there really a point to foundation if you’re just causing more of what you’re tying to cover up?

So how did this foundation measure up against this skin type?

PROS:

  • Blending:

The formula for this foundation is super impressive. It’s creamy without being too thick, and doesn’t run all drippy-like all over your face before you blend it. I’ve tried both a Real Techniques Expert Face Brush and a Beauty Blender during application and found that the Beauty Blender works like a dream.

  • Coverage:

I was originally a little wary about this foundation’s coverage, as I’ve never really used such a full coverage formula before. But with a name like ‘Born This Way’, I had to have faith that it would create the natural looking finish that I wanted. And it does. My blemishes are covered without the help of any extra concealer, unless it’s a particularly nasty blemish duh. I think it looks natural enough. I’m obviously wearing foundation, but not enough to make me feel self conscious or overdone when I go out.

CONS:

  • Dry Skin Compatibility:

My main drive to buy this product was its inclusion of coconut water to help hydrate the skin. Maybe I expected too much of this foundation, but occasionally I feel it draws more attention to my dry skin than if I wasn’t wearing it. Admittedly, this is only a real problem on areas that are super dry (for me, my T-Zone), but it’s something to watch out for when shopping for a dry skin-friendly product.

  • Staying Power:

I apply my foundation at about 6:30AM (I know, kill me) and by the time I get home around 3PM, I’m starting to feel a bit… bleeeeeh. I don’t know the word. Just less put together, I suppose. Obviously no foundation is going to keep me looking great for twelve hours, but if I do stay out longer for any reason, I don’t really want to have to think about lugging around a bottle of foundation and a Beauty Blender in my bag. I try and counteract this by adding some concealer (or hiding behind a red lipstick), but it’s not the same. Admittedly, I don’t use a primer, but I’m thinking of remedying this shortly, so maybe I’ll have to update my findings. But as of now, the staying power of this foundation isn’t perfect.

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(1: wearing only the foundation, so you can see how it clings to dry skin, particularly on the bridge of my nose and mouth area. 2: with the rest of my makeup [and clothes lolol] applied)

Overall, I really like this foundation. Of the four foundations I’ve used in the last five years (seriously), I would rate this at number two in terms of quality, but number one in terms of the product actually being cruelty free.

I feel comfortable wearing this, which with a name coming from a Lady Gaga song, I think was the aim all along. I use the shade porcelain, which is maybe slightly too yellow toned for my skin, but it’s the lightest shade available in Spain, sooooo… whateva.

So if you’re looking for a mid to full coverage foundation that doesn’t feel like you’re smothering concrete on your face, this one’s for you. I wouldn’t exactly say it makes me skin look ‘born this way’ in the natural sense, but certainly in the way that (sadly) foundation covered skin has now become the norm. But hey, that’s a whole other blogpost. Just know that its hydration powers are a little exaggerated.

Soap & Glory Kick Ass Concealer VS Barry M Flawless Concealer


So a couple of weeks ago I posted about my favourite cruelty free beauty products, including a certain Soap & Glory concealer. In the same post, I also said that my Barry M concealer is a good substitute for whatever the former can’t handle. Well, since then I maaaaay have had a change of heart. Kinda. I wrote the last post when I was attempting a foundation-less life, but am now enjoying my time with the Too Faced Born This Way foundation (review coming soon). And I’ve now realised that all concealers are equal… but some are more equal than others. Here’s what I’ve decided about my two go-to concealers.
Soap & Glory Kick Ass Blur & Brighten Concealer– The Pros:

  • A very creamy, buildable consistency
  • Thick, but not too thick
  • Pretty heavy duty stuff
  • Works great without foundation

Soap & Glory Kick Ass Blur & Brighten Concealer– The Cons:

  • It’s kind of terrible at under eye colour correction
  • Loses its staying power throughout the day

Barry M Flawless Light Reflecting Concealer– The Pros:

  • Due to its brush applicator, it’s easy to apply
  • That light reflecting thing is really true to its name
  • Super brightening for the undereye area
  • A great addition to foundation

Barry M Flawless Light Reflecting Concealer– The Cons:

  • Pretty lacklustre without foundation… not thick enough to really cover those super aggressive blemishes
  • You seem to go through a lot alarmingly quickly

So as you can see, these two cruelty free budget concealers do two very different (but equally important) jobs. If you need just a little extra help whilst wearing a full face of makeup, then Barry M is your man. But if you’re ditching the foundation for a few extra minutes in bed, it’s Soap & Glory to the rescue.
Honestly, I love them both. And I use them both. And I’m glad I own them both. They’re cheap, they’re useful, they’re pretty damn awesome. I say: go nuts, buy them both! They’re really great additions to my daily makeup routine, and I think they’ll be great additions to yours too.