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?

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Lush Mask of Magnaminty (Self-Preserving) Review: A Test On Sensitive & Blemish-Prone Skin

I’ve dabbled with beauty blogging in the past, but since I’m strictly cruelty free and living in a country that still gorges live animals for fun, I can pretty much only go make up shopping in my biannual visits to the UK. But one of the few cruelty free brands that I do have access to in Madrid, is Lush.

Real talk, my skin is out to get me. It’s sensitive as hell, breaks out if I even so much as look at something chemical-y, and occasionally makes me resemble the lizard queen. Currently I’m suffering from my annual summer cold, so my skin is particularly bleh. For a bit of a pick me up, I decided to treat myself to a face mask. But because of said problem skin, I spent days agonising over the Lush website trying to find ~the perfect mask~. Most seemed to be for oily skin, so I didn’t want anything that was overly drying. But because of the constant mentions of words such as ‘calm’ and ‘gentle’, I figured that Mask of Magnaminty (Self-Preserving) was my safest bet.

Story time: I didn’t go to my usual Lush store for this as I was out and about in a different neighbourhood and figured I’d save myself the trip. After telling the Lush Lady what I wanted, she practically forced the tub into my hand, and stood there, staring. It was weird. Cut to a few hours later when I was finally home and I noticed that… the back label was all in Swedish. Pretty sure the shop assistant figured she’d give the foreigner the non-Spanish tub. Hashtag guiri problems.

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But back to the product, I’ve now tried it twice and I think I’ve formed enough of an opinion to blog about it. My first time using it, because my skin is the worst, I only put on a thin layer. I removed my makeup first with the Soap & Glory Drama Clean Micellar Water (which is great btw other than sometimes turning my eyes red à la Three Cheers era Gerard Way), rinsed my face, patted dry, and got to work.

Then I sat around for ten minutes taking selfies. Because duh.

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My first thoughts of the mask was that it wasn’t as solid and cakey as masks I’ve used in the past. I was free to contort my face into as many weird selfie positions as I wanted. There was a slight tingle, but nothing uncomfortable or even that noticeable. It just made me think it was working. On my second time using the mask, less scared that it’d turn my face bright red, I put on a decent amount of the stuff. And oh boy, that tingle. It makes your face feel hot and cold at the same time. I love it when my skincare products make me feel things, it feels like I’m actually paying for something. It’s definitely not an uncomfortable feeling though, but it makes me aware of why they say to only use it twice a week.

Fast forward to removing time, because nothing else noteworthy happened, I removed the mask with warmish water and a muslin cloth, rubbing in circular motions to try and get some sort of exfoliation out of the beads in the mask because lol why would I buy an exfoliator too? It came off pretty easy, although I did manage to absolutely soak myself in the process.

Here’s a lil timeline for ya:

Straight after use: My skin was super smooth! I kept wanting to touch it but didn’t because it felt all pure and magical after the mask.

An hour after use: My blemishes were looking a little red, but my skin is a bitch so that was to be expected. I presume a lot of it came from the exfoliation as well.

The next day: My blemishes seemed a lot smaller and definitely less red, which is what I wanted from the mask. My skin felt the healthiest it had in months. My cheeks seemed a little dryer than usual, but I took that to be from my rigorous scrubbing during exfoliation.

So there you have it, my review on Lush’s Mask of Magnaminty (Self-Preserving). I think it was a success, as my skin didn’t turn bright red like it has done every other time I’ve tried a face mask. I’ll definitely be incorporating this into my weekly skincare routine, and now I just need to concentrate on finding a new moisturiser that won’t break me out.

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THANKS LUSH, YOU’RE THE BEST ❤

Favourite Food Things in Spain

As a British child, I was dragged to Spain a lot as a kid. So much so, that I thought I had a pretty good idea about what I did and didn’t like about the country. And if you read my posts leading up to my arrival in Madrid last year, they’re more on the ‘didn’t like’ side of things. However, Spain has pleasantly surprised me and I figured it deserved a positive post for a change, so here are my five favourite things about living in Spain. And surprisingly, they’re all food related. Vegetariansaywhaaaaaat?

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1. Tostada con Tomate:

Before I moved here, my biggest worry was how I’d survive as a vegetarian. And even though it’s still a constant struggle with jamón and chorizo lurking around every corner, there are some foods I’ve sort of fallen in love with. Mainly tostada con tomate. Technically speaking, before my Barcelonés boyfriend complains, this is a Catalan dish. But political stance aside, I love this thing. Never would I have thought I’d want to eat tomatoes for breakfast if it wasn’t somehow related to baked beans, but I am smitten. It’s made even better by always being less than 3€ including a drink, speaking of…

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2. Café con Leche:

I’d heard so much about Spanish coffee, and was honestly expecting something amazing. However, my first experiences with coffee in Madrid just left me feeling underwhelmed. Tiny sizes and the seemingly nonexistent iced variety left me resorting to Starbucks more than I’d care to admit. But now I am one with the café con leches. Sure, they may not all be winners, but they’re cheap and easily accessible. And after twentyone years of living in my English hometown, I never found a coffee I liked within walking distance to my house. So I’m pretty content with the two minute walk to my preferred coffee shop nowadays. I’m almost over the fact that I can’t get a decent iced latte. Almost.

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3. Just General Eating And Drinking Outside:

This is a bit of a stretch on my food topic, but hear me out ‘cause I think it’s important. In the two weeks of summer we get in the UK, everyone runs to the nearest beer garden. But beer gardens are meh, because there’s not much that can compare to the joy of sitting outside in the sun with a good coffee and an even better book. I know it’s a weather thing, but come on, get on this one, UK.

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4. Sweet Things For Breakfast:

Back in the UK, I was strictly a banana or Special K kinda girl. Chocolate for breakfast? Eww. Gross. Blehhh. But what started with a bowl of my flatmate’s Coco Pops led to me possibly having a napolitana from every bakery in Madrid. Croissants just don’t do it for me anymore. Sleepy Saturday mornings at my local brunch haunt, chocolate muesli bars on the bus to work, or Coco Pops in bed. I am a convert. Well done, Spain. Give me that sugar.

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5. Froyo:

I have never been one for ice cream. It melts too quickly and it makes my teeth cold. Out of tradition, I’ll have a little pot of vanilla at the theatre, but I’m more likely to be found racing to finish a Mr Freeze before it melts into nothingness. But one fateful night in August, hungry and a little day-drunk, I stumbled onto my first froyo shop of Madrid. Magical. Now I’m just counting down the days until it reaches 20 degrees again so I can justify walking along with my yoghurt and my fruit. And not having it melt all over me because it’s not EVIL and TERRIBLE like ice cream is. Two words, guys: banana froyo. You’re welcome.

I think it’s safe the say… the vegetarian has been appeased.