Monday, 23 May 2016

Boots / No.7 / SEVENTEEN etc - Animal Testing Policy

Good afternoon!

I often see in groups on Facebook etc, people insisting that No 7 / all Boots own brands are not cruelty free. I have always been advised by them that they are, so I asked them recently to confirm their policy for me in more detail, just to check. Here is their full response.

TL:DR - I think they are still ok!!

I should add, that Boots are now part of the Boots/Walgreens Alliance. So although this applies to Boots' own brands, I am not sure about Walgreens and from a quick google, I don't think Walgreens are cruelty free.

So if Parent/Sister companies bother you, then avoid. If not, here is the full statement.

Hello Sarah,
Thanks for contacting us about animal testing.

Boots and its subsidiary businesses do not test any products or ingredients on animals, and do not commission others to do so on our behalf. In fact in March 2013 it became illegal for any company to test cosmetic products or ingredients on animals in Europe.

The issue of animal testing on products and raw materials is one we take very seriously at Boots UK. For over 20 years our policy for cosmetics and toiletries has been that we do not carry out, or ask our suppliers to carry out on our behalf, animal testing on either ingredients or finished products and you can rest assured that we apply our policy rigorously.

Boots would like to see an end to all animal testing, and we fully supported the development of the ban on animal testing on ingredients that came into force in the European Union in 2013. The ban applies to all cosmetics products purchased from any store across the EU and completes the ban that started with finished products in 2004 and was extended to cover most types of ingredient testing in 2009. The 2013 law has completed the ban for all forms of animal testing for both products and ingredients and now ensures that all companies in our industry in Europe are now aligned with the same policy that Boots has had in place for over 20 years.

We would definitely like to see an end to all animal tests. We fully support the intentions of the BUAV and take a keen interest in the development and introduction of alternative forms of safety testing.

I do understand that you may be looking for some information on other brands that we stock. The ban in Europe applies to all Cosmetics and Toiletries brands and not just Boots brands. Unfortunately I’m afraid that we cannot speak on behalf of other brands and suggest that for reassurance you contact them to ask them directly. I do hope you find the information I have provided helpful and reassuring.

Please find below an FAQ that we have collated. This may be of interest to you and answer some more of the questions you may have. (NB: this is pretty much the questions I asked them in my email - Sal!)

1. Does your company test ingredients or/and finished products on animals? - Boots do not test ingredients or finished product on animals

2. Do you test ingredients or products on animals through a 3rd party? If your answer is no, how do you ensure that your manufacturers do not test? - Boots do not ask others to test on our behalf and we require that our suppliers and manufacturers comply with our animal testing policy

3. Do your manufacturers test ingredients or products on animals? - No

4. Are you owned or affiliated with any companies that test products or ingredients on animals? - No

5. Do you have a parent company? If so who are they? - Boots is part of Walgreens Boots Alliance

6. Do you/your parent company currently or have plans to market and sell your products in the Chinese market, which requires animal testing by law to sell in that country? - We have no plans to sell products in China specifically because they require animal testing.

Boots Customer Care.

I hope that this is useful to some out there with queries.

Have an awesome week
Sal xXx

Monday, 16 May 2016

Vegan mascaras you can buy on the high street!

I see this get asked a LOT across the vegan facebook groups I post in. So I decided to write to the cruelty free brands sold in Superdrug and Boots (that don't publish a vegan list or that I don't have one for) and ask them if any of their mascaras are vegan! And here are the results....

B. (Superdrug)
- All B. Makeup items are vegan!
They are in the process of rebranding/redesigning the range, but for now, there are 2 or 3 mascaras.

Barry M
- Lash Vegas  (all varieties including waterproof)
Showgirl and Roll with it mascaras have beeswax in!

Beauty UK
I have emailed / messaged several times with no response received. I will update this page should I hear back.

Boots Own Brands:
After many confusing emails back and forward, they cannot guarantee any of their own brand mascaras are vegan as they don't 'conform to vegan society standards'. Also, more importantly, Boots, they CONTAIN BEESWAX! So erm yeah avoid.

They confirmed by email that they are currently updating their list of which products contain animal ingredients, but at present no mascaras are vegan.
- Rebel Eyes Mascara
- Boombastic XXL Swirl Volume Mascara


Makeup Revolution
I didn't bother emailing because, firstly I knew they wouldn't confirm this (they never do) but more importantly ALL the mascaras listed on their website showed beeswax in their ingredients list! The 'INGREDIENTS' page is SORELY out of date, so make sure you go to the individual product pages to check ingredients and scroll down.

M&S Autograph
- Fibre Lash Enhancing Mascara (marked vegan on website)

Update!! M&S has confirmed by email that the following are also vegan:
- High Definition Mascara
- Amplified Lashes Volumising Mascara
- Neverending Lashes Lengthening Mascara
- Aqua Proof Water Resistant Mascara
- Semi-Permanent Mascara

(woop woop, go M&S!!!)

- Some M&S stores also sell Pixi products and their Lash Booster Mascara is vegan.

(I know I'm cheating a bit with M&S as it's not a drugstore, but lots of high streets have them! A lot of the Rosie for Autograph collection is vegan but please note, the mascara has beeswax!)

Models Own
Their mascara contains beeswax.

I checked individual product pages for each mascara they sell and not all of them have ingredients lists. But from the ones that do, there are 2 that say they contain synthetic beeswax and I don't see anything GLARING from the ingredient list. So if you're happy to take that chance, they are:

- Eye Define Volume & Line Mascara
- Eye Define Waterproof Mascara

Their email response was fairly typical of MUA, in that they won't confirm vegan products. They suggested I check ingredients lists! (Thanks MUA!)


- I'm Conditional Mascara
- Lethal Length Mascara

These looked vegan from ingredients posted on the website, so I emailed them and they confirmed back to me that these mascaras are vegan.

Soap & Glory
- All 3 Thick & Fast mascaras are vegan according to their website (synthetic beeswax!)

Have I missed any? Leave me a comment so I can include them if so.

I will of course update this list as and when I learn about any reformulations or new vegan mascara options - so feel free to bookmark this page for your records :)

Let me know if you want another post about vegan mascara options including non-high street brands and I'll get to work!

Sal xXx

Friday, 13 May 2016

Friday Favourites - Food Edition

It's Friday! Woop woop.

I've decided to do a cheeky Friday favourites post: Food edition!

Follow Your Heart Blue Cheese Dressing
I LOVE this stuff! It reminds me of the dressing I used to smother over a bowl of sweetcorn and kidney beans at the Harvester when I was a kid. In fact, if I even find myself going there (it's rare, not very vegan friendly!) then I take a little pot of this with me for the salad!

Today I had some on a very boring pasta salad that I bought in Tesco, which made it totally awesome instead!

This salad is only marked vegetarian so I quadruple checked ingredients and couldn't see any sneaky honey or anything! Been caught out like that before.

Livi's Kitchen Raw Millionaire Bites
Ever since an awesome raw brownie in Southsea, I've been a little obsessed with finding awesome raw puds and I found these last week in a local health food shop. They are not as sweet or junky as a regular millionaire's shortbread, obviously, but they are a very nice sweet treat and still pretty healthy!

Dried Mango
Who am I? What have I become? I honestly thing this tastes like gummy sweets! Such a good mid afternoon snack at work!

Wheaty Hemp Spacebars
I love these; whenever I find them stocked somewhere I grab a big stash that never lasts that long. Amazingly I still have 2 of these in the fridge that I bought a week ago!

Apro Go On Yoghurts
Have you tried these yet guys? Cuz you have too. Best vegan yoghurts I have ever had and I'm particularly obsessed with the passion fruit flavour.

Also, they are called Go On. Which just reminds me of this wonderful woman! **

Shameless plug time.... have you guys seen my latest youtube vid? It's a what I ate in a day from a couple of weeks ago and you can view it HERE.

Have an awesome weekend everyone!

Sal xXx

** FECK OFF CUP! bahahaha I Sometimes forget how awesome Father Ted was!

Monday, 9 May 2016

GOSH - Some recent purchases

Recently I have bought a few new items from GOSH; it's no secret that I am a huge fan of this brand... affordable, vegan friendly and awesome! What more could you want?

So I thought I'd tell you a bit about what I've bought lately and what I think of them so far!

I was super excited to see on the updated vegan list that GOSH sent me recently that they now have two vegan mascaras. So of course I had to try both.
So far I think they're both awesome but I'm thinking I might do a comparison video - what do you guys think? Would that help you make a decision on which one to buy?

Firstly, the Boombastic XXL Swirl Volume Mascara. This is great for drama and volume, as the name would suggest. The wand is pretty huge so if you're messy (like me), have the cotton buds on hand for clean ups!

Rebel Eyes Mascara has a much smaller, plasticy, curved wand which I LOVE. Great for everyday use but it still gives great length and separation. I find it easier to lower lashes with this one, I generally use a fan brush for lower lashes if I'm using the other one.

Primer Plus: Hydration
I'm not 100% sure if primers really make my makeup stay on any longer, but this one feels nice and as I'm applying, it does seem to make my pores look a little less obvious. So there's that! 

Foundation Drops
I've used these in a couple of videos and I think they're great. I either add them to a tinted moisturiser for a bit more coverage or use them alone and they work great both ways. My skin is super dry and they do not make it any worse. 

Lumi Drops
These are nice mixed into foundation or used as a cream highlight - a very subtle one! If (like me) you're more of a disco ball kinda gal, then you might want to layer a powder highlighter over it. But for a more subtle look, these are nice. 

Lip Oil
Hmmm, not sure what I feel about this yet. Is lip oil a new trend? I've seen Barry M have come out with one, that I probably need to try for comparison. To me it feels just like a lipgloss and it's very moisturising on the lips. No colour shows up but it feels nice and I reach for it quite a lot on workday mornings, when I generally don't bother with lipstick! 

So that's what I have got recently from GOSH.

Don't forget, if you want to know what GOSH products are vegan, check out my post listing vegan items HERE.

Have an awesome week.
Sal xXx

All products were purchased with my own money / all opinions are my own!

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Hungry Horse Pubs - Vegan Options

The Hungry Horse you say? Doesn't look very vegan friendly I know but it does have an option... a curry! We went there with friends at the weekend and I was pleasantly surprised. The curry was tasty and the portions were kind of huge!

The naan bread and yogurt sauce that come with it are not vegan so ask for the curry without (or give them to your fiance if he wants them, like I did!), all the other bits are though. You could probably ask them to swap the naan for another poppadom or bhaji but I was pretty full without doing that!

This curry is not spicy at all in my opinion, so even for those who don't like spicy food, I think you'll do OK with it.

They also have quite a few vegan side dishes, if you wanted to cobble something together. The allergen menu lists vegan items and can be found HERE. (I didn't link to the exact link as it's bound to change regularly!)

There's no vegan puds - but I was way too full for that anyway.

So here's the pics.

Have an awesome week everyone!
Sal xXx

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Some recent weekend foods

I decided to show you some of the food we've eaten over the last couple of weekends, as there's been some good stuff!

We decided to make pizza! After unsuccessful trips to 2 supermarkets looking for dough or pizza bases that didn't look total crap, we settled for ciabatta for the bases. Which I love, Simon's not so keen. I added tofurky italian sausage, peppers, mushrooms, sweetcorn and a mixture of Follow Your Heart cheddar shreds and Daiya mozzarella shreds (the daiya is still in my freezer from New York!)

Last weekend we took my parents to see our wedding venue (it's booked you guys and it's soooooo pretty!) and afterwards we went over to the Golden Lion in Winchester for a roast. It's a lovely pub that has a vegan menu! (I've blogged about it before if you want to see the non-Sunday menu!) It's a bit of a trek for us but totally worth it.

They do desserts too. I'm 99.9% sure these are Lazy Days millionaire's shortbreads, which I suspected before I ordered it, because the other option was tiffin! When I tasted it my mind was made up. However, I'm a fan of the Lazy Days products so I enjoyed this. It was served with soy cream.

I bought this the other week from a store in Portsmouth and it had been in the fridge a while. I'd sneaked a few bits. But I took it out and ate it at room temperature and OH EM GEE it's amazing (totally better at room temp than cold too and I normally like my choccy chilled!) This is too dangerous to buy often because it's really really good. I've also tried their white nougat crisp variety which is also excellent!

On Friday I saw on Instagram that Lola's Cupcakes (stalls/stores dotted around London) do vegan options. I casually mentioned it to Simon and he brought me cupcakes home from work with him to cheer me up after putting my stupid back out. What a winner.

Obviously these are chocolate flavour and they were excellent. The frosting was fluffy and delicious and not so dense with sugar that I wanted to collapse into a sugar coma afterwards. The sponge was delicious too and not in any way dry!

Then on Sunday, as my back was still out and Simon wasn't feeling great either, we were lazy and ordered pizza. We usually order from Pizza Hut but we decided to give Papa Johns a go after looking at their allergen menu. We are so glad we did because this kicked Pizza Hut's butt!

We got wedges and dips. All those dips are great, especially that garlic dip (there's 2 garlic dips, one is vegan and one isn't so check the allergen menu) - it is DIRTY! Dirty good though.

I got the regular veggie pizza and when it arrived we sprinkled on some grated violife and let it melt in the oven for a bit. I don't normally bother adding vegan cheese, but that day I was feeling it and it was SO GOOD!

There was dessert too. The cinnamon bun things which do seem to be vegan from reading the allergen menu! These are basically croissanty shaped dough covered in a tonne of gooey cinnamon icing and they are dirty amazeballs. 

So that's that for some weekend eats.

Anyone going to the new Forest Vegan Fayre this weekend? If my back is up to it, I'll be there to sample some delights!

Happy humpday all

Friday, 15 April 2016

Mildred's Kings Cross

On Tuesday I found myself in London for work - it doesn't happen often but as it did, Simon and I decided to meet for dinner after he was finished too.

So a quick tube trip from my office to Kings Cross and we made our way to Mildred's. I have been to the Soho one a couple of times, but hadn't yet been to either of the new locations (they also have one in Camden).

A quick scan of the menu showed that a lot of the options are vegan (it's a totally vegetarian place in case you've never heard of it). I started with a glass of Cava, as the prosecco wasn't marked vegan and Simon had a virgin mule cocktail, which was VERY gingery.

We shared a starter of the buffalo tofu with ranch dressing. It was super spicy and delicious and the ranch was amazing! I've never tasted ranch before so no idea what it's meant to taste like but it was great.(Follow your heart do one, so I'll be picking that up when I see it!)

For the main, I had the mushroom and ale pie, which I'm pretty sure I've had all 3 times I've been to Mildred's haha. It's soooo good! Perfect chips and mushy peas went alongside it.

I didn't take a pic of Simon's main as it wasn't vegan. But for dessert he picked the Pavlova so I could try it. It was marked vegan but when I tried it I was sooo suspicious, because it was exactly how I remember egg meringue tasting! OK it's been a while, but I was still unsure. (By the way, I emailed them the next day and asked if they used aquafaba and they confirmed that they do - definitely need to do some experiments with it now!!)

This was seriously, soooo good. In fact, I don't normally go for fruity desserts (as shown by my choice of a chocolate brownie) but I'd definitely pick this next time over the brownie, even though the brownie was also excellent! It was topped with coconut cream and raspberry sauce. It was brilliant.

As I mentioned, I picked the peanut butter brownie which was delicious! It came with vanilla ice cream too. If you're a chocolate/pb fan, you will love this!

All in all, the food was excellent and I wouldn't hesitate going back. in fact I'd really like to go back soon for more buffalo tofu and pavlova funtimes!

Sorry for being a bit absent on the blog the last couple of weeks. I'm trying to get back into a regular posting schedule.

If you are subscribed to my youtube channel, you will have seen there was a new video yesterday; it was a get ready with me with my current skincare and a few makeup favourites. Go check it....

Have an awesome weekend!
Sal xXx