Alien on Toast... it's what you think you'd asked for when you tell people you're vegan. This blog is dedicated to all things vegan from someone who lives in a pretty non-vegan world! Stay tuned for food, beauty products/makeup, recipes or restaurant/product reviews.... along with a healthy smattering of bad food photography, half eaten leftovers and bad puns.
It's that time of the month again when the Vegan Kind lifestyle box arrives! Also, it's August so it's time for a quarterly beauty box too. (I also unboxed both of these on my Instagram Stories, so if you're quick you may still catch it!)
So recently I ordered some of the new W7 Very Vegan range. I talked about this in my Beauty Chat video but if you hadn't heard, affordable brand W7 released a totally vegan (and Vegan Society approved) range of makeup.
I ordered an eyeshadow palette, eyeliner, mascara, blusher, highlighter
and a lipstick; here is the video of me trying them for the first time / first
I also wanted to use them all a good few times so that I could give you my proper opinion on all the products.
Starting with: Eye Eco Eyeshadow Palette - £14.95
If you ever wanted a vegan (and more affordable) dupe for the Naked 2 palette from Urban Decay, this is a good option.
(for full swatches, check out my video linked above!)
Overall I like this palette. The shimmers are pigmented and go on well, they last pretty well and the colours are nice. There's a bit of fall out, so be aware of that and maybe do your foundation first or put some translucent powder down to catch it. I should add that I have hooded eyes, so without a primer, even super expensive shadows will crease on me. I use the same primer I use with all shadows and these last as well as some of my more expensive ones. In the video I only primed one eye and the eye I didn't prime did crease.
If I had a criticism of the palette at all, it would be that there's only 3 matte shades, one flesh tone, one black and one that could be used as a crease colour; I'd have preferred a couple more matte crease shades, as I think only having one limits it a bit. But overall it's a good palette.
Eyeliner - £5.95
I don't like this eyeliner. Mainly because I am not a fan of stiff, nib style eyeliner applicators, which this has. I find it difficult to get a smooth line and really hard to draw a wing without blobbing it to hell. The actual formula is ok and lasts well so if you like this style of brush you may love it! But for me it's a no.
I also found that when going over it to make it fully opaque, it lifted some of the liner off!
Mascara - £7.95
I like the mascara. It is not my favourite mascara wand ever because I am messy and I like a nice thin plasticky type wand. But I do like this mascara. It holds a curl on me and doesn't flake. Also I cried a lot the other day and it didn't run down my face. So there's that. For the price, there's other mascaras I'd pick over this one.
Blush - £8.95
I LOVE this blush; it's my favourite thing out of all the items I bought. The colour I got is Sugar Sugar and it's the perfect peachy pink. I love it. It's a nice formula, it lasts well and doesn't look chalky. I also love the embossing - the heart detail. It's so cute. And it has a decent sized mirror. I would absolutely recommend this blush and will be buying the other colours!
Highlighter - £8.95
I like the highlighter. I got the paler of the two shades available and it's a touch darker than I'd like it to be. However, it's a lovely highlighter. You're not gonna be seen twinkling from space or anything but it is very nice and catches the light lovely. I have other highlighters I prefer and this is very yellow gold, but it is very pretty and I see myself reaching it for it often.
Lipstick - £6.95
I like the lipstick. Although I wasn't crazy about it at first, it actually lasted a really long time, I mean hours! Through drinking and eating which surprised me for it having such a slippy formula! I would buy more of these!
So that's my thoughts on what I have tried so far. I didn't buy a concealer or foundation, as my skin is tricky to find good products for. However, at the price point W7 have set, I will probably try them at some point. I will probably also pick up some of the eyeshadow quads to try.
Oh and here's the look I came up with on the video! :)
Let me know your thoughts - do you think the range looks good? Have you tried anything? Would you?
I heard a rumour there was a vegan-friendly cafe, not all that far from where I live. You could easily miss this place! It's a 10 minute drive from the town centre, it's next to a pub in the middle of a housing estate. It's not much to look at from the outside.
On this inside though it's super cute and they have a vegan specials board and vegan cake!!
The menus on each table are standard cafe fayre; cooked breakfasts, sandwiches, jacket potatoes... But they also have a specials board and a vegan specials board with loads of options on!
The staff were very friendly and told us that in addition to the vegan specials, some of the regular items could also be made vegan and just to ask for more info.
I eat a lot of curries and Mexican inspired food on a day to day basis, so I went for the Italian burger and I was not disappointed.
It was a soy (I think) based patty, which seemed like it was probably home made. It had quite a crumbly texture (if that's the right word) which I liked a lot. The Italian part was a balsamic glaze, tomato and basil. This burger was so good and the chips were excellent too.
As we were taking away cake, we both got a milkshake instead of dessert; I got a soy vanilla shake with oreos in. Simon isn't vegan and he dreamed up an odd concoction of fererro rocher and turkish delight (??I know right?!) which he said was pretty good.
We also took some cakes to go; a couple of the lemon crumble cupcakes (icing was nice, cake was a wee bit dry but still tasty) and one of the chocolate brownies. The brownie was for a very non-vegan friend of ours and she said it was 'gorgeous!'. We asked which cakes were vegan and it seemed they all were except for the ones with mini marshmallows on.
yeah, I managed to smush it a bit in transit!
So if you're anywhere near Basingstoke, I would definitely recommend checking this place out.
So I have a few vegan lists that I regularly update and this week I've updated the following lists, after receiving new information from the brands (clik the brand name to view the post):
Aveda - I recently posted a list of the non vegan items GOSH - I have updated list of their vegan items Lee Stafford - I have re-confirmation of their cruelty free status and an updated list of their vegan items theBalm - I have an updated list of their vegan items Pixi by Petra - I have an updated list of their vegan items
I also have an updated list from The Body Shop that I will update this week, so watch out for that.
I also reached out to the following companies, recently and sadly have decided not to support them anymore and here's the brief reasons why (if you want more info, my video about it is linked at the bottom of the page!):
I emailed for clarification on their cruelty free stance (as I keep hearing they're not CF!) and was not happy with the response, so will no longer support them and have taken them off my animal friendly brand list.
They cannot guarantee any of their products are vegan and are now ignoring my follow up emails (in typical Sleek style).
TAM Beauty (Makeup Revolution, Freedom, I Heart Makeup):
Similar to the above. They're saying they can't confirm anything is vegan as they do not know the source of all their ingredients. Which is not what they told me when they launched. So I won't be buying any more of their products until they can confirm this.
Before the Estee Lauder buy-out, when they starting using the standard EL testing policy (I'm not sure if they ever actually went into the Chinese market or not!), I was a HUGE fan of Aveda. My number 1 all time hair product was their curl enhancing lotion. So to hear they are now CF again made my day.
I decided to contact them for a vegan list and it was very refreshing to receive a super helpful, polite email a couple of days later with the list of products that are not vegan (as it's shorter - weeee!). I say refreshing because I feel really frustrated this week with the cut/paste and unhelpful answers I've been getting from brands - but more on that in another post. For those of you here for the list, here it is (I've also pasted their response for information too) .....
Thank you for your interest in Aveda and I apologise for the delay in responding to you.
Sarah, although Aveda products are not certified Vegetarian or Vegan, many of our products contain no animal derived ingredients. However, we have a small assortment of products that are made with beeswax or honey since we have not found substitutes for these particular ingredients in those formulae at this time. As of March 2013 you will find Beeswax or Honey in the products listed below. We are also happy to provide the ingredient listings for any product you are interested in using for your review -- please contact us with the specific product names.
Beeswax: Lip Saver™ Lip Shine Light Elements Shaping Wax™ Light Elements™ Texturizing Crème Nourish-Mint™ Rehydrating Lip Glaze Nourish-Mint™ Renewing Lip Treatment Nourish-Mint™ Sheer Mineral Lip Color Nourish-Mint™ Smoothing Lip Color Uruku Lip Pigment Uruku Color Gloss
Honey: Phomollient™ Pure Abundance™ Volumizing Clay Conditioner Pure Abundance™ Volumizing Hair Spray Pure Abundance™ Volumizing Hair Potion Pure Abundance™ Volumizing Shampoo
YAY, my beloved Curl Enhancer is safe! I should note that for those of you who avoid cruelty free companies with non cruelty free parent companies, Aveda are owned by Estee Lauder.
Have an awesome weekend everyone!
Ps: * Logical Harmony's list is, in my opinion, the most thorough and my go to list for finding out if a brand is cruelty free. There are others I check if a brand is on the LH Pending or Grey Area lists and of course I spend a lot of time contacting brands myself too, but this one is the one I trust the most.
As this post is now pretty out of date, I contacted theBalm this week and asked for an updated list and here it is. If you're a fan of theBalm, bookmark this page, as I will update it here whenever I receive confirmation of new vegan items.
Vegan Options from theBalm
Read My Lips – all shades Meet Matte Hughes – all shades Pickup Liners – all shades BalmShelter Tinted Moisturizer – all shades Photobalm – all shades timeBalm Primer Put A Lid On It Stainiac – Beauty Queen Cheater Mascara Whats Your Type? – Tall dark and Handsome + Body Builder Schwing Mad Lash Mr. Write Now – excluding Scott + Raj Overshadow – all shades Sexy Mama Bahama Mama Instain – all shades Balm Beach Balm Springs Mary Lou Manizer Highlite N Con Tour Meet Matte Ador How Bout Them Apples
Just a quick one today but keep an eye out for a new beauty video going live on youtube tonight, which is uploading as I type!!
I've been getting the Vegan Kind beauty boxes for a while and I think they're pretty awesome, but they're quarterly and I like getting boxes of cool shit. So I decided to sign up for the monthly snack box, because I'm a complete pie and yesterday, my second one arrived.
Because I love you, I busted out my proper camera and went outside and took these pictures for you! No shitty iPhone pics for yous today! That is love.
So inside the box there was a Bounce V Life protein ball (I've seen this brand in Holland & Barrett and the majority have whey powder in, so it's nice to see one with the Vegan Society logo on!)
Next up was this Chewsy lemon chewing gum; not gonna lie, I'm not excited about this. Mostly because I'm worried it'll be minty lemon flavour, which is abhorrent and should be banned. I'm keeping it for a taste test video that I'm planning on filming REAL soon, so keep an eye on my youtube (*cough*linkabove*cough*) channel for that.
Next these salted sticky toffee sweets which sound pretty good. As I turned them over to read the ingredients I was saying to myself "please don't be made of dates please don't be made of dates...." They are made of dates! BUT they do also have golden syrup in, so I'm feeling hopeful. In fact I'm gonna try one right now, hang on......
OK so they're good! Don't taste too healthy, nice kick of sea salt and I like the crispies in there. Not sure they're worth 50 calories for how small a piece is, but good if you don't care about that shit or just want a salty chocolate hit. If only they were ball shaped!
Next up, Metcalfe's Sweet n Salty flavoured Skinny Popcorn. I'm already a fan of this; I quite often buy a bag for a snack!
Next, this interesting looking natural energy drink. It says it has gurana and high levels of caffein in - sold! I'm gonna try it on Monday morning.
Also, although I say it's a food box, I believe it's sold as a 'lifestyle' box so you also get at least one non-edible item. This month's was this candle from Harper's candles. I love that it has the TVK logo on. I have to be honest, it kinda smells like a generic home fragrance spray you can buy in the supermarket. However, those are full of shite and tested on animals so this is way better anyway. I love a good candle so I'm interested to try this out.
So that's this month's box. What do you think? Did you get it too? What do you love? What do you think is total pants? Do you think it's worth the box price (I totally do!)? Why am I asking so many questions? Seriously Sal, what is this, 20 questions?
I must say, I'm never disappointed with the beauty or food (so far) boxes; they really are a great way to discover new stuff for a lot less than you'd pay for the individual items. Here's a pic of the May beauty box, for those interested: