Thursday, 15 June 2017

theBalm - Updated Vegan List

As this post is now pretty out of date, I contacted theBalm this week and asked for an updated list and here it is.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!!

Sal xXx


Friday, 9 June 2017

June's Vegan Kind Box (Food)

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.

Oooohhh

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:

And last month's lifestyle box:


You can sign up for either of TVK's boxes via their website >> linky link.

Have an awesome weekend.

Sal xXx

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Birthday Food (and a bit of makeup!)

So last Friday was my 38th (fuck!) birthday and unlike most years when I ask for a tonne of makeup, or vouchers to buy a tonne of makeup, I mostly asked for gym stuff. Yes I've become that bellend! I got a new fitbit...

Ooooh shiny!

My trainers are on order and my best friend bought me a gym towel that I asked for. Also I spent this morning browsing Fabletics for gym leggings (I forgot to skip the month, duh), but I digress.

I did get some makeup, my awesome Bro and Sis-in-law brought me this lovely lot and I need to play with it all soon so I can organise my thoughts on it!

Simon also bought me a beautiful bracelet and a cute Penguin called Pongo to add to our collection, seen here acting as my glamorous assistant, showing off the Vegan Tuck Box that my rad friend Jojo sent me.


But onto the food.

We went to Las Iguanas, which is a chain restaurant here in the UK, for those of you not on this side of the pond. They have a separate vegetarian menu, that has all the vegan options marked on it.

We shared a couple of starters. Firstly, chips & guac:

Then we went for the Taco Plank, which had coconut squash on (so good!)


For my main I picked the Moqueca de Palmitos, which I'm pretty sure I have every time! It's a lovely mild curry type dish, with coconut milk and tonnes of veggies in, including squash and hearts of palm. They serve it with rice and some green beans.


We also shared some curly fries :)

I spent the rest of the day drinking birthday prosecco, but I also wanted to show you the cake that Simon had made for me! How awesome is this! He sneakily asked me some of my favourite cruelty free makeup brands and so this cake features Nars, Anastasia Beverley Hills, Charlotte Tilbury and Nabla! So cool. My photo doesn't do it justice at all.


Also this cake was HUGE! Inside was layers of chocolate sponge, with chocolate frosting and also a top layer of speculoos spread. It was delicious.

Overall I had such a good birthday. Even more so because I feel super grateful for how things have changed in a year. Last year on my birthday, I was basically in tears on the couch most of the day due to a back injury, that meant I was in so much pain, I could barely walk to the loo! After that, a load of other stuff went wrong and the rest of 2016 was a complete shower of shite.

So far, 2017 has been awesome and I feel unbelievably lucky that my back is pretty much better. 10 minutes of walking at Christmas had me in agony; now I'm doing my 10,000 steps every day and going for 3 mile walks whenever I can (with no pain!). I am back at the gym and feel better than ever. My fiance has a new job that he loves and is happy in and in a few short months, we'll be getting married.

So 38 is looking like being a good year and I'm super excited for what's to come. If I had a drink in my hand I'd cheers ya, but apparently it's bad luck to cheers with water, so I'll not do that, I'll just bugger off and stop rambling.

Love & stuff
Sal xXx

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

The Big Fat Vegan Mascara List

A while ago I wrote this post about vegan mascaras you can buy on the high street. I thought it was time for an update (even though I do update that post regularly) to also include high end / online brands. I want to show there are tonnes of options out there for cruelty free AND vegan mascaras, so here we go.

Any brands that you cannot buy on the high street, I will link to a place online you can buy it. All these brands are cruelty free:

Key:
I have noted where a brand has a non cruelty free parent company with PC
If the mascara is waterproof I have noted it with W
If I have tried it and liked it, I have noted it with A


B. (Superdrug) PC
- Volumising Mascara
- HD Lengthening Mascara
- HD Dual Wand Mascara
(All B. Makeup items are vegan! the new B products are online now and will be in selected stores soon)

Beauty Without Cruelty
- Waterproof W
- Full Volume A
- Ultimate Conditioning

(All BWC products are vegan)

Blinc
- Original tubing mascara only, (the Mascara Amplified has beeswax) W

Body Shop PC
- Lash Hero

Charlotte Tilbury
- Full Fat Lashes

Collection
- Lengthening Mascara A
Hold off on Collection - I'm currently checking their cruelty free status!
 
ELF
- All ELF makeup is vegan W (option)

(Above link is ELF's website, but you can also buy ELF from Superdrug online and in selected stores.)

GOSH
- Rebel Eyes Mascara A
- Boombastic XXL Swirl Volume Mascara A
- Amazing Length N Build Mascara
- Volume Serum Mascara

Kiko
- Volume & Definition Top Coat Mascara
- Curling Top Coat Mascara
- Luxurious Lashes Maxi Brush Mascara
- Extreme Volume Effect Mascara Kit
- Extra Sculpt Volume Mascara

(I do not have official confirmation that these are vegan; however, Kiko have said the only animal ingredients used in their range are beeswax, carmine and lanolin, so I've scanned the ingredients list for these ingredients)

Lavera
- Deep Darkness Mascara
- Volume Mascara
- Front Row Curl Organic Mascara

(Lavera's other mascaras have beeswax in)

Lily Lolo
- Natural Mascara A

Lush
- Eyes Right Mascara

M&S Autograph
- Fibre Lash Enhancing Mascara (marked vegan on website)
- High Definition Mascara
- Amplified Lashes Volumising Mascara
- Neverending Lashes Lengthening Mascara
- Aqua Proof Water Resistant Mascara W
- Semi-Permanent Mascara

Medusa's Makeup
- Witch Lash Mascara

Neve
- DeerLash Defining Mascara

(Also available in the UK from Cute Cosmetics.)

Pacifica
- Stellar Gaze
- Aquarian Gaze W

PHB Ethical Beauty
- All in One Natural Mascara A

Pixi (online and in some M&S stores) 
- Lash Booster Mascara
- Large Lash Mascara

Sleek
- 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.
Hold off on Sleek - I'm currently trying my best to find out if they can confirm if any products are vegan.

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

Tarte PC
- Lights, Camera, Lashes
- Lifted Sweatproof
- Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara
- Tarteist Lash Paint Mascara

(Link above is to their US site who ship to the UK. Selected Tarte products also available in the UK from QVC.)

theBalm
- What's Your Type: Tall Dark and Handsome & Body Builder
- Cheater Mascara
- Mad Lash

Too Faced PC
- Better Than Sex
(The original, pink tube only, the waterproof has beeswax)

Tropic
- Fixing Gel Mascara

VE Cosmetics
- Mermaid Lash Mascara


I have no doubt there are some missing; so I will update this list regularly as and when things change or I become notified of new options or discontinuations / changes in formulas.

What's your favourite? Have I missed it out?

If you liked this post or found it useful, please consider sharing it and also, come chat to me on Twitter or Instagram, if you like or if you're bored!

Sal
xXx

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Current Favourites - Food Edition

I've got a few beauty favourites that I will probably film a video about but I thought it might be fun to talk about some of my recent favourite food things. Great English there Sal! Let's do this.....


Tofoo Co Tofu

My friend bought this tofu when I visited her and made a curry with it and I was so impressed at the way it held up, I bought some as soon as I got home. And I LOVE it! The texture is brilliant; it's much firmer than Cauldron and it makes the best tofu scramble ever.

I get it from Tesco, but according to their website, you can get it from the Co-Op (never seen it in my teeny local!) and from Ocado too.

They also make a couple of flavoured varieties but I've not tried them yet.


Booja Booja Caramel Pecan Praline Ice Cream


This stuff is delicious but it's also SUPER sweet, so you don't really need that much of it. It's also pretty expensive so I wouldn't be buying it every week, but for an occasional treat, it's a good one!


Oatly Oat Fraiche
Thank you Oatly, thank you so much for this!!!


This stuff is the bomb. I use it wherever I would have used creme fraiche (durr) or sour cream etc in my pregan days. It's especially awesome for dolloping on nachos/tacos/burrito bowl type meals. I also add it to sauces to make them creamy or put a bit on pancakes with some syrup. It's so good.


Caramel Snack A Jacks
I swear these didn't used to be vegan? But they are and a friend of me got me into them recently. Yes they have a cardboard like texture, but who doesn't like cardboard covered in caramel flavouring? No one? Oh, maybe skip these then :)


Seriously though, I like them as a quick snack if I just want a sweet hit.

Food Doctor Roasted Soya
These are a really good post gym snack because 25g (a large handful) is 100 calories ish and has 10g of protein in! I have been trying to find snacks (and foods in general) with more protein in and soya/edamame beans are great for that. And these crunchy little beauties are awesome!


Sweet Freedom 
I know, this stuff is old news but I love it! I especially like the orange spice one, it makes a great sauce for pancakes, or ice cream or just squeeze that ish straight into your gob at the same time as squirting in some schlagfix squirty cream! Don't let anyone ever tell you I'm not classy!


Lemon & Ginger Tea
I had tonsillitis recently and whenever I'm sick like that, I cannot face milky drinks. Although I'm back on it, I've been drinking less regular tea and coffee. Which has been great, because I'm not getting that headache on days I don't have any caffeine anymore! Anyway, I discovered I like this tea. I do add extra lemon juice to it and sometimes a few slices of ginger if I have it. And when I was sick I also added date syrup instead of honey and it really helped my sore throat. 


So those are the things I'm enjoying right now food wise. What's your current food/drink faves??

Sal xXx


Thursday, 4 May 2017

Flawless Makeup Brushes - Review

Upfront I will tell you I was sent these brushes for review, but hopefully you guys know that I will not recommend something I don't like....

That being said... I was contacted by the owner of Flawless Brushes recently about being added to my cruelty free brands list and she kindly offered to send me some of her brushes to try.


I've been using them for a couple of weeks now and I really do like them. In fact I have used them every. day. that I've worn makeup since I got them!

My favourites are this one:

A flat topped kabuki style brush. I use this for foundation; I'm a beauty blender girl usually but I absolutely love how soft this brush is and how flawlessly (geddit?) it blends out the foundation. Also, it doesn't absorb a tonne of product, so the brush doesn't get mingin dirty after one use. Great for lazy Bs who do not like to wash their brushes. Not that I'm advocating that... ok moving on.

I also love this diddy one. 
I won't lie, when I got this I looked at it and though, what the hell am I gonna use that for? I tried it to apply and blend out my liquid bronzer* and it does the job brilliantly. (*Nars' Liquid Laguna is vegan if you are looking for a very lovely liquid bronzer.)

The angle brush is good for brows or eye liner. Also, I discovered on Saturday when I had limited time and limited tools, that the brush in the middle is great both for putting shadow on the lid and for a super quick smokey lower lash line! So that's a bonus.

There was also another eyeshadow brush in the set, but it's dirty from use so not in these pics. It's a fluffy blending brush and I love it for exactly what it's meant to do!

I like the fluffy brush on the left in the pic below for setting my eyelid or under my eye with powder, as it's great for applying powder to small areas (I think it's actually meant for highlighting but I prefer a fan brush for that). I've also found that it blends out my cream/liquid blush really nicely too.

The big brush with the short handle on the right, I use for setting my whole face with powder.

A couple of other brushes are also missed out of my pictures due to needing a clean! A blusher brush (very similar in shape, but softer and less dense than the Real Techniques expert face brush, so I think that'd work well for foundation too) and a pencil brush. The pencil brush is a good size for putting colour under the lower lash line and in the inner corner of the eye and it's very soft so blends out the shadow lovely. Also, I think it'd be good for spot concealing.

As I said above, these brushes are super soft and fluffy. I have had a couple of hairs shed from them, but none on my face, just one or two when washing them. Nothing that causes me concern. Also, I'm an idiot and left one of the brushes in a bag for a couple of days with the dirty brushes and a damp sponge after a makeup job. Yes I'm gross. But the brush is still in tact (which is more than I can say for one of my crown brushes, which has lost most of the handle's coating! haha).

If you follow me on YouTube, then expect to see these brushes in a video at some point and if you're not then why not - go do it!! HERE ;o)

So if you're looking for some new brushes and want to support an independent and vegan/cruelty free brand, then check them out at https://www.myflawless.co.uk/.

Sal xXx

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

What to look out for when reading ingredients labels - makeup and beauty edition

I got a comment on another post recently asking if I could write a post about this topic and it's something I've wanted to write about for a while, so here it is.

To start with, here are a couple of resources for checking if a product is vegan. 

Firstly, my page of company vegan lists. Also on this page I have linked to lists that other bloggers have put together.

Logical Harmony is also a great resource for all things cruelty free and vegan, including vegan lists.

And one of the most useful tools I've ever found for shopping online especially, as you can cut and paste a whole ingredient list: Double Check Vegan. I'd highly recommend bookmarking this site.


So why am I writing this post? I see a lot of people say they don't understand the ingredients list or know what to look for and that's not really surprising. Ingredients labels can be super confusing, due to the EU laws regarding having to use chemical/INCI names in the lists. Quite often you'll see a list that looks like this:


Great if you know what all that stuff is, right? But if you don't, all those CI numbers are a bit scary. CI numbers are usually colourants; so in this list above we have Blue Lake colouring, Carmine, Mica, Chromium Oxide Green, Ferric Oxide or Red Iron Oxide, Black Iron Oxide, Manganese Violet, Tin Oxide and Titanium Dioxide, respectively.

The one to look out for there is Carmine, which you may or may not know, is a red pigment that is derived from crushed beetles.

Some brands will use the code as well as the common name for the ingredient (for example you might see Cera Alba listed, some brands will also put beeswax in brackets to help you out), like this list, where they have given the common name as well as the INCI code for the colourants:



So what should I look out for?

The most common animal based cosmetic ingredients I see on makeup, include:

- Carmine / CI 75470
- Beeswax / Cera Alba
- Lanolin
- Silk
- Honey / Mel
- Guanine
- Collagen
- Keratin
- Shellac

(Right at the bottom of the page, there is a little graphic I made of the above ingredients, so you can save to your phone and favourite it for easy finding later.)

These are the main ingredients that I personally look for when I'm reading ingredients. If I don't know the company well, I will probably email them and ask for a list or at least to see if they tend to use animal or vegetable based ingredients aside from the obvious ones; a lot of companies have started to swap out animal based ingredients for vegetable derived. Some brands I will buy if they do not contain any of the above ingredients.

But this list is not exhaustive. There are also some ingredients that can be plant or animal based and the only way to know for sure would be to email the manufacturer. Just a few examples include:

- Squalene (most commonly nowadays derived from olives but can also be extracted from shark livers!)
- Retinol (often animal based but can be sourced from plants)
- Panthenol (usually derived from honey or meat but can be veg-sourced)
- Glycerine
- Lecithin (can come from soy or from eggs)
- Stearic Acid

This is kind of the tip of the iceberg for ingredients that could be animal or could be vegetable based, which is why sites like doublecheckvegan are soooo useful!

The best way to know for sure is to email the company and ask. Also, google the company and vegan list as chances are another blog has done this for you.

There are some brands that will not confirm if products are vegan and you will have to go by the ingredient list. The ones that springs to mind here are NYX and the TAM Beauty brands (Makeup Revolution, Freedom and I heart Makeup). TAM Beauty for example, won't confirm if products are vegan, but when they first started they told me that the animal ingredients are obvious ones. So I go by that with them and read their ingredients labels. Generally if there's no carmine or beeswax you're good to go. Kiko are another example; they have confirmed they only use carmine, beeswax and lanolin and everything else is vegetable derived, so those are the things to look out for on their labels.

Obviously this method is not fool proof and I've made mistakes before. So it really comes down to how comfortable you are about reading the labels and making a decision. Hopefully this will give you a good start.

Have I missed anything obvious? Please let me know in the comments or tweet me @sal_on_toast

Also, if anyone wants a more in depth post about labelling (for example what some ingredients are used for, +/- lists and their purpose....) just let me know.

Love & stuff
Sal
xXx


right click to save the pic below