Sunday, 18 September 2016

Vegan Skincare Routine

I never used to be that into skincare, I was more into my makeup. But as time has progressed I wear less makeup and spend more of my time looking at skincare in shops that I do eyeliners and mascaras. I think it is all about growing up and finding what you truly feel comfortable in and for me that is quite minimal makeup most of the time. Because I got more into skincare I have been doing more and more research on the products that are best suited to me and found the benefits of using more natural products opposed to cleansers filled with parabens and chemicals that are not great for the skin and have been linked to skin cancers. So,  after a lot of product switches I have finally fine-tuned my skincare routine to what works best for me, with all of the products containing mostly natural ingredients and of course being vegan and cruelty free.

The first step is cleansing and in the morning the cleanser I have been using for many months now is the Safa Cleansing Milk. It is a lovely gentle cleanser that I use every morning to wash away any residue that may have gathered over night. It doesn't dry out the skin as there are no harsh chemicals in it, I have found it one of the few cleansers I have tried that does not break me out either!

In the night time I like to use a scrub and my scrub of choice is Lush's Ocean Salt, this may be no surprise to you if you read my Lush Vegan Favourites post. I adore this scrub with its natural ingredients packed full of benefits for your skin. The salt crystals exfoliate your skin leaving it feeling rejuvenated and refreshed. This is a definite top recommendation of mine.

After washing my face I use a toner, again no surprise here that the toner I use is Lush's Tea Tree Toning Water. This again is a lovely natural toner that refreshes the skin and helps to combat any spots you have with its antibacterial properties.

I tend to switch between two moisturizers, the Yes to Tomatoes Daily Balancing and the Sukin Oil Balancing, Mattyifying one, which is a recent purchase. Both are made up of mostly natural ingredients without SLS, Parabens and other harsh chemicals. I prefer to go for a moisturizer targeted for my oily skin but these brands do offer other alternatives for different skin types.

Tea Tree
This is the only product I ever use to treat my spots. It's natural and simple which is the best approach to take when it comes to your skin. I also find it is very effective in reducing the redness on my skin, which is what tea tree is best suited for as it is a great anti inflammatory and anti bacterial, making it perfect for spot treatment.

Sometimes before I moisturise I use an oil and my favourite is the Rejuvenating Coconut Body Oil by ArgaNaturals. I do this about once to twice a week when I want my skin to have that extra little boost.

My favourite face mask to use is an old favourite of mine and one of the first Lush products I purchased. It's Lush's Cupcake, that is targeted towards problematic skin. I use this up to three times a week when I feel that my skin needs it and apply it after I have cleansed my skin.

Makeup Remover
To remove my makeup at the end of the day I use coconut oil or Superdrug's B Micellar Water. They both do a really great job, but if I am feeling lazy I will often just use the Micellar Water, as then I may skip my scrub and just go straight into my toner and moisturiser.

It is really important to protect your skin every day against harmful UV rays. This is my last step before putting on makeup and at the moment I use the Safa Organic Sun Lotion. This is good for protection and is affordable but it can sometimes be hard to rub into the skin without leaving little white balls but all in all it is a great sunscreen to go for.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my current skincare routine that works for me. I would love to do more vegan routines, such as my haircare bodycare, so keep a look out for those coming soon!

Posts You Might Like

Lush Vegan Favourites
Natural Cruelty Free Skincare

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Living More Ethically and Veganism

I don't think it is any secret that veganism is on the rise. Many people seem to find vegans as intrusive or as 'bully's' and I can often see why. But honestly veganism isn't about that. It is about leading a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle for both you, the animals and the planet. I see a lot of vegan's online being bullied for putting their message across and I do see why, because it can be often seen as 'forcing' it onto people, but all I want to do is open your eyes to ways you can live more ethically. I recently made the change to become vegan after looking into many documentary's and videos on the benefits of veganism and the truths behind the meat and dairy industry's, which shocked me to say the least. Many people believe that veganism has to be all or nothing, but that really isn't the case and there are so many small steps you can take to living more ethically that doesn't have to be a full of pledge to veganism straight away.

Even if you aren't considering becoming vegan I recommend that you at least do some research on the topic because then you know both sides of the argument and can make a decision seeing it from everyone's angle.

I recommend using YouTube as a resource as well as documentary's such as Cowspiracy and Earthlings. Looking deeper into these industry's may spark something in you into wanting to become vegan when you learn about the harsh truths of industrial farming

Did you know? That male baby chicks are often ground up/killed as they are no use to the egg industry.

Switch out certain products
You don't have to cut everything out immediately to make a difference. By simply switching out your normal milk for soy or nut variety's you will already be spreading a message to the producers. In todays world your money really is your voice. Where you choose to spend your money can really make a difference as by purchasing a product you are showing you support the industry behind it. So by changing to cruelty free alternatives you are showing that you no longer support the other industry's and therefore maybe in the long run there will be less cruelty if enough people take the same approach as the producers come to realise their current approach is not working.

Things you can switch out
Milk // Soy or nut milks (alrpo is a good brand)
Yogurt // Soy or other dairy free alternatives (alpro is a good brand)
Meat // Meat free alternatives such as Linda Mccartneys vegan options or Quorn vegan options
Egg // Egg substitutes such as flax egg of flax seed mixed into water or try a tofu scramble
Makeup tested on animals // Switch to cruelty free brands and look up vegan lists. I have a post on cruelty free brands here
Chocolate // There are endless options of dairy free chocolates
Cakes // Get baking and creative!
Bread // Make sure bread is free from egg, milk or whey. (Hovis label which breads are vegan)

Did you know? Female cows are impregnated or 'raped' for them to produce milk and then immediately/shortly after birth the calf is taken off the mother to insure ultimate milk production for the producers

Simple Meal Plan
Veganism is far from living off salads these days and you don't worry about protein because you get plenty from green vegetables and beans. Everyone is different when it comes to a vegan lifestyle and there are so many different ways of eating, but what is important is to do what is right for you. Whether it be raw, normal or HCLF you can eat pretty much anything as a vegan. Just because you see one trend of veganism doesn't mean you have to follow it. I myself stick to a normal vegan diet eating what I want whether that be chips one day and fruit the next. One thing you need to consider hwoever is you do need to eat slightly more if you are vegan as larger portions of rice and vegetables can equate to the same in calories as a small meal of meat. Therefore you need more to fill your stomach and get the nurtients you need.

Porridge (and all the toppings)
Banana Nice Cream

Avocado on toast (or anything you like)
Roasted potatoes/chips

Stuffed vegetables
Vegan burgers etc
Rice and beans
Stir Fry's

Dried Fruit

It really is as easy as that, you can pretty much veganize anything and it isn't as hard as you think to get a balanced diet being vegan.

Choose the Vegetarian Options When Eating Out
Start off with small steps. When you are eating out rather than choosing the burger, choose the vegetarian option on the menu instead, because again you are voicing an opinion with your wallet. If the restaurant offers vegan options, then great choose that. Even better would be try out that vegan restaurant in your town and you will quickly see that you can still eat delicious food as a vegan.

Small Steps are Ok
Like I said earlier with veganism it does not have to be all or nothing. There are so many small things you can do to make a difference. Maybe at first try out being pescatarian, then move onto vegetarian and lastly you could take the step to be vegan, that was how I did it. Try out No Meat Mondays or Vegan Thursdays, whatever step you can, try it or maybe just switch out products for alternatives that I suggested above.

I hope this has helped you realise you can live more ethically quite easily today and maybe even made you consider trying out a vegan lifestyle. I have heard many people say that veganism is a privilege, when in reality being vegan can be cheap as chips, literally! Beans, nuts, rice and wholefoods are often some of the cheapest items you can purchase in the supermarket. This post isn't to force you to become vegan it is to simply make you consider the benefits and maybe learn a bit more why the vegan community is growing so quickly today.

Other Posts you Might Like

Cruelty Free Brands
Vegan Dupes

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Lush Vegan Favourites

I love Lush products, I mean what is not to like? A company that protests against animal cruelty very openly. If I am honest, initially I thought that a lot of, if not all Lush's products were vegan but after looking in store at the ingredients I found this wasn't the case. So I thought I would share with you my favourite Lush products that are vegan and that I use on a daily basis. Even though not all Lush products are vegan, a lot actually are and where they can they do substitute the animal products for alternatives. But milk and honey are still in some of their products. You can find the vegan products on Lush's website here

Tea Tree Toning Water
I use this toner religiously twice a day. It leaves my skin feeling fresh and also helps to combat spots by calming down any redness with its antibacterial properties.

I used to love the Mask of Magniminty by Lush but after finding it wasn't vegan I was on the hunt for a new face mask. I remembered when I first started getting spots when I was 12 I used cupcake and loved how it made my skin feel. After trying it again I have fallen back in love with it. It's cooling on the skin due to the mint and also after removing the mask my skin is left feeling moisturized and clean.

The Comforter
This has been my top favourite Lush product for a while now. When I first got into Lush this was the first item that I bought and I have just kept on buying it throughout the years. The smell of this product is amazing, it reminds me of Vimto or Ribena so it makes me feel quite nostalgic!

Dragons Egg
This is another old favourite of mine. The scent of this is very refreshing and citrusy from the lemons, so it is a great one to wake up to in the morning.

This is my favourite bath bomb by Lush. Again it is a very invigorating scent with the lemongrass that makes it another bath bomb that is great to use in the morning. I love using avobath when my skin is feeling dry as the avocado and oils leave my skin feeling smooth and hydrated after I get out of the bath.

Floating Island
This is a great Lush product if you are suffering from dry, tight skin. It's a bath oil that will melt in the bath and sink into your skin leaving it feeling nourished. I love the sweet scent of floating island and I find it really relaxes me when I'm in the bath.

Rock Star
I don't often use the Lush soaps but when I do it is often this one. I mainly picked this one because of the gorgeous scent it has, but Lush soaps are lovely and gentle on the skin so don't leave it feeling tight or dry after use.

Another soap, however what is different about this is that it is cold pressed. Mechanic has the scent of godmother if you are familiar with that. The benefits of the cold pressed soap is that none of the nutrients are lost like they usually are when the soaps are heated and also it is a great exfoliant for the skin.

Lush's cream eyeshadows are some of the best I have tried. Often cream eyeshadows crease on me after a few hours but these ones from Lush stay put all day. Admittedly I have only tried sophisticated but it is a gorgeous, everyday champagne/gold colour. It is super easy to use as you just apply it onto your lids and blend it a little with your finger and you are good to go!

Ocean Salt
You know how I said that the comforter was my favourite Lush product, well this is a VERY close second. Ocean salt is another old favourite of mine that initially my mum used, which got me into using it later on. At first I thought it was too abrasive for my skin but less is more with this product. It is a great exfoiliant for anywhere on your body and leaves your skin feeling rejuvenated and refreshed after using it, not dry at all because of the coconut oils and shea butter that are within the scrub.

I can't really explain the scent of this bath bomb but it contains jasmine oil along with mimosa and lemon oil, I guess I am a fan of citrus scents. I love this little bath bomb and when I use it in the bath I feel uplifted and relaxed.

Rub Rub Rub
The purchase of this product was initially inspired by my mum, again, who uses this religiously. You can use this scrub anywhere, even in your hair! (I haven't tried this yet). When I first used Rub Rub Rub, I found it a little weird because when you put it onto dry skin it is quite an abrasive scrub however step into the shower and it melts into your skin leaving it feel nourished and beautifully smooth.

Dream Cream
Last but certainly not least of my Lush vegan favourites is a moisturiser. I don't often buy Dream Cream because I do feel like it is a little pricey for a moisturiser but it does wonders for my skin, oh the struggles! I suffer from KP on my arms and this really helps to combat that by reducing the redness and it being anti inflammatory from the chamomile oil. It also feels lovely and cooling on the skin, so I use this product sparingly.

That's it! I know it was a long list but I just so happen to love a lot of Lush's products. When it comes to it I would much rather spend my money on products from a company who support the same message as I do rather than someone who supports cruelty. It is your money and where you spend it that makes the true difference.

Posts you might like

Lush Dream Cream Review
Lush Dark Angels Review
Cruelty Free Brands
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Monday, 8 August 2016

Crete Travel Diary

I have to say that Greece is one of the most beautiful countries I have ever visited. I love everything about the country. the people, the architecture, the barren landscapes and not forgetting the food, never forget the food. I have now made it my life goal to try to visit as many places in Greece as a I can. I have already been to Corfu and sailed around the Southern Ionian. This years turn was Crete, the biggest island in Greece.

We stayed in Elounda, on the right side of the island, it was stunning and in some ways like stepping back in time looking at the landscapes that give Greece its character. Elounda is such a beautiful coastal town that isn't too touristy and busy but has quaint beaches and an array of traditional shops and taverns. There is a lot to do from adventure tours, trips to Santorini and other islands. They also have a selection of watersports that we went on twice as well as the ability to rent a boat. We stayed in a lovely resort called Elounda Residence that I would recommend to anyone visiting the area but be warned it is a long walk up any hill, although they provide a bus down to the main village to save your legs in the heat. It is also quite easy to get around Crete to other parts of the island if you have a car, so I would recommend renting one. We headed over to Agios Nikolaos, which is a lovely town with a port that cruise ships often stop into. It is a little bit more touristy and busier than Elounda but a great places to visit. We also made a trip to Plaka, which was a favourite of mine. It was a stunning little village, much smaller than Elounda with a gorgeous pebbled beach with crystal clear sea. Again a lovely place to visit if you are on this end of Crete. We also got a boat over to Spinalonga, the old leprosy colony just off Crete. It's a historic island filled with ruins from its past as housing people who were sent their because they had leprosy. You can also get a boat from Elounda and Agios Nikolaos but it was the cheapest in Plaka.

There is no doubt that Greece is a beautiful country but the islands hold a special little place in my heart for their tradition and stunning beauty. Have you visited anywhere in Greece?

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Eating Vegan in Greece

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Eating Vegan in Greece

I have been vegan now for about 3 months, so I am still pretty new to it all. I was sceptical at first when going on holiday as to whether I would be able to eat normally or live the 10 days on cliff bars and fruit. When me and my family go on holiday we usually eat out at a restaurant every night, and I was unsure about the communication between myself and the waiting staff when I told them I was vegan. I went to Crete and specifically Elounda which was a beautiful traditionally little Greek town, they had no 100% vegan/vegetarian restaurants within Elounda so I had to order of main menu's in Taverns. However if you go to places such as Chania I believe they have a few vegetarian restaurants.

The first tip that I can give to vegans who are travelling is to research, research like crazy the country you are going to be visiting. Research their traditional dishes and restaurants that can cater to vegans. I was fortunate to be visiting Greece as a lot of their traditional Greek dishes are vegan or can be easily adapted by just leaving out the cheese. When researching I came across a number of helpful sites with restaurant options and also dishes I could order off the menu and them to be guaranteed vegan. I recommend using Happy Cow if you are in a popular area as you can select the type of restaurant you want and the area you are in and there is your dinner sorted.

For breakfasts and lunches we made our own food so it was pretty easy to make them vegan for myself. I also found that supermarkets were reasonably good at stocking several vegan products such as Alpro yogurts, non dairy milks and even vegan cheese. The majority of bread is also vegan in Greece however it is best to check the label or if you are ordering from a bakery ask what bread is nistisimo (a vegetarian diet excluding dairy but not fish eggs, clams, cephalopods or honey). I tended to have porridge for breakfast with almond milk and fruit. The fruit over their is so affordable and in an abundance, a watermelon was 35 cents! I can't get one in the UK for under £2! For lunch I usually had an avocado and humous sandwich with salad, because you cannot come to Greece and not have some humous.

In Greece the traditional restaurants are called taverns. They make the traditional Greek dishes such as Gyros, Souvlaki and Mousakka, but also a lot of vegan options. When listening to a lot of videos on eating vegan in Greece I was told they may understand the word vegan, however in my case they didn't seem to. I only had one occasion when they did and the waitress was English. Just make sure to specify you are vegetarian but cannot eat milk or egg and they should be able to point you in the right direction. I also had two occasions where I asked for dishes without cheese and they were very accommodating for that. If I couldn't see any main dishes on the menu I could have then I usually had a selection of starters for my main, which in Greece is known as a Meze. I often had stuffed vine leaves, grilled vegetables and gigantes plaki. My favourite restaurant we visited in Elounda was Porto Rino which is an Italian restaurant offering traditional Greek food also. They were very accommodating so we went back 4 times! I had the vegetarian pizza without cheese, a gluten free version of the vegetarian pasta and the vegetarian risotto. Also at the end of the meal they usually brought out yogurt however changed it to fruit without us even having to ask and they remembered each night we went. Marilena is also good for traditional Greek Meze's. For desserts the Taverns will provide fruit usually after a meal or you can ask for it. When staying in Elounda I also found vegan ice cream called I love Plako, and although they didn't have that many flavours it was ice cream! It was made using olive oil instead or milk so it was true Greek ice cream.

Dishes you can most likely eat in Greece as a vegan

Bread (just check there is no milk/egg)
Stuffed Vine Leaves
Courgette Flowers - I would highly recommend these!
Grilled/Fried Vegetables
Gigantes Plaki (beans in tomato sauce)
Greek Salad (no feta)
Most vegetable risotto's (make sure there is no egg in pasta/milk used)
Pizza without cheese (check that no milk/egg is used in the dough)
Stuffed vegetables with rice (check there is no meat/milk etc)
Certain Pasta's (make sure there is no egg in the pasta as lots of homemade pasta's do have egg, I had a gluten free pasta which was fine)

It was pretty easy for me eating vegan in Greece because I love Greek food, but if you don't like eating oil it may not be the right place for you to eat. Overall though I would say that Greece is one of the most accommodating countries for vegan food for ordering off the main menu without asking for too many alterations. Not only that Greece is a beautiful country and I would recommend it to anyone who is looking to visit.

Saturday, 16 July 2016

A Final Goodbye | Prom

I had my prom recently, a final send of for an amazing 5 years of being surrounded by wonderful, beautiful people. At my high school I made new friends who I hope are now lifelong companions, I spent the years with 3 of my closest friends and I am truly sad to soon not be seeing them everyday and not sharing our lunch time chats with them. They tell you that high school are the best years of your life and although it may not feel like it when you are going through it with all the stressful exams and revision, but truly looking back on my years now, it really was. Make the most of them years you spend, have fun with friends, put effort in, don't just sit back and watch those years go bye because when you leave that is it, you're thrown into the big wide world. I guess when you say goodbye to your high school that's it, the new chapter begins in your life.

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Lush Dark Angles Review

I was on the look out for a new cleanser that I could really feel cleaning my skin. There are those cleansers out there that you can't feel doing anything. But, after doing some research I found that Lush's Dark Angles may just be what I was looking for. It is a mix between a cleanser and an exfoliant and because of that it is great at brightening up your skin and removing any dead skin cells without being too abrasive.

As you know all of Lush's products are natural provide your skin with amazing benefits compared to cleansers packed with chemicals. The little beads of sugar and charcoal really help to exfoliate you skin and when I first used it I noticed a dramatic difference in how bright my skin looked the next day. Like I said before this is one of those products you can really feel working on your skin as you use it. Unlike so many other cleansers after using it my skin didn't feel tight or dry, instead it felt nourished and moisturized even though I was yet to apply my moisturiser, that is from the essential oils that Lush always has in it's products to soothe your skin after using the cleanser. One of the main ingredients in Dark Angels is charcoal. Charcoal is great at deep cleansing the skin and also helps to combat spots and other impuritities on your skin. I really noticed a difference in my skin after using this product for a few days. My skin looked brighter, I found that I had less spots so I was really impressed with the overall look of my skin and would recommend Dark Angels if you suffer with blocked pores or tired looking skin.

One downside I will say to this amazing product is that be careful when you are using it. I have found that when I use the cleanser the black charcoal tends to stain my face and requires a tough rub with a facial cloth to get it off. That is my only negative though as it can be an inconvenience.

Have you tried Lush's Dark Angels and have you suffered the same issue I have? I hope you enjoyed reading this post and  maybe even sparked a little trip into your local Lush.