The Gel Bottle Mani and Pedi

I love a good manicure. I cannot stand to have bare nails. I have normally done my own nails and before turning vegan, doing my own gel nails. I bought an LED lamp online and various gel nail polishes from my local Sally Beauty store. Sadly, the brands I’ve bought historically aren’t vegan, but I think it’s worse to waste them so I’m making them way through them before I replace them.

My mobile beautician, Rebecca, solves my problem by using The Gel Bottle. She’s been giving me my vegan mani fix every now and then when I fancy a treat! Here is the statement on The Gel Bottle website about their products being vegan.

So for the wedding I attended the other day, I treated myself to a mani and a pedi in colours to match my bridesmaid dress. I let my nails grow offensively long so that I could benefit from my manicure (and also the laziness got to me).

The colour range that The Gel Bottle provides is incredibly extensive. Rebecca has so many colours to choose from, there were plenty for me to pick from to match with my dress.

The colours I chose were to fit in with the dress and shoes, so I went with Diva and Coffee Diamond. I loved them both on the swatches, and I loved them even more on me.

Make sure you keep a look out for beauticians and salons that use The Gel Bottle. My nails last for weeks (the only thing that makes me change them is the growth!) so it’s definitely worth the investment into a good manicure.


Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Foundation by Fenty Beauty

For those of you that don’t know, Fenty Beauty is Rihanna’s own cosmetics range and they have recently dropped at Boots! Available online and in selected stores. Fortunately for me, Cardiff was one of them.

My sister had raved about the Fenty Beauty Flyliner, but I’m so loyal to the Kat Von D Beauty Tattoo Liner that I had never got around to trying it. Also, my mum didn’t rate it, and we all know mother knows best!

After a little light internet research on the best foundations for oily skin, the Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Foundation came out on top from most websites and reviews so I thought I’d take the plunge!

The box packaging

There are SO many different shades to choose from which I think is a good sign from a company. It means they’ve put a lot of effort in and acknowledge that people are different! There’s even a shade finder online which, based on my answers, was entirely accurate.

I personally wouldn’t buy foundation without trying it on. I’ve been bitten before and I’ve learnt from my mistakes. (That’s a subtle note to all the companies that don’t have stands in the usual department stores around the UK!).

My shade was 230 (FOR LIGHT TO MEDIUM SKIN WITH NEUTRAL UNDERTONESas described on their website), which is the shade that came out on the shade finder on the website, but I also spent 5 minutes in Boots applying it to my face to make sure! I also tried 235 which was more of a golden colour, too warm for me.

I applied the foundation on top of my Revolution Mattify primer, which I wrote about last month at this link. I used my Kat Von D #10 Lock-It Edge Foundation brush to apply it by applying the product straight onto my face and rubbing it in with the brush. I finished it off with the Kat Von D Lock-It Setting Mist as always.

Fenty Beauty are cruelty free, but are not completely vegan. They have some vegan products which they list on their website, which includes their Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Foundation.

Honestly, I was so impressed with this foundation. After a full days wear, I wasn’t completely shine free but I wasn’t anywhere as shiny as I’d usually be, and coverage was still full and not cakey! I highly recommend it. I’ve used other brands in the past such as Estee Lauder’s Double Wear and Kat Von D’s Lock It Foundation and this is by far the best I’ve ever used. The shade match is perfect and it doesn’t even feel like I’m wearing foundation at all.

The Cruelty Free Beauty Box Deluxe: 1st Edition [June 2019]

I’m so excited to write this post! I used to subscribe to The Cruelty Free Beauty Box before I had too many and couldn’t use enough of the products before the next one arrived. It all got a bit overwhelming so I regrettably cancelled my subscription (I’m still making my way through some of the old products!)

When I cancelled, they contacted me to find out why and asked for my feedback. I let them know that the make up colours weren’t suited to me, the products were often too similar, and that I would prefer to have a box every other month instead of every month. To resolve the colours, they amended my account to change my make up preferences so the next time I subscribed I’d get different colours.

A few months later, they were offering new boxes, sent every other month with more options. It was as if all my prayers had been answered! In reality, the team listened to customer feedback and made those changes. I subscribed to the Deluxe Beauty Box pretty much as soon as I could! This version of the box includes Lifestyle and Snacks which I didn’t even know I wanted but now it is, I want it! The monthly price is a tad expensive at £39.95, but as this blog post will describe, I think it’s worth every penny.

So, let’s start with the very First Edition of this box! It arrived on Wednesday just gone, in a nice big cardboard box and had some serious weight to it. I was so excited! The classic stamp was on the box, and stickers made of sugar can were used to keep the box closed during delivery.

Inside, the leaflet on top describes all the products inside, and also includes a description of the changes that the new boxes include! To summarise, the packaging is more eco-friendly now with things being recyclable, compostable and bio-degradable. Additionally, that specific piece of paper is seed paper which you can grow! I think I’ll give the growth a go and see what turns out.

Product List

  • Bumi Face Polish in Juniperberry, Saga, Hemp & Volcanic Ash (15ml) – RRP £9
  • PHB Ethical Beauty Bio Gel ‘Skin Brightener (Full size) – RRP £25
  • Articka Nourishing Hair Oil (10ml) – RRP £4.95
  • Sknfed Espresso Body Butter Bar (60g) – RRP £7.95
  • Love Byrd Hippy Dippy Facial Serum (Full size) – RRP £18
  • Bain and Savon Peony Salt Scrub Foot Bar (Full size) – RRP £1.50
  • Phase Zero Lip Gloss in Dark Burgundy (Full size) – RRP £12
  • A handmade Turkish towel – RRP £14.95
  • Soffle’s Pitta Chips in Rosemary & Thyme – RRP £1
  • Ananda’s Round Up’s Wagon Wheel – RRP £3

As you can see from the image of the haul above, the box comes with so many goodies. As it only arrived a few days ago, I haven’t been able to make use of everything yet, but I will be soon! And totalling the RRP values of each item comes to just under £95!

The beauty products smell amazing, and the snacks look great. All of the products seem like great quality, and the smaller sized products are perfect for travelling and keeping in your handbag.

I’ve seen Ananda’s at vegan events before but I’d never tried them before. I tucked straight into the wagon wheel and it really hit the spot! Thank you Ananda Foods!

My favourite product has to be the towel! I know it’s not a beauty product, but it’s beautiful and I can’t wait to take it on holiday to use at the beach.

I am absolutely thrilled with this box and I highly recommend those who are interested in subscribing to take a look at what The Cruelty Free Beauty Box has to offer. This box won’t be perfect for everyone, but there’ll be a subscription more suitable for you!

And let’s importantly not forget that everything in these boxes are vegan and cruelty free!

Vegan Perfumes for Summer

Before I turned vegan, I never really put any thought into my cosmetics and even when I started to transition into cruelty free, hair products and perfumes were the ones I easily forgot about.

Perfumes are things that most people are likely to forget about, and people are generally very scent loyal. I know I definitely was!

My current perfume collection is small but consists of some gorgeous fragrances, as well as some minis that I’ve been sent through from my Cruelty Free Beauty Box subscriptions in the past.

My favourite of the set is my Eden Perfume in 67. It’s the cruelty-free equivalent of Prada’s Candy and it smells exactly the same. Eden Perfumes are based in Brighton and have a gorgeous store there. I had the luxury of visiting on a hen weekend in February and there are so many options. Their replicas are fantastic and I believe they have their own fragrances too.

I have a mini Saint perfume by Kat Von D Beauty which I received as a sample when I bought some other products. Again, all vegan and cruelty-free and it smells lovely.

The 2 that I received from the Cruelty Free Beauty Box are the xoxo perfume oil by Medusa’s Make Up and Tisserand’s Happy Vibes Roller Ball. Both have very different smells but both are roll on perfumes which I love and find easy to apply. I actually find they last longer than a spray perfume but I can’t say whether that’s because of the quality of the product or the application.

There are plenty of vegan and cruelty-free fragrance options out there so make sure you do your research and more importantly smell test them!

Revolution Beauty: Mattify and Pore Blur primers

I recently came to end of my trusty KVD primer so I decided to mix it up and go for a more accessible high-street brand. It didn’t take long to find Revolution Beauty as they are everywhere! In fact, I even managed to get their products on ASOS.

Revolution Beauty are PETA Cruelty-Free approved and have an extensive vegan range of products. There has been some speculation over the PETA Cruelty-Free stamping due to some controversy over the brand, Wet ‘n’ Wild. Read about it here on the Ethical Elephant.

Moving on…

As I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts before, I have very oily skin and as a secondary point, the pores on my nose are very prominent. I decided to purchase 2 primers, Mattify and Pore Blur. At £6 each, they were a bargain. Additional bonus points for ASOS having 20% off at the time too.

I thought the Mattify and Pore Blur would be the best options for my skin but they have a huge range of different primers, found here, so I recommend doing some research.

I used Mattify first and was really impressed. The product reminded me a lot of the bareMinerals primer which is much pricier. It comes out clear and has a silicon based style texture. It applies well across the face but doesn’t absorb as well as other primers I’ve used. The only other comment I feel I should make here is that I had to use more product than I first thought as it didn’t spread as far as I’d hoped.

I then used Pore Blur the next day and had a very similar experience. Pore Blur has a slight tint to it but not enough to be heavily noticeable across the skin so I still need to apply foundation on top.

Both had great staying power and really lived up to their names. The Pore Blur primer did a great job of covering up my pores and my skin didn’t feel clogged up. The Mattify primer really, really did keep my skin matte all day. I was so impressed with it and I highly recommend it for those with oily skin. And at those prices, you really can’t go wrong.

As much as I love Kat Von D beauty, I’m definitely going to be making room for these 2 Revolution Beauty primers in my permanent collection!

Vegan Love eyeshadow palette by KVD Beauty

As you may be very well aware by now, I am a huge fan of the Kat Von D Beauty range.

The limited edition Vegan Love eyeshadow palette is, of course, completely vegan and cruelty free. It’s full with 10 extremely vivid shimmer colours which catch the eye. As a bonus, 20% of the cost of the palette goes to the non-profit organisation ‘Mercy for Animals‘.

I haven’t yet used the palette on my eyes or face, but I’ve swatched it for you to trial the colours and show them to you guys on my skin tone.

From Top to Bottom: Mercy, Empathy, Equality, Sanctuary, Earthling, Liberation, Species, Sentient, Activist, Compassion

The only downside to this product that I can see is that some of the colour remains on the skin. I’ve simply swatched the product using my fingers, as suggested by the label, and I’ve been left with a green and red finger. I’m not sure what this would be like if left on the face!

The aside, my favourite colours in the palette are Empathy, Equality and Sentient. I’m generally a fan of more neutral colours but I’m sure I’ll find occasions to wear the more intense ones!

I really love this palette. The colours are amazing and the shimmer is surprisingly balanced (I thought it’d be a lot more glittery as opposed to shimmery). It’s bright and beautiful, and most importantly, vegan!

Figs And Rouge

I can’t wait to write this blog post about Figs & Rouge. My friend, Vicky, was a subscriber of the Cohorted box and she told me about the April box being vegan! She raved about the products so I decided to pay the extra for the one-off box.

At £50 for a box, it’s incredibly pricey. But after a rave review and the savings compared to the usual RRP of the products, I thought why not treat myself!

I’m going to take this brief moment to put something negative up… Vicky does not rate Cohorted as a company so I most certainly would not recommend them. Firstly, they’re not vegan and put various non-vegan product in their subscription boxes; but secondly, their customer service is terrible with lack of replies and information and items have been missing from her boxes.

With that over, let’s focus on Figs & Rouge!

The entire contents of the Cohorted April 2019 Figs & Rouge box

In this beautiful box of goodies, I received the following Figs & Rouge products:

  • Morning Revival Face Cream
  • Day Detox Micro-Refining Serum
  • Illumination Eye Balm
  • Pore Perfect Matte Veil
  • Glow Drops
  • Morning Revive Oil

Everything is fantastic. The quality of the packaging is great and the product is incredibly luxurious. I’ve sampled everything in the box at least once now and here are my favourite items…

The Glow Drops pictured above are amazing. I used it as a highlighter and it gave me a lovely, natural glow. Apparently, you can mix it with a moisturiser to use all over your face for an instant, illuminated soft focus effect. It absorbs into the skin beautifully and leaves a fresh glow. A big fan!

As I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts before, I have really oily skin. This matte serum is incredibly. It feels amazing on my skin, and really did it’s job! I used it as instructed, across my T-zone underneath my make up and it really did it’s job. My face didn’t get shiny by the end of the work day and I didn’t need to top it up either.

I haven’t used anything else extensively but it’s all lovely, but those 2 products really stood out for me. I highly recommend them both, and as a brand, they stand for everything I need it to.

Proudly vegan and cruelty free. Their products are never tested on animals and source all luxury grade vegan based raw materials ethically.

Thanks for reading! Let me know in the comments if you have any questions and let me know if there’s anything specific you’d like me to blog about in the future.

The Lipstick Chronicles: Beauty Bakerie

Time for the second chapter of the Lipstick Chronicles. If you missed the first one, you can find it here.

I found out about Beauty Bakerie from my sister, @vgnnatalie. They were a new, cult brand at the time that were renowned for producing a long lasting lip product, their Lip Whip. Not only was the product ground breaking for how well it stayed, it came in a wide range of colours which meant everyone could find a shade for them and whatever mood you were in.

I own 3 shades: Take Me For Pomegranate, Gingersnap and Versailles.

Beauty Bakerie are a fully vegan brand and they are completely committed to being cruelty free! Details can be found on this post on their blog.

Here are selfies I’ve taken in Gingersnap and Versailles so you have a better idea of what they look like on.

I haven’t bought a Lip Whip for a while now but I do recommend them. Their staying power is second to none, and arguably much better than the KVD Beauty Everlasting Lipstick.

The colour range is amazing and the price point is appealing to all. I bought mine on ASOS at the time but I don’t think ASOS sell Beauty Bakerie anymore. They also had a nude and a metallic range which looks amazing but I’ve never tried. I don’t think I’ll find an occasion for a metallic lip colour as I’m fairly boring!

Bondi Sands Liquid Gold Tanning Oil

I have to be honest with you guys, I am a complete fake and self tan noob. I had a spray tan once back when I was like 19 which I thought was great but I came out super tanned and never tried it again.

I have so many weddings to attend this year, 1 of which I’m Maid of Honour for. My boyfriend and I have no holidays planned this Summer which means no tan for me this year. I can’t lie, I look much better with a little colour on me and with this being a year full of photographs, I decided to trial self tanning!

One of my favourite Instagrammers is Nicole, the @veganbeautygirl. If you’re not already following her, you definitely should. Here is a link to her corresponding blog!

I read her post on vegan self tanning products last month and decided to take the plunge! My first wedding this year is June 22nd so I thought I’d get in early to get some practice in before the big day.

The first company mentioned on the blog were Bondi Sands (There are plenty of other brands on the post to so make sure you give it a good read to find out what’s best for you). I’d heard of Bondi Sands before. Some of my sister’s friends recommended them. They’d also made it into the press recently because of their Liquid Gold Tanning Oil not needing to be washed off, so I did it. I bought it! Along with their tanning mitt.

So the delivery came along and off I went to the bathroom for my first attempt at a fake tan! It was easy to use, even though I was really nervous about the outcome. You simply spray the fake tan over your body and use the mitt to spread it evenly across your body.

Before and After

I was really pleased with the outcome. I could see the colour developing after only an hour which was great. The website says the product is buildable and for a deeper tan, apply more product after 30 minutes.

I’ve not been left streaky and the smell is more than tolerable! I say this as I know most fake tans have a very distinct smell. The Bondi Sands Liquid Gold Tanning Oil has a coconut smell, but there’s still a light fake tan smell.

It was only my first attempt so the fake tan left on my hands needs to be rectified but practice makes perfect!

The Lipstick Chronicles: Kat Von D Beauty

I had originally planned for this blog post to be 1 long post about my entire lipstick collection. However, as I was drafting it, I realised how much lipstick I really owned and it made for a lengthy post which I wanted to avoid.

So this is the first of The Lipstick Chronicles! Starting with my favoured brand Kat Von D Beauty.

From the Kat Von D Beauty collection, I own both the Everlasting Liquid Lipstick and the Studded Kiss Creme Lipstick in various colours. As well as these, I also own various Everlasting Lip Liner in various colours.

What’s great about the range is lipstick and liner colours match directly, but you can also find other colours that will match due to the extensive colour range!

Currently, I own 3 Everlasting Liquid Lipstick colours:

  • Vampira
  • Lolita
  • Santa Sangre

Above are the swatches of the lipsticks and the liners that I use together.

Lolita is my every day colour and it is gorgeous. It’s great for all skin tones and I highly recommend it. The everlasting liquid lipsticks have incredible staying power. When wearing it on a normal work day, it will last the whole day which will include at least 1 cup of coffee, numerous glasses of water, lunch and other snacks throughout the day.

The downside to it’s excellent staying power is that it can be a struggle to take off at the end of the day, so I use The Body Shop Camomile Eye and Lip Make Up Remover which is really great and pulls everything off.

Below are some of the other KVD Beauty lipsticks that I own and occasionally use:

  • Studded Kiss Creme in Cathedral
  • Studded Kiss Creme in Lovecraft
  • Everlasting Glimmer Veil in Dazzle
  • Everlasting Liquid Lipstick Kitten Mini in Ruthless
Limited edition mini shade of the Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Ruthless

The Kitten Mini in Ruthless is a gorgeous berry shade (swatched below) which I believe is limited edition so get them while you can!

The above lipsticks are great but I wouldn’t rate them compared to the Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks. The colours are nice but they don’t last as well. The glimmer veil is great and works on it’s own as well as on top of another colour.

Additional swatches of the above can be found below. I’ve also included a selfie of me wearing the Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Santa Sangre, on top of the Everlasting Lip Liner in Outlaw.

I’ve hyperlinked the main products and a few of the individuals where the colour can’t be selected.

Thanks for reading this post. I hope you’ve learnt a bit and found some info that you may or may not have been looking for.