Nails Inc Polishes

Last week, I took my gel polish off my nails and decided not to rush to reapplying. I gave my nails a break and allowed them to breathe and I really did notice a difference.

However, the nail polish lover in me couldn’t bare to see my nails without colour, so I decided to treat myself to some Nails Inc nail polishes! I thought it would be a good idea to have some non-gel polish in my back pocket for these scenarios.

I ordered the Number Ones which contains a mini base and top coat, Peachy and Perky which is a lipgloss and a gorgeous peach polish called ‘Real Peaches Only’ and finally the Freshly Juiced set which has 2 amazing summer polishes called ‘Not From Concentrate’ and ‘Looking Super Juicy’.

These products are labelled specifically as vegan and cruelty free on their website which I hadn’t seen before as I hadn’t bought from them in such a long time. It’s also included on their packaging now so once we go back to normality and we can shop physically, look out for the labels!

This bank holiday weekend, I tried the Freshly Juiced polishes on my fingers and toes to bring some Summer and bright colours into my day to day life!

Can I firstly say, the base coat and top coat are fantastic. Minis are a great option as I’ve historically found that polish goes thick and clumpy after a while so smaller ones are great options to help avoid waste. The base coat smells great and isn’t thick that sits oddly on the nail. The 45 second top coat is truly remarkable. My nails were touch dry so much quicker than I had anticipated and I could pretty much go about my day without any fear of ruining my nails (with the usual precautions, of course!).

The Freshly Juice polishes are bright and vibrant and I absolutely adore them. Not From Concentrate smells like oranges and Looking Super Juicy smells like watermelon! I wasn’t expecting it but it was really refreshing to not inhale chemical fume smells.

In summary, I would highly recommend Nails Inc polishes. They’re high quality and great colours, and let’s not forget well labelled. Keep an eye out for them if you’re looking for some new nail polish.

Grind Coffee

Tom and I bought ourselves a Nespresso coffee machine a year or so ago to save myself some money on my morning Starbucks trips, and it’s really done the trick. It’s a nifty little machine so if you’re curious, you can find it here.

We’ve been habitually buying our coffee pods from our local supermarkets as they’re so accessible, but of course, terrible for the environment. I’d spent some time researching other offerings and tools such as re-usable pods that you can re-fill but the reviews were often off-putting.

Instagram ads then came and saved the day. I saw an advert for Grind coffee and started following their Instagram page. Grind are a London based coffee shop and most impressively in my opinion, offer a coffee subscription service. What this meant was that you can subscribe to their coffee to receive regular deliveries. This meant there was potential to never run out of coffee!

To start, I thought it would be sensible to try the coffee, so I bought a refillable tin of their House Blend from Amazon.

What I should mention also, is that their coffee pods are compostable which was a big factor in my decision to give them a go and make the purchase.

The Grind aesthetic is really simple and cute. The brand is so distinctive with their pink colouring and clear bold font across their packaging. The refillable tin is great. It’s got a screw cap, and when it first arrived, the tin was sealed like a can which I thought was good and keeps the coffee fresh before we could get round to it.

The coffee itself tastes fantastic. I could easily say that it’s the best coffee I’ve ever tasted. It’s incredibly smooth and not too bitter. I’m far from a coffee expert, but I thoroughly enjoy the taste of their coffee.

So I decided to take the plunge and subscribe to their coffee. You can choose a subscription that suits you, which also include decaf coffee and their Black Blend (which I haven’t tried) and you can choose how many and how regularly you want to receive your deliveries.

They are posted in letterbox friendly packaging so you don’t need to be home to accept the delivery which is incredibly handy!

As you can see from the pictures above, the aesthetic is carried through to all their products and the subscription boxes are no different.

The pods are only slightly more expensive than the ones you can buy so easily from the supermarket but with the added benefit of being compostable. So with the flavour being so fantastic, it just made the most sense.

After trying their coffee, I’m so pleased that I’ve decided to subscribe. It’s nice to know that we’ll be kept well in coffee!

OnePlanet Pizzas

So… Pizza. More specifically, vegan pizza.

OnePlanet Pizza are a vegan pizza company who do frozen vegan pizzas. Who doesn’t love the convenience of a frozen pizza when you just can’t be bothered to cook. I’ve tried one before that I bought from a local vegan shop and I enjoyed it.

You can order their pizzas online via their website and the more you buy, the more you save. So I bought 5 for £5.60 each. It is quite pricey for a frozen pizza, especially compared to some of the options that are available in our supermarkets these days such as the offerings from Chicago Town and Goodfellas.

I ordered 2 meatless pizzas, 2 chick’n and sweetcorn and 1 mushroom pizza, all with wholemeal bases.

They’re a reasonable size and the minimal packaging is really good to see. Ingredients and cooking instructions are all really clear on the packaging and it’s nice to see all the toppings so clearly.

The first pizza I tried with the chick’n and sweetcorn which I enjoyed. The fake chick’n wasn’t really like chicken but it was nice to have that meat replacement, and who doesn’t love sweetcorn. The vegan cheese is the show stopper in my opinion. It melts beautifully and tastes pretty good.

The second pizza I tried was the meatless pizza. I somehow managed to forget to take anymore pictures but it was fine. My only criticism is that the onion chunks were certainly prevalent and incredibly overwhelming in parts but it was still a decent pizza. I don’t think I’d order it again.

And finally, I had the mushroom pizza which I think was my favourite. Again, no pictures, but the delicious cheese and I am a huge fan of mushrooms so it was a big contributor to my love for it.

I was a big fan of the wholemeal base, and it was nice to have the option to choose from the wholemeal or their classic white base which you wouldn’t be able to do with store bought pizzas.

Overall, the pizzas were good. I wouldn’t be rushing to buy them again any time soon due to the price, but it’s nice to see convenient offerings from a vegan company who know the market and are trying to help the world and not just jump on the vegan bandwagon!

Make Up Revolution: The Mascara Revolution

I’m not one to switch up my make up too often as I know what I like and what gets me the look I normally like. I’ve been using the KVD Beauty Go Big Home or Go Home but at a pricey £20, I thought I’d switch it up.

I popped to my local Superdrug earlier last month where they had a 3 for 2 offer so what better opportunity to try out a new product?

Make Up Revolution are cruelty free and offer lots of vegan options so I took the plunge and spent the £8 of their Mascara Revolution.

The packaging is simple, yet appealing and bold with the rose gold and black. It’s quite a large tube. Similar to the large tube for the KVD Beauty mascara.

The brush is quite big with a curve in the middle mimicking an hourglass. I never really understood why mascara brushes were so different and what benefit they brought. I’m more of a dan of the standard shaped brushes.

The product sat a bit clumpy and thick on the brush, and with the curve in the middle, more of the product sat there. I wasn’t entirely filled with confidence when I saw it.

Left hand side with mascara on

Applying the product wasn’t an issue, even with the brush shape. And surprisingly, it applied very evenly across the lashes. It gave me a bit more volume and a little bit more length which is exactly what I wanted. My only criticism is that it did group my lashes more than I liked but for £12 less than my usual mascara, I can’t complain.

The mascara is a decent mascara for the price. Other online reviews don’t speak as positively about it as I do but I do think I’ll be sticking to my usual but it’s good to know there are other options out there.

Self Care Sundays: Issue 12

We all know how much I love a pamper every now and then and with the sun out for the past few weeks with a few patches of rain here and there, I made sure I did the works!

After epilating my leg, lasering my moustache and doing my nails, I used the Natura sheet mask that I bought as part of my build your own box from The Cruelty Free Beauty Box. You can find a run through of the box on this blog post.

I’ve used so many Natura sheet masks in the past and they are never disappointing. They feel like a real treat and my skin always feels fantastic afterwards.

The sheets themselves are made from biodegradable bamboo so can be put in your compost bin! (I would check that your local authority can process this before doing so though).

As always, I forgot to take a before phone, so I thought I’d include the terrifying during photo. The after photo shows my lovely bright face after the mask.

I will forever recommend Natura sheet masks. They come in so many different infusions for different skin types and their benefits so make sure you have a good read before choosing the one that’s right for you.

Pure Nails: Halo Gel Polish

I absolutely love doing my nails. I like to be able to look down and see colour at the end of my finger tips instead of plain nails. It’s the little joys in the life…!

I’ve been doing them with gel polish for a while now and it can be quite difficult to find vegan gel polish. My go-to website for good quality nail polish is Nail Polish Direct. I popped on the website the other day and there was a whole section on vegan polish.

I spotted a brand I hadn’t seen before which was Pure Nails. The polish is reasonably priced and comes in so many different colours. You can find the vegan declaration on their site here that says they do not test on animals or use any animal by-products.

I bought 3 nail polishes which included a matte top coat, a reactive colour changing polish called Denim Pink and a multi glitter called Pandora.

When I did my nails last weekend, I chose Pandora. I’m like a magpie when it comes to shiny things and Pandora was the perfect shade!! It’s a glitter polish made up of pink, purple and copper and when caught in different lights, looks like an entirely different colour each time. I’m obsessed.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with gel nails, they have much more staying power than normal polish and all you’d need is an LED lamp which you can probably get on eBay. I do my nails around every 2 weeks now and I only choose to do them because of the nail growth!

I’ve only just painted these nails so I’m not sure what the staying power of this specific polish is yet but the colour is amazing and I had no other issues with it.

They’re definitely worth a look!

Naturally Kind Food [2]

I wrote about Naturally Kind Food a few weeks ago after winning their cakes and I have seen their cake boxes with no-contact delivery plastered all over my social media, so I thought I’d treat myself.

I contacted NKF on Facebook to arrange a delivery date and payment. You are confined to the delivery dates available as they are running everything themselves from the baking of the cakes right through to the delivery service!

The box is £20 and filled with SO many goodies from different flavoured cakes, brownies, bars and tarts. And so instagrammable!

Tom and I have made our way through everything now and it was honestly so delicious. My personal favourites include:

  • Lotus Brownie
  • Chocolate Hazelnut Cake Slice

I mean, it was all amazing to be honest with you but those 2 were particularly highlights.

There are so many treats in the box and it comes with a note which includes everything that is contained in the box and their ingredients. Not every box will be the same as it can change depending on what they bake but I can guarantee you that each one will be absolutely delicious.

We’ve even been lucky enough to receive a second box from Tom’s mum and dad as a treat! What I did spot was that some of the cakes were different so I’m really looking forward to trying those out.

I truly recommend taking a look at Naturally Kind Food if you’re in the South Wales area. The treats are absolutely delicious and it really brightens up my day. And for £20, who could possibly say no?!

Make sure you follow them on Facebook and Instagram too to get updates on any delivery areas and dates!

Umberto Giannini Flowerology Colour

Not being able to leave the house had my roots in absolute chaos. I’d seen adverts on social media for Umberto Giannini’s Flowerology Colour range which is vegan and cruelty free. They have an equivalent Colour Care range too but I haven’t tried that.

Anyway… moving onto the product! I ordered 4 boxes of Dark Brown 3.0 as this was the darkest option available and the multi-buy was on offer. There are quite a few colour options available ranging from blonde and dark brown so make sure you take a look at the options!

My hair colour is very dark naturally so I needed it. My hair has been a shade of red for many years now so going dark was a bit of a change but I already feel so much better about my hair.

It is recommended that you do a patch test 48 hours before to ensure you don’t react to the product so make sure you do that! Application itself is just like any other box dye available on the shelves of supermarkets and beauty shops. my hair is quite long but 1 box was just about enough. After seeing the finished dye, I probably could have done with a little more product…! After leaving the dye on for 30 minutes, wash off and voila!

You can see the before and after results in the images above. I’m much happier with the darker hair and the results were decent for a box dye! The colour was exactly as I expected and it covered up my previous dye well. It’s a little patchy in places but that’s definitely a reflection of my self dying capabilities.

I think another round of colouring will sort out the patches so I’ll give it a few weeks to settle down before dying it again but I’m really pleased with the end result.

It’s quite difficult to find a vegan hair dye but Umberto Giannini are certified cruelty free and vegan meaning that their products do not contain any animal products nor are they tested on animals.

I would definitely check them out to see what they have to offer, and as I said, there are loads of other hair care products available to browse and shop so I would have a look. Based on their hair dye, you’re onto a winner!

OMG IT’S VEGAN

I’m sure we’re all very familiar with Facebook and Instagram ads, but I came across an interesting one a few weeks ago for vegan sweets! As we’re in lockdown, I thought I would treat myself to my favourite fizzy sweets so thank goodness for OMG IT’S VEGAN.

I highly recommend a visit to their website to see their full range of sweets which is spectacular with so many different sweets in so many different sizes on offer.

I am a huge fan of fizzy sweets in particular so I treated myself to a 1kg bag of mixed fizzy sweets, a jar of apple sour belts and a jar of strawberry fizzy pencils.

The jars are so lovely. They’re a good size and currently on my home office desk for me to snack on during conference calls! I’ve barely made a dent in them so far.

The kilo bag of mixed sweets is incredible and I am so happy with the mix in them. They make for a great insta photo too.

My only criticism, of myself, is that I should have ordered the bigger bag!! There’s still plenty in the bag but I’m dreading how upset I’ll be when the bag runs out.

The service was great from start to finish. I got updated when my order was dispatched and very shortly after, it arrived! Regardless of this, with COVID19 still amongst us, we have to remember to be more understanding with our delivery services as they are doing their best.

Anyway, I’m so pleased with my OMG IT’S VEGAN order and I heartily recommend that you visit their website for some delicious treats.

Bad Brownie

My amazing best friend, Alicia, moved to Mexico last year, but she most certainly didn’t forget my birthday!

The day before my birthday, I received an unexpected package which was addressed to her. I messaged her and she, of course, told me it was my birthday gift. I waited till my actual birthday to open it and it was very exciting.

She had treated me to an incredible box of delicious vegan and gluten free brownies from Bad Brownie.

The box was filled with a tray of brownies in different colours and flavours. I love a good snack so I was ecstatic. I couldn’t wait to try them and Tom was eyeing them up too. He was lucky there was plenty to go around!

There were so many to choose from, it was difficult to know where to even begin. Fortunately, it came with a card that listed all the flavours with pictures!

The first flavour that stood out to me was Peanut Butter & Jelly so that was the first one I tried. To be completely honest with you, I was a little disappointed. I thought it was lacking in the key peanut butter and jam flavours. The brownie itself was nice but the flavours weren’t there.

The next one I went for was Cookie Dough. Again, I was a little disappointed with this one. I don’t know whether the descriptions had hyped me up a little and set my expectations higher, but the cookie dough flavour was really plain.

The saviours of the box however were Salted Caramel and Passionfruit & Coconut which were the 2 I thought I’d enjoy the least.

I alway find Salted Caramel to be a gimmick but the Salted Caramel brownie was really lovely. It wasn’t too rich and it had all the flavours I was actually expecting which is more than I can say for other Salted Caramel treats.

My absolute favourite was the Passionfruit & Coconut. I do love a good fruity flavour and I love passionfruit and coconut so this was great. The part I didn’t think I’d like was the jellied top (similar to that of a Jaffa Cake), but I actually really loved it. It’s so different and makes it so much more interesting.

I’m 50/50 on this box. They weren’t the best brownies that I’ve ever had, but they weren’t bad either. Some flavours were disappointing but the good ones really did make up for it. Overall, a balanced gift which I’m still very grateful for!