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29/03/13: ❤ - Good for you Bloggers

Often when I'm googling, asking and yahooing for new vegan products I come across other blogs - and a few of them really caught my eye.  So below are a few of my current favourites that I'm looking at for recommendations and reviews:

The blog associated with the site.  The site has a vegan section including Lime Crime (their Velvetine lip stain looks a-maaaaaaz-ing), BDellium Tools and the awesome Hurraw! balms.  Their blog has posts featuring new products and recently they've got a beauty blogger series which highlights some of their range.


I like this blog mainly because it has some great posts on the no-poo method, which is something that I'm really interested in.  If you don't know, the No-(Sham)Poo method usually involves replacing shampoo and conditioner with Baking Soda and Apple Cider Vinegar.  Some people add to this - like jojoba oil - and some people go even further and go with the NW (No Water method - as far as I can gather, that way involves various scalp massages and brushing).  This blog has a great post which shows clearly the stages (in pictures!) of going no-poo.  The idea is that without the addition of shampoo and conditioner stripping your oils, your hair/scalp learn to self-regulate.  I really enjoying seeing how her hair progresses. Take a look here: No-Poo if you're interested in finding out more.

The homemaking disclaimer is also great: "Think this site isn’t for you? Let me guess, you are totally turned off by the term homemaking, am I right? If so, then this site probably is for you. If you have a home…you are a homemaker..."

3Next, is written by make up artist Sarah Hamilton.  (She's worked on Les Mis!)

I think the first post I read on there, was about Konjac Sponges, these amazing little balls of soft sponge that I'm still hoping to try. Or it might have been about Balm Balm - when I was trying to work out if I wanted to order some of their products.

Either way I like how she writes - her post on the Face Balm especially made me laugh - Bam Bam!  - and the simplicity of the blog design.


This is a huge resource, with multiple writers doing reviews, posts about new products, giveaways and little tid-bits.  Clear pictures of the products (no dodgy webcams there!) and I really like the writing, it makes me smile - which is always good!

I love the quotes down the side of this site, especially ""You put a baby in a crib with an apple and a rabbit. If it eats the rabbit and plays with the apple, I'll buy you a new car."  ~Harvey Diamond" :)

Hope you enjoy them too


P.S. The floral images were from freeprettythingsforyou and adapted by me.  I love them!

27/03/13: Olive Oil and Brown Sugar (5 Minute Facial)

So as I was using my Tea Tree water to remove make up last night, I noticed that my skin was really flaky on the nose and forehead.  Icky.  I had a little mooch around the internet, and amongst the oats, yoghurt and honey (mmm, porridge!) there was a little recipe using some of  the items I actually had in my cupboard.  (I am not patient - I wanted to mask it up now!!)  The ingredients were simply olive oil and brown sugar, with optional essences.

I used this Olive Oil from Eleon - amazing unfiltered extra virgin from Greece.  It's actually tasty enough to try on its own, as opposed to most cheap olive oils which (in my opinion) taste nasty and I love the greenness of it.  Anyway, I don't mind eating it so I figured I wouldn't mind it on my face either.

I used:
1 x Teaspoon of Olive Oil
1 x Teaspoon of brown sugar in a cup

I then gently applied the mixture to my face, being careful to not over-rub, as just applying it to the face gives you the scrub effect.  It feels really nice on application and there's a sweet smell from the brown sugar.  I applied it, left it a minute and then washed it off.  Obviously, a lot of the oil stayed behind!

A strange thing was that I thought I'd cleansed my face beforehand, but when I used my Tree Water/cotton pad after just to remove some of the excess Oil... more makeup residue appeared.  Whether I missed it first go or whether the scrub brought some of it out, I'm not sure.

The other thing was that my pores (nose) looked dirty.  Presumably the brown sugar?  Not sure how that happened.

However, my skin felt lovely.  Really soft and smooth.  And the flaky bits were less, and the dry bits looked better.  Plus, even with just a teaspoon of each there was still enough left over to treat my hands with too.  Lovely.


23/03/13: Dr Bronner's 18-in-1 Magic Soap

What is it?
Dr. Bronners is a castile soap, a vegetable oil based soap.  It comes in both liquid and bar form and has a lovely clear ingedient list - and no SLS!   The packaging is paper for the bar soap and recyclable plastic for the liquid.

The ingredients differ between liquid and bar, so I shall share the ingredients listed on the two that I have: Lavender Bar Soap and Tea Tree liquid soap.

Lavender Bar Soap
Organic Coconut Oil*
Organic Palm Oil*
Sodium Hydroxide**
Lavandin Extract
Organic Olive Oil*
Organic Hemp Oil
Organic Jojoba Oil
Lavender Extract
Citric Acid

Tea Tree Liquid Soap
Organic Coconut Oil*
Potassium Hydroxide**
Organic Olive Oil*
Tea Tree Extract
Organic Hemp Oil
Organic Jojoba Oil
Citric Acid

As you can see, the main difference appears to be the concentration of water (not surprising as one is liquid) and the Hydroxide used.  The websites states that neither the sodium hydroxide nor the potassium hydroxide remain after saponifying the oils into soap and glycerin.  As with other products I've bought recently, it's nice to be able to understand for the most part the list of ingredients.  Yay!

(Saponifying: (Verb) Turn (fat or oil) into soap by reaction with an alkali.)

How to use?
This is where it gets interesting.  There are supposedly eighteen different proposed uses for these soaps.

The original list as found on the website is:
"Always dilute for Shave-Shampoo-Massage-Dental Soap-Bath!
Peppermint is nature's own unsurpassed fragrant Deodorant!
A drop is best Mint Toothpaste; brushes Dentures Clean!
A dash in water is the ideal Breath Freshener & Mouth Wash!
Peppermint Oil Soap for Dispensers, Uniforms, Baby, Beach!
Dilute for ideal After Shave, Body Rub, Foot Bath, Douche.
Hot Towel-Massage the entire body, always towards your heart.
Pets, silk, wool & body tingles head to toe - keeps cool!
3 dashes in water rinse most Sprays Off fruit & vegetables!
1/4 oz in qt H2O is Pest Spray! Dash, no rash Diaper-Soap!"

(You can read more about Dr. Bronner here: Dr. Bronner)

Which as I can see is roughly:  Shaving, Shampoo, Massage, Dental Soap, Bath, Deodorant, Toothpaste, Breath Freshner/Mouthwash, "Dispensers Uniforms Baby and Beach?", After Shave, Body Rub, Foot Bath, Pets, Clothes, Rinsing vegetables, Pest spray, Diaper Rash Soap.  (Douche is not recommended any more.)

I admit, all I've been using it for is straight up washing and also as a cleanser, which is essentially a drop or two of the Tea Tree in some filter water and applied to the face with a cotton wool pad.  I'm hoping that the Tea Tree will help me with the breakouts I get.  However, I'm concerned that it might be drying out my skin a bit.  I'm following it up with Rosehip serum from Balm Balm (a separate post to follow), so I'm hoping that my skin will settle soon.  I am enjoying  the simplicity and the pleasant smell.

I like how clean it makes my hands feels, and it appears to be working as well as any other soap.  It takes a little while to get used to the fact that you aren't going to get tonnes of lather - but I actually like how the lather that it does produced is a really gentle simple looking one.  It's a clean lather, if that makes any sense.  I'll try to upload some photos to show what I mean, when there's some daylight.

When I first got the bar soap I tried it out on my hair.  Lots of people swear by either baking soda or Dr. Bronners.  Unfortunately, I didn't read as far as to find out about how dang WEIRD it makes your hair feel if you don't follow it up properly with an acidic (ACV usually, or Dr. Bronners own Citric Rinse) rinse to clear out that yucky feeling.  So I woke up the next day with tacky, sticky un-runnable-fingers-through hair.  Mess!

One thing that did appear to happen, however, is that my flaky scalp which was really bad before, is clearing up.  I tried it twice more, this time using much less Dr Bronner and a tonne of ACV, and the last time with Dr Bronner and less ACV.  Neither worked for me but I'm aware that you should really stick with it for a while so that you adjust - but this is apparently a period of six weeks.  SIX weeks.  I can't stand my hair feeling dodgy for more than a day, let alone going out with it feeling that way.

So, for me, for the moment at least the soap is just for the body.

Good for me: simple ingredients, cleans well, lathers pleasantly, lovely smells.  I really want to get the Almond and the Rose Geranium.

Good for you:  If you don't like strong smells, the majority of the range won't be for you.  However, they do do an unscented version.

Take care

16/03/13: Perhaps I'll just use water...

Since I first stepped onto the veggie skincare train I've become a little bit obsessed with googling: "clean skin", "vegan natural skincare", "natural simple skincare" and so on.  And I've looked through a lot of different products, ranging from the reasonably priced to the "what!?".

But how does one know which really is the best for skin?

 Image provided by @
Licensed under the Creative Commons License 3.0

One of the brands I used to buy was Simple, the UKs best-selling skincare brand.  Obviously in my head Simple + no animal testing/derived ingredients + "no unnecessary ingredients" = perfect!  But wait, isn't that sodium laurel/laureth sulfate on that label?  And that one.  And this one too?

08/03/13: Hurraw! Black Cherry Tinted Balm

Hurraw! is a company making raw lip balms.  Not only raw, but vegan, organic, GMO free and non-toxic.  I bought this one, Black Cherry, one of their two tinted balms.  There is also an SPF balm - sadly the others are not SPF rated - and a whole range of different flavours/scents.  I'm interested in the Moon Balm, the Sun (SPF) balm and I think I saw a Grapefruit one.  In the future I want to try these out too.  It's very tempting to buy the whole lot!  See their range here: - so cute!

Hurraw Lip Balm
(Apologies for the quality of my webcam picture!)

A cute oval balm in a little stick form.  Simple but sweet.  I love the brand name, as it makes me smile. :) According to their website, the plastic is plastic #5 (I hadn't a clue that there were numbers for plastics) and although this one can be harder to recycle, it can be recycled.  I will have to investigate as to whether my local council would accept this - it's not quite covered on my green bin sticker.

06/03/13: Urtekram - Rose Shampoo

This product was one of my first 'after' buys.  'After' meaning after thinking I should really put more thought into what goes onto (and possibly therefore) into my skin.

I had washed my hair in the morning using one of the shampoos laying around in my bathroom.  This shampoo was vegetarian, so I knew it had no bits of animal floating around in it, but on closer inspection it has SLS and various parabens in it - ingredients that according to various sources, including an excellent database (Environmental Working Group Skin Deep) are not the best thing to be putting near delicate membranes.  At the moment, I am having some serious dry scalp issues.  Very itchy, and often after washing, it looks like I have a layer of floating skin on my head... not very nice!

I dared to hope that using a product with less of these supposed naughties might help and so, off I trotted to my local health store... and the choice was overwhelming!

I settled eventually on this Urtekram Rose Shampoo. Partly because it was £4.35 from my local and on my first 'after' buy I was a little hesitant to spend too much more than I usually might on a shampoo.  I have seen it ranging from that price to around £5.00 online.  Back home, I inspected my scalp - nasty, dry, flaky.  Yuck.  Off into the bath I went.

06/02/13: Making Some Changes

So, first post... exciting!  I'm hoping to use this blog to chart my progress as I attempt - key word - attempt to make the switch from 'regular' beauty products to ones that should be better for me.  And better for you too, if you decide to make similar changes.


Well, I've been vegetarian for most of my life.  There was a short period where I dabbled in meat, when I was around 9/10.  But, I'm now 23 and completely sure that I don't want to eat anything with chickens, pigs, cows, eels, fish, badgers, horses and so on in.  However, up until now I haven't really applied the same sort of thinking to what I put on my skin rather than in my mouth.  Partially through just not thinking about it, and probably partly through laziness.

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