Monday, June 26, 2017

Beauty doesn't have to be pain

Last year I became a vegetarian. At first it was simply an experiment, a test of my will power. I told myself I would only do it for a month. But as the end of the prescribed four weeks came and went, I remained off meat. 

I realised two key things after only a few days as a vegetarian.

1. I wasn't really a big meat eater anyway. The only difference that the deliberate lack of meat in my diet made was that I paid more attention to where I was getting my iron and protein from. Rather than eating a small piece of chicken or fish and thinking that would suffice my daily needs for iron I now eat plenty of dark green vegetables, so much so that my anaemia has actually improved. 

2. I couldn't justify another creature having to die when I could get all of my necessary nutrients and live a much healthier lifestyle on a largely plant based diet. When it came down to it, I could not see how me having a piece of steak for dinner was more important than the life of a cow. 

The second realisation is the one that has filtered into various other aspects of my life. I soon began to question how my life choices, beyond my eating habits, might be damaging to animals. If I didn't want to put products of animal cruelty and death inside my body, how could I continue using products of animal cruelty on my body. 

Cruelty-free beauty is something that I have a love/hate relationship with. I love it for the obvious reasons, but having consciously been purchasing only cruelty free beauty products for a while now I am all too aware of various draw backs. 
- Firstly, reliable cruelty free products can be difficult to find. 
- Secondly, a lot of cruelty free products, for reasons I cannot understand, are just subpar to the more popular brands on the market that we may be used to. 
- Thirdly, cruelty free beauty seems to come with a much larger price tag than those that test on animals - again I don't understand this.

However, I have managed to comprise a little bundle of gems that I wholeheartedly adore and recommend to anyone who will listen. 

Super Hydrate moisturising essence: From Marks & Spencer's Pure Natural Beauty range. This stuff is amazing for anyone looking for a little extra hydration for dry skin. As someone who has skin like the Sahara Desert I will take any extra hydration I can get my hands on. I just pat some of this stuff into my face before moisturiser morning and night. M&S carry a gorgeous range of cruelty free and bee friendly products at very reasonable prices for all skin types. The lovely packaging is also a major plus. 
Rehydrating Rose Daily Moisture: From Neal's Yard. Anyone who is even the slightest bit interested in skincare or cruelty free products will know all about this gorgeous brand. There are so many things that I adore about this product. Not only does it genuinely quench my thirsty dry skin, but it smells devine, is both cruelty free and vegan and is dermatologically tested so can be used on even the most sensitive of faces. The pump dispenser ensures that the product remains as hygienic as possible, while adding to the beauty of the packaging. *my love for beautifully packaged products will become very evident in this post* 
Dream Cream: From Lush. Would any cruelty free post be complete without a Lush product? But this stuff definitely lives up to the name. It smells amazing, isn't sticky and for lack of a better phrase: gets the job done. 
Rehab Shampoo: From Lush. For those of you who, like me, just aren't fans of the Lush bar soaps I would definitely recommend this bad boy. It somehow manages to leave my hair feeling clarified while also giving it a lovely shine. It gives a great lather and also smells amazing! 
Batiste Dry Shampoo: Possibly one of the cruelty free world's best kept secrets. I've been using Batiste for years, and for some reason when I went cruelty free I just presumed I would have to find a new dry shampoo. However I was happily surprised to discover that I was very very wrong and that Batiste don't test on animals. 
Cleanse and Polish: From Liz Earle. Another long term love of mine, Liz Earle products have become somewhat of a staple in my house. The hot cloth cleanser has been my go to choice for over three years and as Liz Earle is a cruelty free brand, it is here to stay. Perfect for more sensitive skin, this product combines cleansing and light exfoliation with it's complimentary cotton cloth. 

Genius Gel Foundation: From Marc Jacobs. This foundation might just be my new Holy Grail. It is light weight, oil-free, comes in a shade light enough for my paler than pale white skin and of course is cruelty free. I've had this foundation since December, and perhaps it is down to the fact that I don't often wear a full face of make-up, but this stuff is lasting me. *Do I need to mention the sleekness of the packaging?* 
Hangover Replenishing Face Primer: From Too Faced. Another brand that I was pleasantly surprised to learn is cruelty-free is Too Faced. This primer works brilliantly over any moisturiser, helping to smooth out foundation application and it smells of coconuts. Cruelty free, vegan friendly and free from the usual silicone found in primers. What's not to love? 
Holographic Stick: From MILK. Don't let the blueish colour frighten you, this highlighter is perfect for paler toned skins but is available in a peachy colour too. I don't think I'll ever be able to go back to any other highlighter, this product is genuinely amazing. It's long lasting, looks natural on the skin and gives a beautiful light to the face. Vegan friendly as well as cruelty-free, I will definitely be purchasing more MILK products in the future. 
Brow Gel: From Topshop. Last but definitely not least, the Topshop brow gel. Great for when you only have a few moments to liven up your face, a quick brush of this gel on your brows can make it seem as if you have made a much larger effort than you actually had time for. This stuff will not smudge, and at a high street price point, it's a winner in my books. The entire Topshop makeup range is cruelty free and prior to my discovery of MILK's holographic stick I was an avid fan of their Glow Pot's

So there you have it, a slightly more matter of fact post than my usual style. However this is one that has been on my mind for a long time now. Hopefully, as I continue on my cruelty free journey, I will have more gorgeous products to show you in the future. 


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