The Brands I’m Still Using | Cruelty Free Makeup

A good few months ago now I did a huge cull into my makeup collection and checked up on all the brands I currently use. In a bid to become better, I promised myself that I would only use cruelty free brands. I documented the whole thing here (see part 2).

As you can imagine, things haven’t gone quite as smoothly as I hoped in those initial posts. I don’t think I have intentionally bought another product that isn’t cruelty free since but the whole game is such a minefield that it’s only expected for their to be slip ups.

My main issue, however, has been how hard I was on myself when writing those posts. Some of my favourite brands that I had believed to be cruelty free were being banished because one website said they were’t sure on their status.

(I’m not bashing the site I used by any means. It is a wonderful source. I’m just saying I was able to do more research after)

Basically, since I discovered that I could not longer use some of my favourite brands or products I did a bit more research and discovered some happier news. Following this extra research, which is a combination of searches and listening to my favourite influencers’ opinions, I have concluded that I can still use:

  • Revolution (Superdrug)

IMG_2379.jpg

This brand is so wonderfully affordable and I really like how they’re trying to make quality makeup accessible to everyone. Have been a huge fan of this brand since the beginning, and all of their products are now labelled cruelty free.

RevolutionxSoph Highligher Palette

RevolutionxSoph Extra Spice Eyeshadow Palette

Revolution Conceal and Define Concealer

  • MUA (Superdrug)

This is basically in the same kind of boat as Revolution, but I’m sticking with MUA more for the price rather than the quality. It’s still great and I get a lot of basics from there but I think Revolution is slightly better. None the less I love this brand and once again all products are now labelled as CF.

– Lip Liner in Caramel Nougat

  • Fenty Beauty 

Although I wasn’t sure what to do with this brand in my previous posts, I have come to the conclusion that it is cruelty free. Plus what the brand stands for and the inclusion it offers is a good enough reason to continue supporting it too.

Killawatt Highlighter in Metal Moon

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  • Glossier 

I basically just really like the products of this brand. I think, similar to Fenty, they are trying to make beauty more inclusive and I really like the whole idea of keeping things simple to highlight everyone’s natural beauty.

The Balm.com 

Priming Moisturiser 

AN UPDATE

Primark Beauty is now cruelty free too! They are Leaping Bunny approved and this happened at the beginning of the month. Read about it here.

– Highlight in Mink Pink (link to Instagram)


So there we have it, a little update on my fairly popular series looking into the wild world of cruelty free beauty.

As I explained in my previous posts, becoming vegetarian or vegan just isn’t something I am interested in or would be able to do, but I’m going to do my bit however I can.

What’s your favourite cruelty free brands?

Speak soon,

Rachael.

 

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Never Been Heartbroken…? | Love + Life Lessons

What a statement, eh?! Imagine never feeling heartbroken. I don’t think there’s a person alive right now who hasn’t felt this feeling at least once.

My first true heartbreak was probably when the pop-sensation band Steps split up in the early noughties, and this pain continued as every band I loved through my childhood took the same fate.

(Little did I know, years later that most of them would reunite in some way. Doesn’t that feel like a brilliant metaphor for all heartbreaks? Everything that is meant to be, will come back again)

But if you’ve ever watched a movie, read a book, binged a TV show or even just listened to those around you, you might be under the impression that heartbreak can only be experienced by those in love. Like romantic love. Like, like like, you know?

Which is so far from reality! I feel like most of the heartbreak we experience comes from everything else outside of a romantic relationship – yet that’s the only thing we see.

Heartbreak comes in so many different forms and I think the more we talk about it, the easier it’ll be to get through it.

UNROMANTIC PAIN

Some examples of the way I personally have experienced heartbreak, that are not involving a romantic relationship:

(truth corner: I am currently still in my first relationship, and so far so good. I am hoping that I will not have to experience this kind of heartbreak anytime soon!) 

  • Family grief

Not to get too deep, but my family has experienced a lot of loss through my lifetime. Loss can sometimes not even be death, but rather illness or something extreme that changes a person you love so that they will never be the same.

And let’s not even get into the loss of pets!

  • Rejection from work/school

This is my main source of heartbreak at the minute. Getting rejected from a dream job, when you’ve worked so hard and put every bit of effort in is the worst feeling ever. And I’ve faced that a canny bit recently – the joys of post-uni life!

  • Friendship breakups

To be honest, I think a friendship breakup must be as painful as a romantic breakup. When you’re so used to seeing someone every day for however many years, it’s really hard to just walk away. I’m quite a sentimental person and find it hard to just let go of shit even when I know that it’ll be so beneficial in the long run (see my post on toxic friendships here for more).

  • Getting the wrong idea

This one is just a generic one, but sometimes just being in the wrong or getting caught up in the wrong idea is heartbreaking too. When you genuinely thought you were going to get something (it could be a job, a friend, a partner or even a trivial material thing) it can be so awful to find out you’ve been wrong. Especially in this world where we’re told we can get everything we want if we work hard enough.

BUT WHY?

Heartbreak happens when we have passion and expectations. Whether that’s passion for someone else or passion for a project; expectations for ourselves or of others, when there’s a lot of big emotions involved we’re probably going to get hurt.

One of the most dangerous reactions to heartbreak though is shutting yourself down. If I don’t feel it, then I can’t get hurt right? WRONG.

Being vulnerable, feeling things deeply and honestly is the way you’re supposed to be. Sure you might get hurt but you only get hurt if you cared in the first place and that’s a wonderful thing to experience.

I think that anything bad that may happen, including heartbreak, brings it’s own lessons that you needed (but might not have wanted) to face. And that overall is a wonderful thing, and what we’re all about.

HOW TO DEAL WITH [UNROMANTIC] HEARTBREAK

This may also work for romantic scenarios.

  • Allow yourself to be hurt for a while

I think there’s a lot of shame around feeling sad and it’s so ridiculous. If you’re feeling sad, or rejected, or upset, allow yourself to experience that! For a little while at least.

The more you try to push it away and hide it, the harder it’ll be to move on.

  • Talk about it

Or write about it, or vlog about it. Do whatever you feel like you need to do to get these thoughts and feelings off your chest. I do recommend talking to an actual human being about it at some point though, but if at first you don’t feel like it; document it for yourself.

It’ll allow you to reflect and grow and ultimately result in you becoming better.

When you’re feeling down, there’s nothing better to do than indulge in self-care. You should definitely do the essentials, but you can also use this time to pamper and really treat yourself. After all, everything needs to come from within so you might as well take care of yourself.

  • Get back out there

This is the final step. Once you’ve allowed yourself to feel everything; you’ve documented it and reflected on it; you’re all preened and pampered now is the time to get back out that. Start dating again, apply for more jobs or courses, continue creating.

Don’t let heartbreak get in the way of living your life.


You got this.

Speak soon,

Rachael

An Open Apology To Taylor Swift (and all the other women I’ve shamed) | BECOMING BETTER

As I’m getting older I am starting to learn more about the kind of person I want to be and I’m learning how to get rid of negative attitudes I simply just don’t need anymore.

For such a long time now being a feminist has been a huge part of my identity. But despite everything I preach, I still have my issues.

The following is a realisation of those issues and the major epiphany I had, right there in the middle of Wembly Stadium as Taylor Swift freaking smashed her set on the Reputation Tour, about what it takes to really practice what you preach.

NOT A SWIFTIE

So the use of Taylor Swift may be a little bit clickbaity for this post (a girl’s gotta try get those likes some how right?) but she did inspire this whole realisation and self-growth situation regarding other women, shame and jealousy.

For a bit of background, I was one of those people who didn’t really like Swift for no particular reason. I listened to her music but would criticise her whenever she appeared in the headlines. For every breakup, makeup and latest scandal I was with the rest of the world rolling my eyes and wondering how such a ‘nice girl’ could cause so much drama, unless it was all fake.

Although Swift is such an extreme example of a shamed woman, her experiences are unfortunately shared with so many others – famous or not. Every movement, every mistake or success, is out there for us to judge.

But then, on 22nd June when I sang and screamed along with thousands of her loyal fans I got to see the other side. The side that is rarely ever publicised. Her side.

And I realised how messed up my attitude to, not only Swift had been, but towards women overall – despite my bold claims for female empowerment. In reality, I had been a part of what was pushing us all back down.

THE EPIPHANY

I know it seems kind of like I’m just using this whole post to boast about the fact that I got to see Taylor Swift in her Reputation tour (and maybe I am just a little bit) but there was something about being in that place, so full of happiness and pure love that made me realise what an arse I’d been. And trust me, when you’re surrounded by thousands of dedicated fans, that feeling goes pretty deep!

But the gig gave me a chance to see Swift simply. As just a lass who was doing her job, and doing it pretty bloody well too. And it got me thinking about how many other women I’ve shamed, ridiculed or disliked based on an idea that I’d either been given or made up myself.

I know that everyone feels as though they’re being judged, and we all get that anxiety when we feel like we don’t fit in, regardless of gender, but I feel like women (especially those in the public eye) just get a little bit more shit than normal.

“how many other women have I shamed, ridiculed or disliked based on an idea that I’d either been given or made up myself?”

Literally every. single. thing. women do is mocked or questioned in some way. From our own personal choices (don’t you think it’s selfish not to have children? how come he hasn’t put a ring on it yet?) to natural, bodily functions (periods*, body hair, size and shape) women are under scrutiny from the rest of the world.

We really don’t need to be getting shit from our sisters too.

THE FEMINIST BIT

So what is it about Taylor Swift that gets people so mad?

Well, there’s loads of excuses: the fact that she’s had a lot of partners; the fact that she’s quiet; the fact she is too nice. But the main one, when you really boil it down, is the fact that she is successful.

And like with most issues I’ve personally had with other women, it all comes down to jealousy.

We’re all so used to being pitted against each other for everything, from our relationships to our careers, it’s no wonder we fall victim to it. From day one, women are told that there isn’t enough room for them. From the fact that there are less women in higher role jobs, to the fact that women are normally seen as accessories,  we are constantly being told that we aren’t good enough.

But this whole thing with Taylor Swift and the epiphany I had while singing my heart out at that stadium was so simple I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to get.

We need to make room for ourselves.

And we need to make sure that we are not shutting other women down or pushing them away just because we’re not keen on them or don’t have the same outlook as them.

The only way we’re all going to succeed is if we’re in it together.

WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO DO?

Next time you see a shitty article bashing women (it’ll probably be about Taylor Swift, to be fair) check yourself.

  • How does this make you feel?
  • If this was one of your friends would you shame her?
  • Would those actions be wrong if a man was doing them?
  • What does the world get out of shaming her like that?

Call out the bullshit you see, be supportive of your sisters, educate those who don’t understand.

So finally, after all that rambling:

I’m so sorry Taylor Swift, and every other woman I’ve shamed, through jealousy or a misunderstanding or simply just to fit in. I will learn from my mistakes, check myself and continue to be a support for all women. I have learnt that there is enough room for all of us, and it is down to us now to create a safe and open space for us all. 

I will be better. 


*I know that not all women have periods, just like not all period-having-people are women. But just for the sake of my argument here and just to generalise in the easiest way I can, this is what I’m going with. Please do not be offended. I see you xoxo


Speak soon,

Rachael.

 

 

Life After University | A YEAR On From Graduation, Here’s Where I’m At RN

I can’t believe I’m about to write this, but it has been a year since I graduated university.

One year since I was finally free from a degree that I had worked my arse off for three years. If you’re currently in the midst of your studies, I’m sure that you’ve dreamed about the situation I’m currently in. I know for a fact that it’s all I thought about while I went through sixth form and university – the bit where you actually start your real life.

Like most things, it hasn’t been an easy ride and I’m far from feeling settled. But I feel like for all it’s failures, my little journey may be of help (or at least of interest) to someone out there. I feel like your life after university, or any kind of structured routine, isn’t something that is talked about in depth. We have expectations and ideas, for sure, but we don’t get given a solid idea of what will happen once we’re free. It’s just like a hazy dreamland.

So allow me, one normal lass to another, to enlighten you.

CAREER

I know for a fact the first thing on your mind is what work am I doing now. Well, if you’re looking for a super exciting, #girlboss style story then I’m afraid you’ll have to look elsewhere (or give me a good few years to work on it. Who knows?)

I was successful in leaving my part-time fast food job that I’d held down throughout my entire studies – which to be honest was a goal for post-uni Rachael. However, I left that job to continue working in customer service/retail, but this time with better hours and slightly better pay.

Other than that there are no signs of a ‘better’ career around the corner. To be honest with you I have no idea what I want to do anyway. After getting rejected from the handful of jobs I did apply for, I kind of lost motivation for the whole thing. Even now I feel kind of anxious even thinking about the minefield that is Indeed.com.

My current job, although it definitely has it’s many downsides, has been a positive for me overall. It’s allowed me to meet and connect with people I would never have found outside of our building and has increased my confidence so much it’s kind of insane.

And with that, I can swiftly move on the the next area of post -uni life I want to talk about.

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT (IE. HOW I’M DOING)

When reflecting on my life for the past year, I was so suprised by how much I’ve changed. I found, when thinking about what I was going to write for this post, that I feel like a different person to the girl in her graduation cap and gown.

Sure, we’re both still anxious and insecure and absolutely terrified about what’s coming up in the future. But I feel more confident than her. I feel more mature than her, like I’m more able to handle situations better (even if it’s not true).

I spent my graduation day a sweaty, nervous wreck and couldn’t really enjoy any of it. I just wanted to get it over and done with – and that’s something I look back on now with a bit of regret. I should have been more excited, more proud and more up for a party 🙂


If you’re graduating this summer, or the next one or the next one, do me a favour and enjoy it.

Enjoy those moments with your friends, your classmates and your family. It’s a day for you and your hard work and you should be so proud of yourself.

University can be such a wild ride and I’m guessing that life after it is just going to be the same. I’m a bit disappointed and frequently anxious about the fact I haven’t really done anything within this year, but I guess good things come to those who wait and are ready for it.

I’ve got a lot of working on myself to do and a lot of more life to experience so I guess I shouldn’t get too hung up on finding my perfect career just yet. I’m making this post as a reminder for myself to be patient, to cut myself some slack, every now and again, and if this happens to resonate with you then I hope you take heed too.

Congratulations and best of luck reader.

Speak soon,

Rachael.

The Vital Self – Care You Might Forget

When scrolling through social media, you might be under the impression that #selfcare is all about expensive bath products, face masks and a bit of relaxation. Something kind of superficial that you do for yourself when you’re having a tough day.

And although these are wonderful acts of kindness that you should definitely treat yourself to as and when you can, the whole idea of self care has kind of been overshadowed by it’s superficial sister.

I too have often forgotten how to perform this quite frankly vital act upon myself in desperate times. Those times when I feel like it’ll take more than something that smells good from LUSH to sort out my brain or body.

So as a reminder to both myself and anyone else out there who might be struggling, here’s a few of the important things you should consider to do to take care of yourself:

Book and actually go to health appointments

When was the last time you saw your doctor, your dentist, your counsellor, your sexual health nurse…?

With the constant pressure to be busy at all times it can be a scarily long length of time before you realise that you haven’t been checked out. Especially in times of stress or bad mental health it is so important to see professional medical people, yet these are often the times where we struggle to find a spare moment to book an appointment let alone actually follow it through and go.

Do yourself a favour now and book in to see whoever you need to see, and when the time comes, actually go to that appointment. You can make the time. Your body and brain will thank you for it.

Make sure you’re drinking and eating

As someone who is, quite frankly, obsessed with food the idea of forgetting to eat seems a bit alien to me. But when things are busy and stressful, it can be hard to find the time or even the energy to check that we’re taking care of our most basic needs.

Food and water provide us with the necessary fuel to go about our lives. I’m talking literal energy here. If you’re not taking the time to top yourself up it’s going to be so much more difficult to tackle those to-dos, so ensure that you’re eating and drinking regularly. Listen to your body – when your tummy rumbles, or you feel a bit of a headache coming on those are signs that you desperately need to stop and refuel.

Trying to get enough sleep/rest

Sleep is something that I often struggle with these days and I’m only just beginning to understand how much that impacts my day to day life. If I haven’t have enough sleep or a good quality sleep the night before, I am a monster. Honestly. I become irritable and emotional and find it so difficult to even get on with the simplest of things, such as looking after myself.

Trying to get around 7 – 8 hours of sleep at night is important, but also try to ensure that you’re getting a good quality sleep too. Quality and quantity are equals in this game.

Open a window, change your bedding, keep the lights off, meditate; take some time before you head off to bed to make your space as comfortable as possible to encourage a good quality rest.

Taking medication (if and when needed)

If your on regular medication, then there is obviously a very important reason for that. Yet despite how important it is to take medication on a regular basis, it so often falls under our radar when we get busy.

Set some reminders on your phone or computer, write post it notes and stick them on your desk or mirror – have reminders in places that you see constantly to ensure that you don’t miss taking what you need.

Cleaning (yourself and environment)

During my time at university, I developed the habit of cleaning when I became stressed or overwhelmed. My environment effects me greatly and so if my room is a mess, then it’s almost guaranteed that I’m a mess too.

There is something so calming about cleaning and tidying, I find, that can instantly change my mood. When you’re feeling overwhelmed with life, a messy room or an unclean body isn’t going to help you feel any better.

Take some time to lightly clean your room, your desk, your kitchen – wherever you feel particularly stressed and are in regularly – and then clean yourself. This is where you can crack open the bath bombs and lotions, if you fancy. But just getting a regular shower will make you feel more at peace. Show your body and soul respect.

Communicating with other human IRL

We all spend too much time on the internet. I feel like that’s just a fact at this point. And when you’re online, on social media, you feel like you’re connecting with other people because isn’t that the whole point of those apps in the first place?

But it’s so important to actually see and speak to another person face-to -face at regular points. Sure social media is great, but I find that I often feel lonely after scrolling through feeds and reading about other people’s lives.

If there’s no one around you who’s available immediately, simply going to your local shop and interacting with the cashier will boost your mood. Real life, human interaction is so important and it’s something we actually crave. Don’t push yourself away too far.

Saving/earning money for financial and mental security 

Growing up in a working class family has guaranteed that money has always been a huge concern for me.  Even now I earn my own money and, thankfully, don’t have many commitments at the moment, I still find myself becoming anxious over the thought of not having enough money.

Saving is something I am definitely trying to learn myself, but simply knowing that I have a little sum put aside ‘just in case’ takes a huge weight from my shoulders. Even though money is a huge issue for a lot of people, a small, simple solution is often forgotten in all the stress.

If you are in a position to earn money, then trying to put away even the smallest amount regularly will provide long term relief.


What self care tips do you find to be the most important?

Take care of yourself.

Speak soon,

Rachael

Twenty Two Lessons In 22 Years | Birthday Reflections

It’s my birthday tomorrow, so how else would a wannabe blogger celebrate than writing a cliche post? I actually love these kind of posts – I wrote one for my birthday last year and found it to be a great experience. I love this positive yet reflective state I get in around this time of year and wanted to share.

Birthdays are a wonderful opportunity to up your self care, get grateful and just appreciate yourself and your journey. So without further ado, here’s what I’ve learnt:

  1. Being a pessimist is so draining.
  2. The people you work with really make the job.
  3. University can sometimes be a really difficult and lonely place to be, but no one really tells you this beforehand.
  4. Aloe Vera plants are really hard to keep alive. RIP Harry the Plant
  5. You can actually wear whatever you want. Like you can literally put on any kind of clothing you want, regardless of your size, shape and all that other shite.
  6. Your mental health really does effect your physical, and vice versa. So it’s important to constantly be taking care of yourself in both.
  7. Communication is the number one thing to making a relationship work. If you can’t be honest with or trust your partner, then you probably shouldn’t be with them.
  8. Even if you don’t see them as often as you’d like, your friends still care about you more than you’ll understand.
  9. With that being said, it’s the small things that keep a friendship going. Those little messages to check in, the silly memes you tag each other in, and so on are great reminders that say there’s someone out there who cares and is thinking about you.
  10. Being spontaneous, although it can be terrifying at first, is good for you.
  11. Your self talk is arguably one of the most important factors in how your life is ran, so make sure what you’re saying to yourself everyday is nice.
  12. You can actually be really good mates with your sibling, it often just takes a bit of growing up (and maybe for one of you to move out 🙂 )
  13. We all put far too much pressure on ourselves.Image 1Image 2
  14. Change is such a hard thing to implement into your life, even when you know what the issues are and how much better you will be without them. Patience and determination are vital here.
  15. I really do care about what other people think about me and it’s kind of ruining my life.
  16. Shaming or ridiculing people with different opinions to you is never going to bring change. The best option is being open, honest and gentle. Education is the way forward, but its definitely the harder option.
  17. Everyone is a little problematic at times – from your favourite celebrity to your mates, family and even yourself.
  18. Reading makes me so happy and is a better way to escape than social media.
  19. Other people’s relationships, as are their lives or decisions, is none of your business. Even if you think you know what’s best for them, you have to allow people the opportunity to change for themselves.
  20. No one is looking at you. No one noticed that spot you’ve got on your chin, or that bit of mascara on your eyelid. And if they did, they’re too busying worrying about what’s happening with their face to care about yours.
  21. Being in a happy, healthy relationship can be incredible for your body confidence , and confidence in general, but only if you liked yourself before. Being insecure will get in the way, no matter how many nice things they say about you.
  22. You are a good person. Stop thinking you’re not.

Featured

I’m going into my 22nd year feeling pretty satisfied with the lessons I’ve learnt and how much I’ve grown over the past few years. I have a good feeling about this year and I aim to be lighter and just enjoy it as much as possible. Now, I’m off to start some early celebrations – which, I’ll be honest, mainly consist of cake.

Sending you all the love.

Speak soon,

Rachael.

Things I’ve Been Loving | February 2018

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these posts, which are basically favourites but I don’t do them as often as everyone else. In fact, my last one was way back in November 2016! So it’s certainly about time I do another one.

There’s been such a mixture of things I’ve been loving recently and I hope you can take some inspiration from it to try something new for yourself.

  • I Like Big Books Mug

I received this mug off a lovely friend for Christmas and I haven’t stopped using it since. I drink a lot of tea and this mug is the perfect size for a cuppa. I feel like it’s very ‘trendy’ and the slogan still makes me laugh months on.

  • Hamilton Soundtrack

I’ve been kind of obsessed with Hamilton for a quite a while now, but who isn’t these days? I go through phases of listening to the soundtrack and I’ve recently been going through it in it’s entirety again. It’s just so clever and catchy, some of the songs are genuinely my favourites of all time. If you haven’t listened to it already, get yourself to it now – you won’t regret it!

  • Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine : Gail Honeyman

I read this book* at the back end of January and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since. I fell absolutely in love with the main character, Eleanor, and couldn’t put it down. Yet at the same time didn’t want it to end! It’s a heartbreaking story but it’s so fuelled by hope and I just love it. I’m definitely going to reread it sometime soon, already.

  • Gold Hoops

I really like the whole nineties trend thing that’s going on at the moment, and one of my favourite things about it is the gaudy hoop earrings. I bought a pair in Primark for literally £1.50 last month (see similar ones here) and I’ve worn them so much. I feel like they make any outfit trendy and I’m all about that.

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  • Peel Off Face Masks

Did anyone else really enjoying peeling PVA glue of their skin or their desks at school? Cause I was definitely that kid and I think that’s why I’ve been loving these kind of face masks. I just buy drugstore – own versions, the cheap ones in little packets, and my skin has been feeling so fresh. The best one I’ve tried so far is this ‘For Mens’ one from Superdrug – it’s got mint in it, so it kind of burns at first but my skin feels so clean after. It’s cruelty free too!

  • Pink Hair

While I was wrapped up in the whole ‘new year, new start’ kind of thing I decided to dye my hair. I bought the cheapest rose gold dye I could find and, despite an initial accident (it went sorta orange), I love having pink hair. It’s not too dramatic but this little change has made me feel more like me, if that makes any sense. I feel like any small thing you can do for yourself that makes you feel good about the way you look is valid and for me this year, pink hair it was.

  • Serial Podcast (series one)

At the beginning of the year I started listening to the podcast Serial, by This American Life, and I became obsessed. Every minute I could spare went onto this podcast, from bus journeys to tea breaks at work, and I was actually gutted when it ended. I have yet to fully dive into series two because I’m still thinking about the first series. If you need something to keep you occupied on your commute, I’d highly recommend it.


What are you loving at the moment? Let me know so I can get some inspiration!

Speak soon,

Rachael.

* affiliate link used

How Cruel Is My Makeup Bag? | EYES & LIPS

Following last week’s post, I am back today to look into the rest of my makeup bag. Today I’m tackling the eyes and lip products I use the most.

As I explained last week, I really want to make this change. I feel like I should start making better decisions for both myself and the environment. As is the nature of this entire blog, I’m on a journey of becoming better and changing the makeup I used seemed to be such an easy way to contribute to this.

Anyway, here we go again:

THE ‘EVERYDAY’ FACE
EYES
  • Essence : Make Me Brow + Eyebrow Designer + 2in1 Eyeshadow Primer

GREY AREA

“have received multiple responses that are unclear”. The site claims there has also been no response to clarification requests.

Once again, I thought this was a cruelty free brand. I love their brow products (which are dupes for Benefits!) but I’m not sure how I feel about this. I’m sure I can find similar products that are cruelty free.

  • Natural Collection Waterguard Mascara 

Could not find. 

However, this is a Boots own brand so I’m assuming they’re all in the same boat. I found Boots’ No.7 under the GREY AREA with unclear responses and that’s how I’m taking this product too. I’m sure I’ll find a better, cruelty free mascara elsewhere.

  • Makeup Gallery : Eyeliner (Poundland)

Could not find.

I’m not sure what to feel about this. It claims that it is made in China, which I assumed (due to their laws) that this would make it not cruelty free but apparently it’s not that simple.

There is no doubt I can find a better, definitely cruelty free version so I’ll leave this for now. If you have any more information, please let me know.

  • Zoeva : En Taupe Eyeshadow Pallette

CRUELTY FREE!

Finally! I’m so chuffed too, because I absolutely love this product and I am more than happy to continue buying from this brand.

EYES 1

EYES 2

LIPS
  • NYX : Lip Lingerie (Push – Up)

CRUELTY FREE!

“…but their parent company is not”

The fact that this brand itself is cruelty free, means I will still support them – hopefully it’ll show their parent company what to do themselves. I have various NYX products and I am so happy I can continue to use them!

OTHER BRANDS

Considering how bad most of my results from this challenge were, I decided to look into a couple of other brands I own. I am one of those people that when I like a brand, I tend to stick to them so I wanted to check what else was going on.

  • Lime Crime (Velvetine – Teddy Bear)CRUELTY FREE! (+ 100% VEGAN)
  • MUA (Lip Liner) – Caramel Nougat) : PENDING BRANDS 
  • Barry M (Foundation)CRUELTY FREE!
  • Lush Cosmetics (Lip Scrub)CRUELTY FREE (Obviously!)
THE CONCLUSION

CRUELTY FREE BRANDS

  • Zoeva
  • NYX
  • Lime Crime
  • Barry M
  • Lush

I thought I had some kind of awareness or understanding of cruelty free makeup and how brands work, but I was SO wrong! I will continue to use the products I have now but when they run out I will replace them with a better brand.


Stay tuned to see how I get on with cruelty free makeup and what I discover.

If you have any CF brand/product recommendations, please let me know.

Speak soon,

Rachael.


Sources (all LogicalHarmony):

Cruelty Free Brand List

Brands To Avoid

Pending Brands

Grey Area Brands

How Cruel Is My Makeup Bag? | BASE PRODUCTS

This concept is something I have seen on several blogs or YouTube channels over the past year or so, and it’s something I really want to get involved in. In fact, full disclosure, I did try this several months back but without much commitment or conviction.

I’ve decided that this year I want to start making better decisions and trying to do things that will better either myself or my environment. As someone who cannot imagine being vegetarian / vegan at the moment, my makeup bag seemed the simplest place to make changes. Plus, it’ll come with the additional purposes of saving money and creating less waste as I won’t be able to freely buy pointless products like I’m used to.

I have used the site logicalharmony to see what status the brands are, as this is the site other creators have used and it seems to be the most reliable. Any products that are not cruelty free have been marked, and once I have used them up will not be repurchased. I aim to replace these products with cruelty free options eventually.

Without further ado, let me introduce you to my everyday face.

THE ‘EVERYDAY’ FACE
  • Glossier : Priming Moisturiser 

GREY AREA 

According to the site, this means that the brand were “unable to provide a clear statement on animal testing practices” and have not provided any clarification when asked.

Glossier are quite public about their stance on animal testing and on the back of their products claim they are cruelty free. However, this is not as simple as it seems (read more here). Because of their claims, you think they’d be more than happy to clarify their practices. Something feels a bit weird here and I’m gutted. That’s a no from me.

  • Soap & Glory : One Heck of a Blot Primer

GREY AREA

(disclaimer, I either use one or the other of the products above but thought I better check them both). The site says they have reached out to this brand but have received “unclear responses.” Apparently, this does not mean they test on animals but it also doesn’t mean they are cruelty free either.

The site claims they need more information and will therefore not be promoting Soap & Glory. Again, this feels weird. I feel betrayed. Why?! Another no from me, then.

  • L’Oreal : Infallible 24 HR Foundation 

BRANDS TO AVOID

Defined on the site as “not cruelty free… could mean they engage in animal testing themselves, through a third party, as requested by law, or use ingredients that are tested on animals”. 

To be honest, I’m not surprised. I knew this was bad.

  • Collection : Lasting Perfection Concealer 

BRANDS TO AVOID

I’m actually not surprised with this one either. Gutted of course, cause this has been a staple for the longest time, but I had a horrible feeling it was bad. Oh well.

  • Rimmel : Clear Completion Power / Stay Matte Powder 

BRANDS TO AVOID

I kind of knew that too. I’m a bad person. I’m sorry animals.

FACE 1.jpg

FACE 2

  • Makeup Revolution : Pro Fix Setting Spray

GREY AREA 

This one is strange to me, as I always thought this brand was cruelty free from my prior research. No extra notes have been given on this brand, so maybe I will let it slide for now?

  • Sleek : Face Contour Kit

PENDING BRAND

According to the site, this means they are “waiting to receive response or waiting for the brand to finish the relevant documents.” This is not the same as the grey area, as they are just simply waiting. I’ll let that slide for now, but watch this space.

  • Model’s Own : Blush

PENDING BRAND

“Have reached out multiple times but have not received a response” 

This feels weird, again. It’s a no from me. Why can’t these brands just be honest?

  • Fenty Beauty : Killawatt Highlighter (Metal Moon)

GREY AREA 

“was unable to provide a clear statement on practices, FAQ page is not detailed enough to be sure of their status.” Logical Harmony have also not received any response to their clarification requests.

Very disappointed with this. Once again feels strange and I’m not buying it. Sorry, Rihanna but no thanks.

  • NYC : Smooth Skin Bronzer 

BRANDS TO AVOID

I am a very bad person. Why is this more difficult than I thought? Why is everything so cruel?


This list was turning out to be too long, so stay tuned to see EYES / LIPS and to see whether I actually have any cruelty – free products.

If you have any brand recommendations, please let me know!

Speak soon,

Rachael


Sources (all LogicalHarmony):

Cruelty Free Brand List

Brands To Avoid

Pending Brands

Grey Area Brands

 

An Open Letter To Ex Friends | Self Growth

First of all let me say, that if we split in a bad way then I’m no longer mad.

I understand that at the time neither of us were in a position where our actions were as mature or as thought out as they could have been. And for that I do have some regret. From where I stand now (and hindsight is a wonderful thing!) I do wish we’d shown each other a bit more respect, but sometimes the situation takes over and there’s no time for that.

Speaking of maturity, I really want to be able to say I forgive you for what you did; for whatever choices you made or the things you said either to me or about me. For the actions that now seem unnecessary.

But here’s the thing – I’m not great with forgiveness.

Although I’m not mad anymore about what may have happened between us, I will always look back on those moments with great sadness. Sometimes I still feel hurt. And since you can still bring that effect I’m not sure if I want to forgive you right now.

Although I’m sure that time will come, eventually.

But I can be big enough to thank you for what you’ve taught me. From our actions, I now know what kind of friendships I need to avoid and which ones I should nurture. I have learnt what damaging behaviours I have tendencies to and need to lean towards those who don’t encourage this.

I should also thank you for the good times. Cause despite how it all went down, if it was a bad one, or even if you’re simply no longer in my life anymore, we had a canny few in our time. I’m grateful for the growth and the lessons we have hopefully given to each other.

And I genuinely wish you all the best.


The main reason I wanted to write this letter was for me. As is the natural way, I’ve had some friendship break downs over the years and, in an act of self growth and development, I wanted to get a few things of my chest. A bit of closure I guess.

To the friends I am lucky enough to hold dear still, thank you so much. I don’t appreciate you enough.


I urge you to put past breakups behind you and try to focus on what you have now. I feel like we all need to give ourselves that break.

Speak soon,

Rachael.