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Vegan Makeup: My Favourite Products

So one of the perks of deciding to share all the cruelty-free and vegan goodies I find is that the kind and encouraging words from you lovely lot means I am even more motivated than ever to discover and test my favourites. Championing awesome ethical and vegan brands makes me smile and spreading good vibes is always encouraged! Being honest, I was a bit of a ‘makeup junkie’ a few years back, and so vegan makeup was a challenge to switch to at first. You know when you have those favourites that you think you’ll stick to for life? Surprisingly enough, I soon realised that there are so many great vegan makeup brands and even ones that suit my skin (which is a little on the oily side) and fussy makeup taste.

I love a quiet night in with a face mask and luxurious bath, and equally a glam dress-up dinner with friends. Delightfully, both are achievable without the need to harm any of our wonderful fluffy friends. Here are some of the awesome vegan makeup and beauty products that I’ve been loving this month….

Inika

Australian brand Inika have a lovely range of organic and natural makeup. I’ve noticed they seem to be available in more and more stores these days which is great. You can buy their products at Wholefoods and also boutique wellness gyms and yoga studios such as Bhuti in Richmond. And online of course 🙂

vegan makeup inika

I’ve brought the liquid foundation, baked mineral foundation, concealer, lip tint, eyeliner and mascara. All of these I’m planning on buying again when they run out. Really great products! The mascara isn’t waterproof, so not so good for gymming or holidays though.

LUSH

I’m sure you’ve all heard of Lush as they’re bloomin’ marvellous… but have you tried the Cup O’Coffee exfoliator yet? If not, you need it in your life. My lovely friend from Men’s Health recommended it to me, completely raved about it. Seriously, this one is a life essential! I tried it and have never looked back – smells amazing, works so well and gives you super soft baby skin all over! Incredible.

After a good exfoliation, and actually every morning, Karma Kreme is required. Smells divine as the body cream is infused with their signature perfume. Two in one, perfect for slathering on after a morning gym session.

Lush also do a lot of charity work – if you’re looking for an excuse to buy a bath bomb then look no further. Be kind to yourself and support a good cause at the same time. In other news, Lush have just opened a spa on the Kings Road. I will be going in the next few months so watch this space…

lush vegan makeup favourite products

Geo Organics

I was mooching around Wholefoods one evening waiting to meet a friend and I got chatting to this fun American lady in the beauty section. She recommended Geo Organics to me so I thought I’d give it a try as she was so convinced it was fabulous. I’ve been using the toothpaste and mouthwash for a month or so now and must agree, it is really great stuff. Takes a bit of getting used to, as the natural toothpastes don’t foam like the chemical ones. However, you get used to it quickly. I think my teeth feel cleaner for longer and the oil pulling mouthwash is a great addition to my teeth cleaning routine. Love them!

vegan makeup geoorganics

Andalou Naturals

So this find isn’t so recent, I first came across this brand when I was looking for a BB cream to take on holiday with me. I had a friends wedding in Bali so needed some dual purpose vegan makeup. I tested loads, and this one was by far the best. It smells amazing and has a good level of SPF 30 which is perfect for those pastier skin tones like mine. It sets well with a little bit of powder on top, and smells of roses. Which is so luxe.

Andalou vegan makeup

Hourglass

On the pricier side of things is Hourglass. They do the most amazing highlighters, great for ‘strobing’, contouring, generally looking like a glowing goddess – which is totally on my list of #goals. I find Hourglass bits from SpaceNK, however not all the products are vegan within the Hourglass range so it is best to check first. Another similar brand is Illamasqua who are vegan and cruelty free.

Dr.Haushcka

Another Wholefoods find is Dr.Haushcka, all the products are natural and organic. Actually natural and organic though, rather than just saying they are. I’ve nearly used up this bronzer, and will be buying a replacement. It’s a really great colour, and totally buildable depending on how bronzed and dark you want the colour.

drhauschka vegan makeup

There are tonnes of other great vegan makeup brands that I have to share with in the coming months so keep an eye out for these 🙂

The Vegan Edit - Thanks for reading

Vegan Makeup: Cruelty-Free Beauty

Why you should switch to using vegan makeup and cruelty free cosmetics…

The cosmetic industry is inspiring, creative, fun and inclusive. It also has a dark side. There are some pretty nasty things going on behind the scenes. Most of the products we buy are ‘manufactured’ on mass scale, and making lipsticks, face washes, mascara, shampoo etc comes at a cost to the planet and unfortunately animals too.

All across Europe millions of animals every year, (approx. 11.5 million!) are used in experiments. These experiments can include animals being poisoned, infected with diseases, brain damaged, mutilated, gassed, deprived of food/sleep/water, burned, electrocuted, and subjected to skin/eye irritants and psychological distress. Many are killed too. It’s insanity that this happens to millions of animals every year.

In the EU it is illegal to sell animal-tested cosmetics, however most of the large brands test on animals in order to sell to markets such as China (as it is the law there). So buying from these companies such as Estee Lauder, Lancome, Dior etc means you are indirectly supporting animal testing.

Unfortunately, despite the regulations it is still possible to test cosmetics and other products on animals in the EU if there is a possibility the workforce could be exposed to the chemicals during manufacturing process. This begs the question as to why you would ever want to use products with this sort of chemicals in! I certainly stay away from all products with strange ingredients in now, choosing natural and organic as much as possible (plus cruelty free of course). I’ve also started to look into making products at home too.

Most of us live very busy lives, we live unconsciously for the most part. More and more people are stopping to think about where these seductively positioned luxuries have come from. In the modern western world, it is all too easy to get sucked into the glitz and glamour peddled by celebrities endorsing the latest shampoo/perfume/eyeshadow etc. However, there are so many brands appearing that champion cruelty free ethical production and ingredients. Let’s support these guys who are doing it right.

This year I’ve made simple changes to the items I buy, and have really streamlined my life in the process. I’ve gradually switched to buying organic/natural washing powder, shower gel, shampoo, vegan makeup etc. There are lots of awesome brands championing cruelty free and natural, using gorgeous ingredients such as essential oils, vegetable waxes, and plants. It’s a pleasure discovering the little gems and new products, especially knowing you are supporting brands that are ethical.

Keep a look out for an upcoming post where I’ll be sharing some of my favourite vegan makeup and cruelty free beauty brands. *Update find the post here, and some of my favourite cruelty free travel essentials can be found in this post here.

Spread some kindness and remember every purchase is a vote for the type of world you want to live in…

Ruth xx

Check below for an edit of some of my favourite cruelty free beauty products…

Wild Food Cafe – London Review

Tucked away in Neals’ Yard Covent Garden is the enriching and enchanting Wild Food Cafe.  Its on the second floor of one of the beautiful and colourful buildings with painted blue windows and vines climbing up the front.  To me this place is is more like a sanctuary, I often pop inside to re-fuel after a hectic day. It’s just as pretty as it sounds, and the whole vibe of the place is magical too. You can taste the love that goes into each and every one of the unique menu options, and everyone who works there is happy and friendly.

Wild Food Cafe is founded on more than just the sharing of amazing nutritious food, it’s founded on a strong sense of community and the coming together of people. I think this is what makes it such a special place to visit. Inside, there are large communal tables to sit around which gives it an open and inviting feel. If you go by yourself, you’re likely to leave with some new like-minded friends!

Enjoying raw dessert at Wild Food Cafe

After one particularly busy week, and with no Friday plans, I took myself off for dinner. I decided it was just what the ‘self-care’ Dr would order – an indulgent and nutritious meal. I joined a table, sitting opposite a lovely chap called Barney. Fresh from inter-railing around Europe, he shared some of his travel stories with me, and we bonded over our mutual love of all things healthy – we’ve kept in contact ever since!

Wild Food Cafe – The Menu

The menu is an adventure into raw vegan creations. It’s really imaginative and vibrant. All the dishes are a riot of tastes, flavours, colours and textures. The ingredients are sourced from local suppliers and organic producers. It’s great to know what while you are enjoying the incredible food, you are also supporting farmers and local businesses.

Wild Food Cafe Falafel & Burger

Depending on what you’re after, the menu ranges from smaller soup and raw cracker dishes to curry with kelp noodles, burgers or raw pizza. The menu is always seasonal, which means the food is always super flavoursome and deliver maximum nutritional value.

Wild Food Cafe Falafel - The Vegan Edit

The desserts are in a league of their own, and ‘I want to lick the plate clean’ kind of delicious. Most of them are sprinkled with petals, and all of them are gorgeous.

Wild Food Cafe Desserts - The Vegan Edit

There are loads of different drink options too; biodynamic wines, juices, smoothies, medicinal mushroom teas, kombucha – all the good stuff!

Wild Food Cafe - Chocolate Smoothie

Wild Food Cafe - Power Smoothie

In the Summer, the sun streams in through the windows, and in the Winter fairy lights hang from the ceiling and around the window frames. No matter when you visit, this place always has a glow.  I don’t think there is anywhere so pure and comforting to eat out. Nourishing for your body, tastebuds and soul – guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

Walk through the door of Wild Food Cafe and you’ll find out where all the wild ones are… just remember to arrive hungry so you have room for dessert!

Wild Food Cafe - Raw Millionaire Slice

Next time you’re in the Covent Garden area of London, be sure to check this place out. It is a must visit for any foodie, especially the vegan ones.

www.wildfoodcafe.co.uk

Ruth x

An interview with Votch founder Laura Stageman

I love discovering brands that live and breathe vegan values, and it’s great to meet the people who are putting themselves out there and making changes in the world. One such trailblazer is Votch founder Laura Stageman, the entrepreneur behind the stylish vegan watch brand. I’ve been lucky enough to hear the story of Laura’s journey and am delighted to share with you the things that inspired her to create the PETA award-winning vegan business.

Votch founder Laura with Rolo

Interview Questions

TVE: How and when did you come up with the idea to create Votch?

LS: A few years back I was struck down by a condition called Topical Steroid Withdrawal, which left me bed and bath bound for several months and I had to quit work during this period. As a documentary fanatic, I spent my days absorbing as many documentaries as I could to keep my mind stimulated and to try to take away from the pain I was suffering. I really focussed on animal welfare as it had always been something I had been deeply passionate about, and I became very aware about how animal skins, leather and fur were produced. The condition I was suffering saw my skin fall off my entire body, and I made the decision there and then that I didn’t want to be responsible for wearing someone else’s When I got better, I just knew I had to create and do something that aligned with my passion for animal welfare, but where I could also give back and help charities too. So when an old watch strap broke, and finding a vegan leather replacement was nigh impossible, the idea for Votch was born. High quality watches, with high quality vegan leather straps and 10% of the profits donated to our charity of the season every 3 months.

TVE: Why do you think it so important for consumers to stay clear of leather?

LS: Our society is based on the whole ‘fast fashion’ notion, and seldom do we consider what is behind that £20 ‘real leather bag’. Every year over a billion animals are slaughtered for leather, and some of the largest exporters are from countries where there are little to no animals welfare laws. People often presume leather is just a byproduct of the meat and dairy industry, but this is not the case, and often it’s not just cows that are slaughtered for their skins, it can be cats, dogs, to name but a few species too. But it’s not also just the animals we’re harming, also in some countries the conditions of tanneries are so toxic not only to the people working in them, but also their surrounding environment where chemicals get in to the water supply and people are washing and drinking from this. I also find it particularly alarming that as a society, we’re largely quick to shun fur, but leather is deemed acceptable. This makes no sense to me now, skin is skin. So we try to make the difference to show people that you can go cruelty free without sacrificing anything, there are plenty of other alternatives and options out there these days for anything.

TVE: You donate a portion of your profits to charities – which charities are you currently supporting?

LS: We donate 10% of our profits back to a different charity every 3 months, and we are currently working with BAWA who are based in Bali. We decided to partner with a charity in Bali after learning about them on our recent honeymoon. We spent the day with the team and learnt about all the incredible work they do for the animals of Bali and beyond. As a global brand it’s important for us to support causes all over the world, and we’re so happy to be able to help in the small way that we can.

TVE: Has veganism always been a big part of your life?

LS: My respect for animals has always been there. I was 9 when that rumour went around school that cow toenails went in to burgers…I was eating a burger and thought I saw a toe nail. I was young at the time but I instantly made that connection. Veganism for me was a journey like most people and was a long time vegetarian before going vegan over a year ago now. Now it is completely normal to me and my husband and I live in a completely cruelty free home together.

Votch watches

TVE: What is life like now that you have your own business?

LS: It’s a constant rollercoaster, every day is different, sometimes so many things will happen in one day, you win a PETA award, you get a new supplier, you see your watch featured in a really cool magazine. Then sometimes it’s quieter and you can feel a bit lost. It’s 24/7, when it’s your baby, for me it’s all I can think about – what we can do next, where we can take the business…I go to bed thinking about Votch and wake up thinking about it. It’s exciting and scary at the same time, you are in control of your businesses destiny and that can only be determined by the work you put in.

TVE: Wise words. Do you have any other advice for other budding wellness entrepreneurs?

LS: Seek support, it’s not easy in the beginning and I highly recommend a mentor to voice ideas to and to also make sure you’re covering all grounds. If you have an idea in your head, you just have to go for it, make sure you don’t sit back one day and think ‘what if’, that’s the only way you can let yourself down.

TVE: What are your future ambitions for Votch?

LS: To grow the range and to be stocked worldwide on a larger scale than already. We’re constantly seeking the latest, most innovative fabrics we can use as well as expanding in to other areas. 

TVE: What are your dreams for the future of Votch?

LS: I want to grow Votch as much as possible into a global brand, to make cruelty free and conscious accessories, without compromising on style and quality, available to everybody.

TVE: What are some of your favourite vegan brands?

LS: I love Matt & Natt for bags and shoes and also Lee Coren too. I find the website Unicorn Goods fantastic as it offers a whole world of vegan goodies!

TVE: Do you have a vegan top tip you can share with us?

LS: I love going to Vevolution events and networking with all the other vegans in the area where I live! Seeing so many compassionate people all under one roof makes me believe anything is possible in our combat for compassion! So my advice would be to get involved, the louder we are together, the more we will be heard.

A big thanks to Laura for sharing the story behind Votch. You can check out the Votch website and social channels below to find out more about the gorgeous product range…

www.votch.co.uk

Votch on Twitter

Votch on Facebook

As more people embrace a vegan lifestyle, more amazing ethical, vegan or sustainable business startups are blossoming. If you’ve ever attended these vegan or fitness festival you’ll have no doubt noticed many new brands. I find it so inspiring to see people like Laura turning their passions into products and businesses that give back, and have ethics and welfare at their core. I really think it is so important that we support and reward brands who are creating cruelty-free products.  With Valentines Day and Mother’s Day both coming up, a gorgeous vegan watch is a great gift idea that is definitely on my shopping list.

Ruth x

Last Minute Vegan Christmas Gift Guide

Recently I celebrated my first anniversary as a vegan, and naturally I’ve been excited for my another vegan Christmas! I thought I’d put together a fabulous Vegan Christmas Gift Guide to share some of the gorgeous products made by ethical and vegan brands. Whilst Christmas is a lovely time of year, it is also a time when there is a huge amount of mindless consumption and wastage.  I wanted to find products from companies who give back and consciously limit their impact on the environment.  There are loads of amazing products out there, and as a results of researching for this post I now have a huge wish list for Christmas!!

For Vegan’s who love a cuppa…

Vegan Christmas Gift Guide- mug is £12.50 from online store Ethical Market
This cute mug is £12.50 from online store Ethical Market

 

Pukka Tea's Tumeric Gold
Pukka Tea’s latest brew is this delicious Tumeric Gold £2.49

 

The Vegan’s who love luxury beauty…

Vegan Christmas Gift Guide - Noctua LuxurySoy Candle from the Ethical Superstore £12.50
Noctua LuxurySoy Candle from the Ethical Superstore £12.50

 

Luxury Shower Gel from Greenfrog Botanic
Luxury Shower Gel from Greenfrog Botanic £8.40

Those Vegan’s who are handbag lovers…

Matt & Nat do the most gorgeous ethical vegan handbags and accessories. The plum tote below is a gorgeous Winter colour, and is big enough to fit in your laptop and yoga kit!

Plum Tote Handback by Matt & Nat £94.95 from Ethical Superstore
Plum Tote Handback by Matt & Nat £94.95 from Ethical Superstore

 

Black Purse by Matt & Nat £50
Black Purse by Matt & Nat £50

To delight the Vegan magpies…

It’s often hard to find jewellery that is ethical made with responsibly sourced materials. This twisted gold ring is handmade in Rajasthan in India, using traditional techniques passed down by expert jewellers.

18ct Gold Ring with Ruby stone - £48 at Ethical Superstore
18ct Gold Ring with Ruby stone – £48 at Ethical Superstore

Some treats to please the Vegan chocolate addicts…

These chocolate truffles are something else! They do lots of different flavours such as Champagne, Hazelnut and Midnight Espresso! Seriously delicious and more-ish, perfect to get your chocolate fix in a cruelty free way 🙂

Booja Booja's Organic Vegan Truffles - £7 Waitrose Online
Booja Booja’s Organic Vegan Truffles – £7.00 Waitrose Online

So these incredibly delicious bites from Livia’s Kitchen are a healthier, more scrumptious version of Terry’s Chocolate Orange. You can also get these bits in plain millionaire shortbread version, and also in little bars. They are divine, I can’t recommend them enough. Be warned, you’ll eat them all in one sitting!

Livia's Raw Millionaire Bites - £4.99 from Planet Organic
Livia’s Raw Millionaire Bites – £4.99 from Planet Organic

 

For lounging in luxury…

Ruby & Ed Slippers
Luxury Slippers from Ruby & Ed at £38

One of my favourite new brands are Hey!Holla who do an awesome range of ethically made gym and loungewear. The quality is amazing, and there are lots of different designs to choose from!

Hey!Holla's Sweatshirts are all FairWear certified, and fabulous! £65
Hey!Holla’s Sweatshirts are all FairWear certified, and fabulous! £65

For the Vegan’s that are always busy…

A5 Freedom Features Notebook £4.99
A5 Freedom Features Notebook £4.99

All Vegan’s love to cook right….?

No Vegan Christmas gift guide would be complete without some of the awesome cookbooks that launch just in time for the silly season!

Aine Carlin's latest book 'The New Vegan' - £10.49 on Amazon
Aine Carlin’s latest book ‘The New Vegan’ – £10.49 on Amazon

 

'But I could never go Vegan!' from Kristy Turner £11.54 on Amazon
‘But I could never go Vegan!’ from Kristy Turner £11.54 on Amazon

For those Vegan’s who love to travel and explore worldly cuisines, this Indonesian cookbook is bound to please..

Vegan Street Food by Jackie Kearney - £11.89 on Amazon
Vegan Street Food by Jackie Kearney – £11.89 on Amazon

 

Vlogger Niomi Smart's guide to Vegan eating - £7.00 on Amazon
Vlogger Niomi Smart’s guide to Vegan eating – £7.00 on Amazon

Vegan gifts for the gym bunnies…

We all know that gym bunnies and ‘new year’s resolutioners’ love to workout in style!

Hey!Holla do super cute workout tops like this one at £40
Hey!Holla do super cute workout tops like this one at £40

What’s more important than the water that you drink? Gym bunnies and health nuts alike will love this BPA-free water bottle that features an alkalising core full of minerals that purify the water and add essential compounds. Stay hydrated!

Invigorated Water's Alkalising Water Bottle around £30 from Amazon
Invigorated Water’s Alkalising Water Bottle around £30 from Amazon

Stocking fillers or a cute gift to pop into a Christmas card for your best friend!

Super cute stocking filler Hair Ties from Hey!Holla at £8
Cute stocking filler Hair Ties from Hey!Holla at £8

I hope you’ve found my Vegan Christmas Gift Guide useful! Here’s hoping that your loved ones enjoy their gifts, and more importantly enjoy the time spent with you!

Wishing you a Christmas full of love, joy and laughter 🙂

Ruth x

 

Why is Cowspiracy life-changing for so many people?

The documentary Cowspiracy exposes the true conspiracy behind the meat & dairy industries, and has inspired thousands to switch to a Vegan Lifestyle, myself included!  I’ve been thinking about why this particular project by an amateur filmmaker is succeeding in making such a lasting impact on all those who watch it.

On the surface, you might think that the majority of people choose a vegan lifestyle because of health, environmental or ethical reasons. There are many compelling cases supporting any of these agendas.  However the underlying conspiracy behind the meat and dairy industries are emerging as a key motivator for many who are deciding to adopt a vegan lifestyle.

I count myself as a new vegan, having only eaten a purely plant-based diet for the last 9 months. However I’ve been health conscious and health curious for as long as I can remember.  I was recently out enjoying a delicious dinner at Mildred’s in Soho with a friend of mine who has recently turned Vegan too.  I asked the question, what is it about the documentary Cowspiracy that that motivates so many people to make a change? It got us thinking…!

No one can claim to be oblivious (partially or wholly) to the animal cruelty and exploitation explicit in these industries, yet somehow this doesn’t motivate change. The health studies are powerful and undeniable, with scientists from all over the globe relentlessly advocating plant-based lifestyle.  Even Leo Dicaprio’s passionate speeches on the environmental impacts of agriculture aren’t inspiring massive behavioural change.  Despite all this information readily available to the masses, there hasn’t been the logical shift in behaviour that you might expect.

So, what seems to be driving the biggest shift of opinion and action?  The catalyst that seems to be driving the real change, aside from the combination of ethical and environmental issues is the revelation that so much deception and manipulation is happening.  The realisation of the conspiracy and the truth that larger corporations and governments are determined to hide the facts.  Despite the animal cruelty, environmental impacts and health risks, it seems that feeling cheated and lied to is what gets us angry enough to change our lifestyles and rebel.

As someone who has been watching many hours of documentaries and reading countless books on health/fitness/nutrition for years now, Cowspiracy is the game-changer that truly exposes the extent of the global deceit.

IMBD summarises Cowspiracy as this:

Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret is a groundbreaking feature-length environmental documentary following intrepid filmmaker Kip Andersen as he uncovers the most destructive industry facing the planet today and investigates why the world’s leading environmental organizations are too afraid to talk about it.

The scale of the impact meat and dairy industries have on the planet is shocking.  You can check out the facts for yourself: http://www.cowspiracy.com/facts/ What is the most surprising to learn is the widespread cover-up of agriculture being the largest threat to the planet.  When the facts are so numerous and stark, why is no-one talking about this?  During the documentary filming, the crew are warned by industry whistle-blowers and watchdogs about the risks to their freedom , and even their lives, if they continue.  The near unanimous portrayal that transport and energy production are the leading cause of climate change by most environmental groups, government and media is undeniably linked to profits and hidden agendas.

The feeling of betrayal from so many trusted organisations is the shock factor.  These revelations inspire a new awareness in viewers, and a mind that questions the everyday norms.  With a new perspective, viewers are sensitive to the consequences of their actions, and emotional enoughto change their whole lifestyle from that moment onward.

If you have Netflix the full documentary is available, if not you can rent it directly from the Cowspiracy site. See the trailer below:

If you haven’t already watched the full documentary, I highly recommend you check it out.  I can’t stress enough how important the message is.  It’s a life changer on so many levels.

Let me know what you think.

Ruth x