Hello lovelies! Hope you are well and keeping cosy in this cold snap!
It’s been a wee while since I uploaded a blog post, so I’m sorry about that. I have had tons of ideas and wanted to write so much, but been hampered by a back injury. It’s been quite painful and very exhausting, so I just needed a break.
So having rested and feeling like I’ve got a little more energy (a nice cruelty free spa day helped too), here are my bi-monthly Favourites. These are just some of my favourite products that I’ve been using in October and November. It’s a longie so get a brew, get cosy…
My first and most favourite favourites will come as no surprise to you if you follow me on Instagram (@ethicalem), where I have been swatching lip samples that I have accumulated. I am a total sucker for lip products. By far my most favourite formula of all the samples I have tried is the Kosås Weightless Lip Color. I had seen these raved about by some of my favourite Green Beauty YouTubers in the states and Canada. And they are now available in the UK only on Alyaka.com. The Kosås shade range is so inspired, despite there only being 8 shades in the line. The formula is so smooth, even and richly pigmented and lasts on the lips for a really good time. Even when they do eventually wear off they leave a nice even matte stain to the lips. Alyaka does a sample programme where you can choose 5 shades for £11 and they give you a code for £11 off when you spend over £40. The full size lipsticks are £27 each, which I know is a pretty penny and up there in my budget, but I promise they are so worth it and you’re gonna want them all anyway! I chose the colours Undone and Royal for the Autumn & Winter. Undone is a “warm, neutral take on a red lip, a blend of pinks and browns”. Royal is a “warm, ripe berry red-purple hue”. I’ve got my eye on the shades Rosewater and Thrillest for Spring and Summer 2018 and honestly can’t wait for the seasons to roll around then I can order! Just to note these lipsticks contain beeswax so not vegan but do also contain some lovely oils and butters to condition and protect the lips. They’re just fabulous!
To say I am a lover of lipsticks and now own about an additional 20 samples, I did not own a lip brush! And right when I needed one! I did a lot of browsing on the internet and found this little beauty from Nanshy. Being made from synthetic bristles, this is completely vegan and cruelty free. The cover pops off and can be put on the end of the brush to make a long handle. It’s ideally designed for my on the go makeup bag, it’s sleek, really good quality and a fair pricepoint (£5.95). You can get it in black or white. The oval shape of the brush is the most perfect shape and size for outlining and filling my lips and I love it. I’m really glad I chose this one and can’t believe I managed without it!
This little number is the Glossworks Nail & Cuticle Oil. This came to me in my October LoveLula Beauty Box (still the best subscription box in town!) I’m sorry that I kind of poo-pooed this product in my First Impressions post on that box. I completely take it back! This may be an avocado oil, but it must be a REALLY GOOD one as it totally softens and diminishes the cuticles better than anything I’ve used before. And I am enjoying it so much that I have been keeping up with it applying it (nearly) every night before bed. So yes it’s £12 but I will repurchase it, so off I go to eat my words!
My favourite mask I’ve been using of late is the Lush Cup O’ Coffee Mask. A lot of green beauty lovers don’t frequent Lush as they feel the brand ‘green washes’, ie making their products seem more green / natural than they are. I don’t feel they do. Their strapline is Fresh Handmade Cosmetics. Nowhere do they say ‘all natural’. Yes they say ‘fresh’ and they use preservatives. But so do most green brands. They have to in order to give products any shelf life. I check Lush labels and I don’t use anything with eg parabens or sulphates or other ingredients I don’t care for. If you’re careful you can get by pretty naturally at Lush. Each to their own.
As such this mask is all natural bar ‘perfume’. And it’s vegan. And self preserving. And it’s a really good smoothing, hydrating scrubby mask you can use on face or body. And it smells divine! Highly recommend. Ingredients are as follows:
My next faves are these two facial mists. They’re both in 30ml sizes as I like to try before I commit to a large bottle. I love both and would purchase the biggies. The first is the Evolve Organic Beauty Daily Defence Moisture Mist. With moringa peptides, hyaluronic acid and prickly pear, this simple looking mist packs a punch in the hydration stakes. I like to use this one best in my morning routine as I like to get a lot of moisture into my face at this time of year, especially before makeup. I follow it with a serum and moisturiser or just moisturiser. It can be used over makeup to set or refresh. The 30ml is £10 and the 100ml is £20. I think it is good value given the efficacy of the product. It’s 99.4% natural, 20.5%, vegan and cruelty free of course.
The Balm Balm Frankincense Hydrosol Soothing Facial Tonic is really lovely and I have definitely noticed a difference in my skin since adding this to my evening routine. With its soothing and rejuvenating properties it is helping take down any redness or slight irritation after active cleansers / masks. And it helps any facial oil that I follow with to sink in. And I also love that it’s relaxing at night time. Balm Balm does a Rose version which I also own (the Chamomile and Neroli ones I do not find as effective as the Frankincense or Rose). The Frankincense one in 30ml is £8.50, the 100ml is £16.50. Vegan too!
Speaking of relaxation, I picked up this lovely Eco Bath London Skin Conditioning Epsom Salt Bath Soak from TK Maxx for £5.99 1kg! With Neroli & Lavender it’s super soothing as well as feels great on my skin. I would definitely pick these up again if I can find them. They can be found at Holland and Barrett for a few pounds more but careful when looking as they’ve been repackaged. I’ve been loving them and they’re much better value than bath bombs from Lush, which I’m sadly trying to refrain from as they’re costing me a fortune with all the baths I’m taking in this colder weather!
Still in the tub, I’ve been loving the Soaper Duper Invigorating Zingy Ginger Body Wash. Got this at Tesco for a fiver on the strength of their hand wash in same scent. It’s bubbly, silky soft, squeaky clean and SCRUMMY! And Soaper Duper does loads of good work with Water Aid. It’s 93% natural, free from all the worst nasties, vegan and what I really appreciate is that it’s ACCESSIBLE! Definitely will repurchase to use alternately with a more luxe fave, which I like to eek out as much as poss!
I got this little 60ml guy of the Evolve Superfood Shine Shampoo and I have been loving him! The corresponding conditioner didn’t work for me as I need a pretty thick, heavy duty dude for my hair type. But this shampoo is a good solid favourite. Containing baobab, pomegranate and aloe, this vegan shampoo lathers well, cleans and balances beautifully and leaves my hair feeling strong and ready for my conditioner. It’s for normal to dry hair but I think it would work well for fine or oily hair too since it rinses out really nicely. Definitely one for the full size wishlist.
Another great find at TK Maxx for £5.99 is the Alba Botanica Hawaiian Deep Conditioning Minute Mask. I’ve not linked this as its pretty hard to get hold of online in the UK but you might get lucky at TKs. Nevertheless this is one of my favourites this month. With cocoa butter this mask helps repair and strengthen hair in literally a minute, but I leave it on for as long as I can spare in the shower or bath. I would highly recommend trying this brand if you stumble across it, as I have never had a disappointing product yet.
That’s it for this month. Next favourites post will be end of January!
What are your cruelty free / green beauty favourites at the moment? I’d love to hear about them.
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