Finding the Perfect Cruelty Free Perfume with Floral Street Scent Exploration Kit

It sounded like the most perfect perfume, containing every note that I like. I bought it and loved the fruity top note, as I knew I would…Then it changed. The middle note was very strong and I absolutely hated it! The bottom note was warm and musky which I liked but I’d had to endure the middle not for three hours to actually get there – gaaagh!

This is why I vowed never to buy a perfume a) without smelling it first and b) without seeing how it changed over time on my skin.

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Floral Street perfumes have three notes but they all mix together perfectly and immediately so no unpleasant surprises. The scents also last for hours and are noticeable without being over-powering. All their perfumes are vegan and no ingredients or finished products are tested on animals.

Floral Street offer this fantastic Scent Exploration Kit (£68) with 8 perfumes in 1.5ml tester spray bottles to eliminate any guess work. It comes with a voucher for a full size 50ml bottle, once you’ve picked your favourite scent (which also arrives in a recycled/recyclable cardboard box). If that sounds a bit pricey you can buy The Discovery Set (£14) to either help you decide which larger perfume to buy or to simply have a choice of handbag-friendly sized scents.

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I’m going to go through each scent and try to describe it in my own simple, honest (and slightly unknowledgeable) way.

London Poppy – This reminds me of every lads aftershave in the 90’s. The one’s the girls used to pinch because they were so unisex and fresh.

Wonderland Peony – Fresh, light, flowers of Spring.

Neon Rose – The air on a sexy Summer evening.

Wild Vanilla Orchid – Warm, sexy but natural. Nothing like an obvious perfume – more like the natural scent of someone you’re snuggled up to.

Iris Godess – I’m sorry but this is more like ‘Iris Grandma’. Next!

Chypre Lotus – About as subtle as a brick but incredibly sexy. Similar to YSL Belle d’Opium. Prrrr

Ylang Ylang Expresso – The scent drifting from a hipster coffee house. I’ll let you decide whether that’s a good or bad thing.

So the one I’m going to buy is….

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Wild Vanilla Orchid!

I have nothing like this in my perfume collection but I’ve always wanted something subtly sexy, which actually lasts on my skin.

Which one would you choose?

Chrissie

The Body Shop Colour Crush Lipstick

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I bought The Body Shop Colour Crush Lipstick (£8.00) in Luanda Peony as I wanted a neutral pink. I was also attracted to this particular lipstick as all of the reviews said how moisturising it was. A few reviews also suggested it wasn’t highly pigmented and I liked the idea of just a wash of colour for daytime.

It turns out that this isn’t a dusky pink but rather a deep cherry pink shade, which is very pigmented and bright! It is very flattering if you have green (or blue) eyes, so I’m good with that. Another thing which surprised me was the subtle shimmery effect. It doesn’t highlight any unevenness or look too frosted and 80’s so don’t let the word ‘shimmer’ put you off.

I do find the Marula oil content to be moisturising and it does glide on easily, with an even colour pay-off, even when my lips are dry in places. It was still visible after four pints which, for a normal bullet lipstick, was impressive. I am so glad this has a really subtle rose scent and doesn’t smell or taste like kids sweets like some lipsticks I’ve owned – urgh!

The packaging has a simple twist up bullet with a lid that clicks on and a clear base so you can actually see the colour you are buying.

  • Community Trade agreed
  • Buav (leaping bunny) approved.

 

Rating 5/5

Chrissie

Kirsty’s Classic Margherita Pizza Gluten & Dairy Free review

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It’s unusual for me to find a pizza that is GF and DF, especially one that has a fair amount of toppings. I found this in Tesco.

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Studies have found that our gut health does directly relate to our emotions because they are connected by the vagus nerve, which transmits signals between them. Ever been really nervous and had a slushy feeling in your stomach or received bad news and felt your stomach drop? Ever eaten something you know doesn’t agree with your stomach in the evening and then had really chaotic anxiety dreams? It does make you wonder!

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They could add more cheese around the edge but the sauce is delicious and the thin base is lovely and crispy so I wasn’t too bothered. My only complaint is that the ‘cheese’ was too sweet. Nice flavour to it but I had to add salt and pepper to make it more savoury.

In my gas oven I had to put this on the shelf that’s above middle but not right at the top, rather than the middle as suggested. I also had to put it on gas mark 7 (higher than the temperature suggested) and leave it in for five minutes longer. Frustrating at first but I’m glad I persevered.

The bloke cooked his in a microwave-combi oven and followed the instructions exactly. It came out perfect!?

Rating 4/5 (depending on oven)

Chrissie

 

The Basic Skincare Regimen That’s Made a Huge Difference

The reason for my delicate snowflake skin

As a (sometimes) beauty blogger I used throw an awful lot of different brands and products at my skin; no wonder it was so confused! It would go from too oily to really dry within hours and sometimes it would be oily but dehydrated at the same time. I was also eating a lot of dairy (the reason for so many spots) and gluten (the reason for redness, water retention and inflammation). Nowadays I eat a mainly free-from diet with just one cheat day a week and stick to these gentle skincare items.

My skins needs

My face doesn’t seem to shed old skin cells very well, resulting in dullness, blocked pores and poor absorption of products so a frequent radiance peel is so helpful! Although I don’t have sensitive skin, it does still get red easily because of allergies or sudden temperature changes so products that are calming and balancing are also a must. I feel there’s room to fit in a pampering sheet mask as recommended by the awesome Hunida over at Hunida’s Blog or a pink clay mask to reduce my pores, once a week.

The wonder products!

B. Miceller Water to cleanse twice a day. The least drying and most effective cleanser/toner I’ve tried.

Murad Intensive Radiance Peel, twice a week. Gentle enough for my skin with natural acids.

Nip+Fab Hyaluronic acid everyday. Helps skin to absorb moisture from the atmosphere and my moisturiser.

Weleda Pomegranate Body Lotion, everyday. The naturally occurring Vit C in this calms redness and inflammation. It’s also so light but hydrating my face loves this as well as my body.

Weleda Pomegranate Body oil, everyday. This has totally rescued my pout from cracking in drying central heating. Vit C also helps to regulate sebum production.

What are your everyday must haves?

Chrissie

Dying My Hair Peachy-Pink with Manic Panic!

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Does anyone remember ‘tiger stripes’ from the early 2000’s? Well I got a subtler version done as a base for my colour. My lovely hairdresser Maria informed me that the lighter you bleach your base, the lighter the colour will be, perfect for pastels. But if you want a more vibrant colour then leave your hair a rich gold tone to give your colour more depth. I got a few inches cut off too.

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I used Tish & Snooky’s Manic Panic semi-permanent colour in Pretty Flamingo, a pinky-peach, to colour some streaks but not others creating an effect like a Fruit Salad sweet. I’ve always wanted hair like that since being a kid! Now my hair has gotten naturally lighter I thought I should go for it.

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According to The Bloke, who generously volunteered to do it for me as long as he chose the music (Thin Lizzy) it’s creamy and easy to apply. Maria kindly gave me a tint brush which made it much easier. It’s left my hair soft, shiny and conditioned, even though we rough dried it to create a grungy texture.

Although I love the colour, I know it’s going to fade too quickly unless I dye it one more time for more depth. I think I’ll just do the top layer myself and then leave it at that.

Chrissie

 

The Body Shop, Shea Butter Richly Replenishing Conditioner

Made from Community Trade Shea Butter from Ghana Shea Butter Richly Replenishing Conditioner (£6.50, 250ml) promises to leave hair nourished, less prone to breakage and less frizzy.

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I have thick, coarse shoulder length hair which is excellent condition but looses it’s natural oils easily, even after using very gentle, natural shampoo.

I like the mild nutty scent and how creamy this conditioner is. My hair was left feeling incredibly soft and replenished. It was still a little frizzy but then I would never expect conditioner alone to sort this out. I always need to add hair oil after lightly towel drying my hair, no matter what conditioner I use.

The only problem for me is the size and the price, it’s either too small or too expensive. I can appreciate that the people who produce this in Ghana need a fair wage but maybe The Body Shop could take a little less profit? I don’t know but what I do know is that it’s too dear for me to use regularly with my thick long hair, even though a little does go a long way.

Rating 4/5

Chrissie

 

The Body Shop Fresh Nude Foundation V’s e.l.f Beautifully Bare Foundation

The Body Shop Fresh Nude Foundation (£16/30 ml)

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Pro’s

Medium build-able coverage and covers redness

Goes on easily with brush or beauty blender

Very long wearing

Very lightweight/natural feel

Non drying

Non greasy

Available in realistic skin tones

Easy pump action, let’s you choose the exact amount you use

Easily recycled glass bottle

Reasonably priced

SPF 15

Exact colour match as small colour sample on the website

Contains English Rose Water and Aloe Vera

Con’s

Way too matte. Doesn’t give a ‘fresh’ or ‘natural’ finish.

e.l.f Beautifully Bare Foundation (£9/14ml)

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Medium build-able coverage and covers redness

Goes on easily with brush or beauty blender

Very long wearing

Very lightweight/natural feel

Non drying

Non greasy

Available in realistic skin tones

Easy pump action, let’s you choose the exact amount you use

Easily recycled glass bottle

Very reasonably priced

SPF 25

Exact colour match as small colour sample on the website

Contains Vitamin A, C, & E, Grape Seed Oil, Pomegranate Oil, and Goji Berry

Con’s 

Almost too matte. Sadly, it doesn’t make skin look ‘radiant or dewy’.

The winner

e.l.f Beautifully Bare Foundation

It has ten more SPF than The Body Shop Fresh Nude foundation; works out slightly cheaper and contains more active ingredients for healthy skin. It changes over three hours of wear to look a little less matte, which I’m very glad about.

 

 

 

 

 

Perfect World Caramel Pecan Vegan Ice Cream

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I came across this in Tesco and recognised the Perfect World logo (although it’s changed a little) from some of their ice cream I bought from Co-op a while back so I’m hoping Perfect World is now widely available.

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It’s a bonus that it has lots of vits and minerals in but let’s be honest, who worries about that when they are eating ice cream, eh? I also like that they haven’t gone over-board with the calorific content as I’ll be eating a LOT of it!

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The caramel is on the more saltier side, which I love and the pecans compliment it really well. I just wish they’d left them chunkier for added texture, rather than really finely chopped and blended in. As well as just eating it with a spoon out of the tub (me), this is also a nice alternative for people who normally eat dairy ice cream with desert.

Rating 4/5

Chrissie

Spring Cleaning my Beauty Cupboard

Seeing as it’s the first day of Spring and International Happyness Day, I decided to do something positive and have a product Spring clean. Sorting through your skincare and makeup stash was one of my tips in my post 6 Simple Beauty Tips Which Make a Big Difference what a good day to follow my own advice, ha!

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This was all of the skincare products I owned and as you can see they are pretty much all over the place, with face, body and hair, old stuff and new stuff all mixed up. After going through everything this is what I learned…

  1. I had so much oil! I could easily just use the same one for my hair and body and a lighter one for my face.
  2. Out of all of those products I only had one face moisturiser.
  3. I found products that had changed consistency or were nearly empty and all of those were expired.
  4. I still had tanning oil from my twenties! o_O
  5. I buy face masks because they are on offer in pound shops and NEVER use them.
  6. I thought I needed to stock up on miceller water and cooling eye gel as I was running low but then realised I’d originally bought them in two’s to save on postage.
  7. I had a stupid amount of body butter.
  8. I’ve rediscovered cruelty free beauty brands I’d totally forgotten about!
  9. I had bits and bobs from various razors and waxing kits that I stopped using ages ago.

I’ve reduced the above to a single crate and the cute wicker basket. The rest is either in the recycling, the bin or my dressing table so I actually remember to use it daily.

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Here is all of my makeup, apart from what I’ve thrown out and repeats of the same thing and yeah, it’s still a lot!

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Here’s what I’ve thrown out.

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A slightly smaller pile, heehee.

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Here’s my main big-ass makeup case, my daily makeup case and my travel/wash bag with miniatures and samples in. Here’s what I’ve learned…

  1. Even though I treat my makeup fairly well, there were still spillages and products that felt sticky – eeew.
  2. If it’s really broken, through the damn thing away! You are not Stig Of The Dump or a Womble.
  3. If it doesn’t suit your skin tone or texture and it can’t easily be mixed with something else, then throw it away or swap it/give it to someone.
  4. There are lots of reasons why buying two of the same thing can be a good idea but hoarding the same type of product, or buying several before you’ve even tried if the product works for you is not a good idea.
  5. How many golden-brown eyeshadows and copper-brown toned lip products can one person reasonably own!? Five eyeshadows and eight lip products it would seem ;0)
  6. I still have products I bought before I went totally cruelty free. That was TEN years ago!

As you can see, I still have the big makeup bag but now my little ‘everyday makeup bag’ includes the best of my base, mascara, tools, contouring kit (I missed out the wonderful Pixi contour kit in the first photo) and three eyeshadows and eyelinners that I rotate on a monthly basis. This means that everything is easy to keep track of/clean/sharpened, quickly to hand, and I don’t forget to use all of the lovely colours I own.

I hope this helps! Let me know if it has or if you also do some of the bad habits I’ve mentioned.

<3Chrissie<3

 

 

 

 

Nail Super Hero by Ciate

Nail Super Hero £9.60 is part of the Ciate treatment range (five in all) and has been formulated to strengthen weak and bendy nails, whilst hydrating them too.

The flip up cardboard packaging is quite novel, showing you just how much product you actually get for your money, although I’m not sure why the box is needed at all.

 

I’ve been using this for two months and I have seen a good improvement in the strength of my, usually very bendy, nails. They aren’t splinting or bending as much so any nail polish that I use is staying on longer. Considering I have the collagen disorder Hypermobilty Syndrome (which also seems to effect keratin) this is pretty amazing!

I like that Ciate have called this a ‘basecoat’ because when I applied four coats over the top of each other, over seven days, I ended up with a squishy, dull mess! I’ve since found out that there’s no need, as one coat lasts for up to two weeks.  It moves with the nail, rather than flaking of and dries down to a satin, rather than a shiny finish, so nail polish grips it easily.

Just what I’ve been waiting for all these years!

Rating 5/5

Chrissie