My Hero Beauty Products of 2020

These are the products I’ve been using and purchasing repeatedly over the past year. They have been perfect for balancing my combination-type skin and hair.

Skincare

Haircare

General

I hope you’ve found this helpful and, as always lovely people, leave any questions or comments.

Extra…

Over the next couple of months I’ll be reviewing more skincare and beauty (including tinted lip balms and super moisturising lipsticks), as well as self-care and pampering products. Keep an eye on my Insta for a heads up!

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

December in Photo’s

Christmas fleece – Cotton Traders

Joggers – Hunkermoller

Ugg/Emu style boots – Dorothy Perkins

Making the most of the dark afternoons by making the living room feel all cozy.

Lots of natural skincare and lifestyle goodies in this Freedm Street advent calendar (items available to buy individually from heir online shop).

Making ‘special coffees’ by adding Baileys or Sailor Jerries Spiced Rum and throwing in pieces of salted caramel or hazelnut caramel choccy.

Jumper – Shein

Joggers – Cotton Traders

Bizarrely, for someone who has disabling arachnophobia when I see one, this was one of my favourite books as a child. It’s magical and a little creepy!

Little reindeer I found at the back of a cupboard!

Sparkly chocolate vegan brownie from Zad’s takeaway.

Dad decorated the whole downstairs in under 15 minutes. Secret festive ninja!

I’ve been watching His Dark Materials on BBC iPlayer and I am so impressed with this adaptation. Especially my favourite bad-ass actress, Ruth Wilson as Mrs Coulter.

I’ve developed quite a obsession with cute cartoon penguins so I was really happy to get this card from my Dad ^_^

Tee – Next

Christmas fleece – Cotton Traders

Joggers – Cotton Traders

At the Blokes flat we have our 22inch Christmas tree. I swear, after Christmas this is being packed away exactly as it is now – it was so fiddly to decorate!

Like most people in he UK we don’t have candy canes but we do have gelatine-free sweets!

This wonderful wreath gives me serious Narnia vibes. Unfortunately where we live, neither of us can put wreathes on our front door as they would get nicked and given to someone’s Mam or Missus.

MOOEY CHRISTMAS YOU LOVELY LOT

🎄✨Chrissie✨🎄

My Surprisingly Green Lifestyle 1970’s – 2000’s

70’s

My Grandparents were quite poor so they ‘up-cycled’ or made things to reduce buying cheap crap which wouldn’t last.

🧷🔩🧺

80’s

My parents supported nature by planting insect and bee friendly plants (their parents had organic allotments/gardens all their lives) growing tomatoes and hanging up bird feeders.

🌷👩🏼‍🌾🦆

I was in Junior school in the 80’s where we got taught about the hole in the O-zone layer, global warming and recycling (you had to take it to certain supermarkets).

🏭🌍♻️

In the 80’s we lived a 20 min bus ride away from The Body Shops so I saved up my spends and bought cruelty-free skincare and perfume.

🧴🐰💄

90’s

We never ate much read meat, only in Potato Hash and corned beef butties. Any fresh meat we bought from the local butchers, who had local suppliers.

So for a kid from a low income family, in the middle of a city, I was lucky to grow up with a fairly sustainable and considerate lifestyle, without actually considering it!

🏙🏘🏗

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2000’s

I’ve cut right back on fast-fashion. Overall, I only buy things which I know I will wear for years or even decades to come. If I like something I will take a photo of it, wait for five days and then if I’m still sure I want it (and it earns a place in my wardrobe) I’ll buy it.

👟👗🤗

When I come back from the shops I empty my spare change into a money box and when it’s full I spend the money at an independent business and/or charity shop.

💰💸💳

💚 What do you aim to start or stop doing? 💚

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

Monthly Round Up – July

Style

I’ve mostly been wearing this combo or these pants with the-dye tops. I’m all about clashing prints this summer.

I bought these adorable and very unique Freda Kahlo earrings by Wilderness from Sour Cherry, who are located in Afflecks and they also have an online shop.

I’ve been wearing this outfit (shrug, maxi dress, black gladiator sandals) the few times we’ve been out and about.

I posted about Items of Clothing That Seem Ideal in Theory but…

Hated my heavy, long fringe in the heat so gave myself a short choppy one instead.

Food

After reading that Pizza Express will be slowly closing branches permanently from September my Bloke used up his Tesco points and treated us to a meal. We thought it crap that the rocket didn’t come with the mozzarella and tomato so we ordered that as well. We also ordered three 14″ pizzas which were amazing. A spicy, smokey one with aubergine, peppers and humus (added after cooking); a slightly sweet one with sultanas, black olives and red onion and a cheesy one with garlic.

I tried Aldi’s No Steak Bake which had the loveliest flakey pastry and a mince sauce that was so rich it would have suited a Spag Bol better!

Did a comprehensive Cupboard and Fridge Shop at Ocado (didn’t realise they have Follow Your Heart Cheese unfortunately). It’s all gluten and dairy free apart from the pepperoni which has milk in the flavouring.

We visited V Revolution. I had this cheese burger with bacon, slaw and onion rings. My bloke had the burger between two doughnuts which he said was very tasty and not as weird as you’d think. Okay…!?

I’ve started putting chilli (fresh, or oil, or sauce), spring onion and crushed roasted peanuts on everything. So refreshing for summer!

Skincare and Makeup

If I Could Only Use One Skincare Product this is what I chose and explained why.

I blogged about my Lifestyle Tips for Maintaining Healthy Skin.

Unpopular Opinions – Makeup Tag was surprisingly fun to join in with. Spotted on Just Geeking By.

Lifestyle

I posted 20 Tips for Living a Greener, More Sustainable Lifestyle

Another tag which I find by the lovely Heather over at Just Geeking By was The 90’s Tag I was a teen in the 90’s so this was so much fun!

The last tag I joined in with was The Daily Gratitude Tag – Home Sweet Home

TV

Limitless – a spin off from the film staring Bradley Cooper. A guy who’s on pills which expand his mind consults for the FBI. Light and entertaining.

Preacher – About a preacher, a con-woman and a vampire ft. God and a murderous Saint. Totally nuts!

Films

The Avengers films – Never get bored of these.

Captain America – Kinda boring.

Mortal Engines – Film Set in the future most cities will have morphed into huge machines which move around and swallow smaller cities to survive but not all cities are as ruthless as this. Two young people fight to find justice and fairness. Based on the Mortal Engines Quartet books by Philip Reeve.

Super 8 – A film incredibly similar to Stranger Things before that series was created.

Youtube

Brad Mondo – Very honest, funny, sweet hairdresser who reacts to people doing their own hair and also does tutorials.

Music

Kate Bush album Hounds of Love; Fun Loving Criminals album Scooby Snacks; Lady Ice (fellow Mancunian) single No Silence; Nadia Rose single Skwod.

If there’s anything you want to ask me or to tell me, please leave a comment, I love reading them and replying to you!

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

20 Tips for Living a Greener, More Sustainable Lifestyle

TIPS ON LIVING A GREEN LIFESTYLE

  1. Recycle/Upcycle
  2. Reuse/Repair
  3. Buy organic
  4. Reduce plastic consumption (use wooden/fabric/glass/metal alternatives)
  5. Avoid single use plastic
  6. Support independent companies
  7. Buy local produce
  8. Campaign/fund raise for wildlife and nature
  9. Drive an electric car or cycle or use public transport
  10. Use cruelty free and natural skincare, selfcare and household products
  11. Buy from and donate to charity shops
  12. Sell quality items on Depop and donate the money to smaller charities
  13. Use fabric tote bags for shopping
  14. Grow your own veg (growing a little tomato or chilli plant or regrowing veg ends like lettuce on your windowsill counts)
  15. Avoid fast fashion as much as possible
  16. Get clothes altered and learn how to hem and use darts to alter size/shape (fairly easy but makes a huge difference).
  17. Buy your electricity and gas from Good Energy/Ecotricity
  18. Use the phone provider Eco Talk
  19. Turn off the light when you leave the room
  20. Wear another layer, rather than turning up the heating

Just do your best and don’t stress!

💚✨Chrissie✨💚

If I Could Only Use One Skincare Product…

  • It would have to be the Comfort + Hydrate MICELLAR CLEANSER from Neal’s Yard Remedies!

    Why?

    • Easily removes makeup and cleanses skin.
    • You don’t have to rinse it off if you are in a hurry.
    • It’s certified organic
    • Packaged in an easily recycled glass bottle (I love the look of them lined up on the window ledge).
    • Kind on sensitive skin
    • Skin is left feeling soft and replenished
  • What is your hero skincare product?

    🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

    Your Fave LIFESTYLE Photo’s from the Last 6 Months

    I post a selection of photo’s from this blog onto my Instagram and share a few general images everyday. Come follow me if you don’t already @vamp_it_up_mcr

    I’ve gone through which photos got the most likes (on Insta) and divided them up into four categories, Lifestyle, Style, Food and er, Me!

    Lifestyle

    (Clockwise)

    Gap Between Buildings When you walk down Whitworth Street heading to Oxford Road, you cross over a tiny bridge without realising and that’s the view of the canal and swanky apartments to your left.

    Baby Jay I’ve only ever seen a Jay twice before so this little’un sitting right outside the window was lovely surprise.

    Sorting my makeup and storage I chucked out anything old or crap and arranged everything here into one bag and base coverage and tools/brushes into a wicker basic. I indulged my left over OCD traits and lined up everything colourful for this photo; so satisfying!

    Pins I have so many pins I have to rotate them on bags and coats. I need to make space on my pin board to display them all properly.

    Skincare Routine After setting myself he challenge to get healthier skin in one month, I narrowed down my products to these and found a consistent routine and it worked!

    Street Art This is a very old photo of the side of a block at the start of The Northern Quarter. The beautiful art (subject now replaces by Mcr bees) is by Faunagraphic who’s responsible for all of the nature inspired, pastel or brushstroke effect street-art in town. Check out that pretty fire-escape too.

    Narwhals Narwhals Swimming In The Ocean (the pre-curser to the baby shark song) My Bloke got me these slippers last Xmas.

    Bench In Our Tiny Backyard All my Dads work. I offer to help with our yard but he always refuses as he loves doing it so much. He’s like me, if he gets an idea in his mind, he knows exactly how he wants it. I’m not arguing as it comes out looking lovely every time ^_^

    (Centre)

    Sustainable (what used to be referred to as Eco) Purchases I got everything here from an online shop called Ecologue. Metal flask, really light but efficient; Bamboo toothbrush, the most comfortable one I’ve ever used and biodegradable; Cleansing pads, also made from bamboo and machine washable!

    As always I’d love to hear your thoughts…

    🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

    Monthly Life Update – March (Yup, I know we’re well into April)

    March was a bit of a non-month really. Me and the bloke started our quarantine, apart from him having an hour in the park every few days. It’s a big park with wide paths and wide gates so no need to be anywhere near anyone else. A Submotion Orchestra gig (dub, orchestral, hip-hop) got cancelled which was sensible but sad. Luckily we hadn’t booked anything else or made plans to go anywhere else.

    Lifestyle

    In January I made a secret resolution to avoid gluten as it effects my breathing and doesn’t help with my naturally challenged memory and concentration skills, as well as making me bloated. I’m doing better with the above which is wonderful and I’ve have discovered I have a little square chin, rather than the two (or even three) rounded chins that I normally have. Bonus!

    At first I thought the Jay was screeching at me for food, until I put some out and it ignored it. It carried on screeching right next me. I went into the kitchen at one point and noticed it stopped. I came back and it started. I realised it had looked at me, sat in my living room and decided I was too close to the branch that it had chosen and was shouting at me to go away! Erm…..!?

    This is Little Groot, the huge chilli plant we cut right back to a tiny stump when it stopped giving us chilli’s. It’s a tenacious little fecker and has come back with a vengeance, which we hoped but didn’t really expect.

    I find the trend of young women shaving the peach fuzz off their cheeks such a shame. It’s natural, your skin isn’t supposed to look as smooth and shiny as a Barbie Dolls and why are we adding yet another step in the relentless quest to look perfect’? Here’s me with my fluffy face (you can see it on the right hand side in contrast with the shadow) which most people find really sweet.

    Style

    I went through a pastel-goth moment (perfect style to cheer up grey, cold weather) and found this huge metal quote pin from Crazy Crafty Chick Club.

    I’m still rocking my custom Airforce 1’s and find that they go with basically everything. I can fit my orthotics in them and I can wear my ankle brace with them too. If you need spacious, stable but fairly light weight footwear, these are dream shoes!

    I’ve finally got all of the styles of boots I’ve ever wanted so I will not be buying any more, ever. The chunky pair are from Koi and the slimmer pair are from Newlook (detachable wings from Koi) and everything is vegan.

    Beauty

    I stumbled across this independent soap brand in Tesco of all places as it was the only soap left but it’s the best soap though, how odd!? Vegan, cruelty free and genuinely natural. They do a range for pets too!

    Cheered myself up with a sparkly coral mani.

    Food

    I bought this beautiful vegan porcini mushroom sauce and gluten free gnocchi in a huge (and perfectly timed) shop from Ocado just before all of their delivery slots got maxed out.

    First salad of the year! With Violife Greek Block (supposed to be feta, tastes exactly like goats cheese instead) and Gosh! Mediterranean Red Pepper Falafel. I do get boxes of cheap falafel mix from the corner shop as well but these are quick and easy for when I’m fatigued.

    Amy’s Burritos are the perfect size between a snack and a meal. This one is the tofu breakfast scramble and there are several others with rice and one with cheesy baked-beans. So good!

    I tried Violife extra cheesy block and ‘ham’ slices, which had such similar textures and even flavours, that they blended together to create one weird flavour in my sandwich. Fail! The ‘ham’ is perfect on a sarny with pickled onion/cauliflower or a teeny bit of mustard. The cheese is perfect on a sarny with spring onions or on a cracker with sandwich pickle.

    What a strange, almost surreal month that was.

    🖤✨Chrissie🖤✨

    The Best 4 Natural Deodorants

    Our bodies need to sweat so we can cool down, rather than passing out. Usually we don’t need to sweat excessively, unless we are pushing ourselves physically or we’re in a hot climate and we certainly don’t need pong, yes even with natural deodorant!

    Ohii Pure Stick Deodorant in Rose or Citrus Tea 72g £10

    This very chubby stick uses charcoal to absorb sweat and treat odours. I recommend the Citrus Tea scent to Male you smell as fresh as a mountain top. Don’t use this if you are wearing a black bra or top as it can leave white marks if you spread it on your body very thickly.

    Amphora Aromatics Roll-on Deodorant in Grapefruit & Cedarwood 50ml £4.90

    There are three scents available but I find this unisex scent so sexy that I bought a vegan perfume which smells exactly like it! It doesn’t contain any aluminium, synthetic perfume or alcohol.

    Your Nature Life Stick Deodorant in Sandalwood & Bergamot £7.95

    A stick with oils and butters to nourish skin and arrow root powder to absorb sweat, this push up deodorant stick is packaged in cardboard only. Available in six scents, I love the sexy warmth of the Sandalwood & Bergamot scent.

    Ku.tis Natural Deodorant £6.59 55g

    This vegan deodorant is made with sunflower oil, rather than beeswax and comes in a biodegradable or recyclable cardboard tube. Available in five very mild scents, this little stick is really handy to pop in your handbag.

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    All of these deodorants are cruelty free and work reasonably well but do need reapplying toward the end of the afternoon/early evening. I’ve not found any of them to block my pores or irritate in anyway. Another big plus I’ve noticed is that after a night out, even though I’ve been sweating, my top still smell great. I hope I’ve made your natural deodorant journey easier, lovely people!

    🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

    Discovering – Little Soap Company

    One good thing about all of the big brands selling out is that smaller, independent brands get chosen by shoppers instead. I found a soap from the Little Soap Company for sensitive skin which my face and body love!

    Little Soap Company was created ten years ago by Emma Heathcote-James who wanted natural, organic and cruelty free soap to be available to everyone when doing their normal weekly food shop. Her soap is available at Tesco, Waitrose, Ocado, Whole Foods and Sainsbury’s.

    Their products are recognised as Vegan, Cruelty Free and organic are free from:

    • Detergents
    • SLS
    • Alcohol
    • Parabens
    • Sorbates
    • Silicones
    • Sulphates
    • Synthetic fragrances
    • Synthetic preservatives

    The companies products include:

    • Bar soap
    • Liquid soap
    • Soy candles
    • Shampoo and conditioner
    • Gift sets
    • Pet shampoo
    • A Mum and baby range
    • A range especially for men
  • This has come at the perfect time for me as I want a British, independent brand where I can shop online for simple blocks of soap and natural shampoo and conditioner that are reasonably priced.

    What’s one of your favourite natural skincare/haircare brands?

    🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤