6 Simple Beauty Tips Which Make a Big Difference

 

Facetune

How to stop eyelashes clumping or looking spiky

If you have medium-to long eyelashes that are fairly straight, don’t use a mascara with added fibres or a thick formula. Curl and separate your lashes, then use a mascara which glides on easily and brush straight up (no wiggling from side-to-side). Apply no more than three coats and let them dry in between.

How to keep track of the makeup & skincare you own

So most skincare and makeup will have a little picture of a jar with a number on saying how many months your product will last for once opened but who can remember when they actually opened it? I write it on a little piece of paper and stick it on the jar with clear tape. I store everything in a wide, open basket with 3 smaller basket inserts to separate everyday skincare from pampering skincare and replacements (which I’ve stocked up on before the first product runs) so I can see everything I have with one glance.

For makeup I have an everyday-makeup pouch and a huge vinyl makeup bag, divided into sections which I store my going-out-makeup in. Again it’s easy to see what I have so I don’t keep buying the same stuff by mistake every few months! I store my makeup brushes in a sparkly pencil case because I’m allergic to dust so I can’t have them sitting about in the open, even though they are pretty pastel unicorn ones.

The order you should use your everyday skincare in

Get the most out of your products by knowing which order to apply them in so they compliment, rather than block each other.

Exfoliate: My skin is not great at goodbyes and likes to cling onto old skin, rather than letting it invisibly float off over the day like it should. To give it some help I use a gentle Glycolic Acid to weaken the bonds between dead skin and new skin. I have a weaker treatment that I can leave on and a stronger one which I leave on for ten minutes and then gently wipe off with a face cloth and then rinse my face. I found that no matter how many face scrubs I tried with the gentlest, tiniest granules my face would become bright red and my skin still didn’t feel smooth.

Serum then Moisturiser: Now skin is able to absorb the lovely things you are giving it. I use Hyloronic acid (which sucks in moisture like a sponge), swiftly followed by a light moisturiser. If you just use hyloronic acid on it’s own in a dry attmosphere, without using moisturiser after, there is a chance it can pull moisture from the deeper layers of your skin up to the suffice. You want to keep that moisture where it is and help it absorb MORE moisture.

Facial Oil: Sometimes there is a difference between dehydrated and dry. I can apply moisturiser and sometimes my skin sucks it up immediately or sometimes it just sits there but either-way, my skin still feels a little dry and looks dull, like matte paper. This is when I realise it needs oil. Another clue is when you’ve moisturised but your skin gets oily in the afternoon or evening. It new it was dry and wildly over compensated – oops! I tend to apply a light layer of oil all over my face – even around my T-zone (sounds crazy but give it a go) and on my collar bone – because that just looks nice!

Layering makeup and textures to get the best look for your skin

I’ve found you can have too much of a good thing – such as similar textures – and prefer to strike a balance by using a mattifying moisturiser with a lightweight foundation or a lightweight moisturiser and then a mattyfying foundation. Applying all mattes and powders or all liquids and shine can look OTT, in both directions so to avoid this, I love liquid highlighters and cream blush with matte foundation. Alternatively, a powder highlighter and blush when I’m using a very light BB cream or foundation to help it stay put. I’ve tried the Korean ‘glass’ skincare look and it did look amazing…For around 60 minutes before the makeup slid off and the shine – so much shine – stayed with a vengeance. I really do think that layering combinations of textures can give the most realistic, long wearing and flattering look.

Get ideas from makeup tutorials but never ignore your own eye/lip/face shape.

If I follow the usual Western eye shadow looks, all my eye makeup disappears into the folds of my eyes and I have giant highlighted brow bones. If I use ones for hooded eyes, then my eyes look rounder and you can see the eyeshadow but it doesn’t look like me and I think it’s actually playing down one of my best features! Now I follow normal smokey eye tutorials but I just extend the makeup up AND out, making sure to highlight where my inner corners curve inward to compliment the natural cat like shape.

If I applied blusher all over the apples of my cheeks I would look like a scary doll, no matter how subtly I applied it. I tend not to bring it inward too much and sweep it up and outward instead.

If I applied contour directly under my crazily-high cheek bones it would make the rest of my face beneath look way too long. I tend to lower it ever-so-slightly and then blend it out the lower down it gets.

Essentially, get all of the tips and ideas you want from others but do what works for YOUR face, after all, you know it best.

Give your skin the chance to do stuff for it’s self

I’m sure everyone has been in that vicious circle of using products that are too harsh and strip your skin – then your skin produces oil to try and balance i’s self – so you use tonner or cleanser and it dries out for a while and then the oil starts again. You should aim for balancing your skin, correcting it (gently) only if it really needs it. If you keep throwing all of these products at your face how will it know when it needs to act and how to regulate it’s self? It’s best to try and stick to a routine (ironically difficult for a beauty blogger who reviews everything) and every six months just to let it be for several days so it acts naturally and then possibly reassess what it needs.

Perfect example: My lips have always lacked natural oils and look dry and even cracked on a regular basis. Turns out it’s a reaction to allergies and central heating. As a kid I was slicked in thick lip balm; as a teen in kiwi lip balm from The Body Shop; in my twenties in Lancome Juicy Tubes lip gloss; in my thirties I’m using natural oils such as Almond and Hemp. The problem steadily got worse and worse however, until my bloke said “Stop using lip stuff so much. Try to anticipate when they might need it so you apply it before they are dry, otherwise let your skin sort it’s self out.” That was so difficult for a lip product obsessive like me. So I accepted looking like the walking dead and after five days it actually worked! My lips where naturally smoother and looked plump and hydrated.

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I’d love to hear your thoughts and any tips you’ve discovered yourself!

Chrissie

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter

What the brand says….

‘The ultimate high gloss, high glow celebrity-skin-filter-in-a-bottle! This was born on the red carpet makeup, inspired by technology, for real life, in real time that looks amazing on-screen or off.

Smoothing airbrush polymers roll over your complexion for a poreless-looking, creamy finish.

Glossy Oil is a lightweight moisturising oil that reflects and adds light to your face where you need it.

Finely milled powders soft focus, makes lines and pores appear smoother which means it only ever looks as amazing in real life, as it does on camera.

Porcelain Flower Extract is a brightening ingredient derived from a Thai flower with natural antioxidants and anti-inflammatories to enhance microcirculation and brighten skin. 

Ideal for superstar-lit skin whether you want a subtle glow or a mega-watt complexion.’

What I want this for…

As you probably know, I have uneven skin texture thanks to having bad skin into my early twenties and I easily get bags (from dehydration/gluten indulgence) so big they carve two lines into my cheeks. I’m proud of how clear and fairly even toned my complexion is these days but I still need a hand with the overall texture and a little redness sometimes. I like CC and BB creams but find they can either be too pale, making me go from tomato red to an eerie green-yellow or they are too transparent and shiny. I chose Flawless Filter as it offers medium coverage, is available in a surprising amount of shades, and then there’s the whole ‘flawless filter’ part.

Before purchasing Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter £30 I read a lot of reviews; a huge amount said it very good but a few said it was awful but unlike me, they had dry skin.

The packaging…

I love the recyclable glass bottle but would prefer a pump rather than the doe foot applicator as it totally fails at applying this type of product and leaves a massive amount in the bottom, which you’d have to tip onto the back of your hand like 1990’s foundations.

The bigger problem with it…

Above; before using the product, makeup free in dim afternoon sunlight. Not too bad but not great either. Much worse, in fact when there’s a lot of contrasting light and shadow.

Here’s me wearing the product. Talk about unflattering – contrasting light! I’ve taken the photo in the same dull afternoon light but it’s still managed to highlight all of my pores, lines and the orange peel effect on my cheeks and even eye bags. Thanks for that Tilbury. I can see how it might work on me in blindingly bright California sunshine but even then, as soon as I went indoors it wouldn’t.

My conclusion….

I have to say the coverage is surprisingly good and the realistic skin tone shades meant that number 3 Light/Medium was perfect for me – not usually an easy thing.

If you have smooth skin but slight redness or dark circles this could be great for medium coverage and added radiance.

If you are older but have been lucky in the genes lottery this might be incredibly flattering for you.

If you are like me you really want avoid it, unless you want to use it as a very expensive highlighter.

On days where I’m very red, I use a full coverage foundation from ELF and I’ve started mixing a teeny-tiny bit Flawless Filter in with it, so my skin doesn’t look as matte and flat with just the foundation. I also use it very sparingly as a realistic looking highlighter on my cheek bones, collar bone and down the front of my shins.

Rating 2/3

🖤Chrissie🖤

The Vegan Kind (quarterly) Beauty Box

The Vegan Kind Beauty Box

I’ve subscribed to The Vegan Kind beauty box (£15 + £3.50 p&p) because it’s quarterly. That’s just enough time for me to use the products and not have then mount up, making every available space look like a beauty apothecary counter. Not that that’s entirely a bad thing.

The vegan Kind Beauty Box products

I really like that the box comes with an information sheet which describes each product in detail, and three codes for money off, encouraging you to buy from those very ethical brands in the future.

Twa Birds Woodland Rose Epsom Salts Bath Soak (RRP £2.00)

This has such a beautiful, comforting yet uplifting rose scent and the petals look really pretty in the water. My aching joints and back really appreciated this addition to my bath.

PHB Anti-aging Eye Gel, Argan & Rock Rose (RRP 16.95) handmade with 15% of profits going to charity

With active ingredients of Argan oil, seaweed, Rock rose, Lavender, this eye gel this eye gel is incredibly effective. I’ve been keeping it in the fridge for extra cooling and apply it every morning as soon as I get up. After an hour my bags are looking a lot less apparent and have decreased by around a third of there original size.

Fairypants Lemon Drizzle Lip Scrub (RRP £3.99)

This is delicious…I mean rather effective! Because I cheat and eat food I’m intolerant to once (twice) a week my lips freak out and get really dry and rough. This scrub helps to refine the texture of them and leaves them feeling moisturised for around three hours after, no mean feet, believe me. Oh and the little pot is utterly adorable!

Grounded Coconut and Lime Hair Mask (RRP £12.50)

This smells like the fruitiest cocktail you have ever ordered. Due to my sensory issues I somehow miss-judged the feel of how oily this mask is and put way too much of it all over my hair. I had to shampoo twice to get it out and my hair went greasy again the next day. However, a little bit used on mid lengths or ends will be incredibly effective and it will last much longer than I first thought. I’m so glad I’ve found this product!

Alva Natural Cosmetics Green Equinox Sparkling Harmony Mineral Powder (RRP £7.50)

Overall this looks gold to me. Different shades of gold in different lights, sometimes with a pale green tinge but I wouldn’t describe it as completely green. It glides on easily, is blendable, and highly pigmented although it doesn’t show up when confronted with a very bright camera flash but thats expected with most mineral make up.

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All of these products add up to £42.94 so getting this box at £18.50 (including p&p) rather than buying them individually is a huge saving of £24.44! All of the products here would suit a wide range of people as non are specifically aimed at a certain skin or hair type and the eyeshadow is universally flattering for all skin tones. This is another thing I really love about this subscription box.

20p from each box goes to Dr Hadwen Trust, the UK’s leading non-animal medical research charity who fund and promote the development of techniques to replace the use of animals in biomedical research.

This box was a back issue from Summer but you can buy the new 2017 Vegan Kind Beauty Box here.

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Twitter:

@TheVeganKind @PHBbeauty @alvaCOSMETICS @fairypantsuk @groundedscrub @TwaBirdsSoaps @DrHadwenTrust

Chrissie

It’s My 3rd Blogversary! Thank You ^_^

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An absolutely mahoosive thank you to everyone who has been with me since the start or found this blog a while ago or have just discovered it. Your comments and likes have spurred me on to keep blogging and have been the highlight of my day when I’ve been having a bad one. Your support and enthusiasm has made me feel like I’m actually good at something when Dyspraxia has made me feel otherwise. You have made me laugh (with you, not at you), you’ve been as excited about geeky things, urban things and cruelty free things as I have and really made me think about life with your observations and advice. You are all awesome!

It is so strange to think that three years I finally took peoples advice and started a little unassuming blog. A blog which turned into something that a lot of lovely strangers actually started to follow and commented on and then some of my fave brands which I’ve used for years started to gift me their products to review and invites started arriving for blogger events, meals and cocktails!

The most surprising thing however, is that I’ve actually kept this up for three years and yes, people leave but new people follow every week. When ever I’ve felt bored because of illness or Winter weather or I’ve felt lonely, this has been a little sanctuary that I can visit, with a cuppa and snuggly wrap around cardigan, which always makes me smile.

To anyone who’s followed this blog for a long time, I appreciate you putting up with the early days of back-to-front structured sentences (thats how my thoughts sound in my head) and under or over exposed photo’s. I never realised that as a blogger I would become a copy writer, an editor, a photographer of all sorts of subjects, a photographic editor, a creator of layouts and an organised (gasp!) person capable of meeting deadlines, tagging and scheduling blog posts and the owner of several busy and successful social media accounts. Phew!

To anyone reading this who isn’t a blogger, why ever not? Give it a go, what have you got to loose? Even if you only get a small amount of followers, you will still have a creative journal of your life and maybe learn some new skills along the way.

Now give me some cake!

Genuine thanks from the bottom of my heart

Chrissie

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Making blogging events look glamorous since 2013.

My Everyday Skin Care Essentials

These products aren’t particularly glamorous or expensive but they do their job so well that my skin wouldn’t be the same without them.

insta natural vitamin C moisturiser  cruelty free deodorant

Gwdihw (Goody Hoo) Smoochy Lips Cherry lip balm £3.99 25g

My name is Chrissie and I’m a lip balm obsessive. If they come in cute tins then even better, hehee! This lip balm consists of coconut and olive oils, beeswax, Calendula (Marigold), natural cherry oil which sooth and smooth chapped lips. This is one of the most solid balms I’ve come across but it does melt quickly in a warm atmosphere. It transforms dry rough lips quicker than any other balm I’ve tried but if your lips are increadibly dry there is a chance it might just sit on them and not sink in, however this is a good daily balm. I’m going to separate it into smaller pots so I can keep some in my bag, pocket, by my bedside and by the couch.

Insta Natural Youth Express Vitamin C Moisturiser $19.97 100ml

Vit C is essential for the structure and repair of connective tissue so I’d say it’s a vital ingredient in any moisturiser. My first thought “This moisturiser seems quite thick – oh no!” My second thought “Oh, it spreads easily and sinks into my skin really well.” I’ve only been using this for a week so I can’t vouch for any long term transformative effects but it leaves my skin feeling moisturised, looking naturally radiant and is a fantastic base for makeup (if you have very oily skin you would still need to use a pore perfecting cream as well). Ingredients also include Niacinamide, Hyaluronic acid, plant stem cells and peptide complex.

Salt of The Earth Natural Deodorant £4.75

I hate those kinds of anti-persperants that clog up pores and cover my black clothes in thick white dust. The body is meant to perspire to cool down but no one wants to smell like an old trainer so this natural type of deodorant is the answer. This one is made from alum, an antibacterial mineral salt which sucks up extra moisture and odour rather effectively. I can’t recommend this if you are a regular gym bunny or are about to hit the clubs but for everyday use this product is perfectly effective.

Insta Natural Moroccan Rose Water Facial Toner $13.97 120ml

This is a beautiful product. It smells beautiful. It’s beautifully simplistic – a tincture of rose petals – and it soothes irritated inflamed skin making it look calm and beautiful again. It does a good job of gently removing dirt and any left over traces of makeup after cleansing, without drying skin. I use toner twice a day and to freshen up in summer so I love that this comes in such a big bottle. 

Added extras: You can add some to the water if you want a calming rose scented bath or massage into your scalp or use with shampoo to give your scalp some TLC. I’ll defiantly try both!

So those are the products that keep my skin happy on a daily basis. Have you tried any of these? Which products in your beauty regime do you consider to be essential?

Insta Natural products were gifted to me for review purposes, this does not bias my opinion in any way. Honest as always!

Chrissie xx

Insta Naturals Review: Eye serum, Skin Clearing serum and Age Serum

I’m a frequent user of moisturiser, pore refining fluid and beauty oils but serums? Not so much. So when Insta Naturals invited me to trial three of their serums I enthusiastically agreed because it’s always a leap of faith to buy a new product – that will hopefully become part of your skin care regime – without knowing if it will work.

Age-defying Skin Clearing Serum

Skin Clearing Serum

I’m in my early thirties, that age where skin gets rather confused. Yes, it’s starting to show signs of ageing such as uneven texture but it’s still prone to some spots and an oily T-zone. C’mon face, make up your mind already!

Active Ingredients

20% Vitamin C, 3.5%Niacinamide, 2.5% Retinol, 2%Salicylic Acid

Application

As recommended I’ve been using this serum in the morning (using a sun cream if leaving the house because retinol can make skin sun sensitive) and at night (only once a day for sensitive skin), before applying my usual basic moisturiser. I used the handy pipette to disperse a very small amount onto my palms and fingers and gently pressed the serum onto my face as it’s difficult to massage serum into skin.

Result

I’ve only been using this product for 7 days but my skin has CLEARED UP COMPLETELY! My skin is balanced, no more oily T-zone. My skin appears a little plumper but it doesn’t look particularly radiant. If I hadn’t have used plenty of my daily moisturiser over the top of the serum my skin would have become very dry and applying foundation would have been pretty impossible. However, all serums are meant to be used in conjunction with moisturiser so this didn’t surprise me.

Rating 4/5

Youth Express Eye Serum

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Active Ingredients

Vitamin C, Plant stem cells, Astaxanthin, Kojic Acid, Passionflower, Caffeine, Hyaluronic Acid, Niacinamide

Application

I used a small amount around my eyes morning and night. I put a small drop onto my ring finger and gently patted around my eye area. This is the best finger to use as it applies the least pressure but with good accuracy. Don’t let the unusual orange colour put you off!

age defying eye serum

Result

I used to have permanent bags, which were so big they came down to the top of my cheekbones and they were really puffy but now they are ALMOST GONE, after using this for a mere 7 days! Wow! In the past I’ve tried cutting down on salt, different eye creams and gels, drinking green tea and plenty of water with zero results. This product is amazing! Ok so the gentle tapping helped morning and night but I had tried this before with other products, with only minimal results.

 

Rating 5/5

After incorporating these two serums into my skincare regime, it looks like I won’t be using the ‘retouch’ function on my photo editor much anymore ^_^

Age-defying Retinol Serum

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Three serums is a lot to try in the space of two weeks and a lot to ask from someone’s skin to adapt to different products, so I passed this one on to my Mum who’s in her early 70’s to test instead.

Key ingredients

2.5 Retinol
20% Vitamin C
10% Hyaluronic Acid
Fruit & Plant Acids

Application

A small amount of this serum should be applied to skin night and day (using sun cream as retinol can make skin sun sensitive) but only once per day for sensitive skin.

Result

After two weeks of applying the serum I asked Mum if she had seen any difference. “It makes my skin appear slightly plumper and tighter. My face feels too tight though, which I’m not a fan of. I feel like I need to use a much thicker moisturiser than my normal one, afterwards. It does have a slight superficial temporary effect, so If I was one of these women that’s so desperate to look young they get covered in mud then wrapped in cling film so they can be a few centimetres slimmer for an evening, then I might be impressed with it. Anyway a fortnight is too short amount of time to test if there are any long lasting results, to be fair.” Gotta love my Mum!

Rating 2/4

Above products gifted to me for review purposes. This does not bias my opinion of them in anyway

Chrissie xx

LUSH Popcorn Lip Scrub & Vanishing Cream Face Moisturiser

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Popcorn Lip Scrub

I said to the bloke in the shop “I better not get the bubble gum flavour as I’ll really want to eat that one.” to which he replied “Well they are edible, if you have to.” Hahaa! I still chose the (only slightly) less more-ish flavour of popcorn. The scruby bits are really fine but effective. The oils in the scrub make it a pleasant experience, without it feeling scratchy. I had a LOT of dry skin on my lips but non of it was peeling, it was just sat there. This scrub got rid of the lot and left my lips smooth with a wonderful moisturised shine. Gorgeous product! £5.50 for 21g

Ingredients: Caster sugar, organic jojoba oil, fine sea salt, polenta, extra virgin coconut oil, popping candy, natural flavouring.

Rating 5/5

Vanishing Cream Face Moisturiser

If you require a really light moisturiser which will sink in quickly leaving your skin looking naturally radiant then this is the one for you. This cream also has the most beautiful fresh flower scent. Oil regulating creams, skin balancing serums and facial oils all have there place but if you are after a simple face cream which soothes and moisturises then this is the perfect one. It’s just a shame how expensive this is for such a small pot – bearing in mind most people will be using this as their daily moisturiser. £18.75 for 45g

Ingredients: Linseed infusion, water, rose water, lavender honey water, organic cold pressed grapeseed oil, honey, stearic acid, organic jojoba oil, witch hazel extract, fair traid shea butter, cetearyl alcohol, triethanolamine, camellia oil, lavender oil, neroli oil, geranium oil, glycerine, tincture of benzoin, geraniol, limonene, linalool, (natural) perfume, methylparaben, propylparaben.

Rating 4/5

Chrissie xx

Pure Thoughts Tangerine & Jojoba Whipped Shea Body Butter and Mint & Avocado Foot Repair Balm

‘We proudly hold firm to our founding beliefs that natural soap and skincare starts with the very best ingredients, good old fashioned methods and that it shouldn’t cost the earth in any respect! Pure Thoughts range now includes an indulgent collection of products, every one still made by us in our Derbyshire workshop.’ Pure Thoughts.

Here’s why I respect this little independent brand: No artificial colours or fragrances. No parabens or chemical preservatives. No SLS, SLES or harsh detergents. No synthetic additives or petroleum. 100% natural.

Pure Thoughts skincare

Tangerine & Jojoba Whipped Shea Body Butter

The texture of this is a lot more solid than the the term ‘whipped’ implies, in fact it’s more like a balm. I found it best to warm up the butter between my fingers and to apply it to damp skin to spread it more easily. This butter leaves skin with a slight sheen and a very subtle waxy feel, which I really like. I kept stroking my hands, like a weirdo! The scent is so energising and uplifting I started the day in a really positive mood. £11.95 for 85g (or 2 for £20 until 24/03/2015)

Ingredients: Shea butter, jojoba oil, tangerine oil, limonene.

Rating 4/5

Mint & Avocado Foot Repair Balm

This balm is very similar to a lip balm stick in texture and it gave the dry skin on my heels and the balls of my feet were given a new lease of life. I’d been on my feet all day and they were aching and a little swollen and a massage with this calmed them right down, so I could get on with my evening. It totally transformed the way my feet looked as well, so I will be using a lot of this throughout summer, before baring my feet in sandals. The peppermint scent is so strong I couldn’t detect any avocado but the fruits moisturising qualities are obviously there. £7.97 for 50g.

Ingredients: Olive oil, avocado butter, beeswax, castor oil, peppermint oil, Rosemary oil, limonene.

Rating 5/5

Chrissie xx

#BeCrueltyFree Week

The Humane Society International are behind Be Cruelty Free Week (9-15 March) and #BlogForBunnies to get us all talking about what being cruelty free means to us, to share ideas and information or even our fave products!

blogforbunnies end animal testing

 

Thanks to the amount of cruelty free beauty blogs out there, it’s a lot easier than it used to be to track down cruelty free products. It’s also easy to be really confused about the jargon in the small print on companies websites and what ‘cruelty free’ means to various countries. Here’s a really comprehensive but easy to read list of ‘cruelty free beauty’ facts courtesy of CF blog Mo’ adore and some of my own knowledge.

The UK outlawed the testing of cosmetics on animals in 1997.

Since March 2013, it has also been illegal to sell cosmetics products within the EU which have been, or which contain ingredients, newly tested on animals.

It’s the ingredients that get tested, not the finished product.

However a global brand can still test in other parts of the world, the tested products just can’t enter the EU (but the batch entering the USA for example can be).

If any brand wishes to enter China they are required to test on animals.

The recent ban on animal testing in China only refers to ‘ordinary cosmetics’ manufactured in China. All international brands have to give up samples.

A company can sell in the EU and China at the same time, but the batch coming into the EU can’t be tested but the batch going into China must be tested.

There’s a also a ban in Norway, Israel, India and most recently the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo.

There is currently draft legislation to ban cosmetic testing in Australia, Brazil, New Zealand, Taiwan, South Korea and the USA.

The species used in cosmetics testing are rabbits, rat, guinea pigs, mice and hamsters.

It takes longer to develop non-animal testing methods than it does to develop animal-testing methods, which is why so many companies support animal testing.

Marketers can get very sneaky with their wording. ‘We don’t believe in animal testing’ doesn’t mean they’ve checked their suppliers don’t. ‘Our finished products are not animal tested’ but what about the individual ingredients? ‘We never test any ingredients on animals and are committed to being cruelty free’ but is the parent company who owns that brand cruelty free? i.e. The Body Shop and Urban Decay are now owned by L’Oreal who aren’t cruelty free themselves.

When I send a company an e-mail I have them clarify if they test finished products or ingredients, if they sell in China (send straight to an individual or to a warehouse?), if they are a British company, if they sell outside EU borders and if they have a parent company.

BUAV’s The Leaping Bunny logo is the most trusted certification for cruelty-free products.

In the UK all medication has to be tested on animals but if you want to help support the development of non-animal methods you can check out the Dr Hadwens Trust.

Well, Aloe There!

Forever Living is a company which gets the best out of Aloe Vera gel in so many ways – including fitness, beauty, home and pet care products – it would take me a very long time to sample them all. For this reason, I’ve chosen to stick with the skin care and wellness side.

Forever Bright Tooth Gel

Cruelty free toothpaste

You’ve cleaned your teeth and soon after you take a welcome swig from your first brew of the morning – which tastes of toothpaste – urgh! I hate it when this happens so I’ve been trying to find a solution for a while. I’ve tried fennel toothpaste and hated the taste but the natural spearmint and peppermint flavour here is so subtle I barley noticed it. It foamed up like a regular tooth paste and made my breath fresh and my teeth looked brighter. My following cuppa tea tasted great as well.

Aloe Moisturising Lotion

Aloe Moisturiser

I’ve known for a while that the best thing to apply to sensitive or combination skin is aloe moisturiser. This version is light, hydrating, soothing and contains collagen and elastin to smooth and balance the skins PH levels. As this works well under makeup, it’s the perfect everyday moisturiser.

Aloe Propolis Cream

Aloe and Propolis moisturiser

Propolis is the sticky glue that bees use to fill any gaps or broken parts of the hive. It also happens to have incredible healing properties when applied to the skin, which means it’s used to treat skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis and even burns. The first thing I noticed about the cream was it’s sweet pleasant scent and the second was how thick it is. I’ve been suffering from chilblains which have left the skin on my fingers sore, damaged and dry. I applied a pea sized amount of the cream to my fingers twice a day for five days and my skin is now back to normal.

Aloe – Jojoba Shampoo

Aloe shampoo

I’ll admit I was sceptical about how effective this would be on my dry coarse hair but I needn’t have worried. A small amount of this shampoo was even more moisturising than my usual coconut shampoo, making my hair soft and manageable. I need to get more of this, quickly!

Aloe – Jojoba Conditioning Rinse

Aloe Hair Conditioner

Anyone who reads this blog regularly will know my hair needs a lot of conditioning, so as I only had a sample sized amount of conditioner, I tested it on the driest part of my hair, the front. I took my regular conditioner into the shower incase but this did the job perfectly. Apparently this conditioner ‘removes build up of electrostatic charges’ and ‘protects the hair from the effects of excessive blow-drying’. I honestly have to say my hair behaved in a calmer, more manageable manner after I’d used the hairdryer on my roots.

Aloe Heat Lotion

Due to my nerves struggling to automatically control my muscles when I’m sitting and standing, I often get back and shoulder ache, as soon as I stop paying attention to my posture. Just call me Miss Slumpy. My electric blanket over my seat sorts this out when I’m at The Blokes but at my parents it’s another, rather achy matter. This works exactly like Deep Heat (even the scent is similar) but without all of the chemicals. This heats up upon application and stays warm for a long time. This was massaged into my skin but applied fairly quickly. I then wrapped myself up in an old sweatshirt and a scarf and was able to completely relax for the rest of the evening. Quite a relief! Due to the strong smell of this product, do not use this if you are going out later and always wear something that you can machine wash afterward.

Aloe Vera Jelly

Aloe Vera Gelly

Waxing, prickly heat, laser hair removal and sun burn. No problem if you have a tube of this handy! I used it on my freshly waxed legs which were hot and stinging as if someone had just given them a good slap. The relief to my skin was instant as the gelly soothed and cooled. This is one of those products that you should always have in your medicine cupboard or even in your handbag, come summer.

It appears that most of my skins requirements can be met with Aloe Vera! It’s so handy that there is one place where I can get pretty much everything I could need all at once, rather than schleping around lots of different shops and websites.

Which products do you like the sound of?

Chrissie xx

These samples were was sent to me for review purposes. This does not affect my opinion of the products.