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✨🖤

Independent Business #1 Love Absolute skincare

This year I’m going to be doing a series of posts focussing on independent business, starting off the year with skincare.

Love Absolute was created by Holistic Therapist Sarah Bisset and specialises in botanically derived skincare. The brand is 100% cruelty free, vegan, organic and uses locally sourced ingredients, to support farmers, biodiversity and to cut down on carbon emissions.

I love their minimalist and recyclable packaging and it’s also good to know that their products are natural, fresh and free from unnecessary chemicals.

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

My Fave Dairy – free Chocolate & Gelatine – free Sweets!

Biona Fruit Bears – Full of natural fruit flavour, these are even liked by my friends and family who don’t usually like sweets. Organic. Gluten free.

Tribe Nature Bombs Chocolate, Caramel and Almond Butter – Caramel and Almond Butter mixed together and covered in chocolate. These are so more-ish, the two pack isn’t enough so treat yourself and get a bag.

Love Raw Peanut Butter Cups – These lasted all of two minutes nom! Vegan.

Candy Kittens Eton Mess – These creamy, chewy sweets taste exactly like the dessert. Quick, take them away from me, before I go through the whole bag. Palm oil free.

Bouja-Bouja Truffle Selection No1 – I actually prefer the purple selection as these chocolates were almost too rich in flavour for me, especially the champagne and espresso but I loved the rum and cherry cognac flavours. Best to keep these cool or they become sickly, quickly. Organic. Vegan.

Rhythm 108 Hazelnut and Praline – This small Swedish brand makes bars that are the most like traditional chocolate bars – delicious. Gluten free. Organic. Vegan.

Pulsing High Fibre Brownie – Although it’s called a brownie, it isn’t squishy in the middle. It does have nice big chunks of choccy and it is very substantial. It did give me a good start to the day, energy-wise.

So lovely people, do you want me to review more choccy, sweets or both?

🎄✨Chrissie✨🎄

Testing a Magnetic Eyelash Kit by Lola’s Lashes – Have I finally found falsies easy enough for a Dyspraxic person?

As you probably know by now, I’m Dyspraxic so faffing about with eyelash glue and false lashes has extremely messy, if rather amusing consequences. Not a realistic option!

This is why I jumped at the chance of reviewing Lola’s magnetic lash kit £35. The lashes ‘stick’ to the metallic eyeliner which comes with the kit. Afterward the just gently peel off (they are reusable) and liner removed with oil (which also comes in the kit).

I’ve been given two styles of lashes (there are six in total, with different options for kits, colours of eyeliner and bundles): The thick, fluttery Diamond style which look fabulous (above) and the more subtle Sapphire style which pass for my real lashes but prettier. I prefer the latter because I can wear these quickly and easily, every time I go out, with hardly any other makeup.

I struggle with the Diamond lashes but the Sapphire one’s are perfect as they don’t crowd my mono-lid or drag down the look of my hooded eyes.

Quite a difference between my normal lashes (left eye) and the falsies (right eye)!

The eyeliner brush is incredibly easy to use and I draw the best flick I’ve ever done but I still manage to get eyeliner all over (and even inside) the inner corner of my eye. After I’ve spread that everywhere by trying to clean it up with the oil on a cotton pad, I let it dry. The lashes themselves are fairly easy to apply. I think they actually lift my hooded eyelids too!

Rating 4/5

What do you think? I would love to hear your comments as always.

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

The ‘Zadams Family Pumpkin Spice’ Vegan Pizza from Zad’s, Manchester

The Zadam’s Family Pumpkin Spice Pizza from Zad’s is THE best vegan pizza I have ever eaten!

Not too sweet (like a lot of vegan pizzas tend to be), but savoury, with just a little sweet spice. Perfect balance!

‘Pumpkin, squash and sweet potato puree base, with garlic drizzle, sage, thyme, crispy kale, cheese, red onion, roasted chickpeas, sun-dried tomatoes, apple chunks and diced walnut coated with cinnamon and dash of chilli flakes to warm your soul’.

The most Autumnal thing I’ve eaten this year!

🦇✨Chrissie✨🦇

Balm.com & Future Dew Oil/Serum by Glossier Reviews

Balm.com

This Balm.com by Glossier is one of the best lipbalms I’ve ever used. It leaves lips hydrated and moisturised, non sticky and with a sheer tint of colour. The mango flavour is delicious!

I just wish the tube were bigger and that it wasn’t so hard to squeeze out, maybe a tin would be better and still easily recycled.

Note: Balm.com isn’t tested on animals (otherwise it wouldn’t be on this blog obviously) but it isn’t vegan as it contains Lanolin, which is basically sheep grease (from their wool). Gross but highly effective!

Rating 4/5

Future Dew Oil/Serum

Futuredew Hybrid Oil/Serum (sample) is so similar to the balm at first but then melts into skin making it look naturally radiant and healthy. My dehydrated skin loved it!

Less is more with this as it can feel thick and sticky if you over-do it. I only needed half the sample for both cheeks and my nose.

Rating 5/5

Note: Both products create a subtle sheen (rather than a gloss or a metallic/pearlised looking finish) and even-out pores and dry patches, rather than accentuating them.

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

Monthly Round Up – September

Now the weather has cooled my chronic fatigue and brain- fog has calmed a bit. Unfortunately this makes my ADHD (self diagnosed as a teen but wildly obvious) a lot worse. It’s like I’ve drunk three espressos all of the time. Nice to have some energy and my quirky personality back though! 😄 It took me five six attempts to be able to write this properly. 😆

Style

MY SLIPPERS
CUTE…
CREEPY (but very adorkable)

My ‘sensible dress’ which I hardly ever wear. However, I got so many compliments on it (over on my Instagram) that I’m going to wear it a lot more.

Food

We went to Allotment Vegan Eatery in town, which had beautiful food and cozy decor but would have been too dear if we hadn’t taken advantage of the government ‘eat out to help out’ scheme.

Had a lovely meal at Sai Spice in Chorlton. Here are leftovers of Mutter Panner (peas and cheese which tastes nicer than it sounds), Young coconut and green beans and vegetable Kolpahuri which was really piquant!

Vegan and gluten free cheese-on-toast using Genius bread and Follow Your Heart, Pepper Jack flavour. Wow!

Beauty

After three months of loosely following The Curly Girl Method (but with other products) my hair is shiny and soft, with less frizz AND holding it’s curl shape.

Lifestyle

The most geeky and awesome book I have ever read! This is like the crazy dreams I’d have regularly as a kid in the 80’s.

Still writing down happy things that have happened, as and when they occur, so I can read them back when I’ve been having a succession of shitty mental/physical health days, to give me some perspective.

Watching

Dark – Complex, family oriented sci-fi

Boardwalk Empire – Sprawling 1920’s Gangsta series set in Atlantic City

Hero’s – Series featuring time travel and a big cast of characters discovering they have unique powers.

The Months Most Used Emojis

_______________________

Really looking forward to a chilly but beautiful Autumn and Halloween of course. 🦇

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

The Allotment Vegan Eatery – First Impressions

The Allotment Vegan Eatery, located on Lloyd Street, makes fine dinning simple and relatable (and gluten free too). As soon as you walk in it feels welcoming and cozy, even though it’s quite spacious.

We visited early on a rainy Monday to take advantage of the Eat Out To Help Out scheme, which they are continuing through September. I really liked the simple and natural feel to decor and layout. There is an extensive drinks menu offering juices, bottled soft drinks, beer, teas, cocktails and wine.

Small Plates

My bloke’s tiny dish was too tiny to eat out of properly but he found the Edamame Salad, with kale, chilli, spring onions, soy and tamarind dressing was really refreshing.

I found the little boats made from Chicory leaves to be the perfect way to eat tenderstem broccoli with black olive tapenade, toasted hazelnuts and pumpkin and pomegranate seeds. A unique combination which worked really well.

Large Plates

My bloke likes a good risotto but he’d never tried a beetroot risotto with ricotta before. This dish had a lovely flavour but both the maple glazed beetroot and the ricotta were similarly sweet, so it needed another salty or sharp flavour to break them up and help define them both.

I ordered the ‘fish’ and chips. Wow, we’re those chips big and crispy! The minted peas had a subtle flavour which was just right and the homemade tarter sauce was a perfect accompaniment. The ‘fish’ was made from banana blossom which had a texture similar to shredded duck and tasted strongly of lemon. The batter had a nice crunch but the fish was crying out for some kind of salt but there was no salt and pepper on the table, a trend which is becoming more common I’ve noticed.

Dessert

There were only two desserts so we ordered one each to share. Blueberry Cheesecake and a Hazelnut Slice.

The hazelnut slice base was made of crushed hazelnuts, with a thick layer of salted caramel praline, topped with solid Belgian chocolate ganache. The portion of this delicious desert was so big I was glad I was sharing it.

The base of the blueberry cheesecake was made of crushed pea cans and almonds, topped with a vanilla and blended cashew filling, topped with blueberry and chai seed compot. Such skill must have gone into making this as it was wonderful!

The inclusion of fresh fruit and ice cream with both deserts was a nice touch and lifted their flavour, rather than just being sweet deserts.

One thing I have to mention is how uncomfortable the wooden chairs are if you don’t have any back fat. The next day a part of my spine actually felt bruised! There is a settee (which was taken) and I noticed other metal chairs when we were leaving.

Service was timely and friendly although we did arrive early and it got a lot busier later. We wouldn’t eat there again unless it was for a treat like a birthday as we found it to be too pricey for our budget but I can understand why, as it’s evident a lot of thought, skill and care goes into the food.

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

Monthly Roundup – August

I’ve taken screen shots from my Instagram to remind me, and show you what I’ve been up to this month.

Skincare and Haircare

I cut my curly hair using tips from Brad Mondo and tips from various natural hair vloggers to style my 2C curls.

I changed my contraception so got quite a few hormonal spots and this Body Shop Tea Tree, Skin Clearing Mattifying Toner was invaluable; as was The Ordinary, Lactic Acid which very gently and naturally exfoliates.

Now it’s the end of August and my skin has settled so I’m using Neal’s Yard Remedies Orange Flower Toner and Orange Flower Moisturiser everyday to keep my skin all glowy and nourished (along with the The Ordinary Lactic Acid twice a week).

Food, glorious food!

Me and my bloke spent our Tesco vouchers on Pizza Express (who will be going into liquidation next month apparently) and order two ‘new’ veggie pizzas and all of the salad.

To take advantage of the governments ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme we went to Ruyi Vegetarian Restaurant. Amazing!

I’ve gotten back into the fake meat brand Vivera and have been making simple stir-fries. Like these Vivera Shwarma Kebab strips with rice and pea and sweet corn and Jamaican Jerk BBQ sauce.

The hot weather made really reduced my appetite so these mezze/tapas style bowls were great to nibble on.

Style

I’ve had purchasing a Nirvana tee at the back of my mind for decades and this month I found an official pale pink one. Cute and grungy!

I got sick of buying summer shoes that were either too flat and bad for my shitty joints or too heavy or that flew off my feet going down stairs. I bit the bullet and bought Crocs. I actually think these look pretty bad-ass as they remind me of late 80’s/early 90’s street style. Here’s my full review of Crocs.

I still think the simplest thing to wear is a maxi dress. Hides a ton of sins and all you have to choose are shoes and then a jacket/cardigan for evening.

Lifestyle

In the crazy hot weather I’ve been wearing these sandals from Newlook, drinking Rockstar blueberry energy drink, using this light and fruity perfume from Eden and ( even with my limited concentration span) flew through My Sister The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite.

The households charity shop donations for the second quarter of the year: A crazy wide pair of linen trousers, a face scrub you have to mix from powder (I managed to spill the first pot everywhere), vest I’m now too big for, too small jeans, a teeny-tiny dress from Japan, shoes which I’ve had over a decade and worn out.

Tips on How Not To Be Constantly Late and a fun checklist to see How Basic Are You?

Listened to

80’s pop and bluesy rock.

Watched

Snowfall about the start of the crack epidemic in early 80’s LA, like a mixture of Breaking Bad, The Getdown and The Wire.

Canada’s Drag Race, love Priyanka!

Galdem (on BBC iPlayer) about women making it in the UK grime scene.

Read

My Sister The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite.

Don’t forget to like, comment or subscribe! Xxx

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

First Impressions of Ruyi Vegetarian Restaurant

Finally visited Ruyi Vegetarian House (Withington) who do delicious vegetarian and vegan food, specialising in mock-meats.

They are doing the #eatouttohelpoutscheme during the week.

The general standard of cooking was fantastic and the staff (even though they were so busy) were so attentive. Really relaxed, friendly atmosphere too.

I ordered: Peking Ribs (lovely), Salt and Pepper Tofu (quality), Mixed Veg (subtle seaweed flavour).

My Bloke ordered: Peking Ribs, Satay Chicken (amazing) and Stir Fried Mushroom (lovely).

They’re moving to Chorlton very soon, which is a very trendy and unique place to be. I do think it will be such a shame for this part of Withington that another veggie/vegan place has gone, along with the closure of Boho Utopia cafe recently.

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤