July Monthly Blog Round-up

Turns out I’m still figuring out how to get my eye makeup to show up under my glasses. I’ve tried black eyeliner on the top and sparkly gold colours on my lids and lower lash line. This is the amazing result – oh. I’m going for masses of metallic blue and green liner next time, maybe a bit of pink!

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Ordered from Zad’s in Chorlton as I really fancied some veggie junk food. It did not disappoint – OMG it was lush!

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I reviewed the Pixi Strobe and Sculpt palette. It came out at just the right time when I needed to restock a few things, which all happened to be included in this palette! Read my review here.

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Not so great timing was finding this yellow colour corrector by Nip and Fab which you can mix with foundation that’s too orange – when I’d just thrown out three foundation which were, yup, too orange. Still, useful for that in the future and I can use it under lighter coverage foundation to tone down any redness I have.

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I found some really nice firm tofu called Toofoo. It’s great grilled with a coating of chilli oil or some BBQ sauce.

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When I heard that LUSH were releasing a solid foundation called Slap Stick and that it came in 40 shades with three undertones, I had to try it. See what I thought here.

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After half a year of summer I’d gotten a bit fed up coconut water or almond milk based smoothies. I chucked a load of blueberries and raspberries and water into a blender and blended thoroughly, then I added around 10 ice cubes and pulsed to create a slushy . It tasted wonderful!

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I bought some amazing unicorn inspired brushes and realised I couldn’t fit them into any makeup bags I own. I saw this sparkly pencil case in Tesco and they fit great…Now that I’ve sawn off the giant pointy bit at the end. I actually think they look better now and are easier to use.

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I have combination hair, y’know oily roots, meh mid-lengths and frizzy ends. I can’t tell you how many pre-wash treatments or overnight treatments I’ve used and two thirds of my hair LOVED them but my roots looked like I’d been at a festival – for a year. So I thought I’d share these two products that have solved the need for all of that, read the post here.

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This has been my fave outfit since the heatwave broke and I can stand to wear trainers – rather gladiator sandals – again. Doing outfit flatlays is hard! I miss Polyvore.

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Chrissie

 

 

Slap Stick Foundation LUSH

I care a lot about environment because the planet is my home and also home to so many other people, plants and creatures who depend on it functioning properly. I’m doing my best to support companies committed to reducing waste packaging or using recycled/recyclable packaging so I was looking forward to trying Slap Stick £16.95, 30g from LUSH. It’s a solid foundation egg, flat on one side and coated in wax (so you have some part to hold), which lives in a little cardboard box…

…That was until I opened it and it already looked a mess and then when I tried to lower it back into it’s box, I covered the sides in foundation and when I tried to close the lid it skimmed some foundation off the top of the stick! I get that LUSH are trying to reduce packaging but to reduce it to the size that it doesn’t actually fit the product? Ah – no.

The second thing that really attracted me to this product was the range has 40 shades, including warm, neutral and cool undertones and yellow/golden tones in general. The website matches the staff from LUSH to the shades in videos and there is a handy comparison photo showing three peoples arms sampling the whole range. I think I have pale-medium skin with warm (yellow) undertones as my veins look purple and teal; not blue or green as is the most common way you are supposed to be able tell. So I chose 12W.

The line in-between the shadow on my face near my ear and the glow of light on the front of my cheek, is where I’ve left the foundation unblended. Perfect match! Even though the stick looks too dark, the colour is surprisingly sheer but the coverage is still medium.

Slap Stick contains a massive 45% coconut oil as well as Jojoba oil so it moisturises skin. I know that some people do tend to break out with coconut oils because of allergies so I’m a little surprised they chose this ingredient but fortunately my dry skin absolutely loves it!

The texture is like a cream to powder compact and the only way I was able to spread it was to apply, leave for a few minutes and then spread with the warmth of my fingers. It stayed put all day though and covered any redness I had.

Rating 3/4

Chrissie

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Monthly Round-up June

Style

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Find this in a pile of the Bloke’s old clothes and ‘adopted it’.

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I finally found two dresses, that hide my pizza handles; are a practical but un-frumpy length (at least for me) and aren’t too prom-dressy. Both from EMP.

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When you can’t be arsed hiding your natural resting bitch face, ha! This Casual Urban Summer outfit felt surprisingly cool (before the heatwave) and also worked well with gladiator sandals for casual evenings.

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I’ve been trying to find sunglasses like these very old ones but haven’t been having much luck, as I guess they are very early-2000’s in style. I’m also learning how to take selfies with a point and shoot camera…I need more practice.

Food and Drink

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Someone gave us an Aloe plant about a year ago and this is the first time that I used it in a drink. It tastes so bitter but if you only use half a finger, somehow that tartness goes away when you mix it with anything sweet, like perfectly ripe strawberries.

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The Bloke has bringing me veggie koftas by Gosh from the ‘posh’ Tesco in Didsbury. I don’t always have enough energy to make and fry my own falafel or to get to the deli before they close so these are a great alternative and last for ages in the fridge.

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We bought some chilli seeds around two months ago and now we have this lovely gangly thing. In the morning it raises it’s leaves and then bends toward the sun in an arch throughout the day. Just after sundown, it lowers it’s leaves again and stays still. I’ve just pollinated it, with it’s own flowers but I can’t see any yellow pollen so I have no idea if it worked and we will get chilli’s.

Beauty

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Hempz, Herbal range are some of the best products I’ve ever used to style my crazy, frizzy natural hair so they were a joy to review.

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These three are the most borrow-able items in my blokes bathroom and they smell great too so I thought I’d review them in Pinching My Blokes Skincare.

Lifestyle

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I was offered a free star map from Modern Map Art and chose to get one done for my Dad for Fathers Day. Here’s my review if you want to know more.

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I found this, which made me laugh as it was so appropriate at the time ^_^

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I’ve nearly finished series 5 of Gotham. It has it’s usual gangster slant and a new intelligent baddy for young Bruce. They’ve added more of a horror element this series and also the violence is less comic book and just plain graphic. I’m not a big fan of either of the above. Poison Ivy and Butch aren’t pictured here, probably for good reason, so as not to spoil the surprise of how they look.

I made this using the Geek Alphabet created by The Nifty Nerd. Such a great idea!

Chrissie

Monthly Round Up – January

I’ve not posted that much this month, mainly because January is a bit bloody meh. I’ve only been averaging three hours of daylight with me being a night person, so not exactly motivating…Well, motivating me to turn on the TV and order takeaway!

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At the start of Jan I compiled a post of quirky motivational quotes – one for each day of the month. Some of my own making and other unclaimed one’s that I’d seen pop up on social media several times.

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I lost one of my snowflake earrings my Ma bought me (totally gutted) but found these beautiful one’s on Etsy by Pretty By Susan Jewellery. They were wrapped with such care, like a little gift.

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My only beauty review this month was Human + Kind Dry Hair Conditioner. What a wonderful start to the new year for my hair!

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I cannot justify spending money on tiny plastic unicorns, especially when I can’t tell which one I’m going to get as they are in blind boxes. Toki Doki notebooks on the other hand… ^_^

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I’ve slowly gotten into the habit of just accepting myself in piccies, rather than asking “Do my eyes look expressive/big/kind enough? Is my smile even?” Yes, I do have exquisite ‘resting bitch face’ and the photo often looks like it should be a meme captioned with a sarcastic ‘Yeah, right.’ or ‘As if.’ but it’s my face and I like me, so I guess I should like my face too – unintentionally disdainful expressions and all.

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I’ve been searching for some glam black heals with a bit (ok a lot) of sparkle for months. They were all either too high, too narrow, too slip on or too open toed. Then I found these in a wide fit and in the sale at New Look. I incorporated them into a sports-luxe outfit, with black straight-leg pants with a sporty beige side stripe, a velvet look rose-gold strappy top, black cotton cardigan, a metalic cross-body handbag and big hoop earrings. See bellow…

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To celebrate being together for just under a decade – but not sharing one tiny abode, which would drive us both nuts – me and the bloke went out for a meal. With lots of fun things planned in the next five months and having no money tree or generous genie tucked away, we decided to use up some vouchers to do what we’ve always both loved doing together; indulging in delicious dough, cheese and chocolate cake at Pizza Express.

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I decided to vicariously collect some urban apparel by putting together 12 Street Style Hoodies, all of which I’d wear myself and all of which are fairly affordable from the high street.

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More ‘Funny’ but Very Earnest Things I Said and Did as an A-typical Kid. If you have a sec and want a giggle and/or think you might identify with this.

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I made a fantastic peppercorn sauce by mistake! I combined 4 tspn dairy-free cheese sauce powder with 300ml almond milk, a teaspoon of nutritional yeast, salt and a lot of pepper.

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At this point in my life I’ve decided, unless my accessories are literally attached to me, then I can’t be responsible for not loosing them. I keep my handbag under my coat when walking through the city at night and love how versatile, cute and practical cross-body handbags bags are, so I selected 16 of the best.

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To help my conscience and the condition of my skin, I decided to try Zads vegan takeaway in Chorlton. I really want to say it was fantastic. It was not. For every positive, I found there was a negative (in my opinion) so fair-to-middlin I s’pose. If you live in the South Manchester area, please check out my review of Zads, then order something from them yourself and see what you think.

 

Screen Shot 2018-01-23 at 16.49.43It’s happened again, I do a thing on Polyvore and the glossy magazines copy me. SMH. I think I’d faint in those trousers though.

Chrissie

Human + Kind, Dry Hair Conditioner

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I highly recommend using Human and Kind Dry Hair Conditioner (£7.50) if your hair is dry, damaged, coloured, coarse/natural in texture. My hair is all of the above and my lazy curls looked so much healthier and more defined afterward.

Active ingredients

  • Shea butter
  • Avocado Oil
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Meadowfoam Seed Oil
  • Lupine Seed Extract
  • Orange oil
  • Aloe Vera

Free from

  • Parabens
  • SLS
  • Petro-chemicals

I will also be using this to co-wash my hair on days when it’s not greasy and just needs some added oils and moisture and a natural cleanse.

Rating 5/5

Chrissie

 

 

Best of My Alternative & Urban Lifestyle 2017

January 

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Best footwear – Iridescent Nike ID with my name ‘Wench’ on the back.

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Best Chinese/Japanese/Thai Eatery – Lotus, Wilmslow Road, Withington, is a vegetarian family restaurant serving an amazing choice of mock meats and fish as well as traditional EA dishes.

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Best Cruelty-free Face Serum/Moisuriser/Oil – Eden’s Semilla Serums. If you have an uneven skin texture or your skin is dry/combination or you are seeing signs of ageing, then these two serums will leave your skin noticeably plumped, hydrated and balanced all day.

February

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Best Stationary – I bought this diary from Paperchase as I loved the colours and the layout. I decided to use it as a ‘Best thing today’ or ‘happiness’ journal where I write down anything positive that happened that day, even if it was just getting creative in the kitchen for lunch.

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Best Dairy-free Snack – These Ten Acre crisps taste amazing! I had three people insisting that they read the ingredients because they just couldn’t believe they were dairy free. Gluten and MSG free too.

March

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Best Cruelty-free, Temporary, Hair Dye – Manic Panick (the one in a tub) has a thick consistency which means it’s really easy to dip a tint brush into and apply, without getting it every where. It comes in every colour you can imagine and is gentle on coarse/dry/damaged hair. It started out a deep teal colour and has now faded to this after around 12 washes.

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Best Place To Buy Affordable Jeans – Matalan. Yup, for real. They do various fits with several styles in each. I chose a skinny, mid-rise style. Even if if you have a food-baby the next day it doesn’t matter because they stretch to fit, which also means you can wear them for ages before they go baggy at the knees and need washing.

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Best Cruelty-free Mens Skincare – My Bloke loves Bull Dog Original range because it doesn’t have a strong scent and is cruelty free with no unnecessary ingredients so it’s very simple yet effective.

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Best Place For Omnivores and Vegetarians To Eat Together – Zouk. I was invited to try their new menu and found that there were enough choices to keep me satisfied and the food was of good quality and cooked well. There’s also a little cocktail bar with a wonderful menu. I can imagine most groups of friends being happy here.

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Best Smoothie/Blended Drink Recipe – I will share this with anyone who will listen LOL Rice Milk/Soy Milk, Heaped tbl spn peanut butter, Medium banana, Maple syrup/Golden Syrup. Add Bournville choccy powder (mixed with a little cold milk first) to turn into a Snickers smoothie.

April

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Best Cruelty-free Nail Polish – I love the original colours and finishes that Zoya offer. I’ve also found that it’s very gentle on my brittle nails and last as long as other ‘long wear’ polishes which are double the price.

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Best Manchester Outdoor Space – Fletcher Moss. Is a beautiful landscaped garden filled with flowers, trees and a pond, with a little heather garden to the side. They have toilets (very rustic) and a cafe. Stenner Wood is right behind if you want to feel like you are in the countryside for a little while.

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Best Cruelty-free Household Product – Beauty Kitchen. I know a lot of people who wouldn’t dream of using beauty products tested on animals but never consider getting CF items for around the house. Gentle on sensitive and/or dry skin with a beautiful scent this organic hand wash is a winner.

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Best Alternative Online Shop – EMP have branched out from rock/goth wear, band merch and geek pop-culture to also include urban style. Honestly, I could browse it all day. Some clothing items can be a bit pricey (depending on the brand) but they have little twists of originality, are of high quality and the sizing charts are the most accurate I’ve come across.

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Best Dairy-free Easter Chocolate – Choices, found in Holland & Barrett and supermarket free-from isles – if you are lucky. Remember those white mice you used to get as a kid? Well this is 100% better!

May

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Best Spirit – Dark rum in general of course but has to be Sailor Jerry, followed very closely by The Kraken. SJ took it for their perpetually creative labelling.

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Best Unexpected Bargain – I got bored while my bloke was in the army surplus shop and found this tiny vest on sale! I chopped the neck out slightly so it was more flattering.

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Best Tidy Solution – I used this pretty box a prezzie came in and an old watch tin a friend gave me to store the makeup that I use daily. I’ve chucked out anything that really wasn’t working for me and the rest (very similar colours to what’s here already or party makeup) is in a transparent wash bag under the sink. So much quicker to see what I’ve got and where it is!

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Best Indian Eatery – Hands down has to be Lilly’s in Ashton, Greater Manchester. They have an extensive but comprehensive menu of the most delicious vegetarian food. From hearty traditional dishes to quick street food for lunch and creative combinations of ingredients on their Indo-Chinese menu, you will want to visit several times to try it all.

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Best Cruelty-free Makeup Brand – Elf. Every single one of their product I’ve used has worked perfectly for me. Products are true to how they’ve been shown/described on the site, they are easy to apply and long wearing. Worst goes to Soap & Glory – just ugh!

 June

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Best Charity Merchandise – This One Love Manchester jumper I bought for the survivors of the Manchester Arena bombing. Obviously being a Manc this is very close to my heart but I genuinely love the graffiti style of lettering.

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Best Cruelty-free Shampoo – Weleda, Calendula Shampoo and Body Wash. Rarely have I come across a shampoo that is so gentle on my coarse frizzy hair as this. Some ‘natural’ shampoo’s I’ve used have left my hair matted and feeling like straw but I didn’t even need conditioner after this! As usual I just oiled my hair when it was still damp and left to air dry. Perfect.

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Best Full Vegetarian or Vegan Eatery – V Revolution. Creative American-style fast food, which is surprisingly healthy and tastes of individual ingredients, rather than salt and ketchup. Order a White Russian cocktail for a glass of heaven.

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Best Energy Drink or Snack – I had to go with Rockstar as they taste like fizzy pop, rather than that sickly, slightly medicinal thing other energy drinks have going on. I fill a drinks bottle with 2/3 energy drink, 1/3 water and a pinch of salt and sip it when I’m flagging to keep my energy and electrolyte levels up. One bottle usually lasts me two days.

July

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Best Cruelty-free All Round Moisturiser – Faith in Nature Coconut Body Lotion. I use this on my body and my face as it’s thin enough to sink in quickly without being oily.

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Best Accessory – I’ve looked at so many pins from various places this year. This Milk & Moon one was thoughtfully packaged and the gold and black theme looks classy rather than cartoonish, which is what I wanted.

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Best Book – Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor (YA Fiction) is the perfect blend of fantasy and every day, which escalates to serious proportions. Easy to read, with engaging characters and a plot which could lead literally anywhere.

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Best Funko Pop! – I have to go with The Cheshire Cat from (the modern) Alice in Wonderland. He’s so quirky-cute and makes me smile every time I notice him. Plus the fur and stripe detailing is really well done.

August

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Best Cruelty-free Skin Treatment – Murad Radiance Peel has transformed my skin from being dull, flakey and hopeless to being smooth, radiant and able to absorb moisturisers, serums and oils.

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Best Book I Would Recommend – I do love The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern but the first part of the book, before the two main characters even meet was hard going for me. However, I thought the rest was wonderful and utterly absorbing.

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Best Impromptu Selfie – I took this while I was waiting to get ready for a night out and liked it so much more than the one I took when I was ready! Check out my sexy owl PJ’s lol

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Best Alternative/Urban OOTD – I usually like to mix alt and urban style but I decided to go all out rock festival with this one for Summer.

September

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Best Surprising Food Combo – Edamame and Avocado. Followed closely drinking Tia Maria with seaweed/miso/Chinese flavoured food. Try it ^_^

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Best (Gluten Free) Larger – Peroni has always been my fave larger for how light and refreshing it is, and now they’ve started doing a gf one, which is just as good.

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Best Everyday Look – I love this outfit because it’s practical, flattering and represents the Gorton girl in me with the hoodie and big sparkly hoop earrings. I can also take my hoodie off and have a nice top underneath for evening.

October

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Best Place To Buy Lingerie/Nightwear – Boux Avenue make THE BEST bra’s. Pretty but comfortable and in a flattering range of styles and colours. Their night/lounge wear is also really lovely.

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Best Gluten Free Pizza – Pizza Express by a mile. They also have other great gf options and are very understanding of dietary requirements.

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Best High Street/Drug Store Cruelty-free Makeup – Well, Topshop makeup is new to me as I’d never used it before. Affordable, great colour payoff, easy to apply and stays put. I’m really impressed!

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Best Dairy Free Choccy – Sarelle is like a Fererro Rocher but with sweet dark chocolate, rather than milk. This is a decent sized choccy bar but it still isn’t big enough, ha!

November

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Best Cruelty-free Party Makeup – Barry M, Matte Me Up lip linner and lip paint. Metallic, yet oddly matte this is actually really wearable for anyone with an olive-dark skin tone. I think if you were paler, you would be making a much bigger statement with it.

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Best Fashion Trend – Apart from Rosegold – which I’ve always liked since I was a 13 year old looking at jewellery in the Argos catalogue – it has to be knitwear with subtle corset and grunge detailing, mainly fraying, large gaps in the crochet and random lacing.

December

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Best Veggie Sweets – Made with real fruit juice, these Organic Mini Fruit Bears by Biona are possibly the tastiest sweets I’ve ever tried. Everyone I know who’s tried them – loved them.

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Best Tech – Nokia 105. You can drop it, accidentally sit on it, play different versions of Snake on it, it’s a petty retro colour, it has a torch which is actually effective, it’s really light weight, no scally will want to rob it off you and you will only need to charge it twice in your life time. Bargain!

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Best Cruelty-free Lipbalm/Skin Saviour – I know that I could just buy a big cheap jar of coconut oil from the local market but Dr. Organic is organic (duh), contains an SPF 15 and is so handy to carry around. One of the very few things that makes any noticeable difference to my lips at all.

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Best Healthy Convenience Food – This veggie sushi from Tesco is as tasty as it is pretty.

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Best Homeware – I love the duck egg blue colour of this Tesco blanket and it is unbelievably soft! I live in it now – we are one.

Best Alternative/Independent High Street Shop – Aflecks, Tib Street/Oldham Street (established the year I was born – a fact which I love). This giant maze-like building s an Alladin’s cave of independent shops. I don’t know any other place where you will find quality fancy dress, vinyl records, American candy, vintage clothes, Japanese imports, band merchandise, a vegan shop, a cute cafe, a clothes embellishing and customising service, retro toys/collectibles, rave/rock/urban clothing, cruelty free makeup and hair dye, along with piercing, tattooing and hairdressing studio’s.

I hope you enjoyed my alternative 2017 awards!

Chrissie

McCall’s Organics – A Great Resource for Dairy-free & Gluten-free Vegetarians in Manchester

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McCall’s Organics is located on Church Street, where the family have been trading since 1920! They stock fresh fruit and veg, baking goods, snacks, veggie pâté, veggie ready meals, fresh bread, spreads, healthy drinks, cruelty free beauty and household goods, dairy free cheese and chocolate.

Usually in a small-ish shop I have to really search to find anything gluten or dairy free and have even been so pleased to find something that I haven’t noticed it contained meat! McCall’s stocked every single veggie free-from thing that I usually buy, apart from the Genius brand, which I can get from any supermarket anyway. It was like someone had made a shop just for me!

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Here is my shopping, you might have noticed I’ve reviewed some of these before. I would have gotten more but this is all I could carry. (clockwise in a spiral sort of shape) Eat Real Quinoa Chips in Sundried Tomato and Roasted Garlic; These are so tasty and perfect for scooping up humus or guac. Free and Easy Tomato Soup; I’ve really missed Heinz cream of tomato soup and this is fairly sweet with a lovely thick consistency. V Pud, veggie black pudding which, although not perfect, is very recognisable as black pudding and very tasty. Vio Life Pizza Cheese; Not only does this melt well and grate well but it actually tastes of pizza! Bouja Bouja Hazelnut Truffles; Little sweet choccy truffles with a light dusting of bitter choccy on the outside (best kept in the fridge so they don’t go too gooey). Kingfisher Toothpaste (they stock various flavours) which is cruelty free of course. Free and Easy Vegetable Balti is a spicy vegetable stew type of curry, which is great with rice but surprisingly filling on it’s own. Weleda Calendula Shampoo and Body Wash for kids but I love it as it makes my course hair incredibly soft and shiny. Organic Smoked Tofu; I like this fried with white onion and yellow sweet pepper, with added salt and pepper. Faith in Nature Soap, which helps to balance skin, rather than dehydrating it. Ecoleaf Aloe vera Handwash (not seen), which is antibacterial, cares for skin and only has a subtle scent so perfect when cooking.

What are your favourite free-from and cruelty free shops?

Chrissie

LUSH Plum Snow Bubble Bar – Christmas collection

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Plum Snow (£5.95) is a weighty Bubble Bar which you can easily use in two goes if you wish. I’ve never thought of combining plum and mandarin together before but the sharp sweetness works really well. It has a very strong scent so it might be worth using it fairly quickly, unless you want your whole bathroom to smell like a LUSH shop!

It turns the water a beautiful dark purple colour with lots of bubbles and leaves skin feeling soft and hydrated.

This really did make my bath feel like a luxurious treat.

Chrissie

 

Lush (Halloween) Monsters’ Ball Bath Bomb

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Lush have 16 halloween related products including bath bombs, bubble bars, a black lip tint, a shimmer bar (for party skin) and soap. I chose this Monsters Ball (£4.50) bath bomb because my legs love the Himalayan rock salt as it helps with water retention and wrestless legs syndrome at night. Plus he’s a cute little monster.

The combination of lime and neroli oil combined to create an unexpected scent, reminiscent of zingy strawberry sweets which lasted all through my bath. It fizzed for a long time and turned the water pink, then blue and then all purple. I broke him (it!) up into two as there was more than enough for one bath. Relaxing, uplifting and made my skin surprisingly soft.

Rating 4/5 (I’m saving the extra point for when I get the beautiful golden Bubble Bar)

Chrissie

 

 

Cute Sparkly Mani

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I felt like getting my Barbie on today so I chose Wendy – a warm coral pink by Zoya and added lots of sparkle. What I noticed about this colour is that it turns a sexy tropical orangey-pink under low electric lighting at night – how appropriate!

I’ve had lovely rounded nails all summer but they got too long and broke so I’ve filed them into a squoval shape, which is also quite flattering and practical.

I find applying Barry M Iron Mani as a base coat and then two thin layers of polish (with or without added sparkle) and then another coat of Iron Mani makes my DIY mani last for around five days, not bad.

Chrissie