Posts tagged Vegan
Handmade Flocked Skater Dress / MortiisM Vegan Skull Necklace / Blonde + Blonde Lace Up Block Heel Boots / Primark Tights
Today’s outfit post is also a Thrifty Finds post, as my beautiful flocked skater dress was handmade by my very talented mum, using fabric that we got from a carboot sale. And the best part is the fabric only cost £1! My mum drafted the pattern for this herself, using the bodice from one of my dresses, and the skirt from another, so it turned out the exact fit, shape and length I was hoping for. I’m so impressed by mum’s work, especially as this was the first adult dress she ever made. The stitching is so neat, it’s comfortable, and it fits me really well – quite an achievement considering I tried the bodice on once whilst she was making it, and that’s it! Needless to say I’ll be asking her to make me another dress very soon, as I’m so pleased with this one.
My necklace is also a craft piece, by the lovely MortiisM, who makes vegan skull and metal jewellery, antlers, and homewares. I won this piece in a giveaway on Instagram, and I adore it. I love the length, and the quality of the piece is really high. It looks so real, and the Swarovski adornment is like the icing on the cake. Stunning!
P.S. Check out how else I styled these boots!
Over the last few months I’ve been trialling a hair treatment from a small hair care company called Old Wives Tail. Old Wives Tail specialise in luxury organic hair treatments, all of which are handmade, vegetarian and vegan, and free of gluten, parabens and sulfates. They’re also animal friendly and aim to eradicate animal testing in the beauty industry, so 10% of their profits go to charities which save animals from being tested on.
The treatment I’ve been using is the Jojoba and Clove Organic Oil Treatment, which retails for £13.99 for a 100ml jar. The treatment is described as a ‘hydrating, natural and balancing hair treatment for dull, thinning, brittle or broken hair’. My hair is quite unusual in that, though it can get quite oily at the roots, the ends get very dry and split easily, especially during colder months, and the overall look is very limp, lifeless and damaged. I opted for this particular treatment as, according to the Old Wives Tail website, ‘jojoba oil gets to work at penetrating every hair follicle to add strength, volume and texture to weak, lifeless hair’, which is just what I want.
The treatment has a very strong aroma of cloves, which hits you as soon as you open the jar, but it isn’t too overpowering as it is offset with a slight sweetness. It’s also quite a dense treatment, with a slightly waxy texture, but as it warms in your fingers it melts into a smooth oil that glides through damp hair incredibly easily.
The directions for use say to massage the product into your scalp, and to leave it on for one hour before washing out with shampoo and water, and conditioning the ends of your hair. As a ‘wash and go’ kinda girl, an hour is quite a long time to wait, so this isn’t a treatment I would use on a daily or weekly basis, but it’s great for a fortnightly or monthly pamper session at the weekend. Especially as it gives quite an intense treatment.
I’ve used the treatment a few times now and the results are brilliant. A little goes quite a long way, so though the jar is small, it will last a good while. The product massages in nicely and feels lovely and soothing on the scalp. When I first used it I was slightly worried that, being an oil, it would leave my hair feeling greasy, but it washes out well with shampoo, although I find it takes a little while to wash out completely. After blow drying and straightening my hair, the difference is really noticeable. It leaves my hair looking silkier and fuller, and the result is also long-lasting.
Unfortunately, as I’ve had an incredibly hectic couple of months, I haven’t yet managed to get any before and after photos of my hair, but I will be updating this post within the next week or two, so check back soon.
All Old Wives Tail products are available online here, and they cater for all hair types. They offer free worldwide delivery on any order too!
*This Jojoba & Clove Organic Oil Hair Treatment was sent to me by Old Wives Tail for review purposes. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*
As promised in my National Vegetarian Week post, here is the latest addition to my series of Vegetarian Eateries posts, this time focusing on Nottingham. Though I don’t live in Nottingham, I do visit regularly for gigs and shopping trips, and I have two favourite places to eat when I’m there. I’m sure there are other places in Nottingham to get great veggie food, but I’m yet to discover them, however when I do they’ll be added to this post.
1a Cannon Court, Long Row W, Nottingham, NG1 6JE
Good for: Creative, tasty dishes and vegan options
Alley Café is slightly hard to find (down an alley, as the name suggests, and easy to miss), but once you’re there it’s a real veggie haven. The atmosphere is very relaxed – chilled music and friendly staff, and the menu is even better.
Their main menu features a range of light bites/sides, sandwiches (with quirky names and a choice of breads), burgers, and various creative mains. They also boast different specials every day, and an array of delicious desserts and homemade juices and smoothies.
A lot of the menu is vegan, and everything I’ve ever had there has been so flavoursome and filling. I can highly recommend the Alfie (halloumi, houmous and mint yoghurt in your choice of bread – I usually go for a wrap), the falafel burger (above) and the pizzas (try it with smoked tofu, baconesque and olives as seen above, perfect). The vegan chocolate torte is also AMAZING. Meals average at about £7, most desserts are between £3 and £4, the portions are generous, and the quality of food is very high. Definitely worth a visit if you appreciate an inclusive, non-judgemental veggie vibe!
17 Goldsmith Street, Nottingham, NG1 5JT
Good for: Delicious handmade burgers and double cooked chips
Spanky Van Dykes is located right next to my favourite small gig venues, so I usually fill up here before a gig. The bar has an alternative, music themed vibe which really gets you in the mood for a live band, and they even host gigs themselves (although I’m yet to go to one there). What most people come for though is the handmade burgers.
With an American diner style menu, Spanky’s sell burgers galore, with three veggie options. My particular favourite is the Shroomaloomi, which is stacked high with halloumi cheese and flat mushrooms, served with the best double cooked chips I’ve ever tried. A bit more interesting than the usual veggie offering of a dry bean burger I must say. Their tempura vegetables are also worth a mention, as are their desserts. Cookie ice cream sandwich anyone? Yes please! A burger and chips comes in at just over £7, and desserts are around £3, so you can get a full meal for around a tenner. Although they do two for one on all burgers on a Tuesday, which is definitely the best time to go!
Do you know anywhere else in Nottingham that sells amazing veggie food? If so, leave a comment below and let me know!
Don’t forget to check out my first Vegetarian Leicester post too!
This week, Monday 19th May until Sunday 25th May, is National Vegetarian Week. All around the country individuals, companies, educational establishments, and communities are taking the challenge to go vegetarian, and in the process are having fun discovering new foods, and learning how to adapt their everyday favourites into easy vegetarian alternatives. As a vegetarian myself, National Vegetarian Week is something that I completely advocate, and I hope some of you will be taking the challenge too!
I stopped eating meat, poultry, and food containing gelatine thirteen years ago when I was eleven years old, and a year later, aged twelve, I stopped eating fish. The thought of mass animal slaughter sickened me, and I just couldn’t bring myself to support it anymore, so I made the decision to go veggie. Luckily I didn’t find the transition too difficult, as my mum was very supportive, and to be honest I’d never liked meat anyway, so I didn’t (and still don’t) miss it at all. In fact, I disliked meat so much that I was a fairly fussy eater as a child, and becoming vegetarian actually broadened my horizons and encouraged me to try new foods, and ultimately improved my health.
Since then I haven’t looked back, and I now spend my days experimenting with new foods and recipe ideas. I use a lot of Quorn products in my cooking, and will often make traditional meat dishes with Quorn instead of meat, so I never feel like my options are limited. Halloumi cheese is also an excellent ingredient to use if you want a meaty texture, and is especially great in the summer when grilled or barbecued. Being vegetarian helps me save money too, as meat alternatives and soya products tend to be cheaper than meat, and you can get quite a few meals out of one packet/bag. A definite positive when you’re on a tight budget!
As those who follow me on Instagram will know, I post a lot of images of my vegetarian creations, so I thought I’d share a few with you, just in case you’re taking the veggie challenge and want a bit of inspiration.
Aubgergine, Potato and Chickpea Curry (Vegan) / Sunday Roast / Quorn Moussaka / Grilled Halloumi with Mint and Coriander Cous Cous, and Tomato and Chickpea Salad / Courgette, Sundried Tomato and Mozzarella Creamy Pasta Bake / Jerk Quorn Chicken with Rice and Peas / Homemade Tomato, Basil and Olive Pizza with Salad / Christmas Dinner / Tempura Vegetables with Noodles and Sweet Chilli Dip
If you’re interested in getting involved with National Vegetarian Week, you can visit the official website here, where you can find out more, and download useful literature to help with your quest. You can also check out what local vegetarian events there are in your area. I’ll personally be visiting one of my favourite vegetarian cafés, who are offering a free dessert with every main course!
Also, keep an eye out later this week for another installment of my Vegetarian Eateries posts! In the mean time, you can check out Vegetarian Leicester: Lunch, for ideas of where to get a yummy vegetarian lunch in Leicester.
Will you be taking part in National Vegetarian Week? How are you doing so far? I’d love to hear your stories!
There are probably thousands of STEAMCREAM reviews floating around in the blogosphere, but for what it’s worth, I thought I’d add my tuppence worth to the mix today.
So first, a bit of background. STEAMCREAM is a multi-purpose cream for the face, body and hands, and is produced in a unique process using steam (rather than emulsification), to create a lightweight but moisturising lotion. It contains natural, high-quality ingredients, including oatmeal, orange flower water, lavender oil, organic jojoba oil, cocoa butter and essentials oils such as rose, and is 100% vegan and handmade.
I hate to admit it, but one of the first things that attracted me to STEAMCREAM was the packaging. The cream comes in a 75g, eco-friendly aluminium tin, which is the perfect size to take with you when out and about or travelling, and each one is decorated with a different gorgeous design. The tins are just so eye-catching and pretty, and I can see how you could get addicted to collecting them! My particular design is a limited edition called ‘Buttons by Lisa Milroy’, and though it wouldn’t be my first choice (it’s a bit too understated for my liking), I still really like it. There are so many to choose from, but some of my favourites from the STEAMCREAM Design Gallery have to be Light From Space, She, and Cosmos.
I’ve seen some bloggers say that they don’t like the smell of STEAMCREAM, but I think it smells absolutely beautiful. It’s quite earthy due to the natural ingredients, but the sweetness of the lavender and rose really shine through. Overall it’s a nice relaxing scent, and I like to use the cream before I go to bed as the lavender is soothing and helps me sleep.
Now, the important bit. STEAMCREAM has a light and loose consistency that is very gentle on the skin. I find it pleasant to use as it massages in well, is non-greasy and absorbs nicely, and it leaves my skin feeling cool and refreshed. I’m sort of in two minds about its effectiveness though. It makes the skin on my face and body feel soft and smooth, but it’s nowhere near intensive enough to help the dry skin on my hands. I do suffer quite a bit with it in the winter, so perhaps it will do my hands more good in the summer, when the dry skin eases off.
All in all, STEAMCREAM is a fab little handbag essential. It’s versatile, smells great, feels nice and looks amazing, and gets a thumbs up from me! STEAMCREAM retails for £12.95 with free worldwide delivery, and can be purchased here.
*This STEAMCREAM was sent to me by STEAMCREAM for review purposes. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*
Last week I forgot to write a My Week on Instagram post, so this edit features my favourite Instagram photos from the last two weeks.
Mog eating biscuits in her hammock / AngelEye jacket, styled here / Miggley sleeping in my dressing gown / Leicester Christmas lights switch on / Pink orchid I found in the street / Queens of the Stone Age live at the NIA, 21/11/13 / Leicester Vegan Fair / Jennifer Hope waistcoat, styled here / Making the Christmas pudding
If you’d like to follow me on Instagram and see more of my photos, my username is bewitchery_. Please comment on this post with your usernames too as I’m always looking for new accounts to follow, especially fashion and beauty ones!
Quite a few months ago I was sent three skin care products to try by the vegan, cruelty-free brand MyChelle Dermaceuticals. MyChelle’s tagline is ‘Seeded in science and rooted in nature’, which sums them up perfectly. Their products are all made from nontoxic, natural ingredients, which have been chosen and formulated specifically for their concentration and nutrient levels, which can help the skin look and feel healthier.
MyChelle’s products are organised into five steps which, when combined, create the perfect skin care routine – you just have to pick the right products for your skin type! Step 1 is cleansers, Step 2 masks, peels and scrubs, Step 3 serums, Step 4 mists, and finally, Step 5 creams. The three products I received, and have now been using for a while, are their Fruit Enzyme Cleanser* from Step 1, Pumpkin Renew Cream* from Step 5, and Fabulous Eye Cream*, also from Step 5. I haven’t tried any products from Step 2, 3 or 4 so cannot comment on how well the routine works as a whole, so I will share my experience of each product individually.
Fruit Enzyme Cleanser – 61ml – £8.50
MyChelle say: Gentle deep cleanser uncovers remarkably fresh, smooth skin. A special blend of natural multi-fruit Alpha-Hydroxy Acids unclog and purify pores, and increase cellular turnover for a more youthfully refined look. Strengthening and antioxidant Turmeric keeps skin calm and eases signs of irritation, while Fructooligosaccharides from sugar promote and protect skin’s health.
I say: The Fruit Enzyme Cleanser comes in a squeezy bottle with a mess-free click lid, which makes it really easy to control how much of the cleanser you use, meaning there’s no waste. MyChelle recommend using a dime-size amount to cover the whole face, which in English money is about the same size as a five pence coin. In my experience that is enough for a good cleanse, so even this 61ml bottle will last a good while.
The cleanser contains a mixture of natural oils and plant extracts, but the one that dominates is orange, so it has a gorgeous sweet orange scent, which happens to be one of my favourite toiletry scents. It also has a light gel consistency which massages in like a dream, and doesn’t feel greasy at all. The gel washes off easily with warm water and leaves the skin feeling soft, fresh and incredibly clean, without that tightness you sometimes get from facial cleansers. I’ve noticed my face has looked a lot clearer since I started using this cleanser and I’ve had far fewer breakouts which is brilliant.
Pumpkin Renew Cream – 35ml – £21.00
MyChelle say: A lightweight, hydrating formula blends antioxidant-rich Pumpkin Seed Oil with reparative Peptides to protect cellular health and maintain hydration. Astaxanthin, from Micro-Algae, neutralizes free radicals while reducing moisture loss. EGF Peptides promote cellular renewal and collagen production. Shea Butter and Vitamin E replenish skin’s lipid barrier to prevent dehydration.
I say: MyChelle’s Pumpkin Renew Cream is not orange in colour as you’d expect, but a pale minty green. It smells absolutely beautiful – fresh, but with a sweet and spicy note of nutmeg which really stands out. The formula is light, and in the pot looks a little bit oily which, I’ll admit, worried me slightly at first, but I was relieved to find that it doesn’t leave behind any greasiness on the skin. Rather, it is absorbed nicely and is incredibly moisturising and softening, and also has a calming, soothing effect on tired or angry skin.
MyChelle’s Pumpkin Renew Cream is suitable for all skin types, including combination skin like mine, and can be used as a day or night cream, so it’s a great little all-rounder. I’ve been using my pot in the morning as a base for my make up, and it hydrates dry patches and evens out oily patches for a perfect finish.
Fabulous Eye Cream – 15ml – £19.00
MyChelle say: Advanced formula nourishes the delicate eye area while minimizing the look of fine lines. Revolutionary Edelweiss Plant Stem Cells inhibit collagen breakdown and are clinically proven to reduce wrinkle depth by 15% after only twenty days of use. Hyaluronic acid binds moisture within the skin, smoothing and firming the eye area.
I say: Once again, MyChelle’s packaging prevails with this cream and the easy squeeze tube and narrow nozzle make it really easy to control how much cream you use, and you really only need a little bit of this to cover the whole eye area. The cream itself, like the Pumpkin Renew Cream, is non-greasy and easily absorbed, and gentle enough for the eye area, causing no irritation. The Fabulous Eye Cream smells different to the other two products (I love how they all have a different scent!), with a delicately sweet, almost floral aroma with hints of coconut, lavender and orange.
Being only 23, I don’t yet have many wrinkles around my eyes, but I’ve been using this almost as a preventative, and it’s doing a great job so far. After application my eye area feels smooth and firm, without being uncomfortable, and it’s definitely been helping to reduce my morning eye puffiness!
Overall, I’d definitely recommend MyChelle’s products and I’d love to fill the gaps in my routine with more of their offerings. My skin is really quite sensitive and I often have allergic to reactions to facial cleansers and moisturisers, but I haven’t had any such reaction to MyChelle. Definitely something to remember if you too suffer from sensitive skin!
You can view MyChelle’s full range here.
My parcel from MyChelle also contained two packets of Pur chewing gum, and since I am a gum addict it was a nice little surprise to receive these. The gum comes in two flavours – Peppermint and Wintergreen, and is aspartame and sugar-free, so it contains no nasties. It’s also suitable for vegans, diabetics and those who are gluten and lactose intolerant, so it’s a really inclusive product. The gum itself has a nice, powerful flavour and tastes and chews just like any other gum, so it doesn’t suffer in that respect, but the flavour doesn’t last as long as I’d like. Still, for a natural product that pretty much anyone can have, it’s impressive.
*These products were sent to me by MyChelle Dermaceuticals for review purposes. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*
Trying to find a suitable foundation for your skin can be difficult at the best of times, but when you’re looking for a natural, vegan, cruelty free foundation like I was earlier this year, your options suddenly become very slim. So, when INIKA agreed to send me a product to review I naturally chose their Certified Organic Liquid Foundation, which fits all of the above mentioned criteria.
INIKA is a certified organic brand with a focus on producing natural make up, all of which is Vegan, Halal and isn’t tested on animals. All of their products are free from synthetic substances and nasty chemicals, and to go along with their ethical image, INIKA’s tubes, pots and brushes are made of recycled materials, and are also recyclable.
The bottle of foundation I received looked different to the one pictured on the INIKA website, but what struck me about the packaging is how classy and high-end it looks. In my experience some ethical brands, particularly those with recycled packaging, tend to be lacking in the image department, but INIKA’s black, sleek packaging with its gold font looks (and feels) wonderful, and would give any luxe brand a run for its money. Also, the bottle has a pump press top, which I prefer to a squeezy tube or pour bottle as it means you can easily control the amount of foundation you want from bottle (either with a half pump or full pump), and because the hole is small there is minimal mess.
Quite usefully, the INIKA website recommends different shades to suit specific skin tones, so I was able to choose the best one for me, which happens to be Cream. According to INIKA, their Cream shade is for ‘light to medium skin tones and perfect for those with an ‘English Rose’ complexion’ – a description which suits my skin down the ground, and the foundation is indeed ‘perfect’ for me!
The foundation itself is very light in texture, almost like a moisturiser, meaning it allows the skin to breathe and doesn’t clog the pores, and it also has a slight cooling effect when it touches the skin. I always apply this foundation with a brush, starting at the eyes and nose, working down to the chin, across the cheeks and finally across the forehead and neck. In the past I have always struggled to apply foundation with a brush, but because this one isn’t too thick it blends extremely easily.
Despite its light texture, INIKA’s liquid foundation has incredible pigmentation which makes for beautiful, flawless coverage which still looks natural. As you can see, it evens out any redness or blotchiness on the skin, and due to the lack of harsh ingredients it covers breakouts without aggravating them. The foundation balances the skin quite nicely too, adding moisture to avoid drying, but also without causing any unwanted oiliness.
The above image shows the coverage that INIKA’s liquid foundation gives (with a little bit of translucent powder applied over the top). The only thing it doesn’t cover fully is the dark circles under my eyes, but that’s nothing a small amount of under eye concealer can’t fix. To top it all off, this foundation lasts a very long time. Whenever I wear it, my face looks as smooth and flawless after a day at work as it does in the morning. It even looks great after a night at a bar or a gig, which is very impressive!
INIKA’s Certified Organic Liquid Foundation is available online in four shades, and costs £29.50 for 30g. It may be a bit on the pricey side, but its top quality reflects the price and it is honestly one of the best foundations I have ever used. I think I’d struggle to find another foundation to match it, let alone an organic, vegan, cruelty free one, and I will definitely be purchasing another bottle when I run out.
*This INIKA Certified Organic Liquid Foundation was sent to me by INIKA for review purposes. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*
On my mission to find affordable but high quality make up brushes, I was recommended Real Techniques by several different bloggers. After doing some research and seeing how highly praised they are, the Core Collection and Starter Set went straight on my birthday list, and I was lucky enough to receive both sets for my birthday (I’ll be reviewing these at a later date). On top of this, the wonderful Lookfantastic were also kind enough to send me a Real Techniques Blush Brush, which I will be reviewing in this post.
Real Techniques’ Blush Brush has everything I look for when choosing new make up brushes. Firstly, it has a long handle which is made from light aluminium with a grippable base, so it is easy to use and gives you ultimate control. It also has a widened, flat base so it can stand alone, which makes for simple storage.
The bristles are cut by hand and are tapered, which is great for contouring, but the rounded bulk of the brush makes applying an even sweep of blusher easy. I find that the brush picks up just the right amount of product too, so you’re left with a flawless, well blended finish. Most importantly for me, the bristles are made from synthetic taklon so the brush is vegan and cruelty free, but unlike some synthetic bristles they’re also incredibly soft. They feel amazingly plush and luxurious on the skin and don’t cause any irritation, which is always a bonus for those with sensitive skin like me.
Though I’ve only used this brush for blusher so far, I think it could be quite a versatile brush. I’ve seen other reviewers say they use it for bronzer too, as well as powder foundation, which I may put to the test.
I really couldn’t be happier with this brush, and I can’t recommend it highly enough – it makes the whole process of applying blusher effortless, and it really lives up to (maybe even exceeds!) my expectations. Real Techniques brushes are extremely high quality for the price and they’re now my go-to brand for brushes. I have my eye on the Foundation Brush next! This Blush Brush has an RRP of £12.89, but it is currently on sale on Lookfantastic.com for £9.99. A serious bargain if you ask me. If you’d like to see Lookfantastic’s full range of Real Techniques brushes, just click here.
What do you think of Real Techniques’ products?
*I was sent this Real Techniques Blush Brush by The Hut Group/Lookfantastic.com for review purposes. All thoughts expressed are honest and based on my own experience.*
Earlier this month, not long after I decided to ban myself from spending for a while, I received an email from Illamasqua to say that they had added more lines to their winter sale, and I couldn’t resist a browse. There were so many lovely things going cheap that I had to restrain myself, but I made a compromise and let myself buy two things that I wanted the most – a gorgeous red lipstick in the shade Tramp (which I will review at a later date), and this beautiful nail varnish, Velocity.
Illamasqua nail varnish usually retails for £13.50, but Velocity cost me just £5 in the sale, which is obviously a massive saving. I love Illamasqua for several reasons – they’re British, they’re cruelty-free, they challenge conventions, their packaging is chic and, importantly, their products are amazing quality, and this varnish is no different.
Velocity is a very beautiful shade with a bit of an edge, which oozes individuality and class. Illamasqua’s website describes it as a dusky grey-purple which is spot on, and it looks fantastic no matter what level of light you’re in. In natural light it looks the colour of vibrant purple heather, with a tinge of grey which stops it being overly bright, and indoors it has a deep plum look to it, which is equally as gorgeous. The varnish also has a glossy finish which gives incredible, eye-catching shine.
The varnish itself has a lovely creamy consistency, which when paired with Illamasqua’s quality varnish brush allows for smooth, easy coverage. It’s also very highly pigmented and gives full coverage with only one coat, but I applied two for a more intense look. The varnish dries quickly too… I was playing Balderdash with my family about ten minutes after painting my nails with Velocity, and I didn’t suffer any smudges or dents!
I’m also really impressed with how long this has lasted so far. For some reason, I didn’t apply a top coat over the top, and after three days the varnish is still wearing well. One nail on my left hand has chipped a bit, but the rest look almost as good as new!
Here is how Velocity looks on the nails, in natural light, after two coats…
I really can’t put into words how much I love this varnish! The colour is stunning and you can really tell when using it that it’s a good quality product. I would happily pay full-price for Illamasqua nail varnish, so I feel very lucky that I managed to get this little gem for only £5. If you want to follow in my footsteps, it’s actually still available in the sale here, but be quick because I think the sale ends soon!
Which Illamasqua nail varnish shade is your favourite?