Cruelty-free Empties

Switching to exclusively cruelty-free products was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and its one of my goals to for this blog to build up a directory of cruelty-free goodies. If you’re considering going cruelty-free it can seem daunting to give up products you’re used to and love using, but there’s so. much. choice available.

To name a few options, I thought I’d do some micro reviews on the products I’ve finished up recently.


Youth To The People Age Prevention Superfood Cleanser | This cleanser has a wonderful ‘clean’ scent (my favourite kind) and is refreshing and gentle on the skin. One small pump of product will cleanse your whole face and lathered up with water it removes all traces of your make up, whilst still being gentle enough to rub away black eyeliner & mascara without stinging your eyes. I can't really speak to it’s age prevention claims yet (ask me in a few years) but it’s the best testament to a product if you repurchase it once it’s empty and I had another of these ready to go right away! Travel size, £18 from Free People.

Glossier Lash Slick | I really buy into the Glossier hype and can rarely resist any of their new, millenial-pink packaged goodies so I snapped this up when it was released. Lash Slick is great for lengthening your lashes and doesn’t budge all day… but it’s a little dry. I often feel like this builds up on my lashes and because the formula is so drying, the tubes don’t seem to last very long. I’ll be trying something different next. I’ve also recently finished up a tubes of Glossier Boy Brow & Haloscope in Moonstone, so I might do a whole post reviewing the brand. £14 from Glossier.

Herbivore Jasmine Green Tea Toner | I received this as birthday gift and it has quickly become a skincare staple for me - it’s the perfect accompaniment to the superfood cleanser. This toner has a subtle, sweet jasmine scent and is calming and hydrating when misted onto your skin. I will continue to repurchase this! Travel size, £20 from Space NK.

Fit Kit Post Exercise Muscle Cooling Shower Gel | I spotted this in Waitrose (or £3.99 from Holland & Barrett) just as I was starting out with my personal trainer and got sucked into it’s ‘muscle cooling’ claims. After a sweaty workout, I personally liked to be overwhelmed by the scent of my shower gel and covered in suds. This is difficult to squeeze out of the pouch and doesn’t lather up enough, which leads to little clumps of black gel in the bottom of your shower. It also has a near undetectable scent. Honestly pretty naff, if you want to feel zingy after the gym stick with Original Source’s holy grail mint & tea tree shower gel.

Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask | This sleeping mask is a pink gel formula that you apply a thin layer of before bed and wash off in the morning. Usually when I wash my face in the morning my skin is a little red, but this calms any redness and evens out my skin tone. It’s really worth purchasing for the smell alone too… dreamy, jolly-rancher scented goodness. This is a little pricey, but I only bought the travel size initially and it lasted months, so you get bang for your buck. £40 from Cult Beauty.

Rodial Dragon’s Blood Eye Masks | I got these as a birthday gift from Space NK… actually, let’s talk about that for a minute. If you’re a Space NK ‘N.dulge’ member you can claim a little treat bag of deluxe samples on your birthday and this year all four of the products I received (including a full sized REN cleanser) were from cruelty-free brands, way to go Space NK! I popped these eye patches in the fridge before I used them and they felt like such a luxurious treat, cooling & hydrating. They’re soaked in a generous amount of serum that you can pat onto your under eye after you’ve used the patches. The only downside is they’re a bit of a faff to apply, because the masks are made from a very thin jelly which comes packaged between two pieces of paper, and requires gentle handling to get onto your skin without rolling up. 8 pairs, £39 from Space NK.

Soap & Glory Puffy Eye Attack Eye Masks | After the highs of Rodial, I’ve been on the look out for a more budget friendly eye-mask option. There’s just something so enjoyable about a Sunday morning eye mask to chase away of weeks worth of sleep deprivation and stress. When applied from the fridge, these have a similarly soothing effect but dry up a lot more quickly on the skin and don’t seem to deliver noticeable results. I guess you get what you pay for! £3.50 a pair, from Boots.

K Glo Coconut Moisture Sheet Mask | I have issues with sheet masks, guys, I just love them. Partly because they’re a quick way to treat my skin without the hassle of applying a face mask from a pot… and partly because they make me look like a horror movie villain. I spotted these K Glo masks in Boots and was pleasantly surprised to see them clearly labelled as vegan; I’m always keen to try out Korean beauty brands but they’re rarely cruelty free. This moisture mask is my current favourite, the sheet mask is absolutely drenched in product and it leaves my skin visibly hydrated and glowing. Highly recommend! £4.99 from Boots.

Soap & Glory Miracle Moisture Mask | One of the best things about this sheet mask is that it comes in two halves, which makes it a lot easier to apply and keep on than a single sheet! I picked this one up at the same time as the K Glo mask, and unfortunately, it fell short by comparison. It’s not bad, it’s nicely moisturising without being too sticky, but I just didn’t like it enough to repurchase. £4 from Boots.

Goals for 2019.

I’ve been reflecting on what I’d like to achieve this year, and I’ve been procrastinating on writing this post. Usually January feels like the longest and most depressing month, but this year it seems to be flying by. I’ve come up with some clearly defined goals for 2019, a travel wishlist and a list of smaller goals I’m filing under ‘personal growth’.

For years I’ve had the goal of ‘losing five stone’. It’s what I’ve said to myself every new years eve, and was what I said to my personal trainer during our first meeting. This year I’m finally going to get there.

Following up from my resolution to stop using plastic straws, this year I’m switching to a reusable travel cup instead of accepting disposable ones. I know I’m behind the curve on this, but Sean bought me a travel cup for Christmas (that I’m weirdly attached to?) and it’s about time I got on board.

I was going to hide this one in my list of ‘smaller goals’, but screw it, learn Japanese! Sean & I are planning a trip to Japan for his 30th birthday and last year I had a few months of teaching myself Japanese, which I was really enjoying until it fizzled out. I’m putting it out there in the hope I’ll stick to it this time. Speaking of travel…

I’ve been thinking about places I’d like to go in 2019. Sean & I would like to make it out to Toronto this year, we’ve been together a decade in October and it’s about time he showed me his hometown. We’d also like to go back to Barcelona in October, the first place we ever travelled to together! We have two weddings abroad lined up and plan to go to Denmark again to visit friends. Mum and I would like to spend a weekend in Versailles for her birthday in April, and last of all, I really want to go to Amsterdam because I’ve never been! Looking at that list it seems rather ambitious, but you have to aim high! Or, as the cheesy tattoo on my ribs says, ‘shoot for the moon'…’.

Last but not least, a list of smaller goals I don’t have as much to say about. I want to listen better when people are teaching me something, because I can be guilty of tuning out. I want to work on explaining my opinions patiently and try to be less short tempered, especially whilst driving! I’d like to create more this year without being such a perfectionist and I have a few little projects in mind, including this blog and shooting a roll of film again because it’s been a long time! ‘Read more’ is such an obvious resolution, but last year I resolved to read twenty five books and only managed 20, so I’ll be trying again in 2019.

What are your goals for the year ahead? Good luck, and remember, you haven’t failed yet if your year’s gotten off to a slow start. It’s only January 19th!

I relish the opportunity to be a ‘#newyearnewme’ basic. If you’re reading this, you’re either the same as me and have already scrawled down a list of things you want to achieve during the year ahead… or you’re rolling your eyes.

I get it, so rather than dedicating my first post of the new year to a list of goals or ‘resolutions’ for 2019, I thought I’d spend some time reflecting on the year that’s just past and the different things I accomplished…

…the next post will be my resolutions.

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I’ve been dieting on and off with varying degrees of success for the last… decade. Last year for my birthday, Sean paid for me to have 12 sessions with a personal trainer and it ended up being one of the best gifts I’ve ever received. Since I started training with my PT, I’m not just fitter and stronger but I’m calmer, more confident and more productive. I ended last year having lost 20lbs since September, which in addition to weight lost earlier in the year, means I’m in the best shape I’ve been in since 2015. More importantly though, I ended 2018 the happiest I’ve been in some time and I’m so excited to see what I’ll accomplish this year.

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In March last year, I made the decision to transition to 100% cruelty-free beauty, skincare and cleaning products. I’ve been vegetarian for over half my life, but it took me some time to commit to going to cruelty-free and I anticipated that it would be difficult. Honestly though, apart from some mishaps with natural deodorants, it’s been a breeze and is one of the things I’m most proud of achieving last year. Some big brands like Covergirl and Dove went cruelty-free last year, and California banned the sale of animal-tested beauty products. I think this year there’s going to be a real shift away from animal testing in the cosmetics industry , which is so exciting and I’ll definitely be writing more about cruelty free alternatives.

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We should all be trying to reduce our plastic consumption and last year I pledged to stop using plastic straws. It might sound like a small change, but as a hangover from my days with braces I used to use a drinking straw with pretty much everything - even hot coffee! In 2018 I broke up with the habit and this year I’m switching to a reusable coffee cup, rather than accepting disposable ones. Small changes add up over time!

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This ones a little embarrassing to admit, but as a 25 year old woman, I still found myself reaching for authors I read as a teenager when choosing a new book. I realised I just couldn’t relate to teenage protagonists any more and so last year, I decided to grow up and start challenging myself more with my reading materials. One of my greatest feats was getting through ‘Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders’ by Vincent Bugliosi, an incredibly detailed, first hand account of the Manson trials. I’m not really sure what I was expecting but I would never have picked it up if I’d realised it was 736 pages long... I’m glad I stuck with it though. I might do a post on the best books I read in 2018, but I definitely read some interesting things!

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…twice! In the summer, I was promoted and moved to a different role and department within my company. A couple of months later, I won employee of the quarter and was awarded it again at the Christmas party. I’m really proud of these awards, not least because they were awarded after I joined a new team. I’ve gained so much confidence in my new role and absolutely love what I’m doing. I hope 2019 will be another successful year!

So, that’s me! Did you stick to the resolutions you made for 2018, and what were you most proud of last year?