About Me

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Vegan. Ex-makeup artist. CFS/ME sufferer. Cares about human rights, equality, animal rights, conservation/climate change.


Friday, 25 March 2011

Moisturiser - my favourites and an epic fail!

Moisturising - probably the most important thing you can do to look after your skin. I can always tell when somebody I'm working on doesn't moisturise - the skin will be rough and tight, with fine lines caused by dryness and occasionally, the skin will be oily (skin can produce excess oil to try to make up for a lack of moisture). A good moisturiser will feel like it injects life and plumpness into your skin! But that's the problem - finding a good moisturiser is often an expensive process of trial and error.

The key is to buy moisturiser according to your skin type. If your skin is more oily, you need a lighter, water based lotion. If your skin is drier, you need a heavier oil based cream. If you have normal skin, you need something in between, the best of both worlds. Ideally, see if you can take a sample to see how it works with your skin. For daytime, your moisturiser should contain an SPF (this is vital from springtime to autumn).

If you are over 25, I recommend using a moisturiser with anti-aging properties. Prevention is really better than cure - what's the point of waiting til you look like a wrinkly raisin to use anti aging products? By that point it's too late - signs of aging can be slowed, but not reversed (without surgery/expensive procedures).

My skin is ridiculously dry. If I don't moisturise within 1 minute of cleansing, my skin becomes a tight, flaky desert. (If you look closely, you can see tumbleweed). Here are some of my favourites -

Lush- Skin Drink. For so long this has been the only thing that worked on my skin - it's super nourishing. It's pretty heavy duty, so only use it if your skin is seriously dry. Alternatively, you can use it on dry patches, or put on a thick layer, and leave it for 15 minutes as a mask, before wiping it off with a hot flannel. Be prepared for the smell though - it smells musty and natural. I personally like when a product smells of it's ingredients rather than that godawful artificial granny perfume smell that so many cosmetics have. Some people arent keen on the smell - but it's not too strong and doesn't linger after application so it shouldn't be a problem. £10.95

Lush Imperialis - This is a great all-round moisturiser for combination or normal skin. I used to use this back in the day when my skin was oilier from hormones, and it's lovely. It smells a bit lavendery and herby, and your skin feels soft and fresh after use. This is a favourite of mine to use on clients and models before make-up, as it absorbs quite quickly. £11.45

Origins A Perfect world SPF 25 - A good daytime moisturiser with added anti aging ingredients. Not as moisturising as my beloved Skin Drink, but leaves skin very soft and is an excellent base for make-up. Suitable for combination to dry skin. £31

Tip for oily skin! If you want to use a non-greasy moisturiser, but also want to nourish your skin with anti-aging preperties and the like, try using a serum. They are designed to use under moisturiser, but you can skip the moisturiser and still get all the anti aging action without being greasy!

Now for the bad -

Faith in Nature Intensive moisturising cream. This cream is now sitting on my bedroom floor in disgrace after leaving my skin covered in a thick, sticky film that wouldn't sink in. It does nothing towards alleviating dryness, despite the word 'intensive' on the bottle. Awful under make-up, pills leaving little balls of solid moisturiser on your face - not the look I was going for! I tried it out for a few days before I finally couldn't take it anymore and I switched to something else.
I really wanted to like products from this range, it's all vegan and contains natural organic ingredients, but after the stinging face wipes, the 'meh' conditioner and now this, I don't think I'll be trying any more of their products. £6.39

Bonus awesome product -

Holland and Barrett Vitamin E oil- Pure 100% vitamin e oil - this is a lifesaver, especially for dry, aging, sore or scarred skin. Vitamin e oil is a powerful antioxidant and helps the skin to heal and repair itself. I like to mix it with a lighter moisturiser at night time, use neat on damp skin, or use topically on dry spots and the fine lines under the eyes. It's also great for when you have a cut or a scrape - it makes it heal in no time. The above bottle is 70,000 I,U for £7.59, for external use only. (I have no idea what I,U means, but it shows how concentrated the vitamin e is. Therefore higher = better.) I get the 30,000 I,U one for £6.19- it is often on sale for cheaper, has a lemon scent (due to lemon oil) and can be taken internally too. I like to put some on my skin and take some in my drink, so that my skin is being looked after inside and out!


Sunday, 20 March 2011

NOTD and Giveaway from 'I Heart Cosmetics'

Today was my wonderful niece Emily's birthday, she is 10 years old! We went out for a meal and she had a sleepover, and to make sure she looked fab for the occasion I painted her nails. She picked out a hot pink shade from SpaRitual called Up at Noon. Here she is modelling it in true beauty blogger style! 

Aww look at her teeny hands!!!! This pic doesn't show the true beauty of this polish as you can't see the pinky-violet shimmer running through it. I would have taken more pics but she wanted to eat pizza!

I have quite a few SpaRitual polishes, and I really like them. The brand is cruelty-free and 100% vegan! Plus they are DBP, toluene and formaldahyde free. They make a wide range of colours, as well as body care products. Their polishes cost £8.50 for 15ml (pictured) and £5 for a cute little 5ml bottle - perfect for carrying around in your kit if you're a MUA. They are available from https://www.sparitual.co.uk/

In other news, Sarah from I Heart Cosmetics has reached 2000 followers and is holding a giveaway!  There will be one winner and she will get the choice of either a Mac or YSL Lipstick or Lipgloss in whichever colour or shade etc. that she chooses. Now I'm not sure if YSL test on animals - there is a lot of conflicting info out there, but Mac has a good few vegan lippies for us to choose from!

All shades from the Matte lipstick range are vegan! This includes the following lipsticks (swatches are not mine, and belong to the beauty blogging legend that is KarlaSugar) I have crossed out the colours that are not on the Mac website anymore, as I think they are discontinued.

Also their Lipglass in Clear is vegan!

The giveaway closes at midnight on Sunday 27th March.


Friday, 18 March 2011

Finding Vegan Cosmetics!

Finding vegan cosmetics can be tricky business. Here are some tips to help you along the way.

1. Find out if the company tests on animals. Don't just assume they don't - guilty until proven innocent, I say! Look for the name of the manufacturer - the company that owns the brand. It will usually be on the back of the packaging at the bottom. If you find the product is made by any of the following companies -then back away slowly! These companies test on animals. (This list goes for household products and food items too)

Church and Dwight
Johnson and Johnson
Proctor and Gamble
Reckitt Benckiser
S.C. Johnson

(for more in-depth list that includes what these companies own, visit http://www.peta.org/living/beauty-and-personal-care/companies/search.aspx?Testing=1&PageIndex=2)

2. The product isn't made by these companies? Good. Now, if we're lucky, the product might just have the word 'Vegan' printed on it. Some companies like Lush and Superdrug do this, and it makes life SO much easier! We can just drop it in our basket without worrying!

3. If it doesn't say 'vegan', we have two options.

a. Try to decipher the ingredients
Can be tricky, as some ingredients can be of plant or animal origin. Main offenders to look out for are:
Beeswax, carmine, Lanolin, words ending in 'stearate' (may come from animal fat), collagen, elastane/elastin, silk, pearl, shellac, tallow, castoreum, keratin...

b. Consult an online 'Vegan list'. This is a list of companies, plus a list of the vegan products they make. Basically, someone else has done the arduous task of emailing companies, and compiling a list for you. The list I have been using (total lifesaver) was compiled by Melisser Elliott of http://www.crueltyfreeface.com. Another vegan make-up artist (yay!) You can find the list here;  http://www.crueltyfreeface.com/?page_id=27

Notable inclusions on the list are a number of products from Mac, Bobbi Brown, Barry M, Stila, Avon, Gosh, Smashbox and Urban Decay. I'd say those companies are not too hard to get hold of, and many people would not associate them with vegan products.

Good luck hunting for vegan items! And check out Melisser's tutorials at http://www.youtube.com/user/crueltyfreeface


An Introduction...

Greetings, internet dwellers - and welcome to my very first blog post! Hurrah!!! *pops party popper, cue fanfare*

My name is Emma, and I am a make-up artist. I am also vegan. I follow about a zillion beauty blogs religiously, drinking up each tip, tutorial and swatch like a delicious smoothie, perhaps with coconut milk. However, I became frustrated when about 70% of posts were about animal tested, or non-vegan products.
I want high performance, professional cosmetics, 100% vegan and cruelty free. Oh, and they also have to be accessible to my modest budget. Do I ask too much? Probably. But I expect to get it!

So what can you expect to see on this blog? Product reviews, FOTDs, picture tutorials, dancing pixies, vegan food posts, utter randomness, and a peek into my everyday life as a make-up artist.

I'm new to blogging, so you'll have to bear with me as I get used to everything!  Thanks for reading, and see you in the next post! :D