Saturday, May 3, 2014

B. Spotlight

Today I wanted to spotlight B., a brand that I’ve been enjoying recently.  This brand is only available in Superdrug and is a Leaping Bunny/BUAV brand company.  B. states all their products are suitable for vegans, but I haven’t emailed the company asking about the particulars of this.  I wanted to get this post out soon because, as of writing this, everything is 50% off so if you’re interested you should head to Superdrug! 

Overall, I’m really enjoying this collection.  However like most other brands, they don’t have any BB creams or concealers light enough for my skin tone.  This is disappointing but not surprising.  Most of their products are also very shimmery so if this isn’t your style perhaps check them out in store before purchasing.  Superdrug has samples out for almost all of these products.

B. Pure Micellar Water
            I’d never heard of Micellar water before, but this product is amazing.  Since moving to London, I’ve been breaking out much more often, and I’m still not sure why.  I got a sample of this with my first B. purchase and had to buy the full size bottle after trying it.  I use this as a toner after I’ve cleansed my face.  It has helped heal my existing blemishes and stopped any new ones popping up in a matter of days.  It is brilliant!  Read about Micellar water here and here. [Link]

B. Stunning Vibrant Eye Shimmer in 192 Lizzie
            This is the first cream eye shadow I have ever owned, and I’m enjoying it.  Like all other cream eye shadows you need to use a thin layer, but even when this does crease on me, it isn’t bad at all.  It is very shimmery without the chunky glitter vibe, and I love how it adds some light to my eyes.  The Superdrug I was in offered a decent selection of colours as well. [Link]

B. Cheeky Blusher in 096 Rosy Brown
            I’m not much of a blush person as my cheeks can get embarrassingly red on their own.    However, that means when they aren’t red I’m lacking any colour there.  I just picked this up as it is an easy to wear colour for me.  Plus is it buildable so I can alter how much I apply depending on how my cheeks are. [Link]

B. Smokey Soft, blendable Kohl Eyeliner in 100 Black
            For the past few years, I’ve used eye shadow to line my eyes rather than eyeliner.  However, I picked this up as I’ve been thinking of getting back into the eyeliner game.  This is a seriously soft kohl so I need to be careful to use only a small amount.  Even then, I need to clean up afterwards as there is a lot of transfer and smudging.  That being said, this would be wonderful for a smokey eye, but for everyday, it’s a bit too all over the place and hard to use for tight lining without a lot of transfer.  I’ve been using this lightly under my eye shadow liner for some added definition. [Link]


        I also got a little box of samples for a penny with my first purchase.  I don’t think Superdrug is giving these out anymore, but it was a nice surprise.  Inside was the Micellar Water discussed above, B. Active Day Cream (which I have not tried yet), B. Radiant Rejuvenating Serum, B. Stunning Vibrant Eye Shimmer in 057 Copper, and a lipstick in 054 Eton Mess.  Oh and an expired coupon.  Everything is very shimmery including the serum.  The serum felt nice on, but there was only enough for one application so I can’t speak to its effectiveness.  The lipstick was nice and moisturizing as well although the colour and levels of shimmer aren’t my personal preference.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Vegan London Favourites!

Since moving to London, I’ve been acquiring new favourites from products to food to places that I would love to share. 

Moo Free Chocolates
            The vegan chocolate in London is perfection.  There are a few brands with vegan milk chocolates that are available in stores.  My favourite so far have been has been Moo Free chocolates because the chocolate is creamy and they have so many varieties.  In my opinion, the best is the Caramelised Hazelnut Nibs Bar.  They also have a Cranberry and Hazelnuts bar that is amazing.

Superdrug Brand
           Superdrug is a common drugstore that has its own extensive line of products.  All their store brand products are Leaping Bunny/BUAV approved, and items are clearly labelled vegetarian and/or vegan.  All their brand products are marked with a reflective star on the product.  I love their hand creams and lotions.  I also bought a BB cream from Superdrug that I recently reviewed.  This store made it easy for me to stock up on toiletries on arrival!

Nutty Grain and Vegetable Salad
            I pick this salad up from M&S Simply Food on a regular basis.  It has a quinoa base with a bunch of vegetables and assorted nuts.  A sweet, oily dressing is included that gives it a nice kick.  I love to eat it with hummus as well.  Highly recommended!

            This little shop by King’s Cross is great for picking up treats.  Everything they sell is vegan!  On top of stocking almost every kind of indulgent food item you thought you would never taste again, they sell shoes, clothes, and bags.  It’s a tiny shop but they pack a lot in.  website

The Rabbit Hole Vegan Hair Parlour
            I have never been one to really enjoy getting a haircut, but even so I was still excited to see London have a vegan salon.  Dori, the owner/stylist, is kind and really listened to what I wanted.  She gave me a great haircut plus tea and a cookie- yum!  This is just an all-around nice place to go!  They offer a wide range of services so check out their facebook page here.

Choral Concerts
            Random choice!  Every major church that I have visited or heard of has a choral evensong service.  They are other worldly.  I have yet to attend a service where I wasn’t blown away by the singing.  You simply must attend a choral service if you haven’t before!  It’s free to attend services, and the staff is always welcoming.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Superdrug BB Cream 5-in-1 Day Cream Review


My only makeup purchase since arriving in London has been Superdrug’s BB Cream 5-in-1 Day Cream.  It retails for £6.99 although I think I may have gotten in for less when a sale was on.  This product is suitable for vegans.  All of Superdrug’s own brand products are Leaping Bunny/BUAV approved although, it appears, not all are vegan. 

Overall, I have liked this product.  This BB Cream has the same feel and application of other BB Creams I have used and loved in the past.  As far as the colour is concerned, it isn’t a perfect match.  I purchased the shade ‘light,’ but it is a bit too dark and slightly orange although I can blend it in well.  For reference, I was NW15 in MAC foundations.  I usually add a tiny bit of a lighter BB cream I own (but reserve for special occasions) to perfect the shade.

I have been considering trying another BB cream by ‘B.’ which I have seen in Superdrug.  I know this brand is only sold in Superdrug stores, but I’m not sure it is their brand.  However, it is Leaping Bunny/BUAV approved so I will be checking whether it is vegan or not on my next trip in.

I also purchased the Dead Sea Purifying Clay Mask from Superdrug.  I was extremely disappointed.  It took forever to dry, and I noticed absolutely no change in my skin after using this mask as well as another Berry something or another facial mask.  I will not be repurchasing these or any of their masks again.

I hope to have my next posts about some miscellaneous London favourites and my new everyday products up soon!

Thursday, February 13, 2014


Hi all!

        Sorry for my long and unannounced absence.  Adapting to a new country and starting an MA programme at once was a bit more than I anticipated!  I have a few planned posts about hair and some new British favourites that will hopefully start appearing within the month.  Stay tuned!

         I would like add that since my earlier posts are going on three years now, I would encourage everyone to double check this information.  Most of the brands I discuss are Leaping Bunny approved, so the easiest course of action would simply be to compare my information against Leaping Bunny's current list.

         I would like to welcome any newcomers (Hi!)  and guide you towards my Guide for Sending and Interpreting Animal Testing Emails which can help you with your own research and discusses my cruelty free standards which have no changed.  Also check out my post What Does Cruelty Free Mean? which is a handy guide to all the terminology people throw around.

My Cruelty Free Standards:
1)  A company can not test ingredients and finished products on animals.
2) A company can not hire a third party to animal test ingredients or finished products.
3) A subsidiary can not be owned by a company that tests ingredients or finished products or contracts a third party to do so.
4) A company can not sell in China or any other country that reserves the right to animal test products sold there (I know there is some talk of things changing in China but nothing definite yet)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Moving! +Links

Hello, Everyone!  As you have most likely already guessed, the absence of posts has been due to my crazy pre-moving schedule.  I recently finished my visa application and am going out of town for a family event before returning and packing my life up to move to London early September.  I have so much information and correspondence to discuss but simply haven’t had the time to write the posts. 

Instead today I wanted to share a few links to cruelty free/vegan articles and websites as well as current event videos.  We must nurture the whole self, right?  These are just some things I’ve been enjoying that I wanted to share with you in lieu of original content.

Vegan in London
Vegan London – This website has a plethora of information on vegan restaurants, salons, stores and more in London.
Fat Gay Vegan – I love this blog which discusses eating vegan in London and vegan social events.
Go Cruelty Free – This website has a search for Leaping Bunny approved items in different countries!

Vlog Brothers because they make the news understandable

"Why are American Health Care Costs so High?"

Monday, July 22, 2013

Manic Panic Review


          For the past few months, I have been rocking some green Manic Panic streaks in my hair.  My experience with Manic Panic products was different than I anticipated so I’ve decided to do a review of their Flash Lightning bleach kit and Classic hair dye.  Overall, I am happy with the way my hair turned out but disappointed with the Manic Panic products.  Honestly, some of my disappoint stems from my own lack of research but other issues are inexplicable.

           Manic Panic is a cruelty free company, and all of their dyes and bleaches are vegan as well as some of their cosmetics.  They label their Classic dyes as semi-permanent, and they have a rather large variety of unnatural hair colors.  Using this brand was convenient, since unlike my other hair dyes, I could pick all this up at my local Sally’s, and the bleaching kit included a bowl and brush.

          I purchased the Flash Lightning 30 bleach kit because, on top of having dark hair, Manic Panic recommends bleaching your hair first to get a vibrant color.  I followed the instruction manual exactly but had issues.  I had a friend help me apply the bleach from tips up to roots in an even coating.  However, within ten minutes the hair at my forehead and temples was almost completely bleached and the rest of my hair was still black.  I also didn’t realize how yellow my hair would be after the bleaching process without a toner.  Manic Panic’s website and the bleach kit made it sound as if the kit was all I needed to get a true color so I assumed a toner or something was in the mix.

          I colored my hair with Manic Panic’s Classic dye in Midnight Blue.  Now you may be thinking ‘Didn’t she say she had green hair not blue?’ and you would be correct.  The yellow in my bleached hair mixed with the blue dye giving me green hair.  I was happy with my hair eventually, but it is disappointing to spend money only to have issues with a product that seemed pretty popular.

         The thing that has annoyed me the most is this product’s lack of staying power.  I’ve used semi-permanent dyes in the past, and I would not categorize this dye as semi-permanent.  The vibrant color you get is gone after only two washes (I’m being generous here), and it fades revealing the bleached hair in less than six washes.  It came off on pillows and stained the floor of my shower, but couldn’t manage to stay in my hair very long.  So little of my hair was properly bleached that I kept re-dying the small sections as they quickly faded.  However, I will not be repurchasing this now that I’ve run out.

         I’m baffled as to why this is such a popular hair dye company and wish I had done more research before purchasing with them as it seems other people had the same issues.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

What Does Cruelty Free Mean?

I know there are many terms that get thrown around in the cruelty free community that might be slightly ambiguous and confusing.  My mother recently went cruelty free and vegan as well, and I noticed some of the issues she was having with terms assuming one thing actually meant another.  So today I’m putting together a little Cruelty Free vocabulary lesson to go over some basic terms.

Cruelty Free
Cruelty free only refers to the testing of products on animals (anything from rats to monkeys and dogs) usually through vivisection.  Because there is no way for consumers to learn if a specific product (say your mascara or dish soap) has been tested on animals, this term usually applies to an entire brand or company.
What qualifies as cruelty free is different to many people.  For me, a company should not animal test ingredients or finished products, not contract another company to do this for them, not stipulate “unless required by law,” or sell in China or any other country which requires animal testing of all beauty products.  To some people, a product is cruelty free as long as there is no animal testing of the finished product.  Cruelty free does not mean vegan, natural, or anything else although it may also be these things.

Vegan products contain no animal products (ex. bone or sinew) or byproducts (ex. milk or other secretions) as ingredients.  There are many ingredients that can come from both animals and vegan sources so double check with a company to see which theirs is if they have not specified on the ingredient list.  Some items are considered vegan even though they contain insect ingredients.  Some people consider these vegan, and others (like myself) do not.

 There are many 100% vegan companies that are also cruelty free, and many cruelty free brands will provide you with a list of vegan products even though they aren’t completely vegan.

Parent Company & Subsidiary
A subsidiary is a company owned by another company (ex. Burt’s Bees is owned by Clorox).  A parent company is the company that owns the other (Clorox).  I avoid purchasing from brands like Burt’s Bees because their profits really go straight to Clorox, the parent company, who do animal testing. 

Some people do not mind purchasing these brands and consider them cruelty free.  On the Leaping Bunny list, subsidiaries owned by an animal testing parent company are marked.  For more information, check out my previous post on the subject here.
Leaping Bunny List
TheLeaping Bunny List is a list of cruelty free brands put together by the CICC.  It is free for a company to get on the list, but there is a fee to put the Leaping Bunny symbol (not all rabbit symbols are from LP) on products.  These companies must not animal test ingredients or finished products or have a third party do so on their behalf.  These companies must also not sell in China or any other country which requires animal testing. 

Unlike many other lists, the company’s claims are verified by a third party audit.  Companies can be and are routinely taken off the list if they do not continue to meet these standards.  For more information, check out my previous post on the subject here.

PETA’s “Don’t Test” List
This list is compiled by PETA with companies which signed their “statement of assurance.”  These companies must not animal test ingredients or finished products or have a third party do so on their behalf.  These companies must also not sell in China or any other country which requires animal testing. 

PETA does not verify the company claims and has had questionable companies in the past that eventually lost their cruelty free status.  It is free for a company to get on the list, but there is a fee to put the PETA bunny symbol on products.  Although this would not be my only or first source for information, they do have a plethora of companies listed and have begun labeling vegan companies.

The Vegan Society
TheVegan Society Trademark is truly the gold standard for people looking for products where absolutely no animals were harmed whether through animal testing, harvesting for ingredients, or previous testing. 

To get on this list a product must not contain animal or insect products or byproducts, not have ingredients or finished product tested by the company or a third party, and contain no animal derived GMOs.   They do verify these claims.  This list appears to go by product rather than company.
[EDIT:  It has been pointed out to me that The Vegan Society does certify products that are sold in China.]

I hope this crash course was helpful.  These seemed to be the main terms thrown about, but there are obviously more concepts, labels, and groups out there.  Please feel free to comment if you have any questions or would like to clarify anything above.