Cruelty free makeup

I’d love to be that person that can go vegan, but unfortunately I’m not right now. I’ve made a few changes, like I try not to buy beef to eat at home, buy Quorn instead of chicken sometimes and have made the switch to buying soya milk to have in my tea. However, I think the one place that I can try hard and succeed is in my makeup. So I’ve decided to be more conscious about the brands I buy from and the actions I support when I purchase certain products.

In a nutshell, products advertised as cruelty free have not been tested on animals. Although this seems very black and white there are some grey areas to be aware of. Just because a product is cruelty free doesn’t mean that the brand as a whole has a zero tolerance policy for testing all of their products on animals. And even if a brand is cruelty free, that doesn’t mean that their suppliers are. Moreover, if a brand sells their products in China then they are not considered cruelty free as animal testing is required in China.

It can be very tricky to keep up with which brands are cruelty free and which are not, certain brands are certified and some are not. To help with this, there are many website and blogs that regularly update their list of brands to keep readers updated with which brands to support. The two I often consult are Free The Bunnies and My Beauty Bunny.

So why the desire to try and buy cruelty free? I suppose that’s quite self-explanatory really, I believe that testing on animal is unnecessary and unnecessary harm seems wrong to me. Additionally the cosmetics market has become so saturated with products and there are so many brilliant options out there that buying from brands who aren’t cruelty free again, seems unnecessary when I have the choice. I’m not necessarily an animal lover by any means, but again it seems so unnecessary to continue to test on animals so I’m choosing to try not to support those brands anymore.

This doesn’t by any means mean I’m going to purge my makeup and throw away anything that isn’t cruelty free. Firstly, this would be wasteful and would achieve nothing as the product is already bought and the money is in their hands. Secondly, this would be incredibly expensive and I can’t afford to replace all that makeup! I’m going to use up the products I already own and try to find alternatives the next time I need to buy something to replace it.

I’m going to try my best to buy cruelty free but as I mentioned, it can be difficult to research a brand and the brand that company is owned by to guarantee that they are cruelty free. More and more brands are going cruelty free as the demand for these products is rising so hopefully this endeavour will only get easier.

If I lost all my makeup, what would I repurchase?

I’m always trying to find great products to use but when I comes to pinpointing my favourites sometimes I struggle. So I thought I’d look at it a different way and ask myself, if I lost all of my makeup, which products would I immediately repurchase? It’s basically just a different way of looking at my favourite products but not just talking about what I’m loving right now but what I couldn’t go without. So I’ve gone through all of my makeup and picked out my absolute favourite products.

Face products: liquid

The first thing that came to mind was my It Cosmetics CC cream. I LOVE this stuff I used it all summer because its so nice and lightweight but really packs a punch with the coverage. I can guarantee that when this runs out I’m definitely buying another one!

A more recent purchase but definitely a fast favourite is the Too Faced Born This Way concealer. This is probably the most high coverage concealer I have ever used but its not cakey or dry and it sits really nicely under my eyes all day.

My personal favourite liquid bronzer is the Maybelline Eraser Eye concealer, I just buy it in a deeper shade than I would need for a concealer! This totally does the job and because its a concealer it blends out really well on top of any foundation I’ve tried, however Maybelline are not a cruelty free brand. Although this is a good, inexpensive product I will try and find an alternative when it runs out.

The Glossier Cloud Paints are such lovely products and I would definitely want to get another one if I lost it! I use the colour dusk which is a nice pinky bronze shade that blends really nicely into my bronzer whilst still giving a nice flush. Less is more with this product so even though it’s not the cheapest the price-per-wear is pretty good!

Face products: powder

I think my favourite bronzer has got to be Benefit’s Hoola bronzer, it’s a classic for a reason and is a perfect balance of not being too warm or too cool toned. I would 100% rebuy this, but Benefit do test their products on animals so I would like to find something I love just as much that’s cruelty free.

I’m not super picky with highlighters, anything light and champagney ticks the box for me. If I did lose all my makeup I think I would have a look round the high street to try and find a good one, but a classic and one I’ve had for years is The Balm’s Mary Lou-Manizer so if I had to rebuy one I already have then I think that would be the one!

Eyes

The eyeshadow palette I would buy again in a heartbeat is the James Charles x Morphe Artistry Palette. It has almost all the colours I’ll need and has such a great formula. maybe I’d buy the smaller version that he released if I lost my current version but without a doubt I’d need it back! I did a bit of digging and although Morphe state on their website that they are cruelty free, they are not certified as such. Another colourful option I would consider is the BPerfect Stacey Marie Carnival XL Pro Palette which I’ve heard so many amazing things about.

I would also definitely look into getting a smaller, neutral palette that was more travel-friendly and I could use on an everyday basis. I have a Beauty Bay palette with a big mirror that is unfortunately discontinued, however they do stock other similar palettes like this one that I would definitely consider buying were I to lose the one I currently have.

The best eyeliner I’ve ever tried is the NYX Epic Ink eyeliner and I would buy it again in a second. It is often compared to the Kat Von D (now KVD Vegan Beauty) Tattoo Liner, but I tried that recently and find that it dries up when I’m applying it and I constantly have to stop and try and shake the product down. Maybe I got a dudd product, but either way I’ll be sticking with NYX for now!

My favourite mascara ever was unfortunately discontinued (moment of silence for the L’oreal false lash sculpt mascara please) and I’ve tried a few since then to try and find a great one. I think the best I’ve tried is the Essence Lash Princess mascara not only because it performs brilliantly but because it’s so inexpensive, it makes me unwilling to buy another pricey mascara again!

Lips

My favourite lip liners I own are probably by Mac. However, whether or not they’re much better than the cheaper high street brands? I’m not too sure so I’d probably go to my local boots and pick up a nice pinky nude, a red and maybe a more browny nude too and not feel guilty about the price!

My go-to nude lipstick has to be Charlotte Tilbury’s Bitch Perfect and I would certainly notice if it went missing. I would love to buy it again, however I’d again be tempted to check out the high street and see if I could find anything I liked just as much. Spending over £20 on a lipstick definitely hurts but I wouldn’t rule it out!

I would also definitely want to pick up a nice pink shade and probably a red, you never know when you’ll need one! My favourite pink of the moment is the Nars Velvet Lip Glide in the shade Playpen. Not only is the colour of this gorgeous but the formula is so lovely and not drying at all. However, again I believe Nars test on animals which is a shame and I would love to find something similar from a cruelty free brand. The red I always have on hand is Revlon’s Moisture Renew Lipstick in the shade In Love With Ginger. It’s a really vibrant, fiery red and I’d definitely want to get something similar to it again.

The Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb really is worth the hype, its so shiny and non-sticky but it is a little on the pricey side. On the other hand, the NYX Butter Glosses are amazing and super inexpensive. They’re definitely not as glittery but they’re very shiny and not sticky in the slightest. If I need to take one out with me then I always choose NYX because that way I don’t have to panic about losing it! It’d definitely be a toss up, I’d probably want to get one of each!

As for the categories I didn’t mention, I don’t really use liquid highlighter very often so I wouldn’t necessarily repurchase the Revolution one I currently own. I’m a lover of blush but I think it’s pretty hard to mess up a blush as they don’t need to be very pigmented so I’d probably wander to my local boots and pick a cheap one up rather than desperately needing to repurchase one I already own!

In terms of face powder and eyeliner pencils, I do use them both almost every time I wear makeup but I’m not hugely fussy with eyeliners and I don’t think I’ve ever even gone through a whole pot of translucent powder! I think for both of these I would look at what was on the market at the time and try and find something inexpensive but I would prioritise their quality. For powder I’d want something non-cakey and light on the skin and for eyeliner I’d want it to be pigmented and stay in my waterline all day without running down my face.

To find cruelty free products I have consulted Free the Bunnies and My Beauty Bunny‘s lists of cruelty free brands and did some googling where I could.

Christmas Party Beauty Essentials

‘Tis the season to be sparkly! I don’t know about anyone else but the reason I take my time getting ready to go out is because I genuinely enjoy the process of putting my makeup on, and that only gets better when I’m playing with glitter! In honour of the sparkliest season of the year I’ve made a little list of my Christmas Party essentials, keep reading to see what they are!

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Revolution Flawless Foils in Rebound

Glitter and sparkly eyes is obviously a must in the festive season, and this Revolution Flawless Foils in Rebound is perfect! It’s really inexpensive and such a gorgeous rose gold colour that goes with everything. They can be a little tricky to work with but once you get the hang of it the pay off is totally worth it!

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Rimmel’s In Love With Ginger

I can’t believe its even taken me this long to mention it but surely everyone gravitates towards red lipstick this time of year? My favourite is Rimmel’s In Love With Ginger its such a bright red that looks just as great in the summer as it does in the winter for a super festive look. It’s also very moisturising which I really appreciate!

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Maybelline eraser eye concealer

We probably all eat too much, drink too much and don’t sleep enough especially as it gets closer to Christmas. Be it present-shopping stress or partying into the small hours it can all take a toll on our skin, which is why a great concealer is always a must if I’m getting dressed up. The last thing I want is to be looking tired when I’m dressed to the nines so a safe bet for me is always my maybelline eraser eye concealer cover up that uni stress.

A great highlighter tops off a festive makeup look perfectly, I don’t like going without it! I think highlighters are as personal as your perfect nude lipstick, it depends if you like something subtle or blinding, glittery or that lit from within glow. Whichever way you lean I just think a little highlighter finishes everything off perfectly.

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Urban Decay’s Heavy Metal Glitter Liner in Midnight Cowboy

Finally, I had to mention a glitter eyeliner! If we can’t be extra at Christmas then when can we? My favourite is Urban Decay’s Heavy Metal Glitter Liner in Midnight Cowboy because it goes with everything and never fails me.

That rounds up my Festive Party Beauty Essentials, if you’re going to any parties this year, well firstly I’m very jealous, but mostly have a lovely time and I hope this helped you in some way! If you liked this post please don’t forget to like and share it and follow my blog to keep up to date this month!

Hollie x

Autumn Beauty Edit AW19

Now the weather is well and truly starting to cool off I’ve been switching up my makeup and skincare to fit. One of the best things about Autumn is the darker lipsticks so you best believe I’m gonna be wearing those non-stop for the next few months! I’ve put together a little list of some of the products I’m not going to be able to put down this season, keep reading to see my top picks.

I always gravitate towards a heavier coverage foundation in the colder months and I’ve fallen back in love with my YSL All Hours foundation recently. It gives me such a nice medium to full coverage without looking cakey, its my go-to for a night out for sure!

I couldn’t wait any longer to talk about the gorgeous berry-toned lips that come back around every autumn. I’ve been absolutely obsessed with Anastasia Beverly Hill’s Rosewood matte lipstick since I picked it up in TK Maxx and haven’t been able to stop wearing it. It’s such a nice darker pink shade but isn’t too overpowering, I can’t get enough.

I’m also a huge fan of a darker pink blush in autumn and Nars’ Deep Throat blush has been on my face non-stop recently. I’ve been really into a nice flushed healthy look at the minute and have been forgoing bronzer and layering up the blush instead, I find it looks more natural especially during the day.

Finally, you can never go wrong with nice warm eyes in autumn so Urban Decay’s Naked Honey has come at just the right time. I’ve not been able to try this myself yet but I have tried some of the other naked palettes before and the quality is always great from Urban Decay. The shades in this new palette look perfect with a great mix of your typical neutrals and some more exciting pops of shimmer to take it up a notch.

That rounds up my Autumn Beauty Edit for this year, I definitely enjoyed all that bronzer and light glowy makeup over summer but I think I’m ready for the darker looks this season.

Hollie x

My Sunday Pamper Night

As it’s Sunday I thought this was the perfect time to talk a little bit about self care. I love a relaxing bath especially in the colder months, we’ve got a really nice bath at home and I’ve been loving settling down for a nice long bath on a Sunday, I already miss it now I’m back at uni! I’ve recently got into back into candles and face masks and what’s better than a bath and a face mask? With that in mind I wanted to share some of my favourite bits and pieces that make me feel nice and relaxed and get me ready for the week ahead.

It’s all in the prep

The first thing I bring up and put next to my bath is a big old bottle of water. I tend to have quite a hot bath so a nice drink of water stops me getting too hot and bothered. I also occasionally indulge in a little (or large, depending on the week I’ve had!) glass of wine which admittedly does go down an absolute treat. Another important step is candles, all the candles! Some of my favourites are from Olivia Blake which can be found in Homesense, they smell incredible and from a far they look like Jo Malone but at a fraction of the price!

Time to relax…

I love a good face mask in the bath, sometimes I’ll use clay mask but I usually go for a sheet mask. I bought a few in Sephora when I was in America which I’m loving but my go-tos are definitely the garnier sheet masks. I’ve tried quite a few of the different ones and all of them leave my skin feeling refreshed and glowing.

I also love to give my skin a good exfoliate in the bath to remove any residual fake tan if I’ve had any on that week. I’ll also exfoliate if I’m planning on tanning later that evening to prep my skin and help my tan go on as evenly as possible.

Fake it ’til you make it

Finally, once my face mask is ready to come off and I’m ready to get out I’ll moisturise and put on my tan if I’m feeling like it. The moisturiser I’m loving right now is the Sanctury Spa body butter in their classic original scent, I love how this smells so much! If I’m tanning I just pop that on the dry areas of my skin to stop the tan sticking (elbows, wrists and hands, knees, feet and ankles, you know the drill!). My favourite tan is the Tanologist tanning water in medium, I find it gives such a nice natural colour without that fake tan smell and without leaving my bedsheets orange!

Once I’ve tanned and put on my comfiest pyjamas I’ll just wind down for the rest of the evening and jump into bed! Thank you for reading about my little pamper routine, it’s not particularly extensive but I don’t want something relaxing to be too regimented. If you did enjoy this post don’t forget to like, share and subscribe to my blog.

Hollie x

What’s in my holiday makeup bag

I’m stilling basking in the Californian sun (let this never end) so my makeup routine has been a lot lighter, I did my makeup for the evening in less than 15 minutes the other day *pause for applause* which must be some kind of record for me! After this achievement I thought it only appropriate that I share with you some of those key products for passing off that summertime sweat for a summertime glow.

I fall in love with this product every time I use it and come September I’m definitely buying a lighter shade for when I’ve lost my tan. That product is the IT Cosmetics CC Cream and I can’t praise it enough! It’s super quick and easy to use but evens out my splotchy, slightly sunburned skin beautifully. It’s got just the right amount of coverage for me and none of the cake that comes with it, my perfect base come rain or shine.

Another perfect option for travelling is a multipurpose palette, my current fave is the Jordan x Beauty Bay Onyx palette because it contains 5 natural eyeshadows and a pop of yellow as well as two highlighters and a big mirror. Unfortunately I’m not sure this is still available but any palette that you can use for your eyes and your face is a winner for me.

A long-time favourite of mine is the Maybelline Eraser Eye Concealer so I made sure to pick up another one before we jetted off to the states. This time however I decide to pick up one in a darker shade as well to use as a cream bronzer and I’m really happy I did! The product is nice and creamy and blendable and doesn’t move my foundation around underneath it so I don’t lose any coverage. It’s also nice and compact so I don’t have to worry about it taking up too much of my more limited space.

A true godsend this holiday has been getting my eyelashes lifted before I went away. I know this isn’t necessarily makeup but it’s definitely been helping me get ready far quicker this holiday! My LVL lashes have made all the difference and I would definitely think about having it done again. For anyone who doesn’t know, LVL stands for length, volume and lift and it’s basically like a perm for your eyelashes, your lashes are lifted at the root and set with a serum, the effect of which can last up to eight weeks. It’s been super helpful because if I’m not wearing makeup I my eyes look more open and awake and if I am wearing mascara it only takes a few swipes and it looks like I’ve got fake lashes on in an instant!

I hope that’s given you a better idea of the key products that make all the difference for getting ready in a flash on holiday, I’ve got more products than this with me (I didn’t pack that light!) but these are the ones I thought it worth directing particular attention to. If you did enjoy this post lease don’t forget to like, share and subscribe to see more and follow me on Instagram to see these products in action!

Hollie x

Review: Why Everyone Needs a Face Halo

I’ve known about Face Halos for about a year but never tried them out. That changed a couple of weeks ago when I took the plunge and placed an order on Beauty Bay, I picked up a 3 pack of the Face Halo Pro and I chose the Pro above the original purely because they are black so they won’t get stained! I’ve been using them every day since they arrived and wanted to share my thoughts.

In case you have no idea what a Face Halo is I’ll fill you in. A Face Halo is a microfibre pad that removes your makeup with just water, I know, I was skeptical too! They have many benefits to them which I’ll go on to discuss but safe to say I might be converted from my trusty micellar water.

First up the most important bit: how it performs. I think the best way to demonstrate this is by showing you rather than telling you and to really put it to the test we’ve got to see how it tackles liquid eyeliner. My eyeliner got a little out of hand the day I tried this but I suppose for our purposes it’s not a bad thing! Here is my face before using the Face Halo:

My makeup that day, before using my Face Halo

I wasn’t wearing really heavy makeup but it was a pretty reasonable amount to test I think! I ran my Face Halo under some lukewarm water (it can be used with warm or cold water btw!) and basically just wiped away at my face like I would do with a face wipe or a cotton pad. Here is my face afterwards:

My clean face after the Face Halo

As you can see it removed my makeup really well! I’d say taking off my makeup took about the same amount of time (if not less!) than if I were using a cotton pad and micellar water and it definitely felt better on my skin. The Face Halo is super soft microfibre which is far nicer on my sensitive skin than a rough cotton pad. The fact that I’m only using water on my skin is also a plus for me because my skin can flare up at the drop of a hat so the less product I use on it the better!

One of the main reasons the Face Halo has displaced micellar water and a cotton pad as my preferred makeup removal method is because of how much better my skin feels after using one. Since the only thing going on my face is water it feels nice and hydrated and there’s no residue left behind and my skin doesn’t feel tight like it sometimes does with micellar water. On top of this, my face, particularly my eyes, don’t feel sore or irritated if I have to rub at them to remove those last flecks of mascara like they would if I was using a cotton pad.

One of the best things about the Face Halo is that it is reusable. You’re supposed to rinse it after use and after a couple of uses put it in the washing machine and voila, good as new. They can be washed up to 200 times before they need to be thrown away so a pack of three could years. This is not only good for your wallet but also the environment, win win!

I hope that little review was helpful and told you everything you need to know about the Face Halo, I’ll leave the link to their website here if you want to see their product’s claims for yourself! If you did find this helpful please like, share and subscribe and follow me on instagram to see when I post first.

Hollie x

Recent Purchases Spring 2019

I’ve been shopping recently (let’s be honest, when am I not?) and wanted to share what I picked up. I’m really loving all of them and would definitely recommend having a look for yourself!

First up is TopShop. They’ve just boosted their student discount to 20% off and you know I had to take advantage. I picked up a khaki green pair of trousers which I’ve literally worn everyday since I bought them. They’re super comfy and have a paperbag waist to really draw you in and balance out the looser fitting legs. I also found this pink top, I thought it looked kind of boho with the buckles on the straps and have found it goes really well with those khaki trousers. The trousers were £39 and the top was £12, but with that 20% they both came in at under £41.

I popped into New Look a few days ago and saw a cute little black dotted mesh top. I wore it on a night out a couple of weeks ago with my lounge mesh bra underneath and loved how it looked. I think it would look great with a little skirt on a night out or dressed down with jeans or some casual trousers.

I picked up one of my favourite things I’ve ever got in Primark the other week (big statement I know). I found this black and white horizontal striped bodycon dress and I’ve completely fallen in love. I’ve worn this whenever its warm enough to get away with a dress (and even when it’s not) and it still looks new. On top of that it was only £6, I’m definitely keeping my eye out for anything similar.

I mentioned in a previous post that I recently picked Essence’s Lash Princess mascara, you can read my review here. I’m still loving it and it has become my go too mascara both for everyday use and when I want something a bit more dramatic.

Finally, in a recent trip to Superdrug I got myself a bottle of Rimmel’s Lasting Finish foundation. I’ve seen this foundation around for years and have alway been curious about it so I thought I’d give it a go. I’m liking it a lot, it has a medium coverage with quite a natural ‘skin-like’ finish, I’m definitely going to keep testing it out.

I hope you enjoyed my little list of what I’ve bought recently and maybe given you a bit of inspiration next time you’re out shopping! Don’t forget to like, share and subscribe and follow me on instagram to see when I post first.

Hollie x

Review: Essence Lash Princess Mascara

£3.30 for a fab mascara? Yes please!

This is not a particularly new mascara but I saw it the other day in Wilko and decided to pick it up. I’d already heard great things about it and when I saw the price I couldn’t say no! Keep on reading to see my thoughts.

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I’ve not tried much from essence in the past apart from one of their blushes (which I’m a big fan of btw!) but I had heard good things about the brand in general. In short, I’d heard they offer good quality makeup at a very low price and I think this mascara proves that to be true!

I’ve tried this a few times over the past few days and I’m really impressed with how it manages to give me great volume, length and separation. The formula is quite wet but this will dry out within a few weeks which should make it slightly easier to work with, until it gets too dry and it’s time to chuck it away (and most likely run out and buy another one). The look it gives reminds me somewhat of the L’oreal Unlimited Mascara, however that one comes in at £11 whereas Essence’s Lash Princess Mascara costs only £3.30, less than a third of the price! Ngl, I’m not sure what you’re still doing here and why you haven’t run out and bought yourself one!

Just a quick one today but I hope you enjoyed this mini review, don’t forget to like, share and subscribe and follow me on instagram so you know when I post first.

Hollie x

My current favourite makeup products

Those makeup products that make me actually want to get up in the morning and look presentable.

I’m definitely not one to get up and put on a full face of makeup every morning but I tend to try and put on a little something just to make myself feel more confident. Having said that, I do love makeup and I really enjoy playing around with it (which is why it takes me approx 2 hours to get ready for a night out) so I thought I’d tell you the makeup products that I’m loving right now.

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Recently I have been tending to slap on a touch of foundation in the mornings, if just to even out my skintone slighty and my current favourite is the YSL All Hours foundation. It gives a good amount of coverage without looking cakey and gives a good base for the rest of my makeup to sit really well on top. It’s on the pricier side, but definitely worth the money!

From a designer brand foundation to a high street concealer, Revolution’s Conceal and Define concealer exploded into a crowded market last year and it really does live up to the hype. I love this concealer for under my eyes and dotting across my face if I’m having a no-foundation day. I can’t decide what I like more; the great coverage, the super extensive shade range or the killer price at only £4 a tube.

I’ve been obsessed with the SportFx blending sponge recently, I’d heard good things about it and thought I’d try it out for myself and I’m so happy I did. The SportFx Blend and Go sponge is so so comparable with the OG Beauty Blender but it’s literally less than a third of the price coming in at only £5. It blends my foundation so beautifully that I can’t see myself paying for a boujie Beauty Blender again, pop into your local Sports Direct and pick one up for yourself!

I literally cannot wait another second to talk about the James Charles x Morphe Artistry palette. Nothing I say can really do it justice, Its got an incredible range of colours and the formulas are gorgeous. Although the shadows can be slightly difficult to work with this is only because of how incredibly pigmented they are, but if you take your time they blend together like a dream. This palette is so versatile it’s probably the only palette I’ll ever need, I’m completely obssessed.

When it comes to lipstick the one I’ve been gravitating towards more than anything recently has been Maybelline’s Nude Embrace matte lipstick. It is scarily pale but when I blot it on my lips with a slightly darker liner already in place it looks gorgeous and effortless. Maybelline’s matte lipsticks are so comfortable and last a long time without making my lips dry and flakey, definitely a win!

I hope that gave you a bit more insight into those makeup products I just can’t put down right now and maybe a bit of inspiration for your next shopping trip! Don’t forget to like, share and subscribe and follow me on instagram so you know when I post first and drop me a comment telling me your favourite products and why I should give them a go!

Hollie x