• CURRENT WISHLIST

    As I stated in my last blog post, I’ve been trying to find brands that are more aware of the environment and working conditions along the supply chain, and while in general this search has felt a bit futile, I’ve found a few gems along the way that I wanted to share. So below are just some new things I’ve discovered recently that I’ve currently lusting after. I think these things seem pretty cool, whether you’re worried about the ethical stuff or not!

    MeUndies underwear and lounge pants (pictured above)

    These just look so comfortable! Since I started working from home I’ve realised I need to step up my lounge wear game. I just need more clothes that are comfy that I can wear around the house. I’m also loving this company. They’re clothes are made from Lenzing MicroModal, a sustainably sourced fabric that is supposed to be unbelievably soft! They support charities such as the Amber Rose Foundation, the LA LGBT Center, and Make-A-Wis and they state on their website that they’re committed to treating all workers in their supply chain fairly. They say that the factories they use to make their clothing offer their employees “more than just a pay check”, with opportunities such as free English classes and free transportation, as well as programs focusing on women in business and personal finance. My only complaint is that I wish they offered more sizes. I think I would be ordering the biggest size so that kind of sucks since they are a lot of people who are bigger than me out there. None the less, I definitely hope to order their Bikini undies and Lounge pant soon!

    Organic Bamboo Facial Rounds

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    I have always felt wasteful using cotton pads so when I heard about these I was really intrigued. They’re literally just re-use cotton pads that you can hand wash or throw in the washing machine (the Etsy shop also sells a mesh bag to put them in). The listing states that bamboo is a naturally antimicrobial and hypo-allergenic, which is great for sensitive skin. So win win all round. They also have a cotton version, but they say that bamboo requires less energy, water and space to grow than cotton (I should probably research this more before I purchase but it sounds good!). I’m always looking for ways to reduce my waste, but I also think that these will save me money in the long run, as I won’t have to continuously re-buy cotton pads.

    The Bare Micro by NAE

    002566_4_3 I’ve been looking for a pair of casual shoes that come somewhere between my Chelsea boots and my runners, and I think these might be it.  They’re  chic but laid back. The website states that they’re made from ecological microfibre, and a hypoallergenic, breathable microfibre inner lining. They were also made under fair working conditions in Portugal. So that’s all pretty cool. I don’t know what it is, but they just look comfortable, no? I bought a similar pair off ASOS a while back but I returned them because they were really uncomfortable and made my feet look weird. Hopefully I’ve have more luck with these.

    Charlotte Tilbury Kim K.W. Lipstick 

    Charlotte_Tilbury_Hot_Lips_List_Kim_K_W_3_5g_1489676560I don’t know how I never knew that Charlotte Tilbury was cruelty free! I’ve been only using cruelty-free products for 2 years now and for some reason, I just assumed they tested on animals. But apparently I was wrong. A bunch of their products are vegan too (I found a list on Logical Harmony). This Kim K.W. lipstick looks to be a great pinky nude so I’m excited to try it. I also found out the Pillow Talk lipliner is vegan so that’s something I also want to try since I’ve wanted to use it before but again, I didn’t think it was cruelty-free.

    I hope you enjoyed!

    Jane x

  • MY EXPERIENCE TRYING NATURAL CRYSTAL DEODORANTS

    It’s been nearly 2 years since I switched to only buying cruelty free makeup and beauty products. It was an interesting transition, some days it was fun researching and finding new products that I could use. Other days it was frustrating and I just wanted to buy my long term easy-to-find favourite products. I didn’t throw anything out when I decided to make the change, I just decided that when things ran out or went off, I would only purchase cruelty free when replacing them. By now, I think everything I use has been replaced, except for a couple of MAC eye shadows that are still have knocking around my makeup drawer.

    However, there has always been one dark shadow lurking in my cupboard. One shameful secret product that I couldn’t let go off. Antiperspirant. And I’m talking about the strong stuff. Despite committing to using only cruelty-free items and attempting to use more natural products, I just couldn’t image not use antiperspirant. But at the same time, it didn’t feel right to me. I know that a lot people have discredited the idea that it’s linked to breast cancer, but I can see how applying chemicals everyday that block your sweat glands probably isn’t the best idea. I don’t have an issue using chemicals if they’re necessary, but if there’s an alternative, I am definitely going to use it.

    But still, moving away from antiperspirant seemed like a difficult task because I sweat. A lot. And I felt like I needed antiperspirant. I just didn’t see how natural deodorant was ever going to be enough for me. But the more I read and thought about it, I realised I at least had to give it a go. The trouble is, people report less perspiration and body odor after using natural deodorants for an extended period of time. They say it took a few weeks to get the antiperspirant out of their systems to begin with before the natural deodorant really started working for them. Hmmm. If I was going to try it, I was going to have to commit.

    So that’s what I’ve been doing for the last few weeks. I did a bit of research and decided to try crystal deodorants. I’m usually into alternative things like this, but even this idea seemed a bit crazy. But the reviews were good and I was intrigued so I figured, why not? I started with the basic plain crystal from Thai crystals. It’s literally just a smooth crystal that you wet and rub over your armpits. I do like the crystal but it is a little annoying to have to wet it everytime. I decided that while I was liking the basic crystal, I was still getting a bit smelly by the afternoon and needed something I could top up with more easily than having to wash my armpits and reapply the crystal.

    So I found the Lavender and White Tea Crystal Towelettes. While I wasn’t trilled about the fact that they created more waste, I liked that they had a scent, which would make me feel less self-conscious about my B.O. I also liked that I could throw them into my handbag and take them with me. I actually loved the scent so much that I also bought the roll-on version of it at Walgreens. This feels like a more traditional deodorant, just a bit more watery than a regular roll-on. Though I have found that while it smells great when you first put it on, if you use it throughout the day to top up and try to cover up the smell of B.O., it creeps back in after a short period of time.

    Still so far I haven’t found the experience as difficult as I thought I would. I definitely feel more sweaty sometimes and I’m very self-conscious that I smell. I also have to wash my tops more often. But honestly I haven’t missed antiperspirant that much. I’ve found that I’m adjusting to it. It’s still a journey but I haven’t quit yet, and when I started I really wasn’t sure how long I would last. Let’s see if I can make it through the summer….

  • WHAT ARE JADE FACE-ROLLERS AND HOW TO USE THEM

    If you haven’t heard of jade face rollers before, it’s basically just a piece of smooth jade that you roll over your face. They’re very simple to incorporate into your route but they have a lot of benefits; I got mine over a year ago and still absolutely love it. I’ve also gifted them to multiple people after they tried mine and needed one in their lives.

    The Chinese have used the healing properties of jade and deep massaging action to transform skin and facial contours for centuries (my online research tells me it dates back to at least the 7th century). It helps your body’s filtration organs and lymph system to expel toxins meaning that if you’re experiencing sinus pain, this help alleviate the pressure and keeps everything moving. I developed allergies for the first time last autumn and my face roller helped me deal with the blocked up feeling and reduce the pain. I also find it great to use on a plane or just after traveling because my sinuses tend to get sore and stuffed up.

    The jade roller also increases blood flow, promoting cell turnover which helps with spots and keeping your skin looking young. The boost to your circulation also helps improve elasticity and decrease puffiness. I’ve definitely noticed my skin looking fuller and it has a bit more of a glow. I keep my roller on my windowsill and we normally leave our window open so it gets a bit cold (you can get the same effect putting it in the fridge) which makes it really soothing. Jade is a naturally cold stone, even when it’s at room temperature, but this extra temperature drop is even more refreshing.

    I have the medium Yu Ling roller from Cult Beauty, but I do actually want to try the double one that has a smaller roller on the other end that you can use to use on under-eyes circles. There’s quite a few different places online that sell face rollers in different price ranges, just make sure it’s real jade and not a plastic knock-off.

    HOW I USE IT: 

    I roll it over my face and up my neck after cleansing my skin and applying my face oil, which helps really work the oil into my skin and increase the benefits. I roll it in movements from the centre of my face outward, concentrating on rolling from my nose along my cheekbone towards my ear, as that’s were I get a lot of congestion. I then roll from the bridge of my nose along my eyebrow bone and up my forehead. I roll just above my jawline, again from the centre of my face outward. Finally, I roll up my neck. I do play around with all this a bit though and just do whatever feels good at the time.

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    I highly recommend a Jade face-roller to everyone, regardless of age or skin type. They’re universal, nice to use and have an amazing amount of benefits.

    Jane x

  • HAIR CARE PRODUCTS

    When it comes to my hair, I keep it very simple. I pretty much just use shampoo and conditioner.  I just don’t like the texture of my hair when I add product and my hair holds pretty well so I don’t need hair spray. I’ve gone through periods where I use all sorts of things in my hair, but I’ve found less is more. I basically destroyed my hair a few years ago with hair dye and bleach, so since then I’ve been trying to get it as healthy as possible. I’ve almost completely grown out my ombre, there’s just a little blond left at the ends now and I don’t plan to put any more colour on my hair anytime soon. I just want it to be long and healthy, so these products having been helping me do just that!

    IMG_7210JĀSÖN Normalising Tea Tree Shampoo

    I have a love-hate relationship with this shampoo. I suffer with dandruff and while this doesn’t get rid of it completely, it’s the only thing I’ve found that helps in any way. However, maybe because I have super thick hair, it doesn’t always clean my hair thoroughly. There’s been times where I’ve had to rewash my hair because parts of it were greasy when I dried it. When I use this shampoo, I put some on my hair like normal, but then I have to flip my hair over and put some more underneath to make sure my entire heads gets washed. I really make sure I lather it up all over my head. I have started to rinse and repeat (something I never did with other shampoos). I only use a small amount the second though. This isn’t ideal, but if I use any other shampoo, I look like I’ve just been caught in a snowstorm. And it doesn’t make my scalp itchy. I’ve tried so many shampoos and the result is always the same. I’ve even tried other ones that use tea tree but to no avail. I don’t know why this one is so hard to work with; I have really thick hair though and I don’t think people who have thinner hair would have the same problem. It does take more work but for me it’s work it.

    JĀSÖN Botin Restorative ConditionerIMG_7199-2

    This is a holy-grail product for me. I love it so much. It is the best conditioner I have ever used, the fact that it’s cruelty free and free of parabens is just a bonus. It just leaves your hair so silky smooth and soft. I don’t have anything else to say about it, it’s the best!

    Coconut Oil

    Coconut oil is the only other thing I use on my hair to keep it hydrated and healthy.  I should use it more than I do, but when I feel like my hair really needs it or when I have time, I will work it through the ends of my hair and leave it for as long as possible. It’s a great simple hair conditioning treatment. I’m not committed to any particular brand, any coconut oil you can get from a supermarket or drugstore it fine.

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    Batiste Divine Dark Dry Shampoo

    Since I only wash my hair every 3 days, dry shampoo is my best friend. I’ve been using Batiste for years and was so happy when I found out they were cruelty-free. They have multiple versions but I love this one from that has a brown hint. You just have to be careful not to get too much on your skin cause I’ve accidentally smudged some of the brown powder onto my face while doing my makeup after applying it… oppps… I’ve heard some people talk about how dry shampoo can ruin your hair, but I’ve never had any issues. Plus it stops me from washing my hair more often which in turn prevents damage. I blow dry and use a straightener every time I wash my hair, so the less I wash it, the better!

    So that’s it. They are the only products I use on my hair. I’ve been using them for a while now, and while I love them, I am starting to feel a bit of an itch to experiment. I’m finally starting to feel happy with my hair again after destroying it with bleach and hair colour a few years ago so I might try a few things out.  I know I want to find a great deep conditioner but to be honest, I’m pretty happy with my hair.

    I plan to do a post on what tools I use to style my hair soon, so check back for that!

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    Jane x

  • SKINCARE THAT WORKS!

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    Last year I found out how much having bad skin can affect my mood and how I feel about myself. I don’t know what it is, but having my skin breakout or be dry or be oily really knocks away at my self confidence. And let’s face it, my self confidence wasn’t a very secure struture to begin with.  In March, I moved to the U.S. and I don’t know what it was, but my skin went crazy. I did get a lot of spots growing up but I had never experienced acne before, then all of a sudden my jaw line became a resting ground for cystic mountains that were sore and left scars. The Internet tells me that the placement of this acne makes it hormonal. Personally I think there were a lot of factors.  I had moved to a new country, my diet had changed, I was homesick, I was stressed, there was a lot of change. These horrible under-the-surface waves rose and fell along my jawline for months, and even trickled down my neck.  I hated it.  I found 1 product that helped control it (which I will talk about below), but thankfully a few months ago, the waves and mountains started to subside.  Then came my next new skin hurdle: dry skin.  I have always had oily skin, probably leaning towards combination but my t-zone has always been as slick as a greased up frying pan. It wasn’t fun, but I was used to it. Then BAM! Ohio winter hits and decided to pull all the moisture from my face. Suddenly I was dealing with dry flaky tight skin and I had no idea how to deal with it. My skincare products were making it worse because they were tailored towards my oily skin, so I had to rethink things. Recently I’ve found my skin flip-flops between being dry, oily and a combination of the two.

    The number one thing I’ve learnt from my changing skin is that you have to look, evaluate and listen to your face every day. It’s annoying and I really wish I could have a minimal skincare routine but there’s just to many factors that change my skin so unfortunately it needs different things at different times. Below are all the products I switch between to keep my skin clear and feeling comfortable. I realise the stuff I’ve been using is pretty expensive. Honestly, I was just so down about my skin that the prices were worth it to me, but I’ve tried to include in my review what I felt was worth the price and what you could find at a cheaper price point.

    ALL SKIN TYPES

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    Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil – $40
    Having had oily skin for most of my life, I was never interested in face oil. How could I possibly put MORE oil on my face? However, my friend Aoife, who shares my oily skin woes, talked me into trying it. And now I’m obsessed. Pai’s website states ‘with regular use, it deeply conditions skin, improving firmness and elasticity and promoting a clear, even skin tone’, and I 100% agree. It helps my skin feel plump and radiant, without adding to the oil. Honestly, if you have oily skin, do not be afraid of this product. When I started to experience dry skin, this helped hydrate those areas, again without adding to any oiliness that I still experienced. This has also been helping with the scarring I have after my bout of acne last year. It has high concentrations of Omegas 3, 6, 7 & 9, also well as antioxidant carotenoids that help repair and protect the skin against environmental stresses and visible damage. Everyone needs this in their life.

    HOW I USE IT: I apply this every night after cleansing. Your skin should be a little damp when you apply this; normally I don’t fully dry my skin after cleaning or splash a little water on it. You can also use a toner to make your skin damp. I put 2-4 drops on my fingers and apply all over my face and down my neck. It leaves a slightly orange tinge on your face but that disappears after a few minutes. I also use it every so often in the morning if I need some extra hydration before putting on a lot of makeup. I use it after every shower so I don’t get that tight feeling.

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    This is fairly new to my skin care routine, but I’ve been loving it. I went through a phase where I wanted to keep my skincare as minimum as possible., but I found that that just wasn’t working for my skin. Sometimes it needs one thing, sometimes it needs another. I bought this because I wasn’t happy with my skin texture. It gives a very light exfoliation but my skin has been brighter since starting to use it. You know those moments when you look in the mirror and you actually notice a visible different in your skin? Well, the morning after I used this, I looked in the mirror and thought my skin looked radiant. Their website says this scrub ‘combines the exfoliant and anti-oxidant properties of ground grape seeds and multi-fruit acids with mild surfactants to buff away dead cells and remove blackheads, whiteheads and calluses’. I can’t say I’ve noticed a different with my spots and blackheads (yet!) but my skin is definitely softer and brighter when I use this.

    HOW I USE IT: I use it around 5-7 times a week, no matter whether my skin feels oily or dry. I wet my skin and message it all over my face. I then rinse it off with a sponge.

    ACNE

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    This is the only suff I’ve found that helps reduce spots fast! Their website states that it ‘protects skin’s moisture barrier to prevent dry or flakey patches’, but I actually find this product very drying so I’m careful with how much I use it and where I put it, but it knocks my deep sore mountains down to little hills in a day or two. Honestly, this stuff is another holy grail product. If you struggle with spots or acne, you need to try this. It was the only thing that helped reduce my breakouts. I do plan to start using this on my nose at night because it’s also supposed to reduce sebum production and I have a very oily nose. This is the most expensive product I use, but you only need such a small amount if you use it as a spot treatment that it lasts for a long time. The only thing that frustrates me about this product is the packaging, I wish I had more control over the amount of product that comes out because like I said, you only a small amount.

    HOW I USE IT: When I feel a spot coming on, I apply a very small amount of this to that area after I moisturise, morning and evening. I continue to use it until the spot is gone.

    DRY SKIN

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    This moisturiser is pretty basic, but it does what it says on the jar. The website states ‘the light, buttery Cream melts into the skin, instantly plumping and smoothing dry patches, delivering a soft and radiant complexion’, and I would agree.  However, if your skin is very dry, you will need to use something even more hydrating at night. I’m not sure this is holy grail, you can probably find a cheaper alternative but I do enjoy using it.

    HOW I USE IT: If my skin is feeling dry, I apply 1 pump on my dry face in the morning after cleansing. If I’m wearing make-up, I will sometimes use this on top of the Rosehip oil mentioned above.

    This is the cleanser I’ve been using recently.  It helps hydrate my skin, so it doesn’t feel tight after cleansing. It’s also great at removing makeup, even stubborn eye makeup. This website says ‘bursting with Omegas 6 & 9 and Vitamin E, it replenishes the skin’s moisture barrier, leaving it soft and supple’ and I have to agree. This stuff feels so nice and soothing on my skinned leaves you skin feeling hydrated without feeling oily. I love it when my skin is dry but it can feel a bit too hydrating when my skin is more on the oily side.

    HOW I USE IT: I apply 2 pumps to dry skin and message it around my face.  If I’m wearing make-up, I will use a little bit more and focus on my eyes, using gentle motions. If I want to exfoliate I use the muslim cloth that comes with the cleanser, if I don’t want to exfoliator, I use a sponge to rinse it off.

    OILY SKIN

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    I haven’t been using this product for as long as the others, but I do like it.  It is on the drying side, so I would say it is only for people with oily skin. Their website does state ‘the alpha and beta-hydroxy acids in the cleanser penetrate deep into the pores without causing skin irritation; helping rid your skin of makeup, excess oil, blackheads, whiteheads, acne, ingrown hairs and other blemishes’. Honestly, I don’t think it helped my acne or spots, but I may not have used it for long enough to see the proper effects. I’m going to continue using this until it runs out but I’m not sure I will repurchase.

    HOW I USE IT: When my skin feels oily, I use 1 pump on wet skin.

    I really like this moisturiser for oily skin. It’s helps keep your oily skin from feeling tight, hydrating without making my skin greasy. Their website states ‘the non-greasy formula effectively hydrates skin, whilst balancing oily and blemish-prone areas, leaving a bright and smooth complexion’. I would agree, but I would say that if your skin leans towards combination, you may need to use something a bit more hydrating at night (I used the Rosehip oil mentioned above).

    HOW I USE IT: If my skin is more on the oily side, I apply 1 pump to my dry face after cleansing. If I’m wearing make-up, I will sometimes use this on top of the Rosehip oil mentioned above so that my skin is hydrated but doesn’t get too oily.

    PAI SKINCARE

    Nearly all of my skincare comes from Pai, and I just wanted to finish this post by confessing my undying love for this company. It is expensive, I realise that but honestly, I think it’s worth it! Everything is cruelty free and vegan.  They have super fast shipping and regularly have deals going on. This is such a small thing but when I filled out a survey for them, they had multiple options under Gender, not just male and female, including giving people the options to label their own gender. They focus on social responsibility and using organic ingredients. And their products really work! What more could you ask for?  I would say their only downfall is their packaging. You can’t tell how much is left and it’s hard to get every last bit out. But other than that, I have no complaints and plan to try more from their range.

    Jane x

  • WHAT’S IN MY BAG?

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    There’s something so interesting about What’s in my Bag posts and YouTube videos. We see the outside of bags all the time but rarely is it appropriate to snoop inside; something that’s right in front of our eyes yet we can’t see it. It’s hidden from the public, something so personal. And I wonder if getting to look inside, being let into that private sphere makes us feel more connected. Or maybe it makes us feel more normal, since everyone one basically carries the same things. Who knows… at the very least it’s interesting to see what people deem worthy enough to carry around with them all day.

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    1. Victoria’s Secret “Cocktail Hour” Lipgloss This is my favourite lipgloss and I’m so sad that Victoria Secret are expanding into China and hence, their beauty products will no longer be cruelty free (China require, by law, all products to be tested on animals). When it runs out, I’ll have to go on a search to find another product to replace it… grrrrr….
    2. Engraved Swiss Army Knife This is probably a bit random but oh so useful.  Growing up my Dad had an engraved penknife and I always wanted one. My mum said I wasn’t allowed because “you’re more likely to stab some if you carry a knife” – fortunately that hasn’t been an issue for me yet. I guess my mum changed her mind and my parents bought this for me when they were away on holiday. So now I carry it around with me most places…. Just gotta remember to always take it out when I travel on a plane or go to a concert/sporting event.
    3. Anastasia Brow Wiz I love this product but this is the second one that has broken on me like this within a couple of months of buying it… not impressed.
    4. Contraceptive Pill No babies right now, please and thankyou.
    5. Stella McCartney Wallet  This wallet is like a baby version of my bag and I love it.  It’s exactly what I want in a wallet; it’s fairly small, I don’t have to open anything to get my cards out but I do have space for some cash (and some bobbins) if I have any. Perfect.
    6. iPhone 6 Plus Self explanatory.
    7. Keys Pretty basic but I gotta admit these aren’t always in my bag. Sometimes they’re clipped on, sometimes they’re in my pocket, sometimes they’re other places….
    8.  Lip Balm I always have to have lip balm near me and I love the ones from Crazy Rumors – they have tons of flavours and are vegan!
    9.  Jewellery So I’d like to say I carry jewellery around because I’m glamorous and like to change things up frequantly but really it’s because I’m bad at getting out of bed in morning so I tend to just through my jewellary in my bag so I can put it on in the car or when I get to work. I keep it in a little zip-lock HRH Collection bag.
    10. Too Faced Face Powder  I bring this everywhere (as you can probably tell from the packaging). I have such an oily t-zone so I like to blot using this powder even if I’m not wearing any other make-up.  It makes me feel less slimy lol. I also use it to set my makeup if I do some and to touch up throughout the day.

    img_6065So that’s everything in my bag. Sometimes you’ll also find receipts, tweezers, pens and other random things in there but it’s pretty small so I’m forced into keeping it organised so that I can close it…

    Lastly, a few things about my handbag. I love it. No like, I genuinely think I’m in love with it. When I first bought it, I slept with it beside my bed because I loved it so much. I bought it new with tags on eBay in July and I’ve pretty much used it everyday since. The neutral colours go with everything but the design adds a little something. It’s from Stella McCartney, which is pretty much the only designer brand I can shop since deciding to not buy real leather and I have to say, the “leather” on this bag has worn perfectly (sidenote: the material on the wallet is different and I’m not sure it’s going to hold up as well).The only wear I can see is on the white stars, which have gotten a bit discoloured. I’m sure I can clean them though, I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. I love Stella McCartney and their message, but I have to say it is annoying how much more expensive her stuff is in the US. If you want to buy anything from them, do it in Europe!

    I don’t really know how to end blog posts yet… I was never good at introductions and conclusions. But that’s it, that’s all I have to share. Bye, I guess. See you soon? Maybe?*awkward turtle*

    Jane x