Nailing the 'no-makeup' makeup look: Honeypie Minerals vegan makeup review

If you’re currently transitioning to a vegan lifestyle and wish to update your makeup bag then minerals can be a good place to start. Not only are they a flexible product which will give you both a natural ‘no-makeup’ look and the option for buildable coverage, but they are generally better for your skin and can be made with 100% natural ingredients. The most well-known mineral brand in the UK market is probably Bare Minerals. Bare Minerals do offer some vegan products in their range and although certified by PETA Cruelty Free, they are owned by Shiseido. Shiseido do sell in China and therefore carry out animal testing, so it depends whether you deem Bare Minerals a brand worth investing in.

 
Honeypie Minerals Vegan makeup
 

There are many alternative mineral brands out there, many of which are featured on our UK Vegan Beauty Brands Directory but I have been lucky enough to be gifted a generous selection of vegan friendly products from Honeypie Minerals which have definitely hit the spot. As I am getting older I am choosing to wear less makeup, less often (it’s a lot to do with laziness tbh) and Honeypie Minerals is the perfect answer for a light, barely there makeup which can also be ramped up for more coverage when required.

See our video below for a demo of how to use these products.

 
Honeypie Minerals Vegan makeup
 

Independent brand Honeypie are as cute as they sound. The collection of affordable foundation, blushers, bronzers, eyeshadows and lip conditioners are 100% natural and made by hand in the UK.  Mixed and blended in small batches on site, their production reflects their forward thinking, eco-friendly values. Their plastic sifter pots are made with recycled plastic and can also be recycled again. BUT they also have the sheer genius option of compostable and biodegradable paper pouch refills so that the plastic jars can be used again and again. Orders are sent in eco-friendly packaging such as recyclable cardboard boxes, biodegradable paper tape and compostable pellets. It’s inspiring and refreshing to hear a brand working towards improving their environmental impact.

 
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Image taken from Honeypie Minerals website: https://honeypieminerals.com/pages/shades

One of the issues these small brands like Honeypie face is not having the facility for clients to try before they buy. But Honeypie Minerals have worked hard to resolve this too, the clever clogs. On their website, there is a detailed yet simple chart (snippet above) to help aid you in your quest to find your perfect match, depending on the tones and colour notes in your skin. Honeypie also offer sample pots to try, (three shades for £2.50) which are redeemable upon the purchase of a full sized product. These guys have seriously got it all figured it out.

Disappointingly there isn’t a huge selection for darker skin tones, but there is a wide range for those with lighter skin and, unsurprisingly I ended up with the palest and fairest option as usual thanks to my ‘cool’ undertones (where’s that fake tan at?). I was a little unconvinced that my skin tone could be determined via an online chart, but I was extremely impressed with the colour match of the foundation. The ‘Fair’ mineral foundation perfectly blended into my skin but added a glowy softness to even out imperfections. The tones that Honeypie chose to accompany the foundation for my skin were spot on too (except perhaps the bronzer, see below for why) but there is a delicious palette of beautiful tones and shades to choose from so you can create your perfect vegan makeup look. See our video below for how to create natural ‘no-makeup’ looks like these:

 
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Honeypie Minerals Makeup
 

All in all the products are easy to use, although you do need the right tools for the job. Skin should be clean, well prepped and moisturised and a Kabuki brush is a MUST for applying mineral powder, it’s not something you can apply with your hands. Honeypie Minerals endorse Eco Tools, another brand featured on our Vegan Beauty Brands Directory – as all of their brushes are synthetic, vegan and cruelty free but I have my good ol’ Wunder 2 brush to hand. I was a little frustrated that most of the powder fell out into the lid of the pots as I carried them around in my makeup bag which meant things could get a little messy, but nothing to cry about.

 
Red, spotty, uneven toned skin

Red, spotty, uneven toned skin

Smooth, even, natural looking makeup

Smooth, even, natural looking makeup

 

The Honeypie Minerals range is non-comedogenic and suitable for all skin types but especially for oily, sensitive and acne-prone skin due to the pure, quality ingredients. ‘Our three main base ingredients are all natural and healthy for the skin (Mica, Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide). Our powder products are silky to the touch, with anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.’[1] I do suffer from spotty, congested skin but I find the Honeypie makeup always gives me the coverage I want without feeling heavy or looking cakey. The yellow corrector is amazing at combatting redness and dark circles and the foundation blends the overall tone whilst keeping oiliness at bay all day.

I was really impressed with the Honeypie Minerals range and would happily buy from them again. The products are buildable, long wearing and keeps skin looking even, smooth and glowy – an absolute winner.  

Watch our Beauty-not-cruelty video below to see how to create a natural makeup look using the Honeypie Minerals range:

 
Honeypie Minerals Swatches
 
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Fair Foundation £13.99:

Luxurious, silky mineral powder for fair, porcelain skin with cool pinky undertones. Gorgeous, smooth buildable coverage for fresh, natural ‘no-makeup’ skin. The lightweight formula allows skin to breathe and also contains natural protection against UV-light exposure.

Yellow Corrector £7.99:

Beautiful, fine powder to reduce, brighten and neutralise unwanted colour such as dark circles, skin pigmentation and redness. Worked an absolute treat. (Honeypie also offer a Green corrector for concealing redness, rosacea, blemishes and other imperfections.)

Honeypie%2BMinerals%2BYellow%2BCorrector
Honeypie Minerals Peach Blusher

Peach Blush £7.99:

Fab soft, warm and glowy toned blush which I loved, a great alternative to those who want to avoid pinks and red tones.

Sunkissed Bronzer £7.99:

The bronzer was a little dirtier and yellow toned than I would usually choose, I’m not sure it gave my skin a summer glow and it was the only Honeypie Minerals product that I wasn’t sold on. As far as I can tell there’s only one bronzer shade to choose from. However it still had a great texture and could be used lightly and subtly to add a little dimension to the face without looking too sculpted.

Honeypie Minerals Sunkissed Blusher
Honeypie Minerals Latte Eyeshadow

Latte Eyeshadow £5.99:

Sumptuous, flexible warm coffee coloured loose eyeshadow with a hint of dusky pink. Use to softly line eyes or use a base for a sexy smokey eye. Long lasting, it absorbed oil and stayed put throughout the day.

What is your favourite vegan foundation?

[1] https://honeypieminerals.com/pages/faqs

Watch our Beauty-not-cruelty video below for how to create a natural makeup look using the Honeypie Minerals range:

 
 

Disclaimer:  These products have been sent to me to test and review by the brand. I have received no monetary benefit for this review. The review is 100% honest and reflects my experience. Product and brand information is correct at the time of publishing but please check the product website before purchasing.

Girl, I want to make you sweat: Nuud Deodorant review

 
Nuud deodorant.jpg
 

If you’ve made the leap to go vegan you have no doubt, like me been on the hunt since then for an effective and reliable vegan deodorant. I’ve tried LOADS now with varying degrees of success (find out more here), so when I came across the ‘Nuud carefree deodorant’ and all of its wonderful reviews, I was pretty excited to give it a try.

When the pretty in pink tube arrived I was first struck by how small it was. How could this dinky little thing last me 6-7 weeks as Nuud had promised? Oh, I was proven so very wrong. The 15ml tube lasted me over 3 months in total, way more that what was expected, which at £12.95 is just over £4 per month (plus shipping is free!) – a healthy investment fo’ sho’.

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It was beautifully packaged too, with a biodegradable, unbleached FSC card box packed with all the information and guidance you need, and the deodorant tube itself is made from sugarcane which is a more sustainable and eco-friendly plastic. The only standard plastic component is the deodorant lid, but Nuud are working on alternatives for this too. Oh, and did I mention that their shipment is CO2 neutral? Pretty good going I feels.

So far, so good. To apply, all that’s needed is a small, pea-sized squeeze. Gently rub the soft, silky cream into your pits, trying to keep it even and not too thick. It dries pretty quickly and disappears completely, its 100% fragrance free and I had no issues with staining, stinging or irritation throughout my whole experience. Thumbs up. It’s also made with only 10 ingredients and there are no nasties like alcohol, aluminium or parabens in sight. The signature ingredient is active ‘Micro Silver’; a natural ingredient that inhibits bacterial growth, is certified and is 99.9% pure. Oh, hello!

 
 

Nuud says that our bodies will need to adjust to the product. We are likely to sweat more at the beginning as our body pushes out the toxins that may have been accumulated from years of wearing other deodorants. Nuud call it ‘healthy sweating’. Urgh. I have been using what I thought were natural deodorants for some time now, so I was kinda hoping I could skip this part, but nope – it still got me!

The idea is that the deodorant will tackle bacteria and therefore prevent the smell that often develops as a result of sweat. Rather than blocking pores and masking smell, it’s a more natural option which encourages our natural perspiration systems to return and therefore happy, healthy pits.  I experienced a good few weeks of pretty excessive sweating, which was both embarrassing and uncomfortable, and I was very self-conscious of the dreaded B.O. too. Frustratingly, I would sweat all over my clothes and leave them too smelly to wear for another day, and I was almost ready to throw in the towel and give up on Nuud when my body seemed to finally cool it, Kermit. I’m still not sure if it was just me becoming more accepting of the sweat situation, or if my body had adjusted at last, but I kept pushing through and ended up finishing the tube.

 
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Pea sized squeeze.jpg
 

Nuud say that the deodorant can last up to 7 days on some people (with washing in between, obvs), but, despite trying, I found I could only leave it 3 days max, although according to Nuud this is the average.  Even this was a little touch and go, and I often had to team it with other perfumes to mask the smell. However it was quite refreshing not to be reliant on applying a product daily, and some days could go past without me realising that I needed to reapply.

 
Nuud deodorant 4.jpg
 

It was a bit of a mixed bag, and definitely requires some trial and error to figure out what works best for you and your body. Although I am not certain that I would rush out to buy the product straight away, towards the end of the stint I did feel more comfortable wearing it and I would consider using it again in the future, but perhaps always be armed with a Plan B in case things get a little hot in here. Plus Nuud give off such positive eco vibes like this:

‘Together we can ensure less production of crap, less pollution, lee empty deodorant canisters, less (petro)chemical industry, less irritated skin, less allergic reactions, less harm to animals, less artificial chemical fragrances, less propellant gases.’
— https://nuudcare.co.uk/

that it makes me think all this is worth it just for a little bit of perspiration – it’s really no sweat when you think about it.

What is your favourite vegan deodorant?

You can read more about Nuud on our Vegan Beauty Brand Directory.

Disclaimer:  This review is 100% honest and reflects my experience. Product and brand information is correct at the time of publishing but please check the product website before purchasing.

BECO is more than just bloody brilliant products. It’s a movement. BECO = Better Considered.

 
BECO Better Considered Handwash and Bar Soap
 

Launched by award winning social enterprise CLARITY – The Soap Co., BECO creates ‘real jobs for real people in the UK who are visually impaired, disabled or disadvantaged.*’ A.K.A. Better Considered.

If all households in the UK used BECO in their bathrooms, consumers would help to create nearly 45,000 new jobs for people with disabilities.
— BECO Good, Clean, Fun Information leaflet

BECO currently offer a small but significantly special vegan beauty range that’s affordable, accessible and all round better considered, from the ingredients to production, and packaging to equal opportunities. Choose either the hand soap or bar soap in three fragrances: Honey Blossom, Spring Meadow or Wild Berries, not forgetting their latest addition, the NEW Shampoo bar.  

All products are made in the UK with ingredients that are 100% eco-friendly, vegan, cruelty free, Paraben and SLS Free AND hypoallergenic. You can find BECO products close to home in Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Co-op, Boots and Ethical Superstore.

 

One Bottle of Feel Good Socially Enterprising Better Considered Foaming Hand Wash – Spring Meadow £3.50/250ml

 
BECO Spring Meadow Foaming Hand Wash
 

LOVE IT. First impressions of the Spring Meadow hand wash was that it smelt divine. Fresh, light and florally with a hint of citrus, the fragrance stays put long after you’ve washed your hands. It’s a delight to use, the soap lathers brilliantly and leaves hands feeling super soft as well as smelling sweet.

The palm oil free, liquid soap is designed to foam up as you pump, which means you get a lot more soap for your spend, and saves water too! According to BECO, each bottle can save up to 88 litres of water (that’s the equivalent of 440 cups of tea!)* and will last up to 2.5 times longer than your usual liquid hand wash**. I found the hand wash lasted a whopping 5 months between two of us, although I have to be honest and say it wasn’t used every day as we are partial to a bar soap.

But it doesn’t stop there. Because the foam means the soap lasts longer, it also means you’ll need to replace it less often, so it reduces your plastic usage too. Once again, Better Considered.

BECO+Spring+Meadow+Hand+Wash
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BECO+Spring+Meadow+Hand+Wash
BECO+Spring+Meadow+Foaming+Hand+Wash

One Bar of Feel Good Socially Enterprising Better Considered Triple Milled Organic Soap – Wild Berries  £3.00/100g

 
BECO Wild Berries Hand Soap
 

My favourite was the 97% organic, vegan bar soap. Although I didn’t sense the wild berries scent (it smelt more coconutty to me!?), it was a gentle, soft soap which I could happily use on my body as well as my hands. I felt no stinging or irritation and often used it pre shave. For me this wins hands down thanks to the minimal packaging (the box is 100% recyclable and the bar 100% biodegradable) and it felt more of an all-rounder whilst still lasting fricking ages – 4 months in total! The soap held its own and didn’t break apart into smaller pieces or go soggy (something I have found with several vegan soaps) so I was absolutely chuffed with it. Although it does contain Palm Oil, it is sustainably sourced.

 
BECO Better Considered Soaps
 

So there you have it, glowing reviews of both soaps from BECO. The products and brand ticked so many boxes for me and I would definitely purchase both of these again. I’m looking forward to trying out the Shampoo Bar too – Hurrah! Being better considered has never felt so simple.

*https://betterconsidered.org/beco-website#oursoap

** BECO Good, Clean, Fun Information leaflet

Which would you choose? Bottle or Bar?

You can read more about BECO on our Vegan Beauty Brands Directory.

Disclaimer:  These products have been sent to me to test and review by the brand. I have received no monetary benefit for this review. The review is 100% honest and reflects my experience. Product and brand information is correct at the time of publishing but please check the product website before purchasing.

9 Significant Steps for Better Beauty: Advice from Natural Skincare Experts BYBI & Weleda.

 
 

If you’re reading this, you’re no doubt already a conscious consumer who strives to select your purchases wisely. There are so many factors to consider it can be an overwhelming and daunting task, and when it comes to the Beauty industry, it’s hard to know where to begin.

I was privileged enough to attend two exceptional skincare events last month and both were highly educational, thought provoking and inspiring. I whipped up to Derbyshire to Weleda’s head office for their Blogger & MUA event for a tour of their awe inspiring gardens, and more recently joined the BYBI ‘Susty Summit’ at their stylish HQ in London.

 
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Discussions at both events broached this issue and I came out buzzing to share their knowledge and advice. It became clear to me how important it is to make the effort to get down to the nitty gritty, so I’ve tried my best to collate the information into 9 significant steps for better beauty; with the aim to help you know what to look out for when you’re next contemplating a new mascara or moisturiser.

1.        Get Hot on Ingredients

2.       Avoid Greenwashing.

3.       Search for Certifications.

4.       Choose Organic.

5.       Choose Sustainable.

6.       Support PSCO Certified Palm Oil

7.       Find Waste Free and Recyclable Products

8.       Consider Ethics & Social Impact

9.       And finally, take a step back.

 

1.       Get Hot on Ingredients

This is the biggie. Understanding what is actually in our products is SO important, but it’s not plain sailing. There can be 30 – 50 ingredients in one single beauty product, and taking the time to check out the INCI list on the product packaging is a time consuming, confusing and boring task.

 TIP: The first few ingredients on the INCI list will be a higher percentage of the total, so start with these at least.

 However, there is some hope on the horizon. At the Weleda event, I was lucky enough to meet the founders of ‘EVRE LAB’. These geniuses are compiling a searchable database of ingredients using technology, scientific evidence and research to help us easily determine what’s in our products. Wowzer. Watch this space!

 

But why is it so important to know what’s going in our products?

Well, although not all chemical ingredients are necessarily bad, there are many which are harmful to our bodies, the environment and the world’s wildlife.  If like me, as a vegan you carefully avoid animal derived ingredients we may unknowingly purchase products which still contain harmful ingredients to us and our planet.

Our skin is the largest organ of our body so every product we use will either sink in to our bodies, or be washed off down our drains and into our water, rivers and oceans.

So which ingredients are good and bad?

This is the tricky part. A good sign is when brands list each ingredient in English alongside its Latin name. This hint of transparency implies that they’re not trying to hide anything. Look for natural ingredients where possible from plants, trees and fruits.

According to BYBI and Weleda there are some big No Nos to look out:

·         SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulphate) is a foaming agent and a skin irritant if used in high concentrations. Although it is safe in low doses, bear in mind that if it is found in each and every one of the products you use on a daily basis, it may tot up. Watch out for other foaming agents and fillers like preservatives too.

·         Although microbeads have been banned in the UK, this only refers to ‘wash off’ products, so we need to remain vigilant, and while you’re at it, avoid other ingredients that don’t biodegrade such as petroleum or other plastics.

·         Disodium EDTA and Oxybenzone is used in sunscreen and is now known to be environmentally toxic.

2.       Avoid Greenwashing.

As more people choose to avoid such ingredients and buy clean, clever industry experts have clocked on and so the market has seen a large increase in ‘greenwashing’ where labels such as ‘natural’ and ‘organicare plastered over products which may in fact be anything but. There are no legal standards for the use of these terms on beauty products, and therefore these labels can be used even though the product contains as little as 5% certified natural or organic ingredients[1], which is obviously very misleading.

 It’s back to the INCI list we go, hunt for those natural ingredients and check the small print for more information.

TIP: Head on over to The Soil Association to sign their petition to encourage brands to #ComeCleanAboutBeauty and stop greenwashing[2].

 

3.       Search for Certifications.

One sure-fire way to find truly better beauty products is to buy only from reputable sources. Keep an eye out for trustworthy high standard certifications who will have put the supplier/brand/product through a rigorous certification process such as:

  • NATRUE (certified Natural, and/or Natural & Organic Ingredients)

  • Soil Association (Organic Ingredients)

  • Leaping Bunny (Cruelty Free).

  • PSCO (Sustainable Palm Oil, more info below)

  • Fairtrade (Supports rights of producers and traders)

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4.       Choose Organic.

Did you know that in just one tablespoon of healthy soil, there are more than seven billon organisms – that’s more than the amount of people on the planet![3] Organic farming uses less pesticides, no artificial colours, preservatives or GM Ingredients and although this is becoming more widely available with regards to our food, it is less considered when it comes to our beauty products[4].

But the methods are the same. If we look after our soil, we will nurture healthy plants, who will in turn nurture us. Let’s cultivate happy plants and invest in organic!

 TIP: Keep an eye out for Soil Association certified organic products, you can find such brands on our Vegan Beauty Brands Directory.

 

5. Choose Sustainable.

The beauty industry is guilty of glamorising exotic ingredients which must travel miles before arriving on our doorsteps. Although there are methods of transportation which are better for the environment (e.g. by boat), such ingredients are undoubtedly still less sustainable than those that are local to us. BYBI recommend investing in ingredients which grow locally in abundance, with a short harvesting cycle and where the majority, if not all of the plant can be used.

 

If a brand chooses to source ingredients from further field, investigate how they grow, harvest, manufacture and transport it.

TIP: Keep an out for these goodies from the UK:  Calendula, Hibiscus, Buriti, Lavender, Cucumber, Rosemary, Pumpkin and Chamomile.

 

6.  Support PSCO Certified Palm Oil

Our insatiable need for palm oil, which finds its way into 50% of all food, personal care products and biofuel[5] has caused the mass deforestation and displacement of wildlife and people. Inevitably it has also led to bad practice and poor support for the people who produce it.

 Although it is tempting to ditch Palm Oil products completely, it’s important to consider that huge communities of people rely solely on the trade of palm, and it still remains a more renewable and less taxing product than its closest replacements - Soya and Coconut Oil[6].

Instead, we can choose to support sustainable, RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) certified Palm Oil which works hard to harvest the ingredient responsibly and shift the industry mind set. 

RSPO.PNG
 

7. Find Waste Free and Recyclable Products

Take a second to visualise a fully stocked beauty aisle at your local supermarket or drug store. Now multiply it by the thousands of stores across the country. The globe.

According to BYBI, 70% of the beauty industries packaging is waste. Even worse, in the UK our beauty regimes are responsible for 30-40% of landfill waste.[7]. Shocking, right? Many of us are doing our bit to choose zero waste, plastic free or recyclable products and this should not stop when it come to our beauty products. Support brands who take responsibility for their waste and look for glass, metal and PET plastics which can be recycled locally.

 TIP: Many local council’s do not accept certain tubes/bottles/or plastics at the kerbside but you can arrange for such items to be recycled independently by TerraCycle.

 

 8. Consider Ethics & Social Impact

Does the brand support their suppliers and farmers by offering them a fair wage, regular work, training and education? Do they help to put an infrastructure in place to look after the health and wellbeing of their workers and their families? For example, BYBI’s supplier of Shea Butter supports female communities in West Africa.

 TIP: BYBI recommended requesting to see a copy of a brands Modern Slavery Agreement to determine how committed they are to their workers and ethics.

 

What about closer to home? Does the brand support local charities or reach out to the community?

 

 9. And finally, take a step back.

 Do we actually need all this shit? Healthy bodies produce natural oils and bacteria which clean and protect our skin but these can be easily stripped away by harsh ingredients and constant washing. The natural balance of our pH level can be disrupted, leading us to seek more products to rectify it, when the solution may be to use less and embrace your natural self.

I am guilty of getting swept up with the hype of new and exciting products which promise beautiful, hydrated, wrinkle-free, sexy skin, but 9 times out of 10 I don’t really need it. Or notice much difference.

 

TIP: Stick with products that multi task, both BYBI and Weleda sell Beauty Balms.

 

I appreciate there’s a lot to process here, and it’s a bit of a minefield. And this is by no means all encompassing. It can feel overwhelming and confusing to know where to start, but the more we push brands to be honest and transparent, the easier the choice will be. Support those that pride themselves on these values, who constantly strive for sustainability and question their own processes to make themselves better.  Our choices can make a difference and I hope that this guide helps you to make more informed decisions too.

Thank you to both Weleda and BYBI for opening my eyes to these issues. It feels like we still have a long way to go, the climb will be long and steep, but at least it’s in the right direction.

 If you’d like to know more about Weleda or BYBI’s products, you can find both on our Vegan Beauty Brands Directory. Alternatively, scroll on down for some quick facts.

  

BYBI

·         BYBI (By Beauty Insiders) are a relatively new brand, formed in 2017 by independent women Elsie and Dominika.

·         They started out with a keen interest in beauty and skincare but were frustrated by the lack of effective and natural products on the market.

·         This encouraged them to develop their new and exciting stylish skincare products which includes Scrubs, Serums, targeted skin ‘feel’ Boosters and more. All are made in the UK, contain solely natural ingredients and are 100% vegan.

·         Certified by The Vegan Society and The Leaping Bunny, their cheerful, high-performance products are made with strong values at heart: optimise skin’s health whilst striving to reduce their impact on the planet via ingredients, suppliers and packaging.

·         BYBI are making huge efforts to investigate the sustainability of their products, ingredients and supply chain, and have even put together their own method of measuring this via their ‘Green Score’.

·         All of BYBI’s packaging is recyclable.

·         BYBI’s supplier of Shea Butter supports female communities in West Africa.


Weleda

·         Founded in 1921, Weleda are the world’s No.1 producer of certified natural skin and healthcare products.

·         They are owned by a not-for profit organisation to fund work into holistic medical research and education.

·         Certified by NATRUE, their products are 100% natural and around 80% of their plant ingredients are classified organic and of biodynamic quality.

·         They are also one of two beauty brands worldwide to be certified by UEBT (Union for Ethical Biotrade), a non-profit organisation that provides a globally recognised standard for sustainable sourcing and the use of raw materials.

·         Founded by the Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner and Dutch doctor Ita Wegman and Oskar Schmiedel, a chemist from Germany, the brand is deep rooted in using natural ingredients to support our body’s ability to heal itself and promote its natural vitality.

·         Weleda control their entire supply chain and own eight medicinal gardens across the globe also home to bees and birds; I was thrilled to get the opportunity to take a tour around their British farm in Derbyshire which predominantly grows ingredients for medicinal purposes.

·         Owning the farms enables them to oversee the whole process from seed to production to product. Weleda are proud of their natural and organic formulas and passionate about the wellbeing of their plants and soils too, promoting a biodynamic environment and permaculture cycle.

·         Their collection is HUGE, from skincare, body care, haircare to baby and more. Thanks to their efficacy and popularity, many of Weleda’s formulations remain much the same to this day.

·         Although not all of their products are suitable for vegans (they do use ingredients such as honey, beeswax, goat’s milk, lactose and lanolin), there is a wide range of options to choose from. You can find a list here

·         Weleda’s packaging is all recyclable, although the soft touch tubes may not be accepted by local councils. Instead they need to be returned to Weleda for recycling.

·         Weleda are building a work programme at the moment to take on patients who have been prescribed spending time outdoors amongst nature to aid their mental health and social wellbeing. Thumbs up.

 
 [1] Weleda’s 2019 Catalogue Pg. 7 ‘Pioneers of Responsible Beauty.’
[2] https://www.soilassociation.org/our-campaigns/come-clean-about-beauty/
[3] https://www.soilassociation.org/blogs/2018/june/14/14-things-you-might-not-know-about-soil/
[4] Side note… check out the Teaspoon of Soil Podcast Episode 2. For some interesting insights into Organic Food.
[5] BYBI Susty Summit Slide
[6] BYBI Susty Summit Slide
[7] https://bybi.com/blogs/journal/recycle-right-with-bybi

Ditch and Switch: Swap to an eco friendly safety razor

 
Bambaw safety razor
 

Ditching the plastic and switching to a safety razor is one of the simplest vegan beauty swaps. Not only will a metal razor last you for years (if not life!), it’ll prevent the significant plastic waste of disposable razors and their packaging hanging around for HUNDREDS of years. Yes, it takes a little bit of adjustment and practice, but it was far easier and less scary than I thought it would be.

I bought mine from BAMBAW, a fantastic eco friendly brand championing zero waste and environmentally friendly, sustainable and plastic free alternatives such as toothbrushes, straws, cotton buds, dental floss and more. All are made with bamboo, a hero product which is a symbol of strength, flexibility and sustainability, often called ‘the world’s most renewable material[1]. An amazing plant, needing no pesticides or fertilizers to grow and little water, it’s fast growing and absorbs five times more carbon dioxide and produces 35% more oxygen than trees[2]. Bambaw’s bamboo is organically and ethically sourced from bamboo farms in Indonesia and China, and just to highlight their passion for our planet, Bambaw’s supply chain and transport are certified carbon neutral. Fandabidosy.

 
Bambaw safety razor
 

So, the razor! It’s a chunky, weighty metal razor with a bamboo handle and its high quality is evident immediately. At £19.69 it’s a bargain. With a safety razor, you only need to change the blades which are cheap, cheerful and, most importantly recyclable. I had never used one before and I had to admit that I was afraid it would all end in tears.  I did some prep by watching several tutorials on YouTube to build up the courage, but I have made a little video below to save you trawling for a gooden.

Bambaw safety razor parts

1. Unscrew the handle and disassemble the head of the razor. Grab a blade (carefully!)

Bambaw safety razor

2. Place the blade on top of the tip section of the razor head. Hold the blade by the short sides.

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3. Pop the second part of the razor head on top, flat side up.

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4. Reattach the handle, the blade will be squeezed between the two parts. The razor should curve.

Bambaw safety razor

5. The blade should peek out between the two long sides of the head.

Bambaw safety razor

6. You’re all good to go. Just take your time!

I started off with my legs, it’s the easiest area to access and practice the technique. You can allow the weight of the razor to do most of the work, you don’t need to press down AT ALL, and the curve of the razor head will naturally ensure that you are in the correct position. Soap up and start with short, light and smooth strokes until you get the hang of it. Honestly, it’s so much easier that you think. I didn’t come away with a scratch, and still haven’t had any casualties come a couple of months later!

The armpits and bikini line are slightly trickier – the area is harder to see and it’s more awkward to stretch the skin. And yet, it is still surprisingly straightforward and I’m now completely converted. You’ll work out your own technique, but (overshare alert) I found squatting whilst shaving my bikini line was the way forward. Soz.  

 
Bambaw safety razor
 

The only negative point I can make is that it does require more time and a little more care, meaning that I have not been shaving as often as I would have with a disposable. This in turn is probably a positive thing for my skin, but something to bear in mind if smooth skin is a must for you. (Although I have to say it’s been quite refreshing to let things get back to nature a bit!) The razor also needs to be looked after, (disassembled, cleaned and dried) after each use to prolong its life. Despite this, the positives far outweigh the negatives in my opinion and the significant impact on the environment is mega. On average, in the past I would probably buy two or three packs of four plastic razors a year, so on a personal level, being able to halt this unnecessary and harmful waste altogether is frickin awesome. Imagine if we all make the same eco swap. So, stop procrastinating! Ditch and switch!

 [1] https://www.bambaw.com/pages/why-bamboo

[2] https://www.bambaw.com/pages/why-bamboo

Please let us know how you get on, or if you have any questions. Don’t forget to check out our video below.

Disclaimer:  This review is 100% honest and reflects my experience. Product and brand information is correct at the time of publishing but please check the product website before purchasing.

 
 

Combatting cotton waste with Soap Daze's eco friendly cotton cleansing

 
Soap Daze 2.jpg
 

One of my least favourite chores is sorting through the bedroom bin, picking out the recyclable items and disposing of the rest (does anyone else do this or is it just me?). Amongst the assortment of laddered tights, toilet roll inners and random bits of paper I realised that cotton pads were making up a huge portion of my waste. Humph. In my efforts to tackle this I went in search of a washable option which could dramatically reduce my unnecessary waste and also the time spent sifting through the bin.

I came across some washable, knitted cotton options from Soap Daze, a wonderfully elegant and contemporary brand based in Devon. They predominantly make soaps and other skincare options but they also stock some beautiful cotton cleansing pads and face cloths. Everything is made by hand, with a raw, earthy feel and beautifully packaged in recyclable boxes and / or with paper labels. And just to pop the cherry on the top, all products are suitable for vegans. Happy dance commence.

Eco cleansing pads  £5.95 for pack of 3

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The cleansing pads come in a set of three and can be used to cleanse skin or remove makeup and face masks. I also intended on using them as a replacement to sweep over skin after using a toner (this is where the majority of my wasted cotton pads had come from). On first impressions the pads were a lot harder and tougher than I had expected, not the soft and spongy texture I had hoped for. I did jump straight in to use them but they were quite harsh on the sensitive eye area. I didn’t find them very comfortable to remove makeup and the cotton seemed to soak up the majority of the toner rather than sweep it over my face.

I hoped that running them through the wash a few times might soften them up and loosen the stitch, but I didn’t have much success. I was a little disappointed in all honesty, but on the plus side I have stopped using both these and the disposable ones and instead I’m just spritzing my face with a toner. So at least I’ve cut down some waste in the meantime, ey?

 

Cotton Facecloth £6.50 each

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I bought the hand knitted, 100% cotton yarn face cloth at last minute as a treat to myself - who doesn’t love a flannel!? The facecloth is made with a chunky, wide knit pattern which soaks up water easily and therefore feels luxurious on the skin, like a mini pamper sesh! The soft, natural fibres create a spongy and calming texture on the skin and whisk away dirt, grease and grime in the meantime. I also regularly use it to remove my eye makeup (with a little help of a cleanser to break it down first) and I am always amazed how easily the excess is removed.

The only downside is that I had chosen a clean, natural cream colour which now does not look so appealing. The fibres have absorbed all of my black make up and quite dramatically stained the cotton so sadly it now looks pretty gross. There’s a rainbow of colours to choose from though so I’d definitely recommend choosing a darker coloured facecloth, especially if you are intending on using it to remove makeup. It can easily be popped in the wash with the normal rounds but unfortunately this hasn’t removed the staining. 


Cedarwood & Grapefruit Natural Soap

 
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With my delivery came a free sample of Soap Daze’s handmade soapsI love a freebie! I put it to work straight away and the little bar lasted me a month which was not bad going at all. It smells great, a herbal, woody scent which was satisfying and enjoyable. It lathered well, but it did get quite soft if not left to dry out properly.

 
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In summary, I had mixed experiences with Soap Daze. I was thrilled with the face cloth and I would definitely buy another, I’m chuffed I did as the cleansing pads were not what I’d hoped. I think if they were made in the chunkier, looser and softer weave of the face cloth they might be better, but for me they were too harsh for my eyes. Boo.

Have you found a suitable cotton pad alternative?

Be inspired by cut.le.crap's all natural, eco-friendly skincare.

cut.le.crap is an exciting, gender free and forward thinking skincare brand based in London. Founded by Maya in 2017 the brand holds strong ethics and values with regards to its 100% Natural ingredients, Green Packaging and Sustainabilty. Reading through ‘cut.le.crap’s’ information pages is truly inspiring. They are working towards change and improvement constantly, aiming to cut out le crap and go plastic free by the end 2019-2020. You can read more about cut.le.crap on our Vegan Beauty Brands Directory.

“I cannot wait for the day when sustainability will be an expectation and not a choice.”
— Maya, Founder
 
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Products are handmade in the UK to reduce their carbon footprint and all ingredients are 100% natural, toxin free and many items are vegan. cut.le.crap’s packaging consists of glass jars, aluminium tins and biopolymer plastic, their labels are biodegradable, their parcels are made from recycled cardboard, tape is paper based and can be recycled with the box, the foam fillers are made from vegetable starch and are biodegradable and their thank you card is printed on recycled paper using vegetable based ink. Where necessary you can choose to opt out of a pipette and get an aluminium cap instead. These guys are ON IT. When I was kindly sent some samples to try they came in small metal tins and I have to say that the non-descript nature of them meant that I could not be swayed by the design and packaging. Instead I got hands on and judged the product solely on itself.

I got to try a little of each of the following cut.le.crap vegan products, but please bear in mind that being samples, I only had a small taster so I didn’t have the opportunity to use the products regularly. I therefore can’t comment on their effectiveness long term. All product images are taken from the cut.le.crap website.

 Cleansing Cream 100ml, £12.50

cut.le.crap Cleansing Cream.png

This light, lotion like white cream smelt calming, soothing and fresh thanks to the beautiful, natural ingredients such as lavender and jasmine. I was pleased with how the cleanser smoothed over and into skin and broke down my day to day makeup (light foundation, bronzer, eyeliner and mascara).   I used a warm, damp cloth to remove it which I always find highly relaxing. When toning afterwards I would often pick up lasting residue on the pad so I wouldn’t say that the cleanser removed everything, but my skin felt clean, nourished and healthy afterwards so it ultimately gets a thumbs up from me.

It’s suitable for all skin types and sensitive skin due to the restoring, natural ingredients. Key ingredients are beautiful:

Coconut, cocoa butter, jasmine & lavender water, arnica, essential oils Lavender & lemon.

Day Cream 60ml £21

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The cut.le.crap Day Cream was more of a lotion than a cream and initially I thought it would be too light and not moisturising enough for me. BUT it was richer than it looked and needed to be properly worked into the skin.  It had great texture, smooth and silky, gliding onto and penetrating the skin well, leaving it feeling soft and hydrated. My skin always felt prepped and ready for the day.

I think it would be suitable for day and night, unless you require something extra rich for very dry skin.  Saying that, it is supposed to be suitable for all skin types including sensitive skin thanks to the hypoallergenic ingredient almond oil.  The beautiful, natural ingredients give it a heavenly herbal scent which I LOVED. I would like to purchase this cream and try it over a longer period of time. 

Key ingredients include:

Jojoba, calendula, geranium  & clary Sage essential oils.

Marula Oil Facial Serum 30ml £14

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The Marula Oil Serum was my favourite of the two Facial Oils. Designed for all skin types again, it aims to encourage firmer, more radiant skin and can help to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. The blend of Marula and Apricot oils produces a silky oil which felt luxurious to apply; it felt like I was feeding my skin. You only need a few drops to massage lightly into face and neck. My skin felt instantly nourished and glowy, like a goddess. It didn’t leave a heavy, shiny, oily layer but sank in efficiently so I could go about the rest of my routine.

I didn’t get to feel the full effects in terms of the wrinkle claims, but this was another wonderful product that I would happily purchase – and it’s so reasonably priced.

More lush key ingredients:

Marula Oil, Apricot Oil, Frankincense Essential Oil, Rose Damask Essential Oil.  

 

Pure Cold pressed Cacay face oil 30ml £15

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This 100% pure Cacay seed oil had a richer and less runny texture than the Marula Oil. It’s packed with antioxidants and vitamins (especially Vitamin A) and it is designed for more mature skin types to help plump and replenish skin. The closest that I could describe the scent is olive oil, an almost fragrance free, natural scent – but it’s not off putting.  As always, massaging oil into skin is a joy, and similarly to the Marula Oil, I noticed that my skin felt velvety and comforted instantly. Due to the richness of the oil it penetrated skin very quickly and so my skin didn’t feel as radiant afterwards, perhaps it is just not necessary for my skin yet.

 

Energise Body Oil 100ml £14.50

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And last but not least, the Body Oil. It had a gorgeous, relaxing lavender scent with a hint of citrus, a fresh, clean and herbal delight. The oil itself is quite runny but ideal for use on your body. Massaging it into skin really gets the blood pumping and my skin felt instantly hydrated and healthier looking. It sank into skin quickly and didn’t leave any greasiness which is ideal for a busy bee.  Cut.le.crap state that the oil also will ‘lock in moisture’ to help to protect skin against all weathers and conditions all day long.

The beaut key ingredients are:

Sunflower, Olive & Jojoba, Bay, Lemon, Lavender & Rosemary Essential Oils.

So, there you have it.

I was very impressed by cut.le.crap’s 100% natural and vegan friendly products. Despite only having a smidgen to try the quality shines through and each one was effective and enjoyable to use.  All are super affordable and I would definitely consider purchasing a couple of full size products. I also absolutely love the work that cut.le.crap are doing, their ethos and values is exactly the kind of brand that I wish to support.

Have you tried any of cut.le.crap’s products? Which would you recommend?

Disclaimer:  These products have been sent to me to test and review by the brand. I have received no monetary benefit for this review. The review is 100% honest and reflects my experience. Product and brand information is correct at the time of publishing but please check the product website before purchasing. All product images are taken from the cut.le.crap website.

Haircare that actually cares: Meet Hairy Jayne's Treatment Range

 
Hairy Jayne Treatment
 

Brixton based beauty Jayne Rutland is an experienced hairdresser who knows her follicles from her frizz. Aiming to put the ‘care’ back into haircare, she launched ‘Hairy Jayne’ - her own range of handmade, naturally fragranced, vegan friendly haircare. She brews, mixes and packages all products by hand in her Brixton studio, and designs the labels too. Inspired much, ladies?

With an affordable, simple and highly moisturising collection of shampoo, conditioners, hair perfumes and treatment products, Hairy Jayne provides all you need to keep dry locks groomed and gorgeous. All products are certified by The Vegan Society and are 100% cruelty free, and there are no sulphates, parabens, artificial colours or mineral oils. Instead the products are packed with plant oils and fragrant essential oils which are better for us and our environment. Most of the packaging is recyclable and she also sells biodegradable refill pouches to save on plastic waste. Whoop whoop!

‘So where to start?’ I hear you say. Well, Jayne has you covered with a fantastically helpful chart to point you in the right direction, take a look here. There are also three delightful fragrances to choose from for most products, so you can create your complete, bespoke hair care regime with HJ. Having just returned from my travels abroad, my hair was feeling frazzled and my scalp a little itchy and tender, so I was sold straight away by the Pre Shampoo Treatment Oil and the Treatment Conditioner in Floral.

It was love at first sight.

 Hairy Jayne Hair Treatment oil  £14 / 50ml

Hairy Jayne Treatment Oil

I was excited to try the oil as I was suffering from a sore and severely itchy scalp between washes. Beautifully packaged, the Treatment oil comes in a glass bottle and is super easy to apply with a glass pipette, just drop 15-20 drops over scalp and massage in, then brush through hair (apply more to the ends if necessary). It’s made with a beautiful collection of essential oils including Argan Oil, Bay, Clary Sage, Lavender, Olive Oil, Pomegranate Seed Oil and Ylang Ylang. Lush. These 100% natural and biodegradable ingredients give the oil a calming, herbal fragrance which is just divine.

 
Hairy Jayne Treatment Oil
 

The Treatment Oil can be used on both your scalp and hair and Jayne recommends it to relieve a dry, flaky scalp whilst nourishing follicles and smoothing hair. It can be applied to scalp and hair before shampooing, or as a leave-in product for very dry, wavy or curly hair to add shine and control frizz (but you only need a few drops).

I was a little tentative at first, worried that the oil would not wash out properly and leave my hair looking oily and greasy, but the oil is quite light and actually sinks in well to skin if you apply it directly. Whether you leave it in for the minimum recommended time of 30 minutes, or overnight to really work its magic, I’m confident that you will see some improvement. My hair is mid length, thick and pretty straight, but after using the oil it feels glossier, smoother and my scalp feels the benefit too. I have been using the treatment oil almost every week, once a week since October last year and although I do still get a little itchiness after going a few days without washing my hair (I’m trying not to wash it too often), it’s nothing like I was getting before where I felt like my scalp was on fire. Can I just point out that I still have the majority of the oil left in the bottle too after 5 months of using it so it really is good value for money and will last you aaages.

 
Hairy Jayne Treatment Oil
Hairy Jayne Treatment Oil
 

You may need to experiment a little to make sure that you are applying the right amount for your hair, I have noticed a few times if I have applied too much or not shampooed thoroughly enough then my hair can look a little flat or static, but about 15 drops left on for an hour or so seems to do the trick for me now. Every now and again I will apply some to the ends too to keep them moisturised and smooth. I really look forward to the weekend when I can apply the treatment oil (usually before a bath and with a glass of wine!). It feels like a luxurious treat and it’s nice to look after my hair properly (considering I can go a year without getting it trimmed – Jayne would slap my wrist!).

 Hairy Jayne Treatment Conditioner  £14 / 250ml or £7 / 100ml

Hairy Jayne Treatment Conditioner

First things first, the Floral scent is B.E.A.utiful. The Geranium, Bergamot and Vanilla blend is both fresh and calming - exactly the kind of luxury I would expect from a ‘treatment’ product. The other 96% naturally derived, biodegradable and super-rich ingredients include rice bran oil, wheat protein, plum kernel oil, sorbitol and other essential oils - all designed to treat and condition those locks.

 It can be used as a regular conditioner (especially for dry hair) or as a treatment, deep conditioning mask before shampooing. To use as a treatment, apply and leave on for at least 20 minutes (or all night long, baby!), then rinse and continue with your normal hair washing regime. For both methods, apply only to the mid length and ends, avoiding your scalp. The texture is like a normal conditioner and a little goes a long way, trust me.

 
Hairy Jayne Treatment Conditioner
Hairy Jayne Treatment Conditioner
 

In general I have been using the Conditioner once a week, mainly as a replacement for my other conditioner. I really enjoy using the product because it smells great and leaves my hair feeling soft and healthy, but I don’t use it with every wash (mainly because I don’t want it to end!). My hair isn’t particularly dry so I don’t notice a huge difference from my other conditioner, but it does top up the moisture levels.

On the odd occasion (usually a Saturday night, ‘Honey, I’m washing my hair’) I will use it as a treatment and leave the conditioner in for an hour or so whilst in the bath.  After drying, my hair definitely looks and feels clean, sleek and smooth but sometimes a little too smooth, as it can appear flatter and more static. Perhaps my hair just doesn’t need this level of moisture.

 
Hairy Jayne Treatment
 

So, in summary I would definitely recommend these affordable, effective and vegan, hair friendly products. I love the fact that they are handmade by Jayne herself and in purchasing them I can support a woman and her UK business. The range is predominantly aimed at dry hair issues, so I think the Treatment Conditioner is a little rich for my hair type, I think next time I will try the Cream Conditioner instead. For those of you with oily or naturally hydrated hair, these specific products may not be necessary for you. BUT Hairy Jayne also offers other happy hair products, just use her chart to find out which might be more suited to your hair type.

N.B. Hairy Jayne isn’t actually hairy. You can read more about Hairy Jayne on our Vegan Beauty Brand Directory.

 I’d love to hear how you get on so please drop me a line below.

Disclaimer:  These products have been sent to me to test and review by the brand. I have received no monetary benefit for this review. The review is 100% honest and reflects my experience. Product and brand information is correct at the time of publishing but please check the product website before purchasing.

Reused, repurposed, reloved: Coffee Scrubs from Upcircle Beauty

Upcircle Coffee Scrubs

Back in autumn 2018 I was very lucky to be sent an Optiat Pamper Kit to try. Each sachet gives a little taster of their scrub collection BUT what with little old life getting in the way I somehow find myself in a new year and still not having posted a review – eek. How time flies. However, as packed as my schedule has been, it’s nothing compared to what these guys have achieved. Originally donned ‘Optiat’, a wonderful company with its roots in ethical and sustainable values, the brand appeared on Dragon’s Den in August 2018. Brother and sister team sealed a deal and then at the end of the year they launched some new products and fully rebranded as Upcircle. WOW. Busy bees. This is why I have a mix match of vegan products to talk about today both from Optiat and Upcircle, so just bear with me. I hope you’re sitting comfortably!

Optiat Coffee Scrubs

Optiat was born in 2015 when they had the bright idea of using what would be wasted coffee grounds from artisan London coffee shops and repurposing them into vegan body scrubs. Their motto: ‘Reused, repurposed, reloved’. It’s genius. Fast-forward a couple of years and the range has expanded to include face scrubs, soaps and serums and also reusing leftover brewed chai tea spices. All of their packaging is fully recyclable and now looks beautifully high end. You can read more about Upcircle on our Vegan Beauty Brand Directory.

As with all other coffee scrubs that I have tried you have to be prepared to get messy before you get clean. It marks everything it touches, and as my boyfriend so eloquently put it – ‘it looks like a bomb site in here’. It’s worth it though - coffee contains caffeine which has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. The caffeine helps to stimulate blood flow, reduce redness and naturally invigorate the skin. Meanwhile the gritty coffee grains whip off those unwanted dry and dead skin cells. It’s said that exfoliating is effective for skin conditions like eczema, acne, cellulite and stretch marks and although I wouldn’t couldn’t confirm this per se having only sampled a sachet size of each, I do think that regular exfoliation improves skin’s texture, tone and quality. I can vouch that exfoliating has improved the redness on the back of my arms in the past. 

So, let’s get down to the nitty gritty…

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BODY SCRUBS

Upcircle have streamlined their coffee body scrub range into three options: Coffee & Peppermint, Coffee & Lemongrass or Coffee & Tangerine. All three scrubs smell wonderful, with very distinct and invigorating fragrances. It’s difficult to vouch for the effectiveness of the specific elements of the scrubs, having only used a sample size of each but all three definitely did the trick and left my skin feeling soft and energised.

Co-founder Anna Brightman assures me that the formulations for the new Upcircle Lemongrass and Peppermint scrubs remain almost identical to the original Optiat ingredients. From what I can see both have only had the Almond Kernel Oil switched for Coconut Oil. Anna explained that the Tangerine is very similar to the Mandarin but with a sweeter, stronger citrus scent. I’d certainly agree with this, they have ramped up the citrus ingredients to include grapefruit and lemongrass oils, plus a few other tweaks. These citrus elements act as a natural antiseptic designed to help breakouts and acne. Out of the original Optiat scrubs, my favourite by far was the Coffee & Mandarin, it was like showering with chocolate orange – HEAVEN! The new and upgraded Upcircle Coffee & Tangerine scrub is still very enjoyable to use, but a different ticket altogether. It’s far zestier which makes it more energising and invigorating and so brings it more in line with the other two scrubs.  

The Coffee & Peppermint contains eucalyptus which is designed to clear sinuses and improve congestion. I found it very uplifting and it left my skin tingling and ready for the day - no wonder it was originally ‘The Hungover Scrub’.  The Coffee & Lemongrass is infused with lime which acts as a natural antiseptic and astringent, aiming to keep skin firm and taut. I personally found the fragrance of the lemongrass a little overpowering but it, too was invigorating and awakening, a good one to start off the day.

The original Optiat scrubs had a thick, almost muddy texture which is rich and effective. However, the upgraded Upcircle Coffee & Tangerine scrub was far lighter and a lot less messy. It’s possible that the Peppermint and Lemongrass scrubs have also been altered in texture – watch this space. Each scrub is combined with shea butter which provides some much needed moisture, and I was really impressed with how soft, healthy and moisturised my skin felt. So much so that there was no need to slather on the lotion after exfoliating. It’s like a two in one and something that I have not come across in a body scrub before – ker ching!

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FACE SCRUBS

The face scrubs are also available in multiple blends designed for different skin types: Herbal, Citrus and Floral. The Herbal blend is recommended for oily/combination skin and contains a beautiful combo of ingredients such as rosemary, thyme, petit grain and tea tree essential oils. The natural antibacterial, antiseptic and antioxidant properties of the ingredients target skin problems like acne and breakouts whilst others like rosehip oil hydrate and moisturise. If I had to categorise my skin I would put it in the normal to combination bracket, so technically this scrub would be my bag. I enjoyed the effectiveness of it, but I was a little disappointed by the orange fragrance, it’s pleasant enough, but not the herbal notes that I expected.

The Citrus blend is recommended for dry/dehydrated skin due to its combination of rosehip, sweet orange and lemon verbena essential oils. Once again the antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of the ingredients should soothe redness and balance skin tone while Jojoba oil deeply moisturises and nourishes skin. I don’t class myself as having dry skin but I did enjoy the moisturising effects of this face scrub, and the zesty, citrus fragrance which is uplifting and brightening.

The Floral blend is recommended for sensitive skin due to its gorgeous concoction of chamomile, rosehip, geranium and patchouli essential oils.  The focus on hydrating, moisturising and nourishing ingredients are partnered with soothing and anti-inflammatory chamomile, making it helpful for rosacea, acne and psoriasis.  Again, it’s tricky to comment on the effectiveness of this specifically but again I felt let down by the fragrance. The list of main ingredients is right up my street but any notes of the floral essential oils were overpowered by the sweet, orange ingredient, which was by no means unpleasant, but not what I had hoped.

 
 

As a whole, I found the coffee grains in all three face scrubs a little too abrasive and gritty and I couldn’t help but feel that something gentler would have been more enjoyable to use. Considering that the Floral blend is designed for sensitive skin, and the Herbal blend for acne etc., I would be concerned that they are too harsh for the face but obviously I cannot confirm this. On the switch side, similar to the body scrubs the shea butter is very effective and leaves skin feeling smooth and moisturised. Instead my skin always looked glowing and healthy after each and all of the scrubs, leaving it prepped and ready for makeup too.

 
Upcircle Coffee Face Serum.jpg
 

FACE MASKS / SERUM

Unfortunately it appears that the Optiat face masks have been phased out. I really enjoyed the DIY element of the mix it yourself powders, although I appreciate that this may not be everybody’s cup of tea. Instead Upcircle have introduced an Organic Face Serum with coffee oil. I was concerned that the coffee would overpower it but the serum doesn’t smell like coffee at all and has a far lighter, earthier fragrance.

The 100% natural ingredients are rich in vitamin C and include jojoba, sea buckthorn and rosehip oils, all designed to hydrate, brighten complexion, reduce redness and repair skin. It felt like a cross between an oil and a serum to me, due to the liquid texture, but I really enjoyed using it despite usually avoiding oily products. It’s tricky to confirm whether the serum has performed in all of the above, having only tested a small sample, but I would certainly purchase a full size bottle to continue the good work and I would be interested to see the long term benefits.

Upcircle confirm that it can be used for all skin types and they recommend using a few drops regularly morning and night. You only need a little bit as it can take a while to sink in, but it left my skin feeling noticeably soft, smooth and hydrated especially around my eyes and cheeks. It feels beautifully silky smooth on application and if you take the time to massage it in properly with your fingertips it’s highly relaxing and a real treat.

Upcircle Coffee Body Face Scrubs

 We made it!

Overall, after using both the body and face scrubs regularly over the past few weeks I have certainly noticed a difference in my skin tone. It’s far softer, firmer and healthier in general and I even think my cellulite has improved slightly too. I have had a few breakouts here and there on my face but this could be normal for me and I couldn’t say if it is a direct result of the thicker shea butter element.

Don’t get too bogged down in the fragrance, as all of them are enjoyable and most have a heavy citrus/ orange note anyhow, but instead focus on which is recommended for your skin type. I would certainly purchase these again (I’d choose the Peppermint Body Scrub, Herbal Blend Face Scrub and the Organic Face Serum fo’ sho’) and would be interested to see the long term benefits.

The ethical, sustainable and environmentally friendly values that the brand uphold wins it hands down for me and it such a huge selling point. If only more waste products could be repurposed in some way.

Have you used a coffee scrub? Which of the Upcircle Scrubs would you choose?

Disclaimer:  These products have been sent to me to test and review by the brand. I have received no monetary benefit for this review. The review is 100% honest and reflects my experience. Product and brand information is correct at the time of publishing but please check the product website before purchasing.

Mooncup: Up your green game

So girls, I wanted to chat to you about the best invention since sliced bread, drum roll please….the Mooncup. I remember seeing advertisements for the UK manufactured Mooncup on the back of toilet cubicle doors during my university days (yonks ago now) and being completely baffled and then a little horrified about the prospect. Fast forward ten years and I am completely converted and one hundred percent on board.

 
Mooncup
 

Not only is it clean, comfortable and easy to use (once you get the knack), it has also saved me a bomb of money and a shit load of waste. If you think about how many tampons, pads or panty liners one woman gets through every month, year, hell lifetime, it’s a bit of a shocker. According to the Mooncup website, ‘Every year, over 45 billion feminine hygiene products are disposed of globally - but now we have the opportunity to reduce this to almost nothing because one Mooncup should last years. For only £22 it’s a steal, plus one mooncup holds 3 x more menstrual fluid than a regular tampon so it’s a no brainer.

The Vegan Society certified cup is made out of soft, medical grade silicone which is non-absorbent. Did you know that toxins can be absorbed into the body through the vagina? It’s now common knowledge that traces of chemicals, dioxins and insecticides were found in a small selection of tested sanitary products* but the Mooncup won’t be having any of that! It is SO much cleaner, more hygienic and you won’t get any uncomfortable dry episodes. I couldn’t wait to chuck out my gross tampons.

I was initially terrified and I admittedly did have a few sticky situations to begin with. There are some great tips and tricks about how to use them properly online but there are few key things for me: Wet the Mooncup before popping it in; after testing it, trim the stem as much as possible to avoid discomfort; and most of all STAY CALM. I find going in is easy, but coming out takes a little more practice. It really is good baby pushing practice! Using muscles you probably never knew you had (unless you are mummies), push the mooncup down as far as you can, pinch the ends with your thumb and forefinger, angle it to release the natural seal and out it comes. Sounds easy, right?

 
Mooncup
 

In all honesty, it probably took me about 6 months to really get the knack and feel 100% comfortable but now that I’ve got it I wouldn’t have it any other way. Without sounding cheesy, I feel more at one with my body and I’m so chuffed with the amount of waste I have reduced already. I took it travelling with me, which I was a little apprehensive about in terms of cleanliness, but as long as you can keep your hands clean and have access to boiling water to disinfect it, you’re good. I really had no issues at all and it’s surprising how discreet us ladies can be.

It’s worth mentioning that I am generally a light period kinda girl and I only really have one heavy day at the beginning of my cycle, which I understand may change things for some of you. Mooncup do offer a larger one for those of you with heavier flows of for lucky mummies but there are plenty of other cups on the market so it might be worth shopping around.

So there you have it - please give it a go - you won’t regret it and I think it is a major revolution for us girls and our planet. Take some time to learn how to use it properly and don’t expect it to be easy from the off. If all women around the world had access to one of these we could substantially reduce our waste, and learn more about ourselves in the process.

Disclaimer:  This review is 100% honest and reflects my experience. Product and brand information is correct at the time of publishing but please check the product website before purchasing.