The Vegan Kind Beauty Box Unboxing | August 2017

This month’s The Vegan Kind Beauty Box is an absolute corker! Yes, I was slightly disappointed that this is the first box I have received without an item of makeup, but the more I look into and try out the products, the less I’m bothered about this! The products inside this month are just brilliant and so unique that I don’t already own anything like them. So, let’s dig in!

Zerreau Waterless Body Wash 70ml (RRP £3.99)

I received a product from Zerreau in last quarter’s box which was a dry shampoo foam. I wasn’t so keen on that, so was a bit dubious about this one. I tried it out after my run earlier this evening and my god, it’s genius! You put the foam on dry skin and lather it up, you then just wipe it away with a towel – no water required! This is perfect for post-gym sessions when you can’t get in the shower, or at a festival, or just anytime you need a super-speedy freshen up! It also has a beautiful fruity and tropical scent which stays on the skin. I’m a big fan!

Chirp Body Softnest 100% Natural Hair Mask (RRP £17.95)

I haven’t been able to give this a try yet, because I only received the box this morning, but who doesn’t love a hair mask? I recently had my hair coloured/bleached so it could do with some TLC. This mask is designed to soften and hydrate hair, whilst rejuvenating the senses at the same time. It should be applied to dry hair, left for around 30 mins and then wash your hair twice with shampoo to make sure all of the mask has been removed. I’m excited to try this!

Tisserand Happy Aromatherapy Roller Ball (RRP £5.95)We all need a little pick me up throughout the day, right? Well this aromatherapy roller ball is sunshine in a bottle. Just roll this onto temples, the nape of the neck, behind the ears and anywhere else you can sniff for a waft of joy. I absolutely love products like this and strongly believe in essential oils and aromas playing a part in our moods and emotions. I’ve put this straight in my handbag, ready for stressful situations and moments of dull moods. The essential oils inside are – bergamot, lemon tea tree and nutmeg. Trust me when I say, this smells incredible. I challenge you not to feel happier when using this for yourself!

Figs and Rouge Hydra-Activ 3 in 1 Hero Cream 80ml (RRP £18)

When I looked in the box and saw this beautiful tin, I did a little happy dance! I mean, let’s take a second to appreciate this packaging – I just love that design! I have a bit of a thing about products which come in tins too – just so retro and funky looking (does anyone say ‘funky’ anymore?!). I’m excited to try the cream itself too. It’s for both the face and body and promises to deliver hydration, radiance, the reduction of fine lines and smoothing properties. Fingers crossed it achieves all of these! Figs & Rouge are an absolutely gorgeous brand, so I’m expecting good things.

Eden Perfumes – Daisy Perfume 10ml (RRP £7)


OK, this is what really did it for me this month. I’m absolutely blown away by this company and what they do. They make vegan versions of all of your favourite perfumes and aftershaves, for a fraction of the price. The one I received in my box is their version of ‘Daisy’ by Marc Jacobs and it smells INCREDIBLE! I have an issue with perfumes in that I can never smell them on my skin after about ten minutes of applying them. This one stuck with me – I’m not just saying this to gain brownie points from the company, I’m not paid to write this, I just genuinely believe in this company and perfume. I’ve even got my husband ready to make an order with me come pay day! If you get the box for one thing, get it for this perfume. Check out Eden Perfumes for yourself here.

The Vegan Kind Beauty Box is a quarterly box priced at only £15.00 plus postage. Subscribe here.

Kerry x

Fresh Naturals | Natural, Vegan and Organic Pampering Goodies

 

 

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We all need a bit of a pamper sometimes what with long working hours, family life and just general everyday stresses. When Fliss from Fresh Naturals offered to send me some gorgeous samples to put to the pamper test, I really couldn’t refuse. I rarely get time to just lie back in the bath and relax, but made sure I set myself some time aside. Baby J was in bed and the husband was on the xbox – perfect! Here are the products I put to the test, along with others I have been using over the last couple of weeks.

Keep reading for a special 20% off code too!

Tropical Crush Bath Bomb (150g) – £3.25

This bath bomb took a long time to dissolve in my bath, which I love. I feel that this is the sign of a good quality bath bomb – cheaper ones just tend to dissolve in a matter of seconds, whereas this one was going for a good few minutes. It filled my whole bathroom with fruity and tropical aromas which gave me a positive energy boost. Beautiful! This bomb contains Apricot Kernel oil for soft skin and mineral-rich dead sea salt. Buy yours here.

Wake Up and Go Handmade Bath Bomb (120g) – £3.00

I haven’t used this one yet, as I’m saving it for a rare morning bath treat. It smells incredible though! This bomb contains sense awakening oils that will wake you up, ready for the day including peppermint oil and lemon oil. Buy yours here.

Tea Tree and Poppy Seed Natural Sugar Scrub – £3.50

When I spoke to Fliss about this product, she said that they are one of her best sellers – one customer even bought fifteen of them! The are different combinations to choose from including, Peppermint and Blue Cornflower, Avocado and Olive Oil and Lemon, Grapefruit and Calendula.  These can either be used on your feet, like a pumice stone, or run under warm water and then rubbed over the skin. I used it the second way, especially on my arms and it left them smelling great and feeling silky smooth. Buy yours here.

A Pamper Pack of Mini Bath Time Treats

Oh my goodness, I actually squealed a little bit when I opened up the box containing all these beautiful goodies! Inside I received (from left to right in photo) –

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Also, don’t forget that Fresh Naturals is a vegan friendly, cruelty free, organic brand – making us and the animals very happy.

To receive 20% off your order (excluding delivery) use the code SPARKLEWITHKERRY at the checkout (valid until the end of August 2017).

Visit Fresh Naturals here.

Kerry x

 

In the Know | Vegan Leather

I thought that today instead of reviewing a product, I would bring you an informative article about vegan leather – something which might intrigue you. I was certainly interested to know more about vegan leather – How can leather be vegan? Is it still leather if it’s not made from animal products? Does it last as long? 

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So how is vegan leather sourced? It is a fake leather-like material not made from animal skin. Many materials can be used to make vegan leather, including synthetics like plastic and more natural materials like cork. You may have referred to vegan leather as ‘pleather’ – a term used which combines plastic and leather. This is because most faux leathers are made using polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and polyurethane (PU), which are plastic based materials.

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These materials have raised issues as to their production and its impact on the environment. It is however, difficult to source natural materials to produce a hardy enough material for faux leather although it has been attempted with kelp and pineapple leaves.

How is vegan leather made? Faux leather is produced in a very different way to leather. Different chemicals and a totally different industrial process is used. The most common way to make it is to bond together a plastic coating to a fabric backing. Depending on what plastics are used, defines whether it is eco friendly. Be sure to check this out if you’re after a true vegan leather.

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The big question: Is vegan leather better than real leather? Vegan leather is usually a lot lighter than leather and thinner. It is also more lightweight which makes it a lot easier to work with in terms of fashion. The drawback to this is that it makes it a lot less durable. I’m sure you all have at least one leather item in your household/family which has been going for decades and still looking good. Leather is just generally a lot more hard-wearing. This is an important factor to consider when deciding between fake leather and real leather as the environmental impact of replacing a fake leather product multiple times is arguably more damaging than the purchase of one real leather item.

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So in conclusion, the choice is yours. There are some fabulous vegan leathers available including those produced by Dr. Martens – you really can’t tell the difference! Just consider the environmental impact your faux leather may be having on the environment and check before you buy.

To find out more about vegan leather, read this very informative article here.

Kerry x

 

NB Labs Bio Extracts | Advanced Eye Contour Collection

Bio Extracts were one of the first companies to back my blog in its early stages and send me an amazing PR package. Since then, they have continued to support me and even sent me a lovely Easter card this year! You can read my original review here – Bio Extracts @Home Lab.  I was so excited when I was contacted by them asking me to try out their new range of eye products. This is the new Advanced Eye Contour Collection. This collection works on the same premise as the already released range, in that you get a beautifully rich lamellar system cream and some boosters.

The innovative idea behind Bio Extract skin products, is the personalisation of your skin care routine. If you’re suffering from a particular skin issue one morning or evening, you can adjust your products to your needs.

Bio Extracts are a vegan brand, that use the latest biotechnology to harness powerful plant extracts which are amazing for your skin. The eye cream itself is formulated with the Bio Extracts unique Multi-Lamellar System which has a structural similarity to your skin’s own natural layers. When it is applied to the skin, it mimics these layers acting like a hydrating patch – enhancing its barrier function, leaving it feeling instantly refreshed and hydrated.

Here’s the extra exciting part – the boosters! I absolutely love these and to be totally honest, so does my husband. It’s so nice to be able to check out your skin in the morning and personalise your skin care to it. It’s the same with the eye boosters. You can purchase the Lift and Firm Boost or the Brightening Boost. I use the Lift and Firm at night and the Brightening one in the morning.

The Brightening Boost will help the skin around the eyes look more radiant and revitalised. The Lift and Firm Boost will help to give a firmer, plumped up appearance around the eye contour.

You can also combine your eye cream with both boosters, if you’re feeling the need for super optimum results around the eyes (perfect after a heavy night!).

I have found the cream and boosters to also be an amazing base to my makeup. I have experienced little to no creasing around my eyes where my concealer usually sits. The makeup sits still and looks very smooth too.

To purchase the Bio Extracts Advanced Eye Contour Collection for yourself, click here. Or from QVC here.

Kerry x

Lavera | Natural, Organic and Vegan Beauty Products

 I have been in contact with Ingrid Hume from Pravera for a while now and she has kindly sent out some high-quality and beautiful natural products to me. You may have previously read my post on Benecos Cosmetics (if not, click here) where I gave them a glowing review. Now it’s the turn of the brand Lavera – a natural, organic and vegan beauty brand.

I created the look pictured below, using the products I was sent. Here’s a run down of everything I used and how I used it.

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Lavera Illuminating Eyeshadow Quattro Indian Dream 03 – 4 x 0.5g

This eyeshadow quad is just STUNNING. My mind went into overdrive when thinking of all the looks I could create using just these four colours. I love the mix or peachy pinks and golds with khaki greens. They just match beautifully. I’m really into khaki eye makeup at the moment, so was very excited to try this out.

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Swatches in natural light
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Swatches taken with a flash

 

 

Here I created a very simple look using the mini palette. I used my Benecos single eyeshadow in Mauve in the crease, as I like to use matte shades there. I then used the pink colour over three quarters of my lid, starting from the inner corner. On the outer corner I used the peachy/gold tone. Along the lower last line I used a tiny amount of both of the green/gold colours.

Lavera Mineral Sun Glow Powder Duo – Golden Sahara 01 – 9g

This bronzer has a beautiful texture and consistency and blends like a dream. The colour is very buildable and I would say it looks much darker in the pan than it actually is. You can use the colours singly, or swirl them together with a brush. I mix them together as I find this to be the perfect match for my skin tone. I applied the bronzer just below the cheek bones, around the forehead and perimeter of my face. I love how glowy it made me look!

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Left to right- lightest shade, darkest shade, both mixed together

Lavera Organic Highlighter 4g – 03 Golden Shine

Wow, this little highlighter really packs a big punch! It is a cream product, so is best used before a powder. I have particularly enjoyed this on no-foundation days as it gives me maximum glow without all the other products. It’s been brilliant on these hot days we’ve been having. I applied the highlighter to the usual places where a glow is very welcome – cheekbones, bridge and end of nose, Cupid’s bow and brow bone.

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Swatched in natural light
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Swatched with a ring light
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Applied to the cheekbones. Taken with ring light

Lavera So Fresh Rouge Powder – Plum Blossom 02

Sorry guys, but here’s another product I just LOVE! I really don’t have anything negative to say about any of the Lavera products I’ve tried. This blush is pigmented, creamy, buildable and easy to blend out. It looks just stunning on the cheeks for that ‘glowing from within’ look. It is a plum toned powder, with a shimmer. I applied this to the apples of my cheeks.

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Swatched in natural light
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Swatched with a ring light

 

I’m so pleased with how these products transferred onto my face. They have brilliant staying power too – I’ve even been for a run this evening and the eyeshadows haven’t creased! These are lovingly made, high-quality beauty items. I’m excited to try more from the range. Lavera also have skin, bath, baby, men’s, dental and other products to name just a few. Definitely check them out on Pravera here.

What do you think of my finished look?

Kerry x

Pampered and Gorgeous | Katie Craig Lavender & Orange Hand & Body Wash

I’m very excited to be talking to you this evening about Pampered and Gorgeous. I came across this lovely company on their Instagram and was intrigued by their ethos of bringing their consumer pampering products which are kind to the environment, kind to animals and kind to nature.  All of the products on the website are organic, cruelty free, vegan and natural.

Now for the product review! I was kindly sent the Katie Craig Lavender & Orange Hand & Body Wash to try out and then review.

 

All of the Katie Craig products sold on the website are paraben free and sulphate free. They are scented using essential oils – meaning they pack a real punch when it comes to their perfume. I was absolutely blown away by this body wash when I used it in my shower. I find that the scent really clings to the skin too, meaning its beautiful smell doesn’t leave once your bath or shower is over. It is also a brilliant little cleanser! I especially love using it after a run as it really refreshes my skin and leaves me feeling very clean and my skin feeling soft.

The Katie Craig body wash came presented in a gorgeous pink, purple and black box. The box itself is made from recycle card. In fact, all of the packaging is recycled. The packaging can also be recycled after use.

The Katie Craig Orange & Lavender Hand & Body Wash can be purchased through the Pampered & Gorgeous website here. Take a look at the other pampering products available whilst you’re there. Treat yourself to your very own at-home spa day!

Kerry x

Benecos Natural Beauty – Product Reviews

 

Last week I was sent some gorgeous goodies from Benecos to review. Benecos produce natural, cruelty-free and vegan makeup and sell them at affordable prices. They also sell natural skincare, natural hair care and natural body care products which are all 100% natural with organic ingredients. In my package I received the Natural Light Fluid Foundation, Natural Lipstick in ‘Catwalk’ and two eyeshadows – Shimmery Eyeshadow in ‘Rose Quartz’ and Eyeshadow Matte in ‘Mauve Me’. I tried them all out today and here’s my honest review…

Benecos Natural Light Fluid Foundation in Dune – £7.16

This is a lightweight foundation which blends beautifully and evenly over the face. To apply it I used my Kabuki brush. I built up the coverage because I have some redness on my cheeks which I like to cover. The foundation coped very well with this and evened out my skintone effortlessly. I took a photo of the coverage on just half my face for comparison purposes.

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The foundation on half of my face (my left side), after applying just one layer

The foundation contains organic, hydrating and nourishing ingredients including Avocado Oil and Argan Oil to keep your skin hydrated throughout the day. It has a matte finish – perfect for me and my oily T-Zone! I also found that it lasted for a good few hours too and only started to cake slightly around my nose (no foundation has ever passed this test – trust me!). To purchase this foundation for yourself, click here.

Eyeshadows – Shimmery Eyeshadow in Rose Quartz and Eyeshadow Matte in Mauve Me

I received two beautiful eyeshadows, which perfectly compliment one another. I find that Mauve Me is perfect for the crease area, and have been reaching for it a lot.

Rose Quartz is a gorgeous shimmery shade, excellent for brightening up the eyes and I love to use it on the centre of the lid and inner corners for exactly this purpose. This would also make an absolutely stunning cheek highlight.

The eyeshadows are, of course, made from natural ingredients including Macadamia Oil and Sunflower Oil to help care for the delicate eye area. To buy yours, visit the eyeshadow section of the website here – there are lots to choose from!

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  Benecos Lipstick in the shade Catwalk – £5.56

 

 

 

I love this lipstick colour! It’s an orange-toned red and is such a statement lip colour. It is very nourishing on the lips and glides on with ease.

It contains beneficial and kind ingredients including Olive Oil and Avocado Oil to keep your lips feeling soft and moisturised throughout the day. It is just beautiful! To purchase your own, click here or to see what other shades are available, click here.

 

 

 

 

 

Overall, I am very pleased with these products and the high quality payoff I get from them. They also have fantastic longevity and didn’t need touching up throughout the day (apart from the lipstick!). I especially rate the foundation as the coverage is excellent and so natural looking. It also made my skin look silky smooth and the colour was a perfect match for my skin tone!

Visit the Benecos website here to find out more about the brand. I just know you’ll love them too!

Kerry x

Los Antojitos – Scotch Bonnet Hot Sauce 

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Chilli is my favourite ingredient to add to most of my dishes. I always like to make my meals spicy, whether that be a bolognaise, lasagne, homemade burger or poached eggs on toast! You can imagine my excitement then when I was asked to write about Los Antojitos Scotch Bonnet hot sauce and salts.

PLEASE NOTE – In my highly professional way, I tried the sauce before I took photos of the bottle (I just couldn’t wait!) therefore there is less product in there – it was full!

Los Antojitos are a vegan Mexican food, pop-up catering company based in Manchester. They specialise mostly in Street Tacos and Multi-bean Chili bowls.

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The company make their own hand pressed tortillas which they then load up with their yummy Mexican recipes.  These include BBQ Sweet Potato and Red Cabbage slaw, Seitan de Barbecoa Estilo Yucatan and Refried Pinto beans. Los Antojitos make sure to use organic ingredients wherever possible and also authentic ingredients, importing them from Mexico itself.

 

The sauces and salsas actually have their own cult following and I can see why. This sauce is addictive! I’ve already finished my bottle and I’m waiting for a re-stock so that I can buy myself some more. I was able to try the Scotch Bonnet hot sauce which was very spicy, but deliciously fruity at the same time. I poured it on everything – avocados, sweet potato chips, toast, mushrooms, vegetable patties – everything! The sauces were initially intended just for use in the pop up kitchens, but customers demanded bottles for use at home. Los Antojitos now has a large range of sauces, salsas and salts available for purchase. Find out the different ways to buy here.

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Los Antojitos Market Stall

The chilli sauces have always been made from scratch because the chefs at Los Antojitos wanted make sure that they knew every ingredient that went into them. Their most popular sauce is this one – the Scotch Bonnet – followed by Arbol and Guajillo. 

I will be writing another Los Antojitos post in the next couple of weeks where you will learn more about the company itself and the brilliant staff who work hard to keep it running smoothly. I will also be sharing the flavoured salts I received – one of which is a lime salt – perfect for Margaritas! Keep your eyes peeled.

Kerry x

 

Join Me On My Journey featuring Sensilab 10 Days Fast Slim

Welcome to another Join me on my Journey post! This one is featuring a natural weight loss product by Sensilab called 10 Days Fast SlimSensilab are a company specialising in nutraceutical products, vitamin dietary supplements and cosmetics. I was lucky enough to be able to try their 10 day slimming plan and this post will fill you in with how I got on. 

I’ve never tried weight loss supplements before as I’ve not always known what ingredients they contain. The 10 Days Fast Slim contains all natural ingredients which have been carefully chosen to help your body speed up the weight loss process, in a safe way. 

In the pack you get – 

  • 20 capsules A (Drainer), 20 capsules B (Glucose balance),  20 capsules C (Metabolism support)
  • A diet and workout guide
  • A pill box
  • E-mail support

As mentioned previously, there are 3 x 20 capsules each aiding weight loss in different ways. You have to take 2 of each capsule at different times of the day. 

Capsule A – Drainer

These are to be taken after breakfast. They contain extracts of black radish, sarsaparilla, java tea and black pepper. 

These ingredients help to – 

  • Detoxify the whole body
  • Excrete excess water
  • Prepare the body for weight loss

Capsule B – Glucose Balance 

These are to be taken after lunch and contain brown sea algae and cinnamon.

These ingredients help to – 

  • Maintain good blood sugar levels 
  • Break down fats after the meal
  • Decrease the absorption of fat
  • Increase the feeling of fullness

 Capsule C – Metabolism Support 

These are to be taken after dinner. They contain extracts of artichokes, papayas, ginger, cayenne and black pepper and choline. 

These ingredients help to – 

  • Regulate your metabolism during the night and daytime
  • Break down fat stores 
  • Digestion 

To make sure you get the best results, it’s important to eat the right foods, as stated in the guide. You also need to do regular exercise. There is an exercise plan included in the guide too. 

How did I get on? 

Well, I followed my usual eating plan – which consists of a lot of vegan/vegetarian foods, clean foods, very low sugar and gluten, etc. I just find that eating like this works well for me and I love eating foods like sweet potatoes and avocados! I had gone off track recently and was following another diet plan which meant I wasn’t really looking at what I was eating and was just eating foods that fit into my ‘points value’. 

In terms of exercise I have been walking with the pram and running in the evenings. I just love running! It’s my bit of ‘me time’ where I can enjoy the fresh air and listen to my favourite (cringey) music. 

What was my total weight loss on the Sensilab 10 Days Fast Slim plan? 

4lbs! Or 1.84kg

I’m very, very pleased with this weight loss. Not only  did I lose a few pounds, I also just feel less sluggish and bloated. It’s nice to know that natural ingredients have played a part in my weight loss too, with no nasties involved. 

To purchase the 10 Days Fast Slim for yourself, click here

Kerry x

Earth Conscious – Natural Baby Balm 


Baby J has quite sensitive skin and it can be difficult to find baby creams and balms that don’t upset her skin more. When I was sent the Earth Conscious Natural Baby Balm, I was pleased to see it contained nothing harmful which wouldn’t agree with her. 

Earth Conscious are a fabulous green and ethical brand. Their products are produced in the UK and use eco friendly packaging. The ingredients used in their natural deodorants and baby balms are top quality and certified. 

The Baby Balm is cruelty free and vegan and contains absolutely no nasties. The ingredients are also organic. Inside the balm you will find – 

  • Cocos nucifera (organic coconut oil)
  • Butyrospermum parkii (organic shea butter)
  • Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot Kernel Oil)
  • Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) wax

Baby J’s verdict? She loved it! I put it on her bottom after each nappy change and on dry patches on her arms. It didn’t irritate her skin at all and it left her feeling even more soft than usual! You get a lot of product, which means we’ll be able to use this cream for a long time. The cream absorbs wonderfully into the skin and only has a slight, pleasant scent from the coconut oil. 

Another wonderful thing about the Earth Conscious Natural Baby Balm is that 10p from every sale of it goes to the Marine Conservation Society – a UK charity who help protect our seas, shores and wildlife. 

Earth Conscious really are a wonderfully caring brand with a lot of heart and thought put into their products. To find out more about the wonderful things they do, click here

To purchase the Baby Balm, click here

Kerry x