Monday, 31 August 2015

My Everyday Cruelty Free Makeup Look

Hello everyone! So today it's a bank holiday in the UK, and it is absolutely beautiful!

Today I wanted to share with you my cruelty free makeup look. I appreciate that this isn't the most important thing to everybody, however it is important to me that I only use cruelty free products. I do this makeup look most days, as I just find it's the easiest thing to do, it's fool proof, and it literally takes me like ten minutes to do. 

So to create this makeup look, I first cleansed my skin with coconut oil by directly rubbing it on to my face and washing it off with a flannel. This also helps get rid of dry skin. I then applied my Simple Face Moisturiser, and rubbed my bareMinerals Prime Time BB Primer Cream.
I left my skin at this stage so that I could work on my eyes. I prefer to do my eye makeup first so that no eyeshadow will fall on to my already set foundation. I used bareMinerals Eyeshadow in the shade 'Well Rested', and then applied Bourjois Colorband Eye Crayon in the shade 'Brun Dadaiste' to my crease. I then blended these using a Real Techniques Eyeshadow Brush. I then applied more of the Bourjois Colorband to my waterline and to line my eyes. I applied House of Lashes false eyelashes - I used 'Au Naturale'. Once dry, I then curled my lashes (and the falsies) with my eyelash curler, before finally applying two coats of Natural Collection LashBuild Mascara

I then went back to my skin, and applied bareMinerals Ready Foundation in the shade R150 under my eyes, around my nose, on my chin, and to conceal any other blemishes. I used the bareMinerals Concealer brush to apply, then blended it using the bareMinerals Full Flawless Face Brush. I then used the same brush to apply my Natural Collection SunTint Bronzing Powder to my temples and cheekbones to give me some warmth. 

For my eyebrows, I brushed them using a basic eyebrow spoolie, and then used The Body Shop Angled Eye Brush to apply The Body Shop Eyeshadow in the shade 'Coconuts about You'.

And lastly, for my lips, I applied bareMinerals Lipgloss in the shade 'Maverick', and then applied Neal's Yard Lipgloss in the shade 'Goji Berry' on top.

For my hair, I was super lazy today and literally just brushed it and rubbed some coconut oil through the ends to keep it healthy.

Also, I just want to list the Cruelty Free Makeup Brands I used, just in case you found it helpful!
1. The Body Shop
2. bareMinerals
3. Natural Collection
4. Bourjois
5. Neal's Yard
6. Real Techniques

Although I didn't use it for this particular look, Lush is also Cruelty Free!

Hope you enjoyed this post!

Sam x

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Cruelty Free Makeup Haul Pt. 2

Cruelty free makeup haul pt 2

Hello everybody! So today I went back into town to get some more cruelty free makeup products after my trip yesterday. I forgot to get bronzer, mascara, primer and foundation, so I picked these up today, as well as a few other bits.

So, firstly I went into my local Debenhams to get the bareMinerals Prime Time BB Primer Cream (RRP £23). I got it in the shade Light, as I had run out of my bareMinerals Prime Time Primer and needed to get some more. I love using bareMinerals and use the Ready foundation in the shade R150 nearly every day. It hides absolutely every imperfection and it's my go-to foundation every time my skin isn't looking it's best. Where the foundation is amazing, I've found that it lasts a lot longer when I use the Prime Time Primer. It is absolute perfection!

While in Debenhams, I was standing by the Clarins counter and noticed these cute little colourful traditional sweety bags, which were advertising a try-before-you-buy sample product deal. After speaking to the consultant she picked five sample size Clarins products for me to try. She gave me the Cleansing Milk, the Water Purify One Step Cleanser, the Gentle Foaming Cleanser, the Gentle Refiner, and the Gentle Day Cream. These were all 5ml samples and I thought they'd be perfect to take to my boyfriend's house when I go there next week. I'm only staying for three days and then I can share with you the product review when I get back! (Just a disclaimer - I don't actually know if Clarins products are Cruelty Free. But they were only sample products, and if they're not Cruelty Free I'll pass them on to my mum. I do not wish to encourage Non Cruelty Free products). 

I then went into Boots and picked up a few items from the Natural Collection aisle. I picked up the ShineAway Foundation, the SunTint Bronzing Powder, and the LashBuild Mascara (all £1.99 each). 

With the Natural Collection products, I didn't really think to buy them before, but after looking in Boots, seeing the word 'Natural' included in their brand name, and reading the back of the products (all products are dermatologically tested), I picked up a few items. I then went across to Starbucks to use their Wifi (as you do) to check if the products were cruelty free, and sure enough, they were. So you really don't have to spend a bomb to get Cruelty Free products guys! Also, I just want to mention that the foundation actually looks like it has a surprisingly good coverage, and a silky texture, which was lovely to discover! 

Footnote: after dong some research, I discovered that both Natural Collection, and Clarins, are cruelty free.

So, I hope you guys enjoyed seeing my Cruelty Free Makeup Haul Pt. 2! I'm certainly looking forward to trying these products. 

Sam x

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Cruelty Free Product Haul

So, with my recent transition to a vegan, it was important to me that I found cruelty free makeup products (Finally - I get to fuse my two favourite things together!) After doing some research, I discovered that The Body Shop, and Lush, are both completely cruelty free. Simple skin care also do not test on animals, nor do they contain any animal derived products, which makes me really happy! 

So, here's what I bought...

1. Papaya Body Butter - The Body Shop
The papaya scent has always been my favourite body moisturiser, so to find this was actually cruelty free was the highlight of my trip! I also just generally really love The Body Shop, and as you can see I got a fair few products from there...

2. Simple Moisturiser and Toner
I got two lots of these as I'm going away next week, so I want a set to take with me and a set to keep at home. I just find that having these little bottles are the best thing when you've run out of the big bottles, they're literally my back up products!

3. Neal's Yard lip gloss in Goji Berry
Neal's Yard are completely organic, and this shade is like a sort of berry/dusky rose colour, and it was just so pretty! I found this in my local Debenhams for £14. 

4. Yes to Grapefruit Dark Spot Correcting Serum
After doing a lot of research, I found out this product is vegan friendly! It has taken me such a long time to find a vegan friendly skin product. I have read through endless product ingredients to just try and find something, so I was so relieved to find this! I'm so excited to try it.

5. Superdrug Dead Sea Purifying Clay Mask
These are also suitable for vegetarians and vegans. I also bought the tea tree face mask which is hiding at the back, and I just thought it would be good to have a few face masks to use before staying at my boyfriend's for the week. It's a long distance relationship (he's only four hours away though) but I want my skin to be in good condition when I'll be waking up next to him every morning makeup free. 

6. Lush Dirty Toothy Tabs
These are just like organic little toothpaste tablets. They're in a dry tablet form and you nibble it and break it up between your teeth and start brushing. It doesn't sound too pleasant, I know, but they're cruelty free, and the packaging is recyclable, and they were a bargain at £2.

7. Lush Bubblegum Lip Scrub
I believe this cost around £5, but my memory has gone completely blank and I can't remember for sure! But this is effectively a little flavouring, colouring, and castor sugar to scrub away all the dead skin on your lips. And, it really does taste like bubblegum. I love it!

8. The Body Shop Honey and Oat Mask
So, the biggest vegan argument is whether honey is actually vegan. Personally, I'm pro honey, but I don't tend to use it much. I understand that honey is derived from animals, but bees would be producing it naturally anyway and it causes them no harm. This was a free sample they slipped in my bag when I wasn't looking, but I love a face mask, and will probably use it. 

9. Lush Charity Pot
This was only £1 when I got to the till, and I thought it would be good to keep in my handbag as a hand cream. Also, all proceeds go to charity - Lush, you're a star. 

10. Palmers Cocoa Butter 
I love the rich coconutty smell of Palmers. This is such a nice, comforting body butter and my boyfriend really likes the smell of it. It's such a cosy scent, it's warming and friendly and I love it.

11. Rose Mountain Fragrance and Body Moisturiser
I got this as a set in The Body Shop for £20. I love the smell of Rose, it's so pretty and feminine. 

12. Camomile Cleansing Oil
This was £10 in The Body Shop. It's really gentle and effective. You use it to take off your makeup by rubbing a small pump of it all around your face, and rinsing with water. I find the camomile really calms my skin as well, it's such a lovely product!

13. The Body Shop Soaps
These were £2.50 each. I got Coconut, Satsuma, and Strawberry. I bought one to take away with me, and two to keep in my bathroom. 

I'm going to go back to The Body Shop soon to also pick up some cruelty free shampoo and conditioner, and also some bronzer, eyeshadow, and mascara. It's really important to me that I pick up things that are cruelty free but I wasn't sure what I actually needed to buy when I first went looking (I know, it was stupid...) but I will update you on what I pick up as well in case you're interested!

I hope you guys enjoyed this post!

Sam x


Friday, 28 August 2015

My Capsule Wardrobe

Recently, I had a clear out. There was one day, a couple of weeks ago, where I had to do five loads of my own washing before I could even get to my son's. Enough was enough, I thought, as I decided to throw out more than half of my wardrobe. 

Gone were the tasteless frumpy 'mum' jumpers, as were the particularly skinny dresses meant for more a size six, than my post-pregnancy size ten figure. I also got rid of all the clothes that I don't wear anymore - like all my old T-shirts (let's face it, when were T-shirts ever flattering?! I've never been a T-shirt person, but at least I can say I tried). 

Seven carrier bags later, I managed to sift through enough clothes to actually find a few gems. 

Ta-da! Here's my capsule wardrobe. Granted, I know it doesn't look like much, but there is more to it than what you see! 

Feel free to read on, and hold on to that little bit of faith you have - I promise you, it's not that bad!

Beige Suit Blazer
I love blazers. They're so lovely and smart and fitted and can smarten up almost anything. I really like a feminine, smart casual look, and this is perfect.

Sleeveless Denim Jacket
I bought my French Connection jacket a few years ago for around £160, I believe. I wore it all the time initially, but for the last couple of years I stopped wearing it. A couple of months ago I found it neglected at the bottom of a draw and decided to revamp it for Summer. I cut off the sleeves, applied an acid effect dye (via the washing machine) and have never looked back. Now I love it again! 

Fitted Black Top
This black top is very fitted and has cut out sides with a dark mesh. It's perfect for evening, slightly revealing and sexy, but covers what you need to. 

Ruffled Navy Top
This is made from cotton with lovely chiffon ruffles. It can look great for day time and be dressed up for evening time.

Laser Cut White Blouse
Next, is my laser cut white blouse, which actually is from Next (no pun intended). I love wearing this with a flesh colour camisole underneath and a pair of my favourite skinny jeans. It can be casual, smart, feminine and classy, which is exactly what I look for in an item of clothing. 

White Baggy Jumper
This is a 3/4 length sleeve and has an open back, and a draping front. Again, it can be made to look casual for daytime, or is a nice light cover-up for evening. I bought this from River Island.

Beige Baggy Jumper
I bought this baggy jumper also from River Island and I wear it so much. It's my favourite, it's really comfortable, light, makes me feel a lot more comfortable if I'm having a fat day, and I like to wear it with a statement necklace to distract attention away from my stomach. I'm really self conscious about my tummy since having a baby, so anything that hides it is bound to make me feel a thousand times better.

Every girl needs a little black dress. I got mine from Ted Baker also a few years back for around £150. It's fitted but it's made of a stretchy cotton material so it's really comfortable too. It has a ruffled front and I like to wear it for occasions (with a pair of spanx underneath, and killer heels, of course).

Draping Skirt
I love these loose, flowy, effortlessly pretty skirts. They're great for dates, barbecues, days out, holidays... I like to wear mine with a white scallop crop top and gladiator sandals.

Fitted Jeans
I have three pairs of perfectly fitting jeans at the end. Two are blue denim, and one is wine coloured, which I like to wear in autumn and winter. 


Next, I have my shoes. I have a comfortable pair of daytime platform heeled black sandals (4"), casual black heeled boots (also 4"), and studded high heeled boots (6"). I also have a pair of classic tan Ugg boots for lazy days, and a pair of Converse.


 I only really wear one bracelet on occasions, which is my Ted Baker rose gold bracelet which I got for £60 via their website a couple of years ago (bargain!) and honestly it's the most beautiful little piece of jewellery. I adore rose gold, and I love the pretty little jewels. I'm now just waiting to find the perfect pair of earrings to go with it - if anyone knows of anything, give me a shout!


At the top, I have my Accessorize red tote bag. I like to use this to brighten up any outfit, and it was a bargain at £12.50. Just underneath I have my classic Louis Vuitton evening bag, which also holds the matching purse inside. I only really use this bag for dates and occasions. I'm a full time mum, and this bag doesn't really have room for much else to be honest! But it is really cute and I just couldn't throw it out...
Hiding away at the bottom is my fringed Guess bag. I bought this for around £170 last summer and it was very Kate Moss, boho chic, but still had Serena Van Der Woodsen class. I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it!

So, here is my capsule wardrobe, and I hope you guys found it helpful if you were maybe thinking of clearing out any items, or starting afresh! I must say it's actually so much easier without so many clothes now, all you need are a few reliable, well fitting basics and a few statement pieces. 

Hope you guys enjoyed this post!

Sam x

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Homemade Vegan Carrot Cupcakes!

Hey guys! So, as promised, here is one of my favourite vegan recipes - Carrot Cake! 

Shredded carrot (I used fresh carrot spaghetti)
Self raising flour (2 cups)
1 cup caster sugar
1 cup almond milk
Sprinkle of oats 
Squeeze of lime juice

So, I started by putting about two cups of carrot spaghetti into a blender, and blending it into tiny little shreds. I then added in about a tablespoon of each spice, and flour, as well as the carrot mix into a mixing bowl. I then added a tablespoon of vegetable oil, a squeeze of lime juice, and a cup of almond milk, before using my electric mixer to mix it it all together. 
I then spooned the mixture into cupcake cases and placed them in a cupcake pan. I sprinkled each cupcake with a few porridge oats and put them in the oven at 200degrees celcius for 20 minutes. 

Et Voila! Totally yummy, easy vegan carrot cake. I really like mine with a herbal tea. Which, is exactly what I'm going to do now. 

Hope you hugs enjoyed this post!

Sam x

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Summer '15 Favourites

So, Summer 2015. HOW GREAT HAS IT BEEN?! 

I'm actually kidding. I live in Scotland and Summer here has actually been non-existent. We've had maybe three days of it, tops. 

We haven't really been up to much either. I meant to take my son on lots of family days out but honestly we just haven't really been able to. But we're going away in September to meet my boyfriends parents (it's long distance) and there's a zoo close by my boyfriend wants to take us to, and a water park. So fingers crossed! 

Anyway, today I wanted to talk to you about my Summer '15 Favourites. To sum it up in a picture, it kind of looks like this...

1. L'Occitane Jasmin and Bergamote Fragrance
Oh. My. Goodness. This smells amazing. I know every girl says that about anything that smells nice but seriously. I am one of those girls who will buy a perfume and then a week later I won't like it anymore and will stop wearing it. The one I have was a 7.5ml sample size I got free with a magazine earlier this year, and then kind of put it in a draw and forgot about it, which is really bad... I know!
So, anyway, I stumbled across it recently as I was getting a bit bored of my daily fragrance and when I smelt this, it was perfect. It's fresh. It's not floral, it's not musky, it's not overly citrusy... It's a hard scent to describe. I'd say the top notes (to me) are more mandarin and a hint of sandalwood. I like to dab a little bit on to my wrists and then if I'm wearing a jumper or something long sleeved it makes my sleeves smell all fresh and comforting and cosy. Honestly, if there was ever a scent in a bottle that was me, this would be it. It's already made it's way on to my Christmas list and I'm pretty sure I would be happy to wear it for the rest of my life. I think I've finally found my signature scent. Even my boyfriend says it smells like me (pretty sure I just smell of it, but never mind).

2. bareMinerals Prime Time Foundation Primer
I've recently dug out my bareMinerals makeup. I LOVE BAREMINERALS MAKEUP. I've never found a foundation that does what bareMinerals does. It's the easiest makeup I've ever used, you sort of just swirl it on with a fluffy brush. It covers acne, is matte, and stays on all day. It doesn't budge. However, the Primer has made it's was to my favourites this year because in the hot weather (I know I said we've not really had Summer, it's been humid, but also wet) a primer really helps your makeup to stay in place. I don't know what ingredients they use in Prime Time, but it's amazing. It really is the best Primer for the Ready Foundation. It just makes your skin look so flawless. Ugh, I can't sing it's praises enough.

3. V05 Smoothly Does It Frizz Free Creme
This Summer, I've been curling my hair nearly every day. This is what I've been using to still get it to look sleek and salon-worthy. The humid weather hasn't affected it and it's kept my ends in top condition and makes my hair look healthy and shiny. 

4. The Sisters by Claire Douglas
I love a new book any time of year. But in Summer, when the weather is dreary and you just want to shut yourself away in your house in a snuggly jumper with a good book, this is perfect. I'd describe it as a psychological thriller. The blurb reads... 
'When one sister dies, the other must go to desperate lengths to survive. 
After a tragic accident, still haunted by her twin sister's death, Abi is making a fresh start in Bath. But when she meets siblings Bea and Ben, she is quickly drawn into their priveleged and unsettling circle. 
When one sister lies she must protect her secret at all costs. As Abi tries to keep up with the demands of her fickle friends, strange things start to happen - precious letters go missing, and threatening messages are left in her room. Is this the work of the beautiful and capricious Bea? Or is Abi willing to go to any lengths to get attention? When the truth outs, will either sister survive?'

5. Orange Splash Yankee Candle
Come on - who doesn't love a Yankee Candle?! This one is my favourite Summer scent. It literally smells of freshly picked juicy oranges! My cousin bought this for me as a present on Mothers Day, and I've not yet used it because I don't know where I can find the candle as I think it was a Limited Edition! If you guys have seen it anywhere please let me know! 

In hindsight to my earlier statement about having a pretty rubbish summer, I may retract that. I mean, I've had perfect makeup, perfect hair, a lot of quality time with my son, and a lot of indoor reading time (which I love!) so really, it hasn't been too bad.

Hope you've enjoyed this post!
Lots of love,
Sam x

Thursday, 20 August 2015

What I eat as a Vegan

As mentioned in my previous post, I love being vegan. I personally enjoy my food much more now as I feel like I'm eating cleaner products rather than animal products, however, I am also completely accepting that not everybody agrees with my life choices. In today's post, I wanted to share with you the kind of food I typically eat on a vegan diet.
For breakfasts, I typically like doing either porridge oats, or having fresh fruit like bananas and mangoes, and orange juice.

For lunches, I've eaten a lot of salad, rice, baked sweet potatoes, vegetable rice, and soups (tomato and paprika, or spiced carrot soup) with homemade flatbreads. My favourite lunch to date has been cous cous with olives and sun dried tomatoes, with vegan soya cheese grated on top. I also tend to serve my lunches with either a glass of water or juice, and a bowl of fruit or more salad on the side.

For dinners (lunch and dinners are pretty interchangeable to be honest) I like to do tomato and spinach vegan pasta, or bean tacos, or veggie curries. I'm also looking to do a lentil and bean burger recipe soon (which I'll probably serve in flatbreads as my boyfriend and I reaaaally like them!) and I also want to try marinated portobello mushroom steaks with mash and salad. I tend to do soups a lot as well. 

For snacks, I really like the Alpro Soya Chocolate pots. I also like nuts, fruit, twiglets, we have yellow melon a lot, carrot sticks, more flatbread, and homemade hummus. I'm also having chips at the moment, with mint sauce as I really love mint sauce (I will have it on just about anything!) 

I absolutely love the vegan diet, a lot more than I thought I ever would. But I suppose my only issue with it (it's not really even an issue, just a minor con) is that for me at least, it takes a lot of food prep, as I do a lot of homemade meals. Equally I can never find vegan flatbreads or hummus that I like so I have to make those up too. My boyfriend also wants me to make a vegan chocolate cake recipe so that we can have cake again. I've promised him I'll make a vegan apple pie as I'm sure that can't be too hard! 

Anyway, I will post recipes of the best vegan food as I come across it (my homemade hummus recipe is literally the best I've ever tried!) as well as the flatbread recipe, and whatever else works!

Hope you guys enjoyed this post, 

Sam x

Monday, 17 August 2015

Going Vegan

So, I know I promised you guys a review in L'Occitane's Jasmin and Bergamot fragrance (which, btw, is beautiful. 'Nuff said). However, that is coming soon, but in the meantime I wanted to tell you guys something else! I recently started a vegan diet and I genuinely really, really, love it. I've never wanted to be one of those vegans who inflict their views on other people but I don't mean anything to patronise carnivores or anything. And I just wanted to talk about it!

So, this is only my third day on my vegan diet. So I'm not going to give out tips or anything that I don't know anything about, however, I will say that if you're thinking about doing it make sure you eat regularly (I personally get hungry quite often in the day). I make myself a reasonable breakfast and lunch portion, and have a big dinner so that I'm full by the time I go to bed. 

I also want to say why I've chosen a vegan diet. I'm not going to list a barricade of reasons but I'll tell you the main reasons. The main one, is that I previously never knew how milk was made (obviously I knew it came from cows, but that was about it). I read recently that cows have to be pregnant in order to produce milk, so they are artificially inseminated so that they keep on producing milk, which can be painful and unpleasant for the cows, and I genuinely find that so vile that we as humans are willing to inflict that on an animal, purely for something to put in our coffee in the morning. I can't even look at a milk bottle without feeling queasy. So I've gone for dairy free vegan alternatives to milk and cheese (you can get soya cheese, soya butter, and soya/almond/coconut milk. I never knew these even existed). 

My next reason is financial. Meat is so expensive that I literally can't afford to buy it each week. Plus, when I do, my son doesn't eat it. He doesn't care for meat and I don't see the point in buying it if it's just for myself. My previous usual shop would cost around £35-£40, but on the vegan diet it's now little more than £20. 

As for my final reason, (this one is going to sound weird) is my current mentality towards meat and animal products. I just don't enjoy it, or even find it remotely appealing, I do not want dead animal on my plate. I do not want to ingest a graveyard. Eating vegan genuinely feels so much cleaner, and I don't have to worry about not wanting to eat dirty animal products. 

If you guys are thinking of trying it, please do, honestly it's really great, I don't regret doing it one bit. 

Sam x

Friday, 14 August 2015

New Hair, Don't Care!

Recently I went for a slight image overhaul. I woke up one morning to around six months of (ignored) bad roots and long bleach blonde, frayed and tired ends. In all honesty I've been so busy recently I just haven't noticed. So, as any girl would, I booked in an emergency appointment with my hairdresser (AKA my mum - she's the only person I trust to not hack loads of it off. Which, inevitably, for this bob cut, she did - she took around six inches off) BUT I actually really love it. It feels so much healthier and more mature and I love short Taylor Swift style curls. It's so much more low maintenance than my previous style and looks tons better. 

Quick selfie!

Unfortunately I don't really have a before photo to show you the comparison, but I'm personally really liking this cut and colour! I hope you guys are all having a fantastic week, and be sure to check out my next blog soon - a fragrance review on L'Occitane's Jasmin and Bergamot. 

Lots of love, Sam x