Noughty Wave Hello curl cream

I think I am slowly getting my hair routine down. I have heard great things about the Noughty range so decided to give their curl cream a go to see if it worked better than the jelly to tame my wild locks. I found the jelly did work well but it didn’t keep my curls intact for longer than a day, meaning I had to use it quite often to try and tame the frizz of my curls. Now I know some frizz is normal, but with it being so humid in England lately I would end the day looking like I had been struck by lightning!

This curl cream is definitely more heavy duty than the jelly. I currently only use it once or twice a week (depending on how my hair is looking) whenever I need to refresh my hair and give it a little bit of extra structure. It definitely helps my curls hold their shape even after I have slept on them, and also stops them getting too frizzy in the humidity at the moment.

I also preferred the texture of it being an actual cream, as I did start to find the jelly quite messy especially when using it so often. Just made me think I was playing with slime and I think I’m a bit too old for that! It doesn’t have any strong smell to it which is really nice, especially when it’s so hot out at the moment. The cream is quite thick, but it blends completely into my hair so you can’t even tell it’s on it even after my hair has dried. I also find it doesn’t clump or make my hair really crunchy – no need to scrunch the crunch with this stuff which actually saves a lot of time some days!

Price wise it is again, a bit more expensive than non-vegan non-curly hair specific products but….I have learned to accept this. Hopefully over the years, as veganism and curly hair care becomes more easily available the price should start to lower.

Overall: 8/10. It is only the second one I have tried, so probably shouldn’t get too excited. But I completely get the hype around this.

T xxx

Superdrug Tea Tree foaming facial wash

I am one of those lucky people who has odd skin: In the winter, my skin is stupidly dry, yet in the summer it can get quite oily. I do wear make up most days – mainly because of work or because I’m out seeing people – but I do try my best to always remove my make up properly before adding any creams or toners to my face before bed.

I find the Superdrug range to usually be pretty good, especially for how cheap some of the products are. I think this facial wash is about £2.50 and it usually lasts me a good four months or so. Superdrug’s own range is also always vegan friendly so you have so many options to choose from.

This stuff is probably my favourite. It removes my make up without completely stripping my skin or requiring me to scrub really hard, and it luckily doesn’t have that super strong smell that tea tree always has. The foam is also fun to play with – I like to give myself a foam moustache before I really start the washing process.

Only downside is that in winter it does dry my skin pretty badly. The cold weather obviously doesn’t help at all, but I do find my skin is not as soft after i’m done with this face wash. In the summer though, this face wash is really refreshing and wakes me up a bit after a long day of work. It also helps to get rid of any excess oil or stubborn make up from my face.

Unfortunately, England only has about 3 months of Summer and those days are not always consecutive. I have yet to find a product though that removes my make up as well as this does without requiring me to scrub my face with a scouring pad. If anyone has any suggestions please do let me know!

Overall: 7/10. It works perfectly for about 3 months of the year but I fear it may be a bit too harsh for the rest of the year.

T xxx

Maui shea butter shampoo and conditioner

As some of you may know, I am currently in the process of embracing and nurturing my true curly hair. I have spent at least the last 15 years straightening my hair, trying to tame it and control it and then getting mad when my hair would start to crimp at the slightest hint of moisture. Last year, I decided to stop fighting the curls, and to see what would happen if I really just embraced the curls and actually started to treat my curly hair as curly hair.

I have heard really good things about the Maui range and they do have a lot of options out there. I found this range in Tesco, Boots, Superdrug and Sainsbury’s (at least near me) so they are really available and easy to get a hold of. They are somewhat expensive – the shampoo and conditioner was £6 each! – but compared to some of the other curly hair products out there these are actually much cheaper. Why is curly hair stuff so expensive??

The brand is also vegan friendly which is obviously what I am after. Maybe that is why it’s expensive….?

In all honesty the conditioner is exactly like every other conditioner I’ve ever used. Cannot really tell any difference, except that it does smell really lovely. I come out of the shower smelling like a bowl of tropical fruit so that’s always nice! I have very damaged hair, so I usually always use a massive load of conditioner in an attempt to repair my hair. I am not 100% certain it is working, but my hair is definitely bouncier and when I brush my hair (with conditioner still in) I am getting some truly fat curls.

The shampoo also works really well for me. I had used the Umberto Giannini curl shampoo and that was more like a gel. But the Maui shampoo is much creamier. It doesn’t lather up much (as there are no sulphates, which I believe is what makes products lather up) but it does spread over my roots much easier than the Umberto shampoo. I do like that I don’t have to really pull at my roots or scrub at my head like a mad man. It again smells lovely, so that’s also a plus.

The downside however is the packaging. Plastic aside, these bottles are SOLID. Now granted I do not have the best grip strength but there is so little give in these bottles that I genuinely fear they might crack if I squeeze too hard. They may as well be made out of glass. It also makes me a bit nervous for when the bottle starts to get empty, as I fear I will be standing in my shower doing my best Norman Bates impression trying to shake the contents to the squeezey end of the bottle.

Overall: 9/10. Currently the best ones I have used, although I shall be trying the rest of the range to see if any of the others all stand up.

T xxx

Eden Perfumes: 309

Vegan friendly perfume has always been something that eluded me. I am someone that enjoys wearing perfume, and have spent the last few years using up some of my non-vegan favourites that I had a surplus of. Unfortunately most vegan alternatives are either really expensive, or are only ever really light ‘body sprays’ or ‘mists’, so never last long once put on. I came across Eden perfumes thanks to a very quick google search though, and after reading some of the reviews out there, I decided to give them a try.

Eden Perfume are based in Brighton and create scents that are based on mainstream favourites. They are not complete copies though so there is still a bit of a difference between the different scents. Eden perfumes are also 100% vegan and cruelty free. I have seen online that you can also grab Eden Perfumes at places like Holland & Barrett, but with lockdown I don’t think these places will be open as normal for a while yet.

One of my favourite scents has always been Chanel No.5. It smells so luxurious and classic that it’s hard to not enjoy it. I therefore first tried out Eden’s No. 007 perfume, which all of the reviews said was an amazing dupe of the Chanel. I can totally see why it is one of their most popular as it did smell really nice. Personally though, I found the 007 to be far too musky – it smelt far too much like my Nan and that just threw me off a bit.

The Eden customer service were amazing though and did offer me a free exchange. It came really quickly too so it meant I didn’t have to wait for ages to have my new scent.

I decided to therefore test out Eden’s no. 309, which is based upon the Marc Jacob’s Daisy. I love a good floral scent so thought this would be the most likely to succeed. Marc Jacob’s Daisy is also one of my favourite non-vegan perfumes so was very much on the look out for something to replace it when my stock ran out. The Eden version did not disappoint.

This scent smells AMAZING. I literally feel like a little bouquet of flowers when I wear this. It is also a really light smell so it isn’t overpowering at all. It also seems to last all day, and every now and again I’ll move my arms or readjust my shirt and get a little smell of daisies. It is only just now starting to feel like Spring here in England so this scent has done wonders for lifting my spirits on the cold and dark mornings.

The downside however is that, not being local to Brighton, I cannot go and test out a lot of different scents as on their website they have HUNDREDS that all sound gorgeous. Hopefully once lockdown is ended and travel outside of your area is allowed, I may need to take a road trip to finally test out all of the sets I have had my eye on. As I say though their customer service was fantastic, and when I ordered they did say that returns and swaps are perfectly allowed as they also appreciate that it can be hard to order a scent that you have never smelt before. They answered my questions really quickly and also sent my new perfume in really good time, even with lockdown in place.

The price is also a massive bonus. Each perfume is £18 for 30ml, which honestly feels like such a steal. I have had this bottle now for about three weeks, using it every day, and the volume in the bottle has barely changed. I have no doubt that this will last me a long time and for £18 I cannot fault it at all. They do offer bigger bottles for more money so I think I may have to order one of these next time to last me even longer!

Overall: 10/10. Really good value for money and no. 309 is easily my favourite scent….I actually prefer it to the original!

T xxx

Garnier hair mask

If you are new here, I have been trying to embrace my naturally curly hair and trying to repair about 20 years of heat damage to it. I have been straightening my hair since I was about 10 years old so you can imagine the damage that has been done. I decided in 2020, with lockdown in full swing and social gatherings basically illegal, that I would finally start looking after my hair and trying to embrace my curls and researching the curly girl method to get myself started.

Now Garnier is not normally a brand that I use as they usually test on animals and were not vegan friendly. So I was really surprised to find this hair mask that clearly states that it is vegan friendly. It was £8, so was quite a splurge, but all of the reviews of it online say that it is wonderful. I am also someone who, if there are vegan products being offered by a non-vegan brand, I will buy it in an attempt to drum up demand and to show support for the vegan options in the hope that more money and energy is put into making more vegan friendly products rather than the non-vegan products.

I have to agree with them. This can be used as a hair mask, a conditioner and as a leave in conditioner. I have been using it mainly as a hair mask and I am very impressed. As I say, my hair is pretty damaged so I am not expecting a miracle product to suddenly fix it all. But this stuff does get close. This makes me hair so soft and shiny and smells so yummy I could eat it.

I also have really thick hair so I am mostly impressed by how much product you get in this pot. To cover my whole head of hair it takes about 3 generous handfuls of product, yet I have now used this product 4 times and I have still not finished it. I only wash my hair once a week (one of the joys of having super thick curly hair) so not sure how it may be different for different hair styles and types. But I haven’t even been sparing with the product either so am really impressed at how long it is lasting.

My only downside to it is that it does have a bit of a weird texture to it. It’s quite….gooey. Which I don’t mind all that much but it is definitely a weird texture if you’re not expecting it. It goes onto my hair well though and doesn’t drip off or make my hair slimy or greasy, so overall this product is a very surprising but welcome find.

Overall: 9/10. Weird texture, but it is such a good product I don’t even care.

T xxx

Umberto Giannini curl jelly collection

I have very curly hair and up until this year I have been pretty cruel to my hair. I – like most teenage girls I’m sure – spent the majority of my teens straightening my hair. My hair was never really ‘pretty curly’…it never really had curly shapes to it and when I did brush it, it basically took on a life of it’s own. Think Hermione Granger in the Philospher’s Stone, but more. That’s my hair.

With everything happening this year, with national lockdowns and furlough, the idea of ‘doing my hair’ every day just seemed like too much hassle. My hair is also very thick, so washing, drying and styling my hair took at least an hour – if I really rushed I could get it done within about 45 minutes, but that still seems like a lot of time to be spent holding a hair drying and brushing my hair. So for the first time in a long time, I left my hair alone and actually let it heal.

I came across the Curly Girl method when researching how best to look after curly hair. The reviews all say that this method is amazing and truly gives you the bouncy, healthy curls that so many of us dream of. This article from Cosmopolitan Magazine really helped me understand the basics. But naturally it was also then trying to find any vegan options that could be used.

I am a pretty big fan of Umberto. The products of theirs I have used have been really good and they are easily available at most Superdrug and Boots stores. I had also read that their Curl Jelly range were very highly recommended for those who wanted to follow the Curly Girl Method, regardless of whether they needed vegan or not. So I decided to test it and see how we get on.

Firstly, O.M.G. My hair has never felt so soft and healthy. I have never been someone to wash my hair everyday, and on average wash my hair maybe once a twice a week depending on how active I have been. But I did my ‘reset wash’ and even when rinsing my hair, it felt lighter. Probably because it had finally been truly stripped of 10 years worth of heat products and the wrong type of shampoo. The curl jelly shampoo is a bit odd, in that the texture is more like gel than regular shampoo. But it lathers up nicely and made my hair feel so soft and light after washing. The condition is also very hydrating. I come out of the shower with hair that still feels very soft, despite the damage that I am still trying to rectify.

The scrunching jelly i a whole new area for me. I rarely use products in my hair, because I find they just usually make my hair feel heavy and greasy and make so little difference that they can be hard to justify using all the time. This scrunching jelly feels like gel, and seems to do the same sort of thing. It does feel lighter than gel though, as my hair doesn’t feel hard to touch when my hair is drying.

I hav been doing the curly girl method, and using these products, for about 2 weeks now, so I have washed my hair twice. But even still I can see a HUGE difference in my hair. My hair actually seems to have some shape to it: I have some strands that are ringlets, some that are a bit looser and some that are just soft beach waves, but whatever the shape you can finally actually SEE the shape, rather than the usual mass of frizzy hair that my hair used to be.

The one difficulty I am finding is that under the curly girl method you are not supposed to brush your hair. You brush it in the shower when wet with either your hands or a wide tooth comb, but otherwise you just…leave it..save for a quick run through with your fingers when needed. So for me that has been a hard thing to get used to because my daily routine was so used to getting up, brushing my hair and getting ready for the day. Though that being said my hair doesn’t get as knotty as I thought it would be, possibly because my hair is in a more natural state and being left alone to just….hang.

Overall: 8/10. This stuff is clearly working wonders for my hair but as it is still very early days, I suppose time will have to tell if this method and these products can really help my hair health. If you guys have any recommendations please let me know!

T xxx

Lush’s Mermaid Tail

The weather in England has started to turn frosty, and therefore boiling hot bubble baths are now a must! So I decided to treat myself and try one of Lush’s bubble bombs.

This was their mermaid tail bomb, which consists of a bubble bomb and a bath melt all in one. It smells like lemons so did a good job of waking you up a little bit. I crumbled the bomb under running water and it did produce bubbles. Not as much as I would have liked, but I think that is just the child in me that still likes to make myself a bubble beard and a matching hairstyle while I soak away! It did turn the bath a lovely dark blue/light purple colour so that was fun. But so far as a bath bomb goes it was not really a bubble bath…kind of like a suds bath.

The bath melt was probably the best bit. It smelt lovely and made my skin feel SO SOFT and lovely and hydrated. It left my skin super moisturised for about three days afterwards too…even after running and work and not-so-luxurious showers. That alone made it all worth while for probably the most pampered bath that I have ever had.

As with all things at Lush, the products are on the more expensive side when you compare them to other brands, but personally I will always choose Lush because they’re products very rarely disappoint. I am also a huge fan of their brand anyway – their policy on animal testing and their recycling scheme – so am always happy to try out their newest products.

Overall: 7/10. As a bath melt, this thing is amazing. As a bubble bomb, it is so so.

T xxx

Vegan Make Up Brands

Finding vegan make up is a strange matter: There are so many out there that a quick google means you can find brands super quick, however if you need a product for an emergency or just want to grab one thing (such as when your eyeliner runs out or your foundation dries out) it can take AGES to find somewhere that actually stocks the make up brands that you want.

Over the years I have been making my own list of where I can find my most commonly used brands. Now that most stores are also reopened and life is returning to semi-normal, I decided to share my list to help anyone out there who doesn’t want to spend more time than necessary in shops.

Superdrug

E.L.F cosmetics – all vegan and cruelty fee

Barry M – The majority of the Barry M products are vegan and all are cruelty free. Luckily they also make sure to label the vegan products very clearly so they are easy to find.

Collection – they do have some vegan products, but not all of them. See this list here for all of the vegan friendly products. All of their products are cruelty free though.

G.O.S.H – 80% of their products are vegan and you can find the list of products here.

Revolution – So this brand also has Revolution, I Heart Revolution and Revolution Pro. They each vary on what products they specialise in but the majority of their stuff is vegan and cruelty free. Again they are clearly labelled and easy to spot, but here is the official website if you wanted a wider collection.

MUA – They have always been cruelty free but have recently announced that they are now 100% vegan as well. They have a huge collection of products too so we are truly spoilt for choice.

NYX – again, cruelty free but not all of their stuff is vegan. They do however have a huge vegan selection, which covers their basic foundations, eyeliners and mascaras. The full list is here.

B. Cosmetics – This is the Superdrug own brand and everything they make themselves is vegan and cruelty fee. This also includes their own brand skincare, bath and hair care products.

7th Heaven – this brand specialises in face, foot and hair masks and can be found in most cosmetic stores. They do have a website too if you want to browse their entire collection.

Boots

KVD – The controversy of this brand aside, all of their products are vegan friendly and creulty free. This is definitely a bit more ‘high end’ when it comes to make up, but are still easy to find at most Boots stores or in Debenhams Stores (if you still have one of these, mind!)

Bare Minerals – not all of their products are vegan but they do have a huge collection to chose from. They also cover other skincare products and not just make up. Their full list can be found here.

Too Faced – again, not all of their products are vegan but they again have a huge selection. This also includes a lot of the basic make up products, such as highlighter, mascara and foundation. See a list here. The products tend to be clearly labelled too so should be easy to find something that you need.

Online stores

Spectrum – Those Disney Collabs are AMAZING. I may bankrupt myself with those mermaid brushes….

Beauty without Cruelty – Literally what it says.

MU London – granted this is more skincare, but they are all vegan friendly and cruelty free….and are also a favourite product used on RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Other stores

Holland and Barrett – they tend to stock a lot of the lesser known brands that focus on skincare, although they do have a few lip balms or lipsticks. The stock does vary from store to store so it’s worth checking out if you fancy trying something completely new.

The Body Shop – All of their products are cruelty free and at least half of their products are vegan. This includes make up, skin care and hair products. All of the products are also very clearly labelled so should be easy to spot. A good rule of thumb though is to avoid anything that contains Honey and you should be alright, but always check just to be sure!

What are your favourite go to make up brands? Let me know in the comments and I shall add them and try them out when I am next shopping.

T xxx

Umberto Giannini Colour Ultra Violet blonde spray

What a mouthful of a title…

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I was told over the weekend that I was due back at work this week, and while I am excited to finally get back to some normality and get back to working again, I am slightly disappointed that I won’t be first in line for a haircut once the doors all reopen next week!

I have read a lot of reviews about this company and they are all glowing. Umberto Giannini are a vegan hair care brand that have a range of hair colouring products and general hair care. One of the most popular products is the original curl hair care products, specially designed to enhance and look after curly locks. I usually have really curly hair, so will definitely be grabbing some of this for future use!

I do not know when I will next be able to get into a salon, but chances are it will be a little while longer! So rather than try and dye my hair again, I thought I would try this lightening spray. I have tried a few in the past and found that they mostly just maintained the colour of my coloured hair, but didn’t do anything to lighten it as it grew out. But this stuff claims to be able to lighten hair using 97% natural products….so I have started using it.

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For starters, this stuff smells AMAZING. You spray it onto damp hair and then style as necessary. Now I do not know if this has any sort of heat protection within it, so to be on the safe side I used my usual. Now it did spray on initially with a slight chemical smell to it, but nothing too harsh or unpleasant. But once styled, my hair smells like perfume! You can really smell the lavender and chamomile, so make of that what you will. I personally love it and it is a very welcome change to having my hair smelling of burning as it usually does with my usual products and styling. It also doubles as leave in conditioner so my hair feels a lot softer than it usually does.

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So this is the colour of my hair after the first use. Now I know to be patient, and that it will probably take a few uses before I should start to see any changes. Now I do not wash my hair everyday – On average I suppose I wash it maybe twice a week but this is dependant on how much exercise I’ve been doing. The product doesn’t say how often you should use it (previous ones I have used have said to not use more than three times a week) so I assume that it must be safe to use on a regular basis. I imagine that it will probably take me a month or so before I can expect to see any real changes….so I shall have to keep you updated!

Overall: As a leave in conditioner, this stuff is great and my hair feels so much softer and healthier than it normally did. As to whether or not it will actually brighten my hair colour, that remains to be seen. I shall check back in in a few weeks and let you know!

T xxx

What’s in my make up bag

As much as I wish I could be, I am not a big make up wearer. I love watching make up videos and seeing the amazing things that some people can do with their make up, but in reality I would never be able to wear those looks. I work in the legal industry and so they can have very old fashioned views of what a lawyer should look like – and having stunning eye shadow colour combinations are a big no no. So, rather than review every item in my make up, I thought it would be easier just to tell you what I wear on a daily basis.

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Barry M Full coverage foundation

BarryM Lash Vegas mascara

BarryM setting powder

BarryM all night long concealer

B by Superdrug lipstick in shade rose quartz

As you can tell, I am a big fan of BarryM…I used to use the B products a lot but since the rebranding the make up is way more specialist. I still love their lipsticks, but B now do such a huge range of contour kits, bases, balancing serums – and a whole lot of other products that I do not need or would ever use on a daily basis.

What make up do you guys wear? Let me know if you have any good suggestions as I always want to try new products.

T xxx