GOING CRUELTY FREE + HAUL

26 Aug 2016

GOING CRUELTY FREE

I'm sure how to explain the reasons behind me deciding to go cruelty-free with my beauty without rambling on so I'll just keep it short- I am o longer buying any products that test on animals. For now, I place emphasis on the word buying; I still own products that aren't cruelty-free and unfortunately I don't have the funds to just throw them away and find an alternative. 
I started by clearing my make up out getting rid of or giving to friends anything I no longer used. Next was research; I spent hours looking at list upon list of products that don't test on animals and those that do finding out what brands to stop buying from and those that are A-okay to carry on repurchasing. 

Sadly, this means a lot of my favourite products I will longer be buying with the main culprit being L'oreal. I think it's sad how the makeup industry is so old and yet they still feel they need to test on animals. I no longer feel it's necessary to do this and that's the main reason I've decided to make this change.

This change, however, isn't going to happen overnight. Like I said, I'm going to carry on using the products I have-cruelty-free or not- until finished with. Also, I'm solely concentrating at the moment to converted make-up, skincare and haircare products to cruelty-free before finding basic alternatives such as toothpaste and razors which maybe a little harder to get hold of. So I thought I would share this with you and say I will no longer, on purpose, be sharing products on my blog that aren't cruelty-free. To celebrate this change, I thought a little spend was in order. 

THE HAUL


Lush is already my main source for skin, body and hair care and it will continue to be. After speaking to a lovely assistant she recommended I try the Fresh Farmacy Cleansing Soap. This I love and been using for the past few weeks; it's already a favourite. I also was persuaded by another of the workers to pick up the Experimenter Bath Bomb. Glittery bombs like this have always scared me but after being reassured that it easily washes off and I won't exit the bath looking like a disco ball I had to pick up this vibrant and amazing smelling bath bomb. 

It's been a while since I tried any Soap & Glory Make-up so I decided to pick up the Brow Archery Pencil in Love Is Blonde. I could tell from first use that this is too light for me but like most products, I can make it work. While there was a buy get another half price offer, I picked up my beloved One Heck Of A Blot Powder. I have missed using this and seeing as my usual Rimmel Powder isn't cruelty-free, it was worth picking up. 

Gosh is a brand I'd never really delved in but after seeing a Sleek lip liner I was after was out of stock I found myself at the Gosh counter admiring their Mac looking lip liners and so I picked up the Velvet Touch Lip Liner in Antique Rose. Since buying this I haven't stopped wearing this under a lip gloss. It's a gorgeous colour and doesn't bleed. 

My first "test" since going cruelty-free came when I saw Maybelline had released a new highlighter stick. I went over and swatched it and it looked so lovely and glided so smoothly I did wonder whether I should just buy it but then I realised how stupid it was to give up all this for a highlighter that other brands probably do. I headed over to the Barry M stand, a brand I knew going in was well known for being cruelty-free. The I saw their Illuminating Strobe Cream. It looked just as gorgeous and felt smoother than the Maybelline one and so I picked it up. 

The last thing I got was from Freedom. I'd had my eye on this for a while and after checking they were cruelty-free I picked up their Eyebrow Pomade in Medium Brown. While the pencil mentioned earlier was too light, this seems too dark but with a light hand I make it work. I've never tried the Anastasia brow products but if you are looking to I wouldn't waste your money when it's £4 pot works great and seems to be exactly the same. My local Superdrug carry this brand but if you can't find it there, they have an online website.

As for skincare, the only new product I picked up was the Nip + Fab  Hydrate Dragon's Blood Pumping Serum. This had 50% off on their website and thought I'd give it ago and I love it. I apply it before my moisturiser before bed and before makeup. It locks in more moisture during the night as well as helping my get a smooth base for my makeup and being just £10 while on offer I'm very happy with this. 

So there's a little bit about me choosing to go cruelty-free and a little haul thrown in for good measure. 
Would you consider going cruelty-free with your make-up? If you already have, what brands would you recommend? 
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x

MOVING FORWARD

21 Aug 2016

Like a book, life seems to be split up into chapters. Chapters of which I've shared with you and I've felt comfortale telling you about. Some people think, or most people think, that you're life is one whole story and everyone's story ends at the end of your life.

But, I don't agree with that entially. Instead, I say that life isn't split up into chapters but more volumes with many stories encorporated into one life- a sequel persay- and  I think I'll be starting a new volume soon. It's not a completely new book as loose ends from the former volume will still be found in the next book. Somethings aren't finsished, finito, done- some plot points will continue on. 

I'm starting a new storyline as I move to university  andaway from home; leaving friends behind, family. I'm the protagonist for my own story and it's time that I move on to a new vollume Yeah, there will be cameos of those from the last book but mostly it will be new; a new experience, a new part of my life. I always thought when you move forward there will be no loose ends. I hate fnishing a book with questions of the character still in my head but that just  not the reality of a situation. 

I've accepted that things aren't always complete; even after saying goodbye, some instances aren't final. Having said that, I want to close as many doors as I want to before moving on. I feel like I've already started to do this and I want this to carry on so I won't be hating finishing this edition of my story on a cliffhanger with questions remaining unanswered.  

My life is many stories; some short and some being stonking huge year-long-100-page-stories that are hard to get through but once they're over you feel a sense of accomplishment for getting the done. I'm happy to carry on writing other stories for myself as I control my own story. I can write my own future as what I do is down to me. 

As I move forward I know things are going to change. I've struggled with this in the past, I know, but I've finally accepted that things have changed drastically and...urgh... it boggles my mind to look back at the past and see the difference of then and now. I'm finally accepting that these changes have made me happy and that the change has left me how I am now for a reason. 

I hate when people say "everything happens for a reason" as it's often said in a situation where it's the last thing you want to hear but, right now, it feels good to say that everything does in fact happen for a reason; it's a good thing and not to be afraid of. While I do feel in control of my own life, I can't determine everything that will happen. I don't want to sound ridiculous by saying it but there is something beyond my, your, anyone's control that drives us to be who we are at certain points in our lives. Something's you can't control. You can't force people to stay the same. You can't force people to stick around. You can't force yourself to do something you really do not want to do. 

I've accepted that now. I've moved on. 

As friends have left and those who I woud once called strangers have entered my life, I've been happy with my situation. 

For many, including myself, the future is a scary, scary thought but, for me, I'm getting there. And I'm getting there as fast as I can. I have no doubts I will slip up on the way- hey, I'm only human. With that though, I've come to realise, when future situations will occur that I'm unsure of the outcome, there's always a light at the end of the tunnel 

I think it's time for me to move forward. Like I said, as I do this, parts of my past will stay with me beacuse that past is still me. I'm still going to keep the same friends, the same roots, the same memories and stories but I will grow into a bigger person as I add more and more to my next story. 

This is me moving forward. 

FIN.

My Journey to now: read earlier "essays" covering similar topics that led to me writing this post- Change(1), Stuck In The Past(2), Friends Become Strangers(3) & Goodbye letters.(4)

IS IT WRONG THAT I FEEL CONFIDENT?

11 Aug 2016

Since I  started primary school, I've suffered with self-esteem issues. I always felt like I was the 'big' girl of the year. Comments were made through both primary and high school about my weight. It was used as an insult in arguments and even close friends would comment on it. I don't know whether they did it maliciously or saw it was getting me down and were trying to help but sadly it didn't- it just made it worse.

I grew up being more comfortable in size 18, baggy clothes. I didn't like showing any skin past my knees or past my elbows. I'd wear layers upon layers for P.E on my top half; I'd get changed in the toilets to escape embarrassment; I'd wear thick black tights all the way through summer even on the hottest day because I felt it made me look that tiny bit slimmer.

There was a point when I would eat my lunch in the toilets too scared to go to the canteen in fear people would judge what I was eating. If I had a normal lunch like everyone else people would think "ew she needs to eat healthier" and if I had something like a salad people would think "aw look at that sad girl trying to lose weight and it's just not working". As gross as it was, I felt the school toilets were the only safe place I could eat my lunch; that was when my self-esteem was at it's lowest- 2013 (which I've already spoken about being the worst year of my life).

Even today, I'm not comfortable getting my legs out. When on a night out with friends, while they wear these gorgeous short, sleeveless dresses, I opt for a jumpsuit with sleeves to cover all that I don't like. 

I think this body image I've painted of myself has aways been with me and always left me unsatisfied. 

However, sometimes, I'll be in the most basic of outfits maybe even my pyjamas and I'll see myself in the mirror and think "I'm not actually that bad". I'll look and see parts of myself that I actually like. I like my smile, my eyes, my hair. But then I look closer and think "no one else finds them nice so they're not". I question whether I should really be pleased with how I smile or the way my hair naturally curls when I have been ridiculed for my weight, for the state of my skin. I shouldn't feel guilty for looking in the mirror and seeing a glimmer of beauty because those that should feel guilty are those that have got me to this point. 

Those that constantly put me down for my size, who insinuated that it was that that held me back- they should be the ones who feel guilty. But do they even realise they made me feel this way? They probably don't remember laughing at me in primary school when we got changed for gym class or using my weight as the only insult you could conjure in an argument. While you carry on with your life, your actions have left scars on the picture I paint of myself.

Over the past few months, I've come to realise that if I like me that's all that matters; I shouldn't look for people's acceptance in how I look. If I'm happy within myself, I don't for other's opinions on me. 

Over the past year I've become more accepting of myself and who I am and while there's still work to be done on my confidence, little things have made me proud to be me. I still won't wear shorts or skirts without tights but I feel more confident in wearing sleeveless top and even being proud to say I'm a size 12/14. It only seems small to you, but, to me, it's like taking the first steps on the moon. After one big step, another one is bound to come and I hope that comes soon as my confidence grows. 

It doesn't matter what people think about your appearance because the only opinion that matters is your own and if you're happy then that's all that matters.

Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x

CURRENTLY LOVING

10 Aug 2016

It's been a month or so since I've shared some of my favourite things with you and there's already some more things I've discovered as well as rediscovered so here they are. 

B. Beauty Beauty Blender

I'd been wanting to jump on the beauty blender craze for a while now. I was going to pick up the Real Techniques beauty sponge but when I saw this at a cheaper price I picked it up so if it didn't work for me it wouldn't have been a massive blow to my bank. This sponge for just over £3 is worth every penny. I wet it and rinse before using and it helps blend my foundation so well giving it a more dewy yet full coverage look. I don't feel like I need my foundation brushes anymore with this beauty! The brand is exclusive to Superdrug so I definitely suggest heading there to pick on up. 

Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray 

I got this for my birthday back in January and I'm only just starting to give it the credit this deserves. I've heard a few people not finding this product to be the best but I love spritzing my face with it before heading out and I do think it helps lock in my makeup. I also sometimes use it on my beauty blender before applying foundation to help the longevity of my make up that little more. I just have the small bottle but it's lastest me a long time and I think if I was to buy this again, I would repurchase the small size as it's great for travel.


Freedom Eyebrow Duo

A complete dupe for the Anastasia brow duo at a fraction of the price, this has been my go-to brow product for months and I'm finally sharing the love with you on this one. The colour range is fabulous so it made it easier finding a perfect match for my eyebrows. I find the products to be really creamy with little fall out making eyebrows an unmessy affair. I found this at my love Superdrug but I know they don't stock in all stores; you can pick them up online. 

Maybelline Contour Stick

This has become a new favourite very quickly. With a super creamy non-orange formula that works even on my extremely pale skin, this looks really natural when used and it's easy to build up for a more of a harsh, night out contour and chizzeled look. I also, surprisingly use the the highlight half under my cheek bones and down my nose to help the contour stand out and I think it helps my make up look that bit more together. I have been really enjoying using this past month and is great for a full coverage look. 

YESTO CUCUMBER SOOTHING FACIAL WIPES

Last summer, these were great to travel with and it's been the same this year; a super handy size to pop in your luggage and are great for getting makeup off quickly if, like me, you can be a little lazy with your skincare on holiday. They also great for when I stay at a friend's to just throw in my bag and taking my makeup off after being out is done with ease. 

ZOELLA COIN PURSE

While this is advertised as a coin purse, through college, I used it as a small makeup bag as it was the perfect size to fit my powder, powder brush and any other small girly bits I needed for college. Since leaving college, I now use it my handbag when going shopping for the same reason- to keep any small bits from flying around the bottom of my bag. It's the only thing I own from the Zoella ranges but I really like it and I also love the design. 

TYPO STATIONARY

A month ago I put in an order to Typo for some notebooks and pens and I love them all. I'm fighting the urge to put in another order but just because I'm banning myself doesn't mean you have to. If you like stationary and are on a budget, I'd give the site a little browse. 


So there's what I've been loving recently! What are some of your current favourites?
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x

CURRENTLY WATCHING

9 Aug 2016

There's always something new to watch whether on Netflix or actually on that old invention called a television. I've found some great new series and shows that I'd love to share with you in hope that you'd enjoy them too.

ORPHAN BLACK

I'd seen this on Netflix for a while thinking it was something else that it wasn't. Then, after watching the first few episodes I was hooked and flew through all the seasons at the start of summer. It's about Sarah who's going through some things when she ends up at a train station and witnesses a woman throw herself in front of the train. The events that follow you won't expect; the twist within the first few minutes is one I did not expect and I was like "whaaaaaat". It's Definitely one to watch if you like sciency, suspense thrillers.

REGGIE YATES: THE INSIDER

This was shown on the online BBC Three where he adopts the role of a different person in society bringing a different spin to documentaries. I've always loved Reggie Yates before he started presenting documentaries but every series he does I'm intrigued and this one's no different. There are only two episodes but the first is a favourite; he becomes a prisoner in an American prison and sees the life of those inside from their perspective. It's such a different take on documentaries that I love. 

THE PROPAGANDA GAME

Any documentary about North Korea always appeals to me as I'm always interested in the history of their country. This documentary manages to do what many other media presentations of North Korea fails to do and shows a much more balanced and unbiased perspective on North Korea. Honestly, I didn't pay as close attention as I could so will definitely have to watch it again soon. This one you can find on Netflix

WHITE COLLAR

This is a series I dip in and out of on Netflix. For me, it's a typical American drama where every episode follows the same formula with a big storyline running throughout each series and that's fine with me- I love them. It's about an FBI agent who after spending years catching Neal Caffrey- a serial criminal- he needs his help on a case and enlists his help after releasing him from prison. Their relationship is great and the humour throughout always makes me chuckle. If you like anything like CSI, Bones and crime dramas, I'd check this one out. 


So they are some recommendations if you're stuck for something to watch. 
What tv programmes do you recommend?
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x
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