What Makes Beauty Products Ethical & Sustainable?

10 Jun 2019




As much as I would like to consider myself knowledgeable in the world of sustainable and ethical beauty and have previously posted about how to be sustainable on a budget, there are definitely some areas I am less knowledgeable of. Today, I called upon my friends at Sustainable Jungle to bring together a short guide to ethical and sustainable beauty, including how to avoid Green Washing.

Who doesn't love a good mascara, a beautiful scent, a nourishing moisturiser or a functional deodorant? The good news is that we as consumers of these products can use the power of what we purchase to really make a positive impact on both the people involved in making them and, of course, the planet. 

How exactly can we make sure that the beauty products we are consuming are truely as ethical and sustainable as possible? How do we avoid falling victim to greenwashing in an area that is especially ripe for smart and tactical marketing?

there are a few things to consider. We think a useful way to think about this is from the very start of the product's life (i.e. the ingredients), all the way along the manufacturing and testing process and, ultimately, its packaging and end of life story. We've come up with the following key attributes we use as a framework when looking for the most ethical and sustainable brands and products on the market.

Ethical Sourcing

Ethical sourcing is a very broad term, we tend to use it in the context of impact on human life in terms of what's going on in a brand's supply chain, if they pay fair prices for material and goods, and whether their suppliers are committed to a positive environment and social impact while providing safe working conditions for all that work.

Vegan & Palm Oil Free

Separately, we look for products with ingredients that don't have a negative implication for our planet. We tend to focus on animal rights and biodiversity loss: products that are vegan (i.e. contain no animal products whatsoever- even if you are not vegan, you just simply don't need crushed insects in your lipstick, which a real thing) and palm oil free because while it's a complicated issue, the reality is that palm oil is devastating forests and jungles that are critical to biodiversity.

Ingredient Quality

Similarly, we look for products with ingredients that are high quality and non-toxic- ideally, these will be organically farmed, all natural ingredients containing no GMOs, manufactured herbicides, artificial fertilizers, artificial or synthetic colours, preservatives or chemicals. This one is super difficult to find a key problem area for greenwashing, especially in the case of cosmetics.

Cruelty-free

This is probably the attribute you are most familiar and thankfully, the cruelty-free movement has done an excellent job of forcing a number of brands to stop the cruel practice of testing cosmetics and personal care products on beagles, bunnies and other animals- a practice that we will no doubt look back on in 50 years' time as utterly barbaric.

Thoughtful Packaging

Increasingly we are looking for brands and products that cater to zero waste lifestyles and have a very clear end of life story- i.e. there is a way to responsibly reuse (through send-back programs) or compost the packaging. This is not always available to everyone everywhere so, at the very least, packaging should be recyclable.

Forward Thinking Business Practices and Charitable Giving

Finally, we love to find brands that have thought beyond just the product themselves, for example, may be powered by renewable energy, have an entirely plastic-free delivery process or have a community garden for their employees. Many ethical and sustainable brands out there also prioritise giving back to their communities through charitable giving programs.


While this framework is not entirely perfect, we find it a useful way to minimise our risk of doing damage and to support brands and small businesses out there that are doing the right thing and creating products that align with our own values.


If you want to learn more about this topic in detail, Joy and Lyall of Sustainable Jungle have gone into more detail in this article that is worth the read. Their site is also a great place to learn more about sustainable products and brands. You may also see a post by me crop up on their website in the near future.

We hope you find use in it too and we'd love to hear your ideas, thoughts, comments or questions on this thinking!

Hope you're doing great, 
Sarah x 



GRWM: BTS CONCERT EDITION

6 Jun 2019

*AD: This post contains affiliate links but all opinions, as always, remain my own*



Here's the rundown of the make-up and the outfit I wore for the sold-out Wembley "Speak Yourself" concert as well as my bag essentials. 

It was just last Saturday that I was at the BTS "Speak Yourself" concert at Wembley Stadium. This happened to be a very hot and humid day in London and so spending hours outside called for some makeup that could withstand both the heat and the time. I also wanted a simple outfit that was perfect for the weather and wasn't too much fuss. Honestly, there's not many new products included in this post but just some old favourites that always do the job. Today, I thought I'd share with you how I got ready and what I packed for the concert. 

THE MAKEUP

For my base, I opted for The Body Shop Vitamin E day cream and the Barry M Primer. Together, these made a hydrated and smooth base to apply my Kat Von D Lock It Foundation. This foundation is on its last legs but it's always been the best option for days that I need my makeup to last longer and want a little more coverage. I applied my Revolution Concealer and my eyebrow powder as usual as well as bronzing with my favourite Natural Collection Bronzer. For extra highlight, I stole my sister's Estate Highlighter which I am definitely going to be buying myself; it had such a good sheen and glow and is only $10. 

As much as I had planned to rock some bright pink eye shadow, I did not trust it to withstand the weather so, I instead applied some of my bronzer and highlighter on my lid to just add a little colour. 
I then finished my make up by setting it in place with my One Heck Of A Blot Powder, applied my Barry M Waterproof Mascara (which was a very good choice) and then simply layered on some lip balm to protect my lips from the sun. 

As I said, I wanted my make up to be simple yet lasting and I think this did the trick.

THE OUTFIT

My choice of outfit changed quite a lot as the weather was so unpredictable. However, as it turned out to be such a warm day, I settled for a Plain White Cotton Tee from New Look and an old favourite of my Pink Primark shift Dress. I paired this with my staple black converse as I knew they wouldn't let me down and would be comfortable to wear for the whole day. 

For accessories, I wore my usual Whale tail necklace that I never take off and my current favourite Oliver Bonas Heart Contour Earrings. And, I'd like to give a thank you to my friend Hila for kindly gifting me the BT21 Koya Headband; a BTS concert look will never be complete without them! 

THE BAG ESSENTIALS

Glasses
It may not look the best with your outfit but, if you're anything like me, they are essential to make sure you see everything. You'll regret missing anything later if you had to squint throughout the show. 

Tickets
Don't roll your eyes at how simple this is. It happens to the best of us, so make sure you have them with you to prevent you from having to panic and run home to pick them up. 

Waterbottle
I can only speak for how it works at Wembley Stadium but I was so glad to find that you could take your own bottle in and refill it at certain first aid points around the stadium. Especially in the heat, I was so glad I had this as well as glad I didn't have to pay for an overpriced bottle of water. 

Phone
By this, I mean a phone that specifically has a lot of free storage for all the photos you may wish to take. Honestly, this time around, I didn't really take many photos and I don't really regret it. I actually really enjoyed myself not watching it through my phone screen. Of course, if you want to take some photos and videos to look back on later and wish you were still there, then make sure you've got the storage ready!

Portable Charger
Having a phone with battery life as bad as mine, I would have been lost without this. It's good to make sure you keep your phone topped up with charge so you can take all your photos, contact anyone you need to and get home easily, especially if your travel involved any trains and public transport. 

THE CONCERT

While I've said before that BTS is not my usual type of music I listen to, over the past couple of years they've become one of my most played artists so I was excited to finally see them live. The tickets were probably the most expensive one I ever have bought (and will ever buy) but I think it was worth every penny. It wasn't just a concert but a show that had you smiling and laughing the whole way through. I thought I'd share a few photos I took from the day but if you want to see some more as well as some videos, check out my latest Instagram post and June Highlights on my feed. 



So there's everything I wore and took to my most recent concert. I'd love to know what you think. Are there any concert essentials I missed off? 

Hope you're doing great, 
Sarah x 

READ, WATCH, LISTEN

23 May 2019



It's been a little while but I am happy to report that my dissertation is submitted and my exams are finished. This leaves me with more time to focus on other things and one of those being blogging. As my first post back, I thought it was time to share with you again some entertainment I've been soaking up and enjoying both before my exams and, guilty, during them. 

READ

"MR SALARY" BY SALLY ROONEY

Sally Rooney is a current popular writer and is one everyone's TBR at the moment. With little time to read myself, I thought I would start with this short story published in a recent Penguin collection. It has definitely encouraged to read some of her other books in the future as it gave me a real sense of what kind of writing I should expect from her. It can be hard to convey a character's feelings and backstory in a believable way in such a small amount of pages but, there it seems no difficulty as I was fully invested in the character and really enjoyed the insight into the woman's life. If you too have heard of Sally Rooney and are unsure about whether it's your kind of thing, I recommend giving this a quick read and I am sure it will help make up your mind and, very likely, encourage you to read more of hers. 

"CAN YOU KEEP A SECRET?" BY SOPHIE KINSELLA

Not every book you read has to be the work of a genius or a tedious read with lots of hidden meanings and layers. Sometimes, a bit of fluff is what we all need. This book came at the perfect time, acting as comic relief during revision which had me creasing at the characters. I have previously read a teen novel by Sophie Kinsella but this was my first Adult/New Adult novel by her. It's about a girl who, while on a flight, shares her deepest secrets with the man sat next to her. After the journey, she gets off hope that her life with carrying on as normal only to find this man was the CEO of the company she works for. This book really did have me laughing out loud and hitting my head out of second-hand embarrassment. If you're looking for an easy pool-side read this summer or something just a little lighter, this one is worth the read. 

WATCH 

OUR PLANET

Yes, I'm late to report my love for this one but as the hype begins to die down, I thought it would do no harm into bringing back everyone's attention and hopefully persuade those that are still yet to watch, to go and watch it. In this series, David Attenborough narrates on the extensive terrains across the world and sharing, as always the beauty of the world. for each episode has a different focus, but with the same overarching message- climate change is real and we can start to make a change now. What I particularly loved about this series what that, while climate change is devastating and reality, they shed some hope on how we can change today and really save the future of our planet. I urge you, no, beg you to watch this and hopefully you'll be as inspired as many to help make a difference even if it's so small. 

LISTEN

MAP OF THE SOUL: PERSONA

My music test is ever-changing. While for years I loved the indie-alternative music that so many my age loved, I've accepted now that my music taste really is a bit of everything and genre eans very little to me. The Korean group BTS have really influenced my love of different genres. This group is a real global success and yet there is still a surprising amount of people who still don't know who they are or have a real appreciation for what they do. I know they're not for everyone but the lyrics and the thought that goes into every part of this band is something you should at least give a go. They may sing another language but that doesn't ake your listening experiences and the message it holds any less than a song in your language. If anything, I feel it makes the listening experience and the conversation surrounding it even more interesting. "Map of The Soul: Persona" is their latest and probably one of my favorites and already one of my most played albums of the year. 

I am so excited that I will also be witnessing the spectacle that is their live tour at the end of this month which I will be sure to share over on my Instagram as well as maybe here on my blog, to really emphasize how bloody brilliant BTS are. 



Of course, there were other TV shows I was watching out of procrastination and music I listened to help me focus but these were some of my favorites of the last month.

 Have you any opinions on the things I've mentioned? I'd also love to hear your own recommendations!
Hope you're doing great, 
Sarah x 

MINMALIST SUMMER MAKEUP

23 Apr 2019


*This post contains affiliate links but all opinions remain my own*

Recently, I’ve been opting to wear no makeup. While my skin has had some rough patches, I think letting my skin breath a little has really helped make it feel a little healthier. As the summer weather begins to come around, the last thing I want it heavy makeup on my face. I’ve started to reintroduce makeup into my daily routine and I’ve found products that create a lightweight base while giving me a little coverage. I like how simple the make up I have opted for is as well; it means it’s been less of a chore to do and also really quick and easy. 

The Ordinary SPF 30 

I mentioned this very recently in my "Transitional Skincare Staples" but I thought it was worth another mention here as it has really come part of my make up routine. After applying moisturiser, this is my next step. I really want to make sure I’m looking after my skin this summer so this is the perfect way to accomplish this. 

Bareminerals Tinted Hydrating Cream

If you’ve seen any of my previous beauty posts, you will probably know my love for the Body Shop BB Cream- it provides, really, no coverage but adds a little colour and evens out my complexion. My shade has been out of stock a while and I have been eyeing up this Bareminerals BB Cream for a while. I’ve really been enjoying using this. Like the Body Shop BB Cream, it adds so colour to my face but also a little more coverage than the one I previously used. It really feels like I have nothing on my face and, that, I really like. It’s got such a natural glow to it that I also really love and think it provides a great base, especially in the warmer weather. 

Revolution Conceal & Define Concealer

Like everyone seems to agree, this is a great concealer and, for me, this is my main source of coverage. I apply under my eyes, forehead chin and also under my cheekbones where I have a little scarring. It works perfectly with the Bareminerals Cream to create a great base. 

Makeup Obsession Eyebrow Duo

This is probably the biggest chore of doing my make up and, I’m sure, you can probably agree with me saying that. This duo really helps me to fill in my eyebrows quickly and without real trouble. For a mere £2, this powder duo is a real bargain and has worked great for me. Sadly, it seems that this no longer exists on the shelves but Revolution do some similar and great alternatives. 

Natural Collection Bronzer

This bronzer has lasted me well. I mentioned this previously in "My Everyday Makeup" and with it still making an appearance here now shows it has stood the test of time. It’s quite fitting to the brand name as it really does give me a natural bronzer to help warm up my pale complexion. 

Soap & Glory Powder

This is an old favorite of mine and, honestly, I’m just trying to use it up. In cruelty-free discussions, Soap & Glory’s stance on animal testing has been seen in the past to be a little unclear and so I try and avoid it. However, I have had this powder in my collection for a while now and I thought now is a great time to use it up as it really is great at setting my make up especially when the base has such a dewy finish. 

So there are few products I use on my face at the moment and will probably how it will be across the rest of this summer. I think a lightweight base is so much better for over the summer and I feel I’ve created a routine that will work well. 

What makeup products do you find yourself reaching for over summer? 
Hope you’re doing great,
Sarah x 

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INSTAGRAM: CREATING YOUR PERFECT FEED {AD}

15 Apr 2019

*This post is kindly sponsored by Panasonic*





Sometimes it can be difficult to feel like you're making the most of Instagram and creating a feed that you're happy with. My feed has gone through a few transitions over the years but I feel like I've finally found a style that I am happy with and feel I can follow with most photos I'd like to post. This was quite a process but I thought I'd share with you a few ways to set you on your way to creating your own perfect feed. 

Quality over Quantity. 

This doesn't only help you only share your best photos but it's actually quite good for the ever-changing algorithm of Instagram that, at the moment, posting less frequently is actually preferred. Focussing on trying to only post photos I'm happy with and are different from before leaves me feeling a little more positive about my feed. 

In terms of actual quality, I do mainly use my phone to take photos for Instagram. However, if I've been on trips or just wanted to up my quality, I have reached for my DSLR to get a more crisp and high-quality photo. If this is something you're thinking of improving it maybe worth investing in a high-quality camera. Why not check out the newly-unveiled Full Frame Mirrorless Cameras* from Panasonic. This range of cameras is compact while offering a great quality of both photo and video. It would make a good investment if you're wanting to not only improve your Instagram posts but also wanting to delve into the world of vlogging or video. It's definitely worth reading into this range as this range offers many great features that my current DSLR is lacking as it is now highly outdated. 


Editing

This can be a short or as thorough process as you wish or feel your photos need. For me, I find having a similar filter and editing style across all my photos helps to create a more uniform feed where the photos aren't all different and may seem out of place. Along with many others, my app of choice has to be VSCO, I stick to the original filters that come with the free app but tend to alter the settings so much that I end up creating almost my own filter that I'll apply to most of my photos. 

If you want to go the extra mile, having software like Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom can really help increase that quality and help perfect your images in a way that phone apps can't really do. 

Also, don't dismiss the in-app tools that Instagram offers. I am an avid lover and user of the 'Lux' feature. It adds the finishing touch to my photos just by adding a little more contrast and clarity. 

Do you have any other tools you use to edit your photos? I'd love for you to share any tips you have with me!



Find Your Style and Make it your own 

I think this is where a lot of people get stuck. It all comes down to everything coming together; the photos you take and post, how you edit, how you lay them out. I've found a style that suits me and, I hope, managed to make it my own. 

Your Instagram is just that; yours. Seeing some personality in the photos and the captions I find really helps with engagement and can make you feel a lot happier with the overall look. It's easy to get caught up in numbers on Instagram but I think it's important to remember that your Instagram feed is just that- there's no need for it to really be perfect; it's what you make of it and as long as your happy with it, then your followers will be as well. 

So there are just a few things that have helped me create an Instagram feed that I am happy with and has left me motivated to post even more in the coming months. 

Do you have Instagram? Leave your links below and I'll be sure to check you out! 
Hope you're doing great, 
Sarah x


*This post was a paid collaboration with Panasonic to promote their new line of Lumix full frame mirrorless cameras. However, all opinions, as always, remain my own. *

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