Things I love: Stylist Magazine

I have loved getting my free copy of Stylist since I first started working in London in 2013.  It’s a magazine for intelligent women, distributed in the major UK cities.  It genuinely makes my Wednesdays more bearable, and so nice to read during my lunch break or on the tube ride home.

And they have a website with lots of articles on, also for free!

Interested?

Check it out here – https://www.stylist.co.uk/

 

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Things I love – my basic mobile

For the last two years, I have used a Nokia 130.  Not just for camping but all the time.

If you don’t know what model that is, here’s a picture:

Nokia phone

When people see me using my phone for the first time, whether they know me well or not, their reactions are mixed.  A lot of people laugh, and exclaim something along the lines of ‘Is that your phone?  How can you use that?’  And others are intrigued, and ask me why I do not have a smartphone.

I used to have a smartphone (a Windows one) until I realised Continue reading Things I love – my basic mobile

Things I love – A Monk’s Tale (written by James Cary)

I saw ‘A Monk’s Tale’ this evening.  There’s only one performance left on its tour, so it may seem a little weird to write a blog post on it, but it was SO GOOD.

I’ve never come across a performance which is both comical and theological.  But this is golden.  I am very tempted to purchase the audio CD of the songs, and really hope that a performance of it was recorded, so it could be released on DVD.

Check out the show’s website here! – https://www.amonkstale.net/

A_monks_Tale_A5.jpg

Spiritual pep talk

I made a list of my fears and anxieties on the tube back home from college on 23 January 2017.  Then I recorded some ‘Remedies’.  The following spilled out of my pen and heart. As I step into the graduate recruitment process turmoil once again, all of this helps me.  I hope it helps you too.

God has not abandoned me.

He will not give up on me, despite my subtle sin and my blatant sin.

He cares about the world’s injustice and corruption, and I will see Him deal with it.

He has a plan for me → He will use me for His kingdom in whatever way suits Him.

He fully dealt with all my sin at the cross.  He is changing me without me even realising it.

I am not regressing – I have the Holy Spirit who I know has changed me so much, as I look back on my life.

Everything that has happened and everything that will happen, has been ordained by Him.

I am safe in His hands.

He will guide me and lead me through jobs and relationships, as He has already been doing.

The world may not see me as a special snowflake, but God views me as His child, whom He uniquely made.

I am not condemned, though I may feel condemned.

I am covered by Jesus’ sacrifice and have nothing to fear or worry about.

I have many gifts that He has given me, as well as flaws which get me down.

God cares for me like He does all the birds [sic], who seem so insignificant → He cares for me more than He does them.

And despite my cynicism, God still loves me.  He can soften my heart.  He can make me more like Jesus and I am not useless.

I am God’s masterpiece, and I have a purpose, even though it may not feel like it.

The Quest for the Leaping Bunny – 2017

At some point last year (though I cannot remember exactly when) I decided to try and switch from your standard cosmetic products to products which had the leaping bunny logo.

leaping bunny

Why?

I’ve always been an animal lover, and still cannot contain my excitement whenever I see any sort of creature (as long as it’s not too scary).

Although I’ve known for years that many household name products contain ingredients which have been tested on animals, it appeared that there was no way of discerning which companies do and don’t do this.  It’s the same with clothes – there are brands which obviously use sweatshops because the garments are of such poor quality, but there are other brands which are better quality, but shady about whether they use sweatshops or not.  I find this paralyzing and guilt-inducing, because I don’t have time to make my own clothes from scratch or concoct my own beauty products, but need to wear/use something to appear presentable in modern society.

However, from stumbling across two videos by Youtubers justkissmyfrog and Emma Blackery and subsequently discovering that brands I thought were ‘Cruelty-Free’ actually aren’t, I did some research and came across https://www.crueltyfreeinternational.org/LeapingBunny

I was relieved to discover that if a product has a Leaping Bunny Logo on it, it means that the product as a whole has not been tested on animals AND none of the ingredients in the product have been tested individually on animals.  When I use a leaping bunny product, I have peace of mind that animals aren’t suffering to make me look/smell nice.  If a brand states on the product that they don’t test on animals and don’t have this logo, it means that the whole product itself is not tested on animals, but unfortunately, the ingredients they use have been tested on animals.  Understandably, this isn’t reassuring.

Cruelty-Free Alternatives

So since discovering this, whenever I go out shopping, I never buy cosmetic products unless this logo is on the back.  As I was (and still technically am) a student this year, and needed to save the pennies, I focused on using up the products I already have, before purchasing more.  So there are a couple of products I am still finishing up which are not cruelty-free, but I have managed to find some really good products which do not cost the earth (literally and metaphorically).

Already used

Make-Up

Now I don’t wear loads of make-up, but about a year ago, I came across two great finds in my local TKMaxx.

Bellapierre’s Glowing Complexion Essentials Kit – http://www.bellapierre.com/uk/glowing-complexion-essentials-kit.html – which was knocked down to £15

Alba Botanica’s Fast Fix for Undereye Circles Vanishing Concealer – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Alba-Botanica-Undereye-Circles-Ounce/dp/B00V2SXSC6 – which was also reduced.

As I wear a light amount, these two products have been great, and it goes to show that it is worth looking in the beauty section of TKMaxx to find any reduced products.

Toothpaste

I’ve been using these two Cruelty-Free toothpastes alternatively over the last month (having said goodbye to my beloved Colgate), and have actually been enjoying them.

Superdrug’s Pro Care Sensitive Whitening Toothpaste 

Jason’s Powersmile® Whitening Anti-Cavity Toothpaste

Skincare

Still have about three moisturisers on the go which are definitely not Cruelty-Free, but bought Bulldog’s Protective Moisturiser (out of curiosity) and really like it.

I really love Superdrug’s Facial Wipes.  At the moment I’m using their ones for Sensitive Skin .  I also tried Sainsbury’s Aloe Vera Wipes , which do the job, as it were, but feel a bit harsher than Superdrug.

When I’ve remembered to use Night Cream, I also found Alba Botanica’s Even Advanced Night Cream in TK Maxx, and though it’s hard to tell whether its claims to reduce dark spots and discoloration  work, it smells lush and it feels truly hydrating.

Hair Products

I regularly use hair detangler after I wash my hair, and having used L’Oreal Kids Shampoo and a variety of other brands which are not Cruelty-Free all year, discovered this gem from Superdrug , which is amazing.

Have been using a lot of Shampoo and Conditioner by Sainsbury’s, including their Classic Anti-Dandruff Shampoo (for that extra clean feeling), Apple Shampoo and Conditioner, and Coconut Shampoo and Conditioner.  The apple and coconut flavour ones have just had a cheeky rebrand, and the fact that it is sold in large amounts for cheap is great if you’re on a budget (like me).

Having finally finished John Frieda Frizz-Ease Original 6 effects Serum after three years (definitely not Cruelty-Free) have appreciated Superdrug’s own hair serums: Hair Therapy Oil with Coconut and Hair Therapy Oil with Argan.  I prefer the Argan because the effects are more visible.

Deodorant

In TKMaxx a year ago, came across All Good Deodorant – Rose Geranium & Jasmine, which lasted for ages, smelt great and was a really good deodorant.  Unfortunately, it appears that the only way to buy it is online, but it’s worth investing!

Surprisingly, Sainsbury’s Basics Roll-on Deodorant, also worked really well, despite being very cheap.

Products to be used…

On my last Sainsbury’s trip, I discovered their new line called ‘My Hair Matters‘, which is Cruelty-Free and very affordable.  Once I’ve used up my current shampoo, I’m going to try their Nourish & Repair Shampoo and Conditioner.

I haven’t used Dry Shampoo in years, but am going camping for the first time in six years in a couple of weeks time, and know it would be handy to have some.  To my delight, I’ve discovered that Phil Smith Be Gorgeous Volume Boosting Dry Shampoo is also Cruelty-Free, and I’m really looking forward to trying it out.

In anticipation of finishing all my shower gel which is not Cruelty-Free (but one was given as a birthday present a while ago and still smells lovely), I’ve stocked up on Superdrug’s own Shower gels which smell amazing: Strawberry & Raspberry and Orange & Satsuma.  They remind me of the vegan but unfortunately not Cruelty-Free Original Source Shower Gels – it’s a shame they don’t have a lime flavoured one!

Deodorant-wise, have discovered Sainsbury’s have some more roll-on deodorants which are Cruelty-Free: Sensitive  and Cotton Mist (which appears to have been discontinued on the Sainsbury’s website).  Intrigued to see whether either of these live up to their claims!

I’m also looking forward to, once I have a bit more money, buying some hair products from the Whole Foods Market near me.  I feel particularly drawn to Avalon Organics.  I also want to invest in some good quality make-up, and going to have a bit of a browse here for some ideas.

Conclusion

As you can see, it’s not too difficult to switch to Cruelty-Free products, and often you don’t have to go out of your way to buy new products.

If you’ve come across any great products with a leaping-bunny on the back, please feel free to share them in the comments below 🙂