Sunday, 21 December 2014

Cruelty free festive daytime make-up...

I wanted to showcase some of my favourite products and how easy it is to create a wearable, confidence-boosting daytime to evening look that's 100% cruelty free! With Christmas days away and the make-up counters full to bursting with glittery winter shades it's the perfect time to experiment with your make-up. Leaving the lips bare, adding some shimmer to the lids and a pop of blush on the cheeks is a really nice way to create a look that's natural enough for daytime but still a little special for the Christmas period.

Follow these steps to create the same shimmery look...


  • To create this look I started by buffing my Body Shop Extra Virgin Minerals foundation into my skin using a cruelty free duo-fibre brush. Make sure to buff and blend all the way along the jaw line, hair line and down under the chin to avoid any lines. Using the same duo-fibre brush (wipe off any remaining foundation) I stipple some OCC concealer underneath my eyes, along the tops of my cheekbones and along the brow bone. I then use the tips of my fingers to press and blend the concealer in under the eye (the warmth from your fingers creates a much more natural blend than a brush would in this area). 

  • Contouring: everyone's gone contour crazy at the moment. For daytime though, you don't really want to go heavy on the bronzer and highlighter so I find that a sweep (use a tiny amount this stuff is super pigmented) of my contour powder by Sleek just under the cheek bones and up into the temples is all I need to add a bit of shadow and definition to my cheeks during the day. Patting some of the shimmery Sleek highlighter along the tops of my cheekbones, forehead and chin also lifts my make up, adding a nice glow. For a final pop of colour, I buff in some of the pastel pink blusher from my Barry M Natural Eyeshadow Palette.

Perfect Brows
  • Next, using a cotton bud or tissue, I wipe any excess foundation off my brows - as you want the base for any eyebrow products to be your bare skin not a liquid foundation as any pencil will just slide off. I then pencil in my brows where needed, using light brush strokes near the front and harder and more defined along the arch and tail. Once you're happy with the shape, to make your eyebrows appear really sharp and defined you can outline the edges with concealer. You'll want to use an angled concealer brush for this and just paint a very very fine line underneath your brow, following the arch and then using your finger carefully blend down into the lid (never up into the brow, you want the line to be sharp). Finally sweep some clear brow gel through to set and you're done!


  • For all of the shadows used I used my Barry M eye-shadow brush; it's definitely worth buying a brush rather than using the little foam wands that come with the sets. For the lids I started by using shade 2 - white - of the Natural Glow Palette all over the lid to create a nice base. I took this colour right up into the arch of my brow as it also works to highlight that area. Next I used shade 3 of the Natural Glow Palette and simply blended that in along my lower lid into my lash line. Shade 3 is sort of a neutral brownish - I'd call it "mushroomy" - colour that's perfect on it's own for daytime wear. To add some colour, however, I blended in shade 1  of the Starry Eyed Palette (a matte yellow gold, almost an ochre kind of shade) across the whole lid, into the outer corners of my eye and underneath my lower lashes. I think taking any colour below the lower lashes really finishes off any look that you're going for. Then to add a final touch of sparkle, I dusted my brush with shade 4 of the Starry Eyed Palette (a dark shimmery gold) and simply pressed the colour along my lids. It's important simply to lightly press this colour on top of the look you've created so far as opposed to blending because this is a dark shade and would simply cover the other shades you've already applied.
  • To finish and set off the whole look, I applied 2 coats of my Supercurl Curling Mascara in Black.

Ta-Da! All done. An easy to wear daytime look that's a little bit special and best of all: 100% cruelty free.

I've included a list of all the products and shades used below and please don't hesitate to leave a comment below if you have any questions, tips or thoughts :) Thank you!


The Body Shop Extra Virgin Minerals Liquid Foundation in shade 102 Natural Ivory

Sleek Contour and Highlight Palette in shade Light

OCC Skin Concealer in Y1

Barry M Blush in pale pink from the Natural 1 Palette


Urban Decay Supercurl Curling Mascara

The Body Shop Brow Pencil in Brown

Barry M Natural Glow Palette

Barry M Starry Eyed Palette


Burts Bees Lipbalm

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Manic Panic Vampire Red Hair Dye (cruelty free AND vegan)

I've gone red for Christmas! (Admittedly I do this almost every single year without fail- it's just so seasonal!) Anyway, I just had to put up a quick review of this Manic Panic hair dye as it's without a doubt the best dye for achieving vibrant colour that I've ever used and it's 100% cruelty free and vegan to boot! 

What is 'Manic Panic' ?

Manic Panic is a semi-permanent hair colour designed to add vibrant bold colour to bleached hair. However for those of us who aren't naturally blonde or willing to bleach their hair, there are a few of their shades that will still show up gorgeously on dark locks: Vampire Red (My personal favourite), Infra Red, After Midnight, Enchanted Forest, Green Envy, Purple Haze, Hot Hot Pink, Raven and Shocking Blue. Even better is that Manic Panic Hair Colour, unlike harsh chemical dyes (think L'Oreal, Garnier, Nice 'n' Easy) is conditioning and gentle on the hair; fortified with a herbal and protein complex. Meaning it can be left for up to three hours on the hair to achieve intensely bright colours without any damage!

I think the results will do all the talking but here are some points I must mention:

  • I used the 'Amplified' version of Vampire Red which has a stronger formula and lasts 'up to 30% longer'
  • This stuff STAINS. I guess it's a good thing as you know it's going to stick to your hair but it'll also stick to your counters, your sink, your bath, your floor, your face, your scalp, your hands and so on. My advice: just cling film it all. Just cling film everywhere. Or newspapers. And for goodness sake make sure you wear gloves! (That goes for rinsing too)
  • Once I'd applied about a whole tub (my hair is fairly long) to every inch of hair I could see I piled it on top of my head, wrapped it in cling film and left it on for approximately two hours. I'd recommend doing this to prevent any accidental dripping or staining and also it prevents the colour from oxidising so you end up with a more intense red.
  • I also applied heat every now and then using a hair dryer as Manic Panic suggest doing this to achieve a brighter colour.
  • My hair colour has lasted about ten days now and is still as bright as when I first dyed it which in my experience is a pretty good result for red hair dye. (Which is notorious for fading FAST)
  • However, a big downside is that my hair is still 'bleeding' (not actual blood) meaning every time I wash it I have pools of red water at my feet and red stains on my hair towels. (You're going to want a set of old towels you don't mind staining for a couple of weeks after dying your hair)
  • BUT on the plus side, this is definitely the reddest my hair has ever been and I think that's mostly due to the fact that I haven't been dying it with chemical dyes for a long while so it was like dying virgin hair again. I most likely did have henna still left in from September (read Henna review here) however from my experience I would say that Manic Panic and Henna seem to work fine together, I've had no unwanted colour nightmares that you might expect from mixing Henna and chemical store dyes together.
  • One tub of Manic Panic is about £10.00 and I usually buy mine off of Amazon as you can usually get good deals on there!

Overall though, I LOVE this dye, if you're a brunette and looking to go red I couldn't recommend it more highly. It will definitely do the job. It's kind to the animals and kind to your hair, what's not to love! Well, I think I've covered everything there but if you have any questions or thoughts please please feel free to leave a comment below and I'll try and answer as best I can or check out Manic Panic's FAQ. Personally I love this dye ... it may be messy but it achieves such a gorgeous colour that's so worth it!


                       Before                                    After (In sunlight)                            After (Indoors)