Saturday, 26 November 2016

Cruelty-Free Christmas Gift Guide!

 When it comes to Christmas, making sure your gifts are cruelty free is not only a great way to send a big fat message to the companies that still test on animals - at one of the most consumer-driven times of the year - but giving cruelty-free gifts to loved ones might just encourage them to start off their own cruelty free journey!

If you’re thinking of spreading some cruelty-free festive cheer this year, have a look below at my Christmas gift guide where I’ve picked out some of the top CF picks in the shops this season . . .
Click on the brand to go to the featured product: Soap and GlorySanctuary SpaLiz EarleIllamasquaLUSHThe Body Shop

Click on the brand name to go to the featured product: Marks and Spencers, Soap and Glory, Rosie for Autograph, LUSH, Burt's Bees, Real Techniques

Click on the brand name to go to the featured product: Barry M 1, Barry M 2, Soap and Glory, The Body Shop, Sleek, Sanctuary Spa, LUSH, Marks and Spencers, No 7

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

The only brow product you will ever need: Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow Pomade

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow - "the best thing to happen to brows since tweezers" ?

Are you still a blogger if you haven't blogged about Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow? Probably not.
Okay so I've put off this post for a very long time - at first because I wanted to closely guard my exciting new magical brow product and then because it wasn't long before reviews began popping up left, right and centre and I thought, hey, anyone with eyebrows will have heard of ABH Dip Brow by now. Understandably, it has fast become a CULT favourite, praised by many as the ultimate holy grail of brow products. Now, having used dip brow for a couple of years, I feel well-qualified to put up a review for anyone that has avoided all eyebrow-related hype in recent years and to let the world know that Anastasia Beverly Hills products are cruelty free! (I've also promised a few students that I'd share my brow secrets...)
 SO not only will our brows look fabulous, we can feel great knowing we're buying from a CF brand.

Dip Brow comes in an incredible eleven shades so you can easily find one to suit your brows. Whether you're fair or dark, prefer cool tones or warm tones, ABH has got you covered with: 

Soft Brown
Medium Brown
Dark Brown
Ash Brown

Personally, I have tried three of these shades: Chocolate, Medium Brown and Soft Brown. 

Soft Brown is probably the shade closest to my natural brow colour but my favourite to use is Chocolate as it has slightly warmer tones to it that match my hair better. Medium Brown was a lot darker than I was expecting so I would suggest, if in doubt, always opt for a shade lighter. If you're looking for super-natural brows then opting for two or three similar shades and using a mix of shades to fill in your brows can be really effective.

Dip Brow in  shade: Chocolate
Another thing I really love about dip-brow and why I keep coming back to the ABH brand in particular is its staying power. Before I discovered dip-brow I was using pencils and whilst pencils are great for precision filling and control, I would usually end up with my eyebrow smudged across my face half way into the day.

With dip-brown its a different story. I can do my brows in the morning and not look in a mirror until I get in from work in the evening and I can be confident that it won't have budged. In the two years I've been using it it has lived up to it's sweat-proof, smudge-proof and water-proof reputation. Very happy!
So are there any down-sides?
This product may be as close to perfect as a brow product can get, but yes it still comes with some negatives. Its price, trickiness of application and its tendency to dry out before you can get through the pot are all flaws that make me love it a(tiny) bit less.
At £15 it is defintiely one of the more expensive brow products on the market but I don't think it is so steep as to be obscene. Also, one pot lasts a very very long time. I have never quite got to the bottom of a pot before buying a new shade and on average one pot can last me at least three months.
However, the product does have a habit of changing from its smooth creamy consistency when first purchased to a dry, stiff mixture a few weeks in to use. If you are careful to always keep the lid on and look after it it might prolong it a bit longer. OR I have discovered that adding a couple of drops of micellar water and swirling a brush around can return it to its former glory for a while! 
 Now, something to help with the tricky application ...

Applying dip brow can take a bit of practise and I would defintiely recommend watching a couple of youtube tutorials before your first attempt. A little goes a long way with this product and it is easier to build up gradually with light strokes than to go straight in with a bold application.
One thing I would definitely recommend however is to buy an ABH brow brush! The #12 ABH brow brush (pictured above) is designed specifically to work with this product and it really shows. Its small angled shape makes it easy to fill in brows precisely and the duo-synthetic bristles pick up the perfect amount of product. It also has a spoolie on the other end making it easy to get the brushed-up brows look that is really popular at the moment. Having used both the real techniques brow brush and the ABH #12 with my dip-brow I have to say that the #12 brush out-performs real techniques every time with this.

So there we are - that is my little (long) review of my favourite ever cruelty-free brow product! And on the left is some snaps of how the product looks on!