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Thursday, 15 December 2016

Cruelty Free Christmas Gift Guide 2016

I know from personal experience that buying gifts for people who've gone cruelty free or vegan can be a pain in the arse. As if Christmas shopping isn't stressful enough you have to spend ridiculous amounts of time reading labels or Googling what you can and can't buy. I've put together a handy little guide for gifts this year, hopefully this should make things a little bit easier!
I've done as much research as possible into finding out what's purely cruelty free or are vegan, so these products will be labelled with either CF or V respectively. If you have any disputes or issues with the brands/products not being cruelty free or vegan, please leave a comment and I'll investigate!
 
Illamasqua Insta Eye Gift Set £50
CF / V

 
 This little babe is part of Illamasqua's limited edition Christmas line for 2016. It comes with the Masquara, Precision Gel Liner, Broken Gold, Angled Brush.
'Broken Gold is Limited Edition and is only available as part of this set.
Revel in a dramatic and glamourous eye look. Shape your eyes with our Angled Brush and cult classic Gel Liner to create that perfect feline flick. Load up lashes with Masquara for added length and definition and finish with a veil of Broken Gold, your very own metallic liquid gold.'
Check out their other Christmas gift selections here.

BUY

 Eco Tools Get The Look Trio Gift Set £25 (Normally £35!)
CF /
 
 

You get 9 brushes with this set from Eco Tools, perfect for creating any look. It features the Fresh Complexion Set, Touch of Colour Set and Enhanced Eyes Set. All brushes are synthetic. I've had several brushes from these guys over the years and they're fab, you can often pick them up at places like TK Maxx, but for all of them at this price you can't afford to miss it.
EcoTools also donate 1% of their annual sales to 1% For The Planet®

BUY

Vineyard Candles Gin & Tonic Soy Wax Candle £19.50
 CF /

Not exactly underneath the 'cosmetics' umbrella, but who doesn't love a good candle? Vineyard Candles offer a burn time of over 80 hours and with scents like this one, Pina Colada, Mojito and more, who could possibly say no. All wax is soy based, the jars are recycled wine bottles and the candles are even handmade in the UK.

 BUY

 Aesop The Impassioned Wanderer Gift £50
CF /


This beautifully packaged gift contains three haircare essentials from Aesop, a brand that I adore from their ethics to their minimalist, statement branding. In this gift you receive the Nurturing Shampoo, Nurturing Conditioner and Rose Hair and Scalp Moisturising Mask. This brand doesn't come cheap, so for all three in one set, I think £50 is a pretty good deal.

BUY


Balance Me Rose Christmas Collection £12
CF

Balance Me was originally brought to my attention with a sample size hand cream free with a magazine about a year ago, I remember loving the scent so I bought myself some more of their stuff and it's all so lovely. This Rose Otto collection is one of my mum's absolute favourites. For this and other gifts, Brazillian designer JatopĂȘ Pax has provided illustrations on the box which perfectly embody the brand's ethos of 'vitality, happiness and wellbeing.' This set comes with the Hand Cream, Body Cream and Body Oil. Sadly I cannot confirm these products are vegan. Many products from Balance Me are vegan, however I could not find an ingredients list for these ones in particular.

BUY

 Charlotte Tilbury The Perfect Vamp Kiss Kit £49
CF


Charlotte's back at it again with the most beautifully packaged cosmetics known to man. There are loads of CT gift sets on offer this Christmas but this one is my fave. You receive 'K.I.S.S.I.N.G in Night Crimson (that's the lipstick), Lip Cheat in Savage Rose (the liner) and Lip Lustre in Unleash Me (lip lacquer). Now sadly the Lip Lustre may contain carmine according to the ingredients list, therefore it cannot be classified as vegan, but as always CT is completely cruelty free.

BUY

Rituals Ayurveda Balancing Collection £39.50
CF 


This is by far my favourite gift set. The Indian Rose and Sweet Almond Oil in the Yogi Flow shower gel is just the best scent in the world to me. I'm not actually a huge rose lover, but this is just gorgeous. The packaging is lovely and you get four products here, Yogi Flow shower gel, Shakra Water, Himalaya Scrub and Honey Touch. I cannot find any information online that suggests that any of these products are vegan.

BUY
 

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Why I've gone cruelty free...

So about 6 months ago, my friend and I decided that we were going to change one major thing in our lives by going entirely cruelty free with our cosmetics. It started with seeing an unfortunate set of images circulating on Facebook, of a test lab in China for the manufacturers of Mac cosmetics with some of the worst animal cruelty I've ever seen. I won't be posting them here, but a quick Google search will bring up all the horrors we saw, along with an upsetting amount more. 
After this I decided to delve a bit deeper and do some research of my own into the subject. As far as I was aware animal testing in the EU had been illegal for some years now so I wrongfully assumed that everything I was buying wasn't subject to these testing methods. I was correct in thinking that the EU does not allow the sale of animal tested products, as stated here on the Cruelty Free International site:
'From 11 March 2009, the EU banned the testing, within the EU, of cosmetic ingredients – irrespective of whether there were non-animal alternatives. It had already banned the testing in the EU of cosmetic products. The bans are known as ‘the testing bans’.
From 11 March 2013, the EU completed the ban on the sale of cosmetics animal-tested after that date anywhere in the world. The ban applies to both cosmetics products and ingredients, again irrespective of whether there are alternatives. It is known as the ‘marketing ban’.'

Obviously this is a huge victory in the animal rights sector, however there are ways and means of brands getting around these laws - and boy they do. The main way I've come across so far are brands who word their 'cruelty free' policies carefully - hoping that people don't notice or care that the testing is happening overseas. The main culprit of this is China. China requires animal testing by law, something that has been and continues to be debated internationally as technology has advanced so far that these testing methods should now be redundant. Unfortunately this is still the case however some consumer brands admit to be working with the Chinese government to end these tests.
 Another issue I've had to research into is parent company testing. As you're probably aware, most brands are owned by a parent company, for example Mac is owned by Estee Lauder, The Body Shop is owned by L'Oreal etc. I'll continue to use The Body Shop as an example as it's known on the British High Street for being widely known as a cruelty free brand. Well - technically it isn't, depending on what your personal definition of cruelty free is. You can be sure that The Body Shop's ingredients or finished products have not been tested on animals, and if you're happy knowing that then fair enough, however much of their profit is paid to their parent company (L'Oreal) who are one of the biggest animal testers in the world. So effectively you are funding animal testing in this sense by purchasing their products. This is why I have decided to go a bit further and not purchase products by brands whose parent companies test on animals. Here's a link to the Daily Mail's article on the subject for more information.



I was soon introduced to the massive market for cruelty free cosmetics as an alternative online. Blog's such as Cruelty Free Kitty have been a huge help, shedding light on who's who in the cruelty free world. It took a good few weeks of heavy Googling to find out the worst offenders and I've compiled a handy little list on the Notes app on my phone for when I'm out and about (I will share this with you.) It does make shopping a little more difficult I'll admit, but if it takes me an extra 10 minutes to find a shampoo that hasn't harmed a little bunny somewhere then that's fine with me. 
Anyway, you'll notice that I haven't posted on Mannequin for a long while, no excuses here I've just had more important things that took my mind away from blogging for a while. But now that I'm back you'll see the posts changing to cruelty free cosmetics only. I appreciate that not everyone feels this way about their beauty products and many people would agree that they'd prefer just not to think about where they come from and how they've been tested. That's understandable as I was never particularly thoughful about it either, but if you decide that you'd like to join me in this venture then Mannequin will be here to help you as usual.
I will be focusing on promoting brands available in the UK as I've noticed this information is slightly limited as most blogs focus on the US, however I'm open to hearing about all brands. If you or someone you know has a cruelty free brand to tell us about please leave a comment or contact us on the menu above, I can't wait to hear from you!

Thursday, 21 May 2015

My Little Box: From France With Love



 
 With the subscription box market getting increasingly crowded, it's always nice when something special comes along. That's where My Little Box comes in.
 
'My Little Box aims to delight and surprise you every month.'
 
 When I received my first box, it came in the mid-month slump where your bank balance isn't something you want to look at and you need a little pick me up. This is what awaited me:
 

Each monthly box is themed, with the March box a superhero theme. Unlike other subscription boxes the products are usually full size and include in house beauty and skincare products with super cute packaging. So far I've had gifts like t-shirts, bracelets, a stamp kit and even a set of dress-up doll fridge magnets! Design wise, the gifts inside are beautifully packaged, coming wrapped in printed fabric pouches, tissue paper and ribbons. The boxes have always have adorable illustrations on them and a little 'zine' inside with a description of the products, interviews and articles.
April's box was 'My Little Dream Box' with whimsical inspired gifts and May's was 'My Little Provence Box' with an array of presents from the south of France, including a travel size L'Occitane set! 
For just £14.95 a month you can have all of these lovelies delivered to your door.
I'd confidently say it's the best subscription box out there!
Visit the My Little Box website to explore for yourself.

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