Saturday, 19 July 2014

Becca Beach Tint Shimmer Soufflé Review



BECCA SAYS:
'A four-in-one air-whipped soufflé formula that adds a flush of color to cheeks. This lightweight formula packs four must-have qualities into one formula: a powder to add a pop of color, a stain to give staying power, an illuminating highlighter, and a cream to deliver a flawless finish. Water-resistant, each pot combines bestselling Beach Tint with a Shimmering Skin Perfector™ for effortlessly buildable, complexion-enhancing color, soothing hydration, and a youthful glow.

Sponge-like gel texture formulated with brown algae extract that helps hydrate, smooth and soften skin
Effortlessly buildable colour with a soft, lustrous finish
Hydrates and revives dull skin for a youthful glow
Scents correspond with individual Beach Tints
Water-resistant and oil-free, Paraben-, Sulfate- and Talc-free'
(http://www.beccacosmetics.com/us/store/cheeks/blush/beach-tint-shimmer-souffle/)

I SAY:
This is a really nice way of brightening up your complexion. I think this is great for oily skin as it has powder in it, which helps it last, but also is a great way to add a little 'glow' to your skin. I have been using this as a blush on days that I've used matte foundations, and also, if applied really lightly, can make a lovely highlight to the tops of the cheeks.

The only thing I would say is that I don't feel it picks up as much on camera as it does in real life. It's really nice for brightening up the complexion for day to day wear, but I wouldn't choose this if I was going somewhere where photographs are going to be taken.

CRUELTY FREE STATEMENT:
'Hi Natalie,

Happy Monday and thank you for writing in with your BECCA inquiry and even more so, your patience! You’re inquiry bounced over to our UK team so it’s taken me a second to receive your questions. 

As far as animal testing is concerned. We, our suppliers, nor our parent company ( LBP ) partake or support animal testing at any point in the production process.  We are a performance brand first and foremost. We don’t promote to be an all-natural vegan brand, however we do have a list of vegan items for you to take a look at. 

Hope this helps and if you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.


Mineral Blush –  Flowerchild, Damselfly, Sweet Pea and Wild Honey

*Mineral Powder Foundation (All Shades)


*Beach Shimmer Blush-Highlighter – Papaya, Topaz, Moonstone, Guava, Fig, Raspberry, Lychee, Raspberry


Bronzing Skin Perfector


Ultimate Color Gloss


Radiant Skin Creamy Concealer


Matte Skin Shine Proof FDT


Resurfacing Primer


Ever Matte Poreless Primer 



Have a great rest of your day!


HANNAH NOE | Customer Service Coordinator

BECCA Inc.

499 7th Ave, 15th Floor, North Tower


New York, NY 10018


p: +1 646 568 6250


www.beccacosmetics.com'


I feel comfortable purchasing from Becca and I love most of the products I have tried by them so far! I recently went to New York and got quite a few bits and pieces to try - reviews to come :)

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Arbonne Calm Skincare Range Review

I was recently approached by an Arbonne representative and I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to give these products a little trial for free. Arbonne are a brand that cannot be purchased in shops - only online. You will also need an ID number to purchase Arbonne items, which I will leave at the end of the post if you are interested in trying any of the products.

As the Calm skincare range was all that he had on him at the time, this was the one offered to me. Although I do have sensitive skin, my main skin concern is oilyness, so its safe to say I was a little sceptical to try them. But hey, it was free so I wasn't going to turn my nose up at it, and I'm quite glad I didn't!

The set comes with the Gentle Daily Cleanser, Gentle Daily Moisturiser, Soothing Eye Gel and the Calm Soothing Facial Serum.

CALM GENTLE DAILY CLEANSER £17.00 - 148ml


ARBONNE SAY:
'This extra gentle, sulphate free cleanser, formulated with only the most essential ingredients, gently washes away makeup, excess oil and dirt without irritating or over drying the skin. Leaves skin feeling clean and refreshed, and can be used day or night'.
(https://www.arbonneinternational.co.uk/shop_online/showitem.asp?ProductId=8700&menuId=57&withLinks=1)

I SAY:
I used this in the morning to cleanse my face, and also at night to take my makeup off. It did the job rather well! I didn't feel like I had any makeup left on my face and it felt clean and refreshed. I do have sensitive skin, and this didn't cause any redness or sensitivity which is a good thing! The main thing I look for in a cleanser is that my face feels clean, but is not irritated or stinging, which this cleanser does. Overall it's a nice, very gentle product. I will be purchasing this and using it as my cleanser from now on! 

CALM SOOTHING FACIAL SERUM £35 - 30ml

ARBONNE SAY:
'This lightweight serum, with a moisture barrier soothing complex,quickly penetratescools and soothes the skinlocking in moisture and leaving the skin feeling hydrated and supple. This non-irritatingnon-comedogenic serum is the ideal product for improving the texture and appearance of the skin'
(https://www.arbonneinternational.co.uk/shop_online/showitem.asp?ProductId=8702&menuId=57&withLinks=1)

I SAY:
This was my favourite of all the products in this range. For a while I have been looking for a serum that is suitable for an oily skin type. I tried a couple - all ending in disastrous breakouts! The conclusion to this test was that serums were just not designed for my skin type, or at least that was until I tried this one! It is lightweight, just as it claims, and it has improved the texture of my skin. The best thing about this serum is that it makes my face feel hydrated but not at all oily. It absorbs really fast leaving no greasy residue behind - perrrrrrfect for my skin. Love love love it.

GENTLE DAILY MOISTURISER £26 - 118ml



ARBONNE SAY:
'This non-comedogenic facial moisturiser feels weightless and absorbs quickly, leaving the skin feeling soft and nurtured. Formulated to help provide hydrating relief from tightness, dryness and discomfort, this lightweight moisturiser restores and maintains skin moisture without leaving an oily feeling and can be used day or night.'
(https://www.arbonneinternational.co.uk/shop_online/showitem.asp?ProductId=8701&UpsellLog=1&menuId=37&withLinks=1)

I SAY: 
This is a really lovely, light moisturiser. It does have a slight smell, but it's just nice and fresh! I have replaced my other moisturiser with this because it is perfect for oily skin for the summer. I wouldn't say it absorbs oil or prevents me from getting shiny throughout the day, but I have never found a moisturiser that does that anyway! At £26 it is quite expensive, but I'm used to spending this sort of money on skincare, as I previously was using Dermalogica. I think its worth it in the end as you can spend all sorts of money on expensive makeup, but none of that is going to make a difference unless you have a good skincare routine.

SOOTHING EYE GEL £23.00 - 15ml



ARBONNE SAY:
'This gentle ophthalmologist tested eye gelpackaged with a convenient roller ball applicatorfeels instantly refreshing on the skin. Helps reduce the appearance of puffiness around the eyes and hydrates and smoothes the eye area for youthfulvibrant looking skin.'(https://www.arbonneinternational.co.uk/shop_online/showitem.asp?ProductId=8703&UpsellLog=1&menuId=37&withLinks=1)

I SAY: 
Not worth £23. Don't get me wrong, it is instantly refreshing and therefore probably great for people with puffy bags under their eyes, but my eye concern is more dark circles rather than puffiness. I don't feel like this was very moisturising either. Unfortunately, I would recommend this as I think the price is too steep for what it is.

CRUELTY FREE STATEMENT
'Dear Natalie,

Thank you for your email and I am sorry to hear that your questions have not been answered. Arbonne is a Family owned Business and we have set ourselves very high standards.


All HRIPT, or Human Repeat Insult Patch Testing, is conducted by a third party lab. This safety test is for the "Dermatologist Tested" and "Allergy Tested" claims.

As you know, Arbonne has a strict policy of not testing on animals, and of formulating personal care products that do not include animal products or by-products.

Just as advances in technologies allow us to formulate cutting edge products, so has the way our industry tests raw ingredients. Today, the ingredients we source have been tested using in vitro cell/bacteria cultures. Arbonne does not use any animal derived ingredients nor does it test on animals. We use human subjects to confirm product safety.

Arbonne is a global company and we develop and manufacture based on a global perspective. When it comes to the leaping bunny certification and others, there is no global standard or certification. In the absence of global harmonisation and standardisation, Arbonne has elected to omit such logos from it's packaging because certification in one country doesn't apply in others.

I hope you have found this information useful.

If you need additional assistance, please feel free to contact us by email atcustomerservice@arbonneinternational.co.uk
or by phone on 0800 97 75 721 or01604 861 150.  We are here to assist you.
Arbonne Customer Service hours are8.30am-7pm (GMT/UK time) on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and 12pm-7pm on Tuesday.

Regards,

Michelle
Arbonne Customer Service Supervisor' 


Over the past few weeks I've tried a few other bits and pieces by Arbonne which I have REALLY enjoyed and there will be reviews coming up on them soon. Because I have enjoyed them so much I decided to become and Independent Arbonne Consultant. Like I mentioned earlier, if you would like to purchase anything you will need an ID number. Mine is 441228778 so feel free to use that if you decide to give it a go. :)

Have any of you out there tried Arbonne?  What do ya think?


Monday, 9 June 2014

CRUELTY FREE UPDATE: Tarte

So I have recently discovered that Tarte have been taken over by Japanese Company KOSÉ. Here's what Tarte said when I emailed them :

'
Hello Natalie,

Thank you for contacting tarte cosmetics customer service. We appreciate your interest in tarte and we want to provide you with accurate information in regards to tarte's new acquisition by Japanese company KOSÉ. Our vision has always been to create beauty products that are ‘healthy treats for your skin,’ foster the highest level of customer service and give back to the community and the environment. By joining the KOSÉ family and adding to that rich portfolio, we can build on what we’ve already accomplished with powerful products and explore expanding the tarte brand in new and exciting countries. Remember, tarte will NOT be testing on animals, or EVER test on animals. We are a cruelty-free company and will remain one. KOSÉ is completely on board with our position as an eco-friendly, cruelty-free company and has given tarte such a great opportunity to grow and expand around the world. It’s really an exciting time and we can’t wait to reach more tartelettes worldwide. Maureen will stay on as the CEO and looks forward to continuing a lasting relationship with our tartelettes.
Please look at the checklist below and be assured tarte is in great hands.
                •We will remain a cruelty-free beauty brand focused on high-performance naturals™
                •We will continue to manufacture our high-quality products to our exacting standards, which means our formulas will continue to be formulated without parabens, mineral oil, phthalates, triclosan, sodium lauryl sulfate, and gluten
                •Our products will continue to be dermatologist and ophthalmologist tested along with industry standard testing
                •We will continue to formulate with good-for-you ingredients like Amazonian clay, maracuja, minerals, colored clay, superfruits and vitamins
                •tarte will continue to innovate and create products we believe tartelettes will love
                •We will continue to expand internationally where are our high standards are met—we can’t wait to reach more tartelettes worldwide!
Please let us know if you have any additional questions. We will be removing you from our email list as requested. Thank you.
Xo, the tarte team!'

Whilst Tarte claim they will remain cruelty free, KOSE are a Japanese brand that, to my knowledge, test on animals. So in buying Tarte products, your money will eventually go to KOSE. 

I emailed KOSE for a statement from them and they did not reply. I have done a little research and seen other blogs/articles that say they aren't cruelty free, but unfortunately none of these included a statement from KOSE to confirm or deny this. 

It's tricky and rarely are things just black and white. I read a post (which can bee seen here) that I think explains it quite well in that she would rather people buy from Tarte than people to think that animal testing is a thing of the past and buy directly from other companies who don't have a cruelty free ethos. 

Personally, I will no longer be purchasing from Tarte. There are many other strictly cruelty free companies to choose from and I will enjoy exploring them and looking for new products!



Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Why Cruelty Free?


WHY I WENT CRUELTY FREE
As you may know, I only use products that are cruelty free. It was about this time last year that I was just reading through reviews and looking at blogs, when I came across a post that somebody had written about why they were cruelty free. I'm an animal lover so it interested me. I researched a little into it and some of the things I read can only be described as horrific.

I became determined to make sure that purchases that I made would not ever support, or condone actions like these ones that I'd seen. I believe that no animal should suffer just for our cosmetic needs.

I'm not writing this to demand that you stop buying from companies that test on animals. Before I'd read the post about animal testing, I literally had no idea what sort of things went on or which brands tested etc. Me and my family have always been animal lovers and have rescued animals and given them loving homes. My parents and I have often sponsored animals and given money to animal charities. After doing some research I realised many of the products we used around the house had been from companies that conducted unethical, cruel and inhumane tests on animals. Unless I hadn't discovered what actually went on, I would have carried on completely naive to it all.

It was after all of this that I made it a conscious decision to make sure I knew more about the companies that I decided to purchase products from. I feel like it really opened my eyes. I decided to write this post in order to hopefully provide some of you with some more information and show you ways in which you can start to help make a change, if it is something you feel you might like to do.

                                                     (My boyfriends gorgeous little Border Terrier pup.)

CRUELTY FREE YOUTUBERS
I searched cruetly free Youtubers, and came across Amy Sass. I believe she is from Australia and I watched a ton of her videos and learnt a lot of initial information from her. She made a great video that you can watch at here.

She then made a great follow up video and read out a template a letter/email, that could be sent to a company to ask if they conduct animal testing or not. That can be seen here. I think originally this template was created by a lady named Naomi and her Youtube channel can be found in the description box of Any's video - although it seems her last video was uploaded in 2010 so some of the products she uses if her videos may no longer be cruelty free.

Here is a written copy of the template letter (I think I edited it a little from Naomi's version) :

'Good afternoon,
I’m writing to ask you about your policy regarding animal testing. I’m interested in trying products from this brand but I don’t use products that contain ingredients that are tested on animals. I would therefore appreciate if you could let me know if any of the product ingredients or products themselves have been tested on animals either by your company, or for you by a third party company or manufacturer.

Could you also confirm if you have a parent company and if so who is it, and do they test on animals?

Additionally, I would be grateful if you could let me know whether any of your products are vegan and if so which ones? I look forward to hearing from you soon regarding this matter and thank you in advance for your co-operation.

Kind regards

[Your name goes here]'


You have to be careful with this. Some companies will come back with a response such as, 'We are against animal testing and don't test on animals unless it is required by law'. This means that they DO test on animals and it is likely that they do so because they sell their products in a country such as China, where it is required by law that the products must be tested on animals.

They also may completely avoid questions about parent companies, third party companies or manufacturers. It is down to you what you do in this case. My personal opinion is that if they avoid questions like these, they have something to hide. I will either email again asking the specific questions that they avoided, or just not buy from them.

Personally, I try and send these emails to companies every couple of months because many brands can be sneaky in changing their cruelty free status either to sell in China, or are brought by a larger company that do test. In this case, buying from these companies results in your money ending up in the pockets of an animal testing company.

Another beauty Youtuber that I found was Beauty Talk With Cin. She's my favourite. There are regular uploads on her channel and she often shows brands that aren't as well known and much less likely to sell out. She also has a video on her channel where she reveals her cruelty free story so if you're interested you might want to check that out. One of her recent videos featured a cruelty free beauty box called Petit Vour. I checked it out and they ship all over the world, so I'm subscribing to that as soon as pay day gets here! Click here for her channel :).

Pirouette Makeup is another. I just really like her channel, she knows what she's talking about! She also has her own brand of cruelty free makeup brushes which I can't wait to get my hands on!

CRUELTY FREE RESOURCES
Organisations such as PETA and Leaping Bunny have lists on their websites of companies that don't test but you have to be a little careful here too, depending on how strict you want to be with it. As far as I know, the PETA lists only ask the companies to write a statement declaring that they are cruelty free and don't ask for proof. I use the list more as a way of finding new brands and I still like to email them to make certain. PETA'S don't test list can be found here.

The Leaping Bunny organisation ask companies to prove that they are cruelty free I think. The companies on their lists all will have the little picture of their logo (which is a leaping bunny.. funnily enough) printed on the packaging. On this list the companies with a purple square next to them have parent companies that do not comply with Leaping Bunnies standards, so depending on how strict you want to be with this, you need to look out for those. That list can be seen here.

There's a really great post that goes more in depth into both organisations and differences between them that you can read if you click here. If you are interested in becoming cruelty free and using both the PETA and Leaping Bunny lists I suggest you give this a read - it's pretty helpful. There's also a list of cruelty free bloggers and other bits and bobs on the 'Cruelty Free Info' section of the blog.

My Beauty Bunny is another good one. I used this a lot when I was first making the transition. They had a few good dupes posts on there which I found quite helpful. They also keep pretty up to date with which brands are cruelty free and often post when there is a change with a brands status.

(My lovely doggy wog & bestest bud <3)

I mentioned I come from a family of animal lovers, so it goes without saying that we have a few pets. The thought that animals similar to my beloved doggy or kitty are tortured in order for a cosmetic product to reach the shelves really drives me to continue to look for cruelty free alternatives and support brands that are against testing.

                                    (My rather grumpy cat who's not too keen on cuddles, but extremely keen on sleep and food!)

I hope this post has been informative enough and hope its been helpful to someone somewhere! If you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment or email me and I will be more than happy to answer :)

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Stila Stay All Day Foundation and Concealer Review



            (Please ignore the state of the concealer, it's clearly well loved and pretty much all gone!)

Stila say
'Product Description
An oil-free, high definition, high performance foundation that "stays all day" and delivers a flawless finish. Unique oxygen technology leaves skin hydrated, nourished and helps prevent premature ageing. This foundation glides onto skin, immediately going to work to help minimise skin blemishes and imperfections. This dreamy formula glides onto skin and immediately goes to work to help minimise skin blemishes and imperfection. It is also enriched with an array of skin loving ingredients, and unlike other long-wearing formulas, includes a synergistic combination of botanical extracts that have been shown to help enhance circulation and blood flow, resulting in an increase of oxygen being delivered to the skin and letting skin breathe. These innovative extracts also help to slow down the onset of premature ageing and promote healthy, hydrated and vibrant skin.  
 
This multi-tasker also contains a creamy, full coverage concealer cleverly hidden inside the cap (along with a handy mirror) that instantly hides blemishes, dark circles and age spots creating an impeccable canvas for flawless makeup application.
 
Product also comes with a spatula and brush for ease of application.'

 

 

 

I say: Before going cruelty free I was an avid user of the Revlon Colourstay foundation for oily/combination skin. Since going cruelty free I have tried various other products which have not come close! 

This foundation however, I really like. It does stay most of the day as it claims to, although I do tend to get a little oily towards the end of the day. I don't mind this though as that's easily fixed and it stays exactly where it's put, unlike other foundations I've tried.  

As I have oily skin, I can't say for definite what it would be like for dry skin. However it doesn't dry matte - I would probably say it's in between matte and satin. I think it would be fine for oily, combination, normal and maybe even mildly dry skin types. I would say that it's medium coverage, but definitely buildable. I personally find that I have to have a mattifying primer on underneath this otherwise the foundation tends to sit on top of the skin slightly, instead of looking natural like I would like it to. I really love the finish, not too shiny for an oily skin, but still allows me to have a slightly dewy looking skin, which I have not found it any other foundation. I'm so happy that I have found this foundation that I could sing it from the rooftops!

The packaging is pretty cool, it comes with a little spatula that's built into the lid which means you can scrape all the last bits out! No waste, woohoo! It also comes with a concealer which is GREAT! It's pretty creamy, which is perfect for my undereye area which tends to need a little more moisture. Warning though, if it's not set with a powder it WILL crease. It's a pretty good coverage concealer and covers everything I need it too, without looking cakey. 

I purchased this from the website and it was £29.50, which I think is a darn good price, considering the quality of both the products you receive! 

On contacting Stila about their animal testing policies, they replied with this email :

'Dear Natalie.
 
Stila does not test on animals, and neither do their suppliers. They are owned by a finance company, so no animal testing there either.
The products are vegetarian, but not vegan.
 
I hope this helps.
 
Kind Regards,
Poppy
 
x '

If you're looking for a new foundation, this is the one!

 
 

Monday, 17 February 2014

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-hour Full Coverage Foundation review




TARTE SAY
: 'long-wearing, skin-perfecting full coverage foundation with UVA/UVB SPF 15 infused with Amazonian clay for better, longer, truer wear. 

Product Performance:
 Achieve flawless skin that looks healthy and natural. This supremely blendable, buildable and full coverage formula delivers up to 12 hours of satin-matte coverage with a weightless texture. Reduce the appearance of pores, discolorations and imperfections and ensure a perfectly flawless complexion every time with this best seller.
Powered By: Amazonian clay: This nutrient-rich, multitasking and total-skin-balancing clay reduces dryness and flakiness, improves skin clarity, elasticity, firmness, and texture while removing oil from the skin's surface for smooth application and wear.'
(http://tartecosmetics.com/tarte-item-Amazonian-clay-12-hour-full-coverage-foundation)

                                         
I SAY: Since I've gone cruelty free I've been searching high and low for a replacement for my beloved Revlon Colourstay.

At first I was applying it with a beauty blender and I had cake face from the get go! It sat in my pores and just looked awful after a full days wear. 

The next day I applied it with a foundation brush and the finish was much better to begin with (images above), but I could still see it on my skin making it look extremely unnatural. This is a very full coverage foundation and it DEFINITELY looks like you're wearing makeup.

I couldn't really say I think it's very buildable as I think you only need a tiny amount for it to be full coverage anyway. I also disagree that it lasted up to 12 hours - if anything so much as slightly touched my face it transferred!

I pretty much disagree with all of Tartes other claims. I felt the foundation on my skin - it was heavy and I just wanted to get it off! And instead of reducing the appearance of pores I think it made mine more noticeable.. which nobody in their right mind would want!

I have pretty oily skin and this does set matte which is always good but in order for it to last longer than an hour I have to set it with powder. I found that it actually made my skin look flakey and cakey (ha!) and just generally not good as you can see in the pictures above! So this leads me to believe it would be a complete car crash on a dry skin type. 


I was bitterly disappointed by this foundation, I was so hoping it would be 'The One!' Even though this was not the case, I would still definitely try other products by Tarte as I really like their ethos. This is what it says on the FAQ section of their website about animal testing: 


'I
s tarte cruelty free? 
Yes. tarte cosmetics is a cruelty-free cosmetics line. tarte makeup and skincare is never tested on animals. 

What are tarte's guidelines for international products? 
All ingredients and finished formulas tarte uses are tested and based on US FDA requirements before being imported to the US. We only work with highly reputable laboratories and factories that meet the strictest GMP standards, which is an international grading scale for cleanliness and the environment for workers that abide by a strict code of standards. We also test each product ourselves to match our quality standards. Additionally, we are an approved PETA participant; they have audited our non-animal testing procedures. '
(http://tartecosmetics.com/faq.php)


Tuesday, 29 October 2013

LUSH King Of Skin Body Butter Review




LUSH SAYS:
 'If your skin needs some nourishment, this yummy-smelling blend of bananas, avocados, oatmilk and butters will come to your rescue. Avocado's nourishing unsaturated oils get to work with banana's natural emollients and oatmilk's antihistamines to give soothed and hydrated skin. Just smooth the bar over clean, wet skin and rinse off to let the bar reign supreme over its dehydrated subjects.
'(https://www.lush.co.uk/products/king-skin)
I SAY: I really like the fact that this includes natural ingredients, it makes me feel like I'm doing a lot of good to my skin. At first I was a little apprehensive as to weather or not this would really work as well as normal body butter. It only took me SECONDS into the first time of using it to realise that it was just as good, if not better! I have never ever felt my skin so soft!  I can safely say that, yes LUSH, my skin was left feeling dewy, flexible (well I'm not so sure about this one.. flexible skin?! What does that even mean?!), soothed and ready to be touched!

It retails at £5.50 which I personally think is a pretty reasonable price. I have used it probably about 5 times and still have over half left.

The smell, I'm afraid I cannot place! But it's not too strong and doesn't last on the skin so I don't feel like it would be too much of an issue for anyone.

I can see I will repurchase this again and again and again and again and... I think you get the picture! 

What other LUSH products would you recommend? 


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