Good Intentions for 2017
Earrings: Oh My Clumsy Heart

Earrings: Oh My Clumsy Heart

I didn't particularly want to do a resolutions post this year (because I am quite rubbish at them), but I did want to partially keep myself accountable for some 'intentions' for 2017. I've been eating vegan since 2013, using green beauty since 2014, and in 2017, I plan on finally making some changes to other areas of my life. 

Towards the end of 2016, I started going to the gym more and semi-regularly attending yoga classes. I want to keep this up in 2017. I am a member of my uni's gym (even though I live 40 mins away) because it means I can make the most of long breaks between classes - which can sometimes be up to four hours long. I also want to make a conscious effort to bring a reusable cup with me everyday as I hate to think how many non-recyclable coffee cups I have used over my time at university, let alone over the course of my life. I'm rather excited about my new 24Bottles thermo bottle that is suitable for both hot and cold drinks. It has such a beautiful design and the 500ml capacity is perfect for uni. I'm feeling very inspired by the 'zero-waste' movement and I'm also looking to make some other minor changes such as purchasing a reusable safety razor rather than relying on plastic (how exciting).

I'm also doing a bit of an overhaul with my wardrobe. From 2017 onwards, I am going to make a serious effort to buy largely second-hand and only buy from sustainable companies if buying clothing new. However, exceptions will probably be made for certain items (like shoes), as my budget can only stretch so much and they're items that get worn often. I've worn my current pair of black Chelsea boots nearly everyday for the last year and a half. I would definitely say that's more sustainable than buying five pairs of eco-friendly boots that I hardly wear. Second-hand, vintage, and charity shops have always been a passion of mine (I love spending hours browsing) so I'm actually delighted to get back into using them. In terms of sustainable companies, I've already purchased a few basics from the fabulous People Tree. They're a bit expensive full price but so far, everything I have has been bought on sale or via their Amazon shop that stocks additional sizes to what is available on their own website. I'm very excited for their S/S '17 collection - some of the pieces look right up my street. As you can see from the feature image, I've also purchased these beautiful earrings from one of my favourite jewellery companies, Oh My Clumsy Heart. I've been eyeing them for ages and Christmas was a great excuse to just treat myself! Sophie - the owner - totally aligns with me in terms of values and ethos so it's a brand I'm delighted to support.

What changes are you looking to make or what good intentions do you have for 2017?

 

 

2016 Year in Review (including the best natural/vegan beauty!)

I understand that this is a little late, but it's finally time for my 2016 year in review post! 2016 was a good year for me personally (despite certain public events). I travelled to the Netherlands and Croatia, got my degree grades on track for my Masters application, and ended the year with a lovely 'stay-cation'; exploring the beautiful town of Stratford-Upon-Avon. Blogging also went well this year. I feel like I managed to avoid any long breaks, I contributed something to the Peridot, and was asked to join a major blogging programme. So, without further ado, let's get on to the five most popular KV blog posts of 2016: 

1. Review: Schmidt's Natural Deodorant Stick
2. H&M Conscious Beauty... To Buy, or Not To Buy?
3. Review: Kypris Beauty Clearing Serum
4. Review: PHB Ethical Beauty Botanical BB Cream and Pure Skin Foundation
5. First Impressions: Pacifica Makeup

And of course, now on to the part we've all been waiting for, my top green/natural/vegan beauty picks of 2016!

Bravura London Salicylic Acid 2%
Despite being the only non-natural product on my list, the Bravura salicylic acid peel has probably made the biggest impression on my 2016 skincare routine. I have been struggling with closed comedones on my cheeks and jawline for the last two years and this product seems to be one of the only things that keeps them at bay. Natural sources of salicylic acid (like willow tree bark) were, in the beginning, no where near strong enough for my acneic skin. So, this gem has really made a difference and I am finding myself relying on it less and less - definitely making it one of my top skincare products of 2016.

Skin & Tonic Coco Mask*
I was lucky enough to receive this as a Christmas gift from Skin & Tonic in 2015 and I have been loving it ever since. It's a wonderful gentle - but potent - mask with a coconut milk powder base that makes it perfect for a little face mask alchemy. I love mixing this with a brightening face oil and rosewater.

Green People Beauty Boost Skin Restore*
I waxed lyrical about this product in a full review so I won't harp on too much but this is pretty much the only water-based moisturisier I can use on my face. I find most to be too heavy, but this is perfectly nourishing while still feeling light. I definitely prefer to use face oils but I occasionally follow with this when my skin is really dehydrated. It's also great under makeup as it dries to a relatively matte finish.

Brija Cosmetics Gilmore Girls Matte Eyeshadows
To be honest, the entire Brija Cosmetics makeup line blew me away in 2016 but my favourite products have to be the matte eyeshadows, inspired by Gilmore Girls. Brianna has the greatest range of colours and every shade blends beautifully. If you're struggling with finding good natural matte eyeshadows, then I urge you to try Brija. Trust me, the loose formulation and ordering from the US is worth it. I'll be doing some swatches soon!

Mallow & White Soothe Cleansing Oil* (& Vedani Botanicals No. 21 Cleanser!)
I was gifted this cleansing oil at Gorgeously Green Gathering this year and I really do love it. I generally prefer lighter cleansing oils (like my beloved Vedani Botanicals) and this option fits the bill perfectly. I find it works quite similarly to the Vedani and so I didn't feel the need to include both on this list (and I don't have a bottle of the Vedani at the moment) but definitely check them both out. I've already done a full review of the Vedani and have a review for Mallow & White coming very soon in 2017.

Pai Kukui & Jojoba Bead Skin Brightening Exfoliator*
This is 100% not a new product for me, but it's one that I have got some serious use out of in 2016. With my heightening use of acid products this year, my skin has occasionally looked a bit flaky. This is quickly remedied by Pai's wonderful exfoliator, a brilliant hybrid of physical and enzymatic exfoliants. I love using this in the shower (it can be a bit messy otherwise), and I'm not looking forward to it running out - which will probably be very soon.

Zuzu Luxe Liquid Eyeliner in Raven
I finally found the perfect vegan liquid eyeliner in 2016 in the form of Zuzu Luxe's Liquid Eyeliner in Raven. It's super popular in the US green beauty community and recently became available in the UK from Amazon. I was quick to try it and very quickly impressed. It's super easy for me to apply as the applicator is very similar to one I used in my teens, and it doesn't smudge too bad on me either. I'm currently loving a liquid eyeliner from Colorisi but this is the baby that saw me through 90% of the year.

Schmidt's Natural Deodorant Stick
This needs no introduction as my review actually made my most popular blog post of 2016. I've only ever tried two scents in this deodorant (the bergamot and lime being my favourite) so I can't speak for the whole line, but Schmidt's seems to be the only natural deodorant that has so far worked for me. They recently brought out a baking soda free version that I am super excited about (as I do get a little irritation these days) and I'm excited to try that one next.

What are your top five products for 2016? I would love to know!

New In: RMS Beauty

I haven't done one of my 'new in' posts in a long time! It seems however that I have been gaining beauty products at an alarming rate recently and so you can assume there will more posts on the way. Today I'm going to be talking about two new products from RMS Beauty that I have been testing out.

RMS Beauty Ultimate Makeup Remover Wipes*
These wipes are quite the innovation for the green beauty sphere. You won't find wipes more natural; they're formulated with nothing but pure coconut oil. Coconut oil is generally a no-no for my skin due to its pore-clogging nature - it rates quite highly in terms of being comedogenic for acne-prone skins. However, these little wipes have been proving quite handy for quick makeup removal when staying at my boyfriend's house. I don't think I'd repurchase due to them being comedogenic but as long as I follow them with an acid toner, my pores seem to be fine for now. They're quite pricey but if you have super sensitive skin (and are partial to a face wipe), they're probably worth a try.  

RMS Beauty Swift Shadow in Tempting Touch TT-76*
I was super excited when I heard that RMS would be releasing a vegan-friendly line of pressed eyeshadows. The shade range is a little confusing (you'll definitely need to rely on online swatches), but after perusing a few blog posts I settled on the shade Tempting Touch TT-76, a beautiful warm bronze shade. This shade is perfect for an all-over wash of colour and is absolutely spot-on for autumn and winter. The pigmentation didn't totally wow me - as I'm used to super-pigmented loose shadows - but it's good enough for what I've been used it for and it is handy to have such a versatile shade in a single pan for travel. I've heard that they work brilliantly wet so I look forward to trying that and possibly trying some more shades. Again, they're not cheap, but they feel super smooth and luxe in spite of the slightly disappointing pigmentation. 

Have you tried either of these new products from RMS Beauty?

 

 

5 Green Beauty Resolutions for the New Year

The new year is nearly here! New year's eve is tomorrow and it's a great time to be thinking about the little changes you'll be making for the new year--the new year is perfect for changing habits. Here's a couple changes you can make if you're new to the world of green beauty: 

1. Stop using cotton rounds - This one is probably the easiest. I don't really use cotton rounds anymore unless I need to remove nail polish (and even that can be avoided with a peel-off polish like Little Ondine). If you do need to use something like a cotton round, why not try a reusable kind (e.g. these from Love the Planet) or at least, switch to rounds made from organic cotton like these from Simply Gentle. You can even pick up organic cotton rounds on the high street from Boots.

2. Try a cleansing oil - I will tell you now, cleansing oils will change your life. They make it so easy and luxurious to cleanse and remove makeup. You can find cleansing oils for every skin type (even oily skin - trust me, it works) and using an oil totally reduces waste created by makeup wipes and the like. I like to apply to my face, massage in for a few minutes, then steam off my face with a nice warm flannel. The flannels can then be washed in the washing machine and used again - easy! I have combo/oily skin so my favourite cleansing oils include: Vedani Botanicals No. 21, Mallow & White Soothe*, and plain ole simple organic jojoba oil.

3. Go at least 3-free with your nail polish - This is also a pretty easy change. There is a good change that a few of your favourite nail polish brands are at least 3-free. My favourite cruelty free and at least 3-free brands include Zoya, Little Ondine, Maggie Anne, Butter London, and Nailberry.

4. Try a natural or DIY body scrub - You will be surprised at how many beauty products can be made from scratch - body scrub is a super easy one and can be made from ingredients such as sea salt, raw sugar, shea butter, and/or cold-pressed oils. I've never done a blog post on this but the lovely Sarah Price has done many. Check out her: Energising Himalayan Salt Scrub, Spiced Chai Scrub, and Green Tea Scrub.

5. Try a mineral powder foundation - Powder foundations can seem a bit intimidating, especially to those used to mainstream liquid varieties. However, they are absolutely brilliant for skins that are prone to oil and acne. My absolute favourite mineral powder foundation is from Alima Pure, and you're sure to find your shade due to their amazing shade range. The loose powder only has four ingredients, but offers great coverage and can be built up really easy. And, if loose isn't your thing, Alima have recently released a pressed version that I'm eager to try. You can even buy refills to reduce packaging! I use the shade Neutral 2 in the loose foundation, but shade names do differ between formulations. 

What little green beauty changes will you be making in 2017?