Lush Vegan Evening

On Thursday I attended an event at my local Lush store with my Mum. I was really excited when I saw this event pop up on Facebook as my little suburb of London isn’t the most vegan-friendly.

The details on the event page were – 

We believe in fresh handmade products and making them using only vegetarian ingredients. It’s a value we’ve always held because it’s important to us, and to our customers.

With around 80% of our products also being Vegan, we’d love to give our customers the opportunity to meet up for some fresh ideas, recipe and knowledge sharing, and also a bit of a pamper. So whether you’re a life long Vegan, brand new to the diet change, or just thinking about adopting a Vegan or Vegetarian lifestyle, we’d love to invite you along.

When we arrived we were given a sticker for our name and how long we’d been vegan or vegetarian. They had a table with some cookbooks and magazines to look at for recipe ideas as well as some vegan refreshment laid out in the way of oreos, fizzy sweets and chocolate.

There was also a game to play or attributing the vegan quote to the correct celebrity (our group did rather well at this!)

We also took the opportunity to have a proper look through all their vegan products and Mum got a sample of their coffee face scrub. We was really nice just having a browse and seeing what they had as I usually just go for the same products when I’m in there.

I wasn’t in need of much so I just bought a bath bomb each for my Husband and me, I was slightly disappointed we weren’t given a discount at this event but that was the only thing I think that would have made it better.

I thought this was a great event for Lush to put on and have been a long time customer of them due to their cruelty free status and ethical campaigns. If they went 100% vegan it would be the icing on the cake!

Have you been to a vegan event a Lush? If not I would ask your local store if they’d consider putting on an event like this.

What are you fave Lush products? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Lush Vegan Evening

Vegan Adventures in Eastbourne

I spent a couple of days in Eastbourne this week to visit family and meet my new baby cousin/soon to be Godson. 

Quite a few members of my family live in Polegate, just outside Eastbourne. They have a small High Street with a couple of cafes and recently introduced Costa. My Cousin and I stopped in at Sarah’s Coffee and Cakes and I was pleasantly surprised they had a sign stating they did dairy free cakes on Wednesday and Thursday. I of course was hoping these were also egg free making them vegan and my hopes were confirmed when I saw these.

They also had a savoury vegetable and cheese puff pastry slice which was vegan. I had a piece of cake with a soya latte and thoroughly enjoyed it. If small independents are managing to serve vegan options the big guys like Costa really need to buck their ideas up! (As my friend Olive has been saying for years!)

On Friday we popped into town to meet with some of my other Cousins and stopped in Urban Ground another independent for a drink. I had my fave matcha latte (with soya milk). I also saw they did avocado toast on their menu. Looking at their website they also do dairy free cakes but I didn’t notice these clearly marked when I was there.

We stopped at Oh My Goodness in the Enterprise centre for lunch, which I have previously reviewed here. I went for the quiche and the salad, it was all really great and very filling, although I would have liked the quiche to have been warmed up or at least room temperature rather than refrigerated cold, but i understand that can be difficult to do.

Next door was a makeup store with this sign outside, which lead me to believe it was completely vegan.

However they were only referring to the brand “concrete minerals”. When I spoke to the owner they said they were getting a lot more cruelty free brands in the next couple of weeks, so check it out if you’re in the area. I did however manage to get some E.L.F. eyeliner in Superdrug. I got the cream eyeliner in coffee which comes with a little brush to apply it with. I’m well versed in applying liquid eyeliner but I was after one of the pen type ones but they only had those in black or “very black” and as I’m quite fair I prefer to wear brown. It went on really easily and stayed in place all day. 

We stopped in at Sunny Foods a health food shop and I picked up one of my fave chocolate bars Vivani white nougat crisp and a coffee alternative made from barley and chicory. The store is quite big and if I lived nearby I would definitely had bought more!

I also bought a raw cheesecake in Oh My Goodness but I was way to full from lunch to have it then so I saved it until the evening. It was a lovely treat and I enjoyed pretending I was being saintly! 


Are you a vegan living in the Eastbourne area? Do you have any recommendations for me for my next visit? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Vegan Adventures in Eastbourne

Vegan Kind Beauty Box 8

Last week I received my quarterly beauty box from The Vegan Kind. For £18.50 including postage and packaging you receive 6-7 skincare/makeup products that are completely free from animal ingredients and are not tested on animals either!

Starting with the top left we have The Konjac Sponge Company Ltd French Pink Clay Facial Puff Sponge  (RRP  £8.99). This looks like a really interesting facial sponge, I’ve eaten konjac before but never used it to wash my face! The Sponge is mineral rich and cleanses, exfoliates and detoxifies skin.

Next there is Vitala Spa Chakra Balancing Compassion Bath and Body Oil 100ml (RRP  £8.50) this smells amazing and is really relaxing in a long, hot soak!

Figs & Rouge evAcalm Perfect Calm Moisture+ AM PM Cream 50ml (RRP  £24) is up next. This goes on the skin lovely and can be used pre makeup in the morning or before you go to bed.

Finishing off the top row is Weleda Almond Sensitive Skin Travel Size Body Wash 20ml (RRP  £1.95) and Hand Cream 10ml (RRP  £2.25) the hand cream is a good size for your handbag and the body wash will go in my overnight bag. I tend not to take my own toiletries when staying with friends or family but then I don’t like using non cruelty-free products so this is great rather than taking full size products.

On the bottom left we have Sheila’s Natural Products Face Cream Deluxe Sample (RRP full size £27.50) this is another nice face cream, so I’ll be in stock for a while.

Lastly we have Spectrum Collections Tapered Finishing Brush (£7.99). This has a feel to it and is really soft!

This box retails in at over £50 (!) So for £18.50 you can’t go wrong. As always 20p from every box goes towards Dr Hadwen Trust which funds research into alternatives to animal testing.

My box this time seems a little cream heavy with no makeup items. It may just be a case of what is available at the time but I feel a bit of planning to get a good cross section of products would be more appealing.

I was also surprised that only the konjac sponge had any markings noting vegan or cruelty free and these were only on the leaflet inside the packet and not on the outside. Nevertheless it is great being introduced to new products and cruelty free companies.

Have you used any of these products? What did you think?

Plumes X

Vegan Kind Beauty Box 8

Review – Amie Skincare

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I first came across Amie Skincare when I received their Morning Clear Purifying Facial Wash in my Beauty box from The Vegan Kind which I wrote about here.

As soon as I started using the facial wash I was impressed. It left my skin feeling so smooth and I knew when I had finished I would be straight on their website to but another one!

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When I ordered from the website I bought two facial washes which are £4.95 each (one for me and one for my Mum) and I also ordered their Spring Clean Deep Cleansing Mask (£5.95). I tend to use a mask at least once a week to give myself a treat and I really liked this one. It smells of peppermint and left my skin feeling so soft.

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I had been using Lush’s Imperialis for my moisturiser but I had to take one pot back as it was bubbling and smelt really funny, I was given their Enzymion as a replacement as the whole batch of Imperialis was off. I used a couple more pots of the Enzymion before I went back to Imperialis, it wasn’t bubbling anymore but it didn’t have the same smell I remember from when I first started using it. As I had been so impressed with my other Amie products I decided to buy a moisturiser from them. They offer two moisturisers, Morning Dew Matte-Finish Moisturiser and Morning Light Hydrating Daily Moisturiser (both £4.95). As I have combination skin I went for the matte-finish one. I have been using it for a few days and I am really happy with the results. I only need a small pea-sized amount to moisturise my whole face.

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As I was buying the moisturiser I thought I’d treat myself to the New Leaf Exfoliating Polish (£5.95). This is designed to be used no more than twice a week to give your face a deep cleanse. It contains mango and orange blossom and smells gorgeous when you apply it to your skin. The exfoliating element is rice granules so no nasty microbeads here!

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They sell a few other products including an exfoliating daily wash, facial wipes and micellar water along with a mini travel duo of the face wash and moisturiser.

Amie Skincare are proud of their natural credentials and lay it out on their website.

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As I have only bought from the website I have tried to buy at least two products at a time to balance out the delivery charge, although the products are so reasonably priced it isn’t so much of an issue! They are also available at Waitrose and John Lewis in the UK.

I really recommend these products, I can’t believe they work so well for such a reasonable price, you can also read more testimonies on their website.

Have you tried Amie Skincare? What did you think?

Plumes x

 

 

Review – Amie Skincare

Vegan Perfumes

Along with cruelty free beauty products, perfumes are another area where vegans need to tread carefully.

You can look up your fave perfume to see whether they comment about being cruelty free or containing animal ingredients although some are particularly quiet on the matter. Also if the perfume is from a fashion house you may want to consider whether they use animal products in their fashion lines (fur, crocodile/snakeskin, leather, silk, wool).

Luckily there are a few brands which are completely cruelty free. Lush have a range of great smelling perfumes and they mark which are vegetarian and vegan.

My fave perfume brand however are Eden Perfumes. They are based in Brighton and are completely vegan and cruelty free, they analyse popular brands and make vegan versions for a great price! I couldn’t put it better myself so I have taken the following from their website to show you.

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I received the similar to Lady Million by Paco Rabanne for my birthday and I have just bought the similar to Classique by Jean Paul Gautier. They have a nice big spray so you need a couple of spritz to be smelling delightful! My only criticism would be that they only do one size, I think a larger bottle would be good especially if you are buying it as a present for someone else.

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Do you wear vegan/cruelty free scents? What are your favourites?

Plumes x

Vegan Perfumes

The Vegan Kind Beauty Box 7

I subscribe to a quarterly beauty box from The Vegan Kind which showcases vegan and cruelty free cosmetics and toiletries. It costs £15 + P&P but what you get is worth so much more! This month I make it a whopping £42.94!

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First off we have this Woodland Rose Epsom Salk Bath Soak from Twa Birds (RRP £2.00). My Sister-in-law got me into Epsom salts so I was looking forward to trying this out. These salts smell delicious and it was so relaxing getting into my bath after my run. These have really pretty rose petals which are lovely to see floating around your bath water but a bit annoying when you have to pick them out of the plug hole!

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Next up we have Anti-Aging Eye Gel from PHB Ethical Beauty (RRP £16.95). I have never used an anti-aging eye gel or cream so I can’t compare this to any other products. I can say that it smelt really nice and felt lovely and cool when I applied it to my eyes. Let’s see if it works!

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I didn’t think this Lemon Drizzle Lip Scrub from Fairypants (RRP £3.99) smelt particularly lemony, but once I applied it to my lips it definitely tasted of lemons! The thing I like about this scrub is that it has a balm infused with it so once you’ve licked off the scrub you have a lovely balm left. With other scrubs I have used you have to apply a separate balm after. The only thing I would say is that I think this product would have been better placed in a winter box as that is the time I really need to use lip scrub/balm.

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I thought this Green Equinox Sparkling Harmony Mineral Powder from Alva Natural Cosmetics (RRP £7.50) looked really interested. When I tried it out on my hand it was a great shimmery colour and perfect for summer! It is also has multiple uses, it can be used as an eyeshadow, highlighter, eyeliner, on top of lip gloss or on your nails if you mix it with clear nail varnish!

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Lastly  we have this Coconut and Lime Hair Mask from Grounded (£12.50) this was another great smelling product – it had me imaging I was in the Tropics! My hair is in pretty good condition so I don’t regularly use hair masks but I think this will be great when I want to pamper myself.

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If this Beauty Box wasn’t value enough the companies featured often provide voucher codes, this month ranging from 15% to 30% if you want to reorder any products or check out others in their ranges.

As always 20p from the price of every box is donated to Dr Hadwen Trust the UK’s leading non-animal medical research charity who fund and promote the development of techniques and procedures to replace the use of animals in biomedical research.

Have you tried any of these products out? What did you think?

Plumes x

 

The Vegan Kind Beauty Box 7

My Journey to Veganism

A lot of vegans are asked why they choose the vegan lifestyle and I thought I’d use this post to tell you about how I ended up becoming vegan.

Growing up my Mum had always had an interest in vegetarian cooking and we had a couple of vegetarian cookbooks at home. (Good old fashioned 70s/80s style!) We ate Quorn probably about once a week, either as mince in a bolognese/chilli or pieces in a stir fry. Talking to my Mum about this she said the reasons were mainly health ones but also it was convenient and it gave us another option food wise. We also had a number of vegetarians/pescatarians in the family so my Mum was used to catering for them when they visited.

I had never been a great lover of meat. I didn’t eat pork or ham and I couldn’t stand bacon. I think this was somewhat influenced by having to walk behind the kitchens when I went into school every morning and the smell of bacon frying at that time of the morning just turned my stomach. I wasn’t particularly fond of beef and found chicken boring/bland.

I started drinking soya milk when I was at uni in 2003/4 again as I wasn’t particularly fond of cows milk and I’m glad to see the dairy free milk industry has come on leaps and bounds in terms of products and availability since I shunned dairy milk.

I decided to go vegan at the end of 2009. I had been eating less and less meat throughout the year and it just seemed right. My reasons were more environmental at first and it just seemed so unnecessary to use all these resources to produce food I wasn’t particularly enjoying when I could eat a wholesome vegan diet. In November 2009 my Mum and I went on holiday to Vienna and we came across a lovely vegetarian restaurant and my eyes were opened to high end vegetarian catering!

I had decided the last meat I was going to eat was at my work team’s Christmas meal. I had steak and it was alright but it didn’t make me doubt my decision at all. I went into plant based eating full on and although I had read a lot I did find it quite difficult and limiting at first. After about 9 months I faltered and decided it would be easier to be vegetarian. I was still drinking soya milk but introduced cheese/eggs etc back into my diet. I had also had a flair up of anxiety following buying my flat and as I was getting a lot of help from my now husband and family I didn’t think it was fair to expect them to cook fully vegan meals for me. I was still drinking dairy free milk and all the baking I did was still completely vegan.

I was vegetarian for about 18 months after that but it still didn’t sit right with me. I continued to educate myself online about the dairy and egg industry and joined a couple of groups on Facebook. In 2012 I decided to transition to veganism but this time I was going to do it differently. I started eliminating the animal products I still ate slowly one by one and not beating myself up if I accidentally ate something or gave in to temptation. This started with not buying or cooking eggs, but I would still eat products that contained eggs. This took the pressure off as I didn’t have to frantically scan every packet I was buying. I then stopped eating cheese on weekdays, allowing it only at weekends as a treat. Then it easily became none at the weekends either. I replaced products I used regularly containing milk/egg/honey with animal free alternatives and then checking new products didn’t seem so overwhelming. I would say by May 2012 I had fully transitioned to a vegan diet and I have assigned May 15th as my veganniversary!

“But, Plumes” I hear you cry! “veganism isn’t just a diet! What about other lifestyle changes?”

Well in terms of clothes I didn’t own much leather/wool/silk to begin with but equally I didn’t throw anything out as I didn’t want to create waste. I just started checking any new items I bought and investigated vegan brands. (I’ll have to do a whole other post on my fave vegan retailers!)

By joining communities on Facebook and in real life (!) via the London Vegan Meetup Group I found my knowledge expanding through word of mouth and lots of my questions were answered in passing. I found this a lot less isolating then when I had initially tried veganism on my own.

I don’t wear a lot of makeup but again like clothes I didn’t have a huge clear out either. I just replaced my items as they ran out with vegan alternatives. Like many I was naive regarding animal testing in the beauty industry and as it seemed such an antiquated idea to me I couldn’t believe it was still so widespread!

Again I didn’t beat myself up as I learnt new things. I particularly remember someone asking a group for vegan toothpaste recommendations and thinking to myself “What?! Toothpaste’s not vegan either?” But you just adapt as you go along.

I have already blogged about my preferred cleaning products here, but this was another learning process of asking what other people used and recommended and trying things out for myself.

I said at the beginning that my initial reasons for going vegan were environmental but as I’ve learnt more about production methods in the agriculture industry I feel like I have become more compassionate towards animals and by not causing them pain, suffering or death I feel a closer affinity with them. I have also seen health benefits since turning vegan. I used to suffer from bacterial ear infections frequently as a child and into my mid-twenties. I also found I took a  long time to recover from colds and had a lot of mucus (gross right?) as well as what I call an itchy inner ear which caused me to do this weird thing with my throat to try and scratch it. I have heard this referred to as clucking but my brother named it goomping due to the noise it makes! Since I have been vegan I have not had a bacterial ear infection and I definitely have a lot less mucus. I do still goomp occasionally, but I think this is usually when I am dehydrated and it is a lot less than I used to!

The support I have received has also really helped me. My Mum is a total star and if you are a regular visitor to my blog you will know I go swimming and have dinner with her every week and she is forever coming up with new meals from recipes she has researched  online or looked up in her now growing vegan cookbook collection! She has been really responsive to all the information I have given her and in January I challenged her and her partner to go vegetarian for a month. She really enjoyed it and both of them have to decided to no longer eat meat although they will eat fish. My Sister-in-law has been vegetarian for over 20 years and transitioned to veganism over the last couple of years, its great to have a partner in crime at family events and I love discovering new vegan eats with her. My husband is not at all vegetarian but he eats mainly vegetarian at home and is becoming more and more willing to try new things. My Mother-in-law also goes to a great effort to cater for me when we frequently visit her home and she also introduces me to new products I haven’t been aware of before. I also love the online vegan community, especially on Twitter. I have chatted with so many great people and its great to share recipes, ideas and tips with other like-minded people. #veganhour is Tuesdays 7pm – 8pm UK time and is great place to chat to vegan peeps.

At my 30th birthday I decided to offer a totally vegan buffet. It was my party and I wanted to be able to eat everything! Some people had asked me prior to the event whether it would be fully vegan and I think they were pleasantly surprised (or they just ate before they came!) My vegetarian great-aunt sent me card after saying how much she enjoyed the party and how lovely it was for her to be able to eat everything. Something she had never experienced at a party.

Veganism moves more and more into the mainstream as time goes on. There is a lot more exposure of the lifestyle in the media and supermarkets and restaurants are offering more and more options to our growing demographic. Part of the reason I started this blog was to show people what vegans eat and how its not all weird ingredients you can only get in specialist health food shops. The feedback I have received has all been positive. I try to share information in an encouraging, non-judgemental way and although I don’t claim to be an expert I’m happy to try and answer any questions or let you know where you can find the answers.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post and learning a bit more about me!

Plumes x

 

My Journey to Veganism