Vegan by Nicole | Helping you on your vegan journey
Hello and welcome to my blog! My name’s Nicole, I’m a twenty-four year old with a passion for all things vegan. I’ve been vegan since 2007, so I’ve managed to pick up a few tips in the last decade, which I’d love to share. On this blog I talk about how to veganise your beauty routine, my favourite vegan restaurants & meals and keep you updated with all the latest news and trends..
Finally, at twenty-five, I’ve found that the secret to clearer skin is fruit and veg.
We all know that vegetables are good for us, but how many of us had ever considered introducing it into our skincare? Enter Happy Carrot Skincare. They’re the vegan beauty brand working hard to keep skincare minimal but effective.
Here’s a brief introduction to the brand;
their products are made with 10 ingredients or less
their formulas are consciously palm oil free
all their products are registered with the vegan society
Before we get any further, it’s important for you to know that I’ve been paid to share my honest thoughts on this skincare through a blog post.
Incredible for Combo Skin
I’ve always struggled to find skincare to suit my tricky combination skin. I’ve spent years searching for products to tackle all main skin concerns; oily, dry and spotty. Treating one problem often is at the detriment of another, which can be the ultimate frustration; clearing spots meant drying skin and hydrating skin led to clogged pores.
All Happy Carrot Skincare products have been created with combination skin in mind; they use simple, natural ingredients that help with sensitivities, acne and dry patches too.
I grew up believing that you’d feel, upon application, skincare being effective – maybe a slight tingle or effervescence deep in your pores. So I was sceptical that these super gentle balms and oils would be of much benefit. But day after day, I found my skin clearing; less spots, less redness, less congestion.
Incredible Carrot Healing Balm
I think this balm in particular is the one to thank for my fresher looking skin. It’s really soft and gentle to apply and melts easily into the skin. I can really feel it ease out any gunk in my pores or makeup off of my face. It feels like it’s working with my skin, not against it.
I switched to this balm after trialling out some new skincare which did not work well for my skin at all and left my face very irritated. I was so surprised how quickly this product reset and calmed my skin. Even better, it continued to clear and heal my skin to look and feel better than it’s been in over a year – in fact my skin is only ever this clear after I’ve come back from a week in the sun!
I really urge anyone with combination skin to try this out, I see so little formulated for this skin type and can’t believe how quickly this worked on my skin.
Carrot orange and buttery texture
How to use
Knowing how to use a cleansing balm properly is just as important for clearing your skin as the product itself. I love that this is a multipurpose product – it helps keep clutter down in my bathroom and is better for the environment too!
Face cleanser | Scoop out a small clump of the buttery vegan balm. Let it melt away as you massage it into your face. Take the time to really massage it in, particularly in areas where your skin gets congested. For me, this is the t-zone. During this phase you can soften dry patches and uplift any dirt, sweat or makeup. Dampen a face cloth or flannel with warm water and gently rub the balm off of your face – this step doubles as an exfoliation. Blot your skin dry using a clean towel.
Makeup remover | I love using this to remove my makeup – particularly eye makeup as it’s super gentle. Instead of letting the balm melt on my face, I rub a small amount between my finger tips instead. I use this to gently coax any makeup off my eye area. I follow this up with a warm, soft, wet cloth or reusable cotton round.
Face mask | Massage a thicker layer of balm onto clean skin and leave on for twenty minutes before removing with a cloth. This is a great, intensive treatment for calming and hydrating your skin.
Terrific Tomato Facial Oil
I know, the humble tomato doesn’t sound as glamorous as half the ‘secret ingredients’ in the beauty aisle – but that doesn’t mean it’s not effective. It’s loaded with nutrients and antioxidants that are great for the skin. In this facial oil it’s paired with watermelon seed oil, for quick penetration and papaya seed oil to help clear dry, dead skin.
I’ve struggled before searching for moisturisers that are simultaneously lightweight and hydrating. So I was sceptical over how much I’d enjoy this product. However, it sinks into the skin beautifully and feels really gentle too. I love using this in the mornings, as it absorbs super fast – easy for me to continue with my makeup straight after. In the evenings I usually use this oil plus a small amount of balm in any drier patches for extra hydration.
Although, I was oddly disappointed that it didn’t smell like pasta sauce.
extracting the oil
One thing I didn’t enjoy about this product is the dropper – I found it really difficult to extract the oil from this. It wasn’t a huge issue though, I found it was easy to remove this plastic dropper. Instead, I now pour the oil straight from the bottle into my palm before massaging into my face. I just have to keep a steady hand.
I got in contact with Happy Carrot Skincare to pass on my feedback. They responded letting me know that they’ll check the droppers as it may have been a mix up with the suppliers (receiving droppers for thin oils rather than thick) in a more recent batch. When I asked why they didn’t opt for a pipette instead they told me;
The dropper is for three reasons, one it´s less waste than the usual glass pipette as the squeezy head bit is usually not recyclable. Secondly it´s less likely to leak in the post (no need for a separate lid or shrink wrap to seal it in) and thirdly, yes it seems more hygienic to me. I always end up touching the glass pipette thing with wet fingers, then that introduces who knows what into the bottle.
Happy Carrot Skincare
So that taught me a little something about packaging. I think I’ll now start asking all the skincare brands why they use a pipette instead of a dropper. Let’s see if I can make them switch over!
Awesome Apricot Lip Balm
I haven’t yet managed to get much use out of this lip balm. It’s only when we get really hot or cold weather than I can properly test out it’s healing and hydrating powers. Unfortunately the Great British Summer just isn’t setting me up here.
With the two main ingredients being mango butter and apricot kernel oil this is deliciously fruity. I sometimes mix this with my bolder lipstick colours to dim them down for an everyday look whilst adding a lovely hydrating gloss.
Easily my new favourite skincare brand and I can’t wait to see what they release next. I’d love an exfoliator, eye cream or a spot treatment next from them. All these products have really hit the mark and feel like they were made just for me.
I also love the focus on local ingredients. It’s far more sustainable for us to use products made with carrots or tomatoes as the hero ingredient rather than oil from a rare flower from the other side of the world that blooms once in a blue moon (a slight exaggeration of the beauty industry’s obsession with rare, exotic ingredients). Bring on the garden veg!
Today I’m going to be turning the spotlight on to Greenwich, the patch of London I love the most. I moved here just over a year ago as, despite being in zone 2, it has a little suburban, old town feel to it. It’s a nice patch of calm in the bustle of London.
Most importantly, Greenwich is incredible for vegans, particularly those that like to support small, sustainable businesses and enjoy spending a day in nature. If you want to see what you can expect from some time out in Greenwich, check out my video walking you through my favourite spots;
Greenwich for Vegans | my hometown - YouTube
Easily one of the main attractions, Greenwich Market is super popular and open 7 days a week and Bank Holidays 10am – 5.30pm, so you’ll surely find some time to visit.
Greenwich Market is my favourite in London as it works hard to showcase unique creative works and maintain variety between traders. Roughly, half the stalls are food and half are ‘other’ which expands over beauty, art, crafts, jewellery, antiques and more. For those with a keener interest in antiques and second hand shopping, head to the Clock Tower market close to Greenwich Station.
Greenwich Market in the sunshine
Clarks Furniture for sustainable, reclaimed wooden furniture that brings warmth and personality to a home
Kate Jaconello Photography for beautiful London and wildlife photography, I have her ‘sunbathing fox’ photograph at home and he always puts a smile on my face
Pergola London for vegan-friendly organic eco soy wax candles which are handmade/poured in London and finished with dried flowers
You’ll find your own treasures and favourite stalls at the market. It’s a really fun market to browse, shop for gifts and support small businesses.
Fudge Patch – the little fudge shop where they cook fudge in store, roughly 80% of the flavours are vegan & they are very generous with their free samples
Ruby’s of London for a huge array of vegan sweet treats; cake, donuts, cupcakes galore
Outside of the market, if you’re more interested in a sit down meal, there’s plenty of great vegan options in Greenwich. Here are some my favourites;
These are the chain restaurants you can find nationwide but are worth visiting in Greenwich for their great location, decor or stand-out menu items;
Cafe Rouge – the Greenwich branch has considerable outdoor seating and a reasonable vegan menu, great for a summers day
Nandos, Zizzi & Byron Burger – all of these chains offer good vegan options and are right beside Greenwich pier with gorgeous views of the river. Call in advance for a good table at busy times.
Greenwich Grind – all day restaurant, cafe and cocktail bar. They specialise in fairly traded and sustainable coffee, the decor inside is gorgeously millennial. I love popping in for a vegan Bloody Mary or Expresso Martini in the evenings.
Bills – the best place to grab a vegan breakfast (served until 11:30am), they also have plenty of options throughout the day
Honest Burger – a burger chain hard to find outside of London that offer an incredible Beyond Meat burger served alongside rosemary fries.
Enjoying the Plant Burger at Honest Burger
If you’re looking for a more traditional experience, Greenwich is home to some great pubs with warm welcomes and vegan options;
Coach & Horses – located in the main market place, you can grab a pint and borrow a board game to pass a few hours
Richard the First – a bright welcoming space great for having a sit down meal with the family, even better if you get a table in the beer garden on a summers day
Gipsy Moth– found beside the Cutty Sark, this small pub has a discreet nautical theme and cute patio garden with retractable roof
There’s also quite a bit of sight seeing to do in Greenwich;
Cutty Sark is world’s last surviving tea clipper, which was built at the end of the golden age of sail. It’s huge and beautiful to look at. For a cost you can explore the ship.
National Martime Museum – an educational choice for those that want to learn about Britain’s encounters with the world at sea
Old Royal Naval College wander around the gorgeous architecture which you can use to frame photos of Canary Wharf from Greenwich Park
Greenwich Foot Tunnel – walk beneath the Thames and through to Millwall
One of the best things about living in Greenwich is being able to go on my weekly run around the park, trying to explore every hidden path. There’s so much to this park, you could spend all day exploring;
Royal Observatory is situated on a hill in Greenwich Park, with great views overlooking the River Thames. It’s best known for the fact that the prime meridian passes through it, and thereby gave its name to Greenwich Mean Time
Deer enclosure – a quiet and secluded enclosure providing sanctuary for local wildlife.
Millenium Sundial by the lake
Band Stand – the band stand within the park sometimes holds host to mini-concerts during summer
Love to travel? Me too!
If you want to hear more about some great locations through the eyes of a vegan check out my other posts;
If you’re on the journey to zero-wasting your beauty routine, one of the first places most of us start is with the humble shampoo bar. It’s a really quick, simple switch for many as shampoo bars are super easy to find (if you have a Lush nearby) and are actually cost-efficient once you realise how long they last.
Below you’ll find out which shampoo bar is right for you, how to use them and a mini-review from yours truly. If you want to stay up to date with vegan beauty news, you can find me on instagram as @veganbeautygirl.
Which one is right for you?
One of the biggest reasons I’d recommend people use Lush shampoo bars is because of their big, extensive collection. They’re almost all vegan (it’s clearly labelled) and, on top of their core collection, they often have some limited edition exclusives available too.
The Core Collection Guide
all cruelty free and vegan
Seanik – for more volume
Godiva – conditions and softens
Soak and Float – for sensitive scalps
New – stimulates the scalp for healthy hair
Jumping Juniper – for a good, deep clean
Montalbano – for shine and strength
Jason and the Argan Oil – for softness and shine
Trichomania – moisturising and cares for scalp
Tin – great for travels, but not necessary
You can shop the full range of Lush shampoo bars here.
Watch out for Honey I Washed my Hair – the popular shampoo bar which is not suitable for vegans as it contains honey.
How to Use + Review
I tried my first Lush shampoo bar many years back whilst I was still at school and really struggled with it. My memory isn’t too clear on why, but I think I really struggled with lathering the product and thoroughly cleaning my thick, long hair. Over five years later, I gave the shampoo bar another go and had a completely different experience.
Initially I was so surprised as to how easy it was to use and how quick it was to lather. It fast became clear that, over the years, Lush had worked hard to reformulate their shampoo bars. If you’re like me and tried them years ago and refused to give them another go since, please go give them another try now. You won’t regret it!
Not only was my hair nice and clean, but I noticed that Soak and Float also soothed and healed my scalp with each wash. The initial price is quite alarming – £8 for shampoo?! But I promise, this concentrated shampoo bar (no water diluting this product!) will last you far longer than any bottle of shampoo.
How to Use
I wet both my hair and the bar and then just rub the bar on my head – easy! The bar will lather just like traditional shampoo. I put the bar down on it’s wire rack and continue to massage the lathered product into my scalp. I wait a few moments and then rinse. Remember, shampoo is only needed at the roots – don’t waste any time or product by washing the ends!
After using the bar, you want to rest it on a wire rack in your shower. This rack needs to be away from the water (or else that’d be money down the drain!) but ideally still within arms reach. A rack/shelf with reasonable drainage is essential – your bar needs somewhere dry to stay fresh.
Love Vegan Beauty?
If you want to stay up to date with vegan beauty news then follow me on instagram at @veganbeautygirl. Otherwise, catch up with some of my popular posts;
Over the weekend, I caught sight of a new vegan hair dye in Superdrug. My first reaction was excitement, as vegan hair dye is hard to find particularly for natural hair shades. Next came scepticism, so I decided to do some digging before sharing my new discovery online.
The product in question was Natural Instincts by Clairol. Whilst this new product range may be free from animal derived ingredients, Clairol are not cruelty free. Therefore Clairol Natural Instincts is not suitable for vegans who look to abstain from animal exploitation.
Their website claims ‘vegan conditioning colour’
Not Certified, Not Cruelty Free
Clairol sell products in China, where animal testing is required for imported cosmetics. Their parent company, Coty, also sells products in China.
As you can see with the below screen grab, they have taken the care to ensure that the ingredients are not animal derived but avoid talking about animal-testing in their vegan statement or elsewhere in their FAQs. It’s certainly no mystery as to why the UK Vegan Society have not certified them.
This is an example of ‘vegan washing’ where big brands use sly marketing techniques to make their products seem kinder to animals or to the environment than they really are. My rule of thumb is to treat big brands with scepticism and support smaller brands with bigger ethics.
Unfortunately, in the beauty industry a product can be labelled ‘vegan’ and yet still be tested on animals somewhere in the world. It’s important to look for products that are both ‘vegan’ and ‘cruelty free’ to avoid harm to animals. Look out for certifications like the vegan society logo and leaping bunny who have strict standards for vegan or cruelty free products.
Other Clairol products to avoid includes;
Nice n Easy
Love vegan beauty?
Follow me on instagram @veganbeautygirl to keep up to date with vegan beauty products and news. You may also find some of my other posts helpful;
I’ve got some really exciting news… I’ve made it on to the Health Blog Awards UK & IRE shortlist for Best Beauty and Lifestyle Blog! This is such a huge achievement for my little blog, so I’d really appreciate it if you could take the time to vote for me.
toasting to the good news
Best Beauty & Lifestyle Blog
If you’re a regular reader here, I’m sure you’ll understand the sort of content I produce and the impact I make. For those less acquainted with my work, here’s a brief introduction;
My name’s Nicole, aka Vegan Beauty Girl, the go-to influencer for anyone wanting to veganise their beauty routine. When I went vegan in 2007 my diet changed overnight, however it took me over 5 years to sort out my beauty products. I had the will, the desire, but found the market too confusing. So when I couldn’t find a vegan beauty resource that worked for me, I made one.
My mission is simple; to make the change as easy as possible. If someone decides that they’re going to veganise their makeup bag, I’m there to guide them on their journey.
Whilst there’s many beauty influencers out there, there’s very few marking products on their ethics. I’m not here to show anyone how to do the perfect contour, but to let them know what products are cruelty-free, sustainably packaged, palm oil free, etc. I will never compromise my integrity to promote brands that aren’t inline with my values or my audience’s.
I’m using my influence to challenge mindsets and bring about positive change for animals, the environment – and the world. I’m not militant and I don’t preach but I do show-off a good variety of vegan products; eco-friendly and natural or affordable and accessible.
Health Blog Awards
The Health Blogger Awards celebrates the best blogs and instagram accounts in wellness. The HBA recognises the best in digital talent and offers everyone the opportunity to be nominated, no matter how big or small your following. Whilst voting contributes to the selection of winners, there’s also a panel of judges who will share their thoughts and cast their votes. This ensures that blogs are awarded on their content and impact, not just popularity.
When my sister first asked me to be her maid of honour, I knew that the biggest responsibility would be planning the hen do. It wasn’t easy. I sat down and had a chat with her; was given the guest list and asked for a rough idea of what she’d like. She handed me the names of up to forty ladies – aunties and mums were invited from both sides! She also told me that she wanted the event to be flexible, the sort of weekend people could drop in and out of.
It was all very daunting. Beyond those simple requirements, I also wanted the weekend to require minimal walking (our mum has MS) and to be vegan-friendly, so that I could have a good time and not have to double check everything, all weekend. As it turns out, all of the planning and research that I had done eventually paid off (who’d have thought!?) and I’m happy to say that the hen do was a great success! Everyone had a great time, everything went to plan and I got a lot of compliments on my organising.
Below I’m going to share the itinerary for the weekend and some of my thoughts and feedback; what I think worked really well and what things I would’ve done differently with hindsight. I’ve also filmed a video, going through general tips, on how to plan/attend a hen do as a vegan. You can watch that here:
How to Organise a Vegan Friendly Hen Do - YouTube
Nudity warning; keep scrolling at you’ll see a couple of cute bums!
Location & Accomodation
With both the bride and groom having grown up in Surrey, most of the guests were local to Surrey as well. Far enough away to be special but close enough to reach within a couple of hours, Brighton was the obvious choice. It’s famed for its night life and flamboyance – perfectly camp for a fun hen weekend.
We booked this beautiful airbnb by the seafront which sleeps up to 20 guests (we had 18) and works out £100-£120 per person for the weekend. If you book Friday and Saturday night, the host throws in Sunday night too if it’s available. A few of us took advantage of this and stayed an extra night, for others it was nice to not have to rush out Sunday morning.
My biggest regret is not bringing along a bath bomb for that gorgeous tub
The house is gorgeous and I can’t recommend it enough – it’s an Instagrammer’s dream (white, floral, girly decor) and is frequently used as a hen party house, so the host can help you out with planning the weekend. Located right by the seafront with incredible views of the ocean, on the Sunday we got to watch the Brighton marathon run past from the comfort of the dining room.
I kept Friday night purposefully relaxed so that people could arrive throughout the evening, to make good use of the house and to keep costs down. I decided early on to delegate this evening to my sister’s best friend and bridesmaid, Jaz, as she’s been to tonnes of hen dos. With this comes tried and tested experience of all those hen do games you can find on Pinterest – she was brilliant at picking all the right ones.
We hosted a sleepover where everyone was asked to bring their own booze, party snacks (we had so many Pringles!) and their best PJs. Jaz made some great DIY masks of the groom which we all had the best time posing for selfies with. The games of the night included a Mr & Mrs quiz (featuring videos of the groom revealing answers), making penises out of play-dough (Jaz is a primary school teacher who borrowed some school supplies) and learning a bit too much about my relatives playing ‘never have I ever’.
Imagine the Groom’s surprise when he got tagged in all of these photos Monday morning
For dinner we ordered takeaway pizza from whoever had the best group deal; Dominoes. Unfortunately their options were very limited for me, but there was a pizza place (Pizzaface) at the end of our road that did some amazing vegan options so I called them up, aligned our timings, and went to collect my pizza right on time.
Saturday started with a Burlesque class where we were greeted with prosecco on arrival and proceeded to learn a dance routine. It was easy to follow, a good giggle and we learnt how to take off a glove and how to use a boa (reasonably sexily). It was a very fitting activity for Brighton, a town that embraces the frivolous nature of burlesque.
At one point, the class started to take a lull, but we busied ourselves by taking boomerangs with boas for the ‘gram and jumping up on the bar and taking group shots up there. It’s a great activity for filling your insta feed!
The insta-story boomerangs were top notch
We started to get jealous of the class next door as they kept giggling loudly – turns out they were all signed up for a nude life drawing! They must have been having fun sketching out a hunky nude model. If I could go back in time, I would have added this to our itinerary. Other great classes hosted by 76 Brighton include; cocktail workshop, pole dancing and a host of dance classes including belly dance, single ladies routine and learning to salsa to Despacito.
This was, without a doubt, the hardest activity over the whole weekend to book! I had to find a venue that was able to host afternoon tea to roughly 30 women, that was in budget, reasonably close by and that had vegan options. Eventually, I settled for Hotel Pelirocco for it’s fun decor and affordable prices. The regular food was pretty and delicious. My vegan option was provided with no fuss and at no additional cost – it was tasty but nothing too exciting.
Thoughts on this wallpaper?
Unfortunately, I felt that the venue was a little too small to host all 30 of us and it was a struggle mingle. Whilst the service was prompt and polite, I wish that there had been better showmanship from the host to boost the energy and atmosphere. There was little done to make the bride feel special or to work the room – odd and disappointing, as they seem to host so many hen parties.
If I had been working with a smaller group, I’d have booked us into Terre a Terre or Metrodecco – both of which have excellent reviews.
Butlers in the Buff
If you copy one thing from my itinerary, please DO THIS. The butlers that we booked were great and really brought up the atmosphere when things started lagging – plus it sped up everyone getting read for the big night out!
As the organiser of the weekend, it was so nice to have the two lovely lads take over hosting responsibilities. They made the bride blush, the aunties giggle and all the girls swoon. I didn’t have anything in mind for them to do, so they took the reigns and led us through a few party games with a lot of banter and charisma. It was great for getting to know one another and everyone, young and old, was having the time of their life.
Just before this shot, they complimented me on my grumpy cat socks
I’d definitely recommend booking at least two butlers. Not only does it create a better atmosphere, but I expect it becomes much more comfortable for the two guys hosting in nothing but an apron. Please do remember to keep an eye on the guests and make sure that everyone is treating the boys with respect – we didn’t have any problems but we did hear some troubling stories from events they’ve had to walk out on in the past.
Lucky Voice (Karaoke)
I didn’t get many sign ups for the karaoke portion of the night, as I didn’t make it clear that Lucky Voice hosts private karaoke booths for groups. This means that it’s only your group that has to be subjected to your awful singing. We had a great time belting out girl power hits and cheesy love songs from the last twenty years. Definitely a fun place to scream and shout (or sing if you can) for a couple of hours.
We followed this with a trip to a local night club, where we rejoined the rest of the group, and boogied away for a few more hours. We found a club that played big hits across the decades to suit our group (ages eighteen to mid-fifties) but otherwise, there’s plenty of raucous gay bars and burlesque shows close to the hen house.
Dinner at The Ivy
By the Sunday evening, there were six of us left taking advantage of the complementary extra night in Brighton. We decided to end things with a trip to The Ivy in the Lanes which offers sophisticated and friendly dining. Their vegan menu was incredible (albeit dessert was a choice between sorbet and fruit salad) and the venue is absolutely beautiful with a myriad of floral decorations. Whilst expensive, it was far more affordable than I’d expected; two courses plus alcoholic drinks came to roughly £40 per person. I’d definitely recommend this restaurant for a special meal.
Anticipate a 10 minute photoshoot before you’re even handed a menu
Whilst the hen do was over by this point, my mum and I snuck on an extra day to head to the spa with my sister. Finding a vegan friendly spa was so easy once I discovered the Salon Search by Greener Beauty – just by popping in the postcode/area and selecting the service I was looking for (nails, salon, spa, etc) I received a whole host of vegan friendly options.
We were so lucky to have such bright warm weather in the middle of April
Using this I found the HARSpa in Guildford which does vegan friendly treatments and we booked in here for the afternoon en route home. I had booked a spa closer to Brighton, but realised last minute that we had a miscommunication with timings and had to cancel. As I was looking to book the day after the Brighton Marathon, finding anything else in the area was impossible.
Best of luck!
If you’re planning a hen do or attending one, I hope you have a really lovely weekend. Let me know what you get up to and what your favourite vegan-friendly activities are (or feel free to vent about some real struggles you’ve faced)!
Finding vegan beauty products, in their simplest form, is reasonably achievable these days. Unfortunately, most of us don’t want them in their simplest form. We want them to be vegan, cruelty free and good for us and the environment too. That’s still very hard to find in your run of the mill store. This is where Greener Beauty comes in; it’s the online store where you can shop to your ethics, whatever your budget. Read on to find out the five things I love most about this store.
This is a sponsored post by Greener Beauty. All reviews and opinions expressed in this post are based on my personal view.
Everything is vegan, cruelty free and ethical
A lot of online stores now have vegan filters, which is amazing. However, I find a lot of these stores get it a bit wrong. They don’t understand that vegan products should also be cruelty free and I often find brands that sell in China (or their parent company does) in ‘vegan’ sections. When I browse Greener Beauty, I can trust that all products in the store are all vegan, cruelty free and ethically produced. No big brands with little morals.
The Salon Search
Lemme tell you, one of the hardest things about vegan beauty is, sorry was, salons. This toolsis incredible. You enter in your area or postcode, select the service that you’re searching for (eg, manicure, haircut, massage, etc) and it’ll bring up a list of vegan friendly beauty salons. As you click on each salon there’s a line detailing what vegan friendly products they use (which is great if you’re extra fussy for organic or eco-friendly products)
I used this tool to help organise a spa trip to close of my sister’s hen weekend
Online shopping is great, there’s no denying it. But anyone that’s ever dipped their toes in fast fashion or an Amazon Prime membership knows that it comes with a hell of a lot of packaging. With Greener Beauty they send out all orders in an unbleached brown cardboard box with tissue paper and shredded package for protection. Everything used in the packaging is 100% recyclable, even down to the brown paper tape.
Have you noticed that big beauty brands like Unilever and L’Oreal have started creating eco-conscious ranges? That’s not because they love the earth, but because they’ve seen the success of eco-friendly and vegan beauty. The big brands have a global reach and great marketing, but they aren’t innovators. By supporting the smaller, innovative brands at Greener Beauty, you’re supporting the next steps forward in conscious beauty.
Decided to ditch plastic, invest in biodegradable or go palm oil free? Greener Beauty has you covered! They give shoppers the option to shop plastic free – which even sub categorises into beauty, skin, haircare, toiletries and gifts! Through this filter I’ve switch my deodorant and toothpaste to plastic free alternatives.
Perfumes are definitely something people tend to struggle with when they switch to a vegan lifestyle. Most popular fragrances on the high street either contain animal derived ingredients or are from brands that sell in China. So, naturally, I was thrilled to see Kierin NYC bring their vegan fragrances to the UK. Their vegan-friendly, lingering scents inspired by city lives and vibes are a welcome treat to the UK perfume market.
Kierin NYC has launched with 4 signature scents capturing different events and environments, understanding the impact scent has on our mood and outlook;
Nitro Noir is sweet, spicy and intoxicating. It’s a sexy scent for those that love to stand out in a crowd. Best suited for a night out.
Santal Skyis a warm scent of peace. This intense, milky sandalwood scent fills your lungs with gentle smiles. This can really help you unwind and relax; great for cosy days in or slow, mindful adventures.
Sunday Brunch is like bucksfizz and earl grey on a summer’s morning. Full of optimism and youth, the start to a day full of adventure. It’s zesty and energetic; the perfect start to any day.
10am Flirt is romantic but subtle. With a dash of ‘come hither’ it’s airy and fresh with a summery gardenia scent to it, with a hint of fig. Inspired by a magnetic moment of attraction between two strangers passing in Central Park.
My favourite is Sunday Brunch; I was surprised to find I loved the mix of zest and earl grey tea but it’s beautifully uplifting. It smells of fun, youth and spontaneity, so I’m more than happy to have this fragrance lead my head and choices.
Vegan & cruelty free
Kierin NYC are proudly vegan and cruelty free. Their formulations are never tested on animals and they don’t use animal products.
Not all perfumes are vegan-friendly; they can contain animal products like milk, honey, leather, beeswax and civet. The latter of these, civet, comes from the anal gland of an endangered animal and bizarrely doesn’t need to be declared on the back of a product. It can be hidden as “fragrance”, “perfume” or “parfum” on the ingredients list. Beyond ingredients, most mainstream perfume brands sell to China which means their products aren’t cruelty-free.
White Bottles and Clean Ingredients
The perfume bottles are made from recyclable glass and coated with a layer of white opaque natural paint. This protects the fragrance from sunlight and stops them from using allergy flaring perfume colourings or UV filters.
They keep their ingredients clean and create perfumes that are formulated without sulfates, parabens, phthalates and formaldehyde.
Since ‘vegan’ became a top beauty buzzword, every man and his dog has wanted to slap it on their product for a bit of profit. At the forefront are big brands, with big marketing budgets and few morals. L’Oréal are advertising products in their new Botanical range as “vegan”, despite continuing to sell their products in China where they are required by law to be tested on animals.
This isn’t the first time L’Oréal have tried to mis-sell their products to the growing vegan market. Only last year they promoted their Garnier Ultimate Blends range as vegan and caused mass confusion and anger from the vegan community.
Whilst it’s common knowledge amongst longterm vegans that L’Oréal and other big corporates should be treated with high suspicion, this isn’t always clear to new vegans. Misleading customers through greenwashing tactics is an awful way to divert good intentioned ethical shoppers back to old reliable brands.
L’Oreal are NOT vegan
Having a vegan product is more than just ensuring that the ingredients are free from any animal derived ingredients. Vegans do not support products which exploit animals and would therefore choose to not support a brand that exploits animals through allowing animal testing.
** vegan formula; not vegan
This is L’Oréal’s statement on animal testing, taken straight from their FAQs;
Does L’Oréal test on animals?
L’Oréal no longer tests on animals any of its products or any of its ingredients, anywhere in the world. Nor does L’Oréal delegate this task to others. The rare exception allowed is if regulatory authorities demand it for safety or regulatory purposes.
The last sentence clearly contradicts the former and confirms that they do indeed still allow animal testing to be conducted on their products. This happens in China where it’s a legal requirement.
They seem to understand that their product isn’t truly vegan as they have to add asterisks each time they use the word ‘vegan’ to clarify that the ‘formula contains no animal origin or derived ingredients.’
So why use the word ‘vegan’ at all? Why not use ‘plant based’? Because L’Oréal wants to mislead. They want this product to seem green, compassionate, natural and ethical, all things that are associated with the word ‘vegan’.
I am writing to complain about L’Oréal selling some products in their new Botanical range as “vegan”. I have seen this advertised, have seen them use this wording on their own site (https://www.loreal-paris.co.uk/botanicals ) and on the products themselves.
My issue with this is that it’s misleading customers by using the term vegan. They clearly acknowledge that veganism is a lifestyle, more than just the food we eat. After all, vegans don’t eat shampoo. When it comes to beauty, a vegan product should encompass whether or not animals have been exploited within the production. This includes animal testing.
L’Oreal admit within their FAQs that they allow others to test their products on animals;
L’Oréal no longer tests on animals any of its products or any of its ingredients, anywhere in the world. Nor does L’Oréal delegate this task to others. The rare exception allowed is if regulatory authorities demand it for safety or regulatory purposes.
Furthermore PETA, who are widely recognised as an informative source for vegans, classify L’Oreal as a company that DOES test on animals (https://features.peta.org/cruelty-free-company-search/cruelty_free_companies_search.aspx?Dotest=3)
Vegan products encompass ethics, not just ingredients. The phrase ‘plant-based’ is becoming more common for both food and beauty companies that want to boast about their vegan ingredients, without committing to the ethos around treatment of animals. The L’Oreal range should be using the phrase ‘plant based’ to promote their new range.
I appreciate you looking into this for me. The vegan community are very connected online and engage in discussions on pieces like this frequently. This advertising has been met with outrage on social media within the vegan community, who are feeling misrepresented. Veganism is protected as a human right under Article 9 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights. We should be listened to when we feel misrepresented and should collectively have an ownership of what’s classified as vegan.
We understand that it is important for products that claim to be vegan to be marketed correctly and for those claims to be accurate. We also understand that animal testing is a particularly emotive subject; however, in judging vegan claims we look at the product that the claims are referring to rather than the operations of the company as a whole. We contacted L’Oréal for their comments on this product and they have confirmed that the ingredients do not contain any animal derived ingredients or by-products and have also not been subject to any animal testing. They have also confirmed that the product’s ingredients have gone through a full assessment to ensure that this vegan claim could be made.
sample of the response I received from the ASA
Unfortunately, the ASA considers cruelty-free to be evaluated at a product level, rather than at brand level. This is something that I, along with many other vegans, fundamentally disagree with. It’s frustrating that we, as a community, seem unable to determine how a vegan product is defined.
However, it’s still worth complaining. It’s worth letting them know that this needs changing, that we care. So please take the time to write to them. In 2018 alone I can see that 214 people clicked my link (from my Garnier post) to write to the ASA. Let’s beat that this year.
write to l’oreal
Make it clear to L’Oreal that we are unhappy that they are misrepresenting what it means to be vegan and misleading those wanting to make animal-friendly choices. Again, feel free to use my submission or use it to inspire your own.
Follow this link to make your complaint to L’Oreal
To whom it may concern,
I have noticed that your latest advertisement for the Botanicals range is using the term ‘vegan’ to promote the products. This is misleading consumers to believe that this range is putting animal welfare at the forefront.
At L’Oreal, you clearly appreciate that veganism is more than just to do with the food you eat. After all, you are advertising beauty products with this term. That shows me that you appreciate that veganism is a lifestyle, which is far more than just a list of ingredients.
When vegans buy beauty products they have two main priorities: 1 Does this product contain animal derived ingredients? 2 Does the company selling this product support or allow animal testing?
Your stance on animal testing is less ‘we are fully against animal testing’ and more ‘we only test on animals when required by law’ (ie when selling in China). This means that your products are not vegan.
Vegan products encompass ethics, not just ingredients. The phrase ‘plant-based’ is becoming more common for both food and beauty companies that want to boast about their vegan ingredients, without committing to the ethos around treatment of animals. Your advert campaign should be using the phrase ‘plant based’ to avoid misleading the consumer.
I appreciate you looking into this for me. The vegan community are very connected online and engage in discussions on pieces like this frequently. This advert has been met with outrage on social media within the vegan community, who are feeling misrepresented. Veganism is protected as a human right under Article 9 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights. We should be listened to when we feel misrepresented and should collectively have an ownership of what’s classified as vegan.
I hope you take this into consideration and look at making changes to your recent advert.
My email to L’Oreal
Thank you so much for taking action against L’Oréal. There are so many great brands out there working to create cruelty free and vegan products, it’s so frustrating when big brands muscle in and try and mislead consumers.
If you’re looking to learn more about vegan beauty then please take the time to follow me on instagram, @veganbeautygirl, where I’m always sharing the latest news and products. You may also enjoy some of my other posts;
Whilst Mums should be treated with love and respect all year round, there’s nothing wrong with spoiling her on Mothers Day. As with any gift giving occasion, take some time to shop outside of the mainstream high streets – find something a little less ordinary and a little more thoughtful. Here are my favourite gift options from Etsy, the online market place for creatives and small businesses. They also have their own gift guide for Mothers Day which you can find here.
Ad; this post was created in collaboration with Etsy and contains affiliate links to their site
The Best Card
Though we say Mothers Day is all about treating mum, it’s also important to get a better card than your sibling. Gone were the days where cards just sat on the window sill til the cat knocks it over. Instead, you can trust your mum to share it on facebook for all of her friends and your relatives to see. So here’s your best chance to show off your wit and artistic eye.
You’re a Cool Mum card – if your mum can quote Mean Girls almost as well as you can, then she’ll love this card
Mama Oooooh card – whether she’s always been a Queen fan or just enjoyed the recent Bohemian Rhapsody film, this card will get the song stuck in your head all Sunday
A Little Pamper
If your mum is anything like mine, she struggles to treat herself. Whether that’s spending her money on something indulgent or putting herself first for just an hour or two, it just doesn’t come natural. So give her a push in the right direction. All these pampering gifts are vegan and cruelty free;
Night Time Ritual Set – perfect for helping her doze off in the evenings, this set contains a pillow mist, sleepy balm and eye pillow
Rose & Oud Soy Candle – smells incredible and is made from high quality renewable and sustainable soy wax
Mothers Day can be tough; it can feel like you’re in a rut of buying the same gifts year in year out. Go for something a little quirky and customisable – what better place to look than Etsy? These gifts will really let your mum know that you appreciate her and took time to find her something a little out of the ordinary.
Custom Naked Boob Pot – get your order in fast and make your mum giggle with her very own boob pot, even better £1 from every sale goes to Breast Cancer Care
Custom Pet Portrait– if your mum loves the pet more than you, get her a custom portrait of her little sweetheart