Tuesday, March 24

The cruelty-free deodorant dilemma.

Raise your arms, take a sniff, today we gon' talk 'bout yo pits. Deodorant can be one of the most challenging products to replace with a cruelty-free alternative. Today I'm breaking down four that I've tried, letting you know which ones worked for me.

JASON Lavender Deodorant Roll-On  £4.99
This was the first cruelty-free deodorant I trialled. And well, it ticked all the horror boxes that you hear about cruelty-free deodorants. It did diddly-squat. I read online that it can take up to two weeks of regular use for your body to adjust to a new deodorant. Four weeks came and went with the consistent result being my sweat smelling worse than without using DO at all. Perhaps this just didn't mix well with my body chemistry.

+ //  No Alcohol or Aluminum Chlorohydrate, No Propylene Glycol, No Mineral Oil, Petrolatum or Waxes, No 
       Animal By-Products, No Animal Testing, No Synthetic Fragrances.
- //  did not prevent odor or perspiration, and possibly made me smell worse

Odorex Extra Dry Lotion  €4.09
Sanne introduced me to this stuff as the 'event-saver' deodorant. You put it on at least two nights in advance of a party/a date/accepting your lifetime achievement award, and this will keep your armpits dry as the Sahara. It seemed too good to be true but when I gave it a whirl, this stuff legit shut down moisture production of my underarms. And that is a feat because I am a sweaty betty. And as a result, no smell!

The name of the product is misleading or at least lost in translation. It's nothing like a lotion or cream--more akin to face toner consistency. I apply a couple drops to a cotton pad and dab it on my underarms at night. I imagine there are some pretty severe chemicals in there that make this so effective so sensitive skin peeps should venture with caution.

I haven't verified if this company is cruelty-free but its parent company doesn't bode well. Royal Sanders doesn't just produce skincare but over-the-counter medications too. Pharmaceuticals in the EU don't face the same animal testing ban as cosmetics. So until I reach out to this company, I won't repurchase from this brand. Not like it is easy to repurchase anyway--it's a Dutch brand exlcusively available in the Netherlands!

+ //  Eradicates sweat and odor, good for events
- //  Suspect parent company tests due to its other products; likely too harsh for daily use; burns like the fiery 
      pits of hell if you put on too soon after shaving

If there's a runner up, it's this number by Bulldog. I picked this up in Boots (but now they don't seem to be carrying it anymore, frustrating). I'm not crazy about the brand's gender marketing. Maybe that explains why it stopped working for me after a little over a month of use. Maybe it only makes boys less stinky? Maybe it found out I am a girl.

+ //  Leaping Bunny & British Vegetarian Society certified, suitable for vegans; I liked the 'manly' scent
- //  Effectiveness wore off after one month of use; gendered branding

in Vanilla Grapefruit  £10

Winner winner chicken dinner. I've been using Lavanila since December and it's the best I've tried. And it's in the solid stick form (god bless America) which I prefer. I got mine at Sephora where they still cost an arm and a leg. But they do last forever. I may not wear my makeup everyday but D-O for da B-O is a staple.

I've never bought these in the UK but I saw them selling on Net-a-Porter so when I run out of my stash I'll go there. Once or twice, when I am a particular nervous Nelly, I can start to smell the deodorant but that tells me it is working overtime.

+ //  Free of aluminum and parabens, natural; 
       lasts forever; inoffensive scent
- //  Careful putting on black clothes after 
       application lest you streak yoself

I'm pretty happy to stick with Lavanila for the time being but do let me know in the comments if you've come across a holy grail cruelty-free deodorant. My mom swears by those crystal things but they look kind of messy to me.

Sunday, March 22

Corgi Instagrams.

I did the thing, guys. I went to university. I got a degree. And I found myself in a job in a completely different field.

I'm a proper adult now with a nine to five(-thirty). I work on a Windows desktop (*cries*). I shuffle to the office kitchen to make myself a tea. And I'm fortunate enough to really enjoy what I do and the people I work with. But the first couple weeks adjusting to a new routine took a toll on my body like I never could have predicted.

I remember having to wake up for high school, my first lesson starting at 7:45. Then university9am was the worst it could be, there were breaks in between most days, and sometimes I could even squeeze in a midday nap in my dorm (how cool!).

So there I was, brain excited to do all these awesome-woo-proper-job tasks and my body like hah cute nice try but nope.


There's always an excuse not to blog or work on YouTube stuff. And now that time I (sort of) once had really is non-existent with a full-time job in my life. I'm all the more in awe of Sanne whom I've watched balance work and regular YouTube uploads for over a year.

As a way to cope with the new found slap of exhaustion, I compromised the usual high aesthetic standards required of Instagram accounts I follow. With a slew of Corgi accounts. I've become very appreciative of #corgibutt. Did you know that my childhood dog was a Welsh Corgi? Having these in my feed have made the 6:30ams and the 8:15pms all the brighter. And fluffier.


You know what I'm going to ask at the end of this blog post. Corgi Instagrams. You have more? I am currently following Pan-Pan, Ramen, Gatsby and Scout, Kimchi, Sebastian, and Henry.

Monday, March 9

#BeCrueltyFree Week!

Pretty much everyone has their thing. Their cause. Their crusade. Striving to switch to cruelty-free cosmetics became that for me this year. I've been a vegetarian since high school but I never considered myself a shout-it-from-the-rooftops animal activist. Obviously unnecessary harm to a living, feeling creature--bad. Not a fan. But you also won't find me spending my free time at a petting zoo. And if there's a spider in my room, I'll be cowering on the other end of the flat until someone chucks it out the window.

I have total respect for the people at that do actively fight against animal testing. And I mean the shouty, getting arrested (maybe not paint throwing but to each their own) activism. What I do want to say is that you don't have to strap yourself to a tree facing a bulldozer to make a difference in the world.

March 9-14 is global #BeCrueltyFree week. Organised by Human Society International, it's a week that promotes awareness of animal testing within the cosmetics industry and encourages ways of living a more cruelty-free life. 

To get involved, I got my butt in gear and edited my derpinaMODE video featuring the tour of the LUSH factories that Sanne, Lex, Rosianna and I went on back in January.

Globally, around 100,000 animals suffer & die each year just to test cosmetics. Testing methods are horrifying (seriously, Google with caution and a strong stomach), and bottom line is much of the cosmetic industry remains stuck in scientific ideas of the past. I'm not cool with this. And I don't want to contribute to this being allowed to continue. So here are some of the changes I've made apart from sounding my horn on social media.

  • I don't buy from brands that test, and that goes for brands with questionable parent companies too.  
    • That means I haven't just written off L'Oréal and Estée Lauder, but The Body Shop, NARS, and Burt's Bees. 
  • Vote with your money. Even if it's hard. We're still losing good companies to conglomerates. 
    • Just last week, REN Skincare was acquired by Unilever, a company notorious for testing 'only when required by law' (that's lawyer-speak for we test). Yes, I'm gonna miss that cleanser and the Bioderma alternative but when it comes down to it--I don't want my money funding companies that test on animals.

Visiting the LUSH factories in Poole and having the opportunity to chat with the buyers at LUSH really opened my eyes to so many things more than just the urgency to stop animal testing. No company is perfect. No industry is perfect. And lord knows I'm not perfect. But the choices I am making now in terms of being a conscious consumer is miles ahead of where I was a year ago.

Have you made the cruelty-free switch? Or if you've done (or do!) a #BlogForBunnies (or vlog!), I'd love to see it so leave me a comment with your link!

Sunday, February 1

Valentine's Day with LUSH.

I got a surprise parcel of some very deliciously smelling things. LUSH was generous enough to send me a preview of some of their limited edition Valentine's Day items so I thought I'd do a little wintery morning photo sesh with 'em.

The Kiss Lip Scrub £5.50
I don't know how I ever applied lipstick before I discovered LUSH lip scrubs. I probably just roamed around the world with flaky lips, not giving a crap. But these things are the best. I've just finished Mint Julips and started on the Santa's lip scrub from their Christmas line. You will hear this from everyone, but these things are dangerously tasty (and safe to eat!). And no I am not admitting to having dipped my finger into the pot for a post scrub snack...

Unicorn Horn £3.25
I made one of these bubble bars when I visited the LUSH factory a couple weeks ago (video forthcoming)! But don't worry. No poor bugger's gonna be subject to my blobby creation--they gave me mine to take home. I've used it already and it was so sparkly and wonderful. And yes, you're not alone in thinking *cough*phallic*cough*

Heart Throb £3.65
It's not a bubble bar, y'all; it's a bubbleroon. Sandwiched in between two hearts is what I'm going to dub sparkly shea jam (making myself hungry now. May go take a hit off that lip scrub.) This will turn your bath water red--festive!

Cupid's Love £4.25
This soap looks like it is selling in bar form on the website rather than the mould form I have. Yummy ingredients include: figs, passion fruit, rosewood, & soya yoghurt.

Prince Charming £4.75
I'm not a big fan of marshmallow scents so I passed this on to my friend Annie. But if I shop by the scents I fancy, I've never met a disappointing LUSH shower gel. They lather really well and are great for shaving. I'm currently on the dregs of Hot Toddy. Will be sad when that's gone.

Floating Flower £3.50
I'm saving this bath bomb to use on Valentine's Day. It smells of jasmine and ylang ylang (though not really sure how ylang ylang smells, tbh). LUSH's website have really lovely videos for each product on their page that demonstrate how to use them. If you check out any of them, check out this one.

◇ ◇ 

If you are interested in checking any of these out, get yourself to your local LUSH by the 14th. Because when these babies are gone, they are gone. I'm thinking of picking up the Love Locket bath bomb since I'm a sucker for vanilla scented shiz. I saw LUSH employees making these at the factory as well. There's a bomb inside a bomb. Bomb-ception. Don't say that at an airport though.

I was not compensated for this post. I really love LUSH and respect the initiatives they have taken on as a company. Support the brands you love, yo!