Vegan make up review: feat Kat von D, Pixi, Make Up Revolution

Being a pretty casual person when it comes to beauty and make up (I stick to what I know) it’s not something I talk about a lot. However, I’ve discovered some great new products lately, so thought it was time for my second ever round up (first one here).

Kat von D has been the name on every vegan girl’s lips lately, but her range has been only available online in the UK so far. And who wants to buy without a try? Lucky for me, Sephora, the US version of Boots (except better) does stock it in store , and while I was over in Vegas I found her counter and fell in love.


With more or less everything at around $20-$25 each it wasn’t cheap, and with the exchange rate collapsing around us it’s not getting cheaper. But I’m generally happy to pay that kind of price for the right product, and it did not disappoint.

Kat von D Tattoo liner review

I’ve been using a dip-brush and pot for a while now and I wasn’t sure how I felt going back to a felt pen – you don’t get the same bend if you want to go flicky or swooshy. But that’s by the by. I chose the ‘Trooper’ (black obviously), it’s super dark and most importantly… it stays put all day. You can just put a thin stroke on on top to make your lashes look a bit thicker for a daytime vibe, or go for a thick swoosh Adele style. No blotching, really even, dark pigment and totally stays put. Perfect! I wear this every day now. SO pleased.

Kat von D Everlasting liquid lipstick

My other find was the lip colour – I love a classic red lip ever since I was brave enough to try it. This shade was called Santa Sangre – how could I resist? It dries matt (beautiful) and is a really strong pillarbox red. My only struggle was the wand wasn’t too easy to work with, and if you got a bit out of place it’s tough to remove it. You obviously do need to touch up throughout the day here and there, but while in Disney I gave it a pretty good test – eating pineapple ice cream plus Splash mountain. And check out the results!


Pixi Mattelustre lipstick

My Pixi lipstick I actually got a few months back. I was in a bad mood with my old elbow injury and a new lippy was the obvious solution. I love buying cosmetics and skincare from M&S because they usually mark everything really clearly on the site whether it’s vegan or not. However, this being an external brand, the M&S site itself isn’t so helpful, but you can find a full list of vegan products here. Not all of the Pixi range is vegan (though none is animal tested). Anyhoo, I got the Classic Red (predictably) and it’s a winner. My previous red sheer lipstick was Benefit (boo animal testing) and to be honest this is better anyway – it’s less ‘shiny’ and more pigmented. Stays on pretty well.


Make Up Revolution Iconic Smoky palette

The other end of the cost scale is Make up Revolution. This smoky palette caught my eye while having a wander to pick up some cold and flu tablets or something in Superdrug. It was only £6 and absolutely gorgeous. It’s one of those palettes where you think you can casually throw a bit of dark grey behind your lid for a work day, then realise how pigmented the colour is and suddenly you’re full on drag queen. Which is a great problem to have. Does not feel like the price you paid. I love this – Star buy!


K xxx

Vegan discoveries April round up: Keeping Cool

It’s been hot at last. Our garden has erupted in bluebells and I can bust out my Toms. You leave work and it’s still light, walking places becomes a pleasure again.


I had planned to update this blog in categories, beauty update, snacks update and so on. But life doesn’t happen in categories and it’s always the how it happened rather than the what happened that makes the better story. Not that there’s much storytelling in today’s cruelty free update, but it’s been a month with things to smile about. I’ve been a bit clever and created a THEME for this post. And so, with no further ado, today’s edition has turned out to be on the loose theme of Keeping Cool.

Cruelty-free beauty: the vegan antiperspirant.

I put a lot of research and effort into looking for a cruelty free antiperspirant. As much as I’d love to run off and live in the woods and live in nature, in reality, I work in an office and no one likes a stinky pits. In addition, I have a very sweaty hobby, and so all in all a good deodorant is an essential.

The trouble with this part of the beauty industry is that everything seems owned by freaking L’Oreal, queens of animal testing. And it’s not just cruelty free that’s the issue, for example, Sure’s Aloe Vera antiperspirant has fish in it. I found this really useful blog post by the amazing The Eco Edit that helps you decode your make up bag’s ingredients list. Warning: it’s disgusting reading. But you owe yourself and your skin the right to make informed choices so please do read.

Anyway, when you Google vegan deodorant, vegan antiperspirant, you get the same handful of brands popping up, and they’re basically all US brands, hard to get hold of, or conflicting advice. It was impossible to find anything. Finally I found one, Salt of the Earth, which is stocked at Vegan Disneyland: (exciting, entertaining, overpriced…) Holland & Barrett.

Salt of the Earth spray
Salt of the Earth spray

When I found it on the shelf, I was underwhelmed. It looks like those little sprays you use to keep houseplants damp. It screamed NATURAL like all it was doing was waving homeopathic sugar piss under your arms. Nevertheless, I shelled out 5 English pounds and tried to think about all the weeping bunnies I would be saving while enduring a sweaty summer.

Let me tell you, I WAS WRONG! This stuff is incredible. It sprays on like water, admittedly taking a little while to dry, but it’s so effective. Probably better than the Mitchum 48 hour stick I used to use, and no greasy whiteness to go with it. I don’t know why the heck we cause this pain and suffering to the animals that are used as ingredients and guinea pigs, spreading crap on our bodies that’s probably giving us cancer (there’s a lot of research linking the aluminium in antiperspirant to breast cancer). This cheeky little bottle is perfect. 5 out of 5. And no I wasn’t gifted it and have never spoken to the company, but I feel like I should write them a letter of commendation. It’s no wonder they’ve won awards, this stuff’s got game.

Salt of the Earth
Platinum awards, vegan seal, leaf juice… ticking all boxes.

On the subject of Mitchum, supposedly their antiperspirants contain no animal ingredients, but they are owned by Revlon who sell in China and therefore conduct animal testing. My gut feel for this is to avoid where possible – it’s not like Mitchum shout about eco credentials, so by purchasing it it’s not like you’re showing off to Revlon that you care like in the case of Body Shop/L’Oreal. But it’s a grey area, let me know what you think?

Keeping Cool: Ice Cream edition

When I was a kid, I was never that into ice cream. I had an allergy to a certain red food colouring but a penchant for strawberry flavour things, so I developed an association between ice cream and vomming early on. When I started uni and our halls kitchen didn’t have a freezer, we had one of those amazing summers where it’s sunny permanently (2006 helloooooo). Suddenly I missed it and I craved it.

Going vegan was like being at uni again. Not being able to have it made me want it more. Luckily it appears there’s a shit tonne of milk free alternatives, and they taste ace. Ice cream must be an easy thing to crack, unlike cheese for example.

Top marks for branding goes to Tesco’s deliciously named “Choc Sticks“.

Tesco choc sticks

The box looks clinical and weird. I had expectations of those crappy choc ices that are 20 for 50p where the chocolate is thin and bland and the ice cream is crystalline, watery and tasteless. Again: WRONG. I would challenge any non vegans to try this and say it’s not real ice cream. The chocolate on the outside is thick and rich dark chocolate, with a satisfying crack as you break it up. The ice cream inside is smooth, creamy vanilla, just like a magnum. They’re currently 3 for 2 and I have officially Stocked Up. Don’t be out off by the uninspiring packaging or name.

Get in my belly choc stick

Ice cream treat number two is in even weirder packaging and it reminds me of the Doge meme (much wow, so ice cream).

Just like Ice Cream Mochi Ice Dessert

I had never heard of Mochi before, so I’ve no comparison to whether these are authentic or different to ‘normal’. Basically, the outside is a sort of chewy, doughy, marshmallowy thing, that immediately makes you panic that there must be gelatin in it. There isn’t, it’s just starch from tapioca. You’re safe. Go with it.

Mochi:  chewy ice balls

So you bite into it (it’s weirdly not that cold) and there’s a runny centre of coconut ice cream, very drippy rather than a solid scoop. I guess it’s sort of the jam donut of the vegan coconut ice cream world. Apparently they come in other flavours, mango, chocolate, strawberry and Black Sesame, naturally. I didn’t know what to expect when I opened them, but it definitely wasn’t 6 individually wrapped pieces. It seems quite wasteful in the plastic packaging, but they’re so sticky I can see why.

Six coconutty balls

Would be ace if they replaced that with paper or something more eco friendly. High novelty factor, but it doesn’t sit in a bowl with broken oreos and strawberries in quite the same way. 4/5.

That concludes April’s vegan round up: Keeping Cool!  Looking forward to a theme presenting itself for a May round up. Suggestions welcome.

Love, Kayley xx


Vegan and cruelty-free beauty: part one

Leaping Bunny logo

Making the transition to vegan food has been pretty easy, but switching cosmetics, bodycare, toiletries and household cleaning stuff requires more research. I’ve taken the approach to change one thing at a time, as and when I run out.

Vegan Facewash

The first thing to go was my No7 toner that I use as a general facecleaner-upper / make up remover. Outwardly, Boots have said they do not test on animals, but they are not Leaping Bunny certified, which is an external validation of this claim. Also, Leaping Bunny does not mean vegan. It means that the product nor its ingredients are tested on animals. It doesn’t mean that it is free of animal derivatives. In this instance, the No7 toner contains lanolin, from sheep’s wool. Honestly, I haven’t done much research into the wool industry so I don’t have any strong feelings about it. However, Boots have been open about having laboratories in China, where animal testing is demanded by law. Until they are certified Cruelty free I thought I’d go for a safer option.

This is where I discovered micellar water.

What is micellar water?

Vegan micellar water

So, my hub is a scientist. He tells me a micelle is like a little blob of something that is suspended in something else. Micellar water, is basically tiny invisible drops of cleanser suspended in water. When you put it on a cotton wool pad and rub it on your face, the friction bursts the micelles and you get a really fresh feeling. It works as a facewash and even removes waterproof mascara.

I chose Formula Time Defy from M&S, which is both Leaping Bunny certified and declared vegan. And it’s great. Smells really fresh, and you should see the colour of the cotton wool pad at the end if the day – it works, put it that way.

Vegan Shower Gel

Shower gel was much easier. I had already tried and loved Original Source before. They are actually certified vegan by the vegan society. My favourite without a doubt is the mint and tea tree. I’m prone to the sniffles and blocked sinuses, and washing your neck and chest with the mint is like a mini Vicks Vapor Rub in the morning, really opens the airways!

Original Source – chilling with our ducks

So there’s my starter for ten – any recommendations on vegan shampoo and conditioner for bleached hair are VERY welcome!