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Review / Inika Certified Organic Primer

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Inika Certified Organic Pure Primer with Hyaluronic Acid
Primers, primers, primers. Second only to concealers, primers are probably the beauty staple that I’ve struggled with the most since going cruelty free and vegan. Finding one would be a relatively simple task if it wasn’t for the fact that I also try to avoid silicone-based primers – I can use them occasionally, but regular use doesn’t really do my skin any favours. My Neve Cosmetics primer does a pretty great job and I would still recommend it since it’s an affordable vegan, cruelty free and silicone-free option, but I’m not a fan of the fact that it has a colour to it and I’ve still been left wondering if there’s something else out there that might be better for me. I only really discovered primers after I went cruelty free, so I hadn’t really had the chance to test many out and to be honest, I wasn’t always aware of what I was missing or what really makes a high quality primer.

Needless to say, when I discovered that Inika do a pretty good looking primer that seems to tick all of the boxes for me, I was dying to try it. Inika is an organic, natural brand that’s gentle on the skin, so their Certified Organic Pure Primer with Hyaluronic Acid* seemed like a good bet for someone like me who currently has sensitive, break-out prone skin.

Inika Certified Organic Pure Primer with Hyaluronic Acid


Hyaluronic acid is pretty well-known in the beauty world for its moisturising properties, and the idea behind a primer containing it is that as well as creating a smooth base for foundation on top of your skin, it also helps to turn your skin into a better base by increasing hydration, plumping it up and evening out some fine lines and wrinkles. As I’m currently trying to put more time and effort into caring for my skin and focusing on improving my complexion without makeup, the idea of a cosmetic product that can help nourish and improve my skin on the occasions that I do choose to wear makeup is certainly an alluring one.

As with all Inika products, their primer is hypoallergenic and alcohol free, and boasts cruelty free, vegan and organic status. The packaging is the same look and feel as all of the other Inika products I’ve seen – simple, sleek and black, and this particular item comes with a lid and handy pump (which I much prefer for the sake of good hygiene).

The primer itself looks and feels much more like a moisturiser than the other couple of primers I’ve used; it’s just a soft, white cream in texture. It rubs in similarly to a moisturiser too, and feels extremely light on the skin. When I first tested it out, I wasn’t too certain that it did much for me, but when I tried one half of my face with the primer and one without, I noticed that the primed side actually felt quite a bit softer and looked plumper and more hydrated, and on closer inspection my fine lines and pores appeared ever so slightly reduced (but bare in mind, this isn’t a miracle worker, they didn’t vanish completely). And, because it’s so soft and light, I’ve found that a little goes a long way and you don’t need much to blend over your entire face.

Inika Certified Organic Pure Primer with Hyaluronic Acid


When it comes to foundation, Inika’s primer does a great job working alongside that too. Using this primer, my liquid foundation holds up much better and thanks to the hydrating properties of the primer – which seem to give me skin a more dewy, natural glow – I find that I don’t need to go quite as heavy with my foundation as I might without it. Except for lip products, I never touch my makeup up throughout the day, so any items that can help it to wear a lil’ better and last a lil’ longer are winners in my book, and this primer has made the list. Particular around my chin (that I have a terrible habit of touching constantly), my nose, and other areas that can be a little troublesome by the end of the day, I’ve noticed that I tend to have a little bit more foundation left at the end of the day than I do when I haven’t used the Inika primer.

Be warned, though! This is a hydrating primer and although it gives my foundation a bit of extra staying powder and has definitely be great for my skin, it does mean that my skin looks a tad oilier once I hit the afternoon or evening. This is a primer that better suits people like me who want a more natural finish and don’t mind a bit of a sheen as it’s not mattifying at all, and if you have oily skin it may contribute to further oil build-up throughout the day.

Having said that though, in addition to it adding to how long my foundation lasts and its skin-replenishing properties, the fact that Inika’s primer also feels virtually weightless on my skin is a huge, huge bonus. I used to use a lavender tinted primer by KIKO that, although it helped to neutralise blemishes and smoothed out my skin really well, it also had a sort of unpleasant feeling on my face that I was always acutely aware of.  Primers are supposed to create a barrier on the skin, and, well, it definitely felt like I had an extra layer of something on. Even my Neve primer, despite containing no silicones, has a certain presence on my skin that I’m very aware of even directly after application and throughout the day, but that isn’t the case with the hyaluronic acid primer at all. As I said, it applies like a moisturiser and feels like a moisturiser – you can whack it on and forget that you’re even wearing a primer!

I can only think of two things that could be improved upon: 1. It’s a minor niggle, but having used a lavender-tinted primer before, if Inika’s had a lavender element to it to brighten the skin and neutralise discolouration, it would really take it to the next level for me and make it pretty much everything I want in a primer. 2. It ain’t cheap. At £29.50 for a 50ml bottle over on LoveLula I would consider this a high end product, although it does deliver great benefits and high quality for the price.

Inika’s products are known for being great quality, vegan and cruelty free alternatives to other brands and their Pure Primer with Hyaluronic Acid is no different. Even with the expensive price tag, I would recommend this and repurchase it in a heartbeat, because everything it brings to the table is well worth the cost. It’s smoothing, compliments my foundations well and increases their lasting power, and it also helps to nourish and hydrate so that my skin is improved too. It hasn’t broken me out, it doesn’t clog my pores and it doesn’t irritate or feel heavy on my skin either.

If you need a cheaper primer, I’d still point you in the direction of Neve Cosmetics or, if you aren’t fussed about silicones, then drugstore brands like B., Barry M and GOSH are super cheap and accessible and do some great, more affordable primers. But, if you are willing to invest in a product that will last you for quite a while and will help your skin as much as it helps your makeup application, then definitely give Inika’s Certified Organic Pure Primer with Hyaluronic Acid a try!

What are your favourite cruelty free and vegan primers?

* This review is not sponsored and has not been paid for, however the product was sent to me free of charge. All views and opinions expressed are my own.

Fitness shouldn't just be about aesthetics.

Sunday, 6 August 2017

It’s summer, and we’re well into ‘bikini body’ season. That means plenty of companies are clambering all over each other to try to get us to pay to work out or hit the gym or do whatever it takes to be skinny and svelte and, apparently, not feel embarrassed to chill in a swimsuit.  Bleh.

Encouragement to exercise is overwhelming focused on aesthetics and the pursuit of visual ‘progress’; anyone like myself who follows fitness influencers will no doubt see before and after photos on a daily basis. Images like these and the rhetoric that surrounds them and other campaigns to get fit place so much emphasis on achieving a nice-looking ‘result’ when, really, there are plenty of great benefits to exercising beyond changing our appearances.

Exercise doesn’t have to mean hitting the gym, ‘working hard’, running on treadmills or lifting weights. It can be anything from doing a little yoga sesh at home, going to a pilates class once in a while, deciding to cycle to work or just trying to walk a bit more often. It’s easy to feel intimidated by the time, effort and dedication that others put into working out, but it doesn’t have to be that way for you for in order for you to feel positive about it – we’re all unique, and we have to find what works for us.

So, what are some of my favourite non-aesthetic pros of working out?

It can be good for your mental health. If you’re lucky enough to have a good relationship with exercise, it can do wonders for your mental health. For me, working out is part of my self-care and is one of the only times when my anxiety switches off and my mind finally goes blank – all there is is me and whatever I’m doing at the time. Even just going out for a walk on your own to take in the sights and sounds around you can be therapeutic, uplifting and give you some time to get away from some of your daily struggles.

Of course, take this with a grain of salt, because contrary to what others might love to tell you, going for a walk isn’t going to cure your mental illness. Exercise can be a great addition to a healthy lifestyle for many people, but it won’t negate any mental health difficulties you might face.  Oh, and never feel like you need to try working out if you’ve struggled with things like disordered eating, over-exercising and so on before. You are never obligated to make yourself do something that makes you feel uncomfortable or at risk.

You get to wear cute workout clothes. Ok, maybe this is kind of an aesthetic point but, oh well.  I never used to be that into gym clothes, but honestly, I’m obsessed with sportswear now. Being really into the gym and going on such a regular basis, I now get to wear comfy, cute athletic-wear basically all the time and it’s great. Sorry uncomfortable jeans, I’m ditching you for some cute workout leggings that are functional and comfy as hell so I can go straight from lounging on the sofa to out and about around town to killin’ it at the gym! I am 100% on board with the athleisure trend and spend very little money on anything that isn’t sportswear these days.  Bliss.

It can be good for your physical health. Kind of a no brainer, but according to the NHS 150 minutes of moderate exercise (i.e. exercise that raises your heart rate, and makes you feel warmer and breathe quicker) is enough to dramatically reduce your risk of all kinds of different illnesses, from giving you a 20% lower risk of breast cancer to a 30% lower risk of dementia to a 68% lower risk of hip fracture. Assuming you’re physically able to, then doing small spurts of physical activity on a regular basis can contribute to living happily, healthily and independently into old age.

This won’t be the case for everyone (and, again, never force yourself if you’re injured, unwell or struggle mentally or emotionally with fitness) but taking up regular exercise has dramatically increased my energy levels. Although my body is obviously tired after weight training, I’m also positively buzzing and raring to go. The thought of going to work, then the gym, then out on the town used to seem utterly impossible to me in the past, but nowadays it’s something that I’m not only more than capable of, but actually do sometimes and feel amazing!

You can make or find great playlists. I don’t really listen to music in the gym anymore, but back when I did it was a great opportunity to find cool new music and curate my own badass playlists that got me motivated and excited to kick butt – all the more so when I rarely, if ever, listened to music any other time.  Some of my favourite songs and remixes I discovered through my old gym playlists I used to get off 8tracks (before it went to shit and stopped letting me stream through the app in the UK, R.I.P.). Since working out is a nice little slot of ‘you time’, it’s also the perfect opportunity to dedicate to listening to tunes you enjoy without worrying about anyone or anything else.

It can be fun. If you find something you enjoy, it can become something you look forward to each week instead of a punishment you dread every time it comes around. When I first started getting into fitness, I loved circuit training classes and the buzz of being in a group environment with all kinds of different people, and the positive atmosphere made it super enjoyable and kept me coming back for more. Things like swimming, team sports, dance classes, exercise classes, cross fit, hiking, dog walking and more are all vastly different and can be wonderful once you find the right one for you, and can be even more fun if you find a buddy to do them with and turn it into a social activity too.

Exercise may not feel enjoyable until you find something that actually suits you, but it takes time to figure out what gets you pumped. Fitness isn’t ‘one size fits all’, and it’s important to remember that you don’t have to love what everybody else loves. Just because fitness gurus or your friends are doing something, doesn’t mean you have to!

You can get stronger. A lot of us, sadly namely women, have the misconception that exercise = running or some form of cardio, but that doesn’t have to be the case at all. There are tons of different things that you can do instead of just hopping on a treadmill or cross trainer, and many of those things (like weight lifting or body weight exercises) make it really easy for you to feel how far you’re progressing in terms of strength. When I first started using dumbbells I could only do bicep curls with 2kg, but now I can do 7-8kg on a good day and I’m getting stronger all the time!  10 squats might be tough work for you the first time you do them, but within a few weeks it will seem like a piece of cake and the confidence and pride that can give you is pretty amazing.

It reminds us of what our bodies can be capable of. It’s easy to feel negative about our bodies when so much emphasis is put on how we ‘should’ look day in, day out. If you approach exercise with the right frame of mind though, it can become a great demonstration of how powerful you are and remind you of how magnificent your body and all bodies really are irrespective of how we look or what others think we should be. Whether you’re a competitive powerlifter, an average person who ran a new personal best or someone who struggles with chronic pain and simply managed to get up and out and about, all of those things – no matter how big or small – are physical and mental feats worth celebrating.

You don’t have to have a lean, muscular physique or a perfect peach booty to be a proud, powerful fitness badass. The images and accounts we tend to see when we peruse fitness communities online are only a small sub-section of people who actually exercise, and these communities are plagued with the same preferential treatment of thin, white, cis, able-bodied and conventionally attractive people that we get everywhere else. Strong, fit people who look like you exist, they just don’t get pushed to the forefront as often as they should be. ‘Strong’ and ‘fit’ don’t look the same on everyone.

You can learn to exercise for the simple joy of movement. Once you’ve picked out your cute clothes, found a good playlist and figured out what your favourite fitness activities are, you can learn to just enjoy exercise for the sake of enjoying it. Pure and simple movement, getting your heart rate up and doing fun, cool things with your body should be what fitness is all about; not grinding away, bored and frustrated, in pursuit of an aesthetic goal. At the end of the day, exercise should be loved as an activity in and of itself, not as a means to an end. If you don’t love it, then no matter what anyone else says, you don’t have to do it!

What are some of your favourite parts of working out?

You don't have to be perfect to be cruelty free.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

A selection of cruelty free beauty products
It’s funny sometimes being part of little pockets of the blogging ‘community’ – it’s easy to forget that not everyone is as into (so called) ethical living as it might seem in our little echo chamber. Every now and again, something squeezes its way into the bubble and shatters the illusion that… well, that people actually give a shit.

Despite it being 2017, if you tell other folks that you don’t buy cosmetics tested on animals, they’ll likely still look at you as if you’re some kind of hippy weirdo. When your average Joe reacts to this apparently shocking news, the tone of their voice and the look on their face often says it all and they may as well just tell you straight: “What? You don’t buy from brands that fund unnecessary, cruel animal experiments?! That’s pretty extreme.” It’s not surprising, therefore, that there are still scores of people who, while they might not admit it, quite simply can’t be bothered to go cruelty free and more still who feel they shouldn’t bother because it will never be ‘enough’.

There are a number of valid reasons why someone may not be able to buy exclusively cruelty free cosmetics, such as their income being dependent on it (i.e. small MUA businesses), skin conditions that mean they can only use certain brands, living in areas where few, if any, cruelty free brands are affordable or accessible, and so on. Can you guess how many people who aren’t cruelty free cite any of these reasons as why that’s the case? Hint: it’s a very, very small number. In fact, the majority of people who aren’t cruelty free who ever openly talk about why they’re not cruelty free often simply say that either a.) they feel like there’s no point, because they can’t go vegan or vegetarian or be fully ethical or go zero waste or blah blah etc. or b.) they like their favourite, animal-tested products too much to give them up.

Now, let me cover point b. in one quick swing: that’s some selfish bullshit. Yes, you read me right! I’m sure that might ruffle some feathers but, at the end of the day, if the only reason why you won’t even consider cutting animal-tested cosmetics – which aren’t even a necessity – out of your beauty routine is because you like the products too much or boo you won’t be able to wear your favourite lipstick anymore then yeah, that’s a load of shit. To prioritise lipstick and blush and nail polish over reducing the suffering of animals in laboratories who are tortured and killed in order to produce them makes you, quite frankly, lazy and extremely selfish. If there are no other circumstances like those I mentioned above that might make it more difficult for you to buy cruelty free, but you still choose not to in spite of the wealth of excellent quality alternatives at your fingertips, then I say it again: you are selfish. If that stings to read or bothers you in some way, then consider why. Take a seat, take a long hard look at yourself, do some research and try fucking harder.

With that out of the way, back to point a: “I can’t be a perfect cruelty free, ethical consumer so why even bother?” I get it. I really do – it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all of the different ways to be ‘ethical’ and the different and increasingly demanding expectations that ethical lifestyle gurus seem to have of everyone. We don’t just have buying cruelty free cosmetics after all, we have being vegetarian or vegan, we have being minimalist and zero waste, we have buying organic and non-GMO and local, we have supporting independent brands, we have giving up fast fashion and much, much more. These requirements for being an ethical consumer just stack up and up and up to the point where it starts to seem completely impossible to actually be a good person, and makes you doubt the impact of even trying. Further still, it makes you doubt how well you’ll be received by the rest of that community – if I’m not seen as doing ‘enough’, there’s going to be people who don’t like that and will criticise me for it. If I don’t try at all, at least I won’t be seen as a hypocrite for claiming to be cruelty free but not being cruelty free ‘enough’, right?

Almost everything we buy presents a choice and an opportunity to pick the ‘more ethical’ one, but that simply isn’t possible for everyone. I’m vegan and cruelty free, and I’m trying to make an effort to reduce my waste and to stop buying from fast fashion retailers, but I also still use a lot of plastic and packaging. I still drive and use petrol. I still have to buy some things from fast fashion shops, because I need certain professional, office-appropriate clothes for work. Sometimes I still buy non-vegan clothing or animal tested brands for relatives who asked for them for gifts and wouldn’t take kindly to being presented with anything other than exactly what they wanted. I sometimes slip up and accidentally eat non-vegan things, or forget that some home accessories contain wool and buy them without realising. I will never be zero waste, and I will never be able to live off the land and be carbon neutral or anything like that.

And that’s okay!

There seems to be this common misconception among non-veggies and non-cruelty free folks that if you can’t go the whole hog, you’re not wanted and you may as well not bother. Honestly, I’m kind of tired of hearing that as an excuse. If you weren’t guaranteed that your hard work would get you a good grade or perfect score at school, did you just not bother? “Well, I know I’ll never be perfect so I’m not even going to try!” You can’t avoid accidentally stepping on a snail at some point in your life, so do you just make a point of stomping on all the snails that end up in your path because there’s ‘no point in trying when you can’t be perfect’?

This ‘all or nothing’ approach seems totally ridiculous when you put it into any other scenario, and whether you realise it or not, at the core of it you’re essentially saying: ‘I can’t completely wipe out all pain and suffering and bad things in the world, so I’m just going to carry on inflicting as much suffering as everybody else rather than make some small changes that might have a positive impact.’

The problem is, being cruelty free or vegan or vegetarian or trying to simply be a more ethical consumer has never been about being perfect. We know that we make mistakes, or that small animals might die when the vegetables we eat are harvested or that yes, the chemicals in our beauty products may have historically been tested on animals even if they aren’t anymore. We weren’t disputing that. No one is perfect, and if any other cruelty free people try to tell you that they are, I promise you that they’re full of shit and need to get in the sea. The point isn’t and has never been perfection; it’s reduction. Either we can be causing as much devastation as absolutely everybody else, or we can try to drop it down a few pegs and do what we can to make a difference. If we can all take small steps, within our means, to reduce animal suffering and the demand for animal testing in cosmetics, then we can begin to send a message to big businesses that they need to change.

That change is already happening. The Body Shop’s ethical principles had been heavily criticised since they were bought by L’Oreal (a brand notorious for its animal testing) a few years ago, and recently they were purchased by a new cruelty free parent company. This is at least in part down to the impact of cruelty free consumers challenging their supposed anti-animal testing views while simultaneously contributing money towards animal testing at their parent company.  In spite of their attempts to show that they were still an ethical brand, they simply couldn’t shake the backlash of being owned by L’Oreal.  Years ago Urban Decay had planned to start selling in China, where animal testing is required by law, but pulled out after heavy criticism and boycott threats from buyers who called them out for abandoning their cruelty free morals for the sake of extra cash.

Each time you go makeup shopping, you have a choice. Cruelty free products are not difficult to find, and they’re no more expensive than their animal tested counterparts. You cannot, in good conscience, claim to be against animal testing while still willingly purchasing from brands that test on animals. When you are informed and empowered and financially or geographically able to choose cruelty free products over animal tested ones but still chose not to, your decision is directly funding the torture, suffering and death of lab animals. It isn’t a complex ethical dilemma or a personal opinion – it’s a simple, empirical fact that your money is going towards animal testing, and that your continued custom will reassure businesses that they can carry on animal testing with no consequences to their profits.

Is your favourite lipstick worth the life of the innumerable number of rabbits or mice or dogs (yes, dogs) that suffered in order to produce it or to legally sell it in China? Is your favourite mascara worth the life of the animal who was repeatedly poked, prodded, burned, injected, had scalding chemicals dropped into its eyes and was finally ‘humanely’ euthanised once it looked to be in ‘too much’ pain? Sounds pretty extreme and very grim, right? Well, that’s the reality of beauty brands that aren’t cruelty free.  And all for what, right?  Makeup?  Really?

Next time you go shopping for your usual beauty products, consider trying out a new cruelty free brand instead of the animal tested giants like Rimmel, Revlon, L’Oreal, MAC and so on. If the thought of animals in pain when they don’t need to be strikes a chord with you, consider spending your money elsewhere instead of on NARS, who have now committed to selling in China and will begin testing on animals in order to do so. If you’re not sure where to start, there’s tons of online resources out there that can offer up a wealth of exciting, wonderful brands with ethics as lovely as their products – give them a try! Ask cruelty free beauty bloggers for their tips or suggestions, check out cruelty free reviews on YouTube.

No, we’re not perfect – none of us ever, ever will be – but you have so much more power than you realise, and the choices you make can help to change the world.

If you’re interested in going cruelty free, check out some of the cruelty free directories/blogs below and, as always, feel free to get in touch with me!

Review / Nabla Dreamy Matte Liquid Lipstick in Sweet Gravity

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Nabla Dreamy Matte Liquid Lipstick in Sweet Gravity
When I first heard about Nabla Cosmetics, I knew I was going to have to order from them sooner or later. They do an amazing range of eyeshadows that you can have both as pots or refills to create your own palette, they even have cream eyeshadows and everything is vegan and cruelty free. When they announced that they were releasing a line of matte liquid lipsticks… that was it. Let the order commence.

In terms of shipping times, customer service etc. Nabla was pretty fantastic. I ordered a selection of eyeshadows and one of their Dreamy Matte Liquid Lipsticks in the shade Sweet Gravity, and was lucky enough to get express shipping half off during a special offer. Although based in Italy, delivery was attempted (but sadly not received as the courier only delivered on weekdays and I work full time…) within three days which is a hell of a lot quicker than some companies based even within the UK. And, although possibly for a limited time only thanks to Brexit, since the company is based within the EU we don’t have to pay extortionate customs fees in the UK to order from them!

The eyeshadows I’ll be reviewing in a separate post; today I just wanted to share my thoughts on the – spoiler alert – lovely liquid lipstick.

Nabla Dreamy Matte Liquid Lipstick in Sweet Gravity Ingredients
Nabla Dreamy Matte Liquid Lipstick in Sweet Gravity

Nabla’s Dreamy Matte Liquid Lipsticks are described as having an intense pigment that dries to a true matte finish, and is both long-lasting and non-sticky. They’re supposed to be ‘dreamy’ soft on the lips, so won’t feel heavy or be one of those liquid lipsticks that you’re acutely aware of on your lips as you go about your day. They’re also coconut and vanilla scented!

Sweet Gravity is one of their nude shades, and is described as a warm, rosy brown that looks like a great ‘my lips but better’ colour in their swatches. I was extremely tempted to order some of their bolder berry and red shades too (it’s hard to find a great matte vegan liquid lipstick in red) but I decided to just go for a nice natural shade to test them out, plus I’ve just plain been feeling nudes recently. If you’d like to read a review of one of their other shades, Vivi of Sammy Sans Cruelty did a great review of a pinkier shade called Roses that you can check out here.

Nabla Dreamy Matte Liquid Lipstick in Sweet Gravity



Nabla Dreamy Matte Liquid Lipstick in Sweet Gravity
The packaging for this lipstick, while pretty, does feel a little bit excessive. I don’t think the extra plastic and paper it comes in is really necessary, even if it does look lovely. The tube itself has a sort of frosted matte finish, but you can still see the colour through it, plus a nice, classy-looking gold lid and detailing. The doe foot applicator is one of the better ones I’ve used; it’s stiff but not too stiff, and very precise.

In terms of formula, I’m a real fan. The smell is lovely (but obviously wears off relatively quickly), and it is quite loose and easy to apply. One swipe is enough to get a nice, opaque coat, it dries quickly and, as promised, dries to a true matte finish that doesn’t transfer. On the lips, it doesn’t exactly feel weightless, but it certainly feels a hell of a lot more inconspicuous than other liquid lipsticks I’ve used. As it’s a matte lipstick, it does still slightly dry out the lips, however it’s light and airy enough to not feel unpleasant at all. As it fades, it fades subtly and doesn’t clump or flake, meaning that it both wears out in a flattering way, and is easy to re-apply without either taking it all off and starting from scratch or looking like a hot mess with 12 layers of chunky lipstick. As far as lasting power goes, it isn’t as long lasting as my Colourpop Ultra Mattes, but for the most part it still holds its own against them and lasts for most of the day and even through non-greasy meals.

The shade is one that I really like on me. I am always wary of warmer brown and nude shades, as I don’t always feel like they look the best on my skin, but this is a winner. On my lips and with my complexion, it just looks like a nude with a little more substance, and adds a bit more warmth to my face. Like any good nude lipstick, it draws a makeup look together and makes you look polished with minimal effort, and can be used with bolder and more natural looks. I think this could potentially look great with a variety of skin tones, but cooler toned folks may be better complimented by one of their other shades.

Nabla Dreamy Matte Liquid Lipstick in Sweet Gravity Swatch


Sweet Gravity has become one of my favourite nude liquid lipsticks and one that I find myself regularly reaching for nowadays. It’s a great all-rounder, and with plenty of shades to choose from I already know I’m going to be doing another order for more! Each Dreamy Matte Liquid Lipstick is €14.90, so around £13.10 with the current exchange rate (damn it, Brexit), which is on the slightly higher end of affordable but much cheaper than most other accessible, long-lasting liquid lipsticks. As much as I love Colourpop’s Ultra Matte’s and how cheap they are, with the cost of shipping and customs fees it’s much more economical for me to order my liquid lippies from Nabla for the foreseeable future. Their current shade range is an exciting and unique collection for a first release – as well as more standard reds, pinks and nudes, they also have a more mauve-y greige shade, a powder blue, a black and a petrol green that all look incredible. I can’t wait to order that green and some of their glam red shades.

This lipstick has been super impressive and has definitely left me wanting more! Have you ever tried anything from Nabla before?

Review / PHB Ethical Beauty Liquid Eyeliner in Black

Saturday, 24 June 2017

PHB Ethical Beauty 100% Pure Liquid Eyeliner - Black
PHB Ethical Beauty 100% Pure Liquid Eyeliner - Black

I’ve been a fan of PHB Ethical Beauty for a very long time now. I think I first started using their skincare products in 2013 or 2014, and those and their mascara in particular have been staples of my skincare and beauty regimes ever since. When I saw that they had come out with a liquid liner a while back, I knew that I was going to have to try it at some point!

The PHB Ethical Beauty 100% Pure Liquid Eyeliner* comes in two shades, black and brown, and of course I went for black because that’s just who I am. As well as claiming to be long lasting and water-resistant, the PHB liquid eyeliner also advertises major benefits for people like myself with sensitive eyes – they say it’s great for eyes that water easily, and is also PH balanced and made from botanical oils and minerals that are kind to skin. Over the past several years, my eyes have grown increasingly sensitive and I’ve found that they can get quite irritated when I use heavier eye makeup, so a natural alternative to liquid eyeliner that won’t leave my eyes a bloodshot mess was certainly appealing to me.

PHB Ethical Beauty 100% Pure Liquid Eyeliner - Black

The eyeliner comes in a little tube with a thin, brush tip applicator. When I first took it out of the box, I could see at a glance that it isn’t quite like other liquid eyeliners – it isn’t as jet black, and there’s just something about the consistency in the packaging that seems different.  It also somehow almost seemed glittery in the tube and on the brush, even though it isn’t at all!  The brush itself is decent, but I personally feel it would have benefited more from a sponge-based brush or felt tip applicator like many other liquid liner pots like this tend to have. Although the brush does still manage to achieve thin, sharp lines, if you’re not careful it also has a tendency to leave little bristle lines that you can see in the swatch below.

The formula is a great consistency – not too liquid-y, not too thick, but it doesn’t give you a swipe of perfect, opaque colour and if you want a darker, more intense liner you do need to go over it a couple of times to achieve a bolder look. One thing to also be aware of with this product versus other liquid eyeliners is that, as I suspected, it isn’t a true opaque black. It looks a little bit like a dark, charcoal grey on the lids which I don’t dislike, but obviously won’t be to everyone’s tastes.

PHB Ethical Beauty 100% Pure Liquid Eyeliner Swatch

When wearing this, I can definitely feel its sensitive eye benefits. My eyes didn’t go bloodshot, they didn’t get irritated and they didn’t water after applying this or throughout a day of wear. Often it’s a challenge for me to just get my winged eyeliner done without my eyes freaking out and looking awful afterwards, but that wasn’t an issue at all with PHB Ethical Beauty’s liquid liner. At least for me, this is clearly an excellent option for those days when I want to wear more dramatic eyeliner but my eyes might not be feeling up for being plastered in irritating products.

Throughout the day, I don’t really notice a lot of wear or fading when wearing this and it also doesn’t flake as some liquid liners I’ve tried in the past do (even more of a plus for my sensitive eyes). I can also rub it a lil’ bit and it doesn’t smudge or transfer. However, I will warn you that although it says it’s water resistant, it’s not nearly as waterproof as other liquid eyeliners on the market. It will withstand minor eye-watering, but if my eyes start streaming it starts to smudge in my outer corners and I don’t think it would stand a chance if I started crying or decided to wear it to a sweaty gym session. On the plus side, it’s quick and gentle to remove without ending up with panda eyes or black streaks across your face while you’re taking your makeup off.

Okay, it may sound from the above like this eyeliner doesn’t have tons going for it, but I actually really, really like it (and as you can see from my Instagram, it looks as bomb as any other eyeliner). Compared to other liners there are certainly some criticisms, but it’s also worth noting that none of the other liquid eyeliners I’ve ever used are natural – I’ve only ever used things like NYX, theBalm, Stila and (back in the day when I was still using animal tested stuff) L’Oreal. As a natural product that contains zero harsh chemicals and is designed to be gentle, this eyeliner actually holds up really well. For people like me who suffer from dry, irritable eyes it’s kind of a godsend. The eye makeup I want to do is no longer quite as dependent on how my eyes are feeling – if I want to wing it out and my eyes are feeling sensitive, now that I have PHB Ethical Beauty’s eyeliner I can!

If you live for a bold, sharp, blacker-than-the-abyss wing that will last all day even if you go swimming then, no, this product probably won’t be your jam. But if you’re like me, enjoy a good wing but don’t expect it to face every single trial life will through at you, and have problems with dry eyes or find that traditional liquid liners tend to irritate them or you’ve ever had a reaction to them, then this is probably a perfect alternative for you. This is also a great product for all you green, natural beauty lovers out there, because it’s cruelty free, vegan and contains none of the usual nasties that can end up in liquid eyeliners.

The PHB Ethical Beauty 100% Pure Liquid Eyeliner is available from LoveLula for £12.95, and on PHB Ethical Beauty’s website.

Do you have any liquid liner recommendations for sensitive eyes?

* This review is not sponsored and has not been paid for, however the product was sent to me free of charge. All views and opinions expressed are my own.

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