5 vegans you meet when you go vegan

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Like most communities, the vegan community is one that can seem quite homogenous from the outside, but once you’re a part of it you start to realise just how diverse the different people in that community are. It probably goes without saying that vegans get a pretty bad rap and are viewed quite stereotypically by the ‘outside world’, but funnily enough once you’ve been vegan for a little while and had a few weeks of exposure to other vegans, you start to notice types.

After two years of being vegan and interacting with a variety of different vegans online, I’ve started to be able to class a lot of us into different categories, and thought I’d share some of those with you today! As usual, there’s been a few wee controversies in the vegan world over the past few days, resulting in certain subgroups of veganism turning on the others, and as much as it sucks to see people who support your ethical and moral beliefs be complete and utter bellends, sometimes you just have to step back and laugh.

So, in the interest of looking on the bright side and learning to poke fun at ourselves, here are five types of vegan you meet after you’ve made the switch!

The Raw Yogi

For those of us who are super into food, one type of vegan is very quick and easy to identify – the Raw Yogi. Although there’s more to vegan food than acai bowls and colourful, vibrant salads and fresh vegetables, the Raw Yogi’s diet is almost exclusively these kinds of food and, as the name suggests, most of what they eat is raw, earthy goodness. There isn’t anything bad about that in and of itself, but for the rest of us mere mortals munching on our vegan chocolate chip cookies it seems a bit daunting and unobtainable.  Plus, they give omnis a skewed idea of what vegans actually want to eat - it’s thanks to the Raw Yogis that the rest of us have to suffer menu after menu of raw cheesecake as a dessert option instead of proper junk food puddings!

The next level Raw Yogi vegan doesn’t just eat raw of course, but embraces part of the hippy-style stereotype that non-vegans often assign to the movement. They’re chilled out, they practice yoga, they meditate, they probably own a few pieces of jewellery with a hamsa on ‘em and may or may not dabble in Buddhism and/or some forms of appropriation from ‘exotic’, ‘enlightened’ cultures in the Far East.

The Know-It-All Nutritionist

Sadly, it’s not just non-vegans who feel the need to quiz vegans when it comes to nutrition. The Know-It-All Nutritionist is that vegan we all know and love who is super into ‘clean eating’ and, while they may not have exclusively gone vegan because of the health benefits, just loves to preach what a positive impact a healthy vegan diet can have on you. This isn’t a problem until they decide to impart their wisdom onto others uninvited; it’s the Know-It-All Nutritionist who you’ll often see getting into spats with other vegans over their love of processed foods and refined sugars, let alone lambasting omnivores for eating cheese.

Some of us just want to sit and eat our Oreos and pizzas in peace, others expect all vegans to be model representations of pristine, vegan health and assign far too much value to nutritional content of snacks and meals than is really recommended. Oh, and while many, many types of vegan can be guilty of fat-shaming, it’s most likely to be the Know-It-All Nutritionist, because haven’t you seen What The Health, don’t you know you’re killing yourself with meat and dairy and a wholefoods vegan diet could save your life?!

The Anarchist

We’ve probably all encountered the Anarchist on many, many occasions. You know the type – they’re the ones who are vegan for the animals, but to them, the animals are everything. And I mean everything. They’re the people who get into Twitter arguments with vegetarians and omnivores at the drop of the hat, who post graphic images of slaughterhouses and animal abuse on the social media feeds and who loudly equate animal agriculture to rape, slavery and yes, even the Holocaust. Goes without saying that such comparisons are problematic at best, but good luck calling them out without getting your head bitten off.

They might mean well at their core, but the Anarchist creates such an offensive, intimidating and unobtainable image of veganism that it’s just down right off-putting, and they do a great job of alienating not just omnivores but other vegans, too. To them, there’s a standard of veganism you’re expected to meet, and if, for example, you buy from cruelty free brands with animal testing parent companies, or choose to buy vegan products from food brands that aren’t 100% ethical, then you’re you’re not a real vegan and should be ashamed of yourself.

The #Goals

A favourite of bloggers, social media and magazines alike, the #Goals vegan is everything we aspire to be and more. They seem to live a picturesque life in either a beautiful modern or shabby chic apartment, grow their own herbs and plants and they’re slim, effortlessly beautiful and fashionable. All of their clothing (or at least what they choose to show us) is ethically sourced, and most of the time they live a zero waste, minimalist lifestyle with a classy monochrome capsule wardrobe and collections of upcycled kilner and mason jars filled with all their kitchen perishables lining their shelves.

Putting it simply, these folks are the vegans that make veganism fashionable to your average person.  The #Goals is the vegan ideal brought to life and their artfully arranged marble flat lays and food photography put the rest of us to shame. Of course, for most of us mere mortals their way of living isn’t actually achievable, and while their carefully curated blogs and social media platforms are gorgeous to look at and full of aesthetic inspiration, their content can encourage us to doubt ourselves and believe we’re somehow not ethical enough to really call ourselves vegan.

The Tesco Vegan 

Named so because ‘every little helps’, the Tesco Vegan is seen as realistic, inclusive and approachable by some or a slacker and a cop-out animal abuse apologist by others. Unlike the Animal Anarchist who is very much all-or-nothing, the Tesco Vegan believes that even small changes like giving up dairy milk in our cereals or simply reducing our consumption of meat will make a positive difference, even if we don’t all go vegan. They’re the vegan that, rather than trying to scare their omnivorous friends with gory photos or health statistics, simply leads by quiet example and lets questions be asked without judgement. While this might be seen as a great thing by omnivores who’re tired of feeling attacked by vegans, other vegans would argue that coddling ‘carnists’ and making them feel less guilty for still contributing to animal abuse and environmental destruction is foolish and counter-productive.

Although I’d definitely class myself as one of these, whether or not the Tesco Vegan’s approach actually makes a difference remains to be seen, but they pride themselves on their positive advocacy and the impact they can make by being intersectional and inclusive rather than frightening and exclusionary.

So, if you’re vegan, what type are you? Got any others that I might’ve missed?

Review / Phee's Makeup Shop Trance Unicorn Highlighter

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Phee's Makeup Shop Trance Unicorn Highlighter

Phee's Makeup Shop Trance Unicorn Highlighter
I never used to be a highlighter kind of gal – back when I first started getting into makeup, I was all about matte products. I still am, to an extent, because my preference for eyeshadow and lipstick always leans towards the matte end of the spectrum. Over time though, my tastes in base products have evolved and I now thrive on dewy finishes and looking like a gleaming, iridescent moonbeam.

Enter, Phee’s Makeup Shop. I blogged about some of Phee’s loose highlighters about a year ago, but for those who aren’t familiar with her makeup, beauty blogger Phee of Phee’s Makeup Tips hand-makes her own high quality, mineral makeup up in Sheffield. Because her looks are vibrant, bold and enchanting it’s only to be expected that the products she makes are just the same.

Phee’s Makeup Shop was one of the first brands to start stocking pastel and colourful highlighters, and some of the latest in her range of unicorn highlighters are extremely bright, holographic and intense. They come in single shade compacts in a variety of colours with different kinds of reflect, but when Trance, a combination of three, came out I couldn’t say no.

Phee's Makeup Shop Trance Unicorn Highlighter

Phee's Makeup Shop Trance Unicorn Highlighter


Phee's Makeup Shop Trance Unicorn Highlighter
Trance Unicorn Highlighter is £20 for a 59mm compact, and contains the pressed highlight shades Gloaming (purple), Buzz (turquoise) and Glo Up (yellow green) that can be used separately, or swirled together for an intense and truly unique glow.  (Badly) pictured above is each shade swatched individually.

I also have and frequently use Phee’s pastel rainbow highlighter, which sadly no longer appears to be in stock, but is a beautiful combination of all of her pastel shades and The Original Glow Highlighter. The pastel highlighter is colourful and eye-catching yet soft and still subtle depending on how heavily you apply it. Trance, on the other hand, is almost always a bold as hell statement in highlighter form.

On first dabbing your finger or brush into the product, the texture is a little bit chunkier than most traditional powder highlights and almost seems as if it’ll be glittery and awkward, but once applied and blended properly into the skin, it almost immediately melts into a holographic wet-look. This texture pre-application does make it prone to fall out (I sometimes end up with little highlight powder chunks glistening all over my face), but as Phee’s Makeup Shop is a small-scale, independent and hand-made brand I wouldn’t personally expect the products to be factory fine-milled powders.

And besides, the result speaks for itself.

Phee's Makeup Shop Trance Unicorn Highlighter

Phee's Makeup Shop Trance Unicorn Highlighter


To be honest, whenever I try to take photos of Phee’s highlighters and eyeshadows, they never really do the products any justice. Trance in particular is so multi-dimensional that I find it difficult to really capture its essence; depending on how the light catches it, it can appear a number of different colours and gives you a stellar, ethereal sheen visible from space. So, trust me, it looks even better in person than it does in my photos.  If I want to turn heads and get complimented on my highlight (or make people wonder why I want to obnoxiously glow brighter than the sun), this is the beauty I always wear.

Of course, you don’t have to be as bold and brash as I choose to be with it. Without a doubt, it’s a unique and interesting highlighter no matter how you wear it, but you can still use it with a lighter hand for a subtler look, or use it to highlight your inner corners and really draw attention to your eyes and make them pop. It looks incredible on all skin tones, not just my paper white complexion (the incredibly talented Lima of Fashionicide regularly slays the highlight game using Phee’s highlighters) and is one of the few highlighters I’ve ever seen that’s capable of a true metallic finish. Not just glittery or shimmery or dewy or glowy, actually made-of molten-crystal-unicorn-rainbows metallic. You can use it dry or wet and, yeah, using it wet really packs an extra punch.

Phee's Makeup Shop Trance Unicorn Highlighter


Phee’s Makeup Shop highlighters continue to be my absolute favourite highlighters, and are cruelty free, vegan and made from simple ingredients with no added nasties or other bullshit that waters down the pigment. The products are also much bigger than your average highlighters – 59mm is pretty huge and will last for ages, especially given that you need very little product to achieve a perfect glow. Plus, by buying them, you’re not only going to bless yourself with an incredible highlight, but you’ll also be supporting an independent, British brand.

 9 times out of 10, if I’m doing my makeup to experiment or impress I’ll be using one of Phee’s products, and they’re some of the first that I always jump to recommend whenever I get the chance.  So, if you love a good glow, definitely check Trance out!

Have you ever tried Phee’s Makeup Shop before? Are you into the holographic trend?

All products used:
Inika Organic Primer with Hyaluronic Acid
Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion*
Sleek Makeup Colour Corrector Palette
The Body Shop Moisture Foundation SPF15 in Shade 01†
The Body Shop Lightening Shade Adjusting Drops
Illamasqua Skin Base Lift Concealer in Light 2†
Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade in Dark Brown
Lily Lolo Mineral Eyeshadow in Black Sand†
Barry M Take a Brow Brow Gel in Brown
ColourPop Super Shock Eyeshadow in Sailor
B. Pro Duo Eyeliner in Black
Pixi Extra Eye Bright Liner
PHB Ethical Beauty Natural Mascara in Black
Ardell Scanties Falsh Lashes in Black
theBalm Cabana Boy†
Phee's Makeup Shop Unicorn Highlighter in Trance
Lily Lolo Finishing Powder in Translucent Silk
ColourPop Lippie Stix in Wet ?

* Parent company is not cruelty free. 
† Product is not vegan.
? Unsure if vegan, product & ingredients list no longer available.

Review / Sukin Oil Balancing + Charcoal Facial Masque & Facial Scrub

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Sukin Oil Balancing + Charcoal Masque & Scrub
When I was a teenager, I was blessed with near perfect skin. I still had a collection of immovable blackheads on my nose of course, but I never had blemishes or breakouts and I had barely any hint of dark circles under my eyes. So, you can imagine as my skin has got worse and worse into my twenties, it’s been a little bit hard for me to deal with – your skin, spots and so on are ‘supposed’ to improve with age, not deteriorate.

I’ve come to terms with the fact that my skin isn’t the same as it used to be for the most part, but the changes have nonetheless played a part in my resolve to treat my skin better and properly nourish it. Bre of Brianne Etc. recently shared on her Instagram that she’s been going makeup free, and inspired me to go back to basics and start doing the same (she even published a post recently on the best plant-based foods for good skin). I’ve never been one of those people that feels like they need makeup to leave the house, but I’d fallen into a habit of putting it on every morning for work as part of my routine again, and it’s not really a routine that I wanted.

This post isn’t about makeup or going makeup free, though – it’s about skincare. I’ve cut out some of the nasties I’ve been putting on my skin (I’ve even been wearing full eye makeup and highlight without a hint of base products recently) but I’ve also been trying to concentrate on putting some good things onto my skin and into my body too. One brand that I kept seeing come up time and time again over the past few months has been Sukin, so I was excited to give them a try after seeing so many other bloggers singing their praises.

I settled on Sukin’s Anti-Pollution Facial Masque* and Pore-Refining Facial Scrub*, both part of their Oil Balancing + Charcoal range. Although I’m not a particularly oily person, the charcoal in these products was what won me over, as it’s long been associated with beauty benefits due to its ability to draw oil, dirt and micro-particles out of pores, resulting in a clearer complexion and better cleansed skin. I’d only ever tried one other charcoal mask before, and I had high hopes for these two products after the positive reviews I’ve read about the brand.

Sukin Oil Balancing + Charcoal Anti-Pollution Facial Masque


The Anti-Pollution Facial Masque is a beautifully smooth mask that hardens very slightly as it dries, but doesn’t dry completely stiff like a clay mask. Sukin say that the bamboo charcoal, rooibos tea and willowherb in it lift impurities to help clear your pores, while the bilberry, white tea and pomegranate are high in anti-oxidants to give your complexion a healthy glow. It doesn’t smell strongly, and it’s almost cooling once applied and doesn’t feel harsh or heavy on the skin.

The instructions say to apply to damp skin, leave on for 15 minutes and then rinse off with a wash cloth, but I’ve left it for up to 40 minutes so far with no ill effects. Because it feels so gentle and nourishing on my skin (albeit not as hydrating as PHB Beauty’s masks), I like to leave it on and go about my business, and then use my muslin cloth to gentle rub it off with warm water so I can use it to exfoliate too. Immediately afterwards, my skin feels softer and looks a little brighter, and it’s a mask that I’ve really enjoyed including in my beauty routine because it’s nice and fuss free to prepare (it’s just a soft, grey cream in the tub) and isn’t a pain in the ass to remove like others I’ve tried.

Sukin Oil Balancing + Charcoal Pore-Refining Facial Scrub


I’ve also loved incorporating the Pore-Refining Facial Scrub into my daily routine. The bamboo charcoal and jojoba beads in this scrub help to exfoliate and deep clean, keeping pores clearer, and it also contains gentle, calming ingredients like aloe vera, chamomile and cucumber to soothe the skin (I love to see things like this in scrubs as they can sometimes lean a lil’ on the harsh side). I tend to use this in the evening, and will either apply it to damp skin or I’ll start gently massaging it into dry skin until it feels mostly absorbed and a bit sticky, then I’ll re-introduce water and scrub it away.

Sukin’s facial scrub is, to me, the perfect formula for an exfoliating scrub – there’s not too much ‘gritty’ texture, but there’s just enough to feel like I’ve given my face a proper good clean, and the other ingredients compliment this well and leave my skin feeling soft, glowing and hydrated rather than completely stripped of moisture. As for the pore-refining qualities, I’m pleased to say that after using this product at least once a day (sometimes twice) for several weeks now, it has actually been working wonders for me! It’s not often that I can categorically say that a product is doing what it claims it will, but using Sukin’s facial scrub in combination with the mask has reinvigorated my skin and minimised the steadily expanding pores around my nose that I was starting to get a bit concerned about. They’re still visible, of course, but are much smaller than they were before I added these items into my beauty routine.

I’m really happy to have tried these two out and the scrub is now a staple that I’ll be refusing to travel without, and it’s great to see that, at least based off of these products, Sukin is a brand that lives up to the hype!

Sukin’s products are all natural, vegan, cruelty free and, as their tagline says, don’t cost the earth both when it comes to financial and environmental costs – they’re an affordable, 100% carbon neutral brand. The Oil Balancing + Charcoal Anti-Pollution Facial Mask is available from LoveLula for £11.95 (a bargain as you don’t need to use a lot of product to fully coat your face), and the Oil Balancing + Charcoal Pore-Refining Facial Scrub is around £9.99 but unfortunately seems to be out of stock at the moment. I’m definitely going to be ordering some more of their charcoal products, and they do a variety of other ranges for different skin concerns, so there’s bound to be something for everyone.

Have you ever used a charcoal-based skincare product before?  What did you think?

* 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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