Pleats & Pleather | Winter Style

Friday, 16 December 2016

Another instalment of Deenie tries to be a fashion blogger. This one's called: the rain is not my friend. You can literally see my hair and makeup disintegrate in the rain. But I tried!

Skirt / Boots - Primark, Jacket / Jumper / Top - Borrowed (All my clothes are in Cardiff lol)

As a short gal, long skirts have frightened me for years. But this subtly metallic beauty was irresistible to me! The obvious addition was a pair of heels (taller than these little boots, preferably) and a (p)leather jacket to tone down the rose-gold-granny look. The jumper was begrudgingly added when I got too cold, but I think it could contribute to a different outfit, a much more day-time casual one.

What I love about this skirt is the versatility of it. It can be worn as a light day time piece and is multi-seasonal (layering leggings underneath it would be subtle enough). I also wore it to a social at Uni, so the night time box is ticked off too. Portsmouth is quite mild, but for frostier weather: a cropped, cream colour knit and a scarf would look sweet with this. Basically, the possibilities are endlesssss.

I hope you enjoyed this little burst of style inspiration! Expect more in the New Year, which I intend to do with exclusively sustainable and ethical clothing. I will see you tomorrow, for more blogmas fun...

4th Post of Blogmas - Day 1 - Day 2 - Day 3

Winter Skincare Saviours | Cruelty Free Beauty

Thursday, 15 December 2016

The winter is not kind to our skin. Due to a lack of Vitamin D (and a tan), it's the time of year I feel most inclined to wear high coverage makeup, which then puts me in a vicious circle as my skin deteriorates. Add the bitter winds and central heating, and you've got a recipe for a disastrous complexion.

Lo and behold, I present you with six affordable, vegan and cruelty free skincare products. These are nothing short of guardian angels for my skin, which may not be perfect, but is definitely putting up a fight against December.

Superdrug Clearly Youthful 3in1 Cleanser/Scrub/Mask
This scrub is the perfect balance between gentle and thorough. It doesn't tear off layers of skin like some cheap scrubs, but it does remove all the dry, dead skin left by artificial heating. A quick fix in the morning for radiant, glowing skin! This didn't set me back much, I think it was just under £5, but on the Superdrug site it is now 30p. Definitely discontinued, but if you spot a similarly described product in revamped packaging, give it a go!

Superdrug Vitamin E Gentle EMUR
For £2.99, this thing really does its job. In the Winter, cold winds and hot radiators really dry out my eyes, so the last thing I want to do at the end of the day is scrub at them with a cleanser or wipe. The tube says 'gentle', and gentle it is. A little bit of this on a cotton pad and a soft swipe will remove eyeshadow, liner and waterproof mascara with ease. A soothing relief.

LUSH 9 to 5 Cleansing Lotion
Lazy pals take note! This cleanser is ideal for people who just do not have the time to be hunched over a sink cleansing and rinsing and drying etc. A quick cotton pad sweep over your face with this beauty and you're squeaky clean and ready to go. So soft on the skin, and leaving you with an extra five minutes in warm, cosy bed in the morning. This little bottle was just over a fiver, and has lasted me many lazy mornings.
Superdrug Simply Pure Refreshing Toner
I spotted this a little while ago on The July Journal, and was quite intrigued. A toner is essential in my skincare routine (big pores lol) but as a student I can't really splurge on the toner I want (this one if you're wondering) as I get through bottles so fast. For £2.69, this is a really effective toner, that vanishes my pores and removes the last little specs of makeup and oil. It's so soothing and doesn't irritate my skin, even in the worst periods.

Superdrug Clearly Youthful Day Cream
There was no online product for this, so I'm gonna have to assume this has been discontinued. I weep. This is thick and hydrating, but quick to absorb and leaves a lovely finish (similar to a silicone based primer). My skin always looks the perfect balance between matt and glowing after using this, so I'm gonna be so bummed when I run out.
Skin Blossom Organic Reviving Eye Cream
A good eye cream is my best friend. I have always had issues with dark circles and puffy eyelids, but I also just enjoy the soothing feeling of moisturised eyes. This is great for both morning and night: the ingredients boast reviving green tea to brighten you up, but a hydrating creamy formula is good to send you to bed. It won't necessarily counter a lack of sleep, but it can help a little with the tired eyes.

If your skin's been needing a little pick-me-up from the harshness of winter, I'd recommend giving a few of these products a whirl. The Christmas period can leave us all a little too broke to try out a whole new skincare routine but without breaking the bank, these guys can get you through. Perfect also as stocking fillers for those of us who need a bit of skincare lovin' (check out my gift guide for more ideas). Look out for a demo on my YouTube channel, as I'm planning a winter morning routine type vid soon, and let me know what you think!

3rd Day of Blogmas - Day 1 - Day 2

Home For Christmas | Explore Southsea With Me

Wednesday, 14 December 2016
I came back home a little early this month to wave farewell to my sister, who is currently on a luxurious island in the Maldives to work for a year. Now that you've got the image of paradise in your head- here's shitty old Southsea. haha kidding. A bit.

Since moving to Cardiff in August, I think being away from home has made me appreciate it a lot more. Rather than fall back into old habits (aka grumbling about how boring Southsea is), I have been trying to find the parts that make me happy.

My little sis showed me a little cafe hidden in Southsea Castle which was so painfully Instagram-worthy. After a chilly walk across the seafront, a warm Chai Latte was so vital. The Christmas decs were to die for and the atmosphere just oozed cosiness - if you're ever in the Southsea area then deffo check out the Courtyard.

I'm happy to be home (and fed, a lot of the time, by mum), and I'm really appreciating the places I've gone without for a while. So here's a lil list of my beloved Southsea spots, in case you were ever nearby.

  • The seafront, preferably with the dog. It's free, and almost exactly the same as Brighton without the tourists.
  • Clarence Parade Pier - a funfair and arcades, what else do you expect from a seaside town?
  • Smile Cafe (a post on this coming soon to Eat Write Vegan)
  • The walk between Old Portsmouth and Gunwharf Quays - so photogenic for outfit photos I'm not cool enough to take.
  • Wild Thyme, a health food shop with a small café area (Booja Booja stockists)

Seems like a short list, yes, but you'd have been lucky to get that much out of me pre-Uni. I secretly do love it though. There's no place like home xo

P.S. I compiled a short video about this day for a competition by Accor Hotels. If you want to check that out, click here.

Christmas Gift Guide - Vegan & Cruelty Free

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

For today's post I will be coming at you with a gift guide. If you're like me, the 13th is not 'leaving it a little late', and actually is about the time to start thinking about what you will gift people.

Organised from stocking fillers to pricey presents, the list below is ideal for girls and women of a range of different ages!

If you're buying for a friend or family member who is vegan, but you're not quite sure what that means for their Christmas prezzies, here is a good place to start. Or, if you are vegan/cruelty free yourself, you can go ahead and send your beloved a cheeky link to this post if you fancy ;)

All the items below are suitable for a vegan and cruelty-free lifestyle, and I have tried v. hard to find everything from sustainable and ethical sources (i.e. small businesses).

Fashion & Style:
Craftyfox Choker / H&M Conscious Polo Neck / ShopDixi Ring / Matt & Nat Backpack

Barry M Nail Paint / Lani Mask / KVD Tattoo Liner / Zoeva Vegan Brushes 

Gemma Correll Coaster / Foxberry Planter / Caroline Jane Candle / Oliver Bonas Jewellery Case

Hopefully the above has inspired you! Let me know if you found it helpful or if you'd like a little more information on what to get/to avoid when buying for vegan and cruelty-free pals.

My Student Planner

Sunday, 11 December 2016

I feel so free. My last deadline of 2016 is over and I'm free to enjoy December, without the weight of a hefty workload bringing me down! But 2017 is looming, with more deadlines and exams. And I refuse to let myself get back into the all-nighter habit again. New year new me & all that jazz.

My Student Planner*

Sophie (from Snippet of Sophie) has got your back with her Student Planner printable. The planner covers every aspect of student life imaginable, even down to tracking how much water you drink (hands up who forgets to stay hydrated in stressful times).

It includes sheets to plan your day, week and month, which is ideal as you can map your studying in advance depending on deadlines/exam dates and such.

The section I find the most useful is the page dedicated to your reading list. Seriously, after a lecture just jot down the books you need to read and you have a quick reference and a clear idea of how long it will take you. This is so, so useful, and its something I haven't seen in any other planners (even quite pricey ones)!

It also includes a page to note your contact information, something I'm definitely going to use for the new modules next year. It literally saves so much stress to have these things written down in an organised place, you won't have to pester the group chat to find out a tutor's email address at 2am!

The planner is £6, which is an absolute bargain- you're able to print and re-use the pages as many times as you need across your entire course! Not to mention the beautiful design, which beats the plain old planners you can get at stationery shops. This would look so classy on a marble-style clipboard or up on a decorative cork-board!

You can get the planner here, or view more about it on Sophie's blog. I definitely recommend it!

*Sophie very kindly gave me the planner to review, all opinions are genuine and my own!

How to be 100% Cruelty-Free | Too Faced & Parent Companies

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Spoiler: You can't.

 This post sort of stems from the recent news that Esteé Lauder bought up Too Faced, and the discussions on Twitter surrounding it.

Too Faced & The Parent Company Debate

 So another of our beloved cruelty-free makeup brands has been purchased by an cruel parent company. Should it matter?

 When I first turned to cruelty-free cosmetics, I swore I wouldn't support parent companies. How could I give money to companies who, somewhere down the line, would use it to torture innocent beings?

 As I got more absorbed into the online world of cruelty-free bloggers, I realised that many, if not the majority, of bloggers did support all types of cruelty free brands, even those owned by parent companies. The main argument is that buying products from Nyx, Urban Decay or The Body Shop (for example) show their parent company, L'Oreal, that there is a demand in the market for cruelty-free products.

 I took a while to make my mind up on the subject (and admittedly bought some Nyx makeup during this time). But after reading Sarah's post on parent companies here, I realised what lined up better to my personal belief.

 The truth is, L'Oreal and Esteé Lauder couldn't care less about what we want. Their sole interest is profit, and the cruelty-free community as a market is never going to beat the economic prospects of selling in China. Until they buy every last cruelty-free company on the market, I refuse to give them my money (which really is a joke in itself as I'm way too poor to afford makeup these days anyway). I'm also going to take to social media and protest (in the hardcore form of re-tweeting and sending angry-faced emojis).

 That doesn't mean that you have to boycott Too Faced or any other company owned by testing parents in order to be cruelty-free! Like Sarah says in her post here, it's damn near impossible to stop funding animal cruelty. Superdrug, Boots, Debenhams and nearly everywhere else we buy our makeup sell non-cruelty-free cosmetics.

 In todays world of consumerism and monopolies, there's never going to be a way we can be 100% cruelty free. But I believe in trying my best. It's easy for me to avoid buying makeup owned by parent companies, but for others it might clash with their lifestyle to do so. I can't stop buying food from Lidl or Tesco, because they are the only options available to me. I can try and reduce the funding I give to cruel companies as much as possible, to compensate for where I cannot.

 My personal decision is that I am no longer going to buy from cruelty-free brands owned by parent companies. But if you are, then you should still be applauded for supporting cruelty-free brands and living a less cruel lifestyle!

Read More

 To round up this post, here are a few of my favourite cruelty-free bloggers and their opinions on the topic:
Sarah, The V Nice Life: My Thoughts on Parent Companies
Sarah Rose: A Note on Parent Companies
Yasmina, The July Journal: Cruelty Free Brands and Parent Companies
Vivi, Sammy Sans Cruelty: Becca Cosmetics Selling to Estee Lauder Changed My Mind

So what do you think? Are you open to any cruelty-free cosmetics or do you have rules regarding parent companies? Let me know, I'm really interested in hearing all different sides and perspectives!

October Media | Watch, Read + Listen

Tuesday, 8 November 2016
I was going to do an October faves but most of my favourites this month aren't physical objects, but blogs, TV series and books. So I decided to begin a monthly round-up of all media based things I love and would recommend wholeheartedly.

So here's a few of my favourite things from the past month that might make your November brighter:

I Watched

Stranger Things
As usual I'm a little late on the bandwagon but god DAMN Stranger Things was good. Sam, my sister and I watched all 8 hours in a row because we were not willing to stop. It was the whole package for me- strong female characters, sci-fi, fantasy, there's even a dog in there for a little bit. And Nancy's preppy 80's wardrobe was to die for! On the off chance that you haven't already watched it - do.

Peep Show
For something a lil' bit lighter than the above, and more than 8 damn episodes. Have to be honest, I only re-discovered this gem in the last 3 days when my pal Eoghan popped it on when he visited but it's been 3 days of hilarity so far.

Cruelty-Free Becky
My fave cruelty-free YouTube channel at the moment, Becky's videos are just so cool and down to earth. I've been so keen to watch them as soon as they pop up on my sub list but it's always worth it!

I Read

Charlotte (the blogger behind Fox Socks) created a space online in lieu of Bloglovin's scrapped Up & Coming feature. I've discovered so many new bloggers in the short space of time it's been up and I'm looking forward to finding many more. I'm incredibly lucky to have been featured, you can check out my interview here, and the rest of October's featured bloggers here. You're welcome.

(not so) quiet girl
Nadia absolutely slayed Blogtober (am I cool enough to say 'slayed'?). I adored keeping up with her posts - beauty, lifestyle, thought provokers, she covered it all. Go have a scroll through!

The Girl On The Train
I finished this very early October (in fact, possibly late September? Scatterbrain, soz) but it has stuck in my mind as one of the best books I've read so far this year. I love mysterious themes and powerful female characters. It is a true cliche of the thriller theme, which I am a big fan of recently. I hated the movie though.

I Listened To

Big Tree - This New Year
Not new by any stretch but every single October I dust off this ol' record (log into my old Spotify account) to listen to the song October. So calming.

Take Three
Film lovers! My friend Lucas co-hosts a student radio show called Take Three and it's really worth a listen, especially if you're stuck choosing what to watch next. Honest reviews and really easy (and hilare) to listen to, check it out!

Well now you know why I didn't blog for almost all of October, I was busy clicking away it seems! Let me know what you thought of this style of post and if you watched/read/listened to any of the same things I did! x