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Little Things You Can Do To Help The Environment

More and more people are looking at doing their bit to help the environment and live a more sustainable life. No longer is the belief that one person can’t make a difference cutting it and people everywhere are ditching the plastic bags and water bottles, cutting down on meat and sharing lifts.

However, it can be a little daunting to try and make your lifestyle more sustainable… The pressure to do everything all at once can get a bit much and so many of us recoil back into our old, unsustainable habits out a fear that we’re doing ‘eco-friendly’ wrong (Can you tell I’m speaking from experience here…).

Well, I am here to tell you that helping to protect the environment and leading a more sustainable lifestyle doesn’t have to mean ditching the car, never going on holiday again and waving goodbye to that Brazillian restaurant down the road. Even the smallest of changes can help, and you might not even notice you’re doing them! Here are some little things you can do to help the environment.

THINK ABOUT YOUR FASHION CHOICES

 I have already written a post about fast fashion and how I think the solution is as much down to internal changes as it is external ones. You can check it out here if you haven’t read it.

While you might not think that your fashion choices have much of an impact on the environment, the truth is that the fast fashion industry is predicted to contribute ¼ of our total impact on climate change by 2050!

Luckily, there are things that you can do that can help protect the environment, while still keeping your wardrobe on point. Recently I have become a huge charity shop fan. I’ll be honest, I used to avoid them like the plague, but once I ditched my entirely unnecessary snobbish ways, I actually found that you can get some really good bits and pieces – not to mention it’s super cheap and helping out a charity! On my last browse, I got myself a cream Zara blazer for £10! Madness I tell you.

I have also started buying second-hand clothes off of friends rather than going out and buying new stuff. I am looking towards setting up a clothes swap group as well, where unwanted clothes can be swapped for someone else’s gear – the perfect, eco-friendly way to keep your wardrobe fresh.

CHARITY SHOPS

IMAGE: The Art of Thrift Shopping in Leeds

SHOP SUSTAINABLY 

Beyond clothes shopping, there are also little ways you can become more sustainable when it comes to food shopping – a lot of which you’re probably doing already, go you!

Most supermarkets in the UK have already encouraged this, but investing in a Bag for Life or reusing old plastic bags is a great (and super easy) way to cut down on your plastic use. The same applies to foods. When you’re strolling through the fruit and veg aisle selecting your Granny Smiths, if the option is there, opt for a paper rather than a plastic bag to wrap your foods up in. 

TRAVEL WISELY 

When it comes to getting around the place just jumping in your car definitely seems like the easiest option… I mean, I can’t drive but if I could I image it would seem like the easiest option.

However, no surprises here, it is not the best for the environment. Instead, why not join the sharing economy and download ride-sharing apps or share a lift into work with your friend. If a few of you are all driving from the same place to the same place, it seems a little daft all taking a car when you could just go together!

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If you’re travelling out of the country (lucky you), using sites like Airbnb is also a great way to be a part of the sharing economy and help look after the environment. If you’re a keen bean, you could even opt for a solar-powered apartment that would still come in cheaper than a fancy hotel. This is not something I have yet to try, but I will definitely be looking into it for my next city break.

Travelling sustainably might seem like it is going to require huge changes, but that really isn’t the case. Being just a little more aware when travelling can really help to make your lifestyle more sustainable.

CUT DOWN ON ANIMAL PRODUCTS  

More and more people are adopting an entirely plant-based lifestyle, but if you’re not willing to wave goodbye to your cheese on toast – that’s fine, it’s your prerogative and it doesn’t mean that you can’t still make little changes and do your bit.

Simply cutting down on your meat intake, even if it’s only one day a week, or switching to almond milk rather than cow’s milk, can really help. You might even want to try growing your own vegetables, which can help to reduce your carbon footprint (not to mention it’s loads of fun and really satisfying!).

ALLOTMENT

IMAGE: Country Living – Companion Planting. Getty Images – Ron Evans.

LITTLE LIFE CHANGES

The above are just a few examples of things I have been thinking about or experimenting with recently, but there are loads of other little things you can do to make your lifestyle more sustainable.

As I have said, they don’t have to be massive changes – in fact, you might not even notice you’re doing them. Making your own coffee in a morning, getting a library card rather than buying books (I still haven’t quite come to terms with this one… I love a nice, new book), even just spending more time outside are all little things you can do to help!

Since attempting to make some little life changes in order to lead a more eco-friendly life, I have learnt that a sustainable lifestyle not only benefits the world but has also benefitted my own health and wellbeing. Cutting down on meat and practically ditching dairy has really helped with keeping at a healthy weight, getting outside more has helped me get fitter, and I have found that I have been able to save a lot of money by just having a little more awareness. Give it a go – it’s easier than you think. 

What are your top tips for leading a more sustainable life? Let me know in the comments down below.

Jamie x 

For more advice and tips, here are some websites and blogs I found really useful: 

50+ Simple Tips To Live a More Sustainable Lifestyle

http://www.lovegeorgeandhaze.co.uk/

https://ecowarriorprincess.net/2015/10/101-tips-help-you-live-more-sustainable-life/

https://www.wwf.org.uk/what-we-do/area-of-work/promoting-sustainable-living

 

Favourites Of The Month | July.

Hey guys, how are we all?

It’s time for my favourites of the month again. I’m loving writing these posts and sharing what I’ve been loving – it is a great chance to reflect on the month (and also to judge myself in hindsight for how much money I have spent on new beauty bits and bobs – not quite as fun!). I have been super excited for this one as I always find I get a lot more experimental with my beauty, skincare and fitness regime during the summer months – must be the warm weather inspiring me! This month has been no exception and a lot of categories have actually got an overall winner and a runner up in them.

  I have a lot to share this month so I’ll get straight into it. 

Fashion

My fashion favourites are usually something that I have been wearing a lot, however, this month is a little different for two reasons. First, July saw me chilling by the side of the pool in my scruffs a hell of a lot (I am definitely not one to be seen in heels and jewellery by the side of the pool) and as much as ‘oversized, ugly t shirt’ is a staple part of my wardrobe, it doesn’t exactly scream fashion. Second, I have been eyeing these trends for a long time but I have also just moved into my first ever house and so funds are a little short to say the least! I did still want to share them with you guys because I think they’re really cool!

Ever since I saw Dani Dyer rocking that denim jacket/skirt coord I have been seriously lusting after one! It also just so happens that after Dani Dyer rocked that denim jacket/skirt coord that they popped up literally everywhere – what are the chances, ey? I have been searching the internet and one of my favourites is this Red Contrast Stitch cropped denim jacket and denim skirt. I am a huge fan of wearing red and this coord from MissGuided is such a beauty! For both it would come in at £57, which is okay…I guess. 

Image from missguided.co.uk

If you don’t fancy red, head over to PrettyLittleThing and check out their gorgeous pink one! This one comes in at £50 so with the £7 you save you could buy yourself… well, not a lot but still. They also have one in white, leopard print, pale pink check (very ‘Clueless’) and a questionable blue one. Each to their own I guess…

Image from PRETTYLITTLETHING

Make Up 

Although I tend to wear less make up during the summer months, I have actually been experimenting with a lot of products throughout July. This months winner is a little bit of a surprise to me. I’ve actually had it for a long time but I have always avoided it due to the fact I cannot stand the packaging! However, I decided to give it a go and the product itself is stunning. The Benefit Sugarbomb Blush has been my go to blusher this month and even featured in my graduation day make up look. It’s a stunning mix of four shimmering shades of peach, bronze/plum, pink and rose together and so acts as a bronzer (and even highlighter) and well as a blush. It’s described as giving an ‘instant sugary flush’ and it really does do just that. It is packed with subtle, beautiful shimmers and the shade range is super versatile.

Look at that peachy glow! 

I’ve used this product almost every single day this month, whether I am wanting a soft glow to compliment a ‘no make up’ make up day or whether I am heading on a night out. If you’re loving peachy summer glowsI would seriously recommend picking this up. You know,if you can get past the packaging…

Although Benefit have stolen the show for me this month, Laritzy Cosmetics came in a close second and so has bagged itself a spot as my runner up. I received their NUE nude eyeshadow collection in lasts months The Pip Box and I knew straight away I was going to love it. For starters the palette is vegan, which is great! It is also full of super pretty, neutral shades that are so wearable. As I mentioned over on my Instagram, it is not the most highly pigmented palette (one of the reasons it did not bag first place) but it is easy to build up and it leaves next to no fallout, which is great. The neutral browns and coppers are great for everyday where and you can actually get quite a lot of different looks.

Apart from the pigmentation, another reason this palette did not bag first place is the price. I did not pay retail price for this product but if you did it would come in at £35.99, which I think is a little pricey. The colours are nice and I have worn it a lot over the month but I still find myself reaching for last month’s favourite, the MUA eyeshadow palette in Burning Embers. This palette has 25 gorgeous shades and are so much more versatile and affordable (it’s only £8). Neither come with a mirror, which I don’t mind when it’s £8, but I would have liked to have seen a mirror and slightly more sophisticated packaging on the Laritzy palette. This is not to say this palette isn’t good (it did make it to runner up for heavens sake!) but these are just some of the reasons it was pipped to the post.

MUA-Eyeshadow-Palette-Burning-Embers-030-715922

Still my go to eye shadow palette! 

Image from www.superdrug.com

Exercise 

Whilst at University I spent a lot of time in exercise classes but now I have come back I’ve had to wave goodbye to Les Mills (at least for now anyway) and go back to my home gym. This has meant a serious change to my exercise regime, which has worked wonders in shocking my body and helping me to start seeing results again. Throughout July I did a lot of HIIT and functional training at home (climbing in and out of wholes, lifting logs and all that jazz) and resistance training at the gym. Whilst I have been really enjoying both of them and every single session has been different and pushed my body in new and challenging ways, the winner for July is functional training.

If you’ve not heard of functional training before and are wondering why in gods name I am jumping in and out of holes, don’t worry! Functional training is basically adapting training to mimic everyday actions. Basically moving fitness outside of the gym. You’re still building strength, power and mobility but in a way that is more suited to ‘real world’ fitness requirements. There’s a lot of bending, sitting, reaching, balancing and unilateral training! It’s challenging but really good fun and has helped me see some serious results over the past month or so.

For more information on functional training and how you can incorporate it into your work out, check out this post. It’s full of top tips, advice and videos to help make your training more functional.

Music 

Leaving University has meant many things. My working weeks now consist of a lot more than 9 hours, I can’t afford to recklessly go for 5 coffees a day to avoid the library and I’m no longer on the radio every week. The latter has seriously impacted my knowledge of new music. As you might remember from a few months back, my music taste is very much that of a 50 year old man. I have, however, been loving a very recent album that I think you should all be listening to!

 

Image from Wikipedia 

High as Hope is the newest album from Florence and The Machine (you know, dog days are over and all of that!) and it is truly beautiful – I swear it actually gave me goosebumps! I always loved her music and find her voice so haunting and soothing. The album has some wonderful songs on it – you might have already heard Hunger, one of my favourites on the album. If you enjoy indie rock and older songs from Florence then I’m sure you will love this album.

Skin Care 

My July favourite when it comes to skincare is an oldie but a goldie. I have very fair, sensitive skin and I don’t really tan. I kind of tend to go a nice shade of salmon covered in little spots instead – get in line boys. The Dove Summer Revived, however, is my go to gradual tan and moisturiser as it gives me a nice, healthy glow and means you can look at my legs without having to protect your eyes from the glaring white.

It’s super easy to apply and, even with my lazy application style (splurt on, rub it in a bit and hope for the best), has never left me looking streaky unlike other false tans. It’s super affordable, super moisturising and super natural! I was using this for the whole of July and every evening when I was away on my holiday to keep my skin healthy and smooth. I like to think I will continue to use this throughout the year to keep up the glow all year round but, who knows, I’m pretty lazy…

So there you have it, some of my July favourites. What do you think? Were you loving last months The Pip Box? The warmer weather got you loving going out for walks rather than hitting up the gym? Can’t get past the Benefit blusher packaging to purchase sugarbomb?

Let me know and, as always, I also want to know what you guys have been loving this month. 

Jamie x 

5 Of My Favourite Affordable Make Up Brands.

I love splashing the cash on new make up. My bank balance, on the other hand, does not. Make up and beauty products can be very expensive, but fear not! Recently I have been trying out a lot more affordable make up brands and I am really impressed. More often than not the quality has been just as good (and in some cases even better) as more expensive, high end brands and you won’t have to take out a second mortgage – everyone’s a winner.

Here are my top 5 that I have been experimenting with over the past few months and some of my favourite products they have in their collection.

Collection Cosmetics 

Collection Cosmetics were all the rage in the beauty Instagram world a while back with their Lasting Collection Concealer. If I am not mistaken, this did result it them upping the price, but you can still get your hands on this concealer for under £5, so still pretty good. I have been using this concealer for about a year now and love it. I wouldn’t say it can compete with my NARS concealer, however, it is still very good and the concealer I go to on a daily basis. It has excellent coverage and lasts for a long time without creasing loads.

Collection Cosmetics have loads of other great products and they are all very affordable. They have the prettiest blushers and bronzers for whatever finish you’re looking for and these are only £2.99, which is great if you’re on a budget. I have yet to try any of their lip products but I will definitely be making a purchase as they have a huge range of different products and colours that are right up my street.

MUA

No surprises here – I adore this brand. It is cruelty free, has an excellent range of products and colours and it is so affordable. You might remember in my May and June favourites this brand made an appearance for their incredible eye shadow palettes (25 shades for £8, my favourite is Burning Embersand their lipsticks (£1 each! I am still shook). 

I have been trying a load of their products recently, from highlighters to primers and I have to say, I am impressed. I also recently reviewed their Silent Disco palette, which was only £4 and is full of super fun and vibrant shades! How beautiful is this?

Soap and Glory 

A little more expensive than the others but certainly not overly expensive, Soap and Glory is a favourite of mine for both skin care, make up and bath products. I could go on and on about all the products I love from this brand (and I probably will do in a future blog post) but for now we will focus on make up. The Sexy Mother Pucker lip gloss in Candy Queen is one of my favourite glosses on the market. It comes in at £9 but it is huge so will last for ages, plus it is such a wearable and delicate colour! They also have loads of other shades so if you’re looking for a gloss I would seriously recommend these. Also, don’t worry about the tingle! I am a huge wimp when it comes to plumping lip glosses but this is totally fine. I would describe it as a ‘buzz’ rather than anything painful!

Another lip product I love from this brand is the Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Stick that comes in at £3.50 on their website. Unlike the lip gloss, these don’t tingle at all. They resemble the Clinique Chubby Sticks but, in my opinion, have a lot more pigmented finish. I think all of these colours are super pretty (I got a lot in my Christmas Advent Calendar) and I have continued to repurchase since.

 

 

Saturated Colour 

I first tried this brand a few months back in my Pip Box and I love it. The products are 100% cruelty free and the LIPSStick Moisturising Lipstick I received in my box was also vegan. The LIPSSticks feel so soft on the lips but the colour is so vibrant and beautiful, plus it has excellent staying power. I would recommend Naked Pink for a really beautiful, spring time look. They also have a stunning red, nudes and purples. At only £7, these are super affordable!

They don’t have a huge range of other products. However, another lip product I loved was the Make Me Matte Lipstick Mattifier . This award winning product is totally vegan and transforms glossy or satin lips into a matte finish. It does not feeling drying at all also has great staying power. It’s £8, so pretty affordable, and great for those of you who love a matte lip.

Bourjois Paris

Another brand that has been mentioned a fair few times on my blog, Bourjois Paris is a fab and affordable brand for foundations and face make up. I adore their Healthy Mix Powder and use it every single day either on its own or as a setting powder. The powder is £9.99, which I thought was a little expensive at first, but it is so worth it and lasts for ages. Also £9.99, their Healthy Mix Anti-Fatigue Foundation is such a fab drug store foundation. It gives such a pretty, dewy coverage and lasts pretty well throughout the day. This foundation is definitely be go to on a day to day basis.

I also absolutely love their blush collection and, of course, their Delice De Poudre Bronzing Powder , which will set you back £7.99.

So there you have it, 5 of my favourite affordable make up brands at the moment. You do not have to break the bank when it comes to make up. Just as with high end make up, different formulas and brands work differently for different people and half the fun is experimenting and trying out new things. With these brands, experimenting is a lot less of a risky investment and can be less than your morning coffee. 

What are your favourite affordable make up brands? Let me know in the comments down below. 

Jamie x 

1, 2, FRÉ: Skin Care For Women Who Sweat.

I never really thought about what sweating and running around all the time was doing to my skin. I would rock up to the gym with the make up I had had on all day and then stay in that make up until I went to bed that night. Yeah, I know… this is gross in hindsight but it’s oh so practical. Anyway, my skin was suffering. I have been really lucky with my skin and never really suffered from spots. However, recently I have been struggling with spots, dry skin and black heads. I put 2 and 2 together and decided it really was time for me to start taking care of my skin the same way as I take care of my body. A few weeks ago now the lovely folks at FRÉ sent me over their 3-step solution for skin that sweats and I decided to share my thoughts with you guys.

fre

Spoiler: I am impressed. 

Before I get into reviewing the products, I thought I would share with you a little bit about the ethos behind the brand.

‘FRÉ has emerged out of admiration for active women, through a willingness to promote authentic beauty in motion, a drive to refresh the skincare industry and express positive social values all over the world, and the clear and obvious need for a line of facial skincare products that will take sweat and exercise-induced damages into account. After all, no woman wants her face to suffer for the sake of her body…’ – FRÉ

Yeah, I can get on board with that. And if this empowering ethos supporting strong women isn’t enough, the products are also vegan AND for every purchase of their products, they plant an Argan tree to help replenish the forest. All the more reason to treat yourself to some new skincare, right? Plus, the packaging is really sleek and elegant… I really care about packaging, okay?

This is all very nice, Jamie… but why do I need special skincare? Well, when you work out (especially if you’re an outdoors sort of gal) your skin is subject to extra damage. These products are specifically designed to revive your skin after your workout and protect you from issues such as photo-sensitivity, dark spots, irritation, breakouts, over-redness and premature ageing. Now it is nice whether I am training outside a lot more, so this is great, but I also think these products are fab for those girls who might be training (and sweating) in your make up.

Now on to the products. So I got gifted the 1, 2, FRÉ set (which I would definitely recommend if you can!). In this set you get an SPF30 moisturiser, a daily facial cleanser and a gorgeous replenishing serum.

The moisturiser, other wise known as ‘Protect Me’ should be used daily in the morning and as well as SPF30, it also has strong anti-aging properties (it’s never too early!). I would using this product in the morning before my makeup and it kept my skin feeling super smooth without feeling greasy or sticky. I found that when I was training, my complexion stayed a lot more even and I did not find moisturiser remnants dripping off my face as I have done in the past.

Next up is ‘Purify Me’ – your daily facial cleanser. This can be applied morning, evenings and post-workout. If I was going straight home after a workout I would use this product then, but most of the time it would be an evening thing. It felt so gentle on my face but helped remove all the rubbish I had left on my face. As it isn’t harsh at all, I use this product every day and it is fab. I think if you can only get one of these products it it this one I would recommend. It purifies your skin and pores, prevent post-workout breakouts and calms skin.

And finally it is the ‘Revive Me’, which  is your deep replenishing serum that builds your skin resilience and fights the signs of ageing whilst creating a natural glow. I ma not one to go out without make up but this serum really did give my skin life and made it feel smooth and dewy without being greasy. I use this product every evening after cleansing my face.   with exceptional anti-wrinkles and skin tightening powers. It creates a natural healthy glow.

These products are not cheap and I was lucky enough to have been sent them to try out, but honestly I really do recommend them. I have pretty sensitive skin and have been in search of something like this for a while. My skin is looking loads better and finally has some life back, even after a full day of training and revising. Thank you FRÉ, you guys are fab! 

Jamie x 

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Is Your Vagina Vegan?

Vegan. Once a word most people knew very little about, now fast on the rise, it seems that *everybody* is going vegan. Since trying my best to follow a plant based lifestyle, I can say with confidence that this is only going to continue to grow, which has great implications for the animals, the environment and for our health. You might be vegan, your wellness #inspo might be vegan, you may have even convinced your Mum to try whipping up a vegan take on her classics but… Is your vagina vegan?

tampons

Time to abandon the always?

There are plenty of vegan sanitary products on the market right now. Towels, tampons. Menstrual cups and reusable pads. The truth is, I haven’t actually tried any of the products. This blog post comes from a curiosity more than anything and I wanted to share what I have found with you guys. Since doing this research I have decided that I will be giving some of these products a go so stay tuned as there will be a review coming up over the next few months.

My interest came when I came across TOTM on Instagram, a company making 100% organic, vegan sanitary products. I was intrigued. I have never really thought about what went into making my sanitary towels or my tampons, I just used them. Turns out I was not alone. In a survey done by TOTM, 9 out of 10 women did not no what tampons are made of. I am sure, like me, many of these women chose their sanitary products based upon names they know and trust. When you’re spending a week out of every month bleeding you want to be confident that you are not going to be having any accidents. It seems, however, that a large majority these brands do not provide a full list of ingredients. Surely they would have to? Nope. Sanitary products are regulated and approved a medical devices under the FDA, which means companies are under no obligation to share what goes into them. I had never thought about this before, but all of a sudden I felt very protective over my vagina. I decided this needed a bit more digging. I wanted to know about cotton.

Turns out cotton is the most heavily sprayed crop on the planet when it comes to pesticides and insecticides and a 2015 an independent study by the University of La Plata found 85% of tampons tested contained Glyphosate. What is that I hear you ask? Well, Glyphosate is the active ingredient within weed killers and according to WHO is classified as ‘probably carcinogenic’. Probably carcinogenic? I am going to need a little bit more information before I go putting a possible carcinogen up the most sensitive and absorbent part of my body thank you very much.  And then there’s rayon, a man-made material that’s been used since the 1930’s. If that wasn’t enough to make your legs clench, rayon is a material that has been used since the 1930’s and is produced from cellulose. This is a compound extracted from wood pulp and what happens during the extraction process? Well, it creates hydrocarbon dioxin as a by-product. These dioxins can be pretty harmful, not the mention the potentially harmful chemical additives and finishing agents.

But Jamie, people have used these things for years. Surely they can’t be that bad. Well, in terms of health, it probably isn’t as the amount of ‘bad stuff’ is pretty negligible. As Dr. Nita Landry said, there is no data proving that organic tampons are any safer than regular tampons and the FDA do check them for consumer safety so it might not be a shady as we first thought. However, it is not just our health that should be considered. For most people who go vegan, the decision is based upon a variety of different reasons including animal cruelty and the environment. The company, GladRags, known for their reusable pads have a lot to say on the environmental impact of disposable sanitary products. The average person who menstruates will use between 12,000 and 16,000 pads in their life time, which produces a lot of waste and has a huge environmental footprint. When not disposed of properly, sanitary towels contribute to the main source of UK coastal clutter, Sewage Related Debris.

 

A huge bonus with vegan sanitary products, for me, is the fact that animals are not harmed in the process of making them. These products do not test on animals or have any animal products in them, which is a huge selling point! Mooncup, for example, are approved by the vegan society and were the winners of the 2007 Best Buy Award for Ethical Consumers.  After having a browse, it is safe to say that these products are not cheap. However, many of these companies sell themselves on the fact they are an investment that will save people money in the long run. You only need one Mooncup and apparently that will pay for itself after 6-8 months, after that you’re then saving money. No need to go splashing the cash on always, instead you could throw it into a piggy bank and save up for something nice… like vegan chocolate to get your through the agony that is a period. Similarly, apparently these GladRags can last up to 20 years!

Where do I sign up? It is safe to say that I am sold and will definitely but giving some of these a try. I have yet to decide which of the products I think would be best for me but the sites have little quizzes and loads of information so you ca see which sanitary product will fit in best with your lifestyle. If you are interested in more vegan sanitary companies, I would recommend checking out CrueltyFreeKitty.com as this site has a fantastic comprehensive guide and loads of posts on different cruelty free products. As always, my sources are down below.

Jamie x

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Sources:

https://gladrags.com/

The Ultimate Guide To Having A Cruelty-Free Period

https://www.cosmopolitan.com/sex-love/a13144732/best-organic-tampons/

Home

Mooncup Menstrual Cup

http://www.thisisinsider.com/are-organic-tampons-safer-better-2017-9