Updated: Are you made for Fire and Ice? Top red lipsticks

Are you made for 'Fire & Ice'? Top Red Lipsticks
Revlon’s 1952 Fire & Ice advertisement, taken from Linda M. Scott ‘Fresh Lipstick: Redressing Fashion & Feminism’

First published on 12th June 2017, I’ve now revised this post adding reader recommendations at the bottom.  Thanks to all who told me their top red choices!

‘Are you made for “Fire and Ice”?’ asked a 1952 Revlon advertisement for their legendary Fire and Ice lipstick and nail varnish range.  The beauty brand also provided a quiz to help you decide whether to try the ‘lush-and-passionate scarlet’ shade:

 

Have you ever danced with your shoes off? Yes/no

Did you ever wish on a new moon? Yes/no

Do you blush when you find yourself flirting? Yes/no

When a recipe call for one dash of bitters, do you think it’s better with two? Yes/no

Do you secretly hope that the next man you meet will be a psychiatrist? Yes/no

Do you sometimes feel that other women resent you? Yes/no

Have you ever wanted to wear an ankle bracelet? Yes/no

Do sables excite you, even on other women? Yes/no

Do you love to look up to a man? Yes/no

Do you face crowded parties with panic – then wind up having a wonderful time? Yes/no

Does gypsy music make you sad? Yes/no

Do you think any many really understands you? Yes/no

Would you streak your hair with platinum without consulting your husband? Yes/no

If tourist flights were running, would you take a trip to Mars? Yes/no

Do you close your eyes when you’re kissed? Yes/no

Answered yes to at least eight of these?  Then apparently you’re made of ‘Fire and Ice’!

Revlon Fire and Ice is still available and often included on ‘best red lipsticks’ lists alongside Chanel Pirate and Mac Ruby Woo.  Yet having spent many years trying to perfect the ‘pure red’ look, there are four other lipsticks that I rank highly, plus a bonus suggestion *and now also eight reader recommendations*.

 

Are you made for 'Fire & Ice'?  Top Red Lipsticks

Kevyn Aucoin Eternal

A richly pigmented, matte true red that stays in place for hours.  I’ve had more compliments and enquiries about this shade than any other cosmetic I’ve ever worn!

100% cruelty free

£27 at SpaceNK

 

 

 

Lipstick Queen Red

Again a classic blue red shade, but available in two different pigments (the stronger the pigment, the denser the colour and coverage).

Saint Red has ten percent pigment and gives a light, translucent touch of colour; this is a great ‘entry’ red if you’ve never worn the colour before or don’t want anything too bold.

Sinner Red has a ninety percent pigment, giving much fuller, opaque coverage.  Although it’s matte, there’s shea butter in the formula so if you find many lipsticks too drying then perhaps give this a go.

100% cruelty free

Saint and Sinner both £22 at SpaceNK

 

Are you made for 'Fire & Ice'?  Top Red Lipsticks

Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil Dragon Girl

This jumbo crayon provides a deeply pigmented colour that the brand describes as ‘Vivid Siren Red’.  Again this is really long lasting – you don’t need to touch up after every cuppa – but the need to regularly sharpen can be a bit of a pain.  And a bit messy.  But it’s worth it for the gorgeous pop of colour!

100% cruelty free, although parent company Shiseido are not

£20 at Nars

 

Are you made for 'Fire & Ice'? Top Red Lipsticks

Clinique High Impact Lip Colour Red-y To Wear

Housed in a classic Clinique silver tube, this moisturising, satin finish lipstick is an easy to wear shade even for newbie rubies.  Publicity claim that it lasts eight hours, which I dispute, but this isn’t such an issue because the coverage is so sheer.  I got it for a friend who was convinced that red didn’t suit her and she was immediately converted!

£19.50 at Clinique


Clinique is not a cruelty free brand.  Its policy, and that of parent company Estée Lauder, is to test on animals where this is required by national law.  This is the case in China, where Clinique is sold.  I’m sorry to say that I only discovered this when researching this post.

I was shocked that this is the case as so many mainstream beauty brands have adopted a 100% cruelty free policy.  I’ve debated with withdrawing this recommendation as I’m not sure I now feel able to endorse the product.  However, I decided to keep it in the list but highlight this issue as it feels more awareness raising than to be silent. 

If you too are shocked by this, contact Estée Lauder to tell them, which is what I have done.  You can also request that they change their policy and withdraw from mainland China until legislation there is changed. 


 

Are you made for 'Fire & Ice'? Top Red Lipsticks

Bonus: Nars Lipstick Red Lizard

If you want to feel like a 1940s film star, this is the lipstick for you!  Nars describe this as a ‘full powered red’ and it’s certainly that, although it’s a darker, more berry red shade rather than a pure red.  It’s also described as semi-matte but I found it very to be full matte with dense coverage.

100% cruelty free, but parent company Shiseido are not

£21 at Nars

Thank you for reading!  What shades of lipstick do you recommend?  Any suggestions of reds or others that I should try?  You can comment below or on social media.  If you enjoyed reading this post then please do share it on social media too – it really does make a difference!  Again the links are below.

Reader recommendations

This post prompted a lot of chatter on social media about people’s own red lipstick preferences.  Some old favourites, some new, here’s what came up:

 

Left to right:

Barry M Matte Lip Paint in 178 Bombshell: hot, fiery red matte (£4.99 Skin&Bones)

Illamasqua Lipstick in Man-eater: classic cherry red (£20 Illamasqua)

Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick in Adora: metallic golden red (£17 Debenhams)

Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick in Archangel: matte burnt red (£17 Debenhams)

 

Left to right:

Mac Lipstick in Lady Danger: vivid bright coral red (£16.50 Mac)

Mac Lipstick in New York Apple: muted red with pink shimmer (£16.50 Mac)

MAC Lipstick in Russian Red: intense bluish-red (£16.50 Mac)

Nars Semi Matte Lipstick in Jungle Red: vivid blue red (£21 Nars)

I *have* to try pleasant events this week. Want to join me?

Sometimes we all need a silly joke || This week I *have* to try pleasant events. Want to join me?
A birthday card that my partner received last week. Sometimes we all need a silly joke.

Life’s pretty tough going at the minute, isn’t it?

The only way I can describe Sunday is as emotionally intense, topped and tailed by news from London Bridge and the One Love Manchester concert.  This was at the end of an already tough week.  Trump, well, being Trump.  If I gave an example it would probably be surpassed by another one between drafting and publishing.  The awful bombing in Kabul; you know things must be really bad when the Afghans say it’s the worst attack they’ve seen.  Plus in the UK we’re enduring the scaremongering, lies and bad mouthing that come with a parliamentary election campaign.  I’d say roll on polling day but that will just mark the beginning of the next phase of anxiety-inducing awfulness.

Hello Brexit.

Most of us find it tough to not let macro events influence the micro ones of our lives.  Mental health issues aside, world news is definitely making me more edgy and irritable.  I only have a certain amount of resilience and right now it’s stretched pretty thinly.

Scheduling a smear test for this afternoon was probably not the greatest idea I’ve ever had given these circumstances. 

Yet there is relief to be found.  As I write I’m burning a gorgeous Pink Grapefruit scented candle from Join and staring at the newly blossomed roses outside the window between sentences.  I’ve also just eaten a lovely mini bar of Green & Black’s Sea Salt milk chocolate (#sorrynotsorry, Mark, for eating your birthday goodies while you’re at work).

Small actions though these may be, they help to encourage positive emotions.  Anecdotally we may feel that tiny gestures can give us a boost but psychological research proves this too.  This week in my Dialetical Behavioural Therapy group, we explored reducing vulnerability to overwhelming emotions by building a life worth living.  A crucial step in this process is to ‘accumulate positive emotions’.*  In the short term, this involves doing pleasant things right now.

I have a handout telling me to ‘BUILD POSITIVE EXPERIENCES NOW.  INCREASE PLEASANT EVENTS that lead to positive emotions.’

This week I *have* to try pleasant events. Want to join me?

In practice, this means keeping a Pleasant Events Diary ahead of next Monday’s session.  I even have a Pleasant Events List with 225 suggestions to try should I struggle to come up with ideas.

Some of the suggestions are pretty funny.  I’m not sure I’ll get chance during the next seven days to attend a school reunion (#60), go hunting (#71), go sledding in a snowfall (#186) or ride a dune buggy (#217). However I can eat (#29), go to a party (#43), go to the beauty parlour (#91), think about sex (#100 – just think.  Sexual activity itself doesn’t make the list) and get a haircut (#187).

This week I *have* to try pleasant events. Want to join me?

20170605_170812

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How about you?

Would you like to join me in keeping a pleasant event diary this week?  Science says it’ll help you manage difficult emotions. 

Simply pick a pleasant activity to do each day, however small, and observe how it makes you feel.  I’ll be recording mine on social media.

I’d love to know how you get on with this.  Does it support you in managing the crazy world we’re living in?  You can comment below or on social media, tag me or respond to my posts.  Plus if you enjoyed reading this, please do tell others about it – it really helps!  Sharing buttons are also below.

Thank you for reading, and have a pleasant week in spite of it all.

* All quotations and images taken from handouts from DBT Skills Training and Worksheets, Second Edition, by Marsha M. Linehan (2015).

 

My top three tools of the beauty trade – & you can win them!

My top 3 tools of the beauty trade - & you can win them!

Confession time: despite writing in a guest blog post for Midlands Minimalist last week about the ‘one in, one out, one spare’ rule for toiletries and makeup, I have started stockpiling Shu Uemura eyelash curlers.

In my defence, parent company L’Oreal announced at the end of April that they were withdrawing the Japanese beauty brand from the UK and already the products are vanishing.  In a panic about losing access to what are universally regarded as the best lash curlers on the market, I felt compelled to hoard.

My top three tools of the beauty trade - & you can win them!
I keep my spare pads in an old gramophone needles tin

I think I’ll probably now be okay until at least my next birthday ending in a zero.

Each pair lasts for ages.  They come with a replacement pad and regular replacement pads fit too.  I’m only on my second set in what must over a decade of use.  How many mascaras have I got through in the same time?

This longevity is a key factor in why I love eyelash curlers, specifically the Shu Uemura ones, so much.  Plus they really make a difference even if you use them alone, as I do 99 percent of the time as I get a monthly eyelash tint.

My top three tools of the beauty trade - & you can win them!

Using curlers drastically reduces the amount of other eye makeup that I buy and use, which is important to me.  There’s little point in committing to feature eco, ethical and sustainable brands from the world of fashion and beauty in my work if I’m not careful and considered in my own use of resources.

Eyelash curlers are one of several long-lasting tools that I use in lieu of a product with a shorter shelf life.

 

 

The other two that top my favourites list are:

Exfoliating gloves

My top three tools of the beauty trade - & you can win them!
Exfoliating gloves, £3

Thanks to Danielle the beautician for this tip, which she passed on as a solution to ingrown hairs (possibly TMI).

Rather than rubbing yourself down with a pot of body scrub or even a currently popular dry body brush, exchange your sponge or puff for a long lasting textured glove (£3.00 from Boots).  You save time and effort by exfoliating while you wash.  The floor of your shower isn’t left covered with slippery grit.

Plus you get to channel your inner Michael Jackson by prancing round with one white glove on!

Bonus tip: make sure you buy exfoliating glove rather than just a body wash one as the latter aren’t rough enough to slough your skin.

 360 foot file

My top three tools of the beauty trade - & you can win them!
360 Foot File, £5.49

A friend bought me one of these last summer, which sounds like a weird gift now I’ve written it down!

Anyhow, I’ve tried a lot of creams and gadgets for hard skin on the feet over the years but none have been as effective as this spongy scrubber (£5.49 also at Boots).  I use it at the end of my shower each day.  It even works better than the classic pumice stone and has a satisfying squishiness.

 

I love these products so much that I wanted to share them with you too, so I’m offering a special giveaway! 

You can win a set of my three favourite tools (Shu Uemura eyelash curlers, a pair of exfoliating gloves and a 360 foot file).

All you have to do is share your favourite article by me, either from my blog or elsewhere, on social media and tag me so that I see it (you can find a collected list of my other writing over here).

The winner will be chosen on Wednesday 7th June at 18.00 BST.

 

Long Weekend Reading

Long Weekend Reading: some Bank Holiday article suggestions ideas & some beautiful buys too
© John Lewis Edition

Hello all!  An especially warm welcome to the new readers who’ve come over from Midlands Minimalist.  Good to have you here!

How’s your long weekend going?  Been up to much?  It seems that pretty much everyone I know is having a quiet one; aside from a few friends who’ve gone on holiday, there’s lots of talk of gardens and family meals and switching off alarm clocks.

This has certainly been the rhythm of my weekend so far.  It’s now 4pm on Sunday afternoon and I’ve been mainly occupied with eating and sleeping.  In that order.

I’ve also been doing some gentle reading.  While flicking through the pages of a couple of magazines, I’ve been thrilled to spot some good recommendations for the conscious consumer.  There’s definitely a movement towards greater mindfulness around what we buy – something that we’ve seen for a few years in food but is spreading into other areas too.

Long Weekend Reading: Bank Holiday article suggestions & some gorgeous bits to buy
From the Guardian Weekend

In the Guardian Weekend supplement, I was less interested in the article on one hundred men’s relationships with their penises (including a photo collage) than Sali Hughes’ review of high street eye shadow palettes.  The three featured were all cruelty-free and vegan friendly.

If you’re looking for some gorgeous new nudes (again, not the naked men but in terms of eye shadow) then check out Hughes’ choices:

Elf Eye Shadow Palette, £7.50

Nip + Fab Sculpted Eye Palette, £10.95

Basic Moment Eye Palette, £17.50  (I can only find this product online for £18)

Long Weekend Reading: some Bank Holiday article suggestions ideas & some beautiful buys too
Oh I do like to be beside the seaside… or in my garden :: FSC certified deckchair frames from John Lewis, £34

If the recent good weather has got you searching for some new outdoor furniture, I spied some FSC certified eucalyptus deckchair frames in the John Lewis Edition summer issue.  They are £34 each and you can select a fabric sling for an additional £9.

Initially I was drawn to the gorgeous old school style: ethics don’t have to mean compromising aesthetics.   

Long Weekend Reading: Bank Holiday article suggestions & beautiful items to buy
Leon bamboo pot

Also beautifully designed is the bamboo lunch pot (£16) that appears a few pages later.  Made by food brand Leon, the bamboo is biodegradable, sustainable and naturally anti-microbial.

The red box would look fab at any picnic or, more likely, perk up lunch at your desk when it starts raining again!

There are many other amazing ethical, eco and sustainable brands that you can buy from listed in my blog post last week, where I offer a round up of the companies that I met at a recent trade exhibition.

If you too are looking for some reading over the long weekend then as well as last week’s post, you might want to check out the other pieces I’ve had published recently.  There’s been a little spate, covering more on conscious consumption along with a critical analysis of hair  and my response to the dreadful Manchester attack.

My most recent contribution to Welldoing.org :: Managing mental health: the small things make all the difference

For The Revival Collective :: Organic beauty and well-being week: a two-step approach to becoming a more conscious beauty buyer

A guest post for Midlands Minimalist :: One spare tube of toothpaste: five toiletry & makeup minimalist tips from a beauty writer

My latest column for Mental Health Today :: How do we maintain emotional stability in the face of tragedy?

For the Londnr magazine :: Beneath the Barnet: the cultural significance of hair

On raeritchie.com :: What can I do?  One step towards ethical and sustainable beauty

On raeritchie.com :: Eco, ethical and sustainable beauty brands to buy: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’

Tip off regarding the next blog post: it’ll include a special giveaway!  I’m very excited about this!  

If you enjoyed reading this piece (or any of the links to articles that I’ve shared), please do tell others about it on social media – it really helps!  Sharing buttons are also below.

Thank you for reading.

 

Eco, ethical and sustainable brands to buy: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’

Eco, ethical and sustainable brands to buy: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’

While the sun shone down gloriously on London this Tuesday, I spent the day in the giant greenhouse that is Kensington Olympia.  I was there for a trade show featuring lots (and I mean *lots*) of companies looking for new retail outlets; imagine the Clothes Show or the Ideal Home exhibition without being able to buy any of the goods.  This is probably a good thing as I wanted so much, from sea shell earrings to several different kinds of bag to some oversize pink earrings!

Window shopping opportunities aside, I was there on a specific mission. 

In my fashion and beauty writing, I’m committed to featuring eco, ethical and sustainable firms as much as I possibly can.  In particular, I want to highlight the many innovative and stylish small brands working in this area – brands that don’t have huge publicity budgets but deserve exposure.

At Olympia, I was looking for companies doing good work in terms of conscious consumption so that I could share them with you.

Boy did I find some!  Below I’ve detailed my highlights in five categories (beauty, candles, fashion, jewellery and other).  I hope that you like their look, and their ethos, as much as I did.  Visit their websites, follow them on social media (check out my following lists on Twitter and Instagram if you like) and next time you’re making a purchase, consider buying from one of them.

‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’ Lao Tzu

Do you have any brands that you like to recommend?  Tell me about them!  You can comment below.  Plus if you enjoyed reading this post, please do tell others about it on social media – it really helps!  Sharing buttons are also below.

 

  • Beauty

Corinne Taylor Aromatherapy Products - Eco, ethical and sustainable brands to buy: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’

Corinne Taylor Aromatherapy Products - Eco, ethical and sustainable brands to buy: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’
Corinne Taylor Aromatherapy Products

Corinne Taylor Organic Aromatherapy

Natural, organic handcrafted and vegan friendly, never animal tested, ethically sourced and eco-friendly handmade products in recyclable packaging.  Also free from SLS, parabens, synthetic fragrance, petroleum and mineral oils [That’s quite a list!].

Nathalie Bond Organics

Small batches of handcrafted botanical skincare and essential oils candles made using completely natural and organic ingredients [These aren’t a new discovery – I love their soap, as I mentioned last week – but they definitely warrant a mention].

Nathalie Bond Organics - Eco, ethical and sustainable brands to buy: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’

 

Savon Stories

Raw minimalist organic skincare, handcrafted in England and made according to the family’s century’s old ethos of nurturing the best of good green earth and being rich with less than more.

 

  • Candles
The Bird Box - Eco, ethical and sustainable brands to buy: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’
The Bird Box
The Bird Box - Eco, ethical and sustainable brands to buy: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’
The Bird Box

The Bird Box

Sustainably sourced, handmade in Britain candles and home scents made using pure essential oils.

 

Join

Vegan, carbon neutral natural soy wax candles with cotton core wicks, essential oils and recycled packaging, handcrafted in small batches in a garden studio.

 

Join - Eco, ethical and sustainable brands to buy: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’

The London Refinery - Eco, ethical and sustainable brands to buy: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’

 

The London Refinery

Candles free from petrochemicals, parabens and synthetic fragrances.

 

 

 

 

Sun.Day - Eco, ethical and sustainable brands to buy: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’

Sun.Day of London

100% free from synthetic perfumes, chemicals and paraffin, using only GMO-free coconut and plant waxes, pure cotton wicks and uniquely formulated aromatherapy grade essential oils.

 

 

 

Sun.Day - Eco, ethical and sustainable brands to buy: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’

  • Fashion

Aura Que - Eco, ethical and sustainable brands to buy: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’

Aura Que

Each product is created by handicraft charity units or World Fair Trade Organization producer groups in Nepal, giving local people an income in line with fair trade principles along with a continually developing commitment to minimising environmental impact as much as possible.

By Studio Hand - Eco, ethical and sustainable brands to buy: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’

 

 

By Studio Hand

All products are designed and made in the UK using nontoxic dyes and organic fabrics; all are vegan.  The clutch bags are hand painted and made from abstract paintings, making each one unique.

 

Egos Copenhagen - Eco, ethical and sustainable brands to buy: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’

 

Egos Copenhagen

Natural wool slippers designed in Denmark, manufactured in Nepal using eco-friendly dyes, World Fair Trade Organization certified.  Profits also support a Nepalese orphanage.

 

 

Pala Sunglasses - Eco, ethical and sustainable brands to buy: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’
Pala Sunglasses

 

Pala Sunglasses

For every pair of sunglasses bought, one person in Africa who needs prescription glasses gets them.

Pala Sunglasses - Eco, ethical and sustainable brands to buy: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Studio Kimono - Eco, ethical and sustainable brands to buy: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’
Studio Kimono
Studio Kimono - Eco, ethical and sustainable brands to buy: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’
Studio Kimono

 

 

Studio Kimono

Vintage silk kimonos from Kyoto are upcycled into unique new items, such as clutch bags and jackets.

 

 

 

Terracotta Row - Eco, ethical and sustainable brands to buy: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’

 

Terracotta Row

These bags are made in England from fabric discarded by industry.

 

 

Valentina Karellas -Eco, ethical and sustainable brands to buy: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’

 

 

Valentina Karellas

Trans-seasonal designs made from textile factories’ surplus yarn.

 

 

  • Jewellery and Accessories
All The Things We Like - Eco, ethical and sustainable brands to buy: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’
All The Things We Like

All the Things We Like

Designed and produced locally to their Dutch studio using local artisans and social workplaces as well as environmentally sound materials such as FSC certified or recycled wood.

Artisan Life - Eco, ethical and sustainable brands to buy: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’
Artisan Life

Artisan Life

Focused on fair trading and supporting Columbian artisans, particularly women with no other employment options, while also using suppliers certified by the Administrative Department of the Environment in Columbia.

Caliz Jewellery - Eco, ethical and sustainable brands to buy: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’
‘Vegetable ivory’ seed used in Caliz London jewellery

 

 

 

 

Caliz London

Handcrafted jewellery created from vegetable ivory, a seed from a Columbian palm tree – a natural, ethical and sustainable alternative to elephant ivory.

 

Just Trade - Eco, ethical and sustainable brands to buy: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’
A Just Trade collaboration with WWF
Just Trade - Eco, ethical and sustainable brands to buy: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’
Just Trade

 

Just Trade

Just Trade collaborates directly with eight groups of artisans in Peru, Ecuador and India to create handmade jewellery that is fairly traded and crafted from locally-sourced and ethical materials where possible.

Ziko Afrika - Eco, ethical and sustainable brands to buy: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’

 

 

Ziko Afrika

Founded by two sisters, Ziko Afrika (‘Afrika has it’) creates modern jewellery using traditional craftsmanship by local artisans in Kenya.

 

Ziko Afrika - Eco, ethical and sustainable brands to buy: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’

 

  • Other areas
Anneka Textiles - Eco, ethical and sustainable brands to buy: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’
Anneka Textiles

Anneka Textiles

Creating upcycled homeware by taking mixed fibre knitwear, returning it back to fibre then re-spinning and felting into new sustainable material without using any harsh dyes or chemicals.

Helen Moore Revival Collection - Eco, ethical and sustainable brands to buy: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’
Helen Moore Revival Collection

 

 

 

 

Helen Moore

The Revival Collection of home accessories is made using off-cuts from the fast fashion t-shirt industry that are saved, sorted, shredded, woven and then reused by Indian families working in good conditions.

Tangent GC - Eco, ethical and sustainable brands to buy: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’
Tangent GC

 

TangentGC

Organic skin care along with garment care and shoe care, inspired by the creator’s grandfather, designed to allow us to better look after what we already own.

 

 

 

 

Seedball

Seedballs are designed to encourage bees and butterflies by making it easier for everyone to grow either wildflowers or herbs or salad.  They’ve been designed specifically for a north eastern European climate and each one containing of these British made balls contains a mini ecosystem of seeds, clay, peat-free compost and a little chilli powder to deter predators!  This is a new concept in the UK but seed balls have been used in ecological restoration projects around the world.

 

What can I do? One step towards ethical & sustainable beauty

What can I do? One step towards ethical & sustainable beauty || Nathalie Bond Organics soap £7.50
Nathalie Bond Organics soap £7.50

Did you see that Sunday Suggestions back?  Woop woop!

It’s Organic Beauty and Wellbeing Week!  Yes, really!  Under the lead of the Soil Association, 15th to 21st May 2017 is an awareness week dedicated to celebrating beauty brands that are certified organic.

Like so many other aspects of ethical and sustainable living, this is a difficult to area to get to grips with.  As the Soil Association points out,

‘there is currently no legal standard in place for organic cosmetics, meaning that any brand can make organic claims on packaging without needing to contain any organic ingredients.’

#wtf?!

Unsurprisingly this makes sourcing organic beauty even more complicated.  However dedicated we are to this mission, it unfortunately seems that there are firms out there who are willing to dupe us with misleading branding and hard to decipher ingredients lists.

So what can I do?  What can each of us do?

1) Get clear about our own priorities

For a start, get clear about our own priorities.  Organic Beauty and Wellbeing Week is, unsurprisingly, focused on organics – but maybe your biggest concern is with animal welfare.  Cruelty free is a related but not identical issue.  Likewise, you might be trying to use fairly traded products as much as you can; this may or may not map neatly on to organic products.  Alternatively if you’re looking for British made then you’ll have different criteria again.

What can I do?  One step towards ethical & sustainable beauty || Look for the Cruelty Free logoWhat can I do? One step towards ethical & sustainable beauty || Buy Fairtrade

This might seem like trying to rank equally worthy objectives, but it is necessary.  Otherwise you’ll be stood at the counter trying do weigh up the merits of a possibly smaller carbon footprint versus fairly traded ingredients from further afield while also needing to decide what food to pick up during your lunch break.

In a complex web of competing factors, we need to make our choices as easy as possible.

2) Do some basic research

We can also do some basic research into the area that most concerns us.  The internet, as well as online shopping, makes accessing niche brands and products easier than ever.  We can check out a firm’s credentials (as I need to do) and buy what we are after with just a few clicks.

What can I do? One step towards ethical & sustainable beauty || Do some research

There are plenty of resources out there to support this.  The Soil Association, for instance, lists the brands that they have certified as organic.  There are also apps that can help, such as Skin Matters by Joanne Evans (unfortunately for IOS only at this stage).  This doesn’t focus on ethical issues directly but allows you to find out more about the components in your skincare, including those chemicals best avoided.

 

I also have an Ethical and Sustainable Beauty Pinterest board where I gather together articles on this topic.  Some of these deal with the big issues and debates but many discuss easily available products, such as vegan nail varnishes.  I update the board regularly so follow along to keep informed.

 

3) Make one change

Perhaps the most powerful step that we can immediately take is to make one change.  This is within all our grasps with little inconvenience or extra cost.

Conveniently I’ve already written an article about three easy conscious beauty swaps!

You can read all the details over on the Revival Collective, but in summary they are:

Trade shower gel for soap

Switch to natural deodorant

Use organic cotton wool

Of course there are others, and I’d love to hear what you choose.  What one change will you make?

You can comment below.  Plus if you enjoyed reading this post, please do tell others about it on social media – it really helps!  Sharing buttons are also below.

Thank you for reading.

 

Sunday Suggestions is back!

Sunday Suggestions: a weekly round up of things to read, watch & listen to on a specially curated Pinterest board
It’s back!

Regular readers may remember my Sunday Suggestions posts, a round up of fun, thoughtful or just plain strange items that I’d encountered on the web that week.  I was really thrilled by how popular it was with some of you!  I also enjoyed keeping my ears and eyes open for goodies to include.

So I’ve decided to bring Sunday Suggestions back!

From today, it is here again.  They’ll be more links to (IMHO) entertaining and interesting features from the Internet each week – only from now on they’ll be gathered together on a specially curated Pinterest board.

Sunday Suggestions on Pinterest each and every week!

This change in format means that you can access the board whenever you choose, without having to wait until Sundays if another day works better for you or if you find yourself in need of some mid-week stimulation!

I’ll add the links as-and-when I come across them, although will label them with Sundays’ date so you can easily see the newest content.

I’ll also post a reminder every Sunday morning on social media so that you don’t miss it!

If you don’t already follow me then hope over to keep in contact!  Plus you can send your suggestions to me via these platforms anytime you like…

Instagram

Twitter

Pinterest

Facebook

Thank you for reading, and I hope that you enjoy the return of Sunday Suggestions as much as I am!