Pasties, sausages and tofu, oh my!

Hello again,

I’ve got another food review for you tonight, I haven’t got too much to say about each of these products so I thought I’d review them all at once.

The first product is VBites ham and cheezly pasties, which I bought from Holland & Barrett, I’m not sure how much I paid to be honest but VBites website is selling them at £3.29 for a pack of two.

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I’m not that fussed on these to be honest, they were just okay. The pasties are quite filling, the texture of the ham is good and the taste of the sauce is decent. I don’t know why but I was expecting more from the pasties, maybe my expectations were just a little high.

I also picked up a pack of chilli and coriander Secret Sausages as they were going out of date and were on sale, so for 80p they were a bit of bargain.

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The pack said they could be frozen so instead of eating them right away I stuck them in the freezer. I cooked them for the suggested time but I found that the skin was too tough to cut, and ripping it caused the filling to all come out so, disappointingly, I was left with sausage meat more than nice slices of sausages. I grilled them rather than frying so different cooking methods may change the end result. The flavour of the sausages was quite nice, spicier than expected. These sausages do have their benefits though, their websites states that eating 3 will provide you with 1 of your five a day. The sausages are approved by the Vegetarian Society but I am not sure if they are vegan.

The final product I bought was from a local health food store, Taifun tofu fillets with wild garlic.

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Not sure how much I paid for this as I lost the receipt but it was an okay buy. The tofu had a nice flavour and was crispy on the outside with a soft centre. I’m not sure I cooked it for long enough to be honest, but the texture felt good.

Overall, these products were okay, but nothing too special. For everyday convenience food they were good buys, but they were not the best value. I could have bought a good amount of vegetables instead and probably would have enjoyed the meal more. Whether I would buy them again is a hard question to answer, but I will keep looking for tasty and easy to prepare convenience food as I am determined to find something which I really like.

Hope you’ve had an amazing Monday,

Sophie

Primal Strips jerky

Evening everyone,

I’ve had a really weird day of being super tired after my workout so I’m only now getting around to writing. I’m going to review Primal Strips jerky, this is a vegan jerky from the US which comes in six flavours; teriyaki, Texas BBQ, mesquite lime, hot & spicy, hickory smoked, and Thai peanut. I bought two single packs from Goodness Direct, but you can also buy from Amazon in single packs or in bulk. However, after much shopping around, health food shops are a lot cheaper to buy from than Amazon. The high protein strips are made from soy, seitan and shitake mushrooms, I purchased the mesquite lime and Texas BBQ flavours to see what they were like.

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Now I have never tried seitan so I don’t know whether this is its regular texture or just the process they put it through to make jerky but it was tough and stuck in my teeth. The flavour was also intense, a little too intense for my preferences. I’ve never had real meat jerky, so I wouldn’t be able to tell you how authentic the experience was, if you are even looking for a similar experience. In my opinion, these strips were not a great buy as the price is quite high for the product you get, and they just weren’t my cup of tea. However, if tough, flavourful vegan jerky that you can really sink your teeth in to sounds up your alley then it’s available online (just shop around for a good price), and for my US friends, I’m sure it’s widely available where you live.

Hopefully there will be more reviews coming tonight,

Sophie

A vegan trip around Swansea

Hello again,

Yesterday I met a friend in town and we went for lunch, I just thought I would make a little post about it. We went for food at Govindas Vegetarian and Vegan Cafe, you can find their website where you can find their full and delicious menu, or follow them on twitter, they are also on facebook. I had the classic nut burger and spicy chips, the burger was lovely, soft and crispy at the same time. The chips were a little on the spicy side but they were still great, and the price was great for the large meal which was presented to me. It’s just a shame that I didn’t save room for their vegan cheesecake, but next time I will remember!

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After a filling meal at Govindas we wandered over to Shine, a juice and smoothie bar, you can find them on twitter. I had a ‘yello’, which was orange, banana, pineapple and mango.

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The smoothie was fantastic, refreshing and gave me a little healthy boost to carry on my shopping. Here’s a photo of their menu.

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Anyway, I know that many of you do not live near Swansea but if you ever find yourself in my ‘pretty shitty city’ then give these places a try, they’ll do the world of good for your body and your wallet.

Sophie

Vegan chocolate cupcakes and buttercream frosting

Hi again,

I’ve had a hankering for cake lately and so today, on this rainy Sunday I decided to bake my first batch of vegan cupcakes. I followed this recipe for the cupcakes and this recipe for the frosting. All the ingredients I used came from Sainsbury’s apart from the apple cider vinegar which I bought from Holland & Barrett. This recipe was fairly cheap to make and I had a lot of ingredients left over for future recipes. All things considered I think they came out okay for my first attempt, they didn’t rise as high as I would have liked, but the buttercream was amazing (shame I didn’t have a piping bag to make it look pretty!)

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I didn’t apply the buttercream to all the cupcakes as I wanted to experiment a little, I put some coconut Choc Shot onto one, and peanut butter and maple syrup onto another. I think i’d like to add peanut butter to buttercream frosting next time, it was super yummy!

Well, my belly is full now, hope your weekend has been full of fun,

Sophie

GOSH lipsticks

Hi everyone,

Sorry I haven’t posted anything since yesterday morning, it’s all been a bit hectic! Today I’m going to review three Gosh Velvet Touch Lipsticks in the shades bergundy, Bourgogne and angel.

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Bergundy is a deep red when applied, although the colour of the stick lives up to its name. Bourgogne is a rich, sparkly dark pink and angel is a baby pink shade. The lipsticks all feel quite rich, except angel which for some reason feels thick, greasy and will not sit properly on my lips. The shine of the sticks also leaves my lips feeling fuller, my favourite is the red, followed by the darker pink. I actually hate the baby pink and didn’t get to test that colour in store.

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I don’t really like to post photos of my face but I’ve added some of my lips just so you can get an idea of the colour of each lipstick. I haven’t lined my lips or applied any other make-up to my face, it’s just so you can see what each one looks like.

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I would say though, that whilst Gosh’s products are not tested on animals, their lipsticks do contain beeswax. Next time I’m in the market for some lipstick I will look at B.’s range instead as they are vegan and only marginally more expensive. Gosh’s lipstick range is priced at £6.99, whereas B.’s range is priced at £7.99, some of their lipsticks have even won awards. So the lesson learned for today is to try before you buy and really pay attention to the ingredients in your make-up.

Hope you’ve had a great weekend,

Sophie

Gosh foundation and BB cream

Morning all! Happy 4th of July 🙂

Today I’m going to be reviewing a couple of make-up products for the face which will be extremely helpful if you are ghost white like I am. First we have the Gosh X-Ceptional Wear Make Up in the shade Porcelain, this is the palest shade of foundation I have ever come across and I am so thankful that it is cruelty free!

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The product is creamy but not thick and provides great natural coverage, evening skin tone as it’s applied. This foundation provides a slight glow which sometimes I find a little too dewy, on days where it’s too much I finish with the Gosh translucent powder. The night before I apply any sort of make-up to my face I tend to exfoliate as I get dried skin around my t-zone which can really affect the look of a foundation. When I apply this product I like to use a firm brush to cover the face and then a blending sponge to finish, but that’s just a personal preference. The added benefit of this foundation is that it contains vitamin E so it protects your skin from free radicals and aids in skin repair. The product lasts for a long time, often a full day of wear and especially if I use primer before and powder to finish.

Gosh X-Ceptional Wear Make Up is currently on sale for the full price of £7.99 at Superdrug and I would say it is well worth the price, and it also comes in five other shades. I recommend going into store to try out shades of make-up against your skin tone.

I’m also going to review Gosh BB Cream in the shade Sand, this is a great new addition to my make-up bag, especially with summer finally arriving.

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The BB cream is a lighter alternative to the Gosh foundation, and while it doesn’t come in the porcelain shade this sand shade is a good match for my pale skin. The cream has great coverage but I still find I need to use concealer and foundation to cover my dark circles which are quite prominent as my skin is quite thin around the eyes. I would also add that the tone of this shade is cool so it doesn’t leave my pale skin with orange tones like some warmer tones have. Gosh boast that the BB cream adapts to skin tones and maybe this is why a shade I wouldn’t usually go for matches my skin so well. The product functions as a primer, moisturizer and foundation in one so it’s perfect for throwing on when you are in a morning rush. A final benefit of this product is that it has SPF 15, allowing you to stay in the sun for approximately 150 minutes with minimal damage to your skin. This is great for protection during a commute in the summer, or short trips but not for protection while staying in the sun for long hours. However, the protection factor depends on skin type and sunlight intensity (1). The Gosh BB cream is currently retailing for the full price of £9.99, so it is more expensive than the foundation but I still think it’s a great little addition to my make-up routine.

Hope you have a fantastic Saturday, I’m going to be spending it with a friend eating lovely vegan food,

Sophie

References
(1) http://www.badgerbalm.com/s-30-what-is-spf-sunscreen-sun-protection-factor.aspx

Superdrug Vitamin E micellar water and toning mist

I’ve got another skincare review for you tonight, I find it hard to keep a good skincare routine with such a busy schedule but I’m going to tell you about two products which I find help to keep my skin balanced and clean. These products are quick and easy to apply, I like to use them after a shower and leave them to dry while I do other things.

The first product is Superdrug Vitamin E Micellar Water 200ml, I’ve never tried micellar water before so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.

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You only need to apply a small amount to cover the whole face, the product is ever so slightly greasy but that is due to its composition (1) and the feeling will subside with drying. The water absorbs fairly quickly, leaving a slight sticky feeling but this also passes with time. You might be asking, well what does this magical water do? It cleanses away impurities in the skin, also helping to remove make-up, although I recommend using the water to remove the last bits of make-up left after cleansing. The micellar water contains vitamin E which helps to protect skin from free radicals, reducing skin damage from sunlight and dryness (2). As if that wasn’t enough, it also contains a cocktail of other vitamins; vitamin A, B, F and H. These vitamins can help to make skin smooth and even-toned, and can improve skin hydration (3, 4). This means that the micellar water is particularly effective on dry skin types. I would also like to mention that I love the smell of this product, I can’t really explain it, but the smell is just rich. So if you are looking for a quick solution to having to use cleansing products which dry out skin I would recommend giving this a try. The micellar water is £2.99 at Superdrug, currently retailing at full price.

I’m also going to review another product from the same range, Superdrug Vitamin E Toning Facial Mist 150ml.

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This product contains the same formula of vitamins as the micellar water so would benefit the skin in the same way if you would prefer to leave the micellar water out of your skincare routine. This toner comes in a spray bottle, which is something that I haven’t experience previously. I would also add that in this warmer summer weather you can leave the toner in the fridge for an extra refreshing feeling that will really wake you up in the morning. The addition of aloe vera in this product really leaves the skin feeling nurtured which is great when it is so quick to use. Again, this product has a lovely scent to it and the product leaves your skin feeling soft and revitalised once it has dried. The toning mist is also currently on sale for its full price of £2.99.

Hope your day has been fantastic,

Sophie

References

(1) http://www.elle.com/beauty/makeup-skin-care/a27149/can-micellar-water-replace-your-whole-cleansing-and-moisturizing-routine/

(2) http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/food-nutrition/vitamin-supplements/benefits-of-vitamin-e.htm

(3) http://www.theskincareclinic.com.au/science/vitamin-a/

(4) http://www.myvitamins.com/articles/articles/beauty-benefits-of-b-vitamins.list

Yes To Carrots Exfoliating Cleanser

Evening all, it’s been a busy day for me so only just now getting around to writing posts. I’m going to be reviewing Yes To Carrots Exfoliating Cleanser 112ml which is £6.99 at Holland & Barrett.

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The scrub has tiny granules so it doesn’t feel painfully abrasive like some other scrubs I have tried, it’s gentle but effective. The smell is really fresh, not as carrot scented as I was expecting but just a really clean scent. I love this product and you will too as the use of carrot on the skin can create a healthy glow, reduce blemishes and can provide protection from free radicals (1). The product also contains ground bamboo which is an anti-irritant and anti-oxidant, as well as acting as the exfoliator in the scrub (2). This is a short review as there is much else to say about the product, it left my skin feeling clean and soft and I couldn’t ask for more than that. The only negative I would say is the price as I feel it is maybe a little expensive for my liking.

At the moment there is an offer on where you can get double points on your Holland & Barrett loyalty card if you buy 3 or more beauty items. Additionally, there is currently a buy one get one half price offer across the entire store.

Have a lovely evening,

Sophie

Links (where I found the information about the benefits of carrots and bamboo)

(1) http://www.stylecraze.com/articles/benefits-of-carrots-for-skin-hair-and-health/7

(2) http://www.naturalnews.com/031097_skin_health_bamboo.html

Does the heat cause your make-up to run? Try these!

Hi everyone, hope you have had a great day 🙂

I’ve been basking in front of a fan for a while just to avoid turning into a puddle. With the weather heating up you may need something to keep your make-up in place and stop your skin from being so shiny. I’m going to review two great products which will help with this

B. Prepared Makeup Primer is a thick clear gel type primer which makes skin smooth to the touch, almost velvety.

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This primer is my go to product for beginning my make-up routine, especially on hot days. I haven’t tested it in anything warmer than British summertime conditions but so far I haven’t had an issue with make-up travelling to unwanted places. This product also contains vitamin e and aloe vera so it is also benefitting your skin, it reduces the appearance of pores and since I have been using it I have noticed that my make-up hasn’t been making my sensitive skin flair up to the usual extent. At the regular retail price of £9.99 this is one of the more expensive products that I currently use but as a small amount of product provides good coverage the price is not too bad. At the moment there is an offer on for buy one get one half price across the B. make-up range. This is an offer worth taking up as B. is one of the more expensive cruelty free make-up ranges which Superdrug stocks.

The second product I am going to review is GOSH Velvet Touch Primer & Setting Powder – Transparent.

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This is a reasonable sized tub of white powder which, when blended into the skin, becomes translucent, sitting on top of your make-up to provide a mattifying effect. The powder is fairly easy to apply, I like to tap some into the lid and blend it in with a big brush. The powder is great for reducing shine but doesn’t make the skin look dull, which is a bonus. Due to my complexion I still like to apply products such as highlighter, blush and bronzer over the powder to give some definition to my face. The powder is also a 2 in 1 product, and can be used as a primer, but since the primer I reviewed above currently satisfies my needs I haven’t used the product in this way as of yet. I would also like to say that this powder is particularly effective for those who have pale skin as I do, as many other powders are too dark in comparison. The powder is currently selling for the regular retail price of £9.99 at Superdrug.

Just a side note, I don’t know if I have already mentioned but Superdrug have a loyalty card which is useful if you are a regular customer. They also deliver and have a click and collect service which can come in handy if your local Superdrug doesn’t stock some of your favourite products.

This will be the last review I’m going to post today but hopefully there will be a few more posts throughout tomorrow, enjoy the rest of your day or evening,

Sophie.

Haircare review

Hi everyone! I’m back from my course now, feeling a little on edge with everything we covered so I’m just chilling out a bit. I’m going to review a couple of basic hair products which are available for purchase at Superdrug. A lot of my beauty, skincare and hair care reviews will be coming from this shop so if you live anywhere apart from the UK I apologise. Superdrug is like a drugstore, stocking most beauty and health products and I’m sure there will be an alternative in your country which stocks vegan and cruelty free products.

Anyway, first I’m going to review a basic shampoo and conditioner. I’ve been using the Superdrug Extracts Shampoo Cherry & Fig 400ml.

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Apart from smelling fantastic and leaving hair clean and fresh, this shampoo is formulated for those of us unlucky enough to have fine hair. Well, unlucky if you’d like to have a thicker and fuller head of hair. In my opinion this product really does add something to your hair, a bit more texture which helps it to seem fuller so for the price it is worth a go. The shampoo is currently £0.97 (RRP £1.99) and it also comes in the same formulation as a conditioner for added softness and manageability. It’s worth noting that Superdrug have other formulations in this range so there’s something for most hair types including dry, coloured or oily hair, and all at the same great price. I actually picked up the conditioner from the dry or damaged range as I find the heat of summer dries my hair out quite a bit, so once a week I like to nourish it. Any more than once a week and my fine hair becomes far too flyaway for my liking! So the conditioner I got was Superdrug Extracts Conditioner Coconut & Almond 400ml, anyone who knows me knows I adore coconut scented or flavoured products so this was a real winner.

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The 400ml bottle is also currently on offer for £0.97 (RRP £1.99).

While I trusted that the basic volumising shampoo would do its job I opted to buy another shampoo for when I really want to give my hair a lift, Superdrug Shampoo Volume Pro-V 400ml which is currently on offer for £1.22 (RRP £2.29).

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This shampoo is such a treat as it smells like salon quality shampoo, lathers up massively and leaves my hair feeling rich and full. It’s a tad more expensive than the basic but as it’s not an everyday shampoo I don’t mind. The shampoo gives my hair a real boost but still leaves it feeling fresh and clean, so for me it is a great product. Superdrug’s Pro-V range comes in five varieties including extra shine, thermal protection and a formulation for coloured hair. Each variety also has a corresponding conditioner.

Hope your day is free of stress, see you soon with another review,

Sophie