Sunday, 4 March 2018

Top 5 Tips for Switching to a Cruelty-Free Lifestyle

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If you follow me on Instagram, you would be aware that I decided to make the change to cruelty-free beauty last year. This was inspired by a few blogger friends, my personal views on the ethics of animal testing and a need to de-clutter my life and focus on the important things. I've been a vegetarian for that past two or so years and it just felt like the right move.

I don't believe that animal testing is a necessity, there are plenty of brands that don't test on animals and manage to thrive. You would think this is a black and white issue, either companies do or do not test on animals, right? Wrong! A lot of brands claim they they "do not conduct animal testing on our products or ingredients, nor ask others to test on our behalf, except when required by law". This basically means that although the brand or company doesn't test on animals themselves, if they sell their product in a country where animal testing is required by law *cough* China *cough*, the products will be tested on animals. It's also confusing because while no animal testing takes place in Australia for cosmetics, it's technically not illegal. 

It also gets complicated because a lot of brands have come up with their own "certified cruelty free" logos to put onto their products. Companies can also be certified cruelty-free, but not be willing to pay the extra fee to display the official logos. Check out this post by Cruelty-Free Kitty to see the logos, their affiliated organisations and their lists of certified cruelty free brands.

There are so many ins-and-out to the cruelty-free world. Personally, I wish it was more transparent. I've quite often found myself standing in a shop, sifting through pages and pages of info online, trying to find out if a brand is cruelty free or not. It can seem intimidating to switch to a cruelty-free lifestyle, so here are some top tips.

1. Do your research

There are a tonne of cruelty-free beauty and lifestyle bloggers who make it their mission to share the CF way. A quick Google search will bring up a plethora of people who have made lists, e-mailed brands and generally made it easier for anyone who wants to go cruelty-free. If you aren't sure and can't find any information, e-mail the brand directly. You do have to be careful with wording, as I said above, it's not always clear. Thankfully, some smart cookies have also come up with templates on what to ask.'

2. Make some CF friends

I'm lucky in that a few of my bloggers friends also use exclusively cruelty-free products too. We swap stories and recommendations and it makes things easy. If you don't have any close friends who use CF brands, find some! There are hundreds of Facebook groups and forums discussing the best and worst of cruelty-free.

3. Don't feel like you have to go cold turkey

I started by separating my beauty stash into two piles: cruelty-free and non cruelty-free. I then went through the non CF pile and picked out items that I wanted to keep and use up or find CF alternatives for. Instead of throwing the rest out, I posted some of the new things online for sale, I donated some to charities, I used some for fundraising events, I gave some away to family and friends. I also gave myself a good few months to use up the things I couldn't part with right away so I didn't feel pressured. I also didn't want to throw things away because I try and be as eco-friendly as I can.

4. Try new brands

Places like Mecca Maxima and even Priceline will give out samples of foundations for you to test out. Make use of this! Try out new brands and see what you like and what works for you. Buy some sample sizes and see if you like them enough to buy the full size. Find local brands and give them a go.

5. DIY

There are a lot of beauty items you can make on your own. Everything from lip balm to moisturiser to dry shampoo is easy to make, and works just as well as store bought in most cases. Again, there are lots of resources online for making your own products with lots of tips on how to make them last. It's also really fun and DIY beauty products make excellent gifts.

I hope you enjoyed the first post in my cruelty-free series, stay tuned for more and feel free to contact me with requests.

Dani XO

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

West End Street Art Festival

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One of the things I love about living in Brisbane is the amazing number of cultural and community events and festivals we have. I love the colour, the food, the vibes and the fact that we're celebrating a little slice of our beautiful city. One amazing event that is just around the corner is the West End Street Art Festival.

This is Australia's first dedicated festival and market celebrating urban art and design. The main feature of the festival is the amazing street art murals created by some of Australia's most talented artists. The are all fun, fabulous and definitely worth looking at. These beautiful murals will be appearing in West End, along Boundary and Russell Street.
 The festival will culminate in a market to celebrate these amazing artworks and will take place on Saturday the 22nd of October. The markets will be a mix of market stalls, live music, street food, walking tours, live painting and interactive workshops. The festival also aims to raise $10,000 for Orange Sky Laundry, a Brisbane-based organisation helping homeless youths. Tickets are $5 pre-sale (bargain!) and $10 on the day AND I have a whole bunch of passes to give away to lucky Brisbanites. If you'd like a ticket, please leave a comment on my Instagram post () telling me why you'd like to come along and I'll message the lucky winners next week.

I am so looking forward to this amazing festival and I really hope to see you all there.

Dani XO

This post was produced in collaboration with the West End Street Art Festival but is NOT sponsored and, as always, all opinions are my own.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

bellabox x Nourished Life

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Bellabox is a beauty sample subscription box that delivers a box of deluxe beauty samples to your door, every month. I was a huge fan of the service a few years back and when I was approached to review their newest box, I was very interested. This new offering is a Limited Edition in collaboration with Nourished Life. It's jam-packed with a range of vegan, cruelty-free and organic brands covering skincare, haircare and makeup giving you $250 worth of products for $79.95. Unlike their usual subscription service, you can purchase this as a one-off. So what do you actually get in the box? 


Ethique Sampler RRP $20.00 - I'm a huge fan of the Lush shampoo bars so I was really excited to see these included. They are solid shampoos, designed to help reduce the amount of plastic you use. My sampler has bars for normal to dry hair which is perfect as winter is killing my poor scalp. Very keen to try these out. 

Happy Skincare Good Vibes Omega Facial Oil RRP $38.50 for 30ml - This one is designed to "deeply hydrate and nourish stressed skin". It has a quite strong scent (think natural/essential oil) but is meant to absorb very easily. Facial oils aren't my cup of tea but if you do like them, this seems like a good one. It's made with 87% organic ingredients too which is always a good thing. 
*Sample size*
Rosehip Plus Organic Daily Cream Cleanser RRP $16.95 - I have actually tried this one before and while I loved the consistency, it ended up being way too rich for my skin. If you have dry skin, I think it a real winner though. Plus rosehip is great for scarring and the cream cleanser makes for an excellent makeup remover. 

Mukti Organics Age Defiance Vital C Elixir RRP $109.95 for 30ml - I originally thought this was an oil but it's actually a serum. It's always nice to see a sample of a very pricey product so you can test it out before handing over $100. This is meant to be an anti-ageing product and claims to "fight against photo-ageing, free radicals and environmental pollution". I don't know if this little sample is quite enough to test out all those claims but it's a really nice serum and left my skin feeling plump and glowy. 
*Sample size*

Pure Papaya Ointment with Calendula RRP $9.95 - I can never have enough papaya/papaw ointment! I always look out for ones that are petrochemical free, like this one, which also contains calendula to nourish and soothe. This will definitely be going straight into my handbag! 

Life Basics Activated Charcoal Body Soap with Lemongrass RRP $9.95 - This is one of my favourite items in the box! The charcoal helps remove dirt but it's also packed with coconut, sunflower and olive oil to soothe dry skin. Really keen to give this one a try. 

Egyptian Magic All Purpose Cream RRP - $49.95 for 118ml - This is a cult favourite skincare product containing just 6 ingredients (olive oil, beeswax, honey, bee pollen, propolis and Royal Jelly). I personally found it way too greasy for my face but it's nice for dry skin on your hands/body. Personally, this isn't my cup of tea but I know a lot of people who do love it.
*Sample size*

Salt and Glow Be Still Lip Balm RRP $8.50 - I am very keen to try this one out! A lip balm I've been using has left my lips dry, cracked and bleeding so any TLC I can give them would be amazing. I like the flavour combo (lavender and orange) and the packaging makes me very happy too. 

Black Chicken Remedies Axilla Deodorant Paste RRP $18.50 for 75g - I'm a big fan of natural deodorants, although some work a lot better than others. This one is vegan and certified organic and smells vaguely pepperminty. I'm very excited to try it out as my last experience with natural deodorant left me sweaty, smelly and very unhappy! 
*Sample size*


Inika Organic Baked Illuminisor RRP $65.00 - I am in love this this highlighter! The packaging is amazing and the product is to die for. It reminds me of Cindy Lou Manizer by The Balm. So so pretty and also vegan *winning*

Inika Organic Vegan Fan Brush RRP $39.00 - This is everything you could want in a fan brush. Soft, good quality, pretty and did I mention soft? 

100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Lip Gloss RRP $24.95 - As soon as I tried this, I was transported back to my primary school Lip Smacker days. The difference is that this one is that this version is cruelty free and made with natural ingredients. The colour is quite sheer but it's not tacky or sticky and really nice to wear. 


Zen Green Tea Matcha Powder RRP $29.95 for 60g - My trip to Japan earlier this year gave me a new love and appreciation for matcha! It has all sorts of amazing heist benefits including boosting immunity and increasing energy. I also think it tastes great and really soothes the soul! 
*Sample size*
I did mention this was a jam-packed box! I think it's really good value for money and all of the brands included are cruelty free, some are also organic and vegan too. You can get your Nourished Life box from bellabox from July 6

Will you be picking up one of these amazing boxes on Thursday?

Dani xo

This box and contents were provided as a PR sample but, as always, my opinions are my own.

Monday, 19 June 2017

A Divine Winter Glow

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Let me set the scene for you. Winter has set in. Your skin is dull, dry and hidden under several thick layers. The bits of skin you do glimpse have lost their golden summer glow. Enter, The Divine Company!
I was lucky enough to attend a really awesome product launch for this brand last year. They have an amazing range of organic skincare and have just release their latest additions, The Exfoliating Body Scrub ($32.95) and The Naturally Bronze Gradual Tan ($34.95). Both are certified organic and I personally haven't come across or used a certified organic tanner before.

I'm not a bit fan of straight up fake tans. I almost always manage to stuff up. Gradual tans are definitely my jam, so I was very keen to try these both out.

The scrub was definitely my favourite of the two. It's got a very strong citrus scent, because it's packed with lime, which I loved. I found it very refreshing to take a warm, citrusy shower, scrub up and step out feeling fresh and smooth. The scrub isn't overly gritty but it does get the job done. It did a really great job on my knees and elbows, which always get super dry in winter.

The gradual tanner was easy to use and wasn't too drying. It did have a bit of a floral scent mixed with the classic fake tan smell which I wasn't a big fan of, but it faded pretty quickly. I used it over 4 days and ended up with a definite bronze glow. It's very subtle but added a nice warmth to my skin. If you're after a full on, super golden tan, it's definitely not for you. If you just need to beat the winter blues and fancy adding a subtle glow, this is the product for you!
If this sounds like something you'd like to try, then you're in luck. The lovely team at The Divine Company have given me a code (WINTERGLOW) that will give you a free Exfoliating Scrub when you buy a Gradual Tanner. They're a winning combo and you'll save yourself $32!

Dani XO

*Products in this post were provided as PR samples but, as always, my opinion is my own. I do not make any money from readers using the promo code. 

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