Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Soigne Do Plant Based Nails

Soigne Botanique Plant-Based, Eco Friendly Nail Polish

Hello all! Massive apologies for the lack of recent postings. University have seriously got me by the short-and-curlies at the moment with presentations and epic essays. Thankfully, it's now officially the Christmas holidays so I can steal a little extra blogging time! I've been so excited to bring you this post. I'm a hardcore nail polish addict and it's so hard to find quality, pigmented products that aren't riddled with chemicals and animal colourings or come from sketchy companies with shady animal testing policies. Recently though, I was told about the Soigne Botanique* range. A completely cruelty-free, 85% plant based collection of vegan-friendly nail polishes in some seriously gorgeous colours but without all the nasty junk.

Soigne Botanique Plant-Based, Eco-Friendly Nail Polish

Soigne (pronounced swahn-yay) want to completely rewrite the nail polish rule book by adding an ECO clause. They've developed a range that's free from harsh chemicals and carcinogenic ingredients whilst making no compromise on quality. Their ingredients are sourced from wood pulp, corn, potatoes and wheat. Not only is this good news for our nails, and for the environment, but it's amazing news for animals. The polishes are proving to be a huge hit. They've even been praised by Vogue Magazine!

I've been playing around with 3 of the shades: Bleuet, Pomegranate and Muscadene and I'm so impressed with the pigmentation of these babies! Bleuet is the most gorgeous, deep petrol blue I've ever clapped eyes on. I don't think I've ever seen a shade like it. Pomegranate has the honour of being this year's Christmas day mani. It's a pure, brilliant red which is spot-on for this time of year. Muscadene is a darkened violet that is also perfect for the Autumn/Winter season. Who doesn't love a blackcurrant mani? The polishes are pretty much chip-proof with the right top coat. Bleuet lasted a good week on me before it started to look tired.

Soigne Plant-Based Nail Polish in Bleuet

Soigne polishes range from delicate nudes, to pretty pastels, to creamy browns (and every other colour in between). The packaging is simplistic, clean and chic. Prices range from £11 for singles (10ml) to boxed collections priced around £38 (5x10ml), although they're currently reduced in a seasonal sale so get them while they're hot!

Browse the full selection at www.soignenails.com

And follow on TwitterInstagram and Facebook for a first look at all the latest products.

*This post features PR samples
** Title image c/o soignenails.com

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Seasonal Sweets by Scoff

Not that I ever needed any excuse whatsoever to eat fudge but... with the days getting shorter and colder and the festive season fast approaching (I'm not sure if I'm quite ready to say the C-word just yet) I've been hankering after certain Winter flavours. It just so happens that Scoff Sweets, a favourite of mine since I first encountered their vegan chocolate fudge in a past The Vegan Kind box, have come up trumps this year and added some winter-themed treats to their collection.

Obviously, upon hearing the news, it took me less than 6 seconds to navigate my way to their website for a nosey... Subsequent purchases were made. Scoff are a little handmade confectionary shop tucked away in Brixton who offer a gorgeous range of vegan and gluten-free items. Their philosophy is that delicious, decadent treats shouldn't be off-limits to vegans and those with food intolerances so they've come up with an irresistible range of fudge, truffles and cakes for any occasion. Their products are a combo of soya/coconut creams, sunflower marg, golden syrup and fairtrade sugar with additions of dried fruit.

The items I dropped into my online basket were their special edition Toffee Apple Fudge, their White Chocolate and Raspberry Fudge and this sweet little box of dark chocolate truffles. I'm not willing to disclose exactly how long they lasted before I demolished the lot but I did try to exercise some sort of restraint. Nothing that a couple of extra gym sessions won't solve. The Toffee Apple Fudge was the first to fall prey. It brought back memories of bonfire toffee and has a delightful chew to it thanks to caramelised apple chunks. The white choc and raspberry didn't disappoint either. Other seasonal offerings include crystallised ginger fudge.

If you're looking for festive stocking filler ideas, the bags are perfectly gift-sized and so well presented. The truffles (which are out of this world, by the way) come in a pretty little box wrapped with a ribbon and are also available with amaretto or coconut.

Scoff's offerings are reasonably priced for a handmade product at £3.50 for fudge (150g bag) and £4.50 for a box of 6 truffles. They were extremely fast to ship too so plenty of time to stock up in time for... nah, I'm still not gonna say the C-word. 

Check out Scoff's tantalising range of treats at

You can also connect with Scoff on Twitter and Facebook.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Lunatick Cosmetic Labs Launch in the UK!

Something for the vegan girlies... It feels like forever since I wrote an exciting beauty post! I've been completely neglecting my beauty blog while I've been getting this blog up and running again but I'm thrilled to be able to announce the arrival of US brand Lunatick cosmetics to the UK. It makes its debut tomorrow at cutECOsmetics.co.uk with 5 spook-tacular, coffin-shaped eyeshadow palettes. Perfect to get you into the spirit of Halloween but also 100% cruelty-free and VEGAN!

Lunatick are a small, family-run company hailing from Milwaukee, US with a quirky range of animal-friendly, handmade cosmetics, designed for anyone from blushing brides to brides of Frankenstein. Included in the range are ultra-pigmented lipglosses, silk eyeshadows and THESE palettes which are all inspired by classic hammer horror movies of old. There are 6 to choose from...


Zombie Defense

Hocus Pocus
I have a serious packaging crush on these palettes. They're a coffin/ouija board hybrid. Even the mirror is bat-shaped. If you're a horror-junkie like myself then you'll go mad for these. The shade combinations are brilliant so there's definitely something for everyone. They've catered for lovers of neutrals, glitter and brights with this selection. I'm a die-hard fan of neutrals so , of course, Supernatural and Relic have got me the most excited. Which to buy first though?! It's so tough!

These palettes launch TOMORROW (Friday 17th October) on CutECOsmetics.co.uk and will retail for £22.95 each. Perfect if you're looking to treat yourself for Halloween. 

CuteECOsmetics are a UK-based, 100% cruelty-free online cosmetics store with an extensive selection of compassionate and eco-friendly brands, many of which are vegan friendly. Other delights include Sugarpill, Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, Concrete Minerals and more. 

Friday, 10 October 2014

The Vegan Kind DOUBLE: TVK11 & TVK12

Since I failed so miserably at blogging throughout September (it was a busy month for me, even without all the technical difficulties I was having with Wordpress) I have double the TVK snack-porn to share with you for October! I've had a total of 7 boxes from TVK to date and there have been very few disappointments. Both their service and their product have been consistently outstanding and delicious. I'd also like to add that I finally got to meet the lovely Karris and hubby at VegFest London recently, and they're every bit as lovely in the flesh as they are via social media. I hope they will make the trip to London more often!

The main event of this blog post will be the brand, spanking new TVK12 October box, but I wanted to just give you a quick peep at September's box as there were a couple of real gems in there! The highlights of TVK11 for me were definitely the Hoots pickled onion baked snacks (seriously, one bag wasn't enough) and the Gourmet Spice Company Magic BBQ Dust. I can't wait to sprinkle that stuff on EVERYTHING! A slight disappointment for me was the Skin Likes deodorant. I had high hopes for it but it just didn't go the distance for me. Ombar Coco Mylk chocolate is always welcome in my belly though. I was already a fan so the bar in this box didn't last long.

TVK12 arrived at my door early this week. To be honest, I haven't been able to enjoy it fully yet as I've been struck down with a bizarre stomach bug for the last couple of days and haven't had much of an appetite but I've had a little nibble on the Howdah Onion Bhaji snacks and I couldn't resist sneaking one of the Angelic Double Chocolate cookies (chocolate is always the best medicine, in my opinion) which are also gluten free. So, here's the rundown in pictures of what was in the box...

The products that I've already dipped into were both lovely. I was impressed that the cookies were only 70cals each! You wouldn't be able to tell from the taste. I like that they're not too sweet and the texture was very pleasant. The onion bhajis were just the right amount of spicy for me. Kind of like the classic onion ring snacks but with extra crunch and a spicy zing.

I haven't tried the chocolate covered raspberries by Landgarten yet. I'm saving those for my next marathon dissertation study session (trust me, they will be much more appreciated that way). I do love Landgarten's other products. One company that is new to me is NOM (Naturally Organic Matters) Foods. I really like these kind of snack bars before or after the gym for a hit of energy. Due to being poorly sick, I haven't had chance to workout this week as yet but I'll be packing this in my gym bag on my next visit.

The product that really had me intrigued out of this bunch was the Triumph Moisturising Creme Balm by Premae Skincare with frankincense oil. This is probably the most expensive item I've ever had in any subscription box, and it's a really great size sample (this 10ml is worth £33). Triumph products have won awards and are 100% cruelty-free and vegan. I tried it for the first time under my makeup this morning and I'm seriously impressed by how smooth my skin looks and feels. Sadly, I won't be able to purchase a full size of this due to my student poverty but I think it's wonderful that I get to sample products like this in a box that only costs £10. That's amazing value! I do, however, consider it an act of cruelty for TVK to give me this fantastic product that I will NEVER be able to buy again.

This month's TVK featured charity is Manchester and Cheshire Dogs' Home in the wake of their recent tragedy. 10p from each TVK12 box sold will go towards caring for the remaining dogs and helping the organisation get back on their feet.

For more info and to subscribe to The Vegan Kind visit www.thevegankind.com

Did you know that they're now offering international shipping on their boxes? Vegan treats for EVERYONE! Also be sure to hit them up on Facebook and Twitter with any questions. They're a really chatty bunch!

Monday, 6 October 2014

Vegan Life Magazine Issue 1: Bringing Vegan Into Vogue

Well HELLO!!!
I can't even begin to tell you what a relief it is to get back to blogging again! After a horrific (and brief) experience trying to make this blog work on Wordpress, I've taken the decision to reincarnate it, complete with a new name and look, back on Blogger and BOY do I feel more at home here. I've pasted in all previous content from the old site, so nobody misses anything but I thought I'd kick it all back off today with a brand NEW post. A week or so ago I took a trip to London Olympia for my first ever VegFest where I came across Vegan Life Magazine. I'd heard a little on the social media grapevine that they'd just published their first issue and was thrilled to pick up issue one for a bargain show price of just £1! 

So, yesterday I settled down with a hot cup of green tea and a jammy bagel to digest everything Vegan Life has to offer. I'm not a magazine reader in general to be honest, I'm more likely to get my veg news and recipe fixes via blogs, social media and Google, but I'd forgotten how good it feels to leaf through a hard copy in front of me whilst lounging around the breakfast table. 

This magazine isn't all about the foodporn, nor is it all about ethics. It has a delightful mix of recipes, news, debate, new products and familiar vegan faces. Being the Oriental food junkie that I am, I almost leapt out of my seat in excitement at the mouthwatering Eastern Feast recipe feature. I was also pleased to see lovely blogger and cookbook author Aine Carlin, P.S It's Vegan and the phenomenal Fiona Oakes all featured. 

The thing that struck me the most about this magazine is how inspiring it is to read. It really hammers home how positive and uplifting veganism can be for those who embrace it. I know it was definitely a life-changer for me. It was a true pleasure to read so many heartfelt stories from writers, chefs and athletes alike whilst also discovering new vegan products and learning a few tricks along the way.

The magazine itself is attractive, well laid out and also pretty sturdy. Perfect for coffee tables (hey, your curious omni visitors might even take a flick through, who knows). You can also subscribe digitally and read it via an iPad or smartphone. I'll definitely be signing up! Subscriptions start from just £14.50 for a year. I certainly don't plan on reviewing every issue by any means, but I thought it would be foolish not to spread the word about such an exciting and inspiring new vegan resource.

For more info on Vegan Life, to subscribe or to view the preview of this issue make sure you check out veganlifemag.co.uk

Where do you get your vegan news and inspiration??

Sunday, 8 June 2014

A Few Vegan Reads...

I thought I'd share with you, in this post, a handful of my favourite animal rights-related reads. I've always loved books that really engage me, that broaden my knowledge and help me understand issues in a deeper context. Once I'd wrapped my head around what was REALLY happening in the meat and dairy industries and what our supposedly 'healthy diets' are actually doing to our bodies, it really helped me motivate and stay on the vegan path. I think any of these books are great choices for anyone wanting to understand a little more about veganism, get down to the bare bones of the issues and challenges we face in a non-vegan world and figure out a way to move forward.

Mad Cowboy/No More Bull - Howard Lyman with Glen Merzer

If you're already a vegan you'll know who Howard Lyman is. Actually, even if you're not and you've got a decent memory you might recall him as the ex rancher who got himself and Oprah sued back in 1996 by a group of Texas cattlemen for warning America that Mad Cow Disease was coming (he was spot on, of course). He has also appeared in Vegucated and I spotted him in the trailer for the upcoming documentary Cowspiracy (which I am so excited about). He is a former cattle rancher, environmentalist, vegan advocate, cancer survivor, and a man I could listen to all day long. In these books he tells his own story of how he came to to be speaking out against his former career, lifts the lid on what really goes on in CAFOs and gives it to you straight on why it cannot continue. Add to this a few spilled industry secrets and dodgy government practices and you've got a winning combination. I thoroughly enjoyed both of these titles.

The China Study - T. Colin Campbell PhD, Thomas M. Campbell

This is a book that everyone, vegan or otherwise, should read as a matter of life and death (literally). If you're vegan you will want to share this book with EVERYONE you know. If you're not, it could completely change your life. If I'd read this pre-vegan I think I'd have immediately run to my fridge and dumped out the contents into the nearest waste bin. Colin Campbell came from dairy farming beginnings to becoming a leader in biomedical and nutritional sciences, to orchestrating the biggest, most comprehensive study of nutrition and disease ever conducted. This book details his findings and the evidence for dairy and animal protein is damning when it comes to cancer, heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis. Campbell also features prominently in the documentary Forks Over Knives. This book isn't light reading and I've found it best to dip in and out of it in order to take everything in but, if you're concerned for your health, or that of a loved one, it is essential information which could prolong, if not save lives.

Empty Cages - Tom Regan

This is one of the first books I bought whilst researching for my dissertation research proposal (a recommendation from my psychology teacher daddy). Tom Regan is a professor of philosophy so this book is one of the most extensive and thought provoking of the lot. What I love about it is that he hasn't left any stone unturned and has applied his logic to any argument you could think of against animal sentience, veganism and the entitlement animals have to basic rights (like the one where we don't kill them and just leave them in peace). Like Lyman and Campbell, Regan had his values completely shaken up by what he came to realise during his process. He covers all bases in detail with this book; animals used for food, for performing and for research and poses many questions. Parts of this book will make you sad and angry (Regan goes into a fair amount of detail regarding what animals endure at the hands of humans), but it will also educate you and provide even the most hardened omnivores amongst us a deeper understanding of the animal rights movement.

Why we Love Dogs, Eat Pigs and Wear Cows - Melanie Joy PhD

I bought this book after a recommendation from Our Hen House (because they are awesome and I trust them). Question for the non vegans; how would you feel if you were tucking into a pot of delicious 'beef' stew, only to be told that it was actually a golden retriever you were eating? Would you be repulsed, disgusted or sad? Would you refuse to eat any more, or at least be reluctant to, despite the fact it tasted so good? What Melanie Joy is getting at here is that there is a double standard in our society whereby we put animals into boxes and give them labels such as friend, food and clothing. In her view 'carnism' is born of cognitive dissonance and an unwillingness to think about, or relate to, the qualities of the species of animals we consider as our food.  Does a dog's life really have more value than a pig's? I'm still reading this one but I'm really enjoying it. This subject is right up my alley. It's also one that everyone should consider. A great book to buy two copies of and lend out to non vegan friends. I'll be urging my dad to read it.

Eating Animals - Jonathan Safran Foer

This one will appeal to any parent who has ever wanted to do right by their children. Foer's journey began this way. He wanted to research as much as he could to ensure that he would be not only feeding his newborn son right, but also teaching him the right moral path in life. He later admits that, while the book began as a personal journey, it didn't remain that way and that his basic desire to know what meat was and where it came from, merely opened up a whole new manner of environmental and social questions. The book is peppered with facts about the meat, dairy and egg industries which makes it punchy and Foer's family anecdotes really helped me warm to his dilemma. Whether you're a parent or not, if you can relate to his niggling doubts then this book is definitely for you.

Those are a few of the books I've read recently. I'm becoming a bit addicted to buying them if I'm honest. I was able to pick up all of these books on Amazon, some for as little as 6 pence (always look in the 'new and used' offers page) and always below the listed price. They say that knowledge is power, and I want every fact and argument in my personal arsenal when tackling non-believers. Any of these books would also be great to lend out to friends. 

Have you ever read a book that changed the way you see animals?? What did you think to these titles?? Any other recommendations?? 

Monday, 26 May 2014

What's in The Vegan Kind #TVK7 Box??

This post is actually a repost from my other blog because I felt that its true home was here. So if you're a reader of my beauty/lifestyle blog I apologise for repeating myself! If we've only just met and this post is entirely new to you... HI and enjoy!
For anyone unfamiliar with TVK, they are a monthly subscription box service specialising in Vegan and Eco friendly snacks, toiletries and household products along with monthly recipe cards and discount codes on featured products. 10p from every box sold goes to benefit featured charities and this month the donation will be made to Give a Dog a Bone - And an Animal a Home. You do NOT have to be a vegan to enjoy this service but it's a great [place to start if you're looking to make more compassionate and eco friendly choices.
Here's what's in the box!!!
First of all, I know what your immediate thoughts were.... ERMAHGERD VEGAN CHOCCY FUDGE! It was my initial reaction too and it took a little while for me to acknowledge the rest of the contents of the box, I was that preoccupied with it. True to form it only took me a day and a half to snaffle all of the delicious Scoff Sweets fudge and it gets a massive thumbs up from me!
I'm so excited to try the WholePlus Vanilla Spice Hot Pot. I am a long time porridge disciple and I love that you can just add water to this and munch away. It's made with coconut milk powder so completely cow and calf friendly. I'll definitely let you know what it's like. I must admit I'm a loose leaf tea virgin and I have visions of this fresh looking Keemun Morning Tea by The Dormouse Tea Company ending up all over my kitchen surfaces. They've cleverly provided some empty bags with it though so I will have to apply some serious concentration and get it packed up and ready to brew.
I've had an overwhelming urge lately to make a big batch of vegan Tzatziki dip and these Golden Apple raw biscuits with Hazelnut and Peppermint will be the perfect thing to dip into it. I'm yet to fully embrace the whole 'raw' thing so I'm looking forward to giving these a thorough taste testing. I'm not a huge pepperminty person if I'm honest but TVK have a habit of making me like things I wouldn't normally. One thing I DO like however, is sweet potato and give me a packet of crisps and I will always be happy. The Piri Piri Sweet Potato Crisps from Hectares lasted about as long as the fudge did. Wonderfully crunchy and with a lovely spicy kick.
Lastly, TVK always seem to know when I'm running low on household things. They predicted my washing up liquid shortage with my first box and now they've come to my aid with some concentrated Non Bio Laundry liquid by Bio D with no nasty chemicals, fragrance free and made from sustainable, naturally derived raw ingredients. Winner!
I'd definitely recommend the TVK service. I always feel like I've had my money's worth and they're always super chatty and friendly on social media. Check out their Facebook Page for Vegan and cruelty free chatter, recipes and giveaways. To subscribe to their service you can visit
(£10 per month with £2.99 UK postage)