Monday, December 05, 2016

Christmas Giveaway: Print Your Photos!

I decided to do a blog post on my giveaway for those who don't fancy watching a video!

I'm going to be giving away the Christmas Cheerzbox from Cheerz! I specifically chose this brand for my giveaway since I think they're something that everyone can enjoy, and they're so high quality and perfect for this time of year because of their gorgeous packaging. They go the extra mile with photo printing, as I've said before. You can check out other products in these blog posts to get an idea of what you'll be getting: Last Year's Christmas & Cheerz Photo Album! Even if you don't win my giveaway, I think they'll make the best Christmas gifts & you can get £4 off a purchase with the code XSUM0J :D

All of the rules are in the description of my video so go check it out so you know what to do!

Good luck to you if you enter! <3

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Body Shop Christmas Blogger Event

Last month proved pretty exciting and eventful for me. I've met so many new friends, both online and in person. I finally met YasminYammy and Victoria who are all so nice and so beautiful. The Body Shop event specifically was a place where I got to meet and talk to a bunch of people who I know from blogging and it was such a nice evening for me. Not only was it fun to meet so many people, but it was also nice to have a sneak peek at the Body Shop's products for Christmas and to get to try out some of the products. We were all gifted with a Body Shop advent calendar too which I'm going to mention in this post, but I'll have an unboxing video on my YouTube channel very soon!

The evening consisted of cocktails, photo booths, product testing, and chats. It all took place in Lambert's Yard, where I've attended blogger events before so if you're in Leeds check it out since it's a gorgeous venue. I was a little confused by the theme at first since there was a life sized zebra waiting inside, but this year they've gone for something a little different by bringing animals into the Christmas theme to tie in with their beliefs about animal testing.

Side note that not all of their products are 100% vegan so you'll have to check individual products to see. I'm sure that the staff in store will be happy to help you if you just ask since they all seem really friendly and knowledgable about the products being sold.

I totally forgot to mention that this whole event was both a display of their Christmas products as well as celebrating the opening of a new store in Leeds, so if you're in Leeds definitely check it out since it's got a really cool new look to it.

There are too many products to mention for Christmas, but I'll talk about some of my favourites! I love the little sponges. There's Reggie, Rosie and Reggie Jnr and they're adorable and £4. There's also the Spiced Apple range which is really nice if you like apple and cinnamon, or the Frosted Berries which is much sweeter. Of course, the advent calendars look incredible too, but beauty advent calendars always seem exciting.

The Oils of Life range is apparently amazing & suitable for any skin type (I think). I'm really interested to try something from this range because my skin is always in need of a little extra moisturising in the Winter months.

Another exciting things for Christmas which has to be mentioned is their personalised body butters. I don't have any pictures of them unfortunately but I'm sure you can have a look in store or online for them. I think they'd make an amazing gift for somebody who loves body butters, or for a Secret Santa to make it a little more personal. They're only available up until Christmas and retail at £14 so if you want one, you've gotta go sooner rather than later.

Here's a sneak preview of what you'll find in the '24 Happy Days Advent Calendar' (£60, worth £106) but you'll have to head back to my YouTube channel to have a look at exactly what you get. The video should be up very soon!

And I think that's about everything I can say without going on for pages and pages! Thank you so much to the Body Shop for inviting me to hang out with such a wonderful bunch of people. It was the best evening :D Hope you enjoyed my post, remember to leave a comment or tweet me @beckyis0bel <3

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Vegan Beauty: Arbonne Mask & Mousse Review

This post marks the first of a series of posts I plan to do on all of the cruelty-free/vegan products I am using as replacements to my other products. I'll just say now that my blog may still contain some products which are not cf/v because I'm not throwing away old products (it would be a waste of money, life, and materials).

These two products aren't so much replacements for previous products (since I don't regularly use face masks / hair mousse), but they're two products which Arbonne sent to me to try out. I have used Arbonne products in the past and loved them & I think they make some great products.

Texturising Mousse

I'm going to start off by talking about the hair mousse* (£20). It's a texturising mousse which you apply to the roots and lengths of your hair whilst it's still wet. I actually tried this when my hair was longer, and then after I had it cut a lot. When my hair was quite a bit longer, I felt it didn't have as much of an effect, since there was so much weight to my hair that volumising products never really do a lot, other than dry shampoo which I try to avoid using. Now that my hair is short, however, I'm really liking using it. It's so quick and easy to use and it gives my hair a little more volume and texture. 

I don't style my hair ever really - I like it how it is naturally - so this is perfect for me since it just gives my hair a more 'finished' look. It's a really lightweight mousse rather than a thick one, and it feels a bit more like foam. It dissolves right away into the hair and it doesn't leave it sticky or hard. I tend to go for just two pumps just for a little extra texture, and then I let it dry naturally.

Soothing Overnight Mask

So, as I've said, I do not use masks really. I do very rarely, or I'll just slap on a load of moisturiser and call it a mask, so this isn't a replacement for another product, it's just something new to try. It is a soothing mask* (£26) rather than moisturising or clearing or anything else you can get in a mask. You apply it before bed, let it dry, and wash it off in the morning. I tend to leave about 15 minutes of drying time before I go to sleep, otherwise it just goes all over my pillows because it isn't dry enough. When it's on, it has a cooling and slightly tingly feeling. It's that sort of feeling you get when you put cucumbers on your eyes - not exactly the same feeling, but similar. 

In the morning my skin felt soft and refreshed, but a little tight, so I put moisturiser on. It isn't a moisturising mask so I should've expected that. It may not be suitable for dry skin because of that, and it might be good for oily skin.

For me, I think it's a really nice and soothing mask (as the bottle says), and I think any mask is just relaxing. It's the type of thing I would use maybe once a week, but wouldn't consider it as part of my routine. My routine is literally to cleanse, wash and moisturise, so I'm not the best person to ask about that. I feel like it might be good if you have angry spots to put on those, but somehow my spot days are coming to an end so I'm not sure!


So all in all, they're both really nice products, neither of which feel too heavy or too much. I would recommend both, especially the hair mousse because it's probably my favourite hair mousse that I've tried. I'm really excited about this series on my blog because I'll be promoting all amazing products which also happen to be cruelty free / vegan, which is proof that you can have great products without harming animals in any way. It's a very easy transition to make which is having no effect on my life, but if everyone did this, it would have a huge effect on the lives of many animals.

Let me know your thoughts on these products if you've tried them, or leave a comment recommending any vegan / cruelty free products / brands!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Coverting to Vegan, Cruelty Free Makeup Only

Disclaimer, for all of you vegan-haters before you start reading this post: I'm not vegan. I eat meat. Okay, now carry on.

For years, I've been using makeup which tests on animals, and I still am now. This means that, in order to make myself look a little prettier, animals have to suffer. If you really think hard about that, it's horrible, and I've been doing a lot of hard thinking lately. Now, I am not vegan, as I've said, or even vegetarian, however I strive to eat less meat and reduce the amount of cruelty little by little, since personally I don't feel I could go cold turkey straight away, and I believe that doing good is good enough for now, since if everybody were to do one 'good' thing, like using vegan makeup products only, the amount of cruelty in the world would be reduced by so much.

When I was growing up, I didn't really care about animals. They were just animals to me. Now I'm older, and I still can't say I feel a huge connection to animals and a lot of them freak me out, but I hate to think of any animal at all going through any kind of suffering. I could write a whole post on how I feel about using animals for food (constant debate in my mind anyway), but for now I'm focusing on the cosmetics industry.

The thought of giving up Velvet Teddy - the one lipstick I wear every single day and adore - is a little sad, but not really that sad. I'm absolutely certain that I will find another which will match up to it. The thing about makeup is that it's all pretty much the same. Of course, there are the bad products, and there are the amazing products, but aside from that, i feel like it's all so similar. I have my preferences, like being in love with L'Oreal products on a whole, but I've used products that are similar to those and noticed only a small difference. Further to that, nobody else even notices any difference, or even gives a damn. Literally, I go into uni without makeup some days, and nobody cares. Nobody even looks at me. And if they do, I don't care what they think.

It might be a little challenging to go for all vegan products since it seems there aren't many around, but I'm going to be posting about them on my blog. If it happens that I can't find a vegan version of a product I need, I will settle for cruelty free. There are quite a few cruelty free brands out there, such as Revolution, MUA, Real Techniques, Tanya Burr. I'm going to need to research further, but I've seen it around that they're cruelty free. Sadly, L'Oreal are not (though they claim to be) and I'll be sad to let go of L'Oreal, but I'm sure my life will continue on as before.

If you know of any amazing cruelty free / vegan products, please let me know! I'd love some recommendations. It feels a bit like starting again with beauty when I was figuring out the good brands and products, now I'm having to do it again but the vegan version.

Friday, September 02, 2016

James Martin's Turkey Tabbouleh With Lemon & Herbs

Guess who's back?! Yes, well done, it's me. This time I'm filled with a determination to keep my blog going! I think I've found my 'place' in the community & you'll soon see where that is after a few posts. I didn't feel that simply beauty blogging was being of much help or interest to people any more, so I'm moving into something that might.

ANYWAY! Enough about that, I can do a whole post in it later. Today's post is all about this AMAZING salad thing (it's called a tabbouleh but honestly I have no idea what that means as I am a mere human and not a chef). If you asked me if I liked salads a year ago I would've undoubtedly said no. Now, here I am, loving them. All it takes is about 10 gallons of coriander, a bit of lemon and a bunch of unexpected ingredients rather than the classic lettuce and cucumber combo. Yes, I am addicted to coriander and I'll own up to that now.

So this tabbouleh (erm, salad thing), has a very fresh taste with crunchy textures from nuts and seeds, as well as some squishiness from the apricots, and the meaty texture of turkey. Different textures in meals are always good to me, and somehow it makes it easier to eat. I find it difficult to eat things of one texture, depending on what it is, because I'll start to feel sick, so this is great for me. I feel like meals like this are a great way to get a bunch of different good things in your body because there's quite a few great ingredients in one place, and they actually taste nice. Much easier than munching on a stick of celery.

The Recipe:

150g Bulgur Wheat
1 bunch spring onions, trimmed & sliced
150g chopped pecans
100g chopped apricots
100g dried cranberries
80g pomegranate seeds
Juice 4 lemons
6tbsp Cold-Pressed Rapeseed Oil
8tbsp torn flat parsley
8tbsp chopped coriander
5tbsp chopped mint
1tbsp harissa paste
1tbsp clear honey
340g turkey breast fillet OR alternative eg tofu

The Method:

Place the bulgur wheat in a bowl with 700ml cold water. Cover and leave for 30 mins or overnight.

Add the spring onions, pecans, apricots, cranberries, pomegranate, lemon juice, 5tbsp oil and the herbs. Mix & season (I didn't season mine).

Mix the remaining oil & harissa paste in a bowl. Slice the turkey into 1cm strips & add to the bowl, mixing to coat. Stir-fry until cooked, mix in the honey & season (I didn't season).

Add the turkey to the salad & toss to combine.

You can have this salad warm or cold - I opted for warm.

My Modifications:

So I halved the recipe since I was only doing it for two of us. I find I'm not a fan of apricots but I did like the texture they added, so I simply put a few less in there since I didn't want them to be the main ingredient. I am obsessed with coriander, so I took away from the parsley and replace some of it with coriander instead. The pecans are pretty nice in it, so I think next time I might add a few more of those since the crunch is pretty nice. Perhaps a few more cranberries too since I didn't really notice them in it at all.

Vegan alternative?

I am not a vegan, however I strive to eat less meat. If we all cut out a little meat then we'd reduce animal cruelty by so much, so I would really recommend it. To be honest, the turkey didn't feel like a main part to this salad at all and I'd be completely happy to just go without out and not replace it. However, if you want a replacement, I'd suggest tofu (I've never tried this but I've seen my flatmate use it) with the harissa or some similarly spicy thing, or a fruit like pineapple or mango, which you could also add the harissa & honey to, or you could go for chilli and ginger instead (I absolutely love pineapple with ginger and chilli). If you have any other suggestions for something to replace the turkey, definitely leave them in the comments!

So, there's one of the recipes I've been a fan of lately! It was so so easy to do since all you have to do is chop up some ingredients and shove them all together. I really like recipes like this because they don't take long at all.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments! <3

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Pink Bleached Hair: Positives & Negatives

I've had pink hair for a good few months now and I feel I've learnt a lot in that time that I haven't learned from the internet. Since turning about 12 and discovering Scene Queens when Myspace was still a thing, I decided that I wanted to do something cool with my hair like dye it pink or silver or just something. It was only 8 years later when I actually got the guts to do it. So in all of that time, I did plenty of research (almost all of which put me off doing it), but I feel like I learnt most just by experimenting myself.

This post is here to possibly help somebody like me who wants brightly coloured hair but has very dark brown hair already. Just giving my honest experience (you can find details on how to dye your hair pink & also hair care on my YouTube channel) and why you should or should not dye your hair pink.

The Effort.

I was warned about this, but I thought I could keep up with it all. Bleaching the roots every few months? No big deal. Dying it pink every week or so? I can do it! No... it's so much more than that. If you have the money to go to a hairdressers, then great, you can avoid this at least somewhat. But bleaching your hair is nothing like dying it. You have to move fast but you also have to work in tiny sections, covering every hair, rubbing it in, and leaving it on for exactly the right amount of time. That is literally so hard, even with somebody's help. Bleach makes your hair sort of stiff and knotty so it's pretty hard to get right in there and be sure everything is covered, at least in my experience.

The Roots.

I like the look of roots. I knew this when I decided to bleach my hair, and I still feel the same now. I have no problem with the appearance of roots at all. The issue is that you can't leave your roots for too long before bleaching since they take the bleach faster than the rest of your hair, so if you leave them for too long, you get a lovely orange band where the hair stops taking it so well. Not a good look at all. And they grow suuuper fast. So I probably leave mine for about 2 months, and that is almost certainly waaay too long, but I'm lazy and half of the time they look absolutely awful anyway, so why bother?

The Burning.

This is pretty much just me being dumb. But I tried a new bleach and didn't test it... It sort of burned a little, but bleach always has a tingly feeling for me. So I left it on. Not good! I have an itchy rash all over my scalp, face and neck for a good two weeks or more. So now I'm always scared to leave bleach on for too long and end up not leaving it on for long enough and ending up with orange roots. Wonderful.

The Damage.

I have strong hair which I wouldn't say has ever really been too damaged. Not through straightening, dying, or anything else. Bleaching? Completely different story. Parts of my hair feel like they always have hair spray in. Bits will stick together and feel crispy and gross and get constantly matted. There's a little part of hair which has broken off a lot too, and it's all frizzy and fuzzy and awful.

The Mistakes.

Currently I have a rather large dark brown patch from letting my mother bleach my hair which looks completely terrible. My roots are also orange because my head was burning. So things go wrong, and sometimes you look awful for a few weeks.

The Colours.

I put in three pictures here showing my hair is quite different a lot of the time. You can check out my Instagram to see more variations. I get compliments all the time saying 'I love the blue in your hair!'... I dye my hair pink, and yet I somehow have blue/silver streaks when it starts to fade a little. Parts of my hair take more than others and fade faster. So the underneath stays a pastel pink no matter how much I wash it, while the top parts go completely white/blue. The roots will go orange, and so will some of the lengths. I never really know what to expect with the colour. On top of that, I like to let it fade and then dye it bright again, so people are always telling me my hair changes colour every time they see me, which it does. I wish I could keep it constantly the same colour, but I just can't.

The Cost.

It costs so much even when doing it at home by yourself. Even if I buy it in bulk, that's like £50 of bleach and somehow I use it up after 2 or 3 sessions, because I have to use a lot. The pink dye is about £5 a bottle and lasts for about 4 uses. I mix in condition with it too, possible 1/4 of a bottle each time or less. I also use a lot of coconut oil and other hair oils which can cost £5 or more for a pot (but last a while). I use masks - I've gone through about 5 packs/tubes which cost possibly £5 each. I also use leave-in conditioner after every wash which is about £5. I use a dry oil - £10, and another oil - £5 every day, sometimes twice a day. It all adds up. And you do have to use oils and stuff if you don't want to be bald. :)

I'm A Fairy.

I rather enjoy having pink hair. I think it looks nice & I've always wanted it. It makes my Instagram looks pretty (lol good reason tbh), the kids at work love to grab it & talk to me about it, people stop in the street to compliment me on it sometimes, it makes conversation with people (which I suck at), and I feel like it brightens up my look since all I ever wear is black, grey or white so it's sort of my colourful element. I'm very happy having pink hair. I feel like a fairy princess.

Being Noticed.

So the thing about having pink hair is that you become 'pink hair girl'. I literally get called that. Previously I blended in, I felt unnoticed, and I felt safe. Now I don't. I feel like if I did something stupid in front of a lot of people (which I always do), that they'd remember it was me because I'm easy to recognise. I also now feel like I can never do anything wrong because of this. This point is kind of dumb, but if you like blending in, there's absolutely no way for you to do so if your hair is pink. I didn't even think about this one before dying my hair.

Should You Dye Your Hair Pink?

Well, that's up to you. I know I've given a lot of negatives here, but that's because there are a lot of negatives. The only positive really is that I like it. It makes me happy, and I like it when strangers tell me they like my hair, because compliments from strangers are nice. I would keep it forever, but I think my hair would literally be dead if I did that. So some day, I will have to get rid of it, but for now, I love my pink hair. Oh! And TOP TIP! Go to the hairdressers if you can... you don't even understand how much of a difference it makes. 


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Why we don't need heterosexual pride day

So I have just been on Twitter to see that today is #HeterosexualPrideDay apparently! I'm all for being happy with your sexuality and comfortable with who you are. We all should be, otherwise we would never be happy.

The thing is, is that we do not need pride days to celebrate something which is celebrated every single day. Imagine a day to celebrate being white, or able-bodied, or a man. It would just be offensive. It's like 'oh look, we have privilege and we're going to celebrate that.' Heterosexual 'pride' is the default in culture and society. Everybody assumes everybody is straight unless you look 'butch', 'gay', or hang out in a gay club. None of which means you aren't straight, by the way, and those are all stereotypes. So every day for the straight person is them not even thinking about their sexuality, not being scared of being called names, not being scared of being shot, not being scared of not getting a job because of their sexuality. Nobody is going to experience discrimination for being straight.

Here's a little quote which might help: "LGBT liberation day came about because of a culture of discrimination: President Eisenhower issued an executive order in 1953 legalizing the firing of LGBT people. Openly LGBT couples (and people) were not even allowed to publicly gather; those who did were both harassed by civilians and criminalized by police." So gay pride is there for a reason, and came about due to discrimination. 

Today, we don't experience that (although, apparently gay people aren't allowed on certain YouTube series because the creators are homophobic, and people get banned on popular Minecraft servers for having words like 'gay' in their usernames. Totally not referring to anything specific here.) but gay people still experience discrimination and hate crimes. People are literally murdered for being gay, and aside from that, people are bullied for being gay, and afraid to come out because they're worried about what will happen. I haven't covered everything there, of course, but those are two important reasons to have gay pride. Straight people don't experience any of that, so why would they need a pride day?

Be proud to be straight every single day, because you won't experience hate for being straight, or discrimination, or being shot dead. But don't give yourself a day to celebrate being straight, because that to me, is just offensive and undermining to gay pride.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Review and Dupe!

Ahhh it seems like too long since I sat down to write a beauty post! I don't like writing repetitions of what's already out there, however results from a Twitter poll suggested that people wanted to see a review of Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish! To make it a little different, I've added a dupe in here too!

How well does it remove makeup?
So I tend to first of all use a Micellar Water just to get rid of the majority of my makeup, especially mascara. I'm not too careful with this however, and tend to leave behind quite a bit of makeup, just getting off the most of it and starting to break it down. I do this simply because the muslin cloth would get dirty very quickly if I only used that. I then use Cleanse & Polish to take my makeup off and I feel like it doesn't leave any traces. I am exceedingly lazy with my skincare routine, and these are the only two steps I do before moisturising, and I don't get breakouts or anything, so I feel it does a very good job.

Does it have a smell?
Yes, it does. It has a very subtle scent, which I think might be a combination of the eucalyptus, rosemary and chamomile. It isn't overpowering and I love it, and find it very refreshing.

What's the consistency like?
It's a very thick, creamy formula which applies to dry skin easily. It's thicker than a moisturiser but it's easy to rub into your face.

How long does it last?
I've only had mine for a few months but it's still going strong! I tend to use one or two pumps every time I use it, which isn't really a lot at all. I would say that it's very good value for money since some of the cheaper cleansers use up very quickly and aren't as effective.

Does it sting / irritate the skin?
I haven't had any problems with it at all, but I'm not sensitive to a lot of things so I can't comment on this! It's quite a soothing formula to me so I can't imagine it would cause many problems. Do write down in the comments if you've have problems with it or not so that other people can read them and get more opinions!

Does it remove waterproof mascara?
It removes honestly everything I've tried it on. But like I said, I used a cleansing water prior, which breaks it all down a little before using it. I have tried using only the Cleanse & Polish, and I found it a little more difficult because the muslin cloth got dirty quite quickly.

Onto the dupe!
The dupe I'm gonna talk to you about today is the Bee Good Honey & Propolis 2-in-1 Cream Cleanser, which I actually used before the Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish, and I absolutely adored it! I thought it was the best cleanser I'd ever tried! In the image above, the Liz Earle is on the left, and Bee Good on the right - you can see that the Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish is a little thicker in consistency.

Both products come with muslin cloths. Mine came with a tiny one because it's a small size which I received at a blogger event. Both products are similar in terms of smell, but the Bee Good one has a stronger smell. They are definitely not the same smell, but they're both refreshing. I'd say the Bee Good Cream Cleanser has a slightly 'warmer' smell, if that makes sense.

To be honest, they both seem almost exactly the same to me. Both are thick cream cleansers and both remove makeup just as effectively! Perhaps I'd swing sightly towards the Liz Earle since it's a bit thicker, but there isn't much difference.

This retails at £11.50 per 100ml, in comparison to Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish which retails at £15.50 per 100ml (that is, both including a muslin cloth).

So, all in all, I love both products and would recommend them both! I would say that if you want to save a couple of pounds, go for the Bee Good Cream Cleanser, since it's almost exactly the same and the Bee Good cleanser has won awards so other people must think it's great too!

I hope you enjoyed today's post! Head on down to my Twitter for tweets & updates (also if you just fancy a chat), and subscribe to my YouTube channel for beauty videos & a lot of gaming content (I'm almost at 200 subs so would really appreciate that!).

Friday, June 10, 2016

My Disney Tsum Tsum Collection

I am addicted to Disney Tsum Tsums and I have been for a while! I really really hate to think how much money I've spent on them! If you're interested to see my collection, I made a little video on it! If you're interested in gaming, as well as beauty & lifestyle content, please subscribe to my channel! I would really appreciate it. Remember you can always talk to me on Twitter too if you wanna talk to me about anything at all! <3