Tuesday, 12 June 2012

NARS Cosmetics - Response

When contacting companies, although not vegan myself, I usually enquire as to which of their products are suitable for vegans. This is primarily due to the fact that a list of vegan products is usually more readily available than a list of products that do/do not contain carmine. There's also the fact that some companies class themselves as fully vegetarian, yet use carmine for pigmentation/colour, which leaves a lot of confusion on the end of the consumer.
However, on this occasion, I asked NARS Cosmetics which of their products do not contain carmine as I'm fully aware that the company uses beeswax in many of their products (which personally doesn't bother me). Here is the response I received - 

NARS Cosmetics

Thank you for your inquiry and your interest in NARS.
Firstly, we would like to apologize for the delay in responding to your inquiry.
We woudl like to inform you that the majority of NARS products do contain the ingredient Carmine.
The skincare and complexion products do not contain Carmine (the ingredient is used to create color/pigment); however all color/makeup products such as eyeshadow, blush, multiple stick, lip gloss, etc contain the ingredient Carmine.
We remain at your disposal will you need any further information.
Kind regards,
Customer Service

NARS Cosmetics 

Great news for Nars face powder users! However, it would be infinitely better if Nars could omit Carmine from the ingredients in their well-known blushes and bronzers!
What do you guys think?

Monday, 28 May 2012

Michael Kors Watch Dupes

Recently, I've been lusting over the Michael Kors watches and my bank balance has been quivering nervously, wondering whether it will be suddenly depleted in an overnight impulse purchase. With MK being an American brand, it comes as no surprise that the prices here in the UK are pound-for-dollar (Abercrombie and Fitch, anyone?) I thought it would be an idea to put together a collection of watches similar in style to Michael Kors, but at slightly more affordable prices!

 Left: Michael Kors MK5145, £219. Right: River Island, £25.

Left: Michael Kors MK5076, £179. Right: River Island Silver Tone Watch Bracelet, £25

Left: Rocha. John Rocha, Debenhams, £70

Left: Michael Kors MK5166, £199. Right: Fossil Gold Steel Watch, reduced to £108 at ASOS

These last two below are more 'MK inspired' rather than dupes, but I didn't even consider the possibility of leaving them out - they're too pretty and quite a steal!
Left: River Island, £22.     Right: River Island, £25

As much as I love the gold/rose gold MK watches, my favourite has to be the white River Island watch. How similar do they look?!

Would you splash out on a Michael Kors watch? Come across any bargain dupes?
Let me know in the comments below!

Saturday, 5 May 2012

NYX Cosmetics Vegan List

Click here to see which NYX Cosmetics products are suitable for vegans.
Please note that according to the email I received from the company -

'No or X means vegan
Yes or an ingredient means non-vegan
? or blank means checking with vendors'

I know I'll be placing an order when they next have free shipping! 

NYX Cosmetics in the UK can be bought from http://www.nyxcosmeticsstore.co.uk/
US link - http://www.nyxcosmetics.com/

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Bright and cheerful springtime florals

Bright and cheerful springtime florals
With spring now upon us I thought it would be a good idea to mess around on Polyvore before going shopping this week to give me an idea of what I'm looking to buy. I think bright, bold jewellery and a cheerful top are definite must haves for spring. If you're interested in any of the pieces above, I've provided links to the relevant sites after the jump.

Friday, 16 March 2012

MAC Cosmetics UK - Carmine free products

***UPDATE, 19th January 2012***
Estée Lauder, the owner of the brand MAC Cosmetics has recently been found to be paying to conduct animal testing in China. I highly recommend reading the links below for further information - 


I won't delete the list of products below that do not contain carmine, but the list will not be updated either.


After emailing Mac Cosmetics U.K. back in January and enquiring if they had a list of products without the ingredient Carmine readily available, the answer was that unfortunately, they didn't. However, the lovely lady I wrote to asked if I could provide a list of items I would be interested in, and she would consult the laboratories. A little over a fortnight later I was kindly advised which of my list do and do not contain Carmine. The results are as follows -

The following DO NOT contain Carmine -
Paint Pots - Bare Study, Painterly
Tinted Lip Conditioner - Fuchsia Fix, Petting Pink
Lipstick - Chatterbox
Powder Blush - Well Dressed, Desert Rose, Tenderling

The following DO contain Carmine -
Lipstick - Pretty Please, Speed Dial
Cream Colour Base - Improper Copper, Shell

Accurate as of 12th January, 2012.

Hopefully this will be of help to some people out there. I know I was getting frustrated with the lack of online ingredient lists! I would be interested to know if anybody has any other products from MAC that do not contain Carmine. If you're interested in knowing about any other MAC products, their customer service team was great and I would highly recommend contacting them. Be sure to stick the results in a comment below!

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Benefit Cosmetics - vegan list?

Recently I emailed Benefit, enquiring if they have a list of products suitable for vegans. Here is the response they sent -

Thanks for contacting Benefit with your enquiry about our products.

We're sorry, but we're not able to provide you with information on ingredients at this time. All of our ingredients are printed on our packaging, and the product packaging itself is the only accurate source for ingredient information. Based on the availability of ingredients, occasionally an ingredient in a product may change from one batch to another, and we can't always predict the batch from which an item will be shipped when a customer orders. But for each batch, the correct ingredients are always printed on the packaging.
We do offer a hassle-free 30-day return policy. If you'd like, you can order the product and review the packaging on the product label yourself. If you have any concerns, you can return the product to Benefit for a full refund. We hope this information has been helpful!

Thank you for choosing Benefit Cosmetics and have a beautiful day!

Personally I feel disappointed that they can't provide a list of their products (if any) which are vegan friendly. I would expect a company to know what ingredients go into each products, especially since determining from products ingredients lists is often a difficult task to say the least! 

I'll be posting responses from companies regarding ingredients as and when I receive a reply, so stay tuned!

Email response received 5th March, 2012.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

GOSH Cosmetics - List of vegan friendly products

Normally, when emailing cosmetic companies regarding their products, I usually ask for a list of their vegan products as opposed to vegetarian products. The reason for this is that in the past I've found that numerous companies regard a number of ingredients (such as carmine, among other things) as vegetarian when personally I believe otherwise. However, it's usually a good idea to specify 'no animal or insect derived ingredients' as companies can be both naive and sly when it comes to this.

Therefore, when I emailed GOSH Cosmetics a couple of days ago, I asked them to provide me with a list of their products that are suitable for vegans that contain no animal/insect derived ingredients. Here is the email and list they kindly sent me (accurate as of 21st February, 2012) -

All cosmetic products must have the ingredients listed on the label. If the space is limited the list may be on the back side of a removable label. The ingredients list is a good help for people who want to avoid specific ingredients - for instance because of allergy or for ethical reasons.

I can inform you that GOSH Cosmetics does not test any products on animals. Neither do we commission others to do animal testing of ingredients or finished products. European law has banned animal testing of cosmetics.

Several of our products contain ingredients of animal origin. For instance bees wax, lanolin, carmine, silk protein.

Please find attached a list of GOSH products that are free of animal ingredients. 

 Cosmetic products for vegans 

Following GOSH products do not contain ingredients of animal origin. This applies to all colours 
within the mentioned categories and if no so the colour codes/names are specified. 

- Precious Powder Pearls 
- Volume Lip Shine 
- Mineral Colour Pigments 
- Intense Eye Liner Pen 
- Long Lasting Lip Marker Pen 
- Natural Touch Foundation 
- Click’N Conceal. 
- Mono Eye Shadow (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 & 16) 
- Matt Duo Eye Shadow (Brown Base, Melting Pale, Dark’n Dusky, Blue Moon & Green Zone) 
- Trio Eye Shadow (20 & 21) 
- Smokey Eyes Palette (1 & 2) 
- Intense Lip Colour 
- Velvet Touch Lipstick (60, 66, 82, 86, 122, 134, 145 & 146) 
- Mineral Waterproof Eye Shadow 
- Kohl/Eye Liner. 
- Eye Liner Pen (Liquid). 
- Long Lasting Eye Liner Pen. 
- Extreme Art Eyeliner (7, 7, 10, 11, 18, 19, 20, 25 & 26) 
- Velvet Touch Eye Liner Waterproof (Black Ink, Truly Brown, Hypnotic Grey, Metallic Brass, - -- Pretty Petrol, Woody
- Green, Lemon Soda, Blue Moon, Alligator, Silver Screen, Sky High, Pure Natural & Classic Grey) 
- Let´s Twist Eye Liner Waterproof (Grey Mink, Carbon Black, So Blue, Blue Grass & Aqua - Line) 
- Eye Brow Pencil. 
- Velvet Touch Cream Primer. 
- Velvet Touch Lip Primer. 
- Velvet Touch Eye Primer. 
- Velvet Touch Foundation Primer. 
- Velvet Touch Apricot Primer. 
- Amazing Length’n Build Mascara 
- Effect Powder (Sky, Mink, Glamour, Gold Dust, Plummy, Merinque, Aquatic & Holographic Silver)
- X- Ceptional Wear Make–Up. 
- Touch Up Concealer 
- Pressed Powder. 
- Giant Sun Powder. 
- Bronzing Powder. 
- Velvet Touch Lip Liner Waterproof. 
- Eye Dust. 
- Cheeks’n Lips. 
- Defining Brow Gel. 
- Long Lasting Brow Pen. 
- Nail Lacquer. 

Products not mentioned above may contain ingredients of animal origin. 

What do you think? Will you be purchasing any of these products? :)

Hurraw! Black Cherry Tinted Lip Balm Review

I'm sure many of you have heard of the brand Hurraw! If you haven't (where have you been?!), they're a company specialising in 'all natural, organic, vegan and raw' lip balms. I find that tinted lip balms don't generally offer much in the way of pigmentation, so I was excited to try out the Black Cherry flavour as this appeared to be the deepest shade of the brand and looked like building up the colour would be fairly easy.

Personally, I find that there is a little to be desired in terms of packaging. I feel it's been marketed and designed simply in order to correspond with their stance on being all natural and organic, however it's not generally a design that shouts 'pick me'. The casing is practical enough - a fairly flat, plastic shaped oval. The secure lid makes it perfect for throwing into my bag without the worry of it ending up a mess by the end of the day.
Left - One swipe. Right - Built up. 
I would say the colour is more on the red side with pink and orange undertones. That said, it's very natural looking and is perfect for a little pick me up which I find it brightens my whole appearance. Scent wise, it reminds me of Cherry Bakewells (although I find that there is no taste at all). Nice and fresh but not too sweet. 

The consistency is smooth and silky. It glides on easily and feels moisturising and hydrating. The texture is very buttery when first applied, but unlike other lip balms which tend to sit on top of your lips (thus creating a barrier between harsh winter weather and your lips), this one sinks in after a few minutes, leaving your lips feeling natural and balm-free. I wouldn't use this as my main lip balm in the winter, but for the rest of the year it's perfect. Not too heavy and a nice wash of colour.  
Left - One Swatch. Right - Built up.
I find that the colour lasts an hour or so before having to reapply, but for a lip balm I wasn't expecting long staying power. 

Overall, I would thoroughly recommend Hurraw! This particular product lived up to my expectations and the fact that it's natural, organic and vegan makes it even better. 

Hurraw! Lip Balms are available at supersmoocher.com for £3.45 with free delivery.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

This is my first blog post here, so please bear with me! I just thought I'd start by saying (briefly) what I stand for (and don't!) in the cosmetics world.

I've been a vegetarian for close to 6 years, so it makes sense that I'm nowhere close to being oblivious to the nasty ingredients that infiltrate many food and drinks products in everyday life, even more so if you're vegan. However, it's only been over the past year or two that I've began to understand that many of the same ingredients are present in a LOT of cosmetics. I'm talking primarily of Carmine (I'll get to that in a bit), but understand fully what nastiness can be found lurking in a long list of ingredients in small print on the bottom of that little tube of lipstick or that pot of moisturiser sitting on the dressing table, disguised under long and seemingly foreign names or presented as a long series of numbers that most nobody would know other than those in the labs.

How many of you know what C.I. 75470 actually is?
C.I. 75470, Cochineal, Crimson Lake, E120, among one or two others are, in fact, different names for the ingredient Carmine. For those of you who are still unclear as to what Carmine is, see the dictionary.com definition below -


  1. A vivid crimson color.
  2. A vivid crimson pigment made from cochineal.

It doesn't exactly tell us what it is, so let's Google 'cochineal' -


  1. A scarlet dye used chiefly for coloring food.
  2. The dried bodies of a female scale insect, which are crushed to yield this dye.
That's right, crushed insects are being used to give that lovely shade of red to lipsticks, blushers, eyeshadows, eyeliners, liquid and powder foundations, among other products. However, it's a little more complicated - this ingredient is not limited to red shades and hues, and the only way to be sure of avoiding it completely is to either check the ingredients list (keeping in mind it can be listed as a 'natural colouring') or email the company themselves. 

Right, back to the purpose of this blog. I aim to research and review various products, ranging from makeup and skincare to hair care and nail products to find the best products on the market that offer value for money, and above all, are free from animal testing (I'll save that for another post!) and have no Carmine in them. Let's be honest - who wants to be knowingly wearing crushed insects? 

What do you think? Do you share the same opinion?
Let me know if you've found any amazing products in the comments section!