Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Tarte 'Rainforest of the Sea Vol. III' palette review + swatches!

Hello, my loves! Today, I am very excited to talk to you about this gorgeous highlighting eyeshadow palette by Tarte, called 'Rainforest of the Sea Vol. III' (£30, Tarte). I stumbled across this one whilst browsing Tarte's vegan makeup section, and, as a huge fan of shimmery eyeshadows, I was immediately drawn to how pretty it looked. This was actually my first time any of Tarte's makeup, making this review a very special one! Today, I will be sharing with you my honest thoughts on this little palette. Hope you enjoy!

First of all, I must say that I am absolutely in love with the packaging, and how beautiful this palette looks when you first open it. The design is so pretty and colourful; but also sturdy, compact and therefore perfect for travel. This little palette contains eight neutral shades total - seven shimmery, and just one with a matte finish to use as a base. There is also a large mirror included with the palette, but no brush or any other application tool (which is fine by me, as I like to use my own brushes, anyway).

The consistency of these eyeshadows is quite interesting - powdery in the pan, but creamy when applied, so they glide on really easily and evenly. There is quite a lot of glittery fallout which can make the application quite messy, so I'd recommend using a slightly damp brush. Still, these shades are really beautiful, and I love the multi-dimensional, shimmery (almost metallic) finish they give.
Tarte claim that you can use these as highlighters for other parts of your face, and I can definitely see why - the lighter shades especially work really well on the cheekbones, giving you a fairly dramatic glow. My only real criticism is that when applied as eyeshadows, a lot of these shades end up looking quite similar. It could be because of how shimmery they are, but there just doesn't seem to be a lot of contrast - even the darkest shade looks fairly light when blended on the eyelids. Because of this, it can be a little difficult to create more elaborate looks - I think that these work better if you just wear one or two shades at a time (which can be nice if you want something simple and uncomplicated).

Rainforest of the Sea Vol. III offers a very warm, neutral range of shades, which include:
Escape. Light, slightly pink nude shade. One of the more pigmented shades in the palette; it works beautifully for highlighting cheekbones on paler skintones.
Tiki. The only matte shade in this palette. Works well as a base/transition eyeshadow.
Heat wave. Soft beige with very warm, pink undertones. Not quite as pigmented, it looks fairly similar to Escape when applied as eyeshadow.
Malibu. Soft, plum bronze shade. Probably my favourite in this palette, it's actually quite light when applied as eyeshadow and blends beautifully.
Rays. Light copper with peachy undertones. One of the more intense shades in the palette, it works really well when used as a highlighter.
Compass. Light champagne with warm undertones. Quite similar to other light shades in the palette, and not as pigmented when blended out.
Jewel. Bright, warm copper shade. It's another favourite in this palette, quite intense and versatile.
Treasure. Sparkling white shade with warm undertones. Very intense and metallic when applied, I like using it to highlight the inner corners of my eyes.

Overall, I am pleased with this palette - I think that it'd be a great choice if you are just starting out with makeup, and want something compact, versatile and easy to work with. Fans of matte formulations probably won't enjoy it as much (given as there is only one matte shade included!), but if you love a sparkling, shimmery finish, Rainforest of the Sea Vol. III will be right up your alley. My only real criticism is that there isn't a lot of contrast between the shades when applied (they definitely work best if you only want to mix two or three colours at a time). Also, I definitely recommend that you check out Tarte's vegan makeup range - there is a huge selection of awesome, cruelty-free products (not sponsored, although I wish!), and I'm super happy to see Tarte offer a dedicated vegan section!
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Friday, 6 July 2018

What I eat in a day on a vegan diet - weekend edition

Hello, loves! Today, I am very excited to share with you the first in a new series of 'what I eat in a day' posts. Personally, I am a huge fan of these types of posts and videos - as a helpless foodie, I am always interested in new recipes and ideas. Today, I want to show you what I eat on a typical weekend day. This is by no means a dietary guide on how you should be eating - my food choices are not always the healthiest, and I like to keep any meal prep as minimal as possible (I'm pretty lazy, and helpless in the kitchen!). A lot of people seem to think that eating vegan involves a lot of cooking and prep; so today, I want to show you just how easy it can be. Hope you enjoy!

As it was a Sunday after a pretty rough week, I decided to treat myself to my favourite breakfast ever - a cheese toastie! Cheese toasties were always my favourite thing to eat before I went vegan, and it wasn't easy to find an equally satisfying dairy-free replacement. Having said that, the Violife cheese slices come pretty close - they're probably my favourite vegan cheese alternative that I've found so far. They're super creamy and milky, and melt really nicely when grilled. I've topped the toastie with fresh tomato slices and some szechuan pepper, chilli and ginger salt. I've also had a few strawberries so that I could pretend that it was a healthier breakfast, ha!

Since we're still in the summer season and fruits are not as expensive, I typically have a nice, big fruit salad for lunch. I am not much of a chef and like to keep things simple, so I typically just mix whatever fruit I have left at home. For this delicious salad, I used one large banana, a few handful of strawberries and mandarin oranges. Bananas are always a staple for me in any fruit meal - they're super healthy and much more filling than most fruits. It might not be the most adventurous, but it was definitely a really nice, light and satisfying meal!

For a cheeky afternoon snack, I had this scrumptious almond vanilla dessert by Alpro. It was so yummy and convincingly milky, that I had to kept reminding myself that it's actually vegan! These pots are delicious and only 72 calories (I don't care about calories myself, but I think that the low calorie count would appeal to a lot of people), so I also had a banana for a 'healthy balance'!

For dinner, I decided to prepare one of my favourite, easy vegan meals. I had some mash potatoes, baked Quorn's fishless fingers (which honestly taste just as good as the real thing) and a simple mushroom stir fry. I am not a talented cook and like to keep my meal prep as easy as possible (I'm lazy!), but this dinner was still very satisfying and delicious. For vegan mash potatoes, you can use soy milk and a nice-tasting, dairy-free margarine like Vitalite to make them extra creamy. For the veggie stir fry, I simply chopped up some organic mushrooms and tomatoes and fried them in one teaspoon of vegetable oil. I also added some thyme, lemon and bay salt for extra flavour!

And that is my whole day of eating! I know that my food choices are probably not the most exciting, but I just wanted to show you how easy it is to eat vegan - you can even have grilled cheese! Thanks to the many dairy and meat-free alternatives, it's so effortless to swap out your favourites for an equally tasty, vegan option. Hope you enjoyed this post, and let me know if you'd like to see more content like this! 


Sunday, 1 July 2018

Come shopping with me! My weekly vegan groceries

Hello, my loves! Today, I am inviting you to go on a fully-vegan, fully-awesome shopping trip with me! I've had a lot of questions regarding my current vegan diet and dairy/meat alternatives, so I wanted to show you just how many amazing options there are. I find that a lot of supermarkets have really stepped up their game recently with regards to vegan foods, which makes me so, so happy! When I first tried going vegan over a year ago, I felt very restricted as there just weren't many options around. Now, with supermarket sections dedicated to meat and dairy-free alternatives (including things like cheese, yogurt, milk, pizza and even ice cream!), I am finding it completely effortless to do my weekly shopping. And, I think that even if you would never consider going vegan, it might be fun for you to try out some of these alternatives - a lot of them are seriously delicious! Hope you enjoy this shopping trip with me!

I always try to make fruits and veggies the main staple of my diet - they are awesome, yummy, and super healthy for you. A lot of fruit can be pretty expensive (especially if you try and buy them outside of season), so I tend to stick to cheaper options like bananas, oranges, potatoes and tomatoes. Bananas especially are only 78 pence (just over one US dollar) for about five, which is super cheap so I always like to stock up on those. I know that the supermarket quality will never be as good as buying organic fruits and veggies, but unfortunately we don't have anything else available in my area, so we have to make do!

Here's my lovely fruitful basket so far! We have bananas, organic (yes!) tomatoes, potatoes, cauliflower and kiwi (also pretty cheap). And, since we're still in the summer fruit season, I've decided to treat myself to some yummy strawberries and blueberries.

This is probably my favourite section in the entire supermarket! We have vegan cheese, pizza, desserts, and ready meals like lasagne and mac'n'cheese (I tried it before and it was absolutely delicious!). It's a lovely, growing vegan corner with all sorts of dairy-free alternatives, and I am just so happy to see these emerging more and more. Of course, these options can be a little more expensive, but personally I am more than happy to support vegan brand and alternatives, to help them grow and expand. When I first tried going vegan over a year ago, this little aisle didn't exist and there were nowhere near as many alternatives around, which made me feel really restricted. Anyway, I stocked up on some vegan cheese and a couple of ready meals. A few of you asked me about the vegan cheese - I always go for the Violife! cheese slices for my toasties and sandwiches. They are easily the best cheese alternative I've tried to date - creamy, milky without the milk, and melt really nicely when grilled.

Here is an entire section of dairy-free milk - how beautiful is that! Even before I went vegan, I would always buy dairy-free milk. It's just a personal preference, but something about cow's milk and the way it tastes has always put me off. As you can see, there are plenty of delicious vegan alternatives with all sorts of flavours available - almond, coconut, rice, oats, soy. My absolute favourite however is Alpro's hazelnut milk. If there is only one thing that you're willing to check out after reading today's post, please try the hazelnut milk - you won't regret it! It tastes just like Nutella, and I am not kidding! Another bonus of dairy-free milk is that it stays fresher for longer - it can keep for up to five days after opening, whereas with cow's milk you typically have to consume it within two or three days.

Time for some vegan yogurts and desserts! Alpro's yogurts have always been my favourite, and they taste so much like real dairy that I had to double-check the ingredients the first time I tried them! I love their fruity desserts, and they're also reasonably priced compared to a lot of other, slightly fancier dairy-free options. The Coconut Collaborative is another awesome brand for desserts - their mango pana cotta is my favourite indulgent treat ever. I highly recommend that you check it out if you can - I promise you, you won't even be able to tell that it's vegan!

Here's my delicious basket so far - on top of our healthy fruits and veggies, we have some more indulgent options like the Violife! cheese, milk, tofu and a couple of hazelnut chocolate desserts by Alpro (beyond delicious!). I've also picked up a few Innocent smoothies - I usually prefer to just eat my fruit whole, but an occasional smoothie can be a nice energy boost.

I admit that I'm quite lazy when it comes to cooking, so I like to stock up on some easy to prepare, frozen dinner options. These days, most supermarkets have a pretty sizeable vegetarian dinners options (which is amazing!), but you need to be careful as a lot of them aren't actually vegan. Luckily, my local shop has a little vegan corner with some delicious alternatives from Quorn, Aunt Bessie's and Linda McCartney's. My go-to favourites include Quorn's fishless fingers (as a former fish finger fanatic, I can vouch for how yummy these really are!), burgerssausages, and even 'chicken' nuggets. It's pretty awesome to see how much these brands are expanding their meat and dairy-free options, and I honestly believe that even if you would never consider going vegan, you'd definitely enjoy a lot of these.

I hope that you enjoyed this little shopping trip with me! I know that my shopping choices are not exactly the healthiest (I'm lazy!), but I just wanted to show you how many delicious, vegan alternatives are available out there. It's becoming more and more easy to swap out your favourites for equally yummy meat and dairy-free options, so definitely check out your local supermarket, if you're interested! And please, let me know if you enjoyed this post and would like to see more like these - your feedback helps me out a lot! :) 
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