Sunday, 31 March 2013

Chewy Choc Chip Cookies

500g Plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
225g unsalted butter at room temp>
220g caster sugar
220g light brown sugar
2 eggs lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
500g chopped chocolate bar or chocolate drops

1. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt together in a medium-sized bowl
2. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, caster sugar and brown sugar together until smooth for about 3 minutes. Add the eggs a little at a time, beating until fully combines, then mix in the vanilla extract
3. In three additions, beat in the flour mixture, stirring until just combined. Fold in the chocolate. Ideally, chill the dough overnight before baking.
4. Preheat the oven to 180⁰C/160⁰C fan/350⁰F/gas 4 and line two baking trays with baking paper. Use your hands or an ice-cream scoop to form balls of dough, about 60g per cookie.
5. Bake six cookies per tray for 16-18 mins or until golden around the edges. Allow the cookies to cool for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool fully.
TIP: Substitute the milk chocolate for white chocolate, dark chocolate, Smarties, M&M’s, Rolos etc.

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Simple Social Media Tips for Bloggers by Phoebe

When I first started blogging, I was unbelievably shy about mentioning my blog to anyone. Don’t get me wrong, I was proud of Phee’s Makeup Tips and the stuff I was putting out there, but for some reason I just couldn’t bring myself to do some self-promotion. 

But some shameless self-promotion is what can really drive visitors to your blog and get you noticed. Whether it be on Twitter, Facebook or any other social media platform, if you go about it the right way being a bit self obsessed can do wonders for your blog. 
First off, find other bloggers. By doing this you’re talking to people who share the same interests as you and who are probably going to be interested your blog. For me, talking to other beauty bloggers made me realise what I was doing wasn’t all that weird, and gave me more confidence to talk about my blog to other people. 

There are plenty of ways to get involved with the blogger community, some you might know of, and some you might not. Twitter is massively popular with beauty bloggers and pretty much every other blogger out there. It wasn’t until I signed up for Twitter that I really became involved with the blogger community and got talking to other bloggers. You can find weekly chats that use hashtags which give you the chance to talk about specific topics, get some advice about your blog and find new blogs to read. More often than not brands keep an eye on these too. 

Including brands when you’re thinking about how to promote your blog is pretty important too. As a blogger you’re providing impartial feedback and advice on what a brand has to offer. No matter how big or small you are, what you’re writing is going to affect someone’s decision on whether to part with their hard earned cash. This is what makes you valuable to brands.

If you’re on Twitter, mention them; on Facebook, post to their page; on Instagram, tag them. Be persistent about it too. If a brand has say, 45k followers, they might be flooded with mentions and tags. Keep at it and you’re sure to attract attention, if it’s a positive post they might share it, if it’s negative they’ll probably ask you why. Joanne Heggie, who looks after social media at Benefit UK, told me that Twitter and Facebook are a great way for them to find feedback on products, because these are people’s true opinions.

These are only two ways I connect with bloggers and brands, there are plenty of other websites that you can use - such as Hellocotton or Baobella - to promote your blog. But Twitter and Facebook tend to be the most commonly used by brands and bloggers alike to get out there and get connected. All you need is the confidence to get tweeting, sharing and posting and you’ll get noticed in no time!

Friday, 29 March 2013

Spring Beauty Trends by Marie

Thank goodness for the spring of 2013, because it brings “makeup” back into stores. I am so sick of seeing just nail polish everywhere. I like it but there is only so much I can take of it. What do I love? I love wearing bright purple eye shadow. I love any bright liquid eye liner. Thank goodness for the spring beauty trends this year!

Not only have all the brands brought back their best products, but all of their products are colorful. Vivid. I am in love with the bright, saturated colors that are out now. For spring Maybelline has come out with gorgeous, bright lipsticks with color so vibrant that it will cheer anyone up! If you do want to wear the bright lipstick, my advice is to not pair up intense eye shadow with vibrant lip color. That is way too much for the average person on the street. It is best left to the runways. If you are wearing exuberant, flashy eye shadow, try a nude lip. On the other hand, if you are wearing light nude eye shadow, try a vibrant lipstick.

Pantone, the company that decides the colors for printing, decorating, cosmetics, etc., has decided that the Color of the Year for 2013 is Emerald. A beautiful color mind you but a color that is not easy for everyone to wear. Sephora has come out with a huge collection to go with the Color of the Year: a full collection that will empty your wallet! I am so much in love with this because green is one of my favorite colors (I am a redhead). I cannot be one of the models on the website, but with a little help I imagine that I am one of them…my favorite product from their collection is their little pack of liquid eyeliners (Glitter Strobe Eyeliner Set). I love to line my eyes. This has four eyeliners with different finishes: metallic, matte, holographic and shimmer.

However, my favorite trend has to be from Illamasqua, I’mperfection. It is based on everyone’s natural flaws. And celebrates them! If you have freckles, let them show! Scars, birthmarks? Don’t hide them! Illamasqua is at the forefront of modern beauty. With every campaign they challenge what it means to be beautiful. This spring they show us that we are naturally beautiful. They even take the Pantone Color of the Year and put it into a bright green lipgloss, called Shoot. My favorite item of their new collection is their new matte bright pink lipstick called Immodest. All of their products are made of the highest quality, with great pigmentation. Illamasqua has to be the best brand on the market today.
So, color is key this spring. Go out and buy some colorful lipstick or eye shadow. The brighter the better!

- by Marie Papachatzis at

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Celeb Style: Kate Middleton

Hey, ladies! I'm a guest blogger with you today from RINA's beauty and I hope you like it! I don't have many fashion idols as I'd rather do my own thing, but one famous face that I do admire is Kate Middleton. I think she dresses so elegantly and timelessly. Her style is so classical, that even in 50 years time her outfits will still look stylish. I love that she wears such simple pieces, often from 'commoner' brands such as LK Bennett and Zara.

As I was attempting to make this Kate Middleton fashion collage, I was amazed that I love every single one of her outfits! I think she gets it right every time, whether shes attending a glamorous Royal gathering, or playing hockey. Some people say she dresses 'too old for her age' but personally I think as a young Royal, she dresses very 'trendy' but also regally. She's not seen in over the top styles, just simple and understated outfits, fit for a princess.
Also I think she is so beautiful, and has the most friendly smile! I love her flowing, effortlessly styled brunette hair, and minimal make up that manages to accentuate her natural beauty. I think she is the perfect addition to the Royal Family, and over the time that she's been in the spotlight since marrying Prince William, she has stepped out in some truely beautiful pieces, looking completely stunning.
My favourite dresses from these images are the: flowing lilac Alexander McQueen gown (4), 50's style Jenny Packham pastel yellow tea dress (7), and another Jenny Packham gown, the low-cut turquoise dress (15). Which one is your favourite?


Chi Chi launch new website!

Last night saw the launch of Chi Chi's brand new website! With a complete over haul of design the new site brings fresh imagery, a new logo, and a fantastic competition to celebrate.
You could win a trip for two to Marbella plus £1000 spending money!! To be in with a chance head over to the Chi Chi Facebook page.

What do you think of their new site? Do you prefer the new design?

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Wednesday Wishlist: Motel by Cole

Hello lovelies!

I'm Cole and I blog over at, today I'm writing a Motel wishlist. I love absolutely everything on Motel but today I thought I would go for some pieces I'd love for spring/summer or whenever it gets warm here in England.

I chose the crop top and skater skirt as I thought they would be amazing for a summer party they are so bright and lovely. I chose the dresses because they are so simple and elegant, I thought they could be dressed up or down. This is what I picked the litas and the gorgeous statement necklace for they can really add the edge to an outfit.I then picked something more on the casual side. I love the tiger top and think it would love fab thrown on over a bikini. The last item I picked are the gorgeous mint green striped shorts I love these so much and just looking at them reminds me of summer! 

I hope you enjoyed my wishlist!

Thank you to the lovely people at e-tail for letting me guest post on there fabulous blog hopefully I will see some of you on my blog sometime. 

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

5 ways to beat that midweek dreariness

Everyone hates it when we are so close yet so far to the weekend. Do not fret! We’ve got 5 ways to beat that midweek dreariness which will help brighten your mood and skin!


1) When you wake up in the morning, take a cube of ice and leisurely rub it around your face for either 2-3 minutes or until it is completely gone.
If you have normal/combi/oily skin, go ahead and wash your face with a facewash first before doing this. If you have dry skin, just splash your face with some tepid water and follow up with the ice.
The ice helps to soothe the skin of any inflammation and also helps to awaken the skin and allows you to feel more refreshed.
2) Drink 2 cups of Green Tea (decaffeinated) the night before, and save the used green tea bags (soak them just once each time). Leave them in the fridge overnight. When you wake up, you can use them as eye masks to reduce puffiness and dark rings for approximately 15 mins.
3) Perhaps you don’t have time for a morning shower, or were too tired to wash your hair the night before and you do not have dry shampoo in stock at home-  Simply use some baby powder or talcum powder, shake some out onto your palms and work it into your scalp.
4) The secret to how Hollywood actresses prep their skin is simple! For that dewy look that softens their harsh makeup, they take a bath with warm to hot water and let the steam moisten up their skin.
As we may not have the luxury to take a bath, we could do a 1-2 minute shower (with our hair up) and splash some tepid to warm water onto our skin/makeup and leave it there. If it feels uncomfortable, use your palms to lightly press over the whole face so water doesn't drip all over the place. When you get out, press 1-2 whole tissues over your face to dry up the water and presto! Your makeup should look softer. (Please make sure your makeup is waterproof.)
5) On those tiring nights,  try an au naturale mask that will leave your skin so soft and glowing. All you need is a banana, some oatmeal (organic would be good), and honey!
Take about 1 tablespoon of oatmeal and into a bowl and put some boiling hot water in to mash it up until very mushy. Then you can add in about 1/4 a banana (you could eat the rest or do this mask with friends) and 1-2 tablespoons of honey.
Mash everything up together nicely till you get a smooth texture, and apply it to your face for about 15-20 minutes and then wash it off. Your skin will feel taut and healthy.
We hope these tips help, and have an awesome week ahead! X

Monday, 25 March 2013

Competition time!

We have lots of competitions for you this week!!

1. Just started this morning, Lashes of London have a new competition where you could win an item of your choice from their neo-nature collection! Simply head over to their Facebook page here to enter :)

2. Goldie London have teamed up with Good Things to bring you an exciting competition. You could win a beauty bundle worth £75 plus a dress of your choice from Goldie! Click here to enter.

3. Win a massive £100 to spend at She Likes by entering their latest competition on their Facebook page!!

4. Win a Ciate caviar nails set and a dress of your choice from Chi Chi... enter here.

5. And finally, Ravi Famous are offering one lucky winner the chance to win both of the lace dress pictured above. Enter here :)

Sunday, 24 March 2013

How to make brownies from Beca at 'Those Moments of Serendipity'

Hello everyone, I'm guest blogger Beca of Those Moments of Serendipity, I blog about all the various things I enjoy including beauty, fashion and baking. Today I'm going to share with you my very simple, easily customized brownie recipe. It's perfect for first time brownie makers! You could easily change the type of chocolate or maybe add some honeycomb or oreo chunks to your mix, get creative to make a taste sensation.

You'll need:
230g of butter or marge
340g of sugar (preferably caster sugar)
2 medium eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla flavoring
160g flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
100g milk chocolate snapped into chunks

1. Preheat your oven at 180'c / 350'f / gas mark 4 and line a baking tray (mine is 30cm by 20cm) with grease-proof paper.
2. Cream your butter and sugar.
3. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix till smooth.
4. Mix in the flour and salt bit by bit so you don't make a mess.
5. Add the cocoa to the mix, followed by your chunks of chocolate.
6. Then spread the batter into your tray.
7. Now bake your brownies for 20-25 minutes until the middle springs back to touch.
8. Take your brownies out and leave them for 10 minutes until they harden slightly and cut to desired size.

Now you have your lovely plateful of brownies.

Thanks for reading everyone! Don't forget to check out my blog if you've enjoyed today's post.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Paloma Faith review by Becky at 'The Wonders of Wardrobes'

If you have not heard of Paloma Faith before, pull yourself out of that rock you’ve been living under and give her a listen. Her recent single release ‘Black & Blue’ taken from Paloma’s second album is a moving, truthful and soulful number. In the video, Paloma portrays the images of those in desperate times and reminds her audience not to put themselves above these people as we ourselves have been in their place or know someone who has.

‘We’re just the same. We all get desperate sometimes.’

Paloma Faith was nominated for two BRIT Awards this year (although she didn't win any of them, but we’ll forget about that, eh?) and although I would have loved to her to win ‘Best Female Solo Artist’, she lost out to Emeli Sandé. That may be because every time there was a chance to perform at The Olympics, the only person they seemed to ask was Miss Sandé herself. (I promise there is no bitterness here.) Just to be nominated though out of so many incredible female artists is still an achievement and I hope next year she will be in with a chance of winning it.

‘Wipe it off your sleeve, your superiority.’

Paloma Faith’s album has an incredible jazz and soul feel to it that makes it the perfect album if you want a bit of relaxing, easy listening. Her voice is unique, powerful and incredible which makes each of her songs come to life with raw emotion. If you don’t even get a little tinge of sadness from the likes of ‘Just Be’ and ‘Streets of Glory’ then I would get your heart checked out to make sure it’s not made of stone. Paloma has said that this album is based on her ‘last few years’ and it contains more ‘agony and suffering’ than her first album. She took inspiration from ‘Relationships with friends and family. Romances’ and you can truly feel her love and pain in every single word she sings.
Paloma Faith is not only an outstanding recording artist – she is an empowered woman. Her strong willed attitude is something to be desired and achieved. If her music isn't your sort of thing, that’s alright, but you have to admire her incredible ways of knocking the criticism aside and carrying on doing what she loves.  I know if I were to put in the ‘Worst Dressed’ section of a magazine time after time, it’d make me question what I was doing. But not Paloma Faith. She carried on doing what the bloody hell she wanted and for that I have to say, I’m glad she did.

‘Don’t roll your eyes, my sweet.’

Friday, 22 March 2013

Win pastel goodies from Crown and Glory!

We've teamed up with Crown and Glory to offer you a fantastic competition! You could win all of the beautiful pastel hair accessories above, simply enter below or on our Facebook page.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Celeb Style: Emma Stone

dress// oh my love
two-toned pumps// shoe mall
clutch// forever unique
dress// forever unique  
nude heels// she likes 

It Girl Inspiration: Emma Stone 

I'm a firm believer in the fact that less is more so, if one A-list celebrity has a closet I'd like to raid, it's Emma Stone. Her looks are as hot as her career. Her fashion sense is timeless, feminine, and flirty with a touch of edge, exactly what this spring season's trends are all about. She effortlessly manages to be a showstopper via the simplicity of her style, each look she rocks is meant for the spotlight and E-tail brands can help make even a frugal fashionista feel like a million bucks prepared for the paparazzi. From coral structured skater dresses paired with two-toned pumps (and a beige clutch to boot), to sport form-fitted neon-paneled pieces styled with nude patent heels, girls night out never looked so grab-and-go good. 

Do you also favor minimal time in front of the mirror for maximum appeal out on the town? 
Or, could you care less about the clock when it comes to getting glam? 

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Wednesday Wishlist: Spring Fashion by Grace

1.        Elegant touch- mix it up nails in pretty pastel from Motel Rocks.
2.    Multi pocket stretch jeggings from Ax Paris.
3.    Rock and rose Pixie Lott cross overload bracelet from Motel Rocks.
4.    Beige panel leggings from Missikon.
5.    Candy cane sequin skater dress from Lashes Of London.
6.    Love aqua short swing shirt with pink lace heart from In Love With Fashion.
7.    Stella leather shopper in orange from Pauls Boutique.
8.    Dr. Martens 1460 8 eye boot in smooth white from Motel Rocks.
9.    Motel boa peplum top in bubblegum pink from Motel Rocks.

All of these looks are perfect for spring time. The bright pastels are very on trend! All of these items are a must have piece for your spring wardrobe.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Guest post: Ever Ours

This week we have the beautiful ladies fashion brand Ever Ours speaking about how social media has benefited their website and brand awareness over the years. 

In November 2011 I set up and self-funded Ever Ours, an independent ladies fashion and accessory emporium that I have continued to run in my spare time. I believe it is important for any business to build, maintain, and expand professional relationships. This is an area that has been key to the growth of my business as I have looked to extend my reach beyond a local customer base through a vast network of bloggers. The personalities behind fashion blogs not only spoke to my customers on an identifiable level, but they carry a large amount of influence and are trusted as experts by their readers. I learnt that by having your brand associated with a prolific fashion blogger increased sales, strengthened branding and improved interaction with social media tools as well as increasing website traffic.

I cannot thank the bloggers who we have worked with enough for all there help and support.

What I have learnt about social media through Ever Ours is that Facebook and Twitter are an accessible, cheap and influential way of communicating with customers and industry peers. Twitter brought Ever Ours closer to customers online, whereas Facebook gave people the opportunity to like, share and promote allowing the expansion of existing peer groups. By interacting and engaging in social media, I gave my customers a true voice, encouraging participation through photos and tweets, which results in the experience being more humanised and also benefits my company by actively being able to gauge what my audience is looking for through their feedback, further increasing the quality of my customer service.

I have found that not only is social media good for providing marketing intelligence, it also allows you to develop a reputation as a business and sustain creditability when directly interacting and engaging with customers.  

- Kimberly, Ever Ours

Monday, 18 March 2013

Competition: She Likes & Chi Chi

This week have two fantastic competitions to bring you!

First up is the fantastic online brand She Likes. They are offering one lucky reader the chance to win £100 to spend online at Simply click here to enter.

And secondly we have Chi Chi who are offering the chance to win a dress of your choice and a set of caviar nails! Click here to enter :)

Sunday, 17 March 2013

DIY: Floral sunglasses from Lily

So, we're soon approaching spring and HOPEFULLY the sun will be out in all it's glory. That means it's time for the sunnies to come out in full swing! I lusted after Dolce and Gabbana's Baroque-inspired fall show and they had THE most fantastic sunglasses. So in honour of this I decided to do a lil D.I.Y  to create my own.
All you need are a pair of scissors, cocktail stick(s), and super glue - I tested these two out and the bondloc was the best (it dried quicker!)

Of course the flowers! I bought all of these little trimmings in Hickeys (a Herbadashery and Fabric store) in Galway - there was loads in each packet and they were super cheap. I did intend on using ceramic flowers but I couldn't find any anywhere (apart from on jewellery - which was too expensive). I was quite eager to do this post so I was too impatient to look on eBay and then wait for the post but there are some on there if you search “ceramic flowers”.

And finally, the glasses themselves! I bought these beauties in Pennys/Primark for only €1.50!! BARGAIN!
Firstly cut off the buds from the stem...and the leaves if you want.
I used a cocktail stick to apply the adhesive and, the tag from the glasses as a surface to squeeze the glue onto.
Then apply it onto the back of the flower bud. (I also put a layer of glue onto the glasses because they were quite slippery - it helped make it stick better)

So that's what it looks like after the first two buds are stuck on - I glued the biggest buds at the corners and then stuck smaller ones around them.

And then...

HEY PRESTO! The final result.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Guest post: Photography tips from Lisa Takes Pictures

Ah, hello there! I’m Lisa from, a photography and fashion blog based around my photography work.  I’m currently a second year photography student at UCLan in Preston but I’ve been doing my own personal photography since the beginning of 2010.  Everyone seems to ask ‘how did you get into photography?’ and the answer is – I don’t really know!  I’m one of those girls who brings a camera to every single outing she goes on, so I think it just started out of habit.  

I remember being in Gran Canaria and taking pictures of dolphins at an aquarium and saying to my mum that I should be a photographer (really random, I know!).  I saved up a lot of money and in January 2010 I got my first ‘proper’ camera – a Nikon D90, which is still what I use to this day!  Now three years on I’ve worked with various clothing brands, built up a good portfolio & made some really good friends and contacts along the way!

If you’re thinking of going into photography, these are my top five tips to help you along the way:

1.     Invest in a good DSLR – I think this goes without saying.  Don’t rely on your phone/a compact camera to get you through.  If you’re serious about becoming a photographer, you need a good camera!

2.     Never use the automatic settings! – Before I started university, I always used the automatic settings... Big no-no! Manual mode gives you so much more freedom and you learn a lot more by experimenting with it.

3.     Shoot what makes you happy – Don’t be pushed into an area of photography that doesn’t interest you.  In my first year I was encouraged to take part in a lot of documentary work and it just didn’t interest me at all and made a lot less enthusiastic about photography! Now I know what I want to do and what makes me happy! And definitely don’t be afraid to try out your own ideas. Got an idea for a great shoot? Do it! Don’t let anyone else’s ideas hold you back. Unique ideas are always the best!

4.     Have an online presence & build up a good portfolio online – The main reason I started blogging was to create an online presence for lisatakespictures.  A lot of clients prefer to see digital versions of work these days, due to technology advances etc.  So make sure you have some work online!

5.     Make contacts! – I can’t stress this enough.  I’ve been fortunate enough to work with some great brands, do you know why?  Because I emailed people, I got talking to people and I made contacts! It’s so important, especially if you want to get into the fashion industry!

And that’s it!  Remember to check out my blog for more tips and to see some of my shoots!

Friday, 15 March 2013

Go Green For St Patrick's Day!

St Patrick's Day Fashion

Everyone Loves to get dressed up for St Patty's day, whether its just to be casual, at work or for a night on the town. I have created 3 St Patrick's Day inspired looks that won't turn you into the Incredible Hulk!

1) Keeping it casual: A floral print dress is perfect for a casual day. By using the little amount of green in he dress and pairing with with green accessories all over give the perfect look.

2) Work ready: Want to wear green at the office and still keep it office approved? Wearing a simple green tee under a black blazer keeps things down a notch. Pair it with a green statement necklace for a more bold look.

3) Night on the town: Going out on St Patty's is the best part! A leather skirt paired with a collared blouse leaves lots of room to play with green. Bold green booties to keep it fun and lots of accessories! 

xo, Janelle at GlamorousMama

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Celeb Style: Selena Gomez

The Wizards of Waverly Place star has wowed teens all over the globe with her casual yet stylish candid looks over the years. However, the 20 year old is now impressing fashion critics around the world.
The actress has been spotted stepping out on the red carpet a lot recently due to the release of her latest flick "Spring Breakers." The film sees Selena shed her Disney past and this is certainly being reflected in her style. 
The recently single Selena has been spotted wearing a Dolce & Gabbana figure-hugging black lace gown that’s definitely sexy. Sticking with the black theme, Selena was seen wearing a very stylish black Thomas Wylde jumpsuit that just showed off the right amount of cleavage. She’s been contrasting these edgy looks by wearing a beautiful, ladylike Blumarine pencil skirt and chiffon blouse which shows that the starlet can do understated sexy perfectly. As well as these two looks, the singer has been showing some love for Atelier Versace. She’s been suiting up and donning the tailored look with a plunging neckline that screams sexy, glamming up in another Versace strapless gold leather dress and looking sexy, sophisticated and chic in an elegant nude Versace gown.

Thank you to Jemma from Bamboozle Beauty for today's Celeb Style post. Check out her blog and Twitter! :)

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Wednesday Wishlist - by

1. shirt
2. skirt
3. jumper
4. bag
5. shoes

I chose the fun, slightly dangerous, upbeat and dangerous neon trend. I actually believe it or not, based the whole wishlist around the shoes which I have literally fallen head over heels in love with. They look super easy to walk in, comfortable and they'll go with just about everything in my wardrobe. Win win! I have seen a few people style neon coloured jumpers and I think the pink one on the Glamorous website is my favourite one I have come across. It looks super bright, statement but slouchy and soft at the same time. Together with the absolutely gorgeous skirt from Lashes of London and the lovely bag with the subtle splash of neon pink; I think this outfit would be perfect for any time of day. Now all I need is glorious payday to buy it all and a date night with my boy or maybe some friends who are free for cocktails in London!     - Ashllyd XO

Thank you so much to Ashleigh from for today's Wednesday Wishlist! Be sure to check out her blog, YouTube and Twitter.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Guest post: Animal testing by Lornalouise

Parabens free - check. Sulphates free - check. Mineral oil free - check. Silicones free - check. Synthetic colour and fragrance free - check. Cruelty free - No?
We all want our skincare, makeup and clothes to be as natural as possible these days, in my book ‘natural’ includes cruelty free.

Just because we are the most successful mammal on our planet, why does that give us the right to torture and kill other animals for our gain or pleasure.
I recently watched a video from PETA on the increased activity in real fur procurement for the fashion industry and it really made me think; what was I putting animals through for what I put on my face everyday. I had a look at Peta online and was amazed to find that of all the brands or makeup and skincare I use (which is about 30) only a handful categorically did not test on animals. These were Dermalogica, E.L.F, Burt’s Bees, Hourglass, LUSH, Neals Yard Remedies, Stila, Tarte, The Body Shop, Urban Decay.
Notice the shocking lack of the big names.

Animals are not lab toys, they’re intelligent creatures that experience pain, fear, loneliness, frustration and sadness. What is worse is that the results of these tests are often inaccurate, further more these tests are not even required by law. Even if a product has blinded a bunny, it can still be sold for you to use.
I’ve discovered from Peta that scientists have actually developed tests that can be carried out in vitro using artificial human tissues such as skin and eyes that react exactly the same as a living human would. What’s more is that these tests not only end unimaginable suffering but they save the companies money as these new tests are faster and cheaper.
Animals being used for tests are not the only ones suffering at the hands of humans.  Last year 143 racehorse deaths were recorded following races. However, the true figure is likely to be about 30 per cent higher. Of the 143 horses most of the deaths resulted from broken limbs, backs and shoulders, as well as cardiovascular failure. Many of these injuries are caused because the fences they are forced to jump are too difficult for them or something so simple as the ground being too hard. The British Horse racing Authority (BHA) simply never publish clear or complete data on the horses killed.
Animal Aid is the UK's largest animal rights group and one of the longest established in the world. They organise peaceful campaigns against all forms of animal cruelty. They investigate and expose animal cruelty, and their undercover investigations are often used by the media, bringing these issues to public attention. Animal Aids ‘RaceHorse DeathWatch’ was launched during the 2007 Cheltenham Festival. It aims to expose and record every on-course thoroughbred fatality in Britain. Last year while the Aintree’s April 2012 meeting killed three horses, five died at the Cheltenham Festival just a month earlier.
This years Animal Aid are once again campaigning at the festival and ethical cosmetics retailer Lush are doing even more than just not testing there products on animals, they are actively campaigning alongside Animal Aid. As of 7th March a converted ambulance emblazoned with stark protest imagery and a powerful short film on the side of the vehicle was screened continuously, leafleting took place outside every major bookmaker in Cheltenham and Lush are featuring a striking window display to draw attention to the horses who have died at recent festivals.

Also there will be a protest on the first day of the Cheltenham Festival itself (today) at which ‘tombstones’ bearing the names of the dead thoroughbreds will be displayed, while a mourner reads out a short eulogy for each horse. A series of equally forceful initiatives relating to Aintree will be announced shortly which I hope Lush will be Equally involved in.
Lornalouise Wotherspoon

This is a guest post for the e-tailPR blog, all views and opinions are the writer’s own and do not represent those of e-tailwebstores.