August Favourites

I have compiled a list of my favourite things this month, consisting of everything from bowls to paint – hope you enjoy!

In no particular order, I’m going to start off with this bowl from TKMaxx, which I’ve already mentioned in a previous blog post because I eat my breakfast out of it every single day and it just makes me enjoy my mornings a little bit more.

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Next up is this band tee from Oro Swimming Hour and Art is Hard Records, designed by Nicholas Stevenson. I actually picked this up from a recent gig they had in Bristol, not sure if they are available to buy anywhere else but I got a large and it is the comfiest and coolest top ever.

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I also got this zine in the post recently, which was a lovely surprise because I preordered it back in May – glad it arrived before we moved! It’s full of beautifully illustrated articles on mental wellbeing and profits are going to charities and non-profit organisations like Mind, Beat and Sisters Uncut. It really is worth a read – you can purchase a copy here.

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This month has been particularly significant because I’ve gone from brunette to pink! (There is a blog post about that coming!) so I wanted to include the Bleach London Total Bleach kits and Directions White Toner and Carnation Pink dyes in my favourites as they are all amazing products. The reincarnation mask that comes with the Bleach London kits makes my hair feel so soft and healthy even though I’ve bleached it three times over the space of about a month. Would recommend – you can also buy it separately if you don’t need the bleach, which is good!

Deodorant next – I used to use the lavender and vanilla version of Salt of the Earth’s spray deodorant but recently went unscented (in all honesty, it was slightly cheaper) and I love it just as much. It’s so nice having a natural deodorant in a spray form that doesn’t contain any aluminium or other nasty things that are in standard deodorants. It’s easy to use, I find two sprays under each armpit is plenty to get me through the day and a bottle probably lasts a good 8 months.

 

I’ve also been loving Rose Jam body spray from Lush, which I managed to pick up from the new Cardiff Spa store when it opened, but I recently saw them in my local Lush (#TeamWorcester) so I think they’ve probably been rolled out to most stores, in the UK at least. Now, if you’ve read my recent blog post about my everyday Lush faves you’ll know that (Spoiler Alert) Princess Cottongrass is my super duper all-time favourite perfume from Lush. However, I think it’s important to change it up from time to time so you don’t get fed up, and August has just been particularly Rose Jammy for me.

I also treated myself to some new art materials lately. I picked up this Clairefontaine Naturel pad from my local indie art shop and it’s so nice to work on natural colour paper – sometimes white is a bit too bright and intimidating. I find I can use pretty thick layers of gouache on it too without it buckling, which is really nice.

If you follow me on my “work” Instagram you will also know I’ve been loving Winsor and Newton’s gold gouache. It’s amazing. It’s like foiling in liquid form. I got mine from Cass Art and I must admit I’m now a bit tempted by the silver…

Hope that compilation was interesting! As always, you can check out my illustration work via my website, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Thanks for reading!

Amy

Brunette to Pastel Pink

About 4 months ago, I decided I wanted to dye my hair a lovely pastel pink, but sensible me wanted to wait until after I graduated so that I knew my hair would look alright in the awful photos of me that would be on relative’s mantelpieces for years and years.

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Two days later, I was blonde. Just in time for being Swedish for two weeks.

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I (with the help of a friend) used two boxes of Bleach London’s Total Bleach on virgin hair and I was really happy with the results. It did, however, take over two hours to apply!

About three weeks after the first bleaching we bleached it again, avoiding roots this time (figured I might as well do those when they’re about 2-3 months grown out). It took so much less time when avoiding the roots! This took another one and a half boxes of bleach.

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(apologies for the awful bathroom lighting!)

I then toned it with LaRiche Directions’ White Toner…

Just under a week later I tackled the bits that still weren’t quite light enough with the leftover half a box of bleach. (side note – I now have a teeny patch underneath that looks greenish, and I think this may be because I used an opened bottle of developer, so if you can afford to use whole boxes at a time, I would defo recommend it!)

After washing the bleach out with Daddy-O shampoo from Lush (which I would recommend!)  I mixed a tiny blob of Direction’s Carnation Pink with three good squirts of conditioner and thoroughly ran it through my hair and left it on for about 5 minutes.

The result:

Almost a week later I dyed it pink properly, mixing Carnation Pink with conditioner to dilute it…

 

I absolutely love it! It’s just got a hint of pink in it and it’s exactly what I wanted! Also the pot of pink dye I got will last ages because I only used a tiny bit. I ended up mixing a butterbean-sized blob of dye with two good squirts of conditioner three times – so about a third of a bottle of Superdrug’s Raspberry and Macadamia conditioner (which is vegan and cruelty free and I got mine on offer for 95p! I think they retail for £1.99 but often have offers on). I would recommend using a white conditioner if you’re going to dilute dye just so you can see what colour it’s going to be a bit better, but I just had that raspberry one and I wasn’t too precious about the colour being too intense because I knew it’d wash out – and dyeing your hair crazy colours is all about experimentation, right?

Hope you find this post interesting/useful – let me know what you think!

Thanks for reading

Amy x

Ps. as always, you can find more of my illustration work (like the cover illustration one this post) on my website, Instagram and Twitter!

My Everyday Lush Products

I used to work for Lush, and therefore have owned/tried a LOT of their products. I thought I’d share with you the ones I still use on a super regular basis.

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First up, hair care:

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Since going blonde, I’ve been using Daddy-O and it is the most beautiful smelling shampoo that always gets my hair feeling clean afterwards. I used to use the Sugar Daddy-O solid conditioner before I went blonde and I do think the range works well on any hair colour. Now I’m using Jungle solid conditioner because it just gives my hair a bit more moisture and still smells amazing. And another firm favourite that I’ve been using for years and years is No Drought dry shampoo, it lasts so long and does a good job. If they bring back Mr Sandman dusting powder at Christmas though, I’d recommend trying that as a dry shampoo because who doesn’t want twilight-scented hair with a bit of sparkle in it?

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For showering, I always switch between my many tiny bottles of shower gel, currently reaching for Prince Charming, Plum Rain and, always a fave, Rose Jam. This one is only available at Christmas time or in the Rosie gift. It smells like a gorgeous sweet rose scent with a bit of lemon in there too. It shares its scent with Rose Jam bubbleroon, Rose Bombshell bath bomb, Pearl massage bar, Jason and the Argan Oil shampoo bar, Ro’s Argan body conditioner and Ro’s Argan gourmet soap.

For shaving, I use Twilight shower gel, because it’s got a really thin consistency but feels SO moisturising, I don’t know how they do it. Again, it’s only available at Christmas time (or at least, it was last year) and in the Relax gift. It shares its scent with Twilight bath bomb, Twilight perfume/body spray, Mr Sandman dusting powder and Sleepy body lotion.

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All time favourite perfume is such a toughie. It used to be Kerbside Violet, but is definitely now Princess Cottongrass, I just love it so much. It’s the perfect introvert scent IMO, smells like a wintery forest, it’s the BEST. It shares its scent with the Oxford Street exclusive bath bomb, Guardians of the Forest, and Princess dusting powder which occasionally shows up on the Lush Kitchen.

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Toothpaste is always Miles of Smiles. Toothy tabs are just an amazing invention and you should all go and try them right now. I like this flavour because it’s super minty and doesn’t make your sink go grey (we’re looking at you, Boom!).

And whenever I wear eyeliner, I always go for Independent, it’s a really nice formula and colour. Sometimes if I’m not feeling so brave, I’ll go for Quietly Motivated, which is a gorgeous brown shade.

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For hand cream, I love Love and Light. It smells AMAZING. It’s full of neroli, so makes you feel instantly happy, and the formula is really nice and moisturising without feeling greasy.

Hope that was interesting! Let me know your everyday Lush products (or other vegan and cruelty-free favourites).

Amy

 

What I Eat in a Day (Vegan)

I thought it might be interesting to document what I eat on an average day, and might help give people thinking about veganism some meal inspiration, so I thought I’d share with you what I eat in an average day, working from home. (I may be totally wrong and this might be a tedious post, in which case – soz).

 

6:52am: Breakfast

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The contents of my breakfast don’t really change much unless we have bread that needs eating in which case I’ll have bread slathered in dairy-free spread (Vitalite Sunflower is the best, FYI). Or we run out of any of the ingredients. But there is always a cup of tea.

Inside this bowl:

  • Not-quite overnight oats – I usually just chuck half a cup of oats and half a cup of milk (usually almond but we just buy what’s on offer) into the bowl just before eating because meal prep is boring (but sensible!).
  • Cocoa powder – about a third of a tablespoon? (we actually have some lovely raw cacao powder from Fodder, our local health food shop at the moment, #treatyoself and all that).
  • Peanut butter (organic when we can afford it) – about half a tablespoon, split into blobs.
  • Seed mix – a good sprinkle (usually the Omega 3 one from Grapetree).
  • Sultanas or mixed fruit – again, a good sprinkle.
  • Half a banana (or a whole one, I’d probably have a whole one if I didn’t have to share with Max).
  • Cacao nibs on top if you’re feelin’ fancy.

 

Bowl: TKMaxx
Mug: Stephy Draws for Bloody Nora Pam

 

10:34am: Brunch

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Not really brunch, just my daily banana and free decaf soya latte from Waitrose Cafe.

 

12:56pm: Lunch

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Trendiest meal of the day – avocado on toast. Doesn’t happen that often with avocados being so expensive and temperamental when it comes to ripeness.

I made toast using a white farmhouse loaf from Waitrose bakery, and then I topped it with Vitalite spread, avocado, nooch (nutritional yeast), sunflower seeds and black pepper. Yummy.

 

2:28pm: They jumped out of the cupboard and asked me to eat them, honest.

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6:53pm: Tea

img_4920.jpgTea was a bit of a ‘let’s just make something from whatever’s in the cupboards’ kind of job. It ended up being pasta in a tomato sauce (ketchup, olive oil, garam masala, black pepper) with broccoli, curried chickpeas and onions, and some chopped up Linda McCartney veggie sausages. Yum yum.

 

There we have it, my day’s eatings. Hope it was interesting!

Amy

 

I love Lush’s Sleepy body lotion and here’s why…

The year was 2016. Autumn was well upon us and the days were getting shorter and drearier until the day came when Lush revealed their Christmas exclusives. And they announced a new body lotion, a twilight-scented body lotion. That lavender-tonka goodness in a lotion. No need to run a bath to smell like twilight anymore, oh no! Now we had the power to slather ourselves in a beautiful, thick, oatmeal-infused lotion, go to bed and wake feeling refreshed and well-rested (which, let me tell you, if you’re a Christmas super-fan like me, is definitely a useful asset in the run-up).

Then January came and went and Sleepy just vanished. It was expected, of course, but still felt like this amazing invention just got snatched away from us. Then, at the Lush Summit in February, Sleepy returned in the form of a hand cream, in a silver tube. It was like prayers had been answered, dreams had come true, until a visit to the Summit shop proved that they had sold out instantly and alas, they were no more (although I do hope it becomes a thing – everyone needs portable Sleepy).

Roll forward to June and alas the lotion is once more, and is now permanent! So if I were you, and if there are any left after all these articles floating around the interwebs, I would grab yourself a pot.

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Thanks for reading and sweet dreams, zzZ

Amy x

Cover illustration: www.amyvale.com