If you think you have left it too late to pick up some handmade goodies in time for Christmas then you are wrong. You will find that most shops are no longer taking custom orders but there are lots of lovely ready to ship items from some great sellers so here are some of my favourites. Be aware that the last official posting date for Royal Mail is 21st within the UK so some may stop taking orders before that.
This is the next installment of my gift guide to help with your Christmas shopping incase you are still looking for inspiration. Once again I have featured my pick of small/independent businesses. If you would like the opportunity to be featured in any of our gift guide just contact me through the website.
This is my first gift guide and I’m highlighting some of my favourite small businesses that sell fabulous food and drink related gifts. I also like to support local businesses too so the majority of these sellers are from the Leeds area and some will be at the Leeds Etsy Made Local fair THIS WEEKEND! Make sure to go and check out your local Etsy fair as they are happening all over the country on 2nd-3rd December.
I love eating so what better way to start the gift guide than with the cutest food and drink related stocking fillers. I have included links to purchase in the captions. If you fancy the opportunity to be featured on the blog then I will be asking for suggestions over on my Facebook page.
Today I want to talk about something a bit different to usual. Recently I started looking into cruelty-free make up. For some reason, despite being an animal lover it is something that I was completely ignorant of; I suppose I assumed that in 2017 we weren’t still rubbing chemicals into bunnies eyes but I was really really wrong. Once I started investigating further it became quite obvious how many everyday brands still test on animals and I made it my mission to become a conscious shopper.
I began testing out some recommended brands and slowly but surely my make up bag is now almost completely cruelty-free. My two favourite brands appear to have become The Body Shop and Barry M as they are readily available on the high street and also very affordable. Only recently has The Body Shop detached itself from it’s parent company L’Oreal who still test on animals and I’m so glad they have as I have been pleasantly surprised by their make up selection.
Here is a little delve into my current make up bag which is handmade by Chloe of By The Lock Handmade and you can see her Etsy Shop here.
I’ll list the contents in order of how I apply my make up. I use almost all these items every day whether I leave the house or not! I do not use a moisturiser or a cleanser, just warm water to wash and I have completely clear skin now after suffering with severe adult acne for a couple of years.
Instablur, The Body Shop – It’s a bit hard to get used to but it does it’s job as a primer, it’s not as silky as my previous one from Benefit.
Concealer All in One, The Body Shop – I use shade 00 as I am pale but will pink undertones and it provides good coverage for under my eyes without being cakey.
Fresh Nude Foundation, The Body Shop – This is a light and silky foundation and again the shade 015 is a pink undertone. Last time I accidentally bought 012 which looked the same in the shop but didn’t look as natural as I wanted when on my face. I would say it is a medium coverage and I found it difficult to get used to at first as for years I had been using a very full coverage foundation. It does look very natural which I think is the most important attribute.
Loose Face Powder, The Body Shop – I prefer the matt look so I use a loose powder and this is one is proving good so far.
Shimmer Waves, The Body Shop – I wasn’t certain if this was supposed to be blusher or eyeshadow when I bought it as it is in both sections so I use it for both. It is not very pigmented so only just for a natural hint of warm colour.
Illuminating Highlight Palette, Barry M – I like the idea of this but in reality it is a little on the powdery side. It is however cheap so I mainly use the lightest shade and pretend I know what contouring is.
Thin Felt Eyeliner, The Body Shop – I’ll admit that up until a month ago I had never used eyeliner but I got this one free at an event and I’m starting to get the hang of it now and I like the effect. I only make the effort to use this if I actually leave the house though!
Showgirl Mascara, Barry M – This is not too heavy, thick or clumpy, it is simply darkening and lengthening which I like. I already have quite long lashes so don’t need to go too crazy. I find the quality of this is pretty much the same as more expensive brands so I would recommend it if you want to save a few pennies.
Matt Me Up, Barry M – This is a recent purchase but I love it! It is called 24 carat and I didn’t understand how it could be metallic and matt at the same time but it is and I love it because it is so unusual. It comes with a lip liner in the kit too.
Brushes Various, The Body Shop – I used to use the Boot’s Organic make up brushes but they were looking a bit tired so I purchased these ones from The Body Shop and so far I’m quite impressed, especially with the stipling foundation one, it gives much more even coverage.
Hopefully you enjoyed this look behind the scenes of my face and that is encourages you to think about buying cruelty-free if you don’t already. There are plenty more brands out there, you just have to look for the leaping bunny logo which you can find out more about here: http://www.leapingbunny.org/guide/brands
I recently joined an online book club, I liked the idea of it as there was no pressure to read a book I really didn’t want to and it was a very slow pace. I’m quite a speedy reader but finding time when my eyes are not too tired to read after a day looking at the screen can be quite tricky! The book club suggestion for April was Just Kids by Patti Smith and I read it in about a week so it inspired me to get back into reading more….
…so I thought I would share a quite run down on what I am dipping in and out of at the moment.
I recently read Emily Ley’s Grace Not Perfection and enjoyed it’s uplifting messages so I immediately went online to track down something similar. I came across Elizabeth Gilbert- Big Magic and purchased it on impulse. Not realising at the time of ordering it is the same author as Eat, Pray, Love (which I havn’t read). The premise of the book is good but I’ll be honest and say I’m struggling with it a bit as it’s quite repetitive now I’m over half way, I’ll see how it goes.
Next up is a charity shop find from last weekend Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss. As a bit of a grammar stickler I have been meaning to read this for a few years and when I saw it for 50p I couldn’t say no. The cover was a bit grimy so I removed it to see the lovely black cover with gold writing on the spine. Only a little way in but so far it has caught my attention, it is only a short one so think I’ll whizz through this one.
Reading doesn’t just have to be about novels, I recently discovered Flow Magazine and purchased the latest issue (17) as well as a tonne of back issues from their website! The articles are so beautifully written and the magazine itself is a work of art, it is quite pricy at over £10 but it is worth it when you consider what you get inside. I’m taking my time and enjoying mindfulness whilst reading these.
Another non-book is this audio book I have on the go, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Dr Yuval Noah Harari. It is quite a beast of a book; so far I’m about 2/3rds and still have over 9 hours to go! I love social history and this fulfils my need to continue learning. I would recommend it but as it is such a long book, an audio book is a good option if time is limited as you can listen whilst commuting/ at work/ doing chores etc.
As a treat I purchased a new release this week Cows by Dawn O’Porter. I havn’t started this yet and will wait until I finish one of the above but it has great reviews. Has anyone read it? Or have you read anything else you’d like to share? Leave me a comment and we can have our own mini book club!
I am very fortunate to live close to Sunny Bank Mills in Farsley, the former indoor studios for Emmerdale Farm! It is now host to a variety of businesses including artist’s workshops and a gallery so is a fantastic creative space that you should visit if you get a chance. The current exhibition; Printmakers circle piqued my interest as I am a fan of printmaking techniques. I don’t want to give too much away but here are a few pictures I took during my visit today:
Above: Gallery space
The highlight for me was the work of Ian Scott Massie, I also purchased a postcard of his Brighton Pier print as we recently visited Brighton and I loved the colours. My absolute favourite was the Salt’s Mill print on the right.
A visit to the gallery isn’t complete without a look round the shop, it is crammed full of work from local artists, you can get everything from jewellery to bath products to home furnishings. Don’t forget to sit and relax with a cuppa and a homemade cake whilst you are there too!
The exhibition is on until 14th May 2017 and you can find out more here. You can also keep up to date with the printmakers circle on their Facebook page.