beauty, Zero waste

Eco Swap – Safety Razors, not as scary as you think!

I really wanted to make the swap to a safety razor for environmental reasons.  I ordered one with good feedback made by Edwin Jagger for £22.  Did you know we throw away 2 BILLION disposable razors each year? I bought it with a good heart for saving on plastic to do my bit for the earth but I was terrified at the thought of using it!

Safety Razor

When it arrived and I used it for the first time I actually played a YouTube video while in the bath and watched it as I shaved my legs.  I’ve no idea why I was quite so nervous about using it, it really isn’t as scary as you would think.

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I don’t doubt you could cut yourself with it if you were rushing or applying too much pressure but so long as you take your time, use a light pressure and keep the blade at the correct angle you are flying.  I can honestly say I haven’t cut myself with mine thus far.

For lather I am currently using a tub of shaving soap called D’Fluff from Lush as I had it in the house anyway but you can buy shaving soaps to avoid the plastic or a shaving oil in a glass bottle.  When I need to replace my shaving soap I will 100% be opting for a plastic free version.

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I’ve been using mine for over a year now and love it.  When the blade goes blunt all I have to do is replace the metal blade by opening the razor and safely dispose of it in the little cartridge provided.  I know some people like to try and recycle the blades by popping them into tins but I worry for the safety of those in the recycle centre so choose not to do that as I wouldn’t want somebody injured over the sake of recycling a razor blade.

The one flaw in my safety razor? I didn’t realise they came with different handle lengths and mine is about the length of my thumb (so really quite short).  When ordering don’t just go for aesthetics, be sure to check the length of the handle to have the perfect length for using.  I decided to keep using mine anyway as they are costly to replace but I don’t want you to buy the wrong length and end up not using it or having to buy another.  After all, most of us are buying our safety razor to minimise our waste.

If you have made the switch, let us know how you get on with it and which brand you ended up going for.

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Emmy x

 

beauty

Plastic free conditioners – the struggles and the solution!

Haircare blog

“I struggle with solid haircare!”. I hear it every day but I was still shocked how many of you took the time to vote on my Instagram poll and said struggled with solid haircare.

But there is hope, I want to explain a little more about solid conditioners in the hopes I can help some of you get to grips with your plastic free conditioners.

Firstly these solid conditioner blocks tend to avoid using silicone.

Jungle conditioner

Silicone is used in a lot of bottled conditioners to give you that “Oh wow my hairs so soft!” feeling. The silicone works by coating the hair and it gives an artificial softness and great hair separation to avoid knots but that silicone is still a plastic and it then gets washed down your drain and ultimately makes it’s way to the sea. Not great. It can also block some of the good ingredients from being as effective.

Ethique conditionerA solid conditioner will use a variety of natural ingredients to soften like cocoa butter or coconut oil. The problem is these ingredients take time and won’t give you the same instant gratification of a liquid. They will however bring a true softness to the hair in time.


But let’s talk application. Because you can’t really see and measure how much you are applying, a lot of folks over do it. They think they must keep swiping it through their hair to be sure get enough on. Please don’t do this. You end up with very lank and heavy hair that can feel like it needs washed again. You need to learn to trust you have enough in your hair after a few gentle swipes and massage it in before you rinse.

Conditioner in use
There are however alternatives for those who really don’t get on with solid bars or don’t want to give the time for natural softness to kick in. But do me a favour, if you have a bar why not give it another go before I introduce you to the alternatives and let me know if any of this information has helped you get on better?

 

make-up, Zero waste

Zero waste make-up launch at Lush Belfast

Naked make-up has been floating around some Lush shops for a few months but last week it at long last made an appearance in Lush Belfast.  Being Irelands largest store, Belfast created a space to bring the make-up range into their store as part of a month long focus on zero waste.  Does that mean they will only have the make-up for the month!?  Well, no!  It was intended to be in store short term but the team pushed for it to become a permanent fixture and the powers that be agreed to it!

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Bloggers galore flocked to be first to see the new make-up range and had the opportunity to book slots with a make-up artist to have assistance picking the items that would best suit their needs and colour shades.

 

The shade range available in the naked make-up is pretty spectacular.  The brand wanted the slap sticks (foundations) and trix sticks (concealer/contour) to be very inclusive with a wide shade range.  The swatches on my hand are the lightest and darkest colours available.  The have also cleverly run the range up in numbers rather than giving them crazy names and followed this with a W,N or C  to make it easy to know which shades are for warm, neutral or cool skin tones.  Better still, if you don’t know what shade to go for, plenty of the team are trained to advise so you will never be left feeling lost and longing for help.

Highlighters

The Highlighter range also comes in a variety of shades and they can double up as shimmering eye colours.  I do love a bit of multi-function action in a product.

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Edooris and JenniferHugesReviews trying out the lipstick range.

I didn’t manage to get a photo of the full lip range but there are around 40 shades meaning there is a colour for everyone.  My mind was blown with the cute vintage lipstick holders being sold separate to the lip colours.  This means you avoid having to bin packaging and the lipstick holder can last you a lifetime.  Each refill cartridge comes in a wax seal to protect it from damage.  When you get home, you remove the wax and pop it into the holder.  Magic!

 

The evening also featured a talk from one of the company founders and make-up developer Rowena Bird.

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L-R: PanicAttacksAndLipstick, Rowena Bird, Edooris and JenniferHugesReviews

Rowena spoke about the naked make-up range and why she is passionate about reducing waste.  She doesn’t just talk the talk, no.  This lady unbelievably turned 60 this year and inspired by living in front of the beach, she decided she would like to litter pick 1 tonne of waste from local beaches and waterways.  That target soon snowballed to 6 tonne when she realised she has the help of all her friends and coworkers in Lush.

We often think of plastic being the problem but during the talk she dropped the bombshell of just how much cardboard is used to package beauty products each year.  I almost fell off my chair when she said 10 million hectares of trees are used each year to package beauty products alone.  I mean, can you even picture that in your head?  Mine hurt trying to imagine it.  Learning this fact inspired Lush to go beyond the current naked make-up range and Rowena announced they will be using Tagua nuts as the packaging for the new pressed eyeshadows

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The Tagua nut is top left, the finished packaging with branding at the bottom and to the right is the open, but empty, eye shadow.

This nut was originally used to replace ivory buttons due to its colour and durability.  Personally I think it makes a pretty beautiful packaging idea for eyeshadow.

I also loved that the make-up event had people on hand to braid your hair with flowers.  I mean who wouldn’t love a flower crown in their hair? This felt totally in keeping with the brands love of natural ingredients and simple but effective beauty.  Super Stylin’ indeed!

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KatieWilliamson5 having flowers added to her hair

Have you tried the new range yet? Let me know how you got on.

 

Emmy x

beauty, Zero waste

Zero Waste Shampoo Swap

The humble shampoo bar has been knocking about for years.  Lush created theirs over 20 years ago and I can confirm these little guys offer you the squeaky clean hair you are after without the bottle!

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Each one of these bars lasts as long as THREE bottles of shampoo.  The space saved alone with these is immense and as we are in the midst of purchasing a motor-home I can confirm these will be a must in the shower room for space saving.  To put it in real terms, that photo up there has around 30 washes of shampoo in a bottle and 320 washes in shampoo bars!  Yet the shampoo bars are still taking up less volume!

From an environmental perspective, not only are you saving on the plastic, you are also saving on the emissions for shipping as the shampoo bar is much lighter than its equivalent in bottled shampoo. Lush reckon they have saved over 30 million bottles from landfill through the purchases of shampoo bars from 2010.

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One bar will do 80 washes and they couldn’t be simpler to use.  Either swipe onto your hair a few times and lather or lather on your hands and massage into your hair.  Much the same as bottle shampoo, it doesn’t really matter which method you use.

A shampoo bar in Lush is currently £7.50.  You can of course pick up shampoo bars by many brands these days and I have every faith that many do a great job.  I’ve just never tried any other than Lush due to the convenience of me working there.  All of the Lush shampoo bars in store at the moment contain sulfates so if you want to avoid them, you will have to use another brand.

True story, bubbles are to shampoo what a guide colour is to fake tan.  I always thought the bubbles that sulfates created helped to clean the hair but apparently not, they just show us WHERE we have washed in the same way a guide colour shows us where we have tanned.  For that reason you don’t need to be afraid of avoiding SLS thinking the shampoos won’t clean as well.  They will, you just have to trust you have washed everywhere.

For alternatives to Lush check out Friendly Soap or Ethique

beauty, Zero waste

Evolve Beauty – Natural Deodorant Review

Evolve Beauty are my focus for my second Natural Deodorant Review.  If you missed the first it was on Pit Putty and you’re welcome to check it out too.

Again Evolve Beauty are forgone the aluminum and have a completely natural product that is cruelty free.  This time the product comes in a glass jar with a plastic lid.  The company do advise their lid is made from recycled materials and you can recycle it again.

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It has a beautiful clean and fresh smell to it, nothing strong which is great for anyone who doesn’t like much of a smell.  The texture is hard to describe.  Its like a chalky butter?  I scrape a little onto my nail and then melt onto my fingers to apply.  It can sometimes be a little crumbly when taking it out of the jar but it does apply nicely on the skin and again I have not found any white residue on my dark work clothes.

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Have I noticed any smells?  Nope, none.  With the Evolve Beauty deodorant I have got away with applying this once per day without having to top up

Price wise we are again at the £10 mark for a 30g jar of product which is a little pricey vs Pit Putty which contains 65g.

Until I tried Pit Putty, Evolve Beauty was my favorite natural deodorant, I am currently on my 4th jar of it!  I did however dislike that it has a plastic lid and that it can sometimes crumble when using as it isn’t as melty.  Had I not found Pit Putty I would 100% have stuck with this as I do find it very effective at doing its job so if Pit Putty isn’t for you, then perhaps give Evolve Beauty a whirl to see how you get on with them.

beauty, Zero waste

Pit Putty – Natural Deodorant Review

I’ve been using deodorants focused on natural ingredients for a couple of years now in an effort to avoid aluminum.  More recently it has also been important for me to reduce the amount of plastic in my bathroom and I slightly reevaluated what deodorants I am happy to use.

After spotting one of my posts on Instagram, the folks over at Pit Putty very kindly sent me some of their products to try and for the last 10 days I have been putting it to the test.

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Pit Putty are an Irish company which is great as I love to support local businesses and their products have 100% natural ingredients.  The owners created Pit Putty out of their need for a good deodorant that would work for them while avoiding unnecessary ingredients.

When I first had a sniff of Pit Putty at the Sustain Market in Portadown I loved the scent of the three flowers.  Florals are always a winner with me.  The brand have a variety of choices to pick from to suit all tastes and for the last 10 days I decided to use the Lavender and Lemon.

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The packaging on the product is tin, making it a more sustainable option than plastic.  To open you twist the lid of the tin and then apply the product with your fingers.  The consistency is very soft and easy to work with.  The best way to describe it is that it melts like rubbing your finger on a block of butter and massages into your underarm with ease.

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I haven’t had any problems with white residue and in the full 10 days I wore it at no point did I have any nasty whiffs (don’t take my word for it – I asked people in work lol).  In fact, I didn’t even feel the need to top up during the day either which I definitely have had to do with other deodorants in the past.

When switching to a natural deodorant it’s important to remember that these will not stop sweat. You will sweat, it’s normal to sweat and these are not anti-antiperspirants.  That said, some will contain ingredients such as arrowroot, cornflour and baking soda to absorb some of the sweat so for general use you might not notice sweatyness which was the case with Pit Putty in my experience.

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People love mini products for holidays and Pit Putty totally have you covered here!  The mini tins last 7 to 14 days and are perfect for hand luggage, you will likely need to include them in your liquid bag the same way that you do lip balms.  The mini tins are also great if you want to give them a try without committing to a larger tin.

Cost wise I find it comparable to other natural brands but if you are used to £1 roll ons from the supermarket you will be paying quite a bit more as the larger tins are £9.95.  Are they worth it?  In my opinion, yes.  I actually really loved using this deodorant and I adore the mini tins for travel and for my handbag for the days I forget to put deodorant on when chasing the kids out of the house!

As I said, the products were gifted, however I was not asked to give a favorable review and the opinions are my own honest thoughts.

You can find the guys over at Pit Putty on their website or on Instagram

 

Zero waste

Who Gives A Crap? Well, me actually.

I’ve known about Who Gives A Crap for a few years.  Some locations I go to with work use it and so technically I guess I already knew what it was like but last week I ordered the trial box from Who Gives A Crap to let my family try the products to see what they thought.  Or more, try the products to see what we are switching to because the day after I ordered the trial box I ordered a box of 48 (I will tell you more about that in a minute).

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The trial box arrived 4 days after I ordered it via courier (I am in N.Ireland so we can always be sure to add a day onto what mainland delivery takes).  Packaging was just a plain box with no faff and a postcard.  The box contains 3 x double length toilet rolls, 1 x kitchen roll and 1 x box of tissues.

The postcard gives a brief explanation of the brand and the fact that they donate 50% of their profits to help build toilets for those who need them.  I love knowing that not only is the product better for the environment but that the company is choosing to use their money for good too.

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Each roll comes wrapped in colourful paper to protect the rolls from any dirt or dust.  The issues come in a plain box and while it does say the packaging is compostable the tissues do have a plastic lip.  I did send a message asking if I can home compost it but no reply as yet (I will let you know when they get back to me).

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So what does it feel like?  Well, each roll is 3 ply recycled paper.  It looks kind of like the toilet paper you would have used in school but thankfully it doesn’t feel like it!  It’s very soft to the touch and not scratchy to use.  Previously we always used Andrex and I can say it doesn’t FEEL as thick as 3 ply Andrex, it’s less starchy I guess is the best way to describe it?

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But as I said… I went ahead and ordered the 48 rolls through a local bulk order in N.Ireland arranged by DoYourBit.ni for £26 rather than the £36 for ordering via the website.  I figured I really do give a crap and know I want to make better choices for my family to protect the environment.  DoYourBit worked out that the bulk order I was part of saved 149 plastic packets of loo roll being purchased!  How amazing is that?  My delivery is due for collection later today and I am hoping that this will last us a good 3 or 4 months before I need to reorder.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if all toilet paper brands started to take steps to avoiding plastic and wrapped their toilet rolls packs in paper again like they used to?

So, the math.  A 9 pack of toilet roll costs me £3 which is 33p a roll.  This delivery has 48 double length rolls which is the equivalent to 96 rolls of normal paper making each equivalent roll 27p.  So not only is my delivery of eco friendly loo roll saving the environment and helping a charitable cause, it is also saving me £££’s.  Really I’m not sure why I didn’t realise this and take the step sooner as I always assumed it would cost me more.

Emmy x

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