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!


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.


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.

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.

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

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!

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!



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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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).


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.


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).


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?


But as I said… I went ahead and ordered the 48 rolls through a local bulk order in N.Ireland arranged by 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



House and home, Zero waste

Norwex Laundry Detergent Review

In an effort to reduce the chemicals in our home and to continue to reduce my eco footprint when it comes to clothing I purchased the Norwex Laundry Detergent powder.   (You can read about No New Clothes 2019 which is my other challenge to reduce my eco footprint when it comes to clothing)

The product costs £22.99 for 1 kg which seems mental when a generic laundry powder costs around £4 – £5 for a 2.4kg box.  However Norwex claims this powder will do 66 to 100 loads of washing vs the 40 loads a generic powder offers.  When my powder arrived and I opened it I was honestly shocked at how little powder it was telling me to use!


As you can see the dose of Norwex is a fraction of the size of my last dose of Surf (Please note, I did also use less of the Surf than recommended as I hate product residue).  If I do the math, Surf expect me to use 65g of washing powder per wash while Norwex only expect me to use as little at 10g per wash!

Having seen that if you clear out the gunk from your washing machine drawer (you know the gunk I mean!) your drawer should stay clean as Norwex leaves zero residue, I gave my drawer a good soak.  I used some sodium bicarbonate, white vinegar and warm water to clean it up before using the powder.  The gunk in your drawer is made up of the fillers in our washing powder and softeners – as Norwex don’t use fillers, the idea is your washer will stay sparkly clean.


My first load was a typical one filled with loads of the kids clothes and some tea towels.  I whacked them in and added the minuscule amount of powder and put my washer on for a daily wash cycle at 40 degrees.  When it came out it all smelt very plain, there was as they said no smell.  A bit of a head bender to get used to but I moved everything into the dryer and an hour later inspected everything as I folded the items away.

Honestly, I was expecting it not to be quite as good as my old one and I would have been happy if it was good but not quite as good at the old one.  The Norwex powder held it’s own and surprised me, everything was clean and ready to be put away.

I do pretty much a load a day and have been using it for about 2 weeks.  So far it has cleaned everything I have thrown at it as well as my previous laundry powder, winner!

I have seen that some people add essential oils into the powder if you desire a fragrance to your clothes.  I’m not sure I am that bothered about the lack of smell and as a family we are happy enough to continue using it as is.


If you like the science then here is a photo of the ingredients.  It makes for very quick reading with only 3 ingredients.

The info they give on the website are that it:


  • Requires just a fraction of the amount of most typical store brands
  • Using less means you save money—one compact bag washes up to 100 loads in an HE machine and up to 66 laundry loads in a conventional machine.
  • Dissolves quickly and starts working immediately
  • Works well in all water temperatures
  • Effective in hard water
  • Contains environmentally friendly water softeners
  • Non-toxic, with biodegradable ingredients
  • Suitable for septic tanks

I’m not sure it saves me any money tbh, at the maximum suggestion of 100 washes a bag that would mean each wash costs me 22.9p while a store bought one at £5 offering a maximum of 40 washes costs me 12.5p per wash (or half that for me as I never used the full recommended measure).  It is however cheaper than other environmentally kind products like Ecover which works out around 28p per wash.  I would estimate using Norwex is probably costing me double, however as I REALLY want to do the right thing when it comes to being kinder to the environment and minimising the use of harsh chemicals in the home I will likely stick with this and repurchase in a few months when I have used this bag up.


My order also came with a sample of the Laundry Liquid.  This tiny little 4ml sample is the amount required for a load of washing!  Nuts right? I mean it’s not even a full teaspoon but I don’t doubt it will work amazingly!  Also if you’re wondering about my gunk free drawer… it’s still 100% sparkling!

I purchased my product from @TheHomelyHaven




Zero waste

2019 – A year of no new clothes!

I know I’m not alone in using the new year as an instigator for new challenges and changes in life.  It’s just one of those moments that sets us on edge to encourage us to implement some of the changes we deep down already wanted to make right?

2019 is no different, I have things I want to do and if I am honest, things I have wanted to do for a long time so this year I am pulling my finger out and working down my list.

My first change that people will be able to follow me undertaking is #NoNewClothes2019.  It is what it says on the tin, I will be purchasing no new clothes for the whole of 2019.  I can of course purchase 2nd hand, borrow and exchange clothes with friends.

2018 saw me go into a charity shop to buy clothes for myself for the first time ever!  I was inspired by @StyleTheMother over on Instagram (co-creator of the popular hashtag #choosereused ) and I was beyond pleased with the gems I have found.  It got me pondering if I could do this long term and I am pretty certain I blooming well can.

stacey dooley

A lot of people would take on this challenge with the idea of saving money but my main drive is to reduce my eco foot print when it comes to clothes.  If you haven’t watched the Stacey Dooley documentary on fast fashion then I completely recommend you give it a watch sometime.  It will change the way you look at the fashion industry and perhaps inspire you to reduce the amount of shopping you do for fast fashion.  I hope it inspires you to shop smarter, shop for better quality and make the most of using what is in your wardrobe.  It should still be on BBC online, you can also check out this article on how too much poor quality fast fashion is being donated to charity shops and due to the low quality is unable to be sold.  That isn’t to say you would find Primark clothes in charity shops or ebay, you will, but think of the amount going to landfill!


So far I really haven’t ventured far for second hand clothes.  I’ve checked a few of my local charity shops and bought the odd item that’s caught my eye.  It’s a change to how I normally shop.  I’ve never been a huge consumer of fast fashion as a general rule, however I buy clothes when I NEED them and when I say need, I mean I probably need them right now or in the next day or two so I impulse buy stuff I don’t love but that “will do”.  This new way of shopping has a much different pace.  It means I go into the charity shops in town once every week or two and just browse.  If I love something I buy it because I can’t exactly go home to think about it and call back (although saying that, I did actually not buy a jacket and regretted it.  I was over the moon when I went back the next week and it was still there and I was able to buy it).  That’s not to say I’m buying lots of stuff, I’m not but the stuff I am buying I genuinely am loving and using often.

It’s brought a change to my attitude of clothes.  I would normally hold onto clothes for many years “just in case”.  In case I lose weight, in case I put weight on, in case I need a nice dress, in case it comes back into fashion etc. You get me right? Lots of us have this same mentality of keeping things just in case.  I’ve now started to think it makes more sense to let go.  It makes me feel less burdened by the amount of stuff in my house, the lack of space in my wardrobe and the guilt of these items going unloved and unused for so long.  It also gives me opportunity to keep items for my wardrobe that I fully love.

I am pleased to say I am not alone on my journey.  After posting my desire to undertake this challenge the beautiful @Ethical.Annie said she would like to join me and I reckon together we will smash this and hopefully drag a few of you along on the journey with us.  While I will post updates on my challenge here, you are more likely to see regular updates on my story mode over on @cruelty_free_emmy so please head over and give me a follow and feel free to join us by using the #NoNewClothes2019 .  Here’s to a year of wearing clothes I love without it costing the earth… literally!