A vegan, natural, and allergy friendly make-up look

Yes, it can be done! Here are my latest make-up buys which I’m using to create a vegan, natural and allergy friendly make-up look (nut-free, soya-free, dairy-free).  See before and after photos below.

A vegan, natural and allergy friendly make-up lookA vegan, natural and allergy friendly make-up look 2

When I started out as a vegan about 15 years ago it was hard to find natural, vegan make-up.  It was definately slim pickings, with very little variety, poor colours, and even poorer performance.  It’s completely different now of course with ‘clean & green’ becoming almost mainstream as people become more aware of what they are putting on their face.  There are so many brands to choose from now, with products performing just as well as, or even out performing mainstream brands.  If anything until recently I had the opposite problem of too much choice! Quite the change 🙂

However, when baba 2 was diagnosed with multiple food allergies my struggle to find suitable make-up began anew.  These days I have to find vegan, natural make-up that is also nut-free and soya-free!  Tricky, tricky, tricky.

It took me a long time researching on the internet to find these bad boys, but here they are.  If you’re looking for similar allergy-friendly products I hope this helps.

Disclaimer: These products are free from nut, soya and animal products AS FAR AS I CAN TELL.  Please double check the ingredients for yourself before you buy just to make sure, as ingredients can change and sometimes I can miss things (thanks baby brain 🙂 ).  You may also want to check with the individual companies about possible traces of allergens from the manufacturing process – I have not done this.

Inika Loose Mineral Foundation SPF25, £27.50

Mineral foundation is your friend if you’re looking for allergy friendly make-up (always check ingredients though as brands do differ).  This product from Inika  provides excellent coverage with a natural finish and is perfect for even the most sensitive skin, with its 100% natural, minimalist ingredients.  It’s also super easy and quick to apply, so great for mums on the go.  Inika is my favourite make-up brand because all the products are vegan and where possible organic.  I also find that their shades are perfect for my very pale, neutral skin tone, with the ‘Strength’ shade being perfect for summer and ‘Grace’ perfect for winter.

bareMinerals Well-Rested Eye Brightener SPF20, £20

I have always struggled to find concealers pale enough for my skin, and now my options are so restricted, it’s a near impossible task! So I have fallen back on this old favourite and wow I had forgotten how great it is.  As far as I can tell it doesn’t have a colour as such, or it has the kind that magically matches most skin tones. It uses minerals to reflect light to disguise dark circles, redness etc.  It is a powder, but as with mineral powder foundation it does not look powdery on the skin. I’m not sure why I ever stopped using this as it is the best concealer I have ever found for my mega pale face.

Some Lush Lip Balms (please check ingredients as some do have beeswax or nut oils)

Lush is the only place I could find a natural, vegan lip balm without nut or soy oil. They don’t seem to do the Passion Flower one anymore that I used here, but a quick look on their website and I can see that their Ultrabalm lipbalm, £9.95 is also free from these ingredients.

bareMinerals Pop of Passion Lip Oil-Balm

bareminerals have sadly stopped making these which is a huge shame but I have seen them still for sale through online beauty sites etc.  A balm with strong colour pay-off, I have been using mine on lips and cheeks since spring.  I use the ‘peach passion’ shade which actually comes out more of a pretty pink on me.  We all know good vegan lipsticks can be hard to find, but vegan lipsticks without nut oils etc?  Holy grail.  Please bring these back bareMinerals!

bareMinerals Frame & Define Brow Styler, £15

They do two shades, the ‘universal dark’ one is a good match for my brows (not too warm).  It has a twist up, ultra fine tip.

bareMinerals 5in1 BB Advanced Performance Cream Eyeshadow, £18

A lot of the eye shadows I looked at had nut oils added, but yet again a mineral make-up brand came to the rescue.  This fab product has super staying power.  BareMinerals describe it as ‘lasting cream colour meets brightening, smoothing and priming power plus mineral sunscreen in an innovative hybrid formula.’ I used the ‘exotic lilac’ shade which brings out the green in my hazel eyes.

Inika Certified Organic Eyeliner, £14.50

I’m so glad I still get to use these eyeliners.  Super soft to apply but with great staying power and they do not irritate my eyes at all (I wear contacts).  In this look I’m using the graphite shade to complement the lilac eyeshadow, and I like that it also has a touch of silver.

Ilia Mascara, £22

This is the first natural mascara I have tried that doesn’t smudge or flake AT ALL.  And that’s saying something with my oily eyelids.  It gives pretty, natural-looking definition, stays put all day but is still easy to remove before bed. I chose the the black shade ‘Nightfall’.  It is made with 100% natural dyes, is naturally preserved and is 42% organic.

As you can see, all the products except two are from mineral make-up brands.  I hadn’t actually noticed until I wrote them down!  So I guess these are the brands to go to first when looking for natural, vegan, allergy-friendly cosmetics.  Happy hunting!

The Mostly Green Mum

Dressing for my 30s with a post baby body

Style crisis – what do I wear?

Fashion just doesn’t feature when you have babies. Perhaps occasionally you might look in the mirror and grimace at the Womble-like vision in front of you –  all saggy maternity jeans, giant nursing bra and baggy cardi (very much my baby years outfit – see photo) but you don’t have time to think about it really, and nor should you.  It’s a crazy busy time and that Wombley outfit is darn practical (and comfy) and what you need to get the job done.

Baby years outfit
Baby years outfit

But eventually you do start to emerge from the baby bubble and you want to claim some of your old self back.  That’s where I am now.  Baba 2 is now 18 months old and the scruffy vision before me in the mirror is no longer acceptable.  But, the thing is, I’m different. It’s less about reclaiming my old style but rather finding a new one. My body has changed – my several posts about post-natal exercises (or lack of) are testament to the fact that my mum tum is very much here to stay, at least for now. I’m also older.  I had my first baba at 32, when I was largely still wearing the same clothes from my 20s and still just about getting away with it.  I had started to make forays into a more sophisticated look, especially for work, but generally my look had been the same for about a decade.

Now I’m in my late 30s with my 37th birthday fast approaching.  My old outfits just don’t cut it anymore. But what do I wear now? I’ve been trapped in the baby bubble for the past 5 years and just don’t know where to start.  A few evenings burrowing about on the internet turned up this inspiration:

1. High street fashion for women in their 30s (listed roughly in low to high price order)

I found more shops than this but these are the ones that I liked the look of most (for more recommendations, especially for more formal and office wear, check out my source links at the end of the post).  

Monsoon is my own addition; I did find it mentioned in an article as being too ‘hippy’ to be considered, and although this is true of some of their stuff, I have found many beautiful pieces that aren’t like that at all (such as the lovely 1950s style day dress in the photograph).  

None of these brands are particularly ‘green’ but I’ve added all of them to my eBay search lists to buy secondhand – a green and budget friendly option.

2. Great clothes for post-baby bods – concealing the mum tum

  • 1950s style dress
    1950s style dress

    1950s style dresses – a recent revelation to me, the high waist and full skirts nip you in at your slimmest point whilst gracefully concealing the mum tum.  You’ll also look glamorous and gorgeous instantly with this slightly more structured and tailored look which is perfect for your 30s.  I had some from before I had my babas but was convinced they wouldn’t fit anymore.  After this research I dug them out and was blown away. My new favourite go-to outfit.

    Sundress with empire waist
    Sundress with empire waist
  • Flowy sun dresses and tops with empire waists – a fab boho option for summer
  • Wrap dresses and tops – also perfect for breast feeding.
  • Drapey dresses (not shapeless)
  • Cardigans and jackets
  • Dark colours, especially black, and patterns
  • Shapewear
  • Accessorise to draw attention away from tum – scarfs, wide belts, jewellery.
  • Mid rise jeans
  • Avoid clingy clothes

3. Style tips for 30 somethings

  • Quality rather than quantity. Only buy clothes that you absolutely adore.
  • Invest in good quality basics, well-fitting underwear, and quality tailoring.
  • Accessorise with good quality shoes, bags and statement jewellery. Add one statement, on trend piece to make your outfit special.
  • Show either legs or cleavage, not both.

I also used Pinterest to look up my favourite celebs of a similar-ish age to moi and their ‘street style’ to see what they rocked when they popped to the shops, walked the dog etc. For me that’s Duchess of Cambridge (recently voted the UK’s most stylish woman, not bad inspiration there!) Kate Winslet, Angelina Jolie and my most recent faves Claire Danes and Morena Baccarin from Homeland, my new boxset obsession.  Rather refreshingly I found some photos of them when they were in the baby bubble and they often looked as wombley as me – it’s nice to know it happens to us all.

I still wear my baby years outfit most of the time because I still do lots of baby stuff, but as I start to have time for other things I now I have other options. I won’t be ditching my old style completely, I’ve always been a bit of a hippy and loved the rock chick look and they’ll still feature pretty heavily, but I’ll be building on my 1950s wardrobe and adding in a bit of royal sophication too 🙂

I feel excited about clothes again and am eagerly scouting eBay for new pieces! I feel confident about the way I look in these new styles – a big improvement to where I was a few weeks ago.  I hope this post offers you some inspiration too.

The Mostly Green Mum

Sources:

The 10 labels that every woman over 30 needs to know about (Daily Mail)

Too old for Topshop, too young for Jaeger (Telegraph)

How to dress after pregnancy (wikiHow)

Dressing to hide the mum tum (One for the Wishlist blog)

Eco-friendly bedding for adults

That won’t break the bank

I’ve done a short post before about organic bedding for babies, organic baby sleep (or lack thereof), and that is something that is pretty easy to find.  But eco-friendly bedding for grown ups?  Different story.  Organic sheets and plain, mega-boring duvet covers might be easy to get hold of (although the colour selection isn’t great), but patterned duvet covers? Very thin on the ground.  Organic duvets, pillows and mattresses? Sell a kidney.  Seriously, the expense is jaw-dropping.

However, I was determined to find eco-friendly bedding that was pretty and reasonably priced for the first stage of our bedroom make-over (so excited).

It took me a few days of searching, every time I had a few minutes.  I didn’t really think that I’d find anything.  This was something I had looked for in the past and come up with nothing.  I retyped my search criteria in as many ways as I could think of.  And then I found La Redoute.

This place is heaven for the fashion conscious eco-babe on a budget.  It was here that I scored a gorgeous, king-sized, 100% cotton duvet cover for £15.  It was in a sale, but they seem to do big sales a lot, and full price it was only £22.50, a price to rival most mainstream stores.  Although not organic, it is Oeko-Tex Certified, meaning it is tested (beyond the normal industry standard) to ensure it does not contain any substance detrimental to health.  For £15 I think I can live with that compromise! Sure enough when I unwrapped the duvet, it did not have the horrible chemical whiff you get from many other brands.

I also found a king-sized duvet with organic cotton cover, and recycled polyester filling for £38.  Such a reasonable price, soooo different to all the other options I found.

My long search paid off and I now have new, eco-friendly bedding without breaking the bank.  Seriously, check this place out.

The Mostly Green Mum

Green People Neutral Scent Free Hand and Body Lotion

A saviour for sore mum hands

When baba 2 was born, so began the inevitable massive increase in hand washing that comes when caring for a newborn. It was also winter. The combination meant that my hands became increasingly dry and cracked and eventually red and sore. I think it brought on dermatitis. This was despite using gentle hand washes and plenty of natural hand cream.

So my search began for new natural hand creams to try. But each one seemed to make it worse and stung like crazy. Eventually I found Green People Neutral Scent Free Hand and Body Lotion.  What a miracle! After just one day of using it my dermatitis was GONE and hands were soft and soothed. Wow.

The lotion is also fragrance-free, which I really like.  Not only is this great for sensitive skin but I would have loved that when I had morning sickness and couldn’t bear the smell of any lotions.  I am forever searching for a hand cream that I like the smell of but I have yet to find ‘the one’ – I often find scented creams either unpleasant smelling or sometimes just overpowering. So I guess no scent at all is the next best thing!  

It is also non-greasy and easily absorbed, making it practical for mums on the go.  

Green People Neutral Scent Free Hand and Body Lotion £18

The Mostly Green Mum

For my favourite Green People anti-ageing products see my post Green People – Clean & Green Skincare

Ditch the dye! Going grey

I’m 36 and recently decided to NOT dye my greying hair.  I started going grey in the my late 20s.  Like most people, this freaked me out.  I don’t think any of us like this first sign that youth is on the way out.  I used to pull the hairs out, even employing my husband in the task! That is until one day he said ‘there’s too many’.

My grey streaksI always knew I would never use chemical dyes on my hair so started out on a long journey to find a natural dye to cover these early greys. However, anyone that has done this will know that there is no natural way to truely cover grey. Natural dyes coat the haircut shaft, rather than replacing the hair colour inside (which is what conventional dyes do).  This means that your greys will still look lighter than the rest of your hair, and I’ve always found that these dyes, although permanent on my brown hair, annoyingly seemed to gradually fade off the greys, so that I’d have to dye my full length of hair every 3-4 weeks.

The process of dyeing my hair naturally at home was messy, long-winded and expensive (although not a patch on going to the salon every month, how anyone affords to get their hair dyed that way is beyond me!) I understand using conventional dyes at home isn’t much different.  I found it a struggle to keep up and that was before I had children!

I also found it hard to find the right colour.  Natural dyes are limited in the colours available, and you may have to experiment a lot to find a colour you like (I certainly did).  My goal was to match my natural hair colour, to disguise the greys like they didn’t exist, I didn’t want people to know that I dyed it.  But so many 100% natural dyes are henna-based and have a distinctive reddish tinge that shouts ‘I dye my hair with henna’ so I didn’t want that.  Ironically, it was just as I found the perfect shade that I decided to leave it grey.

I was in the supermarket a few months ago when I saw a woman at the next checkout with the most beautiful silver hair.  I guessed her to be in her late 60s maybe, but instead of the traditional old lady shorter hair styles you see, she had her medium length wavy hair tied up in a pony tail (as I wear my own hair) and was dressed in a modern casual way in jeans, a baggy jumper, scarf and boots.  She looked so chic, so effortlessly beautiful.  Her whole look was so youthful. But what struck me the most was how her grey hair made her seem so strong.  She wasn’t trying to fight away the years, a struggle none of us can ever win.  She was beyond all that.

It was a defining moment for me.  In her I saw myself – how I want to be when I am older.  It was then I decided to ditch the dye.  It might sound silly but I suddenly felt at peace, like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders.  No longer would I struggle trying to hide what was inevitable – no more wasted fortune, no more hours spent in the bathroom with henna everywhere, no more panic as the roots start to show.

I spoke to the lady at the supermarket and told her how beautiful she was and how she had inspired me to not dye my hair.  She said ‘trying to hide greys was one of the worst mistakes of my life, just let it go.’

It is truely liberating to ditch the dye.  If you are thinking about it please do it!  See my Pinterest account for pictures of gorgeous grey hair – where I found the rally call ‘ditch the dye.’ It is so rare to see younger women embracing their naturally greying hair – be one of the few, be a rebel!  If you are a lover of beauty and fashion like me, there is no reason for grey to be ageing – keep your make-up and outfits modern, keep your hair in good condition and it will only make you look strong, unique and beautiful.

The Mostly Green Mum

PS – Taking photos of my hair for this post made me realise that I’m going grey in streaks, like Morticia Addams, how cool is that?! 🙂

Spring make-up look for mums

A 5 minute spring make-up look for mums using vegan and natural products

Who has time for make-up?  With small children running around it’s often a crazy pipe dream, as you hurry from the house in your old leggings and sensible mum anorak, unwashed and unmade-up.  For those days a pair of MASSIVE sunglasses are a mums’ best friend, instantly transforming you into a film star-type and concealing the ravaged face and tiny bloodshot eyes that come from advanced sleep deprivation.

When I have do have 5 mins to spare in the morning I like to do this natural make up look, which focuses on creating a healthy glow and looking more awake! Inspired by Lisa Eldridge, my favourite international make-up artist, and online beauty guru, this look uses ideas and tips from several of her make-up videos but substituting in organic make-up if not already used. The look is quick and easy, and it makes me look slightly less knackered:

Base – I use a BB cream / tinted moisturiser as these can be slapped on in about 5 seconds flat, in the dark, by a toddler and still look pretty decent.  My favourite at the moment is the new Inika Certified Organic BB Cream because it gives impressive coverage.

Concealer – I then use light reflective concealer under my eyes (this area needs serious work).  I’ve used Inika Certified Organic Perfection Concealer

Illuminator – get fancy – add some to your cheekbones.  Makes me feel like a model (a bit!)  I love Inika Certified Organic Light Reflect Cream

Colour – I use a pink lipstick on my lips, cheeks and a tiny bit on my eyelids to give a healthy glow. Not only is this super quick but by using just the one product it makes your make-up looked pulled together and chic. Mismatched lip and cheek colour can make you look ‘weird’ and I don’t need any help in that department. I’m loving bareMinerals Pop of Passion Lip Oil-Balms. The colour payoff is impressive for a lip balm.

Eyes – Use eyeshadow/brow powder to softly define brows (I use a grey/brown colour) and as an eyeliner (I use black) pressed into the roots of the lashes.  I often just apply eyeliner to the outer corner of the eyes to save time.  At least one child is usually screaming by this point.  Then curl eyelashes to make your eyes look more awake and either add loads of black mascara to build on the ‘more awake’ theme or if you look less knackered than me, continue with the natural theme and go for a more subtle brown.  I am currently using Ilia Mascara in Nightfall.

I finish my complexion with a touch of mineral powder foundation on my shiny areas (t zone for me) as this gives a tad more coverage. I’ve used my favourite Inika Loose Mineral Foundation SPF25.  They have great pale shades that aren’t too pinky, perfect for my fair, neutral skintone.

Hey presto! The airbrushed, glowing, and yet still very natural you is ready to go 🙂

The Mostly Green Mum

How to have a green wardrobe

This how I buy my clothes every season – the stage system!

Stage 1 – check what you already have

Every season I have a good sort out. I have a small wardrobe so I only ever have autumn/winter or spring/summer clothes in it at any one time. The other season is packed away in boxes. So every season I swap the clothes around and at the same time decide what I will be keeping and what I will be getting rid of. If I have time, I’ll try everything on just to make sure it looks and fits how I remembered. Anything I don’t want anymore can be sold on eBay to fund new clothes, or swapped with a friend (see below). Continue reading “How to have a green wardrobe”

Postnatal exercise diary – part 1

After deciding that I will finally get fit following the birth of my second baba over a year ago (see my exercise intro) here is my progress after the first week of doing basic postnatal exercises 🙂 Continue reading “Postnatal exercise diary – part 1”

Green People – clean & green skincare

My new favourite miracle products

Green People are fabulous.  Their skincare?  Divine. Organic, largely vegan and targeted towards sensitive skins, this multi award-winning brand is bursting with natural miracle workers.  Within their range I have found most of my all time favourites, which I will list for you below, including anti-ageing gems and baby care lifesavers.  My most recent crushes are the new Beauty Boost Skin Restore and pretty much the entire Age Defy+ range.  Youth in a tube, people! Continue reading “Green People – clean & green skincare”

Postnatal exercise diary – introduction

The eternal struggle

Baba 2 is 14 months old now and I STILL haven’t managed to get into an exercise routine.  The best I’ve managed is 2 or 3 times a week for 3 weeks I think.  I just can’t bear to do it.  If I do ever have half an hour to myself all I want to do is curl up on the sofa with a mountain of toast and watch some brainless tele, or faff about on the internet.  Ahhh, heaven 🙂

But here’s the thing folks, I am starting to get a bit down about my still quite prominent tummy bump and general flabbiness.  It would be good to walk down the street without straining something, or pick up my children without fear of a hernia.

So I thought that if I write about it here, then that is an extra incentive to ACTUALLY DO IT this time (fitness regime attempt #57). Continue reading “Postnatal exercise diary – introduction”