When I first started looking into cruelty-free, vegan beauty (VCF), I thought I’d have about five brands to choose from, all selling numerous shades of peach. Thankfully, I was overwhelmed with the number of companies who refuse to test on animals and surprised by the amount of products that were intentionally or accidentally vegan. I’m still discovering new brands every single day, partly thanks to The Vegan Kind’s quarterly beauty box, which I signed up to in August last year.
Spectrum Collections Unicorn Tears Wonder Sponge, £4.99
Spectrum brushes are my favourite to use thanks to their soft, synthetic bristles, so I was excited to try this make-up sponge. To be honest, the only other make-up sponge I’ve used is the iconic Beauty Blender, so I didn’t have a lot to fairly compare the Wonder Sponge to, but from first impressions it feels a lot denser to use and really grows in size when you soak it in water. I found it difficult to navigate my nose with the bigger end and the texture was a lot firmer than my Blender, but product application was good overall. Right now I’m not sure if the sponge lives up to the quality of Spectrum brushes, but I think I need to use this more before I make up my mind on how I feel about it. I’ve also got Real Techniques’ Bold Metals Diamond Sponge to compare.
Noughty Intensive Care Leave-In Conditioner, £6.99
I was SO happy to see a beauty subscription box include a product specifically designed for curly hair. The packaging may say ‘frizzy damaged hair’, but we all know who’s going to be reaching for this product, and it’s probably not the straight-haired ladies who beauty boxes seem to exclusively cater for. I’d seen this brand around so I was excited to give this leave-in conditioner a go. First off, it smells delicious, like most shea-butter enriched hair products. Secondly, it almost acts as a curl cream depending on the way you apply it to your natural curls. I may have been too excited and used too much cream at first, so my hair did feel slightly crispy, but my curls were so smooth that I didn’t need to use my usual creams and serums afterwards. The next day my hair was soft and the ends were definitely less frizzy. I would definitely recommend Noughty and will be looking into their curl range the next time I’m in Superdrug.
Grounded Mango Edible Lip Scrub, £4.95
I am a big fan of fruity scents, so this scrub was an immediate winner for me. I’m sure you’re not supposed to eat it but it tastes so good. Do not do that at home. Grounded’s website actually states:
Made with Castor sugar, I’m a little rougher than your average lip scrub.
… but I found this scrub very fine while still giving good scrub, like stepping into white sand. Can you tell it’s got me dreaming of tropical holidays? I like my scrubs rough, so those with sensitive lips may prefer something gentler, but I’d even say it’s softer than Lush’s Lip Scrub. I also don’t feel like Grounded’s scrub will end up rock solid like my Lush pot. Would recommend for sure.
Your Tea TeaFace Healing Hydration Scrub, £17.95
This is the one product in February’s beauty box that I haven’t tried yet – but I have a good reason! TeaFace is a mix of tea granules with essential oils, much like Clean Beauty Co.’s Coffee Body Scrub, and I’m keen to avoid my past mistakes. You’re supposed to use these scrubs with dry fingers or scoops to make them last longer and not go bad (you can see what I did wrong here), and it’s actually suggested you keep YourTea’s face scrub in the fridge once you open it, using it up within three months. I live two floors above the fridge and have a few face scrubs open right now, so I want to use up my open scrubs so I don’t waste this one. What I can say is that the packaging is super cool – I’ll report back!
PHB 100% Pure Organic Lip Gloss in Apricot, £12.95
The last product I found in February’s box was this lip gloss, and I have to say I wasn’t overly keen. Liquid matte lipsticks are currently my go-to products, so a gloss that isn’t plumping isn’t normally for me. I did slick this apricot shade on, and the colour pay-off is extremely minimal. It does give lips a nice shine and isn’t sticky in the slightest, but the colour was too light for me to notice anything other than a clear shine. Personally I wouldn’t recommend this product, but I’m open to gloss addicts giving their opinions!
Overall, this was a great box. I loved all the products (except for the lip gloss) and it was definitely worth the £15 cost. If you want to sign up, you can order your boxes (including one-off past boxes) at The Vegan Kind here.
Do you subscribe to any beauty boxes? I’d love to hear which brands you love and whether it’s introduced you to any new products that you now can’t live without! Let me know below.