Hands up who still thinks it’s 2017? I’m definitely guilty and I cannot believe how quickly the past twelve months have flown by, but it’s a whole new year and we have 52 fresh weeks (well, 51 at this point) to fill with new experiences, travels and memories. Before we get too far into 2018, I wanted to take a quick look back at some of my favourite vegan products from last year, shouting out the brands and pieces I couldn’t keep my hands off throughout 2017.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’ve never tried a shampoo and conditioner as good as Ouai’s Curl range. It’s hella pricey at £20 for the conditioner and £22 for the shampoo, but it makes my curls look glossy, bouncy and defined without seeming crispy or frizzy. It also smells like jasmine and makes me feel expensive when I walk out my front door. I normally save my Ouai for special occasions, but thanks to my Dad I unwrapped a fresh bottle of conditioner and the Ouai To Go Kit on Christmas morning. I wonder how he knew…
I’m mixed-race (half Indian, half English) so my skin is always olive in tone, but I feel so pale in the colder months. St Tropez’s Gradual Tan Tinted Body Lotion kept me feeling bronzed even when my legs hadn’t been seen out of my Joni jeans in weeks. Even though I find the lotion a bit stiff to rub over my skin (does anyone else get that feeling?), I love that I get an instant wash of colour without that biscuit-y smell.
Am I going to talk about the Clean Beauty Co Rosy Glow oil AGAIN? Yes I am! After following Cosmopolitan’s Digital Beauty Writer Laura Capon on Instagram (and letting her infiltrate my psyche with her beauty tips) I started to crave a glowy, dewy finish to my skin rather than the oil-free, matte finish I’d been giving myself for years. Enter Soap and Glory’s Speed Plump All-Day Super Moisture moisturiser mixed with two drops of the Rosy Glow oil (which is now sadly discontinued). The combination made my skin so glowy and healthy-looking, and not only does Speed Plump sink in quickly but it also has an amazing grapefruit scent. I finished the whole tube and am waiting to get through another couple of moisturisers before I repurchase this.
If I have to pick just one favourite beauty product of the whole year, it would have to be Beauty Bakerie’s Lip Whip in the shade ‘Mon Cheri’ (I think this has been renamed to ‘matte red’ on the ASOS website). The liquid lipstick is super pigmented and I love this bold, deep red colour. It glides on smoothly and trust me when I say that once this is on your lips, it isn’t budging. There’s no smudging, no bleeding, no fading and no drying – you really do forget you’re wearing anything on your lips. At £16 it’s not the cheapest lipstick on the market, but it’s worth your hard earned money.
The surprise winner for my favourite nail brand of the year is one you might not be all too familiar with, even though it’s been around since the 1960s. The brand I’ve been tipping myself with the most this year is Mavala, using their Gel Finish Top Coat, Oil Seal Dryer and the deep red Singapore nail polish (from the Electric Collection). When used with a colour-gripping base coat, Mavala’s range gives me a glossy manicure that lasts all week in one of my favourite (and highly pigmented) shades. I also love that Mavala’s pots are smaller than your average nail polish, meaning they fit easily into my liquid allowance when I’m travelling.
I’ve never been minimal when it comes to my jewellery so this one’s a hard one, especially as this year I was given or bought some very sentimental pieces. I have four rings from The Great Frog now and each is very special to me, all handmade in Soho and sized to my fingers. This year I added the Soaring Eagle to my collection after landing a job at Hearst magazines (a congratulatory gift to myself), then ended the year by having the Smallest Evil Skull ring gold plated. As much as I love my Great Frog collection, my most special accessory was given to me by my best friend in May this year – three bracelets from Iran. She knows why they mean so much to me.
Of all the clothes I’ve bought and worn this year, it’s almost impossible to pick a single favourite. I’m guilty of wearing something constantly if I love it, before a new piece comes in and takes over my day-to-day wardrobe. I’m going to cheat and say that my favourite pieces are all the band t-shirts I’ve picked up at some of the incredible gigs I’ve seen this year; The Maccabees’ farewell tour (I’m still crying), Mystery Jets’ Jetrospective and my first Queens Of The Stone experience. I am a huge fan of daytime sequins so these t-shirts help to dress down my outrageous office wear, while also reminding me of some amazing nights and my favourite music.
I have been lusting after a pair of Old Skool Vans all year, but until they ditch their leather stripe and suede toe they won’t be finding their way into my wardrobe. Instead, inspired by Mancunian fashion blogger and all-round cool chick Megan Ellaby, I picked up a pair of classic High Top Converse All Stars. These babies have seen me through everything the great British weather can throw at me, paired with black skinny jeans (Joni, naturally), cropped ankle-grazers and summer dresses. With these shoes, I’m one step closer to my dream of dressing like a glam rock Ramone.
The whole aim of this blog is to prove that vegan fashion and beauty isn’t like the stereotype in most people’s minds of expensive, hard-to-find plain pieces in various shades of neutral. All of my 2017 favourites came from mainstream brands whose ethos isn’t specifically to be vegan (with the exception of Clean Beauty Co who consistently eliminate animal products from their new Bybi beauty range). I hope I’ve shown that it’s fairly easy to avoid animal products when it comes to your style without changing your shopping habits too much. Let me know your own favourites in the comments below!