This month, the lucky girls of the Vilda Beauty Team got to try out Vegancuts – a monthly delivery box packed with vegan goodies. As we had two lovely boxes on our hands, two opposite reviewers were given a go – in one corner we had Beauty Writer Jessica Sjoholm, a self-described product junkie who’s our resident makeup expert, and Food Writer Hannah Ellis, a beauty newbie. See what they thought of the goodies on offer.
Meet the reviewers!
Hannah: I confess…. I’m not much of a products guru. My idea of a “beauty routine” is washing my hair and putting coconut oil around my eyes before bed (when I even remember THAT).
So, when the wonderful Sascha suggested reviewing some beauty products, I was nervous. What will I compare the products to? Will I even know if they work? But trying out amazing organic, vegan products is never to be passed up! And who knows, I’ll have an accidental expertise being a “blank canvas”, so to speak?
Jessica: I am the complete opposite to Hannah – I am a bit of a product junkie and my daily beauty routine involves quite a few different products. I generally stick to a few tried and tested staples that I know work well for me, but I do love to try out new products now and again. That said, I am rather fussy when it comes to choosing beauty products; I prefer to opt for natural options wherever possible. So I was really excited when I was offered the chance to try a vegan beauty box that focuses on natural, eco and organic products, especially as they would be coming from across the pond!
Hannah: My Vegan Cuts box arrived and I’ll admit, I was excited. The first thing that caught my eye was lipgloss. Lipgloss?! I know what that is! Haven’t used any since tenth grade, but hey, I’ll give it a go! The gloss was a “Cherry Mocha” flavored treasure from Ofra Cosmetics. Yes, Cherry Mocha flavored and it smells as incredible as it sounds. This lipgloss is not only vegan and organic, but it also does everything I would hope a lipstick should: it is brilliantly long lasting and made me feel gorgeous. I only reapplied after two hours and loved the deep but subtle color. It was bold, but not over the top, which for someone who doesn’t wear a lot of make-up, suited me perfectly. The other flavors in the line include: Apricot Dream, Spice Cake, Truffle and plenty more. All sound incredible, but I find it hard to imagine any smelling as nice as this one!
Jessica: On opening my box, I was excited to see what I initially thought to be a lipgloss (I always go for lips over eyes). However, on closer inspection it turned out to be a liquid lipstick – even more exciting! The shade – Plumas – is a gorgeous berry colour with metallic undertones. It is a shade that will suit almost everyone. As soon as I slicked this product on my lips I fell in love; it glides on like a dream, feels soft and moisturising (and not sticky like a gloss), has super staying power and smells amazing. I cannot find the words to describe how delicious this lipstick smells! A new favourite product for me.
Hannah: I was intrigued to see this Dew Puff in the Vegan Cuts box. At first I thought it was a simple exfoliater, but oh no. The Dew Puff is for daily facial cleansing and is all-natural, PH balanced, made from 100% plants and can be used just with water, no cleanser! Me, being a bit of a hippie went for “no cleanser” and was genuinely wowed by this invention. You soak the puff until soft, squeeze out as much excess water as possible and simply massage your face in a circular motion. The puff will naturally increase circulation and smoothness in the skin. After use, simply hang it back up and let it dry out again. So simple and so effective! I honestly felt my skin looked more radiant and smooth even after just a few days. One puff lasts up to three months and I will definitely be re-ordering!
Jessica: The Dew Puff was the product that excited me the most. I have noticed konjac sponges (natural, plant-based sponges) becoming more and more popular recently, but I hadn’t yet got round to trying them out for myself. The Dew Puff promises to gently cleanse and exfoliate the skin. It comes in three different varieties, each with different benefits: the Original, which is ideal for sensitive skin; Asian Clay, which helps to rejuvenate skin and reduce ageing; and bamboo charcoal, which helps to prevent breakouts and fight acne-causing bacteria. The Puff is so easy to use and it feels amazing as you massage it over your skin –like you are using a creamy cleanser. My skin felt clean, soft and smooth after using the Puff. I did find that it didn’t remove all traces of makeup though, therefore I feel that it is best used with a cleanser or saved for your morning cleanse. I am rather hooked on using it and I will definitely purchase another one (I am eager to try out the Asian Clay version). I will be recommending the Dew Puff to clients that still insist on cleansing their skin with soap (eek!) as this is a fabulous alternative.
Hannah: Any hippie is always looking for a natural deodorant. Well, Vegan Cuts delivered in the form of: Primal Pit Paste. This little tub had me slightly perplexed at first… is it for after shaving? No, it’s simply: deodorant! All natural, organic and with a cool design, which always helps. You want friends to peek into your cupboards and feel jealous, right?
Firstly – this smells AMAZING. My sample was Lavender and smelt heavenly. The paste is a nice, thick consistency but absorbs fast. I used this daily in place of my usual crystal deodorant and am completely converted. I have a very active job, running around everywhere and this fulfilled all my “deodorant” wants and needs. It’s also obviously vegan, organic, simple to use and seems like a brilliant company to support.
Jessica: I am always a little apprehensive when trying out a new deodorant as in my job it is really important to use an effective one (doing hours of massage every day is hard work, and you will get hot and sweaty!). I switched to natural deodorants years ago, and since then I’ve found a couple that work really well and a couple that don’t work so well. The Primal Pit Paste is completely natural and contains non-aluminium baking powder to fight odour and organic arrowroot powder to help absorb moisture. There are a couple of different scent options: lavender (which was the one I received) and thyme and lemongrass. Lavender is one of my favourite essential oils as it is so versatile. Not only does it smell amazing but it also possesses natural anti-bacterial properties – an important feature to have in a deodorant. I wasn’t brave enough to try out the Primal Pit Paste at work so I smoothed some onto my underarms and went off on a long walk with my dog. When I arrived back home hot and flustered, I was pleased to find that my underarms were still smelling fresh. I think this is a great little product and I would love to try the version with lemongrass, which has fantastic astringent properties.
Hannah: I’m saving one of the best for last…. the Organic Detangler and Shine Booster from Aubrey’s Organics. I have pretty crazy hair… it’s thick, lavish and I love that about it. But, it also makes me lazy and means I don’t take the BEST care, by my own admission. The first day trying out this product, simply applying after my shower, I honestly felt the difference. My hair had much more structure to it and also – a lovely aroma! Many people throughout my day commented how nice my hair smelled and looked! I stupidly never realized how a little TLC and the right product can achieve this. This detangler is 100% wholesome ingredients, (including quinoa somehow!) and honestly made my hair smoother, straighter and smell incredible. High recommendation!
Jessica: I may use a lot of beauty products but when it comes to my hair I keep it simple: shampoo, conditioner and hairspray is all I ever generally use. My hair is long and fine so I am wary of using too many products on it as it can tend to look limp and greasy. When I saw the Organic Detangler and Shine Booster in my box, my first thought was: ‘oh, a hair product – not for me then’, but then I decided that actually it might be quite a handy product to use on my hair. As my hair is so long it gets tangled easily, especially if I wear it down on a breezy day. I usually wear my hair in a high bun secured with masses of hairspray, and so when I take it down it can be difficult to brush. After spritzing on a little of the detangler however, my hairbrush slid through my hair like a hot knife through (vegan) butter. My hair also looked healthy and shiny (not greasy) and smelled really fresh. I have changed my mind about hair products and think that maybe this could become one of my staples!
Hannah: So, Vegan Cuts have actually made me feel interested in beauty products, not an easy achievement! I think while the products are plant-based, wholesome and promoting ethical companies, it’s a wonderful way to indulge and feel beautiful. It felt good to look after myself this week and invest in my natural beauty with a little “enhancing”. I will absolutely be re-ordering these products when the time comes and investigating more options from these companies!
Jessica: The Vegancuts beauty box is a brilliant idea and it has definitely filled a gap in the market. If you love trying new, natural and ethical beauty products then I would highly recommend signing up for a Vegancuts box. Even if you don’t normally use many products you should still give it a go; you may just surprise yourself and discover some new favourites.