Going Cruelty Free: the ultimate guide

Going Cruelty Free: the ultimate guide

It’s 2017. It’s almost December so that means buying pressies time! I wanted to do this post, which I’ve been wanting to write for ages, in time for anyone wanting new makeup for xmas! Scroll to whatever heading you fancy and find all the info you want because this post is going to be massive and very comprehensive! Strap yourselves in.

Scroll to the bottom of the page for a big list of cruelty free brands….if the brand you are considering isn’t on that list, they probably test on animals!

We’re the most technologically advanced we have ever been. We’re also as materialistic as ever. You’d think that, with all of these advances, we’d be a bit more sympathetic to the natural world and our impact on it. Aside from environmental factors, which I will no doubt write a blog post on soon as I strive to consider how to be less wasteful, it’s 2017… HOW CAN WE STILL TEST COSMETICS ON ANIMALS. I genuinely cannot fathom how this is acceptable and so widely practised. Basically think of any mainstream brand you see advertised on tv or in shops and there’s an incredibly strong chance they test their products on animals. This is not a debate over medical testing on animals, that’s an entirely different debate but holy god why do we need to test foundation or hand soap on bunnies?! SO MANY brands do NOT test on animals and I’m going to help you recognise them.

This will be a massive go-to guide on all aspects of your life that test on animals without you even realising. From hair products to hand soap, mascara to moisturiser….this guide will show you how easy it is to change to cruelty free products. They are no more expensive than the products you currently use, they may well be cheaper, but they do not test their products on animals. This is not a post about vegan products, though some listed are indeed vegan, so lots of these products do contain animal products but this post is about testing on animals.

I’ll break it down into easy sections for you, with examples of what I personally use and other brands or products you can use, and where I can I’ll give you the prices etc to make it even easier for you.

I’m not suggesting you throw out all your old favourites. I know how devoted you can get to a particular foundation shade or cleansing product. But I just want you to consider other options that are far kinder to the little bunnies and other critters that end up suffering for your fav formula. Do you find yourself buying the same shampoo just because that’s the one you’ve always bought? Just consider some of these on this list, as easily available and as good value as your old fav, but kinder! Some of the animal ‘tests’ actually kill the animals, I don’t mean to be all preachy but come on…for makeup!? SO NOT NECESSARY

MAKEUP

Makeup is one of the biggest cruelty-heavy sections of the market. Many brands actively use animals testing, while some only animals test where required by law…aka if their products are sold in China. I know this is the law there but many brands do not allow their products to be sold here because of this law and I wholeheartedly back that opinion! SO if you’ve googled your brand and it says ‘we do not test on animals in the UK’ but it’s on the list below, that’s the reasoning behind it!

These brands DO TEST ON ANIMALS:

MAC, Rimmel London, Revlon, Max Factor, Benefit, Maybelline, Estee Lauder, Avon, Nars, Clinique, OPI, Clarins, Victoria’s Secret, Bobbi Brown, Elizabeth Arden, L’Oréal, Lancôme, YSL, Dior, Guerlain, D&G, Simple and many more.

BRANDS THAT ARE CRUELTY FREE

Look for the leaping bunny symbol, of the PETA certified bunny ears symbol, vegan or some other symbols that state cruelty free…

MUA, Makeup Revolution, Barry M, Autograph (M&S), GOSH, Body Shop, Anastasia,  Colourpop, Cover FX, ELF, Kat Von D, Seventeen, Kylie, Laura Geller, LUSH, PIXI, Real Techniques, Superdrug own brands, Wet’n’Wild, Wunderbrow, Marks and Spencer, Boots Natural Collection, Botanics (bigger list at the end of this post)

Two Faced, Urban Decay, Burts Bees, Smashbox, NYX, Liz Earle, Bare Minerals and Aveda are all cruelty free but are owned by a parent company who tests on animals so they’re up to you whether you class them as safe.

Basically if you go to Marks and Spencer and buy anything from there, you’re pretty much guaranteed to be safe and happy. All Hail M&S for their ethical policies.

So now I’m going to show you the stuff I use! I get a lot of compliments on the products I use so here, they’re cheap and happy alternatives to cruel brands….

FACE

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For my face I use products from The Body Shop. They have a foundation pale enough (almost) for me (HURRAY) and with the aid of their Lightening Drops I can make any of their foundations fit my skin colour. They also have Darkening Drops if you have darker skin tones. The face powder here is also Body Shop and can be used as a foundation or powder, depending on what you like.. My beauty blender is Autograph, M&S. The prices?

Body Shop Fresh Nude Foundation: £15

Body Shop Lightening Drops: £10

Body Shop All in one Face Base: £15

I also use an MUA setting powder: £1

Pixi Concealer quad (not photographed because I forgot): £16.50

Other recommendations: M&S Autograph foundation, different options for different skin types and good value.

So these are just what I use…often the Body Shop has offers so it makes life cheaper and easier. You can find Pixi products sold in Marks and Spencer. These are just my favs, but there are countless other options for you….For easy reference I went to my nearest Superdrug and of the entire wall of makeup brands, exactly half were cruelty free! SEE it’s easy!!

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FACE CARE

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Without sounding too much like a beauty blogger, a good face care routine is my ultimate life hack aka it keeps your skin soft and clear and like a little peach. This is an array of my favourite cruelty free brands.

Superdrug’s Vitamin E range is super duper cheap and there are always lots of offers, 3 for 2 etc. so it makes the range even cheaper! My absolute favourite is the SPF radiance cream, it has a teeny bit of glittery stuff? Idk what it is but its magic and refreshes your face and makes you look a bit more awake and alive while moisturising you and protecting against sun to avoid any damage.

Also Superdrug, the B.Simple range is excellent for face cleansers and creams! Also very cheap. That masssssive Micellar water was £4.95 and was BOGOF so I’m sorted for ages.

Boots Botanics is probably my favourite range. They’ve recently rebranded so their packaging is different from what you see above. They offer skin care for different skin types, whether it be anti-ageing or brightening. During their repackaging is when I discovered the Vitamin E and B.Simple ranges. Their rebrand also meant a price increase which I was annoyed about so I’m going to give you the new prices here….I would wear the Botanics All Bright Face Cream with SPF (£6.99), All Bright Night Cream (£6.99) and All Bright Purifying Face Scrub (£5.49).

For Guys? All of the above are suitable for men OBVIOUSLY but specifically Bulldog skincare for men are cruelty free! As well as own brand Superdrug and Boots products!

LIPS

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An array of the lipsticks I use, and I have to admit I LOVE lipsticks.

Above are products from MUA, Makeup Revolution, Barry M, Limited (M&S), Autograph (M&S), Diego Dalla Palma (M&S) and Soap and Glory (Boots). Also not pictured are lip liners from Natural Collection (Boots) which are super cheap and really good! Makeup Revolution and MUA (Makeup Academy) do £1 lippies which are actually fairly good and great for colour testing etc.

My ultimate favs are the M&S lipsticks, I bought about 6 in the sale in the summer, Diego and Autograph colours….

Autograph velvet matte lipstick: £10

Diego Dalla Palma lipstick: £16

Makeup Revolution Matte:£3

Makeup Revolution Luxe Liquid Lip Matte: £6

MUA Liquid Matte: £3

Barry M Colour changing lipstick: £4.50

In Terms of lipsalves? Ditch the chapsticks and neutrogenas, and your blistex and carmex (they’ve even got carcinogenic ingredients!)….go for an own brand version, or Body Shop if you want it to be really yummy! Or Burts Bees….though they may be starting to sell in China and thus testing on animals soon…

BROWS

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Eyebrows are the windows to the soul and I take pride in my big old bushy brows. My favourite product by 100 miles is my Pixi eyebrow palette (£16) and my travelling Pixi pencil/gel duo (£15). I also use the MUA eyebrow gel (£2). I know not everyone is obsessive over brows as I am so I’ve photographed some cheaper options! Barry M’s Brow kit used to be my go-to (£5.99) but other cheap options are available like the MUA Brow Kit (£3.50) and the Seventeen Brow’s that (£5.99).

EYES

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Eyeshadows and Eyeliners and Mascaras, there are loads of options even though the photograph above doesn’t show many and its also a bit blurry but it just wouldn’t focus for some reason. Here’s the breakdown on prices

Pixi eyeliner: £12

MUA eyeliner: £1

Makeup Revolution galaxy palette: free because I spent over £12 last xmas offer.

Single Barry M eyeshadows: Actually sold in Poundland so a whopping £1

Not Photographed but my absolute go-to eyeliner (I’ve run out oops): Collection Extreme 24hr eyeliner felt pen: £2.99 *amazing stuff

Makeup Revolution and Makeup Academy (both superdrug fyi) have an absolutely killer selection of eyeshadows, really pigmented and basically all under £10 so choose any colour selection you want and go wild.

CONTOUR AND HIGHLIGHT

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So my selection here is pretty meagre because I’m due an update but these are my cheap and cheerful contour and highlight products:

MUA pressed powder: £1

Makeup Revolution contour: £2

Makeup Revolution blush/contour/highlight palette: £3

MUA Highlight: £3

Body Shop also do some excellent products for this range, particularly highlighters.

NAILS

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Nail Varnish: basically your life is easy……just go to Barry M. Cheap and excellent. Also M&S Autograph has an excellent range but be sure to have a base coat under bright colours like the above yellow as they can stain a bit. Leighton Denny has a range (at M&S) of really good nail care products too, bit pricy but worth it because they’re excellent quality.

If you’re getting a manicure, consider going to a big Superdrug who do gel manicures (v cheap) with a vegan and cruelty free range called ORLY (they also do normal nail varnishes).

BATHROOM

PERFUME

Before I move on to bathroomy stuff, can I just mention Perfumes in this section. Most perfumes test on animals to be honest…. and I think weaning people off their fav perfumes is the hardest thing to do. So I’ll offer you these suggestions and go and sniff for yourself!

Marks and Spencer

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All very pretty, all very floral, all very reasonably priced!!

The Body Shop

Lots of floral and natural scents in eau de toilettes for reasonable prices….waaay cheaper than the highstreet expensive cruel brands!

LUSH

I haven’t mentioned LUSH much throughout this post but its literally only because I don’t live near one! I would buy a heck of a lot more stuff from LUSH if I was nearby and could smell the yummy things. Check it out.

L’Occitane

They discontinued my fav green tea fragrance but they have some delish scents, for men and women.

SOAPS

Handwashes and hand soaps are the most essential item in the house but do you use Dove? Simple? Imperial Leather? Johnsons? Palm Olive? Wella? Pears? Neutrogena? Olay? Vaseline? THEY ALL TEST ON ANIMALS

Instead of showing you lots of photographs for this section, I’ll just give you the cruelty free brands to look out for…. in supermarkets, in chemists and for online shopping!

  • M&S any soap or hand wash they have!
  • Body Shop
  • Lush
  • Method
  • Bayliss and Harding (sold in Sainsbury’s!)
  • EcoCover
  • ASDA own brand
  • Sainsburys own brand
  • Tesco own brand
  • Morrisons own brand
  • Waitrose own brand
  • Co-op own brand
  • Molton Brown
  • Neal’s Yard
  • Superdrug own brand
  • Boots own brand

TEETH

Easily overlooked on your cruelty free quest but toothpastes under these labels test on animals:

Colgate, Arm and Hammer, Sensodyn, Aquafresh, Crest.

CRUELTY FREE:

Superdrug own brand: I’ve used their sensitive whitening toothpaste and a charcoal toothpaste that does whiten your teethypegs! I have to be honest it takes a bit of getting used to the slightly different texture/taste of toothpastes that aren’t your usual but worth it in the long run. If you think that people put toothpaste on spots to dry them up…imagine that on a bunny’s skin 😦

Mouthwash: go for Superdrug own brand again, can’t go wrong with them, particularly on price! Very cheap and often on offer.

Lush do toothpaste! Go check it outt 

Supermarket own brands are also a good way to go! They may not have the leaping bunny logo but they are!

Other options? Go online to the PETA website and it gives you a long list of less easily available ones but might be more up your street.

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DEODORANTS

Again, easily overlooked! Superdrug own brand is my go-to choice but again, supermarket own brands would work too.

A good travel deodorant is Salt of the Earth: a solid salt stick that you use when you’re damp after a shower or you dampen it before you use it. A solid stick so it doesn’t take up any of your toiletry allowance on the plane. I have to say this isn’t my fav as I like sprays but my mother swears by it! (In Holland and Barrett). It says its made in China but is not tested on animals proving its possible! Another brand similar is Ice Guard natural crystal deodorant, bought again from H&B! 

If you like body sprays, ditch the Impulse and go for these instead.

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HAIR PRODUCTS/ SHOWER

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So this is the array that I use. Again Superdrug own brand Pro Vitamin are cheap and cater for volume, classic and colour shampoos with matching conditioners, £2.29 each. I used to swear by the colour range until I found out it had wheat proteins in and as a coeliac I’d just prefer to avoid anything that says ‘wheat’. Superdrug’s Coconut Water shampoo and conditioner range is fab too (but again, wheaty)… very clean with no residue and moisturising! £3.99 each.

If you want an anti-dandruff shampoo check out Superdrug’s Trichology Revitalising shampoo for £3.99.

My fav conditioner is Palmer’s coconut oil repairing conditioner. Palmer’s is a cruelty-free company so go wild with your coco butter! This conditioner really works and is everything-bad free: no gluten, no parabens, no sulphates, no dyes, no mineral oil etc. £4.19 but right now on offer for half price at Superdrug.

Kind Natured is a lovely range from Boots, natural ingredients and cruelty free and free from all the gunk often in shampoos. I use the colour shampoo because, strangely enough I’m not naturally Malfoy-white. Bit pricier at £4.99 but sometimes on offer so I mix and match til I can get it cheaper. They also do nourishing ranges and not just colour shampoo and conditioners.

I also love a good hair mask….again superdrug own brand (I swear this isn’t endorsed by superdrug, they’re just great for cruelty free!)

Shower Gels

All shower gels pale in comparison to Natural Source. I’m hardcore and go for the mint but they have loads of different scents and flavours and are often on offer for £1, available from any supermarket so they’re perfect for online shoppers! Also all natural ingredients.

Other shower gels: Body Shop and Marks and Spencer have amazing smelling ones and very reasonably priced too!

I also just discovered this range at Superdrug and really want to try them asap! All cruelty free of course!

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HAIR PRODUCTS

Dry shampoo! Happily the biggest brand Batiste is cruelty free! As are Superdrug own brand dry shampoos so you can’t go wrong!

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Products I use? Superdrug’s salt spray is fab, Boots own brand leave in conditioner and dry shampoo. Paul Mitchell is a great cruelty free brand, bit pricier but worth it for the salon feel.

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HAIR DYE

One of the hardest categories to talk about. My new silver locks are as a result of the Pick&Mix permenant collection, though I’ve found their semi-permenant range to be pretty weak. Other cruelty free options? I use Jerome Russell bBlonde for my bleaching as they do an excellent range that works REALLY well. Other brands include Manic Panic, EcoColours, Arctic Fox, Punky Colour, LUSH (henna).

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KITCHEN AND WASHING

Remember the soap section above for your kitchen hand soap but for washing up dishes and washing up clothes? Your products may not be cruelty free!

When doing your supermarket shop, get an own brand bleach and an own brand washing up liquid and move past Fairy! My ultimate recommendation is Ecover washing up liquid….it doesn’t test on animals and doesn’t harm animals that live in the drains like little frogs and fishies. Not expensive either and available at all supermarkets!

Basically on your travels, buy own brand supermarket washing up liquid, washing detergent, and everything you need in the kitchen! They do the job just as well, don’t assume because they’re not the big named brands that they’re any less efficient! Just because they’re cheaper, don’t assume they’re less efficient! You’re almost just paying for the animal testing because there are usually very few differences.

Ecover is just an amazing brand for washing dishes and clothes but the clothing stuff can be expensive so watch out for supermarket deals. They do toilet cleaner too so consider it for your bathroom as well!

 BONUS 

Got a tattoo lately? Don’t use Bepanthen the gloopy sticky nappy rash cream, get yourself to LUSH and get their Elbow Grease, its a stick so its easy to use and so good for tattoos! Saves you the hideous feeling of the thick creams and is way more subtle to have on as its clear! 

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I hope this blog post has helped you when thinking of your next makeup haul or inspired you to adjust your weekly supermarket online order. When in doubt, look to own-brand items. When in doubt actually just look at this list, or message me because I am happy to do the digging into the background of a brand for you!

I am super passionate about spreading the word about cruelty free products and to make people aware of HOW MANY BRANDS STILL TEST ON ANIMALS when they REALLY don’t need to. I live a cruelty free life and it makes me happier and I still smell amazing, am squeaky clean and look on fleek.

Below is a big list of cruelty free brands just for your ease of access. It’s not 100% complete but it’s the best I can do and I will add to it when I find more etc.

CRUELTY FREE BRANDS

3rd Rock Sunblock (Yes sunblock tests on animals!!)

American Apparel (Nail varnish)

Anastasia Beverly Hills

Arctic Fox

Australis

Arbonne

Argos

Autograph

ASDA

B.Simple (Superdrug)

Badger

Barefaced Beauty

Bare Minerals

Barry M

Batiste

Bayliss and Harding

Body Shop

Botanics (Boots)

Bulldog skincare for men

Collection

Co-op

Colourpop

Cover FX

Crystal Body deodorant

Diego Dalla Palma

Drunk Elephant

Earths’ Beauty

EcoColours

Ecover

EcoTools

ELF

Everyday Minerals

FatFace

Glossier

GOSH

House of Lashes

ILIA

Illamasqua

Jerome Russell

Julep

Kat Von D

Kind Natured (Boots)

Kylie Cosmetics

LA Girl

Laura Geller

L’Occitane

LUSH

Makeup Academy

Makeup Revolution

Manic Panic

Marks and Spencer

Method

Milani

Milk Makeup

Mineral Fusion

Molton Brown

Morrison’s

Nature’s Gate

Natural Source

Neal’s Yard

ORLY

Painted Earth

Palmers

Paul Mitchell

Pixi

Pure + Simple (NOT ‘Simple’)

Pur Minerals

Queen Helene

Real Techniques

Sainsbury’s

Seventeen

Sleek

Soap and Glory

Stila

Superdrug

The Natural Soapworks

Waitrose

W3ll People

Wet”Wild

Wunderbrow

Zoya

 

Owned by a parent company who tests on animals, though they themselves are cruelty free:

Two Faced, Urban Decay, Burts Bees (may be soon to sell in China so won’t be cruelty free for long!), Smashbox, NYX, Liz Earle, Bare Minerals and Aveda

head vs heart conundrums

head vs heart conundrums

We all have those moments in life where you have to weigh up whether you do the logical thing or whether you do the emotional thing. Do I follow my head or my heart? I’m not even going to go into the “following your gut” section of how to make decisions based on your organs/body parts because that just complicates matters. If your head and your heart are saying different things then what the hell is your stomach gonna say? It’ll just be flipping and churning cos it doesn’t know what side to take. And don’t even get me started on making decisions while listening to other body parts…

But what do you do? Why is there no easy formula to follow like “oh just always follow your head, its easy”…but then you are unhappy or sad or heartbroken?! “Oh sorry no I meant just always follow your heart, simple”….but then you might make decisions based too heavily on this specific moment in time and haven’t considered the long term implications of whether what you’re going to do Is even viable?  “Oh no sorry I meant just follow your gut…” JUST SHUT UP OKAY YOU’RE NOT HELPING.

As you’ve probably guessed, I’ve recently had a head vs heart dilemma that caused a great deal of stress, inner turmoil and just a general feeling of yuckiness, knowing that whatever decision I made would shape my future and if I made the wrong choice there was no going back. LEMME TELL YALL A STORY. My options? HEAD: Pros….go and do a PhD with a supervisor you know you will work super well with and who is super excited about the project and who really thinks the idea will make you a good career and you’ll likely get funded and maybe even get paid to travel and take internships. Cons…. not completely my first preference of subject area but if it’d do me well then I’ll just deal with it. So you see the head had it all worked out really, knew the area, knew living costs were cheap, knew people in said area….it was all pretty much a done deal in the world of the head. HEART: Herein lies the proverbial spanner in the works. My boyfriend gets a potential job that I really felt he should do as it would give him a hella good wage while also letting him rock out and compose and all those things. An excellent spanner right? The only snag was that job was not in the same place as the PhD. If we were to both do our respective plans it would mean 3 long years in different countries. DRAG. Head says “you can do that, you’ve done it for the last 3?” meanwhile Heart just sobs uncontrollably at that idea. Instead, Heart gets its ass in gear and makes a deal with Head and considers a new PhD near job and a new supervisor and a new topic and a new proposal to write and a new life plan. Head feels a bit better because its still a bit like the old plan. Heart then feels guilty at having to let down everyone in Plan A. Head tries to revert to Plan A again. Heart sobs uncontrollably… again. This is a very squishy heart. Head feels sorry for Heart so does the talking to people and they’re all super nice and understanding and supportive about Plan B. Heart can’t cope with how nice everyone is and sobs again.

So the moral of this longwinded story? I went with my heart in this case. If its a situation where its career vs love, however fulfilling your career is, if you’re not emotionally fulfilled then you won’t feel happy. On the flip side, imagine you’re with the person you know you’re going to spend the rest of your life with and you have a job but one thats just okay and not amazing? That can be fixed cos you can always get a new job, you can’t get a new soulmate quite so easily. I’m not saying that by changing my plan I’m settling with the latter option there. This Plan B might actually give me a job and career path 100x better than Plan A. It’s just quite new so I haven’t had a chance to fantasize about having my own historical tv show yet (well maybe a little bit). I’m aiming for a solution that makes me head and heart and gut exceedingly happy and I think I can wangle it that it happens. (I also have to say as a disclaimer, though this was a head vs heart story about me, the boyfriend also had the same dilemma so it wasn’t just me. But he hasn’t got a blog so you get to hear my side of the story cos I have a louder mouth).

I always thought I was pretty Sherlockian about career matters, nothing would stop me doing what was best for my future and I would always follow my head. But I realised in that moment, I would give it all up for the opportunity of living in a country cottage with my man and a dog (and maybe some dumbo rats and some snails and all the animals I can fit in really). Because ….CLICHE ALERT……if you believe in yourself, academically or career-ically or professionally or job-ily then you can make it work wherever you are. You may think one specific path is your only option when really there are 10 different scenarios that are all as viable as the other, each with a different set of pros and cons. It’s all about balance. It’s all about thinking outside the box. I originally went with Plan A because I knew it was comfortable and it was easy. Plan B aka Current Plan actually could work out better for me and is in no way a step down from Plan A, it’s just different. And different can be good.

This blog post was a bit of a mind splurge but hopefully when you one day have a head vs heart dilemma you’ll remember that you don’t have to go with a path just because you think you ought to. You see teen movies where kids’ parents tell them they’re ‘ruining’ their lives following a boy or a girl because okay sometimes it all goes jellytots up. You get told not to let a boyfriend/girlfriend get in the way of your education because that’s the most important thing (ok well that’s true when you’re young but I’m all grown up now). And YOU KNOW WHAT now those sentiments are absolute Bull (pun intended hehe). Every circumstance is different. Every relationship is different. Every career decision is different. You can’t follow that formula, which is exactly why there is no simple answer to head vs heart. Be logical and weigh it all up and include your emotions in that pros and cons list cos they’ll rule your life as much as any job.

Who knows if I’ll end up actually going with a Plan C or D or G but the point is, I’m okay with that. Though it kills the control freak inside me, I’m learning to take things as they come and not pre-plan the next decade of my life and not deviate from that idea. Easy breazy baby, easy breazy.

 

Good luck with all your tough decisions, they’re hardcore.

Peace and Love

O

things you realise when you’re sick

things you realise when you’re sick
  1. WHY DID I NEVER APPRECIATE THE SWEET SWEET JOY OF BREATHING THROUGH MY NOSE. Suddenly the act of breathing requires such vast effort that one hefty sniff results in you needing a nap. To avoid this, welcome to the mouth-breathers club: a place where no one is happy and everyone looks like fish and your mouth is so dry from sucking in air you feel like a broken hoover. Who knew your sinuses actually governed your state of happiness?! I miss the good old days when my nose felt empty and cavernous because now its claustrophobic up there and you can’t even blow cos there’s nothing to blow cos its just SWOLLEN AF.
  2. The only thing good about a cold/flu is that moment, that rare but magical moment when you stand up quickly, or roll over in bed, or even lean on your face a little bit when suddenly…..*click*……YOUR SINUSES UNBLOCK FOR A REASON KNOWN ONLY TO A HIGHER BEING AND YOU CAN SUDDENLY REMEMBER THE TASTE OF COOL FRESH AIR AND THE SMELL OF FREEDOM
  3. and then 0.8 seconds later you’re clogged up again like a shitty broken drain.
  4. You remember when your body could regulate temperature? Doesn’t that seem a long time ago? Hot to cold to sweating like you’re in a rainforest, to sweating but like a really cold clammy sweat and only on your feet, to being icy and smothering yourself in blankets and hot water bottles to warm again to the whole cycle beginning again.
  5. but also that’s just kind of Autumn problems anyway but not when you’re inside, that’s where you’re supposed to be safe.
  6. Feeling sorry for yourself like the sick child you are.
  7. Thinking you’re actually okay and doing something really wild like getting up to make food and then falling over in a heap and staying there til you die cos you weren’t okay
  8. Breathing. Cos that’s still a really big deal okay I’m not over mourning the loss yet
  9. The voice….. it may be sore and raspy and dry and like there are a million tiny needles in your throat and if you breathe in, idk in the wrong direction or with too much vigor you begin to cough a lung up……..but it sounds sexy so you’re totally fine with all that
  10. Day time tv….. it really is tripe but I’ve watched so much Say Yes to the Dress I want to go wedding dress shopping like right now cos I know that fishtail lace satin dress is totally unsuitable for my bodyshape but I think id suit a sweetheart neckline with nipped in waist and it doesnt matter that i dont have a fiance, I think I’m ready to wedding dress shop
  11. Online shopping cos I have nothing else to do but I’m also sick and not at work so I’m not earning any money but I’m okay with spending it more than usual on crap I don’t want or need
  12. Being realllllly hungry but as soon as you come to eat it, the sight of it makes you wanna vom and you end up perpetually starving and not hungry (not pregnant before someone makes a wiseass joke)
  13. remember breathing
  14. remember smelling stuff
  15. remember that funny thing called taste
  16. remember the good old days where your senses worked
  17. Idk bout you but my balance is WAY off, more than usual and the corners of my house hurt a lot
  18. Not caring what you look like and it being totally 100% fine… like, I haven’t changed my top in over 24 hours and my hair is worse than Grease 2 and who needs makeup when you can rock the grunge vibe solely with the pallid complexion and deep dark bags under your eyes. Its 2017, you do you
  19. You leave a Kleenex shrine behind you, wherever you may go
  20. Remembering reading it was gonna be a REALLY BAD flu season and planning when to have your flu jab cos I’m one of those vulnerable people like OAPs and toddlers who need extra help and then realising that the damn flu caught me with my pants down and beat me at my own pre-emptive game and kicked me hard in the chest before I could even plan on trying to plan not getting sick
  21. Screw the universe
  22. Feeling a constant source of guilt cos you’re not at work and had to call in sick but also relief that you’re not sneezing on paying customers or your colleagues and being happy to be lying down and able to close your eyes when you need to but also still feeling guilty but relieved all at once its all so confusing
  23. Being annoyed I wished autumn would arrive so I could be rid of summer so I basically brought this on myself
  24. Not being able to breathe.


I hope y’all don’t get this bloody flu cold sickness from hell cos it’s crippling and I haven’t even got man flu, I’m used to being bunged up and dribble-y cos I had bad hayfever all summer but man, this is intense. Keep scarves on and hydrated and prepare yourselves. The war has come and I’m fighting a losing battle. Gondor calls for aid.

R.I.P.

O x

I’M BACK LIL BUNNIES

I’M BACK LIL BUNNIES

SOOOOOOO where have I been these last couple of months? Sitting in my bedroom dying over my dissertation is the answer to that. Not exciting or adventurous I’m afraid. But the good news is I’VE FINISHED MY DISSERTATION AND FINISHED MY MASTERS AT CAMBRIDGE! It’s such a relief to say those words and I’m so proud of myself. It seems to be a running trend that I have a tough time at uni, usually with my health. At undergrad I was in and out of the doctors surgery every week finding out issues and being told issues existed when they actually didn’t bla bla bla. ANYWAY this year started similarly…..trip to A&E in an ambulance on my 22nd birthday wasn’t ideal but since then I’ve stopped being malnourished, have become a healthier human and am getting myself back on track yay. Knowing I’m a coeliac means I’m even more proud that I even got through my undergrad with the ‘brain fog’ coeliacs often get from eating gluten but this time round I managed to avoid that….just procrastinated like hell and napped a lot, as per my character, not based on illness. Just a regular olive fog brain.

I also had a tough time at my undergrad with pals, I happened to get in with a crowd I really shouldn’t have and they negatively affected my experience massively. Shout out to third year tho surrounded by my babiesssss and had a lovely time. I was so worried Cambridge would be like undergrad halls again but this time I met and LIVED with some of the loveliest humans I could have hoped for. Holla and kisses to you guys for being babes and lifelong friends.

This year has been TOUGH AS HELL, work-wise, but also with massive periods where I could chill about work but maybe I shouldn’t have been but oh well…I’ve managed it. It’s been an absolute dreaaaaam wandering along these cobbled streets and spending hours among ancient buildings that make my heart hurt they’re so pretty. It’s spoiled me rotten having free access to, essentially, castles. SO wonderful.

This lil summary is just a post basically to say “I’m sorry ive been busy but I swear it was for a legit reason and now I’M BACK and will be blogging more about far more interesting stuff than this post I swear”

 

Hope you all had a good summer. Mine is just about to begin..

 

Nice to see you again, tune in soon for more fun
Peace out

O x

 

What Terror teaches us

What Terror teaches us

 

This is a cruel world. This is a tough time. Terrorism seems like its overwhelming us, from Westminster to Manchester to Saturday night’s London Bridge/Borough Market attacks. Three major incidents in the UK since March where hundreds have been left injured and too many dead. Countless other attacks across the globe (that we hear less about sadly) but that have the same awful impact. It may seem hopeless and an endless cycle but honestly I have seen way more support, more generosity, more strength in these last weeks than I knew possible. People pull together to help strangers, regardless of race, gender or faith. People love and care and continue to hope. This integrity and generosity and strength means terrorism will never win, however hard they try. WE are strong together. I must say massive big appreciation to the emergency services for everything they’ve done to help everyone affected by these horrible events. Appreciation to civilians that have helped. Appreciation to everyone that’s offered lifts or donated blood. Appreciation all round!

I’m not going to get preachy because that’s the least useful and most annoying thing to do in this situation. But some people still think they’re untouchable and that’s also not useful…..we all need to be alert and prepared. It doesn’t mean we’re not living our lives the way we usually do. It doesn’t mean terrorism wins if we’re always alert. It’s just GOOD PRACTICE. Its just SENSIBLE. It just could save your life. Being calm is great, that’s what you need to be. Being overly chilled out and thinking it won’t affect you is WRONG. That’s just stupid. Again, don’t start telling me that we can’t change the way we live in the wake of terrorism because that’s what they want. No it isn’t what they want actually, they want suffering and destruction. YOU being wary and cautious and just having your eyes peeled and a plan b is clever. You’d be a fool to not take these things seriously enough to consider that. Changing little things that you do or thinking about things a little more deeply isn’t letting the terrorists win because you’ve had to adapt your lifestyle, please don’t adamantly declare you’ll change nothing because we all have to be more on our guard.. (it means we’ll catch the buggers sooner and they’ll not affect us as much…not that they’ve won). We can’t just all ‘go to the Winchester and wait for this all to blow over’. We gotta prepare for the worst, even if it’s just mentally. We have to react and be safe while it’s happening all around us.

We must be careful not to judge extremists and terrorists as a mark of a whole culture or a faith. Whether or not the London Bridge attack was Isis related is yet to be confirmed. Accounts of shouting “for Allah” amid stabbings suggest that there is some influence involved, if the accounts are accurate. This doesn’t mean you have an excuse to be Islamophobic. A sect of radical terrorists does not a religion make. That’s as stupid as being scared of a white Christian male and assuming they’re a member of the KKK. We don’t ever stoop to that level of prejudice with regards to white people (whether they’re from America, New Zealand, France or Britain) so why is okay to stereotype anyone who believes in Islam as a terrorist. Anyone who’s skin is darker than yours. Anyone who has a foreign accent. Anyone who looks a “a bit Middle-Eastern”. Good God do you realise how ridiculous you are if you think like this!? Next you’ll be asking “where are you from” and when they reply “London” you’ll say…”No but where are you really from?”. You cannot justify this as anything but outright racism. Prejudice and stereotyping.

Fear does not help anyone, nor does ignorance. We must ensure these attacks do not make us slip into racist mentalities and attack all foreigners. Don’t make me get all archaeology on your ass and explain how Britain is a nation made of immigrants from all over Europe and beyond. There is no such thing as purely ‘English’ so stop acting the Little Englander and telling everyone to get out who wasn’t born here. Mate, most of your ancestors weren’t either so you can piss off too then and let’s all abandon the country, let alone the world ye? Lunacy. We must ensure we do not neglect to think about humans as humans and not define them by religion or race. We only have an issue with terrorists, don’t overly apply this term to people as hurt and ashamed by terrorism as you are. That way lies wickedness and makes us as bad as our enemy. I don’t know how to fully define or talk about Isis and their aims and desires because I don’t know the whole story so I’m not going to try. Most of us won’t either. Stop shouting about ‘Sharia Law’ and using it as a buzzword because you saw an article in a tabloid newspaper and assume that you sound clever by using it, even though you don’t really know what it entails. Let us research (and not just trust Daily Mail articles) and know our enemy so we can stop isolating and attacking peoples’ beliefs and cultures for no reason, and only attack the terror threat.

In ignorance lies fear and in fear lies danger because you never know how extreme people will take things. Don’t be one of them.

What can we do?

So we’ve established we’re facing increasingly frequent terror threats. It means we do need to consider some sort of plan IN CASE it happens to us/ near us. This does not mean I’m pessimistically assuming the worst. It means I’m cautiously and sensibly planning for a worst case scenario just so I’m prepared if need be. This doesn’t need to stop me living, just means we should all give it a bit of thought so we don’t get caught out (not like we can know if and when an attack might or might not be but you get what I’m saying)….. plus most of these are useful for daily life anyway.

  • Carry a power bar when you’re out for a long time, to make sure your phone battery doesn’t die at the key point when you need to google map a safe way home, tell your loved ones you’re safe or call for help.

 

  • Know key loved one’s phone numbers off by heart in case you lose your phone.

 

  • If you hear of an incident in an area you are e.g. it’s in London Bridge but you’re in Hackney, get out of London the quickest and safest way possible, just to be on the safe side. Last night “lightning struck twice” at London Bridge and Borough Market so don’t think because it’s happened elsewhere you’re fine where you are….. better to err on the side of caution, especially for the sake of everyone who loves you worrying about you helplessly from afar.

 

  • Get the bbc breaking news app on your phone so you’ll know exactly what happens, when it happens.

 

  • Don’t assume all Muslims are terrorists (don’t be a big ass bigot please)

 

  • Don’t assume Islam is evil and that’s the problem Britain is facing

 

  • Try not to get so blind drunk when you’re out in big cities that if anything were to happen you’d not be able to understand or even move to safety…..that’s just kinda good practice anyway but especially now if you could only get black-out drunk in your own home, that would be great.

 

  • Be safe xxxx

 

Peace and Love

 

O x

 

The Apocalypse (University edition ii)

The Apocalypse (University edition ii)

We all know this is the WORST time in University life………Easter/ Lent term. The term of pain and suffering. The place where your social life goes to die. The hideousness of every moment stuck revising..
For me, the apocalypse hit me early, it’s just ended. Having three essays due within one week and a grand total of 12k words due at once on three very different subjects……well, I think I now know what hell is and it’s gonna be something along the lines of that ^ but with a bit more heat and fire and screaming ya’know, Dante’s inferno style. ANYWAY TODAY I FINISHED. I BEAT THE APOCALYPSE. Completed it mate and wrote all my words and gave all those words in and now I’m free of all those goddamn words. Is it all academic tripe? Very possibly. Do I care anymore? Not a jot. It got me thinking…..isn’t it all a bit futile? Like I just busted my ass to get these things written and submitted and coherent and at the same time they had to be new and exciting and something no one has thought of before even though its 2017 and there have been archaeologists since the bloody 1700s. All for what? So two people marking it can judge me and then give me a mark. That’s it. They’ll be forgotten after that, those little pieces of academic hell that now have a bit of my soul inside them cos I nearly killed myself (mostly with boredom) to do them. My horcruxes. All to be told I’m clever or not and that’s it. I experienced the outer level of Dante’s inferno just to get a number that is a bit of my overall Masters?! I know that’s entirely the point of academia but after this ordeal I’ve just realised how ridiculous it is. Why did they have to try and kill their students in order for us to pass? Why was that fair? Why do they want to dampen people’s drive towards academia by giving them unrealistic deadlines that aren’t actually indicative of the ‘real world’ (as I was told when I disputed the deadline clashes). If a lecturer has 3 or more things due at once they just don’t do some of it or they decline. I couldn’t decline my bloody essays so this was not an insight into how the real world works. It was an insight into the cruelty of academia.

Okay, bit OTT since I actually do wanna become an academic but so help me god if I have anything to do with it, I will not crush the spirit of my students.

Now I have to start revising for an exam on the broadest topic ever “archaeological theory” which includes economics, genetics, psychology, religion, gender and feminism, food, technology and like a billion other things I cant even think of right now. It’s a tough life but luckily I only have one exam. Good luck to you poor creatures with multiple.

I’ve always been a big academic nerd and I love books and stuff but I have missed, more than I could have ever thought possible, reading for pleasure. When you have constant work and constant stress you don’t allow yourself the joy of reading for FUN because you feel guilty if you’re not reading a book you’re supposed to…. but they’re super dry and dull and most of the time you don’t want to read them so you don’t. It’s a constant struggle. Yes, I hear those of you saying “um but aren’t you doing a PhD next year?”……well that’s looking less likely and at first I was like OMG NO I MUST KEEP GOING but now?! I am so excited at the prospect of a break, at the chance to read for pleasure, a chance to regain my love of academia and study, a chance to let my mind settle and actually think again, rather than just churning out work for the sake of it. I’ve lost everything I love about academia and it’s really sad actually. Cambridge, amazing city and beautiful place filled with adorable people, has ruined it for me because ever since I arrived to find my course cancelled and a new one forged hastily because I was here, it’s all been an uphill struggle and it’s not fair. Not fair to crush someone who was on the right track to keep going and keep enjoying academia. Not fair to cause x100 more stress than was required. Just not fair. So maybe it’s best I take a year to *cringe* rediscover what I liked about this world.

I suppose its been a useful lesson. Just because you think you’re on the path you should be on, doesn’t mean you should be open to change if you find yourself feeling differently to when you started. There’s no shame in that, I’ve realised. There’s no disappointment either. Just a change. I guarantee after a year of working and being in charge of my own thoughts again, I’ll be ready to get back and do my PhD and become an academic and write books and give lectures and stuff but for now this opportunity of a break is very tempting.

This post is a message to all you exammers and dissertationers…. this may seem like the apocalypse but it’s not. Once you’re done, you’ll forget the suffering almost instantly. If you feel disheartened that’s okay. If your plans change and your future path changes form, that’s okay too. Just because you’re under pressure and overwhelmed that doesn’t mean you’ll feel that way forever. And if that’s the way you think your life is going, take a break and try something new while you have all the time in the world. After a spell away from something, you’ll know how you really feel about it. I’ve only realised that now. I thought if I just kept going I’d get through and it’d be done….but what’s the point of doing it out of obligation when I don’t have to and its only ME deciding that’s what I need to do.

So one apocalypse is over. The exam apocalypse is due. Then the dissertation apocalypse. Then no doubt something after that. But you know what? It’s not the end of the world and we can all get through it.

Peace and love little study worms

O x

 

are YOU an egotist?

are YOU an egotist?

Or do you know one?! Let me give you a few pointers on what to look out for in case you know one or you are one… take this “quiz” and see…

1.Do you think the world revolves around you in every aspect of your life?? For example…if someone says “omg I have the worst flu right now” do you say “yeah well when I was 16 I had three fevers at once and almost died”…..because that’s not relevant. All you should say is genuinely “you poor thing, do you need me to get you anything?!

ANSWER: YES / ONLY SOMETIMES ON A BAD DAY / NEVER / NO BUT MY FRIEND DOES

2. I shall add a caveat… if you’re having a conversation and your friend says “I just went to Paris and it was so amazing”…and then you say “omg yes I went to Paris when I was younger, I totally can relate” (so now they know you’re aware of the intimate workings of Parisian life and they can now continue their conversation in further depth because they know you’re sympathetic and excited about their story”…

3. Do you cause unnecessary drama? either because you’re bored or because you haven’t had the attention on you for the last 5 minutes? Do you become a diva when you’re at a party and just act up because you can?

ANSWER: YES / ONLY SOMETIMES ON A BAD DAY / NEVER / NO BUT MY FRIEND DOES

4. Do you feel like you’re in a film 24/7? Like you could turn to your left and have a deep dialogue with an invisible camera? That you can be dramatic and over emotional just because you feel like there’s sad music playing and Morgan Freeman is talking about what a rough upbringing you had…..

ANSWER: YES / ONLY SOMETIMES ON A BAD DAY / NEVER / NO BUT MY FRIEND DOES

5. Are you jealous of your friends if they’re successful? It could be in an aspect of their lives that you have absolutely no interest in but you’re annoyed people are congratulating them and not you? OR WORSE they could be successful in the exact field you want to be successful in (be it a profession, university, relationships, fashion etc) and your insides turn to acid because you hate everything in the world because why is it happening to them and not you? When really…they worked their bums off to get where they were and you sat about watching Netflix for two years and can’t understand why no one handed you success on a plate.

ANSWER: YES / ONLY SOMETIMES ON A BAD DAY / NEVER / NO BUT MY FRIEND DOES

6. Do you feel the world owes you? Do you feel your life is unfair and you should be compensated? When really, you’re experiencing mild first world problems and have no sense of perspective. This is okay in small doses because everyone occasionally wants to cry until you run out of tears because you dropped your last chocolate bar on the floor and its too fuzzy and dirty to save and you already had a bad day because someone shouted at you and now the world is over. That’s allowed. It’s just not allowed 24/7.

ANSWER: YES / ONLY SOMETIMES ON A BAD DAY / NEVER / NO BUT MY FRIEND DOES

7. Being a pessimist is fine. I am a pessimist. It just means I expect the worst case scenario and if that happens I can be smug because I was correct and if anything else happens it’s unexpectedly happy and great. That’s fine. But being a NEGATIVE person is totally different. If you shit on everything and everyone you’re not being a pessimist, you’re just a dick. Know the difference.

ANSWER: YES / ONLY SOMETIMES ON A BAD DAY / NEVER / NO BUT MY FRIEND DOES

8.  Do you get annoyed when you don’t get the credit you deserve? (That’s normal.) Do you also get annoyed when you don’t get credit for things that really don’t warrant any credit being given? E.G. you put your plate in the dishwasher/ you organised a trip to the pub (that would have happened organically anyway/ just for being alive and in peoples’ lives

ANSWER: YES / ONLY SOMETIMES ON A BAD DAY / NEVER / NO BUT MY FRIEND DOES

9. Do you brand yourself as a bigshot? as a ‘legend’? as a ‘top lad’ or female equivalent that I can’t work out the name for but you know exactly the type I mean? Do you actively give yourself a label like “the king/ the queen of the world” or “leader” or “most important person” in a non-ironic way?

ANSWER: YES / ONLY SOMETIMES ON A BAD DAY / NEVER / NO BUT MY FRIEND DOES

10. Finally…. is your sole purpose each day to maintain a façade that you don’t even really feel is your true self? If yes, is this façade aimed at belittling other people or bigging yourself up so you inflate your ego and you expect others to do the same? Do you pretend to make friends but really you pull a Mean Girls on them and compliment their bracelet just to mock them later? Are you mean to new potential friends so they don’t get close enough to ruin your “hierarchy”? Are you mean sometimes to people?

ANSWER: YES / ONLY SOMETIMES ON A BAD DAY / NEVER / NO BUT MY FRIEND DOES

 

If you answered mostly YES then I’m sorry to say you’re an egotist.

If you answered completely NEVER then you’re either a nice person or you’re kidding yourself either a lot or only a little bit. A few of those out of 10 is manageable because everyone has the right to be confident about their lives and themselves. It’s just when those couple of occasions become ALL THE TIME that you stop being confident and start just bringing people down to raise yourself higher on your ego trip and you’re just mean then.

If you strongly answered NO BUT MY FRIEND DOES to a lot of these then your friend is an egotist. How to remedy this? Call them out on their bullshit and don’t let them think they can get away with acting that way. If they feel people will let them, they’ll stomp all over everyone. If they don’t listen, distance yourself a bit. Maybe they’ll realise your friendship is more important than fuelling their ego. If that fails and you just can’t deal with the negativity and lack of motivation to be a nice person then just scarper….you won’t be sad to have that outta your life and they’ll probably be too far up their own backside to realise it was them that pushed you away. We can just pray one day they mature and realise.

If you answered ONLY SOMETIMES ON A BAD DAY then that’s totally fine, we all have bad days and act in ways we aren’t proud of. Maybe you shouted at someone of maybe you just cried all day because your friend is prettier than you and more successful than you (but they’re probably not, you’re just lacking in confidence and they have their own insecurities and are just hiding them so you think they’re perfect etc.)

This is not a personal dig at anyone, I’ve just been people watching netflix and people watching in cafes and stuff and thinking about people in this world and realised there’s so much negativity from so many people and a lot of the time its the people who are lacking in confidence, or self-worth, or motivation that are the biggest egotists. By putting others down, they feel better about themselves but that’s like a drug because it wears off very quickly and you need more. Then you get stuck in your own power trip. Really, people just need to open their eyes to the beauty of the world, acknowledge that a lot of people have to deal with a lot of shit and that’s just the way life goes…some more than others, and you just have to get on with your life regardless. Be grateful for the good in your life….be it friends, family, partners, pets, jobs, talent, enjoyment, hobbies etc. Focus on those things and don’t let your shortcomings eat you up inside. No one’s perfect, we are all flawed but you don’t have to let them overcome you. Find ways around them and find paths to a future you want to live. It’s tricky and takes a lot of failure and rethinking of plans but if you’re motivated and keep going, you’ll get to the end goal: happiness.

 

Ew I got too cringey I’ve gotta stop.

Positive vibes everyone.

Wipe your feet and leave your egos at the door.

Peace out

O.