Saturday, 9 June 2018

Self love and personal growth: Choosing to not call myself vegan.

I've been on a plant based diet for 8 months now and I absolutely love it. Granted that it's a challenge at times in a third world country in the middle of Africa where meat culture dominates, which I find ridiculous for a country that sees itself as Christian (we'll leave this for another time).

I live my life as ethical as I can.
To me that means eating foods which didn't come to be through the manipulation of animals. Spending my money on items which helps an individual instead of a huge corporation when possible. Wearing clothes made by caring hands and brands who don't use slave labour. I do support people buying second hand, I think it's the way to go. I do so for my clothes when possible and try to only buy new accessories and underwear for obvious reasons. I invest in my wardrobe rather than fill it with impulse buys and fast fashion. I always look up a brand before buying and do my best to make sure no animal products were used in my items.

I suffer a lot from tension headaches and body cramps so I do take pills to help me as they just don't go away on their own fast enough. I understand that most medication has been tested in animals, even though it has been said to not be helpful as most animals don't have our physiology, diet, lifestyle and aren't exposed to the same things as us. I also understand that a lot of medication does contain animal derived ingredients. I always do my best to stay clear of these things but realistically, I can't quite yet. I don't know what the future holds but I do hope that we're not to far away from labs without animals and medication without animals... But until then, I will take the medication I need to function as a basic human being.

I try my best using things until they're no longer functional. This is another part where I get into trouble and get into a grey area as I do have a few items in my collection which I bought before my ethical journey began and aren't vegan or slow fashion. I refuse to contribute to pollution by doing something so stupid as purging my life of all non vegan items just because it doesn't fit my new view, it doesn't make sense! If I bought it, I'll use it. Everything I have bought in the past year has been thoroughly looked at an researched before making it into my shopping basket.

Another thing I try to do is buy beauty products which have eco friendly packaging and where possible has the lowest carbon footprint which is really hard for me as I have to get everything sent to me through regular mail plus a courier to get to me in Zambia! I always shop cruelty free and all beauty/food/clothing I buy now is vegan without any exceptions.

The thing that pisses me off now is how negative the term vegan has become due to people preaching aggressively towards those who aren't vegan, people who haven't give thought to what they consume because they just don't question tradition. I don't agree with this behaviour under any circumstances, be it religion, diets, science, politics or anything else. Preaching aggressively will only distance a dialogue which is the most important thing we can have to get on equal ground. I often see terms as "militia vegans" or simply "crazy vegans". Being vegan, in my eyes, is vague, I think it is more of a diet with animals in mind rather than a full ethical way of living at this point. And this is why I don't consider myself vegan, I'm plant based living ethically.

We live in a difficult time where we are constantly being challenged and it can be hard to do what's right and best for the bigger picture when we are taught that having more and fast is a sign of wealth... We have been doing this for so long that the scale has tipped and many don't know what to do anymore as they're stuck with too much, with too little time and shitty health slowly killing themselves and their surroundings.

It's a horrible picture to look at when you take a step back to really reflect on what we've become and how manipulated we are. We're so disengaged from each other, so addicted to our consumption high, so blind to what we do with our bodies... And to our environment in the name of greed. This world is sick. Sick from the disease called instant gratification. We want everything NOW! And we want it cheap. No one stops to ask what they're paying for, what they're eating, what they're truly sponsoring...

Sorry if this post bummed anyone out... Wasn't my intention. I just wanted to clear things up as there has been a lot of debate online. I personally want to be reasonable. I struggle a lot with this as I contradict myself a lot due to still figuring myself out. I don't see that stopping anytime soon as I don't think I'll ever stop questioning and analyzing myself.

But there we go, why I don't call myself vegan... There's just no short way of saying it.

Saturday, 2 June 2018

BuJu Life: June.


I still don't quite understand where this year has gone, we're half way through!!! How even?!

One of the things I've been very grateful for this year is figuring out bullet journaling. It has helped me manage my anxiety and has been a fun project to play with for an hour or so in the morning/evening which helps me relax and put things into perspective.

I have finally figured out a spread that works for me!
After lots of trial and error I've managed to narrow down my months to a few pages with the essentials.


Main Spread:
Left: I tried the whole artsy one (even two) page art work but it never really resonated with my needs. I now keep my "title" to half a page from my notepad. Under the title I have my important dates and below that my workout trackers. Took me quite a while to figure this one out as I want to do lots but my body/mind doesn't always let me. So to keep myself from feeling more pressure and then feel bad about missing out I chose to do two activities a week to push myself a bit physically as it helps me clear my mind.

Right: My goals column and media plan. My media plan has turned into a fun page, last month I challenged myself to figure out recording short videos. Took me all month to figure it out to get to a presentable level, I have far to go but I mainly use this page to dive into new things, to keep myself from getting stuck in a rut which is so easy on social media...


Second spread:
Left: Expenses... Not the most fun page but probably one I shouldn't be without. I have a little "Spending Priorities" Post it with the things I want to get for myself or need and also a little "Coming Expenses" to make sure I have a clear idea of what's ahead and what I need to save for.

Right: My body tracker. This has been a very interesting page for me to have. I started this last month and I really enjoy it. I write down how I feel mentally and physically, keeping it short and focusing on what's been good.


Third Spread:
My daily planning/goals/to do. I don't do more than one day at a time. I can't. It stresses me out and makes me not want to use my bullet journal... I have a little note with daily tasks. These daily tasks might seem very straight forward but I have a lot of days when I don't even want to get out the bed... So in an effort to keep myself feeling human I have started this little daily task list. I've only been doing it for two weeks but it has helped. I make sure I look presentable and this keeps me from getting back into bed halfway through the day.


I really like how my spreads are turning out.
It does take time to narrow down the trackers, doodles, calendar etc as you only know what you want once you've tried it. This is only my third month bullet journaling and I already hate the start of my planner! Things will probably change more as I get more used to dedicating time to doing this.

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Haul: Violeteyes Cosmetics Haul (Ve_cosmetics)


I have for the past two years been sticking to make-up brand lists I make at the end of each year to help myself from going all sorts of crazy when buying make-up... This year I made an exception for ve_cosmetics as I kinda got over one of the brands I had previously put on my list for a few reasons but mainly because I want to buy from vegan brands... I also ran out of eyeliner very suddenly and emergencies require swift action!!! 

https://www.ve-cosmetics.com
Click picture to get to Ve_cosmetics page and make sure to follow her on her social media platforms for updates and deals! (Not sponsored or affiliated)

So here's what I ordered:
Two Stress/Depression & Anxiety Bath Bombs.
A mystery lipstick, I received the shade 3am which I'm totally in love with ( Click Here to see it on).
Pink lemonade lip scrub (smells amazing).
Pocket rocket eyeliner.
Feline good eyeliner.
And a bunch of samples of foundations as I'm still on the hunt for my perfect shade to match my indoor complexion.

Lipstick wand. It's a harder tip than most which makes a precise application. I normally have to use a lip brush as most applicators are kinda shitty honestly... I also have very shaky hands.


Eyeliner tip comparison.

I've used a few of the things but can't really do a proper review.
I can however vouch for the Feline Good liner as I wore it yesterday for 16 hours without it smudging which I usually struggle with.

Anyhow!
That's my haul for now!
Excited to make time to figure these foundations out and use those bath bombs as they smell gorgeous!

Let me know if you've tried anything from Ve cosmetics and what you'd recommend! I'm eager to try more stuff!

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Fashion: Met Gala 2018, Heavenly Bodies.

My heart!!!

https://www.metmuseum.org/blogs/now-at-the-met/2018/heavenly-bodies-fashion-catholic-imagination-introduction
Click picture to get to the official Met Museum post about the Heavenly Bodies exhibition. (Opens in new tab)


When this theme was announced I was so excited.
I'm not a religious person but I absolutely love Catholic and religious art. Growing up in an Atheist country I have learned to appreciate a lot of details rather than associate certain items with ritual and religion. I personally think it's important to be able to be objective in life and able to see things for what they are rather then the meaning behind them.

Because of this mentality I have always loved religious art and fashion (I don't know if fashion is the right word but for now we'll go with it) as it's always big, detailed, luxurious and basically extravagant which I've always seen as wrong or not really going hand in hand with religion... But that's a whole other blog post and life discussion...

But I do appreciate the creations themselves, the gold, the textures, the blood, the drama and atmospheric shadows.
As a lover of art, I adore all of it.

So with that introduction out of the way I'll share my favorite Met Gala looks. Ah, I bet they love when peasants like me criticize their super expensive looks... But hey, while I might not look like much in my everyday life I have a good sense of style.

I was really disappointed in general... But it was better than last years gala where it felt like no one wanted to go with the theme...

Let me know in the comments what you thought of the Met Gala!

This was easily one of my favorite looks.
Hate the make-up!
Beautiful look which went well with the theme but nothing special.
Love the coat and hat but man, that bustier made her look bad. Would much rather have seen a slinky mini dress under that with a heavily beaded belt or waist cincher.

Perfect. To show the rest that it doesn't have to be extravagant to go with the theme and still nail it.

Another win in my eyes. Could definitely have been a large panel over the torso instead of showing skin but the cape makes up for it.

Man, this could have been the star. Those boots and that mini dress kills me.
I would have loved seeing the wings paired with a beautiful short satin asymmetric dress and a thin beaded golden cord around the waist. I think the boots would have worked with that even... But hate them with this. I absolutely get what they were going for but no.

Another that I absolutely loved.
I would however have loved it even more if the dress underneath had been golden or black. But that's just this peasants opinion.

When a single accessory saves the day!
I was so surprised about the lack of these belts!
They're stunning! And look at what it did for this plain dress!

Love. Perfect as is. 

So beautiful and perfect as is. Minus the damn bag.

So flattering!
Another example of accessories saving the day.

Love the dress, there was definitely room for improvement.
Hate the bag and belt/waist. It would have been nicer without that detail and I can't help imagining how gorgeous this would have looked with a dramatic cowl.

I hated Madonnas look last year, so very much.
This year I'm almost willing to look past it.
Love the hair, the accessories, the dress... 👌

These two rarely do anything wrong on the red carpet.
Another example of how to nail the theme without being extravagant or tacky.


Beautiful.
A design I was hoping to see more of.

I love the dress and headpiece but I think she could have gone without the satin floof! Also not a fan of the shoes... 
I don't even know.
I just absolutely love this.

Perfect.

Dude!
Might not be a popular opinion but my gosh, I love this so much.
Gothic windows is all that goes through my mind.

Love.
I can't but love Alexa.
The back of this was gorgeous and the details were so beautiful.


Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Review: Bybi Beauty (part 2)


Part two of my Bybi Beauty review is all about the two newest additions to the line; Lip treats! Again, I love the simplistic packaging, no unnecessary crap, this is as straight forward as it gets. The tubes are even made of sugarcane and are biodegradable. Both tubes contain 10 ml and are vegan and cruelty free just like everything else from this brand. Super important to always make sure when you buy vegan products to make sure it's also cruelty free. There are brands jumping on the vegan branding who still test on animals... Just a heads up. *Cough* Caudalie *Cough* and a few more but I'll leave that for another post...


BUFFER
LIP SCRUB



"Sugar and strawberry scrub to buff and restore cracked, dry lips. Agave and cinnamon nourish, for full, healthy lip."

First off, this is not a gritty "Lush style" lip scrub.
It's very gentle, it buffs. I have been using it for the last two weeks just before I do my whole skincare routine and it's more of a treat really. I use it morning and night and I'll say that I don't normally suffer from chapped lips so can't really report back on that bit. For me this is simply a step I take to prevent chapped lips. The smell of the product is amazing!!! It feels very luxurious and a little goes a long way... On the packaging it says to use a pea sized amount which to start with would only give you around 10 - 15 uses out of this... It's way too much product! I have full lips, not huge but not small and I use about half a grain of Basmati rice size of product (like how specific I am?). I leave it on for a minute or two after scrubbing, it's such a nice feeling and smelling product...
I'm on the fence if I'll buy this once I finish it... I want to say yes but will have to see. I think I might just really love the fragrance and the pampering feeling.


PLUMPER
LIP BALM



"Hydrating lip balm with enhancing peppermint and blood orange. Shea butter seals in moisture for perfectly plumped pouts."

A new favorite.
This, again, isn't an aggressive product. You won't look like you've been sucking your lips in a bottle. It just evens the texture of your lips in a very pleasant fresh way (feels very similar to the Pixi Lip Plumping Glosses). Looks like a gloss and as with the previous product, a little goes a long way. I keep this on my desk and it has become the balm I reach for... I keep a balm in every corner of the house and I find myself walking from one end of the house to the other to get this, which says a lot as I'm lazy... It's nothing crazy but it feels nice, has the perfect slip without melting over your face. I like to consider myself a bit of a lip balm connoisseur as I use a ridiculous amount (another reason perhaps to why I don't get chapped lips). I do see a good lip balm as a good investment and I will without a doubt spend well over what might be considered reasonable for a good one. Anyhow, I like this one, a lot. We'll leave it at that before I go off on the deep end on this lip balm rant that could have been.

The nozzle! Nothing crazy but does the job and is easy to keep clean.

That's it for now peeps.
I'm so happy Bybi Beauty was hosting this little contest.
Keep your eyes peeled for the continuation of my reviews of these products, I always announce them on my Instagram stories or on my timeline. It will however be about two more weeks for the next installment as I'm only going to start using the next two products tomorrow and I want to get a proper feel before praising or bashing them.

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

In My Stash: Southern Comforts.


As I took this picture I was convinced that I was going to write an elaborate review of each fragrance I have... I think I was underestimating the amount of products I have.

I've been a big fan of the wonderful fragrance world that has been built by Southern Comforts for a few years now, they recently went through a owner change but it doesn't change my love for the brand/products. The new owners seem like a pretty awesome couple.

When I dove into these I didn't quite realize how important fragrance was going to become in my life. I had completely stopped wearing fragrances as they made me feel sick but I didn't understand for a long time that it was a problem I had with alcohol based fragrances.

My fragrances each help me during different times, I can't sleep well unless I have a soothing fragrance around me. I never thought aromatherapy was a thing that would work for me but it does! I simply feel better when I can smell vanilla, citrus or whatever else I might feel like to perk myself up. My collection does mainly consists of sweet, floral, warm and fresh notes with about half being limited edition fragrances.

I can highly recommended the whipped scrubs and body lotions as well. I've gone though a few bits over the years. I will advise caution with the balms, I can use them on my body but not on my chest and neck area, it does make me break out. So if you do have any sensitivity to coconut oil, I get cystic acne, just stay clear of those areas and make sure to scrub your body where you've put it on to avoid breakouts when you're done for the day or in the morning.

But that's it really, I have zero complaints and don't know what else to write. Feel free to drop me a message here or on Instagram (@cynthiaiskillikill) with questions or simply send it to Southern Comforts. They're super kind and helpful.

In my current collection:

Balms:
Limited edition:
Snape's Potions Room.
Frog's Breath.

Seasonal:
The Night The Light's Went Out
Mama Tried
Aunt Bessie's Bunnies
West Memphis Sweater Weather
Abuela's Holiday Kitchen
The Tattooed Woman
Seaside Citrus
Miss Leonie's Lift
Coat Of Many Colours
Helpless
Three Fundamental Truths

Fragrance oils:
Limited edition:
Moonpie's Bath Day Tea Party
Moonpie's Moon dance
HalloWedding
Seven Impossible Things
The Great Hall
Cat Temple Purrfume
Worm's Wood
Elbow Sex
Sweet Transvestite
Yia Yia's Garden
Two mystery fragrances.

Seasonal:
Woman Enough To Take My Man
Abuela's Christmas Kitchen


None of these were sent to me, all were bought with my money and lack of being able to hold back.

Friday, 27 April 2018

Review: Bybi Skincare (part 1)


https://bybi.com
Click picture to get to Bybi's page for ingredients and additional information.


A while back I participated in a giveaway/contest hosted by Bybi Beauty and I won their whole line! 🙌🙌🙌 Yay me! I've been eyeing Bybi for quite some time and was so excited to get to try their line. I've slowly been incorporating the products into my routine just to make sure I know what to blame if my skin goes nuts on me.

So here's a review of the first two products I can give my well tested and honest thoughts on.
Yes these were sent to me but the opinions in this post are my own based on my skin type.

First things first, my skin type.
I currently have normal skin with shifting dryness on my lower half of my face and occasional oiliness on my T-zone. It's more of a glow that actual oiliness but I do have very easily irritated skin. I get redness from contact and don't tend to break out unless I'm on medication, which I'm not on right now.


How much I've used in three weeks.

MEGA MIST
HYALURONIC ACID TONER


This is the second Hyaluronic acid toner I've ever used and I quite like this. I've been using this AM and PM but I use it as a second toner and I don't spray it on my face as I'm a bit of a dummy when it comes to aiming and I normally get more spray in my ears ams hair than my actual face... I spray twice into my hand and pat it into my skin until it gets sticky. In the morning I use it over a PH balancing toner and in the evening over my glow tonic. I feel like it has helped a lot. We're in the dry season here in Zambia right now and the previous two years I have struggled more than this time round for my skin to adjust to the climate change. I love the scent, it's fresh, the spray nozzle is pretty great as well if you're into that. I don't have any complaints and I will buy this before I run out.

SUPERCHARGE SERUM
CONCENTRATED ACTIVE FORMULA


Ah, this one. I've come to associate the fragrance of this serum with relaxation. It smells nice, natural and fresh, but not like linen fresh, rather more on the green earthy side of fresh. It's a lovely formula which I mainly use in the evening but if my skin is a bit lackluster I do add some as a final step of my morning routine and let it set before going in with sunscreen. In the evening I use 4 drops as I do use it all the way down to my décolletage and shoulders and 3 in the morning if I feel like I need a glow boost. I don't really know what else to say about this. It plays nice with my other products which is always a big plus and this is normally my second serum or applied after my moisturiser depending on how my skin is doing. I will absolutely buy this once it finishes.


I'll be back next week with my thoughts on the lip line.