No matter what time of year it was, A revelled in a holistic cruelty-free beauty routine. There was something so powerful about the slathering of lotions and potions being smeared into her skin. The soft dreamy scent of lavender massaged into parched dry legs. The rich creaminess of shea butter into hard-skinned feet, a blissfully comforting salve. A lathering face wash- melting away makeup, until her bare baby skin poked through, scored with scars, large pores and imperfections. But it was these flaws that mattered the most. Tenderly cupped in her newly creamed hands, tending to her skin’s warrior marks with aptness. She found them beautifully chaotic, the imprint of silver scars blurred away with time, interspersed with growing life-spots- the bane of her existence. A sensitive facial cleanse, urging spots to disappear into the folds of her skin. Her mini vegan beauty routine was quietly powerful, especially during Christmas. After all, it was a time of year where solace, tranquility, and quality me-time coincided.
She thumbed her body’s lacerations absentmindedly, until she reached the nape of her neck. Frizzy tendrils of hair wisped out of her chunky plait, planning an escape. Despite her original cruelty-free winter hair care routine, the frizz was hard to tame, and the dryness? Impossible. Or so she thought. Soon, she would find the haircare of her dreams to suit all her hair woes. Frizziness begone. Dryness enveloped in a healing salve. Glowing blackish-brown hair, gleaming like a raven’s feathers, with streaks of silver running through proudly. You see, beauty was transcendent. It wasn’t just skincare, but cosmetics, haircare, and everything in between. Christmas gave A the opportunity to treat her face, body, hair, and mind with a mini vegan beauty routine rooted in holistic wellness. It was rare that A had even 20 minutes me-time to herself, but the festive season gave her that opportunity. Soon, that long Christmas break that she had been craving would be here, and she would have all the time in the world. But which beauty saviours would make the cut for her mini vegan beauty Christmas round-up?
She peered into her kitchen sink, slowly filling up with bubbling water gurgling. In the cesspool of swirls, she found her answer. Like a fortune teller, she read its fate. Six beauty brands who deserved the spotlight, from skincare, to bathtime rituals, in an accessible list. It would be short, and sweet, like the Christmas season herself. She would picture the scene. Christmas morning lazily lounging, floating into the bathroom dreamily in festive stupor. By the time she would come out, she would be transformed. Glowing skin gleaming conspiratorily in the mirror. Shiny hair with carefully emulated curls, soft and sheeny. Nails prepped and primed, with a burst of rainbow colour, glinting merrily. Soft and supple body, perfumed with sorcery in a heady dance. Six names on her lips: Skin Genius consorting with Ringana Skincare, Taoh Haircare hand in hand with Ben & Anna. Douvalls slippery sweet, in a sea of Argan. And who could forget Earthy Nail Polish, a sustainable planet-friendly cosmetics company? She knew she had chosen well.
And so the Christmas quest began. Absentmindedly she etched the birthmark on her wrist thoughtfully. In the shape of a paw-print, it seemed apt that her skincare guide was cruelty-free, and vegan. After all, she was always an animal lover. It’s why she was a vegetarian. It’s why she was cruelty-free. So sure, she wasn’t vegan, but she felt it was important to largely be plant-based, including in her beauty choices. She would picture the scene. The three furry kitties pawing at the White Christmas tree, flinging baubles onto the ground with a crash. The chitter-chatter of guests talking amongst themselves excitedly, slurping on hot teas and coffees. The large jolt of a game being played in the background, crash-bang- silence. But in the eternity of Christmas chaos was an opportunity for something more. A quick steal away, lathering her hair in the steaming hot shower. A sustainable shower soap lathered into water-trickled skin. Eco-friendly gift ideas for a sustainable beauty routine. Nails painted, hair primed, until at last, she was ready to face Christmas once more, tantalizingly refreshed.
Two names came through the gurgling cesspool in the sink: Skin Genius and Ringana Skincare. Why? Because they were polar opposites. Skin Genius living up to its name, designed for acne and eczema prone skin, Ringana powered by Science and Nature, with powerful ingredients. Together, they were an unmatchable force, changing the way she viewed skincare forever. She could only imagine their impact on her skin with prolonged use, a new version of her, 2.0. Fresh skincare that felt nourishing on her sensitive, oily, spot prone skin. A nourishing cleanse during the festive season, notouriously known for its harsh winds. Her skin, and its barrier would be protected at last.
Like a constellation of stars, the spots creeped into the reality of consciousness. Sure, the spots could be hormonal, and stress-related, but more often than not, it was because of her period-condition. She had abnormally heavy, and long periods, which could sometimes last several months. Her doctors had never seen anything like it, but it was something she experienced her whole life. Her skin wasn’t bad by any means, but her period definitely impacted it nevertheless. The scores of acne scars confirmed that. It seemed her skin was misbehaving, and the festive season was no exception. The combination of stress, hormonal imbalances, and health conditions meant that her skin was suffering. She needed a genius to sort out her Christmas skin woes. Who would be up to the job?
Skin Genius as the name suggested, was wildly brilliant. Two collections, one for acne prone skin, the other for Eczema/ Psoriasis, that was award-winning. Taking Gold in the Green Parent Natural Beauty Awards 2021, and a Winner in The Natural Health Beauty Awards 2021, it was easy to see why. Easy to use, with powerful yet gentle ingredients, Skin Genius felt incredibly nourishing. She would use the Spot and Acne Prone collection. An effective three-step routine, the organic vegan skincare collection reduced and prevented breakouts. With natural botanicals proven to control bacteria, and soothe and smooth inflamed skin, she felt the effects straight away. She had mild roseca as well, and the immediate relief was kind and gentle. Full of anti-oxidants to heal and help the skin, this Christmas would be blissfully sweet. Her skin felt smooth, and bright. Not dull, and listless, or angry and red. Instead, it was glowing like it never glowed before.
With a foaming face wash, purifying gel, and soothing moisturiser, it was an accessible mini vegan beauty routine. As Mariah Carey crooned in the background singing ‘All I Want For Christmas is You’, she smiled inwardly. All she wanted for Christmas was a beauty routine that was minimalist, no-stress, and natural. She had gone and found it alright. She dotted the Foaming Face Cleanser onto her face gently, rubbing it into her skin. Rinsing it off with warm water, she let her skin work its genius. Out of the three it seemed a no-brainer that the Soothing Moisturiser was her Hail Mary. She zenned out, coaxing the silky goodness out of the bottle with ease. Her eyes rolled back in satisfaction, her skin soothed wondorously. Today was going to be a good day, she could feel it. At night, there was one more skincare hero she would use. The Leave-On Purifying Gel, for troubled skin. Expertly applying a thin layer, she lay down, and let her beauty sleep take care of the rest. In the morning her pores thanked her, with a conspiratorial wink!
It was Ringana Skincare that was next up in the ring. Fighting for its chance to prove its worth, a gentle skincare brand put together with so much love. A holistic approach to skincare inside and out, that purified the mind and spirit, as well as the body, and skin. A ritualistic cleanse with luxury appeal, vegan skincare at its very finest. A vegan treat that was perfect for a mini vegan beauty guide, a giftset with endless promise. A limited edition ‘Lovely Xmas Set’, with three fresh products that were begging to be tried. The FRESH body milk rosé, specially created for Christmas. Cleansing milk, skin like silk, supple and smooth. You see Ringana was no ordinairy skincare brand. The body milk felt like Manna, richly pink slathered onto dry winter skin. Nourishing, and soothing, high quality plant oils transformed her body into a supple wonderland.
There was the FRESH lip balm rosé & shine too, oh so smooth. Peppered with Dragon’s blood extract, and berry wax, her chapped weathered lips were given a new lease of life. Suddenly, the mottled skin became smooth, with a delicate pink sheen. Laced with ginger, the balm had a tangy, peppery flavour that made her lips tingle animatedly. But it was the hyaluronic acid which was the real star, plumping her lips the natural way. Like Skin Genius, Ringana Skincare also had a three-step mini vegan beauty routine too. The last was a tantalizing treat. Hand-made FRESH soap with goji and pink pepper, for a natural clean scent. Gentle cleansing from head to toe, that felt glorious on her skin. Wrapped in a Ringana organic cotton hand towel, she felt blessed.
The special formulation was said to restore lipids, protecting the skin’s natural acid mantle, leaving her skin feeling supple. Given the rush of the festive season, and the stresses of planning, this festive skincare giftset would be the transformation that her body needed, and craved. It was rescue set that she could dream of, a magic sorcery box that offered her mind and body a deep cleanse. Clarifying lotions and secret potions, milks, soaps, and lip balms too. It was a skincare saviour compliation with all of Ringana’s greatest hits. A’s only question? How on earth did it take this long to have such a glorious luxury skincare brand on British soils? She would never know. But for now, she relished in its fortifying company, cleansed from head to toe.
For A, a bathtime ritual was a sacred secret. A welcome oasis centered in calm, and wellbeing. A paradise that only she could enter, even in the middle of a Christmas storm. Thawing in tender heat, scooping bubbles in wind-torn hands. Hair cradled in a whimsical shower cap, curls escaping splattered with water. Steam rising in a magical way, breathe in, breathe out. She always found that less was more. A mindful bathtime routine where the room was filled with the scent of uplifting fragrances, lavender mineral flakes in a heated bath. A plunging deep blue bath soak for aching and tired muscles that loosened at its water goddesses whim. There were showertimes too, fruity shower flakes lathered into homemade gel, a welcome infusion. Two brands stood before her, in a fight to the top…
Sure, Douvalls was strictly skincare. Minimalist, pared back, using organic Argan Oil as its primary ingredient. Yet, to A it was a bathtime routine. A decadent treat, that felt like slippery silk on her smooth skin. A trickle here, a tickle there. With 100% pure organic cold pressed organic oil directly from a women’s cooperative in Morroco, the quality was unmatched. This was a fact put to the test, as she trialled their Rescue Ritual, Nourish and Cleanse giftset (£56) for the first time. Simple yet effective, the Rescue Ritual’s multi-tasking favourites had to be used to be believed. It was Milky Argan Active pure hydrating milk vs Hydrating Argan Cream Cleanser, in an epic battle.
Housed in amber glass bottles, it was packaged in luxury eco-friendly packaging. Luxe was its middle name, with the Argan being decidedly rich. The Hydrating Cream Cleanser, was deliciously decadent. 5 in 1, it would cleanse, hydrate, tone, exfoliate and remove all traces of makeup. Even waterproof mascara was no match for this beauty, inky black splotches wiped away gently. Then, there was Argan Active, combining water and argan oil deep into the dermis. The patented Argan Active cleverly used both the nut and the leaves of the argan tree to deliver anti-oxidants into her skin, reducing fine lines and wrinkles. An after bath treat that would unlock her skin’s potential leaving it impossibly soft.
It seemed like a miracle. After all, winter was notoriously harsh on her sensitive skin. Yet Douvalls, like all the beauty giants in this kind, was something special. With every sale of a Douvall’s product planting a tree with the Eden Projects, it was charitable too. Helping to restore native forests globally, it also provided food for villagers, shelter for wildlife, shade, medicines, soil regeneration, and climate regulation through a village-wide tree-planting program. Helping lift local people and communities out of extreme poverty, A felt good knowing that her bathtime ritual was creating global good. After all Christmas was about heping, and giving back to others.
Ben & Anna
She had fallen in love with Ben & Anna recently. A self-care personal brand with a difference. Sustainable, eco-friendly and natural, the colourful brand was the perfect match for her mini vegan beauty bathcare routine. Why? From organic deodrants harnessing the power of nature, to shower flakes, and vegan soaps, Ben & Anna had oodles of personality. People often saw Christmas as disposable but to A it was about making memories, even if those memories were for yourself. A knew that one of the memories she wanted to imprint on her consciousness this year was the simple act of kindness. Sure, she was kind to others. But to herself? She wasn’t kind enough. It wasn’t something that she was beating herself up over. But, she did want to make a change. It was about celebrating the power of stillness, mentally and physically. With unadulterated appreciation, the true meaning of Christmas transpired. Live, love, laugh, let go.
There would be fruit fusion shower flakes in a pink packet crinkling. Nourishing pampering moments awaited her eager eyes. Immersed in a tropical scent, she placed the flakes in a dispenser, adding hot water carefully. Shaking it excitedly, she waited impatiently for the shower flakes to form, until at last her very own shower gel was created. Sure, it was called ‘shower flakes’, but A saw no problem with adding it to her holistic bathtime routine. Strawberries dancing impishly with freshly squeezed lemon, squirting through lathering bubbles that enveloped her skin. It felt delicious, like a secret she wanted to keep all to herself. Sure, Ben & Anna was known for its natural deodrants, but A was convinced that its shower flakes, and toothpaste collection deserved a shout out too.
Speaking of toothpaste, A believed that good oral care was a huge part of a mini vegan beauty regime, particularly for Christmas. With an increase in sugary sweet delicacies, and mouth-watering treats, looking after her teeth was an important task. She would brush her teeth in harmony with nature, with a white toothpaste infused with Fluoride. Using 100% natural ingredients, it was a powerhouse against discolouration. The Pineapple enzyme helped whiten her teeth gently. Though it wouldn’t whiten her teeth overnight, it lifted some of the yellow stains, from food and drink. There was sage too, adding an extra portion of vitamin A and antioxidants, providing a reliable protective shield against tooth decay and free radicals.
Christmas was full of windy days and unruly hair. Unkempt tendrils escaping the confines of thick berets, spindling past dainty ears. The hiss of icy wind tucking into a small pair of locks, an univited guest. There were times when she struggled to know what to do with her hair. How to style it, how to maintain it. Sometimes she would give up, shoving it into a messily twisted plait, placating it with a fashionable hats. Then there were the hours spent brushing it, oh so prone to damaging tangles, caught in a frustrating cluster of dead-ends. It was thick, wild, and frizzy, a beast of a mane. Not curly in the right places but rather caught in the in-between. Wavy curls dangling in hair purgatory, begging to be smoothed, and de-tangled. Christmas was no exception. There could only be one. Who would be the magician to untangle her voluminious hair, coaxing it into relaxed stupor?
With a call to arms Taoh Haircare had heard her deafening yell. Lightweight, and experts at controlling frizz, it lined up its hero products. With the choice to choose from the hydrate, or volume collection, it was obvious. She had no problems with volume, given her prospensity to look like a lion when her curls were brushed out. But hydration? Oh it was a biggie. At the scalp it was prone to grease, and oil, but the ends were dry, with more split ends then she could count grey hairs on her head. She opted for a hydration shampoo and conditioner, with a tangle-free spray from the Christmas gift box. Though it was too early to tell, she relished the feel of the products on her hair.
Some shampoos and conditioners felt greasy and heavy on her hair. But Taoh was an exception. It was nourishing, for intense hair hydration. The shampoo was infused with coconut, babassu and argan, in a hypnotic blend. Delicate and sulphate free, Macadamia oil and Kukui oil were then added for frizz-free shine. As if that wasn’t enough, the TAOH moisture complex would help keep her hair strong, decreasing loss of colour. Her hair was dull, and listless this Christmas season, so it needed a new lease of life. Complemented by the conditioner, it had restorative provitamin B5 to revive each hair fibre for optimal hydration. Her hair felt immediately healthier, and hydrated, but the tangles were a big issue. With the TAOH tangle spray, she watched her unruly tendrils smooth out into beautiful curls. Frizz was reduced, albeit there, and knots were easier to maintain. With regular use, she knew that her hair would detangle quicker than ever before. Infused with proteins, it was an added bonus that her hair looked sleeker and shinier than ever before.
She wanted her hair to be messy in an artfully mesmerizing way. The kind of girl-next door effortless cool, that screamed artist. Not the bed-smushed hat head that she often had. With the help of her TAOH fairy godmother, her hair was slowly improving. It would take some time but with consistient use, her curls would be placated. Manageable hair seemed alien to her. It often seemed like a chore, but the festive season was helping her incorporate it into her Christmas self-care routine. After all, the tangle-free spray could be used while she was watching telly, the minutes and hours passing by quicker than ever before. Flipping through the channels, she settled on a Christmas classic, ELF, a film that was feel-good just like her mini vegan beauty haircare routine.
She had come to the end of her feel-good beauty gift guide with a satisfying tippety-tap of the keyboard. There was just one more candidate that she couldn’t afford to miss. Brittle nails strengthened with nail oils in a nourishing coat. Magic lotions massaged into cuticles in need of TLC. Nail bitten slivers treated unkindly by anxiety, a salve rubbed into open wounds. Little moons creamed and primed, mirrors to her feet. Those were the ones that were in need of a makeover. Bruised ridged nails on the largest toe, purple black and blue trod on by accident. She would paint them in a rainbow of colours, a loud sunshine yellow and a cobalt blue, radiantly triumphant.
Earthy Nail Polish
She went through phases. There were months where her feet and nails were bare. No nail polish no oils, left to their own devices au natural. It seemed surprising giving her prospensity for colour. After all, she was a walking rainbow, self-described as a part-time mermaid and a unicorn at weekends. She was joyfully bold, no colour too bright for her vivid and bright tastes. But there were times when she couldn’t because of work, given that she worked in events. With the festive season coming up, she felt gleeful. Her nails would once more be adorned, in colours to lift her mood. There was no worrying about work rules. Instead, they would get the star treatment that they had been dreaming about for months.
She would begin with a nourishing berry oil from Earthy Nail Polish. Biosourced cuticle oil that was vegan, cruelty-free, and 70% natural origin. There was raspberry extract that was highly concentrated, to quickly and deeply nourish her stubby nails. Locking in hydration, there was Vitamin E (to protect against external agressions), while Vitamin F had fatty acids to restore her nails barrier. Reconditioning her rough and dry nails and cuticles would take some work, but the berry oil was a miracle worker. Then, there were the nail varnishes, sustainable plant-based colours that screamed eco-friendly joy. Poseidon Blue was her favourite colour, with high-shine that was long-lasting. Even the Bamboo cap was antibacterial, and antimicrobial, for better, healthier nails.
Buttercup yellow was a close second. It was surprising startling shade in winter. Where Christmas nails were often adorned with tartan reds, and deep velvet greens, hers were shockingly primary. She loved it. No mini vegan beauty guide would be complete without a rainbow nail polish set after all. Together the blue and yellow were mesmerizing, joyfully jublilant. Her fingers and toes transformed, gleaming next to the light of the faux white Christmas tree. The reflection of the nails mirrored in the irridescent baubles, gleaming with colour. And why shouldn’t they? Sustainable nail care had a rap for being neutral and boring, but Earthy was proving there was no such thing. After all, to A colour therapy was the most joyful part of a mini vegan beauty routine. Wouldn’t you agree?
What Mini Vegan Beauty Products Are On Your Christmas Wishlist?
Please note, I was sent products in exchange for this blog post but all thoughts are my own, and are not affected by gifted products.