Happy 2014, everyone!
I did want get this post up in the correct year but procrastination is one of my talents. So here is a round-up of my favourite new finds and purchases from 2013 that you should definitely get your mitts on in 2014!
A while back, I wrote of my discovery of the cosmetic brand e.l.f. (or, eyes lips face). I started off with just the few items I reviewed at the time but now I have all of theeese!
I also have a bunch of nail polishes as well as make-up brushes, eyelash curlers and blotting sheets. I am addicted. With prices starting from just £1.50 for eyeliners, lipsticks and bronzers, it’s insanely good value. But before you write them off as ‘cheap’… the company sells exclusively online so they don’t pay for advertising or merchandising. And we consumers reap the benefits. Hooray! Unlike most high street brands, their products are vegan-friendly and not tested on animals.
It’s a tough choice but my top three products are:
1. Mineral Moisturising Lip Tint in Cherry – £3.50 (I’m obsessed with the colour!)
2. Waterproof Lengthen & Volumise Mascara in Black – £3.75 (So, so lengthening!)
3. Mineral Infused Face Primer – £6.50 (Goodbye, pores!)
In the interest of a fair review, I’ll be honest… The one thing I’m not sold on yet is foundation. I’ve tried the Mineral Personal Blend Foundation (£8) and the oil-free HD Mattifying Cream Foundation (£7). Unfortunately, I have very oily skin and found neither product gave me enough coverage, nor shine-free skin without building with other foundations and powders on top. But at least when the products are so inexpensive, you don’t feel like you’ve thrown money away when something isn’t right for you. And believe me, I’ve thrown an awful lot of money away trying to find the right foundation in the past!
On top of all their goodness, the website almost always has some sort of deal on; my last order, I got over £20 worth of products for £10. And with e.l.f., £20 goes a long, long way!
Stay up-to-date with e.l.f. via their blog!
Vegan Doc. Martens
I’ve always loved the grungy look of Doc Marten boots but being rather pricey and made of leather, I’ve never owned a pair myself. That is until they released their vegan range and I fell in love with the purple/black pair. I bought them from the Dr Martens store in Covent Garden for £125 (It was my birthday! I’ve never spent that much on shoes before!) but if you’re in London, you can also get them from awesome vegan shoe store The Third Estate in Camden.
They’re comfy and warm and waterproof and they look flippin’ awesome. Enough said.
When I visited Vegfest London in October, I finally caved and bought an expensive blender. Not quite the Vitamix of my dreams but at a fraction of the price (I paid £240), the Omniblend comes pretty damn close!
I was a bit scared of it at first – worried I’d break my baby but it’s since created many-a delicious smoothie, juice, ice cream, frozen yoghurt and soup in just seconds. Like this delicious Raspberry Orange Juice…
The blades cuts through ice cubes like they’re cubes of butter and gritty fruit pulp is no match for this guy. On top of this, it’s the easiest thing ever to clean. No more scraping fingers against the blade or getting banana stuck in the grooves. Just put a little bit of warm water and a squeeze of dishwashing liquid in the rounded square jug and blend on low for a few seconds. Voila! Clean!
I’m seriously in love with it.
I have a slight cookbook addiction.
Blatantly copying Inspired by Melissa at It’s Got Vegan In It, I decided to create a Pinterest board of all the cookbooks on my shelf. A few belong to best friend/housemate Matt but the majority are mine! Put ‘on paper’, my addiction seems to be a little worse than I realised…
Another tough one to sort through but I decided that my top three additions to the collection in 2013 were:
1. Prashad by Kaushy Patel
An absolutely beautiful book full of great traditional Indian recipes from the owner of vegetarian restaurant of the same name. The book design is gorgeous and it’s filled with photos that make me want to eat the page. If you’re willing to hunt down a few non-staple spices, the recipes are well worth it.
2. The Sexy Vegan’s Happy Hour at Home by Brian L Patton
Okay, so I got this book for Christmas and haven’t actually used it yet but I love the unique idea behind it. The book is all about creating snacks and cocktails for your Friday evening ‘Happy Hour at Home’ for you and up to three friends (but no more than three because that would be a dinner party and that’s a whole other book…) so the recipes are set out in menu format with dishes and drinks that complement one other. I’m looking forward to trying the “Papadilla Don’t Preach” and “Nothing Rhymes with Citrus” menus. My only complaint is that there are no colour photos in the book and as a food perve, this was a little disappointing.
3. The Green Kitchen by David Frenkiel & Luise Vindahl
This one actually belongs to Matt but I wanted it for ages before he received it as a gift so, naturally, I’m claiming it. From the creators of the award-winning Green Kitchen Stories blog, this book is filled with surprisingly simple recipes using fresh, seasonal ingredients. It features absolutely beautiful photography (if you follow their blog, you’re probably already in love) that makes me want to go out and pick berries or leap through fields in the countryside.
Here’s to many more discoveries in 2014!
This is not a sponsored post. This is just me sharing my genuine adoration for the products and brands above!