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Cruelty Free Beauty

I had always presumed that all products/brands sold in the UK were cruelty-free. However, that just isn't the case. 

Because, although UK law states that products sold in the UK cannot be tested on animals - many brands sell in China where it's illegal to sell products that are NOT tested on animals. Also, a brand might be owned by a 'mother-company' who test on animals in other countries - looking at you The Body Shop who up until recently was owned by L'Oreal who sell in China.

Almost a year ago, I decided to go exclusively cruelty-free with my makeup/skincare/haircare/etc. I am still using a few products that are sold by brands who test on animals - slowly replacing them though!

I thought I would make a collection of cruelty-free brands and products that I have discovered over the past year.

(All of the products I use are cheap and available in popular shops).

Brands: (I haven't used all of these brands myself, but over the past year when I find a cruelty-free brand I've been adding them to a list on my phone)
BarryM - VEGAN
Too Faced
Collection 2000
Freedom Makeup
Makeup Revolution 
Models Own
Tanya Burr Cosmetics 
LUSH - VEGAN (except products containing beeswax) 
Superdrug Own brand - VEGAN
Topshop Make-up
Collab Dry Shampoo
Simple Skin Care
Real Techniques 
Soaper Duper 
Soap and Glory
Bull Dog
B Pure Superdrug Brand
Smash box 
Marc Jacobs
Lottie London
Lidl - own brand
Tesco - own brand

Please let me know of any more brands, and I'll add them to my list!

Superdrug is my go-to for cruelty-free products. For toothpaste/mouthwash, it made the hunt really easy, and the products all work. I use their hair oils, shampoo, conditioners, coconut oil, hair masks, face masks, skincare.

- Kayleigh Bickle

Happy Hump Day!

Because sometimes you need a verbal 'pick me up'...

(Who doesn't love a pun?)
A small midweek post of a few quotes I've found this week. All on my Pinterest board here.

- Kayleigh Bickle

An apology to photography

I used to adore photography. I was constantly trying to recreate others work, trying to create something new, wanting to show it to everyone. Then I did a degree and started to feel too much pressure from projects and deadlines. Then I did another degree and struggled for 18 months to love photography. But then on Tuesday, someone said to me 'if you're a professional pianist, you don't stop practising. So why are you only taking photographs for projects?' and before this person told me to shoot as much as I could and keep practising. But ignored them. Since Tuesday I've shot over 10 shoots in three days. I'm constantly thinking about what I can take a photograph of next. And I don't doubt many, if not all, of the photographs, are sh!t. But I have that buzz from doing something you love.

I've done several digital shoots, one roll of 120 film (which I NEVER shoot - because I'm a wimp), and currently four rolls of 35mm. I find this amazing, for ages I was only doing a shoot after planning and getting confirmation from a lecturer that the idea was OK. 

Because I'm unlikely to put these photographs on my Instagram (@kayleighbicklephotography), I'm going to gather a few and chuck 'em into this post. 

(If you didn't guess I'm looking at flower for my project)

Here's to taking photographs (or creating your relevant creativity) for the sake of creating.

- Kayleigh Bickle

21, Female, UK, Member of the National Trust

At 21, I'm a member of the National Trust.

I joined the National Trust to help towards a photography project over the next few months. And I cannot express how much joy the whole thing has brought to me. 

It's forcing me to drive the car and go places, Lanhydrock is only 30 mins away from Home, but it was a place I have never had to drive myself to before. 

Keira is getting new walks and places to run around (bringing Keira does mean we can't go into the houses, but that's not my most significant interest - I'm there for the gardens/estates.) I love seeing how excited about new walks and watching her run around like crazy sniffing all the new scents, meeting new dogs, and then she's so sleepy in the evenings and just wants cuddles.

Finally, it's great for your mental health. There was something so lovely about leaving the house at 10am, on a Monday, to walking around a country estate in the sunshine. 

Unfortunately, the gardens don't open again until 10th February - however, you're allowed to walk around the general estate for free. Side note: you do have to pay for parking at Lanhydrock (£2.00 for one hour, £4.00 for all day) BUT, it's free if you're a member of the National Trust!

Let's talk about Instagram

I bloody love Instagram.

It's simple. It mostly involves scrolling through endless photographs.

I'm a visual human. Whether that's literally looking at photographs or physically seeing a list in front of my eyes. Instagram makes social media so simple for me and doesn't involve too much brain power to scroll through.

I'm not a Facebook fan -mostly because no one can spell correctly "has eny1 got pan I can burrow?" - Looking at mothers on Facebook. Also, hate the word 'LOL.'

I use Twitter, a lot, but I have to be in a particular mood for it.

Naturally, I'm a fan of Pinterest - but only on the desktop.

That leaves me with Instagram. Naturally, I enjoy taking photographs too - which I suppose helps.

Currently I run three Instagram pages: my personal account (@kayleighbickle), my dog's account [don't judge me - she's adorable and it keeps all my favourite pet accounts together] (@thecornishstaffy), and finally my photography account [which I'm genuinely useless at keeping up-to-date with] (@kayleighbicklephotography).

I got a little bit obsessed with gaining 'likes' though, and since giving up on hashtags and creating photographs to please people. I love Instagram again and get more engagement from people I'm interested in.

Here are my 'tips'/just how I use Instagram:

1) DON'T USE HASHTAGS. I know they can be useful. But I just used to get 'likes' from spam accounts, and it made the photo feel empty to me. Sometimes I don't even write a caption anymore.

2) VSCO CAM. I edit all of my images in the exact same way and treat my Instagram Page as a little photographic diary. Although I don't tend to post photographs of when I'm meeting up with friends/family, I keep it to just being homey and straightforward stuff that brings me joy. Mostly Keira. Or an outfit I quite like.

3) UPLOAD DAILY. Not to reach more people, or to gain more likes. But because I enjoy creating a photograph to upload every day. Admittedly, I don't upload every-single-day, but I try to almost every day - and I do not beat myself up for not uploading.

4) USE INSTAGRAM STORIES / REPLY TO PEOPLE'S STORIES. Some people get a little message from me every few days about something they've posted on stories. And that is where I get a lot of my joy from Instagram - directly interacting with others.

5) HAVE A FEW DAYS AWAY. 100% if you're feeling pressure from the world shown on Instagram, delete the app, forget about it, and come back when you're ready to - which may never happen - and remember to do what's right for you.

All of this being said, I'm pretty regular at uploading on my personal account and Keira's account. But truly appalling at uploading on my photography account. SO through all your tips for me for running a photography/business account. Because I have no idea.

- Kayleigh Bickle

P.S. If you fancy leave your Instagram account below and I'll give you a follow!