Cruelty Free

Summer Style Haul

Although my bank account would sourly disagree, I am a true believer in retail therapy. Whenever I’m feeling down, a sparkly new pair of shoes, a new party dress or some colourful lipsticks never fail to cheer me up. 

Of course, I realise that it is beyond a cliche for bloggers to do ‘hauls’ that rub their perky financial situations in their reader’s faces, and thats why I have never done one before, but believe me when I tell you I am broke. And that after today’s spontaneous shopping spree, I’m back on a strict budget to save for my new flat, an you know, so I can eat. Also, thanks to the Summer sales, I got a few bargains, including heavily discounted Topshop (I’m talking a bra for £1) and H&M goodies, and a gorgeous new vintage rucksack from Godiva Boutique

As Donna from Parks and Recreation would say, Treat. Yo. Self. 

Anyway, read on for my thoughts on some lovely new products!

Sally Hansen
 First off, some cruelty-free (thats no animal testing, yay!) beauty products. I hadn’t been shopping in Lush for years, so I popped in for some miracles to save my dry, brittle, frizzy hair. The sales assistant in the Edinburgh Lush Spa store was a huge help! There was so much choice of various deep conditioning treatments, and I’m a really indecisive shopper, so she gave me four cute little sample posts so I could give them a try before I buy! She also suggested the Sunny Day Anti-Static Hair Detangler to help tame frizz between washes. I also picked up a lip scrub to see what all the fuss is about. It certainly does what it says on the tin, and smells like bubblegum! 

 I also popped into Sally’s Salon Services for some hair dye, as they always have a great colour selection. This time I opted for Crazy Colour in ‘Candyfloss’ and ‘Lavender’. I currently have pink hair, it’s looking good! And I picked up some Sally Hansen strengthening and lengthening base coats to save my weak ol’ nails. These brands are cruelty free too, wahey! 
Next, I bought some cheap-as-chips jewellery from the H&M sale. I’m a sucker for minimalist necklaces and geometric earrings, so these certainly hit the spot. Silver > Gold, any day of the week.

I’ve had my eye on this glittery Skinny Dip London iPhone case for ages, but while browsing through the Topshop sale for an LBD, I spotted these leopard print phone covers for just £4! Can’t go wrong. My phone no longer feels naked and vulnerable.
Now, the most successful purchase of the day, some new trainers from Office! After a great sadness of my busted old kicks, my faith in the world is restored as I finally found some Adidas shoes that suit me! These bad boys are a collar between Adidas and Rita Ora. Who knew?! All I care about is that they’re comfy as hell, and they go with every piece of black clothing I own.

Finally, I couldn’t resist some cheeky wee treats from the new NYX concession at Boots on Princes St. I’ve heard great things about this brand, which is totally vegan I was pleased to find out! SO I opted for the Angel Veil primer, Matte Finish setting spray, HD finishing powder, and tinted brow mascara.

 For more daily ramblings, #ootd pics and silly shopping sprees, Follow me on Instagram!
Ruth @ Urbanity xxx
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Vegan Suncare

The weather today inspired me to write this post, as for the first time in many rainy days the sun shone and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky; I actually sunbathed in the garden, such a rarity in Scotland (although don’t let the photos deceive you- it was taken in Crete)! 

However I only realised a couple of hours in that I’d forgotten to put suncream on, which got me thinking about whether suncream is tested on animals or not, something I’d not consider before, even though I take care when buying make up and toiletries. Read more to find 5 great products that are 100% cruelty-free!

Kiko SPF Lip Balm 

“A real multi-performance, nourishing lip treatment to guarantee lasting moisture and hydration. Offers immediate relief to dry, chapped lips.Protects lips from everyday pollution. Protects from sunlight, thanks to its SPF 15.”

Superdrug Solait after-sun spray

With Aloe Vera Cucumber extract provides 24 hour hydration to help relieve the sensation of tightness, prevent peeling, leaving the skin feeling soft & supple. A
n easily absorbed after sun spray that cools, soothes & nourishes sun exposed skin.”

Bobbi Brown SPF BB Cream


“This multitasking formula perfects skin in five ways: it covers imperfections and evens skin tone; draws moisture to skin; brightens dullness instantly and over time; helps reduce the look of wrinkles; and shields skin against damaging UVA/UVB rays.”

Nivea Protect & Refresh Sun Lotion

SPF 50. Pleasurable cooling effect that leaves your skin refreshed and silky
Light hydrating lotion that is easy to apply
Non-greasy formula, quickly absorbed by your skin”

Simple sun-kissed moisture cream

A gentle facial gradual tanner. Use daily to get a natural sun – kissed glow. Gentle tanning agents enhance skin’s colour. Skin is moisturised and protected, enriched with vitamin goodness.

For a natural sun-kissed glow, Vitamin goodness for naturally healthy looking skin,light gradual tan, 2 Vital Vitamins, 2 Skin Loving Nutrients, No perfume, no colour, UVA/UVB Protection”

A difficult issue is that of big brands that make many products that are not cruelty free but some that are, and also parent companies (corporations that own lots of other businesses, such as L’oreal, LVMH and Unilever) that test on animals although the brand themselves may not. What’s more, theres the issue of non-sustainable palm oil that creeps its way into many beauty products as well as food, and also, many products sold in China, required by law to test on animals.

 However, we can all do our best to make even the smallest of differences. 

Its important to remember (for my pale self anyway!) to wear at least factor 30 even in the UK, as its not worth getting your tan on for a lifetime of skin cancer and early signs of ageing.

For more cruelty-free beauty posts, click here.

Prices correct at time of publication. All RRP.

Ruth @ Urbanity xxx 
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Happy Place Cosmetics

I discovered Happy Place Cosmetics on Instagram and instantly knew this was the beauty brand for me, for three reasons- everything is 100% Cruelty-Free and Vegan, everything is made right here in Edinburgh, and it all looks/smells like delicious cookies! What’s not to love?
I finally got round to ordering some lovely products from founder Kirstie Barlow last week, so read more to see what I got my hands on!

Firstly, I had to treat myself to ‘The Biscuit Bundle’! This included a beautiful selection of hand-soaps in the shape of cookies, a cookie dough scrub and sugar cookie body butter!

Just one look at the pictures and you’ll wish they were edible. They smell divine, and work really well either as an everyday hand wash or an indulgent bath time treat! I was amazed by the detail on these products, considering they are completely hand made, so that felt really special!

Next, I went for a selection of Kirstie’s adorable little tubs of goodness, each with a huge host of skin-loving ingredients hidden inside. The make up brush cleanser is a total miracle, as I guiltily never clean my make-up brushes, so along with the free little brush mitt, this has encouraged me to revamp my toolkit! Another favourite is the cookie dough club and the green tea scrub. Both have worked really well for my face and body, really smoothing the skin. My bundle also came with a gorgeous little thank you card, an explanation of all the contents, and a little homemade cosmetics bag. Thank you, Happy Place, for cheering up my skincare routine!

Ruth @ Urbanity xxx

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Lucky Cloud Skincare

I met the wonderful Lucy Cardwell on Monday; she is the founder (and CEO, and designer, and maker, and all round girl boss!) of handmade botanical skincare brand Lucky Cloud

I tried some samples of her wonderful cruelty-free products, which include Body butter, Body milk, Body balm and lip butters; the full range is available at The Scottish Design Exchange

We had a great chat about ethical cosmetics (which you may have noticed is a huge area of interest for me lately!) and being a small business in a big, bad world. Find out more at


Lucky Cloud came about when Lucy was playing around with some DIY lip balm recipes right in her kitchen, and just over a year on, the brand’s HQ is at Edinburgh Pallette and sells all over the UK. As well as the delectable fragrances, vitamin rich formulas and body-nourishing qualities, the products are 100% Vegan, containing only natural, plant based and ethically sourced ingredients. Lucy even goes as far as ensuring the packaging is completely environmentally friendly; all products are packaged in fully recyclable PET plastic or glass containers and are sold and shipped in recyclable cardboard boxes and paper bags. Even the adhesives and labels contain no animal products and nothing is ever tested on animals.
Keeping it simple for now but hoping to expand further in the future, there are 3 different lotion constituencies for 3 different skin types, and 2 flavour varieties: sweet orange and vanilla, and lavender and rose geranium. The lip butters also come in cocoa, coconut and vanilla, all enriched with essential oils. Lucy’s thoughts were that as a small brand, you should start small and build your identity and reputation, and trust and loyalty are particularly important when it comes to skincare.

On the left you can see the full Lucky Cloud range at The Scottish Design Exchange, including some gorgeous cosmetics bags too. I love Lucy’s approach to design and merchandising, making sure the product is the star of the show. In terms of marketing, Lucy has found instagram to be the single most important tool, and has really enjoyed finding like-minded communities; something I think all creative individuals, myself included, really thrive on.On a really positive end-note, Lucy encourages everyone to shop for smaller brands and avoid larger corporations,  in order to get the most ethical products, and usually the best results, while supporting emerging designers and makers to make their living doing what they love. What’s more, Lucy gave me her three best skincare tips to follow (and trust me-I took them seriously coming from someone with totally flawless skin!):

1. D
ont strip back too much or overwash and cleanse, including make-up wipes, as heavy soaps/chemicals strip natural oils from the skin and de-regulate skin oil production.

2. Repeated moisturising- every day with a good quality moisturiser that’s right for your skin type

3. An obvious one…drink LOTS of water!

Ruth @ Urbanity xxx

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Cruelty Free Face Products

I was having a very bad skin day, as you can see on the left, but with a few lotions and potions, I easily turned that around. 

The best part? All the products I used are 100% cruelty free (excluding parent companies e.g. L’oreal/Unilever that do), so no nasty animal testing. What’s more, they mostly contain natural and hypo-allergenic ingredients, so great news for sensitive skin! 

For a full breakdown and review of the look, read on, and for a master list of all the cruelty-free make up brands on the market, click here! 

I started off with some much needed prep this morning; a face mask and a bubble bath, as I was feeling ill too so it killed two birds with one stone. I absolutely adore Superdrug’s own brand range of face masks. They all smell good enough to eat and really make you feel pampered. After rinsing the White Chocolate Mousse mask off, I used Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser (one of my goodie bag treats from the Hunted Vintage launch event) which I have totally fallen in love with. After use, your skin feels soft, clean and primed to perfection. Some Soothing Facial Toner and Hydrating Light Moisturiser from Simple did the trick to fully clear my face of all dirt, make up and oils, and thoroughly smoothed the surface.

Now for the fun part: the make up! I discovered a new haven for cruelty free, natural make up, somewhere I would never normally venture to for cosmetics. Good old M&S! Marks and Sparks have some great new brands, including Pürminerals, which is a little pricey but definitely worth it once you try. The Correcting Primer is really amazing, not only does it make your skin feel like a cloud (so damn soft!) but the greenish colour means that redness (something I am prone to) is dramatically reduced and controlled. I topped it off with their 4-in-1 foundation which is really light and easy to apply, gives SPF protection and promises 14 hour wear! Finally, I finished the look with the new contouring and highlighting crayons by Rosie for Autograph (curated by Rosie Huntington-Whiteley). The Starstruck Contour stick applied on my cheekbones, nose and jawline gave my face a much more chiselled appearance, and the Starstruck Highlighter on the upper cheeks and browline gave a subtle shimmer and shine. 
Look out for this ‘Leaping Bunny’ symbol on cosmetic and cleaning products to guarantee no animal testing or animal ingredients!
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