new year

5 January 2017

ethical consumer green beauty new year resolutions
Here we are folks the start of a new year and we're being bombarded with detox diets and shit your pants slimming teas *sigh*. I've never been one for a list of resolutions but there is nothing wrong with setting ourselves little goals throughout the year. Whilst you are on your new year buzz, January is the perfect time to make small changes and with that in mind let me run through a few ideas to find your feet as an ethical consumer.

Overhaul your skincare routineIf you are thinking more about what you put into your body it makes sense to consider what goes onto your skin. I’m a believer that Green Beauty is better for the environment and our bodies. If your skin is feeling the effects of the cold weather perhaps now is the time to switch to a luxurious natural and/or organic body wash, body butter or balm. The first ingredients I ditched from my skincare products was SLS/SLES and the rest followed. For a quick reference check my page with a list of ingredients to avoid. Buy what you can afford. Organic skincare can be expensive but don’t feel pressure to have the latest £100 magic balm everyone is raving about. I have a strict monthly budget for a reason and it’s important to stick to it. 

Consider the environment - if you can't commit fully to Green Beauty then please consider the impact of your skincare on the world around us. We all love a nice Summer holiday on the beach so lets take more care when it comes to marine life. Microbeads in scrubs are due to be banned but you could get one step ahead and switch to a natural alternative (I recommend Antipodes). Facial wipes are clogging our drains so stop flushing them down the loo and switch to re-useable or biodegradable alternatives (I recommend RMS Beauty). Cotton buds with plastic stems are causing concerns in our oceans so switch to brands using paper (I recommend Organyc).

Buy local - support your community and shop with independent stores. I always chose my local health food store before heading off to the big supermarkets. Not only do you support the local economy but often the products stocked are from smaller businesses. You might find new-to-you brands that can't get stocked in bigger stores so a win win for everyone involved.

Be a friend to animals - are the products you buy really cruelty free? your makeup might be but what about those products you use around your home? Think about the brands you shop with and support those with good ethics (e.g. don't sell in China) and beware of parent companies that test. Consider a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle but if that's not within your reach right now how about trying meat free Mondays?

Ditch fast fashion - this one I feel is the hardest because of budget and sizing constraints but I'd love to invest more in ethical and sustainable clothing. It's not just about the materials used but also factory conditions. Child labour in both the beauty and clothing industry is very concerning.

Greening up your lifestyle isn’t a competition. Every act you take on is important whether the impact is big or small. Have fun with it but also feel happy about doing your part.

Sarah x

30 December 2014

Sugarpuffish Yearly Blog Review 2014
2014 is officially coming to an end and I have decided to keep up with my tradition to look back at personal highlights from another year of blogging.

New Beauty Brands
Looking back through my blog posts, I have reviewed some lovely products, many of which I am sure will be repurchased in 2015. I have written reviews of Chilly B, Circaroma, Cyril’s Soap Shed, Dash Skincare, OliElla, Olive & Rose, Orchard View, Pure Chimp, Ruth Romano, Saint Maren, The Aromatree Company, The Earth Work Cosmetics, The Rose Tree, Tiddley Pom and TouLou.

Best Non Beauty 
I wanted to give a mention to Mangle & Wringer because their household cleaners are still keeping my kitchen sink clean. I have been super impressed with their products.

Favourite Skincare
My haircare routine has remained unchanged. I still love Odylique Gentle Herb shampoo and Desert Essence Red Raspberry conditioner. I predicted Blue Labelle would be a repeat purchase throughout 2014 and I was right. Other products which have impressed me have been from Chilly B, the OliElla Moisturiser and Bloom Remedies Pillow Mist.

New Experiences
This year I was asked back to help judge for the Free From Skincare Awards and I also had the opportunity to do the same for the Free From Food Awards. The latter put me off eating cereal for the rest of 2014 (#joke). This year I attended my first meet up and not just one but two of them. There was the Field Trip Tour in July and the Reading Meet Up in October. I had a wonderful time and finally met all the beautiful ladies who I chat with on Twitter. Let me give a shout out to Rachel, Jen, Amber and Liz for being awesome.

Free From Foods
I feel as if 2014 has been a bumper year for Free From foods. I discovered Rebel Kitchen, Ten Acre Crisps, Almond Dream, Jollyum, Violife, Frank Bars, Nom Bars and Sweet Freedom Choc Shot. I also had a memorable visit to Cookies & Scream, in Camden.

Health
This year, I set the wheels in motion to have my allergies reassessed. As much as I appreciate the NHS the wait between appointments has been lengthy. So far I’ve had some of my existing allergies confirmed but was also diagnosed with OAS and birch pollen allergy. I had referrals to a dietitian, a dermatologist and I will return to my Allergy Consultant in 2015. 

Holidays
This year I visited Lisbon which I instantly fell in love with, who can forget that little Vegetarian cafe I stumbled across in the maze of cobbled streets. I also visited Madrid and filled up on paella and culture.

2014 has certainly been enjoyable and interesting. I haven't made any specific plans for my blog in 2015 but I hope you will continue to join me on my blogging journey.

Sarah x

30 December 2013

As everyone prepares to say Goodbye to 2013, I thought I would round up my blogging year with a summary of my personal highlights. I wrote a similar post last year and it's interesting to look back on the goals I set out to achieve with my blog.

New Beauty Brands Discovered - I found some wonderful brands this year – Bathing Beauty, Lyonsleaf, Peppy Galore, Inner Soul, Opulentia Organics, Bloom Remedies, B Skincare, Big Green Tree, Mel Millis, Marble & Milkweed and Kris D'Armour.

Favourite Skincare - It would appear cleansers and facial oils were my most loved products to review. I can see myself repurchasing Antipodes, Blue Labelle and Odylique during 2014.

Favourite Brands - I think it's fair to say this year was dominated by Essential Care and Deep Steep with a bit of Antipodes, Bodhi and Desert Essence thrown in along the way.

Exciting Experience - Taking part in the Free From Skincare Award judging stages was a brilliant experience which I thoroughly enjoyed. 

New Ventures - I ventured into the world of YouTube this year and I have enjoyed the experience so far despite the pain of editing and camera issues. I see it as an extension of my blog and it offers a new way to interact with followers. I'd like to thank my friend Pete for allowing me to use his music for a little intro jingle, he's a talented person.

Meeting People - A shout out to the fantastic bloggers I finally got to meet up with this year – Alice (Brightown Girl), Kat (Tales of a Pale Face), Jessica (Spoiltface) and Andy (Pampered Prince).

Green Blogging Community - this year I have seen a rise in the number of bloggers, from around the world, who have a passion for the environment and non toxic skincare. It is really nice to finally fit in somewhere after always feeling a bit of an outsider to the main beauty blogging community. I have experienced online bullying and in a weird way I feel safer in this little niche community where I know people have similar beliefs and passions about ingredients.

Free From Foods - The release of Ms Cupcakes cookbook was hugely exciting and it has been a year of delicious Vegan cupcakes and an ever expanding belly. Vegfest was also another highlight for me, my first "cream" cake in over 20 years and not forgetting the amazing Mighty Fork hot dogs.

Fingers crossed 2014 brings me as much blogging excitement as 2013.

Sarah x

1 January 2013

new year 2013

When I started my blogging journey my aim was to spread the word about natural personal care products but also share my experiences of eczema and allergies. I have been passionate about natural beauty for many years but there are ingredients I still do not understand fully. I never want to preach about the bad stuff but simply raise awareness. I do not get it right every time and even get lazy with checking ingredients (that goes for food & skincare). I have even caused controversy blogging about products containing ALS (ammonium lauryl sulphate) and Phenoxyethanol. It was not a negative experience as I like the interaction with readers.

On the flip side I have enjoyed sharing my free from food discoveries. I don’t have the time to run a separate blog on this topic so I see it as a way to break up the beauty reviews and appeals to a wider audience. I am now heading into my 27th year since being diagnosed with allergies. 2012 has been the year I learn to make dairy & egg free cupcakes. It’s important to share that baking for allergies is not difficult.

Joining Twitter opened up many great opportunities not only for product reviews but for “meeting” natural beauties and free from foodies. I discovered many natural bloggers from around the world. Of course on the allergy side there is a group of dairy free ladies who brighten my day with chats about living with our allergies/intolerances – special thank you to @lovelactosefree, @N1C79 & @dairyfree.

Looking forward at 2013 there is not much I want to change about my blog. I want to keep introducing you to new brands and discover more from my favourite ones. 2012 has been a tough year financially for many so I have made a conscious effort to keep a balance between high end and budget product reviews. I will continue this into 2013. Even though my blog focuses on a natural and free from lifestyle I want it to appeal to everyone. I hope those who don’t have eczema or allergies will still try the products I recommend. If your New Year's resolution is to go organic and natural then here are some words of wisdom -

1. Take small steps, the easiest ingredients to eliminate are mineral oil/petroleum, SLS and parabens. 

2. Remember natural products does not always mean high end prices. Shop around as handmade products can often be budget friendly. 

3. Beware of Greenwashing. Just because a product contains natural plant extract it does not automatically mean it is free from synthetic ingredients.

4. Research your product ingredients and manufacturers. If a Company does not list ingredients on their website or respond to an email when you request this information, generally they have something to hide.


Thanks for sticking with my blog during 2012. I wish you and your family a healthy, prosperous and happy new year!

Sarah x

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