Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Miranda Kerr Inspired Makeup

For my latest YouTube video I did a makeup look, using vegan products, inspired by Miranda Kerr. Now, I think she is so naturally beautiful and thankfully she is very open about her many secrets to looking so good. She vows by yoga, eating well (she studied nutrition) and 'being beautiful from the inside out'. I personally think she is a wonderful role-model (especially considering the current media which tends to be filled with surgically enhanced 'celebrities' checking into rehab) it's so refreshing having somebody like Miranda who always appears just at peace with herself.

Her usual makeup look is relatively simplistic, she tends to wear a soft brown eye but with a splash of colour on her lips, you'd certainly never see her with big false eyelashes and caked on foundation. Below is the picture which I used as inspiration for my video as I knew that I wanted to incorporate a bold pink lip in order to use my new Bare Minerals lipstick which is part of the 'Marvelous Moxie' collection in the shade 'risk it all'. I think, however, without the lipstick and with just a nice lip gloss that this is a perfect everyday makeup look. 

I think the following quote by Miranda is really beautiful and says a lot about her mentality when it comes to real beauty; 

“A rose can never be a sunflower, and a sunflower can never be a rose. All flowers are beautiful in their own way, and that’s like women too. I want to encourage women to embrace their own uniqueness.” 

I will hope to do a more in-depth post about Miranda, a think she's a real positive inspiration, which tends to be a fairly hard thing to come by nowadays.

love, bean xx

Monday, 29 July 2013

Ultimate favourite of the month; Booja-Booja

I think out of the few videos that I've put onto my YouTube channel so far I have mentioned in pretty much all of them a heavenly brand which is a slight obsession of mine; ''Booja-Booja''. There we go, blogpost done; enough said.

Well, I may say slightly more. It's a brand which I came across a few months back when my Mum & sister got given a box which was an assortment of various booja-booja chocolates. Of course, due to my nosey disposition I had to try them too. I can think of few pleasures in life which I deem equivalent to those feelings that I had tasting those chocolates for the first time. 

I found that my favourite of all the chocolates were probably the champagne truffles, made with french champagne. Each time I eat one of those little wonders it reminds me of the fact that some of the best things in life really do come in small packages. However I do generally care very little for small things, especially when it comes to chocolate, but the compact chocolate sized treat that Mr Booja created is suffice. Well, this is dependant on the type of day you've had, some days call for a slightly higher dosage of chocolate.

Of course, the next best thing to Booja chocolate is Booja ice-cream. Now this stuff really is dangerous, my self-control tends to be fairly in tact when it comes to the truffles but for the ice-cream? Forget it. I can easily guzzle my way through a freezers worth. The simplistic recipe leaves me dazzled every-time, if something so simple with barely a handful of ingredients is so scrumptious then why are all our supermarkets filled with chemically, poisonous shit? Excuse my french.

Writing this post I realise I'm also giving away the secrets to winning my heart. It's a simple formula really: Bean + Booja product = Happy Bean. I feel I have done my good deed for the day, sharing the meaning of life for all people to freely read as they please. Happy eating!

love, bean xx

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Urban Decay Naked Palette (for vegans!)

In my last post I spoke about the brand 'Urban Decay' and as a follow up to that I am going to do a quick review on a fully vegan eye-shadow palette that I put together from their range. It was really in replacement for their naked palette which sadly doesn't have enough vegan shades to make it worth buying. Now, finding pigmented eye-shadows in general is pretty difficult but add onto that requirement list being vegan as well; you can near enough forget it. This was my opinion until I came across these little wonders:

I wanted a fairly neutral palette because I like having the option to range from simple day-to-day to a fairly glamorous evening look. I have found these colours to be perfect for that range, they are easily built up but regardless of which look you're going for you can guarantee that they will stay nicely without smudging or drifting throughout the day. The four colours I went with (from lightest to darkest) were 'Space Cowboy', 'Virgin', 'Buck' & 'Darkhorse'. 

Urban Decay do much more adventurous colours then the ones I chose but I thought these four were a good place to start. The most unique I think is the sparkly one because it is ridiculously pigmented without being too overwhelming and it really stays, this is quite nice in the inner corners of the eye or patted on-top of the other shades. They all blend wonderfully together but without turning a murky colour which is very easy with a lot of eyeshadows nowadays. I really do recommend that you have a look at the full range of what Urban Decay has to offer so that you can find colours that suit you and your preferences! 

love, bean xx

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Chloe's Mac & Cheese

So, on my latest YouTube video for 'Skills Saturday' (link below) I made the all time classic 'Mac & Cheese'. Due to the fact that I am a pretty awful cook it had many inevitable ups and downs. The recipe was taken from the amazing cookbook by one of my favourite vegan's Chloe Coscarelli, whose website is I met her earlier this year and she is such a bubbly and smiley person, her smile was pretty contagious! 

During the video I found myself slightly overwhelmed when there were so many things going on (memory cards running out, pasta nearly done, etc) and in the end I wasn't able to film the entire process of making the sauce. Now, the video was also more than anything to show that if I can cook vegan food then you can too therefore it wasn't specifically about the dish. However, if you are interested in recreating the dish, which I hope that you are because it turned out so good, then you can get the recipe (and 124 more!) in Chloe's book which really is worth getting. However, the ingredients for this specific recipe are as follows:

  • 1 pound macaroni
  • 1/4 cup vegan margarine
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour (I used gluten-free)
  • 3 cups soy, almond, or rice milk (I used almond)
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt (I used pink Himalayan)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder (I used a bit of fresh garlic instead - worked a treat!)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (I just randomly squeezed 1/2 a fresh lemon in)
  • 1 tablespoon agave
  • 2 tablespoons seasoned bread crumbs (I used 2 small slices of a leftover wholemeal hovis loaf!)

Don't forget, like I did, that the conversions are different in American books including the temperature that the oven needs to be set at. I also halved the recipe as it normally serves 6. I hope you enjoy the video and that you have as much fun as I did at trying to recreate this wonderful feel good dish. 

Love, bean xx

Friday, 26 July 2013

Where's the big Vegan Community?

So here I am, it's god knows what hour in the morning but there is something on my mind. I'm currently trying to create a YouTube channel specifically for vegans and aspiring vegans to learn how to apply this lifestyle in the modern world. I want it to be for teenagers, and adults, who want to know things like what vegan makeup there is out there, what ready meals are available at supermarkets and how to have things like a vegan pamper evening. These are all scenarios which I think people need to have the answers to in one place instead of bits and bobs here there and everywhere. I think there are so many people who share the same vision which is good but instead of there being lots of different smaller groups I think to be great, and to share this message we believe in, that it is vital to unite.

It is really frustrating sitting here and realising that there doesn't seem to be a spokesperson, a personality driving this force to bring together what I think is a huge community of people who currently don't seem to be interacting with each-other, at least not to their full potential. I reckon if the general population knew how to apply this lifestyle in a realistic way, not just knowing why they should do it (for example what PETA offers), then lots more people would be content with making that shift to 'veganism'. But I am beginning to see that it's going to take a lot of effort to initiate that push in bringing a whole lot of people from all the corners of the world together. How am I going to try and make that effort in beginning that driving force? I have no idea. But I'm ready to do it. 

love, bean xx

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Urban Decay Makeup

My most recent purchase has to be one of my favourite vegan finds in a long while, and that's saying something considering the luck I've had in finding some incredible brands and products. It was my first visit not so long ago to the beauty range 'Urban Decay', I was intrigued by their ethos and aims when I was having a good old browse on the Internet and following a quick visit on their American website I knew my only choice was to try and find a store and see the makeup in person. Luckily both 'House of Fraser' and 'Debenhams' stock them so it was pretty easy in the UK (and from what I can tell in most countries) to find a store near me.

Perhaps I got lucky but the shop assistant who served me was just so lovely! She does a lot of work in the middle east for Urban Decay and had a good history with the company so was able to readily give me some more detailed information about the brand. In each store they have a handbook type thing which for a vegan is absolutely golden, it is filled with all sorts of factual wonders such as a list of all their products with ticks stating which of their products are vegan, gluten free, etc.

They do absolutely no animal testing and the majority of their products are vegan. For example not all of their mascaras are vegan but they do have one which is, however all of their foundations are vegan. Not only is Urban Decay perfect for accessibility purposes due to there being stores located everywhere but their makeup is genuinely incredible! I think their range of colours and products is impeccable, it means that it is totally down to your own individual style and preferences, there are no limited choices just because you don't want to harm any animals in the process of putting on your makeup! Their 'Naked Eyeshadow Palette' is the biggest selling eyeshadow palette worldwide which is partly due to how pigmented their eye shadows are and the fact that they last all day long.

''Beauty with an Edge''

Another thing I love about this brand is that it has always been their aim to be free from cruelty and they are constantly developing their products to be vegan while maintaining their quality. Of course few things in life are perfect so it isn't altogether surprising that even this wonder brand has faults for example, their parent company isn't cruelty free. However, there are so many positives about this company that I don't really want to get too picky and let some of these details detract from what I love about this brand. Another slight downfall is their prices too, however I think they are definitely worth investing in due to the reviews I've read on how long the products last as well as their amazing results. After all, I believe it's all about quality not quantity.

I am going to do a review on the Vegan eyeshadows that I brought in the very near future and I shall also incorporate them into a makeup look on my YouTube Channel. I think Urban Decay is well worth a look into, it is getting so easy to make the transitions over to vegan makeup but I just don't think this company promotes what they have to offer for the vegan community well enough for people to be aware. However, have a look online for a store near you and just check them out; even if nothing takes your fancy (which I highly doubt!) you may end up, like me, having a riveting conversation for ages with the lovely shop assistants they have!

Love, bean xx

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Now is the only time

Tiredness, stress, anger, death; recently I have felt so overwhelmed by these negative things that seem to try and take over my life, perhaps to an extent I've also been ignorant and not accepted the power they can have on your life if you allow them. As of late in the news there have been far too many articles for my comfort about young people tragically dying, due to both self-inflicted and natural causes. No cause of death makes it, for me, any less heart-breaking when you can see the masses of potential that these youngsters had. I think it also hits home pretty hard as I, like many others, am at a cross road in my life where I’m choosing the direction that I want to take, a decision that determines so much, not only for me but potentially for others too. In retrospect I see how self-absorbed I’ve been in my tedious everyday actions, forgetting to actually start living and appreciating each moment I'm gifted with.

I was in a fair amount of shock last night when I hear the news that a 13 year old girl called Talia had died, whose outlook on life had and will continue to teach me so much about what constitutes to real living. She was fighting cancer for 6 years yet she had hundreds of thousands of people subscribed to her on YouTube, and reached out to even more, inspiring so many to be a little happier and worry a little less. She inspired me personally in so many ways and the thing that hurt me the most about hearing of her death is that there was so much that I wanted to continue to learn from her. She accepted her situation, she wasn’t afraid to show how she was feeling and she did what made her truly happy. Need I say much more about this wonderful person? Ellen Degeneres was right when she described her as having an 'old soul'. I believe that she took her life firmly in both hands and ran with it, letting nothing slow her down. At 13 she had achieved more than most do in a lifetime because she was motivated and wasn’t going to let her personal demon, cancer, stand in her way, which would have been a much better excuse then most to not want to fight and achieve as much as they can. 

When I watched her videos it often made me feel so silly about myself because I'd been worrying and letting myself get upset about the most tedious of things yet she was teaching others incredible lessons. For instance, accepting your situation and the truth but not letting it dominate your life and instead highlighting the things that you do like, for her it was through the means of showing her bald head yet wearing makeup and showing off her favourite features of her face. This in itself makes me want to fight, I want to fight against my natural instinct of letting other people and the little voice in my head influence how much I achieve. I have a fair amount of dreams and I feel, even just in honour to Talia, that I should try my hardest to make sure that they come true. Recognise what it is that you want to achieve then run with it, don’t ever look back just keep on going. The second you stop and try to apply conventional logic then may lose the true wild spirit that it takes to achieve the most extravagant of aspirations.

Love, bean xx

Sunday, 14 July 2013

A Genuine Smile

I was on the train making my way to Glasgow and my head was pretty full with irrelevant worries which as the train progressed, through increasingly more beautiful countryside, seemed to gradually slip away. At one moment all I could see was fields which stretched for miles, slightly resembling a patchwork blanket consisting of hundreds of different shades of green. The next minute the train was surrounded by hills, with sparse white dots scattered across them. I think it's safe to say that the bliss scenery was a pretty big factor in helping me get lost away from my thoughts.

However, something much smaller caught my eye throughout the journey. A minor little detail, I may have been the only person to notice, but a woman was sat in the corner just taking in her surroundings yet there was something so pleasant about her. At first I couldn't quite put my finger on what it was about her that captured my attention to such a degree, whatever it was it made me want to just sit down with her over a brew. Yet she was just an ordinary woman. After a while had passed I figured that the part about her that was so inviting it was her most infectious smile. Once I was conscious of it I couldn't then help it, she'd passed on the disease to me. There was no way I couldn't not smile about somebody who just seemed to be so content with life, making everything seem simple. 

She could have been going through something awful, her life could have been the biggest mess imaginable but you'd never have guessed it due to the genuine smile painted across her face. For me, it was inspiring. I couldn't believe the difference it made to my mood almost instantaneously, I was absolutely intrigued by her friendly and calm disposition. It got me thinking what a difference it could make if everybody incorporated that simple gesture into their lives. We have little control over the majority of things in our life, ultimately we just have to go with the flow, but this is something that anybody and everybody can do. 

It's simple and in the grand scheme of things it's probably towards the bottom end of most people's priority list. But we just don't know how it could change somebodies day, like it did to me. And after a while you may even find it turns into a bit of a habit which helps you in creating an overall happier mentality. A genuine smile, who knew something free and so in-elaborate could make such an impact on a person's day.   

Love, bean xx

''Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.''
-Leo Buscaglia 

10... Vegan Celebrities

I want to do a small and simple segment on this blog of lists of 10. The lists will cover a range of topics, starting with celebrities! 
  1. Russell Brand
  2. Ellen DeGeneres
  3. Kristen Bell
  4. Bill Clinton
  5. Emily Deschanel
  6. Avril Lavigne
  7. Jason Mraz
  8. Michelle Pfeiffer
  9. Brad Pitt
  10. Ben Stiller