11

Vegusto, A Review

Last month when I first became vegan I mostly ate fresh veg with bread, potatoes or rice, apart from snacks. This month I’ve been experimenting with vegan dairy and meat substitutes! Vegusto are a fairly new company well-known for their vegan cheese although they also do snacks, drinks, vitamins, pet foods and meat substitutes. I was so excited when they sent me a goodie bag full of food to review since I was on the hunt for a good vegan cheese!

Vegusto Review / Jessthetics12The first thing I tried was this Mushroom and Cheese burger. I fried it for a couple of minutes and ate it with tomatoes, extra cheese and chilli sauce! I was pleasantly surprised – it was thicker and firmer than I thought it would be and it was very mushroomy! To compare, it was similar to a Quorn beef burger (which are not vegan), but with more flavour!

Vegusto Review / JesstheticsVegusto Review / JesstheticsI fried the Farmhouse Style Sausage for a couple of minutes and ate it with mash, gravy and cauliflower cheese. Similar to the burger, the sausage had a firm meaty texture. It also had a strong smoky flavour which I wasn’t so keen on, but James loved it! It’s definitely the chunkiest Vegan Sausage I’ve come across.

Vegusto Review / JesstheticsVegusto Review / JesstheticsWe used the No Moo Melty Cheese to make an enormous vegan pizza! This is my favourite meal that I created using Vegusto products. I grated one half of the cheese under the veg and the other half on top. The cheese wasn’t as melty as I thought it would be, but that might be because we put it under the grill. This cheese has a very mild flavour and is the most similar to other vegan cheeses that I’ve tried –  it was lovely on the pizza and would be nice in lasagne and moussakka but it’s not similar enough to cheese for me to eat it by itself. Although, James said he would buy this again.

Vegusto Review / JesstheticsVegusto Review / JesstheticsThe two Vegusto hard cheeses are hands down the nicest vegan cheeses I’ve ever tried. I swear you wouldn’t know that it isn’t real cheese! This No-Muh Aromatic cheese tastes like a medium cheddar and I ate it with apple chutney on a panini. I would eat this cheese by itself straight from the fridge, or on crackers! It cut like real cheese and it was crumbly like cheddar too, with a tangy flavour.

Vegusto Review / JesstheticsVegusto Review / JesstheticsThe No-Muh Piquant was also lovely. This cheese is my favourite! I ate it on top of a panini and grilled veg, and it is most similar to a mild parmesan. It’s more crumbly and has a stronger flavour than the No-Muh Aromatic but I would also eat this cheese straight from the fridge.

Vegusto Review / JesstheticsVegusto Review / jesstheticsDid you know that most dark chocolate is vegan? Now you do! This coconut and raspberry dark chocolate is no exception, and I enjoyed this with a cup of tea and an episode of Buffy 🙂 The sweetness of the raspberry really cut through the bitterness of the chocolate and the coconut was a nice crunch, although the coconut flavour didn’t stand out.

Don’t forget that you could win all of these Vegusto goodies and more by entering my giveaway! Have you tried any vegan meat, cheese or chocolate products?

5

January in Review

This month has been good to me. I started a new job at my old Students Union, moved into a beautiful new house (after lots of stressful phone calls) with James and became vegan! I’m planning to write about becoming vegan in a bit more depth, but for now I can say that I’ve really enjoyed it and have been pleasantly surprised by the wide variety of food I’ve been eating. Being in York, I’ve spent my weekends with my gorgeous friends, and enjoyed having visitors to stay. I even managed to write a couple of blog posts too!

I began the month (and the year!) with some resolutions. I haven’t achieved any of my goals yet but I’m getting there.

I wrote three outfit posts this month. January has not been a month of adventurous outfits – I have been reaching for simple and comfy recently, I think it’s something to do with winter. My favourite outfit is my blue velvet dress but I also wrote about my stripey trousers and my Zara jumper.

blue velvet 5I shared a couple of craft projects this month too! Hands down, my favourite was the Mario Mushroom Crochet Blanket that I finished and gave to my brother. I worked on it for so long, and it couldn’t have turned out better! I was also pretty chuffed with the lavender bunnies I made with my mum as Christmas presents, and I’m pleased to have embroidered my last two patterns (here and here) for the autumn stitching club.

mario mushroom 1My favourite post this month was my discussion of cruelty free beauty. I got some lovely responses, you guys are the best!

cruelty free beauty 7I finished off the month by interviewing one of my favourite ever bloggers, Helena! I loved finding out more about her, and I’m planning to share an interview with another of my blogger fave’s next month 🙂

Have you had a good January?

13

Cruelty Free Beauty

As you may or may not know I’ve been a vegetarian for almost three years now. It’s something I’m very committed to, and I try to only buy products which aren’t harmful to animals (or people!) It’s not until recently, though, that I’ve given much thought to my choice of cosmetics. I read blog posts by Chelsea and Libby which pointed out that some cosmetics are still tested on animals. Testing beauty products on animals creates unnecessary suffering – we don’t need to test them on animals, plenty of companies use alternative methods! I’ve therefore stopped buying products from companies that test on animals. It’s been a difficult transition, though, since it’s often unclear whether companies test or not. Often, the “finished product” isn’t animal tested, but the ingredients are, or the company says they “don’t test on animals” but they’re paying someone else to do it for them. To make things more difficult, the Chinese law requires that all beauty products must be animal tested, which means that if a beauty company stocks in China it is not cruelty free. Confused yet? Here are the cruelty free (as far as I know) products that work for me!

cruelty free beauty 1

Urban Decay This is hands down the most expensive make up I own, but it is both vegan and cruelty free! Their Naked Skin foundation is the only foundation I’ve found that actually matches my skin tone, and it’s lovely and light so it doesn’t look cakey or make me break out. I’m not really sure what the point of primer is, but I’ve been dutifully wearing it, and my foundation lasts all day so maybe it is working! The mascara is also a favourite of mine – it’s gives me long lashes without the clumps. Plus, the Urban Decay lady in Debenhams is really nice. I’ve been coveting an Urban Decay lipstick for a while now!

cruelty free beauty 2

The Body Shop – Originally The Body Shop was the holy grail in cruelty free beauty, founded by the activist Anita Roddick, but it’s now owned by L’Oreal who do test on animals.I’m not really sure how I feel about this. I’m new to skin care, but I’m giving it a go. I’ve been cleansing toning and moisturising twice a day for a couple of weeks. I haven’t noticed an improvement, but I haven’t had any problems either which is unusual for my super sensitive skin. I’m going to be patient and see if there’s an accumulative effect!

cruelty free beauty 3

Zoya / Wet ‘n Wild / Barry M / Models Own – There are a surprisingly large amount of cruelty free nail varnish brands. Zoya is my favourite – it’s opaque in one coat and doesn’t chip easily. Models Own do the best glitter polishes, and Barry M is inexpensive and has a huge selection – I love their gelly polishes!

cruelty free beauty 4

Eco Tools – Apart from a snapped-in-half blusher brush that I’ve had for at least five years, this is the first make up brush that I’ve bought! It really is super soft and applies my foundation evenly. If I buy another make up brush, I will get it from them! Not only are they cruelty free, they’re also eco friendly and donate a lot of their proceeds to charity.

cruelty free beauty 5

Soap and Glory – I love Soap and Glory moisturisers! Hand Food, Butter Yourself, The Righteous Butter, they’re all good. Before Christmas the Yule Monty box was the Boots offer of the Week and I bought it (with my staff discount) for £23. Everything smells delicious, although I probably wouldn’t pay full price for the shower gel and the lip plump felt like it was burning rather than “tingling.”

cruelty free beauty 6

The Natural Collection – As you can see by the battered containers, I’ve had this blusher and eyeshadow for a while. I use the brown eyeshadow for my brows, and this is my everyday blusher. Since The Natural Collection is budget friendly I buy the kind of makeup here that doesn’t improve when you spend more money on it (pencil eyeliner, blusher etc.) and I love their gold eyeshadow!

cruelty free beauty 7cruelty free beauty 8

LUSH – I’ve saved the best for last. Lush is cruelty free, vegan, they have an emphasis on being eco-friendly and they campaign for a lot of good causes. I have a bit of a lush addiction at the moment. Every time I visit town I go in and smell all the bath bombs, which smell delicious and make my skin lovely and soft. They’re often glittery and contain “surprises”… and I love surprises! I recently tried out some of their “Emotional Brilliance” range. I have the blue “Control” liquid makeup (which I wear as lipstick) and the dark red “Confidence” liquid lipstick which took a while to get used to but is a lovely colour.

I hope that was helpful. Have you tried out any cruelty free products? If you want read read more about bunny friendly beauty, here are some resources that I’ve been finding super helpful… mo’adore Blog / Leaping Bunny / My Beauty Bunny / PETA Cruelty Free / Go Cruelty Free