Ethical Christmas Gifts Galore

This is officially prime Christmas-gift buying time. Perhaps you’re sporadic and spontaneous with your gift-buying, and yet it always seems to slot into place just in the nick of time. Or maybe you’re organised to the extreme, armed with a meticulously designed time chart with allocated slots for each gift-hunt, colour co-ordinated for each side of the family. Either way, you might care to sample our specially selected list of ethical and vegan Christmas gifts to get your gift-inspiration flowing.

For the Green-Fingered

Beyond Skin Vegan Shoes Gardening 1

Images courtesy of Edun Project, Green Tulip & Smart Solar

It’s ever so sensible to have something to look forward to for 2016, to get through that dreaded January. Gardening gifts certainly fit the bill.

  1. Wildlife Habitats, Edun Project, £18.50-£360. We are so in love with these cute little wildlife habitats, accommodating everything from frogs to bees to bats.Made from sustainably-sourced wood or recycled plastic, these little houses would be the perfect way to protect your local wildlife (and get to take a sneaky peek at them too!)
  2. Solar-Powered Multi-Glow Gem String Lights, Smart Solar, £24.99. These sparkly garden jewels would be a delicate way to dress up the garden, and they have no mains wiring whatsoever. They automatically light up at night. Sweet!
  3. Gardening Tools, Green Tulip, £8. This spade and trowel is made with certified organic bamboo, which is the fastest growing plant in the world. It’s considered an endlessly renewable resource, and renews without needing pesticides or fertilisers. These garden tools are Fair Trade as well, so you can be sure these are not only useful but totally ethical too.

For the Sweet-Toothed

Beyond Skin Vegan Shoes Sweets

Images courtesy of Montezuma, Jealous & Booja-Booja

When buying these gifts, I think it’s only sensible to order one too many of these sweet treats, so you can taste-test them yourself. For quality-control purposes only, of course.

  1. Vegan Truffle Collection, Montezuma, £11.99-£16.99. I heard on the grapevine that these truffles are so creamy that they’re often mistaken for dairy chocolates, but rest assured, they’re 100% vegan! Inside the box you’ll find dark chocolate truffles with orange, coffee truffles, almond praline truffles and more. Swoon.
  2. Gourmet Selection, Booja-Booja, £16.99. These 20 diverse chocolate vegan truffles have won 30 awards! Need I say more? Luckily, the product description says that these chocolates are great for “sharing with friends and family”, so whoever you give them to, make sure you remind them to share.
  3. Sweet Adventures, Jealous Sweets, £8.99. These sour beans and tangy worms are 100% vegan and will please anyone with a penchant for sugar. With flavours including Morello Cherry, Pomegranate and Mango, it’s enough to make your mouth water.

For the Fashionistas

Beyond Skin Vegan Shoes Ethical Fashion

Images courtesy of PETA & People Tree

Whether your giftee has been leaving giant unsubtle hints about exactly what dress or which shoes they would like, or you know they’re keen to replenish their wardrobe with some on-trend ethical fashion, here’s where to look:

  1. Vaute Couture Gift Voucher, £21.15-£330.43. This brand is the brainchild of Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart and is based in Brooklyn. They’ve broken runway history by being the very first totally vegan fashion label to show at New York Fashion Week. They’re famous for their cosy warm vegan coats, and have just recently developed a vegan wool jumper, made from recycled industrial waste cotton. Not only vegan, but eco-friendly too!
  2. People Tree Gift Voucher, £10-£100. This Fair Trade and sustainable fashion label was founded by Safia Minney, who has even been awared an MBE for her work in Fair Trade and the fashion industry. This year People Tree teamed up with Zandra Rhodes, who is also a fervent advocate of sustainable fashion. Their collaborative collection is bright, bold and beautiful, and all made from 100% organic cotton.
  3. Beyond Skin Gift Voucher, £15-£500. That’s us! We started in 2001 with a mission to create shoes that were cruelty-free and totally gorgeous at the same time. Our shoes are made using polyutherane (PU), and next season we will be using PU made from 100% recycled PU! Our Dynamica suede is made using 100% recycled bottle tops and our rubber resin soles are 70% recycled, with an element of fresh material to retain the highest quality and durability. Our gift voucher is guaranteed to please.

For the Foodies

Beyond Skin Vegan Shoes Food

Images courtesy of Vorrei, Manna, Terre à TerreVintage Roots

The gift of gorging on delicious vegan food and lashings of vegan wine is one that won’t go unappreciated. If you’re giving these gifts to omnivorous friends, these luxurious hampers and restaurants would be an ideal introduction to vegan cuisine.

  1. Vorrei Vegan Dinner for Two Hamper, £48. This hamper will give you everything you need for a bellissimo Italian dinner for two, with Calabrian green olives, fettuccine pasta, sun dried tomato, almond & pistachio pate, chocolate-coated pistachios and vegan white wine. Beuon appetito!
  2. Manna Restaurant Gift Voucher, £25-£100. If you’re buying for a London-dweller, this gift certificate would likely provide a welcome break from staying in the house over winter. I’m fond of buying experiences for my friends and family, and Manna’s second-to-none vegan cuisine certainly is an experience worth sharing.
  3. Terre à Terre Gift Voucher, £15-£100. This restaurant is an icon of Brighton, serving delicious vegan and vegetarian food for 22 years. Taking a friend out to dinner post-Christmas would probably feel like a treat, seeing as our bank accounts might not be looking so rosy from the 25th onwards. But that’s what gift vouchers are good for.
  4. Vintage Roots Triple Delight Vegan Wine Case, £38. Of course, if you’d rather stay in over Christmas, this cheeky case of sumptuous vegan wine would be quite the treat.

For Him

Beyond Skin Vegan Shoes Men

Images courtesy of Matt & Nat, Cred Jewellery & Le Labo

Rather than buying some novelty socks (because I’m sure most men will already have plenty from previous Christmases), here’s some luxury vegan gift ideas for the fellas.

  1. David Black Briefcase, Matt & Nat, £134. This luxury vegan leather bag fits a 13 inch laptop and  has a 100% recycled nylon lining. It can also be worn cross-body with an adjustable and removable strap. Slick and smart, and cruelty-free.
  2. Silver Plain Square Cufflinks, Cred Jewellery, £132. These classic silver cufflinks are excellent examples of fine craftsmanship, as they are handmade in the UK from solid certified Fair Trade silver by Deakin and Francis.
  3. Santal 33 Fragrance For Men, Le Labo, £105. This fragrance is hailed as one of the greats, admired for its spicy, musky notes. This brand is 100% vegan and free of animal testing, and they ship to the UK all the way from New York.

For Her

Beyond Skin Vegan Shoes Beauty

Images courtesy of PHB Ethical Beauty, Inika & Lush

Beauty gift sets are not hard to find near Christmas time, but these are all 100% vegan and cruelty-free, all with a splash of luxury.

  1. 12 Days of Christmas Bath Box, Lush, £49.95. Lush have selected their 12 most popular products in one sweet-smelling package, from a Snow Angel bath melt to Yog Nog soap and a Holly Golightly bubble bar, this is festive cleanliness at its finest.
  2. All About Eyes Make-up Kit, Inika, £49.95. Certified organic, vegan, halal & cruelty-free, this make-up has it all. This is an ideal starter kit in vegan beauty, and includes a vegan eye shadow brush, a brow pencil, mineral eye shadow, creme eye shadow and make-up remover.
  3. Clarifying Hair Care Gift Set, PHB Ethical Beauty, £22.50. Enriched with Argan Oil and Sea Buckthorn, these hair care products nourish hair to make it softer and naturally healthy. This brand is cruelty-free, vegan and halal. The ideal gift for anyone to give their hair some love and attention in these cold winter months.

For the Kiddly-Winks

Beyond Skin Vegan Shoes Kids

Images courtesy of Kidz Labs, Lanka Kade & Moo Free

Last but not least, the children! After all, this is what Christmas is all about: seeing the expression of absolute wonder on their faces on Christmas morning.

  1. Merry Moos Christmas Selection Box, Moo Free, £3.99. This certified vegan selection box has a Bunnycomb Bar, a Cheeky Orange Bar, a Minty Moo Bar and a Chocolate Santa Bar, and is bound to be a hit with the kids!
  2. Kidz Labs Green Science Solar Robot, £18.95. Kids can recycle everyday materials to make their own moving robot, powered by solar panels with a motor to make it walk! You can make it a dinosaur or monster; the choice is theirs.
  3. Rag Doll, Lanka Kade, £9.95. This Fair Trade rag doll is handmade from 100& hand-loomed cotton in Sri Lanka. This company works to create opportunities for independence to their suppliers, ensuring local skills are respected, enhanced and secured. Plus, this little doll is has such a sweet face. What’s not to love?

And to wrap it all up…

Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 16.37.47

Image courtesy of Ethical Superstore

Fair Trade wrapping paper, of course!

Last Chance to Win £100 Credit at Beyond Skin! 

Don’t forget that we have a competition on at the moment: Pin to Win £100 credit at Beyond Skin! Competition Closes Monday 30th November. All you have to do to enter is:

  1. Follow Beyond Skin on Pinterest and repin this competition pin to a board called ‘Beyond Skin Pin to Win Luxury Vegan Shoes’
  2. Pin a minimum of 5 of your favourite styles from our website to your board
  3. Confirm your entry with a comment under our original contest pin with a link to your board
  4. Fingers, toes and paws crossed for luck!

Pin - 1 copy

Posted in Christmas Countdown, General Stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cruelty-Free Christmas Party Looks

It’s inescapable now: every advert from this point onwards will be Noel-themed, every high street shop will be blasting Slade, and every office will be buying tinsel for the filing cabinet. I for one am looking forward to cracking open the brandy and warming up some delicious chestnuts now they’re in season. One of the best things about the month of December is that the calendar is heavily embellished with a multitude of parties and gatherings. Whether you’re celebrating with friends or heading off to a bar on Christmas Eve, it’ll be the perfect excuse to get glammed up. Here’s three looks to give you a spot of outfit inspiration.

Festive Royalty

Beyond Skin Vegan Shoes 2

[Images courtesy of Reformation, Lime Crime, Viva Creatures! and Little Ondine]

This bold look has Christmassy accents through the colours and glittery textures whilst still maintaining simplicity, and it would work just swell at a sit-down dinner event.

  1. Duran Dress, Reformation, £117.02. This maxi dress oozes opulence. The confidence of the colour is balanced by the simple design. What’s more, this dress is made from surplus fabric. Thousands of yards of fabric are wasted from fashion houses that over-order, so Reformation has made good use of it by making trash into treasure. This particular garment used 6734 gallons less water than the industry standard, and saved 43lbs of CO2. Neat!
  2. Candy Apple Ruby Red with Crimson Glitter Gloss, Lime Crime, £11.19. Proudly vegan and cruelty-free brand Lime Crime always have the most vibrant of colours, and this one is certainly no exception. As gloss goes, you can’t get more festive than this. The only downside is someone will definitely know who you’ve kissed under the mistletoe, because it’s unlikely many others will be wearing such a rockstar gloss as this.
  3. Victor Vegan Leather Clutch, Viva Creatures!, £177.52. Just look at the geometric perfection that is this cruelty-free clutch. Described as their signature bag, they promise it will hold all your twilight-to-nightfall essentials, which is precisely the right time slot to have a party. This bag is off the scale for versatility, so could be used not just for Christmas parties, but for birthday parties and not-occassion-specific parties too.
  4. Gwyneth Black Court Shoe, Beyond Skin, £155. These have elegance written all over them. Covered in luxury Italian fabric with a delicate Mary-Jane strap around the ankle, these shoes are high-class. Their lifespan goes far beyond a Christmas party too, and would inject glamour into all manner of outfits. In red, this design sold out super fast, so snap yours up whilst they’re pre-orderable!
  5. New Year’s Nail Polish, Little Ondine, £11. Ok, so this polish is actually called New Year’s, but technically that is part of the Christmas package. This glittery gold colour extends the dress to your nails, and easily rubs off in time for the next morning’s team meeting in the office. Plus, it’s all totally vegan and cruelty-free to boot. Cushty.

Candy Cane Cute

Beyond Skin Vegan Shoes 3

[Images courtesy of Vaute Couture, Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, Barry M and Nasty Gal]

This look is super sweet and playful, ideal for a quick catch up with friends over some vegan mulled wine.

  1. Kristina Dress in Organic Velvet in Navy, Vaute Couture, £120.19. Just as you thought this dress couldn’t get any cuter, it also has a star cut-out at the back! This is 100% luxury vegan fashion at its finest, and it’s in the sale. Hurry!
  2. Femme Lip Tar, Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, £11.50. OCC’s famous lip tar is a matte liquid lipstick with gorgeous opaque colours. It’s made with hemp oil and is 100% vegan and cruelty-free, of course. Plus I’m a huge fan of light pink lipstick for its unashamed femininity.
  3. Izzy Silver May-Jane Shoes, Beyond Skin, £115. Goodness me, what adorable shoes! The lines in their design are edgy and the silver is bang on trend, meaning you’ll get so many shoe compliments that you’ll get bored of hearing them. These are easily transferable to your everyday wardrobe too, to brighten up a work outfit or two. Pre-order pronto.
  4. Aquarium Nail Polish, Barry M, £3.99. This glittery polish was made for Christmas parties, adding some more sparkle to this outfit. This particular polish is vegan, and all Barry M’s polishes are cruelty-free. Awesome.
  5. Feline Yourself Crossbody Bag, Nasty Gal, £38.15. And finally we reach the crescendo of ultimate cuteness: the kitty clutch. It’s decorated with rhinestones and black vegan leather made from the same material we use: polyutherane. Snap. Next season, our PU will be made of 100% recycled PU too! Exciting to the max for the sustainable fashion cause!

Under The Mistletoe

Beyond Skin Vegan Shoes 1

[Images courtesy of Stella McCartney, Lime Crime, Barry M and People Tree]

This is A-list red carpet glamour through and through, and would easily stand up to the scrutiny of the paparazzi.

  1. Primrose Dress, Stella McCartney, £2,135. This design is drop dead gorgeous. It’s made with vegan-friendly materials, and scores top marks for sheer elegance. If I owned this dress, I’m not sure I could justify ever taking it off, it’s that beautiful. It’s pricey, but it is luxury, and a girl can always dream.
  2. Red Velvet Velvetine Lipstick, Lime Crime, £13.16. This matte lipstick is seemingly made with the very essence of redness. It’s reminiscent of many a classic 30’s starlet from the big screen, so its timelessness can’t be doubted. It’s also perfect for planting a big lipstick kiss mark on someone’s cheek under the mistletoe, lucky thing.
  3. Ellen High Red Court Shoes, Beyond Skin, £130. Natalie Portman wore these shoes in the cover fashion shoot for Harper’s Bazaar’s US August Issue, looking divine in front of a dreamy ocean. They’re covered in luxury Italian fabric and have a vegan suede big bow on each toe. Classically stylish.
  4. Bright Red Classic Nail Paint, Barry M, £2.99. This vegan red nail varnish is brighter than most, matching the hue of the big bows and the lipstick. Plus, red is undeniably festive. This would be the ideal finishing touch for this look.
  5. Simple Drop Earrings in Brass, People Tree, £15. These simple gold earrings are handmade by skilled artisans by Bombolulu, a Fair Trade social business in Kenya that provides opportunities for people who have disabilities. Wonderful ethical jewellery.

Win £100 Credit at Beyond Skin!

Don’t forget that we have a competition on at the moment: Pin to Win £100 credit at Beyond Skin! All you have to do to enter is:

  1. Follow Beyond Skin on Pinterest and repin this competition pin to a board called ‘Beyond Skin Pin to Win Luxury Vegan Shoes’
  2. Pin a minimum of 5 of your favourite styles from our website to your board
  3. Confirm your entry with a comment under our original contest pin with a link to your board
  4. Fingers, toes and paws crossed for luck!

Pin - 1 copy

Posted in Ethical Fashion, General Stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Christmas List Ideas: Vegan Skincare & Haircare

Now firmly in the grips of winter, the flipping between harsh cold wind and radiator-dry air can throw your skin and hair’s natural balance out of whack. And as we buckle down for the wild rollercoaster of Christmas, it sure sounds sensible to take good care of yourself in the meantime. Here’s our round-up of top notch vegan skincare and haircare products that you can either stock up on to keep you going through the winter months, or drop subtle hints about to anyone asking for Christmas List ideas. Subtle specific hints.


Skin - 1

[Images courtesy of Tropic]

Certified by The Vegan Society and Cruelty Free International? Tick. Made in Britain? Tick. 100% naturally derived or nature identical ingredients? Tick! Tropic have a range of skincare, bodycare and make-up products to sample the delights of. Everyone’s skincare routine varies, but generally the classic combo of cleanser, toner and moisturiser is a good place to start, and Tropic’s range won’t disappoint:

  1. Smoothing Cleanser + Bamboo Cloth, £16.00. A blend of eucalyptus, golden jojoba and avocado oils, which I’m sure smells as good as it sounds. It’s a dab hand at removing make-up and leaves your skin all soft. Plus, it comes with a free face cloth, made from 100% organic and sustainable bamboo cloth. They’ve thought of everything!
  2. Vitamin Toner Pore Refining Mist, £14.00. Filled to the brim with organic rose water, aloe vera and cucumber juices, and infused with vitamins and amino acids which will help reduce pore size. A couple of sprays over your face and neck morning and night will do the trick, post-cleansing and pre-moisturising.
  3. Skin Revive Nourishing Cream Concentrate, £22.00. The cherry on the cake, this powerful bottle is packed full with nutrients and 20 different nourishing fruit, flower and seed extracts. Sounds like a tropical buffet of goodness, from start to finish.

PHB Ethical Beauty

Skin - 2

[Images courtesy of PHB Ethical Beauty]

What does it stand for? Pure, Handmade, British. PHB are a family business with the world’s biggest range of natural, vegan and halal certified beauty products. And here’s a cool fact: as of April 2015, they have been donating 15% of net profits to charities who help people and animals in the UK. Amazing! PHB have skincare, cosmetics, bath & body, haircare, men’s and scent free products, so do have a click or two on their website to get the full flavour. Here are our top products:

  1. Avocado & Olive Sugar Scrub, £4.95. The description of it’s ingredients is almost mouth-watering: pure sugar cane mixed with rich cocoa butter and nourishing plant oils, all in one little bundle. These scrubs exfoliate the skin, removing dead skin cells (not so appetising anymore!), but it promises to moisturise the skin and keep it super soft.
  2. Brightening Body Butter with Neroli & Ylang Ylang, £11.86 (on sale for limited time). This magic pot sounds like the perfect solution to dry skin in winter, as it’s a quick absorbing butter that promises to relieve dryness and provide 24 hour skin hydration. Sounds categorically heavenly.
  3. Skin Refresh Gel with Seaweed & Mint, £9.62 (on sale for limited time). This gel’s superpower is soothing tired feet, which are all too common in the run up to Christmas. It’s also super versatile, and if you manage to save some for next summer, it doubles as an after-sun and insect bite relief. Très useful, non?

Faith in Nature

Skin - 3

[Images courtesy of Faith in Nature]

I have faith in Faith in Nature. Their products are certified organic, cruelty-free and most are vegan, and they’re all made in Britain (Lancashire, to be exact). They’ve been making ethical beauty history for forty years now, and I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews about them (such as the recommendation from the lovely people on the weekly Twitter chat #veganhour! Tuesdays at 7pm, if you’d like to join). Faith in Nature have haircare, body care, skincare, baby care, pet care and cleaning products to boot. Here’s our top 3 products for winter, coming right up:

  1. Chocolate Shampoo, £5.50. Chocolate. Shampoo. Need I say more? Seriously, I need this in my life, asap. The fragrance is 100% natural, and, if you like it, you can buy a 5 litre bottle for £50.00 so you can stock up! Easy peasy. When you finally have to leave the non-stop chocolate indulgence on Christmas, luckily you can still dream in chocolate in the shower.
  2. Raspberry & Cranberry Shower Gel & Foam Bath, £5.60. Cranberry sauce on a sizeable chunk of Cheatin’ VBites roast. Mwah! Can’t wait. The organic cranberry element to this bubble bath would certainly get you feeling festive.
  3. Coconut Hand Cream, £6.39. The astonishing powers of coconut oil has been high on the agenda this year, and this hand cream harbours those powers too. Designed to be quickly absorbed, this cream will soften your hands after they’ve survived a blast in the winter wind.


Skin - 4

[Images courtesy of Soapnuts]

These products are handmade in the UK, from 100% natural, organic, sustainable, ethical, vegan and cruelty-free ingredients! That’s a hell of a lot of awesome adjectives to be the proud owner of. This company was born because the founder’s two children had eczema, so they wanted to blitz all the toxins out of their different soaps. They use organic wild-crafted deseeded sapinus mukorossi, which is a particular variety of soapnuts that have the greatest soap content. They have haircare, body care, natural stain removers, skincare and even an environmental toothbrush made of bamboo! Amazing. Here’s our top 3 products:

  1. Botanic Hair Oil, £10.00. This hair oil is a treat for any frazzled hair unable to handle the sharp changes in temperature common in winter. The blend of soapnuts, jojoba, calendula, sunflower, sesame and rice bran is designed to help protect your hair & scalp’s natural moisture content.
  2. Coconut Milk & Chai Bathtub Tea, £6.00. Coconut milk is the ultimate soother for dry skin. They recommend you use this in the bath and then leave it on overnight, washing it in the morning. This could be your safety net if the everyday routine isn’t quite keeping up.
  3. Bergamot, Ylang & Rose Healing Soapnut Salve, £8.50. Chapped lips are just a fact of winter, so how better to treat them than with this botanically infused balm? Rose has a reputation for its moisturising and calming properties, so it would work a treat on dry lips and hands.

Beyond Skin

GFT-2 copy

So we might not have any vegan beauty products to fit in the stocking, but we do have a Gift Certificate that you can drop hints about to loved ones. In the meantime, why not enter our November competition to win £100 credit to treat yourself to some downright gorgeous luxury vegan shoes from Beyond Skin? On Monday 30th November, the winner will be announced. All you have to do to enter is:

  1. Follow Beyond Skin on Pinterest and repin this competition pin to a board called ‘Beyond Skin Pin to Win Luxury Vegan Shoes’
  2. Pin a minimum of 5 of your favourite styles from our website to your board
  3. Confirm your entry with a comment under our original contest pin with a link to your board
  4. Fingers, toes and paws crossed for luck!

Pin - 1 copy

Posted in General Stuff, Vegan Beauty | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment