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Amy's Rosy Life is a blog about plantbased food, lifestyle, travel, fashion and style

edited by Amy Rose

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Saturday, 2 September 2017

No compromising with cruelty free beauty products




When I started my plant based diet journey a couple of years ago and then a gradual vegan lifestyle at the beginning of 2017, I had no idea just what I'd have to change to stay on that path.

The food, well that's a given, and has been relatively easier than I thought, but for other bits, like beauty and skin care - well I have struggled a bit!

I have an oily T-Zone which can also turn very dry, so finding a suitable replacement for my makeup products was a hit and miss. I have always been a fan of The Body Shop but they have only recently been bought by a Brazilian company that is against the testing of products on Animals - so now I feel like they can really say they are against animal cruelty and offer truly vegan products.

I have been using their seaweed range for years though, as it's specifically for oily skin, but they have now stopped making the cream cleanser. I also have the facial wash, but I don't always wash my face in the shower if I'm not washing my hair, so I like to use a liquid cleanser with a cotton pad to remove my makeup. As my skin can get dry, I like to use a cream cleanser so I bought one from the Aloe range.




Then I discovered NIOD - they are far pricier but also offer vegan products. For the cleanser, I bought Low-Viscosity Cleaning Ester for £30, it's alcohol free which is great as I find products with alcohol in strip my face ultimately making me oilier!



I decided to purchase a moisturiser from them too as my facialist Loretta, has told me that my skin is dehydrated - I drink loads of water but I hardly wear a moisturiser as I've never found one that hydrates my skin without making me oily - so any moisturiser I use, I put on before I go to bed, and never in the day.

The Hydration Vaccine by NIOD had really good reviews It has a PH of 5-6 and again is alcohol free and costs £35. The reviews say how it makes skin feel super hydrated without a greasy or oily feel, and I agree - so far I don't feel like I'm producing extra oil or shine but I still have a healthy glow.



When I go into the office in Central London, I don't like to wear a lot of makeup but I'm pale and my skin tone is uneven so I've been trying to find something that I can put on my face that just gives a slight tan, glow without that horrible shimmer look. So along with the Hydration Vaccine moisturiser I tried the NIOD  Photography Fluid Opacity 8% - which is an oil free tint that doesn't leave any noticeable shimmer, but makes your skin look sun kissed and healthy. I use a small amount of The Body Shop liquid concealer around my nose and on blemishes as it doesn't give any coverage as such. But it makes my skin look great!


I have discovered a fantastic vegan beauty subscription box company, but they also offer a 'build your own' option which is so good! VObeauty.co.uk offer a really good choice and couldn't wait to try their build your own box so I knew exactly what would be arriving would be the products I could use. The lovely people at VO were also so helpful when I had questions about the products and they recommended some of the items - I definitely recommend you look them up if you like getting presents every month 😆


As I noted I do have large pores so I chose the Konjac mini pore refiner in French green clay for £6.99 - I haven't tried this yet but I'll put an update as soon as I do.



I don't tend to wear lipstick often as my lips look uneven and a bit chapped so when I saw they had the Pura Cosmetics lip scrub (in Pina Colada - smells ah-maze.ing!!) for £4.50 I had to try that.




Then to go with fresh new lips, I bought the Saturated Colour lipstick in Lady In Red for £7 - stays on like a dream!!


Another product I've struggled with finding a decent alternative is a mascara. I like big brushes that coat my lashes making them look longer and thicker so I chose the BWC full volume mascara in black for £7.99 and I love it! Makes my lashes look so long and it doesn't clog or flake at the end of the day or night. It comes off really easily with eye makeup remover. I highly recommend this to you.


Then last but by absolutely no means least I chose the Made by Coopers Apothecary Vanilla Rose bath salts for £5. OH. MY. WORD. With the essential oils and Epsom salts, I think I went off to heaven. I rarely bath and opt for time saving showers, so getting to try this in a bath made me realise what I'm missing - it was so relaxing and my skin felt incredible afterwards.



I also changed my hair products to Avalon Organics. I bought these from Holland & Barretts for £6 each. I bought the Volumizing Rosemary shampoo which is great as I have fine hair that lacks volume. Then I bought the Strengthening Peppermint conditioner - it says to leave on for a few minutes and during this time you can feel the peppermint cooling sensation on your scalp and neck, very nice.


I do colour my hair so I'm still on the look out for vegan shampoo and conditioners for coloured hair - if you use one that's good please let me know

I'm swapping out the rest of my products so I'll put another update up when I have a full makeup bag to show you

Thanks for reading

AR x

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Friday, 4 August 2017

Vegan Chef: Jamie White




I think it’s pretty obvious I love food. If I’m not eating it, I’m talking about it. And If I’m not talking about it, I’m definitely thinking about it.

Since I moved to a plant based diet, the search for great vegan food out and about has somewhat consumed my life – living in London I fully expected there to be vegan restaurants or vegan options on every menu I looked at.

Not so! This so-called gentrification certainly isn’t happening anywhere near me (thank goodness for that) and so I’m lacking in eating out options around my local area. However, I work in the Waterloo area and although the gentrification seems to have passed this area by (fingers crossed) it still has wonderful street food markets and plenty of lunch time and after work vegan food options.

So when I was contacted on Instagram by a vegan chef asking me to come and sample some of his new street food inspired menu, and he is based in SE1, I nearly chocked on my falafel and couldn’t type my reply quick enough.

My normal aloofness vanished and my simple answer was, “yes, when?”

Meeting Jamie White, the head chef at Jacks Bar in Isabella Street has been a breath of fresh air. Not only is his food some of the tastiest vegan food I’ve tried to date (and totally insta worthy!) his passion for what he does, and what he wants to achieve is inspiring!

Sitting down with him and talking through his hopes and aspirations was so fun. He told me about his choice to have a plant based diet and how this has influenced his cooking and the vegan additions to the Jacks Bar menu with things like Thai BBQ seitan ribs, jerk quinoa broccoli wings and an Asian salad.



Jacks Bar is a fun and lively place, good drinks, comfy seats, big screens, good music and now a menu that caters for pretty much everyone. If you’re in the area, or stuck on where to go for after work drinks and nibbles you should check this place out.



Ultimately Jamie wants people to travel to see him, to take his street food van to different locations and have a cult following – from what I’ve tasted so far I will be at the front of every queue. 

At the moment he’s loving his job at Jack’s so I know we have to sit and wait impatiently for this to happen, so until it does, you’ll find me at Jacks ordering the Black Bean Burger with maple beacon, pepper jack cheese and ranch sauce – hands down the best damn burger I’ve tasted!










The man himself, Jamie White 


Do yourselves a favour, go and eat his food. Ask to meet him, talk to him about his ideas and inspirations. You will leave knowing you've just met someone passionate about good food and once you've tasted his creations, you'll be just as hooked as I am. 

Jamie, I salute you 

AR x



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Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Recipe: Vegan mushroom risotto


vegan mushroom and white wine risotto 



I've been meaning to make a risotto for ages. In fact I've had risotto rice from Waitrose in my cupboard for months. 

I get my shopping delivered, usually on a Sunday so by Wednesday there are definitely a few items in my fridge that need to be used and this week it was asparagus and mushrooms - so I thought a good way of using up the mushrooms was in a yummy vegan risotto. 

Also by Wednesday I'm usually pretty tired from work, I mean it's hump day so the kitchen can get pretty messy if I'm not careful - so I do try and stick to 1 pan/pot dishes to keep the clean up minimal 



When I didn't have a plant based diet I used to order risotto in restaurants and enjoy the cheesy gooieness of the sauce and since then I haven't found a vegan version that I've liked. I've tried a few in restaurants but they've been bland, watery and definitely missing that signature cheesy taste. 

What I found since cooking with alternatives is how good nutritional yeast is in adding a cheesy taste and texture so it was a given that I'd add that in, plus it's fortified with B12 - bonus. 



This risotto took me 30 minutes from start to finish, not the quickest but definitely quick enough for a midweek meal - I added vegan wine for the sauce and a glass for whilst I was eating it, cold and very crisp. Lovely! 




Ingredients: 

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium red onions - diced and chopped 
  • 3 cloves garlic - crushed and chopped
  • 1 cup chopped asparagus 
  • 1 punnet chopped mushrooms of choice 
  • 1 tsp oregano 
  • 1 1/2 cups of white wine (my cups are 250 ml) I used Oxford Landings as it's vegan
  • 1 tsp salt - I used pink Himalayan salt 
  • 2 cups of risotto rice - I used Waitrose Carnaroli
  • 2 litres of vegetable stock - I used organic Kallo
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar - I used biona organic with Mother 
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast - I used Mari Gold health foods 
  • 1 tbsp onion granules 
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder 
  • 2 cups chopped spinach
  • 2 spring onions - I used onions from my garden but you can use parsley or coriander 
  • pepper for seasoning 


Method: 

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan on a medium heat 
  2. Add the chopped onions to the pan and soften
  3. Add the crushed and chop garlic cloves to the pan and cook until you can smell it 
  4. Add the asparagus to the pan and cook for 30 seconds 
  5. Add the diced mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes 
  6. Add the oregano, salt and white wine to the pan and simmer until the wine has reduced
  7. Aff the apple cider vinegar and stir through
  8. Add the rice to the pan and stir to make sure the rice is coated and cook for 2 minutes 
  9. Take care here not to add too much of the stock to the pan too soon so add 1 cup at a time ensuring the rice is cooking slowly. 
  10. Over 12 - 14 minutes you will need to add 3 cups (750ml), 1 cup at a time (250ml) 
  11. Add the chopped spinach, garlic powder, onion granules and nutritional yeast and stir through
  12. Add the last cup (250ml) of the stock and allow to simmer on a low heat until rice is cooked, the rice should still be slightly hard and not too soft. 
  13. Serve and top with fresh herb of choice 
My husband said it was good enough to sell, so if it passes his test, it must be good 😃

If you try this, tag me in your pictures and I will feature you on my Instagram account 

AR x























Enjoy x
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