Review – Superdrug My Little Star fragrance free wipes.

Brand: Superdrug

Pack size: 64

Price: 79p (1.23p per wipe/available as multibuy)

I love shopping at Superdrug because I can be safe in the knowledge that their own brand products are all cruelty free. Of course their baby range has the Leaping Bunny logo all over it, from wipes to shampoo, and baby oil to toothpaste.

The packaging on all their wipes is recyclable (in some areas) and there is a lid to keep the wipes moist, but this part is not recyclable.

Each wipe is rectangular in shape with a slightly embossed pattern, but does not feel bumpy to touch. The wipes are not very big but they are a decent size. The amount of moisture in the wipe is just right. They are not too wet and are adequate for poo-ey bums.

The packaging says the wipes can be used on newborn which means they are fine for sensitive skin. We didn’t have any problems with irritation or redness so thumbs up all around.

In conclusion these wipes are a great price and are a good cruelty free option. The wipes are nice to use and we found no skin issues. When there is an offer on you can get three packs for £2, which is a good deal for cruelty free wipes.

Have you ever tried Superdrug wipes? Do you use fragrance free wipes or prefer ones with a scent?

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The TRUTH about cloth nappies.

This week is ‘Real Nappy Week’ (23rd to 29th April) so I have decided to dedicate a post to my experience using reusable nappies and maybe expel some myths.

“Cloth is too expensive!”
Yes, it is true that the initial cost of reusable nappies is expensive and not everyone will be able to throw £200 on a bunch of nappies, liners, and boosters. Thankfully, some councils offer incentives to families purchasing real nappies. You are also able to buy cloth nappies second hand at a cheaper price. Some friends and family may also put money towards your stash if you ask.

Furthermore I have done some number crunching. Obviously this is not an exact figure. I took the price of Aldi’s 84 pack size 4 Mamia ultra dry nappies of £4.49. I guessed an average of seven nappy changes per day so one pack will last 12 days. Assuming baby is in nappies for exactly two years, then you will spend £269.40 on disposable nappies. If you buy a more expensive brand of disposables then they will cost more. Smaller pack sizes also cost more per nappy and different nappy sizes have different prices so I tried to use middle ground figures. Newborns and heavy wetters also need changing more often.

So in conclusion it does depend on your baby whether cloth or disposables end up costing more. BUT if you have a second, third, fourth, etc child then you will definitely save money as you can reuse the cloth nappies! Even if you only use one cloth nappy per day or only use them on one day per week you will save money.

“Cloth is messy!”
Changing cloth nappies on a baby is just as messy as changing a disposable nappy. If baby has an explosive wet poo then it won’t be glamorous in either situation. The downside I first discovered with cloth is that you cannot roll the dirty wipes up with the soiled nappy. You need to be near a bin, which is not always available depending where you are. This problem can also be solved if using reusable wipes too because those can be thrown into the nappy bin/wet bag along with the cloth nappy.

“Poo in cloth nappies is messy!”
Newborn poops are usually small and easy to contain and chuck away. It is when baby starts having solids and the poos become less runny but also not quite solid which are less fun to deal with. When the poops come out in a solid lump then there is such a good feeling being able to just flip the cloth nappy over and dump the poop into the toilet to flush away!

“Cloth nappies stink!”
Reuseable nappies will smell if they are not washed quickly enough or well enough. First problem is solved with regular washing and second problem is solved with a strip wash. If you wash nappies correctly in the first place (not too much detergent, not too high temperature, long rinse cycle) then hopefully you can avoid having to do a strip wash.

With regards to storing dirty nappies, they smell just as bad as disposables. Cloth nappies are usually stored in a plastic tub when they are waiting for wash day and this tends to keep odours in. I do not store any soiled disposable nappies in a special pail, they go in an open bin so if they linger too long in the bathroom then there is a definite pong! In this case, cloth nappies actually stink less!

“Cloth nappies are not convenient outside of the home!”
Honestly, cloth nappies are a bit of a faff when you are out and about. Cloth nappies are much bulkier than disposables so they do take up much more space. Secondly, you need to continue carting them around after changing baby and wet nappies expand so they take up even more space afterwards. Once you get used to it though, it doesn’t matter as it is just part of having a baby.

I have read that some people use eco nappies on days out or for traveling because they have the convenience of a disposable, but the green credentials of being biodegradable. Unfortunately, eco nappies are even more expensive than cloth nappies… but planet Earth is worth it!

“Washing and tumble drying cloth nappies is worse for the environment!”
Firstly I’d like to address the tumble drying comment because most manufacturers do not recommend tumble drying nappies, and if a parent must do so, then it is done on a low setting. Tumble drying can shorten the life of a cloth nappy so it is generally avoided and therefore not a worthwhile argument about energy usage.

With regards to washing cloth nappies, Eve from Baba+Boo wrote an interesting article about the amount of water that is used during the manufacture of disposable nappies. Disposable nappies are ‘made of pulp and plastics’ and overall use ten times more water during production than during 2.5 years of washing cloth nappies. That figure is astoundingly horrific and makes me feel much better about washing my reuseables. It is also worth throwing in towels and sports wear into the nappy wash to fill out the drum and ensure you are not doing a small wash just for six nappies. Modern washing machines are also efficient at weighing out the load and using the appropriate amount of water for the wash.

“It’s too much effort to use cloth nappies!”

There is no difference between using cloth and disposable. You put them on at the same time and in the same way. Yes there is the extra step of washing and hanging out the nappies to dry but surprisingly it’s a step I do not mind. I do not feel like I am doing lots of extra washing.

Furthermore, you know when you have to change baby’s nappy but it’s about one hour before bedtime and you know you will want to put a fresh nappy on overnight? Well with cloth you need not feel like you are wasting a nappy as it’s simply washed and reused. When using a disposable for a small amount of wee and then chucking it in the bin, you are adding to the thousands of nappies at the landfill. Think about how many nappies you use in a week and imagine that pile sitting around for hundreds of years before they finally decompose.

Hopefully I have swayed you into agreeing that cloth nappies are not so bad to use. It’s totally worth giving them a try! Have you had any good/bad experiences with resuables?

Review of Tots Bots Easyfit Star Nappy.

Tots Bots are pretty big in the cloth nappy world. No matter which style of cloth nappy you prefer, they probably have a kit that suits you. Today we are talking about their ‘all in one’ pocket nappy. I say it is an ‘all in one’ because everything is sewn together and you do not need extra bits. The absorbent nappy is there, the waterproof wrap is there, and even a booster is there. I also call it a pocket nappy because you can stuff another booster in there if you want to.

The Easyfit Star looks similar to the Bambino Mio Miosolo all in one nappy. At first glance I thought the Easyfit seemed inferior. After taking it out of the packaging and comparing it to the Miosolo, the Easyfit did not seem as thick or as substantial. I was, therefore, worried about potential leaks. Thankfully I did not need to worry. It even holds messy poop in well!

Plain colourful nappies are priced £16.99 and the patterned fabrics are £17.99. I really adore their new prints and am tempted to get the ‘bee kind’ and ‘kaleidescope’ nappies. The Easyfit Star is an all-in-one that fits 8-35lbs. There is also a Teenyfit Star in the same prints for young babies that fit 5-12lbs. The Teenyfit are cheaper at £11.99. At these prices I do think the Easyfit is a little pricey but I know there are brands out there at the £20+ mark so I guess the Easyfit is more of a mid-range nappy.

Each Easyfit comes with a bamboo core, which is the best material for absorbing babies’ bodily fluids. It comes as a long ‘tongue’ that you can tuck into the nappy. If necessary, it is also possible to pop a booster in. There are four rows of poppers on the front of nappy so that the fit can be adjusted as baby grows. The nappy is closed using hook and loop (like Velcro) fastenings so fit can be adjusted for each baby.

Like I said earlier, I thought the Easyfit would leak compared to the Miosolo because the seams and gusset do not seem like they would have good containment. Fortunately I have been proved wrong (apart from one disastrous poop but I don’t think any nappy would have kept that one in). On the Miosolo I would often find marks on baby’s back as the nappy seam would appear too tight but the Easyfit generally avoids this. The bamboo is nice and soft. It does not seem as thick as the Miosolo but in my opinion feels much nicer to touch. The fact that the Easyfit is less bulky than the Miosolo is also a bonus if you struggle to fasten bodysuits over cloth nappies. They are by no means slim, but are definitely not the chunkiest nappy out there.

Washing is the same as for other cloth nappies and drying time is great because you can pull out the inner core for faster drying. The fold back laundry tabs are not that great. They are a bit flimsy but they do the job.

Overall I think the Easyfit is a good beginner nappy. They are simple to use and will be easy for carers or family members to adjust to. I personally prefer hook and loop fastenings because you can get the perfect fit. The Easyfit looks great and does not appear too bulky. Drying time is speedy so if you wash often enough you do not need to buy too many.

Have you ever tried the Easyfit Star or any other Tots Bots nappy? I have also bought the Peenut nappy to try and am excited to get that review out.

Review – Little Angels sensitive wipes.

Brand: Asda
Pack size: 64
Price: 64p (1p per wipe / also available in multipack)

Asda says they are against animal testing but unlike some other supermarkets, their products are not Leaping Bunny certified. After researching their animal testing policy I am satisfied with their cruelty free status (otherwise I would not buy or review these wipes!).

The packaging has the plastic lid which keeps all the wipes nice and moist. Note that this is not recyclable, nor are the wipes biodegradable. The wrap, however, may be recycled but checking your local facilities.

These wipes provide great value for money. Whilst they are not the thickest or biggest wipes on the market, I had absolutely no trouble with the size and there was sufficient moisture for messy poops. Each wipe has a slight embossing of a teddybear on it but it does not cause any roughness or irritation. They really do feel ‘cotton soft’.

It is stated that these wipes are suitable from 0 months and are also hypoallergenic. I did not find Emery sensitive to these wipes and there was no redness after using the wipes.

All in all these are a great pack of wipes to pick up at a low price. When purchased in bulk, they offer even better value for money. The size is a touch on the smaller side but perfectly adequate and the wetness is appropriate. I only wish these had Leaping Bunny logo on them!

Have you tried any of the Little Angels wipes? Would you give up your current wipes to test these out?

Cruelty free household cleaners.

Having a baby around the house means you will probably want to keep the place clean so your tiny human does not get messy and dirty and contract diseases. Okay, that might be a bit farfetched but obviously you will want to clean up after cooking in the kitchen and keep mould at bay in the bathroom. Thankfully there are a lot of ‘natural’ eco-friendly brands appearing in supermarkets and you can easily get hold of a cruelty free brand at any price point.

Astonish – their whole range is 100% cruelty free and vegan, with both the Cruelty Free International leaping bunny and the Vegan Society logos on their products. Their prices are super wallet friendly and you can find them in places such as Home Bargains, B&M, The Range, Wilko, as well as Asda, Morrisons, and Booths and many more retailers.

Ecover – has been around a while and is the first eco brand I heard of. They have the leaping bunny on their products and they source their (mostly plant based) ingredients ethically and their packaging is recyclable. Their range is easily accessible in Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, and Morrisons. In some independent stores you may even be able to find their refillable products.

Method – is a US brand that has recently been acquired by Ecover and can be found in Waitrose, Tesco, and Sainsbury’s. Their packaging is bright and simple and their products smell lovely! They also operate a refill system for some products (laundry liquid, liquid hand wash and washing up liquid) which saves on packaging.

Seventh Generation – sell their products in packaging which is 100% recyclable or biodegradable which is great for the environment. Their website says they are taking a break from selling in the UK but you may be able to find them in Tesco, who stock them exclusively.

Kinn – a brand that is exclusive to Waitrose and one I have not tried yet but their chic packaging is really drawing me in. Their products are eco friendly and formulas are based on aromatherapy and stemmed from wanting non-toxic products to use on babies. Kinn also have a range of skincare products.

Faith In Nature – has a great ethos. As well as being vegan and cruelty free and avoiding ingredients such as parabens, SLES, fragrances, phthalates etc. they also ensure their ingredients are sourced ethically.

Earth Friendly Products – is found in smaller independent stores and also Holland & Barrett. Use their store locator on the website to find your nearest stockist. It is amazing that they are a carbon neutral company throughout the whole product life cycle. Their products are friendly to humans and to the earth.

Have you made the switch to eco friendly cleaners? Do you want to switch to more natural cleaners since having a baby?

Review of Childs Farm baby moisturiser.

Thankfully Emery does not suffer from eczema or another skin condition, but recently he has had a bit of dry skin on his arms and thighs. I thought his natural skin oils would sort it out but after a few days I took the Childs Farm baby moisturiser out of the bathroom cupboard to test out as his skin was still feeling a little rough.

The white moisturiser comes in a pump bottle containing 250ml product. It is normally priced at £3.99 but you may be able to find it on offer at a lower price. The soothing formula is suitable for sensitive skin and can be used from newborn age. The moisturiser is formulated with 98% natural ingredients and made without parabens, SLSs, mineral oil, and artifical colours so it is very gentle on a baby’s skin. Although it is aimed for those with sensitive skin, one of the ingredients is “parfum” so there is a slight scent but it is not overpowering and did not irritate Emery but is something to keep in mind if your child is sensitive to scents.

A small push on the pump should give you an adequate amount for both arms and another quick pump is enough for both legs. The leftover cream went on my own arms! The 250ml should last quite a while. I used this moisturiser after Emery’s night time bath and it was like a quick calming massage before bed. It sinks into the skin and dries pretty fast so there is no waiting around before you can put clothes on baby.

I thought it would take a few days for Emery’s skin to become baby soft again but after two nights of using the Childs Farm moisturiser Emery’s skin was smooth and silky again. If your child has dermatitis then it may be worth applying the moisturiser everyday (twice a day if you use it according to their instructions) but I decided to only use the moisturiser when Emery has a flare up as I want his natural skin defence to build up.

Childs Farm do not test their products on animals. They do not have a cruelty free certificate but state they are “100% compliant with the European Commission’s ‘Cosmetics Directive’ that prohibits animal testing on individual toiletries ingredients as well as finished products“. The brand also states that you can recycle their lids and bottles which is great for the environment. Furthermore, Childs Farm “are currently applying for the leaping bunny certification.”

Overall I am happy with the results of the moisturiser as Emery’s skin went from dry to baby soft very quickly and it did not appear to irritate him. I have also used the unfragranced baby wash and the sweet orange hair & body wash which are also kind on the skin and smell lovely. I have also previously tested out the biodegrable baby wipes (click to read review).

If you are unsure whether the Childs Farm products will be suitable for your child then you can purchase small sample size bottles to try out. They also do a special range just for babies including baby oil and nappy cream.

Have you ever tried Childs Farm? Do you wonder why there is no apostrophe in their name? Do you like to use baby products that do not contain parabens, SLSs, or mineral oils?

Cruelty free eyeshadow singles.

Eyeshadow palettes can be a thing of beauty. There is a new palette released almost everyday from drugstore to highend to luxury and they might be neutrals or a mix warm tones or all shimmers and have some beautiful shades in them, but would you use ALL the pans? It is hard to love every single shade in an eyeshadow palette so that is why some people choose to create their own palette using single pan eyeshadows. Depending on how many pans you buy it might be more expensive this way but it also means you end up liking every shade and thus use every colour and none will go to waste! Plus curating your own palette can give you such a smug feeling when you finally find your perfect combination of colours.

First up is Makeup Geek. You can purchase from the US website or find them on Beauty Bay. The eyeshadow formula of these singles is excellent, especially at the £4.95 price point. Marlena has avoided adding parabens in her products and most of them are also talc-free. There are even some vegan eyeshadows. If Wayne Goss mentions Makeup Geek in his yearly favourites video then you know they have to be good.

The eyeshadow singles from Anastasia Beverly Hills are pricey but they really are buttery soft and blend perfectly. Normally they are £12 per pan, but you can get four for £30 + free pan holder or eight for £50 + free pan holder. Sometimes they have 50% flash sales so keep an eye out for those. The ABH eyeshadows do not contain talc but be aware they have a short expiry once open (6 months).

Nabla eyeshadow pans are bigger than MUG or ABH and start at £5.75. They are an Italian brand and are available from Beauty Bay but if you order from their EU website, you get a free magnetic palette when buying six or twelve pans. I have not tried these but I am really curious as all the swatches I have seen look stunning.

If you like your eyeshadows bold and bright then Juvia’s Place is the brand for you. I have not tried this brand either but I think their pans are also on the bigger side of the spectrum. The pans are £6 and can also be purchased from Beauty Bay (this is starting to look like a giant BB ad).

Coloured Raine also has some colourful eyeshadow singles as well as a lot of more neutral-warm toned shades. I have heard they have a great formula and these can also be ordered off Beauty Bay or ASOS. The pans start at £4. I have only tried their liquid lipsticks. At first I found them drying but now I quite enjoy the formula.

From the people who brought you Makeup Revolution comes Freedom. It is their pro line and they have a range of eye shadow singles. Superdrug sell Freedom online but I haven’t seen them instore. I imagine the formula is similar to the shadows in the Makeup Revolution palettes, so that means you get pigmented shadows at a great price point. The magnetic palette I store my singles in is by Freedom.

Superdrug have also recently started stocking Bleach London products. They are originally a hair salon but have begun to produce cosmetics. Their makeup comes in magnetic pans and many of their eyeshadow colours are based on the brightly coloured hair dyes they use, so this is a great brand for anyone who loves rainbow colours. Pans are only £3 so you can build your collection fairly cheaply. All their products are vegan!

Another brand that is easy to get hold of in a store is Nyx and you can find them at Boots or Debenhams. You will not be able to swatch the pans as they are sealed in little packets so have a look online for swatches. Quality varies between colours but the pans start as low as £2.50 and come in a variety of finishes.

Another well priced brand is Essence and they are found at Wilko. Their range is called ‘my must haves’ and you can pop them into one of their four pan palettes. Although they are not the best quality, you cannot complain about the £1.50 price point.

Are there any brands of eyeshadow singles that you love? Do you enjoy creating your own palette or would you rather just buy a premade one? What colours would you have in your dream palette?