Last weekend Kensington Olympia hosted the Just V and Love Natural Love You show. I went on the Saturday and had the best time wolfing down free samples and trying out so many new cruelty free, vegan brands. Below I’m going to share my highlights and hopefully convince you to go next year!
The Must Haves
Whilst I loved so many of the products at the show, I tactfully only took out £50 before entering and was stuck with my budget. These are the spotlight products which I had to buy on the day:
Club Organix – Mineral Foundation – £28
Whilst the name of my shade ‘buttermilk’ could’ve been more vegan friendly, I loved being colour matched, walking around with my new face and returning a hour or two later when I’ve experienced the look and feel. Their foundation contains no additives or chemical colours that can cause cause skin irritation and allergies making it perfect for those with sensitive skin. Two long days out later wearing this and I’m still in love and happy with my purchase.
Mr Organic – Chocolate and Hazelnut Spread – 2 for £6
This chocolate spread is the closest to Nutella I’ve found since turning vegan ten years ago (“It’s nice, but I still prefer Nutella” – the boyfriend). Mr Organic served these with breadsticks at the show and it tasted incredibly similar to those KP Choc Dips you’d be given as a child. Could happily eat up a jar of this with just a spoon.
Pure Naked – China Clay Poppy Seed bar – £5
These bars are perfect for the body and leave you feeling moisturised not dry like most soaps. The poppy seed soap which I picked out has a delicate citrus scent and is a crazy good exfoliator, I’ve just had my first shower with this bar and my skin feels amazingly smooth. Its a less greasy version of Lush’s Buffy body bar. At the gorgeously decorated Pure Naked stand I had a wonderful chat with Louise and James, the co-founders, who are three-years strong vegans and have a strong ethical responsibility – which includes creating palm-oil free products.
Miiro Ice Cream – Peanut Butter – £2
Miiro is unfortunately only stocked in Planet Organic, Wholefoods and As Nature Intended (which is fortunately reasonably close to where I live). I can see this expanding soon because this product is amazing. The three flavours were hard to choose between: salter caramel, peanut butter and chocolate hazelnut. I chose the peanut butter lolly, which wasn’t as nutty as I would’ve hoped – perhaps it was due to their ambition to keep the treat’s calories low at 166. It was still delightfully delicious and I would happily buy this again.
Arabian Opulence – No 5 and MoonSparkle – 2 for £6
These fragrances are cheap, vegan, cruelty-free knock offs of popular perfumes. At 2 for £8 I had to grab a version of Channel No. 5 (the classic elegant femme scent) & a flirty Sparkling Moon. The scents are on point and I could still smell my 8am application at 2pm. At these prices you can afford to keep reapplying.
Roz – Skincare Mixing Set – this skincare bowl and spoon are made from rice husks and are biodegradable, anti-bacteria, non-toxic, & BPA Free. Perfect for mixing up face masks.
Coconut Jerky (see more on this below), I Love Snacks: almonds, mango and olives – these are perfectly sized snack packs which will help me through elevensies, Gusto Nero Black Jasmine Rice Pasta isn’t just perfect for those that are gluten free but also perfect for making your meals look cool, True Nopal Cactus Water wasn’t quite for me with it’s subtle fruity taste but it does contain minerals and electrolytes, I’m a long-time lover of Rebel Kitchen Mylk and was thrilled to find the chocolate drink in my goody bag.
A lot of the beauty brands at the show were the type that you see online and you’ve been dying to sample for months. At the Love Natural Love You show you’re able to finally sniff all the scents, try all the shades, get colour matches and grab a good deal.
Jason products are leaping bunny certified and are mostly vegan -you just have to watch out for beeswax in the odd product. The palm oil that’s used in their products are obtained from sources that support organic and/or sustainable palm practices. You can often find this brand in chemists or health food stores and their range is incredibly extensive.
Pacifica are a completely vegan and cruelty free brand with a full range of cosmetics, perfumes and skin care. I’ve only ever purchased perfumes by Pacifica: persian rose, waikiki pikake and mediterranian fig. Their range of smells is reasonably varied and come in spray, solid or roll on – definitely take a sniff of them all if you find them in a health store near you. I tried some of their eye shadows at the show and found them disappointingly low pigmented. Their Glow Baby walnut scrub was a near-purchase for me – perhaps I’ll be giving this a try in the future.
Whilst their online shop seems to be mostly made up of lipbalms, at the show they were demoing their new coconut scrub which left my hands soft and moisturised. They’re vegan friendly, PETA certified and donate a portion of their profits to WWF.
“Fresh, fruitilicious organic cosmetics. Powered by sunshine, made in the UK.”
The Herbatint permanent herbal hair colours are suitable for vegans, registered with the UK Vegan Society, cerified by PETA and are also gluten free. With thirty six beautiful shades to choose from, this hair dye colours gently, effectively and provides complete grey cover. Herbatint is free from ammonia, parabens, fragrance and alcohol.
These sort of shows are great opportunities to taste vegan products like cheeses, yoghurts and ice creams without wasting your money.
Sheese had a lot on offer and were first point of call being so close to the entrance. Tasters were available for block cheese, cream cheese and melted cheese (yes it actually melted nicely!). My favourites were the smoked cheddar style and the garlic and herb creamy sheese. Their stall compared favourably to Violife (although I love violife cheese slices in toasties) whose free samples tasted similar to plastic and stubbornly stuck together.
The Precious Pod make the best houmous – their smoked, rose harissa and kalamata flavours were incredible. Try out this brand if you’ve gotten a bit bored of the same old houmous from years being vegan. You can find their stock lists here.
Marigold Health Foods are best known for their much loved nutritional yeast which is a must-have in vegan kitchen cupboards. I was surprisingly delighted by their braised tofu which has a tougher, meatier texture than most tofu and would be best served in a sandwich or stir fry.
Mightybee available in Ocado is not something I ever would’ve bought, so I’m glad I tried a sample because they are super tasty. My favourite flavour is teriyaki but I also enjoyed spicy bbq and chocolate hazelnut. They aren’t something I could binge on (which is a pro in my book) but would make a tasty afternoon snack. As someone who has disliked coconut chips with a passion, I’m delighted with the taste and texture of this jerky.
So that’s everything wrapped up! It really was an incredible days with lots of freebies, good deals, free workshops and a great atmosphere. Comment and let me know down below which of the above products would’ve made your Must Have list!