As pet owners, we like to know the ethos behind our buying choices, don't we? Whether for ourselves or our pets, we all have certain criteria that's important.
This month we are launching our new Cruelty Free Review series, where we'll be bringing you reviews of cruelty free products for both you and your dogs from the brands you need to know about.
To kick our series off, Kim O'Meara and Lynsey Rayner have been putting '100% Natural' & 'Bee Friendly' beauty brand, Honey Bee Beautiful to the test.
"Catherine (the founder) was inspired to keep bees by her Dad. Having grown up in the Welsh countryside with home grown food and a sustainable style of living, she realised how important bees were in the ecosystem. With a lifelong passion for aromatherapy, massage and alternative therapy it was only a matter of time before her own ‘raw’ honey, with its amazing healing powers, was added into the mix to create the awesome range of natural products that we have today!"
As well as being cruelty free, Honey Bee Beautiful's products are all free of chemical preservatives including parabens, petroleum based ingredient lanolin, SLS and any other synthetic chemical ingredient or fragrance, and because of this, they say they're great for those with sensitive or dry skin.
They recently launched a new pet range and so as well as getting our own mitts on their beauty products for humans, we've also put their paw protector balm for dogs to the test.
'Pet Bee' Paw Protector Balm
"The paw balm has a subtle, not overly fragrant scent. When I used it on Charlie it absorbed straight into his dry paws to moisturise and left a protective layer on his pads, although not so thick that it would leave a trail on the sofa or carpets and it felt quite light when applying. It's nice to know it’s all natural and if they do lick it, it won’t hurt them."
'Nurse Bee' Univeral Balm
"This universal balm is meant to be ideal to provide relief from itchy, dry, sore and cracked skin. It has a lovely texture, very light but deeply moisturising. It soaks straight into the skin but leaves a lovely glow and smooth finish.
"It has a beautiful lavender fragrance that’s not too overwhelming. Easy to apply with the wooden scoop as you don’t have to use your finger in the pot. The packaging looks sweet and delicate."
'Guard Bee' Beeswax Lip Balms
"I'm a big fan of having a lip balm in every possible crevice needed. Car? Check. Handbag? Check. Desk? Check. Bathroom? Check. During the colder months, my lips crack terribly, so I've gotten used to having a lip balm on call everywhere needed.
"I was lucky enough to receive the set of lip balms, but for those less needy (and OCD'y) than me, then single tubes or pots of these balms are available.
"I know some people say that tubes are better, from a hygiene perspective, but I personally just prefer tubes so I can use the right amount needed as and when.
"I got a couple of hours of moisture from each application, which is pretty good, although I have others that last longer. My favourites of the set were the Peppermint, it just smells fresh, and the Rose. I know rose scented products aren't for everyone, they can be quite divisive, but I love them."
'Queen Bee' Orange, Rose & Patchouli Facial Treatment Scrub
"I love a good facial scrub, there's something about that fresh feeling afterwards that's quite addictive and reminds me to repeat the process, and enjoy 10 minutes downtime, once or twice a week.
"The first thing I noticed about this scrub was the fresh scent, orange hits you as soon as you open the pot. The scrub is made up of a combination of patchouli, orange, and rose essential oils with exfoliating jojoba beads and white sugar in apricot kernels and castor oils. The second thing is the volume of oil that moves to the surface naturally but stirs in well leaving a nice, grainy textured facial treatment ready to use.
"I have combination skin so I'm a little wary of anything that's overly oily, but because the oil mixes with the scrub well before use, it doesn't apply and leaves an oily residue so my skin didn't react in a negative way. Instead, because I only used a small amount and worked across the skin, my face felt nice and freshed."
'Busy Bee' Face Cream
"Easy to apply, a small pea-sized amount covers the whole face. The cream leaves a nice soft feel and glow to the face.
"I think this is a product that would last a long time as a little goes a long way. I found the fragrance slightly too strong for me as with sensitive skin I’m wary of putting too fragrances products on my face or eyes. However, I felt no reaction only smooth moisturising results."
'Bumble Bee' Facial Oil for Dry Skin
"I used it after cleansing and toning and found I only really needed a small amount, which was easy to measure using the pipette applicator. It has a lovely, musky scent which works nicely with what I think your 'nose' needs at night time. After using, my skin felt rejuvenated."
'Bumble Bee' Facial Spritz for Dry Skin
"Perfect for morning or evening skin care routine after cleansing, it has a subtle orange scent, which makes it feel very refreshing. The spray applicator is convenient to use, so it's hard to overspray, which is good. It leaves the skin feeling fresh and glowing."
'Honey Bee' Body Cream
"This cream has a nice thick texture, but goes on smoothly. I have dry skin and I can't say I noticed any lifting up after using, but I definitely noticed an improvement on how long my skin was moisturised for afterwards. I'm a big fan of rose scented products, so I really did like the rose geranium & frankincense body cream (a Lavender & Lime cream is also available).
"I'm not certain how long 120mls will last, but I've found myself using every other day on my 'worst' dry spots, purely to make it last as long as I possibly can, which says a lot about how well it does work to moisturise. Honey Bee Beautiful put it down to the honey and frankincense oil, which creates an extra softness."
'Baby Bee' Hand Cut Honey Soap with Goat's Milk
"It has a beautiful honey scent, it doesn’t disintegrate and stays nice and solid when using to wash. It leaves a really nice moisturising sheen to the hands rather than drying out too.
"It's a really lovely natural product that doesn’t leave any irritation and after a few uses can feel it helping to soften hands."
'Garden Bee' Hand & Foot Scrub
"This is a fantastic little product, truly, I really enjoyed it. Having dry skin, I often focus on my face or legs, forgetting my hands or feet, and this scrub reminds me that dry, dead and patchy skin doesn't have to last.
"Like the facial scrub, oil moves to the surface of the pot but it works into the product when stirred. It's a mixture of pink Himalayan salts, olive oil, honey, and rosemary and lemon essential oils leaves hands and feet feeling refreshed. Although it's a relatively small sized jar, 120g, you only need a small amount each time you use so it will last a while."
Many thanks to Honey Bee Beautiful for sharing cruelty-free products across their range to help us launch our new review series.