altrocklife’s cutest and funniest Christmas cards 2016

If you’re one for celebrating Christmas, or if you’re simply a fan of sending cards via snail mail to your friends and family, you’ll probably be aware that you’re running out of time to post your cards.  With 10 days remaining until Christmas Day, there’s just over a week to get your season’s greetings sent out.  However, if you’re struggling to find the right card for your friends and family, hopefully this guide of some of the funniest cards I’ve seen this year will give you some inspiration.

Merry Xmas, Asshole card – link here

If you’re a bit of a joker and don’t want your cards to be too traditional or emotional, this card is ideal.  Make sure you don’t accidentally give it to your Nan though, because if your’s is anything like mine she probably wouldn’t find it funny.

Groot Christmas Card – link here

Even if you’re not a fan of the Marvel film Guardians Of The Galaxy, you’ve got to agree that Baby Groot is absolutely adorable, and even more so when wrapped up in Christmas lights.

Little Baby Cheeses card – link here

If your friend or family member is a fan of a) plays on words and b) dairy products, this is the card for them.

Dave card – link here

I personally believe that this is the perfect card for anyone named Dave, however it might be worth checking that they didn’t apply for the new reindeer position, in case this card rubs salt in the wound of their rejected application.

Merry Christmas You Prick card – link here

Cacti patterns have been bang on trend throughout 2016, so this card is ideal for those who love their spiky friends.

Winter Is Coming card – link here

This festive card is perfect for the Game Of Thrones fan – or fans – in your life.  Make sure they’re on the side of the Starks, however, or the direwolf on the front may offend their Lannister sensibilities.

Avo Merry Christmas card – link here

Surely everyone knows at least one person who’s absolutely obsessed with avocados.  Whether they’re a veggie or vegan or simply into their healthy fats and instagrammable breakfasts, this card should leave a smile on their face.

Brussels Snouts card – link here

Whether you enjoy eating sprouts or not, I can guarantee that you’ll know at least one person who does like them, and this is an ideal card for them.

Seasons Greetings card – link here

I have a great friend who loves puns, so I’ve sent this card to them, and if you have a pun-loving friend or family member this should get a chuckle out of them.

What do you think of my selection of Christmas cards? Let me know your thoughts on my Facebook or Twitter page, or in the comment section below this post.

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Lifestyle: altrocklife’s daily cosmetic essentials

This year, skincare has become extremely important to me.  I’ve spent a lot of time (and money!) investing in various products to suit my combination skin, and I’m happy to say that I think I’ve found a winning combination.  I’ve also been wearing make-up for years now, and I’m pretty happy with how my face ends up looking after 45 minutes in front of a mirror, plus an extra five minutes spent on my hair, so I decided to take you on a tour of my cosmetics and toiletries drawer.  For reference, here’s my face and hair on a good day, as well as close-ups of the products.

(P.S.: Some of the items I’ll be highlighting are not cruelty free, and I am currently using up these products before making the swap to a cruelty free alternative.  I will make it clear which items are and aren’t cruelty free, and whether they’re vegetarian or vegan.)

The best products inside my make-up bag:

Barry M Chisel Cheeks Contour Kit in Light-Medium (Cruelty free and vegan)

Even though I bought the lightest colour palette, the lightest powder pretty much matches my skin tone and the darkest powder makes me look half starved.  So, I use the middle shade to contour and the next product to highlight.

Barry M Illuminating Strobe Cream in Frosty Pink (Cruelty free and vegan)

I absolutely love this cream: it’s very easy to control whether you want a subtle glow or to shine bright like a diamond.  I don’t use blusher because my cheeks are naturally pretty rosy, so I like the subtle pink colour of this cream to give my skin more of a glow.

Soap and Glory Archery Brow Tint and Precision Pencil in Love Is Blonde (Cruelty free, unsure if vegetarian or vegan)

This is the eyebrow product I’ve been using for years, and I can’t see myself straying from Soap and Glory.  My eyebrow hair isn’t as dark as the hair on my head, so I use the brow tint to darken the hair whilst using the pencil to fill in any gaps.  And believe me, my thin eyebrows always have loads of gaps.

Arbonne It’s A Long Story Mascara (Cruelty free and vegan)

A couple of months ago I was sent a sample sized tube of this mascara by Arbonne rep Tori Waight, and I absolutely love it! I’ve been using it sparingly to try and make it last as long as possible, but it makes my eyelashes look beautifully long, and it never clumps.  Full disclosure: I was sent this with a selection of other Arbonne products for free, but I had no obligation to publish a review and this is 100% my unbiased opinion.

Some stunning skincare essentials:

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water for sensitive skin (NOT cruelty free, unsure if vegetarian or vegan)

Garnier was one of the first brands to jump on the micellar water bandwagon, and their waters are some of the best on the market.  Unfortunately Garnier are not a cruelty free brand so once my current bottle is empty, I’ll be seeking out a cruelty free alternative.

Simple Kind To Skin Cleansing Facial Wipes (NOT cruelty free, vegan)

On the odd occasion where I’m too lazy to use micellar water to remove my make-up, or if I’m not wearing make-up on a particular day and I want to refresh my skin, I’ll use these facial wipes.  They leave my skin soft and refreshed.  Again, they aren’t cruelty free so I’ll be finding an alternative soon.

Lush Vanishing Cream Moisturiser (Cruelty free and vegetarian)

Vanishing Cream has become my absolute lifesaver, and I genuinely cannot imagine myself living without it.  It has a wonderful lavender fragrance, and it’s the most intensely moisturising cream I’ve ever used, which is perfect for me and my dry, dry skin.  I can definitely believe Lush’s claim that this is one of their bestselling products.

The Body Shop British Rose Instant Glow Body Butter (Cruelty free, but owned by a parent company which isn’t cruelty free, unsure if vegetarian or vegan)

I absolutely love anything rose scented, so this body butter is perfect for me.  It sinks into the skin so quickly and leaves my arms and legs soft and smooth, with no signs of dry skin, peeling, or the dreaded scaly-looking lizard legs.

Lush Elbow Grease Moisturising Bar (Cruelty free and vegetarian)

I bought this product to help me along the process of healing my tattoos, because when my tattoos get scabby and dry, a hit of Elbow Grease helps to calm the itchiness.  Plus, I like to use it on my already healed tattoos to help them appear brighter.  The smell of this product is absolutely divine too!

The Body Shop British Rose Petal Soft Hand Cream (Cruelty free, but owned by a parent company which isn’t cruelty free, unsure if vegetarian or vegan)

Like the Body Butter mentioned above, I love the fragrance of this hand cream.  It absorbs into the skin super quickly and leaves my hands feeling soft and smooth.  My current part-time cleaning job means I’ve constantly got my hands in water or using chemicals, so I need a decent hand cream to keep my hands from completely drying out.

My weekly lip care product:

Lush Popcorn Lip Scrub (Cruelty free and vegan)

This scrub helps to prevent the build up of dead skin, especially during winter when my lips get hella chapped.  Plus, the coconut oil in the formulation means that this scrub isn’t too harsh on my lips.

Everyday hair styling:

Lush Hair Custard Hair Dressing (Cruelty free and vegetarian)

The scent of this product is absolutely divine, and it works as a medium hold product to keep my flyaway hairs in place.  It’s great value for money as well, as I’ve been using my tub since July and I’ve hardly made a dent in it!

Cien Hairspray (Cruelty free, unsure if vegetarian or vegan)

Even though this Lidl hairspray is a much cheaper alternative to other high street brands, it’s a brilliant hairspray.  It doesn’t get sticky and has a brilliant hold, so I’d recommend it to anyone.

What are your daily skincare essentials? Let me know your thoughts on my Facebook or Twitter page, or in the comment section below this post.

Essential albums you need in your car

Hi altrocklifers! In massive life news, I officially got my first car this week, and I feel like I’m one step closer to becoming a responsible adult.  It’s a cute little navy blue Ford Ka, 11 years old, and named Lzzy after one of my favourite vocalists, Lzzy Hale (cringey, I know).

Katie sat in her new car on her driveway
Isn’t she cute??

Naturally, as a music lover the part I was most excited about when I got the car home was filling the glove box with CDs.  I haven’t driven it much, which isn’t surprising considering I haven’t passed my test yet, but here are the albums I’m looking forward to listening to on the road.

Slaves – Take Control

I love this record, and the aggressive riffs and lyrics means shouting along is a great way to channel any road rage without crashing the car or giving other drivers the middle finger.

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes – Blossom

I always think it sounds badass when a car blasting punk music drives past you: that’s what I’m aiming for when I play this record.

We Are The Ocean – Ark

This record is great for long drives, especially at night: plenty of big choruses to keep you awake, and some more mellow numbers for stretches of empty road.

A Day To Remember – Bad Vibrations

This is, so far, my favourite album released this year, so of course I had to put it in my car to maximise the amount of time I spend listening to it.

Pure Love – Anthems

Frank Carter’s discarded project produced one of my favourite all-time records.  You can’t beat a car sing-a-long to tracks like Handsome Devils Club or Bury My Bones.

Bastille – Other People’s Heartache Part 3

If I fancy listening to electronic music, this EP by Bastille is always one of my top choices.  My favourite track on the EP is Remains, featuring the beautiful voices of both Rag N Bone Man and Skunk Anansie.

Foals – What Went Down

This album always manages to keep me occupied and entertained during boring, stop-start town driving.

What are some essential albums or tracks on your car playlist?  Let me know your on my Facebook or Twitter page, or in the comment section below this post.

Things you only know if you have alternative piercings

Since December 2014, I have officially been a person with alternative piercings.  I personally define ‘alternative piercings’ as any body piercing which isn’t located in the earlobe.  I consider myself to have three alternative piercings: my tragus and helix on my left ear, and my left nostril.  I also have each earlobe pierced twice, and I have further plans for more alternative piercings, such as a microdermal on my chest, my other nostril and septum, and potentially more cartilage piercings on my right ear.

Now, before I get into this post, I’d like to make the disclaimer that my experiences as a person with alternative piercings are fairly mild compared to some people with more body modifications.  However, I thought I’d write about my experiences navigating the world as a person with alternative piercings, and how I interact with people who don’t have them.

1 – The pain you feel when you snag your piercing on your hair/clothes/bed sheets/towel

I still snag my nose piercing all the time when I’m washing my face, or I catch my helix piercing when I pull a t-shirt over my head.  No matter how long you’ve had a piercing, and whether it’s fully healed or not, it will still take you by surprise and you’ll end up snagging it on something.  I’ve had my tragus pierced for nearly two years and I still catch it on my towel when I dry my hair.

2 – Is my piercing infected, or does it have hypertrophic scarring? Or a keloid?  Or an irritation bump?????

There are all sorts of things that could potentially go wrong with a piercing.  If you irritate it, as mentioned in the first point, you could end up with an irritation bump.  These are harmless and will reduce in size and eventually disappear when the irritation stops, for example I finally stop knocking my nose when I’m applying face scrub.  There are other possibilities, however: you could have a hypertrophic scar, which is essentially a build up of collagen.  These aren’t really harmful, but if they’re large enough and close to your piercing the size of it may push on your piercing and cause it to migrate.  Alternatively, you could have a keloid, another type of scar tissue, which is more of an issue.  If all of these have been ruled out it’s possible that you may have an infected piercing, which is a risk when trying to heal an open wound.  If you think that might be the case, speak to your piercer and ask for their advice, or if you think it looks serious book an appointment with your GP.

3 – How do you cope with all the risks that come with piercings, as mentioned in point two?

Sometimes, it feels like the effort of trying to heal your piercing isn’t worth the hassle. I’ve had what I believe is an irritation bump on the back of my helix piercing for months, and it’s become infected a couple of times. However, I love how my helix looks, and I reckon that I’ve already come this far, so I ought to keep up the hard work and eventually I’ll have a fully healed piercing that I can love for the rest of my life.  In my eyes, it’d be a waste of time if I just took my piercing out and gave up now.

4 – How much did it hurt? How much did it bleed?

I personally hate being asked how much my piercings hurt, because people seem to forget that every person has a different pain threshold.  I’m an absolute wimp, so I’m worried that I’d scare people from getting piercings that they really want because my pain rating out of ten seems high to them.  I’ve discussed pain levels with people who have the same piercings as me and we all have different perceptions of how much they hurt.

5 – How long did your piercing take to heal?  Is there any way I can speed up the process?

I’m not gonna beat around the bush here: some piercings are absolute buggers to heal.  And once again, the time it takes varies from person to person.  My immune system isn’t particularly fantastic, so my healing times are probably longer than most peoples’.  I’ve had my helix pierced for a year and a half and it still hasn’t fully healed.  On the other hand, my tragus was fully healed within a few months, when others suggest it can take 12 to 18 months.  You absolutely cannot predict how quickly your piercings will heal, as other influences, such as illness or poor nutrition, could slow down your immune system.  Plus, there is no way to rush the healing process.  You have to remember that your piercing jewellery is a foreign body that your immune system will want to fight and reject, so healing the piercing is a tricky process.

6 – You should twist your jewellery twice a day to speed up the healing process!

This is the old way that piercers recommended you heal your piercings, but nowadays this process is frowned upon.  This is because it’s been discovered that twisting your jewellery only damages and tears the cells in the fistula (the hole of the piercing), which actually delays the healing process.

7 – You should use contact lens solution to heal your piercings!

This is a common misconception, because most piercers recommend using saline solution (a.k.a. salt water) to heal your piercings, and contact lens solution is very close to being pure saline. However, if you read the ingredients contact lens solution often contains other elements which could irritate your piercing and prolong the healing process.

8 – You look better natural, without any piercings.

Too bad, I like them.

Do you have alternative piercings?  Are there any other points that I’ve missed off of this list? Let me know on my Facebook or Twitter page, or in the comment section below this post.

Lifestyle: Where do you draw the line between cruelty free products and a vegetarian/vegan diet?

You may remember from last month that I wrote a post discussing my favourite Lush products, which is a brand well known for being 100% vegetarian and cruelty free. Following that post, I’ve been pondering my stance on consuming products where animals have been harmed in some way, whether through my dietary choices or cosmetics.  Honestly, I’m not 100% sure where I stand yet, so I thought I’d write down my thoughts and hopefully get a discussion going with you, my lovely readers.

First of all, I’ve reduced my consumption of animal products over the past 18 months or so.  In May 2015 I became pescetarian, which means I cut out all animal flesh from my diet except for fish and other forms of seafood.  This was for two reasons – I didn’t think I would commit to full vegetarianism straight away so I wanted to ease myself into it, and I also really love(d) calamari and teriyaki salmon.  However, my last taste of fish was some fancy salmon mousse on New Year’s Day, and since then no animal flesh has passed my lips (except for the time my Stepdad accidentally gave me some pasta with ham in).

My current rule is that I won’t eat an animal product if the animal has had to die for me to be able to consume it. This includes all flesh, gelatine (made from animal bones) and rennet (made from calf stomach lining), and means that I still consume milk, eggs, and other dairy products.

This rule also means that I won’t purchase products made of leather (excluding the leather bag my Mum bought me for my birthday last year), suede or other animal skins, but I will by products made of wool.  When I move away from diet and consider cosmetics, this is where the line between what I can and cannot purchase becomes to blur.

For me, my reasoning for becoming vegetarian (and eventually aiming to become vegan) consists of two main factors. The first is that I am against the unnecessary cruelty involved in the farming industry. The second is that I have found that I am capable of living a healthy life and meeting all of my dietary and nutritional requirements with a vegetarian diet, plus iron supplements.  However, like meat products, soap and conditioner are not life necessities for me: even though I wouldn’t have many friends if I didn’t wear deodorant, I wouldn’t die without it.  This video ( which includes some strong language, by the way) by Australian lifestyle and beauty YouTuber Nibbles Official explains that side of the argument quite well, whilst also going into why she herself doesn’t follow a vegetarian or vegan diet.

Most of the toiletries I buy are already cruelty free. A number of them aren’t vegan as they contain products such as honey, but because I am only vegetarian at the moment I’m happy to still use toiletries containing animal products.  The main area where I struggle to draw the line is make-up and other cosmetics.  According to the RSPCA, it is illegal to sell products in the EU which have been tested on animals or have ingredients which have been tested on animals, which means that all of the products on the shelves at Boots are cruelty free.  This is reassuring, but unfortunately that doesn’t mean that the brands themselves are totally cruelty free, because China legally requires cosmetic companies to test their products on animals before they can be sold in the country.  That means that companies that do sell their products in China do still test some of their products on animals.

This is why I struggle to draw the line: if the make-up brands I use sell their products in China and therefore test on animals, should I stop purchasing from those brands, even though I know the products on UK shelves haven’t been tested themselves?  Am I OK with supporting a brand who does test on animals under certain conditions, even though the products I buy are cruelty free?  Again, make-up isn’t a life essential (although you might think it is if you knew how long I spent on my eyebrows in the morning), so shouldn’t I work harder to ensure that my purchases do not enable or condone animal suffering?

I’d be very interested to hear from my followers, whether you use cruelty free products, are vegetarian or vegan, or just have a strong opinion on the subject. Let me know your thoughts on my Facebook or Twitter page, or in the comment section below this post.

Lifestyle: My Pokémon GO playlist

Before I get started on this blog post, I’m well aware that I’m very late jumping on the Pokémon GO bandwagon.  Unfortunately until very recently my phone storage was completely full, and until I bought a new SD card the other day I just didn’t have the space to download the app.  Thankfully, now I have the app and my days have been filled with Pokémon hunting, egg hatching and plenty of Pokéstop visits.

I’m sure there are still a couple of people on the planet who don’t know anything about the app, so here’s a quick run down: Pokémon GO is a phone app inspired by the Nintendo-owned Japanese franchise, Pokémon, which involves our heroes Ash, Misty and Brock travelling the world to hunt superpowered creatures.  In the case of the app, you play as a Pokémon trainer who walks around your local area, hunting wild Pokémon using GPS to track them down.  You can visit Pokéstops (which, in my town, are located in churches, community centres, local landmarks and art installations) to stock up on supplies, and battle other trainers at Gyms.  The goal is to power up your Pokémon until they’re strong enough to take over your local Gym and defend it from the other opposing teams.

Whilst I’ve been out and about, wandering around my town and visiting Pokéstops, I’ve found myself listening to the same tracks over and over again.  I thought that today I’d recreate my Pokémon GO playlist on Spotify and share it with you all, obviously beginning with the show’s theme song, so hopefully it will inspire you to go out and get hunting.   The playlist features some classic rock to get you prepared for the long walk ahead, and newer more energetic tracks that will hype you up for battle.

What do you think of my track selection?  Do you have your own Pokémon GO playlist? Let me know on my Facebook or Twitter page, or in the comment section below this post.

Lifestyle: My favourite Lush products

Hi altrocklifers! Today I thought I’d do something a bit different, and discuss my recent foray into purchasing from ethical cosmetics giant, Lush.  The company, which had humble beginnings in Poole in 1995 (the year I was born!) has reached worldwide acclaim for their 100% vegetarian and cruelty free products.

Now, Lush always seemed like a niche shop to me, and I used to be quite nervous about going inside and asking questions.  Plus, a lot of their long term customers, AKA Lushies, can be a little bit fanatical about the brand.  I went pescatarian last May and fully vegetarian in January, so since then I’ve been making a more conscious effort to purchase toiletries from cruelty free and vegetarian brands.  I’m very glad I did, as the products are fantastic and I can use them guilt free!  Plus, all of the staff in my local branches (Bournemouth whilst at university and Lincoln whilst at home) are absolutely lovely and were brilliant at helping me find the best products for my skin and hair.

I’m going to go over the products I’m currently using and how I feel about them, as well as products I’ve tried in the past and didn’t continue to use and why.

HAIR

Soak And Float – solid shampoo bar

Lush's Soak And Float solid shampoo bar on a plastic grass design soap dish
The soap dish was £3 from Tiger, by the way. It’s a fab way of storing my shampoo bar!

I’ve always struggled finding suitable shampoo, as I have mild dandruff and medicated shampoo only ever managed to keep the worst of the flakes at bay. Thankfully, Soak And Float is absolutely fantastic at calming my scalp, and I’ve seen nary a flake since starting to use this solid shampoo about two months ago.  It’s fantastic value for money as well: Lush suggests that each bar lasts up to three months, but because I have very short hair I think mine will last even longer than that.  Scent wise, I can’t put my finger on what the dominant scent of this product is, but it’s quite gentle and a little sweet.

Price: £5.95 for 55g
Recommended for: People with sensitive scalps or dandruff
Status: Vegan
My rating: ★★★★★

American Cream – conditioner

250g bottle of Lush American Cream conditioner

American Cream has mixed reviews across the board: some hail it as a conditioner deity, others think it smells like curdled milk or baby sick.  Personally I lean much further towards the former.  Whilst I don’t think this conditioner smells like strawberry vanilla like it’s supposed to, it does have a sweet, pleasant creamy smell which reminds me of crème brûlée before you caramelise the top.  I have fairly thick hair, and this conditioner is thick enough to thoroughly condition whilst being light enough not to weigh down my natural curls.

Price: £9.95 for 250g
Recommended for: People with normal to thick hair
Status: Vegetarian
My rating: ★★★★☆

Hair Custard – hair dressing

A sample pot of Lush's Hair Custard
I always leave Lush with at least one free sample. It’s great!

Last time I went to Lush in Lincoln the person who served me suggested I give Hair Custard a go, and I’m glad they did.  It’s a light, creamy product with a strong vanilla fragrance which I use to fight the frizz which comes hand in hand with curly hair.  I also use it as a light styling product to keep my curls in place.  The product is ideally used in wet hair before blow-drying, but because I leave my hair to air-dry I don’t know how well it works in that way.  I’ll definitely be buying a full sized tub next time I go to Lush.

Price: £12.95 for 100g
Recommended for: People who want to tackle frizz or hydrate their hair
Status: Vegetarian
My rating: ★★★★☆

FACE

Cup O’ Coffee – face and body scrub

Cup O' Coffee Lush face and body mask

I absolutely love coffee, so I was drawn to Cup O’ Coffee straight away.  It has a very sweet, chocolatey smell, with crushed coffee beans which add the exfoliating touch.  I have combination skin – oily in some places and dry in others – so the crushed coffee beans help to exfoliate away dead skin, and the agave syrup and coriander oil soothes and moisturises.  You can use this product to exfoliate your body too, but at the moment I only use it on my face.

Price: £6.75 for 150g
Recommended for: People who get dry, flaky skin
Status: Vegan
My rating: ★★★★★

Popcorn – lip scrub

Lush's Popcorn lip scrub

This was part of a lovely birthday gift from my sister, and it’s a gift that keeps on giving.  It’s lasted a very long time, and it does wonders for exfoliating my lips.  I get very chapped and dry lips, especially in the winter, so I like to exfoliate with Popcorn and apply a moisturising lip balm before bed.  It’s got a lovely sweet taste, and actually does smell like popcorn! Bonus.

Price: £5.50 for 25g (but it lasts a really long time!)
Recommended for: People who frequently get chapped lips
Status: Vegan
My rating: ★★★★☆

BODY

The Olive Branch – shower gel

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Remember to give The Olive Branch a good shake before using, because the olive oil separates and forms a separate layer at the top of the bottle.

At first I was a little nervous about using this product, as it contains olive oil and I was worried I would end up with more spots on my back and chest than before.  Thankfully, this wasn’t the case, and The Olive Branch helped my dry arms and legs become smooth and moisturised.  It has a lovely citrus scent thanks to the mandarin and bergamot oil.  It is very runny, which took me aback when I first used it, but once you get the hang of how much you need a bottle goes a long way.

Price: £9.95 for 250g
Recommended for: People with dry skin
Status: Vegan
My rating: ★★★★★

PRODUCTS I NO LONGER USE AND WHY

Veganese – conditioner

Veganese conditioner by Lush

I absolutely love the scent of Veganese – it has a very strong and refreshing lemon scent.  The product was recommended to me by one of the members of staff in the Lincoln store, because I was looking for a fairly light conditioner that wouldn’t weigh down my curls.  Unfortunately for me this conditioner was too light, and didn’t leave my hair feeling conditioned at all. I passed Veganese on to my Mum, who has straighter, thinner hair than I do.  She really likes it, so I can vouch for it being a good quality product, but it just wasn’t right for me.

Price: £9.95 for 250g
Recommended for: People with normal-to-thin, straight hair
Status: Vegan
My rating: ★★☆☆☆

Angels On Bare Skin – face and body cleanser

Lush Angels On Bare Skin face and body cleanser tub

I actually used up two whole pots of this cleanser before moving to Cup O’ Coffee, and it really served me well whilst I was using it.  It has a very strong lavender scent, which I love, but others seem to find overpowering.  The ground almonds in this cleanser exfoliated my skin whilst the chamomile and lavender calmed and soothed.  Unfortunately I found that it didn’t exfoliate enough, and my face was left with patches of dry, flaky skin.  I also found the process of adding water to the product before mixing to a paste quite tedious.

Price: £7.25 for 100g
Recommended for: People with slightly dryer skin who don’t need too much exfoliation
Status: Vegan
My rating: ★★★☆☆

Are you a fan of Lush?  Have you tried any of the products above? Let me know on my Facebook or Twitter page, or in the comment section below this post.

Lifestyle: altrocklife’s thoughts on the EU referendum

Hi altrocklifers! Today I thought I’d do something a bit different, considering that tomorrow I’ll be casting my vote in one of the most important referendums in British history. Yes, tomorrow is judgement day, and we will be deciding whether Britain is going to Remain or Brexit the European Union.

I’m not writing this post today to tell you how to vote.  I’m not claiming to be a political expert with all of the answers, and I don’t particularly want to be drawn into an online debate about which box you should draw your X in.  However, I would like to talk about my observations of both campaigns, as well as the importance of voting.

To be honest, it appears to me that both sides of the argument have engaged in fear tactics and blatant lies in order to try and scare the general public into voting their way.  At the end of the day, the average Brit won’t have any sort of extensive economic, political or immigration-related expertise, so will have to rely on materials from both campaigns to make their decision.  The main sentiment I’ve seen recently is that, whatever way people vote, they’re voting that way because of independent research they’ve conducted and despite the official campaigns.

The campaigns have also been extremely emotional, drawing on peoples’ fears, their patriotism, and igniting anti-immigrant, xenophobic attitudes.  Emotions were running high especially after the murder of MP Jo Cox last Thursday, which is believed to have been politically motivated.  Plus, endorsements to both sides of the debate by celebrities, politicians and other big names has created a “names game”.  It almost feels like both campaigns are collecting endorsements like they’re Pokémon cards. (Sorry for the slightly outdated reference)

I also think that both sides of the debate have been stating their opinions and predictions as facts, which is deplorable to me considering nothing is guaranteed regardless of the result of this election.  Whilst the Remain campaign could argue that if we stay, we’ll just continue on as normal, after all the unrest and aggression towards the EU during these campaigns who’s to say that everything will go back to how things were? Plus on the Brexit side, no country has ever left the European Union after joining, so predictions from experts aside we really have no idea what will happen when we do eventually sever ties and leave.

Plus, voters – especially young voters – have had it drummed into their heads just how important this vote is, so I don’t want to add to the condescending tone and “remind” people how important this referendum is to the future of Britain.  However, I would like to reiterate that this vote will decide the future for those of us aged under 50.  Those voters over 50 won’t have to live with the long term consequences of either remaining or leaving the EU, whereas us young’uns will be dealing with whatever happens for much, much longer.  So, if you’re under 50, make sure you cast your vote, whichever way you decide is best, so your granny doesn’t end up deciding your future for you.

Inactivity apology and scheduling announcement

Hey altrocklifers! As I’m sure you can tell, the blog has been inactive for the past couple of weeks. This is because I visited home for two weeks before my third year of university gets started.

Unfortunately, this has led me to realise that I will not be able to sustain my previous blogging schedule of one update every Monday and Thursday any more.  Instead I will be updating when I have free time and if something of interest has happened in the music or fashion world.  For example, if an album I’m interested in is released, or I attend a gig, I’ll update.

I’d like to extend my apologies to you, my faithful altrocklife readers, and I hope to be less busy and updating as much as I used to very soon.

Thanks, and see you soon!

altrocklife’s favourite musicians on Twitter

Hi there altrocklifers! I’m a big fan of all things Twitter, and I can spend hours mindlessly scrolling down my timeline.  Here’s a round-up of my favourite Twitter accounts, in no particular order, run by the members of my favourite bands.

Sean Smith

Even though The Blackout are dead and gone (RIP), Sean is still pretty active on Twitter and regularly posts some hilarious tweets.

Gerard Way

If you’re into surreal humour, then Gerard’s Twitter account is the one for you.  Here’s an example of him asking the big questions.

Mark Hoppus

Mark regularly wins ‘Best Twitter’ awards, and just a quick glance at his profile will explain why.

Pete Wentz

Pete manages to balance tweeting about his children, Fall Out Boy’s tours and live performances and supporting fellow musicians with surprising ease, with a little bit of humour thrown in.

James Davies

What’s this, another ex-member of The Blackout?  James is one of my favourite Tweeters, and he never fails to bring a smile to my face. If you’re a fan of The Simpsons, his account will definitely be to your taste.

What do you think of my list of fantastic Tweeters?  Is there anyone I missed?  Let me know on Facebook or Twitter.

Currently listening to: O.G. LokoOf Mice & Men