The Sweet Meadow

veganism

Beauty & The Vegan - Part I

beautyAishe Besim

When I opened The Sweet Meadow cafe I expected questions from customers about how we make a particular dessert or what thickener we use in sauces, but one question I get asked quite a lot is what makeup / beauty products I use. Who would have thought?!

While I called myself a vegan since the day I stopped eating animal products, it took a little longer to transition away from other non-vegan products that I was using on my skin & body. Now, after four years as a vegan, I'm almost there! 

The term "cruelty-free" gets thrown around a lot in the beauty industry and it can be misleading, especially for us vegans. Cruelty-free basically means the brand who makes the product does not test on animals, although that same product may include animal-derived ingredients such as beeswax or honey and still be labelled "cruelty-free." Go figure. 

In this post, I will share my holy-grail cruelty-free makeup products and where you can purchase them (stay tuned for Part II for skin/body products). Most of these products are by brands that are considered high-end, however I see no point going out and buying cheaper alternatives if they aren't the ones I personally use. Brands such as NYX, Australis and E.L.F. are cheaper alternatives with a lot of vegan makeup options.

TOP ROW (L-R):
Australis Banana Powder - I use this to highlight under the eyes (a must when you wake up at 5am), as well as the centre of the face (forehead, nose & chin).
Laura Mercier Translucent Powder - This is a cult beauty product for a reason. Sets your makeup without creasing, caking or flashback. Buy it from David Jones or Sephora in Australia.
Hourglass Luminous Bronze Light Bronzer - Finding a vegan bronzer is bloody hard work but this one is a gem and worth the price. 
Jeffree Star Cosmetics Skin Frost Highlighter - Get ready to glow for the gods - this highlighter is bomb. Jeffree may be a polarising personality but he gets points from me for creating an entire beauty brand that is vegan. 
Tarte In Bloom Eyeshadow Palette - Disclaimer: this eye shadow palette isn't vegan. While the brand Tarte offers an impressive selection of vegan makeup, some of their eyeshadow shades contain carmine, a purplish-red pigment made from dye obtained from a beetle. Without a doubt the most difficult vegan makeup item to find is eyeshadows, as most brands use carmine in their formulas. I'm taking the matter into my own hands as I am in the process of creating my own custom eyeshadow palette - more on that later.

MIDDLE ROW (L-R):
Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Finish Powder - This is a must-have for those of us with oily skin. Also living for Charlotte's rose gold packaging.
Cover FX Illuminating Setting Spray - Like Jeffree Star Cosmetics, Cover FX's entire collection is vegan. Their setting spray gives the skin a nice glow without being oily.
Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer - Makes your skin feel as smooth as a baby's bum. Get your hands on a sample - there's no going back.
Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Youth Boosting Foundation - A great foundation for everyday wear with a good colour range. 
Beauty Blender - This sponge is worth the hype. Blends liquid products into the skin like a dream. 
Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer - I love this concealer because it's so hydrating. I have a few different shades as I use concealer to highlight as well as camouflage imperfections.
Cover FX Customer Enhancer Drops in Sunlight - I mix this with my foundation to create a bronzed glow. Comes in handy if I've been fake tanning. 
Sportsgirl Draw The Line Eyeliner - The best feature of this eyeliner? It has a twist-up top meaning no need for a pencil sharpener - winning!
Stila Waterproof Liquid Liner - Super pigmented and works a treat over chunkier eyeshadows on the lash line. I never use anything other than black. 
Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara - With a name like that you know this has gotta be good. I've lost count as to how many times I've repurchased this (best to only own one or two different mascaras at a time - they only last about six months once they've been opened). 

BOTTOM ROW (L-R):
Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Gloss in Butterscotch - The best lip glosses in the business, and every colour is vegan! Her eyebrow products are also the bees knees, and vegan-friendly. 
KKW Beauty Lip Creme - These behave more like a lip gloss than a lipstick, but the colours are ideal for everyday wear. 
Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Bow N Arrow - A passionate vegan herself, Kat Von D's liquid lipstick formula is one of the best I've tried. It lasts all day and doesn't dry out your lips like most. 
Jeffree Star Cosmetics Liquid Lipstick in Mannequin - This colour is the perfect nude. I always get compliments when I wear this colour.
Zoeva brushes - In my opinion, Zoeva offer the best selection & quality of vegan brushes on the market (some of their styles use animal hair, be sure to check before you buy if you're purchasing single brushes). 
Natasha Denona Star Palette - This palette costs a small fortune but Natasha Denona is a master of colour and the quality is insane. Like the Tarte eyeshadow palette, some of the shades contain carmine, which is not vegan. I own around 15 eyeshadow palettes and none of them are completely vegan. As a result, I've just purchased my first Z Palette and have started purchasing single eyeshadows from Makeup Geek and Anastasia Beverly Hills to finally create a vegan-friendly selection of shadows. 

For more information about cruelty-free beauty products make sure to check out Cruelty-Free Kitty, which has the most extensive resources to help you choose cruelty-free products.

Chef Phil's Wild Mushroom Salad

recipesAishe Besim

At this year's Flavours of Echuca Moama Festival, Chef Phil created a wild mushroom salad with local hazelnuts and a sherry dressing. He prepared the dish on stage as part of a cooking demonstration at the event. Here is the recipe if you'd like to re-create it yourself.

ROAST WILD MUSHROOM & VICTORIAN HAZLENUT SALAD
VEGAN
Serves 2

INGREDIENTS
250g wild mushrooms, sliced. We used slippery jacks foraged from a public pine forest. If you are not experienced with foraging mushrooms, best to use gourmet mushrooms from greengrocers - some wild mushrooms can be deadly if eaten! Shiitake or oyster mushrooms would work well.
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 shallots, diced
Tablespoon nuttelex
Tablespoon hazelnuts, roasted & peeled
2 sprigs each thyme, parsley and tarragon, finely chopped
Mixed baby salad greens
Almond feta, crumbled
Salt & pepper, to taste

DRESSING
Tablespoon sherry vinegar
Five tablespoons olive oil
Half a lemon, juiced

Sourdough croutons. Chef Phil made his own by thinly sliced a loaf of sourdough and baking it in the oven with a drizzle of olive oil until crunchy. Replace the sourdough with gluten free bread to make this dish gluten free. 

METHOD
1. Heat a medium size fry pan. Once warm, add nuttelex, shallots and garlic and cook until softened. 
2. Add mushrooms and sauté for a few minutes until softened. Turn off heat.
3. Add the chopped herbs to the pan and mix through.
4. Meanwhile, whisk together olive oil, vinegar and lemon juice to create the dressing.
5. Toss salad leaves with the dressing and hazelnuts. 
6. To serve, add the warm mushrooms, sourdough croutons and almond feta. Season to taste.
 

Papa don't peach smoothie recipe

recipesAishe Besim

We are almost ready to launch our Autumn menu. One of the blends that won't be available anymore is the Papa Don't Peach, because, as the name suggests, we need peaches to make it and they just aren't around in autumn!

The good news is that that this blend is super easy to make at home. Try it before the peaches run out...

PAPA DON'T PEACH
VEGAN | DAIRY FREE | GLUTEN FREE
Makes about 500ml

INGREDIENTS
350ml coconut milk
2 peaches, stone & skin removed (we usually use white-flesh peaches)
1 frozen banana
Juice of half a lemon
1 teaspoon coconut cream (optional)
1/2 cup frozen raspberries

METHOD
1. Add all ingredients to the blender except for the raspberries and blend on a high speed blender until smooth.

2. Pour half the mixture into the serving glasses. Add the raspberries to the remaining mixture and blitz again.

3. To serve, slowly pour the raspberry layer on top of the peach layer. Using the back of a spoon, create a ripple effect between the layers. Serve immediately.