Manchester beauty brand, Stripped, hopes to transform the natural cosmetics industry with their vegan friendly, cruelty-free products.
Can you feel it? The teasing wisp of spring is tiptoeing into life, and with it, a reverie of hope. Day by day, the hours are filled with longer stretches of light, and in all honesty, we’ve been praying for something (other than payday) to look forward to since New Year’s Day. After what felt like the longest January in history, we’re fairly certain that everyone deserves a little pick-me-up; that’s why, in the spirit of all things new, we’ve started to revamp our beauty section by exploring some of Manchester’s most gentle and cruelty-free products to try this season.
Starting with the beautiful cruelty-free Manchester skincare brand, Stripped.
Developed by Manchester entrepreneur and former adult acne sufferer, Stripped takes a dressed-down approach to skincare. Using only 100% natural oils and butters, the entire range is completely devoid of chemicals, preservatives and synthetic ingredients – favouring only organic, high quality and vegan friendly ingredients. After struggling to find natural solutions, or brands which offer complete transparency about what goes into their products, Sinead Hughes founded the brand and set out to create her own daily skincare regime, perfect for all skin types, including combination, sensitive and mature skin.
With the environment at the forefront of our minds, cosmetics packaging is often a talking point when it comes to beauty products. With a conscious founder who is equally as passionate about beauty as its impact on the environment, Stripped is packaged in recyclable glass bottles and aluminium tins. Sustainably sourced, the eco-friendly collection is formulated and manufactured in the UK. Stripped has never been, and never will be, tested on animals.
In such a saturated market, beauty branding can be hard to perfect – especially for start-ups. Hughes was keen to create cool looking products that you’d be happy to display in your bathroom, so she elicited the help of Bolton-born fashion illustrator Dominic Evans, of Dom & Ink to create a unique brand identity.
With intricate, female-led designs, Dom’s illustrations often feature positive messages for worthy campaigns, such as @girlvscancer and mental health advocate @offudtydoctor. Dom also created the official logo for Emma Watson’s feminist book club @oursharedshelf, so we can see why Stripped thought his designs might set them apart from other beauty brands. We love them.
Stripped Rosehip & Mandarin Moisturising Oil (£16.00/30ml)
Sometimes your skin needs a little boost to make sure it has all of the nutrients and vitamins to keep it supple, healthy and equipped to repair itself overnight. Living and working in the city, there’s little I love more than coming home and taking my makeup straight off – I apply night cream every night, so I try to give my skin some time to breathe before bed.
After removing makeup with a hot-cloth cleanser routine, I warmed a very small amount (around 2-3 drops, although Stripped suggest approximately 4) of the Stripped Rosehip & Mandarin Moisturising Oil in my palms before massaging into my face and neck in upward motions. I did this while my skin was slightly damp; this gave my skin the opportunity to soak up as much of the wonderful nutrients from the skin-loving natural oils in the product. It’s also a great way to apply any oil-based product without leaving your skin feeling greasy.
I found the Stripped Moisturising Oil beautifully nourishing without being over bearing or heavy. On a personal level, orange and mandarin are always winning scents (they remind me of balmy summers in the Mediterranean), and in this case, the organic mandarin essential oil is specifically sourced for its pore-cleansing ability, whilst also serving as a healing factor that promotes a glowing complexion. Another beneficial ingredient, the organic rosehip oil, is a wonderful source of Vitamin A and helps repair damage skin and ease acne – it’s also great for smoothing lines and alleviating immediate signs of aging.
Vegan and gluten-free, there are a world of other beauty benefits in this wonder product, which contains only 6 carrier oils and 4 essential oils. The full list of these can be found here.
Stripped Lavender Eye Make-Up Remover Oil (£8.00/50ml)
The most delicate region of your face, the eye area demands careful and delicate attention, which is quite contradictory to the black cat-eyeliner and layers of tough mascara I wear everyday. I’m normally a little hesitant when applying lotions or products too close to my eyes, so I’m usually a sucker for make-up wipes, but this Stripped Eye Make-Up Remover is made using only carrier and essential oils, so I gave it a go.
As per the Stripped website’s advice, I applied the product directly to the area with my fingers, warming up and rubbing around my lashes and eye-lids – this is the best way to avoid unnecessary dragging or rubbing, as this can cause damage or wrinkling to the area in later years. Once I felt the make-up was adequately removed / I looked like a sad panda, I wiped the excess make-up and product away (in outwards motions) with a damp cotton pad.
One of my favourite things about this product is the enchanting lavender scent, which feels calming and soothing after a long day. This essential oil helps to promote the healthy growth of lashes, while the Organic Grape Seed Oil helps to repair and tone skin tissue whilst also smoothing fine lines around the eye area. The only other two ingredients are Organic Jojoba Oil, which improves skin elasticity, and Organic Castor Oil, which is a lovely thick oil, commonly used in massages and useful for helping to heal dry or chapped skin.
Peppermint Lip Balm (£4.50)
I can’t confess to a lip-balm addiction. I’m usually a ‘matte lip and pray for the best’ kind of gal, which I assume is the kind of attitude which leads to lips which are more chapped than I’d care to admit. Perhaps the second most delicate area of your face, anything you put onto your lips can be absorbed into your system. That’s why this 100% natural and organic product gets the go-ahead from us.
Containing only 5 ingredients, the Organic Coconut Oil is extremely soothing and hydrating – replenishing and healing, this ingredient is strong enough to protect your lips against harsh or extreme weather conditions. Although it’s not vegan, Organic Beeswax is a great protective layer which reduces water loss, and Organic Sweet Almond Oil is a brilliant source of Vitamin D & E for sensitive skin. Finally, the Organic Peppermint Essential Oil is perfect for soothing any irritation, whilst also being cooling and beautifully refreshing.