Maybelline Cosmetics vegan range

I was quite shocked and honestly quite excited to see that Maybelline Cosmetics now do a number of vegan friendly make up products. This includes lipsticks, foundations, eye shadows and mascaras, as well as a number of other products. From the look I had at my local display at Superdrug, it seems you could get your entire make up kit (including contour and highlight) all from Maybelline’s vegan range.

However I had always avoided Maybelline because not only did they never offer vegan make up, they were never certified cruelty free. I was therefore a little confused how the vegan range could be labelled vegan without there being any cruelty free certificate to go with this. How can a product be truly vegan if it is not cruelty free?

So I did some digging. I am sure this may be common knowledge to many of you but I did not know that Maybelline was owned by L’Oréal Cosmetics. So it makes sense why they are not cruelty free certified because L’Oréal operate in China.

For those who may not know, animal testing for cosmetics is still mandatory in China, although this did change slightly from 1st May 2022. Before this time, all cosmetics that were being sold in China had to have mandatory animal testing trials before the product could be sold on the Chinese market. From May 2021 however this mandatory testing was removed for cosmetic products, including make up, skin care and hair care. However special use products such as hair dye, hair removal, sunscreen and deodorant all still need to have the mandatory testing.

Now on their website Maybelline and L’Oréal state that they do not pay for animal testing anywhere. But if they sell any kind of hair dye in China then they can’t be cruelty free as they would have to test those products on animals before being able to sell them. Of course on their website I cannot find any information regarding what they do and do not sell in China, so it is hard to be certain of what their current business model is when it comes to animal testing and selling in China. From a practical standpoint, I know that China is a huge economic market and a brand as big as L’Oréal is very unlikely to want to miss out on those big sales. Also, they sold in China before the animal testing was deemed non-mandatory so why would this really change anything? Really it has simply made selling in China far easier for them.

But then I have gotten even more confused. Because L’Oréal owns a lot of vegan friendly brands, most notably Urban Decay which is one of the most popular make up brands for vegans to use. On their website, Urban Decay say that they will ‘never, ever test on animals’ and are fully vegan and cruelty free. They even have a PETA certification for being cruelty free. But if they are owned by L’Oréal how can that be? They also now sell in China (granted after the removal of mandatory testing) but would that not go against the entire vegan and cruelty free message by selling products in a country that still allows for cosmetic testing on animals?

But then I am always drawn back to the reality that there are actually only 7 parent companies that own a combined total of 182 brands. These seven include L’Oréal, Estée Lauder Companies, Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Shisheido, Johnson & Johnson and City. Included in the other brands that L’Oréal own include the Body Shop, Garnier and NYX make up, all of which offer vegan friendly and cruelty free products.

A really helpful infograph from the Insider blog.

So all of this made me think…should I really be buying Maybelline’s new vegan range of products? I am slightly conflicted. If this was food – such as the McPlant or the Burger King vegan nuggets – I would buy them to show my support for vegan products and also to hopefully encourage the brand to make more vegan options available. So should that same logic apply here?

I guess I do always come back to the fact that there can be no conscious consumerism under a capitalist society, and so no matter how much I try to always shop ethically there is some degree of exploitation happening simply because of the capitalist society we live in. Also judging by the infograph above it seems I would be unlikely to buy ANY sort of mainstream beauty product that could truly be considered cruelty free. Meaning I would have to support the lesser known brands or the more niche brands specifically made to be vegan and cruelty free, but sometimes these brands are either not easily accessible (perhaps only available online or at certain stores that aren’t in a reasonable vicinity) or are considerably more expensive.

I suppose the other issue would be that L’Oréal is simply trying to tap into a new market that it didn’t have access to before. I think it would be very naive of me to think that this is L’Oréal and Maybelline ‘reassessing their ethics’ or ‘trying to do good for the planet’ because at the end of the day they a huge brand and they didn’t get there by being ethical (another debate to be had but can you ever truly have ethical businesses?). Veganism is also surging in popularity and if money can be made from something, you know that big businesses will want to do so, so it would make sense that L’Oréal would want to make products that appeal to an even wider market of consumers.

So what do we do? Like I said when it comes to food, I am willing to try every vegan offering in the hope it will encourage more options later on. So maybe I should apply the same logic to any of these brands that offer vegan options – in some cases I already have done before I knew their parent company associations, such as Garnier.

What do you guys all think? What is your opinion on cruelty free or vegan brands having parent companies that are not vegan or cruelty free? Would you try a new make up product from a previously non-vegan brand?

T xxx

Honest Burgers Bacon Plant

It has been a while since I went to a decent burger place. There aren’t very many around where I live as the whole global pandemic meant a lot of the restaurants had to close and eventually decided not to bother re-opening the local branches. But recently, Honest Burgers opened in my area and I was quite excited for a real burger joint again.

I have heard decent things about Honest Burgers. Their menu is not huge – including the vegan options there are still only 9 burgers on their menu – but they do seem to pride themselves on using locally sourced products. They also appear to do a specialist burger based on the town and surrounding area in which the branch is based, which I guess is a good idea and helps give it a ‘community spirit’ feel to the branch. It also means that should you travel around the branches you may get a different flavour combination that reflects the local area. Now this is a meat burger so I will never be able to test that theory so…

I decided to go all in and try the full bacon plant. This comes with a Beyond Meat burger, applewood cheese and vegan bacon, as well as all the toppings you would expect from a burger. I have tried a Beyond burger before so knew what to expect from it. Personally I still find the Beyond Meat burgers to be a little TOO meat like – I do prefer my meat to taste and look like fake meat as I have never really enjoyed the taste, texture or look of actual meat. But when mixed with all of the fixings it does cover a lot of that so I was still able to enjoy the burger.

The vegan bacon is exactly like every other type of bacon – it’s really good when mixed with other bits but on it’s own you can tell it is not bacon and doesn’t overly come close. Again, I never really liked meat bacon to begin with so I am quite neutral to the vegan alternative – I can usually take it or leave it and I rarely find it adds much to a meal other than a crunchy texture and a slight smoky flavouring. But in this burger it did give a nice extra layer and did add to a very tasty burger indeed.

I think the real stars of the show though were the chips. For starters, most specialist burger joints make you pay extra for chips, but these come included with every burger. But they are also very generous with the serving of chips. The burgers alone are pretty filling but I have struggled many a time to finish all the chips. Although they taste so good it is hard to leave any – they are very moreish and have the most satisfying crunch I have ever had on chips. They are also slated with rosemary just adds this lovely extra layer to the chips. Hands down the best chips I have ever had before.

Now as always you could make this type of burger way cheaper at home if you really wanted to: the Beyond Meat burgers are readily available at supermarkets and vegan bacon is easy to come across as well. But there is just something special about having a burger properly cooked for you when you’re out at a restaurant. Now each burger is £15 – but does include chips – so it is not the cheapest meal out but I find burger joints charge more for…whatever their reasons are. While it is not something I would have that often, every once and while it is a really good treat. Definitely worth a try if you wanted a slightly posher burger than you can make at home.

Overall: 7/10. A very yummy burger and the chips are amazing. A little more pricey than other options but definitely worth the treat.

T xxx

Barry M Velvet matt nail polish: Silent cove blue

There is just something about having my nails painted that makes me feel like a Real Woman. I just feel a bit more put together and polished…no pun intended. Since going vegan though my nails grow so quickly that I find getting my nails done professionally is a waste, because within two weeks my nails will have grown and I’ll have the odd naked bit of nail at the bottom that always looks unsightly. But doing my own nails is always a nice treat, and in the interest of self care I have been trying out new nail colours to play with every few months or so.

Now I am a fan of Barry M products so thought I would be good with one of their nail ranges. I was very intrigued by the ‘matt’ finish: Surely nail polish is called nail polish because it looks like polish on your nails? So it makes your nails shiny? So I was intrigued to see how matt the colour would actually come out and how it would actually look on real nails. I have only ever seen matt colours used on acrylic nails, so I felt like a little experiment.

Right off the bat, this nail polish stinks of chemicals. It is easily the strongest smelling nail polish I have ever used so trust me when I say no t to get too close to the bottle or your nails while you’re painting them. I think I gave myself a contact high from looking too closely at the bottle! I also found the smell lingered for a while, even after you put the lid back on the bottle, so that was a bit tough especially with the weather as hot as it is in the UK right now. Thankfully though that smell doesn’t linger on your hands once the paint is dry, nor do your nails stink for the entire time you have them painted.

Now the brush is more oval shaped than other nail polish brushes I have used before and while it was easier to use (in the sense that I could do two strokes and my nail was painted) it was slightly hard to judge how close to the sides I was getting, hence for my rather shoddy painting – especially on my right hand! I feel a smaller brush is better for the precision it can give you, but I also appreciate the wider brush for super quick application.

So the paint actually goes onto your nail wet and shiny like every other nail polish out there. But as it dries it gets that matt finish. I also have to say that it does dry very quickly – maybe 10 seconds after I applied the paint it was already a solid matt colour. Now once fully dry (roughly 10-15 minutes after second coat has been applied) it does have a really nice, dark finish to it. There is the very slight reflection off of it but I don’t think that can be helped – it definitely doesn’t shine like other nail polishes but it does have a very soft hint of shine. I am not sure if that makes it ‘not real matt’ but personally I don’t mind.

As with all Barry M products the nail polish was very affordable. Seeing as most nail polish bottles will last me at least a year (if not multiple years) £3 a bottle is a very good bargain. But also for £3 I guess you do get what you pay for, in that it will not be a 100% perfect product: the smell is a big downside to this product when using it and the colour may not be super matt. But for £3, I can’t really expect a miracle product.

Overall: 6/10. An interesting variation and I admire the attempt at something different. However I think it can still be improved.

T xxx

Vegan Chipotle

Now I live in England, and have done my whole life. I have therefore only heard stories about Chipotle from America. I have tried Chipotle before when I was in LA in 2018, but it was so long ago I didn’t think it fair to really review it now. That being said I remember being pleasantly surprised by Chipotle: The impression I got from online stories and how people spoke about Chipotle was that it was quite greasy and heavy, with very little nutrition to it. But when I did try it in LA it was actually very yummy, not greasy and felt like a very light but filling meal.

So I was quite excited to her that Chipotle was opening a branch in my local area. Now it did open about a month ago but this has been the first opportunity I have had to actually stop by and try it.

I was a little disappointed that they didn’t have the vegan protein option available (the sofritas option) but they had the basic veggie option so I gave it my best shot. I went for the brown rice, black beans and vegetables which therefore came with free guacamole. I had it in the bowl version, rather than the burrito version, as I find burritos to just be too much for me and I always feel bad for not finishing them. That being said the bowl was very generously filled so I’m not sure if it really makes a difference.

Taste wise, this is very yummy. It definitely didn’t taste greasy or highly calorific – I felt satisfactory filled up by the end rather than feeling uncomfortably bloated or a bit sick as can happen with some fast food places. I also feel that the meal itself was overly pretty healthy: According to their online calculator my meal came out at 595 calories, 14g of protein, 29g fat and 70g carbs. Which are really good values, especially for what I am trying to achieve with my current meal and exercise plans. The upside is that these can be quite easily customised if you had other plans – the sofritas seems to make it all 20g of protein in one meal with is super good, and without the guacamole it is 17g of fat.

Now obviously calories and macros are not everything, and you should be focusing more on how the food makes you feel – personally I found this meal to be more than enough to keep me going until dinner and it didn’t leave me feeling bloated or sluggish at all. I did have the fear that the Chipotle reputation would follow me but so far I have only had really good meals from this place.

Price wise it is pretty standard for this kind of meal. We usually frequent our local Tortilla branch who are also consistently great with their options. Usually a Tortilla, for both myself and my partner, would cost around £18 for the vegan chilli bowl and the vegan chilli burrito, and Chipotle also cost us £18 for a veggie bowl and a veggie burrito. So really there was very little difference cost wise and I do think that it is good value. It is obviously a bit more expensive than other fast food places, but is considerably cheaper than an actual restaurant meal. I find it’s a good middle ground of a reasonably healthy take away for a reasonable price.

For my American followers, how does Chipotle hold up in America? Does it vary from state to state? I believe that they have a slightly different menu for the UK than they do in the USA so is there anything that I am missing out on?

Overall:7/10. Pretty happy with Chipotle so far…starting to think many of the stories are unfounded…

T xxx

PHD smart plant peanut butter and jelly protein bar

We had a big walking day the other day and in 30 degree heat (Celsius) it was not going to be an overly pleasant day. I therefore thought it best to bring some heavy duty snacks with me to keep me going throughout the day and thought that some protein bars would be a good option. Now I don’t have them that often because usually protein bars are more sugar than any other ingredient, but in this heat and with so much walking I thought it best to keep my sugar levels up and not risk heat stroke.

I decided to try this PHD smart plant protein bar. I have found the PHD protein range to be really good quality and to actually taste good too, as well as having really good macros to it. The protein bar was surely a safe bet and so I decided to try the peanut butter and jelly one.

Now right off the bat this bar isn’t too bad. Does it taste like peanut butter and jelly? No, not really. But it doesn’t taste bad either. It was definitely more savoury than you’d expect a bar to be but I would not have been able to tell the flavour had I not already known it. It didn’t really even taste of peanuts, although it did have that odd texture that you usually get with peanut-flavoured things. The almost grainy texture? That’s the one I mean – like peanut paste more than actual peanuts. In all honesty it tasted more like a plain protein shake…like maybe a very subtle vanilla flavour?

Luckily the chocolate covering gave it a nice little taste and it also had rice krispee treats (or something similar) to the top of it which gave it a very satisfying crunch. The main bulk of the bar though had a texture similar to nougat, where it was light and fluffy but also kind of sticky. Again, not necessarily a bad thing as I did actually quite enjoy the bar for just being quite basic.

Price wise this bar was £2 in my local Tesco. Now you do get a pretty big and long bar compared to your basic chocolate bars, but I still think £2 is too much to be spending on one little bar on a regular basis. I imagine these would be good snacks for those very active days, or if you were camping/hiking/festival going and needed some high energy foods that didn’t take up too much room, then sure these would work. But as an every day ‘healthy snack’, I honestly think you’d be better off just having a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It would be way cheaper in the long run and I feel it would fill you up just as much.

Overall: 5/10. Nice enough but unfortunately not exactly what is advertised.

T xxx

e.l.f putty blush

In an attempt to branch out I have (very bravely of course) decided to try some actual pigmented blush. For a while now I have mainly just been using a tiny amount of contouring, but with the summer well and truly heating up here in England I wanted something to add some colour to my face without being heavy. As always, I am a big fan of e.l.f cosmetics and have not been let down by any of their products so far. Plus, they are so affordable that if I truly hate a product I don’t feel like I have really wasted my money.

I decided to try the putty blush, as I have found before that powder blush doesn’t last long and ‘putty’ just sounds like it would be fun to use. So far…it is indeed fun to use. I went with the colour Turks and Caicos. Now the picture makes the putty look more orange, but on my pale complexion it actually blends out into a subtle pink colour. I think it looks very natural and blends pretty well. Now I am SUPER pale – a true English rose if you will – and I found that the Turks and Caicos colour gave the most natural looking colour to me. I did however very much like the Caribbean colour option as it gave quite a dark red against my skin. Possibly not the colour I would wear every day, but I imagine it would work well for a dramatic look.

It is very pigmented. I simply swipe my finger across the top and swipe it along my cheek bone, and that is more than enough to give a very soft colour to my cheeks once I have used a brush to blend it out slightly. Occasionally I will use a tiny little extra dab right in the middle of my cheeks to add a little pop of colour, but it is still a tiny amount. I have used other powdered blushes before that seem to take about 3 or 4 layers before you see even a hint of colour, so this putty is amazing. You really don’t need a lot to make a big difference to your appearance.

Price wise this was £6 and I bought this from Boots. I feel that is a very reasonable price for the product, as I think this putty will last me ages given the tiny amount I need to get the colour I want. Bearing in mind I will wear this at least 5-6 times a week, I am still imagining that this little pot will last me for 6 months, if not longer. So £6 is really quite the bargain.

Overall: 8/10. Very rich colour so less is absolutely more with this.

T xxx

Ben and Jerry’s Berry Revolutionary

England has just had a mini heatwave (34 degrees Celsius which is pretty uncommon for us!) and the heat of England is the heaviest, most humid heat that I have experienced. Even when the wind blows it is like having someone blow a hairdryer into your face, so it does absolutely nothing to cool you down. It was therefore the perfect opportunity to drink a LOT of iced water, avoid any type of cooking and have ice cream for lunch.

Now Ben and Jerry’s is always top tier in the ice cream game. No matter what flavour you pick you are onto a winner. I am still praying to every vegan entity out there that one day soon a vegan version of their Phish Phood will be released because nothing has come close to it even now.

Now I also don’t buy Ben and Jerry’s that often because they are easily the most expensive option out there. They are also one brand that really suffer with the Vegan Tax: A standard tub of their dairy ice cream is around £3 usually, but the vegan options are around £5.50. They do sometimes go on sale for £3, but then the dairy ice cream will be on sale for £1 and…feels kind of half hearted. I therefore only buy Ben and Jerry’s when I want something a little bit extra instead of just basic chocolate or vanilla. This doesn’t happen this often, and one tub could last me at least a month or two as I really don’t eat that much ice cream.

This Berry Revolutionary though was something real special. It is labelled on the lid as a sundae and it lived up to that. The top was a whipped ice cream with caramel swirls and chocolate chunks, while the rest of the ice cream was raspberry flavoured with chocolate chunks and crumbled Oreo type biscuits mixed into it. I have not had whipped ice cream in years – at least I am assuming it’s the same type of ice cream as a Mr Whippy ice cream – but this was a lovely little topping. It was very fluffy and airy and worked so well with the chunky chocolate and caramel swirls. Obviously it is ice cream so is quite sweet but it was the perfect thing to have on a boiling hot summers day.

Little Lola enjoying her own meal in the background…

The raspberry ice cream though – oh lordy! It has been YEARS since I have had fruit ice cream. Most options available are fruit sorbets which are very different to ice creams in my opinion. I forgot how much I LOVE raspberry ice cream. It has such a sharp taste to it that it immediately wakes you up and is just so refreshing when you feel like you are melting. The little chocolate chunks and cookie bits mixed into it also gave you a lovely little mix of chocolate raspberry flavouring and some really satisfying crunches amongst the soft ice cream. Now I truly could have eaten this entire part of the sundae in one sitting, but luckily brain freeze hit first.

I would honestly say that this option is the best Ben and Jerry’s flavour out there, especially from the vegan offerings. I might even go so far as to say that it is better than I remember Phish Phood being! It was honestly all that saved me from the heatwave and no doubt will get me through a lot of this coming summer, which is (as it is every single year) set to be the hottest on record (or alternatively, thanks to global warming, this year will be the coolest year in history) and I will need all the help I can get to cool down. Yes, the ice cream is one of the most expensive options out there, but if you want a true treat that will last you through summer, I would highly recommend splashing out on this. The fruity flavour also means it would work wonderfully as a post dinner party dessert, mixed with a bowl of fruit and left to enjoy in the sunshine.

Overall: 20/10. Best vegan flavour at there in my opinion.

T xxx

Pudding Stop vegan cookie dough sundae

Oh damn…

Now THIS is how you do a dessert. I think this gave me enough sugar to last me for a good few months but goodness me was it delicious!

A few weeks ago, during some annual leave, we took a trip to St Albans in Hertfordshire. If you have never been, I would highly recommend you visit because St Albans is a beautiful little city. I mean it is technically a city because you have the amazing St Albans Cathedral, but it feels far more like a village. The high street is packed with little boutique shops, patisseries, book stores and independent restaurants as well as some of your more mainstream chains. It also has some lovely cobblestone side paths that are fun to explore and feels very compact – could easily spend a whole day just wandering around all of the little streets and looking at the adorable cottages that line the streets. It’s also a 30 minute train to London Bridge so can easily make a lovely day trip or long weekend visit. There are a lot of pretty parks to walk around and a lot of roman heritage throughout – most notably being the fact that it is based at the top of a really big hill so you can get some really lovely views at certain points around the city.

Aside from all of the history and cute little boutiques to keep you busy, it also has one of the best pudding places I have ever been to. It is called the Pudding Stop and is always a must visit when we do venture out to St Albans. The city as a whole is really good for vegan options, and they do actually run a vegan market down the main high street at certain points of the year which is always very exciting. The pudding stop have some very good vegan options, and I decided to try once of these.

I will preface this with the fact that I felt like a hummingbird after eating this, but I had also done around 15000 steps so felt it was a reasonable treat. The vegan cookie dough sundae had one scoop of coconut and chocolate chip ice-cream, one scoop of chocolate sorbet, caramel sauce and chunks of cookie dough. Now the coconut ice cream was nice enough but the chocolate sorbet was to die for. It was rich and silky and had a slightly bitter taste to it compared to the other super sweet parts of the sundae, which actually helped offset a lot of the sickly sweetness. The rest is exactly how you would expect: cookie dough was literally small chunks of cookie dough and the caramel sauce was the sweet sauce you’d expect.

I was grateful that they do not give you too many cookie dough chunks as I am pretty certain they were just lumps of sugar. As I say above the chocolate sorbet was the real star of the show and did help to mellow out the overly sweet flavours of everything else. The ice cream was very refreshing and you did get a real hit of coconut with it, which I think I preferred. Sometimes coconut ice cream (at least I feel anyway) can have so many things added to it that it doesn’t actually taste like coconut, so it was really nice to have this creamy and sweet ice cream that did taste like it was freshly made.

This sundae cost £5, which I have to say was an absolute bargain for the amount you get. It does not sound like much but they are very generous with their scoop sizes and I did find it quite the struggle to finish. And not just because I felt like I could see sound I was so buzzed! It was fantastic quality and I feel if you were trying to get something similar to this in London or a much larger main city it would cost you at least double (if not triple) that price for way less actual product. As a special one off treat, this is completely worth the price and I would highly recommend it if you do stop by.

Overall: 9/10. Absolutely delicious, but not something I could eat on a regular basis. But absolutely worth the one off treat.

T xxx

PSA: Vegan Percy Pigs

One of the biggest staples of Britain is Marks & Spencer’s, and I think the main reason for this is Percy Pig. What started out as a little pig-shaped sweet has now grown into the mascot, who has cakes, sweets, decorations and stuff toys all in his image and his honour. Which is rightly so because Percy Pigs were always one of the best sweets out there and definitely were worth the hype.

Their Percy Pig sweets (and the very many combinations that have followed, including some of Percy;’s farmyard pals) were always vegan friendly but were not fully vegan. Perhaps you saw that wonderful moment where Piers Morgan (some ‘TV presenter’ here in the UK) who tried a gelatin free Percy Pig and then proceeded to act like he had been poisoned. It was quite the show from a man who claims that anyone under 40 is a ‘snowflake’. But I digress…

I have not had a Percy Pig in years but am very excited that Percy Pigs are now offering vegan options. The best part is that they also clearly label the packs that are vegan friendly. The ones I saw on offer (may vary depending on store and location) were Percy Pig Piglets, Phizzy Pigtails and Percy Loves Penny Pig. I couldn’t see if they did the standard Percy Pig as a vegan version, so if anyone does find these please let me know!

I have yet to try these (currently limiting my sugar) but am very excited to see such a well-loved and well-known sweet offering vegan options. Just goes to show how fast the vegan movement is spreading and makes me more and more excited that one day veganism will be the norm.

If you have tried any of the vegan Percy Pigs please let me know how they are! Also let me know which is the best packet of sweets so I know what to get on my next treat day.

T xxx

Fry’s Popcorn chick’n

I have heard great things about Fry’s, but unfortunately in the UK the brand is quite hard to come by in regular stores. Usually I only see it on offer at the very expensive and very niche places, such as Whole Foods or Ocado. However in the last few months I have started to see some of their products appear in regular grocery stores, so I finally decided to see what all the fuss was about.

One of our go to meals is our medley. This is usually what we have if we don’t feel too hungry, or just want a load of different comfort foods without it actually being a meal. So this will usually involve chicken nuggets, a sandwich of some sort and some crisps, although we do change the brand and the product every week depending on what we fancy. The majority of the food is frozen, as I think it is always best to have these super easy foods available on days where I either don’t want to cook or don’t want anything massive for dinner. So these little popcorn chicken pieces sounded perfect to just have in the freezer should one of those days arise.

These are also very good. They are light and fluffy on the inside and definitely have that meaty texture. Now there is still a degree of ‘this is clearly fake meat’ because I personally don’t like my meat alternatives to be super meat-like – it always makes me panic that I am indeed eating meat and then I feel guilty even though I know that it isn’t meat. So for me these were the perfect texture, but if you prefer the more meaty texture then you may not like these too much. Now the instructions do say to only cook these for 10 minutes, but I found that 10 minutes was not long enough to crisp up the outside. The first time I cooked them, after 10 minutes the outside was a bit soft still and while it still tasted very nice, I would have preferred it to be a bit crispier. I now therefore cook these for about 15 minutes – until each piece starts to look a darker brown rather than the golden brown – and I find that this makes the outside nice and crispy and also doesn’t dry out the chicken filling. That being said, my oven is not the best oven, so you may need to experiment a bit when you come to cooking these so you can get the perfect time.

Price wise these were actually on Tesco Clubcard offer for £1.50, but full price they are £3. We got about 4 servings out of the box (roughly 6/7 pieces for each serving) so not a bad amount of food for the price. However, I do not think it does anything different to the cheaper options out there. Personally, popcorn chicken tastes exactly like a chicken nugget to me, so I don’t really notice any difference on what shape my chicken takes. So while this popcorn chicken is very good and definitely worth a try, there are cheaper options out there in the form of nuggets, strips or plain pieces. Personally, I probably would pick these up again to keep them in my freezer for those days when we don’t fancy cooking, but it isn’t something I would eat every single week.

Overall: 7/10. A solid option out there, but nothing too special.

T xxx