Green and Vegan Sunscreens That Actually Work

Okay, I will admit it. I really have been dragging my feet when it comes to getting back into blogging. I've been struggling with getting back in to a productive routine that involves working full time, blogging, exercising regularly, and staying sane. But here I am. Finally. And what better way to launch myself back into blogging after a nice long lazy holiday in Croatia? A sunscreen round-up; what worked and what didn't so much. Let's go!

Organii SPF 50 High Protection Sun Milk
Okay, so let's start with the one that didn't work so much. In the run up to Croatia, I was freaking out a little because I needed a second bottle of sunscreen and I couldn't find my normal Lovea anywhere. Absolutely everywhere was sold out. So, in panic, I decided to try something new. Enter Organii. Unfortunately, I didn't really get on with it. Unlike what you would expect from such a high factor, the formula is super runny and so it was absolute pain to apply. The upside-down squeeze bottle packaging totally didn't work with the formula and it was so messy. It was also really hard to apply and I felt like I needed a ridiculous amount just to cover a single limb. I also found it really greasy which wasn't pleasant in the 35 degree Croatia heat. Therefore, I found that I could only use it before leaving for the beach, when I had a good amount of time to let it soak in and the time to apply it carefully. I don't think I will be repurchasing, especially at such a high price point (although the SPF50 does come with a free mini aftersun which I do like).

Lovea SPF 30 Moisturising Spray
And, on to my favourite! I've been using Lovea since last year and I really do love it. It does use only use titanium dioxide (inferior to zinc oxide in terms of sun protection), I have never burned while using it and while in Croatia, I actually got a hint of a tan... which is a first. I will point out that it does use nano titanium dioxide, which also has less UVA protection but the sunscreen does conform to strict EU standards and does state that it provides such protection. I will be doing some digging into its other ingredients to find out where this is from. The formula is amazing. It spreads easily, doesn't have too much of a white cast, and dries to almost a matte finish. It also smells delicious which is thanks to the inclusion of monoi de tahiti. 

Andalou Naturals Untinted Beauty Balm with SPF30
Come on now, do I really need to explain? Just look here.

What natural SPFs have you tried this summer?

New In: Sappho Organics, Axiology, Skin Blossom

Sappho Organics Liquid Foundation
Oh, now this is exciting! The Sappho Organics Liquid Foundation has been on my radar since Amber mentioned it in her glowing review. I ordered some samples from Nuciya last month and fell in deep deep love. The ingredients are seriously something special and I just adore how it makes my skin look; how it makes me feel. My skin isn't great at the moment and this foundation leaves it looking bright, smooth, and happy. I would call it a medium coverage foundation with a semi-matte finish which is great for my combination skin. Full review soon.

Axiology Lipstick in Worth
Another super exciting purchase! I've been meaning to get my hands on a shade from Axiology for the longest time and I finally gave in when recently, Akyala was offering 15% off. I got the shade Worth which is a gorgeous orangey red. It's super pigmented, very creamy, and looks great both straight out the tube and matted down. It does seem to transfer quite easily but I'm looking forward to giving it a proper test. Isn't the packaging just dreeeeamy?

Skin Blossom Complete Care Shampoo
Now this was my attempt at trying to find something a little cheaper than my HG shampoo, the Odylique Tea Tree & Herb. But... it failed. I don't really like this at all. The smell is okay and it lathers quite a lot, but it just seems to weigh my hair down, which is strange considering how thick my hair is. When I use this, my hair only seems to last a single day which isn't great when I'm used to washing my hair every other day. I'm currently using it up by mixing it with the Odylique, and while it is a hell of a lot cheaper, I will not be repurchasing.

What have you been buying recently?

*This post contains affiliate links*

The Summer Makeup Refresh

So June is finally upon us and that means that the summer has finally reared its sweaty head. Where has the last six months gone? Who knows. All I know is that it's time to ditch the bold lips (yeah... not really) and whack out the SPF. Since going green with my skincare and incorporating facial oils into my routine, the oiliness of my skin has drastically decreased and I am well and truly embracing the glow. Here's some of the makeup things I'll be using this summer - we're talking warm tones and highlighter. Lots of highlighter.

A super recent purchase is the 100% Pure Tinted Moisturiser in Alpine Rose and so far so good. Alpine Rose is one of the newer shades, pegged as for the fairest of skins. However, the shade is actually very similar to their Creme incarnation but with a definite pink undertone. Luckily, due to the sheerness of the product, my yellow-leaning neutral skin can pull this off but I'll definitely be looking to Creme if I decide to repurchase. I find it moisturising without being too greasy and the SPF 20 (although not certified) is handy too. On particularly warm days I've been pairing this with my old faithful RMS Beauty Un-PowderI don't use this too much in the winter as I tend to stick to powder foundation, but in the summer it's great for keeping the oil at bay. It's expensive, but this has lasted me nearly two years and the pure silica formula leaves your skin super smooth and the perfect level of matte. 

For the cheeks, I've been loving (as always) my favourite Antonym Baked Blush in Peach. I got this in a past #greenbeautyswap and it's possibly my most used blush of all time. The dome shape has significantly flattened and I'm constantly eyeing up the other shades. Unfortunately, these blushes are expensive - especially with customs charges involved - so I'm staying faithful to Peach for now. It's the perfect all-rounder warm shade that goes with everything while imparting a gorgeous glow that steers clear of the glitterball effect. I then amp up that up with the Brija Cosmetics You Know Who Face Highlight, something that will be purchased in the full size very shortly. 

Also from Brija, I've been loving one of the gift-with-purchase shadows, Good Vibes Only (not available - link to similar). In addition to the perfect blog-appropriate name, this shadow is all kinds of unique. It's a beautiful peachy baby pink with stunning blue reflex. It's absolutely gorgeous on the lid and great for adding a little pizazz when it's too hot to wear excessive eye makeup. But when I do want a smokey eye, I'm reaching for my Hynt Beauty SUITE Eye Shadow Palette in Sweet Canyon. This is a great trio with some great colours. You can hear more about it in my full review. Finally, I'm still LOVING the Pacifica Devocean Lipstick in Natural Mystic. This is a great option if you're into those Kylie Jenner shades (think MAC Soar) and it's super great value for money. I'm definitely going to be picking up more lipsticks from Pacifica.

What will you be wearing this summer?

Review: Skin & Tonic Coco Mask

I was lucky enough to receive the Skin & Tonic Coco Mask* as a Christmas gift from the brand last year. I've always been a big fan of Skin & Tonic and really appreciate their simple and fuss-free approach to ingredients and formulation. I've tried almost all of their vegan-friendly products including this mask, Calm Balm, Brit Beauty Oil, and their Beard Oil (although I must admit that was my boyfriend, not me!) The Calm Balm featured in my favourite products of 2014 and the omega-rich Brit Beauty Oil is turning out to be one of my favourite face oils for when my skin is playing up.

Before now, I've found powder masks to be a little annoying to use but this one is nothing less than a pleasure. My favourite way to use it is with a little warm water and a few drops of the One Love Organics Morning Glory serum (the old formulation). I've been trying to use up this oil for months and I find that it works really well with this simple mask. The concoction leaves me with the most glowy and healthy-looking skin, so it's great for party prep. The coconut milk powder means that it has a gorgeous fresh scent and is suitable for even the most sensitive of skins. Skin & Tonic are a brand truly with sensitive skin in mind and everything is formulated to be super gentle. This mask also contains one of my absolute favourite ingredients, aloe leaf juice powder, that ensures your skin is soothed. Although the mask dries to an extent, it isn't drying and is comfortable and easy to remove.

If you were thinking of trying this mask or anything from Skin & Tonic, now's the time! They're currently having a bank holiday sale where everything on their website is 15% off with the code FLASH. However, you better be quick as this ends midnight bank holiday Monday. Get going!

Coco Mask IngredientsCocos nucifera (coconut) milk powder, Zea mays (corn) starch*, Kaolin clay, Aloe barbedensis (aloe) leaf juice powder*, Lavandula augustifolia (lavender) flower oil*

*Certified organic