Posts in beauty
Six Vegan Summer Essentials
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This article was first published on the now defunct LoveLula Blog. It has been re-published on Katie Vibes with their permission. 

It's June and that marks the beginning of the UK's (usually slightly average) summer. With that aside, I have some most definitely above average vegan-friendly products to share with you that are absolutely essential for any measure of warm or sunny weather. For once, I thought I'd stray from the usual suspects like SPF - you shouldn't need me to tell you that's essential. However, if it's tanning or soothing skincare, I have you covered!

Fair girls like me sometimes need a little help during the summer months - you know, to avoid blinding people with our gleaming (and almost glowing) pale skin. For this I've been turning to the Eco by Sonya Winter Skin,* a natural and organic gradual tanning moisturiser. This Australian product leaves your skin with a lovely glow. Using this gradual moisturiser rather than a full-on fake tan helps to avoid stark contrasts and/or streaks. In spite of this, you'll still need to wash your hands thoroughly afterwards to avoid those tell-tale orange fingers!

Alternatively, if you're going to go down the real sun route, you're going to need a decent after-sun. Enter the Green People Hydrating After Sun. This is my absolute favourite dedicated after-sun (rather than just aloe) and I'm completely addicted to the scent. It smells really fresh and minty which makes it nice and cooling for stressed and angry sun-kissed skin. I've gone through multiple bottles of this and it's a repurchase every summer!

It also comes in a 100ml bottle making it super handy for your travels. For those sun-kissed faces, treat your complexion to a super soothing and hydrating mask in the form of the Skin & Tonic Coco Mask. This mask is one of my absolute favourites and it is a great all-rounder with clarifying ingredients such as kaolin clay as well as hydrating ones like coconut milk powder and aloe leaf powder. Its light coconut and lavender scent screams summer. Make sure to also treat your skin to regular sprays of a good soothing rosewater such as Balm Balm Rose Floral Water Hydrosol that also comes in travel size.

Finally, be sure to keep the mozzies away with a good insect repelling product. I suggest Odylique Organic Mosimix* that doubles up as a super moisturising and quick absorbing body oil. Multi-tasking products such as this are an absolute must when it comes to packing light. And then, if citronella isn't your scent, cover it up with one of Balm Balm's single note perfumes. Bergamot* is a great option for summer but Balm Balm offer lots of alternatives such as Rose Geranium, Mandarin, or Ylang Ylang!

What will you be relying on this summer?

New In: Hiro Cosmetics
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I haven't done one of my introduction posts in a while! Today I am excited to share Hiro Cosmetics with you, a fabulous German vegan & natural makeup brand who are really helping to bring eco beauty into the mainstream. Hiro is very much a luxe brand - the products feel expensive (and indeed they are), but you really get what you pay for. The colours are novel and interesting and Hiro stands as solid proof that you do not need carmine for great bright colours. I had originally heard of Hiro a few years ago via a German shop and so I was really thrilled to see that Lovelula had started stocking them in the UK.

I was excited to try to of their wonderful products; a bronzer and a lipstick. I was intrigued to see that they offered a pressed bronzer and was eager to give it a go with my impending Greek getaway calling for a more bronzed look. I don't use bronzer often but when I do, I want something warm-leaning neutral and completely matte. Although this product isn't completely matte, the colour really works well for me and any sparkle that it does have seamlessly blends into the skin and becomes undetectable. Glam with a Tanis the lightest shade but Hiro also offer a darker shade for medium skin tones. Hiro offer a variety of pressed products and I'm looking forward to exploring the brand some more.

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For the lipstick, I chose the shade Bam - a purple mauve colour*. I've been looking for a perfect brown nude mauve for a long time and I'll admit, I'm getting closer to finding it. Although I wish that it was slightly more matte, I love this shade and it goes with all kinds of looks. I'm a big fan of wearing lipstick with no eye makeup, and with a little liner this lipstick lasts for a really good amount of time and doesn't seem to bleed on me. I'm not a big fan of the packaging for this one - it feels a bit loose and unstable - but I'm really impressed with the quality of the product itself and I'm definitely considering getting another shade. I really love the ingredients in these lipsticks and particularly, I have my eye on this gorgeous bright red - and no carmine in sight!

I really recommend checking out Hiro. Their multi-sticks are also calling to me...

This post contains affiliate links. 
Thank you in advance if you choose to use one!

Review: Ere Perez Carrot Colour Pots
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Ever since I got interested in green beauty, I have lusted after the perfect multi-purpose colour pot a la RMS. Unfortunately, the cult favourites are not vegan-friendly due to their use of beeswax. Every now and then I similar product comes on to the market but I am yet to be impressed. That is, until now. Ere Perez have intrigued me ever since they first popped onto LoveLula. Hailing from Australia, Ere Perez offers super high-quality natural and organic makeup that is more often than not, vegan-friendly. Although they do occasionally use beeswax, I am happy to say that these colour pots are totally bee-free. 

The Carrot Colour Pots* have been an absolute pleasure to use and I am happy to have finally found something like this that is both vegan and up to the job. The two shades I have tried, Holy and Healthyare beautiful on both lips and cheeks and I have been using them non-stop since I received them. Amazingly, I believe they are also dye-free and so attest to the fact that beautiful bright colours can be achieved without carmine or dyes. Holy is a wonderful bitten berry colour (that leans more pink than it does below), and Healthy is a blush nude that looks very subtle and well, healthy on the cheeks. Although the shade range is limited, it covers most ground and you're sure to find a shade that you like. 

They seem to last really well on me (which is a feat with my oily skin) and I'm yet to experience any irritation or break-outs. I was a little dubious of the caprylic as it is a form of coconut oil, but my skin doesn't seem to react in the same way that it does with the raw kind. With that in mind, these seem to be relatively acne-friendly which is brilliant and very much welcomed for a cream product. Ere Perez seem to be ticking all of the boxes here.

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In addition to the vegan ingredients and lovely shades, I also appreciate that they come in little glass jars. Although the lid is plastic, I'm sure it'll be easy to repurpose the packaging once the product is either used-up or expired. I really appreciate this fact and sustainability can (ironically) often be lacking within the green beauty space. Ere Perez have been making some really significant changes in their packaging recently and it has been refreshing to see. Their new skincare range is a great example of this and I would be lying if I wasn't keen on adorning my dressing table with more of their beautiful frosted glass.

Will you be trying the Colour Pots from Ere Perez?

This post contains affiliate links. 
Thank you in advance if you choose to use one!

DIY: 4-Ingredient Nourishing Nail Oil
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I have a confession to make - over Christmas, I got Biosculpture gel nails. Although not natural, Biosculpture is free of certain toxins, completely vegan, and cruelty-free. My second confession is I don't feel too guilty about it, but what I do feel guilty about is that after I couldn't get an appointment to get them removed properly, I removed them myself *cue gasps*. It was a fairly simple process but my usually strong nails are hating me for it. After a couple weeks of super flakey and breaky nails, I decided to do something about it and DIY a super nourishing nail serum to help them grow and repair themselves. After consulting various ingredients I had laying about the house, I came up with this super simple and easy recipe. 

Avocado and argan oils help to moisturise the cuticles and repair the nails, while magical lemon and lavender essential oils helps to stimulate growth and strengthen. I used some carrier oils that I had laying around and don't really use but you can source cheaper (and still organic) options from supply stores such as Naissance - either from their website or select products are available via Amazon. This is also where I get the majority of my essential oils. Lavender and Lemon EOs are not too expensive so this DIY should be reasonable cost effective - you may even have some of the ingredients already! Check out the recipe below.

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Ingredients:
- 10ml argan oil
- 20ml avocado oil
- 10 drops lemon (citrus limonum) essential oil
- 15 drops lavender (lavandula angustifolia) essential oil
(essential oil amounts based on 30ml carrier oil - check dilution guideline information such as this for other amounts)

Remember: Lemon essential oil increases your sensitivity to sunlight so I would suggest only using this serum in the evening.

Do you DIY your own beauty products? Will you be trying this nail serum?