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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...

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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?

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Review: Inika All About Eyes Set
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As you may have already been able to tell, I've really been enjoying Inika at the moment. I recently reviewed their Certified Organic BB Cream and I've also been testing a whole host of their products. Today I'm going to be talking about their All About Eyes gift set that includes both their bestselling Long Lash mascara* and the brand new Liquid Eyeliner*. You also receive a rather snazzy gift bag that is perfect for carrying round your everyday essentials. I'm a bit of a seasoned pro when it comes to liquid eyeliner and so I'm very picky about performance. Having yet to find a natural liquid eyeliner that really ticks all the boxes, I was keen to give Inika's offering a whirl.

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I was intrigued by Inika's new liquid eyeliner mainly because of its packaging. Pre-natural/cruelty-free/vegan my liquid eyeliner of choice came in a very similar design. I found the long felt-tip nib extremely easy to use and I pretty much didn't stray until I learnt of the brand's dirty dealings in animal testing. Generally, I found the liner to be okay. In comparison to other natural liquid liners I have tried it goes on quite strongly upon first stroke. However, I did find - as shown above - that I had to keep dipping the nib back into the liquid as I found the product disappeared from the applicator super quickly. In addition to this, the nib is extremely hard and so product was easily moved around and almost even removed while you were trying to apply it. This also wasn't the most comfortable thing on my eye. Given the eyeliner's price, I would expect something a little more comfortable/easy to apply. Considering the fabulous quality of Inika's other products, I was a little disappointed by this. For now I have keeping to a non-natural (but still cruelty-free and vegan) alternative.

Fortunately, the mascara more than enough made up for the liner's poor performance. I've fallen pretty much head over heels for the Inika Long Lash mascara. The matte packaging looks super luxe, the brush is perfect for easy application, and the formula is super long-lasting. I don't wear mascara that often but when I do, I instantly reach for this. I can trust it to make me look more awake, and make my eyelashes look lovely, luscious, and long. Despite its focus being on lengthening, it's also really black and decently volumising. 

Overall, I think this is a good set if you are wanting to give either the mascara, liner (or both) a go. Unfortunately I cannot see whether or not it is still available but you can get the mascara or liner seperately from LoveLula. 

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