Katie Vibes
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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?

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?

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?