Because my last post was pretty heavy, I thought I’d lighten things up around here by sharing my favorite products that I’ve been relying on this summer. All are cruelty-free & vegan (duh). Although the season is almost over technically speaking, I live in Austin where it will be all rays of sunshine and high temperatures until mid-November. I’m excited to continue using these until it officially cools down around here!

Creature Free’s Summer Essentials

1. Alba Botanica Very Emollient, Sunless Tanning Lotion ($11.49)

I’m a pale girl, and the idea of a summer without a cruelty-free sunless tanner made me really nervous. Alba Botanica came to the rescue! There are long stretches during Austin summertime when it’s just too hot to go outside comfortably. In the absence of an actual summer glow, Alba’s sunless tanner gave me a natural, bronzed hue that does not leave me looking like I bathed in orange food coloring. I actually prefer it to Jergens, which I used before my vegan transition. It’s always a great feeling to find a vegan product that performs better than a non-vegan one.

2. Kevin Murphy Hydrate Me Wash + Rinse($28.00 each)

My hair was a disaster earlier this year. I would go and get haircuts every 8 weeks and then find huge split ends the next day. It was really frustrating, so I switched to a different salon mid-July. Milk + Honey Salon, ironically, only uses cruelty-free products. Its downtown location is relatively close to where I live, so I figured I’d give it a shot. I had them take off about 4 inches, which felt like a TON for me, but since my hair was so long, no one even noticed. My hairdresser upsold me at the end of the experience into buying the Hydrate Me wash and the rinse. Needless to say, I was alarmed by the final total. I have NEVER been an expensive-shampoo girl, but after going through a bottle of each, I’m so thrilled to report that my hair has minimal split ends (after over a month), and is the softest and healthiest it’s been in years. If you want to splurge on yourself, I highly recommend this line. The bottles seem small, but you don’t need to use a lot of product. They lasted for over a month for me, and I wash my hair every day. If you go a day or so between washings, you could stretch it even further. Another great shampoo and conditioner for significantly less is the Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle line, which will only set you back $11.00/bottle if you order on Amazon. I think it might be even cheaper in stores.

3. Beat It! Deet-Free Insect Repellent ($11.99)

Traditional bug repellents often use DEET. I consider myself a science-loving vegan, so I’m not going to rally against DEET since the jury is still officially out on its safety, but the CDC does recommend that you spray it over your clothes and not directly onto your skin. This raised a red flag for me, so I decided to look for something more natural as those products have a higher tendency to be cruelty-free. I bought Beat It! bug spray from Amazon, and have used it a handful of times with relative success. Unfortunately, the first half of the summer here was incredibly rainy, so our backyard has become a mosquito breeding ground. Even armed with Beat It!, it’s impossible to sit outside without being barraged by those little blood suckers. In fairness, I don’t know if a traditional bug spray would be able to withstand the onslaught, but I wouldn’t recommend Beat It! for places with incredible amounts of bugs. However, it seems to work well against a reasonable amount. I like the citronella and lemon grass scent as well – it’s so summery!

4. Sun Bum Moisturizing Sunscreen($15.99)

As I mentioned above, my skin tone trends toward the pasty side of the spectrum; however, my body rejects all standard preconceptions of biology because I don’t need to use a high SPF to keep from burning. I don’t spend all that much time outside, so when I do, I like to try and get more freckles. One of my favorite parts of summer is getting all freckled-out, so I wear a low SPF to allow that to happen. In my pre-vegan days, I would use Banana Boat’s 7 SPF formula, but unfortunately, Banana Boat tests on animals. I stumbled upon Sun Bum by happy accident. One of the style bloggers that I follow on Instagram mentioned it earlier in the summer. I’m a sucker for graphic design, and something about the stoic monkey on the bottle just tickled me. To my surprise, they do not test ANY of their products on animals (yay!) and  their original sunscreens SPF 15-50 are vegan, as well as the original sunscreen sprays, lip balms, and cool downs.

5. Routine Cream Deodorant ($24.00)

I received a sample of Routine Cream in my July Petit Vour box, and it quickly became a staple in my daily routine. This natural deodorant has kept me smelling super fresh without irritation during the hottest month of the year. The Sexy Sadie scent is finally back in stock, which I prefer, but I ended up buying Lucy in the Sky to try something different. It still smells great and gets the job done.

6. A Pink Lip like Too Faced Melted Marshmallow ($21.00)

If there is ever a time for bold, statement lips, it is summer. I bought a few shades of bubblegum pink lipstick earlier in the season, but they clash pretty badly with my red hair. Enter Marshmellow from Too Faced. This shade of pink is still bright and fun, but it’s not overwhelming. I don’t feel like I’m drowning in neon when I put wear it. It’s become one of my go-tos, and I’m going to keep rocking it until it starts to feel more like fall around here.

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7. Lush None Your Beeswax Lip Balm ($7.25)

I’ve used this balm so much that the label has worn off, which does not a pretty picture make. However, I need to mention it here since I’ve use it nearly every day for the past six months. JB bought me a canister as a stocking stuffer for Christmas last year. He was alarmed by how small the container was when it arrived, but has been pleased to see how long it lasts. It is SO hard to find vegan lip balm. Almost all have beeswax in them. This one smells like a fresh burst of vanilla, mandarin, and lemon. It’s the perfect scent to compliment your lips all year round, but especially during the summer months.

What are your favorite cruelty free products for summer?


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