***This post was written before the recent disaster in Texas, so please don’t think I’m ignoring it or being insensitive. If you are interested in more information regarding ways to help in the wake of such tragedy, please see yesterday’s post. And we now resume our regular programming….

 

This has been the strangest Summer. The weather has been absolutely bizarre. At this point, I almost feel like Fall is already here…and much to my shock, I’m not entirely upset by that! As September rolls around, I’m finding myself looking forward to all the fun things about Fall – the food, the pretty leaves (even though they’re a dying sign that winter is coming), the berry-hued lips. Yes friends, I may be turning into a Fall loving convert! Then again, I am still an absolute Summer lover too. Anyway, this is all a long way of saying that today’s post is dedicated to my Cruelty Free August Favorites!!! Much like last month, I haven’t been wearing much makeup. Still, I have come across some fantastic beauty products that I want to share. So let’s see what they are!

My first and only makeup fave is something that I absolutely love everything about! It is from Antonym and it is their Certified Organic Baked Blush in the shade “Rose.” Antonym is actually a brand that has recently joined the lineup at Sephora (it’s also available from Petit Vour). They are an all-natural, certified Organic, Ecocert brand with truly gorgeous packaging (a bit bulky, but I can look past that) – it’s made out of sustainable bamboo! All that greatness aside, the blush itself is absolutely gorgeous! Yes, its marbled baked pan is stunning to look at, but the blush formula itself is fantastic! It is pigmented – but not overly so – and picks up nicely onto a brush. It’s not at all powdery, nor is it too firm. It applies beautifully and looks undetectable on the skin…aside from that it adds color of course! The shade “Rose” is basically the perfect neutral too! It is buildable without being so sheer that you really need to dig into the pan to see it on the skin. The finish is also just the perfect skin-like luminosity. It doesn’t really have a sheen, but it’s not a flat matte either. I just love everything about it! I really want to get the “Peach” as well even though the price tag is a bit steep at $36. However, given the quality and eco-friendly ethics behind the product, not to mention that it will probably last you a lifetime, I feel like the price is a bit more justified than your run-of-the-mill “designer” blush.

Moving on to a bit of skincare, we have the Andalou Naturals DIY Booster SPF 30 Facial Serum. I’ve been using this pretty much every single day no matter what else I’m doing for my morning skincare routine. Truth be told, there are plenty of days lately where I’m not even washing my face in the morning. I feel no need and just don’t want the hassle! Typically the days I skip washing and this serum really comes in most handy are mornings when I have to go to physical therapy for my hips (nothing serious yet, they’ve just been hurting). Especially on those days, I want a facial sunscreen since I’m out in the sunshine a bit, but I don’t want to wash my face before I may end up slightly sweaty and feel the need to wash my face all over again. This serum is perfect because it adds just enough moisture for my skin without feeling heavy or greasy. Even better, it has both a chemical and a physical sunscreen included! As I understand it, having a combination of the two types is actually best since each type works in a slightly different way to protect from the sun. When you have both, the skin is essentially protected from all of the sun’s damaging rays. I can’t explain the exact science, but I figure it certainly can’t hurt! Besides, the lightweight, slightly hydrating consistency makes the DIY Booster a true joy to apply to the skin! Standard morning routine or rushing out the door without even washing, I’ve been truly enjoying this Sunscreen “Serum” (I always use it as my last skincare step). I feel like this would be a winner for most skin types thanks to its lightweight consistency, though it is marketed for dry to very dry skin types.

Moving on to another hydrating product, but this time it’s for the body. It is the probably over-hyped and most definitely over-priced, but no less insanely good and absolutely worth it all, Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream! I’ve had a tub of this for a while and been hesitant to mention it mainly because of the price tag. It’s $45! However you do get a lot in each 8+oz tub and a little bit goes a pretty long way. Even putting those things aside, I almost hate to admit that the body cream itself is really, really good! If you’ve heard about it before, it has a very strong scent, but it’s a delicious kind of warm vanilla-caramel scent that I actually don’t find over-powering, off-putting or headache-inducing. I believe Sol de Janeiro calls it their “Pistache” scent, though I don’t entirely get the reference. Be aware that other people will be able to smell this well after you initially apply it so if that’s not your thing, you may want to steer clear. As for the cream itself, part of its appeal is supposed to be the inclusion of Guarana fruit extract. This Brazilian wonder-fruit contains a highly potent form of caffeine adding magical skin “firming” powers to this cream. I can’t say that I’ve noticed any kind of difference in skin tightness or cellulite reduction, but I still absolutely love this cream because it has the perfect texture and consistency! The Bum Bum Cream feels kind of like a gel-cream, absorbing pretty much instantly into the skin. It is incredibly hydrating without being even the slightest bit heavy, greasy, sticky or otherwise uncomfortable. You can absolutely throw on your clothes immediately after application without fear of getting stuck while dressing…just be prepared for your clothes to smell delicious for days after you wear them! One final thing worth mentioning about this glorious body cream is that it has the subtlest of mica shimmer dispersed throughout…something I did not expect to like at all. However, it’s one of those things that is not terribly noticeable just glancing at your skin, but you will have the most glorious glow in the sunshine…and I actually love it! Can we tell I have been really pleasantly surprised by this stuff? Throw away the lovely scent, the goddess shimmer and the debatable firming properties, and I would still repurchase this – albeit while biting my tongue as I fork over the cash – thanks to the absolutely fantastic formula of the cream itself. I almost hate to recommend the Brazilian Bum Bum Cream, but if you are in need of a wonderfully hydrating body moisturizer with a divine consistency, I can’t think of anything better!

Last but not least, we have something rather unusual for hair. I went on a WifeLife YouTube binge probably in July and I kept hearing her mention the Aquis Lisse Luxe Hair Towel. She spoke so highly of it that I was intrigued. I’ve been using a microfiber towel to dry my hair for ages and needed a new one so I thought I’d give the Aquis Towel a look and had some sticker shock. They’re $30 each! I did some more research about them and slept on it for a while and finally decided “What the hell?” Rhian likes it so much, other reviews I’ve seen are good, maybe there really is something special about it. Well, everyone is right – this stinkin’ hair towel is absolutely fabulous! I’m not 100% sure what kind of material these towels are made with, but it’s some kind of super-fine fiber that is meant to be even more absorbent and more gentle on the hair, resulting in less frizz and less damage. Another great thing about this towel is the size – it’s 19” x 42” and they make an even larger one for super long hair. The towels I’ve had in the past have always just barely worked for my chest-length hair and just that little size difference is absolutely wonderful! What’s even better is that it absolutely makes my hair so, so, so much softer and reduces a lot of frizz even after just one use! I’m not sure if my hair dries any quicker than it does with my old microfiber towels, but it’s dramatically faster than a traditional towel. Consider me a convert! If you have hair that takes forever to dry (or you just hate the wait), is on the fragile side, is prone to frizz, or just doesn’t feel as soft as you would like, I definitely recommend investing in an Aquis Hair Towel. You can use it over and over again and just throw it in the washing machine (don’t add fabric softener though!). I feel like it’s going to last me for years. There is also a waffle version for those with thicker, curlier hair. I have only tried the original Lisse Luxe and it is a wonderful, wonderful product!!!

 

***To save 20% on the Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream and the Aquis Hair Towels, as well as most other brands available through Dermstore, head on over and enter the code LONGWKND! (now through September 5, 2017)

 

That’s gonna wrap it up for my Cruelty Free August Favorites. It’s not a lot of stuff, but it’s all fantastic stuff! Quality over quantity I guess. Let us know what some of your favorites have been lately as inquiring minds want to know. I hope you’ve all had a great August and that September brings more wonderful surprises!!!

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