The Best Natural Deodorants | Vegan Deodorant Review + Why You Should Stop Using Your Crystal Rock Deodorant ASAP

Native | Schmidt’s Rose | Natural Vegan Club | Schmitds Fragrance-Free | Green GooCrystal

An increasing number of people are ditching their aluminum-based antiperspirants in favor of natural  deodorants. I switched from antiperspirants to deodorants years ago and finding a natural deodorant that actually works has been quite the journey. I’ve tried many brands of natural deodorants and something I learned is that “natural” doesn’t always mean non-toxic. Additionally, “natural” doesn’t mean aluminum-free. In fact, one of the most popular natural deodorants is made from aluminum. In this post, I’ll go over which natural deodorants actually work well at preventing odor and keep you smelling fresh. I’ll also share how to tell the difference between antiperspirant (aluminum-based) and deodorant. Lastly, I’ll tell you why it’s important to use a natural & aluminum-free deodorant.

What’s the difference between antiperspirant and deodorant?

It’s important to first understand the difference between antiperspirant and deodorant. Put simply, antiperspirant blocks sweat and deodorant blocks smell. Antiperspirant contains aluminum salts that work by clogging and blocking sweat glands from excreting sweat, a natural cooling process, thus preventing odor. Deodorant doesn’t block sweat glands it simply masks sweat odors to keep you smelling fresh while allowing your body to perform its natural cooling process, known as sweating.

What’s the problem with using antiperspirant?

The main problem with using antiperspirant is the worry of aluminum absorption. Aluminum has been linked to breast cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, hormone disruption, neurological damage and more. Studies on this subject are mixed. Some research has shown a strong correlation between aluminum exposure and Alzheimer’s while others haven’t found a clear correlation. However, that could be because there simply aren’t enough studies or enough data. According to Cancer.gov, only a few studies have explored the link between aluminum-based deodorants and breast cancer. We need more studies on the subject so this is why I recommend to play it safe and steer clear of aluminum. We also know that aluminum is widely accepted as a neurotoxin and has been found in high concentrations in the brains of those with Alzheimer’s disease. This is a subject that has not been extensively studied so, in my opinion, the most logical thing to do with the findings that we do have is take precaution and stay away from products that contain aluminum. While aluminum is a naturally occurring mineral, it is not naturally found or necessary in the body at any level.

A Little TMI About Me

Before I get into this deodorant review, let me preface this by stating that I sweat very easily. I don’t sweat a lot, just a normal amount, but I do sweat very easily. For this reason, a good deodorant is very important to me and I’m constantly trying new ones to stay up to date on the most effective natural deodorants. Also, I recently did a juice cleanse and it had been a while since I’d done one. What I had failed to remember is that juice cleanses tend to make one a bit stinkier than usual because your body goes into detox mode. Luckily, I had a good deodorant. Read on to see which deodorant I used to keep me stink-free during my juice cleanse.

Crystal deodorant review

The pros:

It’s vegan & cruelty-free.

It prevents bad odors.

The cons: It’s made from aluminum.

I’m starting with the worst one because this one really is really sneaky and widely misrepresented as natural and non-toxic. Crystal deodorant sticks can be found in the natural deodorant aisles of most health food stores. However, they aren’t any more natural or safe to use than conventional deodorants made with aluminum. Crystal deodorants are available in a few varieties. The most common one you might have seen is the one pictured above, with the rollerball, or the big salt rock stick. Looking at the salt rock stick deodorant you’d think it’s just a big piece of natural salt that you rub on to prevent odor. However, these “mineral” deodorants are not what they seem. I used this deodorant for a month and it worked really well. I was actually surprised at how well it worked. Then I read the label and was shocked at what I found, it’s made from aluminum. The rollerball deodorant above contains potassium alum which is made by mixing sulfuric acid with bauxite ore; the reaction creates aluminum oxide. This is then mixed with potassium sulfate to create potassium alum, the second ingredient listed on the back of this Crystal roll-on deodorant. Don’t fall for the greenwashing marketing tactic, read the label on the back!

I say to read the label on the back because the label on the front is also designed to fool you. It reads “mineral deodorant roll-on”. What’s so deceptive about that? I mean, “mineral” sounds good. Minerals are natural, right? Well, this is technically not a lie, but it is deceptive. Minerals are natural in that they are found in nature. However, they are not all safe for the human body to absorb. For example, petroleum is a natural mineral from the earth. We use it to fuel our cars but we wouldn’t want to ingest it because it’s lethal to the human body. We also wouldn’t want to put it on our skin, however, we do, unknowingly. Petroleum is found in deodorants labeled as “petrolatum”, “mineral oil”, or just “minerals”. This ingredient is derived from crude oil. While most non-toxic deodorants can claim to be aluminum free on their product labels, Crystal deodorants cannot make the same blanket claim. There are many varieties of aluminum so Crystal deodorants try to fool the consumer by marketing “no aluminum chlorohydrate” on the front of this bottle.

Schmidt’s Deodorant Review

Now let’s talk about the best aluminum-free natural deodorant that actually works. That title goes to Schmidt’s deodorant. This is my favorite and most recommended deodorant.

The pros:

This deodorant is vegan and cruelty-free!

It’s also free of any toxic substances including aluminum, propylene glycol, parabens & phthalates. It’s got simple and clean ingredients. It’s now been about a year since I started using Schmidt’s deodorant and I keep going back to it. It’s absolutely my go-to for every day. I put this deodorant to the test on the daily. I do a heavy workout in the gym for an hour 3 days a week and cardio outdoors for an hour 3 days a week. There’s a lot of sweating on those days and this deodorant really works! It keeps me smelling like roses and I love how long it lasts.

I also love that I don’t have to reapply throughout the day. The only exception to this is when I do a juice cleanse. I do a juice cleanse once a month just for a day or two and I notice my sweat does get a little stinky on those days. This is when I do reapply about halfway through the day. And with the second application, it keeps me smelling fresh and clean. I absolutely love this formula.

Schmidt’s deodorant is available in many different scents including jasmine, coconut, tea tree, charcoal, and a fragrance-free formula which I discuss below. They even have a Lily of the Valley scent that they created in collaboration with the Jane Goodall Institute. Five percent of each purchase will go to the institute which helps animals.

It’s widely available. Find it at Target, Sprouts, Natural Grocers and other health food stores.

The cons:

It’s on the pricier side of the spectrum. Even so, it’s worth it! Target offers a smaller size (2.75 oz)  priced at just $5 vs the original bigger size that’s around $9. If you have a Costco membership, you can buy a three pack of the regular 3.25 oz sticks for just $10.99

It’s not organic. I hope they start making organic options soon!

The formula could be a little easier to glide on. It’s just a tad on the grainy side. Now I’m just nitpicking but this is a review so I’m saying it all!

Native Deodorant Review

I heard a lot of good things about Native deodorant so I gave it a try. I used this deodorant for a month before reviewing it. I despise overpowering chemical smelling deodorants so these are lovely because they use natural flower oils; this has a clean, subtle lavender scent that perfectly covers up any stinky sweat.

The pros:

Award-winning deodorant.

This deodorant is vegan and cruelty-free!

Free of aluminum, parabens, and sulfates.

It holds up well during intense workouts. I only had to reapply during my juice cleanse days, which produce stinky sweat.

It’s got clean ingredients like tapioca starch, coconut oil, shea butter, & lavender oil.

It glides on smoothly, more than Schmidt’s deodorant.

It’s made in the USA.

It’s available in a variety of scents including unscented and my favorite lavender rose.

It’s widely available. Shop it at Target or on their website here.

The cons:

It’s on the pricier side of the spectrum. Even pricier than Schmidt’s at $11.99 for a 2.65 oz stick.

It’s not organic. I hope they start making organic options soon!

Natural Vegan Club Deodorant Review

Before we get into this deodorant review, let me quickly introduce you to Natural Vegan Club. This deodorant comes as part of a monthly subscription box that is natural, vegan, cruelty-free and zero waste! Their packaging is compostable and all their items (including the bamboo toothbrush in every box) are biodegradable! I mean, what more could you ask for? Ok, let me tell you about this heavenly-scented deodorant.

The pros:

This deodorant is vegan and cruelty-free!

It smells fantastic! Natural Vegan Club’s deodorant is scented with natural essential oils. I could smell it before I even opened the box. The scent is citrusy and clean and really works! It’ll keep you smelling fresh all day without the need to reapply.

I absolutely love Natural Vegan Club’s compostable containers. Think about how many deodorants you go through in your life, that’s a lot of plastic! I wish all deodorants came in these biodegradable containers!

It’s Paraben Free, Sulfate Free, Aluminum Free, Cruelty-Free, Vegan, 100% Backyard-Compostable, Dye Free, Soy Free, Gluten Free Friendly, and free of all toxins!

It’s handmade.

It’s got super clean ingredients including coconut oil, shea butter, arrowroot powder, essential oils and more.

It’s a food grade product. Meaning it would even be safe to eat, but don’t because then what would you put on your underarms?

It’s good for sensitive skin.

The cons:

This deodorant is part of a subscription box but you can also order it separately directly from www.NaturalVeganClub.com.

There’s not too much product in the bottle. However, if you’re signed up for the monthly delivery it’s more than enough for a month.

It’s not organic. I hope they switch to organic ingredients soon!

Schmidt’s Fragrance-Free Deodorant Review

Ok, I raved about Schmidt’s rose vanilla deodorant but I have to be honest, this formula didn’t work for me. Schmidt’s fragrance-free deodorant is designed for those with sensitive skin and sensitivity to baking soda. I’ve heard great things about this deodorant. It’s quite effective for a lot of people but for me, it just didn’t work. I felt like I had to keep reapplying and it didn’t keep me smelling fresh for long periods of time.

The pros:

This deodorant is vegan and cruelty-free!

Clean ingredients, no aluminum, no parabens, no sulfates or dyes.

Fragrance-free.

It glides on easily.

It’s widely available. Find it at Target, Sprouts, Natural Grocers and other health food stores.

The cons:

It didn’t work for me.

It’s on the pricier side of the spectrum. Even so, it’s worth it! Target offers a smaller size (2.75 oz)  priced at just $5 vs the original bigger size that’s around $9. If you have a Costco membership, you can buy a three pack of the regular 3.25 oz sticks for just $10.99

It’s not organic. I hope they start making organic options soon!

Honest Deodorant Spray Review

It seems Honest may have discontinued this deodorant with their beauty revamp last year. I included it in this post because I’ve used it for long periods of time and was impressed with it. I still find it at Marshall’s and Ross Dress for Less stores but it does seem to have been discontinued by Honest. So if you see a bottle at Marshall’s or Ross, give it a try!

Pros:

It’s vegan & cruelty-free!

Clean ingredients, no aluminum, no parabens, no sulfates or dyes.

It really works. One spray will keep you smelling fresh for 6-8 hours. I did feel like I needed to reaplly after long days toward the evening.

Sprays on easily.

Has a clean scent.

Available in a few different scents.

Affordable. This bottle was $4.99

Cons:

Not organic

Discontinued by Honest. But it’s still periodically available at Marshall’s and Ross Dress for Less.

Green Goo Gel Deodorant Review

This natural deodorant was the least effective of them all. It didn’t work for me even a little bit. I loved the easy glide on formula and it smelled great but it didn’t hold up well against sweat and the rose scent dissipated quickly.

Pros:

It’s vegan and cruelty-free.

It glides on very easily.

It smells great.

It’s Gluten-free.

It’s free of aluminum, propanediol, Parabens, phthalates & artificial ingredients.

It’s got mostly clean ingredients including coconut oil, aloe vera leaf juice, and lemongrass oil.

Cons:

It contains two slightly questionable ingredients, glyceryl laurate, and propylene glycol.

It’s not widely available. I found this one at Marshall’s and do see them there periodically but I’ve not seen them elsewhere. You can find them online.

They’re pricey. They retail for $10.50 on their website. However, I found this one at Marshall’s for $5.99.

It’s not organic. I hope they start making organic options soon!

I hope you found this natural deodorant review useful. I tried to keep it short and to the point. If there’s something I miss or you have a question I didn’t cover, please let me know. Leave a comment below or shoot me a DM over on Instagram.

Pro tip: If you’re not sure about an ingredient listed in your deodorant or want to see how toxic or non-toxic it is, look it up on the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database.

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New Finds | Organic Vegan & Cruelty-Free Beauty Products

I’m always looking to improve my beauty and skin care products. Everything I use is now vegan and cruelty-free as of 18 months ago and just recently, I started incorporating more organic items into my skin care products. If you’re new to organic skincare, let me tell you why this matters. Women use approximately 12 beauty products per day on average. Sixty percent of what you apply on your skin gets absorbed within 25 seconds. Think about that. Lotion, face moisturizer, foundation, concealer, lipstick, shampoo, face gels, creams, exfoliants, anything that touches your skin qualifies for this absorption rate. If the ingredient in your skin care items are not organic, then you’re most likely absorbing pesticides (among other chemicals) through your skin.

Now, consider how often you use all the products and multiply it by the years you’ve been alive and the years you’ll continue to live, that’s a HUGE toxic load. My point here is not to scare you, but rather, inform you and empower you with the knowledge to do better for your skin and your health. I’ll be posting more organic beauty and skin care products regularly, and as always, they’ll be vegan and cruelty-free. I linked the same products from different online stores so you can shop at your preferred retailer, please not prices vary.

2019 Hair Trends | Cheetah Print Bow Headband

Headband (currently 20% off!)| Earrings| Top (old, similar) | Jeans | Purse | Shoes |

Is anyone else loving this headband/hair accessories trend right now? I’m totally obsessed with it. I’ve been buying hair clips as if I were a six year old girl. I can’t get enough of them! I’m particularly loving this cheetah print bow headband from Anthropologie. The print is so pretty and perfect the current animal print trend. Additionally, the fabric is super silky soft and best of all this headband has a wire inside. I love these types of headbands because you can shape the wire inside the bow anyway you want and really adjust it to wear your headband just the way you like it. I love feminine pieces with with a bit of edge and this headband is exactly that. I feel like I can’t pull off a fluffy pink headband but this leopard print headband is perfect for feminine girls that like a bit of edge. This piece is currently 20% off right now which makes it $14!

My jeans are sold out but I linked a similar pair by the same (and my favorite) brand ever. They’re from Nordstrom and they’re currently doing 2x points on all purchases through May 12th. Nordstrom credit card holders earn 6x points! I just ordered myself some more of these Good American jeans because they have THE BEST fit! See my previous post about their fit here and see two other ways I styled these Good American jeans here and here.

How cute is this little double strap satchel? I love finding a good vegan leather purse, especially when it’s a designer dupe! The designer version is $479; this one is under $50 and it goes so well with jeans and dresses a like! Hope you all have a fun Mother’s Day, if you need some last minute ideas check out this post about 20 vegan and cruelty-free perfumes you can gift every mom on your list. There’s options for all budgets and a lot of these you can find in person at your local beauty store, Target, or department store. And if you want to give something a little more meaning, try this gift guide packed with meaningful gifts that give back!

20 Of the Best Vegan Perfumes for Mother’s Day for Every Budget

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20

Vegan Perfumes for Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is exactly one week from today. Like millions Americans, I gift my mom a perfume for Mother’s Day every year. Since going vegan, this has been a bit challenging, mostly because I didn’t know the terrain. But now, my vegan perfume wishlist is nearly endless! Last year I got my mom perfume pick number fifteen after receiving both her fragrances “Saint” #15 and “Sinner” #16 as a PR package over a year ago. I love them both equally. Saint has a cleaner, fresh aroma while Sinner is a bit more sexy, however, both are bold scents. And the bottle are just stunning, true pieces of art, they just look great sitting on any vanity.

You can feel good about gifting any one of these picks because every single one these perfumes vegan and cruelty-free. One of my all-time favorites vegan perfumes is Stella McCartney’s perfume “Stella” #8. This was my favorite scent for the longest time, I used to carry the roller ball version around with me in my purse at all times. Most of these vegan perfumes pics are high end but there are some more budget friendly options too like #2, #4, #6, and  #9. One of these perfumes even helps support families in nations rebuilding after war, that’s pick #20— and it’s organic too!

My current favorite is pick #10, Olive Atelier’s More than the Stars. I discovered this perfume back in March during our trip to Kauai. While waiting for my coffee one day inside a crowded cafe, I  decided to pop into the little boutique next door. It had the best selection of clothing, beauty, accessories, and kids items. This perfume was sitting on a display next to the prettiest gold jewelry. Its distinct gold bulb atomizer caught my eye. I was instantly smitten with it. It’s hard to describe because I’ve never smelled anything like it before. Curious to know what was in it, I read the brand’s description of this scent as I stood there in that little shop. Here’s part of what it said:

“How much love can a human heart hold?  How far is its reach, how deep its depth?   What keeps us here, now – the fathomless unending love we have for our children, for each other – and hopefully, one day – ourselves.  Our love is around the world and back again – it’s More Than The Stars.”

I was sold.

It contains a top note of almond, middle notes of stargazer lily and gardenia, and base notes of Egyptian Musk, fresh sandalwood, essential vanilla, and Brazilian vetiver. If you’re looking for a scent you can wear all year round, this is the one you’ve been looking for.

 

 

The Prettiest Pink Floral Print Wrap Dress for Spring

Dress | Shoes | Bag (high end, dupe) | Earrings | Bracelets (similar here & here)

Is this not the prettiest spring dress? It’s been about four weeks since I purchased this pink floral maxi wrap dress and I’ve probably worn it, 5 or 6 times. I seriously love it so much. If you’re looking for a dress to celebrate Mother’s Day, or just a really pretty spring dress for any occasion, I can’t recommend this one enough. The fabric (viscose) is lightweight, flowy, soft, and breathable. It’s such a casual fabric but the elegant cut of this dress makes it easy to dress up. Last year and the year before I didn’t take any photos on Mother’s Day and I sort of regret it. I wish I had done a better job documenting that time. However, this year I’m prepared. I’m not sure about the accessories just yet but this Mother’s Day I’ll be wearing this gorgeous floral wrap dress. Sizes are starting to run out and I’ve never seen dresses by this brand restocked so if you know you want it, grab one before it’s too late!

How fun are these clear heels? Did you know they’re Manolo Blahnik dupes?! Yes! The designer version are like $750 and not vegan but these are under $40 and made with vegan leather. I love finding a good vegan shoe dupe to a designer shoe! I linked them above and I also linked some more fun clear heels in this post all about the best vegan shoes for spring trends 2019. Be sure to check out that post for all sorts of spring styles that will keep you right on trend this spring.

The Best Vegan Shoes for Spring Trends 2019 | Get Ready Because You’ll Be Seeing These Everywhere

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 |19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25

I’m obsessed with nearly every single Spring shoe trend for 2019! How gorgeous are all of these vegan shoes?! I literally want every single pair. Lucky for me, I’ve got four of these already and I’m seriously contemplating those vegan slides by Gucci, I mean they’re seriously perfect for elevating a casual tee and jeans look. How stunning are those pvc sandals with the clear lucite heel?! I love this shoe for every single outfit. Wear it with shorts, a button up and a crossbody purse. Or dress them up with a belted shirtdress outfit and a cute top handle tote. I LOVE the traditional shape of this shoe done with an edgy material like pvc and lucite, a perfect combo for springs transparent shoe trend.

7 Spring Shoe Trends for 2019

Speaking of Spring shoe trends, let’s talk about them. I focused on seven spring shoe trends for this round up, which are:

Strappy heels

Ankle strap shoes

Animal print shoes

Transparent heels

White shoes

Mules

Slides

Transparent Shoes & Animal Print Heels

Transparent shoes are one of my favorite spring shoe trends. The classic shapes done in PVC are a great way to add a hint of edge to your style while still keeping it classic or feminine. The options are nearly endless for clear pvc shoes thanks to the Kardashians wearing this style frequently since last year. Animal print shoes are HUGE right now and you’ll be seeing this trend ramp up even more for summer and possibly through fall. The options range from flats to sandals, boot, heels and everything in between. I’ve always loved and kept a cheetah or leopard print pump in my wardrobe because it’s such a versatile item. The print goes acts like a neutral and goes with nearly everything. A fun animal print shoe is also a great way to elevate a look or add a bit of edge to a conservative look.

See how I styled number 9 here and here. See two ways to style number 25 (leopard print pumps) here and here. See one way I styled number 22 here.

All Of These Are Vegan Shoes

If you’re new around here, I adopted a vegan diet a little over 2 years ago. Shortly after that, I decided to switch up my entire lifestyle to a vegan one which meant getting rid of all animal products in my home from shoes to laundry detergent to makeup, deodorant, and everything in between. My leather shoes were the first to go. Now all the shoes I wear and link here on my blog are vegan shoes. Every single one of the shoes listed above is made of vegan leather. None of the shoes contain animal leather, fur, animal skin (such as snake skin) or animal hair such as (calf hair). If you have any questions or recommendations, drop a comment below or send me message on my Instagram.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Best Vegan Chicken Salad | Quick & Easy + Makes a Great Make Ahead Meal

Part of our Easter Sunday Picnic.
Salsa, Guacamole, Lemon Creme Cookies, and Melon Salad from our Easter Sunday picnic.
Vegan Chicken Salad and Vegan Turkey and Cheese Sandwiches.

Lemon Print Table Cloth | Mixing Bowls (similar) | Glass Tuperware

We had the yummiest chicken salad this past Sunday at our Easter picnic. I’ve tinkered with this recipe over the last year and it’s absolute perfection now. Omnivores and vegans alike love this salad. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I get asked for the recipe every single time I share this salad with someone new. I’ve been meaning to share it with friends and family but I thought it’d be best to post it here for everyone to enjoy and this will also save me having to send like, a dozen emails, lol.

So what makes this vegan chicken salad so great? It’s the perfect balance of sweet and savory, for starters. The dried cranberries and hint of maple syrup give this dish just the right amount of sweetness. There’s also some cold celery and almond slices which lend a great crunch. Chickpeas kick up the fiber and protein content and the vegan mayo is free of saturated fat (artery-clogging fat), yay! You can use any kind of vegan chicken but my favorite one so far for this dish is Gardein’s Meatless Chick’n Strips. I sauté them lightly then let them cool before chopping. This vegan chicken salad is perfect as a sandwich with some crunchy lettuce for lunch. It’s also great for groups; served with tortilla chips for your next get together. This vegan chicken salad is best served cold, making this a great make ahead meal.

Vegan Chick’n Salad Recipe

Time Prep: 20 min | Cook Time: 10 min

Serves 6

Ingredients:

1 bag Gardein Meatless Chick’s strips, lightly sautéed, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

2 green onions, chopped

1 can (15 oz) organic garbanzo beans, drained & rinsed

1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped

1/2 cup Follow Your Heart Original Veganaise

1/4 cup sliced almonds

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon organic maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions:

Place the drained chickpeas in a large mixing bowl and mash them with a fork. Place the rest of the ingredients into the same bowl and stir until combined. Cover and chill for a couple hours or enjoy right away.

 

Hawaii (Kauai) Vacation Outfits: Snakeskin Print Shirt Dress with Vegan Wedges

Dress: H&M (similar here, here, and here) | Shoes: Charles by Charles David (similar here & here)

Purse: Amazon (similar) | Sunglasses: Marc Jacobs | Hat: Zappos

Earrings: Nordstrom Rack (old, similar here & here)

Finally sharing another look I wore during our Kauai vacation a few weeks ago. Can you tell I’m wearing a bathing suit underneath this dress? Hahaha. We were headed to the kid beach at Lydgate Park in Kapaa on this particular day. I wore this look  during the earlier part of the day while we shopped and explored Kauai. Then as beach cover up with vegan leather sandals a low bun and oversized sunglasses (see last two photos) while we were at the beach. Snakeskin print can be so versatile and this style of dress can be worn and styled many different ways so for under $50, it’s an excellent buy. This dress is almost sold out but I linked a few other similar styles that are totally worth it for their versatility and comfort.

I got a lot of questions about these wedges and my hat. First, my shoes are made of vegan leather and are under $100. They’re pretty comfortable for walking around in all day and the cork wedge makes is perfect for spring and summer outfits. Now for my hat, I’ve had it for years and it’s a super popular style so it’s still current. It comes in a few different colors, I have both the white and the natural color. I love the extra large brim; perfect for protecting your delicate skin from the shoulders up as you lay on the beach for hours. You may wonder how you’d pack such a large hat for travel but this one you can fold up pretty easily and it springs back up once its unpacked. You can also use this travel hat box. I also highly recommend this travel box for storing and protecting multiple sunglasses and jewelry.

Hawaii (Kauai) Vacation Outfits: Tropical Floral Dress

Dress: H&M | Sandals: BGBGeneration (50% off!)| Bag: Amazon | Sunglasses: Karen Walker

Earrings: BaubleBar

How perfect is this print for a tropical getaway?! I wore this look to dinner on Athena’s birthday. We ate at the beautiful and award-winning restaurant Red Salt. I wanted to wear something nice but not too dressy so this is the look I pulled. This dress is so soft and comfy. I linked the wrapped version of this dress though (it’s the same print) because this exact one is sold out. My sandals are now over 50% off and they come in four different colors including tan (pictured), black, white, and blue. I love the cushioned footbed and the large chainlink detail.

I still can’t get over these cute white oversized flower earrings from BaubleBar! I got SO MANY compliments and questions about them. They’re still available but if you like them get them asap because they’re one of their most popular styles and they’ll most likely sell out soon. Lastly, if you’re looking for a Chloe ring bag dupe, you need to check out this one I found on Amazon. It comes in various colors, it’s cruelty-free because it’s made of vegan leather, and it’s only $40 compared to the original $1,700! For a better look, you can also see it styled two different ways here and here.

 

Family Trip to Kauai, Hawaii 2019 | Where We Stayed + The Most Family Friendly Spots

Did you know Kauai is also called the Garden Isle because it is SO green and lush? The next morning after we arrived I posted several Instagram stories showing the islands gorgeous vegetation. It’s super green and brimming with big bright flowers. Most areas look like an untouched jungle. I got at least a dozen messages of people saying it looked like the scenery from Jurassic Park. Well, that’s because Jurassic Park was shot on Kauai! Good eye, you guys. If you’re thinking about visiting Hawaii with kids, Kauai is a pretty awesome choice.

You’re probably wondering how to vacation in Kauai with kids. A lot of parents also commonly ask, “is Kauai safe for kids?” Let me ease your mind and say yes, Kauai is perfectly safe for kids of all ages. Kauai is basically a circle with one highway stretching along the perimeter. However, the highway ends on the west shore and doesn’t connect to the north shore, so if you want to drive from the west to the north, you’ll have to go 3/4 around the island to get there. This island has four distinct shores, which I discuss below. Read on to discover how to vacation in Kauai with kids.

Kauai with kids

The allure of Kauai is quite unique. It has a slow-paced way of life, with a calm and charming ambiance; this was one of the main reasons we chose Kauai. Marc and I first visited Kauai back in 2014 and we fell in love with it. Being familiar with this island is another reason we chose this spot. Additionally, Kauai is super family-friendly. We saw a lot of families all throughout our 10-day stay. Most families had kids under the age of 5 and the majority of parents had infants. We also saw a lot of couples on their babymoon.

Pros of vacationing in Kauai with kids

-Family friendly

-Safe (low crime rate)

-Calm beaches

-Shallow beaches

-Kid-friendly activities

-Easy to get around

-Little to no traffic

-Grocery stores open late

-Major retailers like Costco & Walmart

-Super friendly locals

The main goal of this trip was to celebrate Athena’s birthday. Last year, we threw a party for her first birthday which was more for us. We got all the pictures and did the very typical first birthday thing with lots of decorations and a big cake, etc. This year, we wanted her to enjoy her birthday more. Since she loves being in the water, we decided to take her to the beach. The main purpose of the trip was to relax, enjoy our time with Athena, and make sure she enjoyed the trip too. We planned a couple of activities but that was it. Mostly, we wanted to take it easy and relax on the beach while our toddler made sand castles and splashed around. If that’s how you’re looking to spend your vacation too, then Kauai is a perfect choice.

What’s the best time to visit Kauai?

The best time to visit Kauai is in April and May. We visited in the middle to end of March this time around and the weather was excellent about eighty percent of the time. The average temperature was about 75 degrees during the day and it would drop to about 62 in the night time. The other time, we did see a bit of rain and cloudy skies, which we love, but it doesn’t make for a great beach trip. It’s also a bit windier in March. April and May have excellent weather, sunny and warm with only the tiniest bit of rain in small stretches and mostly on the north shore. The humidity and heat really start to ramp up in June and July so be aware of this if you’re traveling with small children and infants.

Family Vacation in Kauai – Where should you stay?

The only airport is in Lihue which is located on the southeast part of the island. The south shore, where we stayed, is a 25 minute drive from Lihue.

The north shore – Princeville

This part of the island has the nicest resorts including the St. Regis. Everything is a little pricier in this area and a is little more ritzy. This is also the rainiest part of the island. While the beaches on the north shore are beautiful, they are not calm. This means, the surfing is great but it’s not very suitable for young children. There are lots of restaurants and shopping available and the landscape is stunning. From some areas, you can see mountains, rainforest, and ocean all in the same view! Princeville is also where you’ll find the magical, swimmable, sinkhole known as Queen’s Bath.

Be sure to stop at the scenic overlook point in Hanalei, it’s breathtaking.

Hanalei Bay beach. It tends to be cloudy and rainy on this part of the island and the waves are not the best for kids but with close supervision, it’s a beautiful spot to relax.

The east shore – Kapaa

Kapaa is the most affordable part of the island. It’s also got great restaurants, especially if you’re looking for vegan food in Kauai. We had a bit of a hard time finding vegan food on the rest of the island, but Kapaa had the most options. One particular restaurant worth noting is Eat Healthy Kauai, it’s 100% plant-based; vegan or not, this place is a gem for foodies. Kapaa is also very family-friendly. One of our favorite kid-friendly beaches in Kauai, Lydgate Beach Park, is here. It’s a treelined beach with a shallow enclosed swimming area, perfect for kids 5 and under. There’s also a huge park area next to the beach with lots of shade where your little one can run around for hours. They’ll also enjoy chasing the chickens that roam free. This area also has lots of spots with tables and benches, perfect for a family picnic. Lydgate Beach Park is a long stretch of land, if you’re looking to get to the kid-friendly swimming area, follow the directions for the Kauai Bike Path, it gets you the closest. Be advised, traffic on this part of the island can get heavy and there’s no way around it.

 

At Lydgate beach wearing our matching Atocha necklaces. This beach is perfect for toddlers, the water is calm and shallow.

The south shore – Koloa

This is where we decided to stay, mainly because it’s where we stayed last time and we loved it. The south shore of Kauai is the most family-friendly part of the island. It is also the sunniest part of the island. It has two very kid-friendly beaches, Baby Beach & Salt Pond Beach, that are enclosed and have shallow waters, perfect for little ones. Koloa has all the conveniences nearby including, shopping, restaurants of all categories, grocery stores, drugstores, gas stations, souvenir shops, parks, and beaches of course.

Salt Pond Beach is another great beach for toddlers, the water is calm and shallow. This is where all the locals go and it doesn’t get packed like other beaches.

Free hula show at the Shops at Poipu Village.

They even have free hula shows at the Poipu Shopping Village on Mondays and Thursdays at 5 pm, they have the kids join them on stage at the end and it’s really cute to watch. By the way, Poipu Shopping Village has the world famous Puka Dog- featured on Anthony Bourdain’s show No Reservations, and they have a vegan hot dog option! Just a few minutes up the road is another great shopping spot, The Shops at Kukuiula, where you can find a beautiful selection of produce and local foods at the farmers market every Wednesday from 3:30-6. Fun fact: Kauai’s south shore is the safest part of the entire island, it has the lowest crime rate. Traffic on this part of the island is minimal. Lastly, the south shore is home to Kauai’s famous tree tunnel, which you’ll pass through whenever you leave or enter the south shore, don’t worry, you can’t miss it.

The west shore – Waimea

Kauai’s west shore is beautiful and home to the Waimea Canyon State Park. We didn’t find any suitable activities for a toddler in this part of the island but if you’re traveling with your partner or your teenagers, it might be fun to check out the hiking trails. The canyon views from the overlook points are gorgeous.

Where to stay in Kauai with kids

The walk from our villa at Poipu Kai to Poipu Beach. You can see the beach at the very far end. Note the paved sidewalk to the right.

Poipu Beach Park

You’re probably wondering where to stay in Kauai with kids. If you read about the islands 4 distinct shores, you’re probably leaning towards the east or south shore. Of the two, I would highly recommend the south shore. Specifically, we stayed in Poipu, which is the very southern part of the island at The Villas at Poipu Kai. This place was amazing and perfect for families! It sleeps six and would be perfect for a large family, two smaller families traveling together, or, in our case, one small family that just wants a lot of room. This is the exact listing for the place we booked (I got A LOT of questions about this in my Instagram DMs). However, the actual villa that was reserved for us was more like this one. It was a three bedroom (2 masters), 2.5 baths, 1600 sq ft, with a kitchen, living room, dining area, and a patio. One of the most popular beaches, Poipu Beach, is just a 6-minute walk from our villa. It’s such a pretty walk too; there’s a paved pathway that takes you straight there and its surrounded by grass, trees, flowers, birds- it’s lovely. You can see videos of our villa over on my Instagram stories Kauai highlight here.

What do the Villas at Poipu Kai include?

The properties are really large, it feels like being at home. We had a full kitchen with appliances including a blender, instant pot, baking pans, etc. We let them know ahead of time that we were traveling with a toddler and they provided a highchair and pack n play at no extra charge. There was a large dining table and stools lining one side of the kitchen counter. Each unit also has a washer and dryer, which was super helpful. They provided 3 large packs of detergent, plenty of towels, including beach towels and beach chairs. The living room had a huge tv, as did the master bedrooms. The third room also came with a tv, though not as large. Both the master bedrooms had walk-in closets. The larger master bedroom had a huge tub and double doors leading to the patio. We got the best villa, the one right behind the pool, which I loved because we could still see the pool clearly but had a lot more privacy from the plants and rocks partially blocking our patio.

Vegan smoothie cups from Anake’s Juice Bar, a 3-minute drive from the Villas at Poipu Kai. Note all the plants surrounding the patio.

Breakfast on the patio. Note the large boulder providing more privacy to our patio. Behind the boulder is a waterfall that leads into the hot tub.

If you want the exact villa we rented with the more private patio it’s villa number B111. Not all places in Kauai have air conditioning, like the condo we rented during our first visit, but these villas all have a/c and ceiling fans in every room. My favorite part of the villa was the wall to wall glass doors that open up linking the patio with the living room. 

The entire resort is not a true resort but does have that resort feel. They have self check-in which means before you arrive, you’ll get a code to enter on the keypad to your villa’s front door. When you arrive, you simply enter the 4 digit code and let yourself right in. The staff that runs the property is very friendly and quick to reply to any problems and concerns. The microwave in our villa wasn’t working so we called to get it fixed. They couldn’t fix it straight away so they bought a brand new microwave and set it up right away. I also appreciated the quiet hours rule from 10 pm- 6 am. There was a large group of people loudly celebrating someone’s 21st birthday at the pool but promptly dissipated at 10 pm. Any parent with sleeping toddlers will really appreciate this too.

The Villas at Poipu Kai also have a clubhouse with a gym. In the center of the property is a beautiful pool with jacuzzi and a man-made waterfall. The pool area is enclosed, offers a grill area, and is surrounded with lounge chairs. I really appreciated how clean the property was kept. Every morning I’d see the staff members out there working to ensure every part of the property was clean and the landscape well manicured. Click here to see details, a full list of amenities, and book your villa at Poipu Kai.

How to save money on your Kauai vacation

Pro tip: I saw the listing for our villa wasn’t booked up like some of the other lower price point villas. Seeing that they were having trouble filling that particular villa due to the higher price point and seeing that we would be staying for 10 days, I decided to call and ask about a discounted rate. A very nice and friendly gentleman helped me and answered all my questions. We ended up getting a really nice deal and we booked it in less than 15 minutes. It was so quick and easy!

The most kid-friendly beaches in Kauai

We spent our entire 10 days hitting up all the kid-friendly beaches. On the first day, we took the 6-minute walk from our villa to Poipu beach. The waves here can get pretty wild but during the mornings it’s typically tame and suitable for children. The rest of the days we alternated between Lydgate Beach, Salt Pond Beach, Baby Beach, and Hanalei Bay Beach (this one being the farthest and least-kid-friendly). On the last day, our flight didn’t depart until 6 pm but we had to check out of our villa at 11 am so we decided that day would not be a beach day.

Baby Beach

Baby Beach. This spot is only a 6-minute drive from the Villas at Poipu Kai.

Instead, we took Athena for a train ride at the Kauai Plantation Railway to see the animals. The train ride is a 40-minute ride through Kauai’s first sugar cane plantation which covers 405 acres. You’ll see all types of fruit and flower trees as well as animals. The train makes one stop where patrons can disembark and feed the pigs a snack. Our toddler loves trains and had a blast on this little field trip. Ticket’s for adults are $20 per person, tickets for children 3-14 are $14, and children under 3 ride for free. This is a great activity to do on the last day because it’s close to the airport, just a 10-minute drive between the two spots. You can ride the train, then have a relaxing dinner before heading to the airport. Be sure to check out the shopping at the plantation, they have Atocha jewelry for sale, which is made from real sunken Spanish treasure!

On the train at the Kauai Plantation Railway, stopping to feed the pigs a snack.

Let me know in the comments if I missed anything or if you have any questions about traveling to Kauai with kids. You can also reach me over on my Instagram at @jeanettepadillavega or send me an email directly at jeanettepvega@gmail.com. If you know someone who could use this guide, make sure to share it with them!