beauty beauty test kitchen

Halfstack on Youtube - Beauty Test Kitchen Ep. 1 "Jen's Beauty Arsenal"

Saturday, August 09, 2014 HALFSTACK MAGAZINE

Hey Halfstackers!

Jen here! So, we've been working on building up our Youtube Channel and have a slew of new videos coming your way. We no longer will just showcase behind the scenes videos, but you can find some great beauty, product review, lifestyle, DIY and Fashion videos on our channel! We recently launched a new series dubbed - Beauty Test Kitchen. In the series we will be showcasing products that we have tried and give you rundowns on the pros and cons and benefits of each! You can subscribe here.

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I am so excited to introduce our first video in our beauty test kitchen series! You’ll end up seeing a lot of me in these videos, but there will be some appearances from the other fashion, beauty and lifestyle editors here at Halfstack Magazine! That way you can put a face and voice to the words you read in each issue and on our blog!



This week I’ll be showcasing the products that I have in my beauty arsenal. These are just items that I use on a daily basis and that I feel are must haves for the rest of this summer. We are leading in to August and here in Chicago it tends to get hotter right before it cools off.  Now, makeup in the summer can be hit or miss. I’ll be honest and let you all know that I have some pretty oily skin – It’s the Latina in me. I’m sure it’ll be a blessing the older I get, but as a 20 something, it can be a pain. So, I try to keep my makeup light during hot days, but there are days that I need to have a full look on. Like days I teach or days I’m on camera or at a meeting, and my face can melt way too fast.

So, the first thing I tend to start with is a good facial cleanser that helps to kind of prep my oily skin. I’ve been using the Biore free your pores – pore detoxifying foam cleanser. This has been a great cleanser so far, it’s a foam type cleanser that cleans and stimulates your pores to make sure all that gunk gets out. I love the tag line “Don’t be dirty” – It’s just a cheeky way to really promote the clean the product is meant to provide.  One thing I will warn though is that it can be drying. So, if you have normal, dry or combination skin, this isn’t the product for you. What’s awesome though, is that there is a special combination skin balancing cleanser from the free your pores line that is a bit more gentle on your face and won’t dry you out as easily.

Once I have a clean face, I use a moisturizer. I know it sounds counter intuitive, but making sure your face is moisturized even if you have oily skin is important. This makes sure that your skin doesn’t dry out and end up producing more oil. I’ve been using the sugar oil-free tinted moisturizer. It’s been a great product and helps to even out my tone and remove any redness that I may have from being out at the pool with my two daughters for too long.

Another great product I utilize before I start putting on any type of foundation or if I don’t even want to use a foundation is Sugar’s skin perfecting face primer. The primer mattifies my skin and makes sure that the foundation doesn’t run. I love this stuff. Combined with the tinted moisturizer, I sometimes don’t even need foundation or cover up. I just brush some loose powder or Sugar’s matte Tropic Tan blush/bronzer duo to set it and I am good to go.

I really like this bronzer as it adds a bit of color without having all light reflective glitter in it. I feel like so many bronzers have that type of glitter in them to create that glow, but for me it just adds to my shine. So, utilizing a matte bronzer like this is a great way to add color without looking too shiny.

Like I said, in the summer if I have nowhere to go, I try to keep makeup light – some mascara a dab of gloss and I am good to go. I’ve been using this Whitening Lightening color your smile lighted lipgloss – it has some collagen peptides in it that help make your pout a bit more plump and moist. I also think the light is pretty cool as well, although I don’t go out nearly as much anymore. It’s definitely a clutch must have for a girls night out.

I also think it’s important to really highlight your natural features. So, for example having a great white smile in the summer is a great way to feel naturally beautiful. I have been using whitening products these past few months and I have been on the hunt for items that are not so harsh on my teeth. I was lucky enough to try out the zero white – whitening pen. Most whiteners have a slew of harsh chemicals that can cause teeth sensitivity. I use sensodyn to help offset that, but while I have been using zero white, I didn’t have any of the sensitivity I am used to from the typical whiteners. The formula has a blend of botanicals and baking soda that helps to gently whiten your teeth over time.

Finally, I have 2 last items that I think you should have in your beauty kit. The adventuress  Youvee sunscreen wipes and Lavanilla natural deodorant. I’m a young mom that is always on the go for work and chauffeuring my daughters around. The sunscreen wipes are awesome to just keep in my purse. When we are out at activities during a brutally hot day and I don’t remember a tube of sunblock, I pull these out and swipe on without a fuss. The wipes make sure my hands don’t get all greasy and I have just the right amount that I need every time.

Now, Lavanilla Natural deodorant is me really taking a leap to an all natural product. As a mom that nurses, I have often worried about what kind of harm the chemicals in regular deodorant could possibly do. I don’t want to be stinky, but at the same time I  have to worry about the health of baby Sophia. So, this was a really great alternative. It’s a little pricier than regular deodorant at $14, but to me it is worth the small splurge. It has soothing essential oils that neutralize free radicals and help with odor and most importantly it is aluminum free – which basically the culprit of my worries for most deodorants. I love the smell too, it smells like pink grapefruit and moisturizes my underarms rather than dries them out and it doesn’t stain my clothes either!  With this it is not as strong as some of the mega strength deodorants I have used, but it definitely keeps me feeling fresh. I am trying to get my body used to it and make sure I am hydrated to help offset sweat.

So, that’s it for my roundup for this first installment of our Beauty test kitchen! I hope you all subscribe and check back weekly for more videos and to meet more of the Halfstack team!
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Jen Lezan
Editor-in-chief

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