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The Beauty/Grooming Beat - September Round Up

Thursday, October 15, 2015 HALFSTACK MAGAZINE

Woah, where did summer go? The Indian Summer Chicagoans have been enjoying has dropped the mic Kanye style and started mozying it's way on out. October is well under way and this week, I'm sharing the latest Beauty Beat Round up. These are all products that were tested throughout the last month. This roundup is focusing on skincare, oils,  just a tad bit of hair products and a fun special mentions. As we head into full blown fall, it is important to update your skincare routine with the change of the season. We tend to get into skincare routines that hardly change, but it is important that you pick the rights products at the right time.

The colder weather tends to be drying for skin. Therefore, it is important to update your moisturizer. Personally, I tend to be more oily in the summer, so I opt for a lighter moisturizer, but in the winter my skin dries up. So, a thicker moisturizer or even an oil work better for me in the colder months. Skincare oils have a slew of benefits. Don't fret if you are prone to breakouts. You just need to find an oil that works best for your skin type. Oils are moisturizing, anti-inflammatory, helps to balance the skins natural pH levels and is hydrating as it helps hold moisture in.

Skincare & Cosmetics - Zaya, Bella Schneider & Skinn Cosmetics

Zaya has a great line of oils on the market that include products for hair, skin and nails. The brand's  strong belief in all-natural skin care is blended with their passion for self care and celebrating the beauty within each of us. They offer professionally developed vegetable and essential oil blends for naturally rejuvenating skincare. The nail oil and eye oil are great options for fall.

The Zaya Nail oil is a nurturing for your nails and cuticles. The purifying lemon and ylang-ylang also helps to support healthy growth.The formulation soaks in quickly and doesn't leave a greasy film that I've experienced with other products in the past.
  • Two-in-one product for nails and hands
  • Makes skin and nails looking lustrous
  • Nourished and maintain skin vibrancy - even in the cold of winter
  • Heals minor manicure cuts
  • Non-greasy, quick absorption formula allows for on-the-go hand moisturizer
The Zaya Eye oil helps to moisturize and even acts as a makeup remover. When applied in the morning it hydrates the delicate eye area and nourishes the skin. It can be applied lightly with your finger tips in a tapping motion to help deter the formation of fine lines. Just be careful not to stretch your skin around your eyes.

Zaya's mission isn't only evident in their products, but packaging as well by using recyclable and environmentally friendly materials. Their boxes are adorable as well! As passionate lovers of elegant beauty they created a package that looks and feels like a “piece of art” that can serve you as a jewelry or keepsake box.

Bella Schneider Beauty is another brand that was tested last month.  The brand is a cult favorite and released a bunch of new products for the upcoming season. Their product line and cleansers contain advanced ingredients targeted to specific results, including brightening, exfoliating and purifying. BSB offers a variety of formulations for all skin types. You can pick up these products at!

Their Sealogy Nature to Glamour and Peel Booster is like a spa in a box. The peel is meant to stimulate skin by drving in oxygen at the cellular level. Botanical extracts include ginger, spearmint and bambusa. The peel is perfect to use a couple of times per month. It gives your skin a slight tingle during application and helps to remove dead sluggish skin. Your skin is left clean and fresh. 

The Royal Rose Refine and calm cream is a good combo to use after the peel. It's luscious, fluffy and soft. It is a good option for a cold weather night time hydration. It promotes renewal during sleep. The Vitis Vinifera extract, rich shea butter and refreshing melon nourish and soothe the skin during use. 

The Organic Coconut Souffle Cream + Olive Oil is the perfect go-to for body nourishment during the colder months. It's thick and ultra moisturizing. You'll want to put this on right after a warm shower to lock in the hydration. Let is seep in and dry a bit before dressing in order to ensure there is no greasy residue.

Skinn Cosmetics is one of those brands that was formulated with skin in mind. It's not like a typical cosmetics brands that focuses just on coverage. Rather it seems that the brand approaches skincare and makeup in a manner that understands skincare. Created by makeup artist Dimitri James, the brand is quickly becoming a go-to for the pros and regular gals alike.

Their newest product - Skinn Plasma Fusion Full Coverage Foundation - wears like a full coverage foundation, but without the heavy caked on feel. This has been my go to foundation/concealer for the past 2 months. If you want maximum coverage without that heavy makeup feel, this is the product for you. It has a water-resistant formulation that is creamy and lightweight, yet provides unprecedented coverage. 

The core of the stick is fully loaded with nutrients that skin craves, such as Vitamin C for brightening, Hyaluronic Acid for maximum hydration, a Peptide blend for anti-aging effects, as well as Grape Seed, Argan and Rosehip Oils for antioxidant and skin conditioning benefits. It looks good AND is good for you! What more could you ask for? 

They also have a slew of setting powder veils and gorgeous lip colors. The eye shadow primer and setting veils are great for those of you with oily skin. It helps prep your lid for color application and keeps it set all day. The primer ensures that the color doesn't break up on your lid or seep into any fine lines. The lip colors include a moisturizing core and collagen boosting ingredients in a creamy rich formula.

Special Mention - Luz de la Riva 

Girl power is truly the idea behind the brand Luz de la Riva. It was one small step for the FDA and one giant leap in the fight for women’s sexual health advancement when the first prescription drug was approved to enhance women's sexual health back in August. Sexual health and intimacy shouldn't be brushed under the rug. Women, young and old alike, shouldn't be embarrassed to discuss such matters.

Luz de la Riva created her collection of intimate cosmetics with the mission to redefine the world of sensuality and spice up the lives of amazing, explorative women everywhere. Each product in the line honors and empowers sexuality and encourages indulging in the luxury of passion! Each of the products are safe for the skin, clinically tested and do not contain harsh chemicals, (parabens, phthalates, talc, or GMO’s, etc.) to enhance the overall experience. Even for those of you with skin sensitives, the products are gentle!

Some must-tries from the collection include the Lulu Organic Kissable Massage Oil ($26.57). It's available in Forbidden Fruit and Dulce de Leche  and formulated with natural pheromones and 100% edible. Stella All Natural Massage Oil ($29.50)  is available in Marrakesh, Wild Orchid and Sweet Chérie fragrances, uses all natural ingredients even nourishes the skin and most importantly, enhances sensual massage through aromatherapy.

The Simone Intimate Moisturizer adds some fun to those intimate moments whether you're with someone or alone. It is a water-based lubricant that leaves skin feeling smooth and luxurious to the touch and comes in two options: extra slick and hint of cool. The Olivia All Natural Kissable Arousing Nipple Cream adds some perk, literally, to your foreplay. It's 100% edible, aphrodisiacal flavors each enriches sensation when massaged onto the breast and stimulates taste buds and the breast for an electrifying experience. It comes in 3 flavors: Mint Chocolate, Forbidden Fruit and Anise.

Hair Care - Wella Professionals & Dream Beard (review brought to you by Dwight Bejec)

Wella professionals is known for top notch hair care and products. Its latest collection EIMI Haircare carried at is a range of products that are all about letting the user mold and empower, shape and inspire,  and express their own, unique personal “brand" through their hair styling.

As someone with hair that falls flat way to easily, their volumizing products have been miracle workers for my strands. The sugar lift gives you flexible volume and provides lift, shine and a bit of a grippy texture. This is the perfect to create those natural beachy waves. The root shoot mousse gives you precision aim and lift at the roots. This is a good product for use with a diffuser for those of you with curls to help define or great for a voluminous vampy blow out. The dry me dry shampoo is perfect to refresh your strands and absorb oil on day 2 or 3 of a blow out. For those of you with dry tresses, the perfect me beauty balm is a go to prior to blow drying your hair. It is a good primer for damp hair and a quick finisher to smooth away those flyaways.

Now, for all you fellas out there, Dream Beard is what's up in mens grooming. The brand encourages every guy to “Be A Man." Whether that's not shaving for years or getting up everyday at 5am to provide for your family. Being a man looks different for everyone. It is a lifestyle, and Dream Beard sells high quality hair, beard, and body products to help you embrace that lifestyle. Founded by wife and husband duo Brittany and Ryan Lane, what started off as a small etsy shop slanging beard oil has now grown to a brand that carries a range of grooming and apparel products in over 65 countries!!

Dream Beard started when Ryan and Brittany Lane moved from Ohio to Georgia. They moved in with Brittany’s dad and began looking for jobs; they heard nothing back. Around the same time, Ryan was having an itchy beard problem and had the idea to create his own beard oil. After lots of research and hard work, Ryan and Brittany created the formula for their first three scents. Their friends and family loved them, so Ryan and Brittany decided to “go for it.” Now, 3 years later they're still going for it and the rest is history.

Their products range from hair to beard to apparel. The Combo is a shampoo and conditioner duo formulated for all you manly men out there. The Mountaineer fragrance option not only doesn't smell frou frou, but it packs an energizing punch with a peppermint scent. The product was designed to ensure that it is Certified Organic, Paraben Free, and Sulfate Free. It'll leave your scalp tingling in a good way, doesn't dry out your hair and leaves you feeling polished due to the essential oils.

When it comes to your styling needs, the Flex Paste is kick ass. It's one of those products that really does what it says it's going to do. You don't need much and it is best to style your hair dry when using it. One pump'll do ya. Minerals in the product keep your hair healthy and it was formulated to be maleable in your hands to allow you to mold your look and hold it in place. It is slightly scented, but it fades pretty quick and it can be used in both your hair and your beard.

Thanks for reading! Check back next month for our October round up!!!

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