arbonne beauty

Beauty Beat - End of Year Faves

Saturday, January 16, 2016 HALFSTACK MAGAZINE

Hello everyone! Halfstack is back in the full swing of things and I am closing out our 2015 Beauty Beat series with a round up of some of my fave beauty products from December. As we lead into 2016, looking back on all of my past Beauty Beat columns, I found that the connecting thread has always been to find a way to showcase products that allow you to pamper yourself at home or on a budget. You don't have to always visit some fancy spa and break the bank in order to give yourself some good spa-like TLC.

I have found the simplest way and most effective way for me to unwind is to do so in the comfort of my home with some great products and quiet reflection. This round up includes a variety of items including: cosmetics, body care, hair and skincare.  I found that many of these products work best over time, with continuous use. Keep reading for the full recap and reviews. 

Body Products

Frank Body Scrub is an Australian made coffee-based skincare range that targets cellulite, stretch marks, psoriasis, eczema and other skin conditions to leave your skin feeling soft and supple. You'll want to use a product like this 3-5 times per week. Keep in mind that it is coffee based and that means that you are essentially scrubbing loose coffee grains on your skin. The downside to the product is that it can get really messy, but in my opinion it's not something that a little water won't take care of and the benefits far outweigh the coffee grains getting all over the tub. To use all you have to do is pick up as much scrub as you need each time, massage in circular motions, concentrating on problem areas, leave on your skin for 5 mins and then rinse it off. 

The high caffeine content of the freshly ground beans in the scrub stimulates blood flow, the cold pressed sweet almond oil is high in linoleum and oleic acids and helps to promote skin healing and it hydrates and nourishes the skin due to high levels of Vitamins A, E and D which also helps reduce the appearance of pigmentation. The scrubs come in 4 different scents that are all equally amazing include: coconut, cacao, original and peppermint. My favorite by far though, is the cacao. There is just something about the chocolatey smell that is invigorating.

Key West Aloe Mango Essentials to go - As the cold weather stays, it's ok to wish you were someplace warm. Scent has always had the ability to transport me to a different place and time. That's why I love products like Key West. With their Mango Essentials to go, there is no need to be in the tropics to enjoy the sweet smell of Mangos. These travel-sized products bring the tropics to you, no matter where the destination.

Set includes:  Mango Shampoo- 2 oz.  Mango Conditioner- 2 oz.  Mango Bath & Shower Gel- 2 oz and Mango Lotion- 2 oz. The bath, shower gel and lotion are soothing and don't dry out the skin like some products. The mango scent is light and not over powering.

Gurunanda Pulling Oil ( -- We started hearing about oil pulling a lot this past summer. I even wrote about it and the benefits of it in THIS ARTICLE.  I have tried oil pulling with coconut oil most often, but what I find is that I forget to do it when the oil isn't easily accessible when I am brushing my teeth. Gurunanda solves my accessibility issues as it is a designated pulling oil, packaged in a convenient glass jar that can be kept in my medicine cabinet.

It contains a proprietary blend of three oils: sesame, coconut and sunflower oil, plus peppermint oil -- and is specifically designed for oil pulling. It harnesses the individual benefits of all three for a more
balanced and effective approach. Oil pulling is detoxifying & purifying through an oil rich in natural constituents that pulls out harmful bacteria from your mouth and as a result promotes good health. Once you wake up in the morning, you swish pulling oil in your mouth for about 20 minutes and spit it out. Oil pulling is effective because the plaque or lipids in your teeth are not water soluble but oil soluble. These get easily dissolved in the fat and work well for the overall mouth health.

From—the Bliss Fabulips Treatment Kit - The cold weather tends to have a drying effect on your body. When your body is dry, you often see that through your skin and lips. Dry lips are a good indicator that you are dehydrated. Of course, that means you need to up the water intake throughout the colder months, but how can you get that dry cracked skin off your lips? A lip scrub is the perfect treatment to refresh your pout. The Bliss Fabulous treatment kit contains everything lips need to stay soft, smooth, conditioned, and plumped.

Bliss Fabulips Treatment Kit pampers lips with nourishing ingredients and delicious scents, for a luxurious spa experience at home. The kit contains everything you need to complete an at home lip scrub treatment at home. The Fabulips Foaming Lip Cleanser cleanses the lips, Fabulips Sugar Lip Scrub helps to exfoliate the dead skin, Fabulips Softening Lip Balm adds moisture back in, and Fabulips Instant Lip Plumper helps to plump up the pout. You can order it from


Besame is one of those iconic beauty brands that always seems to deliver when it comes to quality in their products. As a lover of vintage, old hollywood glam and retro flair, Besame speaks to my inner pinup girl. Bésame Cosmetics was founded in 2004 out of a fascination with art, history, and beauty; a vintage makeup brand which honors the style, spirit, and sensibility of female beauty.
Through a keen eye for color and historical expertise, the brand recreates modern reproductions of classic luxury makeup from the 1920s, ‘30s, ‘40s, and ‘50s, designed to make women feel elegant, inspired, and empowered by their beauty. 

I am in love with The Classic Color Lipsticks ($22) - the pigmentation and coverage is immaculate and the collection totally embraces the Bésame tradition of vintage Hollywood glamour, romance and elegance. The lipsticks are formulated with the highest natural pigment content and enriched with squalene, vitamin C and aloe for a smooth, feather-proof finish. The classic Besame red is a true red with a cooler, blue-toned base that is brightening and vibrant. It has a semi-matte finish and you get full coverage with just one coat. 

Besame’s Black Cake Mascara ($25) is a must have. If you haven't used one before, it's like a luxury of times past. Cake mascaras were one of the first types of mascara available to women. Unlike ordinary wand mascara, cake mascara can be reapplied and layered upon without clumping; this means controlled depth and definition. Cake mascaras lasts until consumed and offer increased sanitary protection because the mascara brushes are rinsed with water after use; leaving no bacteria behind. To use all you have to do is simply add a little bit of water to the cake, blend with the desired brush, then swipe onto eyelashes, line eyes or fill in brows! All items are  available at

Arbonne is one of those brands that offers luxury products at really great mid tier prices. Arbonne formulas are based on botanical skin care principles and formulated without Animal products or animal by-products, parabens, formaldehyde, PABA, mineral oil, petrolatum and phthalates toluene . Some of my favorite lip products are from the Arbonne line because they have such a fun array of colors that range from classic to trendy. This season the line has some colors inspired directly by the Pantone colors of the year.

Smoothed Over Lipstick in Magnolia, $28 is inspired by the soft Rose Quartz pantone and not only is the color beautiful, the formula is long wearing and smoothing. Its skin-conditioning formula contains watermelon fruit extract, lentil fruit extract and apple extract which helps provide immediate, long-term moisture while imparting a plumping effect to give the appearance of full, lush lips.

Arbonne Blush in Ballet, $42 is another product inspired by the Rose Quartz pantone. This blush adds  bit of bendable highlight color along the cheekbones. It is long wearing and the powder seamlessly blends into skin while delivering moisture to achieve a youthful, natural-looking radiance.

Oxygenetix is a cosmetics line that is not just about covering up, but is also about healing.
Oxygenetix has a breakthrough foundation that helps to cover, helps to heal and minimize - even eliminate - procedural scars and acne. The product was formulated for use by doctors to aid patients who were in recovery. Not only is the breathable foundation a full coverage foundation, it also soothes and stimulates cell growth. The product also acts as a wound manager and helps keeps scarring under control and looking like the patient is wearing nothing at all.

As a person that suffers from sensitive skin, concealers can sometimes cause irritation and lead to breakouts. Then I'll end up using more concealer to cover the break outs and the nasty cycle runs on. I am absolutely in love with this line. It literally has a second skin effect. It's lightweight, but offers beautiful coverage and doesn't irritate my skin. This is a must try for those of you out there with acne issues, scarring or just overly sensitive skin. I've noticed less breakouts and my skin looking fresher which I have a feeling is due to the fact that it isn't drying.

Benefits of Oxygenetix Breathable Foundation

• Non-Comedogenic (it won't clog pores)
• Oil-Free
• Fragrance -Free
• Organically certified ingredients
• Contains SPF 25 (for UVA/UVB sun protection)
• Not drying - allows retention of natural fluids - even following aggressive resurfacing.
• Hypoallergenic (less allergic reactions than with other cosmetics)
• Cruelty-free and Vegan.

LIT NYCLights Duo ($15; CVS) is another great drug store brand. The product offers a high tech LED cap that lights up and is the perfect addition to your handbag for a girls night out. The light up cap allows for perfect application in dark locations


Charcoal has been having its moment in the beauty spotlight over the last 6 months. Biore always offers great products at affordable prices and is my go to drug store brand. They recently released Charcoal nose strips that help remove deep down dirt and oil each week for clear, healthy skin.

The potent charcoal helps draw out dirt and the strips remove clogs and weeks’ worth of buildup so you’ll see 3x less oil. Containing witch hazel and tea tree oil, the formula refines pores to diminish their appearance overtime and at $7.99; they're an amazing deal that you can find at Drugstores and Mass Retailers.

Under eye masks by BioRepublic are the perfect pick me up during a weekend of relaxation. BioRepublic new under eye treatment helps to repair late night damage, while simultaneously fighting signs of stress and aging.  The gel patches offer a cooling effect to help depuff and what's even better is that after removing the patches, simply massage the rest into your skin. You don't have to rinse anything off. The patches deliver a restorative infusion of peptides, elastin, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin E. The end result is tighter skin and less puff.

Arbonne not only has great cosmetics, they offer wonderful skin care as well. Their new Clear Future® Soothing Overnight Mask  is clinically proven to deliver faster results in as little as three days! You can see a difference not just in acne blemishes, but in skin redness, splotchiness and other signs of stress.

The formula offers skin balancing with probiotics that help to condition and moisturize the skin in support of clean, radiant looking skin while you sleep. It's simple to use, all you do is put it on before bed, let it dry then go to sleep and wash off in the morning. The ingredients are effective and just like the cosmetics, derived from plant based organic materials. Exopolysaccharide, a derivative that comes from marine algae, helps mattify skin and control sebum by absorbing it at the skin’s surface, sage extract conditions and calms skin, and polysaccharide improves moisture retention by supporting the skin’s protective barrier.

Oxygenic moisturizerOxygenetix also offers skincare! Their moisturizer is a breathable moisturizer that is lightweight and perfect to pair up with their breathable foundation. The formulation is perfect for every day use and just like the foundation, is great for those of you with sensitive skin! Oxygenetix Face Moisturizer forms a breathable "second skin" to provide instant hydration while reducing the signs of procedure. It helps plump the skin leaving the perfect palette for Oxygenating Foundation.

Exuviance Age Reverse BioActiv Wash, $40 -  is another must have for those beauties with sensitive skin. This foaming, soap-free facial cleanser exfoliates with a Polyhydroxy Acid/ Bionic blend. This blend helps to stimulate cell turnover and resurface skin texture. After continuous use, your skin looks more even in tone, smoother in texture and just healthier looking overall. Online some cleansers, this product isn't drying and I think that is in part due to the ingredients of botanical extracts of aloe, rose, chamomile, rosemary and cucumber refresh and sooth the skin.

DECLEOR’s Intense Nutrition Hydra-Nourishing Duo Mask ($44.00 – available January 2016) offers an amazing boost of radiance and helps to soothe skin. This is another one of those products that is great for an at home spa day.  The 2-step intensive mask is directly inspired from the beautician expertise for dry skin. This is a great addition to your winter skincare regimen. Phase 1 is all about hydration and provides a fresh soothing sensation, while phase 2 is all about nutrition for your skin and offers a unique nourishing texture that transforms into oil upon contact. Use this weekly for those times when your skin feels extra parched and don't forget to drink water!

CapriClear (  My final addition to my winter skincare routine is the CapriClear coconut oil spray. Again, perfect for those of you with sensitive skin. This was specially formulated by a dermatologist for patients with hyper-sensitive skin and even those with eczema. CapriClear contains just one ingredient:  fractionated coconut oil.  All that means is that it really is just the purest part of the oil – minus the fragrance.   It is deeply moisturizing yet absorbs easily.  With daily use it not only alleviates extreme dryness, but helps protect the skin’s moisture barrier. I spray this on right as I get out of the shower to keep my skin supple.


Nourish Beaute is the perfect line for those of you out there with thin or thinning hair. The Vitamins Shampoo helps aid in hair regrowth. After two months of use, there is clear indication of regrowth and fullness of my hair. Vitamins increases micro-circulation to the roots delivering oxygen and nutrients where hair growth begins.

It also helps to decalog the pores in the scalp due to product use. Vitamins also encourages hair into the Anagen Phase – the growth phase – of its life cycle, increasing hair growth by 121% in clinical trials. This product requires several months of use to achieve the desired results, so make sure to use continuously. 

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