beauty beauty beat

Beauty Beat - Spring Must Tries

Monday, April 18, 2016 Jen Lezan

Hi readers! I hope this month has been kind to you! The Spring transition is in full effect in Chicago as trees are blooming and flowers are sprouting. I am feeling refreshed as I have been able to spend more time outdoors. I'm also in spring cleaning mode and have been working through my beauty products to either use them up to get rid of them or give items away that I had extra of. With that being said, this month is a round up of items that I've had around that I really enjoyed finally using along with some new items that I have been testing out for review that I wanted to share with all of you.

I've organized this roundup top-down by hair, face, mouth and then body products. Many of these products are a continuation of my goal to incorporate items that are nourishing for my spirit and body. While some are just items that add a bit of convenience to my morning routine. As much as I wish I was the 5AM riser, who has myself ready before my kids, I am so not that person. I am not a morning person and anything I can do to make my morning just a bit easier and faster, I am all for. Usually, what takes me longest in the morning is doing my hair. I have to take a shower every morning to wake up and I wash my hair at least every other day. I can't go longer than a day or my thin tresses look like an oil slick - but THIS DRY SHAMPOO does work wonders as I mentioned in last months Beauty Beat.

So, when it comes to hair if there is something that can cut down styling time, I'm the first to give it a try! This month my amazing duo team that has been saving me time during straightening are the Head Kandy ceramic straightening brush and Rusk's Elixir Thermal Shine Mist.

So, these ceramic straightening brushes have been getting a lot of attention on youtube! I found that many of the brands on Amazon are hit and miss. But overall, the Head Kandy version is one of the better brands when it comes to price, quality and features of the brush. This brush has a variety of heat settings and can keep a constant heat up to 450℉ MAX. You will want adjust the setting based on your hair type. I have thinner strands with a slight wave so I kept my heat at 365℉-400℉ which is the suggested setting for most hair types.  The higher heat settings are typically for those users with coarser and thicker hair.

So, as much as this seems like a gimmicky product, it really is an evolution of the heated brushes of the past. As an 80s/90s kid I remember my mom using a blowdryer brush combo. It makes sense that the industry would be combining a flat iron with a brush rather than a blowdryer with a brush. For some, this won't replace your flat iron, but for me it worked really well since I don't have incredibly textured hair. It's much easier to use than a traditional flat iron - so it's a great option for a younger girl who may struggle with flat irons.  If used in conjunction with a flat iron, it can cut your straightening time in half for people with extremely curly, thick hair. When using this, it helps to seal the hair cuticle and reduces frizziness which ultimately adds a boost to your hair's natural shine.

One of the most important things you can do when it comes to heat styling your hair is protecting it. Utilizing a heat protectant like Rusk's Elixir Thermal Shine Mist - is one way to go about protecting your hair. This mist provides heat protection for thermal styling. It's a lightweight mist that instantly absorbs into hair and helps reduce drying and styling time. All you do is spray it on your damp hair and style as usual!


For my face this month, I was continuing on with my daily routine of a double cleanse with my rose oil, then my vitamin cleanser combined with weekly exfoliation and my night creams. This month I was testing out the DERMAFLASH for my exfoliating process one time per week. DERMA FLASH is essentially like a gentle electric razor that removes debris and dead skin as well as peach fuzz immediately from your face. The DERMAFLASH kit gives you all you need to get started.

Step 1 is the prep, the cleanser in the kit is refreshing and helps to get all the grime off and prepare your skin for the DERMAFLASH.  Step 2 requires you to add a new edge. Then begin to work the DERMAFLASH in front of your ear at the top of the cheekbone. With your free hand, hold your facial skin taught and using short, feathery strokes glide the DERMAFLASH Edge inward towards nose over the contours of your cheek and entire side of your face.

You will want to continue with the same light feathery strokes on the chin, below and above the lip and finish with the forehead. Make sure you avoid the eyelid, eyebrows, hairline, sides of the nose and lips as you are working with a razor. The blue silicone pad on the side is intended to stay in contact with your skin throughout the treatment to maintain the correct angle. You don't want to work over the same area more than once. The whole process should take between 5-10 minutes. To finish up with Step 3 -you'll want to apply a thin layer of the Soothe hydrator all over your entire face. The soothe hydrating lotion was specially formulated to help rid you of dull skin and keep your skin soft and smooth. Overall,  this is such a refreshing treatment and a great way to gently exfoliate each week. It's also great to get rid of any stray facial hairs.

To cap off my weekly routine, I've been working in the Junetics Pure Energy System. The introductory kit is the perfect combination to add to your beauty arsenal. It comes with a day cream and night cream. The product does a great job of nourishing your skin. The day cream is lightweight and improves emolliency and skin's elasticity. The night cream does an amazing job of hydrating and significantly diminishes fine lines and wrinkles after continuous use. Although the day cream and night cream are great, it's the under eye cream that made the biggest difference in my face. I've been struggling with dark under eye circles for about 6 months. I'll wake up with puffy eyes in the morning and this cream definitely helps hydrate, reduce puffiness, smooth , firm and instantly brighten the eye area for a refreshed, more youthful appearance. The roller-ball applicator acts like a massager that helps work your skin to better absorb the product.

On the days that I've worked extra hard, adding a little TLC to my routine is a great way to help relax before bed. After my initial wash, I may incorporate the Intraceuticals under eye masks before I add in my night cream products. These amazing little patches help to depuff when used after cooled in the fridge. The strips include hydrolyzed plant proteins which help to soothe and tighten tired, overworked eyes. The eye masks can also be applied warm (run packaging under warm water) for comfort and enhanced hydration.

When my skin needs an extra boost of hydration, I've been utilizing the Dr. Gerald Imber Youth Corridor Hydrating Soothing Mask. This is definitely an investment type beauty product in terms of price, but a little goes a long way so it is sure to last. The Dr. Gerald Imber line focuses on 3 key areas of skincare: prevention, maintenance and correction. With the hydrating soothing mask, the goal is to restore calm and balance in your skin.

This is a formula that works well for those of you with dry, irritated or sensitive skin. Youth Corridor Hydrating Soothing Mask rebalances sensitive skin by delivering intense hydration using a gel formula complete with anti-inflammatory extracts such as aloe to help calm the skin. Licorice extract helps brighten skin over time. The gel is a great component for someone like me with oily skin as it hydrates, but soaks in completely without leaving any residue on my skin. This product leaves your face feeling rejuvenated and refreshed. As the warmer months get warmer, leave it in the fridge for a cooling mask effect!


Overall, my skin has been behaving so well over the last 5 months. The daily routine has really benefitted my skin. I've also been using the Oxygenetix Acne Fighting Foundation. I loved their breathable foundation, but the acne fighting foundation is now my go to. The foundation is a powerful foundation that treats acne while concealing pimples and blemishes. The foundation contains several acne-fighting agents, including 2% salicylic acid, which helps to clear breakouts and prevent the breakouts from occurring in the future. Because the foundation is gel-based and not water-based, it is less likely to attract bacteria to the skin (one of the causes  of acne) and it will not clog pores.

Before I apply foundation, I typically apply a facial primer. I've been testing out the Hard Candy Sheer Envy Pore Defense Primer. This is a serum type primer - so for the oily skin types,  a little goes a long way. It's lightweight and doesn't sit heavy on the skin. It's a great prep for foundation, but you will want to make sure to let it sink in and dry a minute or two before adding your foundation on top. The serum actually contains pore-tightening actives and astringents that absorb excess oil.

I've been testing out multiple brow kits over the last month as my go to product finally ran out. I tried out a few drug store brands like NYC, but as I have dark hair, the darkest brown color still looked a bit too red on my skin. I almost have to use a near black to get a match to my brows. Yet, the Hard Candy Brows Now Kit in dark brown was finally a perfect match for me!

The dark brown isn't too red and it blends beautifully and the wax helps to keep your brows in place. What I loved most about the product is that it was a 4 in 1 that included a brow powder duo, soft brow wax and cream highlighter. The long wearing powders come in complimentary shades so you can custom blend them for a perfect shade match!


I have been using the Boka natural toothpaste the last couple of months as an alternative to my standard paste. This is actually a really interesting brand that offers toothbrush home delivery! Most people know that you should replace your toothbrush every few months, but don't always do it. According to the ADA - due to normal wear and tear and frayed bristles, your brushes should be replaced every 3 months. This also ensures that any microorganisms that your brush harbors won't effect your mouth in a negative way.  Boka is a simple and effective way to replace your brushes as they send them out to you directly.

For about $15 bucks per shipment - you can sign up for their oral care subscription that ships out every 3 months. The Classic Kit includes floss, a tooth brush and natural toothpaste. What I like most about this toothpaste is that the natural mint flavor isn't overpowering, but leaves my mouth feeling fresh and tingly. If you're like me and enjoy a bright smile, but have sensitive teeth - then the brands cocorinse is a great alternative! You can naturally whiten your teeth and freshen your breath by swishing Cocorinse each morning before you brush. It’s made in the U.S. with 100% organic, cold-pressed virgin coconut oil, and organic peppermint and spearmint oils for minty freshness.


Last, but certainly not least - I've been working in some luxe body products into my routine. Even if I can't take the time or even afford to hit up the spa, investing in some body products is a great way to give yourself the spa treatment right at home. Sabon is one of my favorite bath and body brands. Although it is considered "luxury" - the pricing is actually quite affordable. Their shower oils are absolutely AMAZING. Not only do they smell fantastic, but they are super hydrating and nourishing. The liquid soap is rich in antioxidants to help maintain the natural PH levels of your skin. It contains essential oils from Olive, Avocado, Jojoba and Wheat Germ. My go to is the Patchouli Lavender Vanilla Scent - it's subtle and so refreshing. Their milky soap is great too and can even be used as bubble bath!

Sabon offers a full range of products that include body, hand, face and scent based items. Their perfumes and candles are definitely something to add to that "at home spa kit" for one of those relaxing weekends at home. The luxury candles are long lasting and slow burning. The scents are not overpowering, but definitely waft gently throughout your space. Of course, I'm keeping it basic with vanilla, but the line carries a varieties of scents to suit your mood. Their perfumes fit so well within the brand ethos of the "essence of pleasure". Each bottle is beautifully packaged and masterfully blended to create subtle notes that are lasting and sensual. If you want a lighter weight fragrance - opt for their body dews which are similar to body sprays. The sprays are refreshing, light-weight and the perfect add in for summer.

A special mention for the guys in this edition is the latest Perry Ellis RED fragrance. I absolutely love this scent for the upcoming warmer months. Perry Ellis RED packs a punch with its contrasting essence of freshness, oriental undertones, and a definitive masculine touch to the scent. An initial burst of juniper berries and a kick of citrus evolve into deeper notes of red apple, sichuan pepper, red leather, and amber. The addictive trail of the fragrance infuses textured hints of sage, creamy oak moss, and sandalwood revealing a fearless confidence and a sexy sophistication. The fragrance just gets better as the day or night wears on. Although the essences seem as if they might be a bit overpowering, they're blended well enough to offer a sweetness to the scent.

    Finally, I've been noticing my hands have seen better days. They've been super dry and I've experienced some cracking and small cuts. Of course, that has been a signal to up the water intake to help hydrate from the inside out. Yet, I still needed a little something to moisturize.  Nature's Gate Hand Cream in Cherry Blossom was the product I have been using this past month.

    This product is moisturizing and creamy without being too greasy. Organic butters and vegetable oils are combined with soothing botanicals to deeply nourish, hydrate, and soften dry hands. This product is perfect for those of you with sensitive skin as it doesn't contain any synthetic fragrances and is phthalate and paraben free. It's also vegan-friendly and not tested on animals!

    I hope you enjoyed this latest roundup! Let me know if you have ever used any of the mentioned products in the comments below! Are there any go to products that you have been using this past month or products you want me to test out? Just let me know.

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