beauty beat cosmetics

Beauty Beat: January Faves

Thursday, February 09, 2017 HALFSTACK MAGAZINE

Hello Readers!

Welcome to another installment of the Beauty Beat. This past month I used an array of products that I wanted to share with you that I really enjoyed! These products are all are great alternatives to expensive professional spa treatments, that actually get the job done. More often than not people have the tendency to pass up beauty treatments that they would like to use because of price. Yet, there are options out there that don't break the bank, but still work as advertised. The process may take a bit longer in some instances, but in others it's an at home version that allows you to try a treatment at a fraction of the cost. There are some instances where I would suggest always going the professional route, such as more invasive treatments like micro peels and the like. In these cases you are often working with harsh chemicals that can damage the skin. Yet, the below options are safe and easy to try at home.


First up, I wanted to share some great teeth whitening options. Everyone goes through this as we age. Our teeth have a tendency to slightly yellow and it's a natural thing, but part of ensuring that you keep your pearly whites white is through prevention. Yellowing can happen due to a variety of reasons. As you age, the outer layer of enamel on your teeth sometimes gets worn away, revealing the natural yellow color of dentin. Teeth also yellow due to excessive fluoride either from environmental sources (naturally high fluoride levels in water) or from excessive use (fluoride applications, rinses, toothpaste, and fluoride supplements taken by mouth). Yellowing can also be caused by foods/drinks. Drinks such as coffee, tea, colas, wines, and certain fruits and vegetables (for example, apples and potatoes) can stain your teeth.

Even medicines can cause teeth to yellow. The antibiotics tetracyclineand doxycycline are known to discolor teeth when given to children whose teeth are still developing (before age 8). Mouth rinses and washes containing chlorhexidine and cetylpyridinium chloride can also stain teeth. Antihistamines (like Benadryl), antipsychotic drugs, and drugs for high blood pressure also cause teeth discoloration. Bad habits such as tobacco use are another culprit. Smoking or chewing tobacco can stain teeth.

Poor dental hygiene is another culprit to yellowing teeth. Inadequate brushing, flossing, and rinsing with an antiseptic mouthwash to remove plaque and stain-producing substances like coffee and tobacco can cause tooth discoloration. This, though, is one culprit that can be easily handled through a proper teeth cleaning routine and monthly maintenance. The easiest way to ensure that your teeth stay white is to keep them healthy. This is simply done by brushing, flossing, and using a mouthwash daily, and getting your teeth cleaned by a dental hygienist every 6 months. You can also add in monthly maintenance at home with whitening products. I personally utilize two different products. One to whiten and one to maintain.

Opalescence teeth whitening is a great at home option. Opalescence is recommended for whitening discolored teeth prior to placement of composite, veneers, and/or crowns. It is effective in removing some or all internal tooth discolorations due to congenital, systemic, pharmacologic, traumatic, etc., factors as well as aging. The product contains carbamide peroxide, potassium nitrate and fluoride. The product comes in multiple strengths ranging between 10%-35%. It is designed to be used with trays and the higher the strength percentage, the less time is needed wearing the tray. I utilize the 35% for 30-60 minutes a night every other day for two weeks. There can be some tooth sensitive, so I would suggest utilizing a toothpaste for sensititive teeth if you have any issues.

I utilize POP White Whitening Tooth Paste and Mouth Wash for maintenance daily. POP technology is a FDA-approved, peroxide-free, purple dye composition which leverages complementary color cancellation. Purple is complementary to yellow and therefore when (purple) POP technology is applied to and absorbed by yellow teeth, it neutralizes the reflection of yellow, resulting in the appearance of whiter teeth immediately. POPWHITE products even whitens composites, veneers and natural teeth without sensitivity. POP technology has been clinically proven to work and it can be used without Carbamide Peroxide. This is a great alternative for those who are too sensitive to bleach their teeth. The whitening effects of POP technology last longer when following Carbamide Peroxide, but immediate results will still be attained with POP technology alone.

Popwhite’s FDA-approved peroxide-free Toothpaste and Oral Rinse whiten, brighten, polish and clean teeth while freshening breath with peppermint oil, Xylitol and Coconut Oil. Products are vegan, cruelty-free, made in the USA and available for $24 each ($36 for both) at

Contouring kits can be expensive! Often you end up paying for a label rather than a high quality product. Contouring is the one of top requested mini makeovers at the Sephora Beauty Studio and one of the top trending topics on their beauty board and one of their most popular how-to videos on YouTube. Needless to say, it's a "trend" that is staying. Hard Candy is one of those brands that offers high quality cosmetics at great prices. Their Contour & Sculpt Kit lets you contour and sculpt like a pro! The kit is a complete collection of products with a tutorial guide that will allow you to effortlessly contour and includes a long-wear formula and double-ended brush for precise application.

After a long day of makeup on your skin, it's important to wash your face to help keep it healthy. This allows the skin to breathe and gets all the dirt and grime that has accumulated on the skin off for a fresh face. Skindinavia is a brand that knows all about makeup and all about skin. Best known for their setting sprays, they recently released a post makeup recovery face spray. This latest Spray is the first and only solution that delivers a quick boost of key nutrients, including powerhouse mineral Zinc that is clinically-proven to help prevent breakouts and clear clogged pores. Sprayed on within 5 minutes of removing makeup, our cutting edge delivery system quickly delivers a winning formula of zinc, magnesium and willow bark to keep skin clear, healthy and radiant the moment your skin needs it the most! Research shows that supplementing skin with

Zinc can reduce breakouts by 50%. Zinc also protects skin’s lipids and fibroblasts (the cells that make collagen) and reduces oil production, preventing clogged pores.

If you're looking for a brightening treatment, Skinn Elightened Radiance Concentrate is a great option. You can pay hundreds for a lightening treatment that helps with sun damaged skin at the spa or you can try Skinn's latest serum that works wonders on dark spots and hyper-pigmentation. Made for use on the face, neck, hands and décolleté. The serum targets and dramatically improves the appearance of discolorations with this technologically advanced and highly effective, rich blend of natural skin brightening extracts and antioxidants. Goji Berry, Licorice, Poria Mushroom and five stabilized forms of Vitamin C work in synergy to help fade the look of dark spots and other skin imperfections, while helping to shield skin from free radicals.

If you are experiencing lose skin or wrinkles on the neck, you don't need a lift. What you need is to give a bit more TLC to the neck area, to add in moisture nd help the skin bounce back. The Skinn Neck Armour Mask is rich in protein and probiotics. This leave-On Neck Mask was designed specifically to give extra love and attention to skin on the neck that is thinner and more delicate. The mask is formulated with Rice Protein to increase moisture retention, as well as a Probiotic blend made from 100% pure plant juice derived from jicama to help improve skin radiance with a redefining and smoothing effect.

The last two items in this section are dedicated to the eyes. Eyes are usually the first areas to show signs of aging and if you're dehydrated, lacking sleep or ill - it can really wreak havoc on your eyes. Skinn has you covered with their Collagenesis® Vin Noir Anhydrous Relief Eye Balm
and their EyeMergency Brightening & Revitalizing Hydrogel Eye Mask. Have your very own spa day at home with these two products! First utilize the eye masks to replenish the delicate eye area. This ultra-soothing, hydrating and invigorating hydrogel eye mask is enriched with a synergistic blend of floral botanical extracts, hyaluronic acid and antioxidant-rich kakadu plum and guarana seed extracts that harmoniously work together to help reduce the appearance of puffiness, dark circles and tired-looking eyes. Then finish it off with The Eye Balm. This balm is designed to visibly diminish the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and dark circles while soothing and hydrating the delicate skin around the eye area. The velvety smooth texture is pleasant and leaves your eyes feeling supple.


Last but not least, the simplest way to really bring the spa home without having to pay an exorbitant amount of money for relaxation is a simple hot bath. You can run it with bubbles, utilize your favorite hair products and masks and call it a day. I prefer my baths simple and since I've been pushing my body with my workouts, my muscles have been extra sore. So, bath salts are a godsend in my house. Dr. Teals Epsom Salts are perfect for soaking away all those aches and pains. Their ultra moisturizing mineral soak in avocado oil is perfect for the winter dry months. Their Rosemary and Mint Soak is a revitalizing soak that I find works wonders on my muscles.

Another great way to bring the spa home is with a soak, taking time to treat yourself to an extra long wash is a given. I like to pay special attention to my hair either by using a mask or just enjoying some of my more fragrant shampoos and conditioners. Nature's Gate Shampoo & Conditioners are some of my favorite products. The brand is a wonderful alternative to the chemical laden hair products on the market. Their latest Pomegranate and Sunflower Shampoo and Conditioner duo is perfect for damage and color treated hair. The blend of pomegranate, sunflower seed extract and vitamin E helps to nourish and replenish the hair. And as always, what makes the brand so wonderful is that they are Vegan, paragon free, gluten free and soy free.

A special Mention for the Guys

Van Der Hagen Luxury Boar Shave Set, $29.99 is a great way to bring the barbershop clean shave home. This set is best used with a safety razor and offers that close clean shave that you get at the barbershop. A tip to remember is to squeeze out some of the water from the brush before you begin to lather!

  • 100% natural boar bristle brush* 
  • Hypoallergenic shave soap (3.5 oz / 99.2 g) 
  • Apothecary mug 
  • Acrylic combination brush & razor stand 
Here's a video we put together to give you a rundown on how to use the line!

Beard Guyz Daily Wash 35, $9.99 - is a great line of mens products designed to meet the needs of gentlemen. This daily wash Gently cleans and conditions facial hair and the sensitive skin of the face. It has a blend of 35 natural and organic botanical and fruit extracts combined with Keratin and Protein to clean and moisturize. You don't need a beard to use this product, it's the perfect face wash for any guy!

  • Provides antiseptic and anti-inflammatory benefits 
  • Helps improve blood flow for maximum growth 
  • For all hair and beard types 

That's it for this month's roundup! I hope you all take some time this month to take care of yourself. All to often we tend to focus on others and not allow ourselves the time we need to rejuvenate our spirit and take care of our own bodies. I hope this line up shows that you don't need to go to the spa and have an expensive treatment done. There are alternatives that are less costly, but still of the quality that you get at the spa or salon and can be done in the comfort of your home.

Take care!


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