beauty cosmetics

The Beauty Beat - May 2017 Edition

Monday, May 15, 2017 HALFSTACK MAGAZINE

Hey Readers!

I am back today with another installment of The Beauty Beat. This round up includes an overview of products that I have had the chance to review, enjoy and test out. Per the usual, we are divided into skin, hair and body.

As we get closer to the summer, focusing on replenishing and hydrating the skin and hair after a long winter is on top of the list. In order to prep the skin for that dewy summer look, I focus on getting the dead skin cells off the surface through exfoliation and then I replenish. Regular exfoliation can be a part of a healthy skin regimen no matter the season; as long as your skin is not sensitive, exfoliation can help you achieve smooth, healthy-looking skin that makes you look more glowing and youthful. Post exfoliation it is so important to replenish the skin.


Keihl's Midnight Recovery Collection, is a great way to nourish your skin overnight. The latest collection focuses on a night time routine that is simple. The Midnight Recovery Collection includes:

Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil: $32/5.9 oz. - this oil is a great option for those of you looking for a lightweight cleansing oil that does the job effectively. This lightweight essential oil cleanser emulsifies with water to a cleansing milk, gently, yet effectively dissolving even the hardest to remove makeup and impurities without over-drying, leaving skin clean and replenished. This has been a go to as I transition from this spring weather which has my allergies acting up and my poor nose pealing. My medicated cleanser has been overly drying and I have replaced it with the oil for daily use and gone down to a 2-3 time a week application with my medicated cleanser that has salicylic acid. Best part is that the product is Soap-free, Sulfate-free & Mineral Oil free.

Midnight Recovery Eye: $37/.5 oz. - These lovely allergies have definitely been pulling a number on my eyes. The itchiness and my inability to control rubbing my eyes has caused some less than glamorous dark under eye circles and swelling. Of course - health first. I've been using medicated eye drops with anti-histamine to help combat the eye scenario and for the beauty side, I've been relying on the Keihl's Midnight Recovery Eye serum. This is a restorative treatment that leaves my under eyes feeling replenished. Overall, it diminishes the appearance of fine lines reduces puffiness and dark under-eye circles. It includes Butcher’s Broom in it, which improves microcirculation and reduces inflammation.

Midnight Recovery Concentrate: $46/1 oz.; $72/1.7 oz.; $122/3.4 oz. - This product has been great to moisturize with. It smells wonderful and has helped with the overall texture of my skin. It restores and replenishes for smoother, healthier skin and works at night, when skin is most receptive to repairing itself from daily aggressors. The product is a blend of oils including, naturally-derived Lavender, Evening Primrose and Squalene. When used in combination with the cleansing oil and eye recovery serum, this trio works wonders on the skin.

Kiehl's also recently teamed up with iconic artist: Jeff Koons to release a limited edition tin and run of products alongside releasing his latest installation and piece: Seated Ballerina. Seated Ballerina marks the third time Koons has displayed a monumental piece at the New York City Rockefeller Center, but last week’s reveal went so much deeper. It seemed as if it was a much more personal enterprise for the artist. This piece, created in conjunction with  Kiehl’s and the Art Production Fund, a firm that produces ambitious public art projects, the work is intended to bring awareness to National Missing Children’s Month, as well as the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC). It is amazing to see a brand find ways to go beyond just selling a product and actually looking to make a difference within their community. 100% of worldwide net proceeds on this collection, up to $200,000, to The Koons Family Institute on International Law and Policy, an initiative of the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC.)

Another focus for my skin has been to help alleviate redness and hyper pigmentation. The allergy issues has caused redness around the nose and cheeks. Due to my oily skin, I am also a bit prone to break outs and due to this I have some areas of hyperpigmentation. Abella Cellution™ C -MSRP: $48.00  is a concentrated Vitamin C serum that has helped to reduce my redness and hyper pigmentation.

The product stimulates collagen production which helps in improving skin tone and elasticity as well as control inflammation. It is made with a unique base of Glycerin, an emollient moisturizer that holds moisture into the skin and cucumber extract that soothes and hydrates to reduce redness and inflammation. When mixed with water it is  a great final addition to my night time routine.

If you are facing a break out, Bubble Pop Beauty has you covered. Their Unblemished Love Ultimate Acne Cream is an incredibly high-performing cream.  I noticed a few spots after a stressful week and post night time routine added a few dabs in the offending areas and the spots were nearly gone by morning. The concentrated formula is made with active ingredients that fight acne and blackheads instantly. The formula also reduces redness and swelling. (Available on for $20.00).

Prior to makeup, I prep the skin for optimum application. The Flawless Rebel Pick Me Up Cream - is a great option for prepping the skin. This powerful cream supercharges the skin to dramatically reduce the look of tiredness, complexion dullness, and the appearance of bags. The formula instantly revitalizes the skin’s natural luster, leaving it smooth and fresh. It's lightweight and leaves my skin feeling plump and I actually prefer this prior to moisturizer and foregoing the primer before I apply any foundation. (Available on for $30.00).

Speaking of foundation, I've been experimenting with a few over the last few months. I'm usually a die-hard drug store brand girl, but my skin has been incredibly sensitive. I am not sure if the formulations are changing or if my days without foundation just leave my skin feeling better, but it's been a struggle to find the right formula. One, though, that I have been finding myself picking up over the rest is the  Oxygenetix Foundation. It was clinically created by dermatologists to not only keep your skin beautiful, but also healthy. It is Non-Comedogenic (it won't clog pores) -  Oil-Free -Fragrance -Free - Organically certified ingredients - Not drying - allows retention of natural fluids - even following aggressive resurfacing- Hypoallergenic (less allergic reactions than with other cosmetics) AND Cruelty-free and Vegan! It seems to agree with my skin the most, but I find it applies smoother when I used a wet beauty blender. It gives me a beautiful light coverage that is buildable and blendable without feeling caked o.


I have this love/hate relationship with my hair. It's finally at a length that I enjoy after years of short styles and it's on the mend in terms of health. I'm making it a point to color it less and give it breaks throughout the week when it comes to using hot tools and styling. This has helped with breakage and overall health. I still find that it can be dry and brittle. I think part of the issue is I need to up the water intake. Am I the only one that struggles with drinking enough water?! Nonetheless, one way that I find I can add some moisture to my hair is through moisturizing masques and oil treatments on a monthly basis. It helps to smooth and revitalize my hair.

Macadamia Nourishing Moisture Masque
is a great option for coarse hair like mine It infuses your locks with an instant moisture boost. It provides hair with essential lipids for superior hydration and helps to repair damage, leaving hair soft and smooth. It also strengthens hair elasticity with prolonged use to prevent future breakage. The key ingredients feature Macadamia and argan oil blend, Mongongo Oil - which Rich in linoleic acid which provides superior hydration and Shea Butter - An emollient that locks in moisture without weigh-down. I will use this masque once or twice a week depending on how my hair feels.

The Macadamia Nourishing Moisture Oil Treatment is a product I use prior to a blow dry. I will apply it mid shaft to the ends of my hair before I begin styling. The oil treatment is a non-greasy, hydrating oil that instantly absorbs into the hair. It provides intense nourishment leaving medium to coarse hair textures de-frizzed and ultra- smooth.  It infuses moisture, softness, protection and shine and actually helps to reduce blow dry time and provides UV protection. The key Ingredients include: Macadamia and argan oil blend along with Vitamin E - to hydrate and provide intense nourishment.

Color Proof Superplump Thickening Blow Dry Spray - is a great option if you are looking to add some volume to your style. I have very fine limp hair so anything that add some height is a sure fire add in to my styling routine. I love that this product does leave your hair feeling filmy. You can vamp up fine hair with this  product as you blow dry it out. It is heat-activated and a great body builder that weightlessly plumps each strand to expand volume and density while smoothing out your locks. The secret lies in the Hydrolyzed Corn Starch main ingredient that  grips to hair fibers to plump each strand while expanding volume and density. Hydrolyzed Jojoba and Pea Proteins strengthen and heal from within while smoothing and protecting against breakage.

Heat Proof Anti-frizz Blow Dry Creme - I like to use this creme before a blow dry for a sleek
look. It helps to Tame frizz and restore body to heat damaged, over- processed hair. It helps to reign in those annoying flyaways and restore manageability while extending the life of your color. I have found that with repeat use, it helps to strengthen your hair against potential damage caused by heat styling tools. It's a must use on those hot and humid days that are sure to come our way!

As I mentioned before, I have some fine locks and I worry about the occasionally shedding leading to thinking. Bubble Pop Beauty as a great option for girls like me. Their "The Remedy Hair Serum" is a  nutrient-rich serum infused with natural ingredients that target the hair follicles to nourish the root with essential vitamins. The formula works to restore the scalp's natural system to replenish moisture and nutrients, creating a healthy environment for growth. This serum restores the hair's natural elasticity and porosity levels, all while fighting against the aging of the hair follicle. (Available on for $25.00). You can use this before blow drying or opt for the route I take which is night time application. It allows the product to work into my hair overnight without any other items.  I also find that the more product I apply to my scalp, the oiler my hair becomes. So, I leave this bad boy for the night!

Renewing + Argan Oil of Morocco - If you have thicker hair that needs a product that is a bit more penetrating, then Argan oil is a better option for you. This can be use pre and post styling. The ingredients include natural vitamin E and antioxidants that help to renew your hair's cell structure, sealing in shine, and creating lush softness. The blend of Moroccan argan oil instantly penetrates the hair shaft restoring shine and softness while strengthening. Just apply to damp hair before styling and for a sleek finish add just a touch to your ends or any flyaways.

Finally, when it comes to my body, I am looking for nourishing products to not just exfoliate my face, but my whole body while also replenishing moisture. I find that similar routines for my face and body work well for me, but I do have to switch up the products I use.

All natural products can be hard to find and expensive, but more and more independent brands are entering the market with a product that gives your traditional drug store brands a run for their money. Brands like J.Lexi are bringing high quality, gourmet and sustainable products to the table that are steadily becoming a hit. The brand was founded by Celeste Munford, a powerhouse working mother with a creative drive and a penchant for creating products focused on keeping skin healthy, beautiful, exfoliated and hydrated. I had the opportunity to try out J.Lexi's fermented papaya bar soap and I am a huge fan! These bars smell wonderful and leave my sensitive skin feeling nourished. The fermented papaya soap contains a blend of fresh papaya + 100% coconut water + licorice extract to exfoliate, help diminish blemishes + brighten skin. The unrefined Cocoa Butter helps treat dry skin, acne scars, reduces the appearance of wrinkles and helps diminish stretch marks.  The Papaya Fruit helps diminish blemishes, dark spots, evens skin tone; firms skin, is a natural exfoliator. This is also a good source of vitamin a and contains papain which breaks down inactive proteins and removes dead skin cells. Support local and check out J.Lexi HERE.

You all know the wonders of coconut oil by now. You can use it for a variety of reasons including cooking, hair care and skin care. As I work through exfoliating my skin, I like to moisturize and nourish my skin with coconut oil. The same properties that make coconut oil good for hair, make it great for skin as well. Many people like to use it as a natural moisturizer. Its natural antioxidant properties make it great for stopping wrinkles and skin irritation. You can also use it for digestive help. Coconut oil’s concentration of beneficial fats in coconut oil makes it helpful for digestion. Its antimicrobial properties can help fight irritation and infection in the gut from Candida.

Carrington Farms offers a  cold-pressed Organic Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil that is made from only the freshest certified organic coconuts. The Unrefined Organic Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil is simply pressed and packaged so it retains its original nutrient content, flavor and color. It is certified organic and ha no trans & hydrogenated fats. 

Ritual of Dao Night Balm is a wonderful moisturizer for your hands. Nothing is more relaxing than giving yourself some much needed pampering. This rich and luxurious hand balm has been specially developed to soothe and soften the skin. Dry hands are transformed thanks to the ingredient Shea Butter. The Night Balm combines the mild aroma of White Lotus with the skin-soothing qualities of Yi Yi Ren, used in traditional Chinese medicine. This is a nightly ritual I add in during the weekend when I have some more time!

If you've been watching YouTube, you have seen the face mask peel off videos! They're hilarious and a bit over the top, but the benefits of the peel off is removal of the dead skin cells on your face. The PUR Blue Agave Mask is a refreshing mask that leaves a pleasant tingle as you apply it. Energy Complex of green tea, ginseng and Vitamin B helps stimulate the skin’s natural metabolism for the look of plumper, hydrated and refreshed skin. The cooling sensation and uplifting scent will leave your skin feeling totally revived.

Jack Black Lip Balm has been keeping my pout extra soft. If you haven't tried this brand, it's my go to lip product when I am not wearing a gloss or lip stain. It is an emollient balm that soothes and relieves dry, chapped, irritated lips.

This balm is extra hydrating and enriched with superior skin conditioners and antioxidants to heal cracked and chapped lips. It contains elements of grapefruit and ginger to refresh and soothe, while shea butter and avocado oil soften and condition your lips. Vitamin E, green tea extract, and antioxidants help protect your lips from damage caused by free radicals.

And that concludes this latest installment of the Beauty Beat! I hope you found it informative. If you try and of these products, let us know your thoughts in the comment section!
Take care!
Jen - EIC

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