February 2014 Best Beauty and Fragrance Finds

16th February 2014 by
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February 2014 Best Beauty and Fragrance Finds

February 2014 Best Beauty and Fragrance Finds sees three newcomers who address skincare to beauty and fragrance.

Monthly, Monsters and Critics shines a spotlight on the newest beauty products that turned our heads and impressed.

After wading through professional samples submitted for review, this month’s top picks include a new fragrance debuting in March, a one/two step pump hydrating skin brightener that helped fade dark spots and the best bronzer/blusher on the market with a brand new pot of mineral metallic powder that can be used anywhere you need a bit of eye-catching light.

Category: Fragrance

TOCCA Eau de Parfum Simone


Gorgeous classic ribbed round bottle holds the soft sexy fragrant clean scent. This is their self-proclaimed “tomboy” fragrance.

I adore many green fragrances like classic Chanel 19, Aliage and even the green/citrus melange found in Calyx, and am not particularly partial to pure florals like Fracas, Joy, and Tea Rose. However TOCCA’s Simone embraces you with sparkling green notes, classic men’s fragrance undertones with notes of florals and some fruit in a balanced blend I absolutely loved.

There are creamy layers of top notes of watermelon, middle notes of ylang-ylang and Freesia that dries down leaves a unique blend of traditional men’s aftershave bottom notes, like creamy lactones, blond woods, musk, amber and nirvanolide on the skin. It’s a changeling of sorts, and I found it to be intriguing and not all all cloying like a fragrance dominated by too much floral.

TOCCA Simone Eau de Parfum (50 ml) retails at $68 at Sephora, Anthropologie and Nordstrom stores nationwide and online  beginning March 2014.

Category: Makeup

jane iredale So-Bronze and jane iredale 24-Karat Gold Dust

so bronze

Metallic finishes are in and glowing gleamy skin is the big story for the spring/summer makeup story.

If ever there was a dividing line between girls-in-the-know and girls-in-the-no-no, it would be drawn with bronzer. When it’s used correctly, bronzer offers an immediate allure of sun-kissed sensuality. When it’s used incorrectly, think John Boehner or Tan Mom.

There is a simple rule to be flawless, just follow the sun: Make sure to apply jane iredale’s perfect So-Bronze #2 (our pick for everyday) for sun-kissed color where the sun would kiss you. Stick to the cheeks and the bridge of the nose, and just under the jawline.

Remember your face should never be a different color than the rest of you. Don’t trust a compact mirror to tell you whether or not you’re ready to step out into the wide, wide world. Trust a full size mirror, or an honest friend.

Know when to shine: If you have really oily skin, rethink the shimmer part of the So-Bronze or use only for nighttime. The darker side is matte enough to work for you.  Pressed powders are ideal for a matte, daytime-appropriate look. (Try So-Bronze #1 for classic terra-cotta color with gold mica flecks so teeny tiny, they add glow, rather than sparkle).

Do the Duo: A bronzer and blush combo is the easiest way to get a natural looking flush with just the right amount of shimmer. A large brush, like the Kabuki, will pick up the perfect dose of color to give your face a warm, multidimensional look. When the magic hour hits, reach for 24-Karat Gold Dust to give a delicately gilded look to cheeks, eyes and lips. But don’t stop there – mix it with a moisturizer for the décolleté or into styling product for your hair!


Apply jane iredale 24-Karat Gold Dust (available in Gold, Silver and Bronze; $13.50 each) to the eyes, cheeks and lips for a “delicately gilded look” that highlights your best features.

To get a shimmery glow all-over add a small amount to your favorite moisturizer or even add some to your go-to hair gel or leave-in conditioner for a fun effect for catching the low lights of a restaurant or club.

A mini tutorial:

Brush on cheeks, nose, chin and forehead for the ultimate, sun-kissed look.

Category: Skincare

elure Advanced Brightening Lotion for Face and Neck 1.5 ounces


Even if you slathered SPF50 on the backs of your hands all summer long, a few months later they may have stubborn sun spots – or perhaps this is the driving side of your face or your chest. Pesky pigmentation, like dark spots and uneven skin tone on face and décolleté and hands can be mitigated by the one, two pump elure™ Advanced Skin Brightening Lotion.

This is an easy two step finish before bed and under makeup and sunscreen for the face, backs of your hands or your chest twice daily, to help dark spots break up and fade away.

The elure Advanced Skin Brightening program consists of three steps that work to reverse discoloration and improve skin tone with the ingredient Melanozyme™, a patented naturally occurring mushroom-derived enzyme that works to brighten skin quickly and safely. Melanozyme breaks down melanin quickly, without the irritation and side effects of prescription strength ingredients, working to dissolve currently existing pigment as opposed to stopping cells from generating more pigment (as hydroquinone functions). elure is also clinically proven to be safe for all skin types.

The best results come from a twice daily application and with a sunscreen applied over it once dried.