Baby, it’s still cold outside, for most of the USA anyway! February is the month where the toll of winter really begins to add up.
Fear not! We have some amazing good for your skin fixes and new products to rave on about.
This month we highlight some incredible medical grade masks, off the charts facial oils, and a new pulling oil for the teeth to strengthen enamel the Ayurvedic way.
Plus, we found affordable new color items and clever focused skin savers and serums.
As we have down always, we celebrate the companies who make their products without harming animals or any harmful chemicals like parabens, artificial fragrances, solvents, sulfates, and phthalates.
The winner of February’s “best of the best” for overall excellence was… CO2Lift
The portable packable CO2Lift is made for the face, neck, hands, and eyes. It presents as a two packet item, easy-to-use and ready for you to mix up and use right away. The oxygen-boosting masque is loaded with botanical extracts that instantly makes you look radiant and ready for a big night or a crucial close-up.
This is a fantastic item to bring on a ski trip or dry, cold or hot climate. You empty the contents of each silver packet into a mixing bowl, mix with included stir stick for a minute then apply to face, neck, hands and around eyes immediately.
You leave it on for 35 to 50 minutes and peel off. Follow with your regular skincare routine. It does an outstanding job of instant hydrating.
Skincare top picks:
MyChelle Perfect C Serum
MyChelle Remarkable Retinal Serum
MyChelle Sun Shield SPF 28 (Unscented)
This vegan line of MyChelle skincare ticks off all the right boxes, free of gluten, petroleum, Phthalates, silicones, sulfates, ureas, and any artificial colors or fragrances.
Made in hygienic packaging, with lots of pump delivery mechanisms and traveler-friendly sized packaging. The C Serum is perfect in the morning after cleansing, the potent A retinal serum save for nighttime. Daily usage is recommended for the lightweight Sun Shield.
This is a skin correcting and refining botanically based unisex line, and men will love the no-nonsense look and efficacious feel and results. For the money (all items are under $50), it’s absolutely brilliant and easily findable at beauty retailer Ulta.
Serendipity Architect Face Serum
Serendipity Architect Serum is presented in a stunning silver and blue bottle that packs a wallop up of pure botanicals and Hyaluronic Acid. The spare ingredient deck (nine ingredients total) is toplined by seaweed extract and made to cover the face neck and chest area. It’s meant for daily use-best in morning before day cream or sunscreen.
What I loved about it was the absorption into the skin was lightning fast. The firming feeling and noticeable boost it added to the skin after using a day cream over it too. I also love that they donate a portion of the profit to various animal rescues and shelters.
What I did not love about it was the stunning bottle’s awkward dropper with plunger button at the top. This serum is too good to be in bad packaging. It really is priced fairly ($78 retail) and works incredibly well.
Belli Beauty Fresh Start Pre-Treatment Scrub
This Belli Fresh Start Pre-Treatment Scrub is pretty much the best face scrub you can buy on the market, bold statement, yes, but I’ve used them all from Clinique to Sisley, and I can say this minty fresh invigorating scrub is just the right amount of exfoliant and cleanser in one.
Made for expecting women, this truly can be used by men, women, anyone not expecting! Except maybe glowing ultra-clean skin! Green tea, ginseng, and peppermint oil will wake you up, so morning use is probably best.
Meant to be used 2-3 times a week, maybe more if your skin has excess oil and blackhead issues. You can find it at CVS, target and online.
PCA Skin HydraLuxe Cream
PCA Skin Hydraluxe Cream is THE luxury splurge that really delivers the hydrating goods. Not cheap ($147 retail) but well worth every penny. If your skin is dry during the winter months, make sure you get this facial moisturizer.
It has heft yet is silky, non-greasy. Best over a serum and perfect for nighttime or night an day if you really are desert dry. No discernible scent and made with Chicory leaf extract, Peony extract and snow algae (I know, it sounds vile but it is purported to promote long-term healthy skin and plump the volume of the epidermis).
What is fact is that this is a great moisturizing cream for people who need that layer of protection and fine line and wrinkle repair.
Sol De Janeiro Brazilian Touch Hand Cream (1.7-ounce traveler)
We love the TSA-friendly sized items and this Sol De Janeiro hand cream is a legit winner. For those familiar with the Sol De Janeiro product line, it smells just like their original Bum Bum cream and it penetrates and dries quickly as hands feel firmer, smoother.
If you despise greasy hand creams and love a portable tube, give this a try. Easy to find at Sephora and online.
Honey Belle Elixir Oils for the Face: Grapefruit-Basil Rejuvenating and Rosemary-Bergamot Clarifying
Elixir oils and essential oils can be ridiculously expensive, but Honey Belle’s line of targeted facial oils is not ($15-34). The dropper bottle has just the right amount and travels nicely. Handcrafted with a base of organic and cold pressed Hemp Seed Oil – which is an amazing Omega 3s and 6s’ laden oil in its own right.
This easy to use product hydrates and increases the skin’s elasticity. Grapefruit Essential Oil helps calm and refresh the skin, even oily and acne prone skins while Basil Essential Oil delivers the glow.
A great oil to wedge in and apply between a serum application and a day cream, especially if you want your skin to look radiant and alive. The facial oil helps improve circulation, and the side benefit of a glowing complexion is a nice bonus. Love this line of skincare. Unisex as well.
Body care winners:
SWAY Underarm Detox – Deodorant and Dusting Powder
My entire life I have looked for a healthier alternative to basic antiperspirants. One that works and doesn’t make you regret trying it midday.
SWAY Underarm Detox Starter Kit has the one-two punch for an amazing effective deodorant that is based on a special blend of apple cider vinegar, essential oils, and other botanicals so you are not applying aluminum ad heinous chemicals to your pits!
The pH balancing formula neutralizes odor-causing bacteria and the special dusting powder reinforces keeping you dry and comfortable. Give this amazing non-staining product a try.
Masigi Fresh and Boost Pulling Oil (Oral Care)
There are not enough accolades to bestow on this amazing portable oil pulling system. If you have no idea what I am talking about, let me break it down.
Long before toothpaste existed and the olden times when people picked their teeth and hoped for the best, the Ayurvedic medicine community in India had discovered the hygienic properties of coconut oil.
This portable packet of the oil has natural breath freshening essential ingredients so you can swish in your mouth (do not swallow this or spit in the sink, use a trash can) for about 5-10 munites (yes it’s longer than brushing) and your teeth will love the cleansing and brightening effects the oil provides.
It strengthens enamel and is a fantastic daily usage item that will augment a good dental hygiene routine. Keep your Sonicare toothbrush but add this extra step midday to see a difference in your teeth. It works!
Raw Sugar Pineapple + Maqui Berry + Coconut Natural Sugar Scrub
Raw Sugar Body Butter Raw Coconut + Mango
Raw Sugar Body Wash Vanilla Bean + Sugar
This is the steal a deal winner for sure, as these Raw Sugar cold-pressed natural oils body treatments are incredible and addictive. Easily found at Target or online. The Raw Sugar Pineapple + Maqui Berry + Coconut Natural Sugar Scrub is a bath time workhorse.
Slather on feet, elbows or anywhere you need to shed some dead skin. The scrub is loaded with Vitamin A and C, calcium and iron and natural protein, the coconut and pineapple combo work to naturally and gently exfoliate, hydrate and soften-while the maqui berries work some antioxidant magic.
Follow with the Raw Sugar Body Butter Raw Coconut + Mango, an under $10 body butter that is so decadent and luxurious, you will never pay for really high priced body creams again.
Made with Vitamins A & C, Calcium, Iron, natural collagen protein and organic Coconut oil, the cream also has organic Mango extract to soothe and strengthen skin. The Raw Sugar Body Wash Vanilla Bean + Sugar is a stone-cold winner too, under $7 and has no Sulfates, Parabens or dyes.
Chocolate Sun Cocoa Fleur Tanning Atomizer for face and body
Organic, natural and delicious smelling Chocolate Sun was already on our radar, as we fell in love with the pump daily moisturizer that gently bronzed you up. Cocoa Fleur Tanning Atomizer (fair to medium skin tones) is a whisper light formulation from their “Haute Botanical Collection.”
What you get is not orange or too dark, streaky tell-tale self-tanner gaffes, but even pretty and sunkissed natural-looking results. Perfect for extending an existing tan as well. Easy to use and it really smells incredible.
Makeup and accessories
M·Y·O Cosmetic Clutch
Hate when you have a million cosmetic cases and a favorite in each one, so you have to drag them with you when you travel? Everyone goes through this but M·Y·O Cosmetic Clutch is a clever magnetic palette where you can add pans to create a perfect compact, streamlining your beauty game. They even have mini pots that fit inside for foundation-amazing.
M·Y·O Cosmetic Clutch is all about smart space-saving convenience, offering customization, and it is a high-quality compact, not flimsy like some fill in yourself palettes out there. Confused on how to get your makeup pan out of its original case? Read.
Also, M.Y.O. is the winner of the 2017 Cosmoprof North America Trendsetter Award. So the pros love this customizable compact to the moon.
FACE atelier Lip RX (Primrose)
FACE atelier Lip Putty
This female-owned and created company consistently churns outsmart cosmetic and in doing so has a HUGE professional and A-list following.
Are you a lover of a balm type lipstick? FACE atelier’s Lip RX not only softens and moisturizes lips, but two shades (we tried Primrose) enhance your lip color nice and natural and overall give you a finished look… even for those who hate lipstick (who are these people?)
FACE atelier Lip RX is joined by the amazing Lip Putty which sounds funny but if you have uneven lips, chronically dry or uneven lip skin and trouble keeping on lipstick or gloss of any kind, you want to try this.
The Lip Putty is applied like lipstick prior to using any lip color. Not only does it help to fill in any lines around your lip line, it plumps the skin on the lips without burning like so many of these lip plumpers do.
The bonus is that it is an organically made product with ultra-violet protection, plus no added fragrance and loaded with essential oils and skin-loving vitamins. What’s not to love?
Infinitely Hers Lipsticks – Sable Lipstick
Infinitely Hers’ bailiwick seems to be hair extensions, but they have forayed into cosmetics. I love their packaging with the peekaboo window at the top of the lipstick.
The colors are on point and perfect for what’s happening right now, especially with ’90s makeup looks roaring back. if you adore a matte feel and finish, they have a great array on their website to choose from.
We tried and loved Sable, a neutral light matte looking everyday lip color that can be blended with others to tone down if too dark. Reasonably priced too at $12 a pop.
Oxygenetix Oxygenating Foundation
Problem skin? Rosacea? Oilier complexion? This Oxygenetix Oxygenating Foundation is your new best friend. My favorite pump delivery foundation for the oilier and acne prone skins. It was made initially for burn patients.
The makeup has a clean feeling, gliding easily with a quick application, either with clean fingers or a foundation brush (preferred) or a Beauty Blender sponge. You don’t even feel like you have makeup on.
Buildable coverage, no discernible fragrance and a portable easy-to-pack convenient size. If you hate foundation but need that coverage or a more finished look, try this.
FULL DISCLOSURE: Monsters and Critics received free samples of the above products for testing.