Full disclosure: Monsters & Critics received free samples of the products mentioned in this article for review. However, the opinions expressed are independent and our own.
Yes to Spring! We kick it off with no April fools pranks whatsoever and salute some amazing women who have created exceptional lines of cosmetics and skincare.
This is the month that you transition all your beauty routine from layered protection from the cold and bright Winter UV exposure to a warmer and easier climate for skin in general. April’s not as extreme as mid-summer, but still, everyone is ready to lighten and simplify any color routine.
This month we fell in love with a line invented by a career woman who emigrated here from Europe, worked as a chemist in the beauty industry and decided she could do it better on her own. She makes wearable fashionable shades that aren’t extreme unflattering trends that look good only on 16 year-old models.
Product of the Month goes to Gállány Cosmetics!
Gállány Cosmetics is the brainchild of hardworking immigrant-turned cosmetic mogul Ida Gál-Csiszar, who began her career as a Johnson & Johnson employee for years, then landed a job on the west coast as the lead liquid chemist for cosmetic dynasty Max Factor.
There she worked closely with Hollywood’s top makeup artists including Max Factor’s top artist Robert Salvatore and learned first-hand the textures and colors that artists relied on and found to be the best for their famous clients.
This female entrepreneur then followed her passion for chemistry to create her own fantastic line of cosmetics.
We loved everything we tried, from her creamy Creme Satin lipsticks, Lucite Lips Lipgloss to the stunning curated palettes for eyes, face and cheeks.
Second Skin powder foundation is finely milled and feels really silky to the touch. Gállány Cosmetics Second Skin powder foundation is a truly phenomenal product to dive into, and can be used damp sponge application or my preference, sponged dry.
The pigments are silken on the skin and correct redness and imperfections in a demi-matte finish.
For the color compacts, you must try Malibu, Miss Universe, Budapest and Geneva! The pigments are intense and crease-proof, made in long wearing formulas. Handy for travelers too.
This reasonably priced American made cosmetic line is a drop dead fabulous find!
Oddly fantastic, inexpensive and found easily in CVS, Target and high-end drugstores:
DU’IT Tough Hands
Why we love it: Under $10 retail. DU’IT! We love it! Not fancy. Totally free of parabens. Propylene Glycol, petrolatum, lanolin, and mineral oil. Completely stripped down packaging with the best handcream for seriously cracked, dry and beaten up hands. If you live out west where humidity is nil, buy this. If you work with your hands for a living, ditto. Brilliant and laced with Oz Tea tree oils for healing benefits. Good on yer Australia! Incredible.
Olay Dual-Sided Body Cleanser for men and women-assorted
Why we love it: Under $10 retail. We tried the women’s Women’s Olay in Soothing Orchid and Black Currant, amazing. Scrubby exfoliator side with soapy bubbles and smooth all over soapy side too, meaning now you have less product to grab for in the shower as one side does what a good scrub does, natch?
The men’s scent was Old Spice Swagger and equally time-saving, and they have a full range of scents so if Swagger isn’t your jam, go for the classic scent. Meet your new scrubby ball replacement. It’s a real treat to use, try it!
Jojoba Blemish Control Serum 1.7 ounces
Why we love it: Under $30. Retail. Another brilliant Australian product! The Jojoba Company has genius packaging as always, a pump tube that targets the perfect amount for spots or zones. This is an instant relief serum made for spotty skin and it really takes the redness out of inflammation.
Made with skin loving Jojoba, Witch hazel, Honey, Tea Tree oils, plant derived totarol, an anti-bacterial, with soothing aloe vera and antioxidant juniper berry, and made with absolutely zero parabens, sulfates, palm oil, fragrance, and color. Everything this line makes has been completely exceptional finds. A woman runs this company, so you know it’s a great find.
The Jojoba Company Absolute Serum 1 ounce
Why we love it: $69 SRP. Velvet feel and silken to use. The Jojoba Company’s perfect botanically infused serum for skin starting to show age. Di-peptide carnosine with hyaluronic acid and silymarin are the natural active ingredients that reduce lines – clinically proven.
Absolute Serum reduces lines, firms slackened skin naturally. The serum is laced with natural ingredients like milk thistle, Australian Kakadu plum and lillypilly, and is high in vitamin C as it stimulates collagen naturally. Zero detergents, parabens, artificial fragrances, colors, PEGs, mineral oil or sodium lauryl sulfate.
Also this line is never tested on animals and has no animal products.
Exuviance Sheer Daily Protector – Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50 PA++++
Why we love it: $42 SRP. Exuviance means business in the skincare department, their exfoliators are the best in a crowded field. Now in time for the changing seasons, this weightless high-powered block with Green Tea extract will protect you.
Broad spectrum, all the bells and whistles are here, fragrance-free and without parabens, this is made for skin that hates greasy blocks that never absorb. Good under makeup too. Titanium Dioxide (7%) and Zinc Oxide (6%) are the active sunscreen elements laced with skin saving antioxidants. Reapply every 2 hours if active outside. Highest UVA levels of protection.
Alastin Skincare Hydrating Pro Mineral Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 36
Why we love it: $55 SRP. We love Alastin’s UV Broad spectrum sunscreen because it acts like makeup too. You get light coverage in a hydrating, blendable creamy lightweight potion that acts like a lighter in weight foundation. Active and hate makeup but love to look really good when you hike up that hill?
This does it all, the lightweight formula hydrates and color corrects, Alastin will become your bestest weekend buddy. It is one of the best in this class of skincare-cosmetic hybrids, and men too will absolutely love using it. A top pick too this month!
Dermalogica Stress Positive Eye Lift
Why we love it: $65 SRP. THIS. Another female-run skincare company! Amazing is not a word I use too often with eye cream products but this is such a standout. New, Dermalogica has created a 6 dot “eyelift” mask and hydrating gel cream in one that the unique applicator makes easy to do. A two-in-one eye treatment and masque visibly blam-blams puffiness and dark circles and brightens and gives a lift in the eye area.
A cooling massage applicator will generously dot the product around cleansed eye area using cooling massage applicator, leave on for 3-5 minutes, then massage in or gently remove excess product. Love this!
Skinny Tan 24-Hour Bronzer – Skinny Tan Body Mousse – Skinny Tan 7-Day Tanner
Why we love it: $19.95 SRP. This Skinny Tan line is a perfect example of the laser focus of two women, British moms Louise Ferguson and Kate Cotton who debuted this invention on Dragon’s Den in the UK.
Skinny Tan’s complete array of self-tanners saves your skin and delivers NO orange coloring. The 24-Hour Bronzer is an instant tan that can be washed away.
Think of it like body makeup. All Skinny Tan products are made with ECO-Certified ingredients, paraben-free and never tested on animals, and includes skin smoothing Guarana in the ingredient deck.
The best tanning mousse invented is Skinny Tan Tanning Mousse ($39.95 SRP). The coconut-scented tanning foam, does the job in a single coat, fading realistically over time. No splotch, no orange, done on properly exfoliated skin it can last up to 14 days! Suitable for face and body, with Aloe Vera in the ingredient deck.
The top seller for them is the 7-Day Tanner ($39.95 SRP) which is a slower road to heaven and can be re-applied achieving a deeper tone. Tahitian Coconut scented, it has a built-in “guide color” so that you can see where you have applied it, keeping you even Steven. As the self-tanner develops in the skin underneath, the guide color is like a body makeup, giving you the instant appearance of a tan that will wash off in your next shower. So smart.
Makeup Up Time
Hard Candy Prismatic Highlighter (Item 1244)
Why we love it: Under $10 retail. Hard Candy’s latest highlighter gives a lit from within finish and depending on how light-handed you are, looks positively ethereal.
Made with light-reflective pearls designed to accentuate the high points of your face and cheek bones. Made for all skin tones. You can go apesh** and apply a ton, giving your face the Grace Jones treatment…are you feeling that fabulous? Go for it!
Hard Candy Sheer Envy Coconut Water Stick
Why we love it: Under $10 retail. Weird. Sliding and wet feeling. Yet weightless and hydrating, what. Is. This! Hard Candy Sheer Envy Cooling Primer Stick is a utility player, it soothes red skin, calms irritated spots and is a water-based primer stick that prepares your skin for flawless makeup application. Foundation sits on this perfectly, like a hand in a glove. It feels so good going on you might be using it more often than you think. Men can use this too if you’re dealing with golfer’s face, and need a fast bit of relief.
It’s a 10 Miracle Styling Serum and Miracle Defrizzing Gel
Why we love it: $25 SRP. Just back from Miami, and when you are not used to the effects of humidity on hair, you need to be prepared. Effective hair taming line It’s a 10 has two Argan and Buriti Pulp oil infused items, Miracle Styling Serum and Miracle Defrizzing Gel, both of which fights the effect of humidity without grease for smooth, shiny, healthy hair without build-up. Easy to use, a small amount is needed, and be confident you won’t lose your hair style in the tropical breezes. Apply both to damp hair after washing and style hair as you normally would. Works beautifully!
Cover Your Gray
Why we love it: Under $10 retail. Easy to find, Cover Your Gray line are fast fixes when you have a sudden hair color emergency. If you are looking for that in between color coverage at the roots before your color appointment, this fast and easy root dauber will do the trick. Keep in mind it does get on your clothing and pillowcase if you don’t shampoo it out.
We tried their Root Touch-Up & Highlighter made for those with highlighted hair that needs a refresh. It worked great and was easy to apply. Available in 6 shades.
Revlon Salon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer
Why we love it: $59 SRP Easily found at Target, Ulta and Walmart and this new Revlon tool has an oval designed head and ionic technology tool with three heat settings is a super fast and easy way to big volume and curls, or waves and body. Best for hair longer than shoulder length.
The lightweight design, the low retail cost and the tangle-free bristles add up to a no-brainer for anyone who wants an easy way to get some style.
Made for traveling, this is the only tool you really need to pack as most every hotel has complimentary blow dryers.
Have we missed something that you’ve spotted this month? Let us know in the comments!