Our best beauty product finds for March 2017

Wander carryon makeup
Carryon Lip and Cheek Gel. Wander Beauty creates these new minimal face makeup looks

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.

It’s February and spring is closer each day! We have a wide range of skincare, haircare, and specialty beauty items to rave about.

Blame the cultural phenomenon of Netflix series Stranger Things. The 1980s are representing as big and bold approaches to color palettes, and the often maligned blush is back, baby.

So are glowing shimmery shades draped across features for a layered build from eyes to cheekbones.

Color blocking lips with reds, fuschia and wild orange tones in both glossy and matte finishes with a super almost bare minimal eye is another hot combo.

Remember that even the bare look for face skin glows too, whether you blush bomb it out or go demure and ultra minimal on the eyes and face.

Brows are groomed and natural, avoid the stenciled-in look and extreme penciling.

Beauty trends come and go, and you have to be a realist as to what works for your age, vocation, and state of mind.

If you are feeling really confident and have the youth and genetics to pull it off, this will help you carry some of these extremely out-of-balance trends.

If you are less of a trendy type or a bit older, stick to keeping your routine as professional and flattering as possible. Know thyself.

The rules remain the same for your best look at any age or for any gender: You must care for skin daily like you do your teeth, with a strict maintenance routine of exfoliation, protection, enhancement and hydration.

Men have to mind their faces too as the workforce demands you look your best.

We only sing the praises of cruelty-free cosmetic lines. Monsters and Critics frets about the safety of all skincare or makeup products, so please lookout for potentially harmful chemicals and allergens and endocrine disrupters, such as sulfates, parabens, and phthalates.

The companies we found this month, from inexpensive lines like Palladio and Hard Candy to more pricey skincare lines like Dermalogica and Arbonne, offered some of the best formulations in each category in the beauty market. Take us shopping with you!

Here are the best beauty products Monsters and Critics found for March 2017…


Dermalogica Daily Superfoliant (2 ounces)
Made in the USA (SRP $58)
Dermalogica Daily Superfoliant

Why we love it: You will never have a dull skin day with Dermalogica’s Exfoliant in your repertoire. TSA-sized friendly, this all-purpose exfoliant is super effective.

Activated Binchotan Charcoal to purify, Niacinamide, Red Algae and Tara Fruit Extract fight damaging effects of pollution.

Lactic and Malic Acid resurface the skin. After cleansing, tap a half-teaspoon into wet hands and create a creamy paste by rubbing hands together.

Rub on the face in circular motions for about a minute, avoiding the eye area. Rinse thoroughly and use daily.

Arbonne Intelligence Genius Ultra (use with Arbonne RE9 Advanced Lifting and Contouring Eye Cream (SRP for set is $241.00)
Designed in the USA, Made in China

Arbonne Intensive Renewal Serum (1-ounce pump)
Made in the USA SRP $62 (also sold in kit with Genius Ultra)
Arbonne Intelligence Genius Ultra

Why we love it: Think of this as Arbonne’s secret weapon that makes your serum and eye creams work more efficiently and sink deeper into the skin.

With three warmth levels, you can find your customized application of Arbonne products in each area of the face, including around the eyes and lips (not on eye or eyelid).

This patent-pending tear-drop shape tip gets into hard-to-reach spots and the gentle vibration comforts and stimulates circulation.

Use this with their new Renewal Serum and RE9 Advanced Lifting and Contouring Eye Cream for 1 minute twice a day for best results.

Arbonne Intensive Renewal SerumThe new serum by Arbonne is a loaded gun, full of Panax ginseng, apple leaf extract, cucumber, orange, sugar cane, lemon, Tangerine, Borago seed oil, and a ton more botanicals, it safely and effectively resurfaces the skin while you sleep.

Use at night a small dime size amount on clean skin or use with the Genius Ultra wand. Wake up looking glowy and revitalized. Love this new serum. Lightweight and can be used by itself for oilier skins.

Body and teeth:

Crystal Essence Roll-On Mineral Deodorant (2.25 ounces) Various scents
Made in the USA  (SRP $3)

Crystal Essence Roll-On

Why we love it:  Most natural deodorants are a hit and miss affair. Overall Crystal Essence worked well, though I had to apply twice during the day. It beats wearing a deodorant full of chemicals, aluminum and toxins.

The Chamomile and green tea scent worked best for me. Use a blow dryer to hasten the drying process.

2 Minute White – Luster Premium White
Made in the USA (SRP $10)

2 Minute WhiteWhy we love it: For the money (and the enamel safety) Luster Premium White is the way to go. Easy, just brush and floss. *Important before yu apply make sure you use a thick lip balm or vaseline to lips!

Swish a tablespoon of the Neutralizing Cleanser mouth rinse to pre-treat teeth and then spit it out. Apply the Correct Whitening Serum with active dental peroxide to the surface of each tooth you would like to whiten.

Wait for 20 seconds for the Serum to dry before allowing your teeth to touch your lips or tongue.

Essentially you need to make this face for 20 seconds:

A horse smiling


Bosley Professional Strength Vitamins for Women- 60 tablets
Made in the USA  (SRP avg. $19)
Bosley Professional Strength Vitamins for Women

Why we love it: Bosley Professional Vitamins are one of the highest formulations of hair follicle loving Biotin, horsetail extract, zinc, copper, riboflavin and cystene in a formulation.

So you have most all the nurients needed to promote a thick mane of hair. It’s unlikely you get the daily requirments of these nutrients anyways, so ensuring you get it is a good thing. Caveat: Take on a full stomach one to two times daily.

Beachwaver S1 Ceramic Rotating Curling Iron
Designed in USA, Made in South Korea (SRP $129)

Beachwaver S1 Ceramic Rotating Curling Iron

Why we love it: Old Hollywood glamour, beach waves, unconstructed sexy mess, Beachwaver S1 does all of that. Honestly this is one of the pricier irons we have tried, but the results are worth the extra money.

The perfect beach waves start with this Beachwaver Co. curling iron. With three different settings, you get structered curls, or you can opt for loose or glam waves.

We tried the 5.5″ ceramic rod with custom heaters, the 1-in. ceramic barrel distributes even heat from top to bottom in a range of 290-410 degrees to suit all hair types.

The dual rotation, arrow button control and automatic shut off and home button to reset clamp makes it very easy to manipulate.

Open the clamp and secure near ends of hair. Hold arrow button to start rotation. Release button to stop rotation. Hold for 2-3 seconds and voila, open clamp to remove curl.

Repeat: Press home button to reset clamp. Repeat for head full of beautiful waves. BeachyWaves Beachwaver S1 is the best curling iron we have ever reviewed.

Phyto Phytologist for men and women (12 vials) Exclusive botanical scalp and hair concentrate
Made in France (SRP $90)
Phyto Phytologist for men and women

Why we love it: Don’t you love when things actually work the way they say they will? Phyto Phytologist is boon for any kind of thinning hair, from baby fine to coiled and wavy. The vials are no longer glass ampoules so yay for that!

Apply a full vial up to three times a week on the scalp and massage into hair, leave in and style as usual. You see a visual “thickness” with each use.

An easy-to-use formula for men and women that is a 99% botanical blend of potent ingredients, from cacao, rosemary, wheat germ extract and Indian gentian that help support the scalp and gives you thicker, denser-looking hair.

The formula is made to help thinning hair due to stress, fatigue, illness, pregnancy, hormonal imbalance, or genetics. No harmful anything in this miracle serum for the scalp. Not oily. Fantastic item.

An easy-to-use formula for men and women that is a 99% botanical blend of potent ingredients, from cacao, rosemary, wheat germ extract and Indian gentian that help support the scalp and gives you thicker, denser-looking hair.

The formula is made to help thinning hair due to stress, fatigue, illness, pregnancy, hormonal imbalance, or genetics. No harmful anything in this miracle serum for the scalp. Not oily. Fantastic item.

Makeup and tools

Artis Elite Collection Oval 7 Brush
Made in China (SRP $62)
Artis Elite Collection Oval 7 Brush

Why we love it: One brush by Artis that multitasks, this is pricey but it does so much. This is the perfect all-in-one face brush.

This patented brush puts on dry or wet foundation, applies bronzer or blush, can serve as a highlighting and contouring tool, is suitable for applying serums and skincare, and also for setting face powders.

Made with CosmeFibre, a revolutionary fiber that involves no animals. Easy to clean and a good size to tuck in a traveler.

If you have never tried their brushes, this is a good one to start with. The Oval 4 is a favorite size too – slightly smaller head.

Wander Beauty Mini Carryon Kit
Made in Taiwan (SRP $36)

Wander Beauty Mini Carryon Kit

Why we love it: All of Wander Beauty’s items are designed for someone who has places to go and travels quite a bit.

This kit of four lipclors (that can double as cheek color) is perfect for anyone going out of town or on vacation to cover the bases.

Enriched and hydrating, these are easy to apply sticks that swivel up (no sharpening) and have four shades, Island Hop, a pop of pink, Madisoness, a more nude pink, Pink City, a medium depth mauve pink and Tinseltown, a deeper red pink.

Completely in line with fashion colors worn on th ecatwalk right now and easy to throw in your bag.

Made with botanicals like Avocado oil, shea butter, vitamin C and E. Wander is a woman-owned company too.

Wander Beauty Mini Carryon Kit purse

Pack in your handy Pucker Up Pouch, cruelty-free leather and an easy to clean interior (SRP $38)

Palladio Brow Collection – Assorted
Made in Canada (SRP $5-8)

Why we love it: New Palladio eye brow pencils are every bit as good as four times the price of brow guru Anastasia’s cosmetic line of similar items, and Palladio too has similar color ranges.

Precision instruments and several formulas for any application, you can create tiny, hair-like lines wherever brows need to be filled.

Attached brush softens pencil strokes, giving brows a natural appearance. Their newcomer brow pencil comes in four shades:

Palladio Brow CollectionWhile the various Brow Styler, Brow Obsessed and The Brow Definer too come in a nice range of shades and the heads of both the Styler and Obsessed are compact, not too big. Do not overpay for good brow makeup!

Hard Candy Blooming Lip Oil
Made in the USA (SRP $6)

Why we love it: Hard Candy’s new hydrating gloss is laced with great ingredients and goes from appearing black to turning pink right on the mouth.

This ingredient deck is loaded with botanicals and with peppermint oil as it cools and feels wonderful upon application.

Inexpensive, easy to find (WalMart or online) this is a great new item that actually changes hue on every person, so it’s not the same on everyone. Flattering, feels good and $6? Try this.

Hard Candy Cushion Wonder Color Correct

Why we love it: Please note all Hard Candy items are cruelty-free. This has a little dauber on the end and it easily applies a serum with pigment correctors weightlessly.

We loved Sheer Envy, a light to medium tones color corrector for under eye circles and spots. No tools are needed, and dries down to a matte finish. You will love this inexpensive quick fix too.

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