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Our best beauty product finds for May 2017

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.

We love May, the month where the Memorial Day Weekend is always a fun break, and summer is pretty much here. But make sure you are prepared for the hotter weather by thinking ahead. You don’t have to go broke, either!

This is the month that summer skin game plans can be worked out, so skin and hair gets a break from the cold but the constant UV exposure means you must be vigilant to keep from getting any precancerous skin damage or hyperpigmentation.

This is also before the worst summer months when your hair takes a beating, so prepare and protect!

This month we worked through some amazing (non-retail, no value) samples of items sent to us to try out, and wanted to share the good news.

Product of the Month goes to Jurlique for their trio of amazing new body care items, the Immersive Rituals Body Care Gift Set.
(SRP is $65.00).

You get three body care items made with pure Rose extracts. Rose Shower Gel 300mL plus Rose Body Care Lotion 300mL and Rose Hand Cream 40mL.

This is a pure and natural skincare line made with natural oils, extracts of Rosa damascena, with no harmful ingredients whatsoever. This set is a great Mother’s Day gift to boot.

Fragrance of the month goes to…Ariana Grande? Yes! That petite pop star has a really delicious new fragrance aptly named Sweet Like Candy.

Loads of base vanilla and cashmere woods oils are hemmed in and made more sophisticated by blackberry, pear, and bergamot, plus marshmallow and Jasmine sambac.

Impressive considering the reasonable price point (SRP $39) and can be found easily at Ulta.

Skintastic finds

Avalon Organics Intense Defense line of skincare, Cleansing Gel, Facial Serum, Antioxidant Oil, Sheer Moisture SPF 10, Renewal Cream, Detoxifying Towelettes, and Lip Balm

Made in the USA 

Why we love it: (SRP $5 and up, prices vary by retailer) Avalon Organics is a quality affordable unisex line of skincare found easily in grocers like Albertsons, Safeway and Whole Foods to drugstores.

Avalon Organics’ new line is an orange-scented highly targeted skincare made with quality ingredients.

Pump delivery system for the serums and ckleander and moisturizer, this is perfect for the coming summer months.

Intense Defense with Vitamin C beats back the seasonal headaches like UV rays and pollution that exacerbate visible aging.

Formulation for this line includes high levels of vitamin C, white tea and lemon bioflavonoids to help skin stay looking good.

The Towelettes are to be kept in your handbag or gym bag at all times. Great for travel too.

Intense Defense with Vitamin C Lip Balm and the pump Cleansing Gel are brilliant, as are the facial Oil and Serum. This skincare made to work without bankrupting you should be on your radar.

Exuviance Targeted Wrinkle Repair 1 oz.

Made in the USA 

Why we love it: (SRP $68) Who wouldn’t love something called Wrinkle Repair? We gave Exuviance the good try and found that the results were noticeable.

Use this pump delivery potion twice daily where you have lines and aging concerns. You get three patented potent ingredient compounds, CitraFill, NeoGlucosamine and Matrixyl Peptides, all of which work together to strengthen skin and hydrate.

Your skin really looks refreshed, plumper and dewy. This one is a keeper. No Fragrance, dyes, parabens or PABA. Can be found at ULTA, online and other beauty retailers nationwide.

Alba Botanica Fast Fix Sheet masks- non-retail samples tried: Camu Camu Anti-wrinkle, Coconut Water Hydrate, Papaya Anti-Acne

Made in the USA 

Why we love it: (SRP: $3.49) Going away for a weekender? Have some time to pop on a face mask and soak in a bath? Use these botanically infused safe for the skin masks.

Alba Fast Fix Sheet Masks are found easily at Target, Wal-Mart, Whole Foods and other grocers.

Hygienically wrapped, portable high doses of serum-soaked fiber to easily apply, as it delivers concentrated doses of active botanical ingredients.

100% vegetarian ingredients, no animal testing, synthetic fragrances, dyes or parabens. Papaya Anti-Acne Sheet Mask uses papaya, lemon balm and salicylic acid to help sweep away dead skin debris that clogs pores.

Coconut Water Hydrate Sheet Mask has coconut water, cucumber and chamomile for a shot of hydrated bliss for the parched people and the Camu Camu Anti-Wrinkle Sheet Mask has botanicals camu camu, cocoa and caffeine to tighten, brighten and get you ready for your close-up or fancy event.

Hair raisers

Marula 5-in-1 Volumizing Spray – Firm Hold

Made in the USA 

Why we love it: (SRP $29) Lightweight, airy and not like an oppressive firm hold hair spray, this Marula 5-in-1 natural oil infused hair fixer is perfect for the fine hair people who hate the lacquered hair look.

Paraben and phthalate free formula that has a slight clean scent, you helmet head ladies will absolutely hate this.

For the rest of us who love touchable hair, hearts! Good for root volumizing too by their unique nozzle design.

Cantu Shea Butter ACV Root Rinse and Dry Co-Wash

Made in the USA 

Why we love it: (Under $10) Apple Cider Vinegar is a miracle worker, and this Cantu natural formulation gets to the root to soothe scalps and promote new hair growth.

Made for all hair, and is especially fantastic for people with extensions and weaves. De-gunks the glue point for where the extension piece is bonded to your own hair.

If you work out daily but cannot wash your hair every day, or as often as you feel you need to, this entire line will save your head of hair!

The Dry Co-Wash is a gym bag essential too. part dry shampoo, part conditioner, 100% hair saver. Smells great too. Easily found in Walmart, Sally Beauty, Target and CVS.

éprouvage Thickening and Plumping Spray – 8 oz.

Made in the USA  

Why we love it: (SRP $18) Everyone wants healthy thick shiny hair. This éprouvage spray helps you get there.

Easily found at Ulta or online, this lightweight plumping spray that provides volume and body to finer hair textures. Amps up overall body and volume. Read: No helmet hair!

Loaded with botanicals like Egyptian Blue Lily, and Soy & Rice Keratins, and French Oak Extract, this fantastic smelling clean potion has zero sulfates, no gluten, no parabens, no mineral oils, no phthalates, no propylene glycol, no animal testing, no DEA, no synthetic dyes.

Do you have fine hair that needs TLC? Try this fantastic item!

Macadamia Professional Endless Summer collection: Shampoo, Conditioner, and Sun Shield Dry Oil Veil

Made in the USA 

Why we love it: Perfect timing! You need this to sally forth into summer. Color your hair? Especially you!

We got to try samples of three of the items in this Macadamia Professional four-part system, the Sun & Surf Shampoo and Conditioner and the Sun Shield Dry Oil Veil to protect and serve your follicles when we hit the hottest days.

Obliterates frizz, seals in color with natural moisture and infused with badass botanicals like Macadamia and Argan oils. Rich in Omegas 7, 5, 3 and 9 oils.

Did we mention it smells like summer coconut heaven? it goes without saying, this is also cruelty-free and free of gluten and parabens.

Manly concerns

Van Der Hagen Shave Butter

Made in the USA

Why we love it: (SRP $6.99) Van Der Hagen is bringing back old-style shaving like no other company. Reasonably priced. This unisex shave cream is a great find usually for under $6 in most retailers like Walgreens, Target and Walmart. Forget foams and gels.

This formula boasts Macadamia Nut Oil, Shea, Mango and Cocoa Butters to make shaving a joyous endeavor.

Truly a fabulous find for all. The entire shave line from them is a great swap from the more expensive Art of Shaving line.

This article was based on samples sent to Monsters and Critics by the companies mentioned. 

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April is an accredited entertainment writer, interviewer and television critic. She is a current member of the Television Critics Association (TCA), Gay and Lesbian Entertainment... read more
April Neale
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