Our fall 2017 best beauty finds have a powerful theme — with pure certified essential oils and ultra clean ingredients really dominating the color lines, fragrance houses, and wellness beauty markets.
Consumers are more aware of the effects of applying unknown chemical concoctions daily to their skin and are demanding quality made safe cosmetics and scents.
We tested non-retail value samples of the latest and greatest cosmetics and found a tight list of products you need to check out that run the gamut from incredible bargain values to luxurious and a total splurge.
Many of the lines are female owned and operated, and all items proved to do what they claimed and performed and wore beautifully. Take us shopping with you for fall 2017 essentials, by category:
The Hair Thing + Bling Your Bun
I nearly gave up on this, three tries in and no luck until I watched this tutorial and put the grippy teeth side down against my scalp with the doughnut puffy part out- and success! My hair is shoulder length, fine and I have a lot of it.
If you have short hair, this nifty hair gadget with pretty, blingy accessories like a turquoise and silver wrap is not for you. Everyone else gather up! It really makes a huge difference and grabs your hair.
Fine haired people know the drill when they hear that but I swear it is NOT an exercise in futility. Stayed in all day too, so I’m sold. Please check out Leona King’s accessory company here.
Hair Remedie Frizz Eliminating Towel
Did you know most people damage their hair using a towel? It begins there, and now a made in the USA jersey cotton towel is a fast absorbing, safe and special “t-shirt’ just meant to dry hair.
It is thinner than a typical bath towel allowing you to wrap it up far easier than a traditional towel, especially if you are getting dressed or putting on makeup. Your hair cuticle will stay flat and your hair shinier if you forego the old terry towel. Trust. Visit them here.
Macadamia Professional Taming Curl Cream
Perfection in a lightweight, non-sticky formula that keeps curls looking defined and not like a frizz bomb hit it. This is best on coiled and curly hair. The fine, straight hair people may want to check out the other amazing products in this excellent haircare line free of sulfates, parabens and gluten, also cruelty-free. Smells amazing, as all this line does.
Keratin Complex Smoothing Therapy ‘Pictureperfect’ Hair
PicturePerfect Hair Bond Sealing Masque is a botanically drenched deep conditioning masque that strengthens hair and imparts an extra smooth and shiny finish. After your hair is towel dried, smooth on a generous dab of this mid-length of hair to the ends.
ColorProof Superplump Mousse
This is magic in a can. After you wash and towel dry hair, add a generous amount root to tip of hair. Style as usual and see how big the hair can get. Fine and straighter hair will love this Panthenol rich product. Smells incredible too. All of Colorproof’s items we have tried have been homeruns.
Essential Rinse Purifying Scalp & Hair Toner
Hairstylist Younghee Kim has created the perfect rinse to really get hair ready for conditioning and styling. Stuff builds up in the cuticle of the hair, and over time it dulls and damages the shaft.
This natural botanical based rinse dissolves a lot of this and leaves hair soft and ready for more styling. The Clarifying toner is ideal for oily scalps and hair, the Refreshing for color treated and drier heads.
Start with about 15 pumps of the toner to the scalp after washing hair, comb through, and wait a minute or three, then rinse and condition your hair. This added step is worth it when you see the results.
Minetan Dark Ash and Violet Self Tan Foam/Mousse
Quite possibly the best self-tanner I have ever sampled. These are intense, hue specific and deep in the result. Made with all natural PETA approved ingredients. Zero orange tones and no smell in this skin bronzer.
Recommended are the Violet and the Dark Ash, the latter a deeper brown tan. In three hours you get the deepest self-tanner color effect, if you prefer less coloring, take a shower after applying in an hour or two. Phenomenal item.
Treets Traditions Relaxing Chakra’s Body Oil
This is a European (Netherlands) made body oil sourced with sunflower seed oil, sweet almond oil, rice bran oil, rose flower extract, soybean oil and Vitamin E. Absorbs quickly, has a floral and nutty sweet aroma that is tantalizing and leaves skin looking healthy. Fabulous massage oil too. Ulta carries this line for an easy find.
Caress Sheer Twilight, Pure Embrace, Daily Silk, Tahitian Renewal
Bargain basement luxury. New from Unilever’s Caress brand comes four botanically infused body washes that are each a unique expression, Daily Silk boasts orange blossom oil, Tahitian Renewal has Pomegranate seeds and coconut milk, Pure Embrace is an almond oil and floral blend, and intriguing favorite Sheer Twilight is laced with Juniper Oil for a really addictive scent.
Try them, all affordable and well made. Found in stores from Walmart, Albertsons to Target.
Moroccan Magic Argan Oil Lip Balm
Another high-quality steal and easily found at CVS. Pure Argan oil dominates the ingredient deck for Moroccan Magic, a USDA-certified a new lip balm made with essential oils.
Invented by Kristina Tsipouras, this is far more than a Chapstick, it actually improves the texture of the lips over time with a regular application.
Made for both men and women, the packaging is a black .15oz tube, and the subtle Lemon Thyme is one varietal that is recommended. It is also chemical-free, cruelty-free, gluten-free and USDA certified. It retails for $3.99. Check them out.
Chocolate Sun Cocoa Glow
This is a kinder, gentler and slower way to tanning, with a luxurious moisture rich formula that smells like brownie batter. The deeply nourishing formula is absorbed beautifully by the skin. Think of this as a slower boat to a softer, more subtle tan.
The tanning cream for face and body is made with organically grown botanicals, pure essential oils, and chemical-free preservatives. It is silken and loaded with Shea butter, Almond oil, Jojoba oil and cocoa and vanilla.
A pump delivery lotion for face and body that will keep you looking kissed by the sunlight. The entire line is worth your while from body butters, body scrubs (Cranberry and Green Tea Body Scrub Pure Vanilla are fantastic and just the right amount of grit) to lip treats, this is a nice way to keep glowing when the temperature drops and skin is parched from the forced heat, too.
Hard Candy Bathing Beauties Bath & Body Collection
One big blue and silver box has everything your bathing beauty needs. We tested the Citrus & Tea Leaf collection, a pop of fragrance that is clarifying and clean.
This is a super affordable gift idea to salt away for the holidays too. The shiny festive box holds seven items, a fizzer, beauty bag, lotion, wash, hand cream, body mist and body butter. Under $15. Found easily in Walmart.
Gurunanda Tower Ultrasonic Essential Oil Diffuser
Essential oils and aromatherapy are as old as time, but of late, they are really ramping up. A far larger audience is hip to the usage of oils externally and internally, and are concerned the perfumes and products they use which are loaded with toxic chemicals.
Gurunanda has created an affordable and easy to use tower that you can add any aromatic oil, (They package their Lavender and Mint essential oils in the gift box). Just add water to the line inside, a few drops of an oil, and press the button.
Not only does it disperse a gentle soft steam of fragrance, it gives you a multicolored soft light show (3 LED light colors) that adds to the experience.
Make sure you experience their lavender essential oil at night, this is a wonderful practice for who has trouble sleeping. Runs 3 to 7 hours. Has safeguards like overheating protection and is ETL certified. Under $35.
Mevei of New York Premium Luxury Essential Oils 1 ounce bottles
From sourcing the oils to their presentation in violet glass bottles, this is the Rolls Royce of essential luxury aromatherapy oils made in the USA.
Their range runs the gamut from clarifying and antiseptic Tea Tree oil in the single essential oil Select line to a sensual Signature blend of many essential oils such as Silken, a heady mix of 100% pure essential oils of Lavender, Orange Sweet, Geranium, Cedarwood Atlas, Marjoram Sweet, Frankincense, Lemongrass, Mandarin, and Petitgrain.
Their third line is called the Forever Collection comes in larger bottles houses their pure skin oils like Jojoba, Argan, Pomegranate, and Rosehip
If you shop essential oils, you will be pleased to find that many of their prices are quite reasonable considering the amount and the quality of the oil. An excellent gift idea for the holidays.
In the same “essential” vein, these Inkling scents were created by two women and are to be worn directly on the skin. They contain no artificial propellants or carrier agents. Inkling Scents are specific for men, woman and some that are unisex.
Alcohol-free and made with 100% pure essential and fragrance oils, this is a vegan and cruelty-free fantastic way to smell ‘Sultry” – one of their best-sellers, to Unify another Unisex bestseller. Many scents and oil combinations are a godsend for people who get migraines from mass marketed scents.
Travelers will appreciate the size and ease of use with the roll-on applicators. The flowers suspended in the oils are lovely to look at too!
Lalique Mon Premier Cristal – Three new fragrances that debuted October 1, 2017.
If money is no object and you love high-end fragrance, look no further. Sensuel is a woody oriental concoction highlighted by Bergamot and underscores with Patchouli among the many complex note combinations.
Lumiere is a floral chypre scent that is Mandarin, Bitter Almond and Back Saffron anchored with Patchouli, Cashmere wood and Musk.
The third is Tendre, a floral oriental scent that takes high notes of pear and Lily of the Valley and blends with white Musk and Vanilla among many essential oil notes. Stunning looking bottles and unique expressions, high-quality perfume from the house of Lalique, c’est magnifique, n’est ce pas? Bring a fat wallet.
Kypris 1,000 Roses Moisturizing Face Oil
There’s a strong theme here, with natural oils and pure extracts are raging in scents, aromatherapy and this, a pure rose oil and natural botanical oil base of 19 active natural ingredients.
The most predominant is organically sourced Bulgarian Rose essential oil. Just use a few drops as it gives relief to the most chemically intolerant sensitive skins.
This is not an active exfoliating serum nor is it a lightweight lotion or cream. Just a pure expression of essential oils that work quickly and absorb, safe and natural for people concerned with what’s in their skincare.
Made in the USA. Please note the oil is pricey, but considering how little you need to use, it will last. Use this in conjunction with…
Kypris Glow Philtre Mask
A gel-like beauty emergency mask that can be used three times a week. Apply a thin layer of the mask to a clean face and neck, and avoid the eyes. Leave on skin for up to 20 minutes, if sensitive… less time. Rinse and do another gentle face wash. A hydration rescue and perfect for the colder months.
Dear by Renee Youth Soothing Crème and Skin Renewal Serum
Made for the rosacea and sensitive drier skin people, this is a Canadian made, natural botanical hygienic pump delivery of Blackcurrant Seed oil, Balloon Vine extract and Sunflower Oil concentrate that nixes inflammatory redness as it helps beef up your lipid (fat) skin barrier. Arnica Extract adds to the overall soothing qualities. And it’s lightweight in feel.
The Skin Renewal Serum is for oilier skins and has exfoliating and skin brightening effects. The fruit acid-base helps with mild acne and problem skin that also is showing its age. Lightweight and hygienic pump delivery. Whisper-light on the skin too. Both are excellent and address separate issues, redness and mild acne, respectively.
Cyantific Hydrating Night Cream, Nourishing Daily Serum, Protecting Daily Lotion
A lovely trifecta of effective natural ingredient based skincare. The core of all three items is a blue-green algae-based concoction dubbed PhycoBoost, made with added amino acids, antioxidants and botanicals like crambe abyssinica seed oil.
The Night Cream, Serum and Lotion all have a nice clean scent that dissipates quickly. Use the Nourishing Daily Serum and then Protecting Daily Lotion (SPF 30) in the morning to get the full benefits of their propriety algae-based active ingredients, with the perfect weight and not at all greasy Night Cream in the PM. Made for normal to drier skins.
Gallany Cosmetics Duo Cheek and Face Duo and Cheek Chic Trio palettes
We love Gallany Cosmetics, another excellent affordable female owned and operated makeup line. There latest invention? Chic copper-gold palettes with the hottest colors for fall. We fell in love with Ladylike and Blossom Cheek Duo. There are seven to choose from.
Also pick up their Trios Face Palette in contour, highlight and pop colors are versatile and on point for the season. We flipped for Mystique and Malibu. The colors go on with a lovely intensity, their pigments are dense in color and they apply smoothly. No discernible scents either.
Palladio The Definer, Rice Primer, Pressed Rice Powder, new 4 EVER + EVER Intense Lip Paint
Palladio is a Canadian made line of affordable fashion-forward items and colors. Made with quality ingredients, they too have a real knack for capturing the essence of what’s happening in fashion and translating to makeup.
Lips need the new 4 EVER + EVER Intense Lip Paint in 12 seasonal colors of Serendipity and Immortal. Neutral lip fans try Myth and Keeper. One swipe is all it took, super dense pigments. Made with aloe, Coconut Oil and Apricot Oil.
The Definer is a sleek, portable and matte/highlight case that fits in a to-go bag, and gets the shading balance right. I like that it’s a powder, not a cream, but silky and easy to use.
To blot the shine and for oilier skins, the Rice Primer and Translucent Pressed Rice Powder are natural, whisper light ways to lightly blot shine, without leaving a feeling you have too much product on the skin.
Wander Kiss & Tell Gift Set
A fun shiny gift, this three-piece kit featuring two full-sized individual Wanderout lipsticks are tucked inside a metallic Pucker Up Pouch.
Miss Behave is perfect for daytime and Girl Boss is a punchier nighttime lip.
The lipsticks are made with Marula Oil, antioxidants, vitamins, Castor Seed Oil, Jojoba Oil and Mango Seed Butter. Vitamins A, C, and E are part of the lineup too. The entire line, created by a woman, has no parabens or phthalates.
FACE atelier Ultra Foundation
Debbie Bondar created FACE atelier because she could not find anything that worked or was the right color for her skin. She created a foundation line that was professional quality, something found now in every makeup trailer in Hollywood to Vancouver. Lady Gaga, Kelly
This oil-free foundation is a pump delivery and it stays put, no wonder hardworking stage performer Lady Gaga is ‘gaga.’ There are four weights and a “luminizer” formulas too.
No breaking up and easily tweaked with some of the neutral adjusters like Zero and Zero Plus Plus which can lighten or darken and tweak tones of any foundation. You can really zero in on the perfect shade, and you will love the wear and feel of it. Cruelty and paraben free.
La Bella Donna Quads
Newcomer line to our roundup, we took a dive into their exquisitely packaged Quads, The Dylan and their Contour Compact. Both were excellent and applied smoothly in silver sleek compacts.
The Dylan is an eyeshadow/Blush quad made with densely pigmented colors, a rose nude for an all over base, a lighter pink that can double as a blusher or on the eye, dark grey-blue for lining or depth and a dark chocolate can shade a crease or be applied as an eyeliner.
The Contour Compact is a perfect foursome of shaders and highlighters, another on-point trend and this collection tends to be warmer in tone than most on the market. La Bella Donna is a line of cosmetics worth exploring, impressive.
Mirenesse Tri-Contour V Face Sculpting Stick
Australian artist Shona created this clever contour trio in a swivel-up stick. You can shade like a total pro with this limited edition Tri- Contour V Face Sculpting Stick.
Simply blend highlighter, concealer, and bronzer with fingers or a foundation or contour brush, and create dimension to your face easily. This is the most portable contour kit I have seen so far. Another brilliant female designed cosmetic item.
DISCLOSURE: Monsters and Critics received free samples of the above products for testing.