You know what they say: there are no guarantees in life. And yet, when you live in a locale with seasons, you still find yourself clinging to the gospel of Groundhog Day, yearning for that guarantee of an early spring. Potential freak snow storms aside, forecasts look pretty positive for March (yay!), with warmer weather headed our way. Not sure about you, but we SpotlyteTM editors are excited to lighten things up across our beauty regimens and inject a little bit more fun into our routines.
Soon, we’ll be relegating the thick, occlusive formulas that kept our skin nourished and protected through winter to the backs of our shelves again, and rotating in lighter textures, delicate fragrances, and new innovations that we weren’t feeling adventurous enough to use during darker months. Now that it’s getting warmer, we want to flaunt what we’ve got — including faux freckles, fresh skincare, flirty fragrances, and more. Keep reading to discover a few recently-launched favorites of ours for March.
Fur® Shave Cream
Who: Joslyn Winkfield, Creative Lead
What: Fur Shave Cream
Why: Rhetorical question: does anyone truly enjoy shaving, or any sort of hair removal? It can be uncomfortable, tedious, and even painful, but my goal is always to find ways to make the task a little more pleasant. I’m already a fan of Fur’s soothing ingrown concentrate and silk scrub, so I’m thrilled to add this new shave cream to my hair removal routine. The non-foaming, lightweight cream contains tons of nourishing oils, like olive and hemp, as well as squalene, letting my razor glide along with just the right amount of slip. Marshmallow root extract comes in handy for my sensitive, bump-prone skin post-shave with its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties — and the scent of lavender and lemon is simply divine.
Erborian® Milk & Peel Mask
What: Erborian Milk & Peel Mask
Why: Spring is on the horizon, and it’s time for me to start sloughing away at dull, dead skin. Even after one use of this rich luxurious mask, I definitely saw an improvement in the texture of my face. The white, creamy formula is packed with exfoliating enzymes and sesame milk, which gently smoothed out any roughness I was battling with. The fatty acid in the sesame also left my skin soft and moisturised. I apply it five minutes before I crawl out of the bath, and once I rinse — voila! — a smoother, brighter face.
Dove® Care Between WashesTM Go Active Dry Shampoo Hair Wipes
Who: Emily Orofino, Senior Beauty Editor
What: Dove Care Between Washes Go Active Dry Shampoo Hair Wipes
Why: When you have ultra-fine, straight hair, you need to wash it fairly frequently lest it look like a greasy mess. Yet, when you have color-treated hair, you want to avoid washing it as much as possible in order to preserve your colorist’s hard work. Throw regular SoulCycle® classes and night sweating into the mix, and you have my regular hair dilemma. I tend to shampoo every other day, supplementing with dry shampoo as needed.
However, I don’t need to tell you that the majority of dry shampoos are not all that travel-friendly — even when they’re in micro-sized cans — and it’s kind of weird to be spraying your hair down on the go. For that and many more reasons, I’m a huge fan of these new wipes from Dove. They’re just like the blotting papers you’ve likely used to dab away excess oil from your skin, but (duh!) for your hair. Even better, they’re presaturated with dry shampoo, too, making them highly absorbent, with a light, clean floral fragrance. Simply rub a sheet into the roots of your hair where you’re looking particularly greasy. To the casual observer, you’ll look and smell like you just did a deep clean in the shower, when all you really did was a quick dab-and-go.
Atelier Cologne® Love OsmanthusTM Cologne Absolue®
What: Atelier Cologne Love Osmanthus Cologne Absolue
Why: After a gloomy winter, I like to start easing myself into spring by digging into my fragrance wardrobe in search of something more uplifting and vibrant. This season, I’m adding a new scent into my rotation — this fresh, juicy perfume from Atelier Cologne. The brand has totally mastered blending citrus notes — I’m a huge fan of Clementine California® and Pacific LimeTM — and Love Osmanthus is no exception. Zesty Italian lemon sparkles at the initial spritz, wearing down to creamy, apricot-like Chinese osmanthus flower, with a solid base of American cedar.
Grande Cosmetics® GrandeLASH®-LIFT Heated Lash Curler
What: Grande Cosmetics GrandeLASH-LIFT Heated Lash Curler
Why: One of the earliest makeup lessons I learned from my mother was the invaluable step of curling your eyelashes — it makes your eyes look bigger and instantly more awake. I also learned a cardinal rule: you can never curl them after your mascara, only before, as the former could cause your lashes to stick to the tool and rip them out (yikes!). As I got more involved in the beauty industry, I discovered that pros often blasted their curlers with blow dryers, which offered a longer-lasting and deeper curl. While this is a great tip, it’s one to be followed carefully, as hot metal around the eye area sounds (and is!) terrifying.
This, along with the facts that traditional lash curlers often bend my lashes at strange angles and cause unwanted lash shedding, led to me taking a long hiatus from this essential step. However, as I get older, I find that I need curled lashes to look youthful. So, when I opted to bring a lash curler back into the fold of my regular routine, I wanted to ensure that I picked as salubrious a tool as possible. GrandeLASH’s new heated device fits the bill. While heat styling is notoriously tough on hair, this device is not as hot as other hot tools you may be familiar with (after all, you’re using it near your eyes!), and it protects the surrounding area from touching the heat element, so you’re at very little risk for burns. It features two heat settings, is charged via USB, and takes just a few swipes along the lashes to gently curl them — no crimping or pinching necessary. Plus, you can use it after you apply mascara, making it even more versatile.
ghd® HeliosTM Professional Hair Dryer
Who: Thia Laurain, Social Media Editor
What: ghd Helios Professional Hair Dryer
Why: Ever since I lopped off 16” of hair in December, I’ve been on a quest to step up my hairstyling game. While I’ve been reliant on an old faithful hair dryer for the last six-plus years, I knew I had to step up my haircare game in order to do my new chin-length bob (thanks, Edward Tricomi!) justice. Enter the ghd Helios Professional Hair Dryer, which boasts a highly concentrated airflow, ionic technology, and an impossibly chic, sparkling white and rose-gold finish. It’s cut my morning drying routine in half, and the “cool shot” temperature setting even has my boyfriend in on the action. (He uses the cool air to set his hair into place after shaping it with pomade.) Needless to say, it might just be my best beauty investment of 2020.
sundaysTM Smoked Hemp Flower C.01 Candle
What: sundays Smoked Hemp Flower C.01 Candle
Why: I am the team’s resident scented candle devotee (see: here and here). While I thought I knew everything there was to know about the category, I was shocked to recently learn that the majority of scented candle wax is made with paraffin, a petroleum waste product that releases toxic chemicals when burned. Unable to give up my long-smoldering love of scented candles, I looked into sourcing a completely clean formulation, made with 100 percent natural fragrances and clean-burning soy wax. Turns out, I didn’t have to look further than my favorite nail salon, sundays. After two years of development, the spa-like space has released two signature scents — Smoked Hemp Flower and Green Fig and Ginger — in the form of non-toxic, 100 percent natural and non-GMO candles. Both scents are heavenly — fresh, herbaceous, mood-lifting — but I’m partial to the smoky lilac, warm amber, and white ylang-ylang of the Smoked Hemp Flower fragrance. Bonus: the candle’s glazed terracotta vessel makes a darling repurposed planter!
Repêchage® Vita Cura® B3 Lifting Sheet Mask
What: Repêchage Vita Cura B3 Lifting Sheet Mask
Why: I’m fortunate to have a fair amount of travel (for both work and pleasure) coming up this spring. While my eyes, ears, nose, and taste buds are expectantly awaiting the impending sights, sounds, and flavors of fresh locales, my skin is not looking forward to all the plane time it will take to get there. Luckily, I’m a shameless proponent of #skincareintheair, and am planning to have a Repechage VitaCura B3 Lifting Sheet Mask swathed across my skin at every takeoff. The essence in this sheet mask is packed with a nourishing blend of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids — all courtesy of the line’s signature ingredient, French seaweed. The skin-soothing formula also contains brightening niacinamide, firming peptides, and fine line-smoothing proteins. When all is said and done — and draped across my airplane-parched face — my skin drinks up every last drop and is all the better for it.
Westman® Atelier Lip SuedeTM
What: Westman Atelier Lip Suede
Why: With the first signs of spring officially on the horizon, I can’t stop thinking about the warmer days ahead, replete with sundresses, bright blooms, and dining al fresco. Another essential in my springtime daydream: A bright, punchy lip. This palm-sized palette — dressed in the chicest glossy red lacquer — houses four equally bold and beautiful shades: Fuchsia, Brick, Tomato Red, and Warm Dusty Rose. While the matte suede texture may look like an intimidating lip powder in the pan, it is actually a blendable, moisturizing cream formula that works for both opaque and blotted lip looks. I’ve been using Brick as more of a “French girl” blotted lip recently, but can’t wait to go full-on Fuchsia as soon as it is spring.
Erno Laszlo® AHA Resurfacing Sleep Serum
What: Erno Laszlo AHA Resurfacing Sleep Serum
Why: Simply put: I love exfoliating. While I’m partial to a peel or resurfacing mask, sometimes I just don’t have the time to add an extra 20 to 30 minutes to my routine before bedtime. In those instances, I like to add an acid-infused serum into my nighttime routine; it only takes 30 seconds, and I can still wake-up and glow. The new AHA Resurfacing Sleep Serum from Erno Lazlo has become my go-to for those extra busy weeks where skincare time is tight. The easily-absorbed, lightly scented serum is imbued with 11 essential minerals, actives from wild plum and goji berry, and a cell-strengthening tripeptide complex. These ingredients are so gentle that you can use the formula daily — even with a substantial 15 percent AHA blend of lactic, glycolic, and citric acids.
PSEUDO LABSTM PHrecklesTM Kit in Shade 02
Who: Madisen Theobald, Social Media Editor
What: PSEUDO LABS PHreckles Kit in Shade 02
Why: Shamefully, I’m loving the “faux freckle” filter on Instagram® Stories right now — I use it daily. But, thanks to PSEUDO LABS’s new PHreckles Kit, I no longer need a filter to sport some cute, sun-kissed freckles on my face. Yes, faux freckles may sound a bit over-the-top, but this product is extremely easy to apply — and I can promise from personal experience that you’ll get compliments on your realistic new look. The formula can be lightly flicked or dabbed onto skin, either on a bare face or over makeup. I tried mine out with a toothpick and the product’s bristled head in Shade 02 (there are 3 shades: 01, 02, 03), which is a toasty brown and perfect for my light beige skin tone.
Peace Out® Dullness Brightening Pads
What: Peace Out Dullness Brightening Pads
Why: If you are looking for a true pore-scouring, invigorating at-home peel — chock-full of AHA and BHA — then these new Peace Out Dullness Brightening Pads should be calling your name. These double-sided gauze pads are infused with a complex of seven acids (including glycolic and salicylic) that dissolve dead skin cell build-up and dramatically smooth skin texture. The word “dramatically” is no joke: I wiped one of these one-step peel pads on my face before a 6 a.m. flight, and it left my skin looking smoother, brighter, and softer even before I set foot on the plane. By the time I hopped off the plane, my face looked like I just got a fresh glow from the Cayman Islands. In addition to that instant radiance, they leave a refreshing, tingling sensation on your skin, which I love, because it feels like the product is truly working. I will absolutely be adding this to my weekly at-home peel rotation.
Milk MakeupTM Vegan Milk Moisturizer
Who: Sophie Wirt, Beauty Editor
What: Milk Makeup Vegan Milk Moisturizer
Why: ‘Twas this product’s electric exterior that initially lured me in — but it was the blend of squalene, shea butter, and various plant extracts (a.k.a. “milks”) that kept me coming back for more. The formula, which is texturally similar to cream cheese, is both comforting and fast-absorbing; best of all, it’s free of fragrance and potential pore-blockers. Even my oil-averse beau — who claims everything short of oil-free products breaks him out — loves this stuff. (Only when I confronted him about a suspiciously speedy rate of product depletion did he ‘fess up to dipping into my beloved plant milk potion.) He and I finished the jar within a matter of weeks, and were both sad to see it go. Since then, I’ve snagged a new jar (which, frankly, I might stash away for myself!).
Dial® Pure MoistureTM Body Wash, Camellia
What: Dial Pure Moisture Body Wash, Camellia
Why: Have you ever seen those commercials in which seemingly random people are blindfolded, presented with two products, and asked which tastes/smells/feels best? Whenever I think about some riff on this experiment (i.e. one that’s intended to illustrate how well the cheaper product stacks up), I wonder whether the whole thing’s rigged. I revisited this idea in the shower today as I was lathering up with a $5 Dial body wash. While its price point is clearly that of a drugstore product, its complex camellia fragrance and silky feel could beguile any blindfolded person into believing it costs five times as much. Maybe there is something to those experiments after all!
The Inkey ListTM Apple Cider Vinegar Acid Peel
Who: Cat Matta, Copy Editor & Fact-Checker
What: The Inkey List Apple Cider Vinegar Acid Peel
Why: If you’re a fan of DIY hacks, you may have come across apple cider vinegar quite a few times for everything from treating dandruff, removing hair product buildup, and spot-treating pimples to getting rid of fleas and killing weeds. With such an endless list of possibilities, it’s no wonder The Inkey List claimed it as the hero ingredient in the Apple Cider Vinegar Acid Peel. I can attest it truly delivers in that capacity as well. Blended with glycolic acid and cranberry enzymes for even more oomph, the formula is so efficient that it only needs 10 minutes to deliver results. It easily rinses away, and leaves skin velvety soft. I like to use it at least once or twice a week to help me maintain a brighter, more even texture and tone. And, I’ve found that following it with a face oil and moisturizer ensures optimal absorption, giving me maximum hydration.
COSRX® Pimple Patch Set
What: COSRX Pimple Patch Set
Why: Thankfully, I’m not very blemish-prone. But, when I do get a pimple, it’s like my face has been saving up all its extra sebum for one glorious performance in the form of a single, excessively large zit. Not only does this behemoth one-man-show dominate my complexion, it takes seemingly forever to go away, and tends to appear right before a major event or trip. (Hello stress response!) Serious, targeted treatment is a must.
The COSRX Pimple Patch Set is perfect for just such a challenge. It comes with a total of 90 ultra thin patches (which will hopefully last me a lifetime) in three different sizes: seven, 10, and 12 millimeters. They are nearly invisible once applied, stay put (even overnight!), and can be worn under makeup — translation: smoother, more discreet concealer coverage without the risk of aggravating an already irritated pustule. Better yet, in addition to extracting the pimple-causing impurities from said pore-on-the-fritz, as well as creating a physical barrier to protect skin from further irritation, the patches keep the affected area moisturized to help promote healing and calm redness. And, as we all know, better healing means less likely scarring.
Kérastase® GenesisTM Masque Reconstituant Intense Fortifying Hair Mask
What: Kérastase® GenesisTM Masque Reconstituant Intense Fortifying Hair Mask
Why: In the past year, my search for products to help alleviate and treat my hair loss has accelerated into a full blown mission. From serums and supplements to dermatologists’ offices, I’ve refused to stand passively by as my strands continue to dwindle. Some things have helped slow down the shedding, or even temporarily halted it, while others weren't worth the time nor money. But, based on my first foray into Kérastase’s new Genesis line, I have reason to believe there’s still hope.
Formulated specifically for hair that’s weak and prone to breaking or falling out, the range includes strengthening shampoos, conditioner, and serums — but my favorite so far is the hair mask. Despite having a thick texture, the product glides on smoothly and rinses easily away. It also fits nicely into my regular shower routine, as it takes only five minutes of application and can double as a conditioner if need be. Even after using it for the first time, my hair looked fuller and less weighed down, its dullness seemed to be buffed away, and my tresses felt softer than I can remember them being in a while. Healthy hair has a way of sticking around, so I’m hoping putting the mask in regular rotation will help mine keep up the fight.
Some complimentary products were provided to the authors for the purpose of writing this article.
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