Every Big Beauty Edit, our editor’s round-up the top products that made our mind, body, and wellness soar throughout the year.
But to make sure we were reviewing products to the fullest, making sure they’re reader ready, we enlisted the help of Michelle, writer and reviewer of
To Dew List, a San Francisco based review site of some of the world’s cult and indie products. Michelle’s experience in the beauty and skincare space made her the voice of which we listen to when it comes to knowing what are BHA’s, AHA’s, Lactic Acids, what’s an acid? And more. Michelle knows her stuff.
A note from Michelle: “Working in the beauty industry I’ve been exposed to the latest trends, testing everything along the way. With a busy schedule and so many long-form tutorials to watch, I just couldn’t spend all that time researching product anymore. I wanted a resource that was to-the-point, not full of click-bait or fluff — that didn’t really exist, so I made it.
I’ve personally tested all of the products I review, and all the tips are things that I’ve learned along the way. I hope I can inspire, guide, and help make your skincare journey a little less complicated.”
We hope you enjoy the Big Beauty Edit 2020 and we hope you get to try out one or all of these amazing brands made locally.
Photography by Anthony Rogers , styled by Danielle Wallis , tested and tried by Michelle of To Dew List.
When we expected serum, we got a totally different result—it’s like a moisturizer and serum all in one. And with ingredients like these, we’re more incline to agree. Formulated with hyaluronic acids (anti-aging effects and benefits). Elegiac acid helps support collagen and protects against UV light. Elderflower berry helps sooth skin, and evens out your skin tone. What we also saw (in our month long test) was that it helped with fine lines due to being rich in vitamins. Though on the higher price point, we were stunned and amazed by how our face looked the next morning and the mornings beyond. Though Monastery has always had this magic touch when it comes to skincare. But don’t take our word for it, get their products.
Beauty and wellness may have an outward effect but it all starts from the inside and MIJA, an ingestible that tackles all facets of your diet, is needed for a inward great body foundation. It’s a full-spectrum supplement jam packed with your daily dose of vitamins, minerals, micronutrients, antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, alkaline greens and phytonutrients. A matcha powder infused with a variety of hard to find ingredients. Ultimately, this mix casts a wider net than most dietary supplement products (which all seem to be a bit more focused on gut health or hair, nails, skin, you name it). It’s more so examining the stuff we don’t get enough of in our bodies, and helps bulk up in those areas. The founder, Sarah Koszyk, MA, RDN, is very close to the production life, testing all ingredients to make sure the nutritional value stays intact. Great with coffee, tea, or anything to add a bit of sweetener to your day.
Urb Apothecary, Cactus Milk Bath
In this time of taking it easy and resting, we hand over fist use the Urb Apothecary Cactus Milk Bath. And it’s not your typical bath salt concoction. It’s base is coconut milk but they’ve added vitamins and minerals to bulk up this soak, we’re seeing silkier skin, acne and bacne of sorts becoming less red and less prominent. Urb’s Cactus is full of antioxidants, vitamins and electrolytes—again, great for acne and collagen loss. Liden is an ingredient that keeps your skin soft and smooth. Made with Yarrow powder, the soak and the hot water helps skin and blood circulation to the max. Lastly, the soak has anti-inflammatory benefits that can be used as an astringent. All in all, we will see you in the tub.
Cocokind, Resurfacing Sleep Mask
A product we were very excited to try didn’t let us down. The Cocokind Sleep Resurfacing Mask is an overnight, retinol-infused mask that takes the “little goes a long way” idea even further. The formula uses Bakuchiol (plant based retinol) and ayurvedic to help reduce fine lines, dark spots, and uneven skin tone. We also saw our skin begin to look a bit brighter, it helped even out skin tone and texture, and gave our skin a stronger barrier. Michelle also loved that it came with a little applicator for no cross-contamination. From her words, “three days later my skin STILL feels soft from first use, it’s kind of shocking.” Brava Cocokind.
Aether Beauty Co., Supernova Highlighter
We love a popping highlighter and Michelle was feeling it. Aether Beauty Co.’s Supernova highlighter was the exact product that we could either apply lightly or go ham on. The diamond powder actually helps protect collagen as it has rose hip oil infused into it which really does a lot for you on a skincare level. For example: hydrates, boots collagen, protects against sun damage, and helps brighten the skin. Thankfully, This highlighter is really spreadable by finger, you get a more dense application this way. Michelle noticed that it stays put, so you don’t have to worry about it flaking or melting off your face. Who’s looking to beam me up Scotty with Supernova?
This candle changed Michelle’s life. She found herself melting into this candle, the Roots & Bloom Paris Candle, with its very intoxicating smell in the best way possible. With top notes of Bergamot and Petitgrain, middle notes of Jasmine, Gardenia Naroli, and base notes of Sandalwood, Eucalyptus and Musk—the smell transports you to a Parisian garden, away from all the chaos in the world. In Michelle’s words, “it’s transformative.” And coming in at 8oz’s, this candle is a bang for your buck.
GM Reverie, Shampoo & Conditioner Duo
This product stopped us dead in our tracks. The shampoo and conditioner duo from GM Reverie was a game changing duo for the shower. Michelle is a bit obsessed with the conditioner. Her hair felt like butter after she rinsed it out. Her love for this formula made her hair feel and look amazing. But it’s the ingredients—really good ingredients in fact, for example: Pink Grapefruit (encourages collagen production), Neroli (helps with scalp irritations), Lemon Myrtle (can help protect against damage from heat tools), Bergamont (stimulates hair growth), Geranium (full of amino acids which help nourish the hair), Jasmine (hydrates, detangles, gives you that healthy glow), Bourbon Vanilla (silky shiny hair), Sandalwood (anti-dandruff and strengthens hair), Cardamom (encourages hair strength), Balsam (antifungal/antibacterial, soothing), Patchouli (balances oil production). If that isn’t a mouth full of goodness, we suggest you try them.
Botnia Skincare, Daily Face Cream Light
Easy to use, light in texture—the Botnia Skincare Daily Face Cream Light is a perfect formula for those who enjoy the feel of a lightweight moisturizer. Made with pure juniper and jojoba oil, this cream is perfect for those who are looking for an easy application moisturizer. The ingredient mimics your skin’s natural oils which is great for those on the oiler side, looking for a moisturizer who will play nice. This product is packed with some really great ingredients: rose (inflammation) and vitamin E/B5 (fights oxidation and keeps skin cells healthy). Though, if you’re not a fan of fragrant smells, we would avoid this for now.