AOL Summer Beauty Awards

AOL Summer Beauty Awards 2016 Finalists-12When AOL reached out to me about being a judge on the panel for this year’s AOL Summer Beauty Awards, I jumped at the chance! As a total beauty junkie, I LOVE testing out new products. They sent over a big box full of goodies a few weeks ago (you may remember seeing it on Snapchat!) and I’ve spent the past few weeks testing them out and separating the HG products from the ones you should probably pass on. If you want to see which products made the cut, make sure you head over to AOL for the full scoop! But for my individual thoughts, you can check ’em out below! 

AOL Summer Beauty Awards 2016 Finalists-2

LivingProof // Instant Texture Mist
First of all, I LOVE the smell! It’s lightweight and delivers texture without crunchiness, stickiness, or any gross residue. Hair is still touchable and soft, which is a major key! It doesn’t deliver a TON of texture, but very subtle.

AOL Summer Beauty Awards 2016 Finalists-9Serge Normant // Meta Luxe Hair Spray
I really wanted to like this hairspray. While I like the medium hold and the fact that my hair felt soft and touchable after spraying, I hated the smell. Just really did not like it at ALL! Bonus points for the UV Shield technology, but the smell sort of killed it for me.

AOL Summer Beauty Awards 2016 Finalists-6Evo // Salty Dog Salt Spray
My hair typically responds to styling best with a bit of grit to it… so I try to style it the morning after washing it. When I don’t have time, I reach for a sea salt spray to give it the ‘teeth’ it needs. The Evo Salty Dog Salt Spray does a great job of delivering on the texture, but I don’t love the scent. Bonus points for being sulfate and paraben free.

AOL Summer Beauty Awards 2016 FinalistsAmika // The Shield Style Extending Spray
Living in Miami, humidity is a HUGE factor! This spray was amazing, kept my locks frizz-free and kept it smooth and clean, totally extending the life of my waves. Part finishing spray, part hairspray, I love it. Also… IT SMELLS AMAZING! (Clearly a selling point for me!) Kept my hair soft and manageable. Bonus points for the time release formula, UV protection, and for keeping my hair soft and touchable.  

AOL Summer Beauty Awards 2016 Finalists-10Shaveworks // The Cool Fix Targeted Gel Lotion
Can you love a product you never knew you needed? Really, this little baby pulls double duty… killing bacteria and preventing ingrown hairs while moisturizing and soothing skin after hair removal. It stings a tiny bit when you first apply, but then soothes and feels amazing. I’ve definitely noticed less irritation!

AOL Summer Beauty Awards 2016 Finalists-3Skinceuticals // Physical Matte UV Defense Sunscreen
I didn’t particularly find it to have a true matte finish. I’d say it’s probably semi-matte, which honestly, I found preferable because I prefer a dewy finish. I love that it’s tinted to offer a little bit of coverage if you’re wearing it on the beach, where you obviously shouldn’t be wearing foundation. Definitely throw it into your beach bag.

AOL Summer Beauty Awards 2016 Finalists-8Supergoop! // Forever Young Body Butter
First of all… call me crazy… but why does it smell like toothpaste??? It smells like toothpaste + sunscreen. Honestly, the smell. (Can you tell I’m obsessed with smells?) I felt it to be sort of heavy and sunscreen-y feeling, which I didn’t particularly care for. While it blended in pretty quickly and left no white residue I could still feel it on my skin. I feel like I’m not sure if it’s supposed to be a sunscreen or a lotion, but don’t feel like it’s really either? Bonus points for being paraben and sulfate free and for being chock full of amino fatty acids to keep skin young and beautiful.

AOL Summer Beauty Awards 2016 Finalists-16Burt’s Bees Lipstick // Magenta Rush
I’m always impressed when an all-natural lipstick comes in an amazing color! The deep magenta was really flattering on my skin tone and I liked the glossy finish and lightweight texture. A lot of glossy finish lipsticks virtually melt off in moments, this lippie was pretty long lasting. Bonus points for cool packaging!

AOL Summer Beauty Awards 2016 Finalists-11Soap & Paper // Perfume Oil // Gardenia
I have to be honest, I am not a floral scent gal. While I prefer clean scents personally, I did like the citrus and coconut undertones… it gave the perfume oil a bit of an island vibe that would work fabulously on the beach. As time passed, the gardenia notes toned down a bit (at least in my mind!) and the citrus became a more prominent scent.

AOL Summer Beauty Awards 2016 Finalists-5Mischo // Nail polish // Stiletto
I love this pretty blue color, it’s perfect for summer! I have a few friends who are allergic to nailpolish, so I always appreciate a great polish that’s toxin-free. While it did take a few more coats than I usually use to get that perfect opaque finish, it’s cool, I really like the polish.

AOL Summer Beauty Awards 2016 Finalists-7Alterna // Bamboo Beach Summer Sun Shine Spray
Very coconut-y. This is perfect if you’re beachbound! Lightweight, made my hair feel soft, shiny and touchable. Bonus points for UV protection!

AOL Summer Beauty Awards 2016 Finalists-15Paul Mitchell // Ultimate Color Repair Mask
Hair felt hydrated, soft, and touchable after using the mask, love the use of quinoa, one of my favorite superfoods!

AOL Summer Beauty Awards 2016 Finalists-13Bondi Sands // Self Tanning Foam // Dark
PROS: Color is great, natural and subtle. (Buildable if you want darker.) CONS: It’s SO hard to blend, dries super streaky, and dries almost immediately so you can’t blend it out easily!

AOL Summer Beauty Awards 2016 Finalists-4Essence // The Gel Nailpolish // Play With My Mint
Didn’t find it to be anything special… definitely not replacing my gel manis anytime soon! Color was beautiful, though! Application was easy and I liked the opacity.

AOL Summer Beauty Awards 2016 Finalists-14First Aid Beauty // Slow Glow Gradual Self-Tanning Moisturizer
LOVE this! Doesn’t smell, doesn’t streak, delivers subtle, natural color. Doesn’t feel greasy or heavy. I’m so picky about self tanners, this one was fabulous!

What do you think? Have you tried any of these? What did you think of them?

Thanks for reading! xo, Stephanie


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