winter fixes - beauty buys to help save face
Happy 2019 beans!
I hope you’re all well and had super fun New Year adventures.
I had a great night, but made an error and broke one of my cardinal rules - never mix your drinks. So after sampling a few different homemade cocktails and plenty of fizz, I ended up with a chronic hangover on New Years day. I described my general mood as ‘putrid’ when my poor husband asked how I was doing, but it’s all good now and I’m back on track and fighting fit… by which I mean I no longer feel grey.
In other news, last week was cold… the first proper few days of cold we’ve had for a little while, and I wasn’t prepared. That coldness coupled with my office being super chilly meant that by Friday my entire face had peeled off.
Does anyone else suffer this time of year? Do you have skin that wants to flake away and escape to a sunny climate somewhere else? Hair that feels both dry and charged with so much static that you could pass as an extra from Saved By The Bell? Has your face taken on a red aggravated pallor that no amount of foundation will cover? Do you possess a general feeling that every pore on your body is empty of moisture and you’re just a dried up husk draped in blankets surviving on lasagne, then crying into the empty dish? That one is probably just me… and maybe Garfield? :-)
Winter, while full of beauty is also a massive ball-bag and involves changing the majority of my beauty routine to try to, quite literally, save face.
I’ve got a few Winters under my belt (which you can translate to me being in my mid-30s) so I’ve tried, tested and binned many products over the years that promise so much and deliver sweet-FA. The products that have survived my high standards, reappear year after year and form part of the list below of my Winter fixes.
Have a butchers at these bad boys of beauty:
I’ll break this list down and explain a little bit more about each product and why I think it deserves a place in my Top 9 Winter Fixes:
The first part of me that begins to crumble in the cold are my lips. I suspect that part of the problem is that I’m terrible at drinking water - it’s one of my resolutions to drink more water, as when you’re dehydrated your lips really suffer and the drying effects are immediately obvious. The other issue is that sticking any old lip balm on your lips can actually cause more problems as some ingredients can draw moisture out of your lips rather than just creating a barrier… urgh. After going through a tonne of different brands over the years I’ve settled on Dior’s lip sugar scrub. Not only does this wonderful little lipstick exfoliate away any little bits of dry skin, it also coats your lips with a nice neutral colour balm which protects your pout from the cold. I can pop this on first thing in the morning and it’ll stay on my lips all the way to work (which is over 1 hour and a half of protection). It costs £26 which is rather punchy, but the stick does last for AGES. If, however, that is too much for you to spend, I would also recommend Burts Bees ultra conditioning lip balm which you can pick up at any drugstore or supermarket for under £5 - success!
If your poor head suffers with the Winter chill I suggest getting yourself a big ol’ hat to cover up your hair and scalp from the cold air. I brought a beautiful Acne Studios beanie last year and it’s my favourite Winter accessory. Not only is the colour gorgeous, but I love the little logo of a miffed face… it perfectly represents my Winter mood of meh. Obviously there are millions of hats out there that vary in price and material, this one just happens to be one I own and I bloody love it - so stick that in your pipe and smoke it.
Apparently (according to the wizards) our skin is in some sort of seven year cycle of regeneration. Our cells renew and our bodies change and things that didn’t seem to effect us in our teens or 20’s, suddenly rears it’s ugly head and starts to cause dramas in our 30’s , 40’s and beyond - I mean really… as if we didn’t have enough going on. This annoying bit of science means that in my late 20’s and early 30’s I’ve been plagued with bursts of dermatitis and super sensitive flaky skin… b-e-a-utiful. I mainly get this on my nose and cheeks and occasionally behind my ears. My poor skin does get red if I exfoliate too much and then feels very tight and grumpy. Sometimes slapping any old moisturiser on this just makes it worse or sting to high heaven, so I’m chuffed to bits to have found Avene skin recovery cream as it really does calm my face when it flares up. Avene have so many different types of products for sensitive skin so are deffo worth checking out if you suffer from red, irritated skin or have a seborrheic dermatitis flare up or are just trying to calm your skin down after an allergic reaction to something else. If you search on Boots you’ll be able to find little gift packs for hydration, sensitive skin and blemish prone skin - it’s a good way to test the products out without over-committing.
I bloomin’ love Diptyque and I’m obsessed their hand balm, hand lotion and hand wash. This hand balm is a beautiful treat for your dry skin. It has a gorgeous apricot and almond aroma and it’s very silky but soaks right into your skin. You don’t just have to use it on your hands either, it can be rubbed on pretty much any part of you that’s feeling sad, including your elbows, knees and toes, knees and toes. On their website they also recommend rubbing it into your hands before bed, then popping on some cotton gloves to let it soak in overnight. If that floats your boat, then give that a whirl for optimum balming… I’ll give it a miss though as it feels a little bit Silence of the Lambs to me - “it puts the lotion on its skin”
Oh my goodness, so Nuxe are one of my favourite finds of the last 5 years. I don’t know what I’d do without their amazing day creams and hair oil *swoon*. One of my favourite ranges is Rêve de Miel. Not only does it smell dreamy, like honey and sunshine, but all the products in this range are heavy hitters when it comes to soothing and repairing damage. Their day cream is on the thick side, but just glides on my skin and leaves a lovely base for my make-up, their shampoo leaves my hair weightless and squeaky clean and their body cleansing gel is the stuff of legends. I can’t rate their products enough plus you get so many freebies through their website. Also they have a loyalty programme where you can get points for purchases to put towards e-vouchers to use on their site - love it.
Mario Badescu facial sprays are, like, so hot right now! Haha. I think the reason that you’ll find them in every Instagram shelfie or in every beauty bloggers handbag is that they’re very versatile as well as being super cheap. Facial sprays are a great way to give yourself a little hydration boost all year round. They’re brilliant in the summer months to fight against the heat and air conditioned office environment by just spritzing away at your face, but in the Winter months I think they really come into their own. You can use them to add hydration before you apply your make-up, you can set your make-up with them to hold in the hydration hit and you can also use the aloe, chamomile and lavender spray to give yourself an antioxidant burst as it’s full of Vitamin C too. There are three sprays to chose from, but for Winter I think the purple one is best.
I have a lot of positive things to say about The Ordinary. I really like that you can research the individual elements of beauty products that work for you and your skin and then buy just that ingredient either suspended in silicone or as a serum. Then you can mix it into an existing moisturiser that you love but that’s missing that extra little something, something. For example, I love the addition of Vitamin C in my moisturiser, especially in the Winter, so for £6 I can add this to a dollop of cream I already own to get that extra kick - how neat is that! They have so many different things, you’ll feel like a scientist perusing their website and combining the various different ingredients to make your ultimate facial fix. The products are so cheap as well - win!
Because I wanted this to be a Winter fix post I decided that I needed to add in a mug because it’s thirsty work dealing with all this beauty malarkey and sometimes you just need to put your feet up, give up on the face and have a coffee. This mug is from Ban.do (they have stationery I am obsessed with) and it’s called ‘happy’. I love the colour and the little smiley face. You’d be hard-pushed not to feel happier having a drink out of this cheeky chappy.
Sometimes we’re so busy worrying about what to do with our faces in the day time, that when it comes to the evening we just take it all off with cleanser and slap on a bit of night cream and call it a day. Our skin is at its most active while we’re snoozing away. Our cells regenerate and repair at night so it makes sense to give our faces as much help as possible in doing just that. Here comes the Caudalie vine[active] overnight detox oil to the rescue. Now I know that people are very mistrusting of oils, and I totally get that, but Caudalie tend to use a grape oil in a lot of their products which absorbs quickly so you don’t end up feeling glued to your pillowcase or like some sort of weird human-slug hybrid - huzah. This oil really does do exactly what it says on the bottle, my skin always looks refreshed and feels so soft and smooth after using it. If you’re a fan of facial sprays I would also recommend the Caudalie Beauty Elixir which is wonderful for giving your dull skin a little radiant glow - I always pack it when I’m going on a long flight as it saves my skin from drying out and smells like lovely minty joy.
So there we go, plenty of options which I hope will cure both your Winter blues while fixing any of those little skin-based woes.
Do you use anything from the list above, if you do, how do you get on with it?
If I’ve missed anything off the list which is your go-to Winter fix, feel free to mention it in the comments below - I love learning about new products! :-)
Until next time beans, take care x