Hello Everyone. Today I wanted to give you all a list of everything I find crucial to my beauty routine during the winter months. I understand that not everyone is a beauty lover, and has the ability to drop a ton of money of beauty products so I will try and do a drugstore/affordable option if my personal preference is a more expensive product.
1) Ultra Hydrating Lip Balm
Personally I love Dior’s Crème De Rose. I have no idea what they put in this stuff but it really is worth the $27 price tag. Being such an expensive product, I try as much as I can to use this sparingly, but I find that no matter how cracked and dry my lips are, if i put this on at night before going to bed I wake up and my lips are back to normal.
If you can’t justify spending $27 (believe me I was in your shoes at one point) I find Blistex Daily Conditioning Treatment to work well also. It definitely does not feel as luxurious as the Dior, but for about 10% of the price, it works amazingly. This one definitely takes more than one application to get my super dry cracked lips back to silky, plump and smooth lips, it is one that I have been using and always repurchasing for about 6 years now!
2) Body Scrub
Does anybody else hate the looking in the mirror after putting on dress and looking at your dry, scaly, pale legs? This drives me absolutely insane, especially when I think back to how just a couple a months ago my legs were looking bronzed and fabulous. I personally have been loving Victoria’s Secret Midnight Exotics Soothing Body Scrub in the scents Sensual Jasmine and Forbidden Vanilla. For the record, I am not usually a Vanilla lover, but this one has a teakwood undertone, so it doesn’t smell super sugary like most other vanilla scents do. My favorite thing about this body scrub is that they pair a fairly creamy gel with the sugar so it feels very moisturizing as I’m slathering it on my legs and laughing at all the dead skin cells going down the drain.
3) Body Cream
Along the lines of the winter legs, they’re just going to come back if you don’t keep them babies hydrated. I have been using the Victoria’s Secret Midnight Exotics Deep Softening Body Butter, or the Victoria’s Secret Ultra Moisturizing Hand and Body Cream, depending on my mood. The body butter is obviously somewhat more hydrating; however, they are both A+ in my book, especially compared to their traditional body lotions.
Side note: I’m pretty sure the scents that I got were limited edition for this year (so sad I love them) but I literally just went back to stock up because they were on a 5/$19.95 promotion. I do know they make the same scrub and lotions in their tradition scents (love spell, pure seduction, ect.)
4) Day and Night Cream
In DC we have schizophrenic weather starting in the late fall until spring hits in April. One day it will be 70 then literally two days later it will be snowing. My face skin hates the weather in these 4-5 months so I have to be extra good about taking care of it. To be honest with you, usually I’m pretty lazy when it comes to skincare, maybe I’ll moisturize once a day, If I’m wearing a BB cream I count that as moisturizing in the morning, you know, whatever it takes to get that 5 extra minutes of sleep. In the winter I cannot do that or my skin actually revolts and I get dry patches and oily spots at the same time. My skin is traditionally on the dry side of normal and sort of sensitive (ginger problems). I really have had to play with a lot of different products to find what works for me, so honestly, that’s the best recommendation I have for you. If I use super hydrating creams made specifically for dry skin in the morning I look like a grease bomb by lunchtime, and my already slightly large forehead does not need this added problem. So usually in the morning I’ll use something lighter like Clinique Dramatically Different Lotion, or Aveeno’s Positively Radiant. I used to use Clean and Clear Morning Glow , but for some reason that stuff started to burn my face after I got out of college.
At Night time I use the tried and true cult classic Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre, or Kate Somerville RetAsphere 2-in-1 Retinol Night Cream if I’m feeling extra fancy, or I think I’m getting wrinkles. I have to admit the Kate Somerville is a little pricey for me, so I don’t use it as much. I do not really have a cheaper or drugstore brand that I use, because I haven’t found one that I like yet. The product that has come closest for me would have to be Ponds Dry Skin Cream.
So I feel like I am one of the only people in this world who is not obsessed with the Clarasonic. My roommate has one and she literally forced me to use it one night, and I thought I liked it after the single use, but it was a little too abrasive for me. Being the genius that she is she told me to go out and buy one of the different brushes for it, and to continue to use hers and test it out until I bought one. So I went out and bought the sensitive brush head and used it a few times a week (some people use them daily, I was like umm not going to happen) and it was still too much for my skin, so I never purchased one.
An exfoliator that does work extremely well for me is the Dermalogical Daily Microfoliant, and I definitely owe this one to Birchbox. This came in one of my first ever boxes about two years ago, back in the day everything you got was a deluxe sample, so I literally had so much of this product that it lasted me a month or two using it two to three times a week. Again, I liked it so much, when I ran out I had to go to the store and get some. This is one of the only exfoliating products I have ever used that didn’t feel like I was literally scratching off all of my skin and I will forever love it.
A drugstore brand that I think is pretty good and cheap, would have to be the St. Ives Apricot Scrub this one is definitely more abrasive than the Dermalogica, however, I still think it is gentle enough that I can use it a few times a week.
After I exfoliate I like to put on a calming/soothing/moisturizing mask. Masks are always so tricky for me, I feel like every time I get one, I like it, then after I use it a few times, my skin decides it either hates it, or it is going to have no reaction to it whatsoever. For this reason I have been extremely hesitant to try a super expensive product, even though I know they probably would be fine.
The first higher end mask that actually works well for me is the Eslor Comforting Mask. I actually only tried this product because it came in my Birchbox. It came in a foil packet so before I tried it I assumed I was going to hate it, but decided to go for it anyway since my skin was already freaking out. I put it on, and literally instantly loved it after one use, to the point where I had to go and buy it, so I did. $38 is a little expensive, but luckily I had $10 from Birchbox points to redeem so I said $28 isn’t too bad.
The second mask I have been using is Michael Todd True Organics Avocado and Mango Mask. This thing smells AMAZING. I honestly am not one for organic anything, I never think the products work as well as non-organic ones, and I always think the companies price gauge to try and swindle people. I know it’s actually not true, but I want the most bang for my buck. This stuff is only about $18 a bottle, I know some of you are thinking this is still expensive, but for a product I use maybe once or twice a week, and it’s supposed to be a treatment (or just plain treat) I think it is totally worth it. It left my skin feeling and looking amazing. I haven’t used it that much so hopefully it continues to work just as well.
The final mask I’m going to mention is a mask I use when my skin is feeling extra gross. You know that feeling like you’ve got so much stuff clogged in your face you have no idea how it all got there. It is the Freeman Feeling Beautiful Avocado and Oatmeal Clay Mask. I do find this one somewhat on the drying side, so I only use this one if I’m going heavy duty with the moisturizer after. Also, a whole tube is only $4 so you really can’t argue with that.
7) Non-Drying Easy To Use Makeup Remover
Since I am on a skincare product roll, I will just tell you about my last skincare must have, an easy makeup remover that doesn’t make me look like a raccoon the next morning, or dry my skin out, or leave my skin greasy. I have tried about 20million different makeup removers and there are three that definitely stand out to me.
Winter is holiday party season, which means I am doing a full face of makeup, and getting home late about 5 out of 7 days of the week. When I get home after a party, and all I want to do is go to bed, the last thing I want to bother with is spending an hour getting all my makeup off my face. For these nights I use my Neutrogena Hydrating Makeup Remover Wipes. If I’m wearing waterproof mascara, it usually takes me two wipes and about 5 minutes to get everything off. If I’m not wearing waterproof mascara it usually takes one wipe and about 2 minutes everything off. These things are literally a lifesaver, I actually keep them beside my bed for those nights I forget to take off my makeup until I’m lying in bed and don’t want to get up. I think these are a great deal and worth keeping around for travel or lazy nights.
The second product that is pretty easy to use is one that I think every beauty blogger, and beauty vlogger has talked about. Yes, it is the ever coveted Bioderma brand. I actually have tried both the Sebium kind for combination/oily skin as well as the Sensibio that it seems everyone else uses. Honestly, I don’t see too much of a difference in these two and neither of them leave my skin feeling dry. Anyways, this stuff removes makeup like a dream. I did buy the tiny 100mL bottles first, just to try and see what I want, but honestly, they are so overpriced, considering I can get a 500mL bottle for only twice the price. I do not regret the buying the two small bottles, because now I use them for travel, because who wants to lug that big bottle of precious miracle water to burst all over your suitcase with you when you travel. Anyways, this is 100% worth the hype, I’m not kidding, and I think that its not too horribly expensive at around $30 for about 500mL.
The final product I want to recommend is for my heavy makeup days, and dry skin days. It is Ponds Cold Cream. There is a reason this stuff is the original, it works so easily, and no rinsing, all you need is the cream, and a clean cloth.
8) Hand Cream
Whenever I am doing paperwork all day, my hands feel crispy. To keep them hydrated throughout day I always carry at least one hand cream with me. My two favorites at the moment are the Caudalie Hand and Nail Cream and the EOS Evolution of Smooth Hand Lotion. I honestly don’t have too much to report on these the EOS berry blossom smells AMAZING. I think these both feel very moisturizing but don’t leave my hands greasy feeling so I can quickly get back to work.
9) Leave-In Conditioner
Let’s be honest, winter hair is THE WORST. I never want to deal with it, there’s like a million times more static in the winter, my hair gets dry, I always want to put it up, which breaks your hair, which causes worse problems. Anyway, case and point, I have to use a leave-in conditioner, ALWAYS. I have used the It’s a 10 Miracle Leave in Product for over 6 years now. My aunt is a hair dresser, so I think as soon as this product came out, she told me about it, and I started using it, because I was a swimmer, and my hair needed some extra hydration. This product is a holy grail and I will forever love it. For anybody who hasn’t tried it, seriously go get a small bottle, and you will be instantly hooked.
10) Hair Gloss/Oil/Serum
This is a new-ish obession of mine ever since one of my friends who actually does weaves introduced it to me. I was always like, why do I want to add a oil based product to my hair, it’s just going to look oily and gross, then she did my hair one time with it, and ever since then I have been hooked.
My all-time favorite has to be hands down Kenra Platinum Silkening Gloss this stuff smells SO good, literally it has like a fruity kind of strawberry like scent that will keep your hair smelling good for hours. Since I have thick hair, I like to put this in when my hair is almost dry, then finish drying it. If my hair is extra dry I will put a little on after my hair is dry and it just makes it so silky smooth and good smelling.
My second favorite is It’s a 10 Miracle Styling Serum. This product does not smell as good as the Kenra, but is a little more affordable, and almost works just as well. I do feel like I have to apply this one when my hair is dry for the same effects that I get with the Kenra.
Well folks, those are my must have products for the month. Comment below if you think there is anything I should try or forgot!