Thursday, January 14, 2016

Winter balm

Now that winter has finally arrived, after months of what was apparently April, it is taking its toll. It was 5 degrees the other day, with a high of 7. (!) One year it got down to -26. I'm not sure how Minnesotans do it. Kudos, folks.

Anyway, skin takes a beating during winter, and an uncomfortable person makes for a less focused person (read: a cranky person!). Dry skin is no joke, and good products are essential to getting through the cold weather, in my opinion. I have some favorites that I've collected, although I'm always on the lookout for the Best Lip Balm In The World. I have contenders, but you be the judge....

Clockwise from the top:
Aveeno Eczema Therapy, Living Proof Leave-in conditioner,
Fresh Sugar lip treatment, E.L.F. matte lip color, NARS Velvet Matte lip pencil,
Rosebud Salve in the tube, Rosebud Salve in the tin, Ultra Repair Cream,
Love and Toast hand creme, Ultra Repair Balm,
Rosebud Salve in Mandarin tin, Spectrum Coconut oil.

So, here we go:

Smith's Rosebud Salve lip balm: No matter what I try, and I'm a bit of a lip stuff junkie, I always come back to this. This comes in a strawberry, mint, orange versions as well, but I usually end up with the rose original. Use it on your dry winter hands and cuticles also! It comes in a tin that can be a pain to open, and a tube that's way easier.

For moisturizing lipstick, honestly, I think the best is still Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment - they combine the color with a hydrating balm, making it closer to a gloss sheen. I prefer the color Petal, but they have more than 15 colors of this in various iterations. However, if blowing your wallet on a lipstick is not your jam, I don't think you can go wrong with the Revlon Color Burst lip butters - I like the colors Fig and Pink Truffle, and have gone through a couple of each.

Matte lipsticks are the thing this year, and I have to admit, I haven't tried many, as they seem extremely drying. However, I did pick up the e.l.f. Cosmetics matte lip color in Tea Rose and Praline at Target, and I was very impressed! These are about $3, and are a great dupe for the NARS Velvet Matte lip pencil, also a more moisturizing matte lip product. The Tarte LipSurgence™Matte Lip Tint is another great option because it has Vitamin E and coconut oil - this is on my list to pick up next!

Ultra Repair Cream by First Aid Beauty: When the weather turns back to its usual cold self, this will be the cure. You can use it for face or body, and it's good for sensitive skin. It comes in a 6-oz. jar for $30, which sounds like a lot. However, consider that most face lotions come in 1.5- to 1.7-oz. tubes for $14 or more, whereas this comes to $5 per ounce. Not bad! First Aid Beauty also has a skin balm, called Ultra Repair Concentrate, that will solve even the worst of the wind burns.

Another lotion I've grown to like is the Shea Moisture Argan Oil & Raw Shea body lotion. Bought it on a whim at Ulta one time, but one of the first ingredients is shea butter and it seems to do the trick. I also like to use coconut oil instead of body lotion. If using solid coconut oil with all natural grit - that melts in your hands at 76 degrees - doesn't sound like fun, you can always scrape the whole jar into a mixer, blend it up with about 20-30 drops essential oil, then pack it back into the jar. Instant, easier-to-use lotion! You can also use almond oil, another great moisturizing oil that requires no mixing or blending.

For hand cream, I've fallen for the Love & Toast Hand Creme in Sugar Grapefruit. For the price, the tube is not huge, but it works very well, and the scent is amazing. In the office, I use the scent-free Aveeno Eczema Therapy Cream. Seems like overkill, but when you're tapping the sanitizer every hour, it's a good one to have on hand. (ha!)

My hair tends to get kind of static-y and dry this time of year. I have been using the Living Proof No-Frizz Leave-in Conditioner instead of regular conditioner, and that seems to help quite a bit. However I also don't wash my hair every day to preserve natural oils. Another product they make that may well be a bit of a miracle for hair is the No-Frizz Perfect Hair Day™5-in-1 Styling Treatment. This does have alcohol in it, but it also has oils which seem to balance it out. In any case, it kills the frizz and also helps with static. When I'm going budget, I go to Pantene's Pro-V color shampoo and conditioner. Never disappoints!

So there you go - a few ideas to combat the cold. What products do you use to beat the winter weather? I'm always looking for new ideas! :)

FYI, no sponsored stuff here - these are just some of the many things I've tried and enjoyed!

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