12 Feb 2016

My winter beauty essentials

Oh my goodness it's freezing out there right now!  I love winter, I really do, but wow it's cold.  Winter more than any season calls for some specialist kit to beat the harsh effects of the weather, and although right now I feel like my winter essentials are my electric blanket, earmuffs and gloves, I thought I'd share my slightly more interesting, winter beauty essentials :)

Now I never expected to be raving about a cold sore remedy on this blog, but I've rarely been more impressed by a product that I have by the zzip cold sore treatment.  I tend to get a couple of cold sores every year, and at least one in the winter, and like everybody, I absolutely hate them.  They're ugly, painful and a total waste of my time, but I'm told once you've had one, you'll always get them, so it's something I just have to get on with.  

I've used Zovirax before of course, and the Compeed patches, which are quite good, but nothing beats zzip because it has such a clever and practical concept.  At first glance it appears to be any old cold sore cream, but it's actually a liquid consistency, which when applied to the cold sore dries into a little protective barrier.  It works in a similar way to the Compeed patches, but it's so much better - I've always found those still look quite obvious on your lip, and they start to lift and peel off pretty quickly with normal drinking, talking etc.  Once zzip's applied to a cold sore you can literally forget about it for hours, knowing that it's medicating your cold sore away underneath the barrier it's created.  The only possible downside is that the product has a blue tinge, and you can see that slightly on your lip.  It didn't bother me much, and I'll 100% be using this again because my coldsore was history within a few days! 

We all know my love for Kiehl's ultra facial cream as my daily moisturiser, so it was about time that I tried some of the other products in the ultra facial range.  I have dehydrated skin that's both dry and oily, so when I want to really quench my skin and deal with dryness, it has to be done at night else I can overload the oilier areas of my skin, which doesn't bode well for my makeup.  Ultra facial overnight hydrating masque has a dreamy liquidy-gel type consistency - it looks totally different from the moisturiser actually - and it feels amazing as soon as you put it onto your skin.  It's cooling and comforting, and gives my skin a much needed drink.  Plus, it's designed to be left on all night, so it has plenty of time to deeply hydrate the skin and leave it feeling soft and smooth by morning.

Dryness in general is such an issue in the winter all over the body, and although I'm usually very lazy when it comes to moisturising unless it's my face or hands, in winter I have to put the effort in with my body too!  I've been trying out the healing serums from Vaseline which promise deep healing power, and they're really great moisturisers.  There are three varieties to choose from - deep repair which is great on cracked heels, radiance restore which is made with cocoa butter and smells gorgeous, and advanced relief which is good for really dry and sensetive skin.  Radiance restore has been my favourite, mostly because I love the sweet scent it leaves on my skin.

Often in winter I find that my skin starts a war against my usual foundations.  I get dry patches where the foundation gathers and looks gross, or my skin seems to literally eat up my foundation leaving bare patches - neither's a good look.  I'm always looking for ways to add hydration to my morning skincare routine without upping the oil or shine and overloading my skin.  I'm not blessed with the most even or clear skin, so wearing a BB alone os a rarity for me, and you'll much more likely find me using a BB as a primer for my foundation, and that's what I do with this.  The product hydrates, gives a little coverage and hides some redness, plus it's oil free and SPF 25.

Now some people say not to use Vaseline on your lips as petroleum jelly creates a barrier and doesn't actually hydrate.  I'm not sure I agree, because for years I used to use these little tins as my everyday lip balm.  Vaseline's latest offering is this cute and sweet sugar coated flavour in a pretty pink tin.  It's lovely and sweet on the lips, with just the slightest pink tint, and it makes my lips feel soft and smooth.  I've been using this on my lips this winter before going out into the cold and whilst out and about to keep my lips from getting chapped and it works a treat, so maybe there's something to that barrier theory after all!

I'd not tried any eve snow polishes until I was given these base coats to try out.  I wear base coat religiously whenever I paint my nails, so having some form or nail care benefits within the base coat is always a winner with me, and I don't need to add an extra step to the process.  The BB base coats from eve snow are enriched with nourishing marula oil and vitamin B12 to protect nails and prevent splits and ridges, which is super handy for winter as my nails really seem to become dry and weak.  These polishes also apply really evenly and dry quickly, which are of course the most important factors in a base coat.

For ages I've been using a roll-on deodorant from Mitchum which really works well for me, but as I apply my deodorant right before getting dressed, I was often messing up my clothes with deodorant marks, both white marks and wet ones! Considering I wear darker clothes in the winter and lots of black, it was becoming a bit of an issue, so I decided to give Sure Invisible a try, and it does exactly what it says on the tin.  I also really like these little compressed containers - just as much product but it takes up half the space!

So maybe these polishes don't truly qualify as an essential, but it's fair to say that alongside a good base coat as mentioned, I opt for full coverage shades in winter in an attempt to hide the look of dry and peeling winter nails!  The second chrome collection from Models Own is perfect, because you get super full-on coverage in one coat, and the shades are really lovely and a bit unique.  Left to right these are turquoise, pearl, copper, grey and red and my favourite has to be the rose gold-esque shade, obvs, but I've also loved the soft metallic red, which is always a popular winter shade.

What are your winter beauty essentials?


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