Skincare Routine: Winter 2017

The weather has gotten a bit colder and drier recently where I live. While I love winter and truly look forward to some great snowball fights, snowshoeing, and the hot cocoa to be had afterwards, it does wreak some havoc on my newly middle-aged skin.

I have been trialing several creams and potions the last several weeks, including some old friends and some new discoveries. My experiments have led me to a somewhat simple, yet effective skin care routine (that also happens to be composed entirely of drugstore brands). Here are the players:

The Evening Routine

Evening skincare routine, Cetaphil, Simple, Aquaphor

Simple Micellar Cleansing Water

I have found that washing my face with soap at night tends to cause it to be dry and a bit tight in our current cold weather. This micellar water removes the small amount of makeup that I usually wear (see my 5 Minute Face here) and prepares my skin to accept moisturizers more readily. The addition of glycerin, niacinamide, coupled with the absence of harsh chemicals means that this is one of the few micellar waters that don’t need to be rinsed off after application.

Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion

I was in love with the cream for so long (see that review here), I was shocked to find a product from the Cetaphil line that I liked even better! This lotion may be used on the body or face and is packed with moisture giving ingredients such as glycerin, avocado oil, and vitamin E. Even after experimenting with several fancy creams and oils recently, I find this to be the most comfortable lotion to wear. It feels as though it actually penetrates the outermost layer of skin and it leaves my face feeling very moisturized, yet not greasy (even until morning)!

Aquaphor Healing Ointment

I don’t usually use this on my face, unless the sides of my nose feel excruciatingly dry during a bout of the flu. Instead, I use it as a lip balm on really cold, dry evenings. It’s a bit greasy to wear during the day, but lanolin and panthenol help keep my lips from cracking overnight.

The Morning Routine

Day time skincare, Queen Helene, Purpose, Kiss My Face, Nivea, Clinique

Queen Helene Mint Julep Scrub

I have vacillated back and for between this scrub and other (much more expensive) competitors for years. Yet I always find myself back to this one. The packaging has changed a lot over the last decade, but the product is just as wonderful as it was back then. Made with very finely ground walnut shell and glycerin (sensing a theme?), this scrub leaves my skin soft and smooth and not dried out at all. Because my skin tends to be sensitive, I use this every other day, in the shower, and alternate with the Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash.

Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash

This is another product that I have adored for years. It is facial wash that does not dry out my skin, and best of all, it doesn’t sting my eyes! I am an absolute Neanderthal while washing my face, with water and soap everywhere; highly fragranced or stinging facial washes only make me cry. This is my holy grail facial wash.

Kiss My Face SPF 30 Face Factor

Speaking of holy grail products, here is my favorite sunscreen for the last several years. It is moisturizing but not greasy. It has a physical sunscreen, but doesn’t make my skin any paler (ghostly) than it already is. It contains ingredients like vitamin C, vitamin E, and (you guessed it) glycerin, that help improve the texture and appearance of my skin.

What more could I ask for?

Oh, it also layers under makeup perfectly and, dare I say, acts a bit like a primer! (It’s also vegan and cruelty-free, just in case that’s important to you.)

Nivea Moisture Lip Care

Nivea has released numerous lip balms over the years. None though, have I like better than this one! It is one of my favorites (as you can see here), so much so that I generally order the 6-pack from Amazon. It works great in the summer, and I find that it layers nicely under a gloss in the winter.

Clinique Superbalm Moisturizing Gloss

Another perennial favorite (review here), this gloss is a must-have for me in the winter months. Nothing seals the moisture into my lips and prevents chapping like this gloss. I suspect that the linoleic acid and the squalene do a lot of the heavy lifting here, but I also believe the petroleum/wax base does something to keep it adhered (even after coffee) and prevent drying. Even if I am forgoing makeup for the day, I still layer on this gloss to keep my lips comfortable.

There you have it; my current evening and morning skin care routine. It’s not fancy or complicated, though it is complete chance that it ended up being entirely drugstore products. These products are what is currently keeping my skin pliable and non-flaky this winter, and I highly recommend them all.

My skin care needs usually change with the season, so stay tuned for upcoming routines. What does your skin crave in he winter?

Stay warm, and stay cozy!

Clinique Moisture Surge Face Spray Review

 

I have always been a bit suspicious of facial sprays, especially those that claim to do something. I’m really unsure why I became so curious about this one. Perhaps it was the stellar review on Beautypedia, or my current insatiable need for all things Clinique (nostalgia?). Whatever it was, I’m glad it worked.

Clinique face spray

This is a facial spray that may be used morning or evening, under or over makeup or other skin care. Firstly, I’ll say that the spray itself is surprisingly refined for a pump mechanism. I was preparing for a deluge, when what I actually received was a very light and refreshing mist. Impressive for a non-aerosol spray!

I have been using this spray as part of both my morning and evening skin care routines and I have to say, I enjoy it very much. Not only is it revitalizing in the morning and soothing in the evening, but it does appear to top off the moisture levels in my skin. The blend of glycerin, aloe, and vitamin E seems to impart the last bit of hydration that my skin craves. It dries fairly quickly (while I’m brushing my teeth), so I can commence my makeup routine just five to ten minutes after application. (This is not a fixative spray and it does not make my makeup last longer…just fyi.)

Will this spray change my skin? Probably not, honestly. However, it does feel good to apply, and it does soften my skin just a bit beyond the ability of my arsenal of creams and lotions. If you’re looking for a facial spray that is refreshing a lightly softening, I highly recommend that you try this one. I have enjoyed it so much that I have already spritzed away almost one-third of the bottle, after just 2 weeks! Maybe I can see if they make a larger size…

*This product was on my Fall Beauty Wish List.

Thanks for stopping by! Stay cozy!

Clinique Blended Face Powder Review

I’ll be honest, after the age of thirty-five, I had pretty much sworn off any kind of facial powders. That was about the time that I began to notice how crepey and crinkled my face could appear with powder applied to it. I spent years avoiding powders (with the exception of blush), and learned to accept that, while my face wasn’t exceptionally greasy, I was going to have some shine on my visage most of the time.

Much to my own surprise, and very much on a whim, I recently purchased the Clinique Blended Face Powder, more out of curiosity than anything else. I had seen rave reviews on both the Nordstrom’s website as well as the Beautypedia website. So, with a little trepidation, and full faith in Nordstrom’s excellent return policy, I gave it a try.

clinique powder

I ordered the “invisible blend, ” partly because I am so pale and partly because I enjoy a more casual, natural look on a daily basis. It does seem to blend into my skin pretty well, though I am a bit dubious about how “invisible” it would be on darker complexions. At any rate, I also chose the invisible blend because it contains silica (the other colors are rumored not to) and I was hoping for a bit of pore smoothing in addition to a little shine dampening.

clinique powder

I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised by this powder. It does mattify quite nicely for me, without making my skin shrivel up with dryness. However, my favorite part is definitely the pore smoothing! It doesn’t necessarily make me look like a porcelain doll, but it does make my skin appear so much smoother. I have plenty of pores and a few scars, and while this doesn’t make them disappear, it does make them much less noticeable, even outside in harsh sunlight.

I’ll admit, it has cooled off recently where I live, so I can’t yet comment on how this powder would perform in high heat. I can convey that it seems to handle a bit of humidity quite well, not smearing or wiping off as easily as other products that I have tried.

All in all, it looks as though this may become a consistent addition to my Five Minute Face routine. (I can’t say much, however, for the brush that is included and I prefer using my own Sephora #55 Airbrush.)

What other powders should I try? Thanks for stopping by!

Stay cozy!

Clinique ‘Superbalm’ Moisturizing Gloss Review

This is another product that I have used on and off for about a decade. It is a necessity for me when we are traveling to very arid climates, or during chilly times of year. It is the one gloss or balm that can keep my lips from cracking when we visit the desert to see relatives. I have gone through at least one tube, I have one that I am currently using, and I have already ordered a backup. Always prepared!

Clinique Superbalm in lilac

Clinique Superbalm in lilac

While I would argue that this gloss is not at all sticky, it does cling to the lips tenaciously. Of course, I believe this is how it helps protect the lips from the ravages of polar winds and torrid climates. In very hot or humid weather it can feel a tad cloying or goopy, but those aren’t usually the situations in which I crave an incredibly moisturizing gloss anyway.

If you are looking for a gloss that provides intense moisture, protection, and shine, I heartily suggest this one! If however, you are relying on a gloss for color, this may not fit the bill. It comes in a small range of colors and they are all quite transparent. The palest lips may see slight variations in shade between them, but most of us will not.

Most of the shades have some shimmer in them, which you can see through the tube; yet, one of the aspects I love about this gloss is that it never looks glittery. The texture is absolutely smooth, if not just a tad thick. There is no odd residue left on the lips after it wears off, and wearing off does take a while. This is most definitely not one of those lip products that disappears minutes after application.

Clinique Superbalm, thickly swatched

Clinique Superbalm, thickly swatched

This is a petrolatum based product that also contains, amongst other things, vitamin E, squalene, linoleic acid, and aloe. It has very little, if any, scent, and no taste. It does not currently contain SPF.

This is unequivocally in my top 10 lip products of all time (and I love lip products). I hope this review helpful and I appreciate the read!

Thanks, and stay cozy!

Fall Beauty Wish List

As we bid summer farewell, and begin to embrace fall, we may contemplate editing our beauty routines so as to compliment the change of season. This time, I thought I would share some of the items that I am considering.

autumn

I have seemed to gravitate to more economical products for skin care and beauty over the preceding year, although I do have a long history of experimenting with products from all spectrums of the beauty world. Lately however, I am experiencing a “wanderlust” of the more expensive varieties (department store at least, if not luxury). Will I actually collect them all? We shall see, but these are the products that I have been secretly coveting for a while now…

Chantacaille Brilliant Gloss (Lucky)

I have had this lip gloss on my mind for almost 2 years, perhaps? Ever since I serendipitously saw Youtuber Amelia Liana feature this on her channel, I have fantasized about picking this item up. It is a beautiful light pink and is said to be very moisturizing. Unfortunately, I haven’t yet been able to justify the over thirty dollar price tag, though this year I may take the plunge!

Kate Somerville Dry Skin Saver Moisturizer for Face, Lips, and Body

Understanding that the onset of the colder seasons will most likely wreak some kind of crepey, and possible peeling, effects on my skin, I find myself craving anything that portends to help keep me moisturized! This moisturizer contains glycerin, squalene and sunflower seed oil, all of which would seem to be very promising aspects! It also comes in a four-ounce tube, which actually also makes it a bit of a bargain, given its pedigree.

Clinique Blush Brush

I love blush, it is my absolute favorite cosmetic product. So I guess it would make sense that my favorite makeup tool might be a blush brush. Given that they can shed, lose their shape, wash badly, etcetera, it can be difficult to unearth a decent one. I love the shape of this one, and I think it would suit my face shape perfectly! I’m not sure what the bristles are made of, but given the shape and the generally quality of the brand, I think I might be willing to take the chance.

Clinique Moisture Surge Face Spray Thirsty Skin Relief

This probably would have ideally been a summertime purchase, but I’m still considering adding it to my fall beauty routine. This is purported to have a fine, pleasant mist and contains aloe, glycerin, and chamomile to help moisturize and calm the skin. (I have heard this can be used on hair as well, intrigued!) This product also gets high praise from beautypedia.com. (Update: I purchased this! Review here.)

Herbivore Botanicals ‘Phoenix’ Facial Oil Roller

I must admit, I am curious about this entire line! I’m not usually too concerned (regretfully) about preservatives in my skin care, but I am wowed by some of the ingredients in these products. Specifically, the ‘Phoenix’ oil includes rosehip oil, sea buckthorn oil, and CoQ10; all components that are quite therapeutic for the skin in my recollection. This roller is a more economical version as compared to the full size, and the price just my tempt me to give it a try. (Their packaging is spot on as well!)

And there you have it, my list of beauty cravings for the fall quarter! What products are you lusting after this fall? What should I try?

Stay cozy!

*All products listed here are available at Nordstrom.com. This is not a sponsored post and does not contain any affiliate links. I just really happen to like Nordstrom!