Winter Survival Guide: Beauty Edition

So it’s been getting extremely cold in Vancouver the past couple of days (and the rest of Canada shakes their head at us). But seriously, today is a whopping -5 degrees Celcius, with a high of -2. Us university students are buried in final exams, papers, and it’s a stressful time for everybody. I haven’t been able to write much cause the last few weeks have been absolutely crazy, and I got very sick over the past week. And to top it off, my home’s heater broke and I’ve been freezing for the past week or so.

But amidst the craziness, the temperature changes have made my skin and hair very dry (when it is normally oily), and I’ve had to take extra time out of my day to take care of it and make sure it stays moisturized. I thought I’d share some of my tips and my favourite products to help combat the chilly weather.

Image

1. MOISTURIZE YOUR FACE. While this may seem like a no-brainer, you’d be surprised at how many people are lazy when it comes to moisturizing, myself included. I have oily skin, so I can normally get away with just washing my face with Cetaphil and going to bed. But in the wintertime, even my oily skin gets dry, and so I make sure to moisturize my face before I head out the door and before heading to sleep.

Moisturizer doesn’t have to be expensive (I messed up my skin last winter trying out high-end products), but it does have to work for your skin. I’ve been using the Neutrogena Oil-Free Sensitive Skin Moisturizer for around 4 years now, and it works beautifully for both morning and night. It’s light and water-based, but still hydrating, and I’d imagine it work for a large range of skin types. And it only retails for $10-$15, and one bottle lasts a very long time.

2. STAY HYDRATED. This is important year-round, but especially during the holidays. All that cold weather, central heating, and alcohol at holiday parties will really dehydrate your body and dry out your skin. Drink plenty of water (and no, cocktails don’t count) to keep your body and your skin happy and healthy.

Image

3. Okay, even I’m surprised that I’ve included body lotion into this. I’m not going to lie, I am very picky about moisturizers, and I don’t like 99% of the lotions I own. I find body lotions in general to be very sticky and uncomfortable (and don’t even get me started about body butters). But I was gifted this Sugar Lemon Body Lotion by fresh by a friend on my birthday, so when I noticed that my legs were getting dry from the weather, I finally gave it a try- and I LOVE it. It’s so light but hydrating, sinks into my skin like a dream, and smells exactly like it sounds. My legs are visibly less dry after only a couple of uses. It has a hefty price tag for a lotion (around $30), but for me it’d be worth it, because I don’t remember the last time I actually liked a body lotion.

I discussed my favourite hand cream in an earlier post, which you can bet is equally amazing as I am just as picky about those. I’ve been reapplying every couple hours, whereas every other time of the year you’d be lucky if I applied it once a week.

Image

4. Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate! A few years ago, I wondered why I was suddenly breaking out come Fall/Winter, and read in a magazine that it is especially important to exfoliate in the winter, as those dry, dead skin cells build up on your face and leave it looking dull, and can lead to breakouts. And it turns out they were right- within a week, my skin had mostly cleared up. I have been using this one lately in the shower: The Body Shop Aloe Gentle Exfoliator. It is REALLY GENTLE- actually a bit more gentle than I’d prefer, but it does the job and doesn’t irritate my skin. This would work for even those with hyper sensitive skin- the beads are microscopic and will not irritate you in the least.

To compare the products side by side:

Image

From top to bottom: Neutrogena moisturizer, Fresh body lotion, Body Shop exfoliator

They all look extremely similar, all light, non-irritating, sensitive-skin friendly, and do their job well. (Excuse my hand.. it’s rather tired looking)

Image

5. Can’t forget about the lips, cause I don’t know about you, but I constantly have to reapply this time of year. These two have been my favourites lately, and the Burts Bees Lip Balm has been my favourite for years. Since the beginning of high school. My whole family loves them. The Vaseline Lip Therapy is very potent and great for bedtime. I apply it with a Q-Tip (because I hate dipping my fingers into jars) before bed, and wake up with soft, smooth lips.

Image

6. As for hair, this has been my love for the past few months. I have long hair and very, VERY dry ends, and this really helps to hydrate my hair and smooth it out. The Aussie 3-Minute Miracle Deep Treatment was also a gift from a friend, and it is seriously amazing. I’m not even joking- it is a miracle for it’s price ($2.99!). However, at the moment you can only get this in the states, so if you can get yourself down there, I highly recommend you try this out. I stocked up at Target, but you can probably find this in similar department stores.

Because I like to recommend products that are mostly affordable and can be easily accessed (I am a student after all), another hair mask that I love is the L’Oreal Total Repair Replenishing Mask.

Image

If you can’t get your hands on the Aussie one, this one is also really hydrating, inexpensive (around $5), and lasts for a long time. This is also a staple in my shower. Just an FYI: I use hair masks/deep conditioners as my everyday conditioner.

Image

7. And because you know how much I love using face masks to de-stress, this Moisturizing Cream Mask by Caudalie is very soothing and hydrating. The reason why I don’t have my own photo of this is because I received a deluxe sample of this and used it all up. It’s a splurge at $42, but this is one of the few moisturizing masks I do like. I typically prefer clay masks for oily skin.

And that is it for my tips on surviving the winter season. Stay warm, stay hydrated, and take care of your skin! Good luck to those in the midst of exams, and have an amazing and well-deserved break!

Image

Happy Holidays from me to you! Thanks for catching up with me!

Why I Love Bioderma Micellaire Solution So Much

(This is my first attempt at a real product review blog post, so bear with me. I’ve reviewed tons of things on makeupalley.com, but this will be my first time writing a full review on a product.)

Image

This miracle in a bottle has been my obsession over the past couple of months. I first found out about it from following some European beauty bloggers on Instagram, who kept talking about it and including it in their daily routine photos. Bioderma is a French company, so it’s readily available all over Europe, but a little harder to find here in North America.

A few months ago, I noticed that Shoppers Drug Mart had a display for this product, called Sensibio H2O, in the 250 ml bottles (as well as one for oily skin called Sebium H2O). It was pretty steep, priced at $22.00 before tax, but I decided to give it a try anyways.

What this is: It is a no-rinse, gentle, yet effective cleanser and makeup remover. It looks and feels like water, and leaves your skin feeling squeaky clean without drying it out.

Image

My most recent haul of Bioderma Sensibio H2O (travel sizes) with a free bonus gift

I was initially disappointed because it wasn’t very good at taking off my Revlon Colorstay foundation. It took tons of cotton pads to get it all off, and I didn’t like wasting so much product as it is quite expensive. I alternate between Revlon Colorstay and a much lighter pressed powder depending on how long I will be out that day, but obviously it had no trouble taking off the powder.

Even worse, it was terrible at taking off any sort of eye makeup. I don’t even wear mascara or waterproof/liquid makeup on a daily basis, but it failed to even take off pencil liner.

However, after further experimenting, I found a skincare routine that was perfect for me and Bioderma just fit right in. I had used Neutrogena makeup wipes for years to remove my makeup, and prior to using Bioderma, I -thought- it took everything off, including foundation and non-waterproof eye makeup.

Image

But I was wrong. I followed up on the wipes with the Bioderma solution, and lo and behold:

Image

What is this?!

There was still a considerable amount of makeup left of my face. I was shocked to see I hadn’t been removing my makeup properly for years. The wipes also leave a residue on my face that I always hated, so thus evolved the best and most thorough cleansing routine I’ve ever had:

Neutrogena Wipes get 90% of the makeup off, but leaves a residue.
Bioderma Sensibio H2O removes the rest in 1-2 cotton pads, gets rid of the residue and leaves my face feeling squeaky clean without stripping it of moisture, and makes my skin feel super refreshed.
I then follow up with Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, which further cleanses my skin and makes sure there is no dirt, oil, or makeup left on my skin.

I also use Bioderma in the morning because I am too lazy to wash my face it makes a big mess when I wash my face over the sink. It removes the oil and dirt from my face, and then I follow up with moisturizer and sunscreen.

I have noticed my skin looking considerably clearer, as before I would just skip the morning face wash altogether. Now that my makeup is completely removed at night, and I start the day with cleansed skin, my skin is thanking me for it.

I don’t think I will ever stop using it unless something better comes out, and so far, nothing quite compares to the quality and feel of this product. I just wish it were easier on the wallet.

Final verdict: If you haven’t tried this, go out to your nearest Shoppers and try it now. Right now.