Monday, December 3, 2012

Monday Moodlifter: Winter Skincare

As the leaves are falling off the trees and days become shorter we have noticed it's that time of the year when we start our switch over to winter make-up routines. While this includes cooler toned eyeshadows, rosey blushes, and deep red or plum colored nails; more importantly it means it's time to switch our products to ensure our skin is protected from the cold dry air.  Here are seven suggestions from M to help protect you from the harsh cold and to add some glow to your skin.

Note: before balking about how expensive some of these products are, keep in mind 2 things:
1. When it comes to makeup, you get what you pay for.  As we've gotten older, we've found that it really pays to buy better products.  The better products stay in place and look professional all day, while the cheaper ones tend to melt and you look like you've just gotten back from the gym by 10am when all you've done is sit at your desk for 2 hours. 
2. You are using a VERY small amount of these products every day.  So, yes, $73 for 1.7 oz of serum seems ludicrous, and to some extent, it is, but keep in mind that M puts 2 pumps of this stuff on every morning and every night before bed.  She's had the same bottle since July, and has at least a month or two left. So when you factor it over 6 months, it's not as much as you'd think.

One last thing, I (M) have the most textbook combination skin on the planet.  I'll never understand how I can be so oily, but also flakey dry at the same time.  The oil gets much worse in the summer, and dryness worse in the winter.  I've found the following products by nothing other than trial and error.  As a result, I have more only used once or twice beauty products in my bathroom than some Sephora's have in their stockroom.

Sad but true: if I see a serum that says it'll clear up dark spots and old acne scars, I will buy it.  (character flaw / judgement cloud / face->palm).  I've been using this product for about 8 months and have gradually noticed dark sun spots and acne scars fade. It's not a miracle in a bottle, but it's pretty close.  I also find that it lightly moisturizes my skin after I put it on, and in the winter, my skin can use as much moisture as it can get.

Estee Lauder Clear Difference Advanced 
Oil Control Hydrator for Oily Skin

As we discussed above, I was blessed with combination skin, those of you without this characteristic, (I'm so jealous), can probably skip this product.  For those who need a moisturizer, but don't want their face to look like an oil slick by 10am, go to your local beauty counter and pick up some samples of this stuff. It is a great product, I really cannot stress that enough.  It's so light that you barely feel like you're wearing moisturizer, but it packs a punch as it works to combat dry winter flakey skin AND control shine.

Admittedly this is expensive, however, I had a sample I used every single day for 3 weeks, and it.was.awesome, so I caved and bought the full size. It should last you months...even though they say you should throw products out every couple months, I think this one can last (if stored properly) from one year to the next.

Both of these primers are incredible.  I go back and forth between the two because I can't decide on one.  I skip both primer & foundation in the summer months in favor of BB Cream & a little bronzer, but for winter, these primers are essential to moisturizing your skin, filling in any unevenness, and giving you a smooth canvas to apply foundation.  They're a little pricey, but a little bit goes a long way -- for example, I usually use a pencil-eraser sized amount for my entire face.

After almost 8 years, I recently left the Estee Lauder foundation ranks ready for something new.  I wandered into Blue Mercury, and after talking to the sales associate about my impossible skin, we settled on this foundation.  She removed my current makeup and washed my face, then used moisturizer & primer from the same brand, and applied the foundation over it and handed me the mirror.  For maybe the first time in my life, I looked like I had perfect skin!  I couldn't believe how airbrushed my face looked with this makeup -- the trick would be applying it by myself at home.  Low and behold, its not as hard as it looks, and my skin looks almost flawless (in fact, 2 coworkers have commented on how great it looks since I switched foundations). I prefer to apply with a beautyblender or makeup sponge, but a good foundation brush works too.  

I have used this bronzer since my infantile makeup days as a collegiate coed.  I may have been young and naive (ahem, hair highlight kits from CVS, Sun-In, and lemon juice), but I was smart enough to find this bronzer. Most people switch to blush during the winter, and I'm no exception.  But a couple light of swipes of this on your cheekbones, forehead, and neck/collarbone, and you'll look slightly sunkissed in the usually pale, white winter.

Nars blushes are fantastic, they last a long time,and they wear wonderfully.  This is a great hue to give your cheeks a bit of a natural glow for these pale months to come.  Just probably not a good idea to order / google this product at work... I may or may not have ended up with a computer virus after doing this a year ago...

Despite the name this is a great deep, dark burgundy-red color, think oxblood, that looks sophisticated as well as festive.  I can even get away with it at work despite working in a conservative office environment.  Just remember that it takes about 3 coats for the color to come out rich red, and a chip-preventative clear topcoat is necessary...I love Essie colors, but find that they chip after a day or two without the topcoat.

What are your winter skincare products?  Do you also find that you get what you pay for when it comes to skincare products?


  1. This post could not come at a better moment - suffering from major dry skin here!!!

  2. So glad the timing works and that this helps!