As much as we hate to admit it, winter is on its way.
This is a bit concerning for a few reasons. One, winter is cold and dark and miserable. And two, on a more personal note, it means this baby is coming very soon. Yikes. February 14 is pretty much right around the corner from Christmas.
Even if I’m not nearly prepared for baby, at least I have a handle on my skin. The upcoming dry months mean moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. And I put together a few of my favourite things (unfortunately not in a brown paper package tied up with string) to help you take your skin from parched to pretty.
You may have read about oil cleansers and how they’re all the rage. Well, I certainly got sucked into the trend and I’m very happy I did. Some of my favourite beauty bloggers rave about Shu Uemura’s Utlime8 Beauty Cleansing Oil and now I know why. For one, it smells like a spa and secondly it leaves your face feeling clean and fresh but without that tight feeling that some lathering cleansers leave behind.
Remember the show Street Cents? If you grew up in Canada in the eighties then you surely do. I was an intern there for a little while, and it was revealed to me that some skincare companies put a lathering agent in their products just to make you feel “cleaner.”
With that in mind, you don’t really *need* a lathering cleanser to do the job. I use this every night, sometimes combined with my Clarisonic MIA. Although the Shu Uemura cleansing oil carries a hefty price tag, after a few weeks of this routine, I can quite confidently say that my skin has become a lot glowier and much less dull.
After I pat my face dry I follow up with a few spritzes of thermal water and then immediately pat dry again. It makes my skin feel like I just stepped off the plane in the Caribbean and the humidity hits you like a delightful ton of bricks. Despite the Huffington Post claiming it’s a useless beauty product, it’s become a staple for me.
I started including this in my routine after a beauty editor friend suggested it was helpful for dehydrated skin, which I’m pretty much always told I have when I get a facial. There are a few brands out there but I’m loyal to Avene Thermal Spring Water. I also often carry a mini bottle when travelling, because we all know airplanes suck the moisture out of everything. I mean, until you get to the Caribbean, of course.
A girlfriend of mine, who had a baby girl last December, would tell me that her skin was so dry in late pregnancy, that she’d use body butter on her face. I gasped in horror. And sent her a list of my favourite serums immediately. The one that tops my list is Pure and Simple Collagen Elastin Plus. The site claims it’s a “super-hydrating” serum and is also suitable for sensitive skin. It also claims to give you a healthy glow due to better skin circulation. There are no perfumes or scary ingredients, much like the whole lot of Pure and Simple products. This product has a very water-y texture and I usually use two pumps and tap it into my skin. Love it. It gets a special place on my bathroom counter.
In the depths of winter, a regular moisturizer just doesn’t cut it. For night time, it’s a facial oil all the way. I have a rotation but one of my favourites is Midnight Recovery Concentrate from Kiehl’s. I tend to use more than they suggest (3-4 drops) and just smear it all over my face and neck. It comes in a handy eye dropper bottle, absorbs easily (you won’t leave grease marks on your pillow) and my skin is visibly soft in the morning.
A great alternative to the serum/oil step is Dot & Lil’s Facial Serum. It kind of does the job of both. This small business out of Montreal makes homemade bath and beauty products and their serum is very moisturizing, filled with all kinds of good-for-you oils, such as sweet almond and rosehip seed, and a very mild and pleasant scent. I’ve also used it on my lips, which owner Anne says is totally allowed.
I’ve recently become obsessed with face masks. I’m convinced that a good face mask a few times a week can make a huge difference in skin tone and overall quality. The DHE mask from Consonant is a great option because of its exfoliating properties. Another essential process to guard against dry, flaky skin. And how’s this for impressive, it’s made from mineral-rich Manicouagan Clay, extracted from the site of a 215 million year old asteroid crash in Quebec. Whaaaaa? It’s also got alpha-hydroxy fruit enzymes that gently exfoliate skin, without stripping away the natural oils. Again, the first ingredient is water. Are you noticing a trend yet?
Also, this mask smells like a Finnish sauna. Just sayin’.
What are your winter skin tricks and must-haves?
I mean, really.
I’m not sure what else to say about this Starbucks tumbler because it’s just too much. In the way that snoring kitten videos are too much.
Stacey Bendet, the designer behind alice & olivia, teamed up with Starbucks to create this flirty little travel mug, in her signature black and white palette, for your pumpkin spice latte or whatever other beverage you’re currently enjoying at the famous coffee chain.
If you need a super cute gift for the coffee lover in your life, this would probably be a big hit. It’s available online in the Starbucks Store and yes, the tutu is removable.
I’m pretty good at leaving hints. So good, in fact, I email the BF constantly with “if you want to buy me a present” links to various things I’m coveting. He never responds to those emails.
But once in a while, he surprises me by mentioning the item a few weeks or months later. Turns out, he DOES read those emails. Sneaky little guy.
In the case of a ring I couldn’t stop obsessing about online, when he had a bit of extra cash, he gave me the green light to go ahead and buy it for myself. Pretty swell, eh?
Victoria Jarman is in the UK and she makes beautiful jewelry. On the plus side, she answered all my questions almost immediately and even provided me with extra photos to help make the final decision. My white gold and diamond ring was made to order, which makes it even more special. And thankfully, it still fits on my pregnant ring finger. Um. My right ring finger, of course.
I have a bit of a mug problem. I just really like them.
And the Perfect Mug from David’s Tea hasn’t escaped my obsession. When I go over to friend’s places and they serve tea in these same mugs, I always get a pang of jealousy.
I had a whirlwind trip to Montreal last week to take care of some paperwork following the sale of my condo, so I nipped in to David’s Tea to pick up a few supplies. (We don’t have a David’s Tea in Hamilton. Oh, the horror.)
I left with two of these fall-like mugs, along with a selection of teas. All of the Perfect Mugs come with a metal tea infuser, and a lid which also doubles as the infuser holder when your beverage has reached your desired steeping time.
And, as an added bonus, this particular leaf design changes colours when you add hot water. The black outlines turn yellow and orange. So. Fun. Sort of like one of those novelty mugs where the lady’s clothes come up when it heats up, except less stupid.
Here’s some more fun news; my friend Eve is giving away one of these mugs plus a sampling of the fall tea collection (I’ve already tried the Pumpkin Chai – so delish) from David’s Tea. Head on over to her new blog, Tellement Swell for all the details. You have until Friday to enter.
You know when you spend weeks (months!) looking at something online, and it’s just perfect and even though you keep looking for a less expensive version, they’re all ugly and you keep going back to that one item but you never quite make it to the checkout button?
Today I finally made it to the checkout button.
I’ve been designing our baby room in my head for a couple of months and my design has always included some sort of chair. I’ve wavered between an arm chair and a glider (not to be confused with a rocking chair) but with some insistence from my sister, I decided on the glider route.
It took me all of 2.7 seconds to decide which one.
When I went to visit a friend in Toronto last year, with two kids, I sat in the most marvelous glider and immediately decided I had to have it when the whole baby thing finally worked out for us.
And thus, the Monte Luca glider will be mine. I chose heather grey with white piping and a lime green pillow with white piping because those are the baby room colours. In my head. It’s handmade in Canada and is the most comfortable thing my pregnant body has sat in yet. I ordered it today and it will be mine in 6-10 short weeks.
I dunno if it’s because I no longer live in Montreal that I love this line of tees and sweatshirts or if it’s because actually, they’re really cool.
I mean, people who work at Sid Lee are pretty cool. I worked there. So it must be a little bit of both.
A lunch hour pedicure is a must when you’re a working lady.
I’ve been working in Burlington a lot, freelancing at a great little agency, and one of my co-workers told me about a great salon a few minutes away. I’ve been twice on my lunch hour to get my feet did.
Yesterday I noticed their butterfly pedi station for tiny people with tiny feet.
My nieces are six and nine and I’ve been doing their toes for a couple years, whenever they ask. The little one has a hard time with the whole concept of staying still to let her toes dry, but the older one gets it. They usually ask for fancy designs and sparkles, but tiny toes are reaaaaallly tricky to fit fancy designs on.
But something about this little pedicure chair makes me feel uneasy. Like it’s one step away from a little girl getting her makeup done. What do you think? Would your bring your little one to a spa to get her toes done?