Winter Favorites 2015

Hey, guys! I just got back from a sunny and warm vacation, so I figured with spring about a week away (!!!), it’s a good time to talk about my winter favorites.
You may have noticed that I haven’t been doing monthly favorites. I figured that until I can post videos and blog posts more often, it doesn’t really make sense to spend so much time planning, filming, editing, and writing for my favorites so often when I could be spending that time making more reviews and other helpful videos. So, I thought that sharing my favorites every three-ish months might be more time-effective, and hopefully less repetitive. Let me know what you think.

So, jumping right into skincare: Winter is where good skin goes to die. I have combination/oily skin, but in the winter I get the worst dry patches. But by the end of winter, I had my set of products that really seemed to make a difference in my skin.
First, I’m going to start with the real game changer. I heard that moisturizer alone doesn’t really put moisture back into the skin so much as it makes a barrier to keep existing moisture in. So if you have dry skin, you should be adding moisture back into the skin before a moisturizer. I decided to give this a shot with the PCA Skin Hydrating Serum, and I have to say, I’m a believer now. It’s a serum that almost feels gel-like, and it completely absorbs into the skin in a matter of seconds. All I did was tap a little bit of this into the places where I was most likely to get dry patches, and I honestly haven’t had any problems with flaky skin since. I definitely recommend this product or something like it if you deal with dry, flaky skin!
Over that serum, I’ve been using and loving the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream. It’s meant to soothe redness and calm skin, which has come in handy both for my face and also for itchy skin anywhere on my body (like the sun rash I got over my spring break…). I love that it’s versatile and can be used on the face or body, and it is the most amazing moisturizer. It’s light and not at all greasy, so I can see myself using this even when dryness isn’t as much of an issue for me. It has no added fragrance, so it has a clean, sort of clinical scent to it, but I really like it. I’m amazed that I haven’t run out of this trial size yet, because I feel like I’ve been using enough product to have gone through at least two bottles of this by now.
Finally, my beloved Glam Glow Thirstymud Hydration mask has been a lifesaver. I talked about this in my Glam Glow set review from a few months ago, so I’ll try not to repeat myself too much here, but basically this mask smells like coconut, sugary goodness and completely resets my skin when it needs a little love. I can’t say enough good things about this product. Also, when I was in Sephora most recently, I saw that they had some sample sizes of these masks (finally), so you can try it out without committing to the $70 jar. Woohoo!
Now onto the makeup… I’ve got a few things to talk about here!
I’ve been using both Anastasia Brow Wiz and Dipbrow Pomade in Soft Brown just about every day. Even when my skin needed a break from makeup, I used these two products to fill in my brows. I love that I can get a natural or sculpted look with either or both of these products. Also, these are both in the same shade and are actually the same shade, which seems like a simple thing, but how many times have you purchased a lip liner that claims to match a certain lipstick, but it’s way off?
I’ve been reaching for me Maybelline Eye Studio Gel Liner a ton this month. It’s easy to use and lasts all day. It’s even a little difficult to get off without an oil-based makeup remover. I’ve had this little pot for a loooong time, and it doesn’t seem to be drying out anytime soon.
My favorite eyeshadow during the winter has been L’Oreal’s Infallible Eye Shadow in Amber Rush. It’s a very warm and golden rose gold, which has been helping to warm up my face during the harsh winter. I love this shadow alone or in tandem with other shades for a full eye look. It’s really pigmented (I mean, did you watch the video??) and stays in place all day.
My favorite contouring powder has been my MAC Blush in Taupe Shape. I got this from a giveaway at the end of the summer, but my skin was a little darker back then and I needed something more bronze-toned. Now that it’s winter and I’m pale as can be, I’ve been loving the subtle contour this blush gives.
I am addicted to the Maybelline Dream Lumi Concealers (this one is in Radiant). I got my first one over the summer and finally used it up, so I got a shade that is about my skin tone as well as this peachy brightening shade. I love how well this concealer neutralizes and covers up my dark circles, and it doesn’t crease or flake off during the day.
My go-to overnight lip balm this winter has been the Aquaphor Healing Ointment. I’ve talked a little about this before, but basically I purchased this when I got my tattoo to help heal my skin, and afterwards, I started using it on my lips. I even got my (male) friend addicted to this stuff when he asked me what I’d recommend during the winter. This adds a bit of shine to the lips as you apply it, so it can be nice during the day if that’s what you want, but otherwise it makes a great overnight balm.
I haven’t been able to put down my Real Techniques Sculpting Brush, which I use to contour my face. I saw this at Ulta a couple months ago when it first came out, and I knew I’d fall in love with it. It’s the perfect size for contouring, and it’s very soft and dense, which helps blend product. And for only about $8, I highly recommend this as a staple for any budget!
Finally, I have a couple of fun things.
I got these American Eagle Earmuff Headphones a few years ago from my sister, and I’ve been using them a lot this winter. They’re great because they really do keep my ears warm while still acting like headphones. These have been perfect for the bus rides to campus!
Finally, a snack. These Dark Chocolate Chunk Kind Bars have been my to-go breakfast staple. They’re kind of like those Quaker Oats Chewy Bars from my childhood (anyone else remember those?), but with healthier ingredients, and just generally being for grown-ups. Every time they’re on sale, I grab a few boxes! You can also get them on Amazon if your store doesn’t carry them.
That all about sums up my winter! Did you all survive alright? It was pretty nasty here in Pennsylvania, but I know a lot of the more eastern states got way more snow than we did. Hopefully it’s beginning to look a little like spring for you all as well.
Stay warm!
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