Surviving a Winnipeg Winter: The Beauty Edition

It's around this time of year that a lot of writing about winter beauty and fashion rests in snowy swirls upon the web. Most of this comes out of New York, or from other American states whose citizens claim to understand what winter is about. I'm sorry New York, your 2 degrees celsius has got nothing on our minus 20. And a few weeks ago, we were talking much, much colder. Don't even shudder the word "winter" at me until a two-block walk sends icy pins and needles through your thighs, or your knuckles are cracked and bleeding after passing on the hand cream for a week.

I may be coming off pretty arrogant here, but years of living in the third-coldest major city in the world  has made me a bit crusty on the topic of winter. It also makes me feel quite qualified to give advice on winter beauty routines.

So if you too have the misfortune of living in a barren, frozen wasteland, or if you plan on visiting one, here's how to get through that and still feel vaguely human.
Right out of the shower, rub oil all over your body. I'm not joking. It seals in moisture like nothing else. I love the lemony scent of Mama Bee Nourishing Body Oil. It packs a lot of moisturizing punch, but doesn't leave your skin greasy.

When it comes to face and hand creams, get thick. I'm a big fan of Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream and their Ultimate Strength Hand Salve.

Lip balm. All day, every day. I love the minty tingle and rosey smell of Smith's Minted Rose.

Use the thickest body butters you can find. The yummy scents from Tiber River Naturals are divine. Slather your elbows and legs; coat your feet, put on socks and get straight into your cozy bed. Your bedmate(s?) and/or stuffed animals will be blown away by your attractiveness levels.
Make up
Give up on it mostly, especially mascara. Unless they've invented ice-crystal-proof mascara, even the waterproof variety will leave your eyes ringed with black or your lashes break-off brittle. Rely on the icy temperatures to bepaint your maiden cheeks with a natural blush. And blue lipstick used to be a thing, right? 

If you're looking for something with staying power, I enjoy Benetint's cheek and lip stain. Revlon Colorstay liquid eye pen in black is easy to apply, stays on and gives definition to the eye without the messiness of mascara mentioned above.
Wash it less often. I typically shampoo once every three to four days and use baby powder to lift greasy roots in between. It smells great, is way cheaper than dry shampoo and goes a long way. Even back when I dyed my hair (nearly) black, the powder never showed. Shake some into one hand, rub it between your palms, then run them through your hair, focusing on the scalp near the front. Brush your hair afterwards. If there's any static, wet your hands and pass them gently over your hair.

To summarize, roll about in pools of oil, eschew make up, grease up that scalp and pray for the sweet relief of spring.

As an added note, none of these products sponsored this post or my blog in any way. They're just the products I genuinely enjoy and use. If you like them too, wonderful, just leave a few at the store for me. And if you're interested in reading more, you can find my travel skin care regimen here.

Cycling Beauty

Last week I posted about exploring a new city on a bicycle and the city cycling etiquette that goes along with it. This week I wanted to follow that up with a post on a beauty routine for cycling. In the photos my friend Lindsey took for the post I looked like this:

But when I'm cycling I typically look a little more like this:

And yes, I'm aware I'm a huge dork :) When I'm on a bike I generally don't concern myself too much with my appearance. But afterwards, I need to be able to transition into a look that doesn't scream "I just got off a bicycle and I'm really sweaty." Here's how to do that.

Putting on make up just to get on a bike is pretty pointless. Slap on some sunscreen for the ride and afterwards, splash your face with a bit of cool water. From there, follow up with your usual make up routine. Rock your bare-faced confidence, cake it on, do what you gotta do. I prefer to keep it light: tinted sunscreen, cheek stain, a swipe of mascara and lip balm. Don't have access to a mirror when you arrive and can't bear to go makeup-free? Waterproof mascara and cheek stain should stay in place while you're on the bike.

If your hair's long enough, pull it back into a french braid underneath your bike helmet. Afterwards, undo the braid for some mermaid waves. For short hair, wear a bandana underneath your helmet to keep things contained. Whether your hair's short or long, use baby powder or dry shampoo to perk up sweaty roots post-cycle.

Other than that, throw some deodorant in your bag and you should be fine: maybe a change of clothes depending on the situation.