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.

Travel Skin Care Regimen

Generally I pride myself in being a pretty low maintenance gal, but the one exception is my skincare regimen. In my opinion, healthy, luminous skin is the foundation of any beauty routine, so even when I'm away, I make sure to take excellent care of my skin. Here's my process:

I start the morning by just splashing a bit of cool water on my face. I've found that my skin breaks out less when I only wash my face at night. I go to bed with a clean face anyway, so washing again in the morning just strips away the moisture and natural oils my skin needs.

Next, I apply Willa's tinted natural sunscreen all over my face. This product is actually designed for teenage girls, but it's amazing. The sunscreen contains natural, good for you ingredients and the product is light as air. It goes on smooth and doesn't looked caked on in natural light the way a lot of foundations (even high quality liquid ones) look on my skin. I would seriously recommend this product. It's the best I've ever used.

I also spread Josie Maran natural sunscreen on my neck. I put on sunscreen every day at home, but I'm extra rigorous about it when I'm travelling, since I'm generally spending a lot of time outdoors. Originally, I applied this product to my face every morning, but for whatever reason I found it really irritating to my eyes. I still love this sunscreen, but I can't really use it on my face anymore.

Last, I treat my lips to a coat of Smith's Minted Rose Lip Balm. Mint and rose? Yes please! Plus, I love the subtle pink tint and the packaging is too cute.

At the end of the day, I wash my face using Burt's Bees Purifying Daily Cleanser with Willow Bark. I spread the gel cleanser over my face and then wash and exfoliate with my Clarisonic Mia. There's been a lot of buzz around the blogosphere about the Clarisonic, and with good reason. This tool is seriously incredible. My skin is smoother, more luminous, and nearly blemish free since I started using it. The Mia even helps make up to go on smoother! It's a splurge, but so worth it. And this smaller version of the Clarisonic is compact enough to easily pop into your suitcase.

Next, I apply Nuxe SérumCrème Fraîche. I decided to try this serum out recently when I was at Shoppers Drugmart and had some points to spend. It's highly moisturizing and a nice little treat for my skin. 

After that I use a benzoyl peroxide-based prescription gel (not pictured). I've had oily, acne prone skin since puberty, and this helps keep it under control. 

Finally, I rub in Keihl's Skin Rescuer Stress-Minimizing Daly Hydrator. I switched this out a few months ago for their Ultra Facial Cream, which is a bit heavier and perfect for winter. I like this moisturizer too, although I may try their Ultra Facial Oil-Free Lotion next.

Are there a lot of steps to this routine? Sure, but it's actually not particularly time consuming and the results are well worth it. It's also not cheap, but I think quality and (mostly) natural products are worth it. My skin is important to me, and I don't mind putting my money into it. I also wear very little to no make up at home and particularly on my travels, so I save money in that area.

What about you? Thoughts on my routine? What are your favourite skin care products?