Winter Hair and Skin Care (Even in Florida!

Disclaimer: All the items I talk about in this blog were purchased by me, except for two items that were gifted to me through the Influenster program. This post isn’t sponsored, I just like stuff!

I know, I know. I live in Florida. The sunshine state, right?

WRONG. It got into the 30s last week! I think my friend Ronnie summed it up the best.

I have super thin Floridian blood that is no longer accustomed to anything colder than 60 degrees. I’m a delicate magnolia blossom who withers in the frost, y’all.

The other problem is that Florida is the land of humidity- after all, I work in the middle of a renovated swamp. It’s constantly humid, but when it gets cold out the air invariably gets a lot drier. And that means I get a lot drier. I’m basically like Spongebob on that episode where he goes to Sandy’s treedome for the first time. So here’s what I do in the three weeks of Floridian winter to keep from freezing and drying out!

-A good shampoo and conditioner. My hair is super fine and porous, so I try not to wash it too often. That’s the nice thing about the Floridian winter, though- my hair is less frizzy in the drier air, and I sweat much less than I do in the summer, so I can get away with even third day hair. But I still want to keep my hair moisturized, so I splurged a little on the OGX collagen shampoo. Hopefully it’ll help. I also will typically braid my hair at work to keep it out of my face and reduce the likelihood of snapping my fragile strands as I yank a headseat microphone off my head ten times a day.

-A thick, moisturizing body wash. My skin gets really dry in the winter after a summer of heat and humidity, and I don’t have time for lotion. (Seriously, who has time for lotion?) Instead, I use the Dove winter care body wash. It’s very thick and creamy, and it keeps my skin soft and moisturized for the winter without having to go through all the effort of slathering on lotion. I think Dove has a summer care body wash, so when it’s hot again (so like…March) I’ll give that one a try too!

-thick eye cream. I started using eye creams when I was still in college, so I have very few lines around my eyes (thanks, past Caitlin!) The skin around my eyes is very fragile, and I’ve noticed some new freckles popping up under my lower lash line. I’ve been using the Origins ginzing eye cream (via an Influenster box) in the mornings and it’s just the right combination of creamy and fast-absorbing. I might switch to something even thicker though- any recommendations?

-thick face cream. I luckily have pretty good skin (combination: normal on the cheeks and the chin, slightly oily on my T zone) but I try to take good care of it. I’m pretty vigilant about washing my face in the morning with a mild cleanser (currently the Soap and Glory Face Soap and Clarity) and using a toner, eye cream, moisturizer, and sunscreen immediately afterwards. Right now I’ve been using the L’Oreal Revitalift cream, (also via an Influenster box). It’s a thick cream but I’ve noticed that it’s really helped with the slight texture on my forehead. Night time…is a different story though. I rarely wear makeup to work, but unless I shower before bed (a new habit I’m trying to develop) I usually forget to wash my face! When I do, though, I use the Ponds Crema S for dry skin. It’s ridiculously thick and I joke with my boyfriend that my face smells like a grandma, but there’s a reason that Ponds has been around as long as it has. I get the tiny travel jar of the cream and it lasts for literally months because you don’t need much of it.

-hand sanitizer and lotion. I keep hand sanitizer everywhere! This is a year-round thing for me. I spend all day touching stuff after other people- steering wheels, headsets, stroller handles, push buttons, handlebars. And that doesn’t even count for how dirty the entire attraction! Everything is covered in a thick layer of dirt. So to stay clean and germ free, I keep Bath and Body Works hand sanitizer everywhere, especially in the side pocket of my work backpack and on a loop on my water bottle. (Right now I have Twisted Peppermint and a blue summer scent; I have several aromatherapy scents ready to go as soon as they run out.) But that dries out my hands, so I carry around a tube of hand lotion as well. I have literally a box of mini hand lotions (thanks, Ipsy and Birchbox) but right now mine is…well, it’s from our resort room from the time my family got a surprise upgrade to a villa in Saratoga Springs. It’s the H2O Marine Sea Salt scent. It’s more summery in scent, but it’s very thick and smells amazing. (Also apparently people are selling the resort freebies on eBay for like $15?? Wow, what a market.)

So that’s a few of the things I like to do to keep my hair and skin in shape during the winter! What are some products and tricks that you recommend?

Products I’ve Used Up: Part I

(Disclaimer: none of these products were given to me and I was not sponsored! Everything was purchased with my own money or came as a sample from a subscription service.)

I didn’t really get into the beauty product scene until I was out of college. My beauty routine in high school didn’t really go beyond showering every morning and occasionally dabbling in some (terrible) makeup choices; in college I occasionally used a hair or face mask and stuck to minimal makeup (usually concealer, mascara, and cherry chapstick). When I was out of college, I started teaching at a K-12 school, and because I was super young and looked even younger, I decided it was time to really start wearing makeup. That led me into YouTube beauty vloggers, and not only did I start trying out real makeup looks, I also started taking much better care of my skin and hair. I’m still not perfect at it (hello, forgetting to take my makeup off at night) but it’s made a huge difference.

At this point, I never purchase new beauty products without looking up their reviews on the internet. I’m not going to invest my money in something just to find out it was a waste, right? So I thought I would review some of the products I’ve used up (or gave up on) recently!

-Garnier Micellar Wipes: I rely on cleansing face wipes for a lot of reasons. I use them before bed to take my makeup off, I use them in the morning to clean my face if I showered the night before, and I use them before and after performances. I really liked the Garnier micellar wipes. The wipe itself has a very soft texture but a strong weave, so it didn’t tear up my skin or dissolve in my hands. My skin felt very clean afterwards, with no sticky reside. I’ll buy again!

-Pantene Detangler: Full disclosure: my hair is the worst. I have baby-thin hair but it’s very coarse and dry (also, I desperately need a new hairstyle and a great haircut, so any recommendations would be welcomed) and because my hair has that weak, stretchy feeling, I use detangler to minimize pulling or breaking more hair than normal. The Pantene detangler is okay. It did its job preventing breakage, but I felt like my hair was kind of coated afterwards. I also didn’t really like using it on dry hair. I need a detangler, but I’m not sure I’d buy this one if more options are available. I’m on the fence!


-Dermalogica Age Smart Daily Super Exfoliant: This was a sample from a Birchbox. It’s a very unique product- it’s actually a mildly abrasive powder that you mix with water to create a paste. It’s a little messy, but as an exfoliant it worked great. It wasn’t so abrasive that you can’t use it every day, but not so gentle that it doesn’t make a difference. As a higher-end brand, it’s not currently on my radar as a product that worked so well that I could justify the price, but it is a very good product. I’d buy again if the price is right!

-St. Ives Apricot Oil Scrub. Here’s what happens when you don’t check your reviews ahead of time. I only used this scrub two, maybe three times before I tossed it. It was awful. The oil base is thick and syrupy, and the apricot flecks were far too hard on my skin. Luckily I used it in the shower, because using it at a sink would have caused an oil-based catastrophe. The residue never completely washed off either; I had a little bit of stickiness for the rest of the day. I didn’t end up wasting too much money. I had a coupon on the Target Cartwheel app and it was an item on Ibotta as well…plus the scrub was already on clearance and I haven’t seen it since. (That should have been a sign.) I’m not going to buy this again!

-Too Faced Better than Sex Mascara.I got this as a sample. I had gotten recommendations for this mascara all over the place, especially from my friend Bri, but I didn’t get around to trying it for ages. I absolutely loved it. It made my lashes look very thick and very long, and it lasted for a decently long amount of time. This is why I always prefer sample size mascaras. I can pay ten dollars for a full size drugstore mascara or ten dollars for a sample high end mascara, and in either case I’ll end up tossing them in 3-6 months (I know, I know, I hold onto my mascaras a little longer. But I know I’m not the only one.) I’ll buy again!

I hope these were helpful! But I’m always on the lookout for new things to try. What are your all time favorite and all time worst beauty products? I want to know!

April 2014 Birchbox: Rainy Days

This is not a good picture and I apologize. Also, that dresser is not actually dirty- it got scuffed in the move.

But anyways! I love subscription boxes. It’s so exciting. Like mini Christmas. P doesn’t understand, but he likes seeing me happy and doesn’t mind when I decide to tell him the contents of every box.

Gilchrist and Soames Spa Therapy Body Wash (full size: $15)
This is just a body wash. No scrubbies, no purported benefits. Just a nice body wash. The texture is smooth and jelly-like, but the smell…it smells like your grandma’s potpurri basket. I was disappointed, because I love sea-smelling things, but this smells like a scented candle from the Christian bookstore.

derma e Hydrating Night Creme with Hyaluronic Acid (full size: $29.50)
You know they’re serious when it says creme instead of cream. But seriously, this is a really generous sample size. I love it. I haven’t gotten to test it yet, but with that much to work with, I’ll be able to get a really good run.

Cynthia Rowley Beauty Eyeliner in Silver (full size: $16)
Will I ever use a silver eyeliner? I don’t know. That’s the challenge now. But it’s creamy and goes on easily, so if I ever need one, it’ll be a good one. But would I ever buy a silver eyeliner? Nope.

Color Club Gala’s Gems Nail Polish in Gold Struck (full size for the set of four: $13)
I’m not a huge fan of Color Club polishes- they seem runny and streaky to me. But the color itself is lovely, a pale gold with a warm, almost rosy tinge. It’s definitely the color I wanted the most from the set (there’s also a pearly white, a blue, and a green).

KIND Healthy Grain Bars in Maple Pumpkin Seeds with Sea Salt (full size box of 15 for $11.88)
This was weird. The texture is like the Nature’s Valley bars (thin and very crispy). But the first taste is WHOA MAPLE SYRUP, and then it dies down to the weird slipperyness of the pumpkin seeds, and randomly you’ll bite into a granule of sea salt. Like it’s an actual crunch into a grain of salt. Very odd. It was good, but I won’t buy them myself.

Get your own Birchbox here!

April 2014 Ipsy: Beauty Rocks

First of all, can I just say that I’ll be really excited when I have a computer that can run photo editing software? My netbook, Wilbur Robinson, is limping by on his last legs and it’s a miracle I can blog at all.

In any case, I adored this month’s Ipsy bag. The theme was “beauty rocks,” and I’m pretty sure I could come up with a pretty decent rocker chick look from this collection.

The Bag
The bag itself was mildly underwhelming, but the record print is pretty cute. It just doesn’t seem terribly sturdy.

Urban Decay 24/7 Velvet Glide-On Eye Pencil in Black Velvet (full size: $20)
I have a couple of travel sized Urban Decay pencils in the normal glide on formula, but I didn’t even know about this velvet variation. The Google tells me it’s new. It’s supposed to be matte and warm toned, and is meant for smokey eyes. I’ve been using it pretty regularly to tightline my eyes and it’s glorious! No smudges, and my lashline looks thick. Perfect. Plus, Urban Decay is one of my favorite brands, so thank you, Ipsy!

Coastal Scents Medium Shadow Brush (full size: $2.49)
This was another A+. You can never have too many shadow brushes, and this one is soft and doesn’t shed. I also got a 25% coupon code, but brushes aren’t a priority at the moment so I haven’t indulged. But I like the brush!

Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion (full size: $78)
This is a great scrub. The cleanser itself is creamy but not too thick, and the grit is super super fine. And it smells like lemons. At the same time, it feels more like a regular scrub than a deep microdermabrasion, but it’s nice. And no way is it worth $78.

Elizabeth Mott Pop! Goes the Shadow in Champagne (full size: $12.99)
THIS IS A WIN. This is my new favorite shadow. It’s a warm rosy gold shade of champagne, and I’ve found it looks bright and brilliant all day long when I layer over my beloved Maybelline Color Tattoo in Barely Branded. And there’s no fallout. I have no clue about this brand at all, but this shadow is a new favorite.

Starlooks Luscious Longwear Lip Pencil in Naked (full size: $14)
True confessions: I’ve never used a lip liner before. I just don’t see the need! This pencil is really creamy and really pigmented, though, so I found I could put this on and layer a gloss on top without it looking odd. Will I buy a new lip liner? I seriously doubt it. But I don’t mind this one at all.

Sign up for your own Ipsy here!

March 2014 Birchbox: Spring Forward

So this is what my Birchbox should have looked like:

This is what I ended up with instead:

Confusing, right?
Originally I didn’t receive the Gilchrist & Soames conditioner or the 100% Pure eye cream. I sent an email to Birchbox and they told me they’d send my missing samples within a few days. So I got my samples and…they still weren’t the right ones! I got another packet of the 100% Pure wrinkle cream (are they trying to tell me something?) and two packets of Ojon hair masks. So…now I’m just confused. What I’m guessing is that they ran out of the original samples. That seems likely, right? In any case, it’s nothing to get up in arms about. I’ve never had a problem with getting wrong or missing samples before in the past year and a half of subscribing to Birchbox, and I don’t feel like it would be terribly likely.
In any case!
I love tinted moisturizers- although this one is labeled as both a beauty balm and a tinted moisturizer, so I don’t know what it precisely qualifies as. But I love that it has a high SPF, because FLORIDA. I wear sunscreen 24/7.
Gilchrist & Soames London Collection Shampoo and Conditioner Duo (full size: $29)
I only got the shampoo. It smells really nice, though! I’ll still use it, most likely with my Organix moroccan oil conditioner.
It’s a hand cream. It smells nice, but really. Hand cream isn’t something I’m really looking to try.
Didn’t get it in my box, and I’m sad.
Dark chocolate, cherry, and almond. YES. THIS IS A WIN.
Final verdict for my March 2014 Birchbox: It’s a pass. Other than the chocolate and the Coola, nothing was terribly exciting, and the sample mixup made me sad.