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 Favorites

  • My second round of monthly favorites! I don’t really have any pictures to add, though- should I start doing that, or should I wait until I can edit my pictures better?

Favorite Haircare Product: It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In Product Plus Keratin
It’s probably still a little early for this one, but I’m already super in love. I made an Ulta order a week or so ago (full haul coming!) and they had this as a free beauty break offer with orders over a certain amount. I’ve read about this product a lot and was super excited to try it. So far I’ve only tried it straight out of the shower when my hair’s wet, and I can tell that it’s made my hair feel thicker and silkier. That’s a good sign! I’m going to keep using it, but hopefully it’ll be true love and not just a crush.

Favorite Skincare Product: Maybelline Babylips
This is a favorite, with a caveat. I’ve discovered that these lip balms get horribly gritty after you’ve had them for a while. But I love having a tinted lip balm with SPF handy in my pocket when I’m at work, and these are way cheaper than my beloved Fresh balms!

Favorite Face Product: Urban Decay Tinted Moisturizer
Initially I tried this out and put too much on and freaked out. It was a case of Oompa Loompa Face. Not pretty. I tossed it in a corner (literally) and sulked, trying to decide if I wanted to track it down in the correct shade or not. On a whim, a few months later, I tried it again and discovered I loved it! It’s thick but not too thick, truly moisturizing, and is paraben free. It’s a win!

Favorite Eye Product: Elizabeth Mott Pop! Goes the Shadow in Champagne
I got this in my Ipsy bag and I adore it. It’s a warm rose gold champagne shimmer and it’s heavenly.

Favorite Lip Product: Revlon Kissable Balm Stain in Adore
I already love the balm stains, but why this particular color? Because it perfectly matches my Great Movie Ride costume’s bizarre shadow of red. It’s perfect.

Favorite Scent: Bath and Body Works Beautiful Day
According to the website “Beautiful Day is a fragrance as beautiful as the perfect spring day with sun-kissed apple, wild daisies & fresh pink peonies.” I don’t know if I smell all that exactly, but it’s light and fresh and delightful. Spring in a bottle, basically.

Favorite Book: The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey
I didn’t really read anything terribly new this month, just some more Philippa Gregory novels, but lately I’ve been veering towards the Monstrumology books. They’re about a young boy, Will Henry, in turn of the century England, who serves an eccentric scientist who is an expert of monstrumology- the study of monsters. There’s three books, but apparently there might be a fourth coming out?

Favorite TV: House
I watched House a bit while it was on the air, but now it’s on Netflix, so P and I have made that our nightly TV show. I don’t know where we’re going from there- Supernatural? Psych? Parks and Rec? 30 Rock for the fourth time?

Favorite Movie: Shrek the Musical
Don’t judge, but oh my god, I love Shrek the Musical. I know. The theatre snob in me is crying too. But…Shrek the Musical!

Anything you’d like to recommend, or something you’d like to see on the blog? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

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.