Thursday, July 7, 2016

Winter Workers

Come this time of the year, I get lazier and lazier when it comes to skin care and makeup. My constitution is not built to withstand the cold. In the mornings, I can barely get myself out of the warm cocoon of my bed, let alone be bothered to wash my face and slap on makeup. At night, I need the simplest and most efficient way to get rid of the day's gunk and hydrate my face so it's not completely ravaged by winter. Here are the products I've been relying on to work their magic.

I'm a real beauty blogger, mom! Marble surfaces!

Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel
After literally years of hearing about this cleanser, I'm finally using it. It's okay. I'll give it 7/10. Slightly better than a lukewarm reception, but not undying love. I prefer Radical Hydrating Cleanser. It reminds me of a version of Dr Lewinn's Multi-Moisture Balm (also a distinctive orange colour) that can be washed off. It has a thin, oily texture that emulsifies when mixed with water. My face doesn't feel dry or tight after patting dry with a cloth, but it doesn't feel super plump and moisturised either.

Benefit Total Moisture Facial Cream
Had a 8.9g sample from the First Class Flirts Travel Set which I've used up. This did the trick in keeping my face pretty happy during the day after cleansing in the morning. It's super rich but not greasy. The only downside is its overpowering scent of chemicals and apples, like a high octane, somewhat putrid variant of Ralph Lauren Ralph. Still, once it's applied to the face, it feels like a smoothing, emollient layer between the skin and foundation. I noticed when I used this as my daily moisturiser, my face showed no signs of the dryness and flakiness that comes hand in hand with winter.

La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Lips
Nothing much to harp on about except to say this is a solid, effective lip balm. Instant soothing relief for chapped lips. Doesn't sting (no menthol), not oily like Vaseline, not ultra matte like Nuxe RĂªve de Miel (still has some slip). I can see this being multipurpose — you could definitely use it on dry patches on the skin or even as a hand cream if desperate.

Avene Soothing Moisture Mask
One of my all-time favourite moisturisers (I don't use it as a mask). Currently I use it as a night cream, though I could easily use it for the daytime as well. Texture is superb, absorbs super well, feels immediately moisturising on a deep, satisfying level, never balls up when you apply it or otherwise acts up. Just perfection.

Clarins HydraQuench Cream-Mask
Mainly trying to use this up as I received this 30ml tube as a gift with purchase in late 2013. I alternate with the Avene as my night cream, after getting off all my makeup in the shower with Muji Cleansing Oil (which I'm increasingly disliking, mainly because once it's anywhere near the eyes, it stings and irritates). This one takes a bit more effort and time to thoroughly work into the skin, and isn't as hydrating as the Avene, but delivers similar results. Right now, I'm not using any other serums, face oils, or masks, I skip all toners and chemical exfoliation, just cleanse with an oil and apply this or the Avene at night. My drastically pared down routine has been working fine for me even in the thick of winter.

Weleda Skin Food
Possibly the richest cream I've encountered, and I say that in the best way possible. Wouldn't recommend for the face, but it's an amazing hand cream (though needs to be used sparingly if you don't want greasy fingers). Perhaps better as an overnight hand or foot treatment to avoid transfer. Botanical scent is heaven and very reminiscent of higher end skin care brands like Aesop.

NARS Madly
I've come around from my initial 'meh' review of this blush. Madly applied with my Morphe E4 is a lifesaver these days. 99% of the time in the frigid, dim mornings I can't be bothered with separate contouring or bronzing, so it works well as a matte all-in-one bronzer/contour/blush. It instantly enlivens the complexion and is an invaluable time-saver. The neutral shade also works with anything and looks natural while still injecting colour into the face.

Maybelline Color Tattoo in Creamy Beige
Another product I initially wasn't that into, but I've since warmed up to considerably. Lately, I've been favouring a vastly simplified, minimal makeup approach. I used to use at least two eyeshadows (one for the lid, then a deeper shade concentrated closer to the lash line and blended up and out for a subtly smoked out look), but now I stick to just the lid shade. I like the matte quality of Creamy Beige for sophisticated, office-friendly, subdued definition, though if you really scrutinise, it is slightly satin. I used to think it was still too cool-toned for my colouring, but I've been finding it more neutral-toned the more I wear it. It's quick and easy to apply with the fingers, lasts all day and doesn't crease or fade. Swatch and original review here.
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