Friday, February 27, 2015

Winter Skin Saviors

Its no secret that Boston has been having a brutal winter. Besides the endless snow and winter woes, this season poses a new set of threats to your skin. The frigid temps, high winds and intense dry indoor heating can leave your skin parched, flaky and irritated.

I suffer from dry skin, especially on my forehead, year-round, but it kicks into high gear in the winter. This winter in particular has been especially terrible for my skin. Dry patches are also showing up on my cheeks and chin. I knew it was time to change up my skincare routine. Here are the products that have been helping to soothe my skin:

Nivea A Kiss of Smoothness Lip Balm

This is my daytime lip balm that I keep in my purse. I love this balm, because as the name suggests, it glides on smoothly and doesn't irritate my lips. There's no dragging or tugging, it just feels amazing to apply and it gives my lips a burst of moisture.

ELF Lip Exfoliator

This stuff is my tried and true. It isn't as nourishing as when I make my olive oil and sugar scrub but it is easy and mess free. I keep it in my medicine cabinet and use it about once a week to keep chapped lips at bay. Its gentle enough that I can use it every few days if my lips are going through a dry spell.

Yes to Grapefruit Facial Scrub

I have to be careful with facial scrubs, the more rough ones leave my skin red and irritated. This one is oh so gentle and smells amazing. It is marketed as being gentle enough to use daily. While I don't use it everyday, I use it every other day in the shower and it does a great job at sloughing away the dry patches without making my skin mad at me.

Mario Badescu Caviar Night Cream

This is a thick and luxurious night cream that is a godsend to very dry skin. I put this on at night after moisturizing and toning. It does take a long time to sink in and you do look like a grease slick after applying so I can see why this is a nighttime-only cream. When I wake up my skin is nourished and glowing and I can see a vast improvement in my dry patches.

Lush African Paradise Body Conditioner

This is an in-shower body lotion. After cleansing, I slather this on my body, as I would my hair conditioner, and then rinse it off. Some people have reported that after using this they no longer need to use their regular body lotion. Although I don't find this to be the case for me, I do notice that my skin is much more comfortable after getting out of the shower. Usually my skin starts to itch and beg for lotion as soon as I dry off. When I use this, my skin is much more calm and I don't feel like I have to hurry up and put lotion on. Another thing I've noticed is an improvement in my eczema. During the winter I get a few patches of eczema on my legs. I have a prescription steroid cream but I don't like to have to constantly use that. I've noticed that since using this product, my eczema isn't totally cleared up but its definitely looking better and its not as itchy.


The most effective step in my winter skincare has been incorporating a humidifier. About a month ago, my skin was at it's worst point. Regular exfoliating and moisturizing wasn't cutting it, so I knew I needed to try something different. Growing up, I remember my parents having this big beast of a humidifier that they used to run at night outside the bedrooms to help put some moisture back in the air during the winter. I decided to capitalize on this idea and picked up this little guy at Target. I love it because its small enough to fit on my bedside table so that the vapors are directly hitting my face. I have to tell you that it really works! Since I've been sleeping with my humidifier on I've seen such an improvement in my skin and I'm no longer getting those out of place dry patches.

I hope this gives you some ideas on how to change up your skincare to keep your skin moist and healthy during the winter. Do you have any fixes for dry winter skin?

Shop this Post:

Nivea A Kiss of Smoothness Lip Balm
ELF Lip Exfoliator
Yes to Grapefruit Facial Scrub
Mario Badescu Caviar Night Cream
Lush African Paradise Body Conditioner

Friday, February 20, 2015


In case you haven't heard, Boston has been suffering from one of the most brutal winters on record, clocking in at 95" of snow so far this year and counting. Technically this is the city's second worst winter on record, but we're only a foot away from topping the list! Not sure that's a title I want us to claim. 

Besides all the snow we have: frigid temperatures, roads that have turned into roller coasters thanks to endless potholes and frost heaves, houses look more like igloos with icicles reaching all the way down the ground, ice dams and roof collapses are an ever-present fear and if you don't have a roof rake, you're pretty much screwed.

Here's what we've been dealing with out in the burbs:

Besides the obvious problem of running out of space to put all this snow, we're dealing with our old friend, the ice dam. We had a small leak in our roof a few years ago so this fall, Mike decided to be proactive and installed a heat trace de-icing kit to the edges of the roof. Its designed to create channels in the snow and ice so that water can flow off the roof and doesn't back up and cause leaks. They seem to be somewhat working on the front and side of our house but the back where the two roofs meet up is the trouble spot and our roof still leaked there. 

At this point we started the search for a roof rake. Of course they were sold out everywhere and we had to order one on Amazon. Once it finally came Mike did what he could with the roof rake but the ice dams were just to intense and we ended up having to call in a roofing team to clear the roof of snow and break up the ice dams. Now at least the roof is much more manageable and we just have to keep up with the roof raking after each storm. 

If you look closely you can see the rope of our tire swing. The snow is almost up to the roof of our shed.

Dale is the only one enjoying the snow. The first thing he does when he goes outside is flop on his back and roll around in it. He just can't get enough! He is great at adding some comic relief to a stressful situation. I just love dogs.

Just wanted to give a glimpse of whats been going on around here lately and why I've been a bit MIA. I know I promised to try to be more positive about winter this year but this endless parade of winter storms is making it difficult!

Send warm thoughts my way!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Spotlights Review

This is a limited edition set from Becca Cosmetics which features mini sizes of three of their Shimmering Skin Perfectors. I picked this up over the holidays and have been loving it ever since! Becca's pressed powder versions of their highlighters have a cult following so when I saw that I could try three of their liquid highlighters for only $25, I jumped at the chance!

The three colors in the set are Pearl, Opal and Champagne Gold. Pearl is a glowy white, Opal is a pinky nude and Champagne is an iridescent gold. I've been wearing Pearl a lot since my skin is very pale right now, but Opal can also work. Champagne is a bit too dark for me at the moment but I'm going to save it for the summer months when my skin has a little color.

Here they are slightly sheered out:

Becca describes the finish as "subtle luminosity that provides a prismatic effect". I mainly use these as a highlighting product on the tops of my cheekbones and a little down the bridge of my nose. They can also be mixed in with your foundation to give an all over glowy appearance. They are similar in consistency to Benefit High Beam, but the Becca spotlights are more creamy and blendable.

Becca also sells these separately. The full size bottles are in a pump form. They are 1.7 oz and retail for $41 each. The mini sizes have a straightened doe foot applicator and are about the size of a lip gloss at 0.17 oz. The amount you get in each bottle is much less than the full size, but a little goes a long way. Since the price of three of these smaller sizes is still much less than one full sized shade, I think you're still getting a good value. 

I apply these in two ways:

I either make three small dots with the applicator to the tops of my cheekbones and then blend it out with my ring finger and lightly bring it down the bridge of my nose. My favorite way to apply these is with a small stipple brush. This one from ELF is amazing for cream products and is available for only $3 at Target. I dot some of the product on the back of my hand, dip the brush in and stipple it onto the tops of my cheeks and a little bit down my nose. 

Final Thoughts:

For the $25 price tag I think this is an amazing value. You get three different highlight colors. Two of the three shades are in the permanent line but Champagne is limited edition and is only available in this set.

These are limited edition and they are currently sold out at Sephora and Ulta, but you can still order them directly from the Becca Website. Happy Highlighting!