12 Days of Christmas - 7 Winter Must Haves

December 11, 2018

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We're finally getting my kind of weather here in Chicago.  We have already gotten snow, but now w're getting the below freezing temperatures I love so much.  I think it's 20 degrees outside today.  I know I'm in the minority, loving winter and cold this much, but it's because I'm so well prepared every year.  Here's what I recommend for staying warm and still having fun in the cold:


1. Oils and Lotions.  My skin is usually dry, particularly my cheeks, but of course this is always made worse by the harsher weather.  I really, really hate shelling out tons of money on high end products because at the end of the day, water is what hydrates the skin and oil traps that moisture in.  Lotions are just an emulsion of waters and oils.  I just leave the water on my face after a shower and apply oils on top.  I get mine from the Ordinary (borage seed is good for rosacea) but John also just got me jojoba and rosehip off of amazon, and those two mixed with some almond oil will last me all of 2019.  On the days when I feel like putting a lotion on to sleep in, I use First Aid Beauty, because you can't beat the price for the amount of product you get compared to how little of it you need each time.  If you're curious about oils, I recommend doing some Google searching.  It's really easy to figure out what to get for your skin type, and you'll save so much money.

2. First Aid Beauty Lip Balm I actually need this year round, I always feel like my lips are dry.  They're never cracked or peeling or anything, but I just am so used to the feeling of lip balm on my lips that I can't be without it.  This one is my current favorite because the texture is really nice - it feels like vaseline without having the petroleum in it.  Plus the company doesn't test on animals, of course.

3. Nirvana Bourbon Perfume I've mentioned my favorite many times, and a lot of readers have gone out and bought it and agree that it's a favorite.  The perfect warm and cozy scent for fall and winter.  You have to go try it, they have it at departments stores and Sephora and Ulta.

4. Sorel Snow Boots I've been using them since we got our first snow in November.  I love my snow boots, they're so warm and have great traction when it gets icy.  It's impossible to navigate Chicago winter without snow boots if you spend as much time outside as I do.  But I also wear them on cold days when there's no snow, just for the warmth.  It's a hard price tag to swallow, I know, but if you get them after the season on sale, it's easier.  In the long run, the price is worth it because they last years and years.  Maybe forever, I'll let you know.

5. Party Lipstick.  I really like bold lip colors.  Like I mentioned yesterday, I don't like buying one-off outfits for parties this time of year, so I'd rather make a statement with my lipstick choices and keep the focus off the fact that I've worn the same black dress to 3 parties in a row.  I do love trying new lipstick formulas, but right now I'm loving the Smashbox Always On Liquid Lipstick in the color Vino Noir, which is this great metallic burgundy.  It stays on really well and looks so festive.  It's also not terribly drying, so it feels comfortable to wear all night.  Fine, metallic red lipstick is not a must have so much as a fun to have, but still.

6. Fleece Lined Leggings The key to staying warm in winter, even though I wear dresses all year round, is in the fleece lined leggings.  If you don't have these, you're seriously missing out.  They look like regular leggings but the lining is so soft and warm, it's like you never changed out of your pajamas.  Right now I just have grey and black, but I might branch out into some colors soon, they're just so fun and useful.

7. Musher's Secret.  Dogs have winter must haves too.  Hawkeye's is this paw protection wax.  She absolutely would not let me put boots on her, and generally she doesn't need them because she runs hot and is a winter dog.  But when we go for a walk and there's ice and salt on that ground, that's bad for her and painful.  Musher's Secret feels like a hair wax, or thick vaseline, and you just rub a little on each paw, let it sink in, and then you're ready to go.  It forms a protective layer over the paws, and it works.  If it's good enough for Alaskan sled dogs, it's good enough for my fluffy city dweller.

What are your winter must haves?  Finally getting cold weather where you are?


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