7 Products To Help You Survive the Polar Vortex

This winter has been cold in Canada. Like, lose yourself in a snowbank, slip on the way to work because it's been freezing rain for 48 hours, cold. 

If you know me in real life, you know I could bake in the sun for days on end. So, needless to say, me and my body are NOT happy about this whole "polar vortex" thing we've been forced to endure.

Working in the beauty industry (mostly relating to hair and nail care), I thought that I had become fairly well versed in products. Turns out, I needed to completely switch up my routine when it came winter this year since the conditions have been SO severe. My skin was drier (understatement of the year...I could have EASILY been mistaken for a reptile my skin was so dry), my lips were cracked, my hands and elbows broke out in a rash, my cuticles were peeling, and my hair was breaking. I was in shambles.

In about a month, and with some fantastic advice and great product recommendations, I have completely turned my beauty regimen around and it's worked miracles for me. So much so, that I am writing a post because I feel everyone should be using the following to help them get through the next 31 days until Spring hits (and, let's be honest, have we EVER had an Easter here that hasn't had snow?).
1) Clinique/Moisture Surge Overnight Face Mask

When I woke up in the morning, my skin was so dry and tight it felt like I'd gone for Botox in my sleep. I knew I needed a hydrating mask that I could leave on overnight to lock in the moisture I was losing. After doing my research, I learned that Clinique was not only good for sensitive skin, but it doesn't test on animals: bonus. This product changed my life and I would 100% recommend. Use a dime sized amount, rub on face, see miracles in the morning. (Approx. $40, Clinique)

2) Caudalie/Thirst Quenching Moisture Serum

I put this on underneath of my moisturizer in the morning. It's oil free and hypoallergenic. Essentially, it balance moisture levels on the skin, helping you to not overproduce or underproduce natural oils. It gets everything back to normal. It doesn't replace a daily moisturizer. It's pricy, but worth it. ($48.00, Sephora)

3) Body Shop/Vitamin E Moisture Cream

A very basic daily moisturizer that hydrates the skin. I wanted something light, specifically because I was treating my face with the two intensive moisturizing products I mentioned above. This does the trick. ($17.00, Body Shop)

3) Bite/Agave Lip Mask

This was a game changer for me. Normally I can't wear lipstick in the winter because my lips are MUCH too dry and flaky. Put on a tiny bit of this product overnight, wake up and your lips are smooth as summer. Everyone should have this product! ($30.00, Sephora)

(Note - I also tried the Fresh lip treatment. Although not as intensive, I do love it and put it UNDER my lipstick every day, or wear it on it's own, to keep everything smooth).

4) Heavy Cream Intensive Hand Repair Balm/Cake

It contains 20% shea butter. I already knew that shea butter was an amazing product when it comes to dry hair, so I figured it would probably be great for the skin. Not only does it smell like cupcakes, but my dry elbows and hands disappeared after using it nightly after about a week. It is extremely thick, so a little goes a long way. It definitely would not replace a daily body moisturizer - only for dry patches! ($22.00, Murale)

5) CND/Solar Oil

My cuticles were peeling and my nails were falling apart. I'm a big fan of CND products (original creators of shellac), so I knew this would be a winner. It's a dry oil, so it absorbs instantly, and it has jojoba and vitamin e to relieve dryness. It will also absorb into the actual nail (even through polish!) to strengthen. ($11.90, Chatters)

6) AG/Reconstruct Anti-Breakage Mask

For extremely dry, damaged, and chemically processed hair.  Great, I (had) all of the above. AG is a more natural line that is certified cruelty free. It also is based out of Vancouver so it's Canadian! Obviously I have to support them. This mask is SO creamy and thick. AG products are also notorious for smelling amazing, this is no different. Leave on for 8-10 minutes one to two times a week. See your hair shine. ($35.00, Trade Secrets)

7) Macadamia/Healing Oil Treatment

Some people are afraid of putting oil in their hair. Please don't be one of those people. Serums, which were popular in the 90's, have made people afraid of making their hair look greasy. Fun fact: A hair serum sits on top of your hair, making it look shiny and greasy. An oil will absorb into your hair, treating it instantly while imparting shine. Use a very small amount daily, and see results in about a week! Macadamia oil is made from Macadamia seed oil and Argan oil, a lighter alternative to regular Moroccan oil to those of you that have finer hair like me. I use a pump and spread it throughout my hair. I have been doing this for 3 years now and rarely see any split ends. (Trade Secrets, $40.00)
This is me. We live in igloos up here in Canada. Seriously! (Just kidding. I don't live in there. But it DOES fit 10 adults comfortably and makes a super fun fort.)

There you have it. A fool-proof way to mask yourself (literally) against the harsh cold of the polar vortex. Honestly, some of the products I listed above are pricy. I do realize that: but I'm a big advocate of "you get what you pay for". Since they use less water and filler, they're more concentrated and will last longer! The ingredients are pure, the companies are ethical, and the truth is: they work. I can always justify the cost when I know that a product is going to work.

Think I'm missing something from my list? Message me and let me know!


(un)Finished: In Transition

Time to do some major catch-up!

Jeff and I have been laying low lately. I have been loving my quiet time: taking baths, starting (very hard and frustrating) 1000 piece puzzles, reading a book a week, being able to finally make a dent in my very long "I'll read it later" list of internet articles. Listening to  Beyoncé on repeat. Eating all my favorite foods! February has been a very indulgent month for "me" time.

We have also been on the hunt for a new home, looking at apartments every weekend. It's fun to see an empty space and try to picture yourself living there. I love where we are now, but it isn't hard to become obsessed when you see modern white finishings and a fresh bagel shop next door. It looks like we may be looking at an April 1st move in date - the day Jeff and I celebrate our five year anniversary! I couldn't imagine a better way to spend it then settling in our new place. I have also had a few interviews (hint, the "transition" title of this post). I don't want to jinx anything, so that's all I'll say about it here!
We planned a last minute roadtrip to visit some friends in Toronto in January. I LOVE roadtrips. I also love having great travel buddies! We're all pretty similar in the way that we don't always plan ahead: this time, it led us to some pretty hilarious and unexpected adventures.

We spent quite a bit of time at Bellwoods brewery, where the boys dreamed of brewing beer and starting their own business. Of course, we also had to stop in at every bakery and burger joint until we couldn't fit any more food in us if we tried (trips that revolve around food = win!). We even managed to squeeze in some shopping time on Queen Street. 

Before heading home on Sunday, we went to the Drake Hotel for brunch. Jeff had told me that it was incredible (not only the food, but the decor and ambience was very unique). Made-to-order blueberry scones and chicken and waffles are their signature items, and I can honestly say there isn't a day that has gone by since where I haven't thought about that meal. Ah-mazing.

Their general store is attached to the hotel, and it was a full-on hipster hangout. I can't say I didn't love the selection of quirky merchandise though - this is where I saw the above Gin & Tonic card. I think it was made for me. Instead, I walked out with more then a few rolls of washi tape and the new Kendrick Lamar record. Totally guilty.
Despite MAJOR sickness going around in our household, I was spoiled with a three course meal this Valentine's day - see above for our delicious Mediterranean eggplant/lobster pasta dishes! I am SO grateful to live with a good cook. He's a pretty good boyfriend too I guess ;). 

I told Jeff I would make dessert, and my strawberries and cream cake turned out pretty delicious.  And pretty cute too! I feel like it's okay to compliment myself, mainly because I have no problem admitting that there has been so. many. failed. recipes in my past...Ha. I adapted the recipe from Gimme Some Oven. My favorite part of baking this cake was definitely reading the sayings on all of the hearts before I stuck them on. "My Pet" and "Baby Luv" were my favorites.

I just realized most of this post revolves around food. I guess I'm okay with that, because most of my life revolves around food as well! In fact, it's just about time for me to sleep so I can dream about the vanilla latte and fresh chocolate chip muffins I'm going to have in the morning...

What are you eating this weekend? 
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