If there’s a more luxurious product than this, I’d like to meet it. The packaging alone deserves a place on your mantelpiece (and it would want to given the sizable financial investment). The heavy brushed-gold vessel is designed to be kept forever and refilled with a glass vial containing the precious Nocturnal Night Balm. Hidden in the lid is a gua sha tool or “Nocturnal Massage Stone” and the cream itself is thick, unctuous and delicately fragranced – a totally decadent counter to winter’s moisture-sapping conditions.
LESS: Tonic Heat Pillow
After years of hiding my ugly wheat bags away in cupboards, I’m so happy to have found a beautiful heat pillow that I’d be proud to leave lying around. Tonic have a gorgeous range of fur, boucle and teddy fabrics that are not only cuddly but come in neutral colour ways worthy of any minimalist home. These heat pillows are filled with barley rather than wheat, which can get a funny smell when it’s overheated. They can be used to heat chilly toes at night, to soothe period and muscle pain and to cuddle up to just any old time.
I’ve been a Lano fan for years and swear by their 101 ointment for chapped lips, but lately I’ve been pawing over their hand creams too. This rich creamy lotion contains tripe lanolin, vitamin E and shea butter and comes in four delectable flavours including Coconutter, Vanilla, Rose and my favourite Milk & Honey. It’s soothing and quenching and sbsorbs swiftly without the worry of you leaving massive grease slicks everywhere. Win!
I really hate to have to tell you this, because it falls into seriously ‘considered purchase’ territory, but this cult cream is absolutely deserving of its everyone-is-talking-about-it reputation. I wanted not to like it, partly owing to my contrarian nature and partly because I don’t know if I can ever afford to replace it, but it might just be one of the most glorious moisturisers I have ever used. It truly perfects skin, leaving it dewy and more even-toned even after a single application, and is a divine base for makeup. Now, don’t be put off by the word Rich in its name – it is sumptuous and nourishing, certainly, but not occlusive or heavy. You should be aware that there is a lighter version, simply called The Cream, but unless your skin is exceptionally oily, I would not even consider choosing anything but this version – it even worked wonderfully for me when I had active acne breakouts.
For all that this product is called a cleanser, it really comes into its own used as a mask, especially at this time of year. It has a thick gel texture, and once applied gives a gently warming sensation. This can be more or less intense depending on how your skin is that day, but I never found it unpleasant. The scent of real honey is definitely noticeable, but as it’s not artificial or sickly, it adds to the overall soothing experience. You can expect mild exfoliation while the mask is on, and upon removal with a warm wash cloth, you’ll have smoother, more comfortable skin with a happy glow.
I usually rely on Bioderma’s iconic micellar water for my eye makeup removal needs, but this specialised version might just have pipped it at the post. Due to its milky texture, this feels even more soothing, and is ideal for really taking care of your delicate eye area. Plus, there is none of that annoying, oily film that so many other bi-phase makeup removers leave behind, and it doesn’t sting my extremely sensitive eyes. I apply it on a reusable cotton round (I swear by the Garnier ones), and hold that over my lashes for a few seconds to let the ingredients get to work, instead of relying on manual tugging. Then, when you swipe it away, every last trace of makeup is gone, from waterproof mascara to lash glue to the inkiest of liquid liners. Instead, everything is left in one cartoonish stamp on your cotton pad, which is quite a sight to behold.
LUXE: Farmacy’s Honey Potion Plus Ceramide Hydration Mask
As someone who feels the chill, I have an egregious reliance on my indoor heater. While this keeps my toes toasty, my skin unfortunately suffers for my comfort. My top pick for parched, dull Winter skin is Farmacy’s Honey Potion Plus Ceramide Hydration Mask. The name is a mouthful, but the golden hue and delicious scent is super comforting. It includes ceramides and panthenol to repair my poor skin barrier and honey to rehydrate, and best of all – it produces a gentle warming sensation when massaged into skin that’s extra satisfying when the weather outside is gloomy.
LESS: Summer Friday Pool Time Glowing Body Oil
The aforementioned dependency on my heater also leads to scaly legs (and is there anything that sounds less seductive than ‘scaly legs’?). While a body oil in Summer can leave me feeling slimy, cold weather is a great excuse to bring out my extra-rich body products. Slathering on the Summer Friday Pool Time Glowing Body Oil is the perfect pick-me-up in Winter: the warm coconut, vanilla blossom and almond scent recalls sunny days by the pool and distracts me from the current dreariness, while the hint of shimmer feels fun and glamorous, even if I’m just putting on my cozy PJs and sitting back on the couch for another Netflix sesh.
LEAST: Garnier Body Summer Moisturising Lotion Sunkissed Look
Though it doesn’t really make sense to have a Gold Coast-worthy tan in the middle of Winter, adding a hint of colour to my naturally translucent skin tone make me feel so much healthier, and somehow motivates me to maintain that Summer body… even when getting out of my cozy bed at 6am to work out is pretty unappetizing during the colder months. By far the cheapest product in my beauty regime, but one I’ve used for a very long time now, is the Garnier Body Summer Moisturising Lotion Sunkissed Look. The Fair to Medium tone adds the slightest golden tint to my skin, and at $6, I don’t mind slathering this on whenever I need a pick-me-up.
Winter not only wreaks havoc on the skin, but it can also make our locks more prone to frizz, static and dehydration. To combat this effect, I opt for the Silver Bullet Oval Showbiz Hot Air Brush – a multifunctional tool that can be used as a hairdryer, straightener, curler and volume booster. Whilst heat-styling tools get a bad rap for being damaging, this gem swiftly dries my tresses whilst enhancing the quality of my locks, because the tourmaline ceramic barrel has a smoothing and high-shine effect. In winter I love sleeping in (which means less time to prep my hair) – but with this brush it only takes me about three minutes to tame unruly knots and produce sleek and straight hair.
LESS: Aspect Hydrating Mask
I have been searching for a heavy-lifting face treatment that replicates the dewy glow one gets post facial. But finding a product that produces this effect during winter is a herculean task. Aspect Hydrating mask is like a gulp of water for dry skin – it made my skin look plump and glass-like! Although the moisturising effects of this mask are first class – I would caution against using this if you have active breakouts as it’s very heavy and could aggravate your spots.
Winter is known to exacerbate flakiness and congestion; your skin may overcompensate and produce more oil when it’s dehydrated. However, I’ve been pretty lucky and never had to switch my routine between seasons – until this year. My usual cleanser left my skin feeling like the Sahara desert and I started breaking out in a pitiful combination of comedones and dermatitis. Gallinée perfume-free cleansing bar was one of the only products that helped salvage this mess. The French soap smoothed the texture of my skin, calmed redness and imparted a luminous glow. It also prevented breakouts, without drying my skin.
Winter is not my friend; I have incredibly dry, flaky & newly sensitive skin that reacts to anything fragranced. I recently started using Tropicology’s Avocado Revitalising Serum and woah can I say, it’s so light and refreshing, yet deeply hydrating. It’s a naturally active serum, which simulates collagen production for firmer and more radiant skin. A special mention to Tropicology’s other stand out products, Avocado Body Oil, Body Moisturiser and Hand Creme – I would be lost without them this season!
I am normally a Le Labo Santal 26 candle devotee, however the new Heavy Petal candle by Glasshouse Fragrances has me hooked, albeit with a much more attractive price tag. When it’s lit, it’s fragrance alone warms the room. The scent is quite smoky & woody, and would definitely be considered uni-sex, can confirm husband also thinks it’s quite pleasant, win!
LEAST: ORLY Nail Defense
With less events on during winter and it being more socially acceptable than ever to sport bare nails, I have dedicated the last few months to working on strengthening my nails after they were damaged by a botched shopping centre shellac job. The ORLY Nail Defense has been a saviour to my dry, weak, peeling nails AND gives off a chic shine. It can also be used as a base and top coat – no more need to sacrifice the health of your nails for the love of a mani!
When wearing layers and layers of clothing it’s so easy to lose the scent of your perfume (and get a little sweaty too). That’s why I have picked Versace’s fragrance Jasmin Au Soleil Eau De Parfum, a light and refreshing scent with notes of honey, lemon and cedarwood. The perfume itself comes in a sculptural bottle packed into paper boxes embellished by a gold-Stonecreek Key border painted by hand which makes spraying this perfume a whole experience that adds a little sunshine to the gloomy days.
I have always been conscious of my hair looking weak and brittle during winter, since using the Gisou honey-infused hair oil I have noticed how moisturised, soft and healthy my hair has become. The brand promises to repair and rebuild hair to the core and this is primarily done with their natural humectant, honey! The product is lightweight and effective, you can use it for pre-styling, overnight treatment or daily styling. Cold weather and rain won’t get the best of your hair while using Gisou’s hair oil.
Cold temperatures cause dry skin and irritation, thats why the Bondi Sans Fresh’n Up Gel Cleanser has become one of my staple products this winter, this cleanser is great for excess oil and redness on the skin but does not leave my skin feeling tight or itchy. The Calendula Extract, Chamomile and Aloe Vera in the product are great ingredients for sensitive skin. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly product that can double as a makeup remover without causing any type of irritation this is a must.