Winter Favourites 2021
I’m well aware I’m in the minority here when I say this, but I’m sad to see the tail end of Winter, especially since we’re still in lockdown here in Melbourne (again). It’s so much easier staying home when the weather is drab and dreary, and there’s absolutely no guilt in spending all day watching movies when it’s raining outside. But since we’re about to welcome Spring it seemed the right time to wrap up my Winter favourites…
Murad Intense Recovery Cream – I have a proper review of this coming next week, but suffice to say I love it. They call it a cream, but I’d describe it as a thick, solid balm – it’s solid and buttery, but melts on contact and leaves a shine on the skin. It feels like it absorbs really well, but it leaves my skin with a protected slick on it too. The scent of this is incredible. It’s comforting and herbal, but a really fresh herbal, not at all medicinal. This is almost definitely going to be a must-have for me next Winter too, but I can actually see myself using this year-round. You can use it alone in place of a moisturiser or mix a small amount in with a lighter lotion on days when you want to add a little more oomph. Despite the glass packaging, I think this would be incredible to travel with because it’s just so calming, hydrating and soothing on the skin. If we ever get to travel again that is…
Jordan Samuel Antioxidant Serum – another product that deserves its own review is this wonder-serum from Jordan Samuel. I’m a huge fan of the Hydrate Serum already, but I picked this up months ago when I was on the hunt for a serum to use in the mornings that gave me the antioxidant benefits of a Vitamin C, without the actual inclusion of Vitamin C (my skin isn’t usually a big fan). This serum has the consistency of a dry-oil, it gives the most incredible glow and brightness to my skin and it makes my skin look and feel better, all the while getting its antioxidant benefits from non-Vitamin C sources like Resveratrol and Olive Fruit Extract – full review coming soon!
Thursday Plantation Cold Sore Treatment – this stuff is worth its weight in gold. For me, cold sores can be triggered by a number of things, but extreme changes in temperature, say alternating between a warm face mask and then going outside in Winter for example, tends to really set me off. I have a full cold sore blog post here, but essentially when I get a tingle and I reach for this.
Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil – I’ve really fallen back out of the habit of painting my nails, which is a shame because I love having coloured tips, but this cuticle oil has survived my break in routine. I leave this by the TV so when I’m just sitting there (glued to Survivor – let’s be honest) I can just massage this in while I watch. It contains Apricot Kernal Oil and Jojoba Oil to nourish and hydrate and keeps my nail beds in good condition.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Freeze – with masks taking up the bottom of my face I’ve been even more brow-obsessed than normal. I ran out of my Mecca Clear Brow Gel and instead of repurchasing I thought I’d give this a go. I’m so glad I did, the ABH Brow Freeze has the best hold of anything I’ve ever tried. My brows aren’t especially ‘misdirected’ but they are very sparse and so holding them perfectly in place helps fill in all the gaps. It has a coordinating brush that you can buy separately but any spoolie brush will work fine. Highly recommend!
Kiehls Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado – I first purchased this eye cream last year when the weather was warmer and found this to be a bit too thick for me, fast-forward to Winter and this indulgent and creamy eye treatment has my under eyes looking bright and hydrated. Full review on the blog here.
Dyson Hair Dryer – I’ve just popped an in-depth review of this on the blog here, but in essence, I love it. It’s pricey, there’s no other way of putting it, but it is an incredibly effective device and if speed and ease of use are the two biggest factors you look at when shopping for hair dryers this one deserves a look.
Garnier Skin Active Hand Repair Intensive Restoring Hand Cream – I’m not the most loyal of gals when it comes to hand cream, I tend to swap them in and out like nothing else. But this one has been a staple for months now. It’s formulated with Allantoin which soothes, softens and actually stimulates healing of the skin. Perfect for dry and Winter-effected (and hand sanitiser assaulted!) hands. It also contains Glycerin and Shea Butter but still manages to absorb really quickly and not leave any greasiness at all.
La Roche Posay Lipikar Baume AP+ – an old favourite, and a product I can’t imagine I’ll ever be without. It’s a thick cream but it absorbs quickly and the dry skin on my body just drinks it up. It has some pretty incredible science behind it; it’s formulated with prebiotics to help restore the microbiome of the skin, which works to improve the skin barrier and that helps to minimise dryness and increase hydration. Basically, it’s a saviour for really dry skin, especially eczema affected skin.
BOOKS AND TELEVISION:
The Dry by Jane Harper – I love a small town murder mystery book, but the way The Dry is written is exceptional. The storyline is plausible but unexpected, and the characters are the right amount of endearing and flawed. The book dips in and out of the current triple homicide and is peppered with snippets of the same town and people twenty years earlier when a murder was committed and the same people where involved. Loved this, highly recommend!
The Ruin, The Scholar and The Good Turn by Dervla McTiernan – a detective book series set in cold and dreary Ireland – I can’t think of a better time to curl up with this trilogy than in the dead of Winter. It follows DS Cormac O’Reilly across multiple homicide cases along his career as a Guarda (Irish police officer) and has so many twists and turns and interesting character developments. The author is Irish, but she’s lived in Australia for over a decade, so I think we can *almost* claim her as our own.
Love Island – this here is the reason why the reading has taken a complete nosedive over the last six weeks. I wouldn’t say that I watch *all* reality telly, but what I do watch I get majorly suckered into and I watch it religiously, and Love Island is no exception. If you’re after some seriously light-hearted, slightly scandalous, brain-off tv viewing at the end of the day this is for you. The most recent season has just ended but you can always play catch up.
Yuyu Hot Water Bottle – I love this thing all year round, and although pricey, I can genuinely say it’s one of the best things I’ve ever bought and wouldn’t hesitate to replace it in a second. It’s a long, skinny shaped hot water bottle that has a clever cover that has a loop on one end and a strip of fabric at the other so you can wrap it around your waist like a belt and walk around the house without it moving. Incredible for period pain, great for draping over your neck if, like me, sometimes you wake up with a little twinge and it’s the *actual* best for bad back pain. On top of all that it’s just comforting and lovely to curl up on the couch with a movie in the cooler weather and have this draped over you.
Chicken, Bacons and Mushroom Pot Pies from Nigella Lawson – Nothing says Winter in my house like chicken pot pies, and this one has been a favourite for over a decade (you can tell by the flip phone on the cover that this book was one of the early editions). Originally from the Nigella Express cookbook, the recipe is now on her website too. This super delicious and warming recipe is quick and easy, and tastes like it took hours. The bacon and thyme are a match made in heaven, the only edit I make is that we use chicken breast instead of thighs but that’s just personal preference.
So who’s looking forward to Spring? I’ve gotta be honest, it’s my least favourite season. Summer has the sun, Winter has the cold and Autumn has the brown leaves, what does Spring have? Hay fever and humid rainstorms. Okay, in fairness the flowers all come out and that’s pretty nice, but still, Spring is definitely my fourth favourite season. What season do you look forward to the most?