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Winter evenings render me basically useless, especially in comparison to evenings at any other time of the year. By the time I get home from work it’s dark, it’s cold, and I usually only have enough energy left for couch related activities. Then again, there’s something to be said for the quiet coziness of a winter night. I make a lot more time for restfulness and pampering and general me-time. Whether it be snuggling up on the couch with the boyfriend for a West Wing marathon, drinking a cup of tea while I peruse my favorite blogs, or escaping into the pages of a good book while I soak away in the tub, I’m always able to find some way to enjoy staying cooped up indoors.
One of the things I also make a little more time for in the winter is my bedtime skincare routine. The cold, dry air wreaks havoc on my face, so I like to prep it as best I can for sleepy time restoration. It also is pretty darn relaxing to take 20 minutes at the end of the day to cover your face in lovely smelling lotions and potions. In honor of my favorite bedtime ritual, here’s a closer look at all of the products I’ve been loving lately for my night time skincare.
Makeup Removal & Cleansing
I love my makeup, and sometimes I feel sad to see it go at the end of the day, but I have to admit there’s something strangely liberating about removing it. It’s the cosmetic equivalent of taking off your bra when you get home from work (yes ladies, I know you know what I mean). I’ve got a couple much-loved makeup removers in my cabinet, but lately I’ve been all about LUSH Ultrabland ($16.95). You can use it as an all-over face cleanser, but I prefer to use it to break down stubborn/heavy eye makeup. All you need to do is massage it into skin and remove with a cotton pad or damn cloth.
To cleanse my face I’ve been OBSESSED lately with the No7 Beautiful Skin Melting Gel Cleanser ($8.49). This stuff is amazeballs. Seriously. I like to massage it into my dry skin to start breaking down foundation, dirt, oil, or whatever else is sitting on my skin, gently wet my hands, and then work it into a milky lather before rinsing it all away. It leaves your skin feeling clean without being the least bit drying. It’s also extremely gentle and doesn’t have a heavy fragrance.
If after cleansing, I have any residual racoon eyes (for the days with winged liquid liner and extra heavy mascara), I’ll reach for my Caudalie Makeup Remover Cleansing Water ($28). This stuff is so gentle and lovely and does an excellent job of cleaning up residual makeup without being the least bit irritating. If I’m wearing very light eye makeup I might also use this in place of Ultrabland for the night.
If my skin is being particularly cranky, or has some broken out areas, I’ll throw a toner into the mix. The Mario Badescu Seaweed Cleansing Lotion ($15) is one of my favorites. It’s alcohol free, and has Aloe and Witch Hazel to help calm and soothe irritated and inflamed areas.
Treat & Moisturize
I love face masks. They often offer so many great benefits to your skin, and they’re just plain fun to use. I don’t use a mask every night, but once or twice a week before toning I slap one on and chill out for 15 minutes while it sits. Lately I’ve been using a weekly treatment of the Michael Todd Pumpkin Nutrient Rich Facial Mask ($34). Take note, when they say all skin types except sensitive skin, heed this warning. This is not a mask for the wimpy. It gives a pretty intense tingly-burning sensation when first applied, but thankfully I haven’t noticed an increase in breakouts, redness or visible irritation after use. It leaves your skin feeling incredibly smooth, and legit smells like a can of fresh pumpkin.
Once my skin is clean and makeup free, I slather it with an ultra nourishing face oil. If you read my recent post you may have noticed that I’m in the middle of a love affair with the Ole Henriksen Pure Truth Youth Activating Oil ($45, discontinued). It’s a perfect combination of high power plant oils that feed your skin with omega fatty acids, as well as Vitamins A, C, and E. To be honest, most nights I don’t even feel the need to follow up with a moisturizer, because this provides a crazy amount of hydration by itself.
In the unfortunate event that my face has sprouted a monster pimple, The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil ($10) is my go-to spot treatment. Just a little dab is all you need to help dry up pesky blemishes.
I’m the worst when it comes to eye cream, but I’m trying my best to make it a regular part of my night time skincare routine. Lately I’ve been using the Origins Plantscription Anti-Aging Eye Cream ($48) which seems to be very creamy without being overly heavy or greasy. Lucky for me having oily skin means that my eye area tends to not feel dry and I’m not yet too concerned about fine lines. However, I guess it doesn’t hurt to take preventative measures.
And of course, I like to keep chapped lips in check with the Julep Luxe Lip Conditioning Treatment ($24) that I just got in my January Maven Box. It’s got some lovely ingredients to help retain moisture and soothe dry lips.