Mid-Winter Favorites

I've never been very consistent about writing favorites posts, but I really want to do better this year.  I'm not going to promise weekly or even monthly favorites, but I hope to do a favorites post at least every two or three months.   Starting today!  Keep reading for a look at some of the things I'm currently loving...

Andalou Naturals Brightening All-in-One Beauty Balm
I included Andalou's BB Cream in a wishlist post when it first launched, but when reviews and swatch photos started cropping up, I mentally scratched it off for being way too dark and orange for my fair skin.  When I got my hands on it two years later in a goodie bag from a Goodness Me! blogger event, I almost passed it on unopened, but thankfully my curiosity got the better of me.

As you can see, the color is legitimately pretty orange and not remotely close to my skin tone.  (Mere technicalities!)  I'm not sure how, but a thin layer somehow manages to blend in and actually work on my ultra pale, middle-of-winter skin.  I end up looking tanned - but not orange - with super glowy, fresh skin.  Coverage is very minimal, although it does even out some discoloration.  The finish is also a little dewier than I prefer, so I like to lightly dust over it with a powder, which takes down the dewiness, adds a little extra coverage, and helps the color look a little more seamless and natural.  

The other incredible thing about this product is its effect on pores.  Conventional makeup usually relies on silicones to manufacture a barrier that gives the appearance of poreless skin, but somehow, this silicone-free option also manages to minimize the look of pores and lends them a similar filled in appearance.  AND, it's not just a temporary, makeup thing - my naked pores actually look smaller and more refined after a few days of using this product.  When I stop using it, they gradually go back to normal, and then when I use it again, they become noticeably smaller within a few days.  Pretty impressive!

Crazy Rumors Plum & Peppermint Lip Balm
I like the formula of Crazy Rumors lip balms, but the individual flavors are very hit or miss for me.  Plum & Peppermint is a total hit!  It's super fruity and brings back memories of BonneBell Lip Smackers, although it doesn't smell fake the way those do.  To my nose, there's a hint of peppermint, but the predominant scent is definitely the plum.  I've been alternating between this and the Rocky Mountain lip balm I wrote about earlier this week, and my lips have stayed super soft and protected despite how cold it's been.  

Meow Meow Tweet Lavender Deodorant Cream
You may recall my attempt to make Schmidt's deodorant work for me, and while this time playing kitchen chemist did eliminate the burning and rashes, I ended up with twice as much of a deodorant that I still don't crazy love.  I've been putting off buying any new deodorant until I work through all that, but when Meow Meow Tweet's Lavender Deodorant Cream came in the December Petit Vour box, I decided it was okay to take a break from my never-ending Schmidt's to try it out.  The formula is very creamy but dry on your skin, which I love.  I find most cream deodorants tend to be either hard or oily, so I really appreciate how soft the Meow Meow Tweet Formula is without feeling greasy on the skin or leaving oil stains on your clothes.  The company's Baking Soda Free deodorant has gotten a lot of love recently, so I think that will be my next purchase (months down the road when I finish the Schmidt's!) but the baking soda in this original formula also hasn't caused any irritation for me.  

Young Living Oregano Essential Oil
I've blogged about my difficulties getting rid of build up on my scalp and reviewed several clarifying hair products over the years, but when I came across this blog post on It's An Itchy Little World, it hit me that maybe what was going on wasn't product build up, but rather a very minor case of seborrheic dermatitis.  Jennifer's post has a lot more information, but in very short summary, seborrheic dermatitis is a yeast overgrowth in the body that causes increased oil production.  I've successfully managed my scalp by using a homemade Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse a couple times per month, but once this new information presented itself, I wanted to try to eliminate the cause - systemic yeast overgrowth - as opposed just treating the symptom.  

I was already taking probiotics and I decided to incorporate oregano essential oil in addition.  Oregano is most well-known for immune-boosting, but it's also has anti-fungal properties that are effective on yeast and candida.  I started out with 5 drops of oregano in a veggie capsule twice daily, but gradually increased the dose to 12 drops twice daily.  A lot of the oregano oils you buy are diluted, but Young Living's is not, so I diluted it myself with olive oil, since straight oregano can burn your stomach.  The results have actually been pretty amazing!  I noticed within the first couple days that my skin looked better, and that's only gotten more true as time has gone on.  It's taken longer to see results on my scalp and I've just recently started to notice a real difference after 2-3 months of taking the oregano.

I've also read that seborrheic dermatitis on the scalp is quite similar to cradle cap, and when I was talking about this with my mom, she mentioned that I was born with a bad case of cradle cap.  It's fascinating how these kinds of things connect!  Also interesting is how this experience has made me more aware of other factors that were affecting my scalp.  I eat a very clean diet for the most part, but during these three months, there was a night I had Swiss Chalet and another time I went out for cheap thai food and both times I noticed a flare up on my scalp by the next day, which I'm attributing to these more processed, sugary foods that were probably also full of chemicals and preservatives.  

I'm not a medical professional or attempting to give any sort of medical advice, just sharing what has worked for me.  Before purchasing any oregano oil to take internally, please make sure you're buying a high quality oil by reading my 3 Things You Should Know Before Buying Essential Oils.  

BareMinerals The Perfect Storm Ready Eyeshadow 2.0
BareMinerals is what I consider a somewhat natural brand, but I feel comfortable with the ingredients in most of their powder products.  I placed a Sephora order a few weeks ago - my first Sephora purchase in nearly three years according to their records - and got this eye shadow duo as a free gift with purchase.  I've wanted to try the Ready Eyeshadows for a while, and while I wasn't super excited about the colors in the duo to start with, but I ended up loving both of them!  Cumulus is a satin white that sheers out into the perfect brow bone highlight and Tempest is a great taupey grey that works beautifully in the crease with virtually any eye look.  The duo isn't something I see myself using much by itself, but both shades are incredibly useful and I'm very happy to have them.  The shadows are soft, smooth and pigmented and I'm impressed all around.  

I can't find The Perfect Storm duo for sale anywhere, but as of today, you can still get it free with a $30 Sephora order and the code "READY" 

What have you been loving lately?

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  1. Lovely picks! I love the sound of the Andalou Naturals BB Cream and the Bare Minerals palette.

    1. Thanks Megan! I think you'd enjoy both of those :)