Monday, December 07, 2009

Winter Hates My Skin, But I Love Products

Wow, a lot of "hate" posts today. Whatever. I like things, I swear--there's good things around me. I'll list some of those, too. Yes, I said List. Because from time to time it's nice to do one of these round-up type of posts about what products I use. (The men in my audience have already left. Hey, come back here! I swear I will talk about Jay-Z later.)

SERIOUSLY, people. We're a nation of consumers and even though I'm trying not to be, these days, there's a few things that are making my life a lot easier right now and I wanted to give credit where credit was due. And the first item I even discovered because I ran out of lotion and refused to by more, so it's RECESSION-CHIC, and that item is:

1. Coconut oil. No fancy brand names here, no sirree. I got the big black tub at Whole Foods back in my vegan days; look for any brand that says "virgin" and "organic". Coconut oil, if you're not vegan and have never heard of it, is solid at room temperature and looks a little like lard; it's white and sort of translucent. It's used in place of butter in most vegan baking and cooking, and it's the BOMB, is what it is. There's a lot of websites that praise coconut oil in near-religious accolades, but you don't have to believe all that hype. I dug my two-year-old jar out of my fridge because I ran out of lotion and since it's barely 35 degrees, my skin will not--NOT--survive without moisturizer. I break off chunks of the oil and rub it on like an ice cube--it melts just fine, and it really works, soaking in evenly and not dripping oil spots on my clothes, and yes, I even put it on my face. But I am a) obsessed with finding single-ingredient things to put on my skin, and b) unafraid to use things like solid oil. I dug my deodorant out of a jar and rubbed it on my underarms with my fingertips for a whole year. I put arrowroot flour in my hair. (Works great as a dry shampoo! Doesn't count as a "liquid" when you travel!) I'm weird.

2. Soy Eggnong. (Silk makes the best one.) Want to drink eggnog but don't want to consume three days worth of saturated fat? Silk has your back. And it's so tasty. Good in coffee.

3. V-8 juice and powdered green mix. Speaking of weird things, I'm also one of those people that likes green smoothies with the weird textures, and powdered green mixes are no exception. I have one from Madison Market, here in Seattle, right now. I'm sure Whole Foods has an equally good house brand. I mix into orange juice along with Vitamin D drops, and I feel actually better after just a day or two of regular use. It MAKES A DIFFERENCE. And V-8 juice just because, hey, veggies are good for you and they're hard to eat raw in the winter. Eating right is one of those things that has to be done EVERY DAY to make a difference, but when you manage to do it for a couple weeks in a row, you wonder why your hair and nails and skin look so great and why you're sleeping better at night, and then you stop eating healthy and sink into a coffee-fueled downward spiral and you wonder what happened. Don't do that.

4. Silk long underwear from REI. A lot better than the stuff from Eddie Bauer, I think. And it raises my core temperature by at least a crucial three degrees.

5. Hats. I LOVE a good hat, and even a bad hat. I wear hats every day that I can possibly get away with them. (All weekend. And I'm thinking of starting to wear them at work.) One of the best things about it being cold is that I can wear hats EVEN MORE.

6. Cashmere. Yes, I know, this is such a SATC-girl thing to put down, it's SO worth the money. Even so, I only have a little bit and I got all my pieces on huge extreme sale. I took a navy cashmere hoodie to Thailand and it weighed about as much as a sneeze and instantly elevated every outfit I wore, and I never overheated. I wore a cashmere SHORT-SLEEVED T-shirt dress out last night over a pair of jeans and I was plenty warm, just sitting in the restaurant. It has some sort of magical heat-sensing addition or something. Cashmere is worth every penny, and you will never take off whatever you put on. I want socks and gloves and armwarmers and legwarmers of this magical stuff.

7. Fresh skin care. Everything I've tried from this line, I've loved. It's super expensive--like, gaspingly expensive, and I don't care. It's amazing.

8. Rose Salve lip balm. Best chapstick ever, and in fact, the only one that works. And it has a bit of shine.

9. Gangster rap. (See? Jay-Z!) Actually I have Kardinal Offishall Not4Sale on repeat right now, and it raises my whole apartment temperature by at least two degrees. Lots of energy.

Things I'm Over:

1. Zeno. This never made a difference for me, ever. It might now that I have less bumpy skin and only have a few concentrated spots, but I've already given up and sold mine.

2. Clarisonic. I might dig out my "sensitive skin" brush and give this another try, far, not impressed.

3. The Furminator. This has to be wielded in expert hands to make much of a difference. I have a great big teardrop-shaped serrated comb that works just as well and covers more area. (And was probably a tenth of the price.) And like I said, Titan mainly gets groomed by pros anyway.

4. All other forms of chapstick besides Rose Salve. I swear every other kind--even a Neutrogena kind I brought back from FRANCE--just dries my lips up more and makes my skin fall off in flakes. Gross.


1. Wool socks. My cotton ones are useless; my toes are going numb.
2. Wool gloves.
3. ANOTHER coat. My Mom is about to kill me--she just found me an awesome coat and I love it, but it's too formal for walking around the city in sneakers and a baseball hat. It looks weird. For more Titan-walking-appropriate occasions, I want a puffy waist-length one with a big hood and a fur trim around the hood.

Not much, right? Anyone else have wish-list items or product recommendations?


Celia said...

I agree: Coconut oil is pretty much awesome. Also, Silk nog. Love it. (I've been making lattes with that stuff for weeks now.)

alex said...

Vaseline Sheer Infusion (full disclosure...I played a small part in developing it). It's one of your fancy brands and it has more than one ingredient, but it's really quite good. Try it, you might like it (or ask me and I can send you some).

Aarwenn said...

Alex: OOOOooh. May I try a sample?? I will email you.