Friday, March 1, 2013

{F R I D A Y faves} Beauty :: Stay Moisturized!

I don't know about the rest of you, but here in San Diego the chill of the past winter has made for irritated and itchy, dry skin.

It's becoming a real issue.

Ain't nobody got time for that!

Fortunately, I have an arsenal of moisturizing cold-weather combats. I've searched high and low for good quality products to use during this especially dry season and come up with the following favorites.


the cold-weather arsenal.

please ignore the horrible granite in the master bathroom.
if we owned instead of rented, it would be the first thing to go.
that... and the heavily textured walls that look like the surface of the moon.

I've broken these up by the following budgeted categories:

Budget :: $ Low [Under $10]
Budget :: $$ Medium [Under $25]
Budget :: $$$ High(ish) [$25+]

For me, it's less about cost and more about what really works. It's always a struggle finding moisturizers  that don't feel like you're just putting on a watered down version of hand soap. The products to follow are ones that I absolutely love!

Budget :: $ Low

Trader Joe's A Midsummer Night's Cream Moisturizing Cream Extra Dry Formula

Say that ten times fast.

As with most of Trader Joe's products, this lotion doesn't disappoint. At a thrifty $3.99, it really works! I keep this gargantuan bottle on my desk at work for periodic moisture refreshment. 

It's also a highly inexpensive splurge, which means I'm OK leaving it out on my desk. I work in an office of women... all women. If you have lotion, gum, chocolate, or a fingernail file in a 10 mile radius they will sniff it out. And help themselves. 

If you don't have a Trader Joe's in your neighborhood, please accept my sincerest regret. I had only heard of this mythical place before moving to Southern California, where one exists as frequently as a Starbucks on every corner. It's the greatest place on earth (better than Disneyland) and that's no joke. If you ever happen to travel near a place where there is one, bring an extra suitcase and forge like the end of the world is happening. If all else fails, try Eucerin Skin Calming Itch Relief, found at most drugstores. I've used this off and on my whole life and it's never been anything but amazing. 

PS--Can we all just agree on how ridiculous the name "A Midsummer Night's Cream" is, despite the touch of Shakespearean savvy? It sounds like the name of a low-budget adult film.

Budget :: $$ Medium

Pangea Organics Hand & Body Lotion

If you have a couple more bucks to spend, treat yourself to Pangea Organics Hand & Body Lotion ($16 on The scents in this collection are earthy and natural (no walking around smelling like apple pie, here). That's my absolute favorite thing about this product. The smell is intoxicating, relaxing, refreshing, and invigorating... all rolled into one!

The actual lotion itself dries a little oily, but that doesn't bother me too much considering all of the good-for-you ingredients and healthy oils inside. Use sparingly... a little goes a long way with this stuff! While I have the Indian Lemongrass with Rosemary [and adore it!], a co-worker has the Pyranees Lavender with Cardamom and I like the scent even better. Between the two of us, our office smells like a yoga studio, pre-sweat sesh.

If you're not into the whole crunchy granola scene, you might not be running to the mountain with this one. I'll admit... it's not for everyone. 

Aveda Hand Relief and Aveda Foot Relief

Ahhh... welcome to relaxation. 

The Aveda Hand Relief moisturizing cream is probably my most favorite of all time. I got hooked on this stuff when I started getting my wig split at a fancy Aveda salon. I became a follower of their hair care products instantaneously, but it wasn't until I was getting my complimentary hand and neck massage (oh, yes) that I had to tell my stylist to hold the phone. She was using this stuff to massage my hands and cuticles, and it felt ahhhhh-mazing!!! 

The downside? Those aren't sample sizes. 
At a whopping 4.2 oz. this product comes with a pretty price tag. I learned this the hard way, when I told my hairdresser to please be sure and hold a bottle of it for me up front. When my total reached the triple digits at the check-out (for a simple trim), I thought for sure something must be amiss. But no... this little tube of magic rings in at $21 for a bottle almost small enough to take in your carry-on without being confiscated at the security line of the airport. 

For that reason alone I make these tubes last as long as possible, including cutting off the end and squeezing every last ounce from the plastic container. I have no shame in this. It's worth it. If you're looking to score some yourself, it can be found at any sponsored Aveda salon,, Nordstrom and other major department stores. 

Budget :: $$$ High(ish)

Kiehl's Creme de Corps Soy Milk & Honey Whipped Body Butter

I'll start by saying that this one is a splurge. A big one. 

After all, it was hand picked by Oprah herself for Good Morning America's Deals & Steals last holiday season. We all know that woman has good taste!

I was gifted this Kiehl's Creme de Corps Soy Milk & Honey Whipped Body Butter for Christmas last year. When I first opened the jar, I got hungry. Seriously. It looks [and smells] like buttercream frosting. It took a little... OK, a lot... of self-control to not stick my tongue in it. T.M.I., much?

I was happily lathering it on all winter long until I decided to look up where to buy more, once the inevitable sugar rush was over. I nearly fell out of my seat when I saw the $48 [!!!] price tag. Clearly... this one is going to have to last... like the rest of my life. 

But oh, it's amazing. 

Aside from the fact that it smells like the bakery of my dreams, it goes on smooth and dries with a satin-y finish. The moisturizing capabilities last all day long, and as long as you don't use enough to frost a cake with it (my apologies for all of the food references here) it will last a long, long time. This would be a perfect gift for the hard-to-buy-for person or a beauty splurge for yourself. Add it to your birthday list next year. 
You won't be sorry. 

. . . . .

There you have it! Bottom line is... if it works, go with it. 

Has anyone tried these? What did you think? What are some of your favorites?

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pookahknits said...

Eeee! Okay, so I had to read your entire paragraph about the Trader Joes' product twice because I couldn't stop giggling about the name. What am I? A fifth grader?! I'm so glad you found it as ridiculous as I. Also, you know one of my goals is to smell like a yoga studio (is that strange?) so yes, yes, yes! Gonna get me some of that Pangea!

afairlie said...

But really... A Midsummer Night's Cream? Then again, these are the same people who make Trader Ming and Trader Guisseppe... Shouldn't be too surprised ;) You'll love the Pangea! It's sooooo goooood.

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