For some reason the moment I think I have the holiday season under control, that is the exact moment an influx of more things to do falls in my lap.  My goal is to get all my holiday shopping done ASAP so I can actually enjoy myself.  I felt so accomplished after my shopping trip yesterday certain I was way ahead of the game.  Then, my kids came home from school with all sorts of papers citing holiday supplies, fundraisers and activities to add to my to-do list .  My #holidaygoals were quickly dashed.

In the spirit of making life a little more lighthearted as we all tackle our ever-expanding holiday to-do list, I decided to post something fun.  I am always talking with friends and family about potential topics for this blog and I have been encouraged on more than one occasion to share some of my favorite beauty products.  For the record, I don’t think any of you reading this needs to improve on how you look. Even though I haven’t met you, I think you are beautiful as is.  I’m only offering suggestions on things that I like, that have worked for me and that I actually use.  I’m by no means an expert and most days I don’t even wear make-up.  My plan is to share some of my year round standards as well as some products I recommend for the dry winter season.  I hope you enjoy and have some fun.   Here’s to you!

Click the name of the product to learn more and where to buy.

  1.  Essie Apre-Chic:   I love Essie nail polish for its quality and awesome, on-trend color variety.  This particular silvery shade is a definite winner.  It is a perfect neutral to wear all seasons that gives a bit of sparkle too.  I like that I can paint my toes in a pinch because the color is so forgiving.  It hides all my little mistakes and if I wear it for an extended period, which is often the case, the chips are barely noticeable.  This is always a plus for when I go months in between pedicures.
  2. Jane Iredale Puregloss Lip Gloss :  I have been a fan of lip products for as long as I can remember.  It all started with Lip Smackers and continues to this day.  I have tried every gloss, lipstick and balm imaginable.  As I am now in my forties, my preference is gloss over lipstick.  I think it looks more natural and I feel too made-up otherwise.  Jane Iredale’s Puregloss is my all-time favorite.  It has a creamy consistency that feels comfortable, is long-wearing and comes in an array of gorgeous colors.  My favorite shade is Pink Candy.  A great, lower-priced alternative is Burt’s Bees Lip Gloss.  This one isn’t as long wearing but it feels really good on as well.
  3. Moroccan Oil:  I have found that as I’ve gotten older, my hair is more dry.  The problem is finding a product that gives it moisture without making it look weighed down.  Moroccan oil has been an amazing find.  I use it more in the winter months and sometimes even add a drop or two to my styling products before I apply them.  Be mindful that a little goes a long way so even though it is expensive, it will last you a long time.  I also make sure to keep it away from my crown as my roots tend to be more oily than the rest of my hair.
  4. Aveda Dry Remedy Moisturizing Masque:  This a winter hair-saver.  I use it once a week, sometimes twice if my hair is really in need of a rescue.  It locks in moisture and smells good to boot.  During the summer months I switch to Aveda’s Smooth Infusion Masque. This mask helps smooth out the hair cuticle and reduces unwanted volume.  It is great at keep humidity-related frizz at bay.
  5. Aquaphor Healing Ointment:  This is the ultimate moisture guardian.  It holds up well in the driest of climates and won’t evaporate leaving your skin unprotected.  Years ago when I lived in Chicago and had about 10 nail salons in a five block radius from me, my favorite nail tech told me this trick to help save my feet during winter.  She told me before bed at night to slather some Aquaphor on my feet and then put some socks on.  Your feet will thank you for it.  I also use Aquaphor when my lips are chapped and it helps them heal quickly.

I hope you found these product suggestions and tips helpful.  Keep in mind, it’s important to turn the focus on ourselves when we are caretakers of our families.  If beauty products aren’t your cup of tea, then make time to find something that is.  Some of my favorite ways to find time for myself  are a good book, a long walk with my dog, a cheesy holiday movie with a predictable tidy ending and meditation.  I hope that in the midst of the holiday swirl you find your way back to you.  That’s the best present of all.

Happy Holidays!

Diana DeVaul, MSW and Parent

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