favourite products for this winter

I’ve been meaning to do more posts with product reviews, so here’s a quick review of 8 products that I’ve started to use in the last few months. If you’re familiar with my reviews, you’ll know that I only write about things that I enjoy or like; I don’t like wasting time on reviewing things I don’t like. Since we’re in the middle of winter and it’s a pretty “dry” time of year, I’m recommending some moisturizing products that your skin may appreciate. Enjoy!

Philosophy Purity Cleanser ( $12 – 52 )

I first heard about the Philosophy Purity Cleanser through one of the popular Youtube beauty gurus, Holly Ann-AeRee, when she mentioned the ease of use of this product. My cleansing routine at the end of the night was so lengthy and none of the many cleansers I had tried previously worked well for me, so I decided to give this one a try. Sure enough, it worked like magic. The amount that’s equivalent to the size of a nickel is enough to take off all make-up (I don’t even need to spend money on face wipes anymore!). It leaves the face feeling clean and baby soft. I am happy to say my search for the perfect cleanser is now over.

They come in different size bottles, with the bigger bottles being more expensive. You do get more product for your money when you buy the bigger bottles, but I would recommend getting a small bottle to try first.

Where to Buy: Sephora – in-store and online.

Aveeno Skin Brightening Daily Scrub ( $10 – $14 )

It was actually my friend Anna who recommended this product to me. I’ve never used any other face scrubs besides my H2O Plus scrubs, so I was hesitant on trying this one at first. But once I used it, I fell in love instantly. Not only is it a light enough scrub for everyday use, it has a great formula that leaves the face slightly moisturized. Most scrubs will leave your skin feeling a bit dry or in need of a moisturizer. This one, though, is perfect as is. It’s great for those nights when you don’t have a lot of time and just want to give your face a quick treatment before you hit the sack.

Where to Buy: Local drugstores and supermarkets. If you can find a Rexall near you, they will probably be the cheapest when they have Aveeno sales (I got mine for $9.99). Loblaws and Superstore prices are comparable when they have sales too ($10.99). Shoppers Drug Mart is the most expensive of them all, although they are the most convenient with stores everywhere.

H2O Plus Face Oasis™ Dual-Action Exfoliating Cleanser ( $30 )

This one is a fairly new H2O Plus product, and I only discovered it a couple months ago when I picked it up randomly during the annual 20% off member sale. I like that it works well as cleanser and it also works well as an exfoliator. The fact that they are together in one product means you get to save time.

The difference between this exfoliating cleanser and the scrub mentioned previously is the Aveeno one leaves the face feeling nice afterward. This one feels a little bit more dry, so I tend to use it only on days when I haven’t had any product on my face. The first two products are the ones I use regularly on my work days.

Where to Buy: H2O Plus store at Eaton Center or order online. Not sure if The Bay at Eaton Center still carries H2O Plus products.

Aquafina Hydrating Lip Balm Trio ( $4.95 )

When it comes to lip balms, they are definitely no stranger to me. I have tried SO MANY of them in the past; cheap ones, expensive ones, drugstore ones, cosmetic brand name ones. None of them have ever worked on my frequently chapped lips. However, I had never tried a lip balm made by a water brand before my friend Anna recommended these Aquafina ones to me back in October. I am now in love with them.

I know lip balms are a personal thing; not all brands work on everyone, but at $4.95 for a package of 3 + a bonus tube of lip oil I`d recommend at least giving these a try. They contain jojoba oil, almond oil, and vitamin E.

Where to Buy: I have only been able to find them at Walmart. They are usually with the impulse items near the cashiers, hanging above the gums and chocolates.

Olay Ultra Moisture Body Wash ( $4.99 )

I found this lovely product totally by fluke when I picked it up at Shoppers (along with the In-Shower Lotion, as mentioned below) just to bring my total to $50. Since I was about $8 away from getting a $10 coupon, I figured I’d give these two Olay products a try for cheap. I was quite surprised at how much I liked it because it was indeed ultra moisturizing. I’ve been using mainly H2O Plus bath products, as well as body wash from Bath & Body works. In comparison, I’d say the Olay Ultra Moisture is the most moisturizing of the one’s I’ve tried. I like that even if I don’t use a lotion after I come out from the shower, my body still feels nice and smooth the next morning.

Where to Buy: Local drugstores and supermarkets. Only get it at Shoppers if they have it on sale for $3.99 or $4.99, otherwise they are charging too much at regular price.

Olay Ultra Moisture In-Shower Lotion ( $4.99 )

Absolutely LOVE this product. I was skeptical at first about the in-shower aspect of it, but once I tried it I was hooked. The best thing about this in-shower lotion is it works just like a lotion or body cream that you would use after you get out of the shower, except you use it IN the shower while you’re nice and warm. I find that I get lazy and don’t like to put on body lotions during the winter because it’s so cold once I get out of the shower, but this in-shower lotion solves that problem completely. I just put it on after I use my body wash, do a quick rinse, and then I’m done! An extra minute in the shower can keep my body moisturized for a good 16-20 hours. Not bad :)

Where to Buy: Selected drugstores. This one is a little bit harder to find. Seems like not every Shoppers carries it, but you will find it at some. Same with Rexall. I did not see it at Walmart when I was last in one.

Thymes Moonflower Hand Cream ( $18.95 )

This is the last of Anna’s recommendations. I only tried it once last week, but I couldn’t resist myself from getting it even at 21 bucks a pop after taxes. It’s a fairly nice hand cream because it’s not too light and not too thick. More importantly, it doesn’t leave your hands feeling greasy. But as far as hand creams go, I would choose the McBlooms one for $18 over this one because it offers twice as much product for the same amount of money. So why would I recommend the Thymes Moonflower Hand Cream? Well, I’ve only got one reason. The scent.

As described on the back, you “envelop your hands in deeply hydrating cream enriched with shea butter and vitamin E, while luxurious notes of cinnamon, sugared quince, myrtle leaves and smooth cognac lightly linger with the mysterious fragrance of twilight.” I honestly don’t know what twilight smells like, but if that is it then it sure smells gooooooood.

Where to Buy: The only place I`ve seen it at (to date) is at Teatro Verde. They have two locations, one in Yorkville and one at Bayview Village. There is a listing on the Thymes website for all the locations that carry Thymes products. You can also order directly from their website.

McBlooms Extremely Rich Cream ( $18 )

This is hands down the best hand cream I have ever used, and I`ve been using it for about 7 years now. It is THE solution for any one whose hands get extremely dry in the winter. Not only does it do a great job at moisturizing because it is extremely rich (as its name suggests), it also absorbs into the skin very quickly without leaving your hands feeling greasy. Those two points are the most important to me when it comes to choosing hand creams. In addition, this cream is unscented, which is great for guys who don`t want hand creams that make them smell girly.

Where to Buy: I have always bought mine at Chapters because it is the most convenient place for me to get them. McBlooms does have an online shop now if you want to have it shipped to you, though I am uncertain about their shipping charges.

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