Not a ton has changed in my routine recently; crock pot refried beans and large batches of brown rice are made every week as our fridge go-to staples, still making my own laundry soap, deodorant, & lotion, and most of my beauty routine has stayed the same. Coconut oil still beats out store-bought eye makeup remover every time and I have not found anything better than my Maybelline “The Buffs” nude lipsticks, even though there are plenty of new $30 nude lipsticks tweaked with a tinge of mauve that have everyone believing they need a “kylie lip.” We wore similar mauve-brown lipsticks in high school in the 90s; nothing new there. With that said, I did manage to try out a couple of new items that surpassed all of my other purchases and delighted me in the last half of 2014. Here are my winter favorites:
This sugar water is packaged oh-so beautifully and it tastes (in an amazing way) how the Aqualina Pink Sugar perfume smells (another longtime favorite!) It is delicately sweet like a fruity cotton-candy water. I normally avoid sweet flavors and lean towards tart, completely fruity concoctions, but this surprised me in the nicest way with its delightful flavors & pink packaging.
Walgreens Holiday REVO lipbalms ($2.99 exclusive to Walgreens):
I had tried out the Watermelon scented REVO awhile back. It brought me back to my grade school days. It has the exact scent of the classic Maybelline Watermelon Kissing Kooler (I wish they would bring those guys back!) When I saw online that they had a metallic holiday collection, I started looking for them immediately. Beauty advisors had not heard of them & my hometown store apparently never received them. Luckily, on a cold December night my sister and I spotted them in my city! I picked up the purple sugar plum scent & she got the silver sugar cookie. We love them! The balm is softer & smoother than an EOS balm and the scents are delicious! The balm is not super long wearing but you will not mind reapplying!
L’Oreal Infalliable Eye Crayon in #706 “Enduring Rose” ($6-10 in drug stores):
This item is a favorite because of it’s sheer yet metallic rose gold/champagne color. The application is smooth (no tugging on the eyes) yet it is not too soft. I have used other shadow sticks that either were annoyingly dry & hard to blend or unusable because the formula applied like stick vaseline to my lids & caused the eye look to smear, bleed, and look terrible. The color looks great on its own or as a highlight to neutral to bold looks.
PB2 (Both the regular and chocolate peanut-butter $5-8 at grocery stores):
This powdered peanut butter has added so much to my basic recipes. I have never used it as a substitute for real nut butter or other healthy fats in my diet (coconut oil, avocados, etc) but I have used it to add smooth, creamy flavor to drinks and desserts. The powder is easily incorporated into recipes as a powder or it can be made into a liquid peanut butter by adding water to it.
My favorite way to use it is in a very basic smoothie of bananas, flax milk, and vanilla Sweet Drops (liquid stevia.) It is a great way to add smooth peanut butter flavor (I find some natural peanut butters too tangy in flavor) & it doesn’t change the texture of your dish. I have bought 2 bottles of the chocolate PB2 and one regular PB2 since the summer & it is almost time to buy more of each. This is a true favorite!
Our shower basics are handmade bar soap, facial cleanser (Neutragena Naturals,) shampoo & conditioner, and Dr. Bronners Almond Scented Soap. Neither my significant other or I can handle strong perfume or chemical smells; been doing the natural thing for too long.
I was SO pleased to try the Vineyard Peach this summer. It has a strong peach scent that fills the bathroom and kisses the kitchen. I love using it and I love it when I can smell him using it. It smells like fresh peaches, not peach perfume. I blasted through my first bottle in record speed & was gifted a second that I am holding onto for next summer. I am prone to using fruit scents in the summer & baked-goods scents (Butter Rum, Mint Chocolate Chip) in the winter. The Sweet Lemon is just a great fresh, clean lemon scent that does not make you feel like you are using dish soap in the shower. It has a sweeter aroma & both the Lemon and the Peach scents will leave your skin soft and refreshed.
Synergy Kombucha in “Guava Goddess” and Epic Sparkling Juice ($3-5 for the tea and $1/can for the juice):
I love Synergy Kombucha and I almost didn’t try the guava flavor (some guava juice has a rather robust, unpleasant scent) but it is wonderful! It has a sweet grapefruit flavor that I really enjoy! Always crisp, clean, and never loaded with chemicals & additives: I love this kombucha tea! The Epic juice was a great little find at our local Trig’s grocery store. 100% juice cans, 5/$5. I grab a couple of these every chance I get: they are a nice little pick me up with bold, smooth fruit flavors. The lime is my favorite.
Brad’s Raw Kale Chips:
I have tried far too many natural/raw chip varieties that just did not taste good, tasted like nothing or were ruined by the addition of powdered stevia (that is an awful after-taste!) I took these on our trip to Minoqua and everyone loved them. They are made with real ingredients, no chemical additives and they taste great! The kale pairs well with the fruit; toning down what can be bitter flavor & turning it into an enjoyable, healthy, savory snack.
Siggi’s Icelanic Skyr ($2-3/each in grocery stores):
Instead of loading up on ice cream, fill your fridge with some Icelandic yogurt! Its only ingredients are skim milk and live cultures & it has a thicker, richer texture than greek yogurt. This stuff is thick! Great with just a little honey & berries or add it to a smoothie to plump it up. We were so excited to find this at our local Trig’s grocery store; my boyfriend had told me about skyr a long time ago but I thought it would be one of those things you have to travel to a big city to find. Not anymore!!!! The awesome thing about this yogurt is that it never goes bad before its expiration date. Try it!!!
What new items have you been loving?