From inventive to dependable, these skin care items are must-haves for the season
During these cold, windy months, don’t forget to look after yourself and your skin’s changing needs. Invest in your own well-being, head to toe... and splurge a little. It’s been a challenging time as of late, with most focus being on looking after others; but it’s okay to make yourself a priority sometimes.
Start with these skin care and makeup products that will help brighten up these winter days...
1. Shkweń Rainforest Bath and Body Oil by Sḵwálwen Botanicals, $64
Sḵwálwen BotanicalsThis is a richly nourishing oil made from organic jojoba and sunflower seed oils and wildcrafted devil’s club and stinging nettle. It smells of fresh citrus with a light, woodsy base. Devil’s club is one of the most culturally and spiritually important plants to the Squamish People. It pairs beautifully with stinging nettle for a healing skin care experience. Try adding some to a hot bath for a steamy, aromatherapeutic session. Or if your skin is particularly dry (or you’re looking for a truly indulgent treat), layer this on after your bath or shower in place of moisturizer. It’s a lightweight oil that comes in a frosted glass bottle with a pump dispenser, quickly absorbing into the skin. (Note: Shkweń is the Squamish word for ocean. Sḵwálwen is pronounced “skal-win” and Shkweń is pronounced phonetically, ie. “shkewn”.)
2. The Prebiotic Emulsion by Orveda, $410
OrvedaFounded by Sue Nabi, ex-CEO of Lancôme and L’Oréal, with over 25 years of strategic beauty expertise, Orveda is Nabi’s response to growing trends that see people over-treating their skin with too many actives, over-exfoliating and the belief that it’s beneficial to harm the skin because it’ll speed up the healing process. Instead, Nabi believes we should not only be kind to our skin, but to the environment as well. Her luxury formulas are master-crafted and prioritize sustainability. The Prebiotic Emulsion feeds the skin’s healthy bacteria, cultivating a balanced microbiome leading to naturally healthier skin that looks fresh, clear and bright. The emulsion can be used as a serum, moisturizer or mask and it comes with a brilliant, reusable silicone mask that creates an occlusive layer, driving the product deeper into the skin. All of Orveda’s formulas are ethically-produced, with a 100 percent vegan supply chain.
3. Dew Wop Collection by Nudestix, $89
NudestixThis is Nudestix’s second collaboration with Canadian makeup artist and influencer @SonjdraDeluxe. This limited edition six-piece kit includes all the finger-friendly, multi-purpose formulas that Nudestix is famous for in versatile, warm shades that can deliver everything from no makeup-makeup to natural glam. Kit includes: Exclusive Magnetic Luminous Eye Color in Dew Wop (luminous, nude champagne), Magnetic Matte eye colour in Putty (matte, cappuccino), Intense Matte lip and cheek colour in Icon (matte, berry dark chocolate), Gel Colour lip and cheek balm in Crave (glossy, warm cinnamon), Nudies Matte all-over face bronzer in Deep Maple, Eh (matte, maple hot chocolate), and Nudies Glow all-over face highlight colour in Ice Ice Baby (glow, white sugar crystal).
4. Herbal Soap by Sulwhasoo, $50
SulwhasooLong before solid cleansers and shampoo were trending, Sulwhasoo was making luxury cleansing bars. This heritage Korean brand is famous for their ginseng-based products like their best-selling concentrated ginseng renewing cream, and this is no exception. Infused with nourishing herbal ingredients like Korean red ginseng, Solomon’s seal and Chinese peony, this is packed with antioxidants that will improve skin texture and clarity, while gently cleansing. This premium soap is made with a special 40-day aging process and comes housed in a beautiful presentation box, elegantly displaying two squares of this deep, dark brown soap along with a two-piece black acrylic soap dish that perfectly cradles the soap. The entire aesthetic of this product shows how much thought has gone into the creation of this, from beginning to end.
5. Zafferano I Extrait de Parfum by La Maison Valmont, $700
La Maison ValmontThe latest perfume by La Maison Valmont, this is a unisex fragrance that’s warm, leathery and smoky while being extraordinarily well-balanced, and never leaning too heavily into the oud. It has slightly gourmand vibes, without being overly sickly or jammy. It’s classified as a classic “floriental” with notes of saffron, bigaradier flower and oud essence. Saffron provides a warm, spicy surge to introduce the generosity of the extract bigaradier flower, which is immersive, feminine and provides a hint of honey... a loving nod to oriental pastries. Oud essence is the noble signature of oriental scents, offering an ardent and lasting wake that is rich in woody and discreet carnal notes. Like the other fragrances in the Storie Veneziane series, the bottles for Zefferano I were hand-made and feature a Murano Venetian glass mask on the front—a true piece of art. Sillage is moderate but the scent incredibly long lasting—a near perfect combination: a beautiful scent that lasts the day while staying close to the skin. This is definitely a cool-weather fragrance, so enjoy it now.
6. The Multimodal Defender Broad Spectrum SPF 30 by U Beauty, $218
U BeautyWinter is the best time to tackle hyperpigmentation issues and this new (to Canada) multitasking moisturizer is designed to do just that, while protecting it from further UV damage with SPF. U Beauty's double patent-pending Siren capsule technology evens skin tone and texture by targeting hyperpigmentation, dark spots, heat-induced freckles and fine lines. It contains a hefty 20.4 percent zinc oxide (a common physical sunscreen) and since zinc oxide is oil soluble (i.e. it doesn’t dissolve in water and requires oil to be effective), this formula is proportionately rich, containing vitamin E oil, shea butter, jojoba oil and almond oil. The texture immediately out of the jar is extremely thick and balm-like, which warms up and loosens quickly upon application, but does require blending to ensure the white cast from the zinc oxide is smoothed out. And, because it’s so rich, winter is an ideal time to use this when skin naturally requires help with its moisture barrier. Skin is left with a radiant sheen and ideally printed for makeup.
7. Radiant Fluid Foundation Natural by Clé de Peau Beauté, $170
Clé de Peau BeautéThis is Clé de Peau’s latest radiant fluid foundation, sister to the matte version. The texture is a slightly runny lotion that gives a very natural, but buildable light-medium finish, with Clé de Peau’s signature subtle rose fragrance. It leaves a natural truly radiant finish that doesn’t emphasize fine lines, wrinkles, textures or any dry patches. It’s even able to withstand brief mask-wearing. It marries traditional foundation coverage with skin care benefits to deliver an incredibly lightweight base that lasts the whole day. It comes in 16 shades, which isn’t a lot, but the range is wide, going from quite pale to quite dark.
While they aren’t able to specify an SPF in Canada, titanium dioxide is the sixth ingredient (a mineral sunscreen) and the foundation is rated SPF 20 in other countries. It comes in a weighty, substantial clear glass bottle (versus a frosted bottle for the matte version) that looks and feels incredibly luxe.
8. Skin Smoothing Body Lotion by Reversa, $35
ReversaThis body lotion comes in a 200 millilitre pump bottle, and after a few days of using it, you’ll be wishing it came in larger sizes. From Canadian brand Reversa, this is a performance body lotion that contains 10 percent glycolic acid, a skin-penetrating alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) proven to stimulate exfoliation, promoting skin cell renewal faster. For those of you suffering from particularly dry, flaky, ashy skin or even keratosis pilaris (aka chicken skin), this was made for you. But even if you don’t, the AHA, vitamin E, panthenol (provitamin B5) and glycerin in this winter saviour will help your skin look smoother, plumper and generally healthier.
9. Squalane and Copper Peptide Rapid Plumping Serum by Biossance, $88
BiossanceNewly launched is Biossance’s hydrating, plumping serum, containing their signature vegan squalane (derived from sustainable sugar cane). Where this really excels is in the texture, which doesn’t leave your skin sticky at all, like many other hyaluronic acid-based serums can. The vibrant blue colour comes from the vegan copper peptide, which helps support collagen and elastin production for bouncier skin. Combined with the paracress extract, which helps lift and firm skin, the overall effect is noticeably hydrated, smoother skin.
10. Rapid Repair Clarifying Elixir by Bella Aura, $99
Bella AuraNew to Canada, this elixir is a powerhouse of ingredients that perform a multitude of benefits that are especially ideal during the winter. It clarifies, soothes and hydrates all in one formula. Most importantly, it does so without irritating the skin and actually prevents irritation. It claims to help regulate the skin microbiome and has been a rock star under masks where you need extra help keeping pores clear but still hydrated. In terms of texture, it’s like a serum-moisturizer hybrid—those with oily skin may find it provides enough moisture, those with dehydrated skin will want to top up with something occlusive. There’s a slight herbaceous scent to it, most likely due to the Norwegian spruce (an effective antioxidant full of polyphenolic compounds, with wound-healing properties). It also contains micro silver (providing antimicrobial benefits and balancing skin flora) and black currant (full of essential fatty acids to reinforce skin’s moisture barrier, which is crucial during winter months).