The Products We Love This Winter

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Information & Advice

Health and Beauty Magazine

'The Products We Love This Winter'

Health & Beauty Magazine

Lucie Tobin

Lucie Tobin

Health & Beauty Magazine Online Editor

Published 10th September 2008

Everyone needs a little extra health and beauty help when the cold weather sets in. Six women talk exclusively to about their winter routines and the products they can’t do without

The busy mum


Megan Daltrey, 41, Sheffield

My life
My husband, Steve, works away from home quite a lot during the week. Although I’m not working, I have my hands full with my three lively daughters, aged three, six and 10. The oldest girl, Georgia, has a full timetable of after-school activities as she does lots of dance and drama. Even when the weather cools down, I’m constantly ferrying her about.

Flagging energy is always a problem for me. I find it hard to keep the house looking nice, do the shopping, cook good, healthy nutritional food and get them to school or wherever they need to go. In the evenings, I sort uniforms and lunchboxes before grabbing a large glass of wine and watching my favourite Sex & The City reruns. The winter doesn’t change the routine but as it gets colder, I get more tired.

Winter health
If any of the girls gets ill it upsets the routine. If I get ill, it’s a real effort just to get up in the morning and sort them all out, so it’s important we stay as healthy as possible. Besides, once one gets a cold, we all get it and it can drag on for weeks, which is no fun for anyone.

When my husband’s away he ends up eating takeaways. When he’s home, I feel the need to feed us all up on warming classics like roast dinners and hot pots. In addition, I make sure we all have some multi-vitamins, just as insurance really.

I do feel affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder – I’ve not had it diagnosed but the short days do depress me. I’m from New Zealand originally so that might have something to do with it. Ideally, I’d like to escape to a desert island for a few months over winter. I wonder if my family would miss me?

Options to consider

  • Boots Chewable A-Z Multivitamins and Minerals – ‘The strawberry flavour means the girls don’t object to taking them.’

Winter beauty
My beauty routine doesn’t amount to much; I just don’t have the time. But I do feel like I’m not there if I don’t have a little lippy on. In summer it’ll be a bronzy gloss and it gets richer and redder as the cold weather comes on. Brighter colours make me feel a little less wan, I suppose. I love the Nº7 lipsticks as they’re so conditioning too, good for winter lips.

I also start using a semi-permanent colour on my hair just to turn up the vibrancy, the volume and condition. I go for a natural colour but feel the need for just a little more depth.

Take a look at these products

  • Boots No7 Moisture Drench Lipstick in Red Carpet – ‘It’s such a rich colour, I love it.’
  • Hair colour L’Oréal Casting Crème Gloss, in Medium Brown – ‘It delivers so much shine.’

The party-loving student


Katie Silvester, 21, lives in Palmer’s Green, North London with her family.

My life
I decided to stay at home while at university as it made a lot more sense financially. I work for family friends when I can, which means I have spare money for going out. I like to mix student social life with my older friends from school and I go out three or four nights a week.

In winter, there are always parties or special get-togethers to celebrate Christmas and New Year. I love it but it can get quite exhausting.

Winter health
We’ve got quite a well-stocked medicine cabinet at home and sometimes I need to raid it for an ibuprofen tablet. I find the caplets are the easiest to take. Cold weather necessitates a few duvet days and sometimes I snuggle up and watch daytime TV all day. It recharges my batteries, so I don't feel bad about it.

Winter beauty
I’d be nowhere without a black eyeliner pencil – I use it during the day just as a liner or for a night out for the full-on smudged and smoky look – I don’t mind which brand as long as it’s cheap-ish and really soft. For winter I’ll often add a bit of sparkly eyeliner over the top; I love the Urban Decay range as they’re so effective, you can really layer up the glitter. I also find I need a good concealer. My skin can look a bit sallow in winter, but those lightening, brightening concealers lift my skin tone and also disguise bags and dark circles.

Take a look at these products

  • Bourjois Kohl & Contour Eye Pencil in Noir Expert – ‘It’s so soft and easy to blend.’
  • No7 Instant Radiance Concealer – ‘This really helps disguise those dark circles – no-one can tell.’

The home-work juggler

Angela Garner, 37, lives in Willingdon, East Sussex

My life
I work three days a week as an accountant and have to be able to switch quickly to ‘home mode’ to make sure I’m focusing on my two girls, aged nine and six, instead of work. If it’s been a really hectic day, it can be hard to leave work behind.

We have two dogs and it’s usually down to me to make sure they’re fed and walked. It can be a bit of a chore, but walking gives me precious time to myself to clear my head and get ready for the day ahead. I moan about it at times but I secretly love that hour of solitude.

I do think I have the best of both worlds, being able to go out to work but being around for my children, too. My mum lives close by so hubby Steve and I can get out together from time to time while she babysits. We always make sure we have a romantic dinner the week before Christmas, it’s a way of making time for each other before the madness begins. There will be 15 over for Christmas this year, so it does get very hectic.

Winter health

I try to cut colds to a minimum by eating a well-balanced diet and supporting my immune system with vitamin C. I also take a Well Woman supplement throughout the year. My PMT can be a bit scary sometimes, well, so Steve says, and I do find this helps.

Options to consider

  • Boots Echinacea Tincture – ‘I find the tincture the most effective form of echinacea.’
  • Boots Effervescent Vitamin C 1000mg – ‘There are a couple of different flavours, which makes taking it more bearable.’

Winter beauty
I have to be up really early some mornings to take the dogs out and as the cold can chafe my hands and face I have to up the moisture levels in winter. I use a rich moisturiser, although I have an oily T-zone so just use it where it’s needed, around my eyes and on my cheeks and jawline. I also use a hand cream.

Make-up wise, I keep it fairly neutral most of the time and add a little colour for a special night out.

Take a look at these products

  • Clinique Moisture Surge – ‘It’s really moisturising but not at all greasy.’
  • Olay Total Effects Hand Treatment – ‘The pump bottle gives just the right measure.’

The busy city girl


Nina Tsang, 28, lives in Clapham, south-west London

My life
As a single girl working full time in London as a celebrity consultant and showbiz journalist, my life is pretty hectic. I work long hours, and my working life and social life tend to blur. I keep all my beauty stuff in my desk at work with heels at the ready so I can go straight out to a party from work.

I like the social life my work brings as each day is never the same. There are a lot pressures with home life as a result. I don’t get to see my family on the south coast often enough and my friends tend to moan I don’t see them enough either. But I know there will always be a get-together in the run up to Christmas, and when you get back together it’s easy to catch up. I’m saving all my annual leave until then so I can really relax with friends and family.

Winter health
I like to get to the gym from time to time. I ran the a 10km race at the end of August and that gave me a good reason to train. I do find you need that sort of motivation, particularly in winter when it’s hard just to get out of bed some days. But I find it’s a great way to get rid of work stress and give myself some ‘me time’. Trouble is, my trainers need training sometimes, so I keep a foot odour spray in my gym bag to help combat any nasty smells.

Nutrition-wise, I think I get most of what I need through the food I eat – lots of lovely fresh fruit and veg – but I’ll top it up with a multivitamin when I remember, just for the peace of mind.

Winter beauty
I keep a Batiste dry shampoo spray in my desk drawer to freshen my hair up in case I have to go to a last-minute party. It gives much-needed oomph as well as a quick clean when there’s no time to shampoo. I also swear by a once-a-week deep conditioning mask for my hair. It really sorts it out after a long week battling weather conditions and the air con in the office.

Talking of work, I’ve always got a tube of Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream on my desk to smooth and soothe chapped lips, to keep my eyebrows in shape pre-party and on areas that need a healthy sheen for those hungover days; it’s a brilliant all-rounder.

City grime’s also a problem for my skin, so cleansing wipes are a godsend. They get rid of make-up and deep-down dirt so easily.

Take a look at these products

  • Boots Pampering Cooling Foot and Leg Spray – ‘I like the fact that this isn’t too functional, it looks and smells really nice.’
  • Batiste Dry Shampoo – ‘The Tropical fragrance reminds me of summer.’
  • Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Conditioning Treatment – ‘Intensive but so quick.’
  • Botanics Face Sensitve Cleansing Wipes – ‘They clean really well but are gentle and moisturising, too.’

The shift worker


Alex Warden, 36, lives in Market Harborough

My life
I work shifts in a big supermarket, which means working through the night twice a week. It suits my life - my husband’s self-employed so he can be around for our two boys, aged 10 and 12, when needed, and I get a turn too. I think the boys are really lucky to have both parents there for them so much though I don’t know if they see it that way.

It can be hard to sleep during the day sometimes and if I miss my sleep, it eventually catches up with me and makes me grumpy. In colder weather I could happily stay in bed all day and into the night but the boys need someone around when they come in from school and the cat still needs to be fed.

Winter health
I tend to have phases where I focus on a particular supplement. At the moment, it’s probiotics. I have lots of natural live yogurt and a probiotic supplement as I really do think it helps with my digestion: working nights means mealtimes get a bit out of synch and a supplement like this seems to keep my digestion ticking along nicely.

I also love a bath on a cold winter’s evening with some gorgeous bath foam or oil. An aromatherapy one will really lift my mood.

Options to consider

  • Boots Feel the Difference Probiotic and Prebiotic – ‘They have a long shelf-life and Boots often have 3 for 2, so I’ll stock up.’

Winter beauty
For the last year, I’ve been taking a bit more care of my skin as I don’t want to look any older. My face gets a lot drier in winter so I’ll use a serum as well as a day and night cream. I find it makes my skin feel softer and more moisturised. When I’m working nights, I’ll treat my skin as though it’s daytime as I’m wearing make-up, and put the night cream on when I’m sleeping during the day.

I never used to bother with foundation, as my skin can react really badly to it, but a friend told me about mineral make-up. It’s like a powder but builds up to give more coverage like a foundation. It’s got SPF15 so there’s a bit of sun protection built-in and it’s got none of the irritating nasties that obviously bothered my skin before. Most companies make it as a loose powder, which can be a little messy to apply, but 17 now do a pressed one, which is great. Besides giving me smoother looking skin, I find it protects it quite well, too – good for winter.

Take a look at these products

  • Botanics Time to Unwind Bath, Body & Massage Oil – ‘It’s got orange and frankincense essential oils in it – very warming and Christmassy.’
  • No7 Protect & Perfect Beauty Serum – ‘I couldn’t believe the hype, but think it works really well.’
  • 17 Pure Finish Mineral Foundation – ‘This is loads cheaper than some of the others I’ve tried.’

The beauty junkie


Samantha Merrick, 40, Buckingham

My life
I’m an air stewardess doing a few long-haul trips a few times a month. Whenever I have a stop off I can’t resist going off to find a local massage or facial. Some of the best ones I’ve had have been the cheapest.

When I’m home and my boyfriend’s not flying – he’s a pilot – we just chill out and do nothing much at all, though I love an old movie. When we go out in the evening, it’s to friends’ parties or to see a band. We try to get away skiing at some point in the winter and I love it – I find it really exhilarating.
Work and travel takes me through Duty Free a lot and I can’t resist a beauty bargain although I do have a drawer full of stuff that’s barely used. Sometimes the packaging alone can make something so desirable that I forget it’s the product inside I’m meant to be using.

Winter health

I make sure I have freshly-squeezed orange juice every morning when I’m at home. Just the taste of it is an instant wake-up call and it seems to ward off winter nasties.

I always have some sinus spray in my bag in the winter. It relieves the stuffiness of colds, particularly when I’m flying.

I get to the gym when I remember. It’s hard to get motivated in the winter but I try to go three times a week. The trouble is, I’ll treat myself to a nice lunch afterwards, which contradicts the getting fit idea.

Options to consider

  • Vicks Sinex Decongestant Nasal Spray – ‘It fits into my make-up bag and is quick and easy to use.’ Contains oxymetazoline. Always read the label.

Winter beauty
I always need some fake tan to make me feel better about the dreary weather. I’m a big fan of St Tropez but I love Lancome’s one too. Whenever I’m in Boots I’ll check out what Nº7 is doing. They have some great limited edition make-up looks and always have good free gifts during promotions. I use a lipgloss even when I’m not wearing any other make-up, just to protect my lips. Nº7 makes some good natural shades.

Urban Decay makes fabulous make-up and although my local Boots store doesn’t stock it, I can buy it on the website. The eyeshadows come in gorgeous bright colours but also have some nicely toned down ones, that are great for work.

Otherwise, the main big switch for me in winter is moving from a cream blusher to a powder one. Cream looks somehow too garish in winter. I need a good brush to put powder on with or else it goes on a bit patchy.

Take a look at these products

  • No7 Liplicious in Angel Cake – ‘I have lots of other nude colours but this one’s got a pretty glitter in it and it’s not sticky at all.’
  • Urban Decay Eye Shadow in Midnight Cowboy – ‘A sparkly beige gold that I can wear with anything.’
  • Ruby & Millie Cheek Brush – ‘I spent ages finding just the right one and this is it.’
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