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The Stuff Getting Me Through Winter

A few favourite things for a round-up, show and tell kind of post where I essentially wax lyrical about the stuff making life better when it’s freezing and dark outside. And Christmas is for giving presents to yourself too right?

So first up, because it really is my absolute favourite, this tartan Loewe hammock bag that makes me feel festive in all the right ways. Loewe really is the only brand I want to buy for bags right now and the hammock bag has proved a real favourite for me. It’s surprisingly roomy when slung over your shoulder (I flew with mine recently and kept shoving more crap into it as I did my usual Boots-WH Smith-Dixons airport tour) but feel super neat and compact when folded up like this. Spending so much on a tartan bag might seem ridiculous but if you live in neutrals and black during the winter, a bag like this is actually a great asset and does way more than something plain and simple could.

Next up, two items I’m wearing to death right now.

These Joseph boots have been pretty much all I’ve worn for weeks now. They’re like up-market, glossy DMs and I love them with oversized Re/Dones or just about anything. I’m even thinking about wearing them on NYE with some kind of tacky, glittery mini dress. Great in the snow of late and super comfortable, I feel like I wouldn’t know how to get dressed without these right now.

The black faux fur coat is a favourite from & Other Stories and I’m obsessed. It’s so warm and fluffy, it’s like walking around wrapped up in a (fake) bear. The ideal coat for wearing over anything and everything this party season.

Millenial pink clearly ain’t going anywhere, especially when it comes to beauty. Ok I know this is old news, but Glossier is now available in the U.K and if you’re not already a member of the Glossier cult, why not? I pretty much love everything but right now the Rich Priming Moisturiser and Wowder are two dressing table favourites. The moisturiser is a great thicker, winter alternative to their classic priming moisturiser and the powder keeps skin free of any unwanted shine at this time of year. Plus, their new fragrance ‘you’ is amazing.

I also just discovered the brand Lixir skin (available in Liberty) and I’m obsessed with the packaging and the formulations. The universal emulsion is a great moisturiser, serum and night cream all in once.

More skincare favourites but this trio are my nightitme routine summed up right now. I finally got my hands on the Kypris Moonlight Catalyst and I love it. After thinking it was an oil rather than a serum for the first week (oops), I’ve now got to grips with it and it’s such a lovely product. It works as an alternative to a retinoid by using pumpkin enzymes to gently resurface skin overnight and leaves me feeling real glowy which is all I really want from a product full stop.

And I keep swapping between these two oils depending on my mood. The Pai Rosehip Bioregenerate oil feels really rich and woody to me and super nourishing on red, dry winter skin, whereas the Votary Super Seed oil is a really indulgent product I treated myself too that I love. Just made up of really great quality super seed oils, I love everything about this brand and packaging. Ok, maybe I don’t like the price but I think it’s worth it. And as with all oils, a little goes a long way -I use 5 drops for my whole face.

Burberry print is back and this bandana scarf has me converted. I’m afraid I was in the ‘wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole’ camp until recently, purely because I came of age at the height of rip-off Burberry caps. But this scarf combined with my favourite beret makes me feel like Cybil Shepherd or Tippi Hedren or some kind of 60s icon. Never a bad thing.

Sleeping is not my forte and recently it’s been pretty bad. So, not one to just let stuff like this win, I’ve been dosing up on vitamins and other gizmos to help. Magnesium, B12 and Vitamin D are all on my daily take list right now. The first two are apparently great for mood, sleep and brain function while Vitamin D really helps keep me feeling vaguely healthy and happy inside and out in the winter. I find it really helps my skin and hair too, just like the sun would I guess.

Anna introduced me to Space Masks recently and I’m hooked. After a particularly bad bout of insomnia recently where I proceeded to lie awake until 6 A.M (thank god on a weekend), I was ready to try anything. Enter these self-heating, jasmine-scented eye masks… It’s weird how something as little as a heated eye mask can help you doze off but it really works. Also great at reducing those puffy, sleep-deprived eyes too. They come in packs of 5 and I’ve stocked up for flights in advance.

I love a good podcast, be it for car journeys, flights or just lying in the bath. I’m one of those true crime junkies and have two podcasts of late that I couldn’t listen to fast enough. First up was Dirty John, the true story of a man who’s not who he seems after he becomes part of a Californian family. I listened to it driving through the states and it made the long car journeys much more bearable, to the point I actually looked forward to getting into the car to listen to it.

Secondly, and the one I’m been really binging on is My Favourite Murder. Yes, a bit of a strange name, but I’m obsessed with these two sassy L.A presenters and their depictions of murders and crimes throughout history. Darkly hilarious at times with minisodes and live shows (I’m desperate to go to one) interspersed through the main episodes. The presenters might be a little bit of an acquired taste as it the subject matter but if you like true crime documentaries on Netflix, you’ll be into this. The podcast has a bit of a cult following – every time I’ve posted it on my stories I’ve had so many enthusiastic message replies from fellow ‘murderinos’. Stay sexy and don’t get murdered!

At this time of year I tend to up the ante cleanser wise as my skin always tends to need a bit of extra TLC in the winter than in the summer. Central heating and cold weather are really drying and I always end up with bumpy, under the skin spots and red patches around my nose. Never a good look.

I always lean on Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser throughout the winter. Ever since my mum pretty much forced me to try hers (and annoyingly she was right, it is really that good), I’m hooked on this stuff. The cloth helps keep dull skin bright and soft, while the formula itself is great for soothing and cleansing congested winter skin. I feel like Liz Earle slips under the radar sometimes when you’re thinking of natural, plant-based brands, but it’s one of the best brands out there for sustainable practises and innovative use of botanicals. If you haven’t tried it, give it a whirl this winter. Promise you won’t be disappointed.

This time of year is one of the only times I’ll lean towards a musky, floral scent. Something a little richer and feminine for the evenings… And I have two I’m in love with. Gucci Bloom smells as good as it looks (the packaging is too pretty to throw away) and the new Yves Saint Laurent Caban is based on Rose and Tonka bean. The latter is definitely on the sweet side but it’s the grown-up end of sweet scents and is exactly the kind of thing you want to spritz on after a bath at this time of year.

And the beautiful underwear from one of my favourite brands Love Stories? Well, sometimes what lies beneath is just as confidence inducing as what lies on top…

Christmas ain’t Christmas without high end PJs. One of my favourite brands Asceno always does some of the best silk pyjamas out there (and the best swimwear/beachwear too just FYI), so comfortable and soft but chic enough that you can get away with wearing them all day with a big cardigan over the top. I love this icy stripe set for this time of year too.

No hibernation period is complete without plenty of TV bingeing. Aside from the usual back-to-back viewings of Home Alone and The Holiday, Netflix has some amazing shows you might not have seen yet. My favourites of late were the dark, twisted and gripping The Sinner with Jessica Biel as a woman who randomly attacks and kills a man on a beach with no understanding of why, and Dark, the German time travel, murder mystery thriller that’s being touted as Stranger Things for grown-ups thanks to it’s similar 80s references and science fiction tropes. Seriously gripping and thanks to subtitles, you really have to immerse yourself in it and leave your phone on the side which is definitely a good thing sometimes. Bed down and binge the whole thing in that no man’s land between Christmas and new year…

We’re a year past the obsession with Hygge entered our consciousness, but my personal obsession with candles and blankets and generally slothing remains.

At this time of year, candles can feel like a good city substitute for a roaring fire, adding a bit of atmosphere and fragrance all at once. Lola James Harper The Red Garden and Diptque’s limited edition Fiery Orange Holiday candle are my go-tos for making my living room feel festive. I’ve been travelling so much I haven’t really decorated so much but these candles with some red berries in a vase and suddenly the whole house feels like Christmas.

I always need a good book on the go for Christmas. When the whole family takes over the house, sometimes finding an hour of respite in the bath on my room with a book is the only thing that keeps me sane. And what more do you want from a lose-yourself Christmas read than the new Philip Pullman? Itching to start this bumper hard back…

Is it just me that turns to scales at this time of year? A really nourishing moisturiser (and eating lots of good fats) is the only solution. Right now, the Liz Earle Super Skin body cream is coming out on top and help smooth out those shin scales…


Contains a paid placement for Liz Earle.