Winter skincare essentials

It's that time of year when my skin starts acting up. For most of the year I have oily skin that's even more oily around the nose and across the forehead, but come winter, my skin starts drying out around the nose, mouth and chin. Products that gave me super clear skin in the warmer months, now feel too harsh or just plain redundant. Below are the skincare essentials that never fail me come winter.
 The gang's all here!

The gang's all here!

#1 La Roche Posay Make-Up Remover Micellar Water Gel
As my skin becomes increasingly sensitive in the winter months, and I'm a regular makeup wearer, taking it off can start to become a little painful, especially when it's the first step in a cleansing regime that has more than two or three steps. This cooling gel gives instant freshness and takes my makeup straight off, making me less likely to try forcing my face wash or cleansing oil to do all of the work by itself - especially on those late nights when I can't be bothered. (I never, ever skip taking my makeup off though - having acne-prone skin means it's a serious no-no.)

#2 Jason Vitamin E 45,000 iu Oil Maximum Strength Oil
Trust me, if you're having one of those times when your skin is making you want to cry because it's flaking or being super sensitive, this is one of those products that will get you through. Ditch everything else (bar your cleansing regime) and stick this on. Granted, you won't want to go outside with it on, but once you get home and your sensitive skin starts acting up, just cleanse (at least twice) and smooth this on. The next morning you will wake up super soft, no matter what you went through the night before. This is also a great treatment to let sink into your skin after you've treated yourself to a masking session, plus, if you've been outside all day and your skin is feeling mega tight after cleansing, this is an instant hit. 

#3 MAC Lightful C range
My wedding makeup artist put me onto this range around 12 weeks ahead of the wedding and I love it. I have the Eye Cream, Cleanser, Essence (a super light serum) and the SPF30 Moisturiser and am about to buy the Softening Lotion because every single time I see a MAC team member with stunning skin, it turns out that they swear by this stuff.
One thing I don't love, when I need a restock, is the cost. MAC is one of those brands that never, ever shows us any love when it comes to discount - maybe the odd 10 percent off at a department store, blah - and at around £30+ per product, it gets quite expensive. Plus, I have to admit, you don't get a ton of usage out of these, especially that bloody serum. I really need them to up the size and keep the price the same - thanks! Or can you guys recommend another serum? Let me know!

#4 Nip+Fab Dragon's Blood Fix Plumping Serum
In the warmer months I can use this intensive hyaluronic acid serum day and night, time after time - it's a great makeup base FYI - but lately I tend to use it for a few days, then take a few days off. I still get the same results but using it less in the colder months gives my skin time to adjust to what is a pretty potent serum. (I've also heard other reviewers say that they've experienced tingling/burning when they have applied their makeup on top, so this is definitely one of those products that you need to experiment with at first.) At night, top it off with your favourite nourishing cream and you will wake up with softer lines (if you have them!) and your skin will definitely look more plump. I was lucky enough to purchase this when it was half price and right now it's 50 percent off at Boots!

 Here we have Original, Cherry and Birthday - which tastes amazing...although you're not really meant to be eating this stuff.

Here we have Original, Cherry and Birthday - which tastes amazing...although you're not really meant to be eating this stuff.

#5 Glossier Balm Dotcom
Although Petrolatum is listed as the first ingredient in this skin salve/lip balm, it also contains Castor Seed Oil, Beeswax and Lanolin, resulting in an almost waxy texture that stays put on your lips. It's amazing for applying over lip liner or a matte lipstick as it doesn't spread, unlike say, those little tins of Vaseline. It is an instant hit when you have chapped lips, or dry patches around the mouth and of course, the choice of six flavours (including one with zero flavour) plus two coloured options, means you're likely to be tempted to buy them all. They're just so Instagram-able, ya know? Looking forward to comparing this to Lanolips - when it finally arrives from Look Fantastic who I ordered if from on Black Friday...