Lotions and creams*
As one might imagine, when the temperature dances around between 0F degrees and minus-who-cares-(it's-COLD) on a fierce wind, the chill goes to the bone and also takes a toll on the skin. Chapped lips, windburned cheeks, flaky skin, cracked fingertips are all pretty common ailments in these parts when the weather turns brutal.
This winter, I've been using Gloves In A Bottle and Yes To Carrots. The Gloves In A Bottle was sent as a sample, and the Yes To Carrots was among the items in a Christmas gift basket. These both sit near my kitchen sink -- along with a few other tubes that DH or the kids use -- and are the ones I use most. They're quite different, Gloves being a lightweight lotion and Carrots definitely more of a cream; a very small amount is all that's required of either. I forgot the first few times I used either of these and no kidding about the elbows; I was slathering the excess on every exposed part of my body!
The best thing about both of these is that they're effective yet very light, absorbing quickly -- almost disappearing -- into the skin and not leaving a greasy feeling at all. That's my number one requirement in a hand lotion. When I'm finished cleaning up the kitchen, the next thing on my list is usually knitting, and I sure don't want to be greasing up my yarn as a side effect of using a heavy hand lotion! I go for Gloves and Carrots in equal measure -- sometimes I'm in the mood for very thin and light, sometimes for a bit more creamy. It just depends.
My other happy surprise this winter is Olay Regenerist micro-sculpting cream. I was sent a very tiny, teensy-weensy sample of this along with a brochure and testimonial about a difference after only four days' use blah blah... yeah, right.
Well, YEAH! I don't even use this stuff twice a day as directed, and I've seen a change. I'm not even wanting miracles, you know... I'm 49 years old and wear my gray hair with a little bit of pride; 25+ years of smoking will have done some damage, but perhaps I've offset that some by not worshipping the sun much. There's no expectation of miracles in a bottle or jar over here. I'll tell you, though, my skin definitely feels more firm and smooth; of course, I still have wrinkles, but they just seem a little softer. I love the texture of this stuff, and the smell.
With all of these potions, the most important point is to make the application right after washing, when the skin is still moist. In the past couple of years, I've been in the habit of applying a thin layer of aloe gel on my face, which I continue to do, followed by the Olay and sometimes Clinique Pore Minimizer Refining Lotion, the tube of which has lasted for quite a long while (I don't use it EVERY day)... because I have large pores. I actually wanted the T-Zone Shine Control variety the day I went to the Clinique counter (the name says it all!), but they were out of stock. Though not as "active" as it once was, I still definitely have a T-zone.
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Painting progresses! There isn't much left to do in the upstairs kitchen. Ali has her sights set on the playroom, where she's carved out that bit of studio space, but that project is complicated by a patch of peeling plaster that will first need repair. Instead, while at Home Depot to pick up an extra quart of kitchen paint last night and after reaching an impasse over playroom color/technique/process/timeline, we chose new color chips to comtemplate for the downstairs bathroom -- where I've been reluctant these many years to paint over the stencil! Yikes. It would be quite a drastic change, from flowery pink-ish to a very new and different theme that we've even already given a sticks-in-your-head name: Innocent Squirrel Eating Walnuts. The trim color is an off-white called Innocence, the wall a medium gray called Squirrel, and the floor would be painted or stained a Dark Walnut. It's very fitting since I have a black walnut tree in the back yard, the fruit of which many a squirrel has eaten (or buried in my garden).
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*Though participation has been dwindling recently for a variety of reasons, DH has, for many years, been absent many a spring-summer-fall weekend hawking wares at an art fair. It's a lot of work and a big expense just to get to one of those things -- jury fees, entry fees, travel expenses, lodging and meals, set up, tear down -- not to mention needing a good body of framed, saleable work to hang on the walls under the Oceans and Dreams "big top" and a big (gas hog) vehicle in which to carry it all. With the economy... blah blah more blah... you know.. it just hasn't been that good. Anyway, I always joked that with just a little bit of paint we could easily go in a different direction, changing the name on the tent canopy from Oceans and Dreams to Lotions and Creams. Heh.