15/12/2009

Ice ice baby: The snow bunny's beauty survival kit

It's all wonderful to have a good ski kit but it's no use if you forget to adapt your beauty routine and leave your skin and hair at the mercy of what will be tough elements. Just like day-glo overalls is not really the most stylish look out there, neither is red patchy frost-bitten skin and dry bristly hair. Both are best avoided.

After a few years of going to Courchevel around Christmas and New Year, I have perfected a little kit that helps me avoid frostbite, dry skin, and dried-up cooked hair.

1) Esthederm Sunscreen: This is perhaps the most important thing to take with you. I have had many sun allergies and in my experience the best products are those which provide mineral protection, such as this one. Its special formula is supposed to strengthen skin against sun damage; not being much of science-buff I'm not sure about how that works, all I know is that ever since I've started using it I haven't had a single allergy or sunburn. This is a total sunblock, so don't expect to get even a mild tan with it, however it means I can lie on the loungers at La Bergerie after lunchtime without fearing wrinkles. I love the texture as well, it is really light and is easy to re-apply on the go (for best results I apply it once in the morning over my usual hydrating serum, and then every couple of hours.)
Find it at Space NK or http://www.spacenk.co.uk/ for £67.53


2) Crème de La Mer moisturizer: Mountain air can be quite aggressive on my skin and as soon as I step out of my post skiing shower I slather some of this fabtastic cream on. I know that by know this baby needs no introduction, as there have been gazillions of articles written about it, and you know what? All the good things they say it does to your skin (plump it up, accelerate the healing process for skin damage, reduce redness...), well they are all true. It is one of the priciest beauty products I use, but it is well worth it.
It is available on-line on http://www.cremedelamer.co.uk/, where the small tub costs £90 (try to buy this at duty free when you come back from the US, it is the best price I've found so far)


3) Eclat naturel day cream for hair by Leonor Greyl: Unlike you believe that brittle and dry hair is a look for AW2009-2010, I recommend you turn to this cream which is rich in shea butter, jojoba oil, vitamins and infrared-filtering properties. You can use it on damp or dry hair and it doubles up as a styling product. I usually spread a small quantity over the ends of my hair to avoid them cooking up in the cold. I still haven't figured out where to find this in London so I stock up from Sephora in Paris, where it costs €28.30.


4) Philosophy Coconut Frosting lip balm: For me, holidays is also the time I take to spend more quality time with hubby dearest and remember how it used to be when we started dating almost ten years ago, away from the stress of our life. I find that having chapped lips is a bit of a hindrance to romance, so I always carry a couple lip balms around. My current favourite is this one by Philosophy, which one of my friends brought me from her last week-end away in NYC.



5) Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse: This is another product I usually pick up in my travels in France, and it is a superbly restorative dry oil formula enriched in plant extracts and vitamin E. It is suitable for skin and hair and smells divine. In French pharmacies, this costs about €12 for a small bottle.


The rest of my beauty kit includes my usual products (face serum, heavy hair conditioner to avoid tangled dried tresses etc etc), but these 5 must-haves come to ski every time. Here is another thing to bear in mind: going skiing around Christmas is bound to have a different effect on your skin and hair from going in February, where you should be more concerned with the sun and less with the cold and wind, so remember to adapt your vanity.

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