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Planning to spend some quality time in colder climates this Winter? Think that a sweater and a jacket will get the job done? Guess again! In those chilly regions, where the temps dip into the 20s and 30s, and the wind gets whipping a bit, even ordinary things like walking, sightseeing, and window shopping can be tricky. If you want to stay nice and toasty, without adding big, bulky sweaters and jackets, then you are going to need layers. And these are going to be your most essential pieces…
- Skinny jeans – You love them in the Summer, Spring, and Fall…so why should Winter be any different? Actually, skinny jeans are ideal as a layering piece for so many reasons. Not only do they balance out your body shape when you wear those gorgeous, oversized sweaters, but they work really well with all kinds of Winter footwear, from knee-high boots to brogues to ankle booties. One tip though: try to find a pair with a bit of stretch to them, and don’t get them in a skin-tight size. This will enable you to layer a pair of tights for warmth underneath.
- Thick tights – A good pair of thick tights can be so versatile in the Winter! And by “thick tights” we mean opaque tights that are lined with a thin layer of a fleece-type material. They can be worn alone with a cute skirt or dress, or layered under jeans to help cut the cold and biting wind.
- Thin cashmere sweater – A thin cashmere sweater is not only an all-time wardrobe classic, but it is one of the easiest ways to add warmth without adding bulkiness. It can be layered over a tank, Henley, or even a long-sleeved button-up shirt for the ultimate in preppy chic. In really cold climates, it can even be used as a layer under a thicker sweater.
- Body-con long-sleeved Henley or crew neck shirt – These are some of the best, no-brainer layering pieces you can have in your wardrobe. If shopping for actual “base layers,” these shirts are almost always in a form-fitting Lycra, blended with some type of wool or synthetic fiber, since these will hold in heat much better than cotton. They come in all sorts of colors and look beautiful layered under a flannel or plaid shirt, worn open.
- Pashmina shawl – This, again, is another multi-tasking star for Winter! Much more versatile than a classic narrow scarf, the shawl can folded and worn as a thick and cozy scarf, or it can be opened and worn over your shoulders as a shawl. And if you look online, you’ll find no less than 100 different ways to fold it, wrap it, and wear it!
- Fuzzy socks – Think these are just for bedtime? Think again! They solve one of the epic conundrums of Winter-weather lovers everywhere…how to keep your feet warm and comfortable without causing them to sweat up a storm in your boots! Fuzzy socks, unlike wool socks, manage to keep in warmth, but still allow your feet to breathe. Plus their fluffiness adds an extra little bit of cushioning, which is always appreciated on lovely, crisp Winter walks in the woods!
It never fails. You have a big weekend planned, good friends, lots of laughs… not to mention you’ve got a fierce outfit already picked out. And then, BAM! Right there…in the middle of your chin…a pimple the size of an apple. There’s no way you can get that thing cleared by Friday night, right? Wrong! We just so happen to have 10 easy and natural cures (that you probably have around the house right now) to send that pimple packing ASAP.
- Toothpaste – This is a tried and true pimple buster. Just make sure it’s a white toothpaste, not a gel-based one. The cleaning properties in it work to absorb oil, while the anti-bacterial properties fight bacteria. You only need a very small amount, dab it onto the pimple, and allow to dry overnight.
- Honey – Put this down on the long list of amazing things that honey can do. It is a natural antibiotic which helps kill the bacteria that causes pimples. It is also naturally hydrating, so it won’t dry out the skin around the pimple (unlike the toothpaste, which might cause a little redness). Dab a small amount onto the pimple and allow to dry (at least an hour). Wipe clean with a warm damp cloth.
- Calamine lotion – Yes, in addition to treating severe itching caused by anything from chicken pox to poison ivy, Calamine lotion can also be used to treat acne. Since it contains zinc oxide, it soothes the redness and reduces the inflammation of acne. It also works to absorb the excess oil in and around the pimple. Just dab some on the pimple before and allow it to dry before you go to bed.
- Orange peel/Banana peel – It sounds odd, but they’ve been known to work! The acidity in the orange peel works to dry out the pimple, and the banana peel contains Lutein, which is a powerful antioxidant that also reduces inflammation. Choose either peel (the orange might be too acidic for sensitive skin), then rub gently in circular motions over the pimple and allow to dry. Then rinse clean with a warm damp cloth.
- Aspirin paste – When crushed and mixed with a few drops of water, made into a paste, and applied to the pimple, this aspirin cure can be remarkably effective. Aspirin is an anti-inflammatory agent, so it works to reduce the swelling and redness. Dab onto the pimple, allow to dry, and leave it on the area overnight.
- Baking soda – Baking soda is another classic cure-all home remedy that has been around for many years. To use on pimples, add a few drops of lemon juice or water to the baking soda, make a paste, and then apply to the area. Allow to dry for 10-15 minutes, then wipe clean with a warm damp cloth.
- Lemon juice – This treatment can be a bit drying for those with sensitive skin, but it really does work. First, make sure you are using fresh, real lemon juice, not something from concentrate or a container. Lemon juice is not only a natural astringent, but it also has acidic properties that help to dry out and treat the pimple. Dab the lemon juice onto the pimple with a cotton swab or cotton ball, and allow the juice to dry on the pimple (20 minutes or so). Then wipe with a warm damp cloth. You can then apply an oil-free moisturizer, if necessary.
And, just like that…you’ll be all set to hit the town with your friends, rocking that perfect outfit, and that nasty pimple will be a distant memory!
What is it about Winter weather that makes us just want to get out and enjoy nature? Sure, in the Summer, you can get out and enjoy nature just the same, but as the temperatures rise, you can only remove so many articles of clothing before….well…you get arrested. But in the Winter, you can bundle up and really make the most of the world around you! No matter what you fancy… hiking, camping, or even just enjoying a festive campfire with friends…we’ve got the gear you’re going to need to keep warm and keep going!
- Base layers – Why are base layers so important? Why can’t you just throw on a thick jacket and be done with it? Well, not only do base layers make it easier for you to adjust your body temp as you go, but they can keep you warm without letting you get overheated when enjoying activities outdoors. True base layers (long-sleeved tops and bottoms with fitted ankles) are worn close to the skin and are form-fitting (but not overly tight), made from polyester, wool, synthetics, or a combination of all three, but not Cotton will retain moisture and but will not retain much-needed heat.
- Insulating layers – Worn over base layers, insulating layers should still be made of the same materials – wool, polyester, and synthetics – but are a bit thicker (not so thick you can’t comfortably move though). In more moderate climates, you might be able to skip insulating layers and simply double-up on base layers. This layer will be the one that you layer on and off as your temperature, and that of the outdoors, fluctuates. That means your insulating layer is best comprised of pieces with zippers and/or buttons (like these) for ease of use.
- Weatherproof layers – Your outermost layers will be windproof, waterproof, and breathable. On top, that means you’re looking for a good hard-shell jacket, with plenty of zippers for extra ventilation. Regular jeans or pants will work over your base layer, but in colder climates, you should add a pair of weatherproof or weather-resistant pants. Not only will they keep your pants and under-layer dry, but they help to cut the chill of the wind.
- Hats/gloves –In cold weather, your body first loses heat through your extremities. That means hats and gloves are definitely in order! Again, try to look for fabrics like wool, polyester, or synthetics, since they will hold the heat better than cotton. Hats and gloves should fit snugly …and fleece-lining never hurts. And, in this day and age, look for gloves with smart touch fingertips, so you won’t have to constantly be taking them on and off to use your phone.
- Boots/shoes – Footwear should be waterproof, with thick soles, and have a fit with a bit of room. The extra room not only helps with accommodating the thicker socks (hopefully wool) you’ll be wearing, but it will allow for warm air to circulate and keep those toes warm.
Finally, add a hard-shell, insulated or lined jacket, one designed to take the elements, and you’re set. If you layer-up properly, and choose the right fabrics and fits, your Winter time wanderings are sure to be toasty, warm, and wonderful!