With the winter season coming to an end, slowly but steadily- I thought it would be helpful to share my winter favourites! I believe that ‘monthly favourites’ are more of a theme amongst blogs, but I don’t quite think that my life as a final year University student as as versatile for it to change that much every 30 days or so.
My winter favourites are things that I’ve been using (nearly) everyday, which have helped me keep on track, stay happy and positive, whilst also productive and warm during the low temperatures. Most of my winter favourites are things that I’ve both acquired recently during the winter, or things that have particularly grown on me in the past few months. I’ve tried to make it as broad as possible, without losing focus- so I’ve included things ranging from nutrition and fitness, to cruelty free makeup that I use on most mornings, and lifestyle snippets.
I like to pretty much update my instagram story every day and through that I’ve been able to share different products that I’ve been using throughout the winter months. Previously, I’ve shared a condensed version of my morning routine that included tips on how to wake up better in the morning and get your day rolling when you’re woking on a tight time schedule. That’s something I’d love to share in a blog post if you’d be interested in reading about it.
It would only be appropriate that I started off my winter favourites with my most used pre/post workout products these past few months. I’ve shared products from both these companies on my instagram before, but I thought I’d include them in my favourites as well because they’ve been life saving during the cold months. The first product is the Reon preworkout sachets that I’ve been using for a pre workout pump, but also for those long nights in the library where I’ve been cramming for an essay or trying to stay awake and focused for an exam. Each packet comes with four individual sachets, where you just tear the top off and pour onto your tongue- I’m quite impressed with how ‘organic’ the product is in the sense that it hasn’t got any nasties on the ingredients and it also contains B12- whaaat? I know! I’ve been getting the pomegranate flavour that only has around 3 calories per serving (not that I’m too fussed about calories, but it’s still a pretty good bonus considering that it acts as a caffeine stimulant but is waay cheaper than a bought espresso etc.). Each packet is around £3, but Reon have been kind enough to send me a promo code that gives you free shipping AND reduces the price of a pack (containing 3 sachets) to £2.40 which is so cheap for what the product has to offer! The code is “NAT18” for anyone using it.
The second item in my ‘workout fuel’ section is the FreeSoul protein powder, which is absolutely delicious and soo smooth when blended in a protein shaker.I personally use their branded shaker because it’s absolutely gorgeous and it’s got a metallic sort of casing which keeps your shake nice and cold for after a sweaty gym session. Getting to the gym in the winter is a struggle in itself sometimes, especially when its so cold and dark outside- but knowing that you have a smooth and flavoursome drink waiting for you is a nice little reward! I know that a lot of vegan protein powders can be quite chalky sometimes, which is why I love this particular one so much. What initially attracted me to the company is their strong message in empowering female athletes to follow their passion no matter what, It’s great seeing companies empowering women to support eachother! Also, the packaging of the products is so gorgeous, ngl- I bought their teas for the gorgeous boxes they come in- and the flavour of them was just a bonus, haha! The company reached out to me upon buying the product and actually gave me a 15% promo code for anyone who wants some ££ off: “FSNATASA.” If anyone was wondering, I bought their vegan range bundle box that included their vegan protein (I got chocolate flavoured), a protein shaker, the ‘wake’ and ‘sleep’ tea boxes, and tumeric pills (which are a great way of getting in your daily dose of anti inflammation without having to buy a turmeric latte for £2.99 hah)!
The two workout products are the only ones I’ve got a discount for both in general and in this blog post, but I’d honestly never promote or even endorse a product if I didn’t enjoy the product myself, be willing to purchase the product over and over, and absolutely believe in the values of the company and the message they’re trying to promote!
The best thing about living in a University city is that your lectures are just a 20 minute walk away from student housing, but the downside is that when its cold and brisk outside, a 20 minute walk in the rain and cold air can set you back for the day. I’ve sometimes woken up feeling determined and motivated to start my day, only to get to campus being drenched and shivery all day long. Will this water-bottle transform itself into a bodysuit umbrella to keep you warm? no. But it’ll certainly help warm you up once you’re there! I always set myself the goal of ‘not buying coffee on campus,’ but it seemed that most flasks would keep my drink warm but not HOT all day long- if that makes sense. The akasha bottles are sustainable and ethical for the environment because of how versatile and reusable the product is! I’ve made smoothies in here before if I’m in a rush or want to have a refreshing snack on the go, but during the winter- this bottle has definitely been my go-to “hot drink holder.” I once made peppermint tea in it and took it to campus, only to forget I’d made it in advance, and then realised that my drink was still the SAME temperature it was this morning! I don’t really go camping or hiking anymore, but this would’ve been a life saver if I had it a few years ago!
I got their product from amazon actually, but I think they might be launching bottles on their webiste soon!
I’ve realised that I’ve got a pretty steady ‘makeup routine’ lately that I pretty much follow every morning before heading off to campus. I don’t usually put loads of makeup on if i’m having a chilled day of running errands/ going into town/ going to the gym etc. but just as much as I like having a completely makeup free face on my ‘i’m going to stay at home and chill’ days, I also enjoy experimenting with makeup when I’m out and about. I’m so happy to admit to the fact that ALL the makeup I use is cruelty free right now! It’s been a long process of trying to use up/ give away old makeup and to find replacement brands that don’t test on animals, but I’m so happy it’s happened! It’s more so the case of knowing what brands don’t test on animals, than the actual difficulty in buying cruelty free makeup. So many ‘known’ brands such as NYX, Smashbox, Soap & Glory, The Body Shop’s makeup, Natural Collection at Boots, No7 at Boots, Kat Von D makeup, Bare Minerals, Collection…. That’s just a few that pop to mind right now!
I’m not going to list all the makeup that I use, as that would probably be best suited for a separate blog post, but I’ll mention a few makeup products that have been my go-to staples during the past few months.
- Lip balm by GreenLand in the flavour: passionfruit
– I bought this from a beauty shop called ‘beautyline’ in Cyprus and the brand in cruelty free and all natural. The lip balm feels so moisturising on the lips, it’s perfect for preventing your lips from getting chapped in the winter!2. Liquid lipsticks from NYX and Bodyshop
1 – NYX do a lovely range of soft matte lip creams that apply softly on the lips. Even though the tube itself isn’t that big, they have a long lasting stay because they’re matte, so I guess that makes up for it.
– The NYX colour that I’ve been loving is called Abu Dhabi ( SMLC09)
2 – The Bodyshop also do a similar range of matte lip liquids. Personally, I feel like they both have a very similar texture and consistency. I sue them interchangeably and the colours of the two posted below are very similar. I like to keep my lips quite neutral with a touch of darker pink and red tones- especially during the winter.
– The Bodyshop colour that I’ve been using is called: Windsor Rose 032
3. The Body Shop’s body butters
Body lotions and Body butters are AMAZING for keeping your skin moisturised in the winter. I don’t personally suffer from eczema or dry skin- might be because i grew up in a mediterranean country and have good genes for it, but I know alot of my friends have it and body creams really help. I tend to use a body lotion after a morning shower because it dries faster, but If I’m showering at night, I use a body butter because it’s thicker and probably better for your skin if it’s given time to absorb overnight. I loveeee the smell of coconut, so of course I bought the coconut body butter from The Body Shop. It says that it helps for people who have ‘very dry skin’ on the packaging, which just goes to show how moisturising it is!
4. SLEEK contouring palette
Lastly, I’ve got contour! I’ve only started using bronzer and highlighter in the past 10-12 months or so, but I’ve only recently discovered the SLEEK contour palette. It’s about £10, I get mine from SuperDrug and there’s 3 different compartments to it: contour, highlight, blusher. I don’t really use the blusher because my face is always bright pink anytime I walk somewhere #iliveinahillytown, haha but I love the other two shades. The one I buy is the ‘Face Form Contouring & Blushing pallette’ in the colour ‘Light 373.’I apply it with a NYX contour brush that I bought over christmas – it says ’02’ on it, so I’m guessing that’s the code for the brush?
Out and About.
Winter can be used as a perfect excuse to stay at home, snuggle up, order take out and binge watch netflix all day long, but getting outside is just as important. Being active and exploring your area is so mentally healthy and enjoyable when there’s a (non rainy) nice day in the forecast! I love exploring independent and local cafes/ restaurants/ shop/ etc. because they’re so unique and have so much to offer. The customer service is so much more personal and in touch with human emotions. Also, the products are so unique and personally thought of, it makes the whole consumer- producer experience far more enjoyable and humble!
My current favourite cafe is one called ‘MARCH COFFEE‘ and it’s located on South Street in Exeter. They’ve only been open for just under a year, but their coffee/ food situation is delicious and the decoration in store is beautiful! The cafe is located just off the high street, which makes it quiet enough to go in and do work, whilst also being close enough to the centre of town if you’re out and about.
Also, I managed to hop on a train to Totness to check out ‘China Blue,’ which is a ceramic studio that lets you pick your own item to paint and then glaze. I’ve wanted to paint on plates for ages now, but never got round to it, so we literally just booked train tickets to Totness the night before (once we realised it would be a fairly nice day) and went to the studio. It’s literally a 5 minute walk form the train station and you can spend all day in there. We went on a sunday so a lot of places on the High Street in Totness were closed by the time we got there, but China Blue is so big, you can literally spend the whole day there! They’ve even got a cafe, a lifestyle shop, a hair salon, a wonderful garden, and I think an evening burger restaurant. I’ve inserted a few pictures below of what the place looks like on the inside, including a picture of my painted plate- it took so long to decide what I wanted to draw, but I got there in the end, haha!
Hope you enjoyed my ramblings about my Winter Favourites! Apologies if my blog posts get quite lengthy sometimes, I get carried away with writing and chatting with myself! Hope you’re all having a wonderful year so far, please do let me know what your winter favourites have been this year by commenting below, or by doing so on my recent instagram post.
If you want to keep up with my daily instagram story madness, then you can do so here: https://www.instagram.com/nutritionalnatasa/