My Favorite Products for Dry Skin | Winter Edition

For as long as I’ve been alive, so it seems, I’ve had oily skin. Regardless of the time of year—winter or summer—my face would shine with the sheen of oiliness, and it wasn’t very cute to say the least. But this winter, things have took a turn and my face is no longer oily but rather incredibly dry. Honestly, I blame the Chicago air. Not only is the air disgustingly polluted (I’m pretty sure I get cigarette fumes blown into my face at least twice a week), but the air during the winter is very dry. So, I guess it was about time that my skin got plagued with dryness.

I have tried so many things to help combat my dry skin, and to be perfectly honest, my skin is still dry. However, the products I’ve using as of late have helped with the pain and flakiness that comes with having dry skin. Today, I thought I’d share with you all my favorite products that I’ve been using and how I’ve been using them on a daily basis. As always, these products are 100% vegan and cruelty-free. Enjoy!

FACE OIL: you & oil

I received this face oil from my Love Goodly box a few months ago. But, I just started using this product recently as the oil was a bit too much for my skin during the summer. Thank goodness I remembered this product because it has honestly been a lifesaver for my skin.

I apply this face oil every morning after I wash my face and after I wash my face post-working out. I always make sure to apply it immediately after cleansing my skin in order to prevent my face from drying out from the water.

For this product, a little bit definitely goes a long way. For application, I put a dime-sized drop of the oil into the palm of my hand and using my fingertips I massage the product into my skin.

shop vegan face oils:

Kopari Beauty | Pacifica Beauty | Tarte Cosmetics



hyaluronic acid: pacifica beauty

If you know me, then you know that I adore all of Pacifica Beauty’s products. They’re all 100% vegan and all-natural, and I haven’t met of product of theirs that I haven’t enjoyed. While I use the face oil (mentioned above) primarily for nighttime, I use Pacifica’s face serum during the day.

Infused with hyaluronic acid, this serum is the ultimate moisturizer for days where the temperatures are below 30-degrees and it’s as dry as the Sahara Desert. Hyaluronic acid is a powerful serum that binds moisture into the skin. Regardless of its harsh (and TBH, kind of scary) name, the “acid” helps keep the skin hydrated for a longer period of time than run-of-the-mill moisturizers do.

shop vegan hyaluronic acids:

Pacifica Beauty | Osea | Tarte Cosmetics

face powder: tarte cosmetics

I’m not going to lie, my heart broke a bit when I found out that Tarte discontinued their Confidence Creamy Powder Foundation—it was my absolute favorite. Even though I used to do the whole shabang on my face and used an exuberant amount of liquid concealer and foundation, I have since moved away from caking my face with cosmetics and have instead opted for more lightweight options that make my skin look great in less than half the time.

Tarte’s powder foundation is a holy grail of mine and works wonders as a full coverage, yet creamy option for everyday. However, since Tarte discontinued this product, I have been using It Cosmetics’ Celebration Foundation which is equally as fantastic, but a little bit more pricey. But, I’ve always been a firm believe in spending more money for quality products that are cruelty-free and created without animal byproducts.

I use this product every morning when I feel like I need to wear just a bit of makeup to even out any discoloration or hide any “imperfections.” Instead of looking like I caked on a few layers of makeup, these powder foundations blend seamlessly into the skin and trick everyone to think that you’re actually not wearing any makeup. Plus, unlike liquid foundations, powder foundations don’t dry out your skin which is amazing for the wintertime.


shop vegan powder foundations:

Tarte Cosmetics | It Cosmetics | bareMinerals

Even though I haven’t mastered the art of skin care quite yet, I feel like I’m getting closer to achieving a complexion that can strut its stuff without wearing any sort of makeup. Do you feel like you’ve mastered your skin care routine? If so, what are your go-to products?

When Your Burger Tastes Like An Animal

I love a good veggie burger. And by veggie burger, I mean packed with beans, veggies, and some sort of grain, not stuffed with wheat proteins, soy, or any artificial flavors or additives. When a few of my favorite restaurants featuring delicious veggie burgers switched from house-made, plant-loaded patties to the Impossible Burger, I was disappointed. However, when me and my parents visited Old Town Pour House in the Chicago suburbs last Spring, I decided that I would give it a try in lieu of not having anything else to eat for dinner.

I was hopeful. I had heard great things about this burger. It has over 10 grams of plant-based protein and is a proclaimed great alternative for consumers transitioning into a vegan diet, need a low cholesterol alterative to an animal burger, or just want something more similar to the “real deal.”  

The base of the Impossible Burger is water and wheat protein (clearly not one of my favorite ingredients, per my explanation above), along with coconut oil, “natural flavors,” and other ingredients that are most certainty not whole foods—I’m looking at you konjac and xanthan gum. However, I can’t totally discredit the Impossible Burger for having a base of wheat protein, as most plant-based burger consumers are looking for great taste and a high number of grams of protein—the Impossible Burger comes in at 20 grams of protein per patty.

While I was not thrilled with the ingredients in the Impossible Burger, I nonetheless decided to take a bite. My first reaction was the texture. It’s been a few years—over 4, to be exact—since I’ve eaten a McDonald’s single patty burger, but boy, did the Impossible Burger flash me back to my McDonald’s-eating days. To say I was grossed out is putting it nicely. The texture of the Impossible Burger was grainy and rubbery, like real meat is.

Next, I noticed the flavor. Weirdly gamey and strangely meat-flavored—I hated it. I was so taken aback by the fact that the burger tasted like meat (and I was almost convinced that the Impossible Burger was lying about its vegan claims) that I did some research right there and then in the restaurant to reassure myself that the patty I had just bitten into was animal-free. One word: heme. The Impossible Burger uses a molecule called heme that is found in mostly everything. From people to plants, heme is a protein molecule that tastes like meat, yet is 100-percent free of animals.

My vegan patty of choice: made with 11 vegetables & free of heme protein. Photograph by Monica Kaplan

My vegan patty of choice: made with 11 vegetables & free of heme protein. Photograph by Monica Kaplan

When I’m eating a vegan burger, I don’t want it to taste like an animal. I want it to taste like plants and the goodness that they offer. Bring on the beans, bring on the vegetables, and bring on the non-animal-tasting flavor. I do believe that this burger is great for people transitioning off meat and towards plants, but for us longtime vegans, we can do without the Impossible Burger. 

What’s your favorite veggie burger that you’ve bought in-store and tasted out at a restaurant? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love some inspiration!

with love & light, Amanda