my winter skincare routine the girl loves makeup beauty blog

My Winter Skincare Routine for my very dry skin – it works!

winter skincare favorites the girl loves makeup.PNG

I have incredibly dry skin, and Cleveland winters do nothing to help that. Back in Pakistan, my skin was probably best described as combination skin; it even got a bit oily in the summers.

Here in the USA, however, it is usually drier than the Sahara, and painfully parched in the colder months.

So, to make sure I don’t get any lines, wrinkles, dry patches, cracked lips, pimples, and a myriad of other skin problems in the winter, I have devised this skincare routine to keep my skin looking healthy and hydrated. I have mentioned which products I use mainly at night.

Side note: I guess this goes without saying, but please drink water no matter what skin type you have. It does a ton of sh!t for your skin and body besides quenching your thirst. Thank you. PSA over.

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Tarte Rainforest Of The Sea Radiance Drops - Review & LOTS OF Swatches

Tarte Cosmetics Rainforest Of The Sea Radiance Drops – Review & LOTS OF Swatches

Sephora describes this product as:

What it is:
A multitasking elixir with brightening pearls and Rainforest of the Sea™ complex for a healthy-looking glow.

What it does:
These non-greasy, multitasking, four-in-one, mermaid-like radiance drops effortlessly go on skin as a highlighting primer, coat lips in moisture, infuse foundation with instant radiance, and impart a pearlescent, all-over glow. The hypoallergenic formula completely absorbs into all skin types—even oily skin—without clogging pores, while the antioxidant Rainforest of the Sea complex, coconut, jojoba oil, and vitamin E help hydrate and nourish your skin. Wear it alone as a highlighting base or dropped onto tarte’s clay stick foundation for dewy coverage with extra skincare benefits.

What it is formulated WITHOUT:
– Parabens
– Phthalates

What else you need to know:
This product is hypoallergenic and dermatologist tested.

I was so excited…

Tarte is arguably my favorite makeup brand. I love their shadows, their palettes, their liners, their lip products. If you check out my makeup drawers, I have a ton of stuff from Tarte.

Which is why I was so excited about these Radiance “Mermaid” Drops when Youtubers and Tarte began posting about them on social media. I couldn’t wait to place my order when the item arrived online and I couldn’t wait to receive it, OMG, you guys, I was so excited!


Sigh. It’s always better to have zero expectations, isn’t it?

The yays

I won’t do The Yays as bullet points, like I normally do. I’ll simply talk about this product. Now, listen. I want to make it very clear that this is not a highlighter. These Radiance Drops are not a highlighter. They are more of a serum/dewy makeup base. Kind of similar in purpose to the Farsali Rose Gold Elixir.

You get 30 ml of product with these, and for $32, I think it is a good deal. I had a coupon at which meant I got this for around $25. Yay.

These drops are like a non-greasy “oil” which absorbs into the skin very quickly, and makes my dry skin look visibly more hydrated, and softer to the touch. My skin feels nice after I apply these, and it isn’t sticky at all.

I have sensitive skin and I didn’t experience any breakouts with this product.

The bottle is quite beautiful also.

The mehs

WHYYYY did Tarte have to stuff so much visible gold shimmer into these?!

I hate when shimmer from a product is visible on my face. Hate it.

And this product is guilty of exactly that. After I massage the drops into my skin, they leave behind loads of small but clearly visible shimmer particles that make you look like Edward Cullen.

Not a good look. (Sorry, Twilight fans.)

Even under foundation and powder, those pesky shimmer particles make their way up to the top to look like that^. And the shimmer is gold, which makes my Simpson-yellow skin tone even more pronounced.

Plus the dropper has very little control, and the product flows out of it more freely than I would like it to.

I’ve tried as best as I can to show the shimmer in these drops in the pictures and videos below. You can open them in a separate tab and zoom in to view the details.

In conclusion…

I wish Tarte had altogether omitted any shimmer (mica) from these Radiance Drops. I think the “oil” (or whatever this formulation is) does a good job of making the skin look hydrated and plump on its own. It is actually a good primer for makeup, though I did not notice that my makeup lasts longer with this product under it.

Or I wish the shimmer was more finely-milled than it is. I don’t like the disco-ball look.

The Tarte Cosmetics Rainforest Of The Sea Radiance Drops are good for anyone who has zero expectations from them. This product is good for anyone who doesn’t mind visible shimmer on their face, and it is good for someone who wants a shimmery dry oil for the body, as it actually looks quite nice on the body compared to the face. I think in my swatches above, it looks quite decent on my arm, though I tried very hard to capture the shimmer in this.

Personally, I am disappointed with it. The hype with this one really was not backed up. I got these drops hoping they would be similar to my beloved Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Fluid Base. They don’t even come close.

Available at

tarte cosmetics Rainforest of the Sea radiance drops • Tarte
Tarte Radiance Drops - Rainforest of the SeaTM Collection • Tarte


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Farsali Rose Gold Elixir Review

Says Farsali:

DETAILS: Ideal for all skin types. Nut free product. USAGE: Ideal for daytime use.

SCENT: Pleasant uplifting citrus aroma.

First Impressions

  • Packaging: Sturdy, strong, understated yet beautiful. You have a 15 ml or 30 ml option with this one.
  • Dropper cap: Works well at dispensing product but since it is an oil based product, the serum tends to slide off the tip when you take out the dropper.
  • Smell: This has a strange scent to it. It’s not a sweet one. And it lingers until I put my makeup over this. It is supposed to be a pleasant uplifting citrus aroma but I do not really find it to be pleasant.



This has many uses according to the Farsali website. The website says it can be used as

  1. A daily moisturiser
  2. For hydrating lips
  3. To be mixed with foundation
  4. To revive dried cream products

Let me tell you how it went for me when I used it in each of the above listed ways.

As a daily moisturiser

In all honesty, my dry-sensitive skin does not take kindly to oil based products, at least at first. The first two times I used this, I seriously feel that the acne my face began sprouting a day later was due to this.

I kept using it gradually and I feel like my face has gotten used to it, kind of.

Despite my skin being dry, I do not feel like this requires any other skin care products to be used in addition to it; a toner only perhaps under it. It is very very hydrating and smooth and slippery; I would say it’s best to massage this into the skin and then let it sink in over the next ten minutes or so.

When applied initially, it appears very dewy/shiny/oily and if you have oily skin to begin with, I don’t know if I would recommend this.

Under my makeup, it makes my skin look very healthy and glowy, but even with my dry skin I need powder on top to make sure I don’t look like an oil bomb exploded on my face after an hour or so.

Personally I would not recommend a dewy foundation over this, unless your skin is Sahara-levels dry. Use a natural finish foundation, at best.

For hydrating lips

If you’re on Instagram, as I am , you will have seen most people use the Rose Gold Elixir for this purpose. I think it is very good used in this way and provides a great base for liquid lipsticks. Two thumbs up.

Mix with foundation

Farsali care itself recommends matte foundations for use here, and I followed those instructions. 1-3 drops are recommended and I used 2 with a matte foundation. This achieves a natural, satin finish which I quite liked but I don’t often use it in this way because, like I said, my skin doesn’t take kindly to oil based serums.

Revive dried cream products

THIS. Omg. Eyeliners and paint pots that have dried up on me, I’m coming for you armed with Farsali Care Rose Gold Elixir. Honestly, I put like 2 drops of this into a near-dried-up cream eyelid primer, like a month ago, and since then it has been going strong and applying smoothly. I would keep this serum and recommend it for this purpose alone.

Final verdict

Farsali Rose Gold Elixir suits me as a lip primer and for keeping cream products smooth and, well, creamy. If your skin is not sensitive to oil-based products, I think this would be a great all purpose product for achieving skin that is healthy looking all over. This has many interesting ingredients like 24k gold flakes, rosehip seed oil, and vitamins A and C, among others which work to achieve and maintain healthy skin with prolonged use.

While it hasn’t been the best for use on my face, I like that it is a multipurpose product. Personally I am more interested in trying the Unicorn Tears/Unicorn Essence from Farsali which is oil free.

For my face, I think I’ll stick to Glossier serums.



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Glossier Skincare Review

The Supers

Says Glossier:

They’re supplements for your face: potent, fast-absorbing treatment serums packed with vital nutrients to bring your skin the boost it needs today. Because you’re not just a “skin type”—your needs change throughout the month, and your product lineup should help you adapt. Some days skin feels dull, like after an all-nighter. Enter: Super Glow. Some days it’s stressed and breaking out—sounds like a job for Super Pure. Super Bounce eases tight, dehydrated skin (think: hangovers, long flights). Use after cleansing, before moisturizer.

Size: 0.5 fl oz / 15 ml each

I bought this set of serums before leaving for Punta Cana on holiday. I took Super Pure and Super Glow with me, and I used Super Bounce once I got back. Let me tell you what I think of these.

Super Pure

Key Ingredients:

Niacinamide Also known as Vitamin B3, it has a powerful soothing action at the source of redness.

Zinc PCA Penetrates pores to help clear out impurities and minimize sebum overproduction that can cause blemishes. Adding zinc is like giving your skin a calming massage to help it rest, recharge, and let go of built-up inflammation.

How to use:

To calm breakout-prone skin and redness, use dropper to apply 3-4 drops directly onto clean face. Gently dab into skin with fingertips until fully absorbed and follow with moisturizer. These guys are potent—you may use more than one Super each day, but each just once a day.

My skin is prone to breaking out due to allergies, especially in a new climate and environment. I was on vacation in Punta Cana for a week and took an anti-allergy for only two of those days. I used this serum daily, though, and I firmly believe this is what kept my skin clear and reduced any remaining blemishes as well.

I love this serum and I’ve been using it every day since I got it. If your skin is prone to break-outs, I wholly recommend this serum.

Super Glow

Key Ingredients:

Vitamin C [AAP] Helps reduce dark spots and creates smoother, light-reflective skin. We chose a specific type of vitamin C that penetrates deeper into skin and stays stable longer.

Magnesium PCA Like a fresh battery for your skin: it stimulates the metabolism of tired skin cells.

How to use:

To brighten and energize dull, tired skin, use dropper to apply 3-4 drops directly onto clean face. Gently dab into skin with fingertips until fully absorbed and follow with Priming Moisturizer. These guys are potent—you can use more than one Super each day, but each only once a day.

I used this serum with Super Pure and I do think it played a role in keeping my skin looking radiant but non-oily throughout my holiday. It is supposed to show long-term results as well, but I don’t think I’ve used it long enough to see those.

I wore my makeup for literally 12 hours on some days and I do believe Super Pure and Super Glow had a huge role in keeping my skin oil free and my makeup fresh during that time.

Super Bounce

Key Ingredients:

Hyaluronic Acid Abundantly found in our body, it holds up to 1000x its weight in water to plump skin from the inside out to create that bounce.

Vitamin B5 Found naturally in mushrooms, avocados, and lentils, vitamin B5 helps regenerates new skin layers that are softer and more supple.

How to use:

To ease and soften tight, rough skin, use dropper to apply 3-4 drops directly onto clean face. Gently sweep over skin with fingertips until fully absorbed and follow with Priming Moisturizer. These guys are potent—you can use more than one Super each day, but each only once a day. See softer skin instantly with Super Bounce.

I haven’t used this one nearly as much as the other two, but I love it. I really do. It is a dream to put on the face, and leaves it so smooth and primed for makeup application. Even if I wasn’t to wear makeup after, I’d be happy with this on because it makes my skin look and feel so good.


Fast facts: None of these serums are oily. I massage them into my skin with my fingertips and they go on very smoothly, and are absorbed quickly and comfortably. They are colourless. You get 15 ml of product with all three and they come in a glass bottle with a dropper-cap. (Ingredients and usage information quoted above is taken from


Priming Moisturizer

Another staple during my holiday, and otherwise, this moisturizer really does prep the skin for makeup application while keeping it hydrated, even in the cold Ohio winters I am currently experiencing. LOVE. I do believe it helped my makeup stay put longer each time I wore it.

Balm Dotcom

This is a skin salve which is non-greasy and non-sticky, and I use it to prep my lips for liquid lipstick application. It is wonderful for that purpose and leaves my lips hydrated for hours after application. Even if I wipe off my lipstick later and reapply it, my lips feel smooth because of this balm.

I haven’t used it on my skin, so can’t say much about that, but it is for use on the skin and lips.

Do I recommend these products?

These products make skincare simple and they actually do what they are supposed to, IMO. I didn’t expect much when I purchased them, but I am very pleasantly surprised. They’re great even on my dry-sensitive skin, so yes, I definitely recommend them.

Plus, each package contains a cute sticker set, a Glossier poster, and really handy travel bags with protective bubble wrap in them.



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