Ingredient To Know: Echinacea

Constantly having a head cold is my winter look. It’s never just a fleeting state of sickness. It goes like this every time: chilly weather hits and so does my telltale sore throat. The following months are spent nursing lingering symptoms of that initial cold while squelching subsequent ones that no doubt crop up. Yes, it is somehow possible to get a cold on top of a cold. And after colds on colds on colds, I have sprayed, gargled and chugged every preventative measure.

Prevention means heading to Juice Press, Duane Reade, Whole Foods or the Chinese Herbal Apothecary to pick up the usual suspects: vitamin C, zinc, elderberry, ginger, garlic and…echinacea, perhaps the most intriguing of the cold-fighting ingredients, if not the trickiest to spell. As with all supplements, there’s conflicting evidence as to the effectiveness of each. When in doubt, chalk it up to that elusive placebo effect. Nevertheless, I consume any number of them in various combinations until the sore throat either a) shrinks back to wherever it came from, or b) morphs into a full-blown cold.

To play it safe, I’ve also begun to pay closer attention to the hero ingredients in beauty products—perhaps loading vitamin C, et al., straight into my skin would lessen my sick chances. Luckily echinacea, one of my immunity mains, is the new ingredient that’s all of a sudden in everything. Here are the standouts:

The Fresh Crème Ancienne Ultimate Nourishing Honey Mask—far more luxurious than your echinacea supplement, but the same principles are at work here. Echinacea’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities are what’s said to nip a cold in the bud or reduce its duration. On skin, the mask coaxes a dewy glow from even the most sleep-deprived of faces, while also soothing any cold-induced redness. After blowing my nose on repeat, the mask is a much-needed recovery treat. Not to mention echinacea’s co-star, sweet, sticky, antibacterial honey—great for those Puffs-Plus-With-Lotion-induced breakouts. The Fresh Crème Ancienne line is inspired by monks and their diligent use of natural remedies, and the mask strikes a perfect balance between luxe and medicinal.

The Davines Well-Being line had me as skeptical as WebMD on homeopathic cold remedies. However, it’s my favorite discovery of the bunch. The products, which contain echinacea and vitamin C, have cured my unhealthy hair. Shampoo and conditioner-wise, you don’t need much—they smell lovely and subtle, and leave locks silky and not weighed-down, which, with fine hair, is the curse of overly rich conditioners. The Well-Being Shampoo somehow cleans roots without drying hair. The real champion, though, is the De Stress Lotion that I originally wrote off. Not a shine spray or a curl-enhancer, I wondered what, exactly, this product proposed to do. Well, what can’t it do? I have found the perfect supplement for my hair’s overall well-being. When applied wet, the lotion (more of a spray) feels like it’s locking in the effects of the Well-Being Conditioner. I don’t need any additional products, despite sickly-looking split ends. It also encourages my curls—and not in a crunchy, salt spray kind of way. Later in the week I learn it’s also the perfect supplement to dry shampoo—sort of helping to disperse the product and freshen up hair in terms of scent and texture without resorting to hair perfume, which seems drastic. If dry shampoo is like pressed powder, then Davines De Stress Lotion is like facial mist. It’s the perfect remedy whether your hair is sick or just in need of an immunity boost. If only I remembered to swallow echinacea in pill form as often as I now mist my hair (and body, according to the bottle) with it.

Honorable mentions include Jurlique Rose Hand Cream (the rose smells divine, even through a stuffy nose), the entire Farmacy line (shoutout to the Soothing Coconut Gel Mask, which features kale you don’t have to eat) and Chantecaille Nano Gold Energizing Cream (echinacea is perhaps overshadowed by, you know, real gold, the luxury of which has brightened my seasonally-affected morale, along with my complexion).

So while it remains to be seen whether echinacea has had a hand in preventing any potential colds this winter, I can say, with confidence, that it’s done wonders for my skin and hair, which even prompts me to believe it’s been the secret hero of my awful-smelling Source Naturals Wellness Formula pill—though I think I’ll continue to down Ginger Fireballs and Emergen-C’s just in case.

—Michaela Waites

Michaela is a Glossier Editorial Intern. Photographed by Tom Newton.

More ingredients to know: Practical information (and product recommendations, obviously) for blue tansysea buckthorn oilfern, and more.

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Winter Hair Problems, Solved

Come January, it seems like the internet has more “Guides To Winter Skincare” than you can shake an RSS feed at. That’s great and all, but we’d like to direct your attention to an equally important, just-as-vulnerable part of your cold weather beauty routine: your hair. In the spirit of taking better care of ourselves, we polled two floors of our office on what products, processes and best practices they employ to protect their hair from a flurry (!) of winter concerns: dryness, split ends, general damage, and the like. These are their stories:

Emily Ferber, Editor: “My particular concern isn’t so much of a winter hair problem as it is an all the time problem: split ends. My hair is naturally coarse and dry, plus I’ve been going incrementally blonder, which doesn’t help. I don’t believe in prescribed split end fixes (very sticky, too expensive), but I do add some sort of product to my ends almost every day. Currently, I’m working my way through Garrett Markenson Reverie’s Rake. It’s a pomade made for longer hair—buttery smooth texture that melts on contact and leaves ends sealed but piecey. It’s light enough to use multiple times between washes, but helps my hair feel less abused.”

Helen Steed, Creative Director: “I can actually get away with using fewer styling products by using an oil (like Bumble and bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil) mixed in with my conditioner, running my hand through my hair when blow-drying, and then wearing a hat for my commute. The result is smooth, non-frizzy, non-frothy, glossy hair. Hat hair, when you have it under control, can be the best for thick-haired (not headed!) girls.”

Jessica Sheft-Ason, Digital Product Manager: “My hair is extremely fine, and naturally very silky. That means that every time I put on a turtleneck, the static causes my hair to nearly levitate off of my head. Since I prefer to not look like I was just electrocuted, I use Moroccan Oil Light to smooth down the fly-aways (re: entire head). I only use a teeny, tiny amount. The oil is great for combating static—and it’s also moisturizing for my ends.”

Brennan Kilbane, Editorial Assistant: “One of my biggest vices is a daily blow dry. I know it’s not good for you—please don’t yell at me. This is hazardous behavior year-round, but in the winter especially. I try to blow dry smarter and less frequently by towel-drying my hair first, and then applying a tiny bit of Shu Uemura Straightforward Time-Saving Blow Dry Oil. It shortens blow dry time, which equals less time heat-styling. I’ll give it a rest on the weekend, too.”

Eva Alt, Social Media Editor: “My hair is pretty long and it gets extremely tangled and knotted from being tucked inside coats all winter long, so I twist it into a low bun or braid it before venturing into the cold to avoid. Sometimes I forget—so I’ve been brushing my hair before I get in the shower, followed by generous post-shower spritzes of Bumble and bumble Tonic Lotion. It makes it easier to work through any matted sections with a wide tooth comb. Plus, my hair’s been looking generally smoother and healthier.”

Sandra Sou, Senior Copywriter: “Instead of blow drying it or taking a heating rod to my hair, I’ll run a couple drops of Verb Ghost Oil in my hair right out of the shower. It’s moisturizing, and if I let it air dry, it feels silky but not weighed-down. And most importantly, the name is very cool.”

Tom Newton, Photographer and New Media Editor: “I rotate through shampoos and conditioners constantly, but I’m very tied to my styling products. During the winter though, because using my typical summer surf spray just doesn’t feel quite right, I start using curl cream or balm type things—like Hairstory Hair Balm or Jao Coiffette Bomade. I like having a bit more heft to kind of re-style after wearing a hat or whatnot.”

Claire Knebl, Managing Editor: “I like to get my hair trimmed more often in the winter—the weather seems to make my ends fuzzy faster, and a cut is the only real way to fix that. The right products can help though—Living Proof makes a nice leave-in jelly-type conditioner that I’ll run midway down through the ends of my hair. It’s called Night Cap (which is also the name of a fun bar in the LES!). Sometimes I’ll also use a little of the Ghost Oil from Verb, which Sandra just mentioned—like the Living Proof, it has a slightly thicker consistency to it.”

Pauline Maynard, Market Editor: “If you have frizzy hair, it tends to get frizzier in the winter because the air is drier—in NYC, at least. I have curly hair, so dry air makes my hair tangle really easily.That means I need to put on even more leave-in conditioner—my new find is Kerastase Nectar Thermique for Very Dry HairI also sleep in a braid with my hair semi-dry right after I wash it. It makes my hair really smooth, but that might be personal.”

Linda Bui, Product and Operations Manager: “During winter months, I tend to wash my hair less. Maybe every two or three—or if I’m extra lazy, four—days, depending how oily it gets after spinning classes. For day one or two, I like to throw some Bumble and bumble Pret-a-Powder all over to keep the roots from getting too oily. On that third or fourth day, when I know that I’ll probably wash it the next morning, I’ll slick it back with just Bumble and bumble Semisumo and put it up in a top-knot, making myself appear a little chicer than I actually am. But if only everyone knew how dirty and greasy my hair actually is…”

Solid suggestions all around. The only thing missing is yours.

Malgosia Bela photographed by Ezra Petronio for Self Service in February 2013. Makeup by Emily Weiss. More from that shoot here.

And because your face is important, too: try a heavy moisturizer.

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Let me just start by saying – I love weddings. I love everything about them – the gorgeous outfits and hats, the stunning piles of gifts, the delectable food and drinks and of course, the outpouring of love between two people that I care about during the ceremony. That all said, as a recent journalism graduate my salary is not exactly where I one day want it to be (and that is putting it lightly!) and weddings are bloody expensive!
Attending a wedding is a blast, but remember – you’ll need:
· a lovely new dress
· a new matching pair of shoes (obvs)
· new hosiery and maybe even new knickers (yes please!)
· train travel to and from the destination, potentially including hotel accommodation
· a gift (and I do love to shop, so I love to spend a little more than I should on this)
· pocket money, potentially for a cash bar
All together, this can easily rack up to over a thousand pounds, and not everyone can afford to drop that kind of cash without a second thought. I have to plan for these events up to 6 months in advance, and so lately I have been setting money aside up to a year ahead of time. This way, I find that I am not caught unprepared at the last minute, and I can set money aside at the same time that I am saving money for holidays and other more practical (and less fun) endeavours.
In order to make sure that I am in good shape to start saving for a friend or family member’s wedding I check my credit report annually. This may seem like a strange and/ or unnecessary thing to do before planning to attend what is essentially a glorified party, but you can see from above that these events can get really spendy! I don’t want to have to scrimp and pinch when it comes to a celebration of love, and I also don’t want to get caught off guard by finding out that I have an old unpaid debt that I didn’t even know about. Checking your credit report regularly is just a smart thing to do, and it’s a great habit to get into while you are still young.
Once that is all sorted out, here are some other easy ways to save money for an upcoming wedding:
· You can set aside your pocket change every day (this racks up to over 100 pounds a month for me if I am diligent and don’t steal pound coins back out of the change jar to buy a cheeky flat white).
· By your new dress at the end of the season – the nice thing about weddings is that you usually know about them a year or so in advance. Shop at the end of the corresponding season, and that’s your pretty new dress sorted at a bargain.
· Split wedding accommodation and travel arrangements with friends – sharing a car rental with other wedding guests (even if you do not know them in advance!) can be a lot cheaper than a train ticket, and sharing an Air BnB flat rather than a hotel room will be a lot less expensive – and a lot more fun.
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Frankie Says Relax (With PJs & A Candle)

The nature of “me time” means it’s specific to, well, you—but with the assumption that relaxation is universally important, here are five things to help us all get cozy and unwind through the end of winter.

1. Sleepy Jones Marina Pajama Set: Let’s welcome this cleanly cut, loose-fitting PJ set into our lives and into our beds. Its cotton is soft and light, and both pieces are on sale just enough to justify replacing those threadbare college tees you usually sleep in. And finally—recent runways re-encourage the wearing of pajama tops all hours of the day. That ought to make your life a little more mellow.

2. Byredo Cardamome Scented Candle: Keep the wick clipped and this candle will burn forever. The scent is a homey blend that’s part holiday-like and part vanilla-y springtime warmth—an oddly wonderful mix that’s ideal for late winter.

3. Woolrich Civil War Gettysburg Blanket: Here’s a moody-colored wool blanket to better the overall hibernation experience, because it’s cold out there.

4. Morgan Lane Lieve Robe: A good robe will become indispensable to your pursuit of happiness as you find the right one. It opens up a whole post-bath or shower window of opportunity perfect for copious cream or oil application and general lounging about. You’ll wonder how you ever walked around in a damp towel.

5. Richard Nicoll Navy Merino Mesh Jumper Dress: This knit dress with mesh panels is suitable for both lazy Sundays with wooly socks and those those times life requires you to leave the house and get a little more dressed up…so, the other six days of the week. A sound investment.

—Claire Knebl

Photo by ITG. To read more Five Cool Things, click here.

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Sure As Shearling

Shearling reminds me of cold, sleepy people on the subway wearing Sorel boots. And monkeys in Ikea. But it can do more than line the footwear of your morning commute. Faux or genuine, these five pieces are downright cozy, which is an important coat quality, but can also be a cool component to, say, a clutch or a heel. Everything’s better when it’s cuddleable, right?

1. Penfield Rockwool Shearling Collar Down Jacket: We all need at least one puffer coat (it’s essentially non-negotiable at this point). Console yourself with a flattering one thanks to slanted pockets and subtle colorblocking.

2. Topshop Faux Shearling Ovoid Jacket: Oversized with all the softness of a teddy bear, and with a complementary color scheme, too. Just add your favorite jeans, a white tee, and it’s brunch time.

3. Opening Ceremony Elise Open Toe Bootie: A shoe for days you want to attract some attention, have a pedicure, and don’t mind your toes being a little chilly.

4. Clare Vivier Foldover Clutch: I know what you’re thinking—that the shearling here will make this clutch way less practical. Actually, this is a conversation-starter. People will come up to you, curious, and ask why it’s furry. Is it inside out? Soon, you’ll have new friends.

5. See By Chloé Faux Shearling Coat: Is there anything more progressive than a motorcycle jacket, covered in nubby, adorable fluff? Consider it a a social statement (hey, it’s also faux) in addition to being a really cute coat.

—Claire Knebl

Photo via Getty.

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