Fun fact: do you know that there’s a place in Hawai’i that snows? Let me quickly show you Mount Maunakea (White Mountain), a dormant volcano in The Big Island. Measuring 10,200 meters (from base to peak), it is touted to be the tallest mountain on earth. Yes, it’s actually taller than Mt. Everest which only measures 8,848 meters (measured above sea level). Snow in the tropics, how cool is that?

Palm trees and snow, what a panoramic sight! (photo credit)

Although it doesn’t snow or get terribly cold where I live (Oahu, Hawai’i), the forthcoming winter season also brings the temperature down to a level that makes my skin dry, lips crack, hair frizz, and most important of all, to get cozy-up, clothing and beauty-wise. Hence, it’s safe to say that our needs are quite universal. This week, Makeup Wars is bringing you our Must-Haves to help you prepare for winter, here are my picks, majority of which I have reviewed on the blog and repurchased!

Lather Coconut Foaming Body Scrub: this is the best body scrub you can get your hands on. It’s all natural, cruelty-free, smells like you’re vacationing in a tropical island, plus it’s quite affordable considering the topnotch quality. It foams as you rub it against your body with grits enough to slough away dead cells without the torture, haha! But seriously, it’s gritty enough to remove dead skin cells sans abrasiveness. Another favorite is their body butter, it’s seriously one of the best out there!

pixi Rose Oil Blend: if you love facial oils, you need to try this heaven-in-a-bottle product. You can use it as standalone moisturizer, mix with your favorite moisturizer or cream, or in my case, mix it with my favorite foundation! And it won’t break the bank!

Innarah Venodefense Treatment Creme: yes, it’s spendy at $300 but this is one of the best facial moisturizer I have tried; it really seals in the moisture without making my face icky greasy. You only need a pea-size so this entire jar is good for one year (minimum). I started using this more than six months ago and I haven’t even dented half of it.

ogx Argan Oil of Morocco: a surprising find and really cheap at that! I use it as the final step after shampoo and conditioner. Wring hair to get rid of excess water, apply from ends to roots (or reverse), I just do it in this order as strands are are more stubborn there, and air-dry as usual. My color-treated hair loves it a lot!

Ahava Dead Sea Crystal Osmoter: another facial oil that compliments my combination and aging skin. Used in cocktail with other skincare products in my stash, it hydrates my skin like a boss. It is gentle, very lightweight and non-comedogenic, at least based from my experience.

Kaffe Facial Coffee Scrub: made from Kona coffee, this product gently exfoliates as well as helps boost skin’s dull appearance. As you may already know, winter brings out the worst in our skin as cold and dry air affects the way our skin holds moisture. Exfoliation is one way to get rid of dry and dead skin cells, followed my moisturization.

Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Balms: if you want color vis-a-vis well hydrated lips, I have but good words for Fresh Sugar. I especially love the set which contains deluxe sizes as they are perfect to tote around or as stocking stuffers.

Jack Black Lip Balm: a long time favorite, this lip balm has SPF 25 and also protects against UVA/UVB rays. Lips, like the rest of the skin, needs sun protection even in the thick of winter.

Murad Rapid Resurfacing Peel: packaged as individual sheets (think soaked towelettes), it combines 10% glycolic acid and vitamin C which helps improve skin’s texture. It’s a gentle at-home peel without making your skin peel like snake. Use once or twice a week, no rinsing required, ideally followed by serum or moisturizer of your choice.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Mario Palette: the shades in this palette are perfect for fall and winter. You can check out the swatches here but offhand, if you prefer rich and warm colors this time of the year, this is the best $45 you will spend on.

Viseart Blush Palette: Viseart in general doesn’t disappoint. I own several products and this palette which contains 3 blush and 3 bronzer is another must-have! Utterly pigmented, the colors from Plum Bronze palette are very well coordinated (swatches here). 

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