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Beauty products to beat the winter blues

/ Source: TODAY contributor

It’s easy to get stuck in a rut during these dreary winter months. But by slipping a few unexpected products into your beauty routine, you can feel energized and moisturized on even the coldest of days. We’ve found ways to help you soften your skin, look younger for less money, sample the latest loot without splurging on all-new products, and even warm up this winter! Bobbie Thomas, TODAY Style editor and author of the Buzz for In Touch Weekly, helps pick you up with the best that beauty has to offer when the weather’s getting you down!Silky smooth
Say bye-bye to all things dry. Cold air lacks moisture and sometimes leaves us with a “winter itch.” Therefore it's important to not only moisturize, but exfoliate to avoid irritating dry, flaky skin. You can opt for nylon scrub gloves ($7; or make a simple scrub at home with some raw sugar and olive oil. Crabtree & Evelyn’s Aromatherapy Distillations Skin Polishing Ritual will let you create custom body butters by blending rich spices and tropical oils in a ceramic bowl ($49.50; And no need to overspend or overstuff your vanity; look for nourishing multi-use options. Revolution Organics All Over Body Balm will soothe skin, tame unruly brows, smooth flyaways, hydrate cuticles and more ($28; Last but not least, ensure your pucker stays perfect this winter. From ChapStick’s new True Shimmer line ($2; to Ramy’s Lip Oils, a celebrity favorite that comes in an old-fashioned dropper ($18;, there is a formula for everyone.

Heat wave
Baby, it’s cold outside — but inside, you can warm up with one of these hot products! Steam up the shower in seconds with Emotibombs, an updated version of the Bath Bomb that will fill your bathroom with fragrant steam as soon as the water hits it ($3.95 each; Meanwhile, Ole Henriksen’s African Red Tea Self Heating Body Soufflé literally warms the skin on contact ($65;, as does Avon’s new Completely Clean Anti-Aging Thermal Cleanser ($10.50; These are great alternatives to turning up the temp in the shower, as very hot water and soap will quickly dry your skin.

Makeup and more
Age-fighting foundation is the latest trend at the drugstore. Olay’s Definity Color Recapture ($29.99;, CoverGirl’s Simply Ageless ($13.99; and Revlon’s Age Defying Spa ($11.19; are all helping recessionistas cut beauty costs with double-duty makeup and skincare in one. And magnifying eyeglasses make it much easier to apply your eye makeup. Magnifico’s lenses drop down ($47.95; to allow access to one eye at a time, while iMagic’s lenses swing from side to side ($14.95;

Bite-size beauty
With so many skincare products packed on the shelves, discovering buzzworthy beauty brands can be a dizzying experience (and a pricey one, too!). But new sampling services are changing the way women try out the trends by offering an array of products for a fraction of the cost — and sometimes even for free! Beautyfix is a quarterly service in which members receive full- or travel-size products that have been selected by a panel of experts in the beauty field. Membership is limited and on a first-come, first-serve basis ($50; Similarly, the brainchild of NewBeauty Magazine, TestTube, is also available four times a year ($30;, and members receive a sleek tube filled with deluxe, full-size samples of luxury products for $30 per tube. While you never know what you’re going to get, the idea with both of these services is that the value of the products will always significantly exceed the subscription price. And finally, SheSpeaks is a free service that seeds products to women for feedback and reviews. Members who “match” with a certain product are invited to try it out, sent the sample for free if they accept, and then asked to fill out a survey on the product and share their opinions with other women on the Web site ( Now that sounds like the kind of fair trade we’ve been waiting for!