Re-treats // My winter survival kit
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I've been budgeting recently and am cutting down on the things I've been treating myself to. I find the less you have, the more you appreciate what you do have. I'm also a huge believer in spending on quality products rather than buying a load of cheaper products. Apart from a few jumpers I've kept clothes buying down to a minimum (and have sold most of my last winters wardrobe instead!) and now I've found a handful of skincare products that work for me I no longer have to buy a whole range of things - my skincare regime is simple and basic. I was shooting some food at home the other day and I tacked a shot of a few of my favourite winter things so I can recommend to you some of my colder month must haves.

My winter survival list - natural and sustainable products to wear and to have in the home. Retreat - a food and lifestyle blog based in Sussex.
  1. These are my beloved Ilse Jacobsen lace up wellies. 'Strong' calves and a fused ankle means I can't get standard wellies on and for years the start of every winter involved an endless, fruitless search for good looking wellies. Then these appeared on Plümo and I fell in love. The welly gods answered my wishes for a natural rubber boot that laces up and is long enough so go stamping in muddy puddles!
  2. I can't feature wellies without socks. I'm really fussy about what I put on my feet and I like my socks to contain as many natural materials as possible. In winter you really can't beat a few dependable thick socks and I adore these gorgeous undyed Alpaca socks from Freight.
  3. I've been addicted to the smell of the products from This Works since I picked a few items up in a Heal's sale a few years back. I like all my skincare to be natural and can't bear overly sweet smells so the natural aromas work so well for me. This Lavender & Roman Camomile candle is heaven - a musky, unisex scent that is relaxing and classy.
  4. Green People sent me this gradual tan moisturiser in summer to try but I've used it so much more in the colder months as I felt like my face could do with a natural colour boost! Green people used a substance that works with amino acids in the outer layer of the skin to form an even increase in colour. Honestly, it really really works. My super product of the year.
  5. Like products from This Works, Blend Collective's products all smell natural (and they are!) and very indulgent. I adore this balancing shower gel with extract of vetiver, star jasmine, geranium, rose and other essential oils. It feels so nice on my skin and not at all drying.
  6. Everyone needs a bit of bling in their life and as I tend to wear a lot of black in winter I've been adding sparkle with a version of this versatile, changeable necklace from SVP. It is very difficult to find a truly ethical jewellery brand and Sarah, the founder of SVP, has put a lot of work in to create just that. The necklace can be worn in three ways which means it works with most outfits so I only need to buy one!
  7. One of natures best antibiotics/antihistamine/antimicrobial is raw, unprocessed honey. Even better is honey made by bees exposed to your local pollens so can help with the seasonal allergens. Sussex have a range of good locals honeys, just make sure it's raw. I buy mine from Townings.
  8. In winter I always wear gel eyeliner and it's so difficult to find an effective, completely natural eye make up remover. But earlier this year while being shown a commercial, less natural solution the penny dropped than an oil would work to lift makeup while nourishing the delicate skin around the eye so a bit of research later and I was using this pure organic sesame oil. It works like a dream, just pour a small amount on a cotton make up pad, press onto a closed eye and then gently wipe off the make up and dirt.
  9. Finally, my bargain of the year. Growing up without a lot of money we relied on other solutions to see us warm - one of them was a fine tuned method of creating a 'duvet cocoon' and the second a hot water bottle. I really believe if your feet are warm you can warm the rest of the body. I start with the bottle at my feet then fall asleep hugging it. It saves loads on heating costs! I found this beautiful wool hot water bottle cover on Etsy, it's pure wool and hand knitted by the seller. They'd make a perfect gift too!

So, what are your winter must haves? Let us all know via the comments - we could make a perfect winter gift list for future!

Formally Emma Gutteridge