Great looking make-up always starts with great skin. Unfortunately winter has a way of challenging your skin and makeup more than any other season. Here's what you need to know to give your skin the extra care and attention it needs, plus tips on beauty products for achieving the right winter look.
Cold temperatures, snowy weather, heated rooms, and excessive hot showers to warm you up have a tendency of drying your skin. Your skin is your biggest organ, so whatever is going on inside your body will reflect through your skin. So it is essential you drink plenty of water and moisturize throughly.
If your dryness turns into eczema you can use 0.1% hydracortisone once a week on the areas that are really dry, irritated, and itchy. Eczema is genetic and is most aggressive in winter. The indoor heat along with the cold outdoor temperature makes your skin drier, no matter what your skin type is. If your eczema seems to worsen, please consult a dermatologist.
Dry skin: Use a facial serum or oil under a thicker-formula moisturizer.
Oily Skin: Use an oil-free serum and oil-free moisturizer.
Combination skin: Use oil-free products on the T‑zone and a thicker moisturizer on the cheeks, which get drier in the wintertime.
No matter what your preference, liquid/cream foundation or tinted moisturizer using a SPF/UVA/UVB protection all year round is a must. The sun that reflects from the snow is as strong as the sun that reflects from water. So choose a day cream with at least SPF 15, or a foundation with SPF. Skin is also paler in the winter, so you must use a wintertime base. Powder is needed all over the face for oily skin. Those with combination and dry skin should use powder on the T‑zone area only to set the base.
Most cosmetic companies launch fall/winter collections full of darker shades for eyes and lips. However, there are no rules for which colors to use on a seasonal basis. Most of the products are matte and simply look better in winter: more dramatic and deeper hues that go hand in hand with fall/winter fashions. But remember that what works on the runway does not always work in real life. If you love pastels in winter, go for them. Keep in mind, though, that if your face is pale, pastel colors will create a washed-out look that is not flattering; light pastel eye and lip makeup looks better on tanned skin, which is why pastels are very popular in the summer. For a cool-tone winter look, wear deeper colors on your eyes and give your lips a matte fuchsia tone instead of light icy pink. Or use some color on your eyes and keep your lips pale. No matter what the season waterproof mascara is always your best friend. Change of temperature and elements from outdoor to indoor will make regular mascara run. You don’t always have to use black mascara; try brown, blue, or green. Water-resistant eye pencil is excellent; because it’s made of waxes, it will stay through the rain. Water-resistant liquid eyeliners are good but don’t necessarily stay well because of their flakiness.
Cracked lips are the number one problem in winter. If your lips are superdry, skip the lipstick and use tinted lip balm, which is available in many different colors. The pigmentation is not that high, but you will get smooth, healthy-looking lips with a beautiful sheen. Make sure the balm has SPF and UVA/UVB protection. My personal favorite is the Burt's Bee's lip line (also featured in my "kit must haves" on my website, www.beautifulbrush.com). Exfoliate your lips regularly throughout the cold months. That way you will get rid of the dry flakes on the surface of your lips. If you want a more dramatic winter look, fair skin looks really good with well-lined red lips, darker skin with well-lined deep brown or deeper cool reds.
Blush is a key item to the winter makeup look. It really gives some color to your skin and wakes up your whole face. Powder blush is recommended best for oily skin. Gel and cream blushes tend to give extra moisture to dry cheeks and provide a dewy-healthy glow to the skin . The color of your blush is completely your own choice; again, if you have a cool-tone look, use pink; for a warm tone, it can be peach.
Hands/Feet and Nails
Dry/cracked hands and feet are very unattractive, not to mention it can be sore and painful. So keep your hands and feet moisturized at all times. Thicker moisturizers and creams, such a Nivea and Lucerine are highly recommended. Sleeping with cotton gloves or booties on after applying a thick layer of cream to your hands and feet is an excellent way to keep the skin and cuticles soft and healthy. Darker nail colors look trendy in the winter, especially with a matching lipstick. It will always give a very sophisticated, mature look.