This opp came up to write about Winter beauty and I got kind of drooly. See, over the years I have amassed a good amount of knowledge about everyday beauty and I have no one to talk to about it! Most of my friends don't really wear makeup. As a teenager I had, and still have, skin issues (pimples! at my age!) so I learned all about good skin care regimens and makeup and all that jazz just for my own self-esteem. And you know, if you're going to put all that work into your skin, you might as well have some great clothes to go along with it. As well as shoes, of course. I'm just saying. Anyway, I have friends who know where to go now when they have a beauty question or just want to raid my extra stores of makeup (don't ask) but I don't often get a chance to lay down some general guidelines for the Good Of All. (This is awesome! I'm like a beauty philanthropist!)
The most important thing I can say about Winter beauty is moisture! This seriously cannot be stressed enough. Winter weather is ironically drier than Summer, even with all the snow and rain. The cold just sucks moisture right out of your skin. Then, of course, you're also moving from cold environments into heated indoor environments and that puts stress on your skin as well. Those two are bad enough alone but then throw cold and flu season on top of it and you could seriously wake up one morning with a preview of the wrinkles you'll have in ten years. (That happened to me with this last flu I had because I got so dehydrated.) So here are my tips...
1. Drink a ton of liquids. I know this is harder when it's cold but switch out your usual cool drinks for warm ones (I personally love hot lemonade) to keep up hydration. This is not only good for your skin but it'll flush toxins out of your body for overall health during flu season. The same rules also apply if you go out partying... if you drink alcohol, drink water to replace your fluids!
2. Use a toner. A toner can be your best friend. It resets the
pH balance of your skin to neutral so you don't get too dried out from soap or too oily in reaction to the dry elements. (Yes, that does happen!) I recommend splashing toner on after you get out of the shower or wash your face and before you do the rest of your skin regimen. Neutrogena has a great non-alcohol based one (which is perfect for older or sensitive skin) that I use over my whole body. I simply put it in a spray bottle and spritz every place that feels dry.
3. Use moisturizer! And not just your face. Remember the rest of your body and lips, too. My legs get super dry in the Winter so I have lotion just for them and my feet. I know a lot of people don't want to bother with multiple products (one for the legs, one for the face, etc.) but if you're going to invest anywhere, invest in your skin. It's healthier and your body and your mirror will thank you later. Which brings me to another point, do not forget SPF! Even in winter your skin needs protection and the vast majority of products include it anyway so you really don't have an excuse not to. Olay has a wonderful line of face creams (that I think are comparable to high-end moisturizers) that can fit almost any skin type, and they've also expanded into body lotions as well. You might have to experiment a bit before
you find moisturizers that are right for you but shopping at a drug store won't break the bank. Many lip balms also come with SPF specifically for Winter conditions. If you're really money tight here's a saving tip... find a face lotion that you like but comes in a larger bottle and use it for your whole body. You can even dab a little on your lips at night (eye cream works great on lips!). It might not be perfect for every dry bit of you but some moisture is better than going without.
4. Cover up. Lots of people are shy about accessories, so Winter is the perfect time to try them out! It's important not only to moisturize your skin but to keep it as unexposed to the elements as possible. Gloves, hats, and scarves are practical and fashionable! If you're new to accessorizing try picking one item that you love at first site, like a soft scarf or pair of gloves. Start with neutrals and then build up to bolder colors as you get used to the way these items look on you. Or, if you're already a hat and scarf person, jump into one in an unusual color. However, with all those extra items piled on for Winter there is a trick to balancing your look. Basically you want an emphasis on one area (or two areas that are far apart). Say you're wearing a neutral scarf and hat, then you could wear red lipstick for a pop of color. If you like to dress up your eyes, wear bold colored gloves. Wearing bright lipstick, tons of glittery shadow, a rainbow scarf, and a hat goes over the top.
The general rule is you pick one area of your face to emphasize, either lips or eyes, but in Winter you do have to take your accessories into account. Because I already have bright red hair and glasses I tend to keep my day makeup pretty neutral, especially if I'm wearing a hat, too. (BTW, if you're going out for a night on the town, you could totally break this rule and vamp it up. Nighttime always allows for bolder colors. However, I still wouldn't recommend the rainbow scarf with a party dress. But a boa? Sweet!)
Thanks for listening! - wg