Prep your skin at night
Starting with moisturized skin is like keeping your car oiled — it’ll be easier to run foundation over it when you get ready. Powerful masks like GlamGlow’s ThirstyMud or celeb fave Wilma Schumann Hydra-Gel Red Wine Treatment Masques provide deep, intense hydration with nourishing ingredients. Use them once a week and see how much your face needs it.
Wash your face with gentle ingredients
Another skin care prep comes from washing your face every day. Go for something gentle, like La Roche-Posay Micellar Solution — which removes makeup, tones, and cleanses without rinsing or letting water dry out your skin — or First Aid Beauty’s Milk Oil Conditioning Cleanser, which removes makeup and dirt while smoothing skin with avocado and coconut oil.
Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize
The last step before grabbing your makeup is obviously using a great moisturizer. Makeup artist Suzy Gerstein suggests looking for “products with moisturizing and anti-inflammatory ingredients to combat the flakiness and irritation that characterize winter skin.” If you have oily skin, try a gel product, like First Aid Beauty’s Skin Rescue Mattifying Gel that absorbs immediately and minimizes pores. If you have combination or super-dry skin, try Skyn Iceland’s Arctic Hydrating Balm that uses cryogenic technology from the Arctic to repair and moisturize skin. No matter what you use, just make sure it’s absorbed before you start putting makeup on.
It’s prime time
You don’t need a primer if you’ve followed all of the above steps, but it doesn’t hurt. You can combine lotion and primer with Lush’s Magical Moringa lotion that has argan and rose hip oils, or go for the glow with the whipped, pearl-filled lightweight Becca Backlight Priming Filter. The point is to get an even canvas for your makeup, something you can also achieve by adding drops of Cover FX’s Custom Cover Drops to your favorite moisturizer. Two birds, one stone.
Opt for lightweight coverage
When your skin changes, it’s a guess and check system to see what works for you. Suzy suggest working in thin layers and seeing what the skin needs, like a few drops of face oil (or even almond oil) in your foundation. You should “experiment with different products, and see how your skin absorbs them throughout the day,” whether it’s a CC cream like Jane Iredale’s Dream Tint Tinted Moisturizer that gives your skin a soft-focus effect while locking in moisture and calming redness, Tarte’s BB cream that has a built-in primer and up to 12 hours of staying power, or your own foundation that you sheer out a bit with a tinted moisturizer.
Keep your smile happy, too
OK, we don’t mean your teeth, but it’s important to exfoliate your lips to get rid of all of the dry, dead skin so you can wear gorgeous lipstick. The Santa Lip Scrub from Lush tastes like chicka-cherry cola (remember Savage Garden, guys?) and its slight red tint will go perfectly with a bombshell red lipstick. We love the Red Door Red from Elizabeth Arden’s Beautiful Color Moisturizing Lipstick line, which seals in moisture and makes your lips look fuller and plumper — even in the winter.
When your lips get dry and you’re out having fun, don’t touch up with lipstick! “If you’ve done a bold matte lip for a night out, rather than touch up with the lipstick you’ve used, which can start to feel dry and yucky as the night goes on, throw a tinted lip balm into your bag in a bright shade and touch up with that instead,” Suzy suggests.
Don’t go overboard on other makeup
With your skin so sensitive and dry, it’s better to ease up on product use in the winter. A little blush or bronzer on your cheeks will do, but really, the rosy redness from the cold weather will go a long way naturally. Focus on your eyes, using waterproof mascara like Benefit’s Roller Lash to make ‘em pop while not crying black tears from the wind hitting your face, strong brows, and a simple eyeshadow like just one shade from your Naked palette.
Set it, but don’t forget it
Using a setting spray is always the perfect finish, but take it one step further when you’re trying to hydrate with Jane Iredale’s Pommist Hydration Spray, packed with pomegranate and white tea leaf extracts, or Urban Decay’s cult-favorite Chill Cooling and Hydrating Makeup Setting Spray. Now your makeup won’t budge, and your skin will stay fresh all day… until you repeat the process all over again.
Suzy also suggests filling a rollerball with virgin, cold-press coconut or argan oil to roll over the cheeks and any dry patches for quick touch-ups. Sigh, is it spring again yet?