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The shift to winter may involve coats, gloves and scarves, but that doesn’t mean that you should toss glamour into storage along with your sundresses.
“Winter makeup is high glam. … This is the season of dressing up for the holidays, for holiday work parties,” said makeup artist Michelle Avedissian. “The colors are bolder, smokier and richer.”
Dazzling makeup is a key way to liven up your look when it's chilly outside, but makeup techniques can also prove difficult in the winter because the colder, harsher weather can be rough on your complexion.
But don't worry: With a few skin care tricks and a handful of cosmetic tips, you’ll turn a beautiful face to the most ghastly weather.
Winter makeup is a more dramatic -- read, less carefree -- moment than summer.
- Gwen Flamberg, beauty director at "Us Weekly"
Protecting Your Skin
Before putting on any makeup, it’s critical that your skin is happy. And in harsh weather conditions, this can be a challenge. Beauty experts agree that the two crucial steps to keeping a smooth complexion in the winter are exfoliating and moisturizing.
Women may fear the drying aspects of exfoliation, but Avedissian says that you have to get rid of dry skin flakes for the moisturizer to work its magic.
Gwen Flamberg, beauty director at "Us Weekly," advises looking for a rich moisturizer that contains a humectant, which will draw water to your skin.
If those two steps don’t do the trick, using facial masks more often can work wonders, said New York-based makeup artist and Tenacious Makeup founder Tanya Milord.
Her favorite mask isn’t store-bought, but rather a homemade remedy. Her recipe? Mix six teaspoons of seaweed powder, a whole avocado and three tablespoons of honey in a container, apply as a mask and leave it on for 15 minutes. Seaweed contains a slew of antioxidants, and it helps rejuvenate your skin in harsh conditions. The mixture lasts up to three weeks refrigerated.
Laying the Foundation
Once you’ve masked, exfoliated and moisturized, you are ready to put on some makeup. And while winter is all about heavier makeup, that doesn’t mean more skin coverage necessarily.
A tinted moisturizer can work well if you prefer a natural look, though Flamberg advises still applying a layer of moisturizer underneath. If you want more coverage, a liquid cream foundation is a good choice for dryer, ruddier skin.
Milord notes that fine-tuning the shade of your foundation is the most essential adjustment from season to season. Since skin often gets more fair in the winter, it’s important to test out lighter shades after a few poolside-less months.
After applying your foundation, you’ll want to ensure your skin isn’t too shiny to maintain that matte winter complexion. Milord recommends applying pressing or setting powder for a smooth look. If your skin doesn’t react well to powder in colder weather, Flamberg suggests keeping blotting papers with you to get rid of excess shine.
For blush, softer, nude tones are a good choice, Milord said. While bright pinks are more spring and summer, and deep shades are more typical for fall, strong lips and eyes are the focal points of winter makeup, so a more neutral blush is a good choice. Flamberg also said winter beauty style is more about definition, so contouring your blush to your cheekbones is a good idea, as opposed to stained or blended blush.
The Bold Lip
In the winter, you have more license to go bold on lips. But chapped lips can make a heavy lipstick problematic. You can exfoliate your lips to get rid of dry skin just as you do on your face. Milord also has a home remedy for that. She recommends creating a paste from mashed papaya -- which is known to have certain exfoliating enzymes. After leaving it on your lips for a few minutes, rinse and immediately moisturize with Vaseline, shea butter or almond oil. Using lip balm several times a day also goes a long way toward preventing those dreaded dry lips.
Now you're ready for your bold winter lip color.
This year, berries, burgundies and violets are hot trends. Flamberg said she is a particular fan of the violet lip trend. “I’m dying over Tom Ford’s new lipstick shade Violet Fatale. It’s a perfect blue-fuschia that is truly universally flattering and adds an edge of high glamour to any look, even an otherwise bare face.”
Milord and Avedissian both said they are fans of a classic red for winter -- a shade that is particularly popular now, but also rather timeless. While you can create defined lined lips with lipstick and liner, Milord also said she loves the look and practicality of a lip stain, which can last without smudging all day. If you aren’t one to go heavy on lipstick, that’s fine, too. Wearing a neutral lip shade is another way to go during the winter, especially if you opt for dramatic eye makeup. The trademark is keeping your lips matte, so stick your lip glosses in that land-of-the-lost-makeup drawer until the spring thaw.
An Eye for Drama
“Winter makeup is a more dramatic -- read, less carefree -- moment than summer,” said Flamberg. The eyes are the go-to way to amp up the dazzle and get a bit bolder than you would in the heat of summer. And bonus: It won’t melt off of you. This winter, eye makeup is all about rich, vibrant colors and feature-defining techniques.
Avedissian said she loves the metallic trends for winter. Gold, silver, bronze -- the winter collections for most every line will come out with a version for the holidays. “My advice is once you see it and love it, buy it, because it won’t last,” she said.
Defined eyeliner is always popular in the winter. This year, the big trend is winged liquid liner. “Using a steady hand, draw a line as close to your lashes as possible, then flick your wrist up at the outer corners,” Flamberg said. Milord recommended using a cream-based pencil, which goes on smooth and dark, like liquid, but is easy to use for a detailed, defined look.
Avedissian said she also loves the classic smoky eye for winter, and for that, it’s advisable to invest in a waterproof eyeliner so that you can line the inner rim of your eye.
Brows are making an equal statement this winter. Thick, full brows are popular, so it’s important to keep your brows maintained and fill them in, Avedissian said. Flamberg said buying a small brush and brow powder is the most effective way to fill out sparse brows. And finally, add a highlighter underneath the brown line to make the look pop.
Don’t be afraid to take a risk with your eye makeup in the winter. You can’t wear as much revealing clothing as in the freewheeling summer, but your makeup can provide the glamour and sex appeal to make your look get noticed.