Winter Beauty Favorites!
I don’t know about you, but winter takes a toll on my skin. During the summer, my oily skin thrives. It comes alive with the excess sweat on my body and glistens like the condensation on my margarita glass. I will get asked most often what highlight I use during the summer, though it does not seasonally change for me unless I get pasty pale in the winter, it is exaggerated by the dewy goodness that is: sweat. Long story short, my favorite season for skin is summer. I am oily, in case you hadn’t quite figured that out, and I also have acne prone skin. In summertime, I got with a ‘less is more’ approach to my makeup routine to allow my face to tan (thus matching the rest of my body), and all those poolside days don’t have me worrying about a makeup meltdown. Truthfully, I enjoy putting on more makeup in the winter. The colors, the layers, and the general coziness of winter allows me a little more time and head space to get reeeeeal fleeky. The ONLY downside to winter for me, is that my skin takes a turn for the drier side of life, and my naturally dewy complexion disappears to a matte winter wonderland.
Over the years, I’ve heard TONS of ladies complain about drying out during the winter months, and us oily girls are no exception here. When the season shifts over to, say, less than an average of 70 degrees (yes people, that’s winter for me, I live in California), I begin shifting my makeup and skincare routines to allow a little extra moisture for my skin. These are my current beauty faves that I’ve tested over the last couple of years, and will be returning to this year!
Exfoliating is especially important in the wintertime. When your outer layer of skin becomes dry and flaky, it’s best to scrub it off, and start anew. I spoke with my go-to skincare guru, and was advised by a licensed esthetician that it’s perfectly safe to exfoliate DAILY. We’re not talking chemical peels here people. I’m solely talking about light, everyday exfoliation. You can use a scrub with microbeads, like the Origins GinZing Refreshing Scrub Cleanser (smells like oranges, mmmmm) OR, if you’ve got a little more cash to spend on the upfront investment, I absolutely LOVE my Clarisonic Mia 2. Groupon has deals all the time on the brush heads, so it’s truly a one time investment for the cleaning brush itself, it stays charged for about 6 months, and it has a 2 minute daily timer that allows for just enough time to slough away dead skin, but not enough time to sand your face to the bone. Either way, whether you decide to purchase a product, or use a good ol washrag to get that dry, dull skin off, make sure you are exfoliating daily. This is my #1 tip to all ladies of dry, combination, or oily skin in the wintertime. You will notice an immediate improvement in the way your makeup sits.
At night, I opt for a cream based moisturizer in the winter, because my skin feels tight after all that cleansing and hitting the cold air after a shower. I love the way the Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask makes my skin feel after a shower, and by the next morning, my face is ready to take a beating all over again. No matter what moisturizer you choose for night time, definitely go cream based (as opposed to gel based). You skin needs the extra lovin’ during the dry season.
During the summer, truthfully, I do not use a morning moisturizer. Again, I am oily so I can get away with it. By 10 AM you could fry chicken on my face with the amount of grease my pores secrete, so I don’t give it any ammunition, just a splash of water and I’m on my merry way. During the colder months, I do utilize a gel based moisturizer in the morning. I’ve found that cream based moisturizers make my makeup sit a little less naturally, and gel seems to melt into the skin very quickly. If you do have extremely dry skin, it may be a good idea to use cream based in the morning as well, but try to allow yourself 15-20 minutes between moisturizing and putting on your makeup (honestly I don’t always have time for that, so I’ll moisturize, eat breakfast, then do my makeup). The gel moisturizers I’ve turned to for a while now, are Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel or Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel. To be honest, I prefer the price, smell, and texture of the Neutrogena one,and if you find it at Costco, it’s even cheaper AND comes with their gel based eye cream (which is also FAAAAAABulous). Clinique is best for those who have sensitive skin or allergies, and they also have a more heavy duty moisturizer called Clinique Moisture Surge that I used before I found Neutrogena’s knock off. It’s a wonderful product, but again, a bit on the pricier side of things.
I’m pretty low maintenance when it comes to my skincare routine, so I don’t utilize a ton of serums or goops. I will say that the SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel knocked it out of the park for me a few years ago when my skin was especially dry after snowboarding in Colorado. I was chapped, wind whipped, and just blahhh. This stuff brought me back to life in the span of a few days, but because of the price, I never incorporated it full time into my line up.
For my body hydration levels, I am always sure to drink a ton of water. I will preach it now and forever, GET A HYDROFLASK. Internal body hydration plays more of a role in the elasticity of my skin than ANYTHING else. There is no secret, no tricks, no gimmicks, and it’s all backed by science. Drink. More. Water. Aside from my internal hydration, I used an intense body cream from Bath and Body Works for years. Then, one day, they just decided not to make my favorite cocoa butter ever again. I sought it out on Amazon, then eBay, paying well over what it originally cost… but of course, eventually it ran out. Let's have a moment of silence for the products we’ve loved, and lost. Weep if you must. I am. I digress… I now have found a new love of my life. My moon and stars of all things body care lie with Lush Sleepy Lotion. I will 100% disclose, it is like 40% cheaper in store than ANYWHERE online. I stock up when I hit a Lush out of town, and I always have a few reserves. If you don’t like the way Lavender and Vanilla smell, do not, I repeat, DO NOT buy it. But, I love how it smells, and the feeling on the skin is initially oily and hydrating without being greasy or heavy.
Lastly, I have fallen in love with Bio Oil this year and have used it since I was literally 6 weeks pregnant on my hips, breasts, belly, armpits (no joke), and anywhere else that had any form of skin irritation or dryness (think about your chub rub ladies, though there is a preventative ChafeZone Chub Rub stick for that!).
Foundation can be fickle. I find one that works for both seasons for me, and I alternate between Dior Forever Skin and Estee Lauder Double Wear for foundation, depending on which one has my shade in store, because I am the WORST about letting myself run out of foundation.
What’s more important that your foundation is: A) your internal and external hydration levels PRIOR to doing your makeup, think water and moisturizer before makeup ya’ll and B) PRIMER. The secret. The holy grail you’ve been waiting for. No seriously. Primer makes more of a difference in my makeup routine than ALLLLLLLllllllmost any other product. Honestly, in a pinch, I choose primer over moisturizer. The primers that I’ve known and love include Becca First Light Priming Filter (have used for last year and currently using), Too Faced Hangover Replenishing Face Primer, and Laura Mercier Foundation Primer Hydrating. All of these options were amazing products, but some did not mesh well with my current foundation routine and I’d rather keep my foundation and change primers. Moral of the story, if you don’t prime, you are missing out. Side note, I don’t care how oily you are, you should not use a matte primer during the winter unless you want to look like a matte cake face. That is my personal opinion. It has NEVER worked well for me, especially when using a matte foundation in conjunction with a matte primer. Ick!
Powder and dry skin do not mesh well. With that being said, you still have to set your wet makeup products before moving on, UGH. During the winter, I will set my under eye area, forehead, chin, and smile lines with either Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder, or, for a cheaper option, I like RCMA No Color Translucent Powder. Both have the same idea, but RCMA is definitely more moisture sucking than Laura Mercier. If you opt for the cheaper RCMA one, just use a bit less and don’t bake with it or you will end up cake faced. When setting with either powder, I first do my foundation and concealer routines with a damp beauty sponge. I’ll the dip my same damp sponge into the loose powder and dab onto the various areas mentioned above. Within 30 seconds, I grab a clean brush and dust off the excess powder. I’ll do a quick dust of my entire face with the same brush so I don’t have to set anywhere else with any more layers of powder prior to contouring or applying bronzer or blush. You must make sure all the “wet” products are set with a dry product before starting in with bronzer, contour, or blush, or the damp parts of your face will hold onto the powder and pigmentation, causing you to look patchy. We don’t want that now.
If you get the fine lines or crêpe-iness (a nice word for wrinkles) around your eye area, you may need to dedicate a little more love to the under eyes. I mentioned the Neutrogena Gel Based Eye Cream above, which is a great start, but of the eye creams I’ve used previously, I do prefer the Clinique Pep-Start Eye Cream (it’s a smiiiidge more dense). Next, I’d also recommend using a kickass concealer, like Tarte Shape Tape. If you haven’t tried it, you are missing out on beauty GOLD. I kid you not, this concealer has changed the way I do my makeup. If you don’t have eye wrinkles, you may not even need to set this stuff for it to work it’s magic. It’s creamy, it’s buildable, it’s blendable, it’s witchcraft. Lastly, you still must set your under eye area. Use the above powders to do so, and again, DO NOT BAKE. Excess powder or the appearance of dryness can make fine lines appear deeper.
Of all the parts of my body to be dry, my lips drew the short straw for sure. I am constantly applying some goo to my lips, whether it’s Chapstick Total Hydration (I like Sweet Peach or Coconut, the other flavors are not the same lovely texture) which I have 3 of at all times (purse, nightstand, car chapsticks), daytime lip colors like bareMinerals Nude Buttercream Lip Gloss (I use the peachy color Popular) or the suuuuper long lasting Buxom Full On Plumping Lip Cream (in peachy Bellini, berry Mudslide, or nudy White Russian). Both of these glosses are insanely long lasting, especially the Buxom one. I’ll put on my bareMinerals one and layer Buxom overtop just to keep it on longer. I’ll only have to reapply after eating. At night, I treat my pout to something a little more heavy. I’ll put on either my nightstand Chapstick or OG Bert’s Bees if I’m feeling minty, and layer Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask (I own it in natural and Champagne, though I REALLLY want to try Maple too, it’s gorgeous!). You can totally wear the Bite Masks during the day too, I just prefer my other two lip glosses for daytime use, though I will layer the Champagne one over my Popular at times. Another favorite of mine, though it is a little more pricey, is the Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatments. They come in nudes and colors, some apply like chapstick, some like balms, and some like lipsticks depending on the color, but of all the ones I’ve ever purchased or been gifted, they are all very creamy and comfy.
Last, but certainly not least, are your setting sprays. Choosing a setting spray is as important as breathing. Okay, I’m obviously exaggerating a little, but it’s up there guys. Remember when I said that primer makes the biggest difference in your routine than ALMOST any other product? Here’s your exception. Setting spray is the single most underrated product that can make or break your entire face. I am not exaggerating here. I have used setting sprays for literally YEARS. The good, the bad, the mediocre, and the hands-down phenomenal. I have two go to setting sprays, and one on my wish list for when I win the lottery.
For my combination to oily girls, you need to buy the Morphe Continuous Setting Mist. First of all it’s an aerosol, so it has a continuous spray. It has the finest mist I have ever witnessed in a setting spray, so you can use less and cover more of your face without ending up with large spritzes on one part, and basically nothing on another part of your face. It smells divine, though it could smell like farts and I’d still use it. Best of all, it freaking WORKS. Did I overbake my face? Use more setting spray. It’s gonna be a hot day? More setting spray. Looking cakey? More setting spray. Boyfriend left you? More setting spray. Gained 20 pounds over the holidays? Spray that negativity away. Setting spray combines alllll the layers you’ve spent god only knows how long putting on, into one, happy, light layer. It helps makeup sink into the skin, not just sit on top, creating a more natural look, no matter what beauty law you’ve disobeyed. Morphe made an awesome product and they have offered it to the public at a very fair price. Stock up, cause you’re about to fall in love.
For my dry ladies, I have used and will ALWAYS use Urban Decay Quick Fix (cheapest @ Ulta) for a first set, and Morphe for a second set. Quick fix is not technically a setting spray, but rather a ‘priming spray’. I hated it as a primer and felt like it wasn’t quite dense enough to do what I needed it to do. But on one of my particularly dry days a few years ago, I was reading the usage instructions for my full bottle of Quick Fix, and it stated that the hydra-charged formula could not only replenish moisture prior to putting on makeup, but that it could also essentially assist in repairing makeup cracks hours after application. A bold statement Urban Decay. I had nothing to lose. It was one of those “I’m just gonna wash my face and start over” kind of days. A few spritzes on my face and I noticed that my makeup was remedied nearly immediately. Moisture replenished and fine lines faded. My skin looked and felt radiant and comfortable again. Quick fix has a pump style cap, and the mist is pretty fine, though towards the end of a bottle it can get a little spitty. The smell is to die for, coconutty and tropical, and the ingredients like vitamin B3 and coconut water are truly moisturizing.
There you have it! My go to, winter beauty faves! What do you use and love?! What do I need to try?!