5 Winter Makeup Tips for Your Inner Snow Queen

Alle Connell


burgundy lips

Photo: IMaxTree

Contrary to popular belief, winter makeup isn’t all metallic silver shadows and nude lips. When the temperatures drop, think of your beauty routine as a heartening glass of red wine rather than a cold shot of chilled vodka. These five tips will ensure that you get—and keep—your best makeup look ever this winter. Who knows, maybe you’ll look so lovely that you’ll even learn to love the chill.

1. Waterproof everything.
Waterproof makeup isn’t just for the sweat-filled summer months, because winter generally means inclement weather of all stripes: rain, snow, sleet, hail, heavy fog. If it’s precipitation and it’s unpleasant, it will be wreaking havoc on your makeup all throughout fall and winter. This means you need to make sure that your entire face is waterproof: eyebrow pencil, liner, mascara, concealer, lipstick. Because the last thing you want is to be caught in a surprise snowstorm and find your cat eyes halfway down your cheeks afterwards.

2. Set your makeup.
Skipping powder is a good idea in warmer weather—sweat can make it clump and settle strangely on your skin, which nobody wants. But in winter, powder is crucial: not only will it set and seal your makeup, it also ensures a perfectly matte complexion. And if you’re not totally sure you want to undertake the mighty ordeal of finding the right powder, you can ensure your makeup’s longevity with a finishing spray instead. We love Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray ($30, Sephora) which sets your makeup perfectly while still allowing your natural glow to shine through.

3. Highlight carefully.
Many people think that matte winter makeup has no place for highlighted skin, which couldn’t be further from the truth—you just have to be careful what kind of highlighter you use. Think subtle shine, rather than summertime glossy radiance. We love Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder ($40, Sephora)—it’s basically the perfect winter highlight, giving our complexions the perfect lit-from-within glow. And because it comes in four different shades, you’ll definitely find a color that works for your skin!

4. Get intense with color.
Sometimes it’s easy to feel that in winter you’re limited to a cold palette: frosty whites, pale blues, silvers and chilly purples. This couldn’t be further from the truth—embracing bold eyeliner and dramatic lip colors is the perfect way to add emphasis to your cold-weather look. As always, it’s primarily about balance; keep your skin minimal and glowing, define the brows a little and knock it out of the park with the lips, or keep the lips warm-toned and glossy and embrace color on your eyelids. Intense eye makeup, overdone foundation and severe lip color is A Lot Of Look that should really only be attempted by Kardashians and RuPaul; it’s much more wearable to focus on a single feature and make sure everything is in harmony from there.

5. Think creams, not powders.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that winter means dry, itchy skin—and nobody wants that. Cream blush and eyeshadow not only tend to have longer staying power than their powder compatriots (which is essential when you have to venture out into the snow), but they don’t settle into flaky skin and make it look even drier. So you get dewy, fresh-looking skin and a perfect glow in a weatherproof package—sounds pretty good to us.

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