3 Ways To Winterize Your Makeup

Just because it's cold doesn't mean you should neglect your glamour.

For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s winter. And it kind of sucks.

Not only does skin act up in the cold and you’re more likely to get sick (which plays merry hell with your beauty), but you’re likely to need surprise makeup adjustments, too.

So, directly from the Frozen Hellscape that is Chicago, here are my three best tips for winterizing your makeup game!

Waterproof your eye makeup.

To an Outback kid like me, there’s something totally magical about snow. Unfortunately, so blinded am I by this childlike sense of wonder that I forget that snow is basically rain with really good PR--it’s cold, it’s wet, and it ruins your hair and makeup in seconds.

You need to think waterproof products. Who wants to risk getting caught in a minor blizzard and ending up with your brows running down your face? So on dreadful winter days, I keep my eye makeup simple and 100% snow-proof.

Even though cat-eye liner is no longer my only go-to look, there’s something really beautiful about a swipe of graphic black on an otherwise snow white day. The fact that Lorac Front of the Line PRO liquid liner absolutely refuses to run, fade, or flake off through even the crappiest weather makes this one a total no-brainer.

Last summer I discovered the wonder that is Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Smoky Extravagant Mascara, and my waterproof mascara game was changed forever. Not only does this give me the totally jet black, non-clumpy lashes of my dreams, it also stays put no matter what slushy, sleety conditions Queen Elsa throws at me.

And no eye makeup look would be complete without perfect brows. I am completely in love with Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade in Ebony, which is the PERFECT natural black shade. It gives me the perfect amount of definition and hold, and better yet, won’t ever melt off in the snow.

And trust me, Chicago offers extreme conditions in which to test these products.


Don’t go nuts color-correcting.

'Tis the season for every man and their dog to tell you to use green-toned concealer to hide redness, or to pick a foundation a shade darker than you normally wear for a “healthy” glow. Please take all of that advice and throw it in the garbage, because it is terrible.

Unless it’s very subtle, it’s best to use concealer that isn’t tinted some crazy pastel shade. Like mad contouring, color-corrective concealer works best under very specific light conditions. In the winter when there’s more blue light about, what works in your bathroom mirror can look dreadful in the real world. Suddenly the green concealer shows up as a ghastly pale dot on your skin. HARD PASS.

Likewise, that slightly too-orange foundation. Please please don’t do this. It doesn’t make you look healthy; it makes you look like a terracotta bust.

PLEASE use concealer and foundation that match your actual skin tone. If you, like most people, are a little more pale in the winter, why not custom mix your products for a perfect skin tone match? And if you’re dying for a gorgeous glow, use a light hand and a bronzer or highlighter instead. There’s no rule that says shimmer and color is just for summer! I really like Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal for this--it gives me a slight hint of color without overpowering my natural pallor.


Protect your lips!

In winter when the winds are high, there is a zero percent chance that I’ll be wearing sticky or fussy lip glosses. Hair getting in my gloss is one of the grossest things on the planet, especially on a cold day. So in winter weather, I usually stick to matte lip colors…which are not always super-forgiving to dry, chapped lips.

My lips get peel-y if left to their own wintery devices, but luckily I’ve found ways around that. I’m a big proponent of mild exfoliation every day, and lips are no exception. When I’m done washing my face, I use a cotton washcloth and rub my lips in small circles until they tingle. A lot of special lip scrubs can be way too rough, which will only make dry lips worse--stick to warm water and gentle exfoliation.

Straight out of the shower, I apply lip balm. I ALWAYS have something on my lips to keep them protected from dry winter air, even if I’m inside watching TV. Burt’s Bees Pomegranate Lip Balm is my favorite. It’s hydrating, comfortable to wear, and it keeps my lips feeling lovely.

And when it’s time to get fancy, I can either apply the lipstick straight overtop the balm for a slightly more sheer look, or wipe it off and wear the color instead. Whichever I choose, I am secure in the knowledge that my lips will be in beautiful condition even under a matte lipstick.

  • Now tell me: What are your best winter makeup tips?
  • Northern Hemisphere readers, how has the frozen season been for you so far?
  • Southern Hemisphere loves, please post warm weather photos so that we know that summer will come again. I’m forgetting what the sun looks like!