It's gonna get sappy up in here.
Newsflash: Winter is horrible.
Yes, it brings us the holidays and nostalgic conversations over hot chocolate, but it also brings us a lot of pain; mainly in the way it (negatively) affects our skin, hair, and overall beautifulness.
Let’s get down to business and discuss the most common winter beauty ailments and the ways we can tackle these things head-on, in hopes of overcoming them and reclaiming our former (summer) glory.
PROBLEM: Flat, staticky hair (from wearing winter hats)
My hair, which I prefer to wear clean (I’m one of those, forgive me) is a goddamn nightmare in the winter. As I prefer function over fashion, I have an array of ugly knit hats that are warm as eff, but they make my hair look like crap. (Nothing sexier than the mushroom shape your hair takes after being stuffed under a winter hat, amirite?!) (Also, don’t tell me to wear ear muffs, I have a temperature-sensitive scalp.)
In addition to being squished and smashed, my hair gets charged with static electricity like it’s its freaking job. My hair stands on end, and no door knob or light switch is safe to touch.
I know you struggle with this on some level, too. So how do we stop this?
My solution: Wait to apply any and all hair products until you arrive at your destination. I know this sounds insane. You spent all that time (or maybe not that much time) styling, and you aren’t even allowed a drop of hairspray before putting on a hat and running out the door? No, you aren’t. Because that product is only going to enhance hat hair and make static problems worse.
I love Aveda Pure Abundance Hair Potion because it comes in an adorable, portable bottle and is amazing at creating texture and volume for hair that needs a little life.
To use this stuff, I flip layers of hair over and sprinkle some powder on, and then flip the hair back over. Fluff it up and tousle it as desired for great hair that doesn’t betray you just because of the stupid winter.
PROBLEM: Dry skin
What anecdote about dry skin can I include here that hasn’t already been told? Last night, I scratched my eczema-ridden skin for so long that it started to bleed a lot, and instead of doing anything about it I just put on pants and went to bed. (This is problematic. But I was tired.)
I absolutely hate winter skin. Every year, after winter is over and spring and summer roll around, I totally forget dry skin is even a thing. Sure, I need to moisturize after showers to feel and look better, but it’s not 100% necessary, and my skin doesn’t actively rebel against me in the form of mutant itchy bumps.
But in the winter. Oh, in the winter.
LUSH is my absolute favorite brand for anything related to curing dry skin problems. Their natural formulas are perfect for eczema and sensitive skin because they never contain anything secret/icky. It’s always all-natural, and it will always help heal your symptoms rather than just putting a Band-Aid on them.
For the shower, I love LUSH Dreamwash Shower Smoothie. It contains popular dry/irritated skin remedies such as calamine, chamomile, tea tree oil and coconut oil to moisturize and hydrate while you are in the shower. (Of course, there are no drying sulfates present in this luxurious, relaxing formula.)
Post-shower, be sure to follow up with LUSH Sympathy for the Skin Body Cream. This edible-smelling body cream boasts moisturizing ingredients such as fresh bananas, almond oil, cocoa butter and sandalwood oil.
I’m not kidding, with this dynamic duo, you can say goodbye to crappy dry winter skin.
PROBLEM: Chapped lips
I know we all want to feel unique in our suffering because no one could ever possibly feel as tormented by their chapped winter lips as we do, but alas. This is a common problem, and that’s why it needs to be addressed.
The thing about chapped lips is that they aren’t an isolated problem. They effect many things, namely the successful wearing of lip color. I’m a big fan of bold, pigmented lipsticks, which, if you haven’t noticed, look disgusting when dried in the cracks of your chappy lips.
I start out my day with a healthy dose of EOS Organic Lip Balm Stick in Vanilla Bean. This 100% natural, 95% organic lip balm has been a favorite of mine with ingredients like vitamin E, shea butter and jojoba oil keeping my moisture in check. It smells and feels great, and I love to use it throughout the day, even on top of lip color, to keep things hydrated.
Also? Drink a lot of water. I know we aren’t as thirsty this time of year cause we aren’t sweating in the heat, but drinking lots of water does mountains for the appearance and moisture retention of your skin and lips.
PROBLEM: Flaky, crusting foundation
A huge bummer of winter is the effect that is has on more full-coverage foundation looks. Things can tend to look a cracked, crusty mess if the proper precautions aren’t taken. How is this fair? Foundation in the summer is too heavy and in the winter it gets too dry. We can’t win!
But there is a solution, and it comes in the form of a miracle substance known as BB cream. It's like tinted moisturizer, only with a bit more heft, and a ton of added bonuses for your skin.
My personal favorite of all the BBs out there (and I’ve tried quite a few) is Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream. An added bonus of this product is that it contains SPF 35, which is great for winter when the sun tricks you into thinking you aren’t prone to sun damage just because it’s cold outside. (Spoiler alert: You can and will get sunburned in the winter if not protected properly.)
This BB Cream doesn’t necessarily give the same coverage as a full-coverage foundation (although it is buildable), but it does give light to medium coverage while moisturizing and protecting you from sun damage, and it acts as a primer to whatever you put on top of it.
PROBLEM: Peeling cuticles
I am a manicure freak and constantly have to paint my nails. This is not a welcomed obsession, but one I deal with nonetheless. (Sally Hansen nail polishes are the most chip resistant, FYI.)
In the winter, this tendency of mine gets slightly unbearable as hands get drier and cuticles turn into a breeding ground for hangnails. It’s not pretty.
My favorite product right now for keeping cuticles moisturized and under control is the Almond Nail & Cuticle Oil from The Body Shop. The design of this oil brush is great: you just twist the bottom to release the oil, paint the oil on your nails/cuticles, rub it in, and voila. I love to do this before bed so that the oil has the night to nestle into my skin.
And the best part? Everything from The Body Shop is always on sale this time of year. Go and get this cuticle oil. (And everything else they have.)
PROBLEM: Dripping makeup from watery eyes (from the cold wind)
Let me paint the picture for you. It looks something like this: You spend your cold winter morning getting ready, coffee in one hand, eyeliner in the other. An old Rilo Kiley album is blasting from your iPhone as you primp yourself for the day ahead, and you're feeling FIERCE.
This is the best you will look and feel all day. And why is that? One answer: winter wind.
For me, personally, the cold wind is such a beauty killer. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked in the mirror once I’ve gotten to work to be like, “Whoa, WTF happened?!” Mascara and eyeliner running every which way down my face because my eyes were watering in the face of a negative-degree windchill.
The solution? Switch to a waterproof mascara. While it will be like hell to get this stuff off before bed, it is well worth it, because you won’t look like you watched "Parenthood" before heading into the office. My favorite brands for waterproof mascara and liner are Urban Decay and Stila.
What are your favorite tricks to beat common winter beauty problems? Do you have any favorite products to bust out for winter? Let me know!