Whether you’ve been out on the slopes or just shoveling snow all season long, there’s one thing we can all love about this time of year: that healthy, rosy glow you get when you come inside. And with the right makeup and moisturizer, you can keep that snow bunny look hopping along all season and beyond. Alexis Orlando, a training executive and global makeup artist for Laura Mercier, gives us the play-by-play.
1: Start with skin care. “In the winter our skin is its thirstiest, so it typically tends to be dried out, and with that comes a buildup of dead skin. And more build up means less light is able to reflect on the surface,” says Orlando. So the first step is to get a good exfoliator that is gentle but effective. Use as needed—at least twice a week, or every day if necessary. Finish with a hydrating moisturizer. “Don’t get as caught up in creams that promise to repair; rather, find a product that can hydrate, protect, and balance. Also, make sure it has SPF, which is just as essential in the winter,” suggests Orlando. See some of our favorite exfoliators and hydrators here.
2: Use primer + tinted moisturizer. Orlando says it’s worth it to invest in a hydrating primer, especially during winter. In addition to boosting moisture, “if there’s any flakiness on the surface, primer will help calm it. And because it’s sheer and moves well on the skin, it won’t appear cakey,” she says. Follow it with another must-do, tinted moisturizer—especially an illuminating formula, since skin loses so much color this time of year. “Tinted moisturizers don’t have many added skin benefits, so they can’t replace your actual moisture cream,” says Orlando, “but the two products work in tandem to provide a nice glow.” Try: Kevyn Aucoin The Primed Skin Developer and Too Faced Tinted Beauty Balm in Snow Glow.
3: Experiment with cream-based products. Specifically, try cream bronzer, blush, and highlighter—or opt for an all-in-one such as the Laura Mercier Bonne Mine Palette (“bonne mine” translates to “healthy glow”). The great thing about this palette in particular is that you get all two cheek colors, two highlight shades, and a bronzer, and it’s all cream-based, which is usually your best bet for winter. “The products are really sheer and very forgiving, so even if you’re heavy-handed, you can apply a few different shades and blend easily, as opposed to powders, which settle into pores and don’t offer much transparency.” You can apply with your finger or a brush, whichever you’re more comfortable with.
4: Do bronzer first. Focus on the areas where the sun would naturally hit your face, such as the cheeks, bridge of the nose, chin, and middle of the forehead; work out toward the sides from there. As cream bronzers go, we’re loving rms beauty Buriti Bronzer right now.
5: Then blush. Smile at yourself in the mirror and dab blush on the apples of your cheeks, working the product back toward your ears. Try a lighter, brighter cheek color to get the rosy, flirty fresh-from-the-ice-rink hue. Inglot Cosmetics AMC Cream Blush, which comes in 12 shades, is a safe bet.
6: And then highlighter. Highlighter goes wherever you want to draw attention on your face, such as the cheekbones, bridge of the nose, cupid’s bow, and brow bone. (Read more on highlighting here).
7: Blend and set. Then blend your bronzer, blush, and highlighter well, and set it all with a sheer powder. “If you want the look to last through the day, I highly recommend this last step,” says Orlando. But remember less is more, especially if you have drier skin; try Inglot Cosmetics Translucent Loose Powder.