Monday, December 14, 2009

An Intensive (this is Canada, afterall) Winter Weather Beauty Guide

This wasn't taken on the day I describe. This is another, quite pretty winter day in Toronto.

Toronto had its first nasty weather day of the winter last week and it got me thinking. Icy rain, slushy sidewalks, deep puddles, humidity, strong winds - hats, boots and umbrellas are a must all too frequently during the winter. Commuting was a nightmare and much coffee, tea, soup and comfort foods were consumed. Days like this require special tricks and techniques to keep you looking and feeling as unruffled as possible.

Skin (body): Cold weather outside, hot dry air inside and hot showers has your skin feeling tight and dry so exfoliation and moisturizing are very important during the cooler months. Be gentle on your skin as it is more apt to damage when it's dry - exfoliate in the shower with a loofah or exfoliating gloves and a creamy, moisturizing cleanser. You can also use a scrub, such as one with essential oils and sugar like Cake's Brown Sugar Body Scrubs or make your own:
  • 2 parts brown or golden sugar (brown is coarser than golden)
  • 1 part olive oil
  • a few drops of essential oils (whatever you prefer)
Keep the water as cool as you can stand it. Pat your skin dry with a towel and if you wish/need to slather on lotion. You can also try my trick of putting lotion on while still in the shower.

Skin (face): Just like the skin on your body, the skin on your face (and throat and chest) suffers with the drier hair and extremes in temperature, so treat it with care. Keep it moisturized and if necessary opt for a milder cleanser than you'd use in the summer. Use a mild exfoliator (try a little baking soda and water or mix a little into your cleanser) to slough away dry skin, and moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!

Don't forget about your lips! The thin, delicate skin gets chapped, dry, cracked and generally uncomfortable. Use a moisturizing lip balm (avoid anything that tingles if you have cracked or chapped lips) frequently to protect and repair your lips.

At night is when your skin (and body and mind) are repairing and resting. Take advantage and apply your richer moisturizers, leave-in hair masks, cuticle cream, foot cream and lip balm.

Make-up: I admit I've never had to wear waterproof mascara. I love to walk in the rain and humidity wreaks havoc on my base but I've rarely had to deal with mascara blotches or smudges. But of course, there are many who switch up their usual mascara for waterproof or at least water-resistant mascara on rainy days. Maybelline Waterproof Great Lash is a great one to try.

If you don't already use a primer, you might want to consider one on messy stormy days. Face primers help your base, concealer and blush last, while eye primers can prevent shadow from creasing on your eyelids.

Powder (loose or pressed) is your best friend on messy days. It will help set any cream or liquid, such as foundation or concealer, as well as tone down any excess shininess and oil. Yes, even for those of you with dry skin! It's a good idea to carry powder and a retractable, covered brush with you, as well as blotting papers to help combat shine. If it's humid, you might want to carry an eyelash curler with you since the moisture in the hair will lessen the curl in your lashes.

Keep your make-up simple if you can on messy days. The less complicated your look, the easier it will be to maintain it. Even if you have to switch up your look - from work to going-out for example - keep it simple and you'll look polished longer.

If you can skip base, do it and stick with a tinted moisturizer or concealer and loose powder. If you need to conceal undereye circles, use something light like Benefit's Eye Bright. Layer a cream or gel blush with a powder to help it set and last. Dust a thin layer of loose transluscent powder over your eyeshadow to help it set.

Last but not least, look on the bright side! Humidity gives your hair volume, so all of you with fine or thin hair, embrace the puffiness! You can forgo the highlighter and blush on cold, damp days as the cold hair brings a flush to your cheeks and the humidity makes your skin naturally dewy. Embrace the youthful glow, flushed cheeks and volume in your hair!

Happy Wintering!



  1. Good tips!
    I may try the sugar scrub, if I can wrest the brown sugar away from the mixmaster and holiday baking long enough. Yum!

  2. Another tip: It's a great way to use up the dried, hard brown sugar in your pantry/cupboard!