What are the winter rules for makeup, anyway? PS here’s how to break them

When it comes to winter, the beauty rules used to be simple: your hair should go darker, your lips vampy and your manicure burgundy. Turns out in 2019, this so-called rulebook has, in fact, become a work of fiction. “I think these things are more habit, or maybe misdirected advice from the nineties,” says MECCA Senior Artist Sally Axford. This season, debunk the beauty myths and embrace a more modern approach with dewy skin, bright shades and glossy finishes.

You should wear darker makeup in the winter

FICTION: It’s easy to automatically reach for the darker eyeshadow palettes as the weather gets colder but according to Axford it’s actually the best time to take advantage of the bright colours that are coming out from brands like NARS, Urban Decay and Smashbox. “Brights take centre stage when paired with a neutral winter outfit—it’s almost like working with a blank canvas. Play with pastels and brights, such as the Baby Jane and Fatale eyeshadows from NARS, and try colour blocking—clashing your lip colour with your eye colour in modern matte finishes (we like baby-blue eyeshadow with a orange-red lip).”

You should wear more coverage when it’s cold out

FICTION: You might find yourself reaching for a fuller-coverage, matte foundation come colder temps, but this isn’t a hard and fast rule. “Luminous, healthy skin is in all year long and the colder months are the perfect time to play with glossier textures or a dewy-finish foundation—without the risk of looking like a sweaty oil slick by the end of the day,” she says. If you feel you do need a bit more coverage from winter-induced redness, try a foundation with buildable coverage and just use it on the places you need it—cheeks, nose etc. to keep the look natural. “The new bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Foundation Stick is incredibly hydrating, lightweight and radiant with light-to-medium coverage, perfect for a real skin finish.”

You should change your foundation shade seasonally

FACT: If your skin tone varies a lot between seasons, or you tan a lot in summer compared to winter, you may want to consider keeping a second shade on hand. “I recommend having a paler, ‘winter’ foundation ready to go as soon as you start to lose a bit of colour post-summer. I’ve made the mistake of still using my summer colour well into my paler months and it’s not ideal!” Alternatively you can opt for foundation lightening drops like these ones from MECCA MAX to adjust your shade throughout the year.”

Winter often calls for a vampy lip

FICTION: Vampy lips may look more at home in winter than summer but it’s not the only option—especially with the return of lip gloss. “We tend to wear more leather, wool, and matte fabrics in winter—now imagine that with a high-shine lacquered lip” says Axford. “The look is simple yet impactful, plus it’s a kinder and more protective option for chapped winter lips.” HOURGLASS New Unreal High Shine Volumising Lip Glosses are super shiny and shimmering and being hydrating they’re also comfortable on the lip, even in subzero temps.

You can’t wear bronzer in the winter

FACT & FICTION: It really depends on your skin tone. Bronzer is meant to add warmth to the skin, and mimic where the sun naturally hits the face. “Naturally deeper skin tones can keep using bronzer to add warmth to the face in the colder months,” says Axford. She warns however, “If you’re paler and you’re using it to contour, I would choose a more contour-centric product (such as, Westman Face Trace) as it will look more like a shadow and sculpt the face without the noticeable warmth of a bronzer.” While bronzer may not be the best option for paler skin tones, there’s always blush. “A pale coral or peach can bring warmth and brightness to the face without any bronze in sight! I love the Surratt Artistique Blush in Duchesse.”

Avoid fake tan unless you’re on vacation

FICTION: For some, a European-summer glow is a year-round essential, for others this can sound like a fake-tan disaster waiting to happen. If your skin tends to go quite pale in winter, opt for a light formula (as opposed to dark) and apply one coating instead of two or three. Not showing too much skin? Jules Von Hep, founder of Isle Of Paradise, uses a technique he calls patchwork tanning. “Just tan the parts of your body on show and keep your product going for longer.” He also recommends using Isle of Paradise Drops mixed in with moisturiser. “This ensures my skin stays soft when the heating is turned on, but golden and glowing instead of pale and dry.”

Words by Romy Erdos
June 2019


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