- We may earn a commission if you buy something from any affiliate links on our site.
The colder months of the year tend to get a bad rep. And it’s true, the darker evenings, the need to ruin great outfits with a stupid coat, and the lack of vitamin D absorption are all pretty rubbish. But there are good things about wintertime, too, like all the excellent beauty switch-ups.
From skin care to makeup, winter is a time for beauty experimentation, for breaking out more powerful products, and for generally having a great time with beauty. Here are my top tips to update and switch your beauty routine for fall and winter.
Skincare-wise, the main message is hydration. Gone are the greasy days of summer—colder temperatures plus central heating tends to leave skin feeling dried out, flaky, tight, and uncomfortable. Your simple, lightweight moisturizers are unlikely to cut it once November hits.
Even if you’re on the oilier-skinned side, adding a hydrating serum is a fantastic way to keep skin feeling soft and plump in the wintertime. One of my current favourites is the Vichy Mineral 89. Alongside adding moisture, it strengthens and fortifies the skin against the harsher weather. It’s also fairly affordable.
A serum-moisturizer hybrid I’ve been heavily reliant on recently is the Dr. Jart Water Drop Hydrating Moisturizer. It has one of the most unique consistencies I’ve ever experienced—it’s like thicker water. Once you apply, it feels initially very wet, but as it absorbs, the skin looks visibly plumped up, smooth, and glowy. The Space-Age packaging doesn’t hurt, either.
A fantastic product if you’re in need of a serious moisture boost is the Fresh Seaberry Moisturizing Face Oil. If your face is feeling particularly irritated, reddened, or flaky, this will be your saviour. I like to apply about five drops and pat it all over my face. It’s also great for acne-prone skin, as it’s less liable to clogging pores. It’s super soothing and feels like a real skin treat.
The under-eye area may also require more specialist attention as the temperature drops. A recent discovery has been the Body Shop Oils Of Life Eye Cream. It has a thick, jelly-like texture that absorbs fairly quickly and feels amazing on the under-eyes. It’s lightweight enough to go under makeup, but also adds enough hydration to pack on for overnight eye treatment. It also has a slightly pearly finish which helps minimize the appearance of eye bags.
I know I sound like a broken record, but just because it’s winter does not mean your skin is safe from the sun. If there’s light, you should be wearing SPF. And if you can find a product that doubles up as a lightweight makeup base, all the better.
A fantastic option for this is the Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection Face Shield. The product has the slightest hint of tint, which doesn’t look like makeup, but evens out tone and adds a hydrated, dewy glow. Certainly worth the switch with a prior owned SPF
If your skin is looking drier and flakier thanks to the weather, then foundation can exacerbate the issue further. If you feel comfortable skipping it, then winter is a great time to do so. Pairing a lightweight, SPF-heavy base with a concealer will give a more natural, less caked-on effect.
My concealer of choice for this base style is the Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage. This stuff isn’t messing around—it will basically cover up anything your skin has to offer, and it lasts an unbelievably long time. Simply mix your perfect shade from the two pans, and pat over any blemishes, redness, or uneven tone.
For me, the winter months are a great time to vamp up my makeup. While I’ll never really go full smokey eye, the Surratt Lid Lacquers somehow look both dramatic and natural. These are essentially opaque eye glosses, which you can easily smear on for a ready-made eye look. The array of excellent brown shades (“Hadaka,” “Komuji,” and “Kogecha”) are the easiest products to use for a more dramatic, yet modern and “cool” eye look.
Lip wise, I’ve recently reconnected with a classic—the Clinique Almost Lipstick in “Black Honey.” In the tube, it looks fairly terrifying (basically black) but has a sheer finish. Applied to the lips it looks more like you’ve been making out with someone all night, which is the best lip look ever, I think we can all agree.
If you want to go for a winter classic, though, there really is no better than MAC’S “Ruby Woo”. This is the best red lipstick, and I’m confident that I’ve basically tried them all at this point. It’s extremely matte, which means it will last through almost anything and has the perfect, slightly-bluish tone that makes anyone’s skin look brighter and teeth look whiter. Pair with a bare face for a cool-girl vibe.
If you’re prone to chapped lips during fall and winter, a great option is the Glossier Cherry Balm Dot Com. It coats lips in a thick, comforting layer of hydration, but also adds a seasonal red tint. The scent is totally mouth-watering, too.
My two final fall and winter beauty recommendations for a switch up are for the body. While body care is no one’s favourite beauty area, it is kind of important, particularly if you’re prone to dryness. A total cheap thrill is Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Moisturizing Body Oil. It’s amazing at making skin feel more supple and soft, plus it adds a sheeny glow. Really, though, what sells this is its scent—pure candy-bar goodness.
However, if you’re struggling with dry skin of the itchy and painful variety, I cannot recommend the CeraVe Moisturizing Cream enough. It’s supremely hydrating, feels soothing and comforting on the skin, and is a total bargain. Go for the tub with a pump to keep things sanitary and easy to apply. Switch up your routine with one of these recommendations and let me know your thoughts!
Annie Walton Doyle is a writer based in Manchester, UK. She typically writes about beauty and other "personal aesthetics," with a healthy dose of both social commentary and stupidity. When not touching makeup, she enjoys pubs, knitting, nature, and mysteries. Find her on Instagram @anniewaltondoyle.