Winter Makeup Tricks Pros Swear By

Photographed By Jens Ingvarsson.
You traded your lightweight serum for a heavy moisturizer, installed a bedroom humidifier, and sweep on lip balm so frequently some people think it's your day job. But if you're still using the same makeup products as you were back in July, you're doing it wrong. Winter calls for a full beauty-routine overhaul — foundation and mascara included.

Ahead, find nine simple makeup swaps that will save your complexion when the mercury drops. Not only will all your holiday 'grams look better, but your skin (and eyes and lips) will thank you.


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Get yourself a harder-working moisturizer.

True, this is technically a skin-care tip. But if you want to look dewy (uh, yeah), don’t skimp on moisturizer. “The first step in any makeup routine in winter is to massage a deeply hydrating balm or oil into skin,” says makeup artist Elsa Morgan. “Quench dry skin before foundation, and the end result is a smooth satin-like finish." If your skin feels a little too slippery, blot away excess moisture before sweeping on your base.

Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Oil Balm, $35, available at Sephora.
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Reach for a lightweight base.

Sure, being idiotically happy that it's the holidays can make you look all lit-up from within. But in the dead of winter, so can a hydrating foundation. “Avoid anything with a matte finish — it will make skin look pasty and dry,” says makeup artist Susan Giordano. Instead, lighter, creamier formulas help skin reflect light and feel soft.

“Sheer mineral foundations make skin glow, but can also be built up in spots to conceal redness,” says Giordano. Another option: CC cushion compacts, which give skin a soft-focus effect while locking in moisture.

Amorepacific Color Control Cushion Compact Broad Spectrum SPF 50, $60, available at Nordstrom.
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Try a brightening concealer.

If winter’s dreary wrath has rendered your complexion irritated and dull, add a bit of glow back with a brightening concealer. This one from Maybelline combines concealer with highlighter for a double whammy of coverage and illumination. The convenient click-pen design also means that you can sweep and blend the product in one pass, without any extra work — perfect for those mornings when you just can't deal with another bout of wind and snow.
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Ditch your powders.

When it's gloomy outside and your face feels like a taco shell, powders make skin look even more lackluster. “Cream-based formulas with a little shimmer look more natural and dewy,” says Giordano.

The key to looking luminous (not oily) is to apply highlighter on the high points of your face that naturally reflect light: your brow bone, inner corner of your eyes, the tops of cheekbones, and the bridge of your nose, says Giordano.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Rose Gold, $41, available at Sephora.
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But keep your bronzer.

The one time makeup artists break the powder rule in winter is to dust on a little bronzer. “It definitely has a place in your winter kit — but a little goes a long way,” says Morgan. “Rather than using it to mimic a deep summer tan, think of it as adding a touch of warmth to the skin.”

Choose a matte bronzer one shade darker than your skin tone. Then, take a large, fluffy brush and swirl it lightly across your forehead, the bridge of your nose, cheekbones, and chin.

NYX Matte Bronzer Light, $8.99, available at Ulta.
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Add balm to your bold lip.

Before you head out, apply a hydrating balm. Then, once it absorbs, “a rich, moisturizing lipstick will act as a barrier against the elements,” says Giordano. But here’s the rub: Don’t touch up with that same creamy lipstick later in the night. “Once it starts to wear off, your lips can dry out quickly, so dab on a brightly tinted lip balm instead,” says Giordano.

Yves Saint Laurent Volupte Sheer Candy, $36, available at Bloomingdale's.
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Switch to a smart mascara.

When it’s freezing outside, coat lashes in a mascara that won’t leave you crying black tears. “Waterproof formulas tend to clump,” says Giordano. “Instead, try one with tube technology. They coat lashes in a film that doesn’t break down when your eyes water, but are easily removed when you cleanse at the end of the day.”

L'Oréal Paris Double Extend Mascara in Black, $8.97, available at Walmart.
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Mist on moisture.

In winter, there’s a secret weapon that lives in every beauty editor’s bag — a hydrating mist to nourish skin when it needs a pick-me-up. “Spritz your face before applying moisturizer, and then throughout the day whenever skin feels a little tight, even over makeup,” says Giordano.

Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist, $48, available at Barneys New York.
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