Winter Makeup and Skin Care Tips and Tricks

Winter challenges your skin and makeup more than any other season. Here, what you need to know to give your skin the extra care and attention it needs, plus tips on beauty products for achieving the right winter look. From Riku Campo author of Best in Beauty: An Ultimate Guide to Make Up and Skincare Techniques, Tools, and Products

The change of seasons is always refreshing, but winter challenges the skin and makeup more than any of the other seasons. Cold temperatures, snowy weather, heated rooms, and excessive hot showers to warm you up (which, unfortunately, also dry your skin) all make your skin need extra care and attention.

The biggest problem is dry skin on the face, hands, and knees, and sometimes all over the body. The best advice is to moisturize. And moisturize.

Sometimes the dryness can turn into eczema. In that case you must turn to a dermatologist, who can help you choose the right skin care products. You can also use 0.1% hydracortisone once a week on the areas that are really dry, irritated, and itchy. Eczema is genetic and is most aggressive in winter.

The indoor heat along with the cold outdoor temperature makes your skin drier, no matter what your skin type is.

Dry skin: Use a facial serum or oil under a thicker-formula moisturizer.
Oily Skin:
Use an oil-free serum and oil-free moisturizer.
Combination skin:
Use oil-free products on the T‑zone and a thicker moisturizer on the cheeks, which get drier in the wintertime.

Sometimes those with oily skin should protect their skin with slightly creamier face products, especially against extremely cold temperatures and wind. Look for oil-based moisturizers (including almond, jojoba, or avocado oil) that don’t clog the pores. Sometimes you might get whiteheads (tiny white cysts containing lamellated keratin that a dermatologist or esthetician can take out with a tiny needle) around your eye area or on your cheeks.

If you have dry skin, you must avoid water as much as you can; take short showers, and wash your face with a cleansing milk. And everyone should drink more water (or hot green tea) in the wintertime.

Many times dry skin gets flakes on the eyelids and cheeks and around the lip area. The best way to get rid of them is to exfoliate the skin right after showering, when the skin is still soft. After that apply a thick layer of a cream-based hydration mask all over your face. Leave it on for five minutes, then press a tissue on your face and let it absorb the mask. Don’t scrub your face; just gently tap it with the tissue so you get all the extra mask off your face.

Do this in the evening, and by morning your skin will be much softer. You can use the same method on superdry lips: exfoliate your lips and the skin around them with an exfoliating cream or lip scrub (many cosmetic manufacturers make lip spa products with scrubs and various kind of balms and sealing creams).

You can also put a damp hand towel in a microwave for three minutes to heat it and then press it on your lips for a minute to soften the skin, then scrub the dead skin off gently with the towel.

Note: Scrubbing the lips with a toothbrush is really hard on them and can actually break the skin.

Slightly richer foundations are better than tinted moisturizers because there is more to cover on your skin in the winter (uneven areas on the nose, cheeks, and eyelids).

You must use SPF/UVA/UVB protection all year round. The sun that reflects from the snow is as strong as the sun that reflects from water. So choose a day cream with at least SPF 15, or a foundation with SPF. Skin is also paler in the winter, so you must use a wintertime base.

Powder is needed all over the face for oily skin. Those with combination and dry skin should use powder on the T‑area only to set the base. If your skin is dry and flaky, don’t use any base product, just a face oil and your protecting SPF 15 face cream (but you can still use mascara and tinted lip balm).

Most cosmetic companies launch autumn/winter collections full of darker shades for eye and lip makeup colors; dark grays, plums, burgundies, deep Spanish reds, and dark chocolate browns. That is because the fall/winter fashion shows give the direction to the makeup world as well. But there are no rules for which colors to use on a seasonal basis. Most of the products are matte and simply look better in winter: more dramatic and deeper hues that go hand in hand with fall/winter fashions. But remember that what works on the runway does not always work in real life.

If you love pastels in winter, go for them. Keep in mind, though, that if your face is pale, pastel colors will create a washed-out look that is not flattering; light pastel eye and lip makeup looks better on tanned skin, which is why pastels are very popular in the summer. For a cool-tone winter look, wear deeper colors on your eyes and give your lips a matte fuchsia tone instead of light icy pink. Or use some color on your eyes and keep your lips pale (as in the photo: I gave the lashes a shocking blue wintry color!).

Mascara should be waterproof; rain, snow, and going from outdoor to indoor temperatures will make regular mascara run. You don’t always have to use black mascara; try brown, blue, or green. Water-resistant eye pencil is excellent; because it’s made of waxes, it will stay through the rain. Water-resistant liquid eyeliners are good but don’t necessarily stay well because of their flakiness. There are some special eye makeup sealing products that you can apply on top of the eyeliner to make it hold longer. But an umbrella will do a better job in the end. I have also used water-resistant mascara as eyeliner, and sometimes it stays better than most of the real waterproof liners.

Cracked lips are the number one problem in winter. If your lips are superdry, skip the lipstick and use tinted lip balm, which is available in many different colors. The pigmentation is not that high, but you will get smooth, healthy-looking lips with a beautiful sheen. Make sure the balm has SPF and UVA/UVB protection. Exfoliate your lips regularly throughout the cold months. That way you will get rid of the dry flakes on the surface of your lips.

If you want a more dramatic winter look, fair skin looks really good with well-lined red lips, darker skin with well-lined deep brown or deeper cool reds. More moisturizing, richer-formula lip glosses are welcome products in the winter when the temperature drops below 0° Celsius. But on a really cold day, skip the glosses and use tinted lip balms. They protect and moisturize your lips the best.

Blush is a key item to the winter makeup look. It really gives some color to your skin and wakes up your whole face. Use the powder formulas, which sit better than gel or cream blushes. The color of your blush is completely your own choice; again, if you have a cool-tone look, use pink; for a warm tone, it can be peach, warm sand, or terracotta. The only color I would leave out are bronzes. They really don’t look great in winter.

Hands and Nails
Keep your hands moisturized. You can even sleep with cotton gloves on after applying a thick layer of hand cream to your hands. In the morning your hands and cuticles will be soft and moisturized.

Darker nail colors look trendy in the winter. You can buy a lipstick to match with your nail color because cosmetic companies launch the looks that way. It will always give a very sophisticated, mature look.

I have oily skin in the summer, and in the winter it’s dry. How can I make my skin behave in a more balanced manner from season to season?
Ole Henriksen answers:
It’s not unusual for an oily/eruption-prone skin to become surface dry in the winter season. Two things cause this: the products used to normalize the oily skin, and the dry indoor heating plus outdoor freezing temperatures. A mistake that many people with oily skin make is to use products with too many drying agents in every product they use.

This is not necessary. It creates a dry surface mantle and potentially more oil flow below the skin surface, which can cause blemishes. Balance is the key here, using a blend of oil-free formulations with humectants such as algae, aloe vera, sorbitol, and glycerin, combined with cell-proliferating and purifying extracts such as sugar maple, sugarcane, lemon peel, and lactic acid, and finally reparative antioxidants such as vitamin C, superoxide dismutase, green tea, and African red tea. In addition, an antiblemish stick containing benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, bentonite, and kaolin is a must for this skin type. So the answer is to use products that contain the right blend of active ingredients and have a light texture.

Is Vaseline good for my lips in the winter?
Vaseline used on its own isn’t thick enough to stay on the lips for long periods, but if incorporated into a lip balm formulation it works well. For people who may not like the fact that Vaseline is a mineral oil extract, there are other extracts that work just as effectively at keeping lips soft and nourished, such as jojoba seed oil, mango seed butter, carnauba wax, and cranberry seed oil.

Use a humidifier to add moisture to your indoor space if you have to use drying central heating. Put one in your bedroom, and you will notice the difference in your skin in the morning, especially when using face serum and night cream. Your skin will be softer and moister.

If you have very dry skin, use soap-free body wash instead of a soap bar when showering.

You can use a thicker-formula face cream (at least 60% oil) as your night cream. The same cream works as a deep-moisturizing face mask: just apply a thicker layer of the cream all over your face, except in the eye area. Keep it on the face for 10 to 15 minutes, and then press a tissue on the face to absorb the extra oils from the skin. Do this in the evening, and your skin will be moist, especially if you have the humidifier in your bedroom.

If you have sensitive skin, use a protective barrier moisturizer.

Riku Campo, author of Best in Beauty: An Ultimate Guide to Make Up and Skincare Techniques, Tools, and Products, lives in Los Angeles, where he has established himself as the makeup go-to guy for some of today’s most celebrated models and entertainers. For more information, visit



How to Get the Right Look for Your Lips

Six simple steps for picking the best shade for your lips and making the color last, from makeup guru Laura Mercier, author of The New Beauty Secrets.

Let’s start with your lip care routine. This involves gently exfoliating your lips and treating them with a balm that both nourishes and moisturizes. Exfoliate as often as needed using a special lip scrub, a gentle face scrub, or even your toothbrush. Don’t ever use anything harsh, like a loofah. The skin on your lips is much too delicate. I like to exfoliate my lips in the shower. Once I’m out, I cover them with a thick coat of balm. Give the lip balm time to sink in and do its job. Once you’re ready to apply your makeup, wipe off the excess lip balm with some tissue. You don’t want too much emolliency because your lipstick or lip gloss won’t last as long.

You should also practice good lip habits such as drinking enough water. Your lips dry out quickly when you’re dehydrated. Smoking is the worst habit for your lips because it stains, dehydrates, and cracks them.

The Right Shades for You
Once you understand the lipstick and gloss colors that are most flattering on you, you’ll be able to create a variety of lip looks. Best of all, you won’t waste money on colors that don’t work. To begin, you need to know the lipstick or gloss tone that’s right for your complexion. All shades can be divided into two families — warm tones and cool tones. The cool ones include anything with a hint of blue — mauves, fuchsias, milky pinks (imagine fuchsias mixed with white), purples, blue-reds, and berries, just to name a few. Warm tones have a hint of yellow or orange — browns, chestnuts, brown-pinks, beiges, taupes, caramels, corals, and orange-reds. If your skin tends to be yellow or sallow, shades from the cool family will probably look best on you. Extreme warm tones tend to play up the yellowness of any complexion, so try them if your skin is on the pinkish side.

Experiment with different lipstick shades when you have no other makeup on your face. You’ll be able to see which colors brighten your complexion and work best with your eyes and hair. You may find that you can wear warm and cool tones, or you may discover that one tonal family suits you best.

If you are always unsatisfied with your lipstick, mix two lipsticks or other lip products together to find the perfect color. Try mixing warm and cool tones. Don’t be afraid to experiment.

What Is Your Lip Tone?
Another thing to consider when picking lipsticks or glosses is the natural color of your lips. A highly pigmented pout be it pink, blue, or purple, will affect the shade of any lipstick or gloss you apply to your lips. This explains why a lipstick may look one way on you and another way on a friend or a model in a magazine. Keep this in mind when you sample lipstick on the back of your hand and wonder why it seems so different on your lips. It’s because the undertones are completely different. Look for shades that complement or counteract your natural lip color.

Getting Started
The next steps depend on the look you want and your needs. You can simply put on some gloss or sheer lipstick, or you can use a lip pencil to color your lips and cover it with lipstick or gloss. Since I’m sure you have these fundamentals down pat I’m going to take you beyond the basics and teach you some advanced lip tricks.

Pencil Makes Perfect
Lip pencils are a great tool to use to make your lipstick last correct any asymmetric proportions, provide definition, or make your pout larger. Make sure to chose a color that’s a slightly enhanced version of your natural lip tone.

If you like the shape of your lips and just need a little definition, follow the outline of your mouth with the pencil. Next, color in the rest of the lips from the outside to the inside. It’s like coloring inside the lines in a coloring book. You don’t want to see a dark, obvious outline around lighter colored lips. Nothing’s more old-fashioned, and it doesn’t look elegant or sophisticated.

For Serious Lipstick Work

Just as your face sometimes needs to be prepped before applying makeup, so do your lips. The tips and tricks that follow all require the same lip preparation, which I’m going to describe here. You need some camouflage, your lip pencil, translucent setting powder, and a powder puff. Using your finger, press a little camouflage into and around your lip line until it disappears into your skin. (Don’t cover your lips entirely.) Dip your powder puff into a small amount of translucent powder and shake off the excess. The amount that remains is all you need. Press the puff very lightly over your lips. You want a surface that is dry, not dry-looking. Now your pout is prepped and ready for you to use your lip pencil as directed in the paragraphs that follow.

Get Bigger Lips (Naturally)
Almost everyone dreams of having sexier lips, but few people use their lip pencil correctly to achieve this look. Instead of drawing outside your entire lip line, just widen the middle of your top and bottom lips. (You may not need to do the top and bottom. Some people have naturally plumper bottom lips or vice versa.) Once you prepare your lips, raise the bow of your top lip by drawing slightly above it and reconnecting it at the middle on either side. Make the lower lip a little rounder at the center.

This looks more natural and is an easier correction than going from corner to corner and drawing outside your entire mouth. The exception to this rule is if you have very thin lips. In this case, you can draw outside the entire lip line to enhance its appearance. Don’t forget to fill in the space between your natural lip line and the correction.

If your lips are asymmetric, then you can use a pencil to correct them. Again, make sure your lips are prepped correctly. This will help you draw in the shape more beautifully and help the color last longer.

Laura Mercier, the author of The New Beauty Secrets: Your Ultimate Guide to a Flawless Face (Copyright © 2006 by Gurwitch Products, LLC), is one of the most renowned beauty authorities in the world today. Her 20-year career as a makeup artist has brought her from Provence, Paris, and points around the globe to red carpets, photo studios, and movie sets. Laura’s work has appeared on the covers of Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Allure, Elle, W, and other magazines, plus countless advertisements, album covers, movie posters, and more. Laura Mercier Cosmetics, her beauty brand, has enjoyed great success since 1996.



Home Beauty Remedies That Really Work

Thirteen favorite do-it-yourself beauty treatments that are both easy and inexpensive, from actress and Dancing with the Stars alumna Lisa Rinna, author of Rinnavation: Getting Your Best Life Ever

  • To lighten age spots, mix the juice of 1 lemon, 1 lime, 2 tablespoons of honey, and 2 ounces of plain yogurt together in a bowl. Yogurt contains a natural bleaching property. Rub the mixture into each spot, including sun-damaged cleavage. Do this several times before you need to attend a big event, and your skin will look even and gorgeous.
  • To make my absolute favorite face tightener and pore minimizer, beat 1 egg white to a froth. Apply the foamy liquid to your entire face, focusing on problem areas around the jaw, eyes, and forehead. Let it dry completely (about ten minutes), then gently rinse and pat dry.
  • To combat under-eye bags — there are many tried-and-true remedies for this problem — try placing cucumber slices, raw potato slices, moistened tea bags, or chilled spoons over each eye. Leave them on for ten minutes or so, then check your results. Repeat until bags disappear.
  • To reduce puffiness around the eyes: Preparation H is an old tried-and-true prescription for shrinking eye puffiness. It works, but some people find the ointment greasy and/or are put off by its smell (or just the idea of it). I am one of those people. Someone told me to try Tucks pads, and guess what? They work just as well as Preparation H and are odor and grease-free. You can use them on your neck, jaw line, or forehead — any place that needs quick tightening.
  • To make a fantastic moisturizing mask, mash up an avocado and apply it to your face. You’ll look scary while it’s on, but after removing it with warm water you’ll see that it works.
  • To make my excellent exfoliator, mix a few tablespoons of sugar with a few tablespoons of olive oil or water, if you have acne-prone skin. Gently massage the mixture all over your face. Rinse with warm water and pat dry.
  • To make a gentle exfoliator, make a paste of baking soda and water and rub the mixture all over your skin. Rinse thoroughly with warm water and pat dry.
  • To make a clay mask – which is great for pulling toxins out of your skin — some facialists use (I kid you not) 100 percent clay kitty litter. (I told you I’d try anything!) It contains the same ingredients that are in the expensive clay masks. Make a paste of the clay by mixing it with water, and apply to your skin. Let it sit until it hardens, and then rinse with warm water and pat dry.
  • To make your own collagen booster, mash 1 cooked carrot with 1 avocado, then add 1/2 cup heavy cream and blend. Apply the cream to your face and neck and leave it on for fifteen minutes. Then rinse with cool water. The beta-carotene in the carrot, the vitamin E in the avocado, and the calcium in the heavy cream combine to boost collagen levels, lighten age spots, and improve overall skin tone. Do this once a week for a month and your face will glow.
  • To use oils to your advantage: coconut oil is a miracle moisturizer on dry hair, nails, feet, you name it. Olive oil is a legendary Mediterranean beauty secret for supple, soft skin — rub it on your skin, your feet, and your nails. To condition and repair damaged hair, combine 1/2 cup of olive oil and 2 to 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary and let it sit overnight. The next day, remove the rosemary, and massage the oil into your hair; let it soak in for ten to fifteen minutes, and rinse with warm water. Then shampoo to get rid of the oil residue. Sesame oil is another great all-over body moisturizer. Neutrogena makes a body oil that is super light and smells heavenly; apply it to damp skin after you shower for a smooth, subtle sheen that also accentuates muscle tone and enhances a tan. Right before I step onto the red carpet, I like to rub a little lavender oil on my arms and legs. It smells great, and it makes my skin soft and silky.
  • To make a lip exfoliator — you should try to exfoliate your lips once a week to get rid of dead skin and plump them up — mix a paste of honey and sugar and rub the mixture on your lips. Then use a toothbrush to slough off the dead skin.
  • To make an instant lip plumper, simply rub cinnamon on your lips. It’s that easy.
  • To make my ultra hand moisturizer, blend 1 egg yolk, 1 tablespoon of honey, 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and 2 drops of lemon essential oil. Use it every time you wash your hands and your hands will be silky smooth in no time.

Lisa Rinna, author of Rinnavation: Getting Your Best Life Ever (Copyright © 2009 by Lisa Rinna), is an award-winning actress and television host, best known for her roles on Days of Our Lives and Melrose Place, as well as her co-hosting duties on Soap Talk, her appearances on Dancing with the Stars, and her red-carpet interviews on the TV Guide Network. She is the creator of a line of dance-themed exercise DVDs called Lisa Rinna Dance Body Beautiful, and she runs her own successful boutique, Belle Gray, with her husband, actor Harry Hamlin, with whom she has two daughters, Delilah and Amelia.



5 Biggest Beauty Bargains on the Planet

When it comes to basic skin care, there are five bargains that Dr. Amy Wechsler, author of The Mind-Beauty Connection, says immediately go on the list of best beauty buys.

Q. When it comes to basic skin, care, what are the biggest beauty bargains on the planet?

A. Five things instantly go on the list.

  • Vaseline — It’s the best lip moisturizer. And talk about cheap! By the way, don’t use any lip balms that contain phenol (Blistex does, for one). They strip the top layer off your lips. That’s why you get addicted to them; they remove your natural protection.
  • For body lotions, Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream and Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Body Lotion.  I go to the local warehouse club and buy big tubs of Cetaphil Cream or the giant pump dispenser of Norwegian Formula — they’re both terrific.
  • Also at the local warehouse club, I buy Dove or Purpose soap by the case. (If your skin is as touchy as mine, buy Dove in the fragrance-free or sensitive-skin formulas.) Neither of these is expensive anyway, but they’re a little more than some supermarket brands, so why not buy in bulk and save the difference? They don’t strip your skin of good oils.
  • For sunscreens, Neutrogena Sensitive Skin SPF 30 sunblock lotion is a world-class bargain. It contains 9.1 percent titanium dioxide, a crushed mineral that protects you instantly. (No. I’m not on Neutrogena’s payroll! I just like many of their products.)
  • Safflower oil. Yes, the kitchen oil you buy at the grocery store. It’s a super moisturizer, especially for gator-dry legs, and gentle enough for babies (some hospitals use it on newborns). This heart-friendly polyunsaturated oil owes its famous skin-enriching actions to its very high linoleic acid content, a fatty acid that skin normally makes to keep its moisture level up and barrier function intact. Since our body’s linoleic acid production gets sluggish as we get older (it’s why older people can have brutally dry skin), safflower oil helps replace it — from the outside in! Smooth it on immediately after a bath or shower while you’re still damp to seal in the moisture. (Don’t overdo: it takes a bit to soak in.)

Amy Wechsler, M.D., is a dermatologist and a psychiatrist, one of only two doctors in the country who are board-certified in both specialties. She is also the author of The Mind-Beauty Connection (Copyright © 2008 by RealAge Corporation). Evidence of the mind-beauty connection walks into her office every day: “Premature aging and adult acne are the two most common skin problems I see, and stress and exhaustion are often at the bottom of both,” she says. Dr. Wechsler practices in New York City, where she lives with her husband and two kids. She is a member of the RealAge Scientific Advisory Board.



Why Are You Wearing Lead on Your Lips?

Lead in lipstick is a real — but avoidable — danger. From Green Goes With Everything: Simple Steps to a Healthier Life and a Cleaner Planet by Sloan Barnett, a regular contributor to NBC’s Today show

We’ve read a lot recently about lead in children’s toys, and about how quickly toymakers have yanked those products off the market when the lead was discovered. But lead in lipstick doesn’t get either the same kind of media play or the same kind of rapid corporate response. Millions of women unwittingly smear lead on their lips every day. The consumer organization Campaign for Safe Cosmetics recently hired an independent laboratory to test red lipsticks bought in Boston, Hartford, San Francisco, and Minneapolis. Why red? Because that’s the color where lead is naturally more present.

The results were sobering. Of thirty-three brand-name lipsticks tested, 61 percent contained detectable levels of lead, with levels ranging from 0.03 to 0.65 parts per million (ppm). Without a study like this, you have no way of knowing how much lead is in the lipstick you use; it’s never listed as an ingredient.

Is the amount of lead in lipstick significant? That’s hard to say, but here’s one way of looking at it: One-third of the tested lipsticks exceeded the FDA’s 0.1 ppm limit for lead in candy.

Well candy, sure. But who eats lipstick, after all? Answer: We do. Any woman or girl who uses lipstick does. Every day. Glamour magazine figures the average woman inadvertently consumes some four pounds of lipstick in a lifetime. We do it simply by eating, drinking, and licking our lips.

Lead is a proven neurotoxin. What’s more, it accumulates in the body over time. Even very small exposures add up. That’s why it is understood now that there is no “safe” level of exposure to lead. If you’re pregnant, lead can cross the placenta and may enter your unborn baby’s brain. Lead has been linked to miscarriage, reduced fertility in men and women, hormonal changes, menstrual irregularities, and delays in the onset of puberty, among other health problems.

But here’s one of the most interesting things about the study: Almost 40 percent of the lipsticks tested, all of which were red, had no detectable levels of lead. Clearly, red lipstick doesn’t have to contain lead. What’s more, cost isn’t a factor. It didn’t matter whether the lipstick was expensive or cheap; some had a lot of lead, some didn’t. The more expensive brands are just as likely to contain lead as the cheaper drugstore brands.

Here’s a list of lipstick brands to which the Environmental Working Group’s database gives a high safety rating:

Sloan Barnett, author of Green Goes with Everything: Simple Steps to a Healthier Life and a Cleaner Planet (Copyright © 2008 by Sloan Barnett), is a regular contributor to NBC’s Today show and the Green Editor for KNTV, the NBC affiliate in San Francisco. She has been a television and print journalist for more than ten years, and wrote a popular consumer advice column for New York’s Daily News for nearly a decade. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and three children. For more information, please visit