Mr. Sunshine might be saying sayonara, but that doesn’t mean you have to wave goodbye to your well-earned summer glow. Lit skin can be yours even in the dead of winter; you’ve just got to know the right skincare and makeup tips. For exactly that, we hit up both an esthetician and a makeup artist who were kind enough to fill us in on their best pro advice.
1. Double Down on Your Topical Antioxidants
While the summer sun is fun to frolic in and can create a beautiful glow on your skin, we should probably note that sun care is really important. Think of fall and winter as your skin’s opportunity to get ample rest from UV rays and re-up your collagen supply. One of the best things you can do is use topical antioxidants, which can brighten your complexion while also protecting and healing your skin.
“Vitamin C in one of the most powerful protectants against photodamage,” says Inna Knyazevych, a licensed esthetician and the co-owner of NYC’s IN-GLO MedSpa. “It improves elasticity by stimulating collagen synthesis, brightens the skin, and suppresses pigmentation.”
The bottom line is that using topical vitamin C and other antioxidants is necessary for maintaining a radiant complexion. Two great options are CosRx Triple C Lightning Liquid, $27, and Fresh Vitamin Nectar Glow Juice Antioxidant Face Serum Mini, $28.
2. Get Moisturizing
“When I think of summertime skin and the glow that I get during those months, I think about how moisturized and happy my skin is from all of the warm, humid weather,” says Natalia Thomas, an editorial and celebrity makeup artist who’s worked with Karlie Kloss and Noah Cyrus. “In order to keep this glow year-round, I moisturize all of my clients and myself with a hydrating oil. If all of the layers of your skin are happy, then anything you put on top of it will look smooth and beautiful. This goes for my oily skin babes, as well.”
To get max glow via hydration, Thomas says she gently presses oil or balm into the skin with her hands before applying makeup. Since its drier in the winter months, you can get away with a slightly more hydrating product than you would in the summer. A great go-to (and cult fave for lots of MUAs) is Weleda Skin Food Original Ultra-Rich Cream, $18.99, which is formulated with sunflower and sweet almond oils, lanolin, and beeswax.
3. (Chemical) Exfoliate Like You Mean It
In addition to antioxidants and moisturizing, exfoliating is also key when it comes to maintaining a glowing complexion through the icy months. But hold on a sec before you reach for your go-to scrub.
“Physical exfoliation works by sloughing off the dry layer of the skin. Although effective, it’s simply not enough,” Knyazevych says. “Chemical peels, on the other hand — which use alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) — break down the glue-like substance that holds dead cells together. Using chemical exfoliants helps not only remove the outermost dead layer of the skin, but also boost the hydration levels as well as suppress pigmentation and sunspots. The result is a youthful, glowing complexion.”
You could try using a daily exfoliating toner (we listed seven killer ones here), or a once or twice-weekly exfoliating treatment. Farmacy Honeymoon Glow AHA Resurfacing Night Serum, $58, and The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution, $7.99, are two awesome choices.
4. Bronzer is Still Your Friend
Makeup is also an effective way to fake a summer glow, and just because “bronzing season” is over doesn’t mean you have put your fave glowy product into hibernation. You just need to use a lighter hand so that it doesn’t look overdone, says Thomas.
“Apply your bronzer first at the tip of your forehead where your hairline comes in. I apply the bronzer by rubbing it both into the hairline and slightly below it to fade it into the foundation or concealer on the skin. Also, applying your bronzer up top at the hairline will help your contour line look cohesive instead of just a brown stripe on your cheek,” she says. “Next apply a little bit behind the ears feeding down the jawline and neck. The most important step is to make sure that whatever foundation you’ve applied to your face you blend all the way down your neck. Necks tend to be the lightest part of your body because your head shades it from sunlight and this is especially true in the winter.”
Her go-to is Fenty Sun Stalk’r Instant Warmth, $30, which comes in eight shades and offers a beautiful matte texture that’s perfect for year-round.
5. Do a Little Dew, Too
A dewy highlight is the cherry on top of a perfect glow. Thomas says the trick come winter is to use a gel, balm, or cream-based formulation. “I find that most highlighters in powder form give a beautiful shine but tend to make the skin look dry which is only exacerbated in wintertime when skin is already at its driest,” she explains. Glossier Haloscope, $22, and Pat McGrath Labs Skin Fetish Highlighter + Balm Duo, $48, are her two favorites. Simply apply the highlighter to your fingertip and press the product onto the high points of your face. Keep repeating until you’ve hit all the high points of the face — minus your nose, she says, which is already naturally shiny.