not a professional. just crazy.

The Winter Makeup Look I’ll Be Wearing Until the Spring Thaw

Photo: Rio Viera-Newton

In the spring and summertime, I strive to appear like I’m wearing no makeup at all: just a clean, dewy face with a touch of cream blush on my cheeks. But in the winter, it’s a different story. I still want my complexion to look as natural as possible, but I tend to crave an extra pop of color to bring some warmth and joy back into my skin (and soul) during the endlessly dark, dreary days.

Historically, I’ve been partial to an accent lid (I’ve written extensively about my love of lavender and baby-blue shadows). But as of late I’ve been spicing things up with a classic pairing: a very subtle bronzy eye with a good, old fashioned matte red lip. Not only has this look quickly become my holiday staple (I’ve worn it to several Christmas parties and will certainly wear it to my family Christmas Eve dinner), it’s also become my go-to for any kind of cold, winter evenings out when I need something to zhuzh up my dull, freezing-weather outfits, and wake up my pale, wintery face. I love pairing this look with a boring oversized black turtleneck and jeans — it immediately makes any outfit look chic and put-together (dare I say, Parisian?) Below, how I create my go-to winter-evening makeup look, which is perfect for everything from parties to dinners to casual drinks with friends.

I’ve been using this foundation nearly every day lately. It’s ultra dewy and sheer — and manages to both make your skin looks hydrated, and subtly cover redness and dark circles. Anything this foundation doesn’t cover, I knock out with a dot of Kat Von D concealer.

It’s been a while since I’ve raved about this lipstick, which is why I want to take a moment to reiterate just how much I love it. The color is an insanely flattering, blue toned red — a similar pigment to the ultra-famous Mac Ruby Woo, but with a liquid formula. Usually I find liquid lipsticks quite hard to work with (the runniness can be tough when you have shaky hands), but there’s something about the dove foot applicator that makes it super easy to use. My favorite thing about this matte lip is that it does not budge, even after several meals. My dream winter lipstick.

Glossier’s original highlighter, Haloscope, has landed in many of my roundups for its ability to create a radiant-yet-believable pearlescent glow. But I recently tried this new(er) highlighter from the brand and totally fell in love. It has that same natural, sheeny glow, but comes in liquid form instead of a balm. I prefer this liquid consistency for evenings, as it blends into my makeup seamlessly and doesn’t slip and slide around my skin. It’s also buildable — a little bit gives a subtle glow, but if you pack it on you can create a pretty blinding highlight. The choice is yours!

As you know, I love the creaminess of my Milk Makeup Matte Bronzer for achieving that hydrated, daytime sun-kiss effect. But recently I’ve been gravitating more towards powder bronzers due to their longer wear (I can put it on in the morning and it still be there when I get home in the evening). When you’re wearing a bright red lip, you don’t need much other makeup. But this (powder) bronzer from Make manages to add some dimension and subtle warmth back into my skin without taking the whole look over the top. I take a big fluffy brush and dust it in a three shape — from my temples, across my cheek bones, and across my jaw — to create a subtle bronze and chisel. I also love using it as an eyeshadow. As the last step in my routine, I use the tip of my finger and rub it all across my eyelids, then use a smudge brush to run it underneath my lower lash lines. This gives my lids a bronzy hue, and adds warmth to my eyes. Then I’m done! The perfect, ten-minute routine for brightening up pale winter skin.