In preparation for another winter, we’re pulling out our oh-so-sexy long underwear and snow-proofing our beauty routine—after all, we don’t want our makeup to smudge off after a few seconds of exposure. For those of us hitting the slopes this season—or just bracing ourselves for another urban blizzard—it all comes down to knowing which products to use (and which to avoid). Read on for weather-defying tips from a team of pro skiers and industry experts.
Nix: Foundation | Fix: Moisturizer/Primer + SPF + Mineral Powder
Snow dilutes and thins liquid foundation, which leads to unsightly gaps in coverage. Focus on protecting your skin from the elements instead. “Cold air contains less moisture than warm air, so your skin becomes prone to drying out,” explains John Breslin, Spa Director at the Sonnenalp Resort in Vail, CO. Start with a rich, long-lasting moisturizer like Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentrè which doubles as a primer.
Next, move on to a water-resistant SPF. It may sound shocking, but you risk more sun damage when you’re standing in snow than you do lying on the beach. “Sand reflects only 20 percent of the sun rays that hit it, while snow reflects 80 percent,” says Elizabeth Murchison, Director of Education at Guinot, “so I suggest using a minimum of SPF 30.” Heidi Voelker, a three-time Olympic athlete who currently works as the Ambassador of Skiing at Deer Valley Resort, looks for formulas that don’t leave a white cast behind on her skin, a common pitfall among lotions that contain high levels of zinc oxide. (A great pick: Kiehl’s balm-like Cross Terrain UV Protector.) Next, Voelker doubles up on SPF by layering on colorescience pro® mineral powder, which comes in a pre-filled brush. “I put it in my pocket, then brush it on when I’m sitting in the ski lift chair,” she says. Bonus: mineral makeup doesn’t smudge off as easily against a fleece or wool collar.
Nix: Lipstick | Fix: Balm with SPF + Stain
Now is not the time to bust out a full-on lipstick. But that doesn’t mean you have to be purely utilitarian. “I prefer a lip stain with a SPF balm on top,” says Cindy Leuchtenberg, a ski instructor based in Aspen. Follow in her footsteps and apply a long-lasting stain in a soft pink shade—we’re fans of Pixi Beauty’s Youth, which comes in a user-friendly pen. Next, swipe on a hydrating balm with sun protection, such as Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour® Cream Lip Protectant Stick Sunscreen SPF 15.
Nix: Blush | Fix: Bronzer
You’ll develop a natural flush from a session on the slopes (or a brisk walk around the block), so don’t bother with blush. Consider a touch of mineral bronzer on your cheekbones instead. “When you’re wearing a lot of heavy clothing, it can drown out your features, so I use it to add contours to my face,” says Brooke Rose, a backcountry skier who works as a communications coordinator at Northstar California Resort in Tahoe.
Nix: Regular Mascara + Shadow | Fix: Eyelash Curler + Tubing Mascara
Even if you break all the other rules, go easy on the eye makeup when it snows. Shadows tend to bleed everywhere and aren’t necessarily flattering. “There are generally low light conditions in a snowstorm, so wearing tons of dark shadow actually makes you look sickly,” Rose explains. Plus, the condensation that builds up inside snow goggles can lead to mascara smears and smudges. To avoid the mess, Voelker relies on her trusty eyelash curler to wake up her eyes and occasionally gets her lashes tinted at the salon. If you’re going goggle-less around town, wear a tubing mascara like blinc’s, which surrounds each lash in flake-proof copolymers and will withstand cold, snowy weather—it’s the beauty equivalent of that indestructible marshmallow coat.
—By Mai Wang
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Mimic the natural flush you’d get from a day on the slopes with this gorgeous pink blush and highlighter.
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Just a few swipes of this mineral bronzer will give you a naturally sun-kissed look, even in the dead of winter.
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