It’s been a while since I’ve attempted to demystify the secrets of keeping a glow when we’re all finished with winter, even though winter isn’t finished with us. A little pick-me-up for the skin and makeup is just the ticket to lift the spirits when the end of winter creeps too slowly toward Spring-time.
Let’s start with the skin. If your skin is dry, flakey, blotchy, or puffy, no amount of makeup is going to improve the situation. A little research into the world of dermatology yielded these little gems of wisdom to help correct the winter’s evil plan for our skin:
Lack of sleep has real implications for the skin. Skimping on sleep can cause skin to become dehydrated. Wrinkles appear more prominent and bluish discoloration can form under the eyes. Let’s assume that you would sleep more, if you could. What is the remedy? Simple, first steps to combat this problem include applying more moisturizer and drinking more water. (Balms applied to the skin are not problematic to the gluten-intolerant because they are not ingested.)
The next line of defense is exfoliation. Try cleansing your face first. Apply a microdermabrasion treatment of tiny grains that buff away the top layer of the skin. You don’t need a spa appointment to get the benefit of this kind of product. They are affordable and available over-the-counter. Choose a mild version so you can use it often. After a treatment, the skin looks fresh, with a pink glow. This is a good way to perk up before big parties, important events, or after long flights.
There are plenty of products on the market that target under-eye puffiness. Many of them include caffeine, cucumber, and yeast extracts. In a pinch, ice-cold tea bags, applied to the eyes for ten minutes will do the trick. It wouldn’t hurt to keep “teacycles” in the freezer for times like this.
Skin brighteners, applied under the eyes, help make for a more awake, fresh look. Botanical ingredients like mulberry and white birch are effective. For under-eye discoloration, a peptide called haloxyl is effective to minimize under-eye discoloration. This remedy is also available over-the-counter.
After you’ve exfoliated and moisturized, use a self-tanner or bronzer to neutralize the sallow, yellow-green tones in your face. Reach for blush to give your cheeks a touch of color. Apply the blush to the apples of your cheeks. A cream blush is better for anyone over 40.
As a last minute touch, curl your eyelashes for a wide-eyed fresh effect. Curl them before you add mascara.
As a last note, consider highlights for a face brightening effect. Most people are born with natural highlights – they just happen to fade and darken with age. Done properly, highlights can have the same brightening and lifting effect on your face as a good night’s sleep. For the most natural look, choose highlights that are lighter on top and warmer underneath and toward the back. This approach comes close to the way your hair would naturally lighten under the sun.
There’s nothing like a little change to perk up the spirit and encourage positive thoughts. We’re not looking for perfection here, just the perks that come from treating yourself in a loving way.