Among the many sartorial delights of winter (butter soft leather, cashmere you can get lost in and sharp winter coats…) the change in weather also brings with it a whole new set of beauty indulgences. Usually some time around Easter, I pull down all my storage boxes from the top of the cupboard and unearth my winter wardrobe, rediscovering old friends. Around that time I also pull out my creamier foundations (in a lighter shade than my summer ones), introduce a facial oil into my evening routine and start scouting the new season colour trends. Here are my pick of the three beauty looks that will give you an instant style refresh, along with some tips on how to incorporate them into your winter wardrobe.
1. The Red Wine Lip
Whether you choose a light pinot noir wash, a berry merlot or a dark, peppery shiraz shade, it’s time to get love drunk on dark lipstick. This perennial trend crops up every winter because it’s an instant way to dress up any look and works back beautifully the shades of the season like grey, navy, tobacco - and even black. It also helps your features stand out. When your skin is pale things can tend to all blend it together a bit – a statement lipstick or a defined eye is the perfect remedy.
There’s quite a technique to doing the dark lip - I’ve written a more in-depth how to here - but in short, you need to prep the lip (try exfoliating with a soft toothbrush), hydrate well and use precision in application (a brush helps here). If you’re a little afraid of doing the full lipstick you can dip a toe in the trend with a light application of the dark cherry gloss.
2. The Earthy Eye
When looking for an eyeshadow palette you should consider your colouring. Start with your eyes, as certain shades will make them pop out by creating a contrast or pulling out similar colours from the iris and repeating them in your eyeshadow. For example blue and green eyes look amazing with contrasting shades of rust, copper and bronze. The very shade of blue and green in your eyes, will also help ignite them. Brown eyes look awesome with pale luminescent shades like gold, champagne and even purple, while neutral earthy hues also define brown eyes and give a gorgeous consistent look to your makeup.
This season the catwalks were influenced by the seventies – flared styles, billowy shirts and a host of retro shades from tan through to mulberry. Plum has made a revival on both lips and eyes, so a quick style update is to introduce a slightly pinkier brown into your makeup routine. You can use the deeper shades as an eyeliner by dipping an angled brush in water before picking up the colour and applying it around the eye. Use a soft brush to apply the same shade into the sockets of your eyes and the lighter shades on your brow bone.
3. The Indigo Nail
Dark denim nail polish is a fresh alternative to black and looks amazing when applied properly. You want to apply it in two light coats so make sure you let all the excess polish drip off the brush before painting down the nail and always start a millimeter from the cuticle to give it a nice edge. This will prevent build up and ‘flooding’ the cuticle. Other great shades for this season are light concrete grey and deep charcoal.
The other secret to wearing dark nail polish well is a short, slightly rounded (the nail pros call it squoval) shape and well hydrated cuticles. Nothing looks nastier than red, bitten cuticles and hang nails. To prevent that from happening in chilly skin-sapping weather you really need to keep on top of your hand cream and nail oil application. I keep Creative Nail Design’s Solar Oil next to my bed and a tube of hand cream everywhere – on my desk, in my glovebox and handbag. Pop the hand cream on first, let it absorb a bit then paint the cuticle oil around your nails for an added shot of moisture where it’s needed most. If you do get a hang nail, don’t bite it. I know how tempting it is to rip it off with your teeth so it doesn’t bother you all day, but this will leave your fingertips looking really shabby. Invest in some professional cuticle snippers and snip as close to the skin as possible. And please don’t let them get chipped. You can buy little foil wrapped nail polish removal wipes – keep one in your makeup bag for emergencies. Dark colours do require vigilance, but I think they’re worth it for the dramatic effect.
Story by Sigourney. In Association with Witchery Style Collective