How to Look Like Summer All Year Long
Feeling good in the summer is 100% easier. You can have a week of late nights and still look twice as fresh-faced as you do at your best in the winter. For me, keeping that holiday-feeling is the only way to feel good about myself once the clocks go back. While I’d love to do the pale and interesting thing, I just end up getting lots of ‘you look tired’ comments which never makes you feel great. So this is how I try and feel like I’m just back from the beach even when it’s 10 degrees outside… (And no sunbeds needed).
Fake It To Make It
There’s no way around it; unless you’ve got endless winter sun breaks planned, fake tan is the only way to keep a bit of colour through the winter. For me, it feels too conspicuous to have a dark tan after September so this is more about a subtle, golden glow to take the edge off sallow, wintry skin. The only fake tan I use is St Tropez and I tend to use the gradual moisturiser about twice a week depending on how I feel (and how often I remember). I also use the St.Tropez Face Gradual Tan once or twice week (at night) to keep that ghostly look at bay…
I get tonnes of questions about how I ‘do’ my slightly dishevelled hair. The answer is very little but what I do do to get a little bit of extra texture is to twist it into sections while drying. I only ever air dry my hair (a little trickier in the winter but I can normally make it work), and this works super well for creating natural, mussed-up waves. When my hair’s about 50% dry, I divide it into pig tails and twist round in Spice Girl style mini buns and secure them at the back of my head. I start twisting from the very font so the pieces that frame my face have some soft movement to them; how tightly you twist them will depend how curly the result is. I have super fine hair so I’ll undo after 5 or 10 minutes, shake out, let it dry loose a bit more and repeat. If you’re hair’s long enough, you can also just knot the two twisted pigtails under your chin at the front for a bit… Not something to do in public perhaps, but works super well.
Banish Dull Skin
The key to looking summery and glowy in December is great, luminous skin. Products really have to step up a notch in the winter so pick wisely and use religiously. I like balm cleansers that combine a muslin cloth like Eve Lom, Liz Earle and Emma Hardy. The keep skin bright, exfoliated and moisturised. After that a good, rich moisturiser like Creme de la Mer (pricey but oh so worth it) or facial oil like Aesop Fabulous Facial Oil or Pai BioRegenerate Oil keep it hydrated. Brightening serums can also help but beware of things that promise ‘radiance’ because they’re often packed with shimmer which does nothing for winter skin.
Invest in a great primer and BB/CC Cream (my favourites are YSL and Laura Mercier) to keep your face looking flawless without being heavily caked in makeup. You want a dewy, fresh finish. I need extra help in the winter to cover bags under my eyes and red patches round my nose. Yellow-y concealers and highlighters help lift and lighten irregularities and flaws.
How to Bronze
Bronzer in mid-winter is tricky and needs to be handled lightly. if you use Benefit Hoola or Nars Laguna in the summer, you might need to combine with a lighter, softer type of bronze to stop it from being too obvious.
Think about where the sun naturally hits your face when you’re tanned; cheekbones, brow bones and the bridge of your nose are normally where most of us first catch those rays (hence the need for SPF 50 on our faces). Use this as your starting point when sweeping bronzer on. Use a great brush to sweep gently over the highest points of your face and build gradually. Always tap off excess so you don;t get those telltale muddy streaks and avoid shimmer… Instead go for a matte powder or cream bronzer. My favourite all year round bronzer is by Rodial.
If you have highlights, keeping them light, bright and icy is key in the winter. It’s all dependent on your colouring, but for me, I need my blonde to stay as cold as possible and after one too many ‘warm’ or ‘honey’ highlight disasters I’ve learnt my lesson. Don’t listen to your colourist if they try and tell you you should go darker or warmer for winter; the opposite is true for me at least.
Keep asking your colourist for ‘baby blonde’, ‘beach highlights’, ‘ash’ and ‘platinum’ tones, just keep them soft and subtle… I find a bit of extra attention to the baby hairs framing my face and around my ears keep not only your hair but your face feeling like you’ve just got back from holiday whatever the time of year. Look after it at home with Opalex, Philip Kingsley elasticser or Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Conditoners.
Just because your skin’s not on show, there’s no need to let it turn into scales. Central heating and sweaty tubes play havoc with my skin and for me, oil is the only solution. I love Sister & Co Coconut Oil for my body, face, hair and even teeth (yes really) to keep skin soft and hydrated. Plus massaging it in helps circulation and helps combat that deathly, grey tinge we can all fall victim.. It also means less prep when you do eventually make it back to the beach in the Spring. And it smells like a Pina Colada which mentally helps with the winter blues.
Get the Glow
Shimmery, metallic textures feel more party than beach and can sometimes look far too obvious than when used in the summer. Instead, I go for apricot, peachy colours with dewy, creamy finishes to help keep that fresh-faced look. Use an eye lid primer and under eye concealer (I’m obsessed with cheap as chips Garnier BB Eye Concealer) to keep eyes super bright – just don’t fall victim to using Touche Eclat under eyes (it’s a highlighter not a concealer). A rosy lip balm like Baume de Rose By Terry to keep chapped lips at bay. A little bit of colour on cheeks really helps too – my favourite all year is Tom Ford in Flush. The colour looks a bit scary but used super sparingly, it adds the kind of warmth you get from working out (minus the sweat) and gets lots of compliments. A makeup artist once told me they loved it and asked what it was so it’s a keeper!