I endure the same inner struggle every winter: do I commit to a sunless tanner schedule, do I embrace the pale, or do I—heaven forbid—go tanning? (It’s just this once, right?) This back and forth with my conscience tends to last a few weeks, before I realize that something needs to be done, and stat.
While it’s easy to give into the tanning bed (vitamin D is just so good for you!), I'm well aware that it’s one of the worst things you can do to your skin, and your overall health. So once and for all, I’ve decided to embrace the pale. I may not have Anne Hathaway’s ‘I was born to be pale’ radiance, but there are ways to avoid looking like Casper this winter without subjecting yourself to cancer-causing rays.
Use an illuminating lotion. In winter tinted moisturizer simply doesn’t cut it, and a little illuminating sheen goes a long way. If you have oily skin, prep your skin with an oil control primer like Smashbox Photo Finish Targeted Pore & Line Primer—this will ensure sheen doesn’t equal shine. Next, follow up with a chickpea-sized dollop of illuminating lotion, spreading it evenly across your face. (If you like a soft shimmer, Laura Mercier’s Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer works wonders).
Secret tip: If all over illumination just isn’t your thing, try using it to cover under eye circles. It will combat the dark shadows and make you look more awake.
Embrace your highlighter. I read endless articles that mention using highlighter, yet I don’t know a single girl who does. Tsk tsk ladies! Highlighter is the single best tool for making your skin look effortlessly flawless (emphasis on the effortless). The key to mastering this look is picking a good color and knowing precisely where to apply it. Gold and soft pink are universally flattering (I love Jouer Crème Eyeshadow in Feather—yes it’s an eye shadow, but I use it all over). Before doing your makeup, apply the highlighter to the top of your cheekbones, the center of your nose (use sparingly here), and below your eyebrow arches. Blend slightly, and you’ll notice an instant boost to your skin tone.
Secret tip: If you’re feeling extra pale, add the same highlighter color to the inner corners of your eyes. Hello gorgeous!
Dare to wear lipstick. The thought of sporting daily lipstick makes me cock my head and say, “Come again?” I typically equate lipstick with a special occasion or night on the town. But let me ask you something: Have you ever noticed how much duller your skin looks when you take lipstick off? I thought so. You don’t have to go all out with a bright red (although red lips are the epitome of hot right now…Chanel Rogue Coco #19 is to die for), but you shouldn’t be afraid to try a splash of color. My personal favorite is Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstain in Feelin’ Rosy, which is just subtle enough. You can also go with a tinted lip balm—a little touch of color goes a long way.
Secret tip: If you use cheek stain, dab some on the center of your lips, blend outward, and top with a sheer gloss.
Bronze the right way. I went through this phase when I thought using foundation a shade darker than my actual skin would make me look tan. Wrong wrong wrong! That outline along the jawbone is not only a sign of faking your skin tone, it also shows you’re a makeup amateur—and who wants that? Instead, buy a light bronzer that compliments your skin tone, and apply lightly to your cheeks, across your forehead, and down the bridge of your nose. Lancome Star Bronzer in Lumiere is just the right mix of rosy and bronze, and lasts all day.
Secret tip: If you’re really down in the dumps and missing your tan, mix a pea size drop of tanner into your facial moisturizer.
What tricks do you use to make your skin glow sans tanning bed?