During the winter, I spend a good chunk of my morning cursing the outdoors. At this point, it’s pretty much part of my daily routine: wake up, eat, yell at the cold, go to work. No matter how many creams and oils I slather on my face, I inevitably end up with dry, flaking skin. And if you’ve ever tried to apply makeup to shedding skin, you know that the struggle is real and the results are often terrible. So I asked Susie Sobol, a makeup artist in New York City, for her tricks for dealing with dry skin...without the morning drama.
Prep the skin. The first step to a flake-free face is to use a light exfoliant and a rich moisturizer. “A rice powder is a wonderful way to slough off any surface dryness that would normally cause foundation to clump,” says Sobol, who loves Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant. “A half teaspoon mixed with water creates a beautiful creamy cleanser that will deflake the skin gently,” she adds. Next, and most obviously, moisturize (and then moisturize again). Sobol recommends anything from La Mer or Embryolisse, or use a high-grade dry oil, like coconut, jojoba, or maracuja. Before applying makeup, let your moisturizer sink in for three to four minutes, then pat away any excess shine with a tissue.
Pick the right products. “Start with a hydrating, water-based foundation, like M.A.C. Studio Face and Body, and pair it with a highlighting concealer, like The Retoucher pen from Charlotte Tilbury, to make dry skin under the eyes and nose glow,” says Sobol. “For a perfectly melted-in finish, use your fingers to apply the foundation and concealer. If you’re using a full-coverage foundation, pat a little facial oil on top of your cheekbones to keep your skin looking soft and supple,” she adds.
Put down the powder. “I think the biggest mistake people make in the winter is using heavy products with a powder base, like foundation powders or mineral foundations,” says Sobol. “These products can clog pores and lie on top of dry surfaces, causing the skin to look pasty and heavily made-up,” she adds. For blush, which is a must for waking up dull skin, Sobol suggests a cheek stain, such as Tarte Cheek Stain, to add a flush of color to the face.
Do damage control. “If you still spot some flakes, use a clean mascara wand to lightly pick them off the skin,” advises Sobol. “Then use a tiny dot of moisturizer on top of the problem area, pat it in with your finger, and leave it alone!”
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