How to Beat the Winter Blahs: Beauty Edition

Cold, hard fact: It’s pretty tough escaping these über-gloomy February vibes. But if you’ve been following our blog, chances are you’ve bopped to some feel-good tunes, brewed up delicious beverages, brightened your style and built some fragrant floral arrangements. To round out the week, we’ve got some special secrets from beauty experts Laurel Pantin (Teen Vogue) and Cat Marnell (xoJane).



“As a native Texan (where winter actually gets up to 67 degrees), I’m always hit hard by the winter blahs. My first few seasons up North were brutal, and next to hopping in a tanning bed (never, ever, ever, ever resort to that!), I’ll try anything to fake some spring cheer.”

1. La Prairie Anti-Aging Hydra Tint: “This tinted moisturizer is a godsend. In the winter, it’ll keep your skin from parching while the SPF 20 protects from ever-present damaging UV rays. The ultralight formula gives your skin a super-healthy, dewy glow, which—in the middle of February—is nothing short of a miracle.”

2. Milani Lipstick in Mandarina: “My absolute favorite shade of neon orange! I wear this color a lot during the winter because, like a spray tan, neon colors make me feel terrific.”

3. Spray Tans: “So I’m totally guilty of spray tanning. But I’m not that sorry. Having a tan makes me feel terrific and look a little bit less like a grub worm or baby mouse.”

4. Weleda Skin Food: “This is exactly what it sounds like: buttery, smooth deliciousness! It’s basically a super-thick balm that does wonders for dry, cracked hands.”

5. Deborah Lippmann Happy Birthday Nail Lacquer: “Everyone tends to go slate gray and navy with their nail polish in the winter. I lean toward the opposite direction: Bring on the glitter!”

6. Bikram Yoga: “One of my besties, the genius babe behind Granny Is My Wingman, introduced me to Bikram a few years ago. When it’s –2 degrees out, I can’t wait to hop in that sweltering, humid room (it’s something like 105 degrees, plus 40 percent humidity). I like to get to class early and lie on my mat in the heat and pretend that it’s August at Barton Springs in Austin. Heaven.”



“OK, so in addition to keeping my skin super-duper moisturized, my winter-survival strategy is to stay in complete denial about the dark, cold weather all around—and instead, use products that put me in a fantastic beachy state of mind! Is that crazy? Probably, but so am I.”

1. Origins Gloomaway Grapefruit Bath Bar: “This is a hefty, cheerful bar of soap that smells like fresh-sliced grapefruit when you lather it up in the shower—and it’s moisturizing enough that your skin won’t be dried out from using it, even in the dead of winter.”

2. Mustela® Hydra-Stick: “Like all good things, this is a product for glamorous French babies that can also be used by less fabulous American adults. It’s an irresistible little mini deodorant-shaped cold cream—and it’s solid, so you can use it on dry skin wherever you have it. Ooh, I just love Mustela!”

3. Hawaiian Tropic® Dark Tanning Lotion SPF 4: “My other favorite winter-denial aromatherapy trick is to wear inexpensive sunscreen as body lotion (or at least on my arms and neck, where I can smell it). It makes me feel beachy and, I swear to God, it also makes me wildly alluring to others. Tip: The lower the SPF, the better the fragrance!”

4. Tarte™ 24/7 Lip Sheer in Monday: “Lip conditioning is important, but I’m a beauty editor, i.e., not a Chap Stick person. Instead, I love tinted balms like these by Tarte, which are as deeply, gorgeously pigmented as lipsticks but moisturize flaky lips as well as any treatment formula. My favorite shade is Monday, a sheer red. Pair it with mascara and a little cream blush and voilà.”

5. Kiehl’s Sun-Free Self Tanner: “Most people wouldn’t identify Kiehl’s as a go-to brand for awesome self tanner, but they’re wrong. This is one of my favorites, and I especially like it for winter months—not only because the color it gives you is subtle and natural and won’t overwhelm pasty February skin, but because you can slap it on haphazardly as you would body lotion and it dries miraculously streak free as it conditions. Plus, the fragrance is minimal.”

6. Shu Uemura The Art of Beauty Cleansing Oil: “It took me, like, six years of being an acne-prone and terrified beauty editor before I finally bit the bullet and started using cleansing oil during winter months. (I was finally convinced when I read that Marilyn Monroe used the Shu oil her whole life!) And when I did, boy, did I love it. It takes off eye makeup and softens the skin on my face like magic. (Bonus: You can also use this stuff to shave your legs, if you’re feeling fancy.)”