I have a real bone to pick with rom-coms for many reasons but the current winter weather in New York is reminding me of one in particular. Those rom-com movie wizards make winter look romantic. Like really romantic. Like spin me under a streetlamp while gently falling snow collects on my eyelashes and you can’t tell if the color on my cheeks is from the cold air or my giddy nerves that someone just spun me under a streetlamp and I liked it.
Having now lived through multiple New York winters, I call bullshit.
1) That’s definitely fake snow. 2) They shot said winter scene in August to have the longest days with abundant light. 3) It was not shot in New York but rather “New York Street” on a Los Angeles studio where nothing smells like an empty subway car. 4) Can we really trust people who wear knit scarves when it dips below 70 to accurately depict winter?!*
The answer is no. Those movie wizards have no idea what it’s like to slip on black ice during your first date and fall on your hip so you burst into tears due to a mix of pain and humiliation causing the mascara that was hanging onto your eyelashes by a thread to travel all the way down to your chin.
Instead they make winter and the women in it look as perfectly contained as a snow globe.
Well, this make-up loving lady who has now endured three New York winters has some more useful thoughts on winter make-up than what those Hollywood types have shown you all your life. I can’t promise anyone is going to spin you under a street lamp but if they do, PROPOSE MARRIAGE IMMEDIATELY.
Tube Mascara: My girlfriend Paige who has lived in New York for a decade longer than me, kindly suggested I try Blic’s tube mascara when I showed up to drinks one winter night looking like a cat burglar. Apparently when this magical mascara dries it creates a tube around the eyelash rather than adhering directly to it. What that translates to in winter months is no raccoon eyes when you’re facing gusts of wind that make you walk like a linebacker down Bowery.
Make-Up Primer with a Color Correcting Tint: When I first saw Smashbox’s Color Correcting Foundation Primer I had my doubts. It’s green. Like Shrek green. But when I smothered a pea sized amount evenly over my face I quickly learned — this is magic. The persistent red undertones that live around my nose and eyes during winter vanished. I don’t even use foundation afterwards (much to the relief of my temperamental winter skin), just a little tinted moisturizer and I’m good to go. I also keep Smashbox’s Get Less Red Color Correcting Stick in my purse for any needed touch ups before last minute drinks.
Lip Exfoliator: My lips are on the larger side and the minute they’re chapped (so 98% of the time during winter) it’s an eyesore for everyone involved, not to mention moderately uncomfortable and it takes lipstick off the table (and bold lipstick always makes one’s face instantly brighter in the dead of winter). I find a common mistake is to slather on salve before exfoliating. I love Fresh Beauty’s Sugar Lip Polish. (I’ve had the same pot for two years! A little goes a long way!) But you can also mix a little coconut oil and brown sugar together in the palm of your hand and voilá! Smooth lips.
Sandglow: Yep, I said Sandgolw. As in Laura Mercier’s Caviar Eye Stick Color in Sandglow. I don’t what it is about this color but it’s flattering on everyone, creamy in application and if it does smear a bit due to harsh winter elements, it’s gold, so it simply reflects light on other parts of your face. I tend to pair it with Laura Mercier’s Face Illuminator powder in Addiction for a go-to winter look that’s minimal up keep and overall brightening.
The Mani/Pedi Self-Tan One-Two-Punch: When all else fails and I feel about as attractive as a slush pile of snow, I treat myself to a mani-pedi and pick up a few Tan Towels on the way home. The next morning when I catch a reflection of myself coming out of the shower with a faux-tan glow and polished red toes, it helps juuuust enough to put a spring in my step. Plus, sometimes it’s more about what’s hidden underneath, and who you choose to share it with, than anything else.
And remember, with anything in life, winter is only temporary and we’ll all be complaining about make-up melting off our faces soon enough (and yes, I have some tricks for that too).
*Full disclosure; as a native Angeleno I was one of those people till three years ago and I can’t apologize enough for my abuse of knit scarves.