Yes, You Can Achieve Dewy Makeup On Dry, Winter-Ravaged Skin. Here’s How

By Ashleigh Cometti
Year-round glow, coming right up. Photo / Marissa Findlay

No matter which season you’re in, from high summer to the depths of winter, glowing skin is always within reach.

Armed with the right products and a little expert know-how, a dewy glow is achievable year-round on all skin types, even the driest complexions.

According to Prudvi Mohan Kaka, a

“Visually, the effects of these changes are exhibited in the onset of dry, itchy and dull-looking skin appearance,” he says, adding it’s common to experience a compromised skin barrier in winter.

Over the past few years, the makeup-as-skincare movement has seen many foundation formulas highlight ingredients previously reserved solely for skincare, making it even easier to boost hydration and radiance.

Below, two experts share a step-by-step guide to get glowing in no time, including the products to try and the best way to apply them.

Prioritise skin prep

Makeup won’t settle well on dry, flaky skin so it’s crucial to prep with the right skincare first to achieve the best results.

“Prepping the skin before applying makeup is incredibly important, especially during the drier winter months,” says freelance makeup artist Kiekie Stanners.

“You can’t get a great finish to anything if you aren’t prepping/priming or preparing your canvas first.”

For skin that appears plump, supple and hydrated, Prudvi recommends seeking out formulations that suit the needs of skin in the relative season.

“In the dry season, apply formulations that are rich in texture and incorporate ingredients that help to enhance the skin’s hydrating capacity, such as actives and emollients,” he says.

A simple, three-step regimen is all that’s needed to care for skin year-round, Prudvi says.

Start with a simple cleanser to remove dirt and debris and prepare it for the steps to follow. Add in one or two serums which target your primary skin concerns. Finish with a light layer of moisturiser to lock in moisture and support a healthy skin barrier.

Follow this with a primer to smooth out skin texture, create a base for your foundation and minimise shine throughout the day, Kiekie says. One that’s not too mattifying is best during dry seasons.

“Choose a primer in the winter months that offers some moisture, rather than an ‘all-nighter’ claim,” Kiekie says.

Kiekie loves the Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base, $120, as a winter moisturising creme, layered with the Mecca Cosmetica Fresh Faced Hydrating Primer, $44.

Lock in moisture

As far as hydrating ingredients go, hyaluronic acid punches well above its weight. Literally.

The moisture-binding super ingredient can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water, drawing moisture to the skin to leave it plump and hydrated.

“A boost of hydration may be especially helpful during the colder months, when many people experience more skin dryness due to the weather,” Prudvi says.

His pick? The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 Serum, $20, which is a great addition to any regimen for both beginners and more experienced skincare users.

Anti-inflammatory ingredient squalane is another excellent ingredient to look out for, which can deeply moisturise the layers of skin while soothing inflammatory conditions like acne and eczema.

Perfect your base

Which foundation and concealer should you use this winter?

Full coverage formulas tend to gather (or stick) to dry, flaky or rough areas of the face and make them stand out further. Creamy, lightweight formulas are your best bet, and Kiekie says there’s a suite of products out there that promise to lend a dewy glow to drier complexions.

Check your foundation’s INCI list for aforementioned hydrators like hyaluronic acid or glycerin (both powerful humectants meaning they draw moisture from the air into skin) or opt for a skin tint with squalane for all-day hydration.

Foundation-wise, Kiekie loves Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation, $118, for its beautiful texture, hydrating ingredients and satin coverage, followed by a swirl of Rose Inc Refillable Cheek and Lip Colour, $66, which blends seamlessly into skin when applied with fingertips.

To illuminate high points of the face, Kiekie reaches for the Westman Atelier Lit Up Highlight Stick, $90 — its gel formula and stick format makes easy work of tapping it into cheekbones for: “a soft glossiness in all the right areas,” she says.

But you don’t have to spend the earth on switching out your product to suit the seasons, Kiekie says. Her number one budget-friendly hack is to daub a little lip salve (which she always has handy) on the tops of her cheekbones to lend a dewy finish just where she wants it.

“And to combat the fact that my makeup tends to lose its sheen during the day while working in artificial heating conditions,” she says.

Make the switch to cream-based products

If you’ve always been tempted to swap your powdered products out for creams, now’s an excellent time to do so. Cream textures melt easily into skin without accentuating dry patches the way powders often do.

“I have an absolute love affair with creme blush and highlighters,” Kiekie says.

“It’s hard for me to try using a powder in winter months on clients when I just adore the finish of a cream. It’s the quickest and easiest way to inject some dewiness to skin, with the touch of your fingertips.”

Fine-tune your application technique

Despite arming yourself with all the right glow-giving makeup formulas, a too-rough application can undo your efforts.

“Think of what can happen if you were to use a full, fluffy brush and buffed your foundation on,” Kiekie says.

“It would unsettle the skin underneath and perhaps create unwanted texture by lifting dry skin or fine hairs — overall creating a disrupted skin texture and not the ideal finish if your skin, like most, suffers from winter dryness.”

For foundation, try a smooth, synthetic brush to help ‘paint’ foundation on. “Something like a traditional paddle brush is ideal — this was your product goes on seamlessly,” Kiekie says, adding the M.A.C #190 Synthetic Foundation Brush, $97, remains a firm favourite.

Patting or pressing in foundation and concealer with a beauty sponge is another excellent way to achieve a smooth finish. Look for sponges that are firm to touch, Kiekie says. Try Glam by Manicare Ultimate Blending Sponge, $13.

Dewy over shiny

But it’s a fine line between appearing dewy and downright greasy.

Kiekie says the best way to sidestep shine is by concentrating product to the cheeks and outer areas of the face, instead of over the T-Zone.

“This is the area that naturally creates shine when natural oils come through, so it’s also the area that doesn’t need additional highlights or rich cream products to avoid looking oily,” she says.

Finish with setting spray

Set makeup on dry skin with a hydrating setting spray or spritz on throughout the day to refresh and hydrate.

Toting around a hydrating mist throughout the day is one of Kiekie’s many makeup hacks, which acts as a humectant to draw moisture to skin without ruining makeup.

Delivery is important, and the best setting sprays feature a fine-mist pump to disperse product evenly without depositing large droplets of product on makeup, Kiekie says.

Kiekie loves the By Terry Hyaluronic Glow Setting Mist, $82, or the M.A.C Fix+ Magic Radiance, $65, which contains a blend of essential oils alongside vitamin C and hyaluronic acid. “It leaves you with glass like skin after each spritz,” Kiekie says.

This image originally appeared in Viva Volume 8.

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