Written by Morgan Fargo
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Dark mornings make for little motivation, what I choose to spend my time doing.
Whether you’re a minimalist or a maximalist when it comes to your beauty routine, you’ll likely empathise with the feeling of not being bothered at the moment. In spite of the same number of hours existing as they did in the summer, the curtailment of daylight has made waking up harder and evenings solely for the second season of The White Lotus or overindulging on picpoul and penne alla vodka.
The probability of me doing more than the bare minimum when it comes to my beauty routine has taken a nosedive. So the things I am choosing to do are carrying extra weight and they make a world of difference. Read on.
1. Regular, gentle exfoliation
Winter rolls around and our skin becomes tighter, dryer and altogether more lacklustre. It happens every year and we are somehow always taken by surprise. That doesn’t mean you should abandon your exfoliation routine, perhaps it just needs a tweak.
When the seasons change, the rate at which we lose moisture from the skin (transepidermal water loss, for those in the know) increases due to environmental factors such as central heating, wind and weather changes. However, dead skin cells and congestion will still occur – albeit along with dryer patches of skin, too.
I use a powerful exfoliating mask once a week (Oskia Renaissance Mask) or when I feel my skin needs a little extra oomph, and Murad’s AHA/BHA cleanser intermittently throughout the week. Even though my skin is already on the dry side, loosening the dead skin allows the products I use after to penetrate more evenly and effectively, not blocked by layers of environmental debris (pollution and dirt), old products or SPF.
2. Facial massage
Free to do, facial massage is one of the easiest ways I make my face look less… winterised. Manual massage helps bring oxygen-rich blood and nutrients to the surface of the skin, sweeping away toxins and stagnant lymph fluid to reduce water retention and improve brightness. In a period during which we’re likely to get less sleep, see less sunlight and feel more stress at balancing our mental health with our laundry list of responsibilities, taking a few moments for yourself to manually move your skin is genuinely therapeutic.
This seven-step facial massage (direct from facialist Michaella Bolder), shows you how to improve circulation, tone and plumpness while draining water retained by the skin – no tools necessary, just a cleanser, moisturiser or oil with enough slip.
If you are the proud owner of facial massage tools – a gua sha, jade roller or other device – making them a dedicated part of my winter get-ready routine has made my skin look brighter, more even and less tired which, in turn, has meant I’m spending less time trying to create the same effect with make-up.
Cultured / £46
Resilience Facial Oil
Murad / £32
AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser
Oskia / £70
Jones Road / £26
Blusher – everywhere
Blusher is firmly in its renaissance era. Long passed over for the brown-bronze monopoly of the early 2010s, the joy of flush is one of the quickest ways to fake the bright-eyedness these dark mornings are robbing us of. Whether you choose an orange, terracotta-toned blush or plump for icy, blue-based pink, placing a blusher on your cheeks, temples and nose adds vibrancy, dimension and life to the face. For cream blush wearers, take a little and press it into your lips. It saves you from finding a matching lip and can be made ‘more’ by adding a clear gloss or Vaseline on top.
Main image: Morgan Fargo
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