Every morning from January to mid-April, I check the temperature on my iPhone. Zero degrees today. It's going to be a good day.
I step out of my house and face the blinding snow, careful not to slip down the ice-packed stairs to get to the sidewalk that's covered in even more ice.
I'm a senior at Syracuse University, named the country's snowiest college, where a day that reaches above five degrees calls for sunbathing on the quad.
The crazy and often unpredictable weather is hard on a girl's beauty routine. There is absolutely no way you can hop in and out of the shower and then run to class. Your hair will freeze straight away, and then you're left feeling sicker than you were yesterday because living on a college campus is already like living in a cesspool of germs.
I learned quickly that I need to keep my hair routine pretty low-maintenance if I'm going to make it to class with unfrozen hair. After I get out of the shower, I let my hair dry as long as possible while I apply my makeup and get dressed. That way, my blow-dry time is a fraction of what it would be if I started styling it right after I finished showering.
I spray some label.m Blow Out Spray on my ends and massage a handful of the Toni & Guy Prep Volume Plumping Mousse into my roots before heading to the bathroom to run a round brush through my hair and blow it out in about three minutes. It's the easiest way I've found to add some volume and heat protection to my hair while still taking as little time as possible.
Applying makeup is always a struggle with crazy-cold weather, too. My face gets so dry and sensitive, and my foundation and concealer start to look completely unnatural, like my skin is trying to reject it. Products just tend to sit on top of my face, floating around.
I've found a few ways to fix my dry-skin problem, but my routine is changing as often as the weather does. Right now I'm completely in love with my Avène Thermal Spring Water. I spray it on my skin before I apply any moisturizer and it soothes my whole face and brings down any redness I have. It's like a primer for my moisturizer, which has been and always will be Olay Complete All Day Moisturizer SPF 15. It sinks into my skin so I can start my makeup right away. Plus, I need the SPF since the sun bounces off the snow and my skin tends to attract gnarly sunburns.
Once my skin is hydrated, I'm always worried about keeping my makeup as simple as possible, especially around my eyes, since making it to class without tears streaming down my face from the bitter cold is nearly impossible. I always use a damp beautyblender to apply my favorite under-eye concealer — the amazing Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Concealer — so it's blended as evenly as possible.
I'm not the biggest fan of waterproof mascara, so I only apply a bit of black mascara on my bottom lashes and I usually use nude liner on my water line and powder eyeshadow on my bottom lash line so I don't show up to class or work with black streaks down my cheeks.
Once I'm finally out the door, I've got a scarf around my face and a hat on my head so my efforts to look good that morning go totally unnoticed as I walk around campus. When I finally get to my destination, the building is usually so hot that I end up sweating to the point that my hair is greasy and my makeup feels gross.
Eventually, my body temperature finds some kind of balance, but my skin tends to feel completely dry, so I pull out my very well-loved C.O. Bigelow Rose Salve and my L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream (which has since lost its label). I apply those throughout my class since my skin tends to get itchy in random places constantly.
After my classes, I brave the elements again and get back home only to wash my makeup off, moisturize, and jump into bed. Luckily, spring is just around the corner. But I can promise Syracuse will make sure the end of my senior year is nice and frigid.
- What are your winter beauty woes?
- Have you ever lived somewhere where the weather is totally extreme?