I live in Toronto, which has the highest rate of condo growth in the world, and all of the tall buildings amount to icy wind tunnels that can slice through your thickest coat. The roads get slippery, and sidewalks get even worse. It can be a scary, difficult world to navigate, especially when your main form of transportation is a bike.
I love riding my bike, but in the winter, it sucks. The surface of my skin freezes while my wrapped up body heats up from the exercise, and when I arrive at my destination I always feel tense and exhausted from battling the traffic and wind.
These things I can’t control, but I can control how I look when I arrive at my destination.
Biking in the winter poses all sorts of beauty-disaster risks. Smudged eyeshadow; tears of eyeliner running down your face from the wind; tangled, frizzy hair brought on by scarf friction. I knew a girl who stopped cycling to work altogether because she hated how she looked when she arrived. But I, for one, am not ready to give up.
Winter biking is hard, but it is totally doable if you’re adequately prepared. I mean don’t go riding a fixie in three inches of snow or anything like that because I told you to bike all winter long, but in general, these tips will help you arrive without looking too disheveled.
Braids are Best
Having your hair down can lead to a messy ball of knots and windswept horribleness on the other side. Stick to something like a braid to keep your hair out of the way and safe.
Also don’t go outside unless your hair is completely and utterly dry. Just don’t.
You Must Wear a Hat or Headband
Have you ever gone to the bottom of a pool and suffered insanely painful pressure in your ears? That pain is nothing compared to the frozen feeling you will get inside your ears if you don’t cover them when you bike in cold temperatures.
Knitted headbands are the perfect accessory, as they cover your ears without destroying your hair.
Bundle Like You’ve Never Bundled Before
Part of being beautiful is being safe and warm. You can’t arrive at that awesome party looking beautiful if you literally get so cold you fall off your bike.
I always go with a tight tank top, then a t-shirt, and then a sweater. Bonus points for getting thermal long johns under your skinny jeans.
Pack Some Essentials
Do your makeup at home before you leave like always, but make sure you bring some essentials for touch ups when you arrive.
I bring my Stila Waterproof Liquid Liner to fix my eyes, Benefit Boi-ing to cover up any particularly red patches, and Hurraw lip balm in “Chai tea” to coat my cracked painful lips in tea-smelling goodness.
Cover Your Face
No, not because you're ashamed! The most important part of winter biking beauty survival is covering up your face in every way possible.
Make sure you wear a thicker than usual layer of moisturizer, and make sure it has an SPF. Then layer up with big sunglasses and a scarf that covers most of your face. Sometimes I top it all off with a hooded jacket and look like a martian.
Protecting your face from the wind and any shards of ice or snow that might fly at you from passing cars is the pinnacle of importance here.
Stay safe! Always make sure your bike has enough air in the tires, working lights at the front and back, and a loud bell. Don’t run red lights like a jerk, and don’t bike on snowy slush with ice underneath because you’re running late and you missed your bus. Remember, a big key to being beautiful when you arrive is being alive!