7 (Healthy!) Ways to Get a Glow in the Winter

Winter doesn't just signify final exams and holiday shopping—for some collegiettes it means complexions as chalky as the snow outside. We clung to the remnants of our summer tans ‘til October, knowing the next season may give us pallid, patchy skin. But with the United States Department of Health and Human Services classifying tanning booth UV radiation as as carcinogenic as cigarettes, we'll happily seek other options. Whether you're olive- to dark-toned and want a tinge of color, or a Snow White looking for a boost—here are the best ideas to reclaim a summery, healthy glow.

Humidify & Exfoliate

Viktorija Bowers, NYC-based makeup artist and Ellemagazine’s key makeup artist during their Style360 Shows at Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2012, suggests giving a few of your beauty and nighttime routines more thought. She says heating our homes during winter sucks moisture out of the air, making for dull skin. “I recommend investing in a good humidifier, especially in the bedroom, while you sleep,” she says. “It pumps moisture in the air and does wonders for skin.” But as for eliminating those flakes, Bowers loves exfoliators, especially Benefit’s Refined Finish Facial Polish ($22), which smells like sea salt.


According to Bowers, it’s important to remember to give our bodies the same moisturizing care we give our faces. During New York Fashion Week, Bowers says she and her colleagues moisturized models with Spa Rich Body Moisturizer by Beauti Control ($32). “It was amazingly moisturizing and it smells heavenly, giving models a beautiful sheen,” she says. And don’t forget to apply both a face and body moisturizer prior to bedtime. “It is crucial to use richer moisturizer during the nighttime, so skin can regenerate,” Bowers said. A viable option for all skin types for day and night facial moisture is Aveeno Active Naturals Ultra-Calming Daily Moisturizer ($16.99), as it is oil-free and contains UVA/UVB sunscreen. 

Tanning Lotions

If you want all over color, but smartly refuse to fake bake using tanning beds­, there are streak-free bottle tans. Alydia Rukkila, a Sephora product consultant who deals with some of the world’s premier beauty brands, recommends we try some of the retailer’s top-selling products. She suggests St. Tropez Bronzing Lotion ($30) or Clarins Self Tanning Instant Gel ($33)—two products that when applied gently and post-exfoliating in the shower, give you an even tan. All skin tones can achieve a glow with St. Tropez Skin Illuminator Gold ($22.50)—a face moisturizer with unbelievable sheen.


Bronzers have come a long way since giving us orange powdery cheeks in middle school. Today's products provide rich shades for every skin preference. Rukkila recommends bronzers as the best way to give your skin a tan finish, but says to weigh your options. Rukkila recommends Benefit Cosmetics Hoola ($28) for a natural matte finish sans the glimmer, but ladies prone to the menace of acne and t-zone oil should reach for Clinique True Bronze Pressed Powder ($24.50).


If you’re not keen on the bronzed look, luminizers may be your best glow option. Usually in stick or liquid form, they use light to make our skin look softer and highlight certain areas of the face. Bowers says MAC Strobe Cream ($15) is great to use with your daily moisturizer. “It has an infusion of vitamins and pearl to give you an extra glow,” Bowers says. “Concentrate cream on the cheeks and avoid forehead and nose, so you do not appear greasy.”

Natural Lips

Bold lips may be in style, but natural lips—either nude, clearly glossed, or slightly pink—perk up any complexion. According to Rukkila, all skin tones can revitalize their natural glow by choosing glosses that closely match and enhance their natural lipcolor. Smashbox O-Gloss ($22) is an "intuitive" lip-gloss using your skin chemistry to slightly augment your natural lip color and Carmex Moisturizing Lip Balm ($1.59) is the wonder-gloss for simple, natural shine. Rukkila recommends pale to olive complexions seeking nude lips try NARS Lipstick in Belle de Jour ($24). Deeper complexions will loveNARS Lipstick in Promiscuous ($24) for a beige gold nude or Too Faced Lipstick in Free Love for a pinker nude ($20).

Bright Nails

Nail polish may not seem like the go-to product for reviving your summer glow, but vibrant nail polish tones can make a surprising difference. “Bright colors are going to make your nails and everythingpop,” Rukkila says. She says choosing bright polishes in your favorite colors can boost your natural skin tone with its contrast—or the new glow you just got from a bottle. She recommendsSephora brand’s OPI Nail Colours in pink and rose hues, like “Cover Me in Petals” ($9.50) or deep red-oranges, like “Hi Def” ($9.50). Though these colors may just be on your fingernails, they’re another step in rejuvenating your glow—and curing those winter beauty blues. But Bowers adds: “I just say love your skin the way it is, pamper it with moisture and true glow will show.” Now that’s a tip we can all follow. 

Alydia Rukkila, Product Consultant for Sephora
American Academy of Dermatology and AAD Association Position Statement
Kate Kelly, Junior at Central Michigan University
Viktorija Bowers, NYC-based Makeup Artist