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It’s tough to feel beautiful in the winter, especially in New England. Unless you took a vacation (cough, cheater), it’s likely you’re paler and more bloated than you’re comfortable with by the time January hits. I’ve never had a real tan in my life (thank you, Irish heritage) but I definitely feel more like myself when my skin turns from alabaster to slightly-less-translucent and my freckles start to crop up.

Over the past six or eight years, I’ve played with my beauty products during the winter to find the best routine for me, and I think I’ve finally hit gold… or bronze. Ha. 

Number one on my list of essential winter steps to avoid looking like a frozen corpse is moisturizing.  You’ll need a facial moisturizer with SPF, because although those wrinkle-inducing sun rays aren’t as strong this time of year, you’ll love yourself in fifteen years for having worn it now.  For the rest of your body, try a thick moisturizing creme post-shower and make sure to apply it to your hands and heels before bed.

Next, I smooth a layer of BB cream on top of my moisturizer because it provides an extra layer of sun protection as well as a sheer tint that my few remaining freckles can peek through.

I brush on a quick layer of powdered blush on the apples of my cheeks before I add any other layers for a more natural look.

I never thought I had the complexion to pull off bronzer, but I’ve found that anyone can use it in moderation for a result that’s more sun-kissed than Jersey Shore.  I swirl a kabuki brush in bronzer, tap it gently to shake off any excess powder, and then dust it over the parts of my face that the sun would naturally hit: my cheekbones, forehead, and nose.

My final, and favorite, step is a quick sweep of brightening luminizer across my cheekbones and under my eyes.  I usually use my fingers so it blends easily and naturally.

And with that… voilà.  I’m back to life:

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What products do you use to feel beautiful during the winter?

(Top image via Beyonce.com)

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