Makeup & nails

Winter beauty: So long February blues

Leda & St. Jacques Image by: Leda & St. Jacques Author: Elle Canada

Makeup & nails

Winter beauty: So long February blues

The holidays are a distant memory. Outside, it is beyond cold and the snow isn’t novel anymore (more like a gross grey mess). Plus, it’s at least a couple of months before we can even start contemplating pretty open-toed shoes and fresh spring fashion finds. Yes, the February blues are enough to make you consider cocooning straight through to June, but that’s not how we roll. Instead, make the best use of this time with winter beauty treats that will pretty you up on the outside (we're talking smooth skin, pearly whites and nail art happiness) while lifting your spirits on the inside.

Winter beauty: Put a mask on it

Chances are you’re spending more nights at home this month than in August. Use your evenings wisely and restore your skin with nutrients and hydration as you catch up on Olivia Pope’s deft political manoeuvring on Scandal. Try Maskeraide Beauty Rest-Ore Sheet Mask ( beautymark.ca) just before bedtime as its infusion of lavender oil will help lull you into restful night of beauty sleep. Or if it’s stressing about getting your taxes in order that’s causing fine lines to appear around your eyes, Elizabeth Grant Advanced Cellular Age Defense Eye Power Pads ( elizabethgrant.com) will help minimize them while also reducing puffiness in the area.

Winter beauty: Pretty up your pearly whites

If your teeth are looking as dull as the slushy grey snow, well, don’t let your current hibernation period go to waste. Select an at-home whitening system that fits your schedule. If you know you won’t use a strip when you’re supposed to (ie. you’re the non-compliant type), best to opt for Crest 3D White 2-Hour Express Whitestrips ( 3dwhite.com), which you only have to have on for two hours once every three months. Need extra motivation to whiten and brighten? Your new white teeth will make you want to turn that February frown upside down (even if it’s just to show them off), and studies have shown that just smiling (even if you’re not genuinely grinning) has the power to lower stress levels—win-win all-around, wouldn’t you say?

Winter beauty: Sniff and smile

Discover the ability to find the silver lining by improving your mood through an aromatherapy boost. Frequent traveler Tata Harper, founder of the eponymous natural skincare line, never leaves home without her trio of aromatherapy treatments ( tataharperskincare.com), which includes ones for bedtime, stress and irritability. Follow suit and tuck them into your flight-approved plastic baggie to help you sleep well on the road and manage the strain of being away from home (or into your handbag if daily life is a pressure cooker).

Pretty nail art ideas, soft hair and smooth skin are all yours on the next page ...

february-blues-article-002.jpgWinter beauty: Try shiny, happy nails

We’ve still got weeks to go with nearly every bit of skin covered up by knits and wool, but when indoors, at least our fingers are exposed, so why not use your digits as an opportunity—make that 10 opportunities—to get playful with nail art, glitter or a single, standout shade that will bring a smile to your face every time you catch a glimpse of it? Covet-worthy cheap and cheerful options: Joe Fresh nail polish (joefresh.com) in Sour Citron; Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips (sallyhansen.com) in Out of Line; Essence Nail Art Decoration Kits (essence.eu).

Winter beauty: Get in a good mood with good hair

You know you hold your head a little higher and strut just a bit when you leave the salon with your hair fresh from a hair pro’s handiwork. Splurge on blowout at a salon or blow-dry bar if it’s not part of your usual routine (hey, it’s worth the money if it makes you feel a little lighter in this dreary month!), and at home, give your dry locks to a moisture-rich boost with an intensive formula such as Garnier Hydra Recharge 1-Minute Moisture Treatment (garnier.ca). It’s infused with goji berry, passion fruit and kiwi—come to think of it, it wouldn’t hurt to add these antioxidant-rich fruits to your morning yogurt while you’re at it.

Winter beauty: Aim for soft, smooth skin

Fewer date nights out in the chilly weather means more nights at home, where you have the chance to get hot and heavy with the BF. Feel sexy and confident and encourage more touchy-feely moments by getting your skin to its softest state ever. Start with some dry brushing to slough off dead skin cells and to stimulate your blood’s circulation, then hop into the shower and continue on your soft-skin mission with a scrub (try Soap & Glory Scrub Em and Leave Em Body Polish (soapandglory.com) or Philosophy The Microdelivery (philosophy.com). Pat dry and immediately apply a rich, hydrating non-greasy moisturizer, such as La Roche Posay Iso-Urea Fluid (en.laroche-posay.ca), all over (or better yet, get some help from your boyfriend).

Read more:
Winter spa treatments: 6 hot spa getaways
The top 8 hand lotions to have on your desk
At home spa: Bath salts and bath tub essentials
The best products for dry skin

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Makeup & nails

Winter beauty: So long February blues