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9 Tips to fake a summer glow in the dead of winter

Ah, winter. Unless you’re lucky enough to live somewhere with gorgeous weather year-round (no we don’t hate you at all!), you know what we’re talking about when we talk about pale, dry, pasty winter skin. No bueno. If you’re longing for the days of your supple, sunkissed “just got back from the beach” summer night skin, we hear you. Until the warm months roll around again, here’s how to fake that summer glow, right now. Take that, winter!

1. Hydrate your skin at night

Yes, this means drinking water, but you can help your skin combat the ultra-drying effects of winter weather (and indoor heat!) with some effective products, as well.

Olay Regenerist Luminous Overnight Mask

Did you know you lose over twice as much water from your skin during the night than you do all day? I just learned that from an Olay skin expert, and I found it quite mind blowing. To help counteract this, max out your beauty sleep with the Olay Regenerist Luminous Overnight Mask. The gel-based formula, made with vitamin B3, mulberry extract and humectants (ingredients that help skin retain its natural moisture), absorbs into the surface of your skin throughout the night, revealing bright, pearlescent-looking skin in the morning. Used over time, this treatment helps to brighten and even skin tone. (CVS, $30)

2. Use a primer that does double-duty to hydrate and treat your skin

Too Faced Hangover Primer

The Too Faced Hangover Primer is infused with coconut water, probiotics and skin revivers that work together to boost skin’s radiance, promote elasticity and help hydrate your skin. Think of it as a creamy energy drink for your skin. Wear it alone for a dewy, healthy look, or let it create the perfect canvas for bronzers and other makeup. (Too Faced, $32)

3. Try a subtle, buildable self-tanner

Kiehl's Sun Free Self Tanning Formula

What you’re looking for here is something that gives a very low-key but sexy glow of color with each application, so you can build it up over time if you want to go darker. Kiehl’s Sun Free Self-Tanning Formula is a really nice, non-greasy and lightweight formula that you can use on your face and body. Made with apricot kernel oil, cocoa seed butter and vitamin E, it’s super nourishing as well as glow-imparting. If you can’t go lay on a beach, you can at least look like you just did. (Kiehl’s, $23)

4. Use bronzer, but with the right technique & brush

Makeup Forever Double Ended Sculpting Brush #158

Celebrity makeup artist Brett Freedman, who recently did Amy Poehler’s gorgeous makeup for the Golden Globes says, “Apply your bronzer with a full brush and always remember to tap off excess product. The trick here is to build slowly — it’s always easier to amp-up the glow, than to fix over-application.”

NYC-based celebrity makeup artist Jennifer Fleming reveals that one of her best tips for using bronzer is making sure you use a fluffy blush or powder brush. “A common mistake women make is applying too much of a good thing,” she says. “A fluffy brush gives a sheerer application and thus, a more natural look.” She loves the Makeup Forever Double Ended Sculpting Brush #158. (Sephora, $53) 

5. Take it easy on the shimmer

Cargo Matte Bronzer

Too much shimmer and you’ll start to look more like a leftover Christmas tree decoration than a sun-kissed goddess. “For an overall boost in color, use a bronzer that has a matte finish and highlight select areas of your face with a shimmer or opal finish bronzer,” says Jennifer. Try Cargo Matte Bronzer, which Jennifer says is also great for contouring and sculpting your face. (, $29)

Another great pick: Laura Geller Bronze-n-Brighten, with swirled color-corrective pigments that create a natural-looking tan with a dewy, radiant finish. (Laura Geller, $33)

6. Don’t limit bronzer to your face

Urban Decay NAKED Flushed palettes

“To ensure that your glow is seamless, brush bronzer under the chin and down center of the neck,” says Brett.

Urban Decay NAKED Flushed palettes are great, because they each feature a bronzer, highlighter and blush. You can use these micronized, jet-milled pressed powders individually or blend them together to create the perfect flush. (Sephora, $30)

7. To play up your bronzer, do some highlighting

The Body Shop Lightening Touch Universal Radiance

The Body Shop Lightening Touch Universal Radiance is an affordable, lightweight and moisturizing liquid makeup tool made to hide imperfections while highlighting your best features and leaving your skin looking brighter and smoother. (The Body Shop, $15)

8. Let your eyes and cheeks add to your gorgeous glow

Nars Multiples

“Letting your bronzer do double duty by applying a small amount to the eyelids will help give a bronzed balance to the face,” says Jennifer. Try Nars Multiples for matte, creamy color you can use on cheeks, lips or eyes; Jennifer recommends “Cococabana” for lighter complexions, and “Palm Beach” for deeper-skinned beauties.  (Nars, $29)

9. And let lips play, too

Clinique Chubby Stick in "Oversized Orange"

“Add a golden peach lip for a sunny, yet subtle look,” says Brett. A Clinique Chubby Stick in “Oversized Orange” will add a perfectly peachy glow with a soft shine. (Sephora, $22)

Images: Karen Cox/SheKnows

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