Strange Tips for Surviving Prairie Winters

By Rae Chen, Local Contributor – Canada

Rae, the easily-distracted Canadian blogger behind theNotice: a beauty blog, is neither the brains nor the beauty of the operation. (The subjective existence of either has yet to be determined – we’ll get back to you on that one.)

She is, however, a rather relentless makeup junkie with a camera, a lack of a filter, and a writing style that’s rather more snark than sycophant.

Strange Tips for Surviving Prairie Winters

There are winter skin tips that I’m sure we’ve all heard by now: don’t shower in hot water, switch to a heavier moisturizer, make sure to exfoliate your body. But – what about all the tricks that slip through the cracks?

When you grow up on the Canadian prairies, you pick up a trick or two. Here are some of mine!

Please note: instead of featuring only Canadian products, this post focuses instead on products (some Canada-only, some not) that are great for our rather unique winters. So, no matter where you are in the world – if it’s cold, there should be something in here for you, too!

Check out the best products for a tough winter from cheeks to lips to skin!

Play the texture game


Your automatic response might be to go with stronger colors as the days get shorter (I know mine is) but consider going for sheerer formulas, too. Translucent, creamy products tend to be more forgiving on dry skin and lips, so I’ll switch to medium-sheer creams, gels, and liquids to create that dewy “glow from within.”

If you find that your cream formulas harden up in the winter, try putting them under your blow dryer for five to fifteen seconds. Don’t shy away from adding a bit of a faux-flush! Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you have to succumb to a ghostly pallor, right?


Clinique Butter Shine Lipstick ($18.00), MAC Lipstick ($17.50), Hard Candy Hide and
Glow Cheek ($7.00), Marcelle Cream Blusher in Raspberry ($11.50).


R-L: Clinique Butter Shine Lipstick in Cranberry Cream, MAC Lipstick in Desire (Lustre), Hard Candy Hide and
Glow Cheek in Hot Date (2 swatches), Marcelle Cream Blusher in Raspberry.


R-L: Clinique Butter Shine Lipstick in Cranberry Cream, MAC Lipstick in Desire (Lustre), Hard Candy Hide and
Glow Cheek in Hot Date (coral side).


R-L: Hard Candy Hide and Glow Cheek in Hot Date (coral side), Hard Candy Hide and Glow Cheek in Hot Date
(plum side), Marcelle Cream Blusher in Raspberry.

Light it up!


Luminizers aren’t just for the nighttime anymore – with today’s products, they’re way more wearable than they were ten years ago. If your skin’s looking rather lackluster this winter, try a highlighter on the tops of your cheekbones, under the arches of your brows, down the middle of your nose, and buffed into the high points of your forehead and chin. A general rule of thumb is that the larger the shimmer, the more obvious it’ll be – so swatch before you buy, and pick what you’re most comfortable with!

TIP: If you’re going to be photographed, make sure to “flash” your shimmer beforehand if you can. Take a quick self-photo both with and without flash, then check to see how your shimmer reads on camera. (Too little and you won’t notice it; too much and you run the risk of looking oily!) When in doubt, a less is more mentality is the best bet.

I tend to use creams for the face and pressed powders in the eye area, but again – go with whatever you’re most comfortable with. Gold and peach shimmer usually sits best on warm skin tones, while whites and silvery pinks are typically most flattering for cool skin tones.


Marcelle Multi-Colour Face Powder ($16.95), Marcelle Wet & Dry Eye Shadow ($8.95),
Benefit High Beam ($30.00; mini size shown), Annabelle Eyeshadow Trio ($7.50), MAC Cream Colour Base ($21.00)


L-R in indirect sunlight: Marcelle Multi-Colour Face Powder in Luminous Veil, Marcelle Wet and Dry Eye Shadow in Polar,
Benefit HighBeam, Annabelle Eyeshadow Trio in Creme Caramel (lightest shade only), MAC Cream Colour Base in Pearl (Frost).


L-R with flash: Marcelle Multi-Colour Face Powder in Luminous Veil,
Marcelle Wet and Dry Eye Shadow in Polar, Benefit HighBeam


L-R with flash: Benefit HighBeam, Annabelle Eyeshadow Trio in Creme Caramel (lightest shade only),
MAC Cream Colour Base in Pearl (Frost).

Keep it bronzed (but just a bit)


Okay, so: one of my pet peeves? Orange faux-bronze skin tones in the winter. It’s bad enough in the summer, but – winter! No one is naturally bronzed in the winter!

Thing is, though, I do think bronzer is worth keeping on hand after the leaves fall. It makes a great contour (if you choose a matte formula), and a light dusting of bronzer is a lovely way to pick up your skin tone. Just — make sure to use a light hand, okay? Less is more! More is not more; it’s just overdone!




MAC Golden Bronzing Powder ($27.50), Annabelle Haute Gold Zebra Bronzing Powder ($10.95),
Marcelle Tropical Bronze Bronzing Pressed Powder ($14.95)

Add another drop of moisture


I have extremely dry skin all year ’round, so to be honest, my skincare regimen doesn’t change much in the winter. If you’re finding yourself parched, though, here are a few things to try!

German Nivea is one of my all-time Holy Grail moisturizers – I wear it for both night and day, but oilier skin types may find it’s best suited as a night creme. Strangely, some London Drugs shops carry the Made-in-Germany ones, so keep an eye out if you’re in Western Canada! Non-German Nivea (typically made in Mexico or Vietnam, I believe) is easier to find, but it’s quite a bit more greasy, and doesn’t pack the same kind of moisture.

Partially because I’m silicone-free for my skincare, I’m hugely dependent on petroleum jelly and unscented mineral oil. The former is great for hydrating your lips, slathering onto your hands and feet at night, smoothing down flyaways… it’s such a multi-tasker; there’s barely anything it doesn’t do! And the latter is great for an extra layer of moisture coming out of the shower; just spray it on in the tub or rub it into your skin before moisturizing. A DIY facial spray is great to have on-hand, too; I make mine with glycerin and distilled water in about a 1:8 ratio, so I know that it’s silicone-free, paraben-free, oil-free, and completely scentless.

One last product rave: for super-dry skin, I’m a huge fan of Marcelle Essentials Cleansing Milk ($14.50). I literally have not bought another cleanser since trying it for the first time! The difference between a cleansing milk and a moisturizing bar or liquid is enormous; I’m so impressed with the product.

I’m done rambling about skincare now, I promise! Hope it’s not too freezing-cold wherever you are 😉