How to Upgrade Your Summer Foundation for Winter Without Having to Buy a New Bottle

Photo: Getty Images/ recep-bg
Each November, there's that dreaded moment when you go to apply your foundation and realize, "oh crap—this stuff isn't going to work anymore." Once the summer glow has faded and your skin takes on its dry, winter persona, the product you've used from May through July likely won't cut it anymore. In addition to potentially being a shade (or in my case, two) too dark, it also likely won't have the nourishing properties that your face is begging for when temperatures drop below 50 degrees.

"Usually, your skin needs more moisture in the winter, and most people get a bit paler, [whereas] in the summer your oil production is up, and most people get a bit tanner," says makeup artist Mary Irwin. So with your foundation, she says that you'll need an "increase in hydration and to make sure your [foundation] shade still matches in both seasons." But instead of tossing your makeup entirely or relegating it to the bottom of your makeup bag until spring, she says that there are (easy!) ways to winterize your foundation so that it lasts all year long.

Irwin's pro tip? Infuse your formula with some facial oil or moisturizer from your skin-care cabinet. This, she says, works to sheer out the coverage and add extra hydration, which can make a "huge difference in the winter months." The blend can also help lighten the color of a shade that's too dark so that it matches your skin tone all year long. Or you can mix your concealer with your foundation to give it a brighter hue, says makeup artist Julia Dalton-Brush, founder of B3 Balm. If you do decide to invest in a new foundation for winter, you can hold onto your summer shade and repurpose it as a bronzer in the meantime. "I always use foundation two or so shades darker along the cheekbone and hairline," says Dalton-Brush on the technique.

And the most important thing you can do to ensure your summer foundation can work its magic well past New Year's Eve? Make sure you've properly prepped your skin before applying anything. "Firstly, make sure that you’re properly hydrated—this is the biggest winter skin issue I see," says Irwin, because foundation plus a dry face can equal caking. "A hyaluronic acid-based serum will help every skin type." If your skin is super dry, use a hydrating serum followed by a moisturizer, and then top it off with your foundation-plus-facial oil blend for smooth, glowy coverage.

If you do want to invest in a new makeup product for winter, these are the most hydrating foundations money can buy. Plus, the three ingredients derms say you should be doubling down on this time of year

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