What Is “I’m Cold” Makeup, and How Can I Pull It Off?

If you’re escaping the cold by scrolling through #BeautyTok, we can almost guarantee that you’ve come across the “I’m cold” makeup look we’re about to break down.

Have you ever caught yourself in the mirror after coming in from the cold? Your nose and cheeks are flushed, your eyes a little teary, and your lips have that pinch of color from the nippiness of the weather. Keep reading as we discuss how to get this look at home without stepping out into the frigid air.

(image via Jennie Dimova via TikTok)

Let It Glow, Let It Glow, Let It Glow

Put down the full-coverage, mattifying foundation. The key to replicating the snow-kissed look is letting your natural skin look dewy and healthy – similar to how you’d do your base routine during the summertime. Matte formulas tend to suck the moisture (and, consequently, the glow) out of your skin, so instead, opt for a dewy finish foundation, serum, or BB/CC cream to give you some coverage. The more skin-like, the better. The same goes for any concealers you apply.

For your base, we love Haus Labs Foundation ($45, shop here); it has medium-to-buildable coverage with a natural finish and wears so well. If you want something lighter, try ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint ($48, shop here), which boasts a clean formula and offers a dewy finish (but just a heads up, it might not be great for acne-prone skin).

Take It From Santa

Another key component to this look? Blushed and flushed cheeks that St. Nicholas himself would be envious of. The key? Use more blush than you think – in more places than you think.

Similar to the “sunburnt” look, apply your blush using the “W” method, like when you get a sunburn across your nose and face, then blend evenly into the skin. For an extra-natural finish, find a blush that matches the tone your face takes when you naturally flush.

As for the formula, cream is best. Our favorites include Rare Beauty Soft Pinch Liquid Blush ($20, shop here) and e.l.f. Cosmetics Putty Blush ($7, shop here). If you’re worried about longevity, you can always set it in place with a matching powder blush.

Touched by a Snow Angel

This next step is optional, but for the person who values a little glitz in life, it’s necessary. To emphasize the dewiness of the face and add an almost angelic air to your look, amp up the highlighter. Aim for zones of your face where the sun is most likely to hit: tops of the cheekbones, cupid’s bow, bridge of the nose, etc.

While the summertime emphasizes golden highlighter, wintertime pushes you in the opposite direction with luminescent silver shades. Darker skin tones can even test out lavender shimmers for a multifaceted look. As for our picks, Lady Gaga does it again with Haus Labs Bio-Radiant Gel-Powder Highlighter in Moonstone ($40, shop here). Fenty Beauty Diamond Bomb All-Over Diamond Veil in How Many Carats?! ($40, shop here) is a classic contender. To get the most shine out of your look, mist some setting spray onto your brush or makeup sponge before you pick up your product.

Tears of Joy

While we’re on the topic of shimmer, one of the most striking parts of this makeup look is the focus on the eyes. The tear-reminiscent gaze of “I’m cold” makeup steals the show just as much as the blush. All you need is a champagne-toned eyeshadow of your choice. Go for iridescent formulas rather than anything too chalky, and if you want some extra shine, try a cream or liquid formula.

This season, the shimmer of choice is Urban Decay 24/7 Moondust Eyeshadow in Space Cowboy ($22, shop here), though we also love Stila Glitter & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow in Kitten Karma ($24, shop here). Apply to the inner eye corners and the inner half of the waterline with a subtle wash of glitter over the lid. Use a tiny, concentrated eyeshadow brush, like the Sephora Collection Makeup Match Smudge Eyeshadow Brush ($10, shop here), to apply the shadow with a light hand to build to your desired intensity.

Under the Mistletoe

And for the finishing touch to this look: a glossy pout. Like other features of this trend, the lips also focus on looking natural to a point. For a look that lasts all day and night, use your favorite lip stain on top of a moisturized pout. A truly wintertime look will lean toward red, bitten hues, though you can choose whatever colors suit you best.

You can’t go wrong with Benefit Cosmetics Liquid Lip Blush and Cheek Tint ($18, shop here); we’re partial to the classic shade Benetint, though any of the colors look fabulous. Once your stain is on, top it with a clear gloss to keep you looking kissable. Try Tower 28 Beaut ShineOn Lip Jelly in Magic ($15, shop here); it’s a clear gloss with gold shimmers, adding a gorgeous harmony to your makeup. The best part: If the gloss wears off, your lip stain will still be there to keep you looking tastefully frostbitten.

What are your thoughts about the “I’m cold” makeup look? Share with us in the comments below!

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