The season of giving might not be so forgiving when it comes to looking your best through countless holiday parties and photos. Between frigid temperatures and endless yuletide stress, it can be difficult to keep up your appearance this time of year.
Unlike the balmy summer months, the winter season has earned a reputation for stripping every ounce of moisture out of both skin and hair. For radiant skin and shiny tresses in those holiday photos, Bergen County stylists advise women (and men) to be sure to exfoliate and use products that will help return some of that missing moisture.
Common winter-related beauty issues include dry hair and scalp, flaky skin and even the occurrence of stress-related acne from the demands of seasonal party planning.
"Luckily, there are some simple preventative and reparative measures you can take to maintain that head-to-toe holiday glow," says Jack Panico, beauty expert and owner of Panico Salon and Spa, with locations in Ridgewood and Oradell. "And moisturizing is key."
For hair, try a hydrating and replenishing shampoo and conditioner as well as deep conditioning treatments, and opt for cream versus mousse when styling those holiday updos. Don't be afraid to experiment with color to breathe new life into your look for the holidays – winter is the perfect time for a warmer, deeper hair hue.
"Be sure to dry hair 100 percent before going out," Mercedes Rodriguez, a stylist at Suzanne's Hair and Colour Room in Oradell, says. "Hair is at its most vulnerable when it's wet, and it's easy for it to freeze and break."
Rodriguez recommends wearing a hat and scarf to further protect hair from the elements.
To keep skin glowing all winter long, you can opt for facials or fake it with shimmer.
"This season, it's all about luminosity," Kimberly Ten Hoeve, a stylist at Bellezza Salon and Spa in Glen Rock, says.
Women can dust a shimmery powder or highlighter on cheekbones and under brows, and applying a sparkly eye shadow is an easy way to transition from a grueling day at the office to the company's festive holiday party.
"As you're heading into the evening, think bold," Rodriguez says. "Add eyeliner to both the top and bottom lids for a cat-eye effect, or deepen the lips with liner and gloss."
For frame-worthy family portraits, avoid committing photo faux pas like flyaways or clown-inspired makeup. Before that shutter clicks, Ten Hoeve recommends applying a light hairspray to hands and smoothing over your hairstyle, and then finishing with a shine spray. When it comes to makeup, choose either a defined, smokier eye or a bolder, brighter lipstick.
"You never want to play up both your eyes and your mouth," Rodriguez says.
For those who have a full day of holiday baking, shopping and gift wrapping to tackle before dinner with the in-laws, Rodriguez recommends applying a primer under foundation and eye shadow to help keep makeup in place for hours.
Headed to a party with no time to style your hair? No need to fret. Liz Staub, artistic designer at David Michael Hair Studio in Paramus, notes that informal tresses are in this season.
In a matter of minutes, women can take part in one of this season's hottest hairstyles: the braid.
"What makes braids so popular is their versatility," Staub says. "They can go from a casual daytime hairstyle in the summer to something more elegant and polished in the winter."
Try a fancy fishtail, a braided bun updo or a side braid. For extra body, Staub recommends applying a dry shampoo to your hair before weaving it into a loose braid.
You also can't go wrong with another classic hairstyle: the high ponytail.
"It can take you from day to night in a pinch," Panico says.