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Goodbye, dry: NZ beauty boss gives top tips for keeping your makeup marvy this winter

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Composite - stock images of makeup and makeup brushes with photo of Ethique founder Brianne West


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For the makeup maestros among us, creating a masterpiece during the wintertime is nothing short of a battle against the elements. 

For one, achieving a smooth base when your skin is as dry as texting a Tinder match is nigh impossible and honestly, the thought of foundation clinging to patches of flaky, desiccated skin is enough to make my toes curl in terror. 

If that wasn’t bad enough, a cute, glossy lip is obviously out of the question when your smackers are as parched as that dude repetitively sliding in the DMs – and don’t get me started on what the wind can do to false eyelashes.

Here to help is Brianne West, the founder and CEO of Ethique, a New Zealand-based beauty and cosmetics brand with a commitment to sustainability. For the uninitiated, Ethique has built a loyal following for its eco-friendly approach; instead of packing their products in plastic, Ethique’s range of haircare, skincare and bodycare come in handcrafted, solid beauty bars packaged in home-compostable materials. Also, one tree is planted for every order placed online. 

Speaking to Newshub, West made sure to stress the importance of hydrating your skin throughout the cooler months. Dry skin is prolific at this time of year, with blustery winds, frigid temperatures, central heating and dry air leading to chapped chops and a lacklustre, dull complexion.

With that being said, it’s important we’re doing what we can to keep our skin as moisturised as possible, using products that help to seal in hydration to prevent makeup from emphasising those pesky, peeling patches.  

“Hydration is key when it comes to providing a strong base for your makeup, particularly in winter. I like to look for ingredients that [boost] hydration like hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5 (panthenol), which are humectants and draw in moisture, leaving the skin feeling plump and refreshed,” West told Newshub. 

“Other ingredients such as jojoba oil or kokum butter are great for helping seal in that hydration without clogging the pores or feeling too heavy on the skin.”

Ethique founder Brianne West


Photo credit: Supplied

To achieve a hydrated complexion, it’s important to use a moisturiser both morning and night, pre and post-makeup. If you lean towards dryer skin, Ethique’s Saving Face Serum could be a good bet; it’s enriched with luxurious ingredients such as shea, kokum and cupuacu butters and rosehip and pomegranate oils to deeply nourish the skin. The brand’s Quench Moisturiser is also an option, featuring a powerhouse formula packed with niacinamide, hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5 to beat dryness with a one-two punch.

For a little more luxurious alternative, the luxurious Emma Lewisham Supernatural Sleeping Mask promises the boost of hydration (in the cutest darn packaging). Among the myriad of benefits touted on the tub, the powerhouse product (yes, it’s tried, tested and Newshub Lifestyle approved) features a synergistic hydrating complex to increase the skin’s moisture, which is proven to remain for up to 72 hours. The complex is said to enhance moisture and increase its retention, leaving the skin plump and smooth with a healthy glow – the perfect base for painting your face.

Ethique lip balms


Photo credit: Supplied

For those slithers of the Sahara (yes, your lips), West also recommends regularly applying a lip balm enriched with ingredients such as vitamin E and castor oil to help lock in moisture, particularly before attempting any creative lip looks this season. 

“This is especially important if I am planning on wearing lipstick – I love a red lip in winter,” she added. 

If you’re on the lookout for a bold pout sans peel, Ethique’s range of hydrating lipsticks might just do the trick. With a focus on nourishment, the lipsticks aim to deliver high-pigmented colour without the drying formula typically found in more affordable products.

Featuring nutrient-rich emollients and bold pigments, the lippies offer buildable colour with a smooth, satin finish – if you have chapped chops, consider avoiding matte formulas as they tend to be more drying. Alternatively, fellow New Zealand-made beauty brand Yes Organics offer a range of natural, organic lip balms and lip care products to give dry lips the slip, including a pretty pink lip tint that means you don’t have to compromise on colour. 

Ethique Poppy Lipstick


Photo credit: Supplied

Simplifying your skincare routine could also be the secret to smooth, supple skin throughout the wintertime. For those of us with sensitive skin, the harsh conditions can often aggravate existing conditions such as eczema, rosacea or dryness. Keeping your everyday regimen simple but effective can help to cut down on irritants, such as reducing the amount of active ingredients that can be too harsh on sensitive skin; vitamins A and C, for example, can be irritating despite also being potent and effective for certain skin types. Products containing alcohols, fragrances and the likes of glycolic and salicylic acids can also exacerbate dry skin. 

Of course, even the most basic of routines shouldn’t skip cleansing. A gentle, hydrating and calming cleanser – Dermalogica’s UltraCalming Cleanser is a goodie – will wash off the day without aggravation. Oil-based cleansers can do a great job of removing makeup without drying out the skin – think Dermalogica’s Precleanse or Clinique’s classic Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm.

Although too much exfoliation can aggravate the epidermis and exacerbate certain skin conditions, a light exfoliation every so often – think once or twice a week – is crucial for buffing away dead skin and keeping dry patches and texture at bay. Dermalogica’s Daily Milkfoliant – a calming exfoliating powder that polishes the skin while supporting the moisture barrier – is gentle enough for daily use. Alternatively, Ethique’s gentle Gingersnap Face Scrub offers light exfoliation with brown sugar, ginger and cinnamon, while the formula leaves behind a light layer of moisture.

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