Caking make-up onto and already tight, uncomfortable and flaky skin is not ideal, but sometimes it’s got to be done – here’s how to make the best out of a bad situation…

Our skins generally feel drier in winter. This is because the humidity is lower when the temperature levels drop, causing moisture from your skin to evaporate faster. We also spend more time near heaters, further drying out our skin.

The first and most logical step is to try prevent your skin drying out in the first place. You can do so by adding more moisturising products to your routine, and adding an oil or barrier cream over your moisturiser to prevent moisture loss.

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But what to do if your skin is dry, you have an event to go to and you just can’t do without your make-up?

Prep your canvas

First up, you need to do what you can to get rid of flaky patches. Use a physical exfoliator on your face to remove as much dead skin as possible.

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If you still have particularly stubborn dry patches, apply a balm-like product over these patches before you apply make-up – think petroleum jelly or Elizabeth Arden’s 8 Hour Cream.

An additional step to reinforce your skin barrier is to use a moisturising primer. Primers contain silicones that coat your skin and smooth over any bumps, so in addition to smoothing the skin surface, thus making dry patches less obvious, they also help to keep moisture in.

Applying foundation to dry skin

Now that you’ve prepped your dry skin, it’s time for foundation. If you can get away with only using concealer on problem areas, go for that option. Choose a creamy concealer, and make sure it’s blended it extremely well.

If you absolutely have to wear foundation, stay away from any powders or any formulations made for people with oily skin. Consider a tinted moisturiser or BB cream as they are richer and less likely to show up dry areas.

For high coverage, think carefully about the foundation formula you’re putting on your dry skin. Long-wearing formulas are ideal when you need your ‘face’ to stay put all day in summer, but they grab onto dry patches and will generally make dry skin feel uncomfortable and look dull and cakey. Look for a richer formula that’s made for dry skin or mature skin.

You can also mix your foundation with your moisturiser to help ensure it doesn’t highlight dry patches.

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Cheeks, eyes and lips

As we tend to lose a little colour in our complexions in winter, pay special attention to blush. Warmer shades of terracotta, peach and amber work well in winter. Play around with textures too – often liquid and cream formulations are more comfortable on dry skin. Whatever you do, stay away from anything powdered!

If your eyes are dry, don’t go near them with eyeshadow. Stick to eyeliner and mascara and lather on some soothing eyecream.

Dry lips are also a common winter problem. Don’t even go near them with matte lipstick. A good option is a lip stain, since you can apply lip gloss or balm over it for comfort, and it will help cover up dry areas.