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Lifestyle Essentials: Everything you need to look great during winter

How to look your best when the weather is the worst

Feb 1, 2012

by Robin Schroffel

Alberta’s winters seem to last forever, and the weather that defines them inevitably takes its toll on more than just the roads. The cold temperatures, biting winds and dry air that hang around for months on end can make looking sharp more challenging than usual. And while a trip down south – way south – never hurts, there are things you can do here at home to keep you looking your best.

The single biggest obstacle to looking good during winter is dryness, according to Desiree Liley, owner of an Edmonton salon called The Beauty Parlour. When hair dries out, static can strike and create broken ends that can look disturbingly like dandruff on dark clothing. Liley stresses the importance of using a hydrating shampoo at this time of year.

The skin also suffers from winter dryness, and Laura Ezekiel, the owner of Calgary’s Spa Europa, says taking extra precautions during the winter is vital. Moisturizer alone doesn’t always do the trick, which is why she recommends applying a serum each morning and sealing it in with a moisturizer. That goes for both men and women. “There’s no difference when it comes to skin,” she says. “It’s just a big myth. Skin is skin.”

Morgan Kunitz, the co-owner of Edmonton retailer Kunitz Shoes, encourages people to think of leather like skin as well. After all, good shoe or boot care isn’t much different from good skin care. “You’re going to wash it, you’re going to moisturize it and you’re going to protect it,” she says. Cleaning your footwear regularly is key to removing salt residue that both looks sloppy and eats away at the leather, which can eventually cause it to bubble up. Use a cream polish to moisturize the leather and finish with an all-protector spray, the shoe-care equivalent to putting on sunscreen.

When it comes to putting it all together, Liley says a little nostalgia can go a long way. “Think about how your grandparents got ready for the cold. [Their techniques] really lent themselves to looking sharp and also having a nicer, long-lasting style,” she says. Men look great in brimmed, felt hats, which provide some warmth while protecting carefully styled hair. For women, up-dos have extra staying power for bad-weather days. If that’s not an option, consider a scarf with wool on one side and silk on the other, worn over the hair babushka-style – just like Grandma would do.

Tarrago Clear Polish

Morgan Kunitz swears by this clear, cream polish, a dab of which can dissipate unsightly salt stains on shoes in an instant. A jar slips easily into a briefcase or purse and comes with its own sponge, making on-the-go touch-ups easy. “You can put it right over the salt and it will go away,” Kunitz says. “I’d still recommend cleaning the leather once in a while, but it will restore it to its colour.”

Magiray Queen’s Jelly

What’s good for the queen bee has also proven effective for the skin. A tiny drop of this Dead Sea facial serum, made with royal jelly and retinol, will smooth and soften lines and help keep skin looking youthful, says Spa Europa’s Laura Ezekiel. “I’ve been using this product and selling this product for more than 34 years.”

Kevin Murphy’s Night Rider Texture Paste

Sometimes hair can get a little dishevelled. That’s when a product that stays moldable can come in handy. “It’s quite a strong hold but it also has a nice pliability to it throughout the day, so it’s something that can kind of be restyled,” says Desiree Liley of The Beauty Parlour. She recommends it especially for men.

Josie Maran Argan Oil Moisturizing Stick

In a dry climate, argan oil – made from the kernels of the argan tree – can be an indispensable ally. Use it for everything from soothing chapped and cracked hands to controlling flyaway hair. And in this handy stick form, it’s portable enough to take anywhere.

Ecco Foam Cleaner

Never worry about leaving residue on your leather goods with this gentle foam cleaner. Or on your Gore-tex, either, for that matter: it’s approved and recommended for breathable membranes, too. You might want to keep it away from your face, though – it’s not that good.


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