Hands up who loves winter? And what’s not to like, right? Cosy jumpers, crunchy leaves, hot drinks, twinkling fairy lights… it’s the best. Except when it comes to your hair and skin, of course. ‘Cos as much as you yearn for pretty flushed cheeks and smooth silky hair cascading around your knitwear-covered shoulders, the weather has other ideas. Don’t abandon yourself to the frizz just yet though! Here’s how to deal with winter’s most wearisome beauty complaints.

Scaly skin

No, you’re not turning into a lizard, honest. A good body moisturiser is your best friend here – definitely upgrade your light body lotion to something a lot richer.

You can also make a few in-shower tweaks, too. Choose a nourishing shower cream and exfoliate lightly every other day to shift old skin cells. And, tempting as it is to crank the temperature up, keep it lukewarm rather than super hot – your skin will thank you for it.

A dry and blotchy face

Constantly dancing between dry, overheated buildings and the cold, wet outdoors can play havoc with your complexion, leaving it flaky, red and feeling uncomfortable. Again, a good moisturiser and regular (gentle) exfoliation will help restore a healthy glow.

You might want to reconsider your whole skincare routine, especially if your skin is usually oily or blemish-prone. Opt for gentle, moisturising products instead of astringent-based ones, and treat yourself to nourishing and softening face masks instead of deep-cleansing ones which can strip away your skin’s delicate surface.

When you’re out in the elements, keep as much skin as possible protected by a hat and scarf, and remember that we don’t feel as thirsty in winter as we do in summer, so keep reaching for the water – it’s your skin’s best weapon in the fight against the dreaded blotch!

Dry, flaky lips

Winter can be hella romantic, so of course your lips start resembling a scaly deep-sea creature. Tempting as it is to pick at them – don’t! Seriously, that just makes everything a hundred times worse. But, annoyingly, so does slapping on layers and layers of lip balm, because that can cause irritation as well. So what to do? Every night before bed, gently exfoliate with a sugar scrub or soft wash cloth, then apply a generous layer of balm. Then re-apply lightly and occasionally throughout the day (invest in a couple of nice balms and put them where you’ll need them – in your bag, next to your bed, on your desk – so there’s always one within reach).

Splitting cuticles

Not only do cracked cuticles totally ruin your fierce manicure, they can be pretty painful too – ugh! Your cuticles are a really small part of your body, but they’re still susceptible to the same wintery damage as the skin everywhere else, so they need TLC too. Either include them in your usual body moisturising regime, or invest in a dedicated hand cream. Better yet – treat them to a specialist cuticle oil to keep them soft and supple. Don’t trim them – that just makes them more fragile in the long run – and wear gloves when you’re out and about to protect them (and your hands overall) from the cold.

Dandruff

There’s only one type of white flaky stuff we want this winter, and that’s snow. But dandruff is another common seasonal beauty complaint and let’s be honest, it can be a bit embarrassing. Luckily, it’s nothing a good old dandruff shampoo won’t fix, although you can’t just use it once and expect the problem to go away. The key is consistency – use it at least twice a week. Try a scalp exfoliator once a week pre-shampoo, too. It might sound a bit odd, but you exfoliate your body, don’t you? Same principal! Again, keep the water temperature lukewarm to avoid aggravating your scalp, and try to avoid styling products that contain alcohol, as these can dry out your scalp even more.

Frizz

There’s not a lot of hair-friendly moisture in cold air. Couple that with central heating and lots of wool and polyester and POOF – hello, frizz! It’s a sad fact of life for many a long-haired girl, but help is at hand, and it’s mainly in the prep process. Choose a frizz-fighting conditioner for daily use, treat yourself to a deep-conditioning treatment once a week, and after washing, apply a conditioning oil to the lengths.

Ditch the thick cotton towel – it’ll just add friction to your hair. Instead, use an old t-shirt to dry your locks, as the cotton soaks up extra water without being abrasive. Go easy on the heat styling, too – use a slightly cooler setting on your dryer and tools if you can. It might take a little longer to get the look you want, but your hair will thank you for it. And if the frizz has already hit, a small squirt of hair serum can help get things back under control.

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Image: Amber Griffin

WINTER IS COMING. I mean, it’s technically already here… but snow, snow is coming! The weather forecast is full of snowflakes and our heads are full of snow day dreams, thick socks and all the different ways we could toast marshmallows without an actual fire (sticking them carefully in the gas hob might not be as romantic, but it gets the job done).

With any luck, by the end of today we’ll all be three foot deep in the white stuff, literally incapable of leaving the house and in need of a huge stack of cosy, wintry films to hunker down with. So here are some of our all-time favourite winter (but not Christmas) films to warm your cockles.

And if the weather fails us, hey – that’s what weekends are for.

Edward Scissorhands

Edward Scissorhands

Way before Tim Burton gave Willy Wonka and Alice in Wonderland their gothic makeovers, he made magic with Johnny Depp in this gorgeous fantasy about a boy ‘created’ with scissors for hands. Taken in by a suburban family, gentle Edward turns his sharp talents to haircuts, topiary and beautiful ice sculptures. You’ll cry, you’ll swoon and you’ll have the urge to give yourself a creative fringe trim afterwards (don’t).

Lion the witch and the wardrobe

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

There is probably no snowy tale more magical than this one, the story of four evacuees who stumble on another world at the back of a wardrobe – a world of fauns and friendly beavers where it is always winter, but never Christmas. And if a blizzard really gets going outside, there are two more films and seven books to plow through. Turkish delight sold separately.

Happy feet

Happy Feet

It’s penguins! Tap dancing! Tap dancing penguins! If that prospect doesn’t immediately fill you with joy, there’s probably a chip of ice in your heart. Get that seen to.

Cool runnings

Cool Runnings

Is this the ultimate underdog sports movie? PROBABLY. Or if not, it’s definitely the ultimate underdog winter Olympics sports movie, which makes it all we need right now. Let the true story of the first national Jamaican bobsled team melt your heart quicker than a choc ice on a radiator.

Ice Age

Ice Age

Ok so it doesn’t count as a 100% accurate history lesson, but the animated tale of a mammoth, a sloth and a sabre-toothed tiger battling the icy elements to return a human baby to safety teaches us that even 11,000 years ago, in a time before social media or school or the wheel, people still needed good friendships to get them through. Or sloths and mammoths. Whatever.

Groundhog day

Groundhog Day

Think you love a good snow day? How about having one every single day, the very same day, for hundreds of years? Yeah, thought as much. This classic 90s Bill Murray comedy answers that age old question asked by everyone who’s ever had a seriously crappy day: what if you COULD go back to bed and start the whole thing over again?

March of the penguins

March of the Penguins

It’s penguins! Real ones! Marching! More romantic than your average rom-com, this gorgeous documentary from National Geographic charts the progress of thousands of emperor penguins as they make the long, treacherous journey to their ancestral breeding grounds – and hopefully find love in the process. Pingu was never this emosh.

Little Women snow

Little Women

Louisa May Alcott’s tale of teenage sisterhood might span all the seasons several times over, but it’s those winter bonnets and ice skating scenes that really make life in the American Civil War look appealing. Cocoon yourself on the sofa and decide once and for all if you’re Team Laurie or Team German Professor.

Frozen

Frozen

Didn’t think we’d let this one go, did you? No chance.

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Winter is coming! In the nice way, not the Game of Thrones way. And along with all the usual wintry excitements – Starbucks red cups, ice skating, wearing two pairs of tights under your jeans – this year we have a new obsession. Hygge.

What?

Hygge!

Are you just making noises?

No! Hygge is everywhere, trust us.

It’s pronounced ‘hoo-ga’ – or ‘hewwguuah’ if you want to attempt a Scandi accent – and it’s the Danish/Norwegian word for… well, there’s no direct translation but the closest is ‘cosiness’. Or ‘simple, homely pleasures’. Or the warm, fuzzy feeling you get when you’re bundled up in a blanket next to a fire with a good book and a hot chocolate and maybe Bing Crosby playing soft jazz in the background.

That sounds like effort.

Ahh, but it doesn’t have to be. While the shops might try to flog you snuggly blankets and rustic slippers and candles that smell like pine trees in the name of this trend (and we want them, we won’t lie), the true meaning of hygge is something much simpler that everyone can embrace.

Here are five ways to find your inner ‘hygge’ for free…

cold-cats

1. Go outside so you can appreciate being inside again

You know how playing hockey or football or netball or doing cross-country or any outdoor physical exercise at school is basically hideous between October and March – because you’re frozen solid, your nose and eyes are streaming like fountains, your hands have become mangled claws and your PE kit was designed by someone with no respect for weather? Well, that amazing feeling when the final whistle goes and you can all race back into the feety-smelling warmth of the changing room and throw your jumper back on and sit against a radiator whimpering until the feeling comes back into your fingers? Hygge!

Of course, in Scandinavia you might go for long walks in a forest followed by a woodland sauna. But it’s basically the same.

Scrubs reading cosy gif

2. Reread a childhood classic

Sure, grappling with Tess of the D’Urbervilles is going to look ace on your personal statement when the time comes. But to really stir up those feelings of inner cosiness and contentment, park yourself on the sofa under a blanket with a classic book you have known and loved for years. It’s the literary equivalent of buttery mashed potato or custard. Which, come to think of it, are also very good ideas.

May we recommend: Ballet Shoes, Winnie the Pooh, Matilda, Angus, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, any Harry Potter.

Smore gif

3. Toast something

Toastiness is central to the whole hygge situation – whether that’s a marshmallow, bread or just your own feet.

Sure, you might not have an open roaring fire to warm yourself in front of, Scandi-style… but you probably have a candle (try the messy drawer in the kitchen if all else fails – they are basically legally obliged to contain at least one old candle, as well as eight thousand rubber bands and five takeaway menus), a grill or a gas hob, right? Indulge all those campfire fantasies you picked up from American movies by making s’mores, or go for a stack of hot buttery toast and breath in its exquisite scent. Hygggggggeeee.

Cosy hamster

4. Get dressed under the covers

Remember this old gem from your childhood? Go on, we won’t tell anyone.

Or if your desire to shower outweighs your desire to start the day off cosy, you can always wear your duvet to the bathroom and back – a manoeuvre we like to call ‘the walking sausage roll’. Genius.

Friends group hug

5. Surround yourself with love

Much as we love the shopping possibilities, the true meaning of hygge isn’t chic minimalist homewares or amazing food or even just being cosy and warm – it’s really about surrounding yourself with good spirits. Which could mean filling your bedroom with eight shrieking friends on Friday night, or enforcing a family board game tournament on a rainy Sunday afternoon, or even just draping your cat around you like a furry scarf while you watch seven episodes of Gilmore Girls. Whatever works.

And if anyone asks why they have to play board games for five hours or sleep on your floor or stay still long enough to become a living accessory, you just yell ‘hygge! HYGGE!’ until they give in.

See? Cosy.

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Image: Getty

Oh hey there, autumn ol’ pal! Where did you sneak up from?

Considering it happens every single year, cold weather shouldn’t really be a surprise. But there we are, happily getting the last bit of wear out of our floaty things and strappy things and sandals, when WHAM! Arctic conditions. Goosebumps. Pointy nips. The full Mr Frosty. You need woolly layers, and fast. Soon you will be half human, half sheep.

But hey, it’s not all bleak! In fact, cold weather brings with it plenty of perks, and not just the ones in your bra – so warm your cockles* and take inspiration from some of these cosy buys. Here are all the style reasons to be glad it’s cold now…

 

1. Giant scarves!

Colour block scarf

Colour block scarf, River Island, £20

tartan scarf

Tartan scarf, H&M, £7.99

 

Herringbone scarf

New Look Herringbone scarf, ASOS, £14.99

2. Ankle boots!

Black glitter ankle boots, Tu, £25

Brogue boots

Brogue boots, H&M, £29.99

copper ankle boots

Kobra boots, Topshop, £39

3. Cosy jumpers!

oversized jumper

Annie Jumper, Boo Hoo, £15

Coatigan

Navy coatigan (yes, coatigan), £22, Tu at Sainsbury’s

jumper

Burgundy ribbed jumper, £14.99, New Look

shearling jumper

Oversized jumper with shearling and tassels, ASOS, £28

4. Furry things!

Fur collar

Faux fur collar, New Look, £3

Faux fur gilet

Curly faux fur gilet, ASOS, £18

faux fur keyring

Faux fur keyring, Primark, £2

5. Fleecy things!

Grey jacket

Faux shearling jacket, Mango, £49.99

fleece leggings

Aviator jacket

Fleece-lined leggings (YES), New Look, £9.99

shearling boots

Tan faux shearling ankle boots, New Look, £24.99

6. Velvet things!

velvet swing dress

Velvet swing dress, ASOS, £20

Velvet top

Velvet top, Zara, £15.99

velvet shorts

Velvet high-waisted shorts, Topshop, £40

velvet dress

Lilac velvet swing dress, ASOS, £27

*Nah, nobody knows where your cockles are.

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome.