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Work A Winter Glow

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The Violet Files

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Work a Winter Glow

Sleep slugging and more ways to unlock radiance.

Written by
Patty Tortolani

At some point in time, we came to the cultural understanding that sun-kissed skin looked better. Perhaps it was that infamous image of Coco Chanel cruising to Cannes. Or the jet-set tans of Studio 54. But undeniably, a tawny and glowy complexion became indicative of a life well lived; it was seductive in all the right ways. Until it wasn’t. With skin cancer and sun damage on the rise, the backlash was (thankfully) very real.

Today the complexion that elicits admiration is bright, clear, and luminous. It is more about skin health and less about pigmentation. It is about that elusive phenomenon: skin radiance. Particularly in winter months, this aesthetic is achieved by pampering and protecting your skin—providing it with vital hydration and nourishment. Needless to say, we are very much here for it.

So if you struggle with dryness, dullness, or sallowness; if you are considering a tropical vacation just for the humidity; or if you are simply looking for a mid-season glow up, consider VIOLET at your service with these tips that will have your skin positively incandescent in no time.


Let us start things off with a quick biology lesson: the acid mantle refers to the very thin natural film that sits on the surface of your skin. Made up of water, sweat, and sebum, it is your first defense against environmental aggressors, and preserving it is of the utmost importance when it comes to sealing in moisture. How does one mind their mantle? With a gentle wash, like BeautyStat Universal Microbiome Barrier Balancing Cleanser which was developed to restore the skin’s acid mantle.


For a few months at least, you’ll want to shelve the gritty scrubs and skip the dermabrasion facials in favor of a gentler exfoliation on a weekly instead of daily basis. Omorovicza’s Copper Peel uses a blue copper paste and a lactic acid activator to polish, smooth, and visibly reduce pore size for a brighter complexion; Shani Darden’s Triple Acid Signature Peel combines glycolic, mandelic, and lactic acids with kaolin clay to reveal a “just-had-a-facial” glow sans downtime. Also in the gentle-yet-effective category: iS Clinical’s Tri-Active Exfoliating Mask, which buffs away dull, dry skin with glow-boosting botanical enzymes and salicylic acid.


We’ll thank TikTok for this buzzy (and highly effective) skin care trend. Dr. Heather Rogers explains, “The concept is applying water before and between skincare layers to trap hydration in the skin. It's viral because it is easy to do and show on social media.” Our ideal “moisture sandwich”: After cleansing, mist the skin with Agent Nateur’s Holi (Water) Pearl and Rose Hyaluronic Essence, follow with Eighth Day’s Intensive Moisturizer, mist again, and then top it off with an occlusive ointment, such as Doctor Rogers’ Restore Healing Balm.


“Slugging” is another buzzy skin care application technique. This one originated in Korea and recently went viral thanks to the folks at #skintok (though at VIOLET HQ, we propose a name change to “Sumptuous Overnight Mask”). Essentially, slugging means slathering your skin with a rich, occlusive formula as the last step in your routine. Augustinus Bader’s new The Face Cream Mask, another sure-to-go-viral hit, will undoubtedly plump, moisturize, and help you get that winter glow come morning.


The pièce de résistance is a highlighter; that magic wand product that helps your face achieve the complexion of its dream. The Westman Atelier Lit Up Highlighter Stick has an iridescent undertone that flatters all complexions. To create the glamorous effect of après-ski (or après-very-good-sex) flushed cheeks, layer it with a cream blush. We love the glow-boosting dewiness of Make Beauty's Heat Stroke Cheek Tint blended on the apples.