How to do cold girl makeup – winter’s update on the ‘sunburn blush’ trend

Enter, the cold girl makeup trend (Credits: Getty Images)

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Previously, it was about looking ‘sunburnt’ – but now, as the seasons change, ‘cold girl’ makeup is the new beauty goal.

Makeup often reflects our environment, so it only makes sense summer’s ‘W’ sunburn blush hack is getting a festive upgrade.

Now, people are opting for cooler pinks that mimic the kind of flush you get over your skin after having been outside in the cold for a long time.

Blush is the main focus of the look, but the eyes and lips come into it, too.

Makeup artist, Frey-ja Barker, says to ‘imagine you’ve been for a long winter walk on a cold British blustery beach with no shelter and the chilly wind has been gently whipping at your skin, giving you that tingly warm rosy glow all across the top of your cheeks, the tip of your nose and your upper lip.’

That’s what cold girl makeup is all about.

How to create the look:

  1. First, apply blusher high up on your cheeks and dab it lightly over your nose too, similar to the sunburn trick – but ensure you’re using a cool-toned blush shade, or a version of pink that reflects the way your skin personally looks when cold.
  2. Lightly dab pink at the centre of your lips, along with the very top and bottom of your lip lines for a blurry cold effect.
  3. Apply an icy reflective eyeshadow at the centre of your eyelids.

Frey-ja adds: ‘To go all out, imagine that the snow has started to drift down and settle on the tops of your eyelashes for a glistening wet sheen.’

This look can reduce your makeup steps too, as there’s no contouring or bronzing.

‘I would start by applying a lightweight radiant base,’ she instructs.

‘Now forget about contouring, sweep your blusher straight across the top of the cheek – from the temples to the apple of your cheeks – and keep sweeping your brush across to the tip of your nose.’

She adds: ‘With this trend, don’t be shy with blush application.

‘Build up the colour while making sure to really blend well into the skin using a round circular buffing motion, for a blurred, natural-looking result.

‘Take any remaining blush from your brush and sweep it across your upper lip.

‘This will make it look like the blood has come rushing to the surface of the skin and give you that “battled the elements” cold-girl look.’

TikTokers have recently demonstrated how versatile the trend can be on all skin tones, too – with one Black creator opting for soft gold eyeshadow instead of champagne shades, and another person using a mix of red and pink blush, instead of just pink.

On the lips, it’s best to go for something with a slight sheen and semi-sheer. A gloss can work perfectly.

‘Apply it to the centre of the lips and smudge outwards with your finger. Don’t worry about a perfect lip line as this look is all about softness,’ Frey-ja adds.

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