How to Make Yourself Feel Pretty During the Worst Part of Winter


Pretty Winter started because my friends and I were sick of fearing spring. It’s the same cycle every year:

December: YAY! I live inside of festive snow-y scenes from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, there is an endless buffet of holiday cookies at the office at all times and maybe I’ll go ice skating!

January: I look severely chic in turtlenecks and plan to wear them forever like Diane Keaton. Also, who even cares that the sugar levels in alcohol are the only things raising my heart rate right now? Cardio can wait until February because New Year’s Resolutions are the Patriarchy.

February: I’m a blob fish. One without any moisture whatsoever left in my body. Remarkably, I have somehow managed to become a dehydrated piece of blob-fish jerky, except that I’ve done the opposite of shrink; I have become a human plop of mashed potatoes. Same color, too. Pass the butter.

March: Has my face always existed in a sort of half-on, half-off corn-flake variety or is this new? I wonder if it’s a symptom of becoming a mole person.

April: I regret everything I ever said about being excited for spring. I need five more months to prepare. I also need a nap.

May: Okay, I’m back! Should I put my foot in a sneaker or what?

June: Fuck.

pretty winter man repeller 8093

SO. Last year, to avoid all of that panic, we began a very embarrassing group chat where we text one another all of the monotonous, cringe-y, terrible and awful things one should never share with such earnest delivery in a screen-shot-able arena but, because Pretty Winter is a safe space, we do it on purpose.

Things like, “I went to the gym this morning!” And, “I am doing a face mask while whitening my teeth!”

Then everyone else goes, “Girl that is just so awesome!” “You are killing it!” “Me too!” “Yay!”

It is a cheesy group encouragement to the max; a collection of unabashed, unapologetic braggings about “me time,” fitness goals, obsessive moisturizing and hygiene.

The answer is not but I am definitely learning to give my skin lots of TLC, and it's like, "FINALLY, YOU RUDE-ASS WOMAN."

The point of Pretty Winter is never to adhere to some grand and impossible beauty standard but rather, to not let yourself fall into a crockpot of wintry blahs that sits in the kitchen too long and makes the whole apartment-building floor smell weird. It’s a way to be social during the last bit of hibernation, to take just a bit of physical action (endorphins rule) and to exfoliate your flakes/lack of motivation.

Don’t let the last few months of life make you scared of spring. Get your friends to join or some strangers and try even doing JUST ONE THING. Sometimes all it takes is a new serum to make you feel like an Amy Poehler punchline.

Photos by Amelia Diamond.

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  • Alexis Thomolaris

    Ahhh!! My friend group needs this. How is the Drunk Elephant line?? I want to test out all of the littles 🙂

    • Amelia Diamond

      I am in love. Leandra got me into it.

  • Maria

    Love your up “do” on the first photo. #goals

  • ValiantlyVarnished

    I’ve been stretching every morning before I get ready for work. I bought a new yoga mat and am signing up for hot yoga classes. And I bought new loofah mitts! I WILL be exfoliated come April!

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  • additionalmayonnaise

    Ok but Amelia those sunglasses… I want/need/have to have

    • Sara Pettersson

      YES PLEASE!!!

    • Elin


  • BarbieBush

    Ugh I totally feel this. Womaned-up and went to my derm only to be told I am allergic to everything ever and can only use one incredibly boring product and petroleum jelly. Fun!

    • Hellbetty666

      That’s so disappointing. May I recommend treating yourself to a pair of giant, tacky sunglasses instead?

  • Hellbetty666

    I’ve been fingering products by The Original, but many of them require you to wear sunscreen. Instead I’m walking as much as I can and wearing the shit out of my cheap sunglasses.

    • Stine Gammelager

      Heeeeeey. What do you think of The Original? Just heard of the brand. Sounds amazing!

      • Hellbetty666

        I’ve been low-key stalking them for a couple of months, but to be honest I don’t really have a clue about what most of them actually do! My skincare regime is literally antibacterial soap and the cheapest oil free moisturiser I can find, plus an eye cream. I’m in my forties so feel like I should be using something better, but have no idea what I need.

        However, their packing is wonderful and I love the simplicity of their products. Just wish I knew what to do with them!

        • OHMAIGAWD – the ordinary is literally the SHIT.

          Just pick one of their recommended regimes, and do it (I picked anti age). All of their products are incredible (that I have tried) and SO. CHEAP.

          My favourites are:

          AM: Buffet and Hyularonic Acid (then an SPF)
          PM: CAIS (by NOID), Buffet, Retinol 2%, Rosehip oil

          I’m graduating to their sister brand NOID (get CAIS – its a total lifechanger).

          • Hellbetty666

            Oh hell yeah! Thank you so much Alice, I really had no clue where to start. What spf would you suggest? I have never worn sunscreen (other than factor 50 on my nose, shoulders and tits in the summer) and hate the feeling of anything sitting on my skin.

          • I am totally the same! I use the avene hydrance – it’s just SPF 20 and feels like a light moisturiser.

            Technically the only product you have to wear SPF with is the retinol serum and it can make your skin extra photosensitive so if you’re really not keen just skip that one! All the serums (HA, buffet etc.) are fine to use without an SPF in the morning.

            Having said that – retinols are the bomb (see the MR piece) and the ordinary one is superb + spf is never a bad idea 😇

          • Hellbetty666

            This is so incredibly useful (as is your other reply) thank you. I am totally sold! Not buying anything today because of the strike but tomorrow I am going to be all over this shit! I’m really tempted to try a retinol as I’ve heard they are pretty miraculous, so will investigate sun protection.

            SO EXCITED!!!!

        • Sorry – just to add in case I didn’t hard sell this enough:

          Its like having a new and better face. I’ve always had such dry skin, open pores, and occasional breakouts. Now my skin is so well hydrated all of the time. My pores are smaller everyday and I haven’t had a single spot. And there is this even-ness to my skintone that I didn’t even know I needed.

          You know the snapchat beauty filter? Its like that but IRL.

          • Hellbetty666

            I’ve just submitted my order for buffet, the retinoid and the rosehip oil. I’m a bit undecided about the HA so will see how I get on and might send off for it in a while. I also threw in the primer, which has had brilliant reviews, and have researched sunscreens and am going to try the Hawaiian tropic one for the face, which has had good reviews and is cheap &cheerful!

            Thanks again for the advice – my mates are going to think I’ve had work done!!

          • I’m so excited for you!! Let me know how you find them!! 😇

          • Hellbetty666

            I had to update you – my order was delivered on Friday morning. Straight away, I washed my face with my usual soap and then used the buffet. My skin felt different immediately – weirdly, it felt cleaner. I washed again before bedtime and used the buffet again, with the retinoids and oil. I swear, on Saturday morning my skin looked and felt… different.

            I went out Saturday night and didn’t get in til gone 4 – gave my face a quick swipe with a cleaning wipe and then didn’t wash again until Sunday night.

            This morning, my face feels sooooo much smoother and again cleaner, and the pores seem less visible (I never even noticed this was a thing on my face until it wasn’t there, if that makes sense?!). Using the rosehip,oil feels a bit counter-intuitive, as I’ve always gone for oil-free moisturisers, and I’m struggling to get used to how much to use, but I will persevere as it feels really luxurious to put this on right before bedtime.

            I’m not using my usual eye cream and I’m not sure if I really need it with this regime so I will go without for a few weeks and see how I get on. Remembering to put the sunscreen on is going to be a challenge, but otherwise I am quietly excited and optimistic!

            I just wanted to say thank you again for your advice and encouragement. Since I hit 40, I’ve been conscious I need to do something different with my skin care, but really had no idea what. I love how I can use these products with my old faithful Dettol soap, and I really like the fact they don’t smell or feel chemically.

          • Alice

            Yay! I’m so happy for you – I really love their stuff, just glad you found them too!

            Let me know if you want any more advice on products!

  • Chelsea

    Who makes those sunglasses? #need

    • Elin

      Need to know!!

      • I was paid 104000 dollars previous year by working online from home and I manage that by w­o­r­k­i­n­g in my own time for 3+ hrs a day. I used work model I came across online and I am so happy that i made so much money. It’s very user friendly a­­n­­d I’m so happy that I found out about it. Here’s what I did…

  • Grace

    Amelia! Who cuts your hair?! Your layers are perfect

  • Pretty Winter is my favourite season.

  • This is basically what my girlfriends use snap chat for. It’s actually motivating to see your BFFs hitting the gym or taking care of their skin.

  • Senka

    One thing I’m pretty regular with is my skin care. I hate exercise and can’t get my self to stick to anything for too long, and usually work out only when I get scared of my reflection in the mirror, or can’t, for the life of me fit into the pants I wore three months ago. This winter I’ve also been battling seasonal depression, which made it sometimes hard to wash my (very long, very tangling) hair so viva dry shampoo. But rarely have I ever went to bed without properly cleansed skin (no water, just micelar solution and face mist or rose water as toner), some serum and a moisturizer on top of it. It’s a ritual to me, especially in the evening, when I’m about to sleep. And a sheet mask once a week, usually on a day that was a little harder than the others, so I need that little extra something. I wish I was half as dedicated to moisturizing my body, but I’m not.

  • YES!!! Lately I’ve been having warm weather envy and I was worried my only choice was to move to Charleston or California! Figuring out how to take care of my skin in the winter has really helped. Yes to serums and masks!

    P.S. Your photos are hilarious!

  • Raihana

    Thank you! I was actually drowning in candy wrapper when I read this and realised it’s already March and I’m so not ready for what’s coming next aka the heat against my collection of creepy turtlenecks

  • Sarah Mehmood

    Good one….
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    Send Cakes to Pakistan
    Send Flowers to Pakistan
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