Is that a shimmy or are you just shivering?
Winter has hit in LA, and I’m freezing! I’m also reasonably sure that all you dancers in colder climates are laughing hysterically at me, but it really is winter here in Hollywood. We’ve had cold storms non-stop the past month, and more rain than in the past six years of drought!
But no matter where you live, there are some things about our dance practice and presentation that really need to change when the seasons do. And if you haven’t addressed any of this yet, there’s still plenty of time to! So here’s some winter beauty tips for you...no matter what climate you're dancing in...
During the winter, our skin gets dry from the cold and wind and also from indoor heating. The extremes of temperature make our skin flakey and dull…and trust me, nobody wants to see that on stage.
About once or twice a week, I use a scrub to exfoliate my face. There are tons of products you can buy, but an easy and totally inexpensive home made scrub will do the trick, without causing irritation. Here’s all you need to do:
In a bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of dry oatmeal with ¼ teaspoon of table salt- any kind will do. Add a teaspoon of water , or if your skin is very dry, use olive oil instead. Rub it into your skin carefully and gently with your fingers in circular motions, going upwards. Make sure not to drag or pull your skin. Then let the paste sit on your face for about ten minutes, and rinse it off with tepid water.
After this scrub, I apply natural coconut oil to my face. You can purchase a large bottle of coconut oil at any health food store- it’s great for cooking too. But when used on the skin, it acts as a humectant, drawing moisture to you and sealing it in, without leaving you feeling greasy and gross…plus it smells nice. I slather it all over my poor beat up feet at night, then slip on a pair of thick socks and I the morning, my feet look…well… almost presentable! It’s also terrific as a natural make up remover.
Moisturizing is necessary, even more than it is in warmer months. As for facial moisturizers, I love Boots Protect And Perfect Intense Serum- I use it at night, it seeps right in and my skin feels so soft every morning. For daytime, I use Olay Total Effects 7 In One Daily Moisturizer, which is really creamy but not oily…it feels light and is great under make up. There are tons of products you can buy, but an easy ( and cheap!) home made scrub will do the trick, too.
As for winter make up, one of the problems most of us have is that our summer tans are fading. Check the foundation you’ve been using to be sure that the shade still matches your skin tone. You might want to mix two colors together, so you can lighten or darken the current color you are using to match your “new” seasonal skin tone. For pale or fair gals, bronzer might be in order…and you can find great, inexpensive ones at the drug store! E.L.F Studio Contouring Blush And Bronze is only about four bucks and comes in a wide variety of shades. If you want to go a little higher-end, MAC Bronzing Powder is the bomb. For bronzers, make sure to use them sparingly, since you are no loner tan; take a large fluffy brush , and lightly go over the outside contours of your face: cheek bones, temples, jaw line, then fluff some across the bridge of your nose. This will give you a healthy and subtle sun-kissed glow, and extend the remnants of your summer color.
If your hair is looking dull and dirty, but it’s too damn cold to wash it as much as you do when it’s warmer, try a dry shampoo. Aveeno Pure Renewal Dry Shampoo works like a charm and is available at places like target, Walmart, CVS, etc. for under ten bucks. Also, in the winter, static electricity is a problem for any type of hair, so think about using a silicone smoother to prevent fly-aways. I really like the John Frieda Collection Frizz-Ease Hair Serum but be forewarned- a little dab’ll do ya!
During the cooler months, be really careful about making sure your body is fully warmed up before you dance. You should be doing this anyway, but in the winter, it’s absolutely imperative, because dancing with cold muscles is basically a way of begging for an injury!
Be sure to dress for class or rehearsals in “classic dancer layers”- including a substantial sweater or sweatshirt, leg warmers, closed dance shoes with socks, that sort of thing.
Make sure the your bedroom is warm enough at night. If it's chilly where we sleep, that could lead to curling up int weird positions... which will directly lead to stuff muscles and sore joints!
During the winter, gals have to be really on top of our vitamin D intake. Adequate amounts of vitamin D will help your body to perform to it’s fullest- it’s great for our bones and it boosts the immune system…and of course, we need that for dancing! Vitamin D also keeps our mood up, and increases morale.
During the spring and summer, get a lot of vitamin D naturally from sunlight, but during the winter, because of the longer nights and lesser amount of daylight hours, it’s a safe bet our D levels are decreased.
If you’re not already taking vitamin D supplements, make sure to ask your doctor which dose is best for you
Stay warm and cozy, dancers!
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