8 Winter Beauty Hacks

We asked the founder of a new solution-oriented beauty brand to give us her picks for revamping our winter skincare routine.

Dana Rae is a New York-based makeup artist with an enviable clientele that reads like a rundown from Page Six (Hannah Bronfman, Nell Diamond and Claire Distenfeld are all fans). Her rise in the ranks on the beauty scene was not altogether unexpected. Dana Rae’s mother was the publisher of a regional health and beauty magazine, and, as a 12-year old, Dana Rae began shadowing her on set, assisting the hair and makeup artists. She did the makeup for her first cover at 17 and went on to study painting at Syracuse University and Parsons The New School.

Dana Rae had aspirations of opening a makeup bar, but found herself a few beats behind the curve when Pucker, Blushington and Rouge all opened their doors first. “I decided to take a step back, see what they did and learn from their mistakes,” she says. In the meantime, she decided that what she was most passionate about was teaching women to do makeup themselves. “I hear it a lot—a client will say, ‘Do it for me. I can’t do it!” This was especially true with Dana Rae’s signature look, the cat eye. “I used to integrate a lot of black ink and lines into my paintings in school and I used a ruler. When people couldn’t do a cat eye, I thought, ‘why wouldn’t you just trace something?’” And thus, an idea was born.
ABLE Cosmetics

Dana Rae’s brand-new cosmetic company ABLE was founded with the belief that you can “be ABLE” to become your own makeup artist. Working with a husband-and-wife chemist team in Long Island, she perfected her custom formula and then created solution-oriented packaging with a rubber edge, designed to literally allow you to trace the perfect cat eye.


Able Liner

We invited Dana Rae to come to our office for a quick tutorial. Upon determining that her Cat Eye 101 wand was, in fact, all that it claimed to be (two total newbies traced perfect cat eyes, no problem)—we demanded to know what else we’d “be ABLE” to do. Dana Rae plans for her first few products to have tools attached to them. “I’m not really following any kind of guidelines,” she says. “As I come up with something, it’s going to be made.” A brilliant mascara is coming next and then it’s on to skincare. “I like to help people do things, but I also like the idea of healing.”
Considering winter is prime time for discussing beauty hacks that heal—not hurt—dry skin, especially, we asked Dana Rae to fill us in on her favorite tips for combating the cold while maintaining a gorgeous glow.
ABLE Cosmetics
Peeling Gel

1. Don’t exfoliate away all of your dry skin

In the winter, people like to exfoliate a lot, but most exfoliants are too harsh for frequent use. Exfoliating already-dry skin can break up the skin, tearing it up. You want some dry skin to stay behind—you don’t want to be raw. Gel peels are great alternatives that are more sensitive and less abrasive. You can use these once or twice a week, you never want your skin to feel too dry or too tight. I’m partial to Boscia’s Exfoliating Gel Peel and Peter Thomas Roth’s Peeling Gel.

Makeup For Ever

2. Stay away from too much concealer in the winter

Concealer will stick to dry skin. Tinted moisturizer usually isn’t enough coverage for me, but I use it in the winter because it moisturizes and doesn’t magnify dry skin. If you’re wearing foundation, use a blender sponge and wet it with warm water first. It will help thin out the product and make it go on more smoothly. Makeup For Ever has a nice face and body liquid foundation that’s water-based so it’s a good mix between moisturizer and foundation.


3. Go old-school on your lips

I’m an Aquaphor girl. I keep it in my kit and use it on everyone from models to “it girls.” If you want something fancier, I also use the French version—Homeoplasmine. Both are great because they moisturize without being too shiny.

Rosehip oil

4. Use an oil while your skin is damp

Oils are a sticky subject. Coconut oil just sits on the skin’s surface; don’t use it on your face. Jojoba and Rosehip oil penetrate and sink more deeply into the skin. Use an oil at night and apply it while your face is still damp and your pores are open.

berry stain

5. Go bold with your look

You generally don’t wear a lot of makeup in the summer because it all sweats off. Winter is the chance to go bold—do a great eye or a lip stain. Sephora makes a good berry stain that’s great for the holidays; I’m super into maroon, so any deep red or berry color will do.

Makeup For Ever’s cream blush

6. Cream everything

Gel and cream-based products—even blush and bronzer—are perfect for creating a dewy glow even in the dead of winter. I really love Tom Ford’s Contour & Highlight palette and Makeup For Ever’s cream blush.

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundations

7. Do you want to look better in pictures or in person?

I always push my clients who are being photographed to look “camera ready.” The downside to looking better for the camera, rather than the naked eye, is that in person you can see camera-ready makeup. Oftimes, heavy foundation and even the smallest amount of powder will be obvious up close. The camera is a tough cookie! But remember, camera flashes reflect well off of makeup. Some makeup is even designed to reflect light and still look natural. The choice is up to you.

shampoo with peppermint

8. Combat dry scalp

I have psoriasis and eczema so I’m a scaly mess. Tea tree oil is amazing. Dab it on the dry skin around your hairline. If you have a breakout, you can use it there, too. I even feel like it shrinks your pores. It’s completely multi-purpose. Also for dry scalp, look for a shampoo with peppermint as an ingredient—it’s very soothing.

Able images courtesy of Able Cosmetics