Exactly one year ago this week, seven of us were piled into a questionable rental van hurtling (or, you know, chugging along as fast as a rental van can) down a highway in rural Quebec. It’s fall. It’s beautiful. The air has that pinched-cheek chill that makes everyone look like they’re on the “Fall Knits” page of a J. Crew catalogue.
Fast-forward through a night of spiced beverages, campfires and generally Instagrammable autumnal activities (save for one not-so-glamorous asthma attack—“but doctor, my puffer would’ve totally ruined the flow of my What’s In My Bag flat lay!”), and we wake up the next morning… to Snowmageddon.
Overnight, snow banks have formed. It would have been a Christmas miracle, had it not come two months too early. And while our van came equipped with many essentials (read: a cassette player), it hadn’t come with snow tires. So the final vignette of our so-called-fall weekend was six pairs of ankle boots trying to push a van up a hill that had turned into a bobsled track.
Welcome to Canada. Where winter is always coming.
While the season changes may not be quite as dramatic in your hood, or maybe winter’s already arrived (S/O to our Alaskan readers!), it never hurts to be prepared. Here are all the things we’re doing to brace ourselves for that inevitable first frost.
If you haven't seen Caroline Hiron’s game-changing skincare talk on PixiWoo, YouTube it immediately. A couple of key takeaways: 1) Add a moisture booster like Hydraluron to your routine before your moisturizer. 2) Ditch the Evian mist. It’s like putting Vaseline on your lips—minutes later your skin will be tighter than when you started. And 3) if you get any hint of dry skin in the winter, stop using face wipes pronto (they strip your face of any leftover summertime moisture and leave you flaky as that college acquaintance you’ve been planning brunch with for six months). One in, two out. Got it?
You may have gotten by with a spritz of salt spray and a tousle in the summer, but winter hair is a whole other ball game—dandruff, static, flyaways… to quote a weeping, pregnant Rachel Greene, it’s just such a magical time. This year, we’ve vowed to keep our hair as healthy-looking as possible rather than do damage control come December. That means a super-rich once-a-week deep condition is non-negotiable. We also keep an emergency stash of Bounce dryer sheets in our desk drawer to rub lightly over our hair after pulling off a toque.
Dry is a wintery theme—skin, hair, air, primetime television—but none more so than those wayward patches of skin on your thighs and the backs of your arms that are all of a sudden scalier than the whole grilled fish at Pearl Oyster Bar. The solution: a thick, buttery cream à la Soap and Glory’s The Righteous Butter. Apply in the shower for skin as velvety as a Juicy Couture tracksuit.
Supposedly El Nino has a milder winter in store for us northeasterners, but that doesn’t mean we’ll be any less bundled when the white stuff hits the fan. This year, the fall pieces we’ve been coveting lend themselves nicely to layering under your trusty coat (we know. A coat? For winter? Groundbreaking.). But the oversized turtlenecks, fur vests and blanket capes on steady rotation add that extra layer that make your regularly pre-November statement coat as cozy as a parka. Try a Norse-print cape under a camel coat, or a shearling vest over a leather jacket à la Olivia Palermo.
Disorder—that goes a little deeper than pining for your #TBT beach weekends. When the sun sets earlier and rises later, our lack of light exposure makes us, well, hella moody. Start taking daily Vitamin D supplements now to keep your spirits up, enhance calcium absorption and increase bone health. Also (and we hate to say this!), it’s time to quit that afternoon-nap habit. A regular sleep cycle is integral to mental health in the winter, which means waking up and going to sleep at the same time every day. So much for hibernation, eh?