The ‘I’m Cold’ Makeup Trend Is All About Rosy Cheeks and Frosty Lids—And You Can Nail It At Home for Under $30 – Well+Good

If you’ve spent any time on TikTok lately, you’ve likely encountered an “I’m cold” makeup tutorial on your feed (#Imcoldmakeup has over 85M views and counting!). Unlike the “clean girl” makeup look that came before it—which called for a radiant, minimal complexion—and the “siren eyes” trend which focused on a sultry, smoked-out cat eye, the “I’m cold” makeup aesthetic is all about flushed, win- chilled cheeks. Add in shimmer-dusted, “frosty” lids, rosy stained lips, and a matte complexion, and you’ll look like you’ve been frolicking in the snow. 
When it comes to creating the viral winter makeup look for yourself, remember that more is more when it comes to blush application. “You want to focus the placement on the nose and below the under-eye area,” explains Carolina Banegas, a makeup artist based in Miami. “This will mimic the effect of snow-blistered cheeks.”
And contrary to the dewy look that’s had a firm grip on the beauty world for a while now, Banegas says going for a matte finish is the key to perfecting “I’m cold” makeup. “Skip the glow on the skin and opt for a perfectly matte, blurred base,” she explains. “Make sure to powder the skin with a translucent setting powder using a makeup puff so that skin is nice and blurred.”
To make feigning the frosty, cold girl makeup look easy, we tracked down the makeup essentials you’ll need to perfect the viral aesthetic at home. And if you want to try it without breaking the bank? The most affordable options will give you chilly glam for under $30.
This powdered blush has a cool pink hue perfect for recreating that flushed, cherub-cheeked look. The talc-free, semi-matte formula is marbled with a radiant shimmer that’s virtually undetectable on the skin but will give your cheeks just enough of a fresh, baby-pink glow. And even though it’s a powder, the hydrating formula never looks chalky and actually helps skin retain moisture—which couldn’t be more welcome in the winter months. For a flawless finish, I recommend using Well People’s Complexion Brush to apply it.
Don’t let the hot pink shade scare you—Makeup by Mario’s raspberry-toned blush stick will leave you with just-pinched-looking cheeks in the best way. The creamy, pigmented formula glides on like an absolute dream without leaving behind a sticky residue, and it can be built up for added intensity or blended out with the soft brush on the other end for a sheerer look. Plus, compared to the other cream blushes I’ve tried, its staying power is unmatched. For the “I’m cold” look, apply it in a “W” motion across your cheeks and over the tip of your nose.
An icon that’s totally worth the splurge, Dior’s Rosy Glow Blush aces the cold girl look. The secret is the “color reviver technology” that reacts to your skin’s moisture levels to create the most natural-looking bubblegum pink flush. The sheer formula makes it nearly impossible to go overboard, and yields healthy-looking, chilled cheeks every time without fail. “It’s the most beautiful, natural flush [of] pink,” wrote one Sephora shopper in a 5-star review. “And [it] lasts longer than any other blush I own.”
New to Sephora, Simihaze Beauty will draw you in with its unique, luxury packaging—but the nourishing formulas and pigmented shades will keep you coming back for more. The Solar Tint Cream Blush Duo in Dawn is a true soft pink, and it comes in both a matte and radiant formula. For the “I’m cold” look, dip into the matte side, and add a pinch of the dewier finish to the apples of your cheeks for a windswept natural flush. Plus, the petite compact is an easy add to your purse or tote bag for touch-ups on the go.
In the compact, “Pink Me Pink” looks like the perfect rosy shade—and when applied to your cheeks, it won’t disappoint. Dust on a light layer for a soft-focus effect that’s sure to convince people you just came in form the slopes.
To achieve that icy effect that’s essential to the “I’m cold” makeup look, opt for an opalescent glittery shadow like E.l.f. ‘s Disco Queen. The quick-drying gel eyeshadow contains a spectrum of rainbow hues in its silver glitters, turning your eyelids into a winter wonderland. The doe foot applicator makes it a breeze to apply, giving you the freedom to dab some on and sheer it out for a soft wash of sparkle, or build it up for an opaque, glitter moment.
This one and done eyeshadow has a shimmery finish that turns up the glow wherever you need it. For the “I’m cold” look, swipe it across your lids for an ethereal wash of silver, dot it on your inner corners, under your brow bone, or even dab it on the tops of your cheek bones for an effortless, snow-like glimmer. You can even use it as a base for powder eyeshadows for more glam looks!
Urban Decay’s Moondust Eyeshadow in Cosmic is packed with super-fine silver and champagne-hued glitters that catch the light to create a gorgeous, shimmering effect that touts serious staying power (we’re talking 16 hours!). For a more intense “I’m cold” effect, pack on the velvety soft shadow with your fingertip, or swipe it on with an eyeshadow brush for a more diffused, “frosted” look.
With its translucent shimmer finish, the Master Crystal Reflector can be applied virtually anywhere on the face for a sheer veil of ultra-fine sparkle. It’s perfect for swiping across the eyelids and concentrating on the inner corners to achieve that doe-eyed, “I’m cold” makeup look, that also makes you look wide awake (which I certainly could use more of during the winter time). It also functions as a beautiful eyeshadow topper, adding extra dimension and sparkle to matte shadows.
Benefit’s best-selling Benetint lip stain is well-loved on TikTok—which explains why it was sold out everywhere earlier this year. It also happens to be the key to just-bitten, “I’m cold” lips. The watery tint looks good on basically everyone, delivering a natural rosy stain that doesn’t budge throughout the day, and can also be applied to the cheeks for a natural cold girl flush. We’re big fans of the non-drying, light-as-air formula, and the fact that it can be effortlessly layered for a more intense look.
Fenty Beauty’s hydrating lip tint reached viral status on TikTok this summer for the popsicle stain look it gives lips, and seeing as it’s also a great “I’m cold” lip option—there’s really no reason it shouldn’t be in your makeup bag. The conditioning formula goes on glossy and leaves a natural tint behind as it wears throughout the day. I’ve seen TikTok users apply it and blot away the gloss to achieve the perfect pink stain, but you can also leave it on as is for a more juicy, hydrated look.
In addition to coating lips in a beautiful, sheer wash of pinky-red color, Cover Girl’s Tinted Lip Balm delivers lasting moisture and hydration to dry, chapped lips. The nourishing vegan formula uses shea and mango seed butters, along with apricot kernel oil and hyaluronic acid to leave your lips feeling pillowy soft and nourished without feeling sticky or heavy. What’s more, we love that it can be built up for a more pigmented finish. It’s the “I’m cold” lip that also saves your pout from the drying effects of the cold.
Laura Mercier’s OG Translucent Setting Powder has been beloved by makeup lovers for years—and their new talc-free version that launched this year is even better, if you can imagine it. In addition to having makeup artists’ seal of approval, the mattifying loose powder is infused with hydrating hyaluronic acid, for even more comfortable wear that never looks cakey, and keeps excess oiliness at bay. Apply it with the matching powder puff for a truly blurred “I’m cold” makeup look that’ll hold up all day long.
Fenty Beauty’s Eaze Drop Skin Tint has a natural, soft matte finish that makes the ideal base for the “I’m cold” makeup look. It delivers buildable, light to medium coverage and feels totally weightless on the skin, instantly blurring the look of pores, so skin looks smoother and more even in tone. What’s more, it applies effortlessly with only your fingers—which we wholeheartedly appreciate. And it comes in 25 flexible shades!
Revlon’s ColorStay Light Cover Liquid Foundation delivers the lightweight feel of a skin tint, with the medium to high coverage of a foundation. The natural finish is devoid of any dewiness, making it a winner for the “I’m cold” makeup look, and the fluid formula goes on like a dream—just shake it up, and apply with your hands, a brush, or a makeup sponge for an even, flawless finish that’ll last as long as 12 hours (!!). Plus, it has SPF 35, which is not too shabby for a foundation (though we still think you should wear SPF under your makeup—yes, even in the wintertime).
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