Like it or not, winter is quietly creeping closer and throwing out every existing trend on its way in. Juicy, glossed lips are giving way to regal mattes, moody nail shades are taking over, and sun-kissed bronzers are moving towards the back of the drawer. Fortunately, what comes after the summer makeup might be even better. Even amid the endless parade of TikTok’s infinite scroll, you’ve certainly seen the wildly popular “sunburn blush” craze. Now, get ready for the “I’m Cold” makeup trend, TikTok’s winterized version of the glowy, blush-heavy look. If you’ve been dreading winter’s arrival, this cozy trend could be just the thing to finally get you on board with the imminent icy weather.
The “I’m Cold” TikTok trend was created and coined by makeup artist Zoe Kim Kenealy, who brilliantly described the look as evoking that cozy, holiday Hallmark movie energy — if adorable nose-tip blush doesn’t scream “small town cupcake baker who falls in love with undercover royalty” then what does? In her first video on the subject, Kenealy lays out the premise and walks users through the central tenants of the trend: matte skin, some strategically applied blush, and a soft matte lip, all combined to make it look like you’re taking a little walk through the blustery city streets.
To get the holiday movie heroine look at home, it’s crucial to start with the right base. After applying a matte foundation, skin tint, or concealer to even out tone (you’ll want to neutralize unwanted redness as there is so much blush used here) and lay down a smooth base for everything to come. Even if you’re on the drier side, this is one to really lean into powders and flat finishes over a more glistening, dewy effect. Lightly illuminate the under-eyes with a gentle sweep of brightening concealer, and set the entire face with a matte powder — the next step is where it all comes together.
In the original “I’m Cold” makeup TikTok, Kenealy blends and layers two distinct blushes together, one pink-toned and one orange. This is a great way to warm up the complexion without introducing bronzer, and it also keeps the blush from looking like actual windburn. The placement is key, too. Swirl the blush along the apples of your cheeks, sweeping up closer to the eyes just like you would with the brilliant (and also TikTok-famous) under-eye blush hack. Here’s where things get crafty, though — apply that same blush blend around the tops of the lips, along the edges, and your Cupid’s bow, stopping just short of the nose’s bottom. Then, hit the tip and bridge of your nose, but don’t connect it to the cheek blush. Diffuse the intensity and blend it all together with another dusting of matte powder.
The blush is nearly done here. Buff a bit more into primed, powered eyelids, blending it up and out with a gentle hand to tie it all together, not unlike using your bronzer as an eyeshadow during the warmer months. Finally, pat on a soft matte lipstick in a warm tone — a burnt orange works especially well as a through-line undertone in the whole look — and blot off any excess with a tissue.
Of course, there are a million and one ways to make the look your own, including pulling different blush shades like rose and berry, the latter of which is always a winter favorite and might be preferred by those with cooler undertones. For the most natural “I’m Cold” look, consider popping outside for a bit (or into the grocery store freezer aisle, whatever works) and seeing what shades naturally appear when you’re actually cold. Even if you live in a place where the leaves never change and it’s reliably 60 degrees on New Year’s Eve, at least you can live vicariously through your blush.
Shop everything you need to nail the “I’m Cold” makeup trend just below.
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