With the splendor of autumn a bittersweet memory and the whirl of holidays nestled in their sugarplum beds, winter takes it upon herself to settle into our bones and, uninvited, burrows even deeper into our spirits.

There is a sigh of reprieve, yes, but also a yearning, a mad ache. Stillness is a sword, really: powerful, protective, and yet that blade …

When the cold wind that blows through your heart becomes too much to bear, you must ask yourself: Why am I disconnected? It’s all too easy really to detach from the body at this time of year, and yet our flesh and bones is where our power lies. Is it witchcraft? Oh, who knows. I say it’s more of a universal truth of the feminine divine. Find your way back to yourself, and you reclaim that divinity.

The way home, every single time, mes amours, is through beauty. The ritual and the potions. Inside and out.

Beneath too many layers of wool, the air that bites, and the far too fleeting sunlight lies that gorgeous creature who was lolling about half-dressed just a few months back, blissful and wild. You haven’t been lost, only perhaps forgotten. Your whole being needs care right now and all the way through to those damp spring days, to stay strong and beautiful.

Winter is the time of rest, but it is also a prime time for plotting. What buds in spring has everything to do with what we seed now, and that requires us to be in our light, our power. I say it’s time to reclaim that. We can begin with the simple pleasure of conjuring a few beauty potions in the warmth of home, surrounded by an energy of nurturing and love. As you conjure, keep a strong visual of what you would like to see appear from the ground in a few months, and what you need to create that. Even more important, feel how it feels to have it! One of the first things that will likely come to you is a smile—then you know you’re on the right track. Entwine that vibe with intentions of beauty, love, potency. This will give a great energy to your potions and ensure your success.

My wish for you is to feel fed and protected, but also vibrant and full of the returning light. I’ve called in a few of my winter loves to lend a hand, all expertly watched over by Freyja as these potions were concocted.

Vanilla is on hand as one of my signature ingredients. This gorgeous and lusty Venusian vine is one of my all-time favorite cohorts. Heavenly scented, vanilla is rich in copper to promote collagen and elastin production and has noted aphrodisiac powers.

She is joined here by another one of my loves, so especially exalted this time of year: pomegranate. With fire and Mercury at the helm, pomegranates are great bringers of money, while their abundance of juicy seeds denotes their creative and fertility magic. They symbolize the blood of life and therefore have a special place in youthful beauty potions, both internal and topical. Here, we use an extract that helps strengthen the proteins that form collagen and elastin and are full of fatty acids that lock moisture in and keep debris out. Pomegranate is also rich in vitamin C, which also helps stimulate collagen and can lighten age spots.

Cardamom helps with weight loss and maintenance, quells anxiety, fights disease, treats skin allergies, and improves complexion with antioxidant superpowers. It is a gift of Venus, infused with the magic of love, lust, beauty, and protection.

Cinnamon brings love and money magic, alongside a heightened sense of psychic awareness. This lovely fall and winter favorite is loaded with antioxidants and boasts anti-inflammatory benefits, sure to keep you well during the changing seasons.

Solar-powered walnuts are filled with protection magic and a wealth of beauty benefits, including minerals, iron, folate, and calcium.

Avocado oil is always my cold and dry weather savior for the rich, nutritive nectar that deeply moisturizes and cloaks the skin in the lush gifts of Venus.

And not to forget lovely maple, a low-glycemic, mineral-rich sweetener that also reduces inflammation in sensitive skin, banishes blemishes, and hydrates. The magic of the tree is of course present, with love and money magic enhanced by Jupiter.

THE ICE QUEEN

Facial Exfoliant & Masque

The first of my potions for this season will set you right again! First, let’s just mention her scent. From the winter forest comes her hidden treasure: a waft from the revered maple, blended with the rich sensuality of walnut flour, gifting a sublime ritual of the face that immediately gets you out of any cold weather grump and straight to heaven. It smells entirely edible, and it is. So when you’re treating your beautiful visage to the gifts of the earth, do enjoy the pleasure of every second. You’ll feel as if you are indulging—and you are—but not in the way that saps your beauty (read “sugary carbohydrates”). The results? Breathtaking. Your skin will thank you over and over again as your confidence soars and your energy returns. I especially love this on a new moon, but feel free to enjoy it anytime your skin or spirit needs a lift.

Conjures two treatments
2 tablespoons walnut flour
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon avocado oil
1 teaspoon pomegranate extract
Pinch cinnamon

*Please note: Cinnamon is highly active yet safe for even sensitive skin, especially in such small increments. It will bring a bit of rosy glow, but if you are in fear, please omit.

Beauty Witch Secret: A lovely addition to this blend, should you like, is a dollop of coconut crème, which I suggest for all three potions. The crème adds beauty fats, plus the magic of coconut for heightened spirituality, psychic awareness, and cleansing.

THE COLD MOON

Exfoliant & Bath Soak

Next, let’s get into a full moon soak that you can escape to all winter. This soak can be enjoyed any time, but it is wildly potent on the night of a peak lunation. It restores, revives, moisturizes, and manages to add potency while soothing your soul.

Conjures one treatment
½ cup Celtic salt
1 teaspoon pomegranate extract
1 to 2 tablespoons avocado oil
Seeds of one vanilla bean
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch cardamom

In another beautiful bowl, combine the Celtic salt with the other ingredients.

If you haven’t seeded a vanilla bean, here goes.

You’re going to want to master this process if you haven’t already—the vanilla bean is one of nature’s most glorious treats. Place the bean on a cutting board, and with a sharp knife—be careful, évidemment!—slice it lengthwise. Carefully open the pod to reveal the tiny black seeds within. Take the tip of the knife and scrape the seeds into your potion. Make sure to get all the precious magic.

Now stir the mixture in the bowl clockwise, and get ready. Massage into clean skin in circular motions, then in raking motions toward the heart. You can either shower it off or, much better, settle into a glorious bath to soak in her light.

Beauty Witch Secret: Add a container of coconut milk to your bath to enhance the ritual. This adds a sexy creaminess, immense silky moisture from beauty fats, and the watery, lunar magic of coconut.

HOT NIGHTS

Beauty Brew

And to spice up an otherwise perhaps too cozy winter’s night, let’s conjure this brew to ignite passion, be it your own lust for life or an adventure under the covers with a saucy friend. This one is warm and wicked, just as I intended …

Serves Two
1 cup coconut milk
Seeds of one vanilla bean
½ teaspoon cinnamon
3 cardamom pods, crushed
Pure maple syrup to taste

In a saucepan, scrape the seeds into the milk, add the cinnamon and crushed pods, and gently warm on a low flame. When it’s hot—be careful not to boil—strain and add maple syrup to taste. It’s fabulous.

Beauty Witch Secret: Why not add a splash of spirits? Bourbon, cognac, or even a nice whiskey will take this one even deeper. It’s winter. Get warm.

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Alise Marie is the author of The Beauty Witch's Secrets: Recipes and Rituals For The The Modern Goddess, contributor at Enchanted Living, and creative director at The Beauty Witch®. Visit her at thebeautywitch.com for eco-luxe potions, planetary readings, and seasonal offerings, and on Instagram @thebeautywitchofficial.