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Back-to-School Beauty: College Edition!

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Whether you’re headed back for another semester, or you’re about to start your first year as a freshman, college is an exciting time in anyone’s life!  You’re out on your own, meeting new people and constantly learning and trying new things.  So, why would you stick with your same-old look?  College is about reinventing yourself and becoming someone new, someone exciting… the someone you always wanted to be!  So with that being said, it is time to reinvent your look!  Here’s my back-to-school shopping list, special for you Uni students (with a small budget in mind).  Take notes, and get to work!

Part One:  Storage

Things I wish I knew when I first went to college #1 - you’re going to lose EVERYTHING in your dorm room, especially if you don’t have a lot of space to organize things.  I strongly recommend that you invest some of your Beauty Budget in storage methods for your cosmetic supplies… not just makeup, but hair, skin, and nail products as well!  You can get tons of inexpensive storage solutions right at your local superstore.

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These are all Rubbermaid containers you could get from Walmart, Target, etc.  The small one is a mini size that you can put right on top of your desk or dresser!  The large one would be perfect for a serious beauty lover with a big collection.  I have all of these (various colors and styles) and use them all the time!

I also love the look of acrylic cosmetic organizers - they are much fancier and stylish.  You can find these at the Container Store or other online stores!

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If you’re an artsy type of person with a relatively small collection of essentials, you could make your own magnet board!  It’s really easy and fun to do.  All you need is a sheet of metal, which you can get at a hardware or craft store (or a cookie sheet!!), molding to make a frame (optional), and small magnets to attach to the back of your products.

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(image @sallyannk)

For hair tools & products, get an over-the-door shoe organizer and hang it on your wall, closet, dresser, etc.  It’s great for storing items that would get lost or damaged otherwise!  You could also get some cheap metal baskets from the dollar store to keep tools in just after use, while they’re cooling down.

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(image @brit.co)

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Part Two:  Late to Class

It will happen… you sleep in too late, you lose track of time, or you’re still trying to cram… but at least once in your college career you’ll be running late!  You might not want to run into the classroom looking like the grim reaper, so you need a few quick and easy products to get you looking put together and alive in just a couple minutes! Here are my picks, and how I used them -

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First, apply a tinted moisturizer or BB cream (I used Garnier Miracle Skin Perfecter Oil-Free, $11).  Your skin will look more even in seconds, while caring for your skin at the same time.  For the eyes, try a cream eyeshadow (like Maybelline Color Tattoo, $5 - I used “Barely Branded”).  You can apply the color to your lids quickly with just one swipe of your finger!  Add a little definition by sweeping a light brown eyeshadow in the crease and outer corner.  Finish of the eyes with a bit of volumizing mascara (I used Jordana Best Lash Extreme, $3).  Bring a little life back to your face with a quick swipe of bronzer over the high points of your face (like Essence Sun Club Bronzer, $4) and brighten your lips with some moisturizing tinted balm (such as ELF Essential Tinted Lip Balm, $1).

Always keep a spare pen and notebook in your purse, in case you run out of your room without the right stuff!  And keep a bookshelf next to the door, so that you can quickly find the right book as you leave.

Part Three:  Important Meeting or Presentation

Whether it’s an interview for work study, a meeting about a scholarship or a presentation for your midterm, it’s important to look professional every now and then!  You don’t want to overdo it (unless the time is right), so keep it simple with just a few key products!

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Cover any imperfections with a heavy duty concealer (like Hard Candy Glamoflauge, $6) to keep important people listening instead of focusing on any negatives.  Pick a neutral shade for your lips, keeping it sophisticated (I used Rimmel Lasting Finish #26, $4) but add a little pop of color to your cheeks to look more friendly and attractive (NYC Color Palette, $4).  Define your eyes beyond just using mascara by swiping on a dark eyeliner to your upper lashline, smudging down along the lower as well (Milani Liquif’Eye Pencil, $6).

Part Four:  Hot Date


College is all about meeting new people, and forming new connections!  It’s good to take a break from studying every once in a while, and what could be more fun than going out with someone you’re really interested in?  It’s easy to get the perfect, unforgettable look without spending too much money (and without keeping your date waiting too long!)

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To create this romantic look, you only need a few essentials. Over top of your foundation, bronzer and/or blush, you’ll want to create beautiful, glowing skin.  Do this by highlighting the tops of your cheekbones with a light, shimmery powder (like Wet n Wild Color Icon Bronzer in “Reserve Your Cabana”, $5).  Create a light yet smouldering eye look with a neutral shadow palette (like this L’Oreal Color Riche palette “Good Luck Charm”, $7).  Apply a light, shimmery champagne color all over your lid, and define your crease with a medium brown shade.  Add drama by darkening the outer corner and lower lashline with a dark brown color.  Create a cute, flirty flick with liquid eyeliner (I used NYC Liquid Eyeliner, $3) and add some false lashes (ELF Dramatic Lash Kit, $1).  Your eyes will be captivating, but still nice and light to compliment some bold, kissable lips!  Pick any shade of lip liner you like (I chose NYX Retractable Lip Liner in True Red, $3) and carefully outline and fill in your entire lips for a long-lasting look that won’t fade through dinner.

Part Five:  Going Out

One of the best parts of your college experience, and probably what will end up being the most memorable parts, is being able to go out with your friends.  Sometimes you might have a little too much fun, but it’s important to appreciate your freedom and let loose a bit!  Get ready quick and keep your look flawless all night long with a few multipurpose products!

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Prep your skin to create a flawless, long-lasting base by using a foundation primer before any other makeup (like Hard Candy Sheer Envy, $8).  This look is all about the eyes, so keep your lips neutral and easy with a sweet-tasting, pigmented gloss (I used NYX Butter Gloss in “Creme Brulee”, $4)  When your eye makeup is dark, it’s wise to make sure your brows are filled in and defined (use something like Wet n Wild’s Ultimate Brow Kit, $5).  Use a cream liner as both a base for your eyeshadow and a liner for your waterline (I used ELF Creme Eyeliner, $3).  Blend some dark brown eyeshadow over top to soften, and blend out the edges with some face powder to create a perfect transition.  A tip for making fake lashes look seamless on smokey eyes is to use a dark-toned lash glue (like Duo Dark Tone Adhesive, $4), which will double as liner and keep your lashes in place all night, no matter what.

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Stay tuned for the next edition of Back-To-School Beauty, where we’ll talk about all the essentials for any look!

What was your favorite part?  Will you be recreating any looks?  If you do, make sure you tag #drugstoreprincess so that I can see! Stay beautiful!

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