How is it that time of year again?! I can’t believe it’s almost August and back-to-school season. Where has this year gone? Even though I’m not in school anymore, back-to-school season is still a fun time of year. Back-to-school shopping is in full swing but you can’t forget about your makeup! Whether you are a teenager or college student, I think this guide will be great for anyone wanting to look put together on a daily basis. Let’s get into my back-to-school makeup kit essentials!
When I started thinking about this post and what to include, I really wanted to keep in mind a student and the priorities they have. I know not everybody even cares about makeup or getting ready in the morning. But I think it’s safe to say that most girls want to look decent and put together for class but just don’t have a lot of time in the mornings.
When I was in high school, I used to wear a full face of makeup everyday and wouldn’t mind getting up early to make time for it. In college, I went the complete opposite route and barely gave myself enough time to get dressed before I needed to leave. So with that in mind, I kind of went in the middle and created layers of products that range from everyday basics when you have hardly any time to a full face if you end up waking up on time!
LAYER 1 EVERYDAY BASICS – a.k.a you don’t have much time but still want to look put together.
These products are really the bare-bones basics for a fresh face in the morning. If you don’t do anything else besides use these products, I still think you can look awake and decent for school or class! These would be my non-negotiables.
e.l.f BB Cream
Let’s be real – on an everyday basis you definitely don’t need to wear foundation! However, I do recommend creating a base that will be moisturizing and will even out your skin tone. I have a lot of pink undertones in my complexion so just a light layer of BB cream really helps to even out the coloring and make my face look less blotchy.
I think a BB cream would be a perfect base product for everyday. It’ll provide moisture, some coverage, even skin tone and SPF just to name some benefits! This e.l.f BB cream is one of the best affordable options and comes in a decent amount of shades so that you can hopefully find one that matches you well! Read more about drugstore bb creams and why you should be using one here.
L’Oreal Paris Infallible Pro Glow Concealer
In order to look wide awake and bright eyed, I think concealer is a must. Whether you have dark circles or not, it still makes you look more awake and fresh-faced. The L’Oreal pro glow concealer is a great option for everyday because it provides lightweight coverage and will help your under-eyes look bright.
Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer
I included bronzer as an everyday product because I feel like everybody’s face looks better with a little dimension. When you just have a base and concealer, your complexion tends to look flat and dull. Bronzer will allow you to bring back some color to your skin and add some dimension in contour areas. This will help shape your face a little and give it some life! I’ve raved about this Physicians Formula bronzer before because it’s just that good! It’s a great neutral color that won’t look unnatural or orange so its perfect for everyday.
essence Make Me Brow Eyebrow Gel Mascara
Brows are another category that are hard to leave out from an everyday routine. They give your face structure and help bring out your features. I’m embarrassed to look back at pictures from high school when super thin brows were in! So glad I learned how to do my brows and can’t imagine going back. This brow gel from essence is so quick and easy! The wand is like a tiny mascara wand with tinted gel that you just swipe through your brows. It adds shape and fills them in all while looking natural. Plus its only $2.99!
L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara
If I were to just do one thing before I walked out of the house every morning to look more awake and put together, I would apply mascara! Nothing makes your eyes look brighter and more feminine than a quick coat of mascara. This new mascara from L’Oreal is my latest obsession! It’s seriously so good. I wrote a post all about it if you want to read my review here. All you need is one quick coat and you are set all day.
LAYER 2 AMP IT UP – a.k.a when you have 10 extra minutes
Now these products can be added into the first layer of products to amp up your look a little bit. I don’t think they are necessary for everyday but if you have 5-10 extra minutes to get ready, these products would be my next recommendations to take your look a step further.
Maybelline Super Stay Better Skin Powder
This is an amazing powder compact that’s perfect to throw in your bag. It has coverage like a foundation so will offer more coverage than the BB cream if you want to build up your base. It will mattify any shine and control your oils. It’s great for mid-day touch ups in between class too! The formula has salicylic acid which helps with acne control to give you clearer skin! It’s an amazing all-in-one product that provides tons of benefits for a busy schedule.
Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Eyeliner
A great trick to look more awake and wide-eyed is to line your bottom waterline with nude eyeliner. This will make your eyes look bigger because it gives the illusion of more white at the bottom of your eye. This is a quick 10 second step that can really make a difference. Rimmel’s nude kohl liner is amazing for everyday use!
L.A. Girl Blush
Blush fits into the same category as bronze because it gives your face more dimension and color. I think bronzer gives you more natural dimension all over your face but blush adds in some color that really helps bring life back into it! Especially if you start building up your base to have more coverage, I think it’s even more important to add back in products like bronzer and blush to create a more natural look. These L.A. girl blushes are so amazing and they have a great formula. The color range is gorgeous and the pans are huge! Many of the shades are great everyday blush shades that would go with most looks.
NYX Butter Gloss
Adding a little lip treatment can really take your look up a notch. Whether you are feeling neutral or bold, there are so many options to play with. NYX butter glosses are some of my favorite everyday lip glosses to wear. I probably wear Tiramisu almost everyday. The color is my lip color but better and gives them a great moisturized texture.
LAYER 3 OPTIONAL GLAM – a.k.a when you wake up on time
Now these products are totally optional like the category states but sometimes it’s fun to glam up your look every now and then. Maybe you have a presentation that day or have plans after school and can’t get back home? The products that make up this third layer will compliment the products in the first 2 layers and will help create a more complete overall makeup look.
Wet n Wild Photo Focus Foundation
This is an amazing full coverage and affordable foundation! If you opt for foundation as your base layer, I would highly recommend this product! It has great staying power and will give you a flawless look. It’s super easy to blend out and also buildable if you have certain areas that need additional coverage. Plus the finish is a satin/matte finish so will help control your oils. Not to mention the price tag is like $5.99….whaaaatt!!
Rimmel Magnif’Eyes Eyeshadow Palette
A trusty eyeshadow palette is a must if you are planning to do any eyeshadow on a regular basis. I recommend this palette because it has a mix of everything – light and dark, matte and shimmer and I think the colors are universally flattering on most people. You may have some extra time on your hands if you are opting for eyeshadow but you may not have time to sit there and think of an eye look. This palette really makes it easy for you without having to pick up any other products.
Makeup Revolution Vivid Baked Highlighter
Adding a little glow is like the icing on the cake! Highlight can go unnoticeable to many but can make such a difference in your overall look. These Makeup Revolution baked highlighters are so incredible and can be subtle or intense depending on your preference. Apply some to the high points of your cheeks, inner corners of the eye, brow bone and down the bridge of your nose for a little extra sparkle.
Milani Make It Last Setting Spray
Last but certainly not least is setting spray! This is the finishing touch to your look. This setting spray not only melts your makeup together for a natural finish but helps lock your look into place so it will last all day. If you are taking the time to use all these products, don’t skip this step! It will really help the look last so much longer. This is one of my all time fave products from Milani. The mist is so fine and refreshing and won’t mess up your makeup.
Those are all my product recommendations for a back-to-school makeup kit! Of course, you can add in eyeliner, eyebrow pencils or gels, different lip products, etc so feel free to create your own unique look that works with your schedule and routine. These are the products I usually start out with and layer into my looks depending on how much time I have.
Wishing everybody a fun and successful school year! As for the rest of us, wouldn’t it be nice to still have a summer vacation?! Those were the days….
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This was a great post! I like the way you broke it down into three categories of how much time you have. I’ve heard such great things about the Wet ‘N Wild foundation, and now I really want to check it out:)
Thanks Abby! You definitely need to check out that foundation. It’s amazing for the price 😱