Beautiful girl smile and reading a book on a spring day - outdoor portrait
Image: Shutterstock/Giovanni G

College is the time where you really begin to find out who you are. This stage of life is weird yet exciting—you are slowly transitioning out of the care of your parents, and figuring out what the hell you’re going to do with your life. With all of the stress and crazy schedules college comes with, it becomes hard to keep up with a beauty routine on a daily basis. However, by keeping a few things in mind and knowing what works for you, you can follow your own college beauty tips to be the cutest girl on campus, inside and out.

Start with your skin

You’ve probably heard a million times that if your skin is healthy, your makeup will look 100 times better. Hello, it’s true. Not only will healthy skin create a beautiful, smooth canvas for your makeup to lay on top of, it will look much better without any makeup at all.

There will be countless mornings where you wake up after a night of little sleep, and the thought of putting makeup on for class straight up makes you laugh. If you follow a simple skincare routine each morning and night, you won’t even have to worry about makeup on days like these.

Sunscreen is something you probably don’t think about packing when heading off to college, but it’s just as essential as anything else. You don’t want wrinkles, right? Have sunscreen on hand for any impromptu pool or lake days.

Splurging and saving

When it comes to certain beauty products like mascara and eyeliner, you are safe buying them at the drugstore (places like Walgreens, Target, Walmart, CVS, etc.). Drugstore makeup has been stepping up it’s game recently, and most brands have lots of products that are totally comparable to high end brands.

When deciding where to buy essentials, know what products you use most and that you can’t live without. Find cheaper products at the drugstore that you love and stick to them. Let’s be real, there really is no need to spend $27 on mascara when you could get multiple products for that same price.

However, we can treat ourselves every once in awhile right? Chances are, there are certain products at Ulta and/or Sephora that you are dying to have. Save up a little and go get them, you deserve it. Pick one product that works extra well for you, and purchase it when you need it. Foundation, lipstick or brushes are all things that are easily much more expensive, but usually it’s worth it. Pick the areas in which you’ll splurge and save.

Keep it simple

Once you have your full arsenal of beauty products, learn the best way for you to use them. A smokey eye and dark lip isn’t exactly the go-to look for class, unless you’re into full glam all day everyday. In that case, you do you girl. But if you’re into a more natural look while you’re being studious, keep it as simple as possible. A bit of BB cream/foundation, bronzer and mascara is really all you need for day to day. After all, your focus should be on your studies, not on your makeup right?

Remove your makeup at night

This is one tip that I can’t stress enough. Forgetting to remove your makeup after a night out, no matter how hard it is to remember, is so bad for your skin. It basically clogs your pores even more than makeup usually does, and prevents your skin from being able to breathe and repair itself over night. Wrinkles and acne will haunt you if you don’t remove it at the end of the day, and nobody wants those monsters.


College is a time of growth and self discovery, so it’s also the perfect time to experiment with your makeup. Try a bold liner, bright eyeshadow colors or an extreme dark lip. Or, if you’re used to bold looks, switch it up with a light and natural color scheme. Stepping outside of your comfort zone in the beauty world could introduce you to a whole new feeling of confidence and happiness. Why not?