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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CU Boulder chapter.

I have been doing my makeup since I was 14 years old, and during the past five years, I have learned a lot of tips, and tricks, and most importantly, have found products that are my holy grails. In my opinion, it doesn’t matter how good you think you are at applying makeup if you aren’t using the right products based on your skin texture, color, and type. I have very oily skin, with large pores and lighter skin but dark hair. I try to stick with products that enhance my features instead of hiding them. I’m also a broke college student so it’s very important to me to find affordable products that still get the job done. 

#1 Primer 

If you haven’t tried the e.l.f. Power Grip Primer, you are truly missing out. I seriously don’t know how I ever did my makeup before using this primer. When I say that this primer makes my makeup stay on all day, I mean ALL DAY. No joke, I once fell asleep while my makeup was still on, woke up the next morning and most of it was still on like nothing happened. And just to add to the list of pros for this primer, I use the one that has 4% Niacinamide in it and my acne-prone skin has never thanked me more. 

The only con that I have for this product is that, at least for me, I go through a $10 bottle in like two weeks because I do my makeup so often but I do believe that it is worth the money. Also, if you’ve ever tried the Milk Hydro-grip Primer, this is an exact dupe, coming from someone who has tried both, but honestly, the e.l.f. one is even stickier and lasts longer. 

If there is one product that I recommend the most, it would be this one, and you can find it at most drug stores Walmart, Target, and Ulta locations. 

#2 Brows 

Honestly, this might just be an e.l.f commercial because the next product is their Soap Brow. Listen, I have some of the most stubborn, dark, bushy, uncooperative brows to ever exist and I have tried so many brow products to try and tame them. None have worked as well as this one. This stuff keeps my brows down, shaped and beautiful all day no matter what I have going on that day. And it lasts such a long time; I have had mine for over five months and it is still nowhere near close to being finished. 

For $6, I am definitely going to repurchase this product when I have to because I seriously cannot ever imagine going back to the brow products that I was using before. I highly recommend this product to anyone who feels like they can never get their brows how they want them. The only thing that I will warn you about is the necessity of a spoolie to apply it because it does not come with one. You’ll also need water to activate the wax. This does add extra steps and extra purchases, but I think that it is definitely worth it in the end. 

#3 Eyeliner 

Anyone who knows me knows that I am not myself if I do not have my signature wing on. Eyeliner has been my favorite part of my makeup routine since I started doing makeup, and I genuinely don’t like how I look without it anymore. I personally prefer a felt tip liner and also truly believe that the sharper the eyeliner, the better the look. 

I started using the Maybelline Master Precise All Day eyeliner during my sophomore year of high school and I have never looked back. I don’t even want to know how much money I have spent on this one product because although it is affordable, I have definitely repurchased it enough times for it to have made a significant dent in my bank account. 

As it says in the name, this is the most precise and long-lasting eyeliner that I have ever come across. It has a sharp felt tip that is perfect for creating the most beautiful eyeliner and even makes doing my inner corner super easy. 

For the sake of being transparent, I also use tape to make sure I get a super sharp eyeliner, but that’s mostly due to the fact that I have terrible hand-eye coordination. So if you are a master at that, this eyeliner will probably be the easiest thing you ever use. I love this eyeliner and it is also one of the first things I grab when I’m makeup shopping, and for only $8.99 I will always be a fan of this eyeliner. 

#4 Blush 

If there is ever a product that I think is worth the higher price tag, it is the Rare Beauty blushes. These blushes are one of the most pigmented makeup products that I have ever used. I have to be careful because even a little bit more than what I intended to put on will cover my entire face. Selena Gomez definitely deserves to be put in the makeup hall of fame with these blushes because, on top of their crazy pigment, the shade range is so amazing that I have to hold myself back from purchasing every single one. I personally love the shades “Grace” and “Hope,” but have heard nothing but good things about all the other shades. 

Now, unfortunately, each of these costs $23, but since they are so crazy-pigmented, they will last a pretty long time. I just recently finished my first one ever after over a year of having it. It’s really hard to get all of the product out of the tube, so if I was able to get all of it, it probably would’ve lasted me a couple more weeks. Also, you can also only purchase these at Sephora or on the official Rare Beauty website. 

While I do highly recommend making the investment in a Rare Beauty blush, I also understand that it’s not in everyone’s financial range. You can still find so many great blushes for cheaper at a drugstore. 

#5 Setting Powder and Spray

Once again, I am an oily girl and before taking the time to find which products worked the best for my skin type, my makeup would barely stay on for a couple of hours. That was until I found the masterpiece that is the KimChi Chic Beauty Puff Puff Pass Setting Powder. This powder combined with the e.l.f Stay All Day Micro-Setting Mist are amazing and work so well with each other. 

The KimChi Chic powder makes my skin look so smooth and soft It’s like a real-life filter, and I don’t know what magic is inside the e.l.f. setting spray, but it works wonders. I literally used to look so shiny before using this combo but as soon as I started using it, I realized just how much better my makeup could be. 

I personally got my KimChi Chic powder off of TikTok Shop (and I fully understand if you don’t trust that) but the giant one was on sale, meaning I got 80 grams of this fantastic powder for less than $30. If that means absolutely nothing to you, most powders are around 6 grams for $10. Needless to say, the investment was worth it to me. The e.l.f. setting spray is, however, only $10, and lasts a pretty good amount of time. I have been using it for over a year now and have only repurchased it about three times. I truly believe that my makeup would be a million times worse without the help of both of these products. 

The disclaimer that I will give for these products is this: if you have super dry skin, these products are only going to enhance that dryness, making you look patchy and scaly. If you do have dry skin, I recommend a pressed powder instead of a loose one but unfortunately, I have no experience with dry skin so I cannot help you there. 

I love expressing myself through makeup and using it as an art form, so finding products that not only get the job done but also help me enhance my features is so important to me. I am so thankful to have found these products and will continue to use them until the day I die.

Adamari Ruelas

CU Boulder '26

Adamari Ruelas is a contributing writer for the Her Campus chapter at CU Boulder. Her job within Her Campus is to write at least two articles a month, one contributing to a theme week. Outside of Her Campus, Adamari is a first-generation college student who is currently a sophomore at the University of Colorado Boulder, majoring in English Creative Writing. During her spring semester of freshman year, Adamari studied abroad in London, wanting to learn about different cultures while also being able to study in a Literature-rich city. Adamari also interned at the Aurora Public Schools Communications Department during her senior year of High School, where she learned how to write articles, interview subjects, and create social media posts for the department under the guidance of multiple professionals. In her free time, Adamari enjoys reading and writing, at least when she isn’t hanging out with her friends or playing Overwatch with her little siblings. She is a very proud Mexican-American who loves sharing her culture as long as Mexican history with anyone who lends an ear. Adamari is also a massive nerd, especially with Harry Potter (she’s a Ravenclaw btw) and Marvel. In the future, Adamari hopes to become a published author, sharing her works with the world and hoping they help people the way books have helped her.