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I feel like a lot of college students can relate when I say that I just do not have any time or motivation to do my makeup in the morning before class. With studying all night and having to wake up for those 7 am classes, the last thing most of us want to do is put on some makeup before heading out. While there is nothing wrong with rocking the natural look, sometimes throwing on just a couple of products changes your entire day! Makeup can make you feel more confident, which is key to taking on college life. It can also put you in a positive mindset and allows you to express yourself.  Plus, you never know who you might meet and first impressions are key! Full glam isn’t necessary but the outline and tips below are just guides for simple and effective everyday looks.

Face Primer

Primer helps foundation last longer and can help cover blemishes or lines. It’s not essential, but it can be beneficial for certain people. It’s also important to apply moisturizer and sunscreen (if your foundation doesn’t have SPF) before you apply anything!

Tools: Clean hands!

Products: NYX Honey Dew (drugstore), Too Faced Hangover Rx (mid-range)

Tip: For dark circles, go with a peach/orange primer. For redness, go with green. If you have normal skin, you can go with a primer that’s essentially untinted. 

Tip: Avoid silicone-based products to avoid feeling greasy

Photo by Manu Camargo on Unsplash

Foundation and Concealer

Depending on your skin type and coverage you want, this step may vary. Some people don’t wear foundation, some substitute it with a different product, and some use a 2-in-1 product that acts as both foundation and concealer. It’s really up to you.

Tools: EcoTools Perfecting Blender Sponge (way cheaper than the Beauty Blender and works great)

Products: Revlon Colorstay Foundation, Maybelline Fit Me Foundation, Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer, Wet n Wild PhotoFocus Concealer

Tip: Keep the concealer minimal and save the triangle-shaped method for glam looks. For everyday looks you only need a couple swipes near the inner corner and then work the concealer out. 

Tip: I like using a brush (EcoTools) for initially applying concealer since there is more control of the product. Then I use a sponge to blend out the edges. 


Brows are important because they shape your face! You don’t need a super carved-out look with concealer, just filling it in to define the shape is effective.

Product: NYX Micro Brow Pencil (drugstore)

Tip: Use the spoolie to brush up the brow hair so you can get an idea of the shape and use small light strokes to fill the brow. Then use the spoolie to blend the product with the brow for a more natural look.


This is not an essential product, but when used subtlety and correctly it can make a difference. Typically, you apply highlighter along your cheekbone and under your brows. 

Tools: I recommend smaller highlighter brushes so that there is more control of the product

Products: Any from Wet N Wild or Colourpop

Tip: You can use a highlighter in the inner corner of your eyes to make them pop and look more awake!

Tip: Eyeshadow can also be used as a highlighter sometimes. I like Maybelline Expert Wear Shadow in The Glo Down. 


For an everyday look, I think sticking with mascara is fine. I don’t think eyeshadow is necessary or I would keep it to a minimum with a shimmery neutral shade across the lid. Eyeliner is also not essential, but good products are NYX Epic Ink Liner (brush tip pen) and any NYX eyeliner pencils. 

Tools: For eyeshadow, I like Morphe brushes. Having a flat all-over brush and a crease brush is all you need for simple looks. 

Products: Any drugstore mascaras are the way to go. Maybelline has a good range of products.

Tip: It might be best to do eyeshadow before applying foundation or concealer since there is usually fall-out from the powder. 

Tip: Concealer can act as an eye primer for eye shadow

Photo by Allef Vinicius on Unsplash


To keep the look simple, a tinted lip balm, gloss, or nothing at all is the best way to go. 

Products: Buxom and Fenty glosses (mid-range), Neutrogena Revitalizing Lip Balm (drugstore)


It’s important to remember that everything I listed and said above applies differently to each person – not everything works the same for everyone. But that’s what makes makeup fun, being able to experiment and create looks tailored specifically to you!


Hi! My name is Kirsten and I am from Peoria, Arizona. I am currently a freshman at GCU studying Hospitality Management. When I'm not studying at the library you can find me listening to music, watching Netflix, and hanging out with friends.
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