Makeup in Gambier: A Freshman Starter Pack

The purpose of this article is not to perpetuate gender stereotypes, and to say that girls should wear makeup. These are my suggestions, and this is my experience with makeup, which I hope can use to help those who are interested in makeup.

Being a Freshman at Kenyon is like being a Freshman in High School , because almost no one you know has a car. You have to fish for rides or take public transportation to get outside of our lovely Gambier campus. With these restrictions, us freshmen have to make do with what is available here. The only two places to shop on campus are the Village Market and Kenyon Bookstore. These two hold little more than the bare necessities, so if you’re looking for a wide selection of anything besides greeting cards, you’re going to have to go into Mt. Vernon. So, what are we lowly freshmen to do when we want makeup and can’t get a ride to CVS? Well, we rely on the sad strip of makeup products tucked away in the conveyance section of the Bookstore.  

Pictured: The most makeup we have available to us in the near vicinity. 

Because I’ve been a makeup fanatic since the 6th grade, I was curious to see if I could create a decent, everyday makeup look with the limited selection of makeup here, and see if the products are worth the price. Check out my findings!


BB Cream

 I’ve always loved the concept of BB cream because it’s a little miracle worker. It does the job of a moisturizer, sunscreen, and a foundation. Although I like how foundation evens out my skin tone, I’ve never been a huge fan of wearing it everyday because I don’t like that heavy and fussy feeling it leaves my skin. I do love sunscreen, though, because it decreases the chance of skin cancer, skin discoloration and premature aging. Sunscreen should be worn everyday, even when the sun is behind the clouds! Similarly, moisturizer should be worn everyday to prevent the skin from becoming dry; it’s especially needed during the cold Ohio months up ahead. It helps to restore the skin’s moisture and elasticity, thus fighting off wrinkles. It’s amazing how a BB cream can do all this. Can you believe there was a time when it didn’t exist?!

   TIP:  If you have combination to oily skin like me, I would recommend that you lightly blot or brush your face with a powder foundation on top of the BB cream to keep your T-zone from shining.


My thoughts: The bookstore sells Covergirl’s BB cream in two shades - fair to light and light to medium. It’s upsetting that the bookstore (and makeup companies in general) doesn’t accommodate people with darker skin tones, but I’ll save my thoughts on that for another time. For now, I’ll stick to how I feel about the product itself: I appreciate how the consistency is not thick, so it doesn’t feel like it’s clogging my pores. I don’t feel like I’m wearing makeup on my skin, just moisturizer. This BB cream does what a SPF, moisturizer and foundation can’t do alone, and at $7.89 per tube, it’s definitely worth buying.



I don’t like to wear eyeliner on the bottom waterline because it doesn’t tend to stay on. Instead, I use either a liquid or pencil eyeliner to line my top lash-line. The effect is the look of a denser lash-line and larger, more alert eyes.

   TIP: Pencil eyeliner can also be used as an eyebrow pencil. The trick to creating natural looking brows is by following your normal eyebrow shape and using quick strokes to imitate individual brow hairs in the places where the hair is sparse. If you have black hair, DO NOT use black eyeliner to fill in your eyebrows. Go for a black-brown instead. If you have blonde hair, go for a taupe.


My thoughts: The bookstore sells both liquid and pencil eyeliner, but if you’re a broke college student on a budget, then you will be better off investing in a pencil since it can perform double duty. CoverGirl’s Perfect Blend Eyeliner is actually better as an eyebrow pencil because the consistency is denser, thus it takes multiple strokes to get the desired color on your lash/waterline but the dense consistency is perfect for making dull, individual eyebrow hairs. For a pencil that serves multiple purposes, it’s worth the $5.43.



Mascara pretty much serves the same purpose as eyeliner: to draw more attention to the eyes and make them look more awake. Mascara is awesome because a little can go a long way. However, bad, clumpy mascara can be a glaring faux pas. 


My thoughts: The Bookstore has a substantial variety of mascaras. I chose the “Clump Crusher,” because of its many positive reviews and because it’s cheaper than getting the classic orange “Lash Blast.” This is, by far, my favorite purchase. It separates each lash and makes them look significantly more voluminous. For mascara that creates beautiful lashes comparable to high-end brands without the high-end price, this $8.69 mascara is a sure bet.



Since the bookstore doesn’t sell lipstick, lip-gloss is the only alternative if you want something more than lip-balm. I have a love-hate relationship with lipgloss. It’s nice for a short while, but then it leaves my lips dry, cracked and feeling a bit betrayed.


The Burt’s Bees 100% Natural Lip Shine isn’t much of exception to my previous ideas. It lasts for about 30 minutes, depending on how much you put on. It does dry my lips a little bit, but it doesn’t leave it cracked; I just make sure I put lip balm before and after. At $6.49 per tube, it’s a bit pricey, but if you can afford to splurge on something small for yourself, this is an item to consider.

     Overall, everything cost $30, and I’m pretty happy with my purchases. I can create a look that I feel comfortable wearing some days and even everyday. Even though Kenyon has a lack of stores to choose from, one of the greatest parts about the school is how accepting the population is. In our Kenyon bubble, you can choose to express yourself however you want, so there is no pressure to wear makeup or to not wear makeup. It truly is whatever you’re comfortable with, and that’s how it should always be.