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Tips to Up Your Makeup Game This Semester

We can all admit it — when we’re on the go in school, whether it’s to class, the library, or to our job, we have about little-to-no time to spend on pampering ourselves.

So many things are going on in the morning. It takes energy to wake up and get spruced up for the day, and eat breakfast, that applying makeup just adds on to the ongoing list of things needed to be done in a short timeframe. In order to save time in the morning and product (that, in theory, saves you money), here are some makeup routines for different time frames one may have in the morning.

For 5 minutes 

Here is a lightweight routine that still touches up on imperfections: 

Cover up under eye circles from staying up studying with some concealer, comb out eyebrows then shape with a pencil, a little blush for color to your face (I recommend Milani baked blushes as they’re cheap yet so pigmented), then finish off with chapstick or lip gloss of your choice. Quick and cheap brands I recommend to choose from for this fast routine are using the Morphe Brow Pencil for $5 available at Ulta, which comes with a spoolie to brush out sparse hairs and a shade in your color to fill in any gaps. Compared to most brow pencils that are priced at $25, I think this one is a deal that is of great quality. Also Caffeine Eye Cream and Rare Beauty Liquid Touch Brightening Concealer are options for barely there/light coverage while still erasing the face of any dark imbalances.

For 10 minutes

If you have a little more time to spare because you woke up earlier than expected or didn’t sleep in to your alarm, there are a few additional steps you can add along to prior steps. 

For starters, a great quality foundation goes a long way. It is crucial to find a foundation that is almost an exact match to your overall tone, as your foundation is the base to every other piece of makeup that you use. Based on your foundation range, it will factor which colors are best for your skin and if you rock anywhere from light, medium, or full coverage look. Great foundations that are shade inclusive include the Maybelline Fit Me Matte Foundation ($7) and the Fenty Hydrating Longwear Foundation (now $18!). Matte and Hydrating are two foundation options to choose from for your skin type, whether you tend to be on the oilier or dry side. Matte foundations are for those who want to soak up their pores and dewy foundations are for those who don’t want a cakey makeup look. The best part is that these brands have reverse options for oily and dry skin types, and they’re two great options based on the budget you’re on. 

Bronzer is a great way to give yourself a natural tan or bring back the color you’ve lost in this cold weather. Milani and Makeup Revolution have some great bronzers that are so pigmented for such a low and affordable cost. Highlighting is a way to create the look of the sun bouncing off the high points of your face, and can get pretty creative with shimmers to brighten your day. We also can’t forget about mascara to accentuate your lashes. Make them look longer with any kind of Maybelline mascara, a brand known for their reality bending mascara or Too Faced Better than Sex mascara, whuch comes in its original and waterproof formula.

For 15+ minutes

If you’ve made it this far, then congrats! On these glorious days, you should treat yourself to getting dolled up and looking nice for your classes. It’s of course ultimately up to you to take things to the next level but it is an option there to play with. Contouring is a fantastic way to sculpt your face to the next level. You really only need a darker shade of makeup to apply on certain endpoints of your face and cheekbones. This could be a darker foundation, concealer, or an actual contour stick made for this purpose. I personally recommend the Matte Contour sticks by Fenty which are available in dark shades. They are the perfect texture to glide your makeup in any spot you wish. 

After you’ve finished sculpting your face, allow time to set your masterpiece with a setting powder. This can be a loose translucent powder to brighten your high points, or a banana powder to highlight your under eyes specifically for darker skin tones. A great brand to try for powders is Laura Mercier and they have mini sizes if you want to have a trial run or if you can’t afford a full size at this time. While setting, go in with some eyeshadow. This is your chance to show some creativity and your personality as to how you paint your eyes.

Too Faced has plenty of themed, scent-filled palettes that are under $50, ranging from being modeled after chocolate to peanut butter and jelly. Also, line your eyes with some Nyx Epic Ink Liner, which was listed on Allure’s Best of Beauty 2021 products. Lastly, either you can stick with your go to gloss or kick it up a notch with a lip liner/lipstick duo. Milani has some great drugstore options to get a hold of some matte lipstick that are in qualities similar to brand name matte lipsticks like Mac. Matte Naked and Matte Beauty are nude colored options for varying skin tones, with Matte Confident being a bright, bold red for special occasions.

One thing you have to factor with your makeup is your undertone. This is not necessarily your skin tone but the overall color range it is gravitating towards. This can usually be foretold by the color of your veins or the color that is underneath the first layer of the skin.

For example, if you have a pink or blue undertone, you are in the cool range. If you are in the warm golden or yellow range, you are a warm undertone. If you honestly can’t tell or if it’s a mix of both, you may be a neutral undertone. There are of course shades in between these ranges including peach shades (if you have a mixture of yellow and red undertones) or olive (having an overall green shade in your skin). These two colors can fit in the neutral range as they are a mix of shades from warm and cool.

It is important you follow your skin tone and undertone and use colors that match your natural tone best, as you want to find makeup shades that flatter your natural beauty and colors coming out of your skin and not make you look too icy, ashy, or grey. This is what can happen if you use shades that are for the opposite undertone; they can completely change the overarching look of how your makeup presents, when in actuality you are aiming for a barely there, like skin look.

Overall, there is a possibility to experiment with your makeup looks while on the go everyday. While the semester may be getting to be a hectic time, you can still sneak in a few colorful looks here and there to spruce up your day. No matter how much time you have in the morning, you can always make the best of it to create a flawless beauty routine with few products needed. Of course not everyday do you need to have a flawless, airbrushed look perfected to a tee. Do what works best for your skin and with your time!

Hi my name is Egesi Iheduru and I am originally from Phoenix, Arizona but am now studying Psychology and Cinema Studies at New York University! I love to watch all types of movies, ranging from indie art films to superhero franchises (forever Team Marvel!). Some of my hobbies include cheerleading, gymnastics, singing, and shopping at the mall. In the near future, I see myself working in either political psychology or screenwriting/acting in feature films. I'm very excited to be joining Her Campus to share some of my wisdom I've learned throughout my college experience.
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