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What’s in my back-to-school makeup bag?

I know, I know, makeup isn’t for everyone. But, without a doubt, it is something that we love to experiment with during our post-secondary years. Although the real hype tends to surround high-end products, I have found a few diamonds in the world of drugstore makeup to keep you on budget! By no means do I think that you should wear all these products every day or carry them to campus with you, heck you can wear no makeup at all! These are just some of my inexpensive faves! 


Pearlessence Coconut Hydrating Face Mist ($10-$16)

I know this isn’t necessarily a makeup product, but I’m a strong believer in the importance of a hydrated, clean surface for your makeup. After doing your regular morning face cleansing routine, apply a few spritzes of this face mist all over your face. It smells great and helps your foundation/concealer apply like a dream. You can also apply it during the day if you feel like your makeup needs some freshening up, just pour a little in a small bottle to keep in your on-the-go makeup bag. I got mine at Winners for $9.99! 


NYX Total Control Drop Foundation ($16) 

The beauty of this foundation is how versatile it is. Let me warn you that the formula is very watery, however, it is totally effective. I love that it’s buildable and can be worn as a medium or a full coverage in my opinion. It does a great job at covering hyperpigmentation and redness while lasting throughout a long day on campus or at work. This product is best applied with a flat or rounded kabuki and perfected with a makeup sponge. Worried you won’t find a proper shade?!  24 options are available to you! 


Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer ($12.99)

Age Rewind and I go waaaaay back to the days where I only wore some under eye concealer. This stuff is incredible. I find that you can apply the “Brightener” shade under the eyes for a fresh, more awake look and your skin tone shade on blemishes or other areas that you may need it. My easy go-to “ no makeup, makeup” look is usually some of that set with some powder.  


Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder ($8)

This one is also one of my all-time faves. It’s long lasting, light weight and very inexpensive. I love this as an on-the-go product and it’s been a keeper in my school makeup bag for what seems like forever. You can apply this on your T-zone throughout the day if you are concerned about getting oily and you can use it to set concealer. I will warn you, the packaging is not that great and the lid breaks very easily, so be careful! 


NYX Cheek Contour Duo Palette ($15)

It’s so nice to pick up one compact and have it accomplish two steps for you. This duo comes in 6 different beautiful shades and is meant to give you a natural-looking contour, which I think is perfect for everyday wear. Pro tip, make it eyeshadow: you can use the lighter shade all over the eye lid and add the bronze shade in your crease for some definition


Milani Blush ($8)

These blushes give you the most beautiful radiant glow while adding a hint of rose to your cheeks. I often skip the contour duo palette and apply the blush on the apples of my cheeks and a little higher in the direction of my cheekbone. 


Maybelline Master Strobing Liquid Illuminating Highlighter ($12.99)

I recently started using this and immediately fell in love with it. My favourite thing about this highlighter is that it truly gives your skin the appearance of a glow from within. Because it’s a liquid, you can easily blend it in with your fingers for a soft illuminating appearance. 


L’Oreal Telescopic Mascara ($11)

I don’t remember the last time I purchased a mascara that wasn’t this one. The tiny little wand allows you to take control and get even the smallest lashes coated and lengthened. Personally, I love a spidery effect and that is exactly what this mascara gives me. 


ARDELL Brow Pomade ($10)

Because no simple or full-face is complete without some nice brows. The ARDELL brow pomade is a great replica to the much pricier high-end brands. It comes with a dual ended angled brush and spoolie to give you a nice, even application. Run the spoolie through your brows, fill them in and brush them out again and distribute the product evenly for a more natural look! 


e.l.f. Gotta Glow Lip Tint ($6) 

I own all three colours of this lip product because it truly changed the game for me! This tint comes in a pink, berry and peach and reacts with the chemistry of your lips to create a personalized tint. It’s so low maintenance, natural looking and very moisturizing, as it uses shea butter to keep your  lips nourished. 


I'm a journalism student at Ryerson and I'm a writer here and there on really anything that peaks my interest. In between working 3 jobs, you can find me at a coffee shop sipping on something caffeinated and working on my next bestseller. In the mean time, let's keep in touch and talk about some intriguing topics: @zeinabsaidoun on your favourite social platforms.
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