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Makeup vs. Frat Parties: How to Look Like a 10 After 10 pm

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Villanova chapter.


We all know the struggle of coming back at 3 am with lank, sweaty hair and raccoon eyes smudged from sweat, tears or time. While looking into the mirror after midnight, you pass off red cheeks under your faded foundation as a natural blush, and you tell yourself that your dark under-eye bags don’t seem quite so noticeable against the bright bathroom lights. Then, when you wake up at 11 the next morning and see your sorry state, it becomes very apparent that your “hot” look from last night was really just a “hot” mess.

While this well-known post-party look is half the charm of college nights out, these are some steps you can take to keep your look fresh and give it a fighting chance against fading into the night right along with you.  

1.)  Don’t wash your hair right before curling it. Any hair styling done with heat tools, save for a shower-fresh blowout, holds up better with slightly dirty hair. If you have oily hair, shower in the morning. By the time the night rolls around, your hair will have enough natural oil in it to hold a curl or keep it straight after styling. Curls done right after a shower and blow-dry almost always fall into limp waves after an hour or two as your hair is too clean to hold the curls.

2.)  Invest in a good hair spray. I hate hair spray to be perfectly honest. I don’t like the way it smells, or feels on my hair. But, if you want your look to last, I highly recommend buying and using hair spray after completing your hair styling. If you don’t like the feel of helmet-hair that can be produced from strong-hold hair sprays, try a texturizing spray instead. A texturizing spray gives your hair a softer hold without the stink or the sticky feel from hair-spray. For hair-spray’s I recommend Loreal Ellenet.

3.)  Use dry shampoo. This is often a strange concept if your hair isn’t oily or if you just blew it out. The trick to using dry shampoo before a night out, no matter the state of your hair, is that dry shampoo absorbs oil in your hair and gives it volume. When you start to dance the night away and begin to get a little sweaty, the dry shampoo in your hair will help to absorb the sweat and oil, keeping your hair fresh and voluminous.

4.)  Prime, prime, prime. What you put on before your makeup is just as important as your makeup itself if you want your look to last. Before applying a full face of makeup, cleanse your skin and moisturize it. This will make your skin able to hold products better and longer. After your moisturizer has fully dried, apply a makeup primer. I cannot stress enough how important this is for lasting looks. Your makeup will hold 10x longer with a primer. Primers with a silicon base tend to hold up the best and help seal pores to create a smooth slate for makeup. I would highly suggest using eye shadow primer as well to lock in your shadows for the night.

5.)  Don’t use oil based makeup products. Oil-based makeup products tend to slide off the skin much easier when the skin gets sweaty or oily as opposed to oil-free and matte products. Using waterproof eyeliners and mascaras as well can also help to fight against smudging.

6.)  Use cream products and set with powder. When I know I’m going out for the night, I use liquid foundation, a cream eye shadow base, a cream blush and set them all their powder alternatives as this makes the look last much longer on your skin. I also recommend a lip stain instead of a lipstick as stains temporarily dye your lips so the color does not rub off. If you don’t have, or care, to buy cream and powder products then I would at least invest in an all over setting powder or a setting spray. Setting powders are translucent powders that keep your makeup in place and setting sprays come out as a fine mist that uses liquid particles to create the same lasting effect. My favorites are the Laura Mercier translucent powder and Urban Decay setting spray! You can get mini versions from Sephora for a great steal as they both last a long time.

Makeup aside, the most important part of a night out in college is having a good time, creating memories with your friends and getting back safe! 

Megan Cahill is a Junior Marketing and International Business Co-major at Villanova University. She is the Campus Correspondent of Her Campus Villanova. A Boston native, she enjoys coastal living, iced beverages, and occasionally using the word wicked as an adjective. You can often find her brainstorming in Bartley, adding items to her multiple online shopping carts, and planning her next travel excursion. Follow her on Instagram, @megancahill15