As collegiettes with crazy schedules, we have very little time to get ready in the morning. On the worst of days – post-all-nighter or post-late-night rager – “hair and makeup” can mean mascara and a plain, old ponytail. But did you know making your daily beauty routine more interesting doesn’t have to take tons of time and money? Here are some quick and easy tips that will have you looking fabulous in no time with minimal effort.
1. Rock a bright lip
A bright lip will make you stand out from the crowd. “Every now and then, I like to use a bold red lip,” says Kate Moriarty, a senior at Skidmore College. “It can feel a little risky for daytime, but it’s definitely a head-turner. My boyfriend says that’s how he first noticed me before we even met!” Applying lipstick is as easy as it gets and will give you the perfect “wow” factor!
Keep it interesting by switching shades to match or contrast with your outfit, like Jen Morgan, a sophomore at Messiah College. “In a week, I’ll have one day when I wear nude lipstick; another when I wear hot pink; the next, red; and the next, berry,” she says. “Outfits that would look great with red lipstick don’t always look just as good with hot pink!”
For a bright red, M.A.C’s signature lipstick in Russian Red ($16) is great. We also love Revlon’s Super Lustrous Lipstick in Pink Pout, Coralberry and Black Cherry ($7). If you have medium to dark skin, try Cover Girl’s Queen Collection Lip Color in Powderpuff Pink or Ruby Slipper ($5).
2. Make your eyeliner pop
If your black eyeliner isn’t quite doing it for you anymore and you don’t have time to create a full eye shadow look, try applying a bright liner above or under your eye. Gabrielle Sorto, a sophomore at Georgia State University, likes to wear a flashy color, like blue or purple. “It adds a nice pop of color to the eyes and is really simple,” she says.
Our favorite liners include the Glide-On Eye Pencil by Urban Decay in Chaos, Goldmine or Psychedelic Sister ($20) and the Liquid Crystal Liner by NYX in Crystal Pink or Crystal Jade ($4.50) for a little glitter.
3. Maximize your mascara
Chances are you already wear mascara on the regular, but are you making the most of it? Lisa Flanagan, a licensed esthetician at Soma Day Spa in Wakefield, Mass., explains how to build volume properly: “Put on one coat of your favorite mascara; let dry. Coat with some baby powder on a cotton swab, then apply your second coat.” This tip works wonders in seconds!
4. Tame your eyebrows
Eyebrows are such an important part of your face, yet we often overlook them when in a rush. Try taking that extra moment to neaten them up in the morning with a brow brush; it might be just what your beauty routine was missing. “If you have no brow brush, dry your toothbrush off and brush the eyebrows,” Flanagan advises. “No eyebrow gel or set? Use your clear lip balm after to set your brows.” Sounds easy enough!
5. Accessorize your hair
A cute accessory can make a huge difference between plain hair and a gorgeous ‘do. Victoria Mikula, a freshman at Point Park University, loves “adding a jeweled headband to a simple hairstyle every once in a while just to jazz things up.”
You can also make your own accessories, like Elodie Jean-Philippe, a sophomore at Duke University and a Beauty School blogger for Her Campus. Elodie buys silk flowers from the dollar store and slides bobby pins in them. She adds these DIY hair clips to her usual hairstyles. “I’ve literally received so many compliments on my hair and accessories!” Elodie says. Don’t be afraid to get creative!
6. Build instant volume
Adding volume to your hair is one of the fastest ways to switch things up. You can go for a product specifically designed to create volume, like Paul Mitchell’s Volumizing Spray ($22) or Garnier Fructis’s Style Volumizing Anti-Humidity Hairspray ($4), but you can also use dry shampoo!
Taylor Zepeda, a junior at the University of California, San Diego, uses her dry shampoo as a two-in-one product to “eliminate oils and add volume to that third-day hair.” She loves Dove’s Invigorating Dry Shampoo ($4.99) and TRESemmé’s Fresh Start Dry Shampoo Spray ($5.99); they add great volume and instantly give her hair a boost.
7. Get surfer-girl hair
You can also use a product to create perfect beachy waves in your hair. Emilie Douieb, a hair stylist at James Kendall salon in Beverly Hills, recommends Ocean Mist by Sachajuan ($28). Victoria’s Secret’s Beach Sexy Beach Hair Wave Spray ($12) also works like magic to get those beautiful beach waves you’ve been longing for.
8. Add a side braid to your casual updo
Braids are awesome because they’re so easy to master yet incredibly effective. Kelsey Deuel, a hair stylist at Hair Art & Science in Los Angeles, likes to add a side braid to a basic ponytail or incorporate it into a larger braid. She also says that you can tame the messy ends with bobby pins. This will add a pretty touch to any everyday hairstyle.
As for Gabrielle, she likes to add a French braid to her topknot or ponytail. “It keeps the stray hairs in place and looks really cool!” she says. Try this if you want to trick people into thinking your hair took ages to do!
9. Try an elegant ponytail
Deuel shares another great trick to play up a ponytail: Tie your hair into a looser ponytail. Then, poke a hole in the ponytail above your hair tie and bring the ponytail through the hole. This creates a sort of fold that hides the hair tie and makes your ponytail look more put-together. “We did a lot of these for LA Fashion Week,” Deuel explains. Looking like a model in less than a minute? We’re in!
10. Change up your part
Not many of us would think to experiment with our hair part, but it’s an easy and effective way to make your hairstyle look completely different. “I switch to a middle part every once in a while, and it’s an easy way to change it up,” Gabrielle says. All you need to do is comb your hair over to one side or the other to change from a middle to a side part, for instance.
No matter what you decide to do to change up your everyday beauty routine, keep it varied! Try something new every day, surprise people and wow them on campus. Why not? It’s easy, inexpensive and super effective. The possibilities are endless!