College students love cheap thrills, and rightfully so. When you’re spending hundreds on textbooks and thousands on housing every semester, no one’s got cash to play around with. But then, every once in a while, a face mask or eyeshadow palette comes along that you just…need, proving that the best things in life aren’t entirely free.
We spoke to college students about their gotta-have-it beauty products, the ones that deliver results and defy expectations. Below are the beauty buys really worth the money, so you can treat yourself to products that last and end up saving in the long run.
Protini Polypeptide Moisturizer
Catching us waiting for our skincare to dry so we can put on more Drunk Elephant skincare. (Seriously, if you follow Her Campus anywhere online, you know we’re obsessed.) Protini is the star of the show — if you have to splurge on one product, it would be this. This protein-packed moisturizer makes your face look even and bouncy, two of the best words in beauty vocabulary.
Confidence in Your Sleep
Can a person have too many beauty products? Yes. Can a person be too dewy? Definitely not, and this night cream proves it. We would say this is more of an “adult” product to have in your skincare arsenal, because it targets things like fine lines and loss of elasticity. Those might not be issues you’re bothered by as a freshman — but just wait till the senior year wrinkles start to set in. Get started nurturing your skin as early as you can!
Daily Microfoliant Exfoliator
For $59, you want something that will effectively peel your face off and reveal glowing baby skin underneath. Well, meet your match! This exfoliator, while gentle, does the work to brighten skin and reduce uneven texture. It’s a spa-worthy treatment, with better bang for your buck.
Rose Face Mask
This luxurious mask will make you want to cancel plans, wrap yourself in a cozy robe, and hydrate your whole body. It’s so dainty, all filled with rose petals and soft smells that feel like a silky kiss on your skin. Sure, it’s ultra-hydrating and plumping too, but the best part of this mask is the overall experience you have while wearing it.
Luna Mini 3
The first step to a radiant complexion? An expert cleansing device, obv. The Luna Mini 3 has the steepest price tag of our winners, but it’s well worth the splurge. It’s normal if you still wash your face with your hands, but this device uses fancy sonic pulsations and extra-soft touchpoints to remove sweat and dirt from your skin in a way that hands just can can’t compete with.
Airflash Spray Foundation
Haters will say it's Photoshopped, but no, this glow is 100% Dior foundation. Foundation in a spray can sounds funky, however, this is the only foundation we tested that stays all. day. without any smudging or loss of pigment. The finish is next level — you’ll just have to see for yourself.
Mothership VIII Artistry Eyeshadow Palette - Divine Rose II Collection
Any Pat McGrath palette is good impulse buy, because no dupes can compete with these pigments. This collection in particular is all elegant rose, peach, pink, bronze and champagne. Every shade wears so beautifully throughout the day, you’ll want to use it for more than just special occasions.
Rose Gold Sensitive Skin Razor
Our eyes have been blessed by perhaps the most beautiful razor ever? What makes it unique is the single razor design, that gives you a close shave (on thick hair too) without any burning or sharp stings after. If you’ve got sensitive skin, this razor is where the party’s at. Time for an upgrade!
Purifying Scalp Scrub with Sea Salt
Stop what you're doing and think about how you deserve to luxuriate in a bath while having your scalp massaged, please. Beyond the self-care fun, if you go hard with dry shampoo and styling products, you should actually be using a scalp scrub regularly to help remove buildup, exfoliating in a more aggressive way than scrubbing with plain shampoo.
One-Step Volumizer Hair Dryer and Hot Air Brush
This blow dryer/brush combo is best-in-class for hair products. It expertly recreates salon blowouts, and you don’t need to be a skilled stylist to use it either. Just brush and blow hair to your liking, and you won’t even need to use a flat iron at the end.
The Her Campus National Editors write about products we love and think you’ll love too. Her Campus has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase. All products are in stock and all prices are accurate as of publication.