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Style > Beauty

I Asked College Women Which Step in Their Beauty Routine They Care About the Least

As much as makeup is one of my greatest hobbies, I sometimes still feel insecure about my knowledge of makeup and skincare. I’m definitely not in-the-know about all of the K-beauty trends, and I’m still catching up on adding ingredient lingo into my skincare vocabulary. My routine has, as dictated by my dermatologist, largely been composed of drugstore cleansers and moisturizers with prescribed topical medication for acne—not super aesthetically pleasing for Instagram. In terms of makeup, there are some product categories that I haven’t even branched out to, yet. 

Desspite this, though, I’ve come to realize that just because I don’t have room in my routine for a given skincare or makeup step doesn’t mean that I’m clueless about beauty. We college students probably don’t have the time, money, and/or dorm space for everything. 

More importantly, for skincare to be self-care, and in order for makeup to be a fun means of self-expression, our routines have to be manageable and realistic. So, we gotta majorly prioritize.

My lowest priorities

I always skip out on bronzer. Even when I do what I consider to be a full face of makeup—which I generally only wear for events, special occasions, or internships—bronzer and contour have never been a part of it. It looks unnatural on me, and blush is enough in terms of adding back dimension, color, and life to my skin.

Lip color is another step I’m horrible at keeping up with, just because I know it’s the first thing to wear off—why have it look great for an hour, then take one sip of coffee only to have it all just disappear? Besides, my fave lippie is, nine times out of ten, in my purse and out of reach while I’m actually doing my makeup. It’s a hassle. The world’s tiniest violin is playing for me. 

Taking a step back and really thinking about my own very personal preferences and habits, I became curious about those of my peers. So, I took to Instagram and Facebook and asked college women: What beauty step do you not care about, prioritize the least, or straight-up never incorporate into your routine?

The basics

“I know skin care is super in right now, but I’m terrible at keeping up with it! The only time I’ll really start obsessing over it is when I start breaking out!” – Tiffanee, Bridgewater State University

“I’m probably the worst at keeping a super consistent morning routine. I’ll snooze my alarm as many times as I can so that usually leads to having to cut out a step or two (never sunscreen though, I’m too pale to forget sunscreen)” – Ashley, University of Central Florida



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“I never use moisturizer. I’ve never really felt I needed it, and a lot of them give me acne.” – Rebecca, Wilfrid Laurier University

Wash my face in the morning! I hate it!” – Mary, Connecticut College

“Brushing my hair!” – Esme, Connecticut College

I never wash my face (unless I’m in the shower). Every day, [I] moisturize (with SPF).” – Danielle, University of Maine

Related: Meet the Beauty Products That Are So Special, I Re-Purchase Them Again & Again

Makeup steps

I don’t do most of my makeup during the school week. If I do, I only use concealer and mascara” – Lindsay, Purdue University

“Makeup” – Betsy, Connecticut College

I can skip makeup but I have to do my skin care. My skin hasn’t looked this good in about 12 years so for that reason I will gladly skip makeup.” – Avery



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Primer all the way.” – Felicity, Florida State University

“If I’m running late and need to skip part of my makeup routine, my last priority is blush/contour/highlight!” – Flora, Bryant University

“Filling in eyebrows” – Rebekah, University of Massachusetts Amherst

“I never use foundation” – Gretchen, Connecticut College 

Contour or eyeliner” – Jenna, Florida State University

“This might sound strange, but if I have to not to do something, it’ll be foundation. I can easily just do some tinted moisturizer in a pinch and finish with some setting spray/more moisturizer. It’s easier to glam up with just some eyeliner, highlighter, or lipstick and then there’s no need for foundation if my skin is moisturized and clean.” – Xandie, Northeastern University

I almost never wear foundation! Sometimes I wear BB cream, but even that’s rare.” – Charlotte, Connecticut College

“Eyeshadow.” – Nicole, Connecticut College

“Even though many people consider foundation or concealer very important steps in their routine, I rarely put them on! I love to just […] focus on the eyes when I want to put on makeup! I found that foundation and concealer really just clogged up my pores.” – Moraya, Simmons University

I no longer put makeup on, so I make sure to moisturize so I don’t look like a zombie.” – Viangely, Connecticut College

Related: College Women on Their Favorite Beauty Products That Happen to All Be Under $20

The ~extras~

“I haven’t blow-dried my hair since I started college” – Emma, Connecticut College

“Making sure I put eye cream on at night, something I need to work on for sure.” – Sarah, George Washington University

“I never use eye creams or nighttime moisturizers, which is probably what I should be doing the most.  Mornings (especially weekends) are easier for me to see how my skin is doing and choose a product to start off the day.” – Sara, University of Central Florida



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Eye cream for sure!” – Arianna, Boston University

“Definitely eye cream! But for makeup, I would say if I’m in a rush for class, I’ll skip on foundation!” – Julia, Texas Tech University

The real deal with beauty routines

As these responses trickled in, I began to feel relieved at how darn relatable they were — reading about the unfiltered morning and nighttime routines of real college women was so refreshing. 

Based on everyone’s habits, the main trends I noticed were that not a lot of people actually wear makeup everyday to class, and those who do often skip out on some step. While some people expressed skipping steps against their better judgement, others skip certain steps because they just don’t see a benefit. I was surprised by how many people expressed or implied that they didn’t have a strict, multi-step skincare routine, especially since skincare is so in right now.  

At the end of the day, not having a 10-step skincare regimen followed by a makeup routine that’s just as involved doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re uneducated about beauty or that you don’t care for your skin. It means you know what looks good on you, what products you like, and what works best for your skin type. 

Different people have different skin concerns and makeup preferences; it’s as simple as that. 

But pretty please do not skip sunscreen (and you should probably be washing your face at least once a day). 

Samantha is a senior at Connecticut College, double-majoring in Sociology and Economics. She is currently the Beauty Section Editor and a National Writer for Her Campus, having prior been a Beauty Editorial Intern during the summer of 2019. She is also a writer and Co-Campus Correspondent for Her Campus Conn Coll. She is passionate about intersectional feminism, puns, and sitcoms with strong female leads.