Top 10 Must-Have Products for College Makeup Lovers

By: Paige Cunningham

As I was sitting at my desk organizing all of my makeup, I realized two things. One is that I have too much makeup, and the other is that I should start being more conscious when it comes to spending money on it. After all, I’m a broke college student and makeup is probably one of the main reasons I’m so broke. However, I soon came to another realization. It is possible to get the perfect “Kim Kardashian” or whatever other perfect looking human being look without having to break your wallet. Here are 10 (affordable) products that every college beauty junkie absolutely needs.

1)Primer – e.l.f. Poreless Face Primer – $6.00

This primer is seriously one of the best drugstore primers ever. It is highly comparable to Benefit Cosmetic’s “Porefessional” primer, but it is less than half the price. e.l.f. also has other primers incase your main focus is not to blur your pores. I love this one because it makes your skin one even texture and fills in all of your pores; it’s definitely a steal.

2) Foundation – L’Oreal® Paris Infallible Matte Foundation – $9.59

This foundation is perfect for any college student because it is long-lasting. As a college student, you will need something that will stay on your face through class, sports, your internship, and crying about the assignment you waited until the last minute to do. Also, if you are not into the matte look, L’Oreal® also has a “Pro-Glow” version of this foundation which gives your skin a more dewy look.                                                                                                                                                                      

3) Powder – Rimmel Stay Matte Powder – $3.99

I can’t tell you how much I adore this powder. I use the translucent one and it has never done me wrong. Even high-end powders cake up around my eyes and nose area, but this one doesn’t. I use it to set my whole face and it gives my skin an airbrushed and flawless finish. The only thing I will say is to be careful traveling with this powder. Like any product, there’s a chance of something cracking or breaking. Other than that, this powder is amazing.

4) Bronzer – Physician’s Formula ® Bronzer – $14.39

Although it is a bit pricier than other drugstore products, it’s worth it. This bronzer is perfect for any skin tone. It’s the perfect mix of cool and warm tones so no matter how pale you are (like me) this won’t make you look like you rolled through a field of nacho cheese chips. Also, the packaging is not only beautiful, but it’s deep so you’re getting a lot of product for what you’re paying for.

5) Blush – Milani Rose Powder Blush – $7.99

Milani as a whole is very high-quality for a drugstore brand. I am so in love with their blushes and especially the Rose Powder blush in the shade “Romantic Rose” because it is such a versatile color that you can wear with any look. Whether you’re going for a more natural look for class or a glam look for going out, this blush goes you the perfect flush. They also have a whole line of baked blushes which give more of a sparkly glow.

6) Highlighter – Sephora Collection Radiant Luminizing Drops – $14.00

Again, this is a bit on the pricey side, but it’s totally worth it. These luminizing drops are different because they are obviously different from your typical highlighter. Although some people are hesitant about using liquid products, I promise that this one is fool-proof. You can apply the drops with your fingers or a beauty sponge. The end result will leave you feeling like a radiant ball of sunshine. You’ll be glowing so brightly you’ll blind everyone on campus.

7) Eyeshadow – Too Faced Natural Matte Eye Palette – $36.00

Now, I know what you’re thinking, “What happened to the drugstore products?” We’ll get back to those in a second. To be completely honest, I have not tried one drugstore eyeshadow that I am fully impressed with. By “fully” I mean that the formula, pigment, and quality are just never consistent. So I sat down and tried to figure out, as a college student, which palette could I absolutely not live without? Which palette is always my go-to? I decided on this one by Too Faced Cosmetics. It is all matte, but it has a nice range of cool and deep tones. I can create endless looks with this palette, so that’s why it is always my go-to.

8) Brows – NYX Professional Makeup Micro Brow Pencil -$9.99

Of course I had to include NYX Cosmetics on this list. NYX is one of my favorite drugstore brands of all time. Their MicroBrow pencil is highly comparable to the Anastasia Beverly Hills “Brow Definer” but again, it’s less than half the price. It’s seriously so fun finding drugstore dupes that are just as good or even better than the high end product. NYX takes the cake for best drugstore brow product with this pencil. It’s so good for days when you’re running late to class because it has the spool-y on one end and the wax on the other. Two swipes and you’re done!

9) Mascara – Pixi by Petra Lengthy Fiber Mascara – $16.00

This is another pricey drugstore product, but again, I promise that it is worth it. I don’t play when it comes to beauty. This mascara is one of my favorites because of both the formula and the  wand. It gives your lashes the most natural voluminous look but it is also very build-able so you can achieve a more thick eyelash look. The wand is great because it doesn’t pick up too much product, so there will be no clumpy lashes. This mascara is perfect for college students because it lasts through all of the blood, sweat, and tears that you put into the semester.

10) Lips – NYX Professional Makeup Lip Lingerie Liquid Lipstick – $6.99

Everyone loves a good liquid lipstick. The frustrating part about finding a good matte liquid lipstick is finding one that doesn’t dry your lips out like the Sahara Desert. The NYX Lingerie Liquid Lipstick is the perfect matte liquid lipstick. From the colors, the packaging, and the formula, everything is top notch. It is not drying at all; it kind of feels like you’re putting whipped yogurt on your lips, no matter how weird that sounds. The color range for this line is amazing, so whether you’re more of a nude lover or a deep purple lover, there’s a color for you.

The next time you’re out and want to conjure up a perfect yet affordable makeup look, refer back to this article. If you’re disappointed with any of the products you can blame it on me. And always remember, even after the long night of studying for finals, wash your makeup off. Healthy skin is always easier to apply makeup to. From one broke college student to another, I wish you the best in finding the perfect look to slay your GPA.


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