Two known facts about college life: Budgets are tight, and stress is high.
So what does that mean for skincare? It means it’s more important than ever, but sometimes, you have to be creative to get the results you need! So here, I’ve compiled some of the best beauty products you need while you’re hitting the books—all at prices that even your economics professor will approve of.
$20 and Under
I am a girl who cares about her lashes. Because they are naturally so blond, I want them as bold and voluminous as possible, and that means I’ve tested a lot (read: a LOT) of mascaras through the years. But with every new formula or magic brush style that hits the market, I still always go back to Benefit BADgal Lash Mascara ($19 at Sephora). It gives me the results I want without any clumping on the wand—in other words, the perfect mascara!
The perfect nude lipstick can take you far in life, and Tarte Tartiest Creamy Matte Lip Paint in Birthday Suit ($20 at Sephora) is about as close to perfect as I’ve found! It’s not drying like some matte formulas, it’s flattering on any skin tone, and it lasts (and lasts) for hours, which means you can apply once and be set for the day.
$15 and Under
Have you heard the hype about Pixi Glow Tonic ($15 at Target)? I’m here to tell you that it’s all true! Made with a unique combination of glycolic acid, aloe and ginseng, this toner very gently exfoliates the skin, not only prepping it for the rest of your skincare routine but also leaving you with clear, radiant skin.
You should never leave the house without sunscreen (rain or shine—any season), but sometimes an extra step just isn’t going to happen. Botanics All Bright Hydrating Day Cream Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 15 ($13.99 at Ulta) hydrates, improves your skin’s texture and has that all-so-important sun protection built right in. You don’t have to be a straight-A student to know that’s just smart skincare!
$10 and Under
A turquoise eyeliner is the perfect tool to have on hand for the next time you want to create a look-at-me makeup moment. The Revlon PhotoReady Kajal Eye Pencil in Matte Marine ($8.79 at Target) is creamy, making for easy application, and deeply pigmented, so the color really pops.
College is all about learning new things and the Black Radiance Eye Appeal Shadow Collection in Urban Jungle ($6.99 at Target) is the perfect tool to learn the art of blending and shading. Plus, these gorgeous colors just scream “fall is coming!”
Multitaskers are a godsend when it comes to tight budgets, long nights and rushed schedules. Smith’s Rosebud Salve ($6 at Ulta) is something everyone should have on hand. Great for chapped lips, dry cuticles and scrapes and burns, you can also get creative and use it as a brow gel or to tame hairline frizzies!
$5 and Under
Pretty much anyone can afford a $5 product, right? And when it comes to e.l.f. Beautifully Bare Targeted Natural Glow Stick in Pink Pearl Glow ($5 at elfcosmetics), that five dollars will go a long way. This formula is perfect for adding that Instagram-worthy glow to your brow bone, Cupid’s bow, cheeks, the inner corners of your eyes and even your collarbone!
No beauty arsenal is complete without a black liquid liner. Essence Super Fine Eyeliner Pen ($2.99 at Ulta) makes all those liquid-liner tricks a bit easier because the tip is tiny and helps you make a precise line.
File this one under “cult classic.” Queen Helene Mint Julep Mask ($4.99 at Walgreens) is an incredible detox for your skin, removing excess oil, clearing up breakouts and reducing the size of your pores. Your skin is left looking and feeling ultra-clean, refreshed and radiant.
Save on the above products with Ulta coupons and Sephora deals.