Every College Student Needs These Makeup Products

Your guide to saving and splurging on beauty products.

by SOPHIE STOCKLAN    ★    APR. 03, 2017


Being a college student means long nights studying, even longer nights out, and vast amounts of coffee. This regimen is not the healthiest for your body, and it can take a toll on your overall appearance.

We all want makeup that erases the dark circles and enlarged pores from our skin. Here are a few brands and bargain products that you need in your makeup bag.



This primer is bomb. And it is only $6! Found at CVS, Elf Hydrating Face Primer basically keeps your makeup glued to your face until the end of time, or at least until you decide to wash it off. Not only is it super light-weight, but it also hydrates and moisturizes your skin.



In my opinion, foundation should be the makeup product you invest the most in. Your lashes, eyeshadow, brows, lips, and contour could all be flawless, but if your skin is bare and uneven, none of that matters. 

Make Up Forever is a really high quality brand for all facets of makeup, but its face products are my favorite. The Ultra HD Foundation is creamy, matches a variety of skin tones, and never cakes on. It is priced at $40.00.

For real full coverage and natural finish, try out Prescriptive’s Flawless Skin Makeup. Although it comes out to be $45.00 plus shipping, the investment is worth it if you are insecure about your bare skin. Looking for an alternative that will spare your wallet? Maybelline Fit Me Foundation is only $5.99. 

Under eye concealer


Mac Studio Finish Concealer Duo ($30.00) is a full coverage concealer that goes on and stays on. What’s really great about it is that the tins are removable and can be replaced singularly when empty. 

This means you save money in the long run because you do not need to purchase a whole new set. Mixing the dark and light is best for blemish coverage while the lighter is best for hiding those under-eye bags.



The best one out there for your money is definitely the Bare Minerals Ready Bronzer.  It’s only $25.00 and honestly lasts forever. Bronzer is versatile; it can easily replace your contour kit regimen if you are looking to save money. For an even, natural blend on your skin tone, bronze your face first, and then use it as a contour for your cheekbones, forehead, nose, and jaw line. 



Mac’s Blush Baby is the perfect pinky-nude that compliments almost every skin tone. Even better, it’s $23.00



Obviously, Becca Opal and Anastasia Beverly Hills are some of the most popular and best quality highlights out there. However, if you aren't willing to spend $60.00 on one product, Physician's Formula Translucent Pearl is a great knock off. It is long-lasting and will get you that blinding glow we all strive to achieve.



Kylie Cosmetics Bronze Palette is my all-time favorite eyeshadow palette. For only $40.00, you get nine super pigmented, long-lasting eyeshadow colors that compliment any skin tone. You can experiment with mixing all shades because of the range of colors it includes and good amount of shadow in each color pod. This palette will last you months and you will never get tired of any shade. This is a great investment for a low price.



Any felt tip eyeliner pen from your local drug store can match up to the top brands at Sephora.  My go-to liner is L’Oréal’s Voluminous Liner Noir because it is highly pigmented and the shape of the tip allows for a perfect wing to be created. The best part, however, is that it is only $7.99.  If you compare L’Oréal’s eyeliner to the $30.00 eyeliner brands at Sephora, you’ll see virtually no difference, except for the extra money saved in your wallet.



Deciding whether or not to drop a lot of money on mascara is a constant struggle. If you don’t mind forking over a little extra cash, Better Than Sex Mascara by Too Faced is life changing. With the use of this mascara, people will mistake your real lashes for falsies.  

However, $30.00 for mascara is a bit much to spend on a college budget, so alternatively, L’Oréal Voluminous Butterfly mascara is always stocked up in my makeup drawer. It is only $7.99 at CVS and will last you months.

If you like working with an oversized wand to maximize volume, Maybelline’s The Rocket Volum’ Express is amazing and under $10.00. With a price so low, it can sustain your budget allowing you to buy more expensive products for face, eyes, etc.

Lastly, lips


Again, Kylie Cosmetics is my go-to. Her glosses are super pigmented and are long-lasting. Try out the Candy K gloss or the Damn Gina, they’re my go to products for both nights out and heading to class. For lipstick, you honestly can’t go wrong with any of her colors.  

Kylie Cosmetics has nearly any shade you can imagine, and they literally last the entire day.  The only way that lipstick is coming off is with a makeup wipe. Priced between $15.00-$30.00, these lip products are super affordable and are the perfect way to top off your makeup look.  


You don’t need to use the most expensive products in order to look your best.  The most essential tip for wearing makeup is to find what works best for you, whether that’s colors, products, or brands, and stick with it.  Most importantly, the thing that will make you look your best is to wear it with confidence, which is something that even the most overpriced makeup can’t perfect.

Tayler Bradford