A College Girl’s Guide: Makeup Essentials

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Sephora and Ulta might as well be a candy shop because sometimes I shop for makeup like an assortment of new candy. It may be one of my favorite things to buy new makeup and try new products and trends. Right now, I’m really into the dark lip trend and have bought at least 4 new shades of lipstick from several different brands! I’m not a beauty *guru* as they say, but I think I’ve gotten pretty good at doing my own makeup and occasionally others!

I have a mixture of high end and drugstore makeup products and it’s amazing to know that there are some super high quality products under $10. There is absolutely no need to break the bank trying to glow up, ya know! Also, makeup can be a touchy subject, but my self confidence goes up 110% when I’m “all done up”— I feel cleaner and professional. I say if it’s making you feel like you can slay the haters, then do it!


Maybelline Fit Me Foundation- Matte & Poreless

The Fit Me foundation is A1 since day 1, but no, I’ve actually used this liquid foundation since high school! I love the medium coverage and variation in colors for darker skin tones. It’s pretty affordable and lasts for a decent amount of time. It’s a bit on the heavier side, so I tend to reach for my BB cream over the summer, but this is perfect for all other times of the year! It pairs nicely with the concealer and powder foundation from the same line if you need a little more coverage here and there!

I’m the shade 355 Coconut and it retails at Target for $5.99.

NYX Studio Perfect Photo Loving Primer

The NYX Photo Loving Primer is a newer addition to my VIP line up. I really wanted to try the Smashbox Photo Primer, but who has 30 dollars for a clear gooey substance? Not I. The NYX version was the perfect dupe; it creates the perfect air brushed smooth layer to apply face products! I can surprisingly tell the difference when I use this product and when I forget it! It’s such a simple product to use to get the perfect photo ready airbrushed look!

Retails for $11.99 at Target.

MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation

This is one of my favorite high end products of all time. It is my go to product for heavier coverage. I usually layer this on top of my main foundation of the moment [summer=BB cream]. For those days where I want minimal coverage with minimal effort, I have this with me. I’ve hit pan on this twice, and usually ask for it as a gift! It can be a little pricey, but is a great investment in my opinion. It doesn’t smell weird and comes in a ton of different shades- the MAC counter can help you find your perfect shade!

I’m the shade NW43 and it retails for $28.00.

Blush, Bronzer, & Highlight

Cougar Mineral Face Highlighter

My mom gave this to me a couple months ago and it is now my favorite “extra” makeup product. I don’t typically use this on a normal day because it’s pretty glittery and I like to keep it as natural as possible! But, if you are looking for a mid range priced highlighter, I would definitely check out this brand and product! It gives the perfect amount of shimmer and is super pretty especially on darker skin tones.

I have the color Golden Bliss and retails for $19.00.

MAC Blush in Sweet As Cocoa

This is another must have high end product. As you can probably tell, MAC is one of my favorite high end brands, mostly because of their depth in shades and types of products. Their powder blushes are super pigmented and last all day! This particular shade is super natural on me and is perfect for my darker fall/winter look! It’s a super simple way to switch up your look from day to night as well.

Retails for $23.00.

Milani Baked Blush

The Milani baked blush in the shade: Berry Amore. is my go to spring/summer blush and gives the perfect everyday “glow”! This is a version from a couple seasons back, but the current collection has some really great color choices. I love that it has a little shimmer to it and gives a unique color to my cheeks. It’s great when I’m going for a lighter look, and they are *super* affordable which is super nice when I want to buy 4. Oh.

Retails at Target for $7.50


Naked Palettes

I have serious problem when it comes to Urban Decay Naked Palettes. I have all three of the original palettes and I have had my eye on the Basics and Smoky, but couldn’t justify purchasing them. The Ulta sale gave me a run for my money, literally. No matter which palette appeals to you, you should know that it will be an ultimate investment. I use one of the palettes almost everyday, sometimes a combination of all three of them! It’s a great way to try out multiple colors of the richly pigmented Urban shadows. My personal favorite is the Original Naked palette. I love the warm tone colors and combination of matte, frosty, and shimmery shadows.

Retails at Ulta for $54.00

Urban Decay Primer Potion

Urban Decay is probably my favorite eye makeup high end brand. I definitely recommend their primer potions in any and all versions. I have original and Sin, and they are the perfect two. Sin is good for going out looks because of its hint of shimmer. The original primer potion goes on clear and is perfect for having clean and smooth eye looks. It also keeps shadows steady all day. It’s a must have in my every day makeup routine.

Retails at Ulta for $20.00.

Benefit They’re Real Mascara

Mascaras are my least favorite makeup product to shop for, so usually I would try whatever Maybelline mascara had just come out. They have new releases every 2 months, right? But, in my high school youtube obsession phase, everyone and the mother {again, literally} was raving about Benefit’s They’re Real mascara. This is the OG high end makeup product, and all I can say is 10/10 would recommend. My lashes aren’t very long, but this mascara fakes it for me.

Retails at Ulta for $24.00.


Maybelline Satin Lipstick in Untainted Spice

I’m a big fan of lip stick now, and I don’t feel as awkward or over the top when I’m wearing it. I favor darker shades- nudes, plums, or reds. The entire brand of Maybelline lip products are kind of stellar. I’m not a huge fan of matte lips {sorry Kylie}, so the Satin finish are probably my favorite.

Retails at Walmart for $4.99

MAC Lipglass/Cremesheen Lip Gloss

The MAC lipgloss and creme sheen glass are some of my favorite lip glosses. They are a bit pricey, but a good investment and come in plenty of different colors. I’ve had several of them, and the great thing is you can get them discounted at Cosmetics Company Stores in outlets across the country.

Retails for $21.00.

Rosebud Perfume Co. Strawberry Lip Balm

This a recently discovered new product that are essential for keeping my lips in good condition in the colder months. If I apply once in the morning, and once at night, my lips will stay hydrated all day long, even when I wear other products. I personally didn’t *love* the smell of the original lip balm, so I went for the strawberry scent and I love it!

Retails at Sephora for $7.00.

Hopefully, this was helpful for all y’all! Makeup is definitely one of my favorite things to shop for and experiment with; let me know in the comments down below some of your favorite essentials!