Gone are the days of sleeping in until noon and then spending three hours getting ready for a night out. That’s right, we’re headed back to school. But just because you’re running on four hours of sleep doesn’t mean you have to look like espresso shots from Starbucks are the only thing keeping you alive.

This quick, easy and affordable back-to-school beauty guide will keep you looking effortlessly cute through all of the 7 a.m. classes and all-nighters.


Shampoolio’s Dry Shampoo
If you frequently pull all-nighters or your dorm bathroom has terrible water pressure, dry shampoo will be your best friend. It’s the perfect way to refresh your hair without the need to actually wash it. Can you say, “time saver?”

If you’re looking for the perfect product, look no further than hair stylist Julio “Shampoolio” Romano’s chemical-free dry shampoo. Made from finely ground corn and essential oils, this product soaks up the oil in your hair, leaving it fresh and smelling great. Moreover, because you’ll only need a little of Shampoolio’s dry shampoo to get the job done, one bottle will last you a long time for only $22.


Maybelline Volum¹ Express The Mega Plush Mascara
While it may not be organic or made in Southern California, this mascara is definitely one of my favorites. Easy to apply and typically clump-free, Maybelline’s mascara should be a go-to for any girl. Even if you don’t have time to do the rest of your makeup, applying a couple of coats of mascara will define your eyes and make you look more awake. I personally prefer the waterproof version of this product, as it stays on better throughout the day. It comes off easily with a makeup wipe and is ideal if you’re someone who sweats during long walks to class or cries over grades.


Sin-Min’s Horchata Lip Balm
No matter what you do at college, you’ve got to keep your lips hydrated. The only thing more stressful than going to class and doing homework is going to class and doing homework with dry, chapped, cracked or even bleeding lips. Treat your lips with love, also known as Horchata Lip Balm from Sin-Min.

Organic, locally made and packaged with recycled materials, this lip balm is probably the best smelling product I’ve ever had on my lips. As stated by a friend of mine who also uses this product, “It’s like having a cinnamon bun under your nose all the time.” Who wouldn’t enjoy that?

Also, this lip balm goes on thick. One swipe across both lips, and you’re ready to go for the rest of the day. At only $8 for a pack of two, this product is delicious and affordable—need I say more?

Merle Norman’s Lip Polish
Sometimes, you just have to amp up your makeup. Whether it’s for a date, a job interview or a presentation, adding a little bit of lip color makes you look more complete and ready to go. The perfect product for these situations is Lip Polish from Merle Norman.

This lip gloss packs a punch with saturated color. The brush applicator allows for the product to go on smoothly for a long-lasting, high-shine appearance. Additionally, with 13 different color options, you can never go wrong.

The great thing about this Merle Norman Lip Polish is that it provides lipstick-like color and definition with the easy application of a lip gloss. No longer will you stand in front of the mirror for 15 minutes attempting to get your lipstick perfectly in place. Just grab a tube of Merle Norman’s lip gloss, and you’re ready for whatever life throws at you!


NYX‘s Matte Finish Makeup Setting Spray
This product is probably my favorite in all of makeup creation and is something I will defend to the grave. Being a fan of winged eyeliner, I always struggled with keeping them on and smudge free throughout the day. Between rubbing my eyes and occasionally falling asleep in class, it seemed like a hopeless dream that I would ever be able to keep my makeup looking great all day long. Then, down from the heavens came NYX Matte Finish Makeup Setting Spray (This may not be what actually happened. I may have stumbled upon this product in a Target and gave it a chance on a whim).

This setting spray is beyond easy to use: just close your eyes, and spray your face with the product once or twice. Soak up any excess moisture with a tissue, and you’re good to go. It’s a lifesaver for college girls. No longer will you have to touch up your makeup during the day or before you head out for the night. With NYX Matte Finish Makeup Setting Spray, my makeup has stood the test of time through a full day of school and then a concert. I’ve even slept in my makeup after using the spray and woke up with 90 percent of it still in place.

Long story short: if you’re in college and you wear makeup, this product is something you NEED to have in your collection. An $8 bottle is sure to last you all semester.