College Fashionista’s community spans not only many states, but many countries as well. And while many of our students share similarities, they are also all, of course, incredibly unique. Case in point? Their varying beauty routines.
Everyone has their own approach to looking and feeling their absolute best, and we wanted to find out what those approaches are—not only to learn the beauty tips and tricks our global community swears by, but to highlight some of the unique beauty traditions and cultures from women around the world. So, we got in touch with five international college students to learn about how the places they live have influenced their beauty routines, their step-by-step processes, and the products they can’t live without. From South Africa to Mexico, here’s an inside look at the daily beauty routines of students across the globe.
The Low Maintenance Routine
“My mom’s side of the family is Croatian, and so sun protection has always been a huge theme (because of that strong Adriatic sun). I never leave the house without SPF, because I always remember my grandma slathering sunscreen all over my face as a kid. I like to keep my day-to-day look relatively low maintenance, and I’ve been loving natural, dewy finishes. After cleansing my face, my go-to daily routine always starts with the CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion for Nighttime Use ($11). To add SPF and some light-medium coverage, I’ve been loving the Neutrogena Healthy Skin Liquid Makeup ($9). My holy grail highlight in summer is Glossier Haloscope ($22). The L’Oreal Paris Brow Stylist Brow Plumper ($8) is a must to set and softly define my brows and the e.l.f. Makeup Mist & Set Setting Spray ($4) is great (and cheap) to use throughout the day as a refresher.” — Alexandra Maland, The University of British Columbia Okanagan class of 2018
Trinidad and Tobago
The Routine That’s All About the Glow
“Quick, easy, and glowing [is my routine]! In the Caribbean it’s hot all the time, so a full face of makeup really isn’t practical for me. I usually go for a nice light coverage foundation, some mascara, highlighter, and lipgloss. And if I’m feeling extra good that day I might do my eyebrows. One beauty tradition I follow that has been passed down in my family would have to be making and using African Black Soap as a skincare staple. Its made from ingredients such as plantain, cocoa pods, and more ingredients that are easily produced in the Caribbean, so we have a recipe that has been passed down from previous generations that my mom and I make together. Its a nice bonding moment for us, but it also creates a really great cleanser and an effective acne treatment. My current favorite products include MAC Studio Face and Body Foundation ($30), Maybelline Volum’ Express The Falsies Washable Mascara ($8), Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Mean Money/Hu$tla Baby ($34), Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer in Fenty Glow ($18), and MAC Prep + Prime Fix+ Shimmer in Goldlite ($26).” — Cyan Gomes, University of Trinidad and Tobago class of 2018
The Less Makeup the Better Routine
“The beauty look that I aim for is the natural glow look. It usually depends on my mood, which is determined by the condition of my skin. But…the less makeup the better. In Bulgaria, we’re famous for our Rose Valley, and maybe that contributed to me using rose water to hydrate my skin. We’re also known for our natural beauty, so most of the women don’t use a lot of makeup. I also try to stick to that. To wash my face in the morning, I use Clean & Clear Blackhead Clearing Daily Scrub ($8). I also use NYX Professional Makeup Studio Perfect Primer ($13), La Roche-Posay Hydrane BB Cream ($14), Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation ($12), Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer ($6), NYX Professional Makeup Highlight & Contour Pro Palette ($20), and NYX Professional Makeup Micro Brow Pencil ($10).” — Alexandra Mincheva, Sofia University class of 2021
The Lash-Focused Routine
“I’d say my lashes are key. I have super straight lashes, so it’s a must curling them and add some mascara. It’s gonna sound so weird, but I curl my lashes with a spoon. It’s something I’ve followed for at least 15 years, and I can’t leave home without doing it. My grandmother taught me how, and I’m hoping to keep her ‘lash spoon’ when she no longer needs it. Her mom gave it to her when she was 12 and now she is 72. It’s just a spoon, but it has a special personal value. My mom also does it and I’d say it is somewhat common in Mexico. Other than that, my top beauty products of the moment would definitely be Truth Serum from Ole Henriksen ($48), Maybelline Facestudio Master Strobing Stick Highlighter ($8), and MAC Lipstick in Tangerine Dream ($33).” — Valeria Gonzalez, Instituto Via Diseño class of 2018
The Pared-Down Routine
“I’m a mix of the Zulu culture (my dad’s side) and the Tswana culture (my mom’s side) here in South Africa, and there isn’t anything in my culture that has to do with makeup at all. Often the girls and women are bare-faced. So I usually just do a simple beauty look which consists of brows, foundation, a bit of concealer, mascara, a bit of highlight on the top of my cheekbones and in the inner corner of my eyes, and some clear lip gloss is a must! That’s basically all I do and I’m good to go. I cannot go without Essence Shine Shine Shine Lipgloss ($4), The Body Shop bronzer in Golden to highlight, and either MAC Prep + Prime Fix+ ($26) or The Body Shop Vitamin E Hydrating Face Mist ($12) as a setting spray.” — Samu Sibiya, LISOF Design and Retail Academy class of 2019
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Opening image by Samu Sibiya.