As college students, our busy schedules make it nearly impossible to spend time on our beauty routines in the morning. If we’re lucky, we’ll get five minutes to apply our products and go. Fortunately, the minimal look is replacing maximalist beauty, making our lack of time fitting for a currently look. Not only does it save hours in the long run, but following a simple beauty routine can be empowering as we can focus on embracing our natural beauty instead of caking on products. I’ve been a strong believer of no-makeup makeup for years, and I soon realized that other college students have also become aware of its benefits, like focusing on self-love and emphasizing healthy skin. But how exactly can we recreate a no makeup makeup look for ourselves? I asked seven students to dish out the details on their simple routines and see just how easy (and liberating) makeup can actually be.
The Go-To Basics Routine
“To me, all makeup looks are empowering but I personally follow the no-makeup makeup look because it has made my routine simpler. It has also allowed me to embrace my natural features, which is something I never received from other routines. After cleansing and moisturizing, I start with It Cosmetics CC Cream ($38) in Medium, which is super natural makeup along with Glossier Stretch Concealer ($18) in Medium. I usually need to set it, so I use Covergirl Professional Loose Powder ($7) in Translucent Medium. I finish the look with L’Oréal Lash Paradise ($10).” — Ana Acosta, Palomar College class of 2020
The Product-Obsessed Routine
“Ever since I started wearing cosmetics a few years ago, I’ve followed a no-makeup makeup approach. I like the appearance of natural skin, but the beauty industry is something I’m extremely interested in, so I love to try new products! I like to use the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Concealer ($15) in Light and usually apply it with my finger to my breakouts and under my eyes. Then, I’ll set my whole face with the Beauty Bakerie Flour Powder ($27) in Translucent using a beauty blender. I’ll dot some Bite Beauty Multistick ($24) in Brioche on each of my cheeks, on the middle of my nose and on my eyelids, and then blend it in with my finger and a beauty blender. To highlight, I like the Fenty Beauty Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick ($25) in Starstruck during the winter and Sinamon in summer. I glide it onto each of my cheek bones and the tip of my nose, my Cupid’s bow, and the tip of my nose and blend it in. I have pretty full eyebrows already, so I usually just brush them out and swipe on Nyx Brow Mascara ($7) in Dark Brown. Then, I apply Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara ($27) to my top and bottom lashes and apply Glossier Generation G ($18) in Leo to my lips. Finally, I spray all over with Mario Badescu Facial Spray ($7) to set and add a little dewiness.” — Jade Hurley, The George Washington University class of 2020
The Skincare-First Routine
“Because I hate putting on makeup, I have to make sure my skin is in good condition first so I don’t need the makeup. I always wash my face in the morning and night using a few rotating products: Monastery Rose Cleansing Oil ($39), Clinique 7 Day Scrub Cream Rinse-Off Formula ($22), and occasionally some masks from Skinfood. Then, I moisturize using either Yves Rocher Anti-Redness Moisturizing Cream ($14) or Neutrogena Deep Moisture Night Cream ($13), or oils from The Ordinary, like their Rosehip Seed Oil. For makeup, I use an eyelash curler, Blinc Standard Mascara ($26), and either Glossier Stretch Concealer ($18) in Light or RMS Beauty Un Coverup Concealer ($36) in shade 00 under my eyes. Sometimes, if I’m feeling it, I use Glossier Cloud Paint ($18) in Dusk on my cheeks.” — Anna McLaughlin, ESMOD class of 2019
The Three-Step Money-Saving Routine
“I typically don’t wear makeup on the daily, but I prefer a natural look when I do. I fill in my eyebrows with Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder ($23) in Brunette, and then do eye shadow with Stila In the Light Palette ($49). Then, I use Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara ($9). Honestly, I rarely ever spend much money on makeup because I prefer to spend it on clothes.” — Sierra Mayhew, University of Notre Dame class of 2019
The Affordable Hydrating Routine
“I find myself always gravitating toward a no-makeup makeup look because I feel that full-coverage or glam looks give off an appearance that isn’t really me or my style. For my typical routine, I use mostly drugstore or affordable products. I have dry skin, so I like to use products that hydrate. Two that I really like are L’Oréal Magic Lumi Primer ($13) and Face Shop Ultra CC Cushion ($29) in shade 201. I use Nyx HD Blush ($7) in Taupe to shade my cheekbones and jawline to give my round face definition. For eyebrows, I like to use the Nyx Micro Brow Pencil ($10) in Black and Glossier Boy Brow ($16) in Black. I always curl my lashes, and if I feel like it, I’ll do mascara. L’Oréal Lash Paradise ($10) is my go-to at the moment. For lips, I always love to use Smith’s Rosebud Salve ($8).” — Grace Kwan, University of Toronto class of 2020
The Luxe-But-Still-Simple Routine
“I started wearing minimal makeup when I had my first acne breakout years ago. Once my acne cleared up, I loved the way my natural skin looked. I have under-eye circles and acne scarring, but I was comfortable enough in my own skin to look past those minor flaws and wear my under-eye bags like they were designer. Bosses and friends tell me I should play with makeup, but it makes me want to wear it even less. I feel so strong and confident without makeup, and I especially like going against popular opinion. When I do wear makeup, though, I use Chanel Vitalumière Aqua Foundation ($50) in 20 Beige and spot treat or do my whole face depending on my skin. If I want color, I add a bit of Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronzing Makeup Base ($50) to my brush and swipe where needed. Then, I’ll use Glossier Boy Brow ($16) in Clear. I use a combo of mascaras—Maybelline Colossal Mascara ($9), Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara ($27), or Chanel’s Le Volume de Chanel Mascara ($35); however, I don’t go crazy with mascara, I only do a few swipes for each eye. The rest of my day is focused on moisturizing my lips constantly with a mixture of Vaseline Lip Balm, Nivea Olive Oil and Lemon Lip Balm, and Glossier Balm Dot Com ($12) in the Birthday flavor.” — Alyssa Roca, Baruch College class of 2016
The Self-Love-Focused Routine
“I think it’s better for my skin to wear less makeup, and in terms of empowerment, I think that loving yourself how you are is really important. Wearing minimal makeup allows me to really see myself as I am. To start my routine, I wash my face with Clinique Liquid Facial Soap ($19) and apply Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Cream ($33) before doing makeup. Typically, I’ll only use Maybelline Eye Studio Brow Pencil ($8) in Black to darken my eyebrows. If I am feeling fancy, I use Maybelline Master Contour Kit ($13) to lightly contour my cheeks. I’ll also use Define A Lash by Maybelline ($9) for mascara, and for lips, I put on Clinique Chubby Stick ($19) in Chunky Cherry and Clarins Lip Comfort Oil ($27) for some gloss.” — Mariana DeBare, Brown University class of 2018
What’s your no-makeup makeup routine? Let us know in the comments or show us your beauty looks on Instagram by tagging @cfashionista!
Featured photo by @siierramayhew.