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7 Makeup Essentials You Can’t Live Without


There are certain items that every girl should have in her makeup bag, from no-fail liquid eyeliner to the perfect shade of red lipstick. There are so many products on the market that sometimes it’s hard to know which are the best. So to help you out, we’ve talked to collegiette beauty junkies and put together a list of the products every girl should own. Don’t waste your time wondering what items should become a part of your daily makeup routine; these are all the essentials you’ll ever need.

1. Flawless BB Cream

BB cream is a definite beauty essential because it’s a fast and easy way to ensure your skin looks blemish-free. It’s awesome if you’re in a rush since the cream serves as serum, moisturizer, primer, foundation and SPF (although you should definitely still use sunscreen if you plan on tanning) all in one! If you have super-dry skin, it’s best to use a moisturizer first even though your BB cream has moisturizing ingredients as well.

There are tons of BB creams available at drug and makeup stores, but Olivia Egger, a junior at Fordham University, has found her favorite. “BB Cream is an absolute essential for me, especially during the summer,” Olivia says. “I've used many different ones, but I love the Rimmel 9-in-1 Matte BB Cream ($6.69 at Ulta) I've been using. It provides good coverage, sunscreen, and isn't super heavy, which is nice when it's really hot outside.”

2. Long-Lasting Bronzer

Bronzer is a great tool to finish off your look with a flush of summer-ready color (without damaging your skin with UV rays)! You want a bronzer that’s going to look natural and last all day, so we’ve given you a few different options. Maggie Scenna, Her Campus’s Account Executive, uses Too Faced Soleil Matte Bronzer ($30 at Sephora) and loves it. It even smells like chocolate—yum!

Iris Goldsztajn, Her Campus’ Style & Beauty Editor, adds another suggestion. “I've only recently started using bronzer, but I love it!” she says. “It really finishes off your makeup look. I use Benefit's Hoola ($28 at Sephora) and it does the job well, while being pretty subtle and natural-looking!”

If you have your mind set on a super-affordable bronzer, Ciara Kilian, a junior at Clark University, has your back. “My favorite is NYC Smooth Skin Bronzing Powder in the shade Sunny ($3.59 at Target). Not only is it amazing quality and super affordable, but it also doubles as a great matte eye shadow!”

3. Versatile Eye Shadow

Functional eye shadow is a beauty must-have for any occasion, whether it’s a job interview, a night out or a family gathering. If you have a palette with multiple colors, you can create various looks depending on what you’re going for. There’s no argument when it comes to eye shadow: Collegiettes agree that the Urban Decay Naked Palette ($54 at Urban Decay) is the best eye shadow to have.

“I personally own the Naked 3 palette, but I highly recommend any of the Naked palettes,” says Jen Morgan, a senior at Messiah College. “At this point, the palette is the main one I use for all of my eye shadow looks, and it is so versatile. Every color that a girl would need for a natural smoky eye, internship-appropriate look and girls' night out are all part of this palette, and the colors stay so long too!”

Caitlin adds, “I also can't live without my Naked 3 palette, my MAC crease brush ($24 at MAC), and my MAC Paint Pot ($21 at MAC), an eye primer you can even wear by itself.” It seems pretty safe to say that a Naked Palette should be on your list!

4. No-Fail Liquid Eyeliner

A no-fail liquid liner is a definite essential for creating a cat eye or any precise look. Many types of liquid eyeliner run or smudge, so you’ll want one that’s strong and easy to work with. Either of these options will help you create the perfect look!

Courtney Klauber, a Rowan University graduate, suggests Stila’s Stay All Day Liquid Eye Liner ($20 at Sephora). “It's a must,” Courtney says. “It's waterproof, goes on smooth and lasts all day!”

If you’re looking for eyeliner that’s great for precision, Sammy Martin, a junior at Emmanuel College, shares her favorite. “Revlon ColorStay Skinny Liquid Liner in Black Out ($7.99 at Ulta) is my favorite liner to use when I have a few extra minutes,” Sammy says. “Its ultra-skinny brush makes creating the perfect wing so much easier!”

5. Volumizing Mascara

Mascara instantly makes your eyes seem bigger and makes you appear more awake. It completes a simple look and can even be used on its own if you’re in a rush! Our beauty guru Sammy recommends using Maybelline Volum’ Express The Mega Plush Mascara in Blackest Black ($7.49 at Ulta) on both your top and bottom lashes.

Madison Eckle, a junior at the University of Wisconsin, suggests L’Oréal Voluminous Million Lashes Mascara in Blackest Black ($8.99 at Ulta). “I have been using this stuff for over five years now and I am obsessed with it,” she says. “I refuse to change products because it's the only kind that stays on all day, is actually waterproof and makes my lashes not only extremely long, but thick too!” One of these mascaras is sure to be an essential part of creating your finished look.

6. Bold Lipstick

Bold lipstick is the ultimate finishing touch to any makeup look. If you’re looking for the perfect red lipstick, Caitlin says, “NARS Semi Matte Lipstick in Heat Wave ($27 at NARS) is the staple red lipstick I'd been looking for for years,” she says.

If you’re on the hunt for a liquid lip color that’s the perfect blend of a stain and a gloss, Jen recommends using Make Up For Ever Aqua Rouge ($24 at Sephora). “This is my ‘if I was stranded on a desert island and could only have one product’ item,” she shares. “I am obsessed with it! It adheres to your lips perfectly and stays longer than any other lip product I've used.”

For an electric purple that’s sure to wow anyone, Summer Ford, a senior at Boston University, suggests Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in L.U.V. ($20 at Sephora). “It's my go-to when I want make a splash by standing out during summer!” she says. “I always get so many compliments on the color. It requires little to no touchups at all!”

7. Practical Brushes

In order to create your signature look, you’re going to need some awesome brushes to do the job. Luckily, these beauty junkies have you covered! Kristi Slocum, a Merrimack College graduate, can’t live without Tarte’s Airbrush Finish Bamboo Foundation Brush ($34 at Sephora). This brush will give you a flawless, blended look.

For eye shadow, Jen recommends using SOHO brand. “I love the two eye shadow brushes I have from SOHO (the quality is wonderful), since the bristles stay secure and the handles have a nice grip,” she shares. You can buy a 3-Piece Smoky Eye Brush Set for $9.99 at Amazon.

Carly Griffin, a sophomore at the University of Michigan, has even more suggestions. “For makeup brushes, my tried and true ones are from Real Techniques,” she says. “They're really cheap but have great quality. The Expert Face Brush ($8.99 at Ulta) is great for blending out foundation, and their eye shadow brushes ($17.99 for the starter kit at Ulta) blend colors seamlessly.”

For something a little out of the ordinary, Jen suggests trying a beautyblender ($19.95 at Sephora), which is a 360-degree makeup sponge applicator. “It's so versatile and I think every girl should own one,” she says.

If you like the idea of the beautyblender, but are looking for a more affordable option, Carly suggests the one from Real Techniques. “My current favorite is their beauty blender ($5.99 at Ulta),” she says. “I picked it up for around $5 and I honestly don't see a difference in quality between this and the original beautyblender, which is much more pricey.”

With these seven essentials, your makeup bag will be stocked with the best products you’ll need for any look, day or night. Even out your skin tone, create the perfect look for your eyes, swipe on some lipstick and you’re good to go! If every girl owned these seven items, makeup bags everywhere would be smiling. Don’t go another day without these essentials; you won’t regret it!

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