Today I bring you a back to school post! I’ve gone through my collection and compiled a list of what I think are total back to school essentials, and the best part? All of the products are under $7! Even the brushes and tools. This is also intended to be a really quick, easy makeup look. Ain’t nobody got time to go full glam before school. Now let’s get into the look!
(Sad attempt to step up my selfie game)
As you can tell, this look is very fresh faced and natural, while still looking like you put a little effort in. Believe it or not, this look took me only 10 minutes to do. If you’ve got a face and ten minutes to spare, this look will work for you.
I actually decided to skip primer for this look. Specifically because I don’t have an affordable one that I’m loving right now, but also because I think just starting out with moisturized skin is enough for this look. If you’re in the market, the Elf Cosmetics Poreless primer is really great and is only $6.
Now for foundation, I immediately reached for my Elf Cosmetics Moisturizing Stick Foundation.
I’ve raved about this in the past. The coverage is excellent, it blends beautifully into the skin with a natural dewy finish that honestly makes you look like you’re wearing nothing at all, this is basically foundation that doesn’t look like foundation.
This is perfect for back to school because it takes such a short amount of time to apply and blend out. I used my Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge ($5.99) to blend this and it’s really the perfect tool to use with this product.
Moving on, I applied the Maybelline Fit Me Concealer to my under eyes, on my eyelids, and to any blemishes, and blended it out with my Real Techniques sponge.
This concealer has a really good, natural looking coverage. It covers everything I need it to, without looking cakey or thick anywhere. I applied this to the aforementioned areas, as well as my eyelids to prime for shadows. Concealers make fantastic eye primers, especially if you’ve got a lot of discoloration or veining you want to conceal, and multitasking products are the best for back to school makeup.
Next, I set my face and under eyes (as well as my lids) with the Elf Prime & Stay Finishing Powder. ($2, Shade: “Sheer”)
This was actually featured in my July Favorites post, because it’s a fantastic powder. Being the owner of some seriously dry skin, I typically skip powders because they make my face look even drier than it already is. However, this powder sets my makeup without killing any of the dewiness from my primers or foundations. This mattifies where necessary, without making the face look dull. My only wish would be that this product had a mirror in the compact, but for only $2, I can’t complain at all. I dusted this on my face with my Elf Cosmetics Complexion Brush ($4) and used my Elf Small Tapered Face Brush ($3) to set my eyelids and under eyes.
Moving on, I grabbed my Elf Cosmetics Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder Duo in “Fiji”.
I’ve mentioned this product several times as well, and for good cause. Not only do you have both your blush and bronzer in here, you have a really good sized mirror as well, making this product perfect for travel and any on-the-go makeup.
This bronzer is warm, but not orange at all, and the blush is the perfect pink for nearly any skintone. For my application, I skipped on the contour and just used this for an overall bronze, to add a little warmth and definition to my cheeks and cheekbones, and I applied both of these products with my Complexion Brush I mentioned previously.
I also used this in the crease of my eye with my Elf Cosmetics Blending Brush, to add a little definition to the eye.
Next step I really never skip is highlighting. Since I have very dry skin, my skin tends to look incredibly dull and flat, and highlighting helps bring a little life back to my skin. I immediately went for my Elf Cosmetics Baked Highlighter in “Moonlight Pearls”.
This highlighter is really versatile, as you can apply just a bit for a subtle glow, or really pile it on to be a total glowing goddess. The shade is perfect for pale skin, but is still warm enough that deeper skin tones could pull it off too.I applied this to the tops of my cheekbones, the bridge of my nose, and my cupid’s bow with my Elf Small Tapered Face Brush that I previously mentioned. This step is totally optional, especially if you’re oily skinned, but it does add just a little something special! I also used this highlighter all over my eyelid and in my inner corner for a wide awake effect.
To finish off the face makeup, I used my Wet ‘n Wild Photofocus Setting Spray to set it all in place.
I don’t know about you, but I loathe having to touch up my makeup. Don’t get me wrong, I love everything about makeup and putting it on, but once it’s on, I want it to stay that way. This has totally become my favorite setting spray, specifically because it not only settles down my powders and helps them become one with my skin, it keeps my makeup looking beautiful from start to finish. This is even nice for a midday spritz if your skin is feeling a little dehydrated.
I kept my eyes very simple, and used my bronzer and highlight as shadows as I previously mentioned.
To go the extra mile, I used my Jordana Made To Last Eyeshadow Stick in “Continuous Almond” in my waterline.
This makes for an awesome cream shadow, but I love using this in my waterline because of it’s amazing lasting power. I can apply this in the morning and have it last a full 8 hours without budging. I have expensive liners that don’t even remotely measure up to this guy. The nude color is great to conceal that red waterline we can tend to get when we’re really tired, and fake wide open eyes.
To finish up my eyes, I applied a coat of my Jordana Best Lash Extreme.
This mascara is great for building natural volume, which is awesome, because I know I wasn’t willing to put false lashes on when I was in school. To be completely honest, I usually wore yoga pants and a sweatshirt 3 times my size because I was entirely too tired to care, but that is a story for another day.
I have never noticed this mascara smudging or flaking, and it makes for some seriously beautiful lashes!
And to finish everything up, I applied my Jordana Twist & Shine Balm Stain in “Honey Love” to my lips.
This is a very comfortable, very long wearing glossy lip color. This color in particular is perfect for a look like this, because it’s totally effortless. “Honey Love” is the perfect “my lips but better” shade (and is a dupe for Nars Satin Lip Pencil in “Rikugien” if you caught my Lipstick Dupes post!)
And that’ll be the end of today’s post! I hope you’ve enjoyed it, and it’s been helpful for you if you’re going back to school, or just need a few recommendations for quick makeup before work! If you’ve enjoyed this post, please be sure to subscribe to receive email notifications for more!
And as always,
thanks for stopping by!
*This post is NOT sponsored. All of these products were purchased myself, some links are affiliates.