Makeup tips for students on a budget

Coconut oil, palettes and a whole lot more

Essentially, you can do a lot without breaking the bank. You just need to get creative.The makeup artist (MUA) community has achieved a large following, meaning a lot more people are getting into using makeup themselves. Unfortunately, most beauty buffs use products that the average person can’t afford, let alone the average, poor college student. Despite what these MUAs seem to sponsor, there are ways of achieving good looks without spending all of your spare cash.

First off: Never take a risk without extensive research. If you find a “makeup hack” video on Facebook that recommends using Elmer’s Glue to clean out your pores, or using the curved edge of a knife to perfect your contour, you need to reevaluate the credibility of that source. Put time into making sure that tricks not only work, but are safe to attempt.

Now, consider all of the products that are compiled in a “full face” of makeup; more than likely, you can safely skip out on at least one of them. Not everyone needs to use primer. Most people don’t need foundation. The only “base” product I use, for example, is concealer. Understandably, a lot of college students have problematic skin, and so it is important to not skip out on products pertaining to that, like acne cleanser and moisturizer. Mainly, just think about what wouldn’t get used as often, and then don’t let yourself buy it.

Coconut oil has become a sort of “snake oil” over the past year, and for good reason. It has a huge variety of uses, some of which involve beauty. It can be used to remove makeup, as a primer for keeping products on your face and as a moisturizer. It must be used with caution, however. It is not a cure-all, and can actually produce negative effects if used the wrong way.

First: Do not let it sit on your skin, as it can clog and grease your pores. When using it as a primer or moisturizer, use it in little portions at a time, seriously just cover a fingertip with it, and rub it in until you can’t feel product on your skin anymore. When using it to remove makeup, make sure to rinse thoroughly. Coconut oil is relatively cheap and can last a very long time, but it’s not something to be messed around with.

This next tip requires more effort, but it does result in a lot less monetary struggle: Makeup dupes. We’ve all seen advertisements or heard reviews for an eyeshadow palette that costs fifty dollars, or a liquid lip product by a high-end brand that costs more than one of your textbooks. Expensive doesn’t mean better. Most of the time, the cost is due to the brand, not the quality. Stay away from Sephora or Ulta Beauty as much as you can. If there’s a lip color or blush you particularly like from one of these makeup stores, you can more than likely find the same shade (or close to it) for less than half the price at a Target or Walgreens.

Other items that most people have but don’t need are makeup applicators. Honestly, you can get away with having just one sponge, one face brush, an eyebrow brush and one to two eyeshadow brushes (depending on how complicated you get with your looks.) Limit the brushes and sponges you keep, and make sure to take care of them so that you don’t need to keep replacing them.

Another thing consumers can get caught up in is the amount of variety there is in makeup. There are countless versions of every product, all of which claim to be unique. Don’t buy into the variety. Find one eyeshadow palette, or one blush shade, or one highlighter that you really like; that way you’ll be less likely to feel the need to buy more shades.

Finally, there are no rules to makeup. Find a shadow palette that has a good shimmer shade, and use it as a highlighter. Use a contour shade as an eyeshadow. Use a lipstick as an eyeliner. Don’t feel the need to buy products based on their intended use. As long as it’s safe, you can do whatever you want. If you can find a palette that has all the colors you think you need for your whole face, go for it. They’re seriously all just powder.