Summer is nearly over (it feels like it never really began in the UK) and it is almost time to look prepare for another school year. Obviously the most important thing about the new term, is that you settle in quickly and find your feet with your new course work. If you are looking for a few budget friendly yet long wearing make up products, I've got your back (and bank balance in check). After all a new educational semester doesn't have to be just about new note pads and pens...
When in class the last thing you want to be worrying about is foundation fading, sliding off your face or gathering within dry areas. To prevent that from happening and to prolong the wear of all your facial make up, you need a great primer. Luckily there are numerous great, budget friendly and entirely effective options to be found on the high street.
The best for prolonging make up wear - I swear by Max Factor Facefinity 3 in 1 Primer (£10.99). Not only does it create a beautiful, flawless base for foundation application but it grips onto any product applied on top. No it doesn't offer oil control, it does however ensure that foundation does not fade nor slide off the face - even if presented with oily skin and/or humid weather conditions. As an added bonus this contains an SPF of 15.
The best for blemish prone skin - Perhaps you require oil control and maybe you also want to optically blur imperfections, all the while treating blemish prone skin? If so, the primer you require is The Body Shop Pore Minimiser Primer (£8.50) - a silky soft gel primer, that instantly mattifies the skin, blurs enlarged pores and fine lines. As it is loaded with natural tea tree oil, it can aid the natural healing process of any existing blemishes. Much as you'd expect from any primer this also prolongs make up wear.
The best for dry skin - To prevent foundation from clinging to dried out skin, you need a primer that instantly boosts the skin moisture levels and continuously so throughout the day. All of this has to be possible without altering the finish of any product applied on top. I recommend B.Prepared Primer (£4.99) - a hydrating yet lightweight gel primer that will quench dried out skin and keep make up looking fresh all day long.
School or not, every make up bag needs a great foundation - something comfortable, long wearing and of course affordable. I appreciate that one liquid foundation does not suit all, so I have pulled together my top three liquid bases for most skin needs.
For oily skin - Maybelline Superstay Better Skin Foundation is my go to budget foundation for oily skin, it has a liquid to powder finish that not only aids oil control and also perfects the skin too. It is fairly medium to full coverage yet light weight and pretty resistant to all weather conditions.
For dry skin - If I could gift everyone with a bottle of Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation (£9.99), I would - it really is that great. The reason it is my go to recommendation for dry skin, is that the lightweight and nourishing texture is not prone to settling into dry patches; the naturally illuminating finish helps to add radiance to dull skin too. As you can probably tell I am a huge fan of this medium coverage yet dewy foundation.
The best suit all - I fully understand that for some foundation will be an entirely new concept, admittedly for most in such position this will result in a lot of trial and error in the coming months. A great, suit all starting point has to be L'Oreal True Match Foundation (£9.99). This base is again a light, natural finish foundation that is suitable for dry, oily and normal complexions. No it doesn't perfect but it does offer oil control, with a lightweight, medium to full coverage. As an added bonus this photographs beautifully (on the skin not in my photos).
Not everyone will want, nor need the coverage of a liquid foundation, or perhaps you require a little extra coverage for blemishes? I have three very different yet equally wonderful affordable concealing options.
For those who prefer a liquid concealer L'Oreal Perfect Match Concealer (£5.99) is a great addition to any cosmetic bag, the light, easy to blend yet high coverage concealer that aids the camouflage of both blemishes, dark circles and redness.
If a cream, stick concealer is more your thing then Maybelline Cover Stick (£3.99) is a great product to try - the creamy yet firm texture is easy to blend and again suits all skin needs and types. For those battling redness Natural Collection Corrector Stick (£1.99) is a wonderful find, the pale green tone helps to counter any redness without looking unnatural or bizarre and as an added bonus it can be used on the eye lids as a primer.
I imagine most when at school, lean towards a neutral eye look? Probably a quick wash of colour and you are good to go - am I right? Cool me too, that's why I have the whole neutral and long wearing eye look on lock down. If you would rather invest in a neutral palette, I would recommend Maybelline The Nudes Palette (£7.99)- 12 neutral shades of the warm and cool variety, all of which are pigmented and offer enough choice to create most looks.
For those looking for exceptional value for their money, may I suggest one of the Sleek Make Up Eye and Cheek Palettes. A small kit that contains four eyeshadows and two blushes all for the tidy sum of £9.99. There are four palettes to chose from, most of which are fairly neutral in tone and ideal for everyday wear.
Let's forget individual shades and concentrate on formulation, I truly believe you will be hard pushed to find a better powder come gel eyeshadow than those present within the L'Oreal Color Infalliable Eyeshadow range. A cooling eyeshadow that melts onto the skin, is long wearing and along with being affordable it wears like a dream - no creasing or fading. For those who prefer a cream eyeshadow, look no further than the Maybelline Color Tattoos (£4.49) - a great dupe for the MAC Paint Pots, only marginally cheaper. The creamy, well pigmented formula glides onto the skin, wears true for up to 8 hours and can double up as an eyeshadow based or eye liner.
One thing that school taught me in terms of cosmetics at least, is to find a great mascara and cling to it. Hopefully it will repay you by clinging to your lashes, free of smudging, smearing or flaking. I'm not a huge fan of waterproof formulas but I do make the exception for Topshop Party Proof Intense Mascara (£9) - this inky black mascara, quickly adds length, volume and separation in one quick swoop. As an added bonus this does not budge, even when caught in the rain or after a strenuous gym class.
There's a reason why so many swear by Maybelline Great Lash Mascara (£3.99) - it delivers. By today's standards the brush head is a little on the small side but do not over look it. The shape and design means you can catch every lash (even those pesky inner corner eyelashes) for an eye opening effect. This lightweight formula adds both length, volume and plenty of pigment. My advice would be too avoid applying too many layers of this mascara, as it can flake and clump but otherwise it is a great, long wearing, smudge free find.
Thanks to the artificial heat in educational buildings, there is a good chance at some point throughout the year your lips will become chapped? To protect and heal your lips I recommend purchasing a lip balm with added SPF, my top two finds are Carmex and Nivea Lip Care Sun Protection SPF30 (£4). Both are fairly moisturising, I guess it all depends on which texture you prefer?
My guess is most will be looking for either a long wearing formula or a moisturising texture, well what if you could have both? Bourjois Color Boost Lip Crayon (£7.99) answers the call - a long wearing yet hydrating splash of colour for the lips. The crayon shape adds an element of precision and allows you to both fill and line the lips. With 9 shades to choose from, I'm sure you will find a shade to suit your needs and complexion.
For those looking for a matte long wearing lip colour then you simply must try the Bourjois Rouge Edition Lip Velvets (£8.99). They may not be nourishing but they do stay in place all day long, regardless of how much you talk, eat or drink.
A step up from a tinted lip balm is Revlon HD Lipstick (£7.99), a soft, creamy texture that is beautifully pigmented and moisturising in one quick slick of colour. The softer texture does make these a little prone to colour fade but they are the ideal choice for dried out lips.
If you are anything like me, on school days you will want a quick and easy flush of colour - one that is long wearing yet requires minimal effort when it comes to application. For that reason alone I rate cream textures - one of the best I have found is the Sleek Crème to Powder Blushes (£5.99). Despite being wonderfully pigmented they slick on with ease and blend out effortlessly, for a long wearing flush of colour.
For those on the go blush applications, you can not go far wrong with a Collection Speedy Blush Stick (£3.99) - no brushes or patience needed. Simply stroke on and blend out with the finger tips, for a naturally flushed look that will stay in place for up to 8 hours - even where oily skin is concerned.
Understandably cream blushes are not for everyone, the best budget blush range I have ever found is Max Factor Creme Puff Blushes. Noted as an alternative to the ever popular Hourglass Ambient Light Blushes - the Creme Puff Blushes offer a delicate, sheer veil of colour that adds both radiance and a perfecting touch to the skin. If you like the idea of a light hint of tint but would rather a gel texture maybe check out the Bourjois Aqua Blush 12 hr. A light and cooling formula that is sweat and oil proof, not to mention it can be applied in layers for a more intense finish.
Let's not pretend for one moment that during the academic year an alarm or two will be missed, and perhaps the snooze button slammed every once and a while. For days like this a hair tie and a great dry shampoo are invaluable. I've been more than vocal in regards to my love for Colab Invisable Dry Shampoo - a weightless texture that quickly absorbs oil, re-freshens without the need for heavy scents and does not leave a white cast on the hair. As an added bonus it does not irritate my scalp and can be brushed out with ease.
Another dry shampoo range that is not to be overlooked is the Superdrug own brand dry shampoos, at just 99p a can they are great value. Again they absorb excess oil and dispense a great burst of fragrance. Unlike the Colab variety, Superdrug offer a collective of tinted dry shampoos which can also be used to disguise hair regrowth in between salon appointments.
I hope this post was somewhat helpful and I also want to wish all those starting a new school year, the best of luck with their studies.