Summer’s now over and it’s time for cities and towns across the land to prepare for an influx of bright-eyed freshers and hardened returning students, all ready for the year ahead.
Whilst for many university is a time of excitement and anticipation, for others it’s a daunting prospect full of stresses and concerns. To make easing into the new year a little easier, we’ve compiled a little list of common student beauty SOS dilemmas and solutions. So, ditch the worries about looking your best – you’ve got Fresher’s Week to plan for, friends to make and a new place to navigate!
The morning after the night before
You’ve gotten a bit swept away in the moment and partied ‘til 4am, and you need to be up and raring to go at 9am for an induction. Don’t panic; just make like CSI and hide all traces of the night before. I’ve managed to do this whole routine in just under 30 minutes, but you’ll need to move f-a-s-t to make that lecture on time! First things first: if you’ve got time, try and jump in the shower so you don’t smell suspiciously like a brewery. Scrub all the grime off the night before with the ultra-refreshing Roger & Gallet Citron Refreshing Shower Gel, slather your face with the Vichy Purete Thermale One Step Cleanser 3 in 1 which will remove every last smidgen of make-up that’s still clinging to your face whilst quenching your thirsty, dehydrated skin, and then lather your hair with the clarifying Klorane Citrus Pulp Shampoo followed with the nourishing Klorane Mango Butter Conditioning Balm.
Rigorously towel-dry your hair and pop some Bumble & Bumble Grooming Creme into your locks for a sleek, flyaway-free finish. If you’ve got any hair oil to hand, run it through the ends for a shiny look (I like the Ojon Rare Blend Oil) and either leave to dry naturally or squeeze a few minutes in for a blast of your hairdryer. For a quick skin pick-me-up, use the energy-boosting REN Satin Perfection BB Cream for a flawless, luminous finish. The best thing I’ve ever tried to conceal dark circles and soothe away puffiness is the La Roche-Posay Pigmentclar Eyes, which visibly lightens and improves. A total must-have for any student beauty kit!
The eternal plight of all students is sleeping in and missing their early morning lecture (why do universities do this to you?), waking up in a panic with only fifteen minutes to spare. This happened to me during my university days more times than I’d care to admit and my saviour every time was good old dry shampoo. My trusty stalwart is the Klorane Oatmilk Gentle Dry Shampoo, a celebrity favourite that delivers instant oomph and soaks up all the nasty excess oils that can make your hair look greasy.
To cleanse and refresh your face, swipe a few cotton pads soaked in Bioderma Sensibio H20 Micellar Water and move on to applying a BB creme – if you’re in real rush don’t faff about with brushes but use your fingers for a quicker, seamless application. Or, if you’re in a super-duper rush, then you can’t go wrong with the Vichy Dermablend Compact Cream Foundation. One quick sweep of its velvety formula and you’ve got perfect skin. Perk up your lips with a dash of Guerlain KISSKISS Lipstick in Baby Rose, a beautiful creamy pink that also works wonders blended on your cheeks for a quick flush of colour in a pinch. To finish sweep a few coats of the uber-lengthening DHC Mascara Perfect Pro across your lashes, spritz on some deodorant and waltz out of your halls with a smile on your face.
This is something that I’d wager all students struggle with at some point in their university career. Whether you’re a new fresher who’s missing home and finding it hard to settle in a new environment, or a battle-weary final year student struggling to get some shut-eye thanks to dissertation stresses (or mild panic about post-uni life!) then a good essential oil will sort you out and send you off to slumber. Give the Tisserand Sweet Dreams Aromatherapy Roller Ball a go, which will calm a whirring mind and pacify a tired body with its blend of tranquil Lavender, Bergamot and Ylang-Ylang. The best thing about this roller-ball is just that – it’s a roller ball so it doesn’t require any prior effort. No worrying about burning incense sticks and setting off the fire alarm, which I swear never happened to me…
Another useful tip is to dispense a few drops of Tisserand Lavender Oil or Chamomile Oil onto your pillow to create a relaxing ambience. Similarly, the Tisserand Soothing Wheat Cushion can be warmed up in the microwave and draped around your neck, softly diffusing a sweetly floral scent that may help you to drift off to sleep. This is awesome in the winter as it’ll also help clear congestion and soothe away any chills and aches.
A combination of late nights, stressful new starts, questionable food choices and dodgily ventilated lecture halls means it’s likely inevitable that you’ll break out at some point in the first few weeks. The trusty favourite of spot sufferers the world over is La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo [+] which is clinically proven to correct the appearance of pesky blemishes whilst unclogging pores and refining your skin’s texture. You can either dab a little bit onto any breakout zones, or apply all over like a serum. For best results use in conjunction with the Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel, a gentle cleanser that will lift away dirt, grime and sebum without upsetting your skin’s delicate balance any further.
For targeted, on the go results you can’t beat the Tisserand Tea Tree + Anti Blemish Stick, a lovely formula of anti-bacterial Tea Tree, astringent Witch Hazel and fortifying Kanuka Oil to soothe inflamed spots and banish blemishes. Keep it in your bag and whip it out whenever you feel one of the blighters getting ready to emerge on your chin!
Skin’s lacking energy
If your skin enters panic mode after one too many nights out on the tiles, coupled with a steady diet of pizza and pasta then we’re here to help. If your skin is just generally looking a bit sallow and dull the Vichy Idealia Serum will be your friend. This lightweight miracle serum will repair and restore radiance and has been specially formulated to counter the effects of stress, poor diet and pollution.
If your skin starts looking dry and flaky give it a treat with the Avene Soothing Moisture Mask which will restore suppleness and hydration and remember to gently exfoliate the dry patches with the Avene Gentle Purifying Scrub. Dehydrated skin can be boosted with the Bioderma Hydrabio range which deeply infuses skin with hydration and moisture leaving it luminous, even-toned and refreshed. Skin that’s suddenly reactive and angry can become a problem after a tumultuous change (like moving away to uni!) but it can be soothed with specialist soap-free skincare like the A-Derma Range that will mollify even the most sensitive of skins.
The other essentials
Other bits and pieces that you might find useful to have in your beauty arsenal includes blotting papers, hand creams, lip balms and a good eye palette. If you’re prone to a bit of midday shine then DHC Oil Blotting Papers will transform your complexion, eradicating oil and refreshing your look. You’ll likely be a bit grossed out with what’s transferred! They’re truly great for subtle touch-ups en route to a lecture.
Lip balms are a staple item for the majority of us, but finding one that works is often a mission worthy of James Bond. The Nuxe Reve de Miel has reached holy grail status for many a woman and whilst it’s fantastic for night time use, some might find it a bit heavy for day wear. The Bioderma Atoderm Lip Balm is a great daytime alternative, coating lips in a thin layer of moisture and imparting a satin-soft finish.
There’s two primary things you want in a hand cream; it needs to be quickly-absorbed and ultra-nourishing. The multi award-winning shea-butter rich Crabtree & Evelyn Hand Therapy range ticks these two boxes with no slippery, dry hands in sight! Plus they smell absolutely delicious and are quite purse-friendly.
A good eye shadow palette is an investment that might just see you straight through the year. The adorable Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette has a fantastic range of buttery-soft matte and glitter shades in neutral and bolder colours for beautifully alluring day and smouldering night looks. Apply with the Real Techniques Shading Brush for a simply smashing finish. In fact, why not splash out on the Real Techniques Nic’s Picks, a collection of five brushes that will see you right straight through your university years in style.
And that completes our round up of student beauty SOS! If you have any tips, tricks or recommendations for your fellow students let us know in the comments below. Or if you have any questions or need some advice, tweet me @EscentualKay!