This fall, we’re turning to our Friends at TheLala, the blog written by and for bright, adventurous college women, to lend some tips on how to deal with life whether you live on- or off-campus. This article on quick and dirty makeup was written by Shannon Zhu, a Lala contributor from New York University. 

For some of us, back to school is looming over our heads. Even though our snoozing hours are basically non-existant, there are ways to still look “alive.” I’m referring to the gift that is makeup, of course.

Here are five products and shortcuts to help make you presentable to the world while masking the fact that you have a 10 page research paper due in less than 24 hours.

  1. Foundation Stick
  2. Champagne/Light Pink Highlighter
  3. Bronzer
  4. Mascara
  5. Lip Tint/Lipsick

These quick “cheats” each take only a minute (or less!) to apply, and the best part is, you can mix and match them.

For me, my ideal mix is #1 (Foundation) and #4 (Mascara). I always feel like I can conquer the world – and my next exam – when I have flawless looking skin and fluttering eyelashes. My roomie likes #3 (Bronzer) and #5 (Lip Tint) to give her a tan glow and play up her full lips. Point is – use any combination or just one product solo for a quick but radiant makeup look!

1. Foundation Stick


I love foundation sticks because I can easily dot trouble areas and pat to blend, perfectly covering any blemishes and evening out skin tone. This is as “no makeup-makeup” as it gets! Whether you’re using your fingers, a sponge, or a brush, the tapping/patting motion is great for concealing any pimples or dark circles and maximizing coverage.

2. Champagne/Light Pink Highlighter


No sleep and lots of caffeine may leave your complexion a bit on the dull side, but no worries. Instantly brighten skin by dusting a bit of highlighting powder on your cheekbones, forehead, bridge of the nose, and cupid’s bow. It’s like an automatic Insta-worthy filter.

3. Bronzer


Again, combat shallow looking skin by adding a bit of instant sun. Lightly blend bronzer into the trusty “3” and “E” on either sides of your face – you know, the side of the temples, under and around your cheeks, and under your jaw line. Also, I like to add a little as eyeshadow for a natural, uniform tan look.

4. Mascara


My “desert island” beauty product has always and will always be mascara. I believe that bright and open peepers is the quickest way to perk up your face, and my favorite hack is to take whatever mascara left on the wand to fill in my brows. Key here is a very, very gentle hand to avoid too much product.

5. Lip Tint/Lipstick


You’ve probably heard how great lipstick is as a blush, so why the heck aren’t you doing it! I like the blend-ability of a creamy lip tint. Remember, you can always add more color but trying to take excess blush off is a nightmare. By putting the colors onto my lips first, I can easily move a little to this cheek and a little to that cheek.


These are the trusty makeup cheats I count on to make sure I leave the house looking put together, no matter how time crunched or stressed I am.

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