Thursday, August 23, 2018

The Perfect Back to School Makeup Look

The Perfect Back to School Makeup Look

Summer is coming to an end, and it is almost time to go back to school. I decided to create this quick and easy makeup look to help you look your best on your first day back.  If you are older, like me, this makeup look is also perfect for the office.

I made sure to use affordable products and brushes, but please feel free to use anything you already have in your makeup collection.  All of these colors are pretty easy to get in a variety of brands, and many of you likely already have something similar in your stash. If not, the brands I mentioned are all budget-friendly and as always cruelty-free.  Like any good makeup look, begin with prepping your skin with a bit of moisturizer (preferably with sunscreen) and apply a lip balm. 

Step #1: Even out your complexion 

I started by applying Wet n Wild's Photofocus Face Primer - Dewy using a Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge ($4.99).  Another great option is the Total Face Sponge from E.L.F. Cosmetics, which retails for $4.00.  After priming my skin, I applied my foundation, Wet n Wild Coverall Cream Foundation.  I am not sure if they still make this product, but Wet n Wild and Milani both make some wonderful and affordable foundations. It is important to gently pat the product into the skin with a beauty sponge for the most natural look.  Using Wet n Wild Hello Halo Liquid Highlighter in Halo, Goodbye, I patted a bit of the shimmery liquid onto the tops of my cheekbones. I used a little bit of Wet n Wild Photofocus Concealer under the eyes and on any areas where there were shadows on my face.  I also applied a dot to each eyelid to prime my eyelids for eyeshadow.  To set the concealer, I gently patted on some Milani Conceal + Perfect Shine-Proof Powder in Fair using my Crown Brush Precision Powder Brush ($11.50).

You can shop Crown Brush using the above link (affiliate link) for 10% off your order!* 

Step #2: Fill in Brows

Please do not over pluck your brows. It is one regret that many women my age have.  When I was younger, thin brows were in.  However, a full brow provides a more youthful look.  To achieve this, I brushed in some Milani Brow Shaping Clear Gel.  Using an angled brush, I gently stroked in some brown brow powder from the Wet n Wild Ultimate Brow Universal Stencil Kit ($5.99) along any sparse areas of my eyebrows.  I used the spoolie end of my brow brush to blend the powder in with my natural brow hairs and finished with another coat of brow gel.  Although I used an angled brow brush with a spoolie on the other end, this brow kit includes mini pair of tweezers, brush and spoolie, so you can simply use the tools provided in the kit.

Step #3: Define the Eyes

For the eyes, I opted for Wet n Wild's Rose in the Air Eyeshadow Palette.  However, I only used three colors from the palette; a medium-toned warm brown (matte), shimmery gold, and dark matte brown. Any shadows that you have in your collection in similar colors will work. I began by dipping a Crown Brush Deluxe Blending Fluff Brush ($4.95 - use my affiliate link above for 10% off your order) into the brown transition color in the palette. I gently swept it through the crease of my eye, blending it upward. Using a flat brush, I picked up the shimmery gold in the palette and swept it onto my eyelid.  This color works best with a swiping motion, rather than patting it onto the lid.  If you want more intensity, you can dampen the brush, but I appreciate the subtlety of the shadow as it is. 

Next, I used an angled brush, and applied a dark matte brown eyeshadow to the upper and lower lash line. You could also use the brush included with the Universal Brow Kit and some brow powder for this step instead. I kept the color very close to the lashes, making sure the color was placed in between the lashes as well.  Take a clean cotton bud to blend out the shadow if desired.  For a more bright-eyed look, I used a sponge tip applicator to press Physicians Formula Butter Highlighter in Iridescence on the inner corner of my eyes. A finger, or cotton bud will work for this step if you do not have a sponge tip applicator.

I applied one coat of Milani Big and Bigger Lashes Mascara to my top lashes only to complete the eye look.

Step #4: Brighten up the Face

To add color back into the face, I used Milani Corallina Baked Powder Blush, blending it along my cheekbones.  For added illumination, I applied the Physicians Formula Butter Highlighter (optional) to the high points of my face using a Real Techniques Setting Brush ($8.00). 

Step #5: Lips

To finish the look, I used NYX Lip Liner in Nude Pink.  I did not over line my lips at all, but just traced the pencil along the natural outline of my lips.  Over the lip liner, I glided on Milani Amore Shine Liquid Lip Color in Delight (beige shimmery nude). This lip color is on the thicker side, but not sticky at all. The applicator molds to the lips perfectly allowing for a very user friendly application.  It is one of my favorite applicators for this type of product.

Here is the final look: 

As a bonus step, feel free to set your makeup with the setting spray of your choice (optional). E.L.F. Makeup Mist and Set is an affordable option ($3.74) and is available for free two day shipping for members of Amazon Prime. 


I used a number of affordable brushes in this post.  You can purchase budget-friendly brushes from a variety of brands including: Crown Brush, Eco Tools, Real Techniques, Circa Beauty, Wet n Wild, Real Perfection, Makeup Geek, Coastal Scents and many more.  Browse my Synthetic Brush Guide to find the best brushes for your personal style and budget. 

What do you think of the final look?  Show me your back to school makeup looks on Twitter @MakeupMatters1. Don't forget to use #MakeupMatters so I will be sure to see your look!

*Note: All of the products featured in this post were purchased by me, or gifted to me by friends/family. This is not a sponsored post.  However, I have included my affiliate link for Crown Brush If you shop through this link you will get 10% off your purchase.  Please note I do make a tiny commission from the sale, but this helps support the site. 

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