You learn a lot in college. You learn a ton from your lectures and your professors, you learn how to coexist with a roommate who might not be your Favorite Person Ever, and you start to learn what your place in this world could be. You might learn that the career you always thought you wanted isn’t for you. You also learn how to do adult things on your own and how to drink your weight in cheap beer.
I learned all of these things in my four years at the University of Minnesota, and I also learned some really important beauty lessons, things that I carry with me even five years after graduation. So whether you’re finishing up your college career or just moving into the dorms, here’s what you need to know.
1. A red lip fixes everything. It really does. If you’re hungover, throw on a red lip. If you’re exhausted, it brightens up your face. If you need an extra shot of confidence, a little red lipstick can give you a kickass boost. This is my ultimate truth.
2. Wash your face. Puhleeeeeeze wash your face every single night! I admit that I don’t always do this still, and I pay for it later. Buy a mini pack of makeup wipes when you’re at Target and keep them in your bag or near your bed for when you’re gonna pass out. You’ll thank me in the morning and again in a week or two when you don’t get a brand new zit!
3. Be kind to your skin. If you have zits, don’t stress out and cover them with a bunch of super-drying potions. Be gentle. Moisturize! Your skin needs moisture most of all, so drink a lot of water and moisturize! Don’t make your skin freak out because it’s dry as hell.
4. Embrace your hair texture. One of the biggest things I learned in college was to stop fighting my curls and waves in effort to have the straight hair that was oh-so-popular in the mid-2000s. I learned, instead, to enhance my natural texture and wear those waves with confidence. I don’t know how many people started complimenting me on my hair once I gave in to the curl and let my hair do its thing.
5. Save money by beautifying like the smartie you are. Visit a beauty school for simple services like a trim or basic blonde highlights. I wouldn’t advise you see a student for a drastic change, but checking out the beauty school for little things is a great way to save money. Plus, some of them even offer college students an extra discount!
6. Dudes don’t care if you look like crap. They really don’t. They’re more interested in kissing you and fooling around than the one piece of hair you forgot while curling it. They think you look hot in the morning. They want to bone you 24/7.
7. Put in effort. Conversely, though, it is important to make a good impression during your college years. When you’re meeting your advisor or a favorite professor for a one-on-one, it’s a good idea to look pulled-together. Some majors require you to do an internship; the people you meet there might set you up for success later. Make a good impression by looking professional and polished. Keep your nails groomed; a naked nail is much better looking than a chipped one.
8. Your skin doesn’t like it when you drink too much. We all drink in college, and often to excess. I did (and still do sometimes) – but my skin would sound the alarm once it had had enough. I’d get puffy. I’d get dark circles under my eyes. I’d get more zits. So have a lot of fun in college and party as much as you want, but remember that booze makes your skin feel hungover, too.
9. Get some sleep. All-nighters don’t make you pretty. If you must stay up all night, drink a lot of water. It’ll keep your skin moisturized and plumped-up, so you might look a little bit brighter in the morning. Try your best to get a decent amount of sleep during college, because it’ll catch up to you in your late twenties!
10. Watch what you eat. I know it’s tempting when you live in the dorms to take advantage of the ice cream machines, pizza and tacos that they serve around the clock, and you should most definitely indulge in those things a whole lot, because you’ll miss them when they’re gone. But also try to sneak lots of greens and whole grains onto your plate, too. Establishing healthy eating patterns during college helps set you up for success when you’re out in the real world. And you know what? Eating a bunch of good-for-you veggies and fruits WILL make you glow.