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6 Back-To-School Makeup Looks To Try This Year

Your Guide To Cute Back-To-School Makeup

27 Jul 2023

1. Blur Tint Foundation
2. Zero to Brow (new)
3. Jumbo Face Pencils (new)
4. Vivid Matte Liquid Liner
5. Wonder Stick Blush
6. Fat Oil Lip Drip
7. On The Rise Volume Liftscara
8. Ultimate Shadow Palette reno
9. Ultimate Glow Shots (extension)

Until you graduate, most of your days are spent under the harsh fluorescent lights of the classroom. And while school is for learning, it’s also where you make some of your closest friends. It’s only natural to want to have a cute makeup look or two up your sleeve so you can look your best while chatting in the cafeteria. With summer coming to a close, we thought it’d be a great time to compile some makeup inspo for the coming year. Ahead, find six easy makeup ideas that are perfect for school—from simple eyeshadow looks to bold and bright makeup that’s sure to turn heads.

Is Makeup Okay For School?

Before you go all-in with your makeup look, we’d advise you to take a quick peek at your school’s dress code. While dress codes generally focus on what clothes you can (and can’t) wear to class, some schools may have restrictions on makeup, too.

Once you determine that you can wear makeup to school, the world is your oyster. Whether you like to keep it low-key or love the limelight, makeup is a great way to showcase your personality and embrace your individuality. Plus, it’s an endless outlet for creativity (like art class but for your face!).

Back-to-School Makeup Bag Essentials

If you ask us, the best back-to-school makeup is whatever makes you feel confident and comfortable—whether that be a barely-there look or one that puts your personality on full display is up to you. But in order for your makeup to stand up throughout the day, you’ll want to keep a few things in your makeup bag:

  • Skin tint
  • Concealer
  • Brow gel or brow mascara
  • Blush
  • Lip gloss
  • Mascara
  • Setting spray
  • Blotting sheets
  • A compact mirror

The above products are all you need for everyday casual makeup for school. They’re also easy to use on the go. Other products, like eyeliner, shadow, and lipstick, can take your low-key look up a notch when you want extra oomph.

Subtle and Simple Makeup Looks For School

Good news for chronic oversleepers: Your morning makeup routine doesn’t have to take long. Ten minutes is more than enough to put together a fresh, easy makeup look for school. Start by prepping your skin (primer is a must!), then read on to discover three ways you can rock subtle, low-effort makeup.

No-Makeup Makeup

The goal of no-makeup makeup is to look like yourself—just polished. As such, this natural makeup look for school is super easy to execute. Begin by applying an even layer of Bare With Me Blur Tint Foundation. This medium-coverage foundation blurs the appearance of pores, dark spots, and blemishes and helps control shine. Plus, the lightweight formula offers up to 12 hours of hydration (and 16 hours of wear) without an ashy or cakey finish. We recommend applying it with the coordinating Blur Tint Foundation Brush, but you can also use a makeup sponge or your fingers for a slightly sheerer finish. Once it’s blended out, add a pop of color to your cheeks with Wonder Stick Blush for an effortless, flushed glow.

Finally, complete your no-makeup makeup look with our Zero to Brow Longwear Brow Gel. The dual-ended brow features a long-wearing liquid brow gel on one end and a fluffy spoolie brush on the other. You can use the smudge-resistant formula to add color to your arches, enhance your existing brow shape, or create new brows from scratch. Best of all, the brow gel wears for up to two days—so you won’t need to worry about your arches disappearing during gym class.

Softly Glowy

This softly-contoured look is similar in many ways to the no-makeup makeup look, except you’ll be adding a hint of highlighter to give your skin extra luminosity. First, apply your foundation and blush as you would for the no-makeup makeup look. Then, use one of our Jumbo Multi-Use Highlighter Sticks to illuminate the high points of your face (cheekbones, cupid’s bow, brow bone, and the bridge of your nose). These ultra-smooth cream highlighters come in six pearlescent shades that give your skin an instant boost of glowiness.

Glossy Lips

Subtly tinted, glossy lips make for an easy makeup look that you can execute from anywhere (even on the go). As for which gloss to use, we’re big fans of Fat Oil Lip Drip. This high-shine gloss with raspberry oil, cloudberry oil, and squalane leaves your lips feeling hydrated for up to 12 hours. Wear one of the eight tinted shades solo for a subtly glossy look, or layer it over your favorite lipstick for a more pigmented pout.

Cool and Cute Makeup Looks For School

Your weekday makeup doesn’t have to be subtle. If you want to turn up the volume on your makeup for school, we’re here to help you find your inspiration. Keep reading for three ways to rock bold makeup this school year.

Colorful Shadow

Color is one of the easiest—and most impactful—ways to give your go-to makeup a boost. And where color is concerned, our iconic Ultimate Shadow Palettes deliver. Each pro-level palette features 16 color-coordinating shades in a range of versatile finishes, including matte, shimmer, and metallic. Pick a palette and experiment with your favorite shades to create a look that’s uniquely you. Or, rock a bold eye makeup look for school by swiping a medium-toned matte shade over your lids (we love the soft denim hue in Vintage Jean Baby), then accenting your inner corners and lower lash line with a slightly lighter, shimmery shade. Blend out any harsh lines with a fluffy eyeshadow brush, and complete your look with a couple of swipes of our lash-lengthening On The Rise Volume Liftscara.

Shimmery Lids

Give your go-to simple eyeshadow look a luminous upgrade by swapping out your matte shadow for our shimmery Ultimate Glow Shots Liquid Eyeshadow. These easy-to-use liquid shadows are available in 21 vibrant shades that offer a glowy, shimmery finish with zero flaking or fallout. Turn up the volume to the max with the emerald-hued Watermelon Wealth or the vivid copper Clementine Fine. If pastels and neutrals are more your speed, try Grapefruit (a pale, silver-flecked pink) or the champagne-toned Highkey Lychee. Whichever shade you choose, the application is simple: Just sweep the doe-foot applicator over your lids and let dry.

Graphic Eyeliner

Last on our list of cute makeup looks for school is graphic eyeliner. It’s a look we come back to time and time again because it’s high-impact without taking tons of time. In fact, all you need to achieve it is a pigmented, long-wearing liquid eyeliner, such as our Vivid Matte Liquid Liner (or Vivid Brights Liquid Liner, if you want a bit of color). Start with clean lids, and use the eyeliner’s fine brush-tip applicator to trace your upper lash line. Then, extend the line toward the tail of your brow to create a thin wing. From there, you can thicken the line, add dots around your eyes, or accent your lids with abstract squiggles and shapes. However you want to wear it, a graphic eye never disappoints.

How to Keep Your Makeup Looking Fresh All Day

Aside from the five to ten minutes you might get in the changing room after gym class, school days don’t offer a ton of free time to touch up your makeup. So when you complete your cute makeup look in the morning, you’ll want to make sure it’ll last all day long. We have some tips on that front. Keep reading to learn a few things you can do to ensure your makeup stays in place all day (and after school, too).

Always Prep Your Skin

It’s a bit of a misconception that you only need to wear makeup primer if you’re going to be wearing foundation. In reality, makeup primer helps all of your makeup adhere better—not just your foundation. As such, we recommend always priming your skin with a makeup primer before applying your makeup. At NYX Professional Makeup, we have options to suit a range of needs, from hydrating primers to pore-blurring primers and more. Learn more—and find the best face primer for your skin—in our article Prime Time: How to Pick The Right Makeup Primer.

Use a Setting Spray

Like primer, setting spray helps lock your makeup into place. After finishing your makeup routine, give your face a generous spritz of a setting spray like our Matte Finish Setting Spray. The mattifying formula provides long-lasting hold for up to 16 hours and helps control excess shine.

Make Use of Oil-Blotting Sheets

Mid-day shine doesn’t have to ruin your look. If you’re prone to oiliness, consider stashing some oil-blotting sheets in your school bag. When you’re looking a little shinier than you’d like, use the sheets to absorb excess oil and help give your skin a more matte finish. One tip: we recommend patting the sheets onto your skin (rather than rubbing them over your face) to avoid disrupting your makeup.

Next: With the start of the school year brings with it tons of events—and, by extension, tons of opportunities to try new makeup looks. Find inspiration for your next get-together in our article 14 Fun & Flirty Party Makeup Ideas.


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