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These Amazing Back-To-School Makeup Hacks Take 15 Minutes Or Less

by sarah kester - September 02, 2021

For most of us, our summer beauty routines consist of the basics: sunscreen and moisturizer. Sounds easy enough, but it does make the transition to fall beauty — with its cozy layers, gold and copper eyeshadow palettes and plum lipsticks — quite the daunting task.

While you may be used to cramming for tests, the good news is that you don't have to cram a beauty routine into your already-busy life. Thanks to these back-to-school makeup hacks, you'll be headed off to your Zoom class in 15 minutes or less. 

So, grab a pen and get ready to take notes because school is now in session!

The Best Back-To-School Makeup Hacks

back to school makeup hacks

use setting powder under your eyes

Is your makeup smudging into raccoon eyes by your third class? Prevent it with this makeup hack from celebrity makeup artist, Michaeline Becker: "Apply a small amount of loose or pressed setting powder under your eyes, especially where your lashes touch your skin," she says. "The powder creates a barrier and absorbs natural face oils that cause the mascara to smudge."

use two eyeshadow colors to make the eyes pop

Going from bare-faced to glam doesn't take a full 26-step routine. All you need is two eyeshadow colors, one dark and one light, says makeup artist, Theresa Novicky. The first step is to apply the lighter brown shade on your lid and a darker shade in the outer corner.

"You can try to blend it with your finger, but I find it easier to just keep a blending brush in my bathroom and blend the color," she tells Lively.

For a pop of color that will leave you looking bright-eyed (and not like you were up cramming all night), apply a light, shimmery color in the inner corners of your eye lid. "Top it toward the center of your lid very gently since you never want to smear makeup," Novicky adds.

use bronzer to replace contouring

Save the heavy-duty baking, contouring and strobing for the weekend and rely on your trusted bronzer during the week instead.

"Quickly apply a bronzer in a backwards 3 shape," advises Novicky, as a way to add definition, adding: "Start on the cheek from the top of the ear headed toward the corner of your lips but stop halfway to the lips. Bring it along your hair line and down your jawline."

use a tooth floss pick for perfect winged eyeliner every time

Nailing the perfect liquid line is no easy feat. You can attempt it every day and stillmess up. While there are gadgets out there to avoid this, you don’t have to go far (or spend a lot) for perfection. Simply use a tooth floss!

"Just paint the string portion of one of the little floss picks with eyeliner and stamp it on your skin diagonally out from her eyes twice to create the top and bottom line for your wings," explains makeup artist, Remi Odunsi. "Then fill in the area between the two lines before drawing along your lids from the inner corner to create one long, perfectly smooth line. The result: a completely non-squiggly cat-eye."

back to school makeup

sleep on a silk pillowcase

Beauty sleep takes on a whole new meaning with this hack by Melina Cespedes, celebrity brow and lash expert and Owner of Lash Society Miami: "It keeps your hair free of frizz and knots, and above all, keeps your eyelash extensions from getting caught on cotton (hair extensions, too). Cotton pillowcases snag your lashes in your sleep."

Speaking of your lashes: If you spent the summer basically living at the pool, they’re probably in need of some maintenance. Give them a break from the chlorine by rinsing with fresh water.

"The oils and protein build-up will deteriorate the adhesive bond," Cespedes shares. You can use makeup remover on them throughout the year but throw fresh water into the mix whenever you can, especially if you work out a lot.

back to school makeup

comb your eyebrows

Lusting for influencer-worthy eyebrows? Put. The Eye. Pencil. Down. Stat. At least, according to Cespedes, who says that drawing in your ideal eyebrow shape right from the get-go only leads to a shapeless brow. Instead, she says to comb your lashes up and over at the end.

"Trim the desired shape from the top. If this move is too bold for you, and you don't have precise brow scissors, stand two feet from the mirror and tweeze only the hair you can see!" she says. Doing this hack will help you avoid overplucking aka the cardinal sin of good eyebrows.

use a brow gel to keep hairs in place

It's true what they say about eyebrows framing the face! Keep them looking their best by brushing with a brow gel, says Becker.

When doing this, she adds, you might encounter brow hairs returning to their original position once the brow gel dries. Use her quick fix to combat it: "As the gel is drying, take a clean spoolie and brush through 1-2 more times until the brow gel is fully dry and your brows are in the exact place you want them to be."

take good care of your skin

You won't need to spend time applying foundation or concealer in the morning if your skin is already as glowing as your grades. Nip those dark circles and blemishes before they even happen by implementing a good skincare routine you can actually stick to, recommends Odunsi.

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