Heading off, or back to college after the summer? If it’s not your first year, likely you’ve got the beauty bits you’ll need down at this stage, but if you’re a fresher (or, you need a refresher), then here’s what we reckon will work pretty well for a pretty face this semester.

  1. Okay, lookit. Here’s what you want: something you can slap on when you roll out of bed four and a half minutes before your lecture or class starts, and which will miraculously provide coverage and make you look great. For this, you’ll need Bourjois’ deadly 123 CC Cream. At €10.49, it’s a completely brillo price, is transformatively excellent and masks a multitude.
  2. Unless you enjoy back strain, the one thing you may not want to lug about from lecture to lecture is a big makeup bag to go along with laptop, notes, books and all the other crap you (me) keep in your bag. So, for any top-ups you need to do during the day, look for a liquid concealer with good coverage, like Rimmel’s Wake Me Up, €6.99. Perfect for effecting a quick repair job, it’ll totally allow you to head SU-wards for boozy opportunities, without needing to nip home first.
  3. If you’ve never seen the benefit or need for blusher before college, well then girlfriend, you will now, because; hangover. Blush is probably one of the best ways to fake that, “HAAHAHA NO REALLY I’M OK THESIS SUPERVISOR,” glow when in actual fact, you think you might sick up last night’s Jaegerbombs all over yourself, imminently. Try the brilliant, and brilliantly-priced, NYC’s BB Blushable stick in Never Seeping Pink, €3.49.
  4. You can drag all the products you like to college but if you’re in halls or house-sharing, chances are all that’ll happen is your co-habitees will ‘borrow’ them, so just bring one, incredibly versatile shadow option, and make it a palette. Yep, it’s a cliche, but Urban Decay’s Naked palettes, €44, are great, have all the pigment, and work well for both night and day, come with a brush and primer too. Winner, wha?
  5. Mascara: see point three for edification and why you really need to pay attention to buying a good one. L’Oreal Paris Miss Manga, €13.49.
  6. By all means, indulge a love of lip products, but having something you can apply without a mirror, as you leg it between lecture theaters and seminars, is gonna be something you’ll be grateful for. Revlon’s Colorstay Balms, €10.99, are perfect. Tons of colour, soft, balmy finishes that are kind to lips and no need to pare? Perfect.
  7. That’s basic slap sorted; but you’ve gotta remember to take it off again. Sure with peachy-perf teenage skin, you can get away with falling into bed with makeup mask intact on occasion, but try to get into the habit of taking your slap off. And that doesn’t mean wipes. The Body Shop’s Camomile Cleansing Oil, €17.20, is just as quick and so much better, plus there’s no need for muslins if you don’t want to invest; your facecloth is fine. Just make sure you’re using warm water and rinsing well. Plus, it lasts absolutely ages.

Got more recommendations for the ultimate college cosmetic bag? Drop ’em below.