Writer and expert /
We hate to break it to you, but if you’re a uni student, it’s almost time to head back to campus for another semester of gruelling study (or partying with a side of lectures, if you’re so inclined). Heading back to uni can be daunting, and if it’s your first semester, we promise you’re in for a wild ride. One thing most uni students come to expect is long days spent on campus, the result of a crammed or overambitious timetable.
Instead of letting your makeup, haircare and skincare slip (which we’ve all done at one point), why not pack your back to uni bag full of some beauty essentials? We’ve rounded up some self-care essentials that are sure to make the semester easier, at least when it comes to how you look and feel about yourself. Keep on reading to find out the items we think you should add to your back to uni survival kit.
Stuck at uni on an intensely hot day? We all know the feeling, especially in those first few weeks of the year when the sun is out in full, blazing force. Save your makeup from smearing and sweating all over your face by carrying a quality setting spray in your back to uni bag. Our favourite oil-controlling formula is the Skindinavia Makeup Finishing Spray – Oil Control.
Setting sprays aren’t just for oily complexions or hot weather, though! They’re also a must-have if you’re typically dry, or in the dead of winter when the lack of humidity sucks all the life out of your skin. If you need something that’ll lock makeup in whilst delivering a refreshing boost, we love the Pixi Makeup Fixing Mist.
Sometimes the simplest day at uni can turn into a party, so it’s important to come prepared. Whether you’re planning on spending the evening out with your friends in the city or prefer knocking back pints at your campus bar, having a palette stashed in your bag can be a lifesaver. After all, certain occasions demand specific makeup looks, so if you’re a girl who likes to change things up, it’ll give you ultimate versatility.
Our pick are mini eyeshadow palettes that house three or five different shades that work well together, letting you create a multitude of different looks. The BECCA Ombre Rouge Eye Palette is an essential that features five neutral, wearable shades, whereas we love the OFRA Signature Eye Shadow Palette in Radiant Eyes for shimmering yet subtle hues.
Supplements may have seemed a little mumbo-jumbo a few years ago, but in 2018, they’re the hottest thing in skincare. They’re also incredibly easy to transport and use, meaning that you can deliver amazing benefits to your complexion while you’re on the go. Pop a pack of your favourite supplement in your bag when you’re headed back to uni, if only to counteract the effects of minimal sleep and too much alcohol.
Opt for the Tonik Coconut Oil Capsules or Apple Cider Vinegar Capsules to deliver a huge range of natural benefits to your daily routine. All natural and Australian-made, these babies make improving your health a breeze, and eliminate the need to down disgusting ACV or try oil pulling.
Another customer fave is the Beauty Boosters Complexion Perfection Capsules, which blend key oils and omegas for a botanically-rich formula that will hydrate, smooth and purify the skin. This is the perfect tub to stash in your overnight bag if your skin needs a little boost post-party.
Long days often mean a full face of makeup for hours upon end, which isn’t the best for our skin. If your complexion can be a tad reactive, one must-have for your back to uni essentials kit is definitely a spot treatment. Dab a little of your favourite formula onto blemishes for practically instant recovery. Fending off spots has never been easier or more portable.
We adore the Alpha-H Clear Skin Blemish Control Gel, which comes in a handy 20ml tube that’ll easily fit into your backpack or purse. Apply topically to any breakouts or apply all over the skin for a fresher, clearer complexion. The Dermalogica Clear Start Breakout Clearing Overnight Treatment is another favourite, and is designed specifically for oily, reactive young skin.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll leave for uni every morning with your hair loose, simply leaving it to do it’s thang. By the end of the day, your perfectly tousled bedhead has either gone frustratingly flat or amassed too many tangles to count…what a fail! Make the journey back to uni a breeze by packing your bag full of easy little hair tricks and tamers.
One important must-have for those uni days is the Invisibobble, a traceless hair tie that doubles as a cute wrist accessory. Made out of stretchy, coiled rubber, these hair ties come in a huge range of colours, and won’t snag your locks or create unwanted kinks.
Sometimes you just need a hair brush, but they’re usually pretty clunky, and as a result, not handbag or backpack-friendly. Enter the Tangle Teezer, the compact hair brush that is able to de-knot even the messiest, tangliest locks. Loved by celebs, you’ll find it easy to perfect your locks on the go with this product.
We’ve already established that at uni, anything goes — one minute you’re sitting bored in a lecture, and the next you’re playing beer pong with your BFFs at the campus bar. If your uni days often end with fun evenings out with friends, pair your palette with a day to night lipstick duo. These handy little products combine two shades in the one tube, meaning you can go subtle when the sun is out and sultry of a night time.
Our go-to is the e.l.f. Cosmetics Day to Night Lipstick Duo, which comes in a few stunning shade variations. If you love a Kylie Jenner-esque nude of a day and something bolder at night, go for The Best Berries. Fiery gals will love the Red-Hot Reds option, whereas I Love Pinks is perfect for a sweet, subtle look.
Last but not least, there’s without fail going to be a time at uni where your hair looks worse for wear. Whether you’ve spent too many days out partying or have been in study-inflicted solitude, dry shampoo is about to become your best friend (if it isn’t already, that is). A mini dry shampoo that delivers volumising benefits is key, as it’ll refresh your locks and banish oil whilst creating some texture.
Tap into the benefits of professional haircare with the Juuce Dirty Deeds Dry Shampoo, which comes in a handy 100ml container that’ll slot into your bag with ease. The SHOW Beauty Travel Premiere Dry Shampoo is another fave, especially if you have classier tastes — the luxe, diamante’d packaging is to die for. Hello, fresh-feeling hair!
What’s in your back to uni survival kit? Let us know over on Facebook or Twitter!
I'm a journalism grad and avid makeup fan with an unhealthy addiction to buying nude lipsticks, no matter how similar they all may seem. I love chatting to anyone who will listen about my new favourite products, skincare dos and don'ts and practically any other beauty-related topic under the sun. That doesn't mean I'm frivolous with my recommendations, though--you can count on me to give you the nitty gritty on all your wishlist products. In my spare time, you'll find me binge-watching old episodes of Gilmore Girls or at brunch with a large iced coffee in my hand.
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