During my freshman year of college, I lived on a girls-only floor that had a single bathroom. This meant sharing two shower stalls and three postcard-sized mirrors with 20 or so other women.
At least I wasn’t on one of the shared floors, where residents were forced to haggle over sink space with . . . boys. Beauty routines in college are tough enough without the addition of your down-the-hall crush knowing exactly how often you shave!
The thing about college beauty is that your approach needs to be a little improvisational. When it comes to products, the keywords are multitasking, portable and awesome. With limited personal space for beauty products—and the necessity of carrying your potions and lotions back and forth to the bathroom in teeny plastic totes—every single item that you use should be worth its weight in gold.
Here are my top-five dorm-room must-have products:
BB cream: It’s everything you’ve heard it is, and more. BB cream, which provides tint, SPF, moisture and anti-aging solutions all in one, is a miracle in a tube. A BB cream (I love L'Oréal Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream and Dr.Jart+ Water Fuse Beauty Balm) plus mascara (try Maybelline Great Lash Washable Mascara in Brownish Black for a natural effect) is really all you need to look fresh-faced for your early-morning trip to the dining hall.
A do-it-all lip balm: Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment is pricey at $22.50, but it’s the gold standard for lip care. Go for the Rose shade, which moisturizes, provides SPF and gives you light, sheer color. On the more affordable (and extremely fun) end, I love Maybelline Baby Lips SPF 20 Lip Moisturizing Balm.
Anti-frizz serum: When you’re running to an 8 a.m. seminar, sometimes you’re just not in the mood to whip out the blow-dryer. Instead use a dollop of anti-frizz serum (try Dove Style + Care Frizz-Free Shine Cream-Serum), make one or two braids and, presto, you’re pulled together for class. As an extra bonus: when you take out the braids later on, you’ll have pretty beachy waves.
Self-tanning moisturizer: Long hours in the library can leave you with some seriously pasty skin, so why not add a hint of natural color when you apply your morning moisturizer? I love Nature’s Gate Glow Lotion for a barely there touch of tan.
A combo bath product: If you really want to streamline your routine, you can find some absolutely delicious-smelling shampoo/bubble bath/shower gel combos. Try: Philosophy Amazing Grace Bath, Shampoo and Shower Gel. You may not have a bath in your dorm, but two out of three ain’t bad.
Photos (clockwise from top left): Stella McCartney cable-knit wool cardigan, Kate Spade diagonal strip laptop sleeve, Camp Marzio rollerball pens, Jordan Reid, Ivy League Glasses from Nasty Gal, Cole Haan Air Sloane Moc Loafer, J.Crew Marigold earrings and Simpatico backpack from Foley + Corinna