While going through the largest sorority recruitment in the nation last year as a PNM, I learned a few things about makeup (and life in general, but that’s a story for another day). Now I’m about to go through rush on the other side, and I thought I’d share some of the products and tips that saved my life last year and that I plan to use this year. Whether you’re a PNM or an Active, it’s essential to look your best all day through whatever weather and/or emotions may come your way. Here’s a full face of long-wearing, budge-proof makeup that will last through 100 degree weather, 98% humidity, and a good cry sesh (trust me it happens).
Non-Makeup Must Haves: If you’re going through fall rush in the South like I did, you need to get yourself a handheld fan. I would’ve died without mine honestly. It kept at least my face from getting sweaty, which helped my makeup last longer. Another must-have is an umbrella. You never know when it’s going to rain, and it will also help shade you from the sun. And even if you’re tan, wear sunscreen. Sunburns are actually super hard to cover with makeup, so try to protect your skin.
Primer: Ladies, meet your new best friend: wear-extending face primer! I use a primer every single time I do my makeup, but if I really need it to last, I’ll use one of these. My high-end pick is the Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer. I use the Light version for my combination skin, but they have one for every skin type. I also love the Covergirl Outlast All-Day Primer from the drugstore. Slap one of these on before foundation and it wont budge.
Foundation: This is where I messed up last year. I tried to go for a super full-coverage, heavy foundation and by 2pm every day I just wanted to wash it all off. This year, I’m sticking to full coverage but going with something lighter. I’ll be wearing the Diorskin Forever Perfect Foundation, which is on the pricey side, but I use a very small amount blended in with a sponge and it gives me the perfect amount of coverage while staying weightless on my skin. An amazing drugstore dupe is the Maybelline Fit Me Matte & Poreless Foundation, which is amazing for all skin types and lasts all day as well.
Concealer: I cannot stress the importance of concealer because rush=no sleep. For maximum coverage and all-day wear I use a very small amount of Tarte Shape Tape Concealer. My fav drugstore option that is great for dry skin is the Maybelline Fit Me Concealer.
Setting Powder: Another crucial step in your rush routine is setting powder. For under my eyes, I swear by the Cover FX Perfect Setting Powder. It locks in your concealer and never looks cakey. For the rest of my face, I stick with the classic Rimmel Stay Matte Powder in Transparent. When I want my makeup to last all day, I go for an all-matte face with a pop of highlight rather than the all-over dewy look I usually prefer. It just stays better that way, especially if you get oily throughout the day like I do.
Cheeks: I’m definitely a blush girl; I just think it adds life back into your face. The Lorac Color Source Buildable Blush never fails to last all day. The shade Tinge is a beautiful nude that matches every outfit and will complement a lot of different skin tones. Use a light hand with these though-they’re very pigmented! My favorite bronzer is actually limited edition (boo!), but bronzers are pretty much up to you, so use your favorite!
Highlight: My personal favorite part of makeup is highligher so of course it got its own category. For a blinding glow, I am ob-sessed with the Jouer Powder Highligher in Citrine. So. Freaking. Pretty. If you want something more natural, though, the ELF Baked Highlighter is gorgeous and very inexpensive. (Tip: Be sure to scrape the top layer off the ELF highlighter with your fingernail before using the product.)
Eyes: You really want to go for an eye look that will make you look brighter and more awake, while staying relatively natural. Save the smokey eyes for the date parties, ladies and try a wash of champagne on the lids with a light neutral brown in the crease. My all-time favorite palette for a natural look is the Covergirl TruNaked Nudes Palette. It’s universally flattering and literally fool-proof. (Bonus: The lightest shimmery shade makes a great cheek highlight for super fair skin!) Liquid eyeliner can actually be your friend, if used correctly. A thin line along your upper lash line can help make your lashes look darker and your eyes look bigger. I use NYX Epic Ink Liner because it has an ultra-fine brush tip and wont smudge or run. To look more awake, swap out your black pencil liner for a nude liner in your waterline. Try Rimmel Exaggerate Eye Definer in the shade Nude. Finally, the new L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara in Waterproof is my fav for long, full lashes that aren’t clumpy at all and won’t smudge!
Lips: I prefer to stick with a traditional lipstick when I know I’m going to be talking a lot, because liquid lipsticks will wear off super awkwardly in the center. I go for nudes on a daily basis anyways, and I think a natural shade is perfect for rush. Even if you don’t normally wear lipstick, I suggest trying one because you’ll be surprised how much more put-together it makes you look. My fav formula is the Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Color Splash Lipstick. This is one item I really think you should splurge on. I love a lot of drugstore lipsticks, but this one wears off so beautifully and is so comfortable, you just can’t beat it. They have nudes for every skin tone, but a great universal one is Beach Babe.
Setting Spray: Never underestimate the power of a good setting spray! I use Mac Prep and Prime Fix+ to take away the powdery look and meld all the powders together for a more natural finished look. I then go in with Urban Decay All Nighter to lock my makeup in all day. I highly suggest using both together for a flawless look all day. Both of these come in mini sizes (find them here and here) if you don’t want to splurge on full sizes.
Whew, that was a lot! It may seem like a heavy amount of makeup, but as long as you apply everything with a sponge and a light hand, you’ll look natural and flawless! Rush is stressful process on both sides, but just trust the process and remember God has a plan.