Graduation makeup tips for the 4 types of graduates

With all of the stress that comes with graduation, you are probably too busy worrying about passing final exams, family members visiting town, post-graduate life and yes, even your makeup for the big day. An abundance of pictures will be snapped away of you surrounded with friends and family. You do not want to have to worry about smudged eyeliner or happy tears causing your mascara to streak down your face. Here are makeup tips for the four types of graduates:

THE MINIMALIST GRADUATE

Are you one to only have mascara in your makeup bag? Or maybe you only wear makeup on special occasions to boost your beauty. Either way, look into these products to simply enhance what you’ve already got.

Smashbox X-Rated Mascara 

One of the newest mascaras from Smashbox is the most buildable formula I have used. Keep laying this over your lashes until you’ve achieved your desired length and volume. Criers beware — this product is infused with olive oil and may smudge a bit when exposed to water (see The Crying Graduate for waterproof products).

Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Cheek Flush

This cheek color is sheer enough so it doesn’t go on too heavy, yet it adds just the right amount of color to make you look alive, even if you’ve been spending the last month cramming for finals in the dark library. It can also be used as a lip color if you’re in a pinch for a hydrating lippie.

THE HUNGOVER GRADUATE

After spending some time with my sister a couple days after her final class, she sat down, cracked open a beer and said, “There have been parties every single night and I have been drunk for all of them,” — thus my inspiration for this type of graduate.

Too Faced Hangover Replenishing Face Primer 

Similar to the Born This Way foundation, this Too Faced primer is infused with coconut water to hydrate and brighten your skin after a long night. Use this either alone to give your face a dewy look or under your makeup as a smooth base for the rest of your makeup.

Urban Decay Mascara Resurrection

Mascara is the hardest makeup to touch up. When I try to layer on another coat to get ready for a night out it, comes out clumpy and that’s just not what I’m going for. Luckily enough, Urban Decay has this amazing product. When you’re wanting to refresh your mascara from earlier in the day (or last night’s makeup that you haven’t washed off), easily apply this over your lashes, and then go on with another coat of your favorite mascara. You’re lookin’ as good as new!

THE EMOTIONAL GRADUATE

Graduating is an emotional time for everyone involved. Your family is proud of you, YOU are proud of you, you’re moving on to bigger and better things, and tears may happen. Let’s be safe rather than sorry and lock in your look.

Too Faced Better Than Sex Waterproof Mascara 

A fan favorite, turned waterproof. This mascara gives the full look of false lashes without the commitment to extensions. Although it is my all time favorite mascara, I wouldn’t say it’s really better than sex.

Too Faced Shadow Insurance eye shadow primer 

I will always suggest using a primer any time you’re wearing eye shadow. It helps prevent creasing on your lids and this particular one from Too Faced actually makes your makeup waterproof. I have forgotten what kind of makeup I was wearing many times and gone to rub over my eyelid, and I have never had a smudge or smear while using this.

NYX Long Lasting Makeup Setting Spray 

Turn to the NYX makeup setting spray to keep your entire look intact. It comes in two different types to suit whichever look you’re going for: Dewy and Matte. Both are absolutely amazing and affordable. Mist yourself over with this after all of your makeup is applied and your face will hold up through all the sweat and tears you might endure that day.

Bonus: Too Faced also made a best friend for their waterproof formula called Melt Off. The product contains green tea extract to soften up and break down the waterproof makeup and make it easier to take off while also conditioning and moisturizing your lashes. It’s applied in the same way you would apply mascara, left on for at least 60 seconds and then can be wiped off with a normal cotton pad or makeup wipe.

THE LATE GRADUATE

Don’t try to fool anyone — you text “I’m on my way!” to the group chat when really you are just finishing curling your hair. No shame! I think we’ve all been there at some point. But to prevent you from being late on a very important day in your life, use these awesome two in one products.

Tarte Double Duty Beauty The Eye Architect Double Ended Liner and Shadow 

This pigmented and smooth eyeliner glides on with ease and is attached to a soft creamy eye shadow with just enough shimmer to make your eyes pop. This product comes in three different combinations that can go well with anything.

NYX Cosmetics Wonder Stick

Contouring is such a big trend this day and age, so get on board with this easy-to-use tool! Even makeup novices can define their already wonderful features with the Wonder Stick so they will show up more beautifully in photos. Draw on your contour and highlight, blend, and that’s all there is to it.

Pro tip: Waterproof versus water resistant

Waterproof means the formula can be fully submerged in water and should not budge. Water resistant can handle a few drops without streaking. Or as I like to tell people: water resistant means you can cry but cannot swim. Waterproof means you can do it all.

Whether you’re sipping whiskey through a flask or tearing up at the video montage your school has put together, I’m sure you want to look and feel your best. Hopefully these products help you achieve what kind of look you’re going for and help you to know what kind of graduate you are.

Congratulations class of 2016!


Thalia is a modern day Wednesday Addams: rarely smiling and dark clothes, but with great eyebrows, lipstick, and a love for One Direction. In her free time, she can be found inside avoiding the sun with a glass of Rosa Regale, probably either touching up her nose contour or adding more color to her hair to make herself resemble a peacock. 

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