Back to School Beauty Buys

I love being an adult (wine, hello!), but when September rolls around, I get a pang of nostalgia for the back to school days when I had an annual opportunity to makeover my style.Β Luckily, my non-student status doesn’t have to mean that I can’t make little tweaks to my beauty routine — nothing major, just enough for my friends, co-workers (and maybe, the cute guy on the Metro) to notice that something’s different.

Here are three ways to switch up your look on the fly:

1. Try a Pop of Color

If you’re known to rock a nude lip, try a pop of color on your pout. I’m a huge fan of Nars’ lip pencils, which come in matte, gloss and satin finishes. The brand offers plenty of wow-me shades for nights on the town, but there are also toned down colors, perfect for work. If lip pencils aren’t your thing, look to Bite Beauty’s cashmere lip cream, which comes in six beyond-gorgeous shades.

Bite Beauty Cashmere Lip Cream, $28, sephora.com
Bite Beauty Cashmere Lip Cream, $28, sephora.com

If you’ve never been afraid to wear a colored lip, go with a vibrant eyeshadow or a brighter-than-usual cheek stain. Wear it with confidence and trust me, you’ll get noticed.

2. Upgrade Your Hairstyle

I’ve finally found a good groove with my hair, in terms of the products I use and being able to do a presentable blowout. But finding a routine that works for you doesn’t mean you should end up in a rut.

Try a playful part (think:Β zig zag) or get glam curls overnight (use the sleep curls technique I mentioned in my summer beauty post). You can also do a quicker, no-heat curl using this genius trick from Self magazine. If you usually wear your hair down like I do, get out of your comfort zone with a chic braid or a sleek (or messy) topknot.

Cute headbands or hair jewelry work well for long or short hair. One of my favorite hair accessories is a turban-style hair wrap I bought for less than 5 bucks at Forever 21. I get compliments every time I wear it. Experiment with bobby pins — use colored ones for a funky look or layer the standard-issue kind to accentuate a part or hold back a section of your hair.

3. Remix Your Mani

A manicure is a great way to get a more polished (see what I did there?) look. You can’t go wrong with a nude shade, particularly If you work in a more conservative setting. RGB makes understated shades for various skin tones, but you can put a unique spin on neutral styles by opting for a muted gray, a classy burgundy or a deep brown shade.

Marc Jacobs Beauty Enamored Hi-Shine Nail Lacquer, $18, sephora.com
Marc Jacobs Beauty Enamored Hi-Shine Nail Lacquer, $18, sephora.com

Marc Jacobs has a stunning iridescent nude in his new collection. If you work in a creative office, you can probably get away with quirkier colors orΒ nail art stickers that will grab attention, while saving you a trip to the salon.

If you have your own mini-makeover tips, please share them in the comments!


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