Light and Fresh for Back to School

I don’t care what anyone says – back to school is exciting! 🍎✏️📚 I understand it can be a bit of a drag, but think of all the new school supplies, the new pieces for your wardrobe (!!!), getting to see all your friends again, everyone (including parents) getting back into a routine, and if you’re of age, it’s a good excuse to beg your parents to help spot you some money alongside your babysitting earnings for makeup for the new school year!

Taking into consideration how much time you’ll be giving yourself each morning to prepare for the day, here’s a few tips and a before and after of my muse, Dena, for a fresh and light back-to-school look!

Always start by washing your face! Your skin at this age is BEAUTIFUL, young and supple. If you invest more in how you clean and take care of your skin and the less makeup you’ll have to use.

Skin Prep

• Rodan + Fields Soothe or Unblemish Regimen – start with the cleanser, tone, treat and apply moisturizer with SPF

• PRIME! this will help your makeup stay on longer, and when school starts at 730, add in extracurricular activities, this step is essential to an all day face. For Dena, I used the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer – great for combination/oily skin types. Apply with fingers.


Typically when doing a full face, I like to start with the eyes. But for everyday makeup, starting with the face is good in case you run out of time, at least you’ll have any discoloration covered and can jet out the door. Seeing as young skin is beautiful and you’ll be wearing makeup for a long day, wearing something light like a tinted moisturizer is ideal – I recommend the Nars or Laura Mercier tinted moisturizers. Or if you prefer fuller coverage, I really like using MAC Studio Fix fluid – pay the extra $10 for a pump, and mix with your favorite moisturizer to sheer out the coverage. Here I mixed one pump of MAC Studio Fix Fluid with a touch of MAC Strobe Cream to keep the coverage light & fresh. Use a beauty blender to apply all over the face, including under eye area.


One of my most tragic makeup mistakes in my younger years was not doing my eyebrows. Now that thick brows are in and plucking is out – I always like to start with these bad boys first. As mentioned before, if you’ve only got a few minutes before the bus leaves – brush through your brows with a good, tinted brow gel to tame and fill.

If you have about 15-20 minutes :

• brush A tinted brow gel through the brows – I used NYX tinted brow gel for my model

• apply a shadow primer or cream shadow – I absolutely LOVE MAC Soft Ochre or Painterly Paint Pots. Either are great on their own or applied under shadows to prevent creasing. This can be applied with the fingers or a fluffy blending brush.

• invest in a good neutral palette – the Urban Decay Heat palette has become an essential and warm toned colors are complimentary to all skin tones for any season. For an everyday look:

1. apply a shade just a touch darker than your natural skin tone in the crease (like Sauced) with a fluffy blending brush like the MAC 217

2. apply a light creamy shade to the lid (like Chaser) with a flat shader brush like the MAC 242

3. apply a light, soft shimmery shade (like Ounce) over an off-white shimmery pencil like NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Yogurt to the inner corner of the eye with a pencil brush like the MAC 219

4. apply a dark brown shadow (like Ashes) along the top lash line in place of a pencil or liquid liner for a more natural looking liner, use a flat defined brush like the MAC 212

5. (*optional) apply a nude eyeliner like Rimmel London’s Kohl Kajal liner in Nude to the water line to create big, open, awake & sweet doe eyes

6. Apply favorite mascara! Here I used L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black mascara

The rest of the face

I really like an angled blush brush, like the MAC 168, to apply blush and bronzer. Taking the very edge of the brush, apply a light bronzer like MAC’s Give Me Sun to the perimeters of the face and directly under the cheek bones. Then taking the flatter side of the brush, apply a peachy blush color like MAC’s Peaches lightly to the apples of the cheeks. Finish with MACs Soft n Gentle at the tops of the cheek bones, nose & Cupid’s bow for a bit of glow, using a fan brush like the MAC 187.


I know many young girls prefer to not use lip products, so either finish off with your favorite chap stick or lip gloss. For my model, I used MAC’s lipstick in Lovelorn. It’s a “lustre” finish which means it’s creamy, moisturizing, gives of a bit of a shiny finish and comes off very sheer. It’s a beautiful light pink color but doesn’t come off too crazy, so it’s like your lips – but better!


This face is simple, easy and the ENTIRE process including eyes should only take about 20 minutes.

What are your favorite products for a quick morning look?


The Glam Greek

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