Forget Textbooks — These Beauty Products Should Be on Your Back-to-School Shopping List

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We doubt your school put "new foundation" at the top of next semester's back-to-school checklist, but we also know that it's just as important as a new backpack and mattress cover — ok, maybe not a mattress cover, but you know what we mean. If you can believe it, summer is also well underway and move-in day is approaching quickly. And while you probably already have the big necessities covered — see above — it's time to pivot your attention to the smaller essentials that aren't nearly as urgent to get but essential nonetheless. Think, a silk pillowcase that will make bedhead a thing of the past, bright eyeshadow palettes all your roomies will beg to borrow, and budge-proof lipstick that can last through even your greasiest dining hall dinner.

Best Blush For Beginners
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Best Blush For Beginners

Nudestix Nudies Bloom ($35)

Prioritize practicality and add this cream blush to your routine. The stick packaging makes application fast and easy. It's also equipped with a removable brush that makes for effortless on-the-go touch-ups.

Best Colorful Eyeliner
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Best Colorful Eyeliner

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil ($25)

So you're finally ready to experiment with colorful eyeliner — just, please, make sure to include these waterproof pencils in your starter kit. With conditioning skin-care ingredients, this formula is so creamy, it never tugs or pulls on skin.

Best Silk Pillowcase
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Best Silk Pillowcase

Kitsch Satin Sleep 3pc Gift Set with Pillowcase, Eye Mask & Scrunchie ($36)

It might not be able to fix your insomnia — midterms, right? — but it will protect your hair for even the few hours of sleep you do actually get. Cotton pillowcases are comfy, sure, but silk will be your secret weapon against frizzy bedhead.

Best Quick Dry Nail Polish
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Best Quick Dry Nail Polish

Essie Expressie Quick Dry Nail Color ($10)

When school starts, you probably won't have the time or money to keep up with your biweekly manicures. This polish takes about one minute to dry and doesn't cost more than the two cold brews you plan on getting before and after class every day.

Best Undereye Concealer
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Best Undereye Concealer

Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat All-Over Brightening Concealer Pen ($40)

$40 is pricy for a concealer, but this undereye brightener will save your life on the mornings you hit snooze one too many times.

Best Cheek and Lip Stain
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Best Cheek and Lip Stain

Benefit Cosmetics Liquid Lip Blush & Cheek Tint ($21)

There's a reason this lip and cheek tint has been popular for years. Within seconds, it can create a natural flush that lasts hours — even through naps between classes. And a little bit goes a long way, so expect this to last you through finals.

Best Single Color Eyeshadow
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Best Single Color Eyeshadow

MAC Cosmetics Satin Eye Shadow ($21)

In every friend group, there's a person who everyone else goes to on a Friday night looking for a full glam sesh. Sound like you? Browse the wide variety of colors in this individual eyeshadow collection to expand your kit before school starts and mayhem descends upon you.

Best Glossy Lipstick
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Best Glossy Lipstick

Tarte Maracuja Juicy Lip Balm ($24)

This glossy balm comes in a range of your-lips-better shades that don't just look good but also feel good. Packed with hydrating ingredients, like maracuja and grapeseed oils, this balm-lipstick-treatment hybrid promises to do exactly what its name implies: to leave your lips juicy.

Best Body Scrub
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Best Body Scrub

First Aid Beauty KP Bump Eraser Body Scrub w. 10% AHA ($30)

Thanks to its glycolic and lactic acids, this bump-erasing body scrub will make sure your skin is silky smooth for whatever going-out-top-and-jean combo you come up with every Saturday night.

Best Long-Wear Lipstick
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Best Long-Wear Lipstick

Urban Decay Vice Lip Bond Longwear Liquid Lipstick ($27)

When you have a thesis or midterm to worry about, you don't want to add fading lipstick to your list of concerns. This long-wear formula clings to lips for hours — and hours. Just make sure to shake the bottle to activate the long-lasting one-swipe color.

Best Dry Shampoo
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Best Dry Shampoo

Bumble and Bumble Prêt-à-Powder Très Invisible Dry Shampoo ($30)

When you only have time for a quick body shower, consider enlisting a dry shampoo to help make your four-day hair look like new. This cult classic absorbs oils and uses UV filters to help protect hair from drying out in the sun.

Best Hair Hot Tool
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Best Hair Hot Tool

Shark FlexStyle Air Styling & Drying System HD430 ($300)

If there's one product you're going to invest in this year, make it a hot tool. To be specific, make it this one. The five-in-one styling system from Shark costs three figures, but can do it all, literally.

Best Cleansing Oil
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Best Cleansing Oil

Boscia MakeUp-BreakUp Cool Cleansing Oil ($37)

There are plenty of college faux pas — buying brand-new textbooks, eating your roommate's snacks, hooking up with someone who lives on your floor — but don't let falling asleep with your makeup on be yours. This cleansing oil will become your best friend on the nights you have to bust through several layers of waterproof mascara.

Best Air Dry Cream
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Best Air Dry Cream

Verb Ghost Air Dry Whip ($20)

If your class schedule requires a 6 a.m. wake-up call, consider an air-drying product that lets you go straight from the shower to the lecture hall. Better still this weightless cream won't leave hair crunchy or stiff.

Best Eyeshadow Palette
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Best Eyeshadow Palette

Nyx Professional Makeup Ultimate Shadow Palette in Paradise Shock ($20)

Rushing this semester? Expect there to be a lot of themed parties, which will most likely require makeup to match. This palette includes bold brights and earthy neutrals so you can use it for mixers, class, and every event in between.

Best Hair Accessory
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Best Hair Accessory

Headbands of Hope Women's The Croissant Headband ($24)

There's no science behind it, but washing your face and putting on your makeup is just better with a headband that pulls all of your hair out of your face. There's a reason this bubble headband is in every "GRWM" video on TikTok.