Freshers’ Week: The Ultimate Beauty Survival Guide

Simple solutions to combat those inevitable first week beauty dilemmas

You’ve made it through the exams, survived results day, and now you’re off to university – congratulations!

But brace yourself because freshers’ week is looming. Alongside a great deal of fun, you’ll encounter a fair measure of alcohol, extreme sleep deprivation and a high chance of wandering around looking like an extra from The Walking Dead.

Fear not – these beauty hacks will help you dodge those first-week pitfalls

Problem: The ‘Joker’ look

Image: NicoPadilla.

After three hours in sweaty salvation, your makeup’s looking far from on point. Image: NicoPadilla.

You’re in a club/pub/house party, dancing away, having a great time, when you look in a mirror and see that not only is your foundation getting a bit patchy, but your eye makeup has smudged and your lipstick is exploring the rest of your face.


Keep it light

Avoid layering makeup heavily. For a natural looking eyelashes, try applying a coat of clear mascara onto your lashes before applying regular mascara. This will define each eyelash, as well as making the makeup removal much easier at the end of the night.

The product: For a clear mascara, there’s really no need to spend much at all. Boots’ Natural Collection Invisible Mascara (£1.99, at Boots), does the trick and is clump free.

Invest in waterproof makeup

Waterproof eye makeup is your friend on sweaty freshers’ nights out.

The product: Maybelline’s Lash Sensational Waterproof Mascara will take care of your budget as well as your eyelashes (£6.99 at Superdrug). Sweat away.

Problem: Spots

Image: Keirsten Marie

Keeping hydrated will mean you’ll spend less time hiding spotty skin. Image: Keirsten Marie

There’s a good chance that your alcohol consumption, as well as a string of late nights, will result in a cataclysmic spot break out. Luckily your fellow freshers will be far too embroiled in their own hangovers to notice your pimples, but here’s some tips to avoid those nasty breakouts.


Stay hydrated

H2O is crucial during freshers week. Try drinking a couple of glasses of water before going out, as well as after staggering back into your room at 4am. This will not only give your dehydrated skin a little boost, but can defend against a nasty hangover as well as keeping your waterworks in tune. No one wants to call their mum within the first week reporting a kidney infection.

Tip: A slice of lemon in your water can do wonders, providing you with vitamins as well as protecting you against freshers flu.

Makeup Wipes

It might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people forget to take their make up off after a night out, leading to clogged up pores. Keep your make up wipes on your bedside table as a reminder.

The product: If you’re willing to fork out a little, Simple’s Kind to Skin Sensitive Cleansing Facial Wipes (£3.15, at Superdrug) are brilliant. Otherwise, the Boots’ own brand facial wipes are cheaper, and also fab (£1.50 at Boots).

Problem: Panda Eyes

Image: Nathan Rupert

Leave the panda eyes on the panda. Image: Nathan Rupert

You’re tired, you’re hungover, you’re hungry, and you look like a slightly confused zombie. For those who aren’t keen to embrace panda eye chic, these tips should do the trick.


Spot contouring

This makeup trick really does wonders for those prone to dark shadows under their eyes. For the daytime, use a yellow concealer as a base to cancel any blue or purple hues. Then, simply dot your foundation from each corner of your eye in tiny blobs, then swipe upwards towards the ends of your eyebrows. Before going out, do the same, but then after sweeping upwards, try swiping the tiniest bit of bronzer over the area.

The product: It may be slightly more expensive, but Bourjois’ Healthy Mix Foundation (£9.99, at Boots) is worth it. It’s light, but covers fantastically and contains fruit extracts that supposedly do wonders to your face.


The worst thing you could possibly do to your under eye area is caking on thick layers of make up. This will dry the dark circles out, causing the skin to become even more strained. As a student you can’t really fork out on specialist eye creams unless you’re willing to take out a small loan. The cheap and foolproof solution is simply to remember to moisturize under the eyes once or even twice a day.

The product: Simple’s Hydrating Light Moisturiser’ (£1.29, at Boots) is cheap and fits the job perfectly.

Problem: End of week hair crisis

Image: Artur Chalyj

After a week of back-combing, blow-drying and straightening your hair will be crying out for some TLC. Image: Artur Chalyj

By the end of freshers, my hair was in a state of panic; it had been frantically washed every day to be on top form, as well as curled, blow dried, sprayed and stressed a dozen times (sorry hair). To avoid a hair raising crisis at the end of freshers’ week, my split ends recommend the below.


Dry Shampoo

The temptation to wash your hair every single day is particularly strong during your first week at uni; it’s looking a bit tired and is therefore not helping you achieve the energetic look. But don’t desp-hair. Spray on some dry shampoo, give your hair a shake, curl the ends, and put it up in a ponytail. By the end of the evening everyone will be too engrossed in having a good time to notice your face let alone your roots.

The product: Batiste Care and Vitality will not only give your hair some much needed TLC, but also comes in a handy 100ml travel size for nights out (£1.99 at Superdrug)

Hair mask

You survived freshers! Now it’s time for you and your hair to celebrate with a hair mask. Hair masks are wonderful things for people who are forever forgetting to buy, or unwilling to buy, heat protective spray and then regret it when the split ends start to make an unwelcome appearance. When you have two minutes to yourself, wet your hair and smooth the hair mask onto the ends of your hair to add moisture to tired and dull locks.

The product: ‘Herbal Essences Bee Strong Intensive Moisturiser’ (£1.99, at Superdrug) This fabulous hair mask is currently on offer until the end of the month at Superdrug. Run. RUN.


Featured image: Artur Chalyj

Leave a comment