How to Stay in Touch with College Friends Over the Summer

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college friends hanging out over the summer

Whether you’re going into your first summer break as a college student or are in graduate school, leaving behind the relationships, you spent all year making can be dramatic. But there are ways to take the sting out of the separation. Here’s how you can stay in touch and maintain your college friendships even with thousands of miles between you.

Get a Group Chat Going

If you haven’t already, you need to get your gang on the same page. Group chats through apps like GroupMe, Facebook, Snapchat, etc. are great ways to stay connected when apart — especially if your inner circle has more than a few people involved. Plus, it keeps everyone in the loop without any hurt feelings.

Don’t like the option of chatting? You could always start a private social media group, like one on Facebook. There, share your summer stories, arrange events, or seek out encouragement. The best part is that these groups can be private so what happens over the summer stays in your summer friendship group.

Do a Vacay Swap

Got the money and the time? Why not spend your summer vacation visiting the homes of your friends? This is a great move if your clique is scattered around the country or living their best life in some exotic place. Take out a map, plan a course, and hit the road. It might be the best vacation you ever take.

Send a Care Package

While we like to think of summer as total relaxation — we all know it’s often not. Summer can be stressful with getting back into the swing of things with parents or having to work full-time to afford rent. Your friend may even be stuck taking courses back at school while you’re back at home. If this is the case, be a good friend and send them a package that shows you care. Include items you love, like your favorite drink or a handmade card, and throw in a note on how awesome they are.

Share a Little Love from Home

Speaking of care packages… don’t forget to throw in some mementos from your summer. You can bond without him or her there by your side when you ship them that awesome candy from the sweet shop by your home or that hat from the baseball game you went to. It’s almost like having them with you, and, if anything, it tells your friend that you’re thinking of them even when you’re hours away.

Keep Your Routines

We know we’re going to miss our TV show marathons or our Netflix nights in. But being apart doesn’t mean we have to give all that up! With Skype, we can keep these routines all summer long. Pick a date that works for your friend(s) and share the TV. Press play at the same time and prepare to enjoy a night together.

If your routine is working out with your buddies, stay accountable by using fitness apps to track your habits. You can compete on who runs the longest or who racks up the most miles on the elliptical.

Get Pumped for the Fall Countdown

Of course, the best way to bond with your college friends is to gear up for the school year. If you’re roomies, start planning your next bedrooms by coordinating decor. If you’re in the same academic programs, work on making your fall schedule lineup so you’ll have plenty of time to hang.  And don’t forget to countdown! It’s only a few more months until you’ll be together again.

Universally Stylish Linens

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When you’re in college, life can go by in a blur. With all the hustle you’re going to put in, the last thing that you want to do is worry about if your sheets match or if your bedspread is coordinated with your comforter. Instead of fretting over what’s in style or panicking that your room will never look cool enough, go neutral with color these bedding color schemes perfect for those who want basic — not boring.

Modern Minimalism

For all of us non-decor savvy folks, we’re in luck. This season, minimalism is totally in. The whole “less is more” means no dramatic colors, no clutter, no weird pattern coordinates. Instead, minimalism favors white. If you do add color, go with a throw pillow or blanket in gray or tan. It may sound boring, but it’s a look that looks and feels crisp and modern.

Stylish bedroom with blue hues

Earthy-Neutrals

One step up from minimalism is earth-centered color schemes. Think of the ground, sand, and sea when selecting linens. Every color is muted, but because nothing pops out, it’s easy to coordinate and interchange. Some key colors are sandy tans, rusty browns, hunter or grassy greens, and pale blue.

Vintage Calm

Take a deep breath and relax with a color combo that emphasizes relaxation and simplicity. French blues (a blue that’s a few shades deeper than a traditional sky blue) on white is classic and classy. If you want to modernize it, pick out jersey-type linen in blue and pair it with a softer white blanket or pillow. The mix of textures adds a bonus look to the scheme.

OCM bedding with touches of jewel tones

Touches of Jewel Tones

Some like it hot — hot pink that is! For those who want to keep it interesting and lively, selecting a more modern, simplistic color combo is just not going to get the job done. But instead of going elaborate and making a mess out of your coordinating linens, grab a neutral shade of either black or white. On top of that, add small items to your favorite jewel tone. For instance, we’re digging pastel pink of white or turquoise on black. Have fun and play around!

Royally Goth

Speaking of black, it never goes out of fashion. You can mix black with almost any color, but where it rocks is when it’s matched carefully with its polar opposite — white. Black with white accents (such as black comforters with white lining or black pillowcases with white piping) gives a bed a regal look. It’s a rockstar look at its finest, and you can always layer on a pattern like damask or chevrons to spice it up.

Ocean Inspired

A beach themed bed can be tricky to pull off. It’s a color combo that can go wrong real fast. The trick is to, again, go neutral as your base. White or tan is key for fitted sheets or pillowcases. On top of that, go ahead and layer on the blues. Don’t worry if they’re not exact matches. In fact, go with blues that are far away from one another on the scheme. A light seafoam bed skirt looks great when paired up with a royal blue quilt. Throw in gold or silver touches, and you’ve got a bed to drift away on.

 

Do you like to keep your bed linens a bit more muted? Or do you go all out with splashes of color? These are some of our favorite universally stylish bedding themes. Let us know your favorite looks!

Make Your Own Shamrock Shake for St. Patrick’s Day

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Forget March Madness. There’s only one season that matters this time of year — Shamrock Shake season! That’s right. March is here, and McDonald’s finally has the uber delicious Shamrock Shake back on its menu. Since it’s only around for a limited time, there are not many chances of scoring our favorite green, minty dessert drink. Luckily for us, we’ve found a few DIY versions that hold up to the original. Here’s how you can make your own Shamrock Shakes for St. Patrick’s Day (and beyond).

What You’ll Need

For any kind of shake, you’ll probably want a drink mixer, blender, or hand mixer (if you’re okay making a mess with it). But blenders and mixers can be hard to come by if you’re in a dorm room. Most residence hall rules forbid them. If that’s the case for you, we recommend grabbing a mason jar and canceling your arm workouts for the week.

As for ingredients, your base is simple: 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream (full fat and with sugar is best), 1 cup of whole fat milk, ½  teaspoon of vanilla extract, and 3 tbsp chocolate syrup. To get the green look, you’ll want green food coloring or green sugar sprinkles. If you’re all about the toppings, the classic recipe also has a generous amount of whipped cream and a cherry. You can find all these ingredients at the grocery store.

How to Make

To get the best consistency, let the ice cream sit out for five to ten minutes to soften. You can microwave to speed it up but only do it for a few seconds at a time.

Then, place the ice cream in the blender with the milk, vanilla, and optional food coloring. Blend for ten-second intervals until smooth and drinkable. You don’t want to see chunks of ice cream leftover. If you’re blender-less, place everything in a mason jar with a tight lid and get shaking. It will take a while, so be prepared to feel sore in the morning (it will be worth it).

Add the chocolate to your glass by swirling it around inside before pouring your shake. Top with the whipped cream, sprinkles, and cherry for presentation. We recommend a giant straw to go with it.

Ideas for a Healthier Version

It’s not impossible to make a low-fat version of the shake. After all, eating healthy shouldn’t be eating boring! And besides, who wants to skip out on a Shamrock Shake?

It’s all about finding the right alternative ingredients that still give you the same great taste and flavor. We recommend replacing your ice cream with a low carb version like Halo Top or Arctic Zero which boost low fat, low calorie, and high protein offerings. Mix it with skim or 0% milk for even fewer calories.

Go ahead and skip the toppings, including the chocolate, while you’re at it. But if you still want to make it decadent, let yourself splurge on melted dark chocolate which is rich in nutrients and great for a treat.

After all, everyone should be able to indulge in a Shamrock Shake for St. Paddy’s Day!

Winter Themed Desserts to Make in Your Dorm Room

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Winter is the perfect time to snuggle up in your comfy dorm room getting cozy with some delicious sweets. From chocolate and berries to whipped cream and powdered sugar, there are plenty of winter desserts to indulge in. But the best part is that most of these don’t require an oven and are so easy that you could make it in your dorm room! Here are our top picks for winter-themed desserts.

Cookie-in-a-Mug

Party for one? No problem. You can make a delicious single cookie that goes great with a scoop of ice cream or a cop of hot chocolate. You’ll love it because you only need a mug and a microwave to make it happen.

  • Ingredients:
    • 1 tbsp. butter
    • 1½ tbsp. sugar
    • ½ tbsp. vanilla extract
    • 1 egg
    • 3 tbsp. flour
  • Directions:
    • Spray mug with cooking spray.
    • Melt butter in mug for 30 seconds to soften
    • Add the rest of the ingredients one at a time, stirring until well-mixed.
    • Microwave for intervals of about 20 seconds until cookie has risen and is done.
    • Top with sprinkles, chocolate syrup, powdered sugar, etc.

Chocolate chip cookies

No-Bake Chocolate Cookies

A favorite from childhood, no-bake cookies are perfect for those who are die-hard chocolate fans. These cookies give you a burst of energy and make a good breakfast treat. This recipe makes a dozen.

  • Ingredients:
    • ⅔ cup sugar
    • 1½ tbsp. cocoa powder, unsweetened
    • 2 tbsp. milk
    • 2 tbsp. butter
    • ¼ tbsp. vanilla extract
    • 3 tbsp. smooth peanut butter
    • 1 cup quick oats
  • Directions:
    • In a larger-sized microwave bowl, add sugar, cocoa, milk, and butter. Microwave for about one minute or until bubbling. Microwave for another 30 seconds.
    • Stir in the rest of the ingredients one at a time.
    • Drop spoonfuls on a plate and refrigerate for about 3 hours. Best served cold.

Puppy Chow

Another childhood favorite, puppy chow is a favorite guilty pleasure. It’s such a mess to clean up, but it’s worth it for its chocolate-peanut butter goodness. Your friends will want a bag each.

  • Ingredients:
    • 3 cups rice squares cereal
    • 3 tbsp. peanut butter
    • ⅓ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
    • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • Directions:
    • In a microwave-friendly bowl, melt chocolate at intervals of ten seconds (stirring each time you take out).
    • Add peanut butter and microwave for two-30 second intervals, stirring until well-mixed.
    • Add cereal and mix. Pour into a plastic bag and then add powdered sugar. Shake bag until evenly distributed.

Banana Pudding Jar

We always found banana pudding to be uber-sophisticated, especially when done up all fancy in a tall, glass dish. But did you know you could make expensive-tasting banana pudding in a jar with only a few ingredients and a mason jar (or regular bowl)? Seriously!

  • Ingredients:
    • Vanilla wafer cookies
    • 1-2 bananas, sliced
    • 1 packet of banana or vanilla pudding, prepared (or use 2-3 cups of pre-made banana pudding)
  • Directions:
    • Line bottom of your bowl or jar with vanilla wafer cookies as a base.
    • Make another layer of bananas
    • Add prepared pudding on top and alternate with layers of sliced bananas and cookies until at the top.

fruit parfait dessert

Berry Good Fruit Parfait

Berries are all we want come wintertime. Thank goodness there are plenty of berry-themed recipes for us to enjoy. This recipe uses pre-made cake (think leftovers) and blends our favorite fruit and loads of whipped cream.

  • Ingredients:
    • Pre-made cake (including cheesecake) in small chunks
    • Variety of berries such as blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries
    • Whipped cream
  • Directions:
    • Add a layer of cake chunks to bottom of jar or bowl.
    • Add a second layer of fruit and then top with whipped cream. Repeat until full.

These are just a few of our favorite desserts to make when we are stuck inside on a cold winter day. Make one of these (or all, we won’t tell!), binge your favorite Netflix series and let us know which one was your favorite!

Christmas Decorations for Your Dorm Room

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Christmas decorations on a tree

Seasons greetings! The holidays are almost here, and we are so excited! And sure, we’ve got our minds on vacay, but we’re also dreaming of all the fun ways we celebrate. One of our favorites is decorating. That’s right — just because you live in a tiny dorm room doesn’t mean you can’t get into the spirit. Here are 8 ideas to make your dorm room festive and bright.

Twinkling Lights

The easiest way to give your dorm room a makeover is to change up the lighting. Grab a few strands of Christmas lights and go nuts! Line the ceilings! Make a cool ceiling display above your bed. They’re so inexpensive and easy to find that you can do just about anything with your favorite lights!  

Mini Trees

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a tree! Grab a mini-sized one from your favorite store and add on tiny ornaments. If you’re more of a DIY-er or want a fun party game, you can cut out a large-sized tree and ornaments using felt fabric. Play pin the star on the tree or make ornaments featuring the faces of your friends.

Door Decor

If your residence hall encourages you to customize your dorm door, this is your time to shine! Grab some rolls of wrapping paper and gift wrap it up. Add stockings full of treats for your neighbors or make a chalkboard snowman for friends to write messages on.

Fake Fireplace

You can’t beat a decoration you just turn on! While you can’t have a space heater, mobile fireplace in your dorm room, you can bring in the ambiance by turning your TV into a cozy hearth. Netflix and Youtube offer countless different versions of hours-long fireplace videos complete with soundtracks and carols — perfect for parties or long nights studying.

Snow on the Windows

If you’re a transplant from colder climates or you love the look of snow in the winter, you can make your own using snow spray or frosted aerosol that wipes clean when you’re done. It gives the room a cool, chilly glow, even if it’s still in the 70s or even 80s outside.

Nothing rings in the holiday season like the smell of pinecones

Smelling Like the Season

You can’t talk about the season without discussing all the awesome smells that make you think of holidays at home. From cookies to cinnamon, everyone’s got their favorite holiday scent. Bring in a few flameless candles or use a wax warmer to bring in that homey vibe.

Custom Wreaths

Wreaths are an easy way to decorate your room while also allowing you to show off your personality and creativity. Purchase a base wreath from a crafting store and then use a glue gun to add tinsel, ornaments, pictures, wooden monograms, ribbon, etc. It’s your look, so make it reflect who you are!

Christmas wreath decorations

Burst of Christmas Color

When we think of Christmas, we think of red, green, and white. You can add these pops to a dorm room with throw pillows, area rugs, window hangings, and wall decor. You can also add jewel tones like silver and gold with ribbon wreaths, desk accessories, and lighting. Visit Pinterest for even more color-based inspiration!

Finals can take their toll on your holiday spirits. Ensure that you enjoy some holiday activities and keep the spirit alive by decorating your dorm room. You can keep it within a budget and have the best room in your hall!

Read This if You’re Having a Hard Time Making Friends in College

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Group of girls walking together on an adventure

You’ve made it halfway through the semester, so it probably seems like friend groups have already been established. But if you’re not feeling the love, don’t worry! Making new friends in college can be tough — much harder than in elementary or even high school. It’s totally normal to feel left out or alone when you’re at a new school. If you’re having a hard time making friends in college, we’ve got advice for you to help you establish a new friend group and build some great relationships.

Open Your Doors

One of the coolest parts of college is that, at most schools, dorms encourage an ‘open doors’ atmosphere. In other words, leave your dorm room door open and decorate. Dress up your room, get a cool focal feature, do something neat and fun with your door… whatever you can think of to draw attention to your space. The more open you are, the more likely friends will come to you!

Two friends after their climb

Join the Club

If you don’t want to be isolated, get involved! Find a club that interests you and fits your schedule. Don’t see anything that’s at your level? Look into forming your own group! It could be tabletop gaming or a group to travel into the city and watch plays. Think of what you love and what you want your friends to want to love too and go from there.

If it’s too hard to form an official club, you can always use Facebook events. Advertise around campus and invite your fellow students to join your group. Once in, start some events and see what happens. Even if only one person comes, it’s a win!

Volunteer Your Friend Time

If you’ve got a big heart, you’ll probably want to hang with like, loving minds. Volunteering for causes you care about is a great way to get out there and introduce yourself to new people. From walking dogs at an animal shelter to packaging goods for the holidays, there are endless opportunities for college students to get together, do some good, and build friendships.

Bond Over Food

For introverts, this may be the hardest piece of advice, but sometimes making friends starts with you initiating it. But it doesn’t have to be the terrifying, “Hey! Let’s be friends!” convo. Instead, it could be a simple, “I’m hungry. Are you heading to the cafeteria? If so, can I tag along?” If you’ve got the cash, you can also ask to buy a person a coffee in exchange for help with a difficult class or to talk a professor that’s annoying you. Food is an instant bonder.

Team meeting for group project with coffee

Embrace Group Projects

Is there anything worse than group projects? Probably not. But instead of groaning and whining, look at group work as an opportunity to open yourself up to others. It starts with being a great partner by pulling your weight, making time for the assignment, and listening to other’s opinions. Afterwards, you can all go out and celebrate being done with shared assignments.

Be Yourself Every Day

When you’re not great at putting yourself out there, it can be tempting to want to change your look or personality. But that’s a mistake. Who you are inside is who you should be embracing. People who can’t see how wonderful and great you are are missing out — not you. Continue to be out there, open to new experiences, and positive and the right friends will find you.

College can also be a time to redefine yourself. If you’re nervous or scared in social situations, it is okay. Chances are that many of the people there are as well. Once you are able to do it the first time, it will feel amazing and you will want to continue putting yourself out there. Soon, you will be the talk of the dorm halls!

Move-In Checklist for Girls

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College Checklist for Girls

 

College may seem far off in the distance, but the reality is there’s only one year left. That means it’s time to start talking dorm rooms. And of course, figuring out your style and making sure you have the essentials ready to go is an absolute must. This OCM shopping list is the only one you’ll need. Here’s a breakdown of everything that’s on the move-in checklist for girls.

Bedding

Truth be told, dorm beds are kind of miserable no matter where you go to school. It’s almost universal that you’ll need a few things to make your sleeping space comfy. The first is the right kind of bedding. Extra-long sheets, comforter/quilt, and pillows are the basics. But also consider investing in a great mattress pad if you’re worried about a bad back or a thin mattress.

Bath

Communal bathrooms can be intimidating, but they’re a breeze once you’ve got the right gear. Of course, you’ll want your beauty products and favorite shampoos and soaps. We say splurge and get the best to make your shower experience more luxurious. What you really need is a pair or two of flip flops, a shower caddy to carry it all in, and a set of durable towels.

Home Essentials

Colleges do not give their students cleaning services for their rooms — you’re in charge of that. This means you need to stock up on cleaning supplies and gear. Broom or a sweeper are great to have handy, as well as paper towels and some basic sanitizing wipes.

Out of Sight

Small spaces means getting creative with your storage. Under the bed boxes are crucial, as are closet organizers that hang on the door. Trunks are great for being decor, seating, and storage, but you can also consider ottomans with storage built in as an option.

Dorm Cooking

Believe it or not, but you can cook when you’re living in the dorms. Most come with a small, communal kitchenette, and you’ll want a fridge and/or microwave for yourself. That means you’ll also need a few basics — pot, pan, mixing and measuring bowls, containers, mugs, plates, silverware, etc.

Desk Supplies

Keep yourself organized with everything you need — staplers, paperclips, pens, and pencils, together in a sturdy box or desk organizer. You may also want to invest in the must-haves of studying, like highlighters, notecards, notebooks, and other portable items you can take to and from class and study sessions.

Technology

A laptop or at least a tablet with a portable keyboard should be at the top of your list; it’s an essential in the digital age. But don’t miss out on other essentials like a personal printer, a surge protector, extra batteries, and a carrying case. A TV in your dorm is also a great addition that will let you have movie nights or just “veg,” and a pair of noise-canceling headphones will keep you sane if you get a roommate who snores.

Decorating

Now this category is where you can have some fun! Mix in some touches from home (like a favorite throw pillow or a picture of your BFFs) and add in some new, adult items like a potted plant or a gorgeous vintage mirror. The trick is to come up with a theme or particular style and work with it until it feels like home.  

Extra Essentials

Some things don’t fit into categories but are totally necessary. We’re thinking of first aid kits, umbrellas, lockboxes, and other frequently used items. Think about what you use around your house and add it to this category. You may be surprised what you need — and what you can leave behind.

How to Look Fit for Break

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No one wants to go back for the holidays with the extra freshmen fifteen. While your mom might be too nice to say anything or your dad too oblivious to notice, you want to return from the break looking and feeling your best! On the other hand, it is the time to relax, not to suddenly pick up a fitness or diet regimen. It’s better to focus on that now, so by the time your family picks you up from the airport, you’re not hiding behind flowy shirts and heavy parkas.

Whether you’re worried about facing your family and friends or not, it’s never a bad idea to adopt some healthy habits. If you establish them beforehand, it’ll be easier to keep them during high-stress finals week and the temptation-filled holidays.

Look at the Dining Hall

Just because this is the stuff that the school is feeding you doesn’t mean that it’s the best for your health. The food that is served in the university dining hall probably covers a lot of ground — Asian, Tex-Mex, fast food, sub sandwiches, etc. Having such a wide range of options at your fingertips constantly can overwhelm even the strongest-willed person, especially if this is the first time you’ve ever been entirely in charge of your own diet.

Some university dining halls also have beverage machines. There’s nothing wrong with the occasional indulgence, but limitless soda is definitely bad for your health. Furthermore, just moderating your soda intake can help you lose weight. My dining hall even had a limitless milk dispenser, and even though milk is often touted as a nutrient-rich beverage, drinking more than a glass a day is concerning.

It can be tempting to just indulge in all the tasty food at the dining hall, but really examine every option before you eat it. The salad bar or sandwich station might seem like a healthy option until you see that all the dressings and meats are filled with fats and calories. This is where you can find some of your healthiest options, of course, but you need to be mindful of what ingredients you choose. Keep this in mind no matter what station you choose.

Prepare Ahead of Time

Okay, this is probably the most repeated advice ever, and also the least followed. Yes, we all know it’s easier if you plan out your meals ahead of time. Instead of scrounging for the cheapest meal in the dining hall, it’s better if you pack your own salad before leaving for class. But no college student has the time or the willpower for that, especially after a long night studying.

The trick is to prepare something that will last you a long time. That way, you only have to prep once and then you’ve got something to grab for the week. Things like breakfast pizza, a tray of lasagna, or any sort of pasta will keep in your fridge for a long time. Just watch your portions on these!

If you absolutely cannot bring yourself to prepare ahead of time, then there are on-the-go meals you can fall back on, but they’re not always the most satisfying. Don’t always rely on these, or you’ll end up in a food coma once you get back to your mom’s cooking.

Stay Active!

As the weather gets colder, you might be tempted to drive or take the bus to class, but it’s important to stay active. Walking or biking to class can help you offset the typical winter weight gain (which you WON’T have because you’re following these tips!). You’re also probably not moving around outside as much, so try to find some winter sports to participate in.

At the very least, hit your student rec center or local gym. Being active in the winter takes commitment; you can’t just wait around for the next ultimate frisbee tournament like at the beginning of the year. Plus, with more exam pressure, you’ll have to really want it to stick to your plan.

If you develop a consistent workout schedule now, it’ll be that much easier to stick to when you get home as well. Instead of wondering what happened to the fit high schooler they knew, your family will be impressed that you’re managing yourself so well! At that point, you can indulge a little bit in some festive foods, but don’t overdo it. You don’t want to go back to school looking different than when you left either!

Our Favorite Halloween 2017 Makeup Looks

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Clown with red nose

Your costume is only one part of your Halloween look. Where you should really spend your time is with your makeup. Using what’s already in your makeup bag, you can transform your costume using these awesome tutorials! Which one do you plan on trying this Halloween season?

     1. Basic Pennywise

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9sNJhVyYaA

Everyone’s favorite horror clown is going to be the Halloween costume of the year. Getting the makeup right is essential. This vlogger shows how to get the job done and scare all your friends in the process.

     2. Disney Villians

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJfi2AN_rmY

Being evil never looked so good. With looks from Ursula to the Queen of Hearts, you can get in the spirit by recreating your favorite bad girl looks from childhood movies.

     3. Dark Disney Princess

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8K1gLHmC7Bw

If you’re going to go Princess-y, you might as well go dark too. These reimagined princess looks will have you gasping at the site.

     4. Makeup on the Go

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6a24nYM3tT8

Minutes to go and no costume? These easy makeup looks are so simple that just about anyone with a makeup brush and a small palette can do in ten minutes or less.

     5. Gothic Twist

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SjGZzyN81M

Witches, pirates, fairies, and other Halloween staples don’t have to be so innocent looking. With a little gothic makeup, you can paint a more sinister picture while still looking fantastic. You might even take some of this makeup advice to your regular look.

     6. Shining Skulls

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVgQV6v_QKY

One of the more classic makeup looks is to get down to the bone. Using shadowing techniques and vibrant colors, this neon skull is a great conversation look. Pair with an all black outfit or glow-in-the-dark costume.

     7. Dollar Bill Lace Skull

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=shzxWIoQ7d0

It’s not hard to find skull makeup tutorials to fit your style. But we especially dig this one for the low cost makeup and the attention to details. It’s perfectly pretty and fits just about any outfit.

8. Basic Zombie

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7xQEG1JMKI

Zombie princess. Zombie president. Zombie football player. Zombie… you name it! Zombie-fy your costume with makeup looks that is as easy as it gets.

     9. Emoji Pro

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21otnaBvQ44

You don’t need makeup to look like the “whatever” emoji, but for the smiley faces, you could use some help from a big bottle of yellow and a tiny bit of creativity. This is a great costume idea, but make sure the person wearing the poop emoji knows what he or she is getting into.

10. Retro Girl

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dau67xQ7oA

Vintage is in and so are 1920’s-1960’s characters. Get your pin-up, flapper, and hippy vibe using makeup tutorials that match the era of your costume.

     11. Superheroes

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYiF_0VFVD4

Some of our favorite movie characters are the best ones to recreate in costume. This tutorial breaks down the Gotham ladies — Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, and Catwoman. You can even find pop art and cartoon versions of these looks if you want to get even more artsy with your makeup!

That wraps up our list of favorite Halloween makeup looks. Hopefully, you are inspired to take your costume to the next level. Let us know which look you decide to go with!

Campus Style on a College Budget

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High-end fashion shopping spree

Staying up on fashion trends is one of our top hobbies. But paying for clothes off the runway, at boutiques, or through our favorite designers has us entirely at a loss. How can you be as fabulous as can be when you can’t afford to wear what’s in? We break down 10 ways we’re keeping our style within your budget — spending little (sometimes not even a penny) on the latest trends.

  1. Throw a Closet Party

We grow out of our clothes faster than we like to think. That’s why throwing a closet party with your most fashionable (and closest-in-size) friends is a fast way to find new clothing staples. The rules are simple: bring clothes to exchange and only take the number you brought yourself. Whatever is left over can be donated to a local charity.

     2. Rent Directly

There are a ton of businesses who make bank allowing you to rent high-end designer pieces. The prices can range from $20 to $100, but you’ll get a thousand-dollar (or more) look without anyone knowing it isn’t yours. For those very special occasions, this is one of our go-to options.

hangers found in closets or thrift stores

     3. Go Thrifting

Thrift stores are everywhere — and with good reason. Many of them specialize in designer pieces, specific sizes, and high-quality goods at unbeatable prices. Make an afternoon out of it, and visit a couple to score some great deals! Find one that fits your style, and most importantly your budget.

     4. Re-sell and Profit

Did you know you can sell your old clothes and then use the profits to buy new pieces? Sites like eBay and Polyvore are crazy-addictive, and they make a great side hustle for frugal college fashionistas with a good eye for what’s on trend.

     5. Borrow from a Fashionable Friend

Find your new BFF: Best Fashionable Friend. Your wardrobe will love the updating, even if temporarily, and you can bond over pieces you see in magazines or on your favorite celebrities. It’s a win-win!

clothes organized in a dresser drawer

    6. Build a Capsule with What You Have

Minimalists will tell you that capsule wardrobes are a must. Build a wardrobe with staple pieces that are simple and high quality. Once you check off the pieces you need, then you can use Pinterest and minimalist sites to make hundreds of outfit possibilities!

     7. Check Resale Groups

Facebook and Craigslist are awesome places to find a deal on new clothing. Just be safe about what you buy. Always use cash. Pick up in a public spot, even bring a friend. And do your research on if the piece is real or fake before you purchase.

     8. Become a Clothing Couponer

While extreme couponing for clothes isn’t as easy as it is for groceries, you can get good discounts on clothing when you know where to look. Ebates, for one, gives you cash back for online purchases. Loyalty programs can alert you to exclusive discounts. And don’t forget your college ID! Stores like J. Crew offer a percentage off when you show it at the checkout.

     9. Hit Up Salvation Army and Goodwill

The time it takes to double check for stains and tears is worth it when you can find pieces like gently worn Lululemon for 75 percent off or Kate Spade dress for under $20! Go on discount tag days for even bigger savings.

    10. Make Your Own

Who says you must wear only designers? Recreate your favorite looks by following patterns and buying a used sewing machine. A class, experienced friend, or YouTube tutorial can show you the basics. In no time, you’ll be designing your own wardrobe!

While in college, staying on top of the latest fashion trends is one of the most important things. Spending within your budget can pose some unique challenges. Let this list serve as a starting point for more creative ways to look fashionable and save money!