Do you remember when you were a kid and back to school season got you the most hype? Even though summer was ending, the impending new school year meant one thing in particular: shopping. New backpack? Clutch. New notebooks? God, I can still smell 'em. But as I've gotten older, I've itched less for a notebook and a backpack and more for other things, like back-to-school beauty products.
Name something more thrilling than your first step into a Sephora or Ulta mid-August, the allure of beautiful packaging and a promised glow making you want everything you see. Exhilarating as this experience may be, it's dangerous. You need to head into your end-of-summer beauty shopping with a plan. Otherwise, you risk walking out with a bunch of products that weren't worth the money.
Consider Elite Daily's second installment of its annual beauty awards, Glow Back To School, your go-to guide for back-to-school beauty shopping. Featuring the buzziest skincare, makeup, and haircare products released within the last year, these products have not only made waves in the beauty space — they actually work. Elite Daily editors tested more than 500 products (!!!!!!) to settle on the 25 best beauty products for back-to-school season worth spending your cash on.
Get ready for the glow-up of a lifetime.
*Use the code "BLISS25" for 25% off the Bliss Jelly Glow Peel from Aug. 6, 2019 to Aug. 13, 2019.
A powerful but gentle exfoliator, bliss' Jelly Glow Peel deeply cleanses skin and sloughs off the grime from the day or night before. It's also gentle enough to use daily. This way, every school day is a day for radiant, baby-butt-soft skin.
This green tea-based face mask is the only one you'll want to unwind with following an afternoon of lectures. It's perfect for soothing redness, irritation, and Sunday scaries.
You couldn't glow back to school without a glow serum, now could you? This vitamin C- and vitamin E-packed pick works across all skin types and boasts the "Clean at Sephora" stamp of approval, with 97% natural ingredients and sustainable packaging.
If you've come this far without hearing about the benefits hyaluronic acid holds for your skin, I am more than happy to ruin that streak. These serum pads hydrate even the driest skin (I speak from experience) and lock in intense moisture for up to two days.
A quick show of hands for how many people hate the feeling of greasy, thick moisturizers on their skin? If that sounds like you, then you'll want to head back to school with this lightweight, gel-based moisturizer from IT Cosmetics in your beauty bag.
A couple swipes of this under-eye primer from Peter Thomas Roth and any dark under-eye circles you see will be quaking. The light-diffusing particles in the formula immediately brighten the appearance of under-eyes even after all-nighters spent partying, studying, or, um, crying because you just don't wanna study. (We've all been there.)
*Use the code EliteAMORE for 15% off this mask *forever*.
At the end of summer and the beginning of whatever you have next, you deserve a little luxury. Amorepacific's Treatment Enzyme Peeling Masque is a powerful exfoliator that removes the top layer of your skin to reveal a glowier, more even complexion. You'll be the brightest student in more ways than one.
From Aug. 8, 2019 to Aug. 14, 2019, you can receive $1.50 cash back if you buy Dove's 0% Aluminum Deodorant. Simply purchase the item at your preferred retailer, save the receipt, and upload it to Checkout51.
Yes, the skin on your face is important, but the skin under your arms is just as important, people! Dove's latest aluminum-free deodorant offers just as much odor control as its other tried-and-true products, along with moisturizers to make your 'pits smooth as ever — even when the summer heat starts bleeding into fall and your walk to class turns into a big ol' sweat-fest.
I've got to be honest: I low-key never had luck with primers until I used this one, and as a beauty editor, that's saying something. This primer boasts a noticeable blurring effect on the skin, creating a stunningly even canvas any complexion product glides right over.
Use the code "Elitedaily" for 15% off the Berries & Cream Palette from Aug. 6, 2019 to Aug. 13, 2019.
Do you remember the old Starburst Berries and Cream commercial? Consider me the little lad who loves Berries and Cream... in eyeshadow palette form. This palette from Dominique Cosmetics is chock-full of colors that play nicely together and separately, and pack a highly-pigmented punch for any occasion.
Sorry, but you can't go back to school without a good mascara. That's like going back to class without your course textbook. This mascara gives you an intense curl with enormous volume, making your eyes look wide open... even if you're seconds away from snoozing through a boring lecture.
Forget a foundation you have to freshen up constantly throughout the day — we don't talk to her anymore! Your new BFF is L'Oréal Paris' Infallible Fresh Wear Foundation, which gives you medium, buildable, 24-hour-wear coverage that'll last from your 8 a.m. to your 2 p.m. to your theme parties and beyond.
Use the code "ELITEDAILY" to receive a free concealer brush with the purchase of a 16hr Camo Concealer from Aug. 6, 2019 to Aug. 13, 2019.
If you needed proof that a dope concealer doesn't need to cost as much as a textbook, e.l.f.'s 16hr Camo Concealer is it. Whether you're going on 12 hours at the library, at work, or at a darty, this concealer's formula has you (and your under-eyes) covered.
Leave it to Charlotte Tilbury to infuse a little magic into the back-to-school season. The Glowgasm Beauty Light Wand starts as a liquid blush formula but dries down to a gorgeous glowing, powder-like finish. TBH, just looking at it has me blushing.
*Use the code "ELITE20" for 20% off all ColourPop Blush and Lite Stix from Aug. 6 to Aug. 13, 2019.
I can't name another product that's given me a brighter glow than ColourPop's Lite Stix. The stick applicator makes applying this highlighter so easy, and the shine payoff so intense, you'll give new meaning to the term "glow up."
*Use the code "Elite15" for 15% off the Major Glow Lip Shine for the entire month of August 2019.
When Lil Mama wrote her iconic song "Lip Gloss," I'm, like, 90% sure she prophesied this lip gloss. The brainchild of celebrity makeup artist Patrick Ta, the lip gloss' high-shine, high-sparkle formula will ensure your pout is poppin' with the likes of Gigi and Bella Hadid, Shay Mitchell, and so many more celebs.
While the end of summer may feel like an endless black abyss, this Essie nail polish from the brand's Rocky Rose collection will take you into the a-bliss. A pretty pink for every skin tone, you'll be reaching for it constantly when you need something that goes with just about everything.
I'm sure you've noticed apple cider vinegar infiltrating every aspect of the health and wellness industry. Now, it's finally made its way to haircare. This ACV-infused hair rinse removes all the gunk that builds up in your hair over time so your strands will feel fresh as ever.
If you aren't talking conditioners that work across hair types, I don't want to talk! This superfood-heavy conditioner will soften and smooth your hair to the point where you'll never want to stop playing with it.
I'm pleased to say my hair has been touched by the gods — the Pantene Pro-V Intense Rescue shots gods, I mean. An easy, in-shower treatment, these rescue shots restore hair to its strong, healthy state, even after, say, years of intense bleaching and almost having all your hair fall out because you bleached it in your dorm bathroom. (No? Just me?)
*Use the code "ELITEDAILY" for 20% off any products in Living Proof's "Restore" line from Aug. 6, 2019 to Aug. 13, 2019.
Another product that works across hair types, Living Proof's Restore Dry Scalp Treatment quickly relieves flaking, itchiness, and irritation on the scalp, meaning you can worry about your hair less and spend more time worrying about, well, everything else.
For the curly and coily women out there, consider this hair cream a game-changer. It fully moisturizes your hair while giving the perfect amount of hold and definition to your curls to ensure they're bouncy, frizz-free, and, frankly, looking hot AF.
Even though summer's fading away, beachy, textured waves aren't going anywhere. This spray provides the firm hold you need to keep your messy waves in place without the crunchiness. Count me in for effortless hairstyles so I can press snooze 18 more times in the morning.
*Use the code "ELITE2019" for 20% Ouai's Scalp & Body Scrub one time only from Aug. 6, 2019 to Aug. 13, 2019.
Call me dramatic, but I'd honestly marry Ouai's Scalp and Body Scrub if I could. It's that good. Created by Jen Atkin, longtime hairstylist to the Kardashians, the scrub's gentle sugar crystals buff off dead skin, and the coconut oil in the formula ensures your skin stays soft and hydrated from your head all the way to your toes.
Head & Shoulders' Royal Oils Daily Moisture Scalp Cream was crafted by a team of black hair experts to ensure everyone with natural hair gets the care their hair deserves. With daily use, the leave-in cream infuses and seals a surge of moisture into your scalp, meaning you won't need to wash it as often. You'll be serving looks in whatever style you choose all damn day.