Tips & Advice

How To Maintain Your Beauty Routines During Midterms

How To Maintain Your Beauty Routines During Midterms

We all know that look: the half-dead, midterm-laden student who clearly hasn’t slept or showered in two days with a waning will to live on full display in her death throes at Moffitt. Cute, right? This was me all of last week. You’ve probably been there yourself. The best advice would obviously be to get eight hours of rest, eat three square meals, and parce out your studying over the course of a few weeks. Ha! People actually do that?

The truth is, if you’re at Cal, you’re probably so busy you don’t know what to do with yourself. You probably won’t be able to stay perfectly on top of your workload and avoid all-nighters during midterms season. But it’s also true, and empirically proven, that when you feel like you look good, you perform better. 

This is why I always prioritize a little self-care during midterms season. Here is how I simplify and maintain my beauty routines during exams!

Hair & Body: 

  1. I use a clarifying shampoo in order to make my wash last longer. It will purify and detoxify your hair so that your roots take longer to get oily.
  2. I rely heavily on dry shampoo. I tend to wash my hair every three days when my schedule is hectic. Dry shampoo makes all the difference in getting to that third day without feeling gross. 
  3. Style smart! I either wear my hair au naturale or I will opt for a long-lasting style. If I curl my hair (which only takes about 7-10 minutes), it can easily last and look pretty with no touch ups for the whole three days if I sleep with it in a scrunchie. But if that isn’t happening, I really recommend braids. If you braid your hair while you’re asleep, you’ll wake up with pretty mermaid waves that took zero effort. 
  4. Shower every day. Just take three minutes to rinse off and soap up so that you don’t reek of stress sweat or feel unclean, which believe it or not, can be distracting when you need to be in study mode.


  1. Stick to your routine! With high cortisol levels, fatigue, sleepless nights, and a likely crappy diet, you’re already positioned for a breakout. Do yourself a favor and keep your skincare routine as close to normal as possible to avoid causing even more problems. 
  2. I really like to just dump a bit of micellar water on a cotton pad and rub it over my skin before slapping on a dot of moisturizer if I’m really pressed for time.
  3. Face mask and multitask! When you’re at home, apply a calming face mask to your skin while you flip through flashcards and work on readings. It takes 10 seconds to apply it, and 10 seconds to wash it off. It’s a low-effort way to keep your skin happy. Also, bonus pro-tip: if you absolutely have to stay awake longer to keep working but are losing your motivation to stay awake, put on a face mask! It’s much harder to go to bed with green sludge that will ruin your pillowcases all over your face, so you’ll have to stay up until you wash it off.


  1. Stick with quick! Don’t do time-consuming looks (I’m looking at you, cat eyes). Opt for the makeup looks you’re good at, require minimal effort, and aren’t step intensive! I usually go for multifunctional and one-step products. My typical routine during midterms usually looks like this: foundation, concealer, blush, tinted brow gel, cream eyeshadow, mascara, and tinted lip balm or lip stain. 
  2. Skip non-crucial steps. I cut out bronzer, highlighter, eyeshadow (at least in a major capacity), eyeliner, brow pencil, lip liner, and lipstick, but ultimately, I still look polished and much like I typically would on a regular day. 
  3. Long-wearing everything will save you. I love makeup that requires little or no touching up. My head needs to be in my books, not the mirror! Revlon ColorStay Foundation is an actual treasure. I can wear that for a full 24-36 hours before it starts to look patchy, and it doesn’t break me out if I have to wear it for that long. I also recommend lip stains because they seldom need to be fixed up. If your mascara tends to smear, I’d pick a waterproof formula to get you through crunch time. Makeup setting spray is also life-saver too! 

I hope these tips help you get through your midterms feeling empowered, beautiful, and ready to crush those pesky exams!



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