University Beauty/Fashion Essentials | Just Add Ginger

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N.B: Before I start this post, yes, these are all photographs of me at various stages in university life.

I first started university in September 2005. So next month it will be 8 YEARS since I was a Fresher... What? Yeah. I'm surprised I can remember that far back too! 

I chose to go to a university that was about 4 hours away from where I lived. This was a deliberate move as I really wanted to fully embrace my independence and learn how to do things by myself. I grew up in a pretty small town, so going so far away was a huge learning curve for me!

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Now I'm not going to lie....Freshers' week in my first year of uni is a bit of a blur. 

Not because I am so much older now that my memory is starting to go, but because there was so much going on that it has all merged into one hazy blob of fun, parties, and very sore feet! 

Some of you must be gearing up to head off to your first year of university soon, so I decided I would create my own list of Beauty/Fashion Essentials that you should definitely make sure you pack when you're getting ready to go to uni. If you are staying at home and going to university, these are definitely items/products that you should have in your beauty & fashion arsenal at all times. 

1) Concealer: This is definitely my number 1 beauty essential. Concealer is going to help you out so much during your first year - Freshers' Week in particular. You'll need to invest in a decent concealer to help cover a multitude of sins, dark circles being the main one! Even if you don't indulge in all the parties and themed nights will be going on, the whole transition to university gives you such an adrenalin rush, by the end of it, you'll be exhausted! I love the Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer. It has great coverage, and really brightens up the under eye area. One tube will last you a long time too, and at under £10, it's student budget friendly! 

(...Having mascara to hand will also help brighten up your eyes. My current high street/drug store mascara of the moment is Maybelline The Falsies Flared, I put it on, and my lashes look so thick and long. It's fantastic!)

2) A Good Pair of Heels/Party Shoes: When I want to university, I bought new everything, including heels, and that I think was my biggest mistake. I was out nearly every single night of Freshers' Week, and my feet got absolutely shredded! Even if you want to buy some new things for university for the first week, if you know you'll be going out loads, take a pair of shoes that you know are going to be comfortable. Preferably one that are well-broken in. Then by the end of the week, you'll still have the feeling in your toes. And if your old-faithful shoes get worn to death, then you can move on to your new ones! New Look is a great place to find inexpensive, pretty shoes that are perfect for university.

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3) Fancy Dress: Freshers' Week, and university parties in general are the perfect time to get creative. You don't have to splurge out a fortune on fancy dress costumes. There are opportunities to customise things, accessorise, and even make costumes for parties. I would recommend investing in one good fancy dress costume, and then stock up on taking bracelets, necklaces, and accessories that you can mix and match to make your own outfits. 

One of the themes you usually find at uni parties is "Back to School." This is where your old school uniform could come in handy. And if not, getting hold of a cheap white shirt and plaid skirt is easy enough. In the photo above, I'm at a Toga Party...I made my costume out of a really cheap white sheet and some gold sequin trim.....it was cheap as chips and looked really effective. 

4) Blusher and/or Bronzer: There is absolutely no question that you should have one, or both, of these items in your make up bag at university. A swipe of colour across your cheeks when you've been up partying/studying/revising all night will do you wonders and hide that fact that you've had practically no sleep. 

I've only recently discovered Sleek MakeUp as a make up brand, and I have been so impressed so far with the products I have purchased. I have two blushers (Pomegranate and Rose Gold,) and they are both so pigmented, and a little bit goes a long way. They are a really affordable brand too.

5) Lip Balm: Having a couple of lip balms in your make up bag is a really good idea for university. Having a selection means that you can keep one to hand in your university day bags, your purse, and your bags that you use for going out at night time. Carmex or Blistex lip balms have always been my personal preference. I love the formula, and they keep my lips looking glossy and feeling smooth! 

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If you are heading off to university soon, good luck! Make the most of the time you have there. 

It'll fly by so fast! 


  1. I did a similar blog post to this and agree with the fancy dress there are so many events! Wish i was a freshere again too :( xx


    1. Your blog post was great!

      I had so much fun creating my own fancy dress outfits. Just wish I'd had lots more shoes. Loads of mine got destroyed walking back up to halls cos' my university campus was on a huge hill! :/


  2. Love these tips, I'm about to start uni, so will be a fresher in two weeks time (eekk, I'm soo nervous!). I shall definitely be stocking up on concealer!

    Scarlett x

    1. Concealer and mascara will be your best friend. hehe.

      If you're a hot drink lover, I'd invest in a portable travel "cup". I survived on coffee when I had early morning lectures and wish Id had one to take with me into classes if I was in a hurry.

      Good luck for when you start! I loved the uni undergrad experience. Most amazing 3 years.