Beauty lifestyle on campus

Many JMU students use a variety of brands when it comes to makeup. 

Everyone has those certain beauty products that make them feel like the best version of themselves. For me, my Clarisonic and a purifying clay face mask to help my face feel spotless and a subtle mascara to make my eyes pop do the trick every time. But what about the rest of the JMU community? I went around and asked some of JMU’s biggest beauty lovers what their favorite and most essential products are and received answers ranging from mascara to moisturizer.

Emma Gray, a brand new alumna and incoming graduate student, is a fan of stay power and shade diversity. With products like her “ultimate favorite” Kat Von D Tattoo Liner and BareMinerals Bare Pro Liquid Foundation, she creates a look that stays put throughout the day and compliments her fair skin.

“[The foundation is] really great because I am such a pale person, and I usually have to pick the lightest shade of foundation,” Gray said. “But with this one I’m like five or six, so there’s so much variation in skin color, which is awesome. Love that.”

All college students have had those days when they hit the snooze button one too many times and end up in a rush to leave the house. On days when Gray has little-to-no time to do a full face of makeup, she says she can’t leave without highlighter and mascara.

“I’m really obsessed with the Fenty highlighters right now, that’ll just like change your entire life,” Gray said. “I’m wearing one today, I think I’m wearing Confetti. I love that one. If I’m doing like a bare face, like generally I’ll just wear like mascara and everything, like Too Faced Better Than Sex is a really good one.”

Windy Harrisonburg leaves many students’ skin feeling a little drier than usual. Sophomore kinesiology major Janie Towler needs an intense moisturizer for the cold winter months. Towler is also an avid lipstick lover and she always has a tube on hand.

“I want a really good moisturizer because my dry skin gets really bad in the winter time and it’s always cold up here with the higher altitudes and everything,” Towler said. “I always have lipstick of some kind with me. I love having lipstick ... Whenever I have the chance to go into Ulta or Sephora, I always go and get a lip product because I’m addicted and it’s unhealthy at this point.”

Among sophomore psychology major and self-proclaimed makeup addict Gabby Shepherd’s favorite products, foundation and mascara are high in the ranks. According to Shepherd, mascara possesses metamorphic qualities.

“I use Born This Way by Too Faced and then for mascara I use L’Oréal Telescopic,” Shepherd said. “I feel like [mascara] just transforms you … like if you don’t have anything else on, you could throw mascara on and you’ll look good, you know?”

All three women love makeup for the way it empowers them. Gray admitted her favorite part of makeup is simply the process of putting it on, saying she sometimes enjoys getting ready more than going out once her face is complete.

“I like being able to take my time when I do my makeup,” Gray said. “I can spend hours doing it, but once it’s all done and I’m like, ‘Wow, it’s like art on my face,’ that makes me feel really good, you know? ... I feel like just the fact that I take so much enjoyment in [the process] makes me feel really good about myself.”

To up her confidence and make her makeup stand out, Shepherd uses bold lipstick.

“If I have on a bright red lipstick or maybe like, you know, like a berry color, I feel like you stand out,” Shepherd said.

Towler loves eyeshadow and keeps a multitude of palettes in her arsenal. She says she tries to go all out with her eyeshadow every once in awhile to keep her spirits up when life as a college student becomes stressful.

“When I do have the time, if I can really take my time and focus on my eye makeup and make that the statement of my makeup that day, that’s when I feel on top of the world,” Towler said. “If you know you look good, you feel good too. So I make sure once or twice a week that I put a little extra time so that I feel better throughout the day, and it really does work. I’ve tried it multiple times, I can attest to the theory.”

Contact Abby Church at For more on the culture, arts and lifestyle of the JMU and Harrisonburg communities, follow the culture desk on Twitter @Breeze_Culture.

Abby Church is the Editor-in-Chief of The Breeze. She’s a junior media arts and design major with a concentration in journalism and a minor in creative writing. Fun fact: she's an award winning reporter and rapper.