I’ve got a fair number of younger bellas that read this here blog, and I know this is the time of year nobody’s really looking forward to. It’s the end of summer vacation, and time to go back to school. Besides needing the typical pens, paper and classroom-friendly gadgets, and for my college bellas the complete room makeover complete with twin extra long sheets and a mini fridge….you’ll also need some beauty basics to make sure you’re headed off to class looking and feeling great. I’m here for you, and these are the products I’ve tried and tested for your back to school beauty needs!

Here’s what you need if you’re headed back to school!

A great deodorant

Secret Mean Stinks clinical strength deodorant.

Thinking back to my days in high school, going to school without deodorant would have been one of my worst nightmares. That, and being bullied by classmates. I don’t think the first thing ever happened to me, but I definitely remember very well what it felt like to be bullied. Secret is here to offer a solution to both issues. Not only is Secret here to see you through the most stressful, sweaty days of PE or pre-test stress, but the Mean Stinks program is all about preventing bullying in schools – so important at this time of year, and year-round. And the new Secret Mean Stinks deodorant is called Fearlessly Fresh. I can dig it.

Secret will be donating a portion of the Mean Stinks Clinical Strength sales to Girls on the Run® to fund their girl empowerment programming and help prevent mean behavior before it starts. And Secret is encouraging girls around the country to take the Mean Stinks Pinky Swear, complete with blue pinky nails, in a show of peace & solidarity to keep mean out of their group of friends – the new Secret Mean Stinks Facebook experience offers girls a chance to discuss bullying, and take the drama-free pledge and the Mean Stinks “pinky swear” themselves. The Fearlessly Fresh deodorant itself is available now on the P&G E-store, and on shelves nationally in September!


Skincare for all ages

Willa facewash and moisturizer.

Invented by a pre-teen to combat her youthful skincare needs, Willa is about purity and good-for-you skin ingredients. No parabens, sulfates, DEA or phthalates, not tested on animals, made in America, and supremely effective – I think this is great skincare for young girls who are learning to take better care of their skin early on. The cleanser is a liquid-to-foam that feels refreshing but not stripping, and the moisturizer is an aloe based, supremely refreshing gel that includes green tea, mango, and eucalyptus for anti-oxidant powered, non-comedogenic, skin balancing hydration. I love it.

Gentle acne care that will handle life’s little disasters

Lush Grease Lightning Tea Tree Cleanser

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion + Q-Tips Precision Tips

Neova acne control swabs

As someone who went through her teens dealing with acne issues that left me feeling less than attractive, teens I say to you – this too shall pass. Now’s the time to learn how best to take care of your skin. Keep it clean. Touch your face less. Don’t pop your zits like crazy because then later on you’ll have to deal with dark marks that take forever to go away, or acne scars. If you’ve got oily skin and acne that is reoccurring but not like acne that necessitates a dermatologist, I recommend the following.

Lush is such a great intro-to-beauty brands for young girls looking to improve their skin and smell yummy – this tea tree cleanser keeps your pores clear and happy, and keeps your T-zone as oil free as possible. It’s made with great, pure ingredients and it WORKS. And Lush’s Dark Angels deep cleansing charcoal scrub is also amazing for young skin dealing with blemishes. Get some Lush in your life if you can.

This Mario Badescu stuff is what I use when I have a zit and I’ve written about it MANY TIMES. It works incredibly well. I apply with a Q-Tip and almost overnight my zit will be greatly reduced if not completely gone. The whole key to preventing more breakouts is keeping your fingers away from your face.

When I’ve got a breakout, at night I use drying lotion. By day, when I can’t afford to have a little pink dot of calamine on my face, I use something clear. I think the Neova acne swabs are great for anyone on the go, who needs a quick zit zapper. Snap the red end of the cotton swab, let the witch hazel, aloe, and 2% Salicylic Acid solution drain into the applicator side, and apply to the affected area as needed.

Makeup that really doesn’t look like makeup

Too Faced Primed and Poreless SPF 20 primer

Garnier Skin Perfector Miracle BB Cream

OK so I know the Too Faced product is like $30, but hear me out. #1 – most quality tinted SPF primers are in that price range and #2 – you need to start getting your SPF wherever you can. Why a primer? Because if you have any kind of skin issue, a tinted primer will help your skin look smoother and more flawless. I’ve been trying out a ton of TooFaced products lately and everything I’ve been sent for review has been TOP of the LINE. If you need a less is more look and want to still look dewy, bronzy and gorgeous – this could be your new secret weapon.

I prefer to only tell you guys about products I’ve actually tried, but via xoJane’s Helena, I hear this Garnier BB cream actually works for brown skin. I’m intrigued! When I’ve had a chance to review it myself I’ll be sure to let you know my thoughts!

And those are my back to school beauty must haves for bellas returning to the books this semester. What beauty q’s do you have for me, bellas? Ask and I’ll do my best to answer!


pets says:
August 27, 2012, 8:27 pm
Good to see that you have readers of many ages and enjoyed reading this post.
Desiree says:
August 28, 2012, 5:13 pm
“I remember back in high school always worrying about my skin. It's soo important that you take care of it now with the proper skin care products because whatever you do to your skin now will affect the way it is in your future.”
Doctor Cris says:
August 29, 2012, 9:25 am
Great advice on skin tips for teens and for me too. I'm sorry to hear that you were bullied. You have such a beautiful and joyful spirit. I'm definitely going to buy the Secret- Fearlessly Fresh to support the anti-bullying program.
Vanessa says:
August 30, 2012, 1:31 pm
I think we're honestly starting off too early with skincare products. So many cosmetics actually lead to further problems for teens and twenty something's. I'm glad you mentioned Willa. They have a nice soft range of products that work with your skin as opposed to forcing it to react a certain way.
Nancy@Permanent Eyebrows says:
September 14, 2012, 9:58 am
i hate to wear makeup this early in my life.. come onn!!! im just in my 13s, and makeup would definitely make me love much older.. !!
Jenny says:
May 3, 2014, 9:10 am
Thanks for sharing these acne products. Essential for most teens to keep handy!
Camila says:
February 2, 2015, 12:05 pm
I especially liked the part about the acne. I still have problems with them and wouldn't hurt if I try something new. I will definitely try the cleanser and see what happens.