A realistic timeline: getting ready for a student night out

A lot of the time, I see these beautifully aesthetic videos of influencers spending a day getting glam for an event with their perfect makeup and hair and plenty of time to spare. Let’s be honest, for most of us this is not a realistic representation, so I’ve talked you through my timeline of prepping for my far-too-frequent nights out.

The night before

I always aim to fake tan the night before, the word ‘aim’ being critical. Some people are blessed to suit their naturally fair skin, but sadly I am not one of them; a good tan is key. I only started tanning a few years ago when my friends got me on the bandwagon for Year 13 prom, and I’ve experimented with a bunch of products since then.

I make sure to use exfoliating gloves in the shower to scrub any areas I’ll be tanning - these are a must. I just use the ones from Superdrug which are only £2.99 but make all the difference in getting a smooth application. The tan and the mitt you use, annoyingly, make a big difference too. I have cheap and more expensive ones and I can definitely see that you pay for what you get. My favourite tan I’ve used is the original mousse by Skinny Tan, which pairs perfectly with their velvety application mitt.

Most of the time, I do two layers of this to get a good amount of colour and leave it to develop overnight. Unless you want orange sheets, I’d wear long-sleeved, baggy clothes to bed.

Everyone has their own hair routines down-pat by now, but I’ll wash mine the night before around 7 or 8pm so it’s mostly dry by the time I go to bed and pray that it dries without the frizz that haunts my existence. When I remember, I use this OGX Coconut Miracle Oil to smooth out my ends.

The morning of

Hop in the shower when you wake up and rinse the residual top coat from your skin in the shower. Don’t use anything exfoliating like a body puff but instead, rub your tanned areas with your hands to remove it all properly. Pat your skin dry, rather than rub, and let it dry properly before moisturising; try to use something unscented if you have it.

The evening of

If it’s been a particularly taxing day, a baileys coffee is a must for me while I get ready. I’m that caffeine addict that has a coffee machine on my desk; it’s a god send. It may sound slightly extreme to some, but if my schedule that day allows the time, I leave myself around 2 hours to get ready to allow for any disasters. Night out prep is always great in a house full of girls, so the longer we can drag it out, the better. Having a pretty heavy workload on my course, this makes for the perfect opportunity to catch up on my favourite programmes, guilt-free.

I’ll start by cleansing my face with the cult favourite Garnier Micellar Water to remove any of the gross stuff picked up from the outside world before priming and moisturising to prep my skin.

Getting makeup out of the way is a priority, but I’ll leave lashes until the end to see if I have adequate time left to battle it out with them. I usually don’t, and just layer on the mascara instead. Although, on the rare occasion I’ve taken less time to paint my face, my favourite lashes are definitely from XO Beauty; the thin, clear lash band makes them perfect for beginners. They’re a great price point at £4 a pair and placing an order with a few friends cuts the cost of the New Zealand shipping.

I’m definitely an eyeshadow kind of girl and love having the chance to experiment with new looks, taking inspiration from my hundreds of saved photos on Instagram. Hence why this part of the process is unnecessarily long and drawn out. I have fun, don’t judge me.

Hair always comes last for me, and is more often than not, rushed. I often have grand plans for jazzing up my hair with snazzy plaits and what not but end up doing my go-to loose curls or trust half-up-half-down five minutes before I’m out the door.

After may Snapchats back and forth with my friends to judge the right ‘outfit vibe’, I’m finally good to go - and only about half an hour late too, what a bonus.

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