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Summer is now upon us, which means that many high school, college, and graduate school commencement ceremonies are finally taking place.  Many are anticipating the day when they can throw their caps up in the air, but as it inches closer, the little details become more and more important.

When you cross that stage, you will be photographed from almost every angle possible.  Your graduation makeup has to be intense enough to be seen while your shaking hands with your principal/dean and lightweight enough to avoid cakey-ness in close-ups.  Everyone has their own version of #makeupgoals, but you can’t forget about skin care prep: the most important part of the process that is often overlooked.  Below are some tips to make sure your skin is prepped and ready to graduate!



 When it comes to preparation for the big day, you need to start early, procrastination is not allowed. For the best results come Grad Day, at least a week before, start using masks that target your skin concerns, whether it be brightening dull skin or reducing pores.

Product Recommendations:

→ The Volcanic Clarifying Mask contains clay from Hawaiian volcanoes that cleans pores of any dirt, reducing blackheads and firming skin.  In order to reap the full effects, be sure to splash your face with warm water to open your pores before applying the mask.

→ There’s nothing more frustrating than getting a huge pimple just days before a big event.  Other acne products often inflame the pimple even more in order to decrease its lifespan, but the Blemish Treatment Mask can be applied as a spot treatment to target and visibly reduce pimples by killing bacteria and clearing out pores.



    A couple of days before graduation, use a gentle mask to get rid of dead skin and large pores; sticking it in the fridge will also help to tighten and brighten your face. In addition to masking, using an exfoliator will rid your skin of any impurities that may be lying below the surface, revealing a smooth and glowing complexion.  If any pimples or zits pop up, you can use a drying lotion, which will minimize spots instead of inflaming them.

    Product Recommendations:

    → The Fro-Zay Peel-Off Mask is convenient and efficient to use, as it targets many different skin concerns like pollution, dead skin, and dark spots without the need for water.  Pop it in the fridge before use to cool down on a scalding summer day.

    → The Tea and Biscuits Vitamin C Scrub will completely cleanse your face after applying the mask, prepping it for the drying lotion, which will completely rid any pores this scrub has opened of bacteria and dirt.

    → The Drying Lotion can be applied before bedtime and it will work to gently eliminate whiteheads, pimples, and blackheads while you sleep.  Ingredients like calamine help to soothe even the most sensitive skin types while active ingredients like salicylic acid get rid of the breakout itself.



      On the actual day of graduation, you want to keep your skin care routine minimal.  Any sort of harsh products like exfoliators or masks can irritate your skin or create enlarged pores. Before doing your makeup, be sure to gently cleanse your skin. Follow up with a micellar water to make sure the skin is completely free of dirt before applying any other products.  After letting your skin rest, apply a lightweight moisturizer.

      Product Recommendations:

      → The Foaming Vitamin C cleanser will refresh your skin, giving it that clean feel without stripping any essential moisture from your face.  The bright orange scent will also help wake you up before you’ve even had a sip of your morning coffee.

      → For those of us who need all the moisture we can get, the Foaming Kiwi Cleanser will gently remove any dirt buildup without using the acne-eliminating ingredients in the Vitamin C Cleanser that can completely dry out intensely dry skin.

      → The West End Vitamin C Micellar Water comes in an easy-to-use spray bottle, allowing you to apply just the right amount to a cotton round, which minimizes product waste.  Micelles remove any lingering dirt that you could’ve missed and allow you to apply the product without rinsing afterwards.

      → The Royalty Vitamin Moisturizer has a slight peachy tint to it, helping your skin look brighter and its fragrance-free formula is perfect for even the most sensitive of skin.  In other words, it’s fit for a queen.



      Once you’ve let the moisturizer sink in a little bit, you can apply a primer that will keep your skin looking natural and help any additional makeup adhere to the skin.  Chances are your graduation day will be pretty warm and those polyester caps and gowns don’t exactly help cool you off! Creating a sweat-proof base for your makeup with primer ensures that it will stay on throughout the ceremony and the all-night celebration. It’s time to get G-L-A-M. Once you’ve created your look, go ahead and spray your face with a setting spray to keep your makeup on while preserving the glow created by your skin care prep.  Packing your grad bag? Pack a mini version of setting spray in your purse and spray it on whenever you need a skin refresh.

      Product Recommendations:

      → Dewiness is a must have for a summer look, but oiliness just won’t do.  Create a lit-from-within glow for lighter skin tones by using the pearlescent Northern Lights Primer; its soft-focus quality will make you look like a Snapchat filter in real life and in photos.

      • For medium to dark/deep skin tones, use OFRA Rays of Light Primer ($20)The bronzy Rays of Light Primer is perfect for enhancing darker skin tones with a glowing finish that will blur pores.

      → Even if it pours on your graduation day, your makeup will be completely shielded from all heat and humidity by the Makeup Fixer that smells as good as it works.  It also has ingredients that will protect your skin from any harmful irritants, reducing the urge to scratch your face and ruin your makeup.


      Whether you’re awaiting your last graduation or your first, pampering your skin before and on the day of graduation is a nice way to reward yourself for all the hard work you put into getting there.  Your makeup shouldn’t be anything you have to check on or worry about. Hopefully, these tips will help you ace your final test!

      By Annika Polatsek



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