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My Daily Makeup Routine

Yes, the long awaited post is here! Sorry, guys, I had a few sick and rescheduled dates with my photographer, so it took a bit longer than I anticipated to pull this one together, but better late than never! This look is just really natural looking and understated. On days that I have an event or know I’ll be taking photos I use foundation; other times I just skip foundation and do the rest of the routine over clean skin, using a little concealer to cover up dark spots. I also use primarily clean cosmetics – some are vegan, most have additional skincare benefits.

Before I apply my makeup, I always follow my skincare routine so that I have a clean, smooth slate to start from. The most important things are to exfoliate and hydrate prior to makeup application.

I use a primer before applying any makeup. Mine is Lune + Aster’s RealGlow Primer. I like it because it provides a little extra hydration and helps my skin to glow. It also has Vitamin E in it and an antioxidant.

I use a CC cream rather than a normal foundation because it works well to even out my skintone but is light enough that it doesn’t feel too built up on my skin. The one I use is also an SPF 50 and it’s anti-aging. If you’re interested in trying the same foundation as me, it is available here. I use the shades Light or Medium depending on how pale I am!

Shop my complete makeup routine here:

I used to use a makeup sponge to apply my foundation, but unless you are up for cleaning yours every day, they are just not sanitary, and for me, definitely caused breakouts. My dermatologist told me the only truly clean option is freshly washed hands, so I always wash my hands right before I do my makeup and then use my fingers, starting in the middle of my face and working my way out in circular motions so it blends well. Once I’ve done that, I check for any dark spots or blemishes that may not be completely covered, and dot on some concealer to cover those. I also use a bit of concealer under my eyes, at the bottom corners of my nose, and the bridge of my nose. Again, I use my fingers to gently apply.

Now that I have a solid base for the rest of my makeup, it’s time to set it. This is probably common sense for all you beauty experts, but I only learned a few months ago at a Laura Mercier/Byrdie Beauty class to set my makeup before applying bronzer/blush. So right after you’ve completed your foundation and concealer,get a little setting powder on a puff like this one, rub the powder into the puff and then tap it a few times to get rid of excess powder. Laura Mercier’s team taught me that the best technique is to fold the puff in half and then gently press the puff against your skin using a rocking motion until you’ve pressed powder all over your face. Now your makeup is set!

Next, I use a brightening powder under my eyes to set my undereye concealer and minimize any undereye darkness. I just apply it with my fingertips by gently patting it under my eyes, although you could use a brush. I also like this powder because it keeps any rogue eye shadow or mascara from sticking to the skin under my eyes.

At this point I usually do my eyebrows. I just fill them pretty lightly (although the ends of my brows require a little more filling in) using this pencil in Honey.

Time for a little contouring! This is probably the most important part of my makeup routine (for me anyway) because it really defines my facial features and shape. I’m also a huge fan of Charlotte Tilbury’s palette but I recently made the switch because they’re extremely similar and my new one is from a clean beauty line. Using this contouring palette and this brush I apply the bronzer at the hollows of my cheeks, temples, sides of my nose (lightly) and jawline. I highlight my cheekbones and the bridge of my nose with the highlighter. Then, using a bigger blush brush I quickly brush all over my face to blend any lines from the bronzer and highlighter. Using the same brush I apply a tiny bit of blush to the upper part of my cheeks (basically just below my temple) – I can’t apply blush to the apples of my cheeks or I look too red. Now your skin is good to go!

Up next are the eyes. This is really the only step where I play around with my makeup. I definitely go a lot more dramatic in the evening, but for the daytime I like to keep it simple. I’m not a fan of eyeliner (especially during the day) because it just looks too harsh on my eyes. I’m not looking for that much definition. I have actually used Charlotte Tilbury’s powder eye liner and love that one, but there aren’t a variety of color options, so these days I use eye shadow as liner. My favorite shade to use is a dark copper (“Celestial Earth”) but I also sometimes use a dark golden shade or a brown. This is the shadow palette I use. Using an angled liner brush like this one, I outline my eye below my lower lashes and along the bottom of my eyelid all the way from the inner corner to the outer, and just slightly winging the liner on the outer corner. I don’t line along my water line during the day. Then I soften the line using a Q-tip to gently, slightly smudge the liner.

After my liner is in place, I use a light layer of the shade “Iced Brown” from the palette all over my lid (I apply with this brush), using a little more so it’s darker along the crease. Sometimes I use darker shade or even “Celestial Earth” in the crease. Finally, I apply a little “Golden Beige” to the inner corners of my eyes for brightening.

My mascara is IT Cosmetics Superhero Elastic Stretch Volumizing Mascara. It’s like conditioner for your lashes because it’s formulated with collagen, biotin and proteins. I don’t think I do anything too special with my mascara other than just put it on!

My lip colors vary mostly because I lose lipstick constantly! But no matter what, when I wear lipstick, I like to use a nude shade. Normally during the day I just use a clear lip balm, but in the evening I like Stila’s All Day Matte Lipstick in Coquille. Most often when I wear lip color I just use a nude-toned MAC pencil all over my lips. I definitely prefer matte options when it comes to lip makeup, no glosses.

Sometimes I use this makeup setting spray if I really want my makeup to last a while, but on a daily basis or evening out I don’t.

There you have it! My FULL daily makeup routine. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments section below!


  • Been waiting for this post! love how simple your makeup routine is. definitely going to give that IT cosmetics mascara a go. I’m wondering…do you put mascara on your bottom lashes day-to-day? I like how it looks on me, but it smudges constantly.

  • Thanks so much for taking the time to post this. I’m gradually making the switch to clean makeup and look forward to trying some of your favourites. Especially like that you have a Charlotte Tilbury contouring dupe!

  • Thanks for sharing Kaitlynn. I am going to get some setting powder!

  • Your primer sounds amazing! I’ve been a little scared of primers since my dermatologist told me they can be the worst cloggers. I also totally agree that applying make up with your hands is the way to go (very glam haha). Thanks for this awesome post!

    xx, Pia

  • What concealer do you use?

  • I love that you use clean beauty products! I recently started switching all my body care and beauty products to be cruelty free. Your post reminded me that there are a lot of toxic chemicals to look out for in makeup as well as body care!!

  • Love this! So clean, simple and natural. Love your style! I use the same CC cream and I love it. You didn’t mention what kind of concealer you use though? I’d love to know.

    • Oops! Can’t believe I left that out! I use IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye Concealer 🙂

  • Do you use the illuminating IT Cosmetics CC cream, or the regular?

  • Thanks so much!! Would love to see a video of this routine!

  • Hi! This is such a great and informative breakdown. Would love to see a video of you applying each step– especially the contouring and eyeshadow. xx

  • Hi Kaitlynn, thanks so much for taking the time to post, will definitely look into some of your clean makeup suggestions.

    I’m not sure if using cruelty-free products is important to you, but a 2017 list of brands that test on animals can be found here: — Sadly MAC, Clinique and Sephora test on animals as they are sold in China, where animal testing of foreign cosmetics is required by law.

    Laura Mercier is also dubious:

    Stila only pulled out of China in 2016. Charlotte Tilbury doesn’t test on animals, but does use animal derivatives (carmine) in some of her products.

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