This is my mostly clean beauty makeup routine

Hi, friends! How was your weekend? (Or, perhaps you are enjoying a long weekend?) Mine was nice, and I actually did my makeup two times, which is always a good thing. 

Speaking of makeup, today, we’re going to talk all about my makeup routine. This post is a reader request, and you know I love to get requests, so keep ’em coming.

This is my mostly clean beauty makeup routine

My mostly clean beauty makeup routine by A Lady Goes West

Here’s the deal: I’m not a makeup expert, nor do I wear a ton of makeup or spend much time getting ready. But I’m pretty happy with my makeup routine as a finished product, so I figured I could at least share that with you.

My entire makeup process takes me about five minutes from start to finish, unless I’m trying to get extra fancy, in which case it maybe takes seven minutes — but that’s not often. I’ve been doing this exact routine for about a year, and it’s working well for me.

Also, this is considered my “weekend makeup routine,” because what I do to my face during the week is nothing work sharing — it’s very little. 🙂

This is my mostly clean beauty makeup routine by A Lady Goes West - January 2020

Throughout the past year, I’ve made swaps little by little to land on a routine that includes almost all cleaner/safer products, because it’s important to me that I pay attention what I’m putting on my skin, just like I pay attention to what I put in my mouth. (You can read more about my journey to safer makeup and skincare in this post.)

Here’s how I do it …

Prep: Wash my face with cool water. Pat dry with a towel.

Glow: Apply a small dollop of the Brightening Facial Oil to my face and neck using my hands for a little bit of a dewy glow and shine, then wait about five minutes.

Foundation: First up, I apply the Tint Skin Hydrating Foundation (I wear the linen shade) using the Retractable Foundation Brush. I squeeze out a tiny amount onto the side of my hand, then I dab the brush in there and begin applying the foundation to my face. This is a technique I learned through the lead Beautycounter makeup artist: I start by applying it on my nose, chin and forehead, then I work my way out, blending all the way to my hairline and cheeks. Usually one coat is enough, but sometimes I repeat the entire process and put a second coat for a bit more coverage, always using the brush to get it on even and always working from the nose and out. I think the brush is the game-changer for application, and it makes it so I use less product and get it on more evenly — which is way better than when I was using a silly makeup sponge for my entire makeup-wearing life up until the last few months.

Using a foundation brush by A Lady Goes West - January 2020

Concealer: Next up, I apply the Touchup Skin Concealer Pen using my fingers. I click out the product and swipe some under my eye directly on my skin with the pen. I do a downward diagonal stroke starting right under my eye closest to my nose, then put downward strokes out toward the side of my eye. Then, I use my ring finger to gently tap it all in along there (the ring finger has the most gentle pressure). I also put a little concealer on any other dark or red areas on my face. I use the same color concealer for everything, but I used to use a lighter color under my eyes and a skin-tone color for any redness or discoloration elsewhere on my skin, which is a best practice for concealers (to have two shades). But I ran out of the skin-tone one, so I only use the lightest shade for all my concealing needs right now.

Color: For a little color, I use a the Color Pinch Cream Blusher in hibiscus, and I use my finger to get a little bit off the blush pen, then I dab the color on the apples of my cheeks and work outward and up — the heat from the finger helps it to spread evenly. It’s just a small pop of color. For a long time I did bronzer, but I’m way more into the pink cheek look now, so this works for me.

Eyebrows: I have to do something to my eyebrows every day. I use the Color Define Brow Define Pencil and draw little hair strokes starting at the arch and around the eyebrow to fill it in, then I use the brush portion to even it all out. This is a very quick process, and one that I think is essential to my face, because my brows are pretty light. I stopped getting them threaded about a year ago and just pluck the strays, trying to keep them as thick as possible.

Eyes: I love eyeshadow, and when I want to look nice, this is where I spend more time adding more color and shading. However, on a regular weekend day when I’m applying makeup, I’ll use a brush to swipe some light pink or beige eyeshadow over all of my lid, then I do the outer corner with a slightly darker brown or blue color. I’m using this Starlight Eyeshadow Palette right now for both colors. In the evenings, or if I want to look a little extra, I’ll use the Precision Liquid Eyeliner only on the top of my lash-line for a little drama. I try to draw out the end just past my eye.

This is my makeup routine by A Lady Goes West - January 2020

Eyelashes: Here’s where I must admit that I use a crappy product that does not have clean ingredients. But I’m totally into my old school Maybelline Colossal Volume Express Waterproof Mascara, so that’s what I use. Two coats on the top and two coats on the bottom lashes, and I’m good to go. I don’t feel too awful about this, because the eyelashes don’t take up too much space on my face, so it’s less product seeping into my system, ya know?

Finishing touch: The last thing I do to my face before lips is brush on some Mattifying Powder all over my face, it’s translucent and it sets my makeup and helps it to stay. I like that it doesn’t take away all of the dewiness, but just enough.

Lips: Finally, I end with lipstick. Lately, I’ve been wearing Color Intense Lipstick in Brunch, and I apply it without lipliner or gloss. But on some days, I’ll just do the Sheer Lipstick in Twig with some Lip Gloss over it. For evening activities, I’ll do my Beautycounter Red or 9 to 5

My mostly clean beauty makeup routine by A Lady Goes West - January 2020

And that’s my routine. Easy as can be — no crazy contouring or intricate techniques — because although those look good, they’re just not necessary for a daily look, nor do I know how to do them.

*A lot of these products (all but one, actually) are from Beautycounter, and I’m a consultant for the brand, so if you click through and purchase, you’ll be supporting my business. I truly appreciate that! I wouldn’t recommend something I didn’t love, and I do love this stuff.

My clean beauty by A Lady Goes West - January 2020

Some thoughts on makeup

A little bit about keeping your makeup routine minimal …

If you take good care of your skin, you need less makeup. And that’s the truth.

To treat your skin right, you should be drinking a lot of water, eating veggies with beneficial micronutrients, sleeping a good amount each night, changing/cleaning your pillowcases every few days, always washing your makeup off at night and rinsing your face after the gym. And, of course, you should be trying to use mostly safer, nontoxic products with less chemicals. When you do all of that, you won’t have as many issues to cover up, so your makeup doesn’t have to be as “cakey.” And by the way, if you’re struggling with your skin and want a little help, feel free to fill out this skincare survey, and I’ll get back to you with some recommendations. 

One more thing on this: When you’re swapping out your products that you’ve been buying at department stores or drug stores for many years, you can totally do it little by little. Start with the products that take up the most space on your face or that you could ingest through the mouth. For instance, I’d start with getting cleaner foundation and lip products before worrying about eyeshadow or eyeliner. And every little change helps. 

My mostly clean beauty makeup routine by A Lady Goes West - 2020

Get a free gift with the Beautycounter Flawless in Five set

If you want to try out many of the products I rely on above, here’s a big deal for you! Right now, through the end of the week, you get a free Retractable Foundation Brush, the exact one I swear by and am using above, when you purchase the Flawless in Five makeup starter kit from Beautycounter. The Flawless in Five is a set of makeup that will have you looking good in under five minutes. It includes six high-performing safe products — all of which are safe, nontoxic and never tested on animals — including …

  1. Your choice of the Tint Skin Hydrating Foundation or Dew Skin Moisturizer
  2. Touchup Skin Concealer Pen
  3. Your choice of the Color Define Brow Pencil or Brilliant Brow Gel
  4. Your choice of the Lengthening or Volumizing Mascara (takes a lot of coats, but works)
  5. Satin Powder Blush
  6. Lip Gloss

Shop the Flawless in Five here. This deal ends in one week. And as always, thank you for shopping with me by using my links and making your purchase. I see every single sale and truly appreciate it. 

Also, if you want to sign up for my Beautycounter email list to learn more about the brand and to hear about promos as they take place, drop your email here.

Hope you have a great day, my friends! 🙂 xoxo

Other posts you may like …

Questions of the day

How often do you wear makeup?

What’s your makeup routine?

Have you tried Beautycounter yet?



  1. I really like the Beauty Counter pencil eyeliner! Eyeliner I’d the only make up I wear regularly so I’m pretty particular about it. I think it’s great!

    The sparkly eyeshadow is fun, too, but that’s only for special occasions.

    1. Hi Nicole! I actually use a little bit of the shimmer in the eyeshadow palette I have at night, and it’s not TOO sparkly so that it’s too much — I do love a little sparkle. 🙂 Thank you SO much for using Beautycounter and supporting this great company. Now, we just need you to become a consultant!! xoxoxo Happy Monday, my friend!

  2. I love your simple routine! I also wear very little make up most of the time. A little bit of tinted moustrizer (from Beauty Counter), blush, and some eye shadow (which is also my favorite). Always SPF first though!

  3. Question…you use the oil but no moisturizer? I’ve used the oil at night but not under makeup & I’m intrigued! 🙂

    1. Hi Christy! I learned about using the oil under makeup from a beauty blogger and started it and loved it. Some days, I do both my Countertime moisturizer and the oil — and on days I’m not doing much makeup, always my moisturizer. I think you could do both? Don’t see why not — seems to work for me. 🙂

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