Elsie’s Everyday Makeup Routine

It’s been years since I shared my makeup routine and a LOT has changed. I have found better quality products for my skin and for the environment and I’ve found things that perform much, much better. The biggest benefit I have experienced from switching to (90%) natural beauty is that my skin is healthier. A lot of it has to do with my skincare (which I will share another day) but I do believe that putting good ingredients on your skin makes a difference both in the long term AND the short term.

That said, I don’t believe that non-toxic beauty is all or nothing. I took my time replacing items and finding favorites. And you’ll see in this post that I still use a few conventional products that I haven’t been able to replace. It’s important to me to share that my routine isn’t perfectly non-toxic, but still it is SO much better than it was two years ago. I think it’s easier to go natural with skincare than it is with makeup. Makeup took more time, more trial and error for me. But still, everything I am sharing here is something I have been impressed by and that I use often—most of these items I have bought multiple times over the past few years.

I hope this goes without saying, but this is zero percent sponsored. I spent years finding the best of the best, and am still discovering … that’s why it took me so long to write this post!

Finding a foundation I loved wasn’t quick and easy for me. I tried a lot and this is by FAR the best option I have found. I will use this a long time.

In my everyday life, I use the primer and foundation, but I don’t worry about concealer. I only use concealer on photo days (maybe once a week).

For everyday, I use the smart primer (it makes my skin much more smooth for the concealer and I love that it is filled with great, healthy ingredients). Then I use the Crunchi liquid foundation. I do use their flat top foundation brush as well; it really helps to get a completely even application.

Since buying makeup online can be a real pain in the a$$, I love having an option to try a foundation sample card. I highly recommend that if you think you might be in between two colors.

For photo days, I wear concealer around my eyes, down the front of my nose and on my chin. I put this on before foundation. I use Kat Von D Lock It Concealer. I will be trying to update this with a green product, but in the meantime, it performs super well. Since I don’t use it as often, it’s not at the top of my priority list.

Now let’s talk about brows. I am not one of those people #blessed with enormous, full eyebrows. In fact, I often refer to my brows as a “comb over” (haha)! They have big bald spots in the center.

For a quick everyday solution, I like Glossier’s boy brow. It is quick, easy to apply and looks natural and not too heavy.

For photos, a date night or a more dramatic brow, I like to use defining wax by EcoBrow (the color I use is Rita). This product lasts forever and works so well. I use a small brush to apply it. I just realized this is probably the wrong brush for brows—someone feel free to correct me (haha). But it gets the job done!

There is a night and day difference in my brows before and after I line them.

Now, you guys might know that some of the time I wear eyelash extension and I am a HUGE fan. I am currently taking a break from them, but if I had the chance I would wear them full-time. I hate going to the appointments, but I love how simple they make your everyday life.

When I am not wearing lashes I fully skip eye makeup on days I am not in photos (I’ve been giving my eyes a break a lot because I think I am developing eye allergies since moving to Tennessee). I know everyone is different. I have a lot of friends who have to wear makeup everyday, even to go to the grocery store. But growing up, my mom hardly ever wore makeup, and so I’ve always had a lot of days where I just skip the whole thing.

Anyway …

I am a big fan of false lashes. My natural lashes are not amazing and I prefer a dramatic look for my lashes, so I use falsies a lot. I will say that the more you use them, the faster and easier they become to apply. I use the full strips (these are fastest to apply, but they don’t stay put as long), the trios (mix two sizes, I mix medium and long) which are my personal fave and occasionally I will use the individuals (which take longer to apply, but last the longest). I love false lashes!!! If you have dark lashes or use dark eyeliner, always buy dark glue instead of white!

Lash glue can have some nasty ingredients in it. The glue I am currently using is still not perfect, but better. If anyone has suggestions, I am all ears!

For eyeliner, I love Kat Von D Tattoo liner and ink liner. I will probably replace them someday, but in the meantime there is nothing I have found that even comes close in terms of performance. This is some good cat-eye-liner!

For mascara I use, Lily Lolo. It’s the best non-toxic mascara out there. And honestly, I think it stands on its own against conventional mascara, which is typically one of the worst products at the drugstore.

Finding natural options for eyeshadow is easy peasy! I love Lily Lolo’s palettes. I also love 100% Pure. I have this palette— it’s fruit pigmented and filled with amazing ingredients … just look at the the list! I use this palette for eyes and cheeks.

Speaking of cheeks …

For contouring, I like this Lily Lolo contour duo. I don’t do a ton of contouring, but a little bit under the cheek bones is so pretty!

My favorite blush is from Antonym Cosmetics (it’s so peachy and pretty!).

For a quick cheek color, I am obsessed with this tint stick in Peach Glow. I put it on the apples of my cheeks when smiling!

For a natural look, (on days I am wearing minimal makeup) I love this RMS compact. It has a pretty peachy color for lips and cheeks, and two different highlighters I use on my cheekbones and eyes.

And last, but not least—lips!

My go-to lip moisturizer is Glossier’s balm.com in mint. I keep one in my bag, by my bed, and I use it to prime my lips before putting on lipstick.

Another appearance by this RMS compact. I really love it and it’s so versatile.

For lip color, the best thing I have found so far is 100% Pure Lip Caramel. It has a LOT of pigment and really works. They are SO pretty.

OK, well the last thing I will share is a quick before/after I took this morning on my phone (this has no editing whatsoever!)

This makeup application took me about 15 minutes and is about the extent of what I do (minus bigger lashes sometimes). I used mascara here, since I figured you already know what my face looks like with false eyelashes. Also, I am wearing this lip gloss in this look.

If you have any questions about the products, or about non-toxic beauty in general OR (my favorite) product suggestions, I’d love to chat with you in the comments!

You can read about my skincare routine here. xx – Elsie

Credits//Author: Elsie Larson. Photography: Amber Ulmer and Elsie Larson. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.
  • Loved this post! Have you ever tried Vapour’s Soft Focus primer and liquid foundation? If so, how would you compare it to the Crunchi smart primer and foundation?

    • I tried it, but it was too oily for me. To be fair, though, it was the first thing I tried and I didn’t yet know that you really have to shake natural foundations with each use. But I like Crunchi more because even when I forget to shake it, it’s not insanely oily. I want to try Vapour’s stick foundations, though!

  • Beautycounter is my favorite for skin care and make up. I just wrote up my favorite summer products from them on my blog. Have you ever tried?


    • I haven’t tried it. I tend to avoid MLMs that is honestly the ONLY reason I haven’t tried it yet. I’ve heard good things. xx

    • It’s always good to research each company, but I’ve found that it ALMOST always is… as well as environmentally friendly.

      As a general rule, I like to learn about each company- read what they put put out there about themselves, their origin etc. You can learn a lot from their homepages and get a sense for why they are doing what they do.

  • I love reading your natural product posts! Would love to hear what you use for haircare and can’t wait to pick up that Mermaid Pallet.

    Product suggestions are Per-fekt Mascara (I swear it’s better then my favorite toxic drug store brand) and W3LL PEOPLE’s tinted sunscreen/ foundation. I love that it includes SPF 30 (1 less step!) and I think the tint covers pretty well for day to day, especially for a no make up look.

  • I love your picks! So many lovely things! I’m so intrigued by Glossier at the moment xx


  • FYI, you look amaze all fresh faced. Always love these beauty posts. Thanks for sharing.

  • I can’t wait for the skincare routine! This make-up post was fun. I haven’t made any switches to natural products and it has me thinking about it, especially for foundation. I’ve taken a lot of time to make my skin smoother and in better shape using oils for cleansing, now I’m thinking I should take a little time to think more about what I’m covering it with every few days.

  • Love the 100% Pure palettes, so pretty! Great blog as always <3


  • Bookmarking this *now* ?? I’m prime for a total make-up refresh, and keep dragging my feet because I’m tired of pasting toxic products all over my face. Thanks so much for the thorough reviews, and the before and after pic! Super helpful ❤️

  • Great post, I’ve been eyeing that glossier brow product for a while so good to know it works! Could you share a little more about which toxins you are trying to avoid in makeup? I often hear people talk about toxins and natural makeup but I’m having trouble understanding which specific compounds are harmful to the skin and how natural makeup replaces them.

  • This is amazing! Thanks for posting this! I’ve been really having trouble recently finding good quality natural make up… my current stuff is either shiny in the wrong places or smudges too easily.
    I don’t have any makeup recommendations but if you haven’t found anything natural for your eye allergies yet check out AllerDx. It’s healthy and works really fast 🙂

  • Fun post. I’ve never used a primer before, but they seem to be the latest make-up must have. Do you find it makes a big difference?

  • I was a Kat Von D tattoo liner fan for the longest time and couldn’t find anything I loved as much for the longest time but I came across DHC Liquid Eyeliner EX and I’ve made the switch! It’s the same type of applicator brush, which is surprisingly hard to find. I bought it at dermstore.com.
    It’s still not the -best- ingredients… it has butylene glycol and phenoxyethanol which I know people try to avoid, but so does the Kat Von D and at least this one is free of parabens and disodium EDTA.

  • For another mascara alternative, try Mineral Fusion! I have found it to be better than my conventional mascara.

  • Thanks! Can you also tell us about the makeup bag in the first photo? Looked fun!

    • Hi Erica, I got it from MooreaSeal.com (I was planning to link it but it doesn’t look to be in stock anymore). xx!

  • False lashes aren’t usually my thing but this look is gorgeous! Also I ADORE those eyeshadow palettes <3

    Joanne | Life in Blue Skies

  • I loved this post! I’m always looking for new green beauty products to try out, but there aren’t as many reviews on them as conventional brands. If you are looking for a lash glue I would suggest thrive causemetics! I haven’t been able to find a nice liquid eyeliner as well. I’ve just been using the one from Physicians Formula.

  • What’s the difference between the tattoo liner and the ink liner?

    • Good question. I can’t tell a big difference. I usually get Tattoo, but I got them both just to see and I couldn’t really tell…. xx

  • Love this post! I went green + cruelty free this year so really excited to read all your (and the other commenters) suggestions. What would you consider your skin type? I’m curious about the foundation and if it would work on oily skin types.

  • Thank you so much! I’m a makeup person and obsessed with finding clean options so it’s nice to hear from others who like to get done up too–a swipe of concealer just isn’t enough some days!

    Where is the makeup bag from?

  • Have you found the 100% Pure Lipsticks stay on? I love love love how lipstick looks on, but I’m getting so tired of having to constantly reapply.


    • They work really well for me, but I don’t wear dark lipstick hardly ever- I’m more of a gloss person.

      Beware of formulas that stay on for a LONG time, it’s often a sign of harsh ingredients!

  • I love Glossier Balmdotcom! I would love to see Emma’s makeup routine too! I miss not seeing her face since sister style ended.

  • Love this post! I’ve gotten so many great natural product recommendations from y’all!
    I’ve been trying to overhaul my make up as well and love the concealer from Pacifica (you can order online from Target!) and I also REALLY love beautycounter’s ‘tint skin’ (I have a lot of acne scars so using this with the concealer it works pretty great for overall coverage 🙂

  • Can’t wait to see your skin care post! Curious if you use a natural-ish SPF product that still looks good under makeup…

    • Yes- I use Coola and Suntegrity and they both are great products. Coola makes a bb cream actually!

  • It’s always fun to get ideas from someone else’s routine! I love Jane Iredale for so many products. They are very natural and clean. Have you tried it?

    • I included it in the skincare post (which hasn’t been posted yet- coming soon). I love Coola and Suntergrity.


      • I swear by Coola. Can you do a video showing your makeup application? I’d be interested to see how you do it.

  • The Kat Von D makeup is all vegan/cruelty free so that is still a good option. I use many of these brands as well but am in major need of a new primer. Thanks for sharing.

  • Thank you so much for sharing! Question, how do you remove your false lashes?? Especially the trios or the ones applied at the salon?

    • I just pull them off & then wash off the rest of my makeup with a cleanser. They’re very easy to remove.

  • I always enjoy reading about other people’s make up routines! Thanks for sharing this with us =o) i think I need to look into some fake lashes to make my eyes pop!


  • Have u ever tried Younique?? I’ve been through a lot of makeup. For the $$ it lasts a long time.

  • I’ve been contemplating incorporating using a primer in my routine, excited to check this one out! I always try to revamp my routine with a new season, but this hot summer has got me searching for products that last! Thanks for the suggestions and tips 🙂

  • You girls always look so put together, and I’m basically a makeup noob, so I really appreciated this post. Going to look into some of these products!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

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