I’m often asked about my daily makeup routine. Though the amount of products and labor intensity varies according to mood, plans and time allotment, my day to day look is generally consistent: clean face, rosy cheeks and lips, defined upper lash line. Keep in mind that while this is a simple look and can be achieved with just a few products, the main benefit of the various, seemingly superfluous makeup products is longevity. That, and a seamless finish. Most of this is thanks to the use of primers. I can not recommend them enough! It’s like putting gesso on a canvas. Not only does it provide a smooth base, it also helps your makeup stay put. I’m going to show you the long and short of my daily routine:

Ultimate beauty routine – for longevity and a flawless finish:

These are the brushes I use for this look:
1) Small, flat (looks pointy here but it’s not) concealer brush (this one is ELF from Target, $1)
2) Stiff, angled brush for brows (this one is Sonia Kashuk from Target)
3) fine tipped, bent eyeliner brush (this one is Sonia Kashuk from Target)
4) regular blush brush (this one is a MAC SE, but any medium to large blush or fluffy brush will work)

Let’s start with my face:
1) After moisturizing, I apply a small amount (one pump) of Smashbox photo finish primer all over my face.
2) I apply concealer where needed, using the small concealer brush and in this case, Christopher Drummond concealer. (tip: you can also use your foundation as concealer – use the stuff on the lid, which tends to be a little thicker).
3) I lightly dust MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Light all over my face, using my regular blush brush.
4) I apply MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Refined on the apples of my cheeks. Any blush will do!

I prefer my brows to be more defined, so I fill them in with eye shadow, in short strokes. I set them with clear mascara.

Next, eyes!
1) I use a concealer brush (or my fingers…which is what I normally do) to apply a primer to my eyes. I use MAC paint pot in Bare Study, which has a subtle shimmer. This keeps my eyeliner from budging, and if I wear shadow, it keeps it from creasing.
2) Using the bent eyeliner brush, I apply MAC fluidline in dipdown (a dark brown) on the upper lashline, only on the outer 3/4, gradually increasing the thickness toward the outside of my lids.
3) I finish with a coat of brown mascara (this one is Prescriptives) on both the upper and lower lashes.

Finally, my lips. I apply a nude lipliner along the edges of my lips and blend with a brush (this one has two ends – liner and brush – $3). I then use my finger or a brush to apply my favorite lip product, Julie Hewett’s cheekie cheek and lip shine in Bette. Done!

I know it looks intense, but it takes less than ten minutes and lasts all day. If I’m in a rush or don’t plan on being out all day, here is
the abridged version:

A dust of powder, touch of blush to the cheeks, swipe of mascara, smudge of lip stuff, and of course, my brows. It looks pretty similar, but the difference at the end of a long day is extreme. If you ask me, the primers and couple of extra steps are absolutely worth it!

Love love,
Keiko Lynn

  1. Meg says: July 13, 201012:51 am

    You look great. I really love your lip colour!

  2. Jeimy Denisse. says: July 13, 201012:54 am

    I love your look. So natural yet finished & polished. Thanks for the makeup advice 🙂

  3. Smacko says: July 13, 201012:55 am

    I love how clean your look is! I swear by MAC's bare study paint pot, it keeps everything in place. I've noticed if I don't use it, my eyeliner gets everywhere! :] Completely worth the money.

    Love and Turtledoves,

  4. Melissa says: July 13, 201012:58 am

    Such a gorgeously clean & polished look. You have amazing skin.


  5. Keiko Lynn says: July 13, 20101:06 am

    Meg: Thank you! I swear by this lip color.

    Jeimy: Thanks so much!

    Smacko: Thanks! I used to use the regular paints, but I tried Kim's paint pot and decided to make the switch. You get more bang for your buck!

    Melissa: Thank you! To be honest, my skin hasn't looked so hot as of late. I have been going through a rough patch! It's not too bad but I am big on pretty skin, so it's driving me crazy. I credit the nice looking skin to primer, good concealer, and skinfinish.

  6. Chelsea Whipps says: July 13, 20101:07 am

    I love seeing the process of how people get ready, whether its hair or makeup, so this was so entertaining to read ! Maybe one of these days I will be able to achieve flawless makeup results that you seem to get every day !
    Have a fantastic night, and hope your week only gets better from here !

  7. Mae Lu says: July 13, 20101:08 am

    I love these tips.

    I have greasy skin, and I have no luck with Smash box primers.

    I am currently trying benefit's Pore Fessional primer. It works okay, but only lasts about 7 hours. I need about 10. So I'm moving on.

    This is great. Yea!

    Mae Lu, thereafterish.

  8. Keiko Lynn says: July 13, 20101:15 am

    Chelsea: Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it:)

    Mae: Yeah, I've heard from a few people that this Smashbox primer isn't great for greasy skin. I tend toward dry or regular skin, so it's great for me. Have you tried the Light version? I've also heard good things about the NARS primer.

  9. eatsleepwear says: July 13, 20101:25 am

    this is DIVINEEE. u are so freakin gorgeous girl! and i totally have most of these things. MAC is the way to go . perfect for my sensitive skin!

    xo, Kim http://www.eatsleepwear.com

  10. HM says: July 13, 20101:29 am

    I finally made the purchase of primer after reading about it on here. It definitely makes a huge difference (especially in the crazy heat!)

    I think I just might need to try the gorgeous lip color.

    Thanks for the tips!

  11. Natasha says: July 13, 20101:32 am

    Oh my gosh, thank you for this post! You always have the best makeup!!

  12. The Little Dust Princess says: July 13, 20101:39 am

    Great tips, great photos. I love the natural look!

  13. Annie Cristina says: July 13, 20102:00 am

    Great post — I love this look; it's naturual yet elegant.

    Reading this post reminds me of why I loved MAC products so much in high school. Something tells me I'm going to be visiting their counter sometime soon… (:

  14. Rebecca says: July 13, 20102:04 am

    Thanks for sharing your routine. I like the lip color that you used, and now I want to try to duplicate it.

  15. Lipstick Rules says: July 13, 20102:11 am

    Absolutely gorgeous!!!!

  16. kater says: July 13, 20102:36 am

    Oh yay! I've been really frustrated with my makeup these days–I'm trying to wear less actual face makeup, but ugh! I have such white, dry skin :p

  17. Jordann says: July 13, 20102:37 am

    I love the look and the short and shorter versions to achieve it. The mix of pricier (MAC) and affordable (ELF) products are also nice! Great blog 🙂

  18. Jade Sheldon says: July 13, 20102:37 am

    As a fellow makeup junky, I think I have to say that Makeup Monday is my new favorite day!

  19. Jen says: July 13, 20103:09 am

    The smashbox primer is great! I started using it when I went shopping for products for my wedding two years ago.

    Eyes Lips Face is amazing. I haven't tried any of their lip liners but now I'm definitely interested.


  20. ShoesForDessert says: July 13, 20103:11 am

    I'm so glad you shared your makeup routine with us. I've gotten really into makeup lately, and always admire your fresh face.

  21. Luinae says: July 13, 20103:47 am

    Very helpful- thanks! You look amazing, so I wouldn't change a thing!

  22. says: July 13, 20104:31 am

    I love your makeup – so delicate and pretty, but finished at the same time! will have to take some of these tips 🙂

    plastic letters

  23. libys11 says: July 13, 20104:43 am

    love how you're using both expensive and affodable product lines!! love both elf and mac! 😀

    Animated Confessions

  24. Anonymous says: July 13, 20104:55 am

    youre super pretty but this is the prettiest ive seen you! so natural!!!

  25. Whitney says: July 13, 20105:18 am

    For those maybe looking for a cheaper alternative for a face primer, Monistat Chaffing Gel works wonders 😀

  26. Jen says: July 13, 20105:24 am

    the most simple looks are always the most beautiful 🙂

  27. Lovers, Saints & Sailors says: July 13, 20105:41 am

    I've been tossing up whether or not to buy primer for a while now. I think I will now. Thanks.

  28. evie says: July 13, 20105:55 am

    Thank you so much for sharing! I love your flawless, yet natural look and have been in a total rut with where to start with my own face!

    evie x

  29. Evelina says: July 13, 20108:13 am

    Thank you for sharing 🙂 I really like the colors, looks so natural and I love the apricotcolor. / Evelina

  30. Fashion Butter says: July 13, 20108:53 am

    Your makeup is always so fabulous. Thanks so much for sharing.

    Totally agree about primer – and even though I agree I stil haven't purchased any! 🙂 Must add to list …


  31. Alice says: July 13, 20109:08 am

    Great makeup 😉

  32. Swalvs says: July 13, 20109:42 am

    I love your make up, you're already beautiful and you know how you can show it… So the tips will be very useful! Thank you!

  33. Spela says: July 13, 201012:28 pm

    thanks for the tips!!
    nice blog

    come by

  34. Chantel says: July 13, 201012:52 pm

    Thanks for sharing! Your make-up always look fabulously flawless!

  35. Velvet says: July 13, 20101:20 pm

    Thanks for the explanation! I think having a beautiful skin helps, and sadly that's not my case…

  36. TZ says: July 13, 20103:15 pm

    This is a fantastic tutorial and I'll definitely give it a try, esp. the Smashbox primer. I've been debating whether to get it. This post confirmed my decision. Yes!

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  38. MOUSEVOX VINTAGE says: July 13, 20106:06 pm

    I swear by Smashbox's Photo Finish Primer. I don't like to put a lot of makeup on my face and rarely use anything other than a touch of powder, but I don't even feel like I need to with this stuff. It's made of magic!

  39. Glamour Bbey. says: July 13, 20106:23 pm

    You're beautiful!

    Please, take a look at my blog:
    http://www.glamourblog.tk , thanks!

  40. WhatNerissaying says: July 13, 20106:25 pm

    I'm going to have to try the Smashbox primer. I use the Bare Essentials one but I don't really notice a big difference….and I'm definitely going to try the MAC eye primer as the eyeliner on my lower lids always smudges! Thanks for the tips!

  41. Andrea says: July 13, 20107:18 pm

    This is the best type of makeup, the one that is there but you can't see. You look gorgeous. 🙂


  42. Keiko Lynn says: July 13, 20108:33 pm

    If you're having issues with your lower liner, you might want to try MAC's prep and prime instead of the paint pot. I only use the paint pot on my upper lids. The paint pots have color to them. Prep & prime is colorless:)

  43. oana says: July 13, 20109:27 pm

    from where is that amazing eyeshadow kit that you use for your brows? it has gorgeous colors…
    love your simple yet chic look 🙂

  44. Ali says: July 13, 201010:48 pm

    thanks so much for the tips – i'm tending to try more and more makeup lately – so it's great to have some advice for a novice like me! 🙂

  45. Style, She Wrote says: July 13, 201011:27 pm

    WoW! Your makeup is fabulous and flawless. Thanks for the tips.

  46. Keiko Lynn says: July 13, 201011:34 pm

    Oana: It's a MAC holiday eyeshadow kit, no longer available. However, I just looked on ebay and it's for sale here: http://cgi.ebay.com/MAC-Holiday-Luxuries-Delights-6-EYESHADOWS-WARM-Set-/360207691495?cmd=ViewItem&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item53de0d2ee7

  47. shopcalico.com says: July 13, 201011:54 pm

    Great make-up tips! Thanks!

  48. peppermint*tea says: July 14, 201012:22 am

    love the way you do make up : )
    it's so simple and classy.

  49. fashionjunkie says: July 14, 201012:33 am

    Such a great post, i love this fresh faced and pretty look!


  50. Anonymous says: July 14, 20105:22 am



  51. Shelby says: July 14, 20106:10 am

    i've got to get some of that primer. sooo nice.

  52. Anonymous says: July 14, 20109:11 am


  53. Nadia says: July 14, 20101:57 pm

    Yay for wearing your hair down!
    I wish I had your lips, they're perfect 😉

  54. Rae says: July 14, 20102:32 pm

    Beautiful look. Just stumbled across your lovely blog. Feel free to stop by mine!


  55. Kei Kei says: July 14, 20106:45 pm

    Hello 🙂

    New reader here. I really admire your style and beauty. Also I love the pieces in your store. Wished Id discovered your blog sooner.

    Your name is very sweet and only curious to understand how you have such a cute Japanese name. I get called KiKi a lot! >_<

    Keep it up,
    KK xoxo

  56. Liv says: July 14, 201010:18 pm

    Absolutely gorgeous! I have an unhealthy amount of envy about your eyebrows. And thanks for the heads up on the MAC paint pot!


  57. oana says: July 15, 20101:08 am

    thank you:)

  58. Sofia says: July 15, 20101:02 pm

    This makeup is absolutely gorgeous! I have to try it for my cousin's wedding I'm going to in August. It just looks flawless and perfect. ^^
    I really love your blog and your style! Can't wait for your next entry!

  59. jenn king says: July 15, 20104:37 pm

    so generous of you to share!!! i need primer bad. i hate looking in the mirror during the day and thinking, "yikes, i could have sworn i put makeup on this morning!"
    just wondering, have you ever dyed your eyebrows? i upped the red in my hair yesterday and the stylist wanted me to dye my eyebrows red too. i chickened out because i pictured it looking horrible.

  60. idealscraps says: July 16, 20108:27 am

    I've always admired your make-up, so thanks for the tips!

    Just wondering – how long does your bottle of primer usually last you?

  61. Catanya says: July 16, 201011:16 pm

    I must say, first of all, that I am tremendously impressed by the great quality of both the pictures and the explanations! It is awesome to find tutorials like this on blogs, because sometimes I prefer them rather than Youtibe videos.
    I own a couple of the products mentioned here so I may probably try the look on me!

  62. Elle says: July 17, 20101:52 am

    It's very nice of you to share all the details! I have a sample of smashbo primer that I haven't really been using. I'll give it a try. Mostly with primers I worry that they might cause me to break out, but I guess there's only one way to find out.

  63. Skye says: July 17, 201010:30 am

    You look flawless ♥
    Your make up looks really sweet & natural.
    Lovely pictures :]