Our Beauty Editor’s Go-To Makeup Routines

I’ve been doing my own makeup for almost 25 years and I have tried almost every trend. After a lot of trial and error (frosty brown lipstick, anyone?), I’ve finally figured out what works best for me. Depending on my mood, how much or how little time I have and where I might be heading that day or night, using the right products and knowing what flatters me best has really helped reduce the frustration I was having at my vanity.

If you’ve spent 37 minutes applying a ton of products only to realize you looked better before you began, then you’re not alone! The following routines make up my natural, polished and fancy faces. Below I’ll walk you through the routines I use when I’m running errands, heading to meetings and going out in the evening.

This is simply what has made getting ready more pleasurable and foolproof for me. Even though I’m a makeup artist, I rarely vary from these products and overall looks. (I’ve owned the same brushes for almost a decade.) Whether it’s a drugstore mascara or a luxury lipstick, I stick to what I love.

The following routines are completely interchangeable and build off of one another; meaning I might wear a statement lip with my natural face or rock a cat eye along with my polished face. Having only what I use and love at my vanity has saved me a ton of frustration, time and makeup remover!

The Natural Face

I love using these easy breezy steps for when I am just out and about and want a fresh “no makeup” look. This is my go-to routine and requires no brushes!

I apply a tinted moisturizer or CC cream all over with my fingers to even out my complexion and provide some sun protection.

To open up my eyes a bit, I like to curl my lashes and comb a colored gel formula through my brows. I tap a bit of cream color onto my cheeks and lips to give myself a little rosiness and I’m good to go.

The Polished Face

polished look

When I want to appear more pulled together or if it’s going to be a long day with little time for touch ups, then I add in the following.

If I’ve got blemishes and under eye darkness, I use a concealer and this brush on the areas that need a bit more coverage. Then I set everything with a translucent powder. I pop a bit of powder blush (using this brush) onto my cheeks and apply mascara to my curled lashes. Depending what mood I’m in, I swipe on a lipstick in either a pinky nude or bright matte shade.

The Fancy Face

fancy look

If I’m going out in the evening or will be in a more formal setting and want to pull out all the stops, I simply build upon my polished face look.

I use a bit of matte bronzer (with this brush) to sculpt my face by brushing it over my forehead and eyelids, under my cheekbones and jawline. I fill in my brows with a powder formula for more definition. I add eyeliner into the roots of my eyelashes using the tight lining technique and if I am feeling a little extra I might add a bit of a flick on top. The eyeliner pen I use has a built-in guide to help make your wings!

Then I add one of my trusty lipsticks (like this one) with a coordinating pencil to increase its staying power. And for the final touch I tap a touch of glow onto my brow bones, cheeks and cupid’s bow with a creamy highlighter to catch the light.

What’s your approach to makeup? None, natural, polished or fancy?

Francesca is a professional makeup artist and the Beauty Editor of Darling Magazine. She finds joy in helping her clients feel beautiful through her natural and un-intimidating approach to makeup along with her wacky and dry sense of humor. When she's not on set, Francesca likes hanging out in her very small bungalow apartment with her very tall husband and very sweet French bulldog.

  • Fatima March 1, 2018

    you look stunning with or without makeup! the products you used look amazing might have to try some of them myself.


  • Hannah February 25, 2018

    All of your faces are beautiful!!? I’m usually none or natural these days with two boys varying freelance schedule. I only buy beauty products 1x-3x a year so I only own one foundation mascara eyeliner etc sometimes more than one lip or eyeshadow. My easy look is just tinted cc cream with natural mascara and eyeliner if I wanna be more fancy I then add eyeshadow and lip color. I find personally that less is more these days?

    • francesca February 25, 2018

      Totally! Most days I opt for my “natural face” or even no makeup. I’m finding less is definitely more these days… plus I’m just feeling more and more comfortable just being who I am without having to make myself up 🙂 Thanks for reading! xx

  • You look beautiful in each look, Francesca! Your eyes are simply stunning! 😀

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    • francesca February 25, 2018

      Thank you so much!