Fort Dodge, IA

My Favorite Affordable Fall Makeup Look


I always get a lot of questions about my makeup and what products I’m using, so that’s why I have partnered with e.l.f (my favorite affordable makeup brand) and Gordmans to share my go-to fall makeup look.

What I love about this is that everything I am using is under $10 with most items being under $5! I’m breaking down my techniques step-by-step so you can try them at home easily. But don’t worry, this may seem like a lot of steps, but this whole look takes me less than 10 minutes.

This look is perfect for a fall date and is plain pretty. It is lightly contoured, glowing and concealed to give the illusion of perfect skin (even if you are far from it, like me).

A golden eye and a berry lip combine for a makeup look that is glamorous and right on season.

Here’s how to do it


No matter what kind of makeup look I do, I start with these products and steps every time.

1. You start by using the studio makeup removing wipes ($2.99) to take off any makeup or dirt that may be on your skin.

2. Then, you apply a moisturizer – I love the ‘Daily Hydration Moisturizer’ ($8) – and apply it underneath your eyes, cheeks, nose and chin. If you have a tendency to get shiny, avoid your forehead.

3. Next, take your favorite, full-coverage liquid foundation and apply to your entire face with your fingertips or a beauty blender. I personally like to use my fingers because the warmth helps the product blend into the skin better.


Now we are going to conceal and perfect.

4. Now, take a pink-tinted under eye concealer and draw a “V” underneath each eye. tap and blend into the skin (rather than drag the product around).

5. Next, take your favorite full-coverage concealer and spot treat any breakouts or spots you may have and blend a little bit underneath the eye as well (so the pink color gets neutralized a bit).elf-face-mu

6. Then, you are going to use a powder foundation like the flawless face powder ($2) and tap it into skin with a kabuki brush (e.l.f. has a great one for only $6). This it going to seal in your foundation and prevent any shine from happening. I like to “tap” the foundation in underneath the eyes, the forehead and the nose and blend in a circular motion everywhere else.elf-contour

7. Next we are going to do what I call a “natural contour.” Unlike many YouTube videos that show contouring with harsh lines all over your face, you are going to strategically use bronzer (like this palette $) and a precise contour brush ($6) to achieve a more defined look. Draw a “3” on each side of your face: below the hair line to the side, right below the cheekbone and near the jawline. Then blend in with a fluffier brush to buff out any harsh lines.elf5

8. Then, take a neutral and soft blush (I loved this duo is “St. Lucia for $3) and apply to the apples of your cheeks. Then blend with the same brush you used to blend your contour.

9. Use a slightly orange undertone concealer (I’m using the $ concealer) and apply to the line where your under eye bags are. Then blend by tapping with your pointer finger. This one step makes such a huge difference when it comes to covering under eye circles!elf6

10. To really give your face makeup lasting powder, use a HD powder (this one is $6) and a kabuki brush ($6) to lightly stipple (and then brush away excess powder) to your forehead, under eyes and chin. Many people don’t think to do this to their chin, but its a habit for many to touch their chin throughout the day, which can take off makeup.elf7

11. Finally, we are going to set the look with a setting spray. I adore the $3 e.l.f. one that I have been using for years. Spray a foot away from your face and follow up by using whatever is left in your kabuki brush on your forehead to make sure you are shine-less all day long.

All of the steps until now takes about 5 minutes.

12. Next, we are going to prep our lashes and brows. I discovered the essential clear brow & mascara gel ($2) not too long ago but I’m obsessed. It literally has transformed the way my eyebrows look and gives them a really nice arch. The eyelash side preps and slightly curls my lashes.


13. Then, take a highly-pigmented gold eyeshadow and apply to your entire eyelid and right underneath your lower lash line. Use a flat brush for your lids and a little, more concentrated brush for underneath your lower lashes.

14. Then take a soft, taupey-brown color and blend into the crease to define your eyes a bit more.elf11

15. Now, you are going to use one of my favorite, time-tested e.l.f. products, the expert liquid liner ($2). I have been using this for years and I refuse to use anything else. The brush makes it so simple to get a perfect winged liner. Draw a line as close to the lash line as you can and draw a check mark extending at a 45 degree angle. Then go back in towards the eye and fill in. elf12

16. Finally, we are going to finish off the eyes with a healthy amount of black mascara. I curl my lashes before applying mascara, do my lips and then go back to apply one more coat of mascara for good measure.elf13

17. Now, we are going to prep the lips for a bold lip color. I recently found the lip exfoliator ($2) and am obsessed. It is a bit grainy, because of the exfoliating effect, so use the same makeup wipe to get any excess off your lips. The last thing you want is bumps underneath a bold lipstick color.


18. At last, you are going to finish off the look with a bold berry lipstick. I had an expensive, department store version of this color that I lost and found this $3 replacement that is a perfect dupe! It’s much more moisturizing and I was pleasantly surprised at the lasting power of this inexpensive lipstick!elf15

And ta-da! Here is the end result. This is my go-to fall makeup routine that lasts all day long. Every time I do my makeup this way, I get so many compliments and I hope you will too!

e.l.f is now available at Gordmans.

A big thank you to Gordmans and e.l.f. for sponsoring this post and for you all supporting the brands I love.

As always, thank you for reading.

  1. Paula Wrote:

    I love learning different makeup routines! This one is great. Thank you for sharing. I will have to try the lip exfoliator.

    • Brenna Wrote:

      Thank you so much, Paula!


  2. Gig Wrote:

    Very pretty! You l fa w out make too! Thank you for u aforda pro Nice to have g products that do c afortu

    • Brenna Wrote:

      Aw thanks!!


  3. Ellie Wrote:

    Such a gorgeous, glowing look! I love that rich berry lipstick!


    • Brenna Wrote:

      Thank you so much, Ellie! Have a great day.