In Cosmeticsland, a whole lot of people preach that "less is more" when most are actually putting more and more onto their faces and bodies hoping that "more will LOOK LIKE less." However, it next-to-never looks like less, and indeed, makes people look rather scary. I bring up this topic first in the whole of this blog because I started my makeup ritual many years ago with BareMinerals and never considered any other on-the-face products; I started wearing this makeup in college, loved it in Los Angeles weather (oily skin and all), but now, out of college and in the mid-west, I needed more fluid options.
It's snowing outside right now, and that makes me happy that I have found a few good liquid and cream foundations, a cream concealer, and most importantly, a finishing powder that doesn't suck the moisture from my poor pores and doesn't cake up when oil sprouts at the end of my day. But this, alas, is not a strict product review...
To clean up your look and reboot your makeup application habits, choose ONE of TWO options: YOUR LIPS or YOUR EYES. Yes, your cheeks are important, but sometimes, when you have so much makeup to use or your just getting started and excited to look different, you just end up putting on too much unnecessary color--so which did you pick?!
If you picked your eyes then you are a woman (or man) after my own heart. Now, contrary to popular terminology, I call every eye-makeup look a "smokey look" because the only difference is the colors used, not really how you apply them. Use three neutral shades of beige to brown--it's a brown smokey eye. Use pure white to electric blue--it's an electric blue smokey eye. It's because more often than not these one-three shades you use are placed to shape the eye and contour the lid that "smokey" is always the proper term for the makeup. Don't get me wrong; I love a good bold black smokey eye, but I did have to say BLACK, didn't I? That's the point. Remember hearing about the PURPLE smokey eye for fall and early winter 2010--exactly. Liner is good for these looks as well, but the shadow-shaping is more the point of the "EYES look." Keep you lips bare with a barely there gloss or just balm and very little color on the cheeks. We're getting back to basics, ladies and gents, so put away the bronzer/contour and the highlighter; you're relearning why you might or might not use them!
If you picked you lips then you are braver than I. This category is usually a place for bright red, purple, blue, hot pink, or otherwise super bold lips, but sometimes it can be that a particular sparkle to your gloss is the catch point instead of the color. The lips are where we get the most texture from our look: matte, frosty, glossy, smooth over plump skin or tight of pursing lines, etc. For everything else about the face it's depth and finish, but the texture of lip products is in a wider range entirely. Play around with that. It's simple enough. You can, of course, line your eyes (minimally) and put on mascara (I would never recommend any look without mascara), but keep it light and simple. If you're using a bold lip color, as in a lipstick or stain, use a tiny bit of the same color on your cheeks for a full-faced harmony.
When you really SEE your features, that is MORE to look at than more makeup, because we can truly see more of the real you. Getting back to a simple look can also give you a break from a type of look or application you've been stuck in that hasn't evolved to accent your features as they are right now. You can't really grow into old makeup unless it still fits, so take a second, or a week, or whatever, to make sure your makeup is fitting you as you are now and as you want it to.