The Full Beat: How Much Makeup Is Too Much?

how much makeup is too much

The world of makeup and skincare is how we communicate with each other. Every product we use, how we apply, and how much product we use speaks not only to who we are but how and where we were raised. In the United States we’re being pulled into two different directions: natural, fresh faced makeup looks and what makeup enthusiasts refer to as the full beat.

Beauty YouTubers shape so much of what we see in the United States. Figures like Jaclyn Hill, MakeupShayla, and Desi Perkins are influence the scene with their tutorials and collaborations with makeup brands.

It’s here viewers get exposed to the full beat. Fake lashes, full-coverage foundation, heavy eyeshadow, and much more. This makeup approach focuses on perfection but they are also very glamorous.  I’ve seen these looks recreated by both people I follow on Instagram and friends of mine.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, much of high-fashion surprisingly touts a fresher approach to makeup. I can’t tell you how many articles I’ve read on Into the Gloss, Allure, Byrdie, and more in which the author uses about five products to complete her look. Most of those said five products are extremely shear and lightweight.

The prevalence of Glossier I believe has also had a large influence on the natural, dewy look we’re seeing. For the first time in a long time, we’re finally seeing more emphasis on skincare over makeup. This skin-first philosophy matches the approach of women around the world. Look at the popularity of Korean skincare products in the U.S. Or our obsession with French Girls and their je ne sais quoi attitude.

Each culture heavily focuses on long-term product use to achieve glowing, hydrated, and healthy looking skin. No corners cut. No quick fixes. Their makeup looks are there to enhance their natural skin, not cover it up.

All of this boils down to a central question: how much is too much makeup? Is there such a thing? These two spheres of makeup could not be more at odds with each other. If they were a Venn diagram, the only thing in the shared middle would be individuality.

In my opinion, no there isn’t such a thing. As long as you’re blended to the gods, you’re good to go. The idea of too much makeup is subjective. It will depend on your media consumption, your upbringing, and a multitude of other factors. Who am I to judge whether or not you have too much make up on? If you feel good with what you have on, go live your life.

Makeup has to be something that you enjoy. The moment you begin using it because you feel pressured to, or because you’re trying to look perfect, makeup loses its magic.


The power we believe French women, or any other women in another culture has is individuality. It’s a fresh perspective for us because we weren’t raised in that environment or with those cultural norms. That’s special. We can all come from different walks of life and still meet at the end with a shared love of makeup.

Never feel as if you have to apologize for the amount of makeup you wear. Could we focus more on long-term skin care solutions? Hell yes. We’re starting to see that now in mainstream media and hopefully it proves to be a permanent trend.

When it comes to make up, experiment with your look. Embrace your uniqueness. Be you.

Cover image courtesy of Into The Gloss

Also published on Medium.