When It Comes to Makeup, How Much Is Too Much?

When Daisy Fuentes showed up at a Burberry event with a smoky blue gray eyeshadow and copper lips, Latina beauty director Angelique Serrano blogged that Daisy was provoking the ghosts of the ’90s with her powerful visage. Angelique is not alone. Readers like Layla Martin, Mexican-American financial administrator of mixed heritage says, "Daisy looks a little clownish in this picture. I mean, she's a pretty woman, but personally, I would never feel comfortable with that much make-up on." Instead, Layla, 32, says if she does go out in public with a stronger eye using her beloved Chanel eyeshadow palette, she'll tone down her lips with a neutral color. And during the day, Layla usually wears only foundation and blush, bypassing lipstick, lipgloss and eye make-up all together.

Monica Lopez, a textbook editor in Los Angeles, begs to differ. "Daisy's eyes aren't that overdone," says Monica. "And she's not wearing a severe, blood red lipstick. I think it's okay, but not the most flattering look." During her own work days, Monica generally wears a little lipgloss. But at night, "it's more dramatic," says Monica, who is a huge fan of Mac cosmetics because of their high quality pigments. First she applies concealer, then bronzer, liquid eyeliner, eyeshadow, blush and gloss. "Occassionally, I'll even put on false eyelashes," confesses Monica. "I love the effect. They really open your eyes." But at the same time, Monica worries that she goes overboard with the make-up, asking herself at times, "Do I look like a drag queen? That's a big fear for me, so I do minimize."

Both Monica and Layla agree that if you want to dramatize makeup, which is a must for evening, then use the rest of your face to strategically highlight one specific feature, rather than allowing several bright colors to clash for attention.

Eyes: If you want a smoky eye, you don't have to go totally nude with your lips, but it can also feel like overkill to do a dark shade of lipstick. Try an in-between shade like Lancome Juicy Tube in Beach Plum ($18, lancome-usa.com). It's sheer and subtle, but it still offers some color.

Cheeks: If you want to look extra flushed in the cheeks, then you definitely want to make sure that you don't use a rosy, pinkish or coral eyeshadow that clashes with your blush. Instead find a color that would compliment it like a soft brown or camel eyeshadow, like Suede by Lorac ($17 at sephora.com) along with a tawny gloss like Lancome Juicy Tube in Simmer ($18, lancome-usa.com) for the lips. Then use a dark brown eyeliner like Urban Decay Glide-On eye pencil in Bourbon ($16, sephora.com) to bring the look into focus.

Lips: And if you want to wear a deep lip color for a special night out, wear a pale eyeshadow on your eyes like Yogurt by MAC ($14.50, maccosmetics.com). Line the upper lids with Fluidline precise gel eyeliner by MAC ($15, maccosmetics.com), and hold the blush!

Serena Kim