When I was in Paris, I made a rather dramatic change to my beauty routine. I stopped wearing foundation. It's not like I was ever one of those girls who really caked it on, but it certainly served as more of a security blanket of sorts - covering the redness around my nose or taming the blueish tint underneath my eyes. But the most surprising thing is that as soon as I stopped wearing it, I started getting tons of compliments. And not about my makeup (or lack of foundation), but rather on how good my skin looks.
While we were on vacation, I felt both relaxed and uncomfortably hot, a combination that had me seeking out as many shortcuts as possible. So one morning before we left for the day, instead of adding a layer of foundation, I simply added a few dabs of concealer (this one is my favorite) wherever necessary. And the result was surprisingly dramatic. Instead of universally covered skin, you could actually see some of the imperfections: my naturally rosy cheeks, the freckles around my nose, the sheen on my forehead. I had assumed it would look like I was either tired or had just given up, but it had the opposite effect. I looked fresh-faced, glowy and natural. It made me realize that I was adding more makeup than I really needed, disguising some of the attributes that make skin look its best.
It's about as basic of a change as you can make, but it's shifted my approach to beauty as a whole. I've since applied the same philosophy to my hair. Instead of laboring over it for hours in a humid bathroom, I've been letting it air dry and then quickly throwing in a few messy waves with a flat iron the next day. It's a nice reminder that sometimes less really is more.