I love cake. Specifically, chocolate cake with a whipped mocha or ganache filling and chocolate butter cream frosting. But that's the only way I like it. Unfortunately, I see a lot of caked makeup on faces, and that's not good. While many layers can be buffed together to perfection and look flawless in photos, I believe that light, lasting, photogenic makeup that looks good IRL does exist.
There's a simple answer. Instead of layering foundation, contour, highlight, and so on, on the entire face, just put what you need where you need it.
The trick is to apply powder or cream/liquid products where you get shiny or dry, as needed.
For example, I have dry skin, but as the day wears on some areas get see-through. My solution is to layer a moisturizing primer under a moisturizing foundation everywhere but under my eyes. Next, I apply a moisturizing concealer under my eyes, then contour/bronze with powder and add a little brightening powder to the center of my forehead and around my nose. (You can also do this with skincare!)
Another tip is that oily skin likes powder and dry likes cream and liquid products, but the one time this doesn't work as well is when the entire face is very oily; in that case, powder can mix with oil and get goopy. The solution for that is to use as little product as possible and stick to oil-absorbing and liquid-to-powder products.
After you get the "skin" aspect of your makeup down, that's when you can start to accessorize, if you will, with eye, lip, and cheek color.
On a personal note, life is a little hectic right now; but I find that sometimes the best therapy is to sit at a makeup table and create. So, be on the lookout for the Friday Flash, a quick little makeover that I'll post on, big surprise, Fridays. Let me know in the comments section, Facebook, or Twitter/Instagram (@electralane) if there's anything you'd like to see.