Okay – I’m being a bit dramatic. Here’s a basic ‘smoky eye’ look with step-by-step visuals to help you along the way.
*Use the red highlights to show you where to apply makeup.
Step 1 – Prep
Apply eye cream. Allow it to absorb for a few minutes. At this time, you can apply a primer – this will help your makeup glide on and stay crease-free.
Step 2 – Conceal
Use your finger or a synthetic concealer brush to apply concealer around the eye. Pay special attention to the inner corners of the eyes. That’s where darkness lurks!
Blend in a gentle patting motion. Don’t wipe, you will simply remove the concealer. Make sure there are no obvious streaks or lines.
Step 3 – Create barrier
Pat a generous amount of loose translucent powder under the eyes. Your eye shadow will sprinkle down on top of the powder. When you’re done with your eye makeup – use a powder brush and dust away the mess.
Step 4 – Neutral Lid Color
Using an all-over lid brush, apply a neutral color (think vanillas, butterscotch, bisque and champagnes) from lash line to brow bone. (I love using MAC’s “Rice Paper”)
Step 5 – Liner
Line eyes with a dark pencil (I absolutely adore Avon’s Glimmersticks waterproof eyeliner), gel, or cream liner – something you can smudge. If you’re using gel or cream out of a pot, use an angled eyeliner brush to apply the product.
The liner should be thinner towards the inner corner of the eye and gradually increase in thickness towards the outer edge.
Line the lower inner rim. Don’t apply too much liner close to the tear duct – it’ll goop up and you’ll end up with black eye boogers (ech!)
Step 6 – Smudge
Use a Q-tip or a tight bristled brush to smudge the edges of your liner. A good smoky eye shouldn’t have any hard lines.
After you’ve smudged your liner, blend a dark shadow directly over the smudged line. Don’t go too far in to the corners of your eyes unless you have wide-set or protruding eyes.
Step 7 -Highlight
Use a small eyeshadow brush (something that will fit in the corners of your eyes and under your eyebrow) to apply a highlighter shade.
Highlighting colors are light, often reflective. They make the areas you apply them to come forward.
I use “Nylon” by MAC for a dramatic look. For a little more subtle look, I use “Shroom” by MAC. If you have a deeper skin tone, “Ricepaper” by MAC could be a good highlighter for you. Use any drugstore store or department store brand you like, as long as it does what it’s supposed to do.
Step 8 – The Crease
The crease step is important. Just one dark eye shadow alone can look harsh.
Use an eyeshadow that is in the same color family as the eye shadow on your lid, but lighter. Apply it above your lid, on the outer edge of your crease. Then, using a loose blending brush, blend the shadow in a circular motion. Blend the crease shade slightly up and inward.
The crease should be darkest at the outermost corner – gradually getting softer as you move towards the brow and the center of your lid.
Make sure there are no hard lines between the dark lid shade, the medium crease shade and the highlighter on the brow.
Step 9 – Finished Look
Finish your look by defining your brows. A strong eye look desperately needs a defined brow – your makeup won’t look complete without it.
*Smoky eyes look best with neutral lips. Strong eyes plus strong lips will make you look like you have too much makeup on.
**Smoky eyes don’t have to be black. You can use browns, plums, navy – be creative!