If you’re trying for a versatile look that can take you from the office to the after-work party, look no further.
With a few tips and tools, this classic eye makeup look can become appropriate for everyday wear.
You don’t need to use dramatic tones of shadow and eyeliner. Simply optimize a simple smokey eye effect that can go from a late afternoon meeting to dinner and dancing.
Before getting started:
Consider your personal color palette.
Are you concerned that black will overwhelm your pale complexion or that gray is unflattering for your skin tone?
Traditionalists tend to stick with dark brown or gray shadows paired with black eyeliner and mascara.
Modern makeup artists are pulling off the smokey eye look with shades ranging from soft violet to metallic copper. They are providing lots of options for every complexion. Regardless of your skin tone, avoid heavy black eyeliner – save that for a night out. Instead, look for dark browns or grays.
Choose your shades.
When it comes to color selection, almost any good-quality powder shadow can showcase this look.
Although you should avoid blue, according to Giorgio Armani makeup artist André Drykin. Blue tends to give the appearance of dark under-eye circles.
You’ll need at least one dark shade and one lighter shade in related colors. Such as a deep gray liner with a silver matte shadow or a dark brown liner with a taupe shadow.
The darker tone will be used to emphasize depth, while the lighter tone will highlight the brow bone. Regardless of the shades of the shadows you select, stick with black mascara. This is the universal standard when it comes to dramatic eye makeup.
One of the best features of sultry, smokey eye makeup is the Brigitte Bardot effect. Which is the ability of your eyes to take center stage and literally appear larger than life.
When applying such dramatic eye makeup, it’s best to keep the rest of the skin “clean and uncomplicated,” makeup artist Vanessa Scali tells In Style magazine.
Keep your blush and lipstick to a minimum, choosing bare, neutral colors so as not to compete with your dramatic eyes.
Step by Step Smokey Eye Makeup Tutorial:
Start with a “primer.”
After washing and moisturizing your face, prepare the area under the brow with a cream concealer or moisturizer, which gives powder eye shadow something to stick to.
To get a smooth, silky base without too much oil, try Too Faced Shadow Insurance, a vitamin E serum that soothes the delicate skin around the eyes and extends the wear of any eye shadow.
Providing this foundation will help you avoid “raccoon” eyes, caking and creasing. Finish by lightly applying a translucent powder all over your face, including over closed eyelids. This will also help keep your eye color smooth and well blended.
Outline your top and bottom lashes.
Starting from the inner corner and working your way out, outline your top lash line in dark brown or dark gray pencil liner. Make sure the tip is freshly sharpened to achieve a clean, well-defined contour.
For sharpening on the go, try bareMinerals Big and Bright Eyeliner Plum each equipped with a smudge tip for blending.
Next, use the same pencil to outline below your eye from corner to corner, then use a soft-tipped applicator to go over each line, softly blending or smudging as you go. To create a daytime smokey eye, reduce the amount of liner and clean up the smudging ever so slightly with a fresh applicator.
Apply a generous amount of shadow.
Beginning at the corner of your eye and working your way out, apply the deeper-colored shadow over your lid, right up to the liner.
To experiment with several different colors, try the Best Pro Eyeshadow Palette with 16 shades. Don’t worry if the shadow slightly obscures your liner.
The idea is to get perfectly blended tonal color that goes into your eye creases and slightly above them. With a clean brush, gently wipe away any excess.
Next, use a pointed and rounded applicator to apply shadow in a sweeping motion directly along the bottom lash lines. Don’t worry if you slightly smudge the liner – the goal is a subtle, blended look.
Gently dust a lighter, neutral-colored shadow over your brow bone.
This light shadow accentuates the deeper color by giving it further depth. The idea is to achieve a smooth, even gradation from dark to light tones. Again, gently brush away any excess.
Finish with black mascara.
No matter the shadow color, black mascara is the exclamation point for smokey eyes. To achieve the most dramatic look, use a volumizing mascara to plump out lashes to their most extreme.
Try bareMinerals Flawless Definition Volumizing Mascara. Apply evenly over both the top and bottom lashes. Because you’re creating a daytime look, apply just one coat.
To avoid clumping, brush lashes one final time with a clean applicator.
Here is a great YouTube tutorial.
The key to successful smokey eyes is practice. Try several different color combinations until you find your favorite. You can also try shadows that come in specially paired color palettes. Keeping your look neat and blending like an expert will help achieve a classic, flawless look perfect for any day.