A classic smokey eye alludes a certain sophistication. Just like the red lip, it should be a staple in every woman’s makeup wardrobe.
There are thousands of variations of the smokey eye these days; green, glitter, gold.. you name it, it’s out there. And it only makes sense because in make-up there are no rules. Sure there are guidelines, but in the realm of eye looks people love seeing true artistry and innovation.
Today I thought I’d go back to basics with my version of a Classic Smokey Eye. I wanted to show you in detail what I mean when I say things like “use a fluffy brush in windshield wiper motions” because although I know exactly what I mean you might not. So I tried putting together a step-by-step guide that can serve as a reference on future looks I might do. Every smokey look I do follows these basic guidelines; Once you master this one, all other smokey looks will be pieces of cake! (Mmmm, cake.)
TIPS FOR THE PERFECT SMOKEY EYE:
- Go from light to dark: When we think of a smokey eye we think dark shades so naturally we go straight to black; Instead you want to work your way up to the darkest color so you don’t lose the gradient effect that makes smokey eyes so beautiful.
- BLEND.. and then blend some more: You achieve the “smokeness” by blending the heck out of your shadows. We don’t want harsh lines that show where one color ends and the other begins so you want to have your favorite fluffy brush handy when creating this look.
- Stop at your brow bone: This is the difference between looking like a smouldering siren or a raccoon. Don’t place any dark shades above your crease or the inner corner of your eye. Reserve this area for a highlight color.
- Don’t forget the rest of your face: While you don’t want to go overboard with a ton of color on the rest of your face, you also don’t want to forget it. Use medium tones to create a nice balance.
- Begin with eyes: My pictorial is a little backwards; I’d recommend doing your eye makeup before your foundation so fall-out is easier to clean up and it doesn’t ruin your foundation.
GET THE LOOK:
- Benefit POREfessional around the nose area to “airbrush” pores
- Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Oil-Free Primer pressed into rest of skin
- Revlon Colorstay Foundation (310 Warm Golden) buffed in with Sigma F80 Flat Top Kabuki Brush
- MAC Select-Cover Up (NW25) to cover acne scars or discoloration around the face
- L.A. Girl Pro Conceal HD Concealer (Creamy Beige) to conceal under-eyes
HIGHLIGHT & CONTOUR:
- NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer (Custard) to conceal and highlight under-eyes (1st photo) blended with fingers
- Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit (2nd photo)
- Vanilla and Banana mixed for setting under-eye concealer using Target Up&Up Blush Brush (3rd photo)
- Java and Fawn mixed for contour using NARS Ita Brush (4th photo)
- Urban Decay Naked Basics 2 (‘Frisk,’ a light medium taupe, for all over color and ‘Undone,’ a cool-toned deep brown, for outer crease; you can also use ‘Charcoal’ from Lorac Pro 2 in place of ‘Undone’)
- Any matte black shade : I used ‘Black’ from the Lorac Pro 2 Palette to deepen outer V and smoke out bottom lashline
- Using your Sigma E55 Eye Shading Brush pick up the color ‘Frisk’ from your UDB2 Palette and place all over lid. To better gauge the placement of the shadow so it isn’t placed too high into brow bone, look forward when placing the outer part.
- Using a clean Sigma E40 Tapered Blending Brush, clean up/buff out (in circular, windshield wiper motions) ‘Frisk’ so there are no harsh lines.
- Pick up a mix of UDB2 ‘Undone’ and Lorac 2 ‘Black’ with your MAC 217 Blending Brush and place shades on outer V. Pack on as much as you’d like until you’ve reached desired intensity.
- With your clean Sigma E40 Brush, blend out mix of ‘Undone’ and ‘Black,’ in upward small circular, windshield wiper motions, concentrating on the outer crease. We don’t want dark shadow in the inner part of our eye.
- Repeat Steps 3 and 4 until you reach desired darkness and you can always go back and place more ‘Frisk’ on your lid if you lose some of the color.
- Apply highlight shade to brow bone and inner tear duct. I used ‘Skimp’ from UDB2 Palette.
To smoke out your bottom lash line, use a creamy black pencil; I used Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Perversion. Only apply it to the outer half of your bottom lash line. Using your Sigma E55 Eye Shading Brush (or a pencil brush) buff out the color until you get a smokey effect. Pick up some of the ‘Black’ shade and buff out some more to further darken. Apply mascara to bottom lashes. (You can also apply the black pencil in your inner rim to go even smokier but I only recommend this if you have bigger eyes as this will make them appear smaller)
Apply your favorite lashes; I used Ardell Glamour Wispies and you’re done! With eyes that is 😉
- Maybelline Define-A-Brow (Medium Brown)
- Maybelline Great Lash Mascara (Clear) to set
- Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion (random to throw this in here but I forgot to mention; used for shadow base)
- ELF Blush (Tickled Pink) applied with Sigma F40 Large Angled Contour Brush
- theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer applied with ELF Small Tapered Brush for highlight
- NYX Retractable Lip Pencil in Nude to line lips
- Maybelline Color Sensational Creamy Matte Lipstick in Daringly Nude
- MAC Tinted LipGlass in Florabundance
To show you how quickly you can play up this classic smokey eye, I added MAC Pigment in ‘Whisper Pink’ to the inner half of my eye (over ‘Frisk’) and instantly I had a more playful, going-out look.
Hope this was helpful for you ladies! What shadows have you found create your perfect Classic Smokey Eye?