For the next few posts, we’ll be focusing on festive looks to get you dolled up for your holiday parties. So while you’re focusing on prepping for the parties you’ll be hosting and shopping for the people on your list, we’ve got your make-up tips covered here:
Smoky eyes are a gorgeous and effective way to prep for the office holiday party or for a night out. The application doesn’t have to be complicated – the look is meant to be messy so don’t worry about making it too perfect!! The intensity of the application is totally up to you. You can opt for a softer look and use brown eyeshadows (as in the example here), or go for a more dramatic look with grays and blacks. Once you have the smoky eye technique mastered, you can use any colour (even purples, blues and greens!) and even add texture (shimmer, glitter) to get the look. Try these application tips for a smoldering look that will get you noticed!
What you’ll need:
1. neutral cream eyeshadow (for use as a base)
2. black eyeliner
3. base (neutral/medium coloured) eyeshadow
4. contour (darkest coloured) eyeshadow (i.e. gray, chocolate brown)
5. highlight (lightest coloured) eyeshadow
6. black eyeshadow
7. black mascara
8. black cream eyeshadow (*optional)
Medium dome eyeshadow brush
Crease eyeshadow brush
Blender eyeshadow brush
How to apply:
1. Use a base to prevent creasing.
Grab your base coloured cream eyeshadow and apply all over eyelid up to the eyebrow. Using a base is an integral component of the smoky eye – you want to make sure the shadow stays where you initially apply it and not travel south to give you a raccoon eye! A base will help to keep everything in check and prevent your eyeshadow from creasing.
2. Take the neutral coloured base eyeshadow and apply all over the eyelid (see area “a” above).
This part of the application doesn’t have to be too neat. Once the cream eyeshadow layer has set, take the medium dome brush and apply the neutral eyeshadow colour all over area “a”. This will smooth out the eyelid for application making other eyeshadows applied atop of it easier to blend.
3. Use the crease brush with the dark coloured eyeshadow and push the brush into the crease of the eye, swiping back and forth to deepen the hollow of the eye (see area “b” above).
Concentrate the bulk of the dark colour on the outside corner of the eye and blend gently inward towards the centre of the eye. For added drama, build up the intensity of the dark eyeshadow by applying a couple of layers. Blend well and keep this dark colour concentrated in and below the crease.
4. To up the smoke factor, take the crease brush and dip it in some black eyeshadow and build up the shadow in area b.
Tap the brush to get rid of any excess flakes and apply it close to the lashline and blend it upwards into the crease.
*optional: For a super-smoky effect, layer on black cream eyeshadow atop and blend. Creams eyeshadows appear more vivid than powder eyeshadows and are perfect for those after a strong smoky look.
5. Use your tapered blending brush to soften the dark colour into the crease blending so there are no harsh lines.
6. Highlight atop the browbone to create the illusion of more depth.
Using a highlighting eyeshadow plays up the light and dark areas of the eye. It brings the most prominent part of the eyelid forward (the area just atop the browbone), while making the hollow of the eye seem deeper by contrast. You can also use the highlighter on the inner corner of the eye for a gorgeous light-catching effect.
7. Apply your liner keeping it tight to the lashline. Line the bottom keeping the line thicker on the outer corner and gradually tapering it off as it approaches the inner corner.
You can line the inside rim of the eyes for a full-on smoky effect, but as this area of the eye is wet, be prepared to check your eyes throughout the night to make sure the eyeliner hasn’t shifted downward.
6. Curl your eyelashes and add two coats of mascara.
Balance the look:
Complete the look with a neutral coloured lipliner and some high-shine gloss. If you prefer to go deeper on the lips, try a coloured lip gloss or a lip stain. Avoid lip colours that are too dark and too matte, as pairing them with a dark eye will have a tendency to make you look aged. Add a bit of blush/bronzer to ensure the cheeks aren’t washed out and voila – you’re ready to party and get noticed!
I prefer using a gel liner or liquid liner for a smoky eye, as they have greater staying power. A pencil works well and is super easy to work with, but unfortunately does not last as long.
Don’t forget the importance of polished brows and concealed under-eyes for a completely polished look!
Pack a mini-touch up kit with q-tips, concealer, powder and eyeliner just in case you need to touch up the look.
Remember the diagram above is just a rough guideline of where colours should be placed on the eyelid. As long as you keep the darker eyeshadow colours in areas that recede, the lighter coloured eyeshadows in areas that come forward and blend in between, you’ll be fine. So experiment and have fun with it to find your hottest smoky eye yet!