ARTIST TIP | Intense Smoky Eye How-to

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Eye Spy:  Make-up Artist Tips for Intense Smoky Eyes

I love this technique – it probably stems from my childhood obsession with first colouring using pencil crayons, and then going over that with matching markers for a more vivid and shiny effect.  To this day, I love mixing textures…and when it comes to eye make-up, I’m always more a fan of a ‘painterly‘ effect on the lids.  Rather than just straight up eyeshadow, I like to apply layers of cream AND powder eyeshadow to dress up the eyes. Yes, that means a couple of added steps, but the results – brilliant pay-off and increased longevity – are totally worth it.

For an ultra intense and longer-lasting smoky eye, use a matching cream shadow beneath your powder eyeshadow – even Pat McGrath, Make-up Master of the Universe (yes, I love her!), tweets so!  The layering effect makes the colour of your shadow more vivid, stays true in harsh lighting and appears more intense on-camera (rather than regular powder shadow alone) .  If you’re up for the intensity, here’s how to get the look:1.  First, apply your cream eyeshadow atop the eyelid, either using your ring finger or a cream shadow brush (Bobbi Brown’s Cream Shadow brush, $36 CAD, pictured above).  Apply enough so that you can see the cream shadow – use a patting motion to easily build up this layer of creamy colour.

The Look for Less:  Cream eyeshadows are available at numerous pricepoints so you don’t have to break the bank to get this designer-approved look.  Splurge with tried and tested Make-up Forever Aqua Creams, $26 CAD, or at nearly one-third the cost Cover Girl’s Smoky Shadow Blast, at $9 CAD is a real deal with it’s double-ended doses of colour.    

2.  Next, with your powder eyeshadow (or eyeshadow pigment like MAC Pigment, $25 CAD, pictured above), use a flat eyeshadow brush to layer it atop the cream eyeshadow layer.

Note:  If you are using pigment – be careful as it can get messy fast.  With pigment, apply using a brush and start with small amounts – you need less product to produce a concentrated effect.  When using pressed shadows, I often like using just my fingers rather than a brush to apply.  The lesson:  Be your own artist and use what tools you prefer – whatever you opt for, the key is to blend!

3.  Soften the edges of colour with a clean fluff brush so that there are no harsh lines of where the colour application starts and stops.  Painterly, right?

Rhia’s tip:  I usually do my eye make-up and eyebrows first – since I tend to focus most of my efforts (and products!) on these areas of the face.  With a smoky eye, I find it best to do the rest of your make-up AFTER your eyeshadow application, particularly face make-up.  That way you can easily erase any little bits of eyeshadow that have strayed without having to redo your foundation and concealer. How’s that for some beauty insider information?!

Proceed with your usual make-up routine (and don’t neglect under your eyes and defining your brows!).  Good eye make-up doesn’t stop just at a well-blended eyeshadow application.

The Finished Look:  Runway-ready opaque smoky eyes that are show-stopping.

Eye definitely spy many double-takes coming your way. ;)

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Welcome to my journal and journey as a make-up and hair artist with all the beautiful people and products I encounter along the way.

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