Cat-eyes and coloured eyeliner comes and goes, but one makeup style remains. The sultry smokey eye is the perfect night look, yet can sometimes be the hardest to achieve. Here are some tips for making your smokey eye look natural and effortlessly sexy.
1. Start with a good base
Prep the perfect canvas for your smokey eye by using a primer. Urban Decay’s Primer Potion in Original is the tried and true product and will keep layers of powder from melting, especially in the humid weather. After your lids are primed, use a nude shadow that’s slightly darker than your skin tone over the whole lid, even reaching up to your brow bones.
2. Work in a ‘V’ formation
When layering colour, it’s a good idea to build up gradually. Take your second lightest shade and put it on your eyes along the outer V of your eyes. Take a darker colour and create a smaller V inside the first V you made. You can continue one more time, or move on to taking your darkest colour alongside the corners of your eyes. Smudge that same shade on your lower lid with a smaller eyeliner brush and blend the colour to complete the smokey ombre effect.
3. Keep your eyes open
One trick to keep in mind is when you’re adding your crease colour or adding shadow to define the sides of your eyes, keep them open so you can see exactly where you’re placing the colour. Sometimes, you might close your eye, only to find that your crease line is actually higher or lower! Place the colour where you want it, then with your eyes still open, blend it in, accentuating your natural crease and eye shape.
4. Use a cream shadow
The benefits of a cream shadow are many. If you’re going out to a club, or it’s very humid out, a cream shadow will stay on a lot longer. Even if you prime your lids properly, chances are that the powder might cake in intense heat. Avoid this problem by using a cream shadow for your main colour and liner.
5. Add a highlight
Highlighting can do wonders for accentuating your bone structure, but it can also amp up a smokey eye. Take loose luminescent highlighting powder or eyeshadow pigment and dab a little on your brow bone and upper cheekbone. Blend it in gently with your fingers for a lovely glow.
6. Know your colours
A lot of times, a smokey eye can go awry because the colour palette was wrong. You can stick to the same colours in an eyeshadow compact, but if you’re mixing and matching, make sure that you keep the shades within the same tones. If you’re going for a warm brown smokey eye, use a golden highlight or warm beige base. If you’re going for a cooler gray look, use blacks, blues or burgundy.
7. It’s not about the tools…
Don’t get caught up in having the most expensive blending brush, it’s not about the tools but the application. A Kleenex, cotton swab or even your own fingers are more than adequate for blending your eyeshadow. But if they’re not completely dark and covered in product after you’re done blending, then you’re not done blending!