Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Smoky Eyes - the basics, the tricks and the tips

The main thing a love about smoky eyes... well, apart from the fact that they are drop dead stunning ofcourse... is that you can show them off anywhere – whether that would be on the red carpet (though I highly doubt any A-list celebrities would even be reading this), to a party or just out shopping with friends. I also love how, just by altering the look slightly (using deeper tones or bringing the eyeshadow out further), you can come up with a wide variety of different looks. Celebrity fans of this look include Keira Knightley, Kim Kardashian, Jessica Alba, Nicole Scherzinger and Beyonce – but you do not have to be big on the TV to look sexy and smoky. (See what I did there?)

I know that basic insights on smoky eyes have been discussed on beauty blogs and youtube channels a great number of times. But this blog entry is basically going to be aimed at beginners and people who are maybe a little shy with applying a smoky eye.
Here is my video which provides a basic step by step guide on how to achieve the classic smokey eye.


Prime your eyes before you begin – this can be done using your everyday eyeprimer or concealer. There are a number of advantages here: 1. it allows for smooth application of your eyeshadow by controlling the oil content on your eyelids 2. it prevents creasing, which can result from simply blinking, and the smoky eye is the kind of look which you don’t want to crease 3. it really adds to the intensity of the eye shadows – which is really important particularly if you want to sport the deeper smoky eyes.

Makeup artist Kristen Piggott says that you should mix different textures and shouldn’t just rely on matte colours when doing a smoky eye as this can appear aging. So mix and match, I like to use Blacktied from MAC as a liner which has a sparkly undertone. I also like to use a matte base with a shimmery definer when possible.

Smoky eyes have to be well blended and even, so do each eye one step at a time – don’t do one eye completely then go on and do the other. This way it makes it easier to compare each eyeshadow application and make it even on each eye.

If you want to achieve a smoky eye in record time (I’m not sure if there is a competition for fastest time to do a smoky eye but you know what I mean)... you can still get the look just by using a black kohl pencil and your favourite mascara. Apply the kohl roughly to the upper and lower lash line, and blend it up and outwards using either a Q-tip, makeup brush or your finger, then apply to your water lines for intensity and apply two coats of mascara et voila!

If you want to go for a more subtle smoky eye use a base colour which most closely matches your natural skin tone (maybe slightly lighter), however if you really want to provide real enhancement – use a much lighter tone as this will help to highlight the inner corners of your eyes.