Celebrities’ eyes are smoky on the red carpet this year. An old classic that never goes out of style, the smoky eye is a must-have skill in every woman’s makeup arsenal. But be careful. Too much, and you’ll have racoon eyes. Too little and what’s the point? Follow these tips to achieve a smoky eye that will knock ’em dead.
Prime & Prep
Before you start smoothing on the smoke, prime the lid with a cream concealer. This smooth base will allow the shadow and liner to last longer and stay in place. Since smoky eyes only work when everything’s in place, this is an important step you can’t skip.
There are also many cream eye shadows that will do the same thing, but add shimmer and a touch of color. Whatever color you choose, be sure it’s a neutral and won’t upstage the smoky parts later. Some companies make specific “eye primers” for this purpose.
Line the Lids
The best liners are pencils, since you can blend and manipulate the color more easily. Use the liner pencil, preferably black or a dark gray, to trace the top lashline from the inside corner out. This line does not have to be very thick, but should definitely be thick enough to be seen.
Using the same eyeliner pencil, dot between the lower lashes. Gently smudge and blend these dots together using your pinky tip, a q-tip, or a liner brush. Smudge the top lash line as well for a smoky look.
Add the Color
Now that your lids are ready, start sweeping your shadow over the lid and into the crease of our eye. Use rich colors like brown, gray, green, or deep purple. Blend the color up and outward, from one corner of the lid to the other and up to just beneath the eyebrow.
Once the darker color is set, use a lighter (but coordinating) shade on just your brow bone, beneath the eyebrows. Ivory, pale purple, or a light gray will all work. The bigger the contrast, the more dramatic your eyes will look.
The Finishing Touch
No eye look is complete without mascara. To finish off the smoky eye, use at least two coats of black mascara. Be sure to catch all the lashes and avoid leaving behind any clumps. Thick, defined lashes best offset this dramatic look for your eyes, so apply slowly and thoroughly.
All the Rest…
When wearing a smoky eye, it’s best to keep your lips and cheeks fairly understated. Never have dramatic eyes and lips competing with one another. If you’re wearing smoky eyes out to dinner, keep your lips neutral. The same rule applies in reverse: bold lips demand a basic eye. That doesn’t mean you can’t have fun, just make sure your whole look works together.