Ah, the infamous smokey eye. Somewhat elusive, always aspirational, and just like the hunt for a perfect pair of jeans or remotely comfortable brassiere, sometimes hard to achieve… without a professional anyway. (enter “bra whisperer” and any number of TV personalities that tell us what to wear… or not.) And here’s what I love about the smokey eye (outside of the obvious results when done properly), the smokey eye is always in. I repeat, the smokey eye is ALWAYS IN. Not just fashionable for the 90 pound perfectly-formed giraffes parading about on Vogue covers (aka models) , but for the rest of us who have to rely on our shimmering personalities and smarts to get by in the world. Which means, as the season for all things dramatic (possibly family or otherwise) is now upon us, so is your chance to sport this creature of mystery… the seasonal smokey eye.
The burning question, I know, is, how the bleep do you achieve the look without looking like you’retrying to look like said giraffe, when clearly, you are not? It’s a dilemma that I am here to solve to the best of my beauty ability.
Now here’s my first tip and it goes something like this. If you know what an eight track tape is, can quote lines from “St. Elmo’s Fire” or “The Breakfast Club”, or remember when MTV actually aired videos, then you’re just plain out of luck. The standard black or charcoal shadow just won’t work for you anymore. I know, I’m sad too. But the good news is you can use color (any color besides black or charcoal). And if you have absolutely no idea what any of the aforementioned things are, then good for you. Keep this in mind for later… trust me it comes sooner than you think.
- Now, since we’re in the midst of the holiday season, the smokey eye with a metallic edge is a fresh spin and can actually work on anyone. I’m kind of partial to bronze and gold at the moment, but I’m no hater, silver and pewter are good too. In any case, here’s the 1-2-3, the 411, the deets… whatever you want to call it.
- Prep eyelids with a concealer. It gives the shadow something to stick to and will keep that smokey eye from traveling south after your second holiday cocktail. You know the look….nobody wants to be THAT girl.
- Choose two eyeshadows in whatever color tickles your fancy, one medium and one dark. Apply the medium shadow to the lid. Skip the browbone if you’re over any type of hill.
- Line the top lashline only with a dark gel liner that works with your shadows. This is the only place you can use black or charcoal if you’re old.
- Use the dark shadow to smudge over the gel liner and then start to blend up toward the crease. It should start to look like a glorious sunrise… darkness, graduating to light. Hopefully that makes sense because I can’t think of any other cheesy way to explain it.
Now…if you dare, and for most of you, I would err on the “don’t try this at home” side, you can line underneath with your dark shadow. BUT NOT WITH THE GEL LINER!!!! Warning!Warning! Lining underneath with the gel liner will quickly hurl you into the “trying too hard tobe something you’re not” category and will just look plain silly (and harsh).
If you’re not sure where you fall, then just leave the bottom alone. So that’s the deal. It might require a bit of practice, but totally achievable given a couple of practice rounds. The sport of the seasonal smokey eye.
-DD Nickel, Beauty on a Budget pro
Photography by JAG Studios
For more Beauty on a Budget tips, also check out:
- He’s Just Not That Into… Your Makeup
- Makeup Encounters of the Scary Kind
- So You Wanna Look Like a Celebrity
- Makeup Mishaps… Stripes