Seen on every red carpet since the beginning of red carpets, the smokey eye has established itself as THE look for special event make-up. We love a smokey eye in all shades and colours, but it can be confusing to create at home if you don’t use much makeup every day. We’ve decided to lay it all out in a step by step fashion so you can be prepared for your grad, summer weddings and glamorous nights on the town. Our spectacular in-house artist Jennifer demonstrates a classic smokey eye on our beautiful graduating model Georgia.
This took about 35 minutes to complete the whole look, so once you have it down, you’ll be ready in no time!
What you need for the eyes: Eye shadow primer (We used Paul & Joe), medium shade matte shadow (Rouge Bunny Rouge Long-Lasting Matte Eyeshadow in Chestnut Napped Apalis) , deeper shade matte shadow (RBR Long-Lasting Matte Eyeshadow in Blackpepper Jay), flat shadow brush (Sigma E32), light peach matte shadow (Kevyn Aucoin Matte Shadow 103), Shimmery nude shadow (RBR Long Lasting Eyeshadow in Golden Rhea), fluffy shadow brush (Sigma E25), Creamy pencil eyeliner (RBR Feline Gaze in Salome & Kevyn Aucoin Eye Pencil in Basic Black), angle brush (Sigma E65), eyebrow marker (Geisha Ink), eyelash curler (Kevyn Aucoin), mascara (Geisha Ink)
To complete the look: Tinted moisturizer (RBR Sketches on Water in Adansonia), concealer (Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer in 01), finishing powder (KA Sensual Skin Powder), bronzer (KA Celestial Bronzing Veil), blush (RBR Original Skin Blush in Orpheline), highlighting powder (KA Celestial Powder) and a neutral lip-gloss(KA in Baby Pink Cream).
We’re going to begin by creating the look on the eyes. PROTIP: Do your eyes first when creating a look with lots of pigment, if you have pigment fallout onto your cheeks, you can remove it without wrecking the rest of your makeup.
1. Apply shadow primer as your base all over the eye lid area from under the brow to the lash line. This will allow the shadow colors to show truer, prevent creasing and make the look last through the day. You can use a small fluffy eyeshadow brush, the applicator it comes with or even your finger.
2. Start by covering your lid with a medium matte grey using a flat, compact, short-haired brush. This goes from lash line to crease, corner to corner. It should be subtle. Don’t worry if it looks light – we’re going to layer on more pigment as we go. PROTIP: Use the brush in a pressing motion and pat the colour on so you get enough pigment laid down instead of wiping the shadow back and forth.
3. Use the same brush with a darker matte grey and apply from the lash line to create a V-shape at the outer corner of the lid into the crease. We like matte shadows to establish the shading of the eye, we’ll use shimmer later for highlighting. PROTIP: You don’t have to follow the eye lid shape exactly. We extended the V beyond Georgia’s lid so it gives the look of the eye turning up when her eyes are open, like a cat eye.
4. Now we’re going to blend with the lighter grey with same short brush to create a smooth transition between the greys. Blending is key! We’re blending and building and blending and building up the smokey effect.
5. Use a peachy matte shade on your fluffy brush. Wrap the pigment around the grey in the inner corner of the eye and draw it up to the brow bone above the crease.
6. Now apply shimmer shadow directly under brow bone and in the inner corner with the fluffy brush. The shimmer reflects light, which lifts and brightens the look of the eyes.
7. Go back to your medium grey on your fluffy brush to soften the colour, applying it all over the lid again from the crease down. Blend, blend, blend!
8. Now we’re going to line the eyes using a pencil eyeliner in black. Instead of trying to draw a line right from corner to corner on the upper lid, create your line in little ticks. Don’t worry about making a perfect line, try drawing from the outside corner to the middle of the lid. Then switch and go from the inner corner to join in the middle. This should help you achieve a more continuous line.
9. To smooth out the line, use a small angle brush along your lashline. You can put eyeliner right from the pencil onto the brush to evenly distribute the color. This application is easier to apply an even line, especially for the outer edge flick. PROTIP: If you have trouble with the winged liner, try lightly drawing it with black or dark grey eyeshadow first to get the angle and then go over it with with your eyeliner.
10. Now use your dark grey shadow on the first eyeshadow brush. Tap along along the eyeliner and brush to darken the crease in a windshield wiper motion.
11. Use q-tip to clean up the edges and any fall-down particles.
Your eyes are almost done!
12. Here’s a fun intermediate level bonus step that will take your smokey eye up a notch – we’re going to line the waterline. Instead of eyeliner underneath the lashline, this will give you a dramatic finish that doesn’t smudge or run. Use a softer kohl pencil that is waterproof or water resistant, gently pop the lid down with your finger and apply all the way across the lower waterline from corner to corner. Careful, it might tickle!
13. Curl your lashes and apply mascara – waterproof mascara is a good idea for events like graduations and weddings! Use a seesaw motion back and forth across the lashes to get right down to the roots. Roll over top of top lashes for extra coverage – this will make the black extra bold on lighter-haired lashes. PROTIP: If you have clumpy mascara, its always a good idea to keep an old mascara wand on hand and use it as a comb.
14. Touch up the brows with an eyebrow marker. Follow the direction of the growth of your eyebrow hair. PROTIP: Your eyebrow hairs ususally grow straight up at the front of your eyebrows and sideways as you move towards the outside of the face
Your eyes are done! Here’s the rest of the look:
1. Use a tinted moisturizer – that’s enough coverage to let your natural glow shine through – apply it with a kabuki brush in circular motions to buff out the pigment. We want to see your freckles shine through, something lightweight just evens out skintone and redness.
2. Use a concealer under the eyes for dark circles. Lightly cover blemishes and redness around the nose using a small fluffy brush. Remember to pull all colour into the hairline so we don’t see a line and it will look natural.
3. Set this with light powder on a big fluffy brush. This will help your makeup last longer without moving. If you’re one of those girls with perfect skin, just use powder for finish and skip the tinted moisturizer and concealer. PROTIP: If your powder contains titanium dioxide, skip this step for events with lots of photos being taken, it reflects too much light on camera and whites out your face.
4. Apply bronzer under your cheekbones making a 3-shape that goes from your forehead hairline, under the cheekbone to under the chin using your same fluffy powder brush.
5. Use a light pink brush on the apples of cheeks and blend it into the bronzer with your same fluffy brush.
6. Apply highlighter in a C-shape above your eyebrow down to the top of the cheek bone.
7. Add a little bit of gloss and you’re good to go. We chose a light pink to match and enhance the natural lip colour.
It seems like a lot of steps for one look, but just remember the key is to build and blend. Have a great night out!