For me a smokey eye is a go to look for pretty much any occasion, not just a night out. There are a lot of misconceptions that smokey eye makeup can only mean one thing; heavy amounts of black eyeshadow and a lot of drama. Don’t get me wrong, I am a sucker for those kind of makeup looks but sometimes you need something that will make a statement whilst remaining…understated? Smokey eyes aren’t limited to dark eyeshadows, they can be any colour you want, the point of the look is that the shadows look diffused and are blended softly into the skin. I know that attempting daunting makeup looks like this can be difficult, especially if you’re new too makeup, and it can take a while to perfect – I still haven’t believe me.
I started out with a look very similar to the one shown below, using very small amounts of eyeshadow. Once I got used to my brushes and makeup and learned what techniques worked best for me I moved onto darker shades, experimenting as I went. Everything with makeup takes time and practice, but whats great is that if it goes wrong you can just take it off and start again. For this post I wanted to show a smokey eye look that I love to wear out and about without feeling too ‘done up’.
PREP – I begin my normal makeup routine by prepping pretty much everything I plan on using – clean skin, clean hands, clean brushes. I apply my No.7 Protect and Perfect Advanced Day cream all over my face and then buff a pea size amount of the No.7 Dry Skin Rescue into the parts of my face that need a little extra moisture (typically on my nose, chin and in between the brows).
BROWS – I always start my brows by applying a tiny amount of my foundation/bb cream/tinted moisturiser around the brows and forehead. Using my Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer, I begin by outlining the shape of my brows and then fill them in a bit at a time starting from the back, applying the product and then brushing them out with the spoolie as I go. Once I’ve finished I use a small concealer brush to trace round my brows with the same base I used earlier to further define them, setting with powder to finish.
EYES – To prepare for eye makeup I prime my eyes with the Urban Decay Primer potion, applying with the applicator and then gently blending it into my upper and lower lid with my ring finger. Using a flat brush I pat ‘combust’ (Urban Decay Naked Smokey Palette) all over the top lid as a base colour. Adding a neutral shade as a base neutralises the colour of your lid so other shadows blend more easily and you can get better colour pay off.
I then pack ‘whiskey’ into the outer v of my eyelid and gently drag it into my crease leaving the centre and inner corner of my lid bare. Blending is key when it comes to a smokey eye so after applying the brown shadow I blend it up and out, diffusing it into my crease and just below my brow bone. I usually go back in with the brown shadow, adding and blending until I feel happy with it. Using the same fluffy blending brush I then blend ‘combust’ above my crease as as a transition colour.
COMPLEXION – Recently I have been mixing No7’s Airbrush Away foundation with Maybelline’s Fit Me foundation and applying only very small amounts to my skin. Using clean fingers I dot the product under my eyes, on my forehead, nose and chin and blend away from my face with my beauty blender. The No7 foundation is a much lighter shade than Maybelline’s so I’ll then use it on it’s own to cover any blemishes and also to highlight the high points of my face. I finish by setting the foundation with powder.
EYES – Once setting my foundation I continue the eyes by applying ‘whiskey’ to outer third of my lower lid and smoking it out with a fluffy blending brush. I pack ‘thirteen’ onto the centre of my upper eyelid and a small amount onto the brow bone. In the corner of the eye I apply Anastasia Beverly Hills Illuminator in Riviera and blend it up slightly into the crease to brighten the eyes up. To finish I curl my lashes and apply generous amounts of mascara.
COMPLEXION – For everyday looks I avoid cream contouring and stick to using powders. For this look I used a real techniques contouring brush and ‘Mudhoney’/‘Vanilla’ from the Soap and Glory Lid Stuff Whats Nude palette. ‘Mudhoney’ is dusted onto the hollows of my cheeks, top of my forehead and under my jaw – using a smaller brush I also apply it to the sides and tip of my nose. I then blend in ‘Vanilla’ to the high points of my face such as the bridge of my nose, cheek bones, centre of my forehead and chin. I finish my complexion by swiping the same ABH illuminator I used early on to the tip of the nose and my cupids bow. Usually I would apply the product to my cheek bones and forehead as well, but for this look I wanted to keep the eyes as the main focus and the rest of the look quite muted so left them bare.
LIPS – To finish the look I lined my lips with a nude pencil and applied a similar colour lipstick on top.
FINISHED LOOK –
If you’ve managed to read this far then congratulations because this is a mammoth of a post. I know it’s something a little different so I would love to hear your opinions and whether you have any suggestions of any looks you’d like me to try?
See you next time,