If there was one makeup style I had to wear for the rest of my life, it would be the good ol’ smokey eye. As much as I’m all for embracing natural beauty, the “no makeup-makeup look” is a bit plain on me. If you haven’t noticed, I’m wearing a smokey eye in almost all my photos. I feel like it really helps to not only bring out my eyes, but the rest of my facial features too. Some may call me high-maintenance for putting on a smokey eye every time I do my makeup. However, after years of practice, I’ve definitely picked up on techniques to perfect that everyday smokey eye efficiently. If you’re looking to master a classic smokey eye in time for the fall and winter months, it’s time to stock up on some staple eye products and follow these 5 simple steps.
PREP THE EYES WITH PRIMER & CONCEALER
Just like with face makeup, the secret behind the perfect smokey eye is a solid foundation. With that said, I always start with prepping my eyes with a primer. This will help the eyeshadow stay on the lids longer without flaking off, and make everything look more seamless and smooth. You can either use a regular face primer, or one that’s specific to the eyes. Personally though, I haven’t noticed much of a difference between the two, so I use a regular face primer to save some space in my makeup bag. Then, I use concealer to conceal my dark circles and other areas of discoloration on or around my lids. Yes, we’re going for a smokey look – but not panda eyes!
MAKE THE EYES POP WITH A HIGHLIGHTER
Before going in with color, I like to use my highlighter to create structure around my eyes. To make your eyes pop, consider lining the inner corners of your eyes with a bit of highlight. I also highlight just below my eyebrows and around the eyelids for that extra oomph. As far as what kind of highlighter goes – you can either use your face highlighter or a highlighter type shade in an eyeshadow palette you may have! My go-to highlighter for ANYTHING is Becca’s Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter in Champagne Pop.
CREATE DRAMA WITH DARK EYESHADOWS
After we’re done highlighting, it’s time to create the drama! Dun dun dunnnnnn! This step is pivotal for creating the perfect smokey eye. For my everyday look, I like to use dark brown, grey, and black shades in my eyeshadow palette. I am a fan of Urban Decay’s Naked Palette because you simply cannot go wrong with that one. Of course, there are many others you can choose from as well that will create a similar effect! I start light towards the inner corners of my lids, and as I work my way out, I gradually go darker. The gradient look is really nice for an everyday smokey. Since I was blessed with beautiful double eyelids (thanks mom & dad!), I like to go in with a brush at the end, and add more dark shadow where the lids crease. This helps to add more definition and shape to my eyes.
USE EYELINER TO LINE THE UPPER & LOWER LIDS
The smokey eye look is starting to come together well at this point, but let’s not forget the eyeliner! For my upper lids, my go-to is a slight winged look with liquid liner, because I’ve found that this style flatters my eye shape the best. But, everyone’s eye shape is different so it’s all about experimenting with what works and what doesn’t on your own. Feel free to get a little experimental here. For my bottom lids, I prefer a smudged pencil look. To achieve that effect, I use either a black or dark brown eyeliner pencil to line my bottom water line. This makes my eyes appear fuller and really contributes to that “smokey” look.
CURL LASHES & FINISH OFF WITH A QUALITY MASCARA
Whether you’re a smokey eye or a “no makeup-makeup look” kind of gal, I’m sure you could agree that no makeup look is ever complete without voluminous lashes! I pretty much never wear falsies, because they are heavy. I really don’t know how so many girls out there do it – I have trouble keeping my eyes open whenever I wear fake lashes. Luckily, I was also blessed with pretty long natural lashes to begin with for an Asian gal… so I can easily get away with just using mascara. For those who feel they need extra volume, this is the time where you’d glue on synthetic lashes, curl them, and apply a bit of mascara so that they blend in nicely with the natural lashes. Personally, I just go in with an eyelash curler to curl my lashes, then apply two to three coats of a quality mascara – and voila, my smokey eye is complete!
Are you a smokey eye or a “no makeup-makeup look” kind of gal?