**"I want to learn how to apply dark eyeshadow for that perfect "smoky
eye" look WITHOUT ending up looking like I got punched in the face.
How do makeup artists blend that dark eyeshadow so well? Do I put it
all over the lid? How far up towards the eyebrow do I go? What's the
right color to use for brown eyes? Argh!"**
Even most makeup artists don't know how to do this without looking all dark and muddy! Yes, the holidays are fast approaching and the #1 most commonly asked makeup request for the season is "the smoky eye" look. Granted, I've even had trouble with this one when it first came out, but I've got the secret. It'll take a little bit of time, but granted, the results are well worth it.
I call it the "3-D" eye. A lot of the time, to get the smoky eye, you'll see just one light color on the bone, and then a dark color on the lid and think, "yep! I've got it now!" When, really you don't. It's too dark, in the wrong place and too, well, just too much.
Here it is step by step.
Apply your lighter color on the bone, just under the eye. Avoid the crease and lid at all costs. Why? Your darker colors when applied, if applied over the white will look muddy, dirty. For holiday, I love shimmering frosty white, so snow like, no? And add a touch under your eyes by the tear duct. Keeps the eyes looking wide and open.
Apply a nude skin like color to the lid of the eye. Just the lid. No more, no less. A soft sand, or light brown will do. This will be your base color that your darker color(s) will adhere to. And let me be the first to tell you, a shadow applies and glides on better on top of another shadow. Try it on bare or foundation/powdered skin and it's just not the same.
A color like this is perfect. It's not too dark, it's not too muddy. It's a warm light brown.
Now trick of the trade. Are you ready? Listen carefully. Here's the trick. You need the right brush. Really. And here it is:
You can find it here at The Cosmetic Mall. It's $18 and worth it's weight in gold. This is my new favorite brush. Why? It works.
You take the flat end of the brush, and rub the side of the bristles into your soft brown shadow. Then hold the flat edge of the brush against your lashes. You're almost holding the brush vertically, so the handle is up and the flat edge of the bristles line up against the top lashes. And in one sweep, from lashes up, apply your brown shade up to the crease. Need more? Do it again, but don't forget. It's always from the lashes up. Hit anywhere else and you'll get the case of the smudgies. You know, color that just won't blend right and looks streaky. It's the technique, not the brush.
Now with the brown shade on, look at it with your eyes open. Do you see it coming over your crease a bit? If not, blend it up more. You need to see it when your eyes are open. If not, this makes your eyes look small and closed. Optical illusion here.
Step 3 is your darker color. Here you can get creative. Go dark gray (ala Janet Jackson), or a warm dark brown, or a frosty chestnut, copper. Try blues, forest greens, burgundy so in this fall. Go matte or frost. It's up to you. Here's where you get to play.
Remember the technique in Step 2? Repeat the exact same brush, technique and application here to your darker color. Only this time, don't go as high up to the crease. Maybe just a touch below the crease... if you go too high here, here's where your smoky eye look can look heavy, hard, hooker like. (yep, I said it.. we just won't go there..) Don't. You want sexy, sultry, big eyes.
Mascara. And a lot of it. Do it before your eye pencil. Why? Because if you hit yourself with the mascara, you can blend it into the eye pencil with a q-tip.
Eyeliner. Black or dark gray pencil here. Line all around the eye. Want extra sultry cat eyes? Do inside the eye as well, but this is optional.
Your darkest shadow now goes on smudged over your eye pencil now. Take your absolute darkest color. Black, dark gray, super dark purple. Whatever it may be and smudge it into the pencil and out around the whole eye. Use Q-tips for this. Perfect. Smudge, smudge, smudge. Remember that little tear duct of white? Leave that alone. Keep that area light.
Brows. Make sure with this sultry eye look that brows are finished, drawn in softly (fill in using a eyeshadow color about 1-2 shades lighter than your brown color, and smudge with a toothbrush... it should look natural, not square!)
So now that you know the trick, you can get creative. You'll need black pencil, and 4 eye shadow colors. Add to that your mascara and you're set.
1. Light (snow White, Shimmering Cream, You Get the Idea)
2. Medium (your Base Color: Warm Light Brown or Taupe)
3. Dark (your Sultry Color: Matches Your Eyes, Your Outfit. I.E. Shimmery Copper, Purple, Burgundy, Blue, Forest Green, Gold. Get Creative!)
4. The Darkest (your Darkest Shadow. a Super Dark Brown, Ebony Black or Darkest Gray. This One Smudges into Your Eye Pencil around Your Lashes.)
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More Makeup Questions of the Day coming up!