Further to my first post, which set out different interpretations of smokey eyes, this is the first of three in a series which will take you through a step-by-step guide to recreating those looks and recommend some products which I've really enjoyed using along the way.
Step 1: Create a pretty, even base colour
I like to use a cream shadow as a base, which can be easily blended and either built to added intensity or sheered out if you prefer a more subtle look. Often you'll see this kind of look done with a gold or bronze shade. If that appeals I'd recommend;
- Chanel Illusion d'Ombre (Emerveille); or
- Maybelline Color Tattoo (On and On Bronze).
If you've got oily lids you may also wish to set with a powder shadow - not recommended with the Chanel as you don't want to hide that beautiful finish!
For those of you who prefer a cooler toned base colour you might want to look at the these shadows;
- Bobbi Brown Metallic Cream Eyeshadow (Brown Metal, Galaxy); or
- Maybelline Color Tattoo (Tough as Taupe).
With the darker shades I've recommended you'll probably want to sheer them out a fair bit, or be bolder with your liner choices, to maintain the distinction between the liner and the shadow.
Step 2: Lay down your basic liner shape
When I'm smoking out a liner I prefer to use either a loose powder liner (e.g. No7 Smoky Eyes liner - Smashbox also do one but I think the No7 is a lot cheaper for the same effect) or a gel liner which I blend out with a similar shade of eyeshadow in order to avoid having a defined line.
I'm a massive fan of the defined line, but it's not the purpose of this look!
For gel eyeliners I would recommend;
- L'Oreal Gel Intenza; or
- Bobbi Brown's gel eyeliner.
If you prefer your gel liner in a pencil form look no further than Avon Supershock eyeliner pencils - I much prefer them to the pot version - or Rimmel Scandaleyes.
Step 3: Smoke out the liner with some powder eyeshadow
While it's not mandatory to use a matching shadow I think it helps set the liner, soften the line and maintain the intensity of the colour. Use a shadow which is pigmented enough to be used as a pseudo-liner but which isn't so soft it falls out all under your eye area....note: you probably should do base after a smokey eye regardless of version!
I'm not going to recommend a specific shadow because I'm sure everyone will have a shade knocking around their make-up bag that will do. You can also drag it outwards a little and sweep into your crease to give added intensity around the outer-V of the eye (see above).
If you're feeling a little lazy and want one product to do Steps 2 & 3 for you, check out No7's powder eye liner. Takes a bit of practice to not end up with powder all over your face :) If you've got small eyes you will want to really intensify the liner on the outer third of the lower lash line and the outer half-to-two thirds of the top lash line.
Step 4: Line your waterline (inner rim of the eye)
To me, this has to be black, black and more BLACK!! The liner is all about glamour here so go all out.
My preferred product is a 50p kajal pencil which a friend brought me back from holiday in India. However, assuming you're not jetting off around the world these work pretty well too;
- Rimmel Scandaleyes (you'll have to reapply with gel liner) or kohl liner; or
- Laura Mercier (Black Violet).
If you've got small eyes this may not be something that you want to go with. Instead, you might want to line the waterline with a light coloured pencil. White can be a bit '80s (though I have a shimmer white gel pencil from Sephora that I think is relatively subtle and use on occasion) so usually I'll use a nude shade. Rimmel do a great one in their Scandaleyes range, which is very moderately priced.
Make it more wearable by... switching up the eyeliner for a grey or khaki shade, which will still give you definition around the lash line but feel less "made up". I recommend Laura Mercier Black Gold, Bourjois Khol or Avon Supershock gel liner in khaki shades.
Products used here: Brows as before, Benefit cream shadow (Recess), Becca eyeshadow (Satin), No7 powder liner in brown and YSL effet faux cils mascara. Here I haven't lined the waterline to show the alternative method.