The smoky eye is one of the toughest techniques to master. One overzealous stroke of an eye shadow brush can leave you looking less sultry seductress and more like you could use an ice pack. But you know what they say, if at first you don’t succeed…ask a makeup artist. We asked a couple, and they had four genius tips to take your smoky eye to the next level.
Start from the Top
L’Oréal Paris ProArtist Mirna Jose likes to begin not with the dark eyeliner, but with the highlight color on the brow bone. “Often people blend the darkest shade past the crease. Starting from the brow bone will ensure that the gradient is not negatively affected.”
Apply Eye Shadow Backwards
Jose finds working in color gradient that builds (rather than fades) works best no matter your eye shape. Start from the brow bone then “Follow your highlight with a medium color from where your highlight ends to where your crease begins and blend. Proceed with a darker medium shade and blend using a windshield wiper motion; concentrating on the crease–be sure not to go as high as the previous color.” Finally, finish with the darkest shade applied to your lid and close to the lash line, and then blend again.
Use Eye Pencil as a Base
If you want to intensify your smoky eye, Jose recommends this trick: “Apply a black eyeliner as a base. Smudge the pencil all over the lid. Once complete, add the eye shadow and blend.” Even when going for greater color concentration, it’s important to blend, blend, blend.
Keep it Close to Lash Line for Daytime
For a softer look, keep the application subtle. “A daytime smoky eye can be achieved by using a smoky eye shadow smudged around the eye very close to the lash line,” says professional makeup artist Dell Ashley. “To keep it from looking harsh, line only the inside waterline of the eye” and skip the bottom lash line all together.
Do you prefer your smoky eye soft and subtle or the bolder the better? Sound off below.