I was thinking the other day, between musings on more practical matters, what exactly makes a smokey eye? It's a term that's thrown around all of the time, yet everyone seems to have a slightly different definition of what it actually is. To me, a regular eyeshadow look consists of light and mid toned colors on the lid, with a dark shadow in the crease. In contrast to that, my definition of a smokey eye flips that order and puts mid to deep colors all over the lid and is diffuse out. Also, anything that utilizes a black base or a hefty amount of black eyeshadow is usually smokey. I picked out a couple products that I consider essential, and with these, all you have to add is your favorite mid or deep toned shadows to get your dark, smokey look.
I start by smudging a black eyeliner all over the lid and under the eye, like Devita Absolute SoftLINES Eye Liner Pencil in Absolute Obsidian* ($14.95). I like this one because it isn't too soft, so it doesn't slip off throughout the day, and shadows adhere to it very well. To make it easier to apply, I warm it up on the back of my hand, or with the blast of a hair dryer, rub the pencil on my pointer finger, and then apply the product on my finger onto the lid. I like a nice firm brush to blend that out just past the crease, like the Bdellium Tools 781 Green Bambu Crease Brush ($7.92). Under the eye I use Lowell Cornell 1/4 Maxine's Mop ($3.39) to smudge it out.
Now is the part you can pick your favorite shadow. You can use a classic black, a deep grey, a rich brown, or even a jewel tone if you're in the mood for color. Almost anything goes. I apply that all over the lid with a fluffy brush like the Sigma E25 Blending Brush, and I smudge shadow along the lashline with that same Lowell Cornell Mop. If you like lots of eyeliner, you can line your upper lashline and both waterlines with the black pencil. I skip this step because it closes up my eyes too much.
For the finishing touches, I curl my eyelashes with Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler — the only one I've ever owned, and I have no desire to stray. Lastly, I coat my lashes very liberally with mascara. I'm currently using Benecos Maximum Volume Mascara, which is pretty decent, but not as great as my reigning favorite, Jane Iredale Longest Lash Mascara. And that's it! I think smokey eyes are one of the easiest looks because you don't even have to define your crease or use multiple shadows.
What are your favorite products for smokey eyes?
*indicates press sample
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