I don’t care what anyone says, a good smokey eye says glamour but a BAD one says so much more. Don’t go for the dark black or steel gray shadows you see on the runway and in the magazines. If you don’t know what you are doing (and in some cases, even if you do…) it most always comes out looking muddy, unprofessional and quite frankly like you got punched in the eye. We don’t want that!! Stick to shades that are in the browns, plums and even green families. They are easier to work with and will look more subtle as opposed to your eye-makeup being the first thing that people notice. You want them to notice your EYES and THEN your makeup.
Here are a few tips that I have picked up over the years:
ALWAYS use a primer (Urban Decay Primer Potion is my fave)
Choose a shadow that compliments your eye shade
Use CLEAN brushes. If your brushes are NOT clean it can contribute to the muddy look I spoke of above
Another thing you want to make sure of is that you use a HIGHLY pigmented shadow. If you use a shadow that doesn’t have enough pigment, not only will the look not last, it will end up looking more natural than anything else. You can test the pigmentation of shadows in the store. Take a shadow applicator and sweep it across the product, test a bit on your hand if it shows up after ONE sweep, the pigmentation is high. If it takes several sweeps then move on.
Here are some of my favorites:
NARS Cordura – My “go to” shadow for a fool proof look. This with a little Smolder Pencil from MAC and smokey eye heaven.
Smashbox Smokebox A Dual purpose wet/dry palette. Contains three super intense, long wearing shadows (Beige, Soft Pewter and Intense Black) that can be worn dry for an added touch of shimmer or wet for extra drama.
Christian Dior Night Butterfly A lovely plum/violet palette from Fall 2009’s Jazz Club collection that gives you the option to change it up and try something different. Since you get Five shades you can really do two looks, a decidedly purple or a cool smokey look.
Bobbi Brown Nude Palette When I want something a little deeper, I reach for this palette. The Caviar shade is magical.
No matter what shadows you use, make sure you take your time, smokey eyes can look fantastic or horrific, make sure yours are on the fantastic side.