I call this look “From Dusk ‘Til Dawn.”
Oh, how I love a sultry, smoldering, smokey eye. Like chocolate, crème brule, and Rafaelos, when it comes to makeup, a smokey eye is my guilty pleasure. I adore the deep, rich contrasts that this eyeshadow look creates.
It is luxury, and drama, and passion all rolled into one sexy presentation. Mmmm, Mmmm, Mmmm. You just gotta’ love it.
So how do I create my definitive smokey eye? With lots of Love and PIZZAZ. Let’s get right to it. But first, we must . . .
Prime the Canvas
Just like an artist or painter uses a canvas to create his master piece, our face is — and for the purpose of this article, our eyelids are our canvas.
To prepare our skin for makeup, we must use a primer. As I have very oily skin, I personally like to prime my entire face (to include my eyelids) with the FACEatelier Ultra Matte primer. Once this primer is dry, apply the Mineral Face Primer by e.l.f. Studio in the same fashion (once again, to include my eyelids).
If your skin is not oily, the FACEatelier Ultra Matte primer is a good choice for you, as it is light in texture, yet allows your makeup to set smoothly and beautifully on your face.
If you do have oily skin like mine, then the Mineral Face Primer by e.l.f. Studio is a great option for you. This primer does an amazing job at minimizing and/or removing shine throughout the day. I love the way my skin feels after applying it. I am even more ecstatic about how great my makeup looks throughout the day and especially at the end of the day, when I prime my skin with both my FACEatelier and my e.l.f. Studio Mineral Face Primer.
Finally, use your fingers to apply the Primed & Ready Eye Primer by Prestige to your entire eye area only, blending it into the skin, from just under your eyebrows straight down to include the area under your lower lash line, and everything in between those two points.
Remember to let your primer dry completely before applying makeup to your skin.
HERE’S A HELPFUL TRICK: At this point, I use two strips of transparent tape, to help create a clean outer edge for my eyeshadow. This is how it should be done. Apply and remove each strip of tape to the back of your hand about two or three times to remove some of the adhesive from the strips. This will ensure that the tape does not tear or otherwise damage the skin around your eyes, which as you know is very thin. Apply the tape strips to the outer edge of each eye from your lower lash line to your eyebrow. This creates a clean edge at the end once the tape is removed and, in my opinion, makes your eyeshadow appear even more attractive, than it normally would if you skipped this step entirely.
Laying the Base
Just as we did with the primers, it is important to build, layer and blend your makeup. But first, you must lay the foundation by starting with the proper base coat.
This step is essential to create a smooth surface for your eyeshadow to attach and seal itself to.
First we are going to highlight the brow bone, which is the area located immediately under your eyebrow. I like to use my Brow Brush by Posh to apply a thin strip of the Essential All Over Cover Stick by e.l.f. Studio, in the color Persimmon, to the brow bone. Apply this highlighter to your brow bone only.
Next, using a crease brush, apply an eyeshadow base to the rest of your eye area. If you have a medium brown or darker skin tone, I recommend MAC’s Indianwood Pro Longwear Paint Pot. I adore this product. It is easy to apply and blends well with other eyeshadow colors. Plus, it looks amazing against the skin.
Remember, in order for your eyeshadow to last longer and lay smoothly on your skin throughout the day, you must apply a good quality eyeshadow base. There is just no getting around this step. A good quality base coat will stop your eyeshadow from separating, clumping and fading on you throughout the day.
HERE’S A HELPFUL TIP: Find a base coat color that not only compliments you, but (if you can) one that is also close to your skin tone.
The Rules: Build, Lift, Blend, Layer & Contour
As a rule of thumb, when building your eyeshadow, layer the colors from light, to medium shades, to dark — from top to bottom, above your crease — and from inside-out, below your crease (on your eyelid). Remember to blend it all out, lifting the outer corner of each color towards the outer tip of your eye brow, as you apply each coat. The secret is to contour your eyes by blending metallic colors with matte colors and by balancing lighter colors with darker shades. In this way, you shift the mood, as well as bring in the light and the drama.
This technique will make your eyeshadow pop and your makeup look deliciously divine. You see, it’s the contrast between light and dark shades that gives you fabulous results. This is because the contrast you create contours and defines the shape of your eyes, while accentuating the color of your eyes to perfection.
Now that we know the rules and have properly primed, concealed, and laid the base coat, let’s bring in the light and build the drama. This is the part I love. So, let’s get started.
Above the Crease: Bring in the Light & Make Your Eyes Pop
For this look, I use some of the shades from the Revlon PhotoReady Graffiti palette. I am really digging the Graffiti palette. I also use some individual shades from the CoverGirl Queen Collection 1-Kit Eyeshadows.
Let’s start at the brow bone. Depending on your skin tone, you should apply 2 or 3 coats of the Rose Beige primer shadow from Revlon’s Graffiti palette along your brow bone, using the Brow Brush by Posh. Place this shade directly on top of the e.l.f. Studio Persimmon Essential All Over Cover Stick color that we applied earlier and blend the two shades together, to create a soft, yet distinct highlight on your brow bone.
In the area below the brow bone, apply a few coats of the Vintage Q132c7 (Deep Metallic Gold) color from the CoverGirl Queen Collection 1-Kit Eyeshadows, using the e.l.f. Studio Eyeshadow “C” Brush. Lift the outer edge of the Vintage shade up towards the outer tip of your eyebrow. Then, beneath this area, down into the crease of your eyes and a 1/3 of the way onto your lid, apply 2 coats of the rich, shimmery Brown shadow from Revlon’s Graffiti palette, using the e.l.f. Studio Contour Brush.
Also, lift the outer edge of the rich Brown shade up towards the outer tip of your eyebrow.
Remember to blend both the Vintage color from CoverGirl and the Brown color from Revlon into the MAC Indianwood Paint Pot that we used as a base coat.
As you build your eyeshadow shades, it is very important to properly blend each layer together in order to achieve a seamless transition between colors and to completely remove any harsh lines that may separate one eyeshadow shade from the others. Remember, the transition between the shades must appear soft, natural and look effortless.
In the Crease: Build the Drama From Dusk
Now, on top of the rich Brown shadow from Revlon (from above the crease, traveling down right into the crease area), apply 2 coats of the Raisin Q125 (Wine/Burgundy) shadow from the CoverGirl Queen Collection 1-Kit Eyeshadows, using the same e.l.f. Studio Contour Brush. Blend the Brown shade from Revlon and the Raisin shade from CoverGirl together, to create a rich, warm, earthy color that is both vibrant and sexy. Then, directly in your crease, using the small Crease Brush by Posh, apply 2 thin-lined coats of the Black Tie (Black) shadow, also from the CoverGirl Queen Collection 1-Kit Eyeshadows. Remember to apply the Black Tie shadow carefully.
Therefore, in your crease, start from the outer corner of your eye (closest to your temple). Concentrate the heaviest application of the Black Tie shadow on the outer corner of your crease and slowly lighten the application as you make your way to the center of your crease. Remember to lift the outer edge of the Black Tie shade up towards the outer tip of your eyebrow. Do not apply the Black Tie eyeshadow pass the center of your crease. From the inner corner of your crease (closest to your nose) to the center of your crease, there should not be any Black Tie eyeshadow applied to this area, whatsoever.
Finally, on top of the Black Tie shade, using the same e.l.f. Studio Contour Brush, apply another coat or 2 of the Raisin shade. Blend the Raisin and the Black Tie shades together to soften the black line you just created. This will give you the smokey effect and build the drama you want in your crease. You may need to repeat this process a second time with the Black Tie and Raisin shades to achieve your desired result.
On the Lid: Shade Me to Perfection ‘Til Dawn
We have already applied the rich Brown shimmery shade from the Revlon Graffiti palette, from the crease of our eyes to a 1/3 of the way down our lids. Therefore, we are now going to bring in the light. Apply the e.l.f. Studio Long-Lasting Lustrous Eyeshadow, in the color Confetti, to the remainder of your lid area right down to the lash line, using the larger Crease Brush by Posh.
Then, apply 2 coats of the Vintage shade from CoverGirl, directly on top of that rich Brown shade from Revlon, using the e.l.f. Studio Eyeshadow “C” Brush that we used earlier. And, you know the drill. Blend, blend, blend the two shades to perfection.
Lastly, on top of the Confetti shade by e.l.f. Studio, apply the Brilliant White sparkling top coat from the Revlon Graffiti palette, using the larger Crease Brush that we used to apply the Confetti shade. Pat on and gently blend the Confetti color with the Brilliant White sparkling top coat. On the outer edge of your eyes, sweep these 2 blended colors up towards the outer tip of your eyebrow to create a faux wing.
You can substitute the Confetti shade by e.l.f. Studio, for the Shadow Eyez color stick by Milani, in the color 01 Winter White. However, the Milani Shadow Eyez color stick is not as easy to apply and use as e.l.f. Studio’s Long-Lasting Lustrous Eyeshadow. The reason for this is that Milani’s Shadow Eyez color stick is extremely dry and chalky. So, it applies in clumps causing you to work a little harder to apply it evenly onto your skin. While e.l.f. Studio’s Long-Lasting Lustrous Eyeshadow glides on smoothly and feels absolutely wonderful when applying it to the skin.
Shaped to the 3rd Degree: The Perfect Lines
Here is the Eyeliner Rule to live by. Apply 3 coats to the top lash line and 2 coats to the bottom lash line. Use a pencil liner, a gel liner and a liquid liner (in that order) to achieve this look. This technique helps to make the whites of your eyes stand out.
First, apply the Perfect Eye Pencil by IMAN, in the color Jet Black, to your water line (bottom) and to your top lash line — from the inner corner of the eyes to the outer corner. Next, directly on top of the Jet Black shade by IMAN, apply the e.l.f. Studio Cream Eyeliner, in the color Black, also to your water line and to your top lash line, using the e.l.f. Studio Angled Eyeliner Brush. Finally, to the top lash line only, apply the Eye Tech Liquid Eye Liner by Milani, in the color 01 Black.
Then, below the lower lash area, apply the rich, shimmery Brown shade from the Revlon Graffiti palette, using the same Contour Brush by e.l.f. Studio. Next, with the same Contour Brush, apply the Raisin shade from the CoverGirl Queen Collection directly on top of the Brown shade from Revlon and blend the 2 colors together, for the same sultry effect you created right above the inner crease of your eyes. Finally, directly below your water line and on top of your lower lash line, apply a thin-line of the Black Tie shade, also from the CoverGirl Queen Collection, using the small Crease Brush by Posh. Delicately smudge the Black Tie shade across your lower lash line to smoke it out.
Use the pad of our pinky finger to apply the Brilliant White sparkling top coat from the Revlon Graffiti palette directly to the inner corner of your eyes (the inner tear duct area) to brighten the eyes, to counter balance the dark liner, and to bring in the light.
Finally, use a clean e.l.f. Studio Flawless Concealer Brush and lightly sweep it across your entire eye area. Do this multiple times to: 1) remove any harsh lines that divide your eyeshadow colors, 2) remove any fall out from excess eyeshadow that was left on your skin, and 3) to gently complete the blending process.
HERE’S ANOTHER HELPFUL TRICK: Lightly dip the e.l.f. Studio Flawless Concealer Brush into the e.l.f. Studio High Definition Undereye Setting Powder, carefully dusting off any excess product from the brush. Then gently tap the brush against and dust it around your eyelid area to seal in and set the eyeliner. This technique helps to prevent your eyeliner from running throughout the day.
You can substitute the e.l.f Studio High Definition Undereye Setting Powder with your favorite translucent powder. I recommend using the Airspun Loose Face Powder (Original Formula) by Coty, in the color Translucent 070-24.
A Bold Triple-Team Play: For Thicker, Fuller Lashes
First, you must purchase a good quality lash curler. I recommend the Eyelash Curler by e.l.f. Studio. Then use it to, what else, curl your top lashes.
Next, here is the Mascara Rule (and, YES, there is a Mascara Rule). There must be 3 coats. Use a clear gel mascara, along with your favorite waterproof, black mascara. This technique helps your mascara to last longer throughout the day.
I RECOMMEND applying the Lash Accelerator Serum with Avec Grow-Lash Complex (clear gel mascara) by Rimmel London to both the top and bottom lashes of your eyes. It is very important to wait for each coat of mascara you apply to set, but not dry completely, before applying another coat. Once the gel mascara has set, then apply the Telescopic Shocking Extensions waterproof mascara by L’Oreal Paris, in the color 981 Black. Again, wait a few minutes for the second coat to set (not dry), before applying the third and final coat of waterproof mascara.
Two Supporting Characters for One Divine Leading Lady
Here’s the Final Rule: Your eyeshadow, blush, and lipstick must never compete with one another for the starring role on your face. You must maximize one and minimize the other two areas of your face.
Therefore, before you begin to apply your makeup, decide which area of your face will have the starring role and make the other two areas great supporting characters.
As you know, no good drama is complete without outstanding supporting characters. So, if you want bold, dramatic, sultry, smokey eyes, then balance this look with a soft, neutral lip and cheek color.
For the purpose of this article, I recommend: 1) a light, soft, brown (with a small hint of burgundy lipstick on the inner center of your bottom lip and blend it out), 2) a taupe color, 3) a soft pink, or 4) a soft peach color for your lips and cheeks. Using these colors will open and brighten your eyes, while giving your makeup a more natural look.
Remember ladies to always build and lift the layers, bring in the light, contour with drama and blend, Blend, BLEND.
And there you have it. My definitive smokey eye routine for brown eyed girls. And you can wear it “From Dusk ‘Til Dawn.”
List of Products:
Eyeshadow Base Coat
Pro Longwear Paint Pot by MAC, in the color Indianwood, $21, www.maccosmetics.com
PhotoReady Eyeshadow Palette by Revlon, titled Graffiti, $6.01, www.amazon.com
1-Kit Eyeshadows by CoverGirl Queen Collection, in the colors: Vintage Q132c7, Black Tie Q150, and Raisin Q125, Price Ranges between $2.24 – $798 ea., www.amazon.com
Long-Lasting Lustrous Eyeshadow by e.l.f. Studio, in the color Confetti, $7.99, www.amazon.com
Shadow Eyez color stick by Milani, in the color 01 Winter White, $8.85, www.amazon.com
Perfect Eye Pencil by IMAN, in the color Jet Black, $13.23, www.amazon.com
Cream Eyeliner by e.l.f. Studio, in the color Black, $8.14, www.amazon.com
Eye Tech Liquid Eye Liner by Milani, in the color 01 Black, $8.76, www.amazon.com
High Definition Undereye Setting Powder by e.l.f Studio, $6.37, www.amazon.com
Airspun Loose Face Powder (Original Formula) by Coty, $9.22, www.amazon.com
Lash Accelerator Serum with Avec Grow-Lash Complex (clear gel mascara) by Rimmel London, $7.97, www.amazon.com
Telescopic Shocking Extensions Waterproof Mascara by L’Oreal Paris, in the color 981 Black, $7.56 – $7.96, www.amazon.com
Eyelash Curler by e.l.f. Studio, $4.49, www.amazon.com
Brow Brush by Posh, $4.99, www.kmart.com
Eyeshadow “C” Brush by e.l.f. Studio, $3.00, www.eyeslipsface.com
Contour Brush by e.l.f. Studio, $3.00, www.eyeslipsface.com
Crease Brush Duo by Posh, $7.99, www.kmart.com
Angled Eyeliner Brush by e.l.f. Studio, $3.00, www.eyeslipsface.com
Flawless Concealer Brush by e.l.f. Studio, $3.00, www.eyeslipsface.com
What’s On Your Mind
“LLbyK” Family, now it’s your turn. Put your comments in the box below and let’s continue the discussion.
I also want to Thank You, for taking the time out of your day to shoot the breeze with me. I love our chats. I am truly grateful to receive each of your thoughts, ideas and blog requests. So, don’t be shy. Tell me what’s on your mind. Talk to you soon.
All My Love,