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Breaking Down Beauty: Basic Smoky Eyes

By Sheila

Before I get to the down and dirty of this post, I have to call myself out for overuse of the word “fierce”. Looking through the recent videos on Painted Ladies TV, everything is fierce. Fierce shadows, fierce blending, fierce lips. Fierce, fierce, fierce!

I need to go to vocabulary rehab.

That’s all.

Okay, now!

Smokey eyes can seem extremely intimidating, but the technique is basic and easy to master.  In fact, it’s pretty much what I did with blue shadow in this previous Breaking Down Beauty post.

However, here’s a video and then a photo breakdown on how to acheive dark smokey eyes. Nicole Valentine is my model in the video, and it wasn’t until watching it later I realized my hand is covering her eyes in the majority of the clip. Sigh!

In the photos, where I used myself as the model, you’ll get an up close view of the same technique … and my hand won’t be covering half of the picture!!!

We used shadows generously provided to us by NYX, which is an absolutely FANTASTIC (See, I didn’t say the other f- word! There’s hope!) line of budget-friendly shadows. Around$5 a pop, they are finely-milled and highly-pigmented. We love NYX!

Check out their fier… FAB website, www.nyxcosmetics.com, which has tons of goodies and a store locator, as well.

Smokey Eye Shadow Technique -

Step 1: Priming your lid is a MUST with dark shadows, no ifs, ands or buts! I used MAC’s Paint Pot in Bare Study. Another great tip to remember is to do your shadow first, and then your foundation later … it will make cleanup a lot easier!

Step 2: I use three shadows – the dark and smokey color, a taupe to blend the crease, and a bright highlighting color. In this example, the colors used are all from NYX: Midnight, Frosted Flakes, and White Pearl.

To lay down the color on the lid, I use the flat brush on the very left (MAC’s #242).

To blend the taupe color in the crease I use the fluffy brush that is second to the very right (MAC’s #224).

To apply the highlighting shade, I use the smaller fluffy brush that is second to the very left (MAC’s #213).

And then there’s my secret workhorse brush on the very right that I use to blend things together where needed and sweep away dark shadow fallout (MAC’s #225) … more on this brush to come in a future post.

Step 3: Think of applying dark shadows as an extention of eyeliner. Keep the dark color concentrated close to the lashline and slowly blend up. It should look like a progression of color, not like you got into a mad fight over the last Cinnabon at the mall.

Step 4: Pat, pat, pat that shadow up towards the crease, but STOP right before you get to the actual crease.

Step 5: Use a fluffly brush to apply the taupe shadow in the crease. You want to meld the dark and taupe together. They’re friends, not foes. Never underestimate the power of a well-blended eye.

Step 6: Once you’re properly blended, you can stop there, but if you want a little more drama, add a shimmery highlighter to the inner corner of the eyes and the browbone.

Step 7: One extra thing you can do is use the flat brush to apply a bit of the dark shadow under the lower lash line.

Step 8: Add liner and mascara and you’re set to go! I finished off the look with coral cheeks and a bit of NYX’s Sheer Gloss in Sweet Dreams, which is awesome because it has a brush and a squeeze tube container … can’t go wrong!

Now, go and work those smokey eyes and report back!

Note: Press samples of these products were provided for us to review. Our reviews will always be a 100% truthful. If you have any questions, email us at [email protected]

  • http://glamourist.blogspot.com/ Scarlett

    What a great tutorial! Fierce… Christian Siriano would be so proud!

    ‘Never underestimate the power of a well-blended eye.’ Too true! I am addicted to the Smashbox brush #10. It’s their crease brush and does ALL the blending work for you.

    xoxo, Scarlett

  • http://www.rubysbeauty.com Lisa

    Love how easy you make this! I want that NYX gloss, I love love love brush applicators in lip gloss, but in a tube? Even better!

  • admin

    Scarlett – you really are the sweetest! Thank you! I’ve heard great things about Smashbox brushes … must check out!

    Lisa – the lip gloss is so great! You will love them. :)

  • adriana

    Beautiful! I love the videos with Nicole. I have to do a modified smokey eye because of my eye shape. Too dark doesn’t do me any favors.

  • http://silhouettescreams.blogspot.com SilhouetteScreams

    That lid colour is effing gorgeous *__* I’ll have to pick it up when I make my next NYX order!

  • Gini

    Great tutorial! Thank you!