Wednesday, February 9, 2011

To smokey eye or not to smokey eye, that is the question! Also a Smokey Eye How-To

It seems as though the "smokey eye" has become a huge trend over the last couple years, especially with all of the Jersey-based shows become so popular, but is it for you? I honestly think a smokey eye can look good on ANYONE, but to me it's more about where you wear it and how comfortable you are with it. While I may wear a smokey eye to pick up a movie at redbox and think nothing of it, someone else may feel comfortable only wearing one when they go out at night. I think some of it has to do with how daring you are with your makeup and of course your personal preference regarding what you think "appropriate daytime/professional makeup" looks like. I don't think I've ever overly censored the makeup I've worn during the day or to work. After all, unless you look like a "working girl", what can your boss really say? And if you wear your makeup with confidence, I doubt it will make him/her really view you any differently. Of course there are exceptions to every rule and it's your choice whether or not it's worth wearing a bit less to make your boss happy if they're particularly picky.

But I digress, back to the smokey eye! The question is, should you wear a smokey eye? I say, give it a try if you haven't already! The thing I like most about the smokey eye is that it really emphasizes your eyes in a sultry way. Of course your smokey eye doesn't have to be black-shading only. I use deep browns, purples, etc. It's nice to switch it up and keep it fresh! I think there are a few major things to remember when creating a smokey eye. Of course these are my opinions based on the way I like my smokey eyes to look, but here they are:

1. BLEND, BLEND, BLEND!!! I personally don't like smokey eyes with sharp corners or edges, but then again some people like that. I think a smokey eye with blended out edges and colors looks fabulous. Practice if you're unsure of how it looks. Try different colors, too. If you're not super sure how you feel, you may want to lighten up the colors you use during the day and darken them at night.

2. USE DON'T ABUSE! I love a gorgeous smokey eye and once you get super confident with creating one or if you just like them in general, you may get into the habit of only wearing smokey eyes. Not that that's a huge idea, but I think it's nice to flex your creative muscles and switch it up on a regular basis. To me, smokey eyes for some people become like chocolate and they just can't stop indulging! I know that sometimes we get used to using the same application techniques because we like them and they take less and less time the more we use them, but I get a lot more comments on looks when I switch things up!

3. MAKE IT YOUR OWN! I know the smokey eye is a fairly defined look, but I honestly think you can make your smokey eye your own. Play around with it, use different colors, lighten up, darken up, switch up your liner colors, etc.

There you have it! My little rules for myself when it comes to smokey eyes.

If you're new to smokey eyes and aren't quite sure how to create one, here's a quick how-to on how I like to create a super basic, dramatic smokey eye. Everyone seems to have different ways of doing it, but here you go:

1. Use a good primer! Of course I use B.Koi Cosmetics "Sure Thing" eye serum, but any good quality primer will work.

2. Some people like to line their eye first and use it to create the smokey effect later. I don't always do this, but if you choose to, line your top lid from midway to the outer corner for smaller eyes (makes them look bigger) or across the entire lid if they're nice and large. If you don't want to line your top lid, I usually just do the upper waterline instead of on the lid. I prefer wet shadow over pencil by far (personal preference), but do what you're most used to.

3. Choose a lighter color that pops or a lighter neutral, then pick a darker color for the "smokey" effect that compliments the lighter color. I always pick my shadows out before I start so that I can carefully plan out what I want to wear, otherwise I'd probably sit there with half my makeup on and never get out the door!

4. I place the lighter color in the inner corner of my eye from the lash line up to the crease and blend it across your lid most of the way over. Since the "smoke" will be in the outer edge I don't usually put the lighter color here as much, just enough that they'll overlap and blend a bit.

5. Take the darker color and apply it along the lash line from about the middle to the outer corner, then sweep it up and around the crease. So far you've got a light eye with a half-ring around it on the outer corner. Looks lovely I'm sure!

6. Now comes the blending! If you lined your upper lid with a pencil or wet shadow, gently blend it up and out towards the outer corner with a smaller blending brush. If you didn't line your lid, begin blending the dark shadow along your lash line up and out towards the outer corner. *If you're using a super dark color like black and don't want the lighter inner-eye color to get too muddy, don't blend up too much into the lighter color near the inner corner, just enough to give the dark color a soft effect where the light and dark colors meet. I always make sure the outer edge near where my eye socket ends is soft and not harsh, but some people prefer a harsh line. Do what you like!

7. Blend the darker color in the crease with a good blending brush. I use an angled, densely-packed blending brush because I find it easiest, but any good quality blending brush should do--use what works for you! Blend the darker color so that it's smokey rather than super intense as you move upward. Make sure you blend it up past the crease so that it lightens into a light smokiness above the crease.

8. Highlight your brown bone with whatever color you usually use. You may want to blend the light smokiness above your crease with a neutral color on the edge so that there isn't a bare skin barrier between the smokiness and your brow bone. This can also keep the edge from looking super severe.

9. Now that you're all smokey on top, blend the bottom lash line a bit. If you want it super dark and smudgy then go for it! If you simply want a soft effect, then don't blend it as much.

10. Don't forget your lashes! Either apply fake lashes or use your favorite mascara. For me, it depends on where I'm going as to whether or not I use fake lashes.

Hope this all helps! And again, this is the way I like to do my smokey eye. There are a million different ways out there and if this doesn't work for you, google it and you'll find them!

By the way, B.Koi loose shadows work well when it comes to blending and creating a smokey eye. Give them a try! You can see them HERE.

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