A Modern Take on the Smoky Eye

 In How to, Trends

Originally published on AlwaysNewYou.com

The smoky eye is one of fashion’s mainstays, and clients are always asking how to achieve one that makes a statement but is still wearable. Here are my top five tips for creating a modern take on a sexy smoky eye:

1. You can achieve a smoky look with any color – it doesn’t necessarily have to be a dark color – as long as you concentrate the shade at the lash line and blend, blend, blend out to nothing to achieve the signature dark-to-light gradient. That’s the essence of a smoky eye, and done well, it can look great on anyone! Choose a small, dense, fluffy brush to blend out the color.

2. One fast way to achieve a smoky look is to start with a smudgy line of eyeliner (a soft kohl pencil works best). Next, grab a damp cotton swab and smudge out the line into a haze of color, concentrating the intensity at the outer lashline and working slightly up and out to give your eye shape some extra lift. Then set with a corresponding eye shadow shade to keep the look long-lasting.

3. Worried you’ll look too intense? Heavy, black, up-to-the-eyebrow raccoon eyes can look cool on the runway but overwhelming in person, so definitely start small and focus on blending from the lashline, without adding blocks of color. Most people look better in earthtones and neutrals, so choose soft taupes, warm browns or even dusky plums to start – and pick shades that enhance your eye color, rather than overwhelming it, to give you a modern edge.

Teal and brown smoky eye on AfroAm model with natural hair

Photo by Sean Peragine

4. Matte and satin shades will look less intense (and more work-appropriate) than sparkly colors, and strong eyes are made wearable when paired with clean skin and soft lip colors – so stay away from glittery eyeshadow, vampy lipsticks and heavy lipglosses when wearing smoky eyes to the office.

5. Whatever shape and color you choose, spend time blending out the edges. Smoky eyes should never have a harsh line in the crease where the color stops – instead, the colors need to be blended out to nothing. Apply the color with one brush and then blend with a clean, soft brush to keep from adding too much additional pigment as you work. Use a shade of eyeshadow that is close to your skin tone or a tiny bit lighter to diffuse the edges and achieve that perfect gradient.



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