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Your guide to the perfect Smokey

Your guide to the perfect Smokey

Highlight First

Begin not with the dark eyeliner, but with the highlight colour on the brow bone¬¬. Starting from the brow bone will ensure that the gradient is not negatively affected.”

Apply Eye Shadow Backwards

Working with a colour gradient that builds (rather than fades) works best no matter your eye shape. Start from the brow bone then, follow your highlight with a medium colour from where your highlight ends to where your crease begins, and blend. Proceed with a darker medium shade and blend using a windshield wiper motion; concentrating on the crease– be sure not to go as high as the previous colour. Finally, finish with the darkest shade applied to your lid and close to the lash line, and then blend again.

Use Eye Pencil as a Base

If you want to intensify your smoky eye, apply a black eyeliner as a base. Smudge the pencil all over the lid. Once complete, add the eye shadow, and blend. Even when going for greater colour concentration, it’s important to blend, blend, blend.

Keep it Close to Lash Line for Daytime

For a softer look, keep the application subtle. A daytime smoky eye can be achieved by using a smoky eye shadow smudged around the eye very close to the lash line. To keep it from looking too dark, line only the inside waterline of the eye and skip lining the bottom lash line all together.

Consider Your Shape

Not all eyes are created (or shaped) equal. In turn, smoky eyes are not one-size-fits-all. The first major consideration is whether or not the technique the client is requesting is correct for their eye shape and would it actually result in something unflattering. For example, a classic smoky eye technique (dark at the lash line and blended up towards the brow) suits everyone, while something like a cut crease would only suit eyes without a deep socket. In addition, a spotlight eye (lighter in the centre) would not suit anyone with a mono or hooded eye shape.

Make Sure It’s the Appropriate Shape

While it can definitely waver from its original format and colour palette, the purpose of a smoky eye is to make the eye appear more seductive, sultry, or catlike. The only major thing to ensure is that the result should be size appropriate. There should still be a brow bone visible and the lower lashes should also still be visible, so make sure the colour hasn't been taken so low they’re hidden.

Equip Yourself with the Right Tools

Like the perfect beach wave or contoured face, tools are of the utmost importance when it comes to the perfect smoky eye look. For starters, a large fluffy blending brush to apply lighter base colours and for almost all crease or socket work. Then, a much smaller tapered blending brush for adding blended definition to the deepest part of the crease. Finally a small paddle shaped flat brush for packing on the eyelid colour(s), smudging out pencil liners and adding further definition to the crease.

Play with Different Colours & Textures

In its purest form, a smoky eye palette contains charcoal greys, blacks, and deep purples. However, limiting yourself to this colour scheme would mean missing out on some seriously fierce beauty moments, says Wood. “Anything goes,” he explains. It's more about technique than a colour palette so as long as you have the appropriate tones of a colour.

One thing to note when choosing your colour palette is to make sure you’re working with shades that complement your skin tone. If you want your look to harmonize with your natural tone, follow these rules: Someone with warm-toned skin should opt for warmer shades, while someone with cool skin would opt for cool. In regards to depth, the deeper the skin tone, the more saturated the colour should be as deeper skins will naturally absorb more colour.

Don’t Go For Perfection

A solid, quintessential smoky eye is perfectly imperfect, so don’t get stuck on the details. Don’t get too sharp with the eyeliner or to sleek with the shadow. Embrace a slightly flawless, slept-in look.

Don’t Rush It

This rule is especially true if you’re going with a classic, rich smoky eye with deeper shades. The last thing you want is to haphazardly swipe jet-black shadow all over the eye area up to your brow arch.