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making faces :: smoke gets in your eyes

classic smoky eye #1
ah, the smoky eye. it's probably the most discussed and searched makeup look on the internet. you can find countless tutorials on how to give yourself this sultry regard in many ways, from basic to intricate, subtle to dramatic, in all sorts of colours, for all eye shapes and colours, every race and skin tone. it seems like something that every girl who enjoys wearing cosmetics has to try at some point.

the original "smoky" looks go back as far as the use of cosmetics itself. women in egypt lined their eyes with kohl, as art of the time records. in modern times, the look of dark-rimmed eyes became popular with screen vamps like theda bara and then with the thoroughly modern flappers who used makeup to declare their flaunting of ladylike convention (discussed earlier).

dramatic smoky eye
there are good reasons why this particular look is so popular. first of all, it can be done pretty simply, with two colours- dark and light- blended together into a gradient from lash line to brow and it doesn't require the precision of other looks. second of all, it's a clever way to disguise fatigued eyes- the darker colours camouflage circles and draw attention away from puffiness. when i lost my cat morgan after almost nineteen years, i cried for days. any time i had to leave the house, the smudgy smoky look was my friend. third, darker colours around the eye (and smoky looks are distinguished by the fact that they surround the whole eye, top and bottom) contrast with the whites of the eyes, making them appear brighter. fourth, while the look is often seen as something reserved for an evening out, the ever-broadening palette of colours and textures available in eye shadows mean that it can be extraordinarily versatile- a look done with soft neutrals is perfectly appropriate for an office, while a heavier look in black is striking for an night out.

see details on the smoky eyes pictured and more options!




classic smoky eye #2
the idea with this look, at its base is to give a diffused colour around the eye, almost so that it appears as if seen through a veil of smoke. classically, the smoky eye is made up of the colours you would think- greys of all sorts, usually with black or charcoal closest to the eye itself. however, they're now done in purple, green, brown, blue... anything, really. you just need a couple of shades (the number is up to you) within the same range that go from dark to light and a couple of brushes to apply them. (learn from my fail- do not mess around for years trying to apply makeup with your fingers or sponge-tip applicators. you will use far more makeup than you have to and the result you get will be either near-invisible or look vaguely like you were drunk when you applied it. a few good brushes pay for themselves in product and time saved, plus they make you look better, which is, after all, the point.)

here are a few smoky looks of various sorts that i've come up with during my experiments; first, the three looks in the photos above:


"classic #1"
the eye shadows in this look actually all come from a palette expressly intended for smoky eyes. many companies routinely release these multi-colour palettes for this purpose and, most of the time, they're a much better deal than buying individual shadows. for instance, four eye shadows from mac would retail for about $70cdn, whereas the palettes generally retail for $44. the greasepaint stick is a very useful product from mac for doing smoky eyes. part eyeliner, part shadow, it's a perfect way to get a deep contour around the eyes. they're released in limited editions, but mac repromotes them regularly.


face
prolongwear foundation nc15
prolongwear concealer nw20
mineralize skinfinish natural light

eyes
next to nothing e/s
smoking e/s
satin taupe e/s
showstopper e/s
dirty greasepaint stick
smolder e/l
brown dazzlelash mascara

cheeks
perfect topping mineralize skin finish (highlighter)
fever powder blush (great for a deep natural flushed look)

lips
mellow flame l/s

dramatic
this was a look i did for a summer night out, where it was hot and sweaty anyway, so i figured i might as well go out looking kind of messy. the idea with this is to have everything kind of shimmering and glow-y to begin with, so that any perspiration sort of gets blended into the look. the key to this, product-wise, is the use of a "paint pot", a mac product, which is a solid, cream-like product that can be used as an eye shadow on its own, or, like it is here, as a base for other colours. putting a black base under the black-gold shadow (gilt by association) makes it super-dark and intense, plus it helps the colour stay put in a humid environment.

face
studio fluid nc20
cover f/x concealer c10

eyes
family silver mineralize e/s (white silver/ pewter grey)
blackground paint pot
gilt by association mineralize e/s
smolder e/l
bad bad black opulash mascara

cheeks
body shop bronzer #1
lightscapade mineralize skinfinish (best highlighter ever)

lips
bronzilla l/s

"classic 2"
this is one of the easiest smoky looks ever, because it's done chiefly with one product- one of those marvelous greasepaint sticks i mentioned earlier. whereas the other "classic" look was made up of warmer brown-greys, this one is silver with touches of white and black, so i paired it with similarly cool colours on the cheeks and lips
face
studio fluid nw15
prep & prime setting powder

eyes
zinc zone greasepaint stick
crystal avalanche e/s
black tied e/s
plushblack plushlash mascara

cheeks
azalea blossom blush ombre

lips
bubblegum l/s



and, for good measure, here are a few looks using other colours to create a smoky look:


"purple"
face
studio fix foundation nw15
mineralize skinfinish natural light

eyes
charred mauve greasepaint stick
fertile e/s
little minx e/s
crystal e/s
smolder e/l
bad bad black opulash mascara

cheeks
perfect topping mineralize skinfinish (highlighter)
strada powber blush


lips
viva glam v l/s

"bronze"
i'm kinda proud of this one, because it's not really a look i've seen done before (i'm sure it has been, but i haven't seen it, i made up this one by myself).

face
studio fix fluid nc15
mineralize skinfinish light

eyes
nanogold e/s
aztec brick e/s
time and space e/s
twinks e/s
plushblack plushlash mascara

cheeks
salsarose powder blush

lips
magenta l/l
victorian l/s

"neutral"
it's still smoky, but it's super-soft... i've included a close up so you can see the eye properly.
face:
prolongwear foundation nc15
prolongwear concealer nw20
prep & prime finishing powder

eyes:
dazzlelight e/s
nars ashes to ashes e/s
satin taupe e/s
french quarter greasepaint stick
dazzlelash brown mascara

cheeks:
by candlelight mineralize skinfinish
so ceylon mineralize skinfinish

lips:
gulabi l/s

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