How to Create the Best Smoky Eye Ever: No Exaggeration

This entry is part 2 of 15 in the series: The Thing About Beauty

My friends say that I exaggerate.

“That’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen in my whole life.’

“This is the best chocolate in the world. Seriously, the very best.”

“This is the fastest and the easiest way ever to _____”

You get the drill. But I’m not exaggerating. Honestly. In that moment it is absolutely the most beautiful/best chocolate/fastest and easiest. And it’s going to stay that way until I come across the next most beautiful/best chocolate/fastest and easiest thing. Seriously. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it. At least for now.

Now that we’ve got that cleared up, here are my tips for the best smoky eye ever. No exaggerations.

4,442 TO 4

I’ve definitely taken 4,442 steps to get to the perfect, smoky eye. (Sometimes a few more. But who’s counting?) But I’ve also nailed it in 4. The truth is that most of the time I don’t have the rest of my life to finish one eye. Sometimes, I don’t even have 4 minutes.

So here’s my 4 Step Method using just one tool.

A little fine print, by the way. … Sorry, but none of this works unless you follow the steps in my previous post.  So, yes, it’s a few more than 4 steps but way better than 4,442.

PAINT IT ON

Eye paints are the latest and greatest product for quick and smoky eyes.  All of the big brands have them.  They come in tiny, glass jars and can be applied with a stiff, short-bristled brush or your finger.  (That’s one tool if you’re paying attention.) They’re foolproof and have great staying power.

Some of my favorite eye paints:

PERFECT PAIRINGS

The key to a smoky eye is to create a subtle gradation by pairing two shades, one at the deepest end of the spectrum and one at the lightest end. The deepest shade goes at your lash line, the lightest on your brow bone. The two meet in the middle to create a medium tone, adding definition in the crease of your eye. You can choose your own pairings in any brand, but here are some that I love.

For a classic smoky eye in silver and black:

For a modern nude and navy look:

For a soft and subtle effect in bone and bronze:

GET TO WORK

  1. Start with an eyeshadow primer.  It’s an extra step I’ve tried to avoid, but it always ends badly.  There’s no use spending time applying shadow and seeing it melt away. Use your ring finger to evenly smooth the primer from lash to brow bone.
  1. Apply the lightest shade that you’ve selected from the lash line and all the way to the brow bone using your ring finger, creating a shaded ‘base’ for the smoky eye.
  1. Now use the deepest shade that you’ve selected. Apply it starting at the lash line and over your lid with a patting motion. Blend inward and soften the edge and any lines. Moving toward the natural crease, create a soft and blurred effect.
  1. Dip your finger in the pot of the deepest shade and sweep across your lower lash line. Curl your lashes. Add mascara. Done.

SERIOUSLY

Smoky eyes (like so many other things in life) can be complicated. But they don’t have to be. And, let’s face it, that is time that could be spent seeking out the most beautiful things you’ve ever seen or finding the best chocolate ever, even if it takes trying 4,442 different kinds to get to 4. And … I’m not exaggerating.

 

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Tonya Riner

Tonya Riner started doing makeup as a teenager in her two-stoplight hometown in Kansas. From there, she declared herself a professional, and has spent the last twenty-five years on fashion shoots and shows, on both coasts, and in Europe. Tonya's work has been featured in Harper's Bazaar and Vogue. She was included in Allure Magazine’s Directory as one of the best makeup artists in the United States. Her long list of celebrity clientele includes Heidi Klum, Erin Wasson, Julie Anderson, Rachel Hunter, Chandra North, and Lauren Bush. Backstage, she has worked alongside Frederic Fekkai and Ted Gibson. She was a member of the beauty team for Beyonce’s Blow video. For Tonya, one of the most rewarding parts of her job is spending time, one-on-one, with models and clients. She finds that ordinary barriers fall away within minutes of the start of a makeup session, leaving space for instant intimacy and the shared pursuit of beauty. Connecting with extraordinary people from all walks of life fuels her passion for her work. As a consultant, Tonya works with creative teams to devise strategies for beauty brand product development, most recently for the company, Beauty for Real. She enjoys working with products from both the manufacturing and marketing ends. Moving forward, she would like to be instrumental in the development of the kinds of beauty products she, herself, would want to use.

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