Smokey Eyes for Shadow Schmucks

Double Photo TestMuch in the fashion of my ‘Eyeliner Tips for Eyeliner Noobs’ post I thought I’d rustle up a feature for smokey eye schmucks from one cack-handed eyeshadow wearer to another – you there? If you know your outer-v’s to your inner corner/lid/crease blends then feel free to share your wisdom in the comments below but if you’re still scratching your head at the back of the Eyeshadow 101 class giggling at the incessant use of the word ‘crease’ then this one’s for you. Head’s up: all my product picks lean to the more neutral side of proceedings (durr), but if you fancy whipping some colour into the mix then you go gurl. So I’ve penned down my ‘if I can do it, anyone can’ top tips for a fuss-free, no technique required smokey eye.

One shade does it all. The oldest trick in my book is the one shade all over the lid jobbie; that when blended out look as though you’ve gone to the bother of pairing up colours and that’s your faux smokey eye sorted. Certain formulas, especially ones that have a duochrome finish, are puuurfect for this – MAC’s Soba, NARS’ Ondine and Burberry’s Pale Barley are all shades that come out to play when I’m in the mood for some lazy lid work.

A MAC 217 will be your best friend. Unfortunately my makeup life pre-MAC 217 is well documented by many pictures on Facebook of yours truly sporting lids of a solid semi-circle colour after attempting complex shadow looks using crappy foam applicators. It wasn’t pretty. When the 217 entered my life, that all changed. Dramatic, but true. Anyone can master a subtle smoke in their crease with this in their toolbox.

The creamy pencil trick. Now this is a huge cheat – heck, it doesn’t even involve eyeshadow – but when I’m really not in the mood to get to work with my 217 then I just scribe on some liner. Sticking to the outer corners of the top and bottom lashlines I draw it on then blend up and out in the corner with my digits to ramp up the definition. Repeat and blend till you reach your desired level of smoke.

Not back to black. Still lagging behind at back of eyeshadow school, I can find black a little intimidating when it comes to eyes. Now there’s a time and a place to dig MAC’s Carbon out, but for shadow scaredy cats MAC’s Smut is a much safer option. Dark enough to sex-up a look, but with a softer grey, almost purple tone that adds something different to my usual bronze affair. Did I just say I like a purple eyeshadow? I need to sit down…

Cream eyeshadow + your fingertip. After initially shunning creamy lid offerings, I now sit firmly in the cream shadow camp. They are awesome. Favourites include the Estée Lauder Stay-On Shadow Paint in Chained* and Clinique’s Chubby Stick Shadow Tint for Eyes in Fuller Fudge*. Ridiculously easy to use and all your need is your digit to blend them to your crease and beyond. The messier the better.

Still giggling at the word crease? Yeah me too.

 *PR Sample