Beauty

Smoke show: The perfect smoky eye starts here

By: Julia McEwen

Alex Evans Author: Canadian Living Credits: Alex Evans

Beauty

Smoke show: The perfect smoky eye starts here

By: Julia McEwen
It happens to the best of us: Moments before running out the door for a night on the town, you glance in the mirror and realize that your smoky black eyes—which can look harsh on many skin tones—just aren't Kim Kardashian sexy or Kate Moss cool. When it comes to moody eye makeup, grey is the new black, and the look can be executed in every shade, from dark charcoal to cool gunmetal.

Vanessa Jarman, makeup artist for Rimmel London in Canada, is renowned in the beauty industry for immaculate smoky eyes. "The best smoky eyes are both sophisticated and sexy—but mostly sexy," says Jarman. While this bombshell looks is a go-to on red carpets and in ad campaigns, Jarman recommends dialing it back for real life. "I like to see a couple of different shadows blended," she says. "Blending adds dimension."

When creating a smoky grey eye, start with the main attraction, even before applying foundation. "I tend to do my smoky eyes first," says Jarman. "When finished, I clean the undereyes with a wipe, which helps give you a more precise line on that outer edge." If you're feeling bold, finish the look with a set of faux lashes. Avoid shadow dusting your falsies, says Jarman, by applying them once your makeup is complete.

This beauty look can emphasize and enhance the natural shape of your eyes. "Choose the shape you want," says Jarman. "If you want to go lengthwise, your eyes will be pulled out more and will appear longer. Or, if you want to follow your bottom lash line up toward the temple, you can create a look that's more 'awake.'"

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How to do a grey smoky eye for your skin tone

For fair skin

For those with fair skin, rich platinum is more elegant than pale silver and has the depth needed to create a smoky-eye effect. "Rich metallics that reflect light make green eyes look vibrant," says makeup artist Vanessa Jarman. For a more office-friendly version, try a matte light grey—a stunning tone for blue eyes.

By: Julia McEwen Source: Keystone Press Credits: Canadian Living

How to do a grey smoky eye for your skin tone

For olive skin

Heather grey can look too cool against medium skin tones, so opt for a warm "greige" that will complement your complexion and make your eyes sparkle. "Keep the rest of your makeup in the same colour palette," says Jarman. Finish the look with a peach or coral blush and nude-pink gloss.

By: Julia McEwen Source: Keystone Press Credits: Canadian Living

How to do a grey smoky eye for your skin tone

For dark skin

Those with deep skin tones should forgo pale grey eye shadows. "They really wash out the entire eye area and look chalky," says Jarman. Instead, try a rich charcoal shade, or a medium to dark grey, in a satin or metallic finish. Dust cheeks with a deep terra-cotta blush and add a rosy-brown hue to lips. How to find your most flattering berry lipstick.

By: Julia McEwen Source: Keystone Press Credits: Canadian Living

How to do a grey smoky eye for your skin tone

Get the look: Prep lids and trace lash line with liner

1. Nars Velvet Shadow Stick in Reykjavik, $32, narscosmetics.com. 2. Essence Gel Waterproof Eye Pencil in Black Blaze, $3, shoppersdrugmart.ca.

By: Julia McEwen Source: Geoffrey Ross Credits: Canadian Living

How to do a grey smoky eye for your skin tone

Get the look: Apply eyeshadow

1/3. Revlon ColorStay ShadowLinks in Gunmetal and Onyx, $3.50 each, revlon.ca. 2. Stila Eye Shadow Compact in Diamond Lil, $23, murale.ca.

By: Julia McEwen Source: Geoffrey Ross Credits: Canadian Living

How to do a grey smoky eye for your skin tone

Get the look: Highlight the inner corners and coat lashes with mascara

1. Rimmel London ScandalEyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal in Silver, $8, shoppersdrugmart.ca. 2. CoverGirl Full Lash Bloom Mascara, $11, covergirl.ca. Spring makeup trends to try now.

By: Julia McEwen Source: Geoffrey Ross Credits: Canadian Living


How to do it yourself

1. Prep by applying a thin layer of eye primer across both eyelids. If you don't have a primer handy, use concealer or a pencil eye shadow. Anything with a cream base will provide a barrier between your skin and the shadow for longer wear.

2. Trace a dark (grey or black) waterproof eye pencil along the upper and lower lash lines. Keep the lines thin in the inner corners and make them slightly thicker at the outer edges.

3. Blend the liner using a blending brush. Smudging the eyeliner around the perimeter of the lash line will make eyes appear bigger.

4. Apply a medium- to dark-grey eye shadow over the diffused liner. Bring the colour from the lash line up to the crease, then blend to add dimension.

5. Apply a lighter colour, such as a medium-grey shade, into the crease and blend it up toward the brow bone.

6. Accentuate the inner corners of your eyes with a touch of cool silver or warm champagne.

7. Add definition by tracing a dark pencil along the waterlines and upper lash lines.

8. Curl the upper lashes and apply a few generous coats of volumizing mascara to the upper and lower lashes.

This story was originally titled "Smoke Show" in the February 2015 issue.

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Smoke show: The perfect smoky eye starts here

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