Every woman dreams of nailing that smokey eye look (and even as professional beauty bloggers we find it a little intimidating). So we headed to Pucker, a boutique makeup studio in SoHo, for a valuable lesson on mastering the smokey eye from co-founder Julio Sandino.
Before you get started, prep your skin, but hold off on concealer until the end. “That’s one of the biggest mistakes people make. They put the concealer on before the eye makeup and just make a mess out of it,” Sandino said.
To really make my hazel eyes pop, Sandino added a deep purple to the classic black and gray shades. For your own look, choose a complementary color to find your perfect accent shade — for those with hazel, green or brown eyes, use purple; those with blue eyes, use a deep bronze. (Learn more about finding the right makeup colors for your eyes here!)
Follow these steps below to create a flawless smokey eye:
Step 1: “The first step for creating a smokey eye is using a cream eyeshadow base. This will help the intensity of the eye,” Sandino said. He used RMS Beauty Eye Polish in Karma ($28), an onyx color with mauve and olive undertones. You don’t need to use a shadow primer under the cream — if you do, the texture might get weird. Apply the color all over the lid, stopping at the crease.
Step 2: Apply black eyeliner pencil at the roots of your lashes and under the water line.”This makes the lashes look bigger,” Sandino noted. You want to make sure there is no naked skin between the lashes and the lid. Use a soft pencil, either kohl or a gel, so that it goes on softly. Sandino used Kevyn Aucoin The Eye Pencil Primatif in Basic Black ($26).
Step 3: Apply a dark powder eyeshadow with shadow brush on top of the cream. Press it on, don’t sweep. “If you sweep it, it’s going to mix,” Sandino said. The cream will also act as a primer and help the powder shadow stay put. Used here: Kevyn Aucoin The Eyeshadow Duo in Malbec ($42).
Step 4: Define the crease using a matte shadow. Sandino used Kevyn Aucoin The Eyeshadow Single in Taupey Grey ($30). Just apply the color so it defines the crease — don’t blend it just yet. “If you blend while you apply, all the colors will start mixing together,” Sandino said.
Step 5: Use a gold shadow to highlight above the lid and under the brow bone. Used here: Kevyn Aucoin The Eyeshadow Duo in Shimmering Wheat ($42).
Step 6: Use a chocolate brown shade to blend everything together, smudging away any sharp lines. Used here: Kevyn Aucoin The Eyeshadow Single in Coffee Bean ($30).
Step 7: Apply black pencil now across the lower water line. “This brings out the shape more. It does not make eyes smaller, that’s an old myth!” Sandino said. Use brown pencil liner in between the lashes; mixed with the black, you’ll get a nice espresso shade.
Step 8: Dab your chocolate brown shade under eyes on top of the pencil to set and prevent smudging.
Step 9: Curl your eyelashes before applying mascara to open up your eyes more. Then, apply volumizing mascara to both top and bottom lashes to give them a full, dramatic look. Sandino used Kevyn Aucoin The Volumizing Mascara ($28).
Step 10: Clean up time! Dip a Q-tip in eye makeup remover and swipe underneath to remove fallout and sharpen the line underneath. Apply eye cream underneath to help wipe away the rest of the fallout, and prep skin for concealer. Then, use a concealer a few shades lighter than your skin to cover up under-eye bags and highlight the skin. Set it with a bit of translucent powder.