..some brief examples!
One of my main frustrations regarding makeup artistry is the request to apply a “smokey eye”. The term itself is very subjective- for some, the “smokey eye” could simply mean that there is more eye makeup applied than an individual is used to wearing. For others, it means that your eyes are completely covered with black eye shadow. There is no right way to do anything- its simply preference.
I think the sexiest smokey eye look is one that adds dimension/depth to the eyes.
In order to create the look, you need to use more than just one color.
Smokey Eye #1 uses three colors to make the eyes appear larger- the white shadow is used in the center of the eyelid and blended, as well as on the inner corners of the eye. A silvery-grey is applied from the inner corner to halfway through the lid. Then, the darkest shade is used on the outer corner, and blended throughout the crease of the eyes, right underneath the brow bone. A dark liner is applied on the top and bottom lashlines. To finish, the darkest shade of shadow is blended slightly underneath the bottom liner on the outer corners of the eyes, and mascara is applied on the lashes. The silvery-grey is blended on the bottom lid right underneath the center of the eye, and the lightest is blended right underneath the tear duct.
smokey eye #2 is Jessica Alba- her makeup artist used lighter colors and blended darker colors on the outer corners. As you can see, it is still considered a smokey eye without looking too heavy.
Smokey Eye #3 is exquisite, but a challenge to achieve without looking gaunt. In order to achieve the look use matte shadows and make sure that you feel comfortable outlining the entire eye with liner- with some eye shapes, lining the entire eye with a dark color can make them appear smaller. It appears that only two shadow colors were used in the process (both a deep grey and a black). Black was blended on the lid and underneath the eyes, and grey was blended on the crease and towards the brow bone. The look almost mimics the look of kohl eyeliner.
Regardless of how you like to do smokey eyes, make sure you start with a primer and blend blend blend! If you are looking for somewhere to start, the Too Faced “Smokey Eye Palette” has gorgeous hues for all skin tones and eye colors. It also has little notecards about how to achieve different looks with the shadows provided.