Tuesday, July 12, 2011

185: tutorial - smokey eye makeup

Okay, a LOT of you guys have been bugging me to do a smokey eye makeup tutorial for years but I'm not a makeup expert by any means (just an enthusiast)! I'll just show you what I personally do & what my favourite products are! WARNING: This is picture-heavy & lengthy!

Just as a primer here, I've got single eyelids or monolids which is primarily an East Asian feature. Unfortunately, most makeup tutorials are geared towards double eyelids & most instructionals revolve around accentuating a "crease" which I don't have! When I was younger, I was a bit self-conscious about my eyes because of this but I've learned to embrace my features. yay! So this tutorial is for what I like to call a "panda-eye" cause it's a lot of black all around your lids.

Here's the look we're going for. It's basically my everyday eye, which most people think is actually really dramatic, but it's what I've found works for me & accentuates my eye shape the best.

Whenever I'm teaching my friends the first things about makeup, there's one thing I like to point out-- Makeup is supposed to accentuate your features. By using dark colours, you are creating DEPTH in your face & by using light colours you are bringing features FORWARD. soooo:

dark colours = pushes features back
light colours = brings features forward.

That's why some people use bronzy colours in the hollows of their cheeks to create a high cheekbone look. Get it? But you can't just slap stuff on your face, you've gotta blend it. So that's why we're putting a ton of black around our eyes now-- it'll create depth & ~mystery~~~.
OKAY, let's move forward with the tutorial.

- Urban Decay Primer Potion
- Makeup Brushes (eyeshadow brush, packing brush, angled brush & smudger brush)
- 3 or 4 eyeshadow colours (details in next photo)
- Dior Diorshow Waterproof Mascara
- MAC fluidline eyeliner in blacktrack
- Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler

I mean, you could go & just use black, but I find that blending something solid black into your skin is difficult! You don't necessarily need to use the same colours that I used, so I'll break down what each is for:
Yellow (Mac Eyeshadow in Going Bananas) - Highlighter for the browbone. You can use any eyeshadow that is lighter than your skintone. Soft whites, nudes & creams are awesome for this.
Purple (Urban Decay matte Eyeshadow in Purple Haze) - The colour that helps blend between the browbone & smokeyness. I love deep rich hues for this. Dark greys & rich jewel tones are usually what I use cause they blend well with black.
Black (Urban Decay Loose Pigment in Rockstar) - the smokeyness baby!
Silver (Urban Decay Eyeshadow in S&M) - another highlighter for the corner of the eye. Bright whites & silvers work well.

Start off with a clean, moisturized face.
Yes, I do sometimes get asked if I'm 16.

Fill in your brows using an angled brush & brow powder about a shade lighter than your brow hairs. With my bare face, my brows do seem a bit dark and angry, but they're necessary to balance out heavy eye makeup.

Take your Urban Decay Primer Potion & put a small dab on each eyelid & just blend on the entire lid with your finger. Don't forget to put some under your eye as well! This primer acts to increase the colour payoff of your shadows & increase the lasting power. It'll make your eyeshadow last all day & night & prevent that gross creasing. I swear by it!

Take whatever colour you are using as your brow highlight & apply from the eyebrow down. You want to use a colour just a touch lighter than your skintone because you want to bring your browbone forward.

Next, put on the blending colour all over the lid. It's a bit messy. oh well.

Then use your darkest colour & follow the lower lash line out in a sort of "cat-eye". This defines the lower & outside corner of where you want the black shadow to go.

Then pack on the black shadow on the upper lid. The shape really depends on your own eye shape. & don't worry too much about the blunt lines right now, just pack the shadow on first.

Then taking a smudger brush, just smudge the black shadow into the purple (or whatever colour you're using). My smudging job was terrible, but you get the point.

Then taking your highlight colour, just highlight the inner corner of your eyes. This helps to open & brighten up your eyes.

You'll notice that even though you're done putting on all the eyeshadows, your eye still looks incomplete! That's because you really need to fill in your lash line with eyeliner. I line the waterline on the top & bottom with MAC fluidline eyeliner in blacktrack. It's super easy to use-- an angled brush gives you a lot of control & you can just dab it along. It's way less messy than liquid liner brushes & lasts long too!

& last but not least, finish with an eyelash curler (walk it up along your lashes to get a nice curl) & some mascara!

& there you go! That's it. That's all my secrets revealed.
Basically everytime I do makeup on myself or Samantha, it's a variation of this in different colours. haha enjoy. Let me know if you have any questions & I'll try to answer them in the comments!


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  1. I really love this tutorial- you do a great job with making a bold look totally wearable.

  2. Thanks for posting the tutorial--you make it look so easy! Love <3

  3. Thanks for taking the time to make this tutorial! It is so hard to find tutorials for great monolid looks.

  4. Thanks for posting the tutorial--you make it look so easy! Love <3

  5. I swear by Diorshow, she Shu Uemura eyelash curler, and Fluidline eyeliner. Awesome look. I'm totally going to have to try this one of these days.

  6. i loveee how u lined ur upper waterline i hate to see the upper water line showing soo its always a good idea to tight line or line the waterline! s2...and i lovee how you post all the pictures with every single step showing the after result ^^ thank you soo much, it's very helpful!


  7. Awesome tutorial! I'm also asian (my eyes look a lot like yours, actually) and  I love makeup, but it's really hard for me to find looks that can be adapted to the shape of my eyes. I just tried this one and it looks amazing! So thank you very much!


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