Tips & Tricks

No Exaggeration: How To Create The Best Smoky Eye Ever

My friends say that I exaggerate.

“That’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen in my whole life.’

“This is the best chocolate in the world. Seriously, the very best.”

“This is the fastest and the easiest way ever to _____”

You get the drill. But I’m not exaggerating. Honestly.

In that moment it is absolutely the most beautiful/best chocolate/fastest and easiest. And it’s going to stay that way until I come across the next most beautiful/best chocolate/fastest and easiest thing. Seriously. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it. At least for now.

Now that we’ve got that cleared up, here are my tips for the best smoky eye ever. No exaggerations.

4,442 TO 4

I’ve definitely taken 4,442 steps to get to the perfect, smoky eye. (Sometimes a few more. But who’s counting?) But I’ve also nailed it in 4. The truth is that most of the time I don’t have the rest of my life to finish one eye. Sometimes, I don’t even have 4 minutes.

So here’s my 4 Step Method using just one tool.

PAINT IT ON

Eye paints are the latest and greatest product for quick and smoky eyes.  All of the big brands have them.  They come in tiny, glass jars and can be applied with a stiff, short-bristled brush or your finger.  (That’s one tool if you’re paying attention.) They’re foolproof and have great staying power.

Some of my favorite eye paints:

 

PERFECT PAIRINGS
 

The key to a smoky eye is to create a subtle gradation by pairing two shades, one at the deepest end of the spectrum and one at the lightest end. The deepest shade goes at your lash line, the lightest on your brow bone. The two meet in the middle to create a medium tone, adding definition in the crease of your eye. You can choose your own pairings in any brand, but here are some that I love.

For a classic smoky eye in silver and black:

For a modern nude and navy look:

For a soft and subtle effect in bone and bronze:

GET TO WORK

  1. Start with an eyeshadow primer.  It’s an extra step I’ve tried to avoid, but it always ends badly.  There’s no use spending time applying shadow and seeing it melt away. Use your ring finger to evenly smooth the primer from lash to brow bone.

  1. Apply the lightest shade that you’ve selected from the lash line and all the way to the brow bone using your ring finger, creating a shaded ‘base’ for the smoky eye.

  1. Now use the deepest shade that you’ve selected. Apply it starting at the lash line and over your lid with a patting motion. Blend inward and soften the edge and any lines. Moving toward the natural crease, create a soft and blurred effect.

  1. Dip your finger in the pot of the deepest shade and sweep across your lower lash line. Curl your lashes. Add mascara. Done.

SERIOUSLY

Smoky eyes (like so many other things in life) can be complicated. But they don’t have to be. And, let’s face it, that is time that could be spent seeking out the most beautiful things you’ve ever seen or finding the best chocolate ever, even if it takes trying 4,442 different kinds to get to 4. And … I’m not exaggerating.

 

Celebrity Makeup Artist Tips: Look Better Right Now

Supermodel Stephanie Seymour once said: Beauty is not something you can just decide that every once in a while you’re going to take part in. You have to take care of yourself.

I couldn’t agree more but sometimes life calls for taking part in queso, chocolate, and cocktails. Afterward, it is time to use a magic wand of sorts.

Want to know how many models and clients I work with who have just come from a month long stay at a meditation retreat? Not many. That doesn’t mean they don’t want to look like they have … right now.

Here are a few little tricks I’ve used that will make you look as fresh as possible, as quickly as possible.

First and foremost, there’s only so much makeup can do. It’s been said that our skin is a mirror for everything that’s happening in our bodies and minds. There’s nothing like a few deep breaths and

Now that the blood is flowing, give yourself another boost:

 

Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel treatment pads are mini miracle workers (start with the original formula for sensitive skin). Swipe the pad over your face and in minutes surface cells will be gone, allowing your skin to take on more moisture (the key to plump, gorgeous skin), making your concealer and foundation application a breeze.

Three Step Eyes

Step One: Brighten your eyes with the most universally flattering eyeshadow: GOLD

Step Two: Apply a wash of shadow from lash lines to brow bones.

Step Three: Add a tiny bit in the inner corners of your eyes to brighten and detract from dark circles.

If your skin is fair, try a beige-gold like Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow in Sandy Gold.

 

 

Medium to dark skin tones should opt for a warmer hue like Sephora Collection’s #81 Sunday Brunch.

 

Black, shiny, curled lashes are the key to, well, almost everything.

Givenchy’s Phenomen Eyes mascara has a ball-shaped brush that curls and defines every lash.

 

I can’t live without my Shu Uemura eyelash curler.

P.S. From Me to You...

Smith’s Rosebud Salve is a go-to in every makeup artist’s kit.

A tiny bit in the brows makes them look fresh and holds them in place with no stickiness. A touch on the cheekbones gives a nice highlight without the fussiness of glittery highlighters. Dab some on your lips and let it soak in a bit before adding your lip color.

Clear color and a semi-matte finish are what you need to complement the gold wash on your eyes.

I love Nars Satin Lip Pencils in Lodhi and Luxembourg.

Voila!

Your #nofilter prep is now complete. You’re calm, glowing from within and looking so polished with that killer lip color. If you have a magic wand in your beauty arsenal (or a queso connection), please share in the comment section below.

 

All About: Brows

Brow Raiser

Your tweezers called. They want a vacation. They need a vacation. There’s been a lot of over-plucking going on. Big brows are back and there are new products to help you enhance your face framers.

A full brow looks younger, softer, more modern. Consider just a little shaping and grooming. Notice I said a little. That means the next time you’re getting a pedicure and you’re asked if you want your brows waxed, politely decline.

The thing to keep in mind is this: the brows you were born with work naturally with your face shape.

Now, how to make the best of what you were born with …

First, look at yourself. Step away from the magnifying mirror and look at your entire face. The top of your brow is the natural line you should use as your guide and is best left alone. Your brows should begin near the inside corner of your eye. The thickness is dictated by this starting point and should be consistent until you reach the arch (at the outer third of the eye), where it tapers slightly. Step outside of these guidelines and you’ll be making it harder than it has to be. Plus, you’re less likely to be happy with the result. It’s that easy.

Next, do some careful cleanup. Grab your Tweezerman and remove any hairs that are crowding your arch or hanging out between your eyes. Maintaining the shape should be part of your daily makeup application, so things don’t get out of control.

TROUBLED BROW

Need to fill in a bit here and there? Here are products and tools to help you help Mother Nature.

 

Giorgio Armani Eye & Brow Maestro a tiny jar of multitasking goodness. It can be used to fill in your brows and act as an eyeshadow, eyeliner and root touch up. It can also make dinner but won’t do the dishes. Typical.

The colors are great and have the slightest shimmer, which works beautifully in your brows because your brow hairs aren’t matte. The result is really natural.

Giorgio Armani’s Eyes to Kill Eye & Brow Shaper tool has a spiral brush on one end and an angled brush on the other to fill in brows and line your eyes.

Maybelline Eye Studio Brow Drama is a brow tint and gel in one. Just run the rounded brush through your brow using short strokes.The shade selection is limited but they’re lightly pigmented so they work well on a range of brow colors. When in doubt, always choose a lighter shade. Ideally, your brows should be a shade lighter than your hair color. Blondes should choose the shade closest to their brow color.

L'Oreal Sculptor by Brow Stylist is a pencil with brow color on one end and a wax and brow brush on the other. Again, tiny strokes with the pencil are key, followed by a brush through to get everything in place.   A quick pass of the wax is last, for staying power.

HEY, NICE BROWS

The goal is a look that is refined and natural and it’s achieved by doing less, not more. Don’t you love it when that happens?