Tips

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.

 

Birthdays And Makeup Party Tricks: Bronzers

SHOW AND TELL

I was at a birthday party with my friends. A gaggle of girls doing what girls do. Catching up on the latest, well, everything. Someone mentions makeup and then everyone shuts up and stares at me. They want answers and they want them now.

They want their buck’s biggest bang, the fastest fix ever, the mother lode of all beauty tricks. No pressure, no pressure at all.

Thankfully, I had it wrapped up and it was ready for the birthday girl: Bronzer. A sun-kissed, healthy glow and chiseled cheeks … in two minutes or less. Happy Birthday! I patted and blended bronzer all over her, right then and there, and she loved it. I love a party trick.

CONFESSION

A few months after receiving the bronzer, the birthday girl confessed that she hadn’t been using it. When she applied it she felt like she looked muddy and bruised. So my gift was buried in the bottom of her makeup bag.

I’ve given a million makeup lessons over the years and this isn’t the first time I’ve heard this. When we’re having our makeup done, we get it.  When we try it at home, it’s another story. You need to do what it takes to help you remember how to recreate the look. Get one of those finger-painted illustrations from the makeup counter. Take notes. Take a selfie. Whatever works!

So, here’s the rundown on bronzer beauty…

TEXTURES

The first trick is choosing the one that is best for you. This is based on personal preference and skin type, of course. But here are some rules of thumb…

  • Bronzing powders will give a set look. Matte, polished. If your skin is oily, this is your best bet.

  • Cream and liquid bronzers will give a dewy finish and I generally recommend them for dry skin.

  • Textures have to work together. Mixing powders with creams can create a mud pie.

  • Powder bronzers and highlighters go on after foundation or tinted moisturizer has been set with a loose powder.

  • Cream and liquid bronzers and highlighters marry well with moist skin that is free of powder.

OPTIONS

My favorite powders:

My favorite creams:

 

HERE COMES THE SUN

  • Bronzers belong where the sun naturally hits your face. Start slowly.

  • Forget the giant bronzer brush. It’s too difficult to control. Instead, use a chiseled, blush brush.

  • For creams and liquids, use what the Goddess gave you. Your fingers.

  • Blend bronzers around your hairline, the bridge of your nose, your cheekbones and chin.To get a slight chiseled look, push the bronzer under your cheekbones a bit.

  • If your bronzer comes with a highlighter, add contrast by popping a bit on the bone itself.

GIFT OR REGIFT?

Whew! All worked out.  Bronzer saved. It takes a tiny bit of practice and practice makes … well, I’m not a fan of perfect. But I am a fan of easy tricks that make you feel beautiful, at parties, in private, with your girlfriends or pretty much any day.