Smokey Eyes 101: Perfect Shadows For Smokey Eyes…

I don’t care what anyone says, a good smokey eye says glamour but a BAD one says so much more.  Don’t go for the dark black or steel gray shadows you see on the runway and in the magazines if you don’t know what you are doing (and in some cases, even if you do…) it most always comes out looking muddy, unprofessional and quite frankly like you got punched in the eye.  We don’t want that!! Stick to shades that are in the deep browns, plums and even green families.  They are easier to work with and will look more subtle as opposed to your eye-makeup being the first thing that people notice.  You want them to notice your EYES and THEN your makeup.

Here are a few tips that I have picked up over the years:

  1. ALWAYS use a primer (Urban Decay Primer Potion is my fave)
  2. Choose a shadow that compliments your eye shade
  3. Use CLEAN brushes.  If your brushes are NOT clean it can contribute to the muddy look I spoke of above

Another thing you want to make sure of is that you use a HIGHLY pigmented shadow.  If you use a shadow that doesn’t have enough pigment, not only will the look not last, it will end up looking more natural than anything else.  You can test the pigmentation of shadows in the store.  Take a shadow applicator and sweep it across the product, test a bit on your hand if it shows up after ONE sweep, the pigmentation is high.  If it takes several sweeps then move on.

Here are some of my favorites:

NARS Cordura – My “go to” shadow for a fool proof look.  This with a little Smolder Pencil from MAC and smokey eye heaven.

Smashbox Smokebox A Dual purpose wet/dry palette. Contains three super intense, long wearing shadows (Beige, Soft Pewter and Intense Black) that can be worn dry for an added touch of shimmer or wet for extra drama.

Christian Dior Night Butterfly A lovely plum/violet palette from Fall 2009’s Jazz Club collection that gives you the option to change it up and try something different.  Since you get Five shades you can really do two looks, a decidedly purple or a cool smokey look.

Bobbi Brown Nude Palette When I want something a little deeper, I reach for this palette.  The Caviar shade is magical.

No matter what shadows you use, make sure you take your time, smokey eyes can look fantastic or horrific, make sure yours are on the fantastic side.

Stay Pretty!!

About Lianne Farbes

Lianne Farbes is the Publisher and Editor In Chief of TheMakeupGirl. She is a Beauty Expert with over 20 years of experience working with makeup and skincare and has held every retail beauty position from sales girl to counter manager. She has made a living as a professional makeup artist and continues to spread her beauty knowledge through seminars and speaking engagements throughout the US. You can follow Lianne on twitter at @LianneFarbes or beauty related tweets at @TheMakeupgirl Follow us on Instagram at @MakeupGirlBlog for swatches and other cool pics too! You can also visit me on Google+

  • cindyprimebeauty

    Great tips and great post! I also love the Smoky Jazz palette from that collection!

  • cindyprimebeauty

    Great tips and great post! I also love the Smoky Jazz palette from that collection!

  • Anonymous

    That’s ace! Thanks for all the great tips, the smokey look is such a hard one to master!