Sultry and mysterious, enticing and seductive, smokey eyes remain the standard for sexiness as we enter 2012. With the right products and a bit of guidance, anyone can turn their eyes into smoldering beauties. Surprisingly, carefully pairing a lighter base shadow with a smokey hue is key.
To start, be sure to prep your lids with a primer to keep eyeshadows from traveling and melting into the crease of your eye. Gently apply the primer across your lid and make sure it dries before applying makeup. Some great primers to check out include NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base ($24), Smashbox Photo Finish Lid Primer ($20) and MAC Prep + Prime Eye ($17).
Next apply eyeliner to the upper lid, creating a thicker line as you approach the middle of the lid. Use black, brown or gray liners if you are going for the traditional sultry look. If your taste is a bit more exotic, try jewel toned shades like violet, blue or deep green. The market is flush with liners to choose from, but we like the ones from Kevyn Aucoin, Estee Lauder and Revlon.
No smokey eye is complete without color on the bottom lid and eyeliner pencils work best for this task. Just draw the line and then smudge with your finger to get the desired effect. You can even apply a bit of shadow for maximum sultriness.
Now comes the fun part â€“ the eyeshadow. Start with a light base color â€“ shimmery cream colors work best. Just sweep over the lids and continue up to the brow bone. Lovely base colors that we like include Clinique Lid Smoothie Antioxidant 8-Hour Eye Colour ($19.50), Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow ($24), and Make Up For Ever Eyeshadow ($19).
The real smokiness comes from the dark hue that you choose. In this arena Laura Mercier goes crazy for caviar. If you have ever tried her amazing Caviar Eye Liner ($22), you’re going to swoon over her new Caviar Stick Eye Colours ($24). This collection of soft pencils is the stuff that the smokey eye look was made for.
There are seven gorgeous shades to choose from and you will want them all! The Plum (a deep grayish purple) and Smoke (a gunmetal gray) are our top picks, but they are all super glam. These sticks are fast and easy even for the eye makeup challenged among us. It stays where you put it and is simple to smudge with finger tips or a flat eyeliner brush. The secret to getting a great smokey eye look is beautiful blending. These stick eye colours are perfect for blending both top and bottom for the deep, rich, flawless lines that add heat to your eye makeup.
More options include Lâ€™Oreal Secrets Professional Eye Shadow Quads ($7.15) Smokey Eyes palette, which takes the guesswork out of choosing the right shades to maximize your natural color. The color blends well, and doesnâ€™t fade. Dior 3 Couleurs Smoky Ready-To-Wear Smoky Eyes Palette ($48) helps you create catwalk ready smokey eyes. Available in 6 different shade palettes, the set has everything you need from base color to matte and sparkly darker shades.
Once you have the shadow in place the final step is mascara. Sweep your favorite lengthening and thickening mascara across your lashes and you will be all set to turn heads.