Get smoky eyes without really trying

You’ve got the dress and you’ve primped your hair perfectly. You’ve accessorized, you’ve shaved — an exhilarating night awaits you! Something is missing, however. Most of the essentials are covered except for the deal breaker — time to dress up those eyes.

Eye makeup can be a tad tricky sometimes. Achieving red-carpet looks may seem impossible for anyone other than a professional makeup artist, so here’s a tip: Applying makeup is not about the technique, the brand or the right kind of brush. Makeup is about fun, creativity and most importantly, practice.

Take smoldering, smoky eye makeup. There are several steps to this look that any girl can pull off without even trying. So put down the brushes and pull out a pallet because it’s time to finger paint! An index finger does the job better than a brush, and it’s easier to clean.

1. With clean hands, prepare your eyes for shadow by applying a small amount of liquid foundation to each eyelid. This primer will enhance the pigment of the eye shadow and allow the color to stay on all day and night.

2. Separate your eye into four sections: inward, frontal, outward and brow. Begin applying a neutral, shimmery, base color in the inner corner of your eye. The more shine the better! Apply this in the crevice of your eye with your finger.

3. Apply another nude, but more of a matte color (light brownish), to the entire frontal part of your eyelid. Spread evenly and slightly blend into the first color. Don’t worry about being perfect.

4. Now this part gets a little intimidating: Use a shiny, black shadow. Apply lightly because you can always add more. Start on the outward tip of the eye and stroke your finger over this section several times. Once you reach the outward corner, take your finger and guide the shadow into the crease of your eyelid, where it meets the brow line. Blend until the colors look cohesive. Warning: DO NOT GO ALL THE WAY TO THE BROW LINE. Rinse your finger and repeat on the other eye.

5. Apply liquid eyeliner to the lash line of your eye. Liquid eyeliner stands out much better than pencil and creates a seductive, vintage look. The trick to using liquid is practice. Make a thin line on your lid with pencil and trace over with the liquid. Start thin; the bigger your eyes, the wider the line. If you find your hand is really shaky while applying, rest your palm on your cheek to gain more control. Steady your hand and you’ll go far!

All that’s left is to apply mascara, and voilà! With this simple five-step process, you’ll save time and energy, and realize even you can steal those red-carpet looks without really trying.

Photo by Yuting Zhang

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