Expert Makeup Tips from Tana D’Amico: The Smoky Eye

Sexy-smouldering-dramatic-timeless! These are the terms most used to describe what is known as the Smoky Eye. No wonder it’s one of the looks women ask for most! Every once in a while, we all like to be noticed, and that’s when you pull out this look!

In the video, I took the look from daytime to evening, but what I’ll do here is give you a step-by-step from scratch to achieve this look.

Start by prepping the eye area with either foundation, or foundation and an eye primer. I normally skip primer since I find it sort of dilutes the colours I put on top of it and therefore need to use more product to achieve the level of depth. However, if you have a big problem with your shadow creasing, then by all means go ahead and use and eye primer first as it will lessen the creasing.

What I normally do is cover the entire eye area with foundation. Then I leave the moveable part of the lid as is, still kind of damp from the foundation. This way the colour I put on that area will really STICK and become even darker since that’s what happens when you wet any eyeshadow — it gets darker. I then ONLY POWDER from the crease on upwards so that the shadow I use in that area is easier to blend. What you want to end up with is more intensity of colour closest to your eyelashes with it gradually fading lighter as you move up towards the brow.

It’s a good idea to have a multi-tonal palette (similar shades in various levels of light and dark).

Let’s say I have chosen a grey palette, going from very light grey to very dark grey, but not quite black. I will start by using the mid-tone right on the crease and slightly above it. Use your mirror to guide you. If you have deep set or hooded eyes, you will need to recede that area. Adding a med dark shade will help you do that. Go above your crease just enough so you can see the shadow colour when your eyes are open. Use your mirror!

(Disclaimer: In the video, I’m afraid one eye looks darker than the other since I was working without a mirror, and forgot my own advice — STAND BACK and look at your work from afar and not just from up close close to ensure things are balanced!)

If you cannot see any colour when your eyes are open, your eyes will appear closed off and more deep set. Placing it just above your actual crease will recede that area and bring forth your actual eyes, making them appear larger, and as a bonus, brighter and less tired.

Then, place the darkest colour all over the moveable part of your lid about three-fourths of the way in, stopping short of your tear ducts. Bringing it in all the way will make your eyes appear closer together, and little too intense. We’ll leave that for 18-year-olds!

Also, take that darkest colour, and bring it up into the crease area and blend it with the first colour you used (working mostly with the outer two-thirds here). By giving the attention to the outer area of the eyes, you will make them appear further apart.

Then, either with a pencil, wet shadow or gel eyeliner, make a thin line RIGHT up against your lashes-again, just three-fourths of the way in, and then smudge that line so it is diffused, you can use the brush to do so or even use a cotton swab which is great for smudging. Keep the area by your tear ducks OPEN and light.

Here is where we can vary the intensity of the ‘smokiness’. If you feel you cannot carry off too much liner on your bottom lashes, use a light dotting motion and apply the liner you used up against your upper lash line to your lower lash line, but with a much lighter hand to give you that little bit of definition to balance and finish the look off.  Remember to blend that too! Then add lots of your favourite mascara!

Now, if you feel you can carry off more intensity, follow these steps.

Take the first colour you used on your crease and with a small brush, line your lower lash area, and blend.

Then, take the same liner brush and darkest colour and make a thin line RIGHT up against your lower lash line and BLEND (outer two-thirds again).

Make sure the corners of your upper and lower lash lines meet. Stand back and have a look in the mirror from further away. Make sure the eyeshadow does not go beyond the ends of your eyebrows and that the direction of the shadow is drawing your eyes upward and outward to ensure you are visually lifting them. Going beyond your outer brow line will start to draw your eyes downwards — exactly what we do not want!

Finish off by blending everything together with a larger clean fluffy blending brush to diffuse it all and not have any harsh lines. Then curl your lashes if needed, and add loads and loads of your favourite mascara mainly up top, and bottom lashes, too, if you think you can pull it off. If you have problems with mascara smudging on your bottom lashes, use a waterproof one.

For one final bit of magic, add a little light opalescent eyeshadow in either a champagne or light gold colour, right onto your upper and lower tear duct area, the area that I’ve been telling you to keep open. That will give you that extra little bit of glow that will have people wondering how you look so incredibly sexy-smouldering and dramatic — with a little angelic thrown in for balance!

Any questions? Please write in or let me know in the comments!

Best, Tana