Ten steps to the perfect smoky eye

Attendees at the CayFilm event last month were treated to a red carpet makeup seminar, where many of the tricks the glamour trade were revealed.

Weekender caught up with Michelle Pusey, from Penha in Curacao, who demonstrated how to create the classic smoky eye, which is perfect for that sultry red carpet look. First she showed how to apply on a model, then we tried ourselves with supplied makeup from Estee Lauder, Lancome, Clinique or MAC, assisted by a Penha consultant.

Traditionally, a smoky eye is created with monochrome shades of gray, but you can also use shades of mauve or plum and brown. The smoky eye is an iconic style and suits everyone, but does take quite a few steps to achieve. Once you follow these steps – the most important ones being to blend properly and learn the technique of eyeliner application – you will master this stunning look.

We were given palettes with up to five different shades in similar tones, you actually only need three tones – very light, medium and dark.

Here’s how to create the perfect smoky eye in 10 easy-to-follow steps.

1. After thoroughly cleansing and moisturizing your face, the first step is to apply a base in the same tone as your skin onto the eyelid. Then start applying the eyeshadow tones using the lightest color in the palette. This shade is applied all over the lid and browbone area – right up to the eyebrow – and blended carefully with an eyeshadow brush. (Note, for this bold eye look, it is a good idea to apply your foundation at the end.)

2. Apply a slightly darker shade all over the lid and crease of the eye. Do not worry at this stage about rough edges, just apply the color.

3. Now for the darkest shade. Apply this at the outer corner of the eye and in the crease of the eye angling upwards at outer edge.

4. Apply the lightest color again at the line between the darkest color at the crease where it meets the browbone area and start to blend the harsh line.

5. Take your blending brush, making sure that it is clean, blend out all the colors.

6. Now it is time to apply upper eyeliner. The best product for this is liquid eyeliner as it doesn’t pull or irritate the skin. If you don’t want to use liquid eyeliner, make sure the pencil you use has a soft texture so it is easy to apply.

Aim to apply the eyeliner as close to your lash line as possible, and ideally even between the lashes. Liquid liner is the best for this, and also does not smudge or run. A good tip is to line your lid with pencil liner to trace the line and then apply the liquid liner over the top. If you are not confident in drawing the whole line at once, do it in stages by drawing dots along the lash line and then simply join them up.

While drawing the liner along the lash line, pull your lid upwards so that you can see exactly where you are working. Then as you get to the outer eye, pull outwards and upwards so you create the upsweep that you want and draw along that. Add as much wing as you dare.

7. Always use pencil liner for underneath the eye. When applying, do not worry about being particularly tidy, just concentrate on following the lash line and getting the color in between the lashes.

If your eyes are not too sensitive, draw along the waterline as well. After applying, take a cotton bud soaked in eye makeup remover and clean up any uneven lines and also, very importantly, any eyeshadow that has “dropped” during application.

8. Apply mascara. Use a lengthening and thickening mascara and apply on the top of the lashes first to seal in any shadow that has fallen on them. Then apply from underneath, taking care to make use of the spiral-shaped brush and turning it as you go. Pay special attention to the very small lashes at the inside corners and also the outer lashes sweeping outwards and upwards as you go. Add a second coat for extra definition.

9. When your mascara is dry, take the blending brush again and go over the lid and browbone for a perfect finish. Blending is your friend!

10. Finally, apply concealer carefully with your ring finger to the under eye area. Also, to make your eyeliner pop, take a cotton bud or tiny brush dipped in concealer and carefully pat (the skin here is very delicate) onto the outside corner of your eye just under the line of the eyeliner and blend in.

To complete the look, apply foundation mixed with illuminating serum all over your face for a luminous complexion, add your favorite color of blush to the apples of your cheeks, and add a neutral glossy shade to your lips.