It’s been way too long since I posed the question, “Can beauties over 30___ ?” I’ve been thinking about this since I pondered the last one, but it’s taken me til now to get it together to post. Thankfully, I was recently inspired to get my act together by a recent post on Huffington Post UK entitled, Screw Beauty Rules, by Grace Fodor.
And so today I ask…
Can beauties over 30 sport a smokey eye? Um, yeah!
First up is what I believe to be the easiest of the smoky looks, both with respect to application and to maintenance. I like to think of it as kind of grunge chic.
All you need is a dark, cream shadow and a good synthetic buffing brush. My particular faves are the Sigma Beauty Eye Shadow Base in Sculpt and the Real Techniques Deluxe Crease Brush. I’m dismayed to report that Sculpt seems to have disappeared from Sigma’s website, but really any dark cream shadow will work. All you need to do, technique-wise is blend on an initial layer, diffusing to a lighter and lighter layer as you move up from lashline. The lashline area you’ll likely want to reinforce so it’s darkest at the lashline itself. Eye shadow wise, that’s pretty much it! It doesn’t even matter if it starts to crease and smudge throughout the day, as that just adds to the effect 🙂
Next up, is the less grunge, slightly more elegant matte smokey eye.
The matte palette I used, which I’ve been luving lately, was The Balm Cosmetics Meet Matt(e) Nude.I started out with the same base, but only took it up to the crease, not into or above. Then I worked downward, starting above and into the crease with my lightest transition shade (Matt Singh, more on that later), and then deepening up the outer corner portion of the crease with a darker tone (Matt Garcia). Then, I finished up by patting a dark matte grey on the lid (Matt Johnson).
Last but not least is the smokey eye I do most frequently, the ‘halo’ smokey I learned of from Sharon Farrell of sharonthemakeupartist.com.
I am a big fan of doing this sort of look with jewel tones, like Makeup Geek’s Houdini and Whimsical, which I used above. I chose a burgundy garnet for my darker color, but dark jade or sapphire are equally gorgeous!
The idea with this look is that you create a halo of darkness around a flash of light. You place the darker shadow in the inner and outer corner of the eye, and sweep it around/up into the crease. Leave the center of the eye lid bare of the darker shadow, then add your spot of light shadow. It’s my belief that pale metallics work the best for the spotlight. Repeat the same configuration on the lower lashline. This one is a bit more labor intensive, but I’m sort of obsessed with the look it gives.
There do also seem to be a few keys to a successful smokey eye, regardless of which particular version you like.
- First, no sharp edges. I continue to try to improve my blending skills, but the ideal is a seamless transition between your various shades. This could definitely have used even more blending, but hopefully you get the idea.
- Speaking of transitions, another of the tips I’ve learned from the various beauty ‘gurus’ I watch is the importance of the ‘transition shade’, that shade that you put in (and above) the crease/socket line of your eye. The best shades seem to be those that are neutral and just a couple of shades lighter than you own skintone. The right brush is also a must, nice and fluffy. My personal fave for this job is my trusty Sigma E40 Blending Brush.
- Lastly, for the best smokey eye, there’s unfortunately no way to avoid having to line your lower and upper (ugh) waterlines. And of course, a good lashing 😉 of mascara.
My personal go-to accoutrement with a smokey eye include natural glowy skin, a whisper of blush, and an MLBB or nude lip. But, since beauty rules are most certainly for the birds, I say pair them with whatever the heck you want!
Let me know what your favorite smokey look is!
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*These are only my opinions, formed through my personal experience as a consumer. I am not a medical doctor, an aesthetician, or a health/beauty professional. There is no guarantee what effect, positive or negative, these products may have on anyone else.
**All products were purchased by me from brands that, to the best of my knowledge, are cruelty-free.