Beauty Dare: Smokey Eye

For come hither drama, there’s nothing like a smokey eye. The classic technique has myriad iterations, from over-the-top darkness a la Kim Kardashian to more subtle daytime version. Makeup artist (and smokey eye addict) Nam Vo gave us a step-by-step guide to a basic smokey eye using all neutral colors. Once you master this, you can experiment with different versions — just remember to keep all the shadows in the same color palette.

Step 1: Apply a Cream Shadow Base

Using your fingers, apply a light-colored cream shadow like Bobbi Brown’s Sand Dollar, from the lash line to the middle of the eye. “The warmth of your fingers helps the shadow go on smoothly,” says Vo.

Step 2: Use a Flat Brush to Layer on Powder Shadow

Next, use a flat brush to apply a complementary powder shadow like Smashbox’s Smashing Champagne all over the cream base. “The cream grabs the powder and helps it project more,” says Vo. “You don’t have to be precise, just layer it on.”

Step 3: Add a Dark Shadow in the Crease

Take a dome-shaped brush with a flexible tip and dip it into a taupey gray shadow, like stila’s wheat. Fit the brush in the deepest contour of your crease and use a fluid motion to blend back and forth like windshield wipers.

Step 4: Drag Dark Shadow Underneath Eye

Use a small detail brush to brush the same taupey gray shadow along the lower lash line and in a soft v-shape at the outer corner of your eye. This adds definition and makes your eye look bigger. When in doubt, blend!

Step 5: Add Smudgy Black Liner

To complete the look, apply a black liner or a soft black shadow along the top and lower lash line. Finish with two coats of major mascara like Benefit BADgal.

Tip: If you’re unsure about mixing and matching shadows, pick up a kit like theBalm® cosmetics' NUDE 'tude™ Nude Eyeshadow Palette that includes every shade you need.

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