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How To Pull Off A 10-Second Smoky Eye From A Beauty Editor

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Alexandra Engler

I’ve found the easiest way to achieve it is to tight-line the eye area with a black pencil liner (I’m into this Victoria Beckham Beauty Satin Kajal Liner in Black.) Celebrity makeup artist Jenny Patinkin once told me that you should get the liner as close to the waterline as possible—and that when you can hear the lashes ruffling as you etch on the liner, that’s when you know you’re in the right spot. The idea here is to create a base for the shadow to eventually blend with, creating that hazy effect.

From there, I go in with my shadow of choice: Gunmetal, a dark brassy metallic that brings just the right amount of edge. I’ve been drawn to options that have a warm taupe undertone because I think it works better with my complexion and eye coloring—but there are stunning shades that skew more silver, cool-toned, and mauve.

For the more creamy-textured shadows, I use my fingers to apply. (My preferred method of application for most days.) I simply pick up a small amount of pigment with my ring finger, and smudge it into the lash line, blending out onto the lid. (Depending on the shadow of choice, you may need to work to blend it a bit more thoroughly—some creams are dense with pigment.) I repeat this process until I get the desired intensity, which is thick at the root, but then dissipates out as you work up the lid. I don’t apply anything higher than my crease.

For powders, it’s a similar situation, but instead of my fingers, I pick up a small shadow brush, like this Line Smudge Brush from Jenny Patinkin. But I always start at the lash line and blend out and up. It’s sultry, appropriately messy, and takes all of a few seconds. This glam should be completed with a coat or two of mascara to really play up the drama.

And that’s it! I promise you don’t need to be a pro to get the hang of it. I’m quite rusty with my eye makeup application, and I find it oh-so-easy to pull off. It’s quick, too, which means you can spend less time getting ready—and more time sparkling.





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