This look was inspired by a look I've seen a number of times, typically on women with dark skin. Gayle King was a guest judge on the season finale of Project Runway Allstars which aired last week and had a deep blue matte smoky eye and it inspired me to take a look to see if I had the colours in order to try it out on myself.
Turns out I don't have a matte deep blue/navy blue to work with but I have some shimmery deep blues and I tried them out.
This is what I came up with and I like it! It's a great take on the smoky eye and this look would work well on most skintones, particularly on darker skintones and with brown eyes (the navy is a perfect contrast for brown eyes).
This look looks a lot darker and less shimmery in person than it photographs. The flash obviously picks up the shimmer in the eyeshadow. I'd love to try this using matte eyeshadows.
I used this Lisa Eldridge video as inspiration, though I didn't use the same products.
The products I did use are:
- Calvin Klein Tempting Glance Intense Eyeshadow in Midnight Blue (shimmery navy blue)
- Sleek Makeup Ultra Matte Eyeshadow in Ink (matte deep sapphire blue)
- MAC Frost Eyeshadow in Deep Truth (shimmery true dark blue)
- Bloom Eye Definer in Black
- L'Oreal Voluminous Mascara in Black
1. I started by pressing Midnight Blue onto my eyelid with an eyeshadow brush. Since I wasn't getting good pigmentation from it so I added some Ink to it, focusing on my eyelid. I wanted a dark blue, as dark as I could get so I layered and layered. I'll try this look again but using Ink instead of Midnight Blue, which I think is too old and dried out to use, though the shimmer of it nice for this look.
2. With a clean eyeshadow brush, I blended out the edges, making sure I had some shadow slightly above my eye crease. Blending is the key to wearing dark colours and for doing a smoky eye. You have to make sure there are no harsh edges. So blend and add and blend some more until you get the look you want - darker on the lid and towards the lashline and softening at the crease and above.
3. Once I had the shape and effect I wanted, I used black eyeliner to line my waterline, working it into my lashline and smudging it slightly above. This step is key to a smoky eye look. If your eyes are particularly sensitive or tend to water, look for a pencil designed for sensitive eyes or a water-resistant version.
4. To add a touch of brightness, I used an eyeshadow brush to apply a bit of Deep Truth to my crease about 1/3 from the inside corner of my eye. I also dabbed it to my lower inner eye. It's subtle but adds a brightness to the look.
5. I curled my lashes using my Shu Uemera eyelash curler and applied three coats of L'Oreal Voluminous Mascara in Black.
6. To compliment it, I filled in my brows with a bit of MAC Wedge (muted matte beige taupe) and Embark (matte reddish brown) eyeshadows and because blue and orange compliment each other, swept MAC Mineralize Blush in Warmth of Coral (coral-peach) along my cheekbones using an angled blush brush. On top of my cheekbones, to highlight, I swirled a little bit of MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Superb (soft peach nude with multidimensional shimmer).
7. I wanted to keep my lips muted but softly enhanced, so I applied MAC Lipglass in Full For You. It's a MLBB gloss for me and one of the few lipglosses I wear (I'm much more a lipstick girl than a gloss girl). It adds a subtle rosy colour and of course, shine.
8. My base is my usual Sleek BB Cream with OCC concealer under my eyes and on red spots, but I used a dusting of MAC Studio Fix on my t-zone to give me a mattified look rather than my usual loose powder.
Overall, I quite liked this look. It wasn't quite what I was aiming for, but without a deep matte navy blue in my makeup collection, I wasn't going to achieve it. Still, this is a very wearable, fun, flattering, edgy blue-purple smoky eye that reminds me of the makeup looks I used to wear when I was younger. I never used to go out at night without a smoky eye.
You could do this look with shades of brown or grey if you wanted a more traditional smoky eye. Or try it with purple or green or burgundy.
Blues on the eyes are fantastic for making brown eyes pop. So take note, brown-eyed guys and gals!
Black liner in the waterline makes all eye colours pop. Without it, this look on me might not be so flattering. The blue of the shadow would overpower the blue of my eyes without the black liner.
It's a very simple look. I used three different eyeshadow colours, but could've gotten away with just two - the dark blue and the brighter blue as highlight. And a black eyeliner pencil, that's it. This look is all about the blending. It should look soft, with no harsh lines.