smokey eyes: here’s how to master the look at every age
Sultry, smoked-out eye makeup is every woman’s go-to when it comes to primping for a big night out. The trick is figuring out how to transform the runway-worthy makeup you were able to get away with when you were younger into the more sophisticated French-girl gaze (à la Carine Roitfeld). Learn how to make texture and colour work in your favour, and perfect this classic makeup look at any age.
Your 20s are the ideal time to experiment with daring looks. Think glitter, bold colours and extra-smudgy makeup. “Women at this age tend to have oilier lids, which can cause eyeshadow to crease quickly, so always prep your eye area with a primer to help your makeup stay put,” says Younan. Start by lining your top and bottom lash line with an eye pencil before using a dome-shaped eyeshadow brush to trace the line with a matching eyeshadow, softly blending it outward to create a smoky effect. For a more dramatic gaze, blend the shadow all over your lid and into your crease. You can also opt for a colourful smoky eye in cobalt blue, purple or gold instead of basic black.
Clockwise from top: L’Oréal Paris Color Riche Unifying and Fixing Eye Primer, $13; Essence Gel Waterproof Eye Pencil in Black, $3; Stila Magnificent Metals Eye Liner in Metallic Black Gold, $33; Nars Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow in Phoebe, $33
Use this decade to refine your makeup techniques and colour palette. Avoid harsh lines by using a clean eyeshadow brush to blend the edges of your eyeshadow and soften the overall look, says Younan. Stick to subtle hues such as chocolate, navy, plum and olive, which are universally flattering, and make sure that any shimmery shades are finely milled (think velvet textures with the slightest glow) to avoid colour from settling into fine lines.
Clockwise from top: Lise Watier Blending Brush, $20; Rimmel London Exaggerate Waterproof Eye Definer in In The Nude, $8; Quo Individual Lashes in Natural, $8; Dior 5 Couleurs Couture Colours & Effects Eyeshadow Palette in Pied-de-Poule, $61.
In your 40s, dark eyeshadows and liners can enhance the appearance of under-eye circles, which might be a result of discoloration, as well as loss of volume around the eyes.
Try choosing warm shades—such as camel, taupe, truffle and bronze—to keep your look soft and flattering. These hues also keep eyes from looking tired, which tends to happen
with black and charcoal shadows, explains L.A.-based celebrity makeup artist Fiona Stiles, who has worked with stars such as Jessica Chastain and Emma Stone.
Make your eyes stand out for all the right reasons with the help of matte eyeshadows in lighter, neutral shades, which won’t migrate to any lines or wrinkles. Simplify the smoky look by layering eyeliner and shadow along your top and bottom lashlines. Mature eyes often have skin folds on the upper lids, so skip the eyeshadow on your lids and crease altogether. Instead, focus on lashes and brows to draw attention to your eyes. “Go lighter on the liner and define shorter, thinner lashes by lining an extra-sharp pencil very closely to your top lashes to make them look thicker,” says Stiles. Follow with a lash curler and a coat of thickening mascara to open up your eyes.