Sparkle for Twilight: Blog Update!
Holiday season is party season, and that means a lot of opportunities for dress-up and food-filled gatherings. I noticed a lot of girls asking how to achieve Kristen's/Bella's hair and makeup and I searched for different people's takes on it (this is also how I found out there is a cosmetology school in New Zealand called Kristen Stewart School of Makeup--totally unrelated). Glamour
is just one of the people who addressed how to get one of Kristen's smoky eye looks
So being that it is likely you will attend a party or two by the new year, you might want to try a smoky eye look and because a certain lady of Twilight
wears the smoky eye look quite well, I will be using her as inspiration!
A smoky eye doesn't necessarily give you the go ahead to load black over black over black, topped with black eyeliner either--unless that Momsen look is what you're going for (but even then, probably best to leave the dramatics for runway models).
Contouring is pretty important if you want eyes that pop, as opposed to looking like they were
popped. Before we get more into contouring though, let's backtrack a bit.
I'm not going to bother with a step-by-step how-to for smoky eyes. If you want to read up on a basic smoky eye tutorial, I recommend this one
from the the mesmerizing book, Making Faces
. The artist is referring to his look for Julia Roberts:
When reading, just keep in mind everyone's eye shape and color are different so you'll have to modify and play around with what works for you. I find that if you're a beginner to this whole eyeshadow thing (some girls just aren't big on eyeshadow and that's okay), following tutorials can be a start, but they can also be super frustrating. I know because I've been there. The way I learned was by plain trial and error, which was quite unfortunate for me and my middle school years.
So now that you have a general idea, how do you begin? What's your smoky eye look? There are a lot more smoky eye looks to be had than just your traditional gray hues and black liner. For success in any one of these looks, it's all about three words:
1. Color 2. Contour 3. Blend
Smoky eyes are about lights and darks, so that means there's a whole set of colors you can use. Any color, really. You can either choose one color, and select different shades of that color (i.e. lavender
, deep purple
), or you can choose different colors in different shades (i.e. beige, blue, black. Some people recommend choosing four different shades, but I think three works just fine for a start. How much can you really have going on for one eye anyway?
You want to choose eyeshadows in different "degrees" of darkness, so that one is light
, one is medium
, and the other is dark
. You can also think of it as choosing colors so that one acts as a highlighter (the light), a color (the medium), and a liner (the dark).
For example, I often use a pale gold eyeshadow (light), a shimmery taupe/brown (medium), and a rich charcoal (dark).
From there I switch up the colors, sometimes swapping in my medium color from the brown to an emerald, plum, or navy eyeshadow, depending on my mood.
I'll also do the same with the swapping the light color, either using the gold, or a shimmery beige, or a light silvery pink, etc.
As a personal preference, I use a charcoal color for my dark eyeshadow choice so I usual stick with it even when I switch the other colors. I like using charcoal as opposed to black because it's a bit softer.
These are just suggestions from the colors I use, but you can choose others depending on what you like. I only have so much time to get ready in the morning so I limit myself to what I know works for me, otherwise I'd be playing around with colors forever!
Again, smoky eyes don't have to be confined to grays and blacks, you can also have fun with color, like Kristen here with purple and blues:
Now that you've chosen your colors, here's where contouring comes in. The reason you choose different shades is so that you have room for color contrast. This is what makes your smoky eyes really pop, instead of looking flat and one-dimensional (and, by default, usually raccoon-ish).
Your highlighting (light) color gives depth and dimension against your other eyeshadow colors. One way to use your highlighting color is to apply it towards the inner corners of your eyes, either to the top or bottom lash line, or both.
Your highlighting color doesn't always have to be so stark against your medium and dark colors (like Kristen's silver/white shadow against navy/black). Sometimes when you want a more subtle smoky eye, your highlighting eyeshadow can be in the same color family as your other eyeshadows. The slight shade difference is still noticeable and that's enough to keep the colors from looking flat together. The point is for your eyeshadow colors to be applied so there's a gradient
Once you think you've got all of your eyeshadow in place, blend. Blend the edges, blend so the colors are even. Blending is important--so very important, because it's what keeps you from looking like Mimi Bobeck (google at your own discretion). It refines your look.
Wherever you apply your makeup, make sure it's also well lit. You can't go by your lamp alone, though. Even when I apply makeup in the morning by my desk light, I'll still turn myself towards the window with my mirror throughout the process. That way, I see what my application looks like in natural light and touch up from there. You'll see a big difference, trust me. "Just enough" of the dark eyeshadow in incandescent lighting can look crazy in natural light.
If you're still unsure, take a digital picture of yourself. A flash reveals a lot of things (like why you never wear a white bra under a black shirt) and you'll see exactly where you need to add or take away eyeshadow, and fix spots where you'll need to reblend. Especially if you are going to a party, you'll want to look good in the pictures!
A beautiful example of blending at its finest:
A NOTE ON EYELINER...
Smoky eyes wouldn't be smoky eyes without liner--pencil, liquid, gel, or powder. The way you line your eyes after all of your eyeshadow in place really dictates your entire smoky eye look. It's the difference between looking dramatic or subtle, and it all depends on what you are going for.
⋅ For a more dramatic and defined look, line both the top and bottom lash lines with a thin line from a pencil, gel, or liquid liner:
⋅ For a subtler smoky look, skip the pencil and line with powder. Basically you can use your dark eyeshadow color choice for this, instead of the black. This is how Kristen's eyes look soft and pretty:
To do this, carefully apply the eyeshadow, not straying too far from your lash line, otherwise it'll look messy and accidental rather than deliberate. Your best friend for this is the slant brush:
⋅ There are also variations the whole liner thing, like lining just your top lash line or lining just your eyes' outer corners and letting the liner taper off at the midpoint. As a rule of thumb, a thick, clean line of eyeliner is more dramatic, and using powder to smudge the line softens the look so it's less harsh. Mascara also adds to the illusion of eyeliner, so the way you apply it on the top and bottom lashes also changes things.
⋅ You're eyes are all perfect, and now you need to make them last:
1. The first thing that starts melting down is your liner, particularly if you use pencil. I don't use pencil because it never stays put for me. Instead, I use a combination of powder and liquid. If you do use pencil, the easiest tip is to avoid immediate smudging is to avoid lining right up to the outer and inner corners of your eyes. You don't need to have the top and bottom eyeliner lines actually touch. Just stop short of lining with your pencil where your lash lines meet at the corners. Naturally, blinking causes makeup to move, so if you keep even just a millimeter or two free from eyeliner, less smudging.
2. Another easy way to make your eyeshadow stay put is to use an eyeshadow base before you start applying your eyeshadow. Applying eyeshadow powder to bare skin isn't long-lasting. Start with a base all over your eyelid, this can be an actual eyeshadow base or primer
, or I find that a big eyeshadow stick
in a neutral color applied thinly to your entire lid works just as well by acting as a "glue" to your eyeshadow powder. The idea is to put something on your eyelid first so that your powder has something to stick to, not only making your application last longer but also your eyeshadow colors will be easier to layer and will look more intense
⋅ Tend to your eyebrows. So many forget they are just as much important as any other feature you have on your face.
⋅ Apply mascara last, so that no eyeshadow gets stuck to it.
⋅ And lastly, when in doubt, less is always more :)
I hope all of this gives some of you a little idea and some inspiration as you get ready for the holidays! I'd love to hear how you do your makeup and whether you do try to replicate one of Kristen's looks--she really knows how to work the smoky eye!