It’s that time of year again, folks. Everyone is feeling the sting of Cupid’s arrows in their hearts and wallets. Pink and red are the only colours in sight, and suddenly your favourite cherry lipgloss doesn’t seem quite so special for your big night out. Want to get noticed in a sea of cinnamon hearts and wilting roses? Well, you’re in luck, because the eyes have it this Valentine’s Day — bedroom eyes, that is.
The charcoal smoky eye is a classic, hard-to-miss look that can be customized to suit your skin tone and eye colour with minimal effort and expense. It’s perennially perfect whether you’re gunning for a night on the town or are boudoir bound. And because nothing adds more of an air of mystery to the face than well-placed sooty smudges, here’s how to take your look from surly student to sultry sex kitten in 15 minutes or less:
- Start off by creating a smooth, crease-free canvas for your eye makeup. Using your ring finger (which is your gentlest digit), pat an eyeshadow primer all over the eyelid, being especially attentive to the outer corners of the eyes. Let it dry down for a few seconds.
- Take a deep grey eyeshadow (in whichever finish you prefer, such as satin, matte, metallic or pearl) and apply it to the inner third of the eyelid using a mid-size shadow brush. Blend the edges well to avoid any harsh lines.
- Next, using that same brush, sweep a charcoal shadow onto the centre of the lid, again being careful to blend the edges out smoothly into the grey shade.
- Now take a slightly denser, smaller eyeshadow brush and load it up with black or a darker charcoal shadow and add this to the triangle at the outer corner of the eye. Feel free to bring it out past your natural lid and create a soft flick — sort of an extended cat eye.
- Using that same black shade, take a fluffy crease brush and define the crease area between your browbone and lid. This will help to add even more definition to the eye. The more shading in this area, the more dramatic the look.
- Using a slanted eyeliner brush, sweep a thin line of black shadow underneath your lower lash line and blend it out until you reach your desired level of “smoke.”
- Go back over the eyelid area with a soft blending brush and make sure the colours form a seamless gradient from corner to corner. Blend, blend, blend!
- Choose your favourite inky black eyeliner and line your upper lashline as close to the base of your eyelashes as possible.
- Add two to three coats of black mascara to help your peepers really pop. Done and done.
Now you’re ready to take this hazy gaze out for a test drive. Remember to wink responsibly and keep the rest of your makeup fairly neutral. Think soft pink lips and barely a hint of matte pink or beige blush in order to let your bedroom eyes really steal the show.