Do you sometimes want to stab yourself in the eyeball with a pair of tweezers first thing in the morning instead of putting on a Face for the day? Me too. And if going make-up free isn’t an option for you (“guilty!”) read on.
Honestly, when you’re not bothered, adding some shit to the overall eye area on the face can sometimes be the easiest/quickest way to make it look like you have made an effort on a day where no effort and no fucks were given (a lot of people say “just add mascara and a bright lippy!” but to those people I say “lol do you know how much maintenance is required to check your lippy for smudging/fading throughout the day and how dead I look with just mascara on hahaha you dummy!”). I know you don’t believe me and I know a ‘daytime smoky eye’ sounds like a very Intense Look for the office (or wherever), but go with me here.
With the right tools/products, this is one of the most mindless routines you can memorise for minimal early morning stress. With the same arsenal, you’re also good to go for a wedding, weekend brunch, dranks session, the couch, fridge, bed, etc. anywhere you want to make yourself look a little ‘done’, in whatever capacity that may be.
Links to purchase in bold throughout!
Step 1: PRIME
Yep, that old chestnut again. No matter what the occasion, weather, look, etc. you are going for, don’t skip this step. And to complicate the whole thing even further, use a different sort of primer to the face primer. Use an eye primer (I favour the original and the best from Urban Decay – click to buy) all over the eyelid as it will keep.your.shit.in.place.
Step 2: Make It Look Like You Did Some Fancy Moves
Not to humblebrag, okay, this is just a real brag, but I never get more nice comments (“compliments”) on my makeup than when I am wearing Smashbox 15-hour Cream Shadow in Gemstone (pictured). Devastatingly, I am pretty sure this is now discontinued as I can’t find it ANYWHERE, only some shady places online where it is VERY expensive. My hysteria has now reached stratospheric levels. Like I’m sure there are dupes out there (maybe try Maybelline’s Bad to the Bronze or Bobbi Brown’s Velvet Plum) but I’ll never be happy again. This one is just so creamy, sheer and the perfect tone of purpley bronzey taupey-ness. That sounds so ugly, but it is not, it is SO. GOOD. Sorry. I’m literally having a written tantrum.
Anyway this is the part that makes the rest of it look so impressive but it is super duper easy – use your fingertip to just press on a wash of colour over the eyelid. That’s it. Doesn’t matter how messy it is, you’ll blend it out later.
Step 3: Line ’em up
I like to do eyeliner here because if you do it at the end, you are left with a very hardh (typo and it stays! I was writing ‘harsh’ but ‘hard’ also works!) line. It’s a matter of personal taste, but I say no to ‘hardh’.
Step 3: Lock. It. In.
For this step, you need a lovely nude eye shadow palette. Pictured above is Bobbi Brown’s Nude on Nude set, but she literally releases a new one every season and they’re always great. My other forever love though, that I just always come back to, is Sephora’s Pale to Rich Taupe palette. Whatever taupey palette you buy though just make sure there is at least 4 shades –
And keep ALL of this on the top lid only, especially for daytime. Once you have applied those shades in a haphazard, barely-paid-attention kinda way, use a nice fluffy brush like this to blend it all out (window-wiper motion) and keep doing it until it looks ‘smoky’. Hint: you can’t over-blend, so when in doubt, keep going.
NB: This is also the step where you can alternate the look to suit you/your effort level/the occasion. For a more every day weekend look, just use the light taupe over cream shadow and add mascara. If you like that, add a thin line of liquid liner along the lashes as well for a very polished, very together, look. For full-on DRAMA, line the bottom row of lashes with the mid-dark taupe + eyeliner and go for a guns-blazing smokey eye. THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS.
Step 4: The Finishing Touches
If you’re a liquid liner kinda lady or gent, please apply here. I am currently feeling a very thin line that ends at the lashes, but go for a wing if you can be bothered. No shame if you cbf because that is the point of all the above easy steps. My liquid liner of choice is always Rimmel’s Exaggerate Liquid Liner. Looks scary, but it’s got a felt tip and is easily manoeuvrable PLUS it is pigmented as shit. Re: mascara, I am VERY partial to Benefit’s They’re Real! but have also just discovered Stila’s Huge Extreme Lash mascara which does indeed give you huge, extreme, lashes. Some people (“borings”) would tell you this is a “night time look” mascara, but I am all for it anytime as my lashes are “shit.” Also it’s cheaper than Benefit if that kinda thing factors into your decision making.
I swear to you, if you use primer, cream shadow and set it with powder your eye makeup will not move. You will also, with practise, be able to complete the look in about 6 minutes. It sounds like a lot, but it takes such little skill and effort to complete that the payoff is totally worth it. And even though it seems like lots of steps/products, it’s a really pretty subtle look and I am always right so just try it ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Images: Benefit, Chic Profile, Nars, Rimmel, Glambot