Beauty - Andrea Byrne: Smoke signals
Smoulder your way through the party season with our how-to guide for eye make-up that says you mean business
Nothing says Christmas party make-up quite like a smokey eye, and while we'd all love a professional at hand to do it each time, the number of social commitments and the general expense of the season, means it's just not viable. But don't despair, we've drafted in pro artist with Stila make-up Sascha Johnson to show you how to achieve the look that stars like Mila Kunis (left) are big fans of.
"It's a look that exudes timeless glamour," Sascha says. "It can create what is considered the 'perfect' eye shape - the almond eye. And the smokey eye can be a chic daytime look, or using heavier colours and boldness can be used for evening sophistication too."
But before we master the technique, it's important to know what colours complement your eye colour. After all, the whole objective is to make your eyes pop. According to Sascha, to make blue eyes stand out, use brown/golds/coppers or purples. For brown eyes, opt for greens/blues/purples and warm brown tones. Green eyes work well with dark greys/plums and metallics.
Also, don't think just because you're of a certain age that you can't successfully pull off a smokey eye. "Any age or eye shape can wear a smokey eye," says Sascha. "You just need to tailor it to suit. More mature eyes may prefer using matte shadows as opposed to shimmer. Study your eye shape and work to your own contours," she advises.
Dos and Don'ts
● Don't be afraid of using black eyeshadow. A little into the socket line does wonders for creating shape and definition for the eye. Just use a small amount at a time.
● Invest in a good quality, long-wearing black eyeliner that won't give you panda eyes or end up halfway down your face. Stila's Smudge Stick in Stingray, €17.50, is amazing. Initially soft and easy to use, it then dries to a smudge-proof finish.
● Don't take the shadow too close to your brow bone. Leave a large enough space for a fresh matte beige tone to perfect the look and lift the brow line.
● Don't hesitate in starting a smokey eye with a smudgy eyeliner first. This creates a fantastic base for building your smokey eye, and gives your lashes depth.
● It's important to invest in good quality brushes. However, you don't need a vast array. Just two eyeshadow brushes - one medium-sized and one tapered - and a blending brush will be sufficient.
● Blend your shadow out and up to open up the eye and avoid leaving any harsh lines.
● To get full impact from your smokey eye, keep the rest of your make-up relatively simple.
● Experiment with colour. Smokey eyes are not just created with black, brown and beige shadows.
Double tap your eyeshadow brush against your hand before taking to the eye area to ensure the product doesn't fall down your face.