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Friday, August 30, 2013

What Is A Smokey/Smoky Eye? The Definition of a Smokey Eye And How To Tell A Smokey Eye From Dark Makeup

Hi there!

Have you wondered just exactly what a smokey eye should be?  It seems like any dark eye makeup qualifies and gets called a smokey eye- but I think there's a certain style that quantifies an eye look to be smoked out and I wanna shout it from the rooftops!

I have often looked up smokey/smokey eyes and end up with my browser flooded with all kinds of eye makeup, many not even similar to each other- so looking online doesn't help to figure out how to define what a smokey eye should be.  Some are super defined and sharply colored with deep liner, others just have a dark outer v- but beyond being dark makeup, it's hard to tell what exactly a smokey eye is.

WHAT the heck is a real smokey eye anyway?  Shoot, is it just a pile of liner or black eyeshadow?  Let's figure it out, cuz I want to solve this mystery once and for all.

I consider a smokey eye to go from dark at the lashline to light at the browbone.  It should be more of a gradient of dark to light.  It can be defined at the crease, but it's gotta be dark near the eye.  In general, it doesn't have a very light lid at all.  To show this kind of makeup that truly defines a smokey eye-  Gwen Stefani is gonna rock this look- she is always smokin' hot in her smokey eyes!

Note:  All images courtesy of Google, unless noted

A smokey eye isn't just deep, black liner with some dark eyeshadow.  It's just gotta fade.  You can have neon green and as long as it goes from deep to soft, with a bit of a blur, you've got smokey eyes.  Here's my definition-

Smokey Eye:  It's any color (not just neutral or black) that begins with a dark saturation near the lashline of the eye, a darkened lid, and fades to a lighter browbone/highlight. The edges are blended to create a blurred or 'smokey' effect around the eye.  It can include a darker crease, but will always graduate from dark to light and the deeper hue surrounds the eye.

Indian Vanity Case
Here's a smokey eye checklist to make sure you got your smoke on just right:

Smokey Eye Checklist
1.  Dark liner 
(looks amazing if the eye is rimmed on waterlines and between lashes, go dark mama)
2.  Dark lashline eyeshadow shade 
(to set liner and begin the smoke)
3.  Dark lid eyeshadow shade 
(slightly lighter than lashline shade)
4.  Crease color eyeshadow 
(can be deeper or a lovely warm neutral like MAC's Swiss Chocolate to bleeend it all out nice and smooth)
5.  Light highlight shade 
(a bit of shimmer doesn't hurt)
*Mascara to bling the eyes and make them pop, deepening the shadow-work.

Here are some pics I found online that show just how varied and beautiful a smokey eye can be.  A classic smokey eye is comprised of mostly browns, blacks, or greys with a highlight either at the inset (inner corners) of the eyes and browbone (below the eyebrow).  But it can be any shade or a combination thereof.  But shoot, you know that though, because girrrl, you get it.

Neutral smokey eye-

Sultry black and cranberry/wine smokey eye-

Liquid-ey metallic smokey eye-

Taupe smokey eye-  Isn't Mila Kunis gorgeous?

The key-defining-grand-glory moment of smokey eyeness:  It does NOT have a light lid. 

Here is what a smokey eye is not- although the internet and YouTube will try to confuse you.  Be not confused, you are an educated consumer and know your smokey eye down pat.

1.  Blurred and blended edges are not a smokey eye-  This pic is kinda 80's but it makes a good point.  Thou shalt shade thy lid and thou shalt not have harsh liner.

2.  Tightlining (waterline of upper lashes darkened) or lining the lower waterline is not a smokey eye- even if it's blurred and defined darkly...it's not a dark lid and it doesn't fade from dark to light.

3.  A defined crease (eye fold) or outer v (outer corners of eyelids) are not a smokey eye-  shade your lid, woman!

4.  A dark shaded lid and lighter lower lashline is not a smokey eye-  If the darker shade had rimmed the lower lashline a bit more, we'd have some smoke going on.

5.  Dark liner/shadow in one shade without a dark to light gradient is not a smokey eye-  It's gotta fade.  No raccoons allowed.

I'm not trying to disrespect any of these makeup looks.  Each have their appeal- but they're not smokey eyes.

Here is gorgeous Iman showing yet again how beautiful a smokey eye can be-

So next time you're perusing the Pinterest aisles and watching YouTube- you'll see a lot of eyes that claim to be smokey, but aren't.  Don't be fooled by that liner or those beautifully defined peepers.  If it's not fading from dark to light and blurred at the edges- that ain't no smokey eye! I had to share this because I see so many looks claiming to be smokey, hey I've done it myself, but in truth, they're not.  I had to draw the line in the eyeshadow and solve this mystery once and for all.

I hope this is helpful in trying to determine what really constitutes a smokey eye from just a deeply defined or dark look.  So get your dark shadow out and let's get smokin'!

Have a great day,


Thejewellsparkle said...

Amen to that sister! I whole heatedly agree it irks me that anything with some dark shadow is called smokey.

Amanda Gamez said...

Lol loved this post , true that

Baroque In Babylon said...

Thanks guys!