The smokey eye is still (kinda unfairly) viewed as of the most complex makeup techniques in the history of everything. Spring's smudgy eye, though -- well, consider it an update on ol' smokey, and it's easier, too. Plus, combined with this season's colour palettes, it's a must-try if you like a dramatic eye even a little.
The smudgy eye, as per this look designed by Charlotte Tilbury for Tom Ford's Spring/Summer 2015 runway, is about a more relaxed application than the average smokey approach. It's a little more rock-chick -- inspired by Chrissie Hynde, actually. And it doesn't look perfect. Precision has no place here.
For Spring, try lighter or brighter shades than black or dark grey. Lighten up the darkest shade in your palette by mixing it with the medium. You can still use black liner for definition along the base of the lashes, but choose shadows in a range of silvery blues, or greens, or lavender and violet.
Light eyes can wear pretty much any shade as long as the eye makeup is a deeper tone than the eye colour. That's how blue eyes can rock blue smudgy eyes, too. Lavender and violet bring out the green tones in the iris. Brown eyes look wonderful with blue, lavender, violet -- and green hues, too.
If you're worried a look like this is too dark for you, or makes you look like you're sporting a shiner, just avoid going really black around your eyes. Think of black as a shade adjuster and use it to give depth to your eye shadow. You know, when you add a bit of black to a lighter paint to deepen the colour? That.
smudgy eye how-to
A smudgy eye looks complicated, but it's really quite easy. You want a primer to help eye makeup look fresh all day (or all night), a dark liner, and two shades of shadow, a dark-ish shade and a neutral highlight. I know the following Tom Ford backstage-beauty images show dark shadows, but they also illustrate the technique well enough that recreating the smudgy concept in different colours should be pretty easy.
Keep the most intense colour concentrated at the lash line and smudge up and out. Begin with liner -- black or black-ish -- along the upper inner rim of the lids and along the waterline, as well as smudged along the upper and lower lashlines.
Next run your deepest eye shadow shade along the upper lashlines and on the lids. Immediately soften or smudge the upper edge of colour -- YSL Beauty's Lloyd Simmonds likes to use a clean crease brush in gentle back-and-forth strokes. A blending brush works really well too. Note: blend lightly for a smudge effect rather than smoke.
Also apply colour along the lower lashlines, from the outer corners toward the inner, and soften with your crease or blending brush. Wipe the residue from the bristles in preparation for your next step.
Using another crease brush, and in back and forth movements that follow the hollow under the browbone, apply your neutral highlighting shade in the contour. Use your clean crease brush to blend a little where the darker and highlight colours meet.
Finish with mascara on top and bottom lashes.
And avoid fear of not getting it right! It might take a few tries to get the look the way you want, but that's called devloping your technique. Charlotte Tilbury is a makeup maven now, but every face she did in her early years was practice.
This smudgy-eye post is a follow-up to a Twitter Q&A I did yesterday with Holt Renfrew from @HoltRenfrew for their Spring Beauty Bite week (still ongoing). Here's a recap of yesterdays top tweeted questions; see more from the Q&A by searching #beautybite. Holt's hosted three Q&A sessions this week, actually -- Monday featured Flare beauty director Carline Higgins; Tuedsay was Fashion Magazine beauty director Lesa Hannah; yesterday was me :-)
What do you think? Would you try the smudgy eye? Are you already a smokey-eye fan? During the day?