Luckily during Halloween, every costume idea from a sexy police officer to a goth vampire can benefit from this sultry makeup look. The holiday itself is all about going overboard, having fun, and dressing up, which means you can go as dramatic as you want. We've pulled together our favorite colors and tips to help take the guess work out of pulling off this look.
The Easiest Smoky Eye Ever
CoverGirl Smoky ShadowBlast in Onyx Smoke is a double-sided wand with a white and a black shade on either end. "The key to a great dark eye is to build," says Molly R. Stern, CoverGirl Celebrity Makeup Artist. "Start by blending the white shade over the lid and up through the crease. Then, smudge the black hue at the lash line and into the crease to create the dept of smoke. If you want to turn it up for even more drama, add CoverGirl LiquiLineBlast Eyeliner in Black Fire at the lashline and smudge out for some serious smoky eyes."
Choose Your Palette
We also love CARGO Essential Palette in Smoky Eye, which comes complete with a lesson for the smoky-eye novice. A matte black shadow is accompanied by a pewter, a white, and a taupe. Paul and Joe Face & Eye Color in 068 has six shimmering shadows ranging from black to champagne. Bonus: The three brown hues can work as bronzer.
Increase the Staying Power
Getting dark shadows to stay put is no easy feat, especially if you're dealing with oily eyelids. Try an eyeshadow base like Tarina Tarantino Dollskin Eye Primer, which neutralizes uneven eye lid tones, creates a surface for makeup to stick to, and will prevent creases.
Use an Amazing Liner
"The secret to a rock-and-roll smoky eye is the smudge," says makeup artist Robin Mathews, who created Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart's smoky eye in The Runways. Using a soft, black eyeliner like Makeup Forever Aqua Eyes #0L in Black or N.Y.C. Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil in Black, draw a generously sized line along your top and bottom rims, making sure to get into your waterlines. Using a smudging brush, smudge the liner on the top and bottom of the eye. (It doesn't have to be uniform or neat.) Once you're done smudging, go back and reapply a heavier coat of eyeliner along the lash line. You can also extend the line a bit past the outer corner of your eye to create a wing, an effect that defines every eye shape.
Apply Your Base Color
The key to a flawless smoky eye is to first frame the eyes, and then fill in the blanks with color. Start with the second-lightest shade in your palette and cover the entire lid up to the crease, blending out the color extremely well so that there are no hard edges. To create a cat eye, blend your base tone out slightly past the outer corners of the eyes.
Sweep the darkest eye shadow (in this case, black) above the lashes along the top lid, below on the bottom lid, and in the outer corner of the eye. If you need more definition, brush the second-darkest in the crease of your eye (the socket). Finally, dust the lightest shade (white or champagne) on the brow bone, and dot it on the inner corner of your eyes. So that there are no hard edges, make sure to blend out the color extremely well. Next, blend away any harsh demarcation lines using an angled fluff brush. The more you blend your shadows, the better your final eye will look.
A smoky eye is nothing without pumped-up lashes. Grab an eyelash curler, press firmly, and hold for a few seconds. Before the curl straightens out, swipe on a few coats of a super-volumizing mascara like Maybelline The Falsies. (Opt for waterproof if you plan on monster-mashing the night away.) Use Shiseido Nourishing Base beforehand to punch up the volume even more.