Nail The Ultimate Smokey Eye In 7 Simple Steps

bronzesmokeyPhoto: Courtesy of Beauty Is Boring.
Despite Robin Black's self-professed love/hate relationship with beauty, the photographer-cum-makeup artist behind Beauty is Boring is bent on capturing the faces of everyone from top models to friends to perfect strangers with her vintage Big Shot Polaroid camera, complete with Magicubes & film — after she does their makeup, of course. Get your bookmarks tab ready, ladies.
The bronze smokey eye is a look that I've done countless times — from fashion editorials to the red carpet. And, since I've had so many questions about how to create it, here is a quick beauty breakdown.
1. Prep your eyelids by applying a dry concealer and then setting with translucent powder. I like Laura Mercier's Secret Camouflage concealer for its matte finish, and Le Metier makes a beautifully textured, translucent loose powder. Another option is an eyelid primer like NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base.
2. Use a large, fluffy brush in a gentle, circular motion to blend a light natural shade across your entire lid. I prefer a neutral beige with a bit of shimmer or for darker skin tones, a muted copper.
3. Then, start building the drama in the outer corners by blending a deeper color from the lashline to just past the crease. Start halfway across the eyelid and continue to the outer corner, leaving the inner corners bare. This is your "smokey" shade, generally a true bronze or mid toned brown.
4. With a smudge brush, add your deepest color just along the lash lines of the upper and lower outer corners. Blend outward from the lashline to create a soft fade.
5. Apply a shimmering pale shadow (or a matte pale shadow) to the inner corners of the eyes and sweep toward the outer corners on both the top and bottom. Keep the pale color the most intense right in the inner corners. If you have a deeper skin tone, skip the pale eyeshadow on the inner eye since it can turn an unflattering shade. Instead, use a lighter shade of the bronze or even a sheer gold for maximum impact.
6. To give the eye a finished look, use a small flat brush to tap in a black gel liner just along the outer lash line. Fill in between the eyelashes, avoiding the inner corners.
7. Two coats of mascara on top, one on the bottom, and you have achieved the bronze smokey eye!
Tom Ford Eye Color Quad in Golden Mink, $78, available at Neiman Marcus; Chanel Les 4 Ombres in Dunes, $59, available at Chanel; Hourglass Vol. 6 Neo Classic Eye Palette, $58, available at Hourglass; Dior 5 Couleurs in Rosy Tan, $60, available at Dior; YSL Ombres 5 Lumieres in Tawny, $58, available at YSL; Serge Lutens Eyeshadow Palette, $160, available at Barneys New York; NARS Duo Eyeshadow in Cordura, $34, available at NARS
Note: There are a few brands that allow you to build your own palette. Make-up Forever and MAC offer a wide variety of colors that you can customize.

More from Makeup

R29 Original Series