But there's one seemingly simple technique I've always failed at: the smoky eye. For something that is meant to be "so easy," the concept of smudging and blending escapes me and I have never, in all my years as a self-proclaimed makeup nerd, mastered it.
So when makeup artist Troy Surratt showed me his Smoky Eye Batons, I was skeptical. A double-ended liner and shadow combo made to simplify the smoky eye? I'll pass. I've seen plenty of brands attempt the same and every time I've come out on the other side with raccoon eyes.
But, given my love for Surratt, his art, and his line, I decided to give it a try. He instructed me to draw the liner across my top and bottom lash lines. Then smudge that line with the other side, which features a tapered sponge doused in a shimmery shadow. Suddenly, something clicked. Because the smudger end of this baton is covered in pigment, it's easy to create diffused lines without over blending. This is how I should have been doing smoky eyes all along.
Since then, I use these batons all the time. My favorite is Etincelle, the smoky bronze shown above — which creates the cool, metallic look every celebrity is wearing this summer. Cendres, an ashy taupe duo, is a great neutral for daily wear. And finally, Nuit Dorage, a deep navy, gives me the sexy, sooty eyes I want for a night out.
One caveat: For those with oily eyelids, I'd recommend layering a primer under the shadow so that it stays put all day. Other than that, this two-step stick gives you an on-trend look in two minutes flat. I'm sold.
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