Friday, December 2, 2011

Holiday Glam: Smoky Blackened-Gold with Crimson lips

Most of the time, we pair dark smoky eyes with muted lips to keep things in balance, but it does not mean that you can't pair it with a strong lip for the holiday season. 
To keep the eyes sultry but not overly heavy and severe, I adapted the traditional black eye with 2 things:
  • A pale gold on the lid (I mixed a blend of translucent silver and gold mica to get that specific "cold-gold" shade, but any gold pigment would work as long as it's very metallic (e.g. MAC Gold Metal Pigment) or applied with a dampened brush for a foiled finish.
  • Pigmented matte black shadow (you can get this from inexpensive brands with strong pigments such as Wet n Wild, Sleek, etc. as they work just as well as MAC or other high-end brands)

Step 1:  Using a firm, pointed pencil brush or a flat angled brush, apply a stroke of black along the lower lash line, starting ALMOST from the inner corner (leave the inner-most corner clean so you don't close off your eye totally) and pull out past the outer corners slightly.  You'll likely need to re-dip your brush to get an even stroke of color as firm brushes give precision but do not pick up a lot of product.

Step 2: With the same brush, draw another line along the socket, but don't touch the inner corners of your eyes. (If your eyes are very close set, you might want to start the line nearer the middle of your eye,)
The outer corner of the upper line should meet the lower line in a rough wing shape. Do not worry about getting neat lines. 

Draw a third stroke along the outer half of the upper lashes as well.
The finished look will be something like the below. Look straight ahead into the mirror or take a picture to check that the top line looks more or less symmetrical on both eyes.

Step 3: Smoke it all out! Dip a soft blending brush lightly into the black shadow so there is just a bit of color, and then run it briskly along the top socket line to smoke everything out. This is where you add more black to even out the amount of color on both eyes until they are roughly equal.

Step 4: The fun part. Use a flat brush to pack gold pigment onto the lids. Any shade of gold, bronze or deeper silvers would work for this, but I do recommend loose metallic pigments for the most dramatic effect against the black. Fill in all the bare areas from the inner corners of the lids outwards.
A less shiny shade will give less contrast so if you're worried about looking too dramatic, by all means choose a softer finish.

Step 5: Add definition back.
  • I applied black liquid liner along the top lashes and then use the pointed or flat brush to run black shadow along the line. This smokes it out and keeps it from looking too precise and harsh.
  • pale yellow pencil to the waterline (my trusty Make Up Store Vanilla Matt pencil), and then 
  • went back in the soft blending brush dipped in black. Start to intensify the black and blend into the edges of the gold. Remember the overall look is predominantly smoky black, with a flash of gold.

Step 6: Finish by curling lashes and applying mascara (Bourjois Volume Glamour Max in Black). You can wear lashes with this look, but I chose not to as it might obscure the trace of gold but if you have very big lid space, it would totally work.


Step 7: On the cheeks, I applied a bit of MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Dark as subtle warm contour just under the cheekbones, and skipped blusher as it would just compete with the lips and eyes.

Step 8: On the lips, I applied a full-on deep-red matte lip using MAC Russian Red lipstick (this is actually not a blue-based red despite what some say; it's more of a dark true-red). I don't have a dark, cooler-toned black cherry shade or that would look even more dramatic with this eye.

Other Products Used:
  • Foundation: Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation #52 for a velvety matte glow
  • Concealer: Amazing Cosmetics Amazing Concealer in Fair for a slightly brighter under-eye since the makeup is so smoky and dark
  •  Setting Powder: MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Medium
Recommended nail shade: Black creme, to keep things edgy but refined!


  1. Thanks so much for this tutorial. It's really helpful and gives me a lot of ideas!

  2. i love this look i love a smokey eye and bold lip for something special :)


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