When you hear “smoky eye,” you picture something dark and sultry, right? There’s a new way to recreate the classic look, one that lightens the mood but not the sex appeal. Behold: the rose gold smoky eye.
“Smoky actually refers to the technique, not the color,” says makeup artist Gabriel Almodovar. “It means you want the darkest concentration of color at the lash line, and then the color should dissipate as it reaches your brow bone like smoke in the air.”
1. Create your base. Dab concealer or primer (like Color Tattoo Metal 24Hr Cream Gel Shadow) all over your lids and up toward your brows. “Not only does it make your makeup last longer,” Almodovar says, “but if you use a shade like ‘Iced in Pink,’ it also helps create a more seamless transition for your smoky eye later on, because you already have that hint of color and sparkle.”
2. Layer on a medium shade. Choose a rosy eye shadow that’s plenty pigmented but not too dark. No matter your skin tone, there are enough options in the Maybelline The Blushed Nudes Palette to create this whole look. Almodovar recommends the second color from the right in the top row for fair skin, and the second color from the left in the top row for medium skin tones. For dark skin tones, the bottom left shade is perfect. “Really pack the shadow in from the lash line up past the crease with a shadow brush,” he says.
3. Add the “smoke” factor. Mentally split your top eyelid into thirds — a rectangle in the middle and a triangle on each corner — and focus on the outer triangle for this step. First, find your darkest shadow, a deep metallic. If you have fair or medium skin, opt for the second or third shadow in the bottom row; for dark skin, go for the bottom right shade. Then, using a shadow brush, outline the edges of that triangle from the lash line to the corner, then up into the crease and down again. Fill in the triangle and buff to blend.
4. Define your eyes. Sure, rose gold is a bit more delicate than your typical smoky eye, but you still need brown liner to make your eyes pop. “Just work it right into the roots of your lashes for definition,” Almodovar says. “You’re not trying to be perfect.”
5. Reinforce the lower lash line. Dust the same dark shadow you used in step no. 3 over the liner along your bottom lashes, all the way across. “Really blend so the whole look on the bottom is connected to the top,” he says. This gives your lower lashes that same sultry, smoky feeling as your eyelids.
6. Brighten up the inside. Blend a dot of pearly shadow — one shade lighter than whatever you used in step no. 2 — onto the inner corners of your eyes. “Not only does this help create brightness,” Almodovar says, “it makes sure your eyes don’t look closer together, which can happen when you do a smoky eye.”
7. Finish with flirty lashes. Using a volumizing mascara, wiggle the wand at the root of the lashes and slowly work it through to the tips. Don’t forget about your bottom lashes: “When you have dark shadow along the bottom lash line, your lashes will just disappear if you don’t hit them with mascara too,” he says.