So, Halloween, right? It was just a couple days ago. The idea of putting together a costume really overwhelms me mostly because I’m way too busy to think about something I’d really like to dress up as in the weeks leading up to that night. By the time I’ve got a party on my calendar, I’m ready to just give up entirely. I start to think I won’t dress up at all. And then … an idea enters into my head. And once it gets there, it sticks. It’s always last minute, but so far things have worked out quite well. I tend to just go with some kind of brunette pop culture or film character. I also typically land on something that will provide a great makeup opportunity. Two years ago, I was Natalie Portman’s character in the Black Swan (and no, I really can’t say I was the Black Swan … because that’s Mila Kunis). Last year I was Jackie Kennedy. And this year … well …
It was about an hour-and-a-half before the party, and I had absolutely no ideas. I sat and thought, biting my nails, and then I recalled reading a feature on InStyle’s website listing some fast (albeit hilarious) ideas for a last-minute Halloween costume. One of particular interest was Victoria Beckham with her little daughter Harper Beckham (and I laughed out loud at the fact that InStyle featured Harper as no more than a babydoll). I began to think Hmmmm, all I’d need is a HUGE pair of sunglasses, a doll, a dress befitting of Posh (which would likely be some minimalist, tailored sheath), and a pair of stacked heels. I had two out of four items, and the other two could easily be picked up with a quick trip to Target. And please … who says no to a quick trip to Target?
So, once I’d obtained my doll and giant shades, and once I’d pulled out my perfectly Posh dress and heels, I got down to the truly important stuff: imitating Victoria’s smokey eye and up-do, as pictured above. I wish I could’ve found some great extensions and gone for her long-haired look, but of course, I had no time and no desire to spend money on something I’d never use again (but don’t worry- I’ll definitely use the babydoll again). And so I landed on this look after some Googling, and you know I’ll never turn down an opportunity for a smokey eye.
Oh, but what a crisis! Once I had everything ready to go, I only had about fifteen minutes for hair and makeup! The hair took about ten minutes, as it was a routine of center-parting, teasing (the horror), and then pinning my hair back so that it looked somewhat sophisticated. There was barely any time for makeup, and yet the smokey eye needed to happen.
And here, ladies and gentlemen, is where I come to the part of this post that may be of some use to you: a brief how-to on a smokey eye. Yes, brief. And yes, it can be done. The smokey eye is kind of like the over-the-knee boot of makeup: most folks are pretty intimidated by the idea, but once you try it and make it work for you, you’re addicted. And it brings out some seriously unrepentant sass in your soul. And it doesn’t have to be a crazy-butt Snooki-type of smokey eye where you’ve got eyeshadow up to there. No, I believe a smokey eye can be tasteful, elegant, and yet badass all at the same time. We’re channeling Kate Moss here, not Kim Kardashian.
A year ago, I might’ve advised you to start with eyeshadow primer, but in this case there wasn’t even time for that so I won’t advise it. Additionally, a year ago I may also have advised you to just get started with piling on the powder shadows with your brushes, but such was not the case this time around so I won’t advise it either. No, this past Thursday eve the first thing I did was grab my new MAC Kohl Power eye pencil in Feline and just started drawing. I lined my upper lid in a thick, Crayola-esque line, grabbed a swab, and started smudging upward. Up, up, up, until I reached the crease, and then outward. And seriously, don’t be shy or light-handed with the stuff. Now is not the time. Fill in your whole lid up to the crease, and keep on smudging with that swab! Or even better, should you have a thick eyeshadow stick like the Tarte SmolderEyes Amazonian clay eyeliner one pictured above, use the sponge end of that to smudge the liner even more efficiently.
So anyhow, it all starts with the MAC liner, smudged, and then gets followed up with the SmolderEyes on top and you just keep smudging outward and upward. I chose to apply the SmolderEyes second because, I’ll admit, it isn’t the creamiest shadow stick in the world and so it doesn’t have very great drag to it (and you need some serious drag when you’re first applying your liner). The MAC pencil, on the other hand, is ridiculously creamy and just glides like a hockey player (and did you know that Feline is even blacker than Smolder?! What the WHAT). Both products, however, are extremely long-wearing and so I really didn’t have to worry about shadow primer after all. But, as a final topcoat, I took a medium shadow brush and dusted Urban Decay eyeshadow in Perversion on top for a final bang (and that’s a shade of deep, shimmery navy, by the way). I also made sure to line my lower rims, smudge well, and then line my upper and lower waterlines with the MAC pencil. Lining the waterlines, by the way, is a step not to be missed as it’s what truly makes you look like you belong at the Chateau Marmont on a Saturday night.
And lastly, just finish with tons of black mascara. I had neither the time nor the patience for applying false lashes that evening, and so I hastily applied a few coats of mascara and moved on to the contouring (which was very necessary for a Victoria imitation, but I won’t discuss it in this post). And voila, all within about seven minutes …
Not too bad, eh? Don’t be too worried about perfection when it comes to a smokey eye, either. You want it to look a bit haphazard, and any smokey eye that appears too neat just feels … I don’t know … too makeup-y? Neatness just doesn’t suit the spirit of the look, you know? When you’re wearing a red lip, you’re channeling the prim and pristine 1940s and 50s, and so an immaculate job is befitting. However, a smokey eye brings to mind images of the early nineties, which would include images of Kurt and Courtney, or Johnny and Kate. And anything that conjures memories of Kurt and Courtney needn’t be … neat.
So go ahead, give it a shot. It’s all about the smudge, or in Posh’s case, that complete inability to give a convincing smile. xo, MR