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Eyes that shimmer, smolder and pop

For the holidays, brighten up that classic smoky look with an alluring touch of teal or green.

December 27, 2009|By Melissa Magsaysay
  • HEAVY FROST: Layers of eyeliner and shadow make eyes pop.
HEAVY FROST: Layers of eyeliner and shadow make eyes pop. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles…)

Holiday sparkle isn't limited to the twinkle of a sequined sweater or colorful cocktail ring. Let your eyes make a festive statement when you go to those New Year's Eve parties or after-Christmas open houses.

A colorful smoky eye is a playful twist on the smoldering, sexy look of the typically heavy-lidded dark version. A bright and pearly palette of jewel tones and shocking hues is in style this holiday season -- and in a not-so-subtle way. The look makes eyes pop, freshening up the face and adding color accents to a simple party frock.

But, as with the classic dark smoky eye, the technique for applying the layers can be tricky to do without ending up looking like something between a zombie and a raccoon. If the only time you've ever applied this much eye makeup is during Halloween, the process can seem daunting. Sara Strand, makeup artist and creator of Pop Beauty, suggests this step-by-step method for achieving the most alluring, colorful smoky eye to light up the party scene.

Step one: Apply a concealer or eye shadow base to the eyelid. This will take away any redness and create a smooth surface.

Step two: Line the inner eye, closest to the lashes on top and bottom, with a black eyeliner to frame and define the eye.

Step three: Using a short-haired makeup brush, sweep a shadow in a base color such as deep gray all over the lid.

Step four: Apply a black eye shadow in the crease (fold) of the lid. Blend the black and gray to soften the edges where each shadow was applied.

Step five: With a liquid black eyeliner, trace over the top lid eyeliner, creating a little '60s-style flick at the outer corner of the eye. "It should look like something between Audrey Hepburn and Amy Winehouse," Strand says. Once the liquid liner dries, trace over the line again with an intensely colored eyeliner, such as a bright teal or green. Lightly line the outer corner at the bottom of the eye with the bright liner.

Step six: Sweep a bright eye shadow such as a peacock blue or sparkly emerald green on the eyelid between the eyeliner and the crease of the eye. Blend well, so there are no hard edges. Curl eyelashes and apply "tons and tons" of mascara, Strand says.

Be sure to clean up any eye shadow that might have fallen down on the cheek area. Because the eyes pop so much with this look, leave the lips low-key; go for a sheer gloss, nude lipstick or nothing at all.

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