When I saw the models backstage at DAKS’ AW16 show is wasn’t the dreamy outfits they were wearing that caught my eye (although, they were ah-mazing). Nope, it was the full-on, carbon-black, smoky eyes that left me literally drooling (so glam, I know).
As soon as I got home I had to give the look a go. Smoky eyes are pretty common, but the Head Make-Up Artist at DAKS, Maria Comparetto, managed to make the whole look feel seriously modern. How? By blurring the boundaries, she took eyeshadow right into the deep inner corners, and shaded it all the way up to the brows. She also mixed around with traditional finishes, matte shadows were blended along the lids and lashes, whilst shimmers were dusted into the crease of the eye – a total twist on the typical approach to eyeshadow, where matte finished tend to be used in the crease, and shimmers along the lids.
It’s easy to see a make-up look on a model and fall in love, but what I really wanted to do is see if this look was actually wearable IRL.
So I set about recreating it. Here’s what went down…
Step One: To start with it’s essential to prep the whole eye area with a primer, my go-to is Benefit’s Stay Don’t Stray, £20.50, as it’s a tinted primer that doubles up as concealer to hide any veins on the lids.
Step Two: I dusted MAC’s Eyeshadow in Shroom, £13, into the crease of my eye and inner corners with a fluffy shadow brush. It’s a nude-shimmer shadow, that acts as the perfect base for building up a strong shimmer along the contour.
Step Three: MAC’s Into The Well Eyeshadow in Beg For It, £16, is the blackest, mattest, jet-black, pressed pigment that i’ve ever found. So I used a flat shadow brush to pack the pigment onto my lids. The trick with this shadow is to be patient and continue to build it up and up until it’s as black as can be. I didn’t take it much higher than the crease of eye, as I wanted the area above my crease to be a shimmer finish and totally contrast with the matte lids.
Step Four: Using a big fluffy shadow brush like Zoeva’s Luxe Powder Fusion, £9.80, I dusted the tip of the brush in MAC’s Eyeshadow in Silver Ring, £13, and used the brush to blend, blend, blend, the inner corners and creases of my eyes. You want to blur ALL harsh lines, so the black shadow looks totally diffused.
Step Five: Next I blended a touch of the Makeup Geek Foiled Eyeshadow in Charmed, £7.95, above the crease and up to the brow to give a glossy-like sheen.
Step Six: Grab a kohl black eyeliner – it doesn’t really matter which one – but I used the MAC Technakohl Liner in Graphblack, £14, and colour in your upper and lower waterline. Try to take the pencil in between the lashes and really colour every single speck of skin.
Step Seven: Using a pencil brush like Zoeva’s Luxe Pencil, £6.50, dusted into a little of the MAC Into The Well Black Eyeshadow, I blurred out the lower lash line, using the shadow to really smoke out the kohl eyeliner.
Step Eight: Finally, you want to load up your lashes with lots of mascara – the more the better!
Staying true to the catwalk look at DAKS, I finished off my make-up with a swipe of nude lip gloss and I was good to go.
So after spending longer than I probably ever have blending, shading and perfecting my smoky eyes, I decided it’d be rude not to wear the look out and about. I headed out to meet my friends and although I got a few double takes on the tube, the eyeshadow actually went down really well with my friends. It’s definitely a look for a night out, as the strong shadow is a *tad* extreme for daytime.
My verdict? Although such a strong statement eye is WAY out of my comfort zone, by the end of the night I was kind of in love with this DAKS super-smoke…