Oh, did I tell you? Last weekend I did a marathon…text message session about makeup with my friend Jen.
Jen’s a busy new mom with a full-time job. She hasn’t been too adventurous with her makeup for the past few years — mostly just mascara and gloss — but she wants to start playing a little more now and asked me for some easy eye makeup ideas. Nothing fancy, just simple looks she could wear to work or to dinner with her hubby.
When she described the overall look she was going for as, “natural with a kick,” that got me thinking… It might be fun to make a series out of this. Just some really easy eye makeup looks to get you pretty, polished and out the door.
If you’re a busy mom like Jen, a student heading back to school this fall, or anyone looking for a few more quick eye makeup ideas, hopefully the brief tutorials I’ll be sharing over the next few days can help.
So, what does “natural with a kick” mean? Well, for me it means a look that’s one step above a no-makeup makeup look, like something where you can definitely tell that you’re wearing makeup, but it doesn’t look anywhere near as done up as a full-blown Kim Kardashian smokey eye.
The colors I think of for looks like these are usually soft daytime neutrals, bronzes, browns and khakis with matte, sheen and shimmer finishes. Nothing too crazy at all. Just a simple, pretty look with very few products and a wee bit o’ blending.
Today’s eye look is super easy, too. It’s a soft and shimmery eye with bronze and brown, and it only takes about 10 minutes.
I’m mostly using MAC products here, but if you have any similar shades from different brands, feel free to substitute.
First things first — if your lids are oily, as mine sometimes are — prime them first with a translucent primer (I like NARS Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base). The primer gives the other products we’ll be using a better surface to adhere to.
If your lids are dry, on the other hand, in the interest of saving time, you can probably skip this step.
Next, apply MAC Paint Pot in Indianwood on your lids with something like the MAC 239 Eye Shader Brush, concentrating most of the color along the lash line.
(No need to worry about being too neat here, because we’ll be blending things out in a minute.)
Then, take the remaining product on your brush, and run it along your lower lash line.
Grab a MAC 217 Blending Brush (or something similar), and blend out the edges of the shadow on your lids.
Try to create a soft gradient/transition where the pigment is at its darkest along your lash lines, fading as it moves up toward your brows.
To further define the shape of your eyes, reach for MAC Eye Kohl in Teddy, and line the upper and lower lashes (you can also be a little messy with this step, too), and then use your MAC 239 to softly blend out the edges.
Bonus: if you have a couple extra minutes to spare, or if you’re feeling adventurous, line the outer third of your upper lash line (the side closer to your ear), and softly blend the edges to create a second gradient, and to give even more depth to the look.
(Note: the pigment should appear darker on your outer lash line and lighten as you move toward your nose.)
Finish the look by applying mascara to both your upper and lower lash lines (I’m wearing the new Senna Voluptuous Volumizing Mascara here) and filling in your brows with something that matches their color (in my case, I’m using MAC Eyeshadow in Concrete) using a 266 Small Angle Brush.
If you feel like turning things up a notch, you could also line your water lines with Teddy or your favorite black eyeliner.
I love that I don’t have to muss or fuss with fallout cleanup with this look. I also think it’s great for hooded eyes, as it doesn’t call for a lot of crease work, and most of the color is concentrated along the lash lines.
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,