I’m warning you now — ONLY wear this makeup when you want to feel like a total bad-@ss capable of capturing, and then breaking, all of the hearts 💔 in a room within the span of 5 minutes.
This beauty buddy movie pairs two bold focal points together — a messy reddish brown smoky eye and a crisp blackened red matte lip — to create a jammin’ juxtaposition of grungy and glam, and you know I’m all about the contrasts in makeup. 🙂
To keep the overall look approachable and well out of Insta-glam territory, I paired the eyes and lips with moderately matte skin (there’s a semblance of a sheen), casual, messy brows and a warm bronzed mauve cheek.
Are you ready to rock? 🎸🤘😄
What you’ll need
- Face Primer with pearly sheen (BECCCA Backlight)
- Medium coverage liquid matte foundation (NARS Natural Longwear Radient Foundation in Stromboli and Valencia)
- Concealer for your under eye area, if you want (MAC Matchmaster Concealer in 4)
- Face Powder (MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Golden Tan)
- Warm pinkish mauve powder blush (MAC Extra Dimension in Faux Sure!)
- Peachy tan bronzer (MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Give Me Sun)
- Matte blackened red lipstick (MAC Retro Matte Liquid Lipstick in Carnivorous)
- Reddish brown lip liner (MAC Mahogany)
- Brow gel, either clear or a color that matches your brows (Hourglass Arch Brow Volumizing Gel in Warm Brown)
- Two powder eyeshadows: a warm reddish brown powder eyeshadow (MAC Swiss Chocolate) and a glittery bronzy peach (MAC Honey Lust)
- A warm reddish brown eyeliner, ideally something creamy which you can buff out and blend (MAC Costa Riche)
- Mascara (Benefit BAD Gal Bang!)
- Smudge brush (MAC 219S)
- Fluffy angled eyeshadow brush (MAC 275S)
- Blush brush (MAC 127S)
- Flat eyeshadow brush (or, you can just use a finger)
- Something to blend your foundation (BeautyBlender)
1. Face (primer) first
Because the smoky eye is a focus of this look, and we want to do it well, if we start with the eyes before we finish the skin, it’ll be easier to clean up any fallout without ruining our foundation…but because the face primer needs time to dry, we’ll start with that first.
Choose a face primer with a pearly sheen (for peekaboo shimmer that’s just barely visible beneath the liquid matte foundation you’ll be layering on top), and apply it all over your face.
2. Build that (casual) brow!
OK, now, fill in your brows with gel.
So we’re making two big statements with this look. One is the blackened red matte lip, and the smoky reddish brown eyes are the other, so bushy, casual-ish brows balance nicely with that IMO.
3. Line your upper and lower lash and water lines
Use your reddish brown eyeliner for this, and it’s 100% absolutely OK if it’s messy because you’re just going to smudge the heck out of it in a minute anyway.
4. Take a smudge brush to it
Smudge your lower lash line with a smudge brush, and I like to do this early when I’m doing a smoky eye because the corner of where that lower lash liner ends up dictates how far I’ll be taking out the eye makeup (see step 5).
5. So sketchy
Sketch the shape of the smoky eye on your upper lid using your warm reddish brown eyeliner, and the exact shape you choose is up to you. Whatever feels right.
I have a semi-hooded lid situation, so I usually (but not always) draw a half moon shape on my lids, and when I get to the outer corner, I use the liner I applied on my lower lash line in the previous step as my guide.
Basically, when I’m sketching the shape of the smoky eye on my upper lid, I look at the end of that lower lash line, and I connect it to the corner of the half moon on my upper lid, thereby wrapping the smokey effect around the entire eye for a halo of cohesive color.
LOL. I don’t know why, but I just made myself laugh there. 🙂
6. Blend the edges of the liner on your upper lid
Blur them with a blending brush, but still try to maintain the shape that you carefully sketched in step 5. You want a gradient that goes from dark at the lash line and lightens as it moves up toward your brow bone.
Any blending brush should do, but I prefer to use small, semi-fluffy angled eyeshadow brushes for this.
I place the short bristles along the edge of the half moon, then gently blend the liner using careful, controlled back-and-forth strokes to keep the liner from going all the way up to my brows.
When you’re done blending, clean the brush’s bristles a bit by gently rubbing the head on a paper towel.
7. Using the same blending brush…
Now load the brush with your matte reddish brown powder eyeshadow, and pat it directly on top of the smudged liner on your lids. Then blend, keeping the light-to-dark gradient.
(This intensifies the smokiness.)
8. The eye is shaping up
Next, load your smudge brush with the matte reddish brown powder eyeshadow, and blend it on top of the liner on your lower lash line.
Note: Don’t forget to connect the outer corner of the lower lash line to the outer corner of the shadow on your upper lash line to envelop the entire eye in smoky goodness.
9. More sophisticated smoke
Now load a flat eyeshadow brush (or a fingertip) with the glittery bronzed peach eyeshadow, and pat it gently on the inner half of your lids. You can then either blend the edges with your blending brush, or leave the shadow to settle on its own.
I do it both ways sometimes, and either way works!
(If you use the blending brush, when you’re finished with it, clean the bristles on a paper towel one last time, because you’ll need it for the next step.)
10. Finishing the eye
Finally, load your blending brush with face powder (yup, face powder!), and run it along the edge of the eyeshadow on both your upper and lower lash lines. This step helps your smoky gradient look smoother. It also gives you a chance to correct any areas where you may have taken your shadow too high or too far out.
11. Coat your upper and lower lashes with mascara
Of course. 🙂
12. Cleanup time!
OK, we’re almost there. Next, remove any fallout under your eyes and on your cheeks, and for this eye makeup, by the way, I would budget 10-15 minutes, although I have done this exact look in 5 minutes, and it’s totally doable if you work quickly and diligently, and you accept that it’s going to be a little messy.
Lots of “ands” there, LOL.
Expect the other half of your time to be spent on the blackened red lips and your face makeup. If you work briskly, anticipate 15 minutes — 5 for the lips and 5-10 for the rest of your face.
On that note, let’s get crackin’.
13. Apply and blend your medium-coverage liquid foundation
I dot it wherever I want some extra coverage (normally my cheeks, forehead, nose and around my mouth). Then, blend with a damp beautyblender.
14. Under-eye concealer
You know how it goes…
15. Face powder on your cheeks
I load one side of a blush brush with face powder for this.
When I’m wearing a medium-coverage foundation, I usually skip face powder and rely on the foundation to do the heavy lifting; however, with this look, I like to dust a smidgen of powder on my cheeks to help the blush/bronzer look smoother.
16. Lovely lips
Leave your face makeup “as is” for a second, and let’s momentarily move onto your lips.
Apply a thin layer of blackened red lipstick to the center of your lips, then use a finger to feather it out as close as you can get to the edge of your lips.
A little back story on why I do lips before blush…
I just feel like, once I have my lipstick on, it’s easier to gauge how much blush or bronzer to apply to my cheeks…because when I do my bronzer or blush first, I always end up with too much color on my face, and then have to spend extra time buffing it down.
And it’s always, ALWAYS easier to add color than take it away.
17. Line your lips
Line around the edge of your lips with the matte brown pencil liner.
18. Perfecting the pout
Now apply another layer of liquid lipstick, and if your edges end up a little wonky after you’re done with this step, correct them with the lip liner.
19. Gettin’ cheeky
It’s time to return to the cheeks, so load the same side of the blush brush you used to apply face powder earlier with warm pinkish mauve powder blush, then pat that on the apples of your cheeks.
(Using the side of the brush that was already “pre-loaded” with face powder slightly dilutes the blush, which will make it easier to feather the edges.)
20. Bronze meh
Flip that same blush brush, and load the other side of the brush head with bronzer.
Blend out the blush with the bronzer, and, if you want, take the bronzer along the edge of your hairline, your jaw and down to your neck.
(I also like to lightly dust across my nose.)
Smize for the camera! 🙂 You’re done.
Note: Slick high pony and leather jacket are optional (but highly encouraged).
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,