It is entirely possible to bang out a smoky eye in 10 minutes. Hand on heart, hair to the sky, I’m serious! — it’s totally true. And I know this because of a little something called “the disco nap.”
- Sleeping when ya got something goin’ on later for which you need to get ready.
“I was about to go to the club, but I needed a disco nap to feel refreshed.”
When I’m getting ready to go out with my friends, and I know it’s going to be a loooong night, I have very clear-cut priorities. I devote less time to my makeup so I can devote more time to my disco nap.
I know, sacrilege! — but you gotta do what you gotta do. I know myself well enough. If I can’t squeeze in at least a short nap before leaving the house, I’ll be dozing off in da club by 11, what-what!
So my fallback look for late nights is this 10-minute smoky eye, and what I like most about it (other than the fact that I can crank it out pretty quickly) is that it doesn’t have to be perfect to still look pretty good. You don’t have to be perfectly detail oriented with the blending because it’s purposefully undone. In fact, the messier it is, the more ya look like a bad-@ss rock chick. Plus, if you are going somewhere for dancing, odds are the lights will be low anyway, so nobody’s really going to be able to tell if you’ve got like four colors transitioning into a gradient in your crease.
Save yourself the effort! — and spend less time doing your makeup, so you have more time to disco nap. 🙂 Zzzz…
Now let’s get started, shall we? First things first, gotta get the gear.
What you’ll need…
- A brow filler
- A matte brown cream shadow
- A black kohl pencil
- A shimmery black eyeshadow
- A matte brown eyeshadow
- A shimmery, peachy beige eyeshadow
- Under-eye concealer
Now for the step-by-step…
1. Fill in your brows
I like to start by doing my brows first because they’re sort of like my roadmap. Once they’re done, I think it’s easier to gauge how far I want to sweep my shadows out.
Also, particularly when doing smoky eyes, and this is doubly true when using black eyeshadow like we’re going to use here, I think it really helps to do your eyes first, then clean up any makeup that drops down under your eyes (because there will be some fallout, especially if you’re working quickly).
So set aside your base makeup for now. We’ll come back to it a little later.
2. Apply a matte brown cream shadow
Now, let’s build out the look by applying a matte brown cream shadow all over our lids from lash line to brow bone. I use a flat brush to apply the shadow, then blend out the edges with a tapered blending brush, but fingers work well too.
In this instance, the matte brown cream shadow accomplishes two things. First, it’s going to prime our lids for the powder eyeshadow we’ll be layering on top, and second, it’s going to be our transition crease color.
If your lids are uber-oily, you may need the help of a primer. If so, start by applying a thin layer of your favorite colorless eye primer, upon which you then pop your matte brown cream shadow on top (at least for the time being, my lids are on the drier side, so I skipped this part).
3. Apply a black kohl pencil
Next, line your upper and lower lash lines, and your water line, with a black kohl pencil, and smear the pencil all over your mobile lid (the part that moves when you blink).
Note: it doesn’t have to be neat at all. In fact, you’ll know you’re doing it right if you look completely insane at the end of this step.
4. Apply a shimmery black eyeshadow
Now, load a flat eyeshadow brush with a shimmery black eyeshadow (I just reused the same brush I used for the matte brown cream shadow a moment ago), tap off the excess, and lay that color directly on top of the black kohl liner on your lids. Again, it’s OK if you do it haphazardly, and it looks totally messy at this point. Don’t worry about it (obviously, I didn’t, because it looks like a two-year-old went to town on my lids, haha).
When you’re done with your lids, run that same brush along your lower lash lines using whatever leftover product remains on the brush.
By the way, the shimmer in the shimmery shadow a crucial component. I’ve just found that it’s a lot easier to blaze through the blending when you’re using a shimmery or glittery shadow. I think mattes just take longer to blend, and since we’re working under the clock here, shimmer it is!
Note: if black feels like too much contrast for you, try a shimmery gray or shimmery gunmetal instead. Either one will totally work, too.
5. Blend the black liner and shadow
OK, here’s where the whole shebang starts coming together. 🙂 Grab a tapered blending brush (I used the same one I used earlier to blend out the matte brown cream shadow), and blend the shimmery black eyeshadow into the black kohl.
I start with small circular motions along the lash line, and then use a windshield wiper back-and-forth motion as I move up into the crease.
Now, run that same brush gently along your lower lash line, and don’t forget to connect your lower lash line to the outer corner of your lids, because you want that color to wrap around the eye completely.
6. Apply a matte brown eyeshadow
Now you’ve got a workable smoky eye, more or less, and you could probably stop here, coat your lashes with mascara and peace out, but what I like to do here is add an extra touch of matte brown shadow, applied with a domed blending brush, right along the edge of that black eyeshadow…
I think it helps soften the transition between the darker black color and the lighter brown. I also like to run it along the lower lash line as well to get more gradient action going on down there.
7. Apply a peachy beige eyeshadow
One other little extra touch I’ll do (if time permits) is add a highlight to the brow bone and the inner corners with a peachy beige eyeshadow. It just opens up the eyes a bit more and makes ’em look big and bright.
8. Clean up any fallout
Grab a makeup wipe, and use it to clean up any fallout under your eyes or on the tops of your cheeks, but be careful not to wipe away your smokin’ lower lash line.
9. Conceal those dark circles (if you have them)
Hide your dark circles with concealer, and bring the concealer just up to the edge of your smoky lower lash line. To soften the transition, take a Q-tip, and gently run it along the edge of the line. You want that edge to look nice and blurry, and not too sharp.
Now, here’s the point in the process when I usually like to do my base makeup…
10. Apply mascara
It’s the home stretch! Almost done. Now just add mascara to your upper and lower lashes and, if you feel so inclined, falsies, but this time, for the sake of disco naps and all things holy, I left them out.
And there you have it! — your 10-minute smoky eye. Done and DONE. You did a wonderful job. 🙂
- Urban Decay Brow Beater in Dark
- MAC Paint Pot in Groundwork
- Rouge Bunny Rouge Feline Gaze Eye Khol in Salome
- NARS Eyeshadow in Night Clubbing
- Urban Decay Naked Palette, Eyeshadow in Buck
- NARS Eyeshadow in Night Star
- Sephora Bright Future Gel Serum Concealer in Pecan Pie
- Chanel Le Volume de Chanel Mascara in Black
I know you can do this — YOU TOTALLY CAN! And if you do give it a try (which you should do), please send me pics (or tag me on Instagram @karenmbb). It makes me so happy to see your makeup in action. Plus, it’s much nicer when I can put a face to a name, you know? That way I really feel like we’re talking to each other!
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,
P.S. You know what I realized today…? I realized that I haven’t gone swimming once this entire summer — not once! — and I live literally 3 minutes away from the neighborhood pool.
Granted, it’s not heated, and I’m a big baby when it comes to water temperature, but I can’t believe that over the course of the entire summer I haven’t experienced that feeling of sweet, sweet freedom and weightlessness even once.
I guess I could go right now…and I just might if the thermometer hits the 100-degree mark (it’s reading 93 now).
You know what I really miss though? I miss swimming in warm oceans. If you live near a beach where you can actually get in the water, you’re so lucky!
Here in Northern California the water is cold and murky (and filled with big sharks!). It’s funny living out here sometimes because a lot of people think that just because it’s California, we’re at the beach all the time, but not a chance. The beaches here are usually cold and windy, and I’m not the biggest fan of wetsuits…
When was the last time you went swimming? Have you gone at all this year?