3 Ways to Wear a Smoldering Eye

smolder eyes DIY

Whether as an art-form or a vehicle of self-expression, makeup is fun. In the changing spirit of the season we’re finding fresh inspiration from this beauty article in Darling Issue 13. It’s both a history lesson and how-to, and we hope that it encourages you to step out of your comfort zone (even just a little) and embrace the unknown.

Have at it! 

Subtle Mystery

Intro by Kate O’Brien of Alima Pure; Makeup Tutorial by Dana Rae Ashburn

When we think of smoldering eyes, who is it that comes to mind? From Cleopatra to Sophia Loren, this classic yet versatile look has been a fixture in beauty and fashion since the Bronze Age and is still a go-to for when we want to amp up a look and add a little mystery.

The tradition began at least as far back as 3500 B.C. when Ancient Egyptians lined their eyes with kohl, a black lead powder, believing it not only protected the delicate eye area against ailments but that cosmetics also held magical properties. Since then the strong look has been used as a form of self-expression, representing status, style and personality. As civilizations evolved, so did their looks, but the allure and intention of the mysterious eye has not changed.

When women began looking to the glamorous 1920s Hollywood starlets like Clara Bow and Joan Crawford for style inspiration, they mimicked trends from the big screen that were not only dramatic, but dense in color and tone due to the blue-sensitive film black and white films were shot on, often making the figure on screen appear as though she had black eyes and black lips. A sudden surge of heavy eye makeup appeared as women used dark shadows around the eye worn smudged, rubbed or smoked as was the fashion of the decade. This trend hasn’t faltered or receded, and now we have no shortage of tutorials and images on Pinterest to help us achieve this classic, sexy look.

… Ancient Egyptians lined their eyes with kohl, a black lead powder, believing it not only protected the delicate eye area against ailments but that cosmetics also held magical properties.

The joy of smoldering eye makeup is that it suits every age, face and eye shape, and is one of the few shadow techniques that works just as well on hooded lids, because it doesn’t rely on the crease line. Best of all, it looks better as the evening progresses and things get a little more blurred and smudged, omitting the need for touch ups and glances in the nearest mirror.

Fall is the ideal time to energize and amplify boldness as we transition into the darker, muted shades of the season. Whether you’re seeking a soft smokiness or a dramatic intensity, this accessible look allows you to play with your own expression of beauty through color and depth while discovering the version that works best for you.

Step-by-Step Guide by Dana Rae Ashburn

LOOK 1: FRESH & FUN

fresh and fun

First prep the skin with moisturizer, lip balm and your favorite under-eye cream. I like to start with the eyes in case of fall out (excess eyeshadow that has fallen onto the skin). Apply Alima Pure Pearluster Eyeshadow in Topaz in the inner corners of the eyes. This will brighten and open up your eyes. Next add Alima Pure Luminous Shimmer Eyeshadow in Flashback to the outer corners. Blend! Using Alima Pure Natural Definition Eye Pencil in Ink, rim the eyes and finish off with Alima Pure Natural Definition Mascara.

Start the skin with a tinted moisturizer (I use Jouer Luminizing Tint) along with a concealer (Bobbi Brown used here) and set with powder (Ben Nye Banana Luxury Powder).

I filled in the brows with Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade. Lastly I used a Bobbi Brown lipstick in a coral shade/tone both on the lips and cheeks. I think the gold and orange make for a fresh, fun look!

LOOK 2: A LITTLE MORE SULTRY

little more sultry

This look is a little sultrier. Starting with the eyes, I used Alima Luminous Shimmer Eyeshadow in Flashback all over the lid. I added small highlights of Alima Pure Pearluster Eyeshadow in Topaz under the eye and in the center of the lid. Using Alima Pure Natural Definition Eye Pencil in Ink, I traced the upper lash line for a more dramatic look. With this eye I felt a nude lip was key. I used Bobbi Brown’s Beige and finished the look with Anastasia Dipbrow.

LOOK 3: BOTH ARE BOLD

both are bold

Usually I say pick either bold eyes or bold lips but every once in a while—if you want to pump up the presentation—it can be fun to play with eyes and lips together.

Using Alima Pure Pearluster Eyeshadow in Topaz I applied a healthy amount under the eyes and in the inner corners. I then applied Alima Pure Luminous Shimmer Eyeshadow in Flashback from the middle to outer corner, bringing the shadow out to a big wing. Using Alima Pure Natural Definition Eye Pencil in Ink, I traced the upper lash line and inside the water line. Let the liner on the bottom bleed down a little bit for an added smoky effect. Finish the eye with Alima Pure Natural Definition Mascara in Black—top and bottom! If you want to use blush (which I did here) keep the application high on the cheek. Pick a red or deep plum lip (used here is NARS Lipstick in Damage and Lip Gloss in Quito).

Like this? Read the rest of Darling Issue No. 13, available for instant digital downloading HERE

Images via Brianne Wills

This post is brought to you by the Darling Team! To learn more about who we are, please visit our Meet Our Team page.

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