We all have that one ‘big day’ in our year. No, I’m not referring to the big day like weddings but rather regular ones like college events, parties, etc. If you’re the ‘makeup guru’ of your friend group (every girl squad has one) then you’ll recognise these days as being the day when your phone starts blowing up with “please can you help me do my makeup!”
I was that person. Now don’t get me wrong, I loved it. The actual event never turned out as fun as the preparation– all the sitting around on the floor with music on and chatting about makeup and whatever else that came to mind. Flipping through magazines and pointing out random celebrities– “I think you should do this!”. The most fun were the girls who usually wore no makeup and knew next to nothing about it. They would present their scant makeup collection— it was usually just a tube of bb cream and an eyeliner, perhaps a mascara as well— and ask if I could do a ‘natural makeup look’ for them.
“Natural, but not too natural but not too much either. I don’t want to look scary.” What they really meant was that they just wanted to look like themselves, with a bit more definition around the eyes. Beginners usually aren’t ready to go ham with the falsies and the lipstick.
Now, I’m no makeup artist— at all— but today I’ll be sharing the ‘look’ (if you can consider it that, since it’s super simple) that I usually do for my makeup newbie friends on big days. It’s a safe, subtle look that obviously isn’t going to win any makeup awards but is good enough to make someone feel a bit more special and dressed up than usual.
I think I’ll call it ‘The World’s Easiest Smokey Eye’.
The World’s Easiest Smokey Eye doesn’t involve a lot more products than usual. It doesn’t even involve all that much skill or expertise with makeup, as it’s meant to be a look that a beginner will be able to apply herself without having to spend too much time and money. We’ll start of with the usual no-makeup makeup that can be achieved by using the 5 Essentials method recommended in our previous Beginner’s Guide. Then we’ll amp it up a bit— just a tiny bit— more than usual with the use of eyeshadows.
If you have an eyeshadow palette (I don’t even need to mention which one, you know the one) then you can use that. But I expect a beginner wouldn’t, therefore I’d recommend getting two cream eyeshadows. Two because that’s all we’ll be using for this look (one lighter and one slightly darker colour) and cream because cream eyeshadows don’t require eye brushes which would just add into the budget— a beginner can just apply her cream eyeshadows with her fingers.
There are tons of cream eyeshadows in the market, although to be honest I’m not sure if this ‘market’ includes Malaysian drugstores! Still, no fretting— Maybelline Color Tattoo Cream Eyeshadows are available anywhere Maybelline is sold (and that is, like, every pharmacy there is. A pharmacy could have only two makeup stands and you can guarantee that one of them is our girl Maybel) and is only RM19.90! I recommend the shade 25 Bad To The Bronze for one that isn’t too eye-catching but is still capable of bringing attention to your eyes, even if you were to wear it alone. Still, this guide wouldn’t really push any specific colours on you— buy whichever you want, just make sure the other shade is darker.
For the second, darker colour I would recommend a pencil eyeshadow since it allows more control which is easier for a beginner who might not be too good with placing eyeshadow where she wants it. Pencil eyeshadows aren’t exactly abundant in the pharmacies, but they are mainstay in any Korean makeup shop and for pharmacy level prices. Then, of course, there’s Sephora where brands like Eyeko, NYX and of course the Sephora house brand offers them for prices that aren’t too crazy as well.
However, if you really don’t feel like venturing outside the drugstore then you can even just get a creamy pencil eyeliner and use that as an eyeshadow. Of course, you’re going to need to test it on your hand first— draw a line then rub it with your fingers and see how easily it ‘blends’. Well, basically we’re just looking for an eyeliner that smudges. Eyeliners that don’t stay put and don’t smudge wouldn’t work here— not a bad thing, since that’s what they were made to do— you’d just end up irritating your eyes trying too hard to smudge it out with your finger. Personally, I’d recommend Bourjois Contour Clubbing Waterproof Eyeliner (contour… clubbing? Okay)… It has the most beautiful, creamy finish— just like an eyeshadow!— and, of course, it smudges like crazy.
Lighter shadow on the lid, darker shadow on the lash lines. Smudge.
Once you’ve got your two eyeshadows, start by putting the lighter eyeshadow all your eyelid. Do not go above the crease of your eyes all the way to your eyebrows! Use a clean finger to rub at the ‘edges’ of the shadow. This should be enough to blend it nicely. Then, get the darker eyeshadow and line it across the top and bottom lash lines— this is where a pencil eyeshadow would’ve come in handy. Otherwise, a cotton bud should do fine as a substitute liner brush just for the occasion. You can extend the eyeshadow slightly pass your lashline, as if you’re doing a cat eyeliner. Don’t worry about matching it or making it look nice and crisp, we’re going to blend the crap out of it in about two more seconds.
Then, just as the I’ve mysteriously foreshadowed, we are now going to blend it. Close your eyes and rub a clean finger (make sure it’s a clean finger. Using a finger with eyeshadow on it will lead to crazy eyes) across your lash line as if you’ve just got out of bed. This is where the need for creamy, easily-smudged pencil eyeliners come in. I’m sure we’ve all heard the “don’t rub your eyes or you’ll get wrinkles!” advice, so be gentle with the rubbing. But, to be honest, it’s not going to kill you especially if this is something you only do once every few months.
Then you’re finished! Use a baby wipe to clean up a bit if the eyeshadow has gone a bit further than you’d like. Some people prefer that slightly messy, grungy look but there will be others who want it to look cleaner. Either way, you should have a perfectly dependable ‘smokey eye’ that is nice enough to give off that ‘this is a special occasion’ vibe without making you feel uncomfortable with yourself. Of course, if you’re the type who literally never wears makeup or never wears any obvious makeup then you might wonder if you’re rocking panda eyes but trust me– you probably aren’t. One thing I’ve learnt from attending random ‘big events’ is that there will always be someone who goes all out and even the blackest, darkest smokey eye on the planet will make you feel underdressed and unmade up next to them. Which isn’t a bad thing– a little ditty that fashion people like to repeat is that when in doubt, it’s better to be underdressed in something fabulous than overdressed in something fabulous. The same thing applies to makeup!
Just remember: you can adjust this look however you want to. Your ‘light eyeshadow’ might be someone else’s ‘dark eyeshadow’. It all depends on your preference and, of course, your skin tone. One thing that’s for sure is that if applied correctly, this should be a foolproof look.
A very subtle version, worn by DS in everyday life.
Of course, a simple smokey eye isn’t the only look that can be done by beginners on a big day. How about something a bit more daring, yet just as easy and just as affordable and achievable for a beginner? I’ve got something in mind already! But that will be another post for another day.
Until then, ta ta and have a fabulous day!