The smoky eye is by far the most coveted — and intimidating — eyeshadow look.
Applied correctly, the smoky eye's light-reflecting black and silver shades act like the real-life version of Instagram's Valencia filter. Thanks to the dark shades and liner amplifying your eyes, they look nearly twice as big.
Complemented by a lip color that keeps the look simple, we just dare your date to try and look away from your doe-like face.
There's only one problem with the smoky eye: it's often misinterpreted. It isn't about daubing on half a pound of dark shadow until you look like a mournful panda, but rather layering on color in order to give the makeup a little depth.
These days, the trendiest palette on beauty shelves is the hotly-anticipated Naked Smoky Palette from Urban Decay. The shadow compendium — the fourth full eyeshadow release in the brand's Naked palette series — offers up a fresh new take on a timeless trend.
Judging by nearly 250 reviews and a four star rating on Sephora's web store, the palette has satisfied the needs of makeup enthusiasts.
Although the $54 palette arrives with detailed illustrations of looks appropriate for a moodily-lit bar or club, we wanted to see how versatile the Naked Smoky can really get. With the aid of Urban Decay makeup artist Pepper Bass, we created three off-the-menu looks that have you covered for the office, date night and even a bold late night excursion.
Tear the plastic off your palette and dive in. All you'll need is Naked Smoky, eyeshadow primer and the double-ended brush provided.
First off: Pat the primer into the eye (a small amount, please!), groom the eyebrows and begin. We're just as excited as you are.
A Bronzy Eye For The Office
Using the brush's larger side, take Dirtysweet across the lid and into the crease. It's a satin shadow, ideal for the office because it helps you fake alert during the drowsy morning.
Next, dab the brush into matte shade Thirteen before taking it across the brow bone and into the eye's inner corner. Clean the area up, blending as much as possible.
Brush Whiskey into the eye's outer corner, using a “twist and roll” motion to push pigment into your pores. The idea is to create a soft, airbrushed look.
Smudge on Smolder to create a shadowy under-eye. Using the fluffy side of the brush, blend in Dagger over top.
Add mascara with a multistep technique Bass calls "uptown, downtown," skipping eyeliner on top in favor of a look that's more intriguing than your average cat eye.
A Glowy Date Night Eye
Begin with High, using the fluffy side of the brush to spread the light shade over the inner corner of the eye, without taking up too much space.
Then, spread the satin shade Smolder across the entire lid. Use light layers, adding on pigment a little at a time.
Follow with Combust, a matte shade that provides a little variety when placed against satin colors. Brush it into the crease, using tiny circles to blend it into the brown. Avoid the area directly below the eyebrow.
Follow with Whiskey, blending it into the crease over Combust. The matte shade softens the crease, providing a less intimidating look.
Blend away, relying on soft circles to create a natural-looking eye.
Take a black cream liner — Bass used Urban Decay's All Nighter Liner — across the lashes. Smudge out the color with the help of Smolder, pressed into the lash line in an upward motion.
Avoid lining the full waterline, focus instead on pushing pigment across the eye from the outer corner. Follow each application of liner with more shadow.
Take High across the inner corner of the eye, bringing it around to meet the dark liner.
Coat the bottom eyelid with Password, creating a subtle smoky look.
Finish with a generous coat of mascara for fluttery, romantic lashes.
Femme Fatale Smoky Eye, Perfect For A Night Out
Begin with a heavy, thick eyeliner line on the top lashes. It should be as messy as possible — yes, you're hearing us correctly.
Use a brush to smudge the color out, allowing it to act as a base for eye shadow.
Brush over top of the liner with matte shade Black Market, focusing on small circles to blend the color in as well as you can both across the lid and in the crease.
Use Dagger in the crease, applying in small circles.
Apply Karma directly in the center of the eye to create a bit of shimmer, adding dimension to the look. Now is the time to apply concealer under the eye, if you're seeing any powdery fall out.
Take Combust across the brow bone.
Line lower lash line, smudging the color in towards the eye's inner corner.
Break the liner into sections, tackling one at a time. Smudge the color backwards. Coat the bottom lash line with Password.
Use the brush's leftover product for the outer, top corner. Blend as much as you can.
Coat the eyelashes with a primer -- Bass swears by Subversion. It's all the drama of wearing fake lashes, without the glue stuck to your fingers.
Finally, finish with a generous coat of mascara. Urban Decay's Big Fatty is pictured here.