When it comes to a cool, chic, and effortless beauty look for an evening out, you can’t go wrong with a smoky eye. But gone are the days of making it perfect – now it’s all about embracing the imperfections. Those smudges and that worn-in feel give this classic look a contemporary edge.
Savoir Flair turned to James Kaliardos, the makeup artist behind Nars’ stunning new ‘Fall 2016 Color Collection’ campaign, asking for his top tips on how to get the smudged-eye look in ten simple steps. “This look is what I often do. It can be the prep for a smoky eye with eyeshadow or it can stand alone with the eyeliner as the focus. In my opinion, it’s a cooler look without eyeshadow – more rock ‘n’ roll,” explains Kaliardos. “It’s an empowering look that works well on everyone and with every skin tone. Don’t try to be too perfect when applying this style of makeup. Imperfections are cool – they give you personality!”
Find the ten steps of this beauty tutorial in the gallery below, and keep scrolling for a selection of exclusive behind-the-scenes images from the campaign shoot.
“The key for this look is to let the skin show through. Start with a translucent base, such as the ‘Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer’ or ‘Sheer Glow Foundation’.”
“Next, apply a very small amount of concealer around the eye. Don’t use too much in order to avoid the product mixing with the color of the eyeliner. Apply the concealer to the inside of the eye, along the nose bridge, underneath the eye to erase dark circles, at the top of the cheekbones, and a little on the eyelid (what is on the lid should be very transparent).”
“Use the ‘London Velvet Eyeliner’ to line the inside water rim of the eye. Sometimes it’s fun to play with something that is not black. Gray accomplishes the same effect as black liner, but makes the look a bit softer. Then, in a very loose-handed way, apply the eyeliner to the lower eye rim and top line of the eye, thickly and closely to the eyelashes. The application does not have to be perfect; this is only to create the base.”
“Use the ‘#47 Angled Eyeliner Brush’ to gently blend the eyeliner on the bottom of the eye and connect it to the water rim. Start with the concentrated product in the water rim and blend out; let the brush help move the product so it does not look like eyeliner anymore. Don’t be afraid to bring the product lower than your lash line. If it goes too low, tap the excess product with your fingertip. Next, use the brush at the top of the eye to push the product into the eyelash. The concentration of color should be along the eyelashes and softened toward the crease of the eye. It should go from dark to light – from the eyelashes outward – on both the top and bottom of the eye. Keep tapping the product outward so there isn’t a hard edge or graphic line where the smokiness stops. It should just turn into skin.”
“When you have applied the eyeliner once, do it all again (following steps three and four), then set the eye with just a little bit of the ‘Soft Velvet Loose Powder’ over it.”
“To take the look a step further, apply a black, dark gray, purple, or gunmetal-gray eyeshadow. Start at the root of the eyelash, using the same ‘#47 Angled Eyeliner Brush’ as before to blend a very minimal amount of eyeshadow up towards the crease of the eye. The goal is to apply the eyeshadow lightly so it appears sheer in a tonal-color effect. Afterwards, take a step back and look at the entire eye. If it looks too heavy (especially on the bottom), use a clean brush to dust the excess product away or use your ring finger and gently tap the inside of your brow bone to blend and soften the eyeshadow.”
“To complete the eye, apply the ‘Audacious Mascara’ to the top and bottom lashes. Keep the bottom softer by applying the mascara with the brush from the root of the bottom eyelashes, outwards. If there is a spider effect, remove the excess by smoothing the mascara away with your index finger and thumb. For the top lashes, apply it generously – you shouldn’t need to apply false eyelashes for this look.”
“To finish the look, contour your cheeks but don’t use too much color, creating more of a neutral feel instead. Use makeup shades that are natural and work well with your skin tone. Feel free to highlight, but avoid the brow bone. You want the skin to show with the look.”
“Next, define your eyebrows with the ‘Brow Perfector’. The darker, the better! They should look full and natural.”
“Finish by applying a neutral lip to complete the entire look.”
Exclusive Behind-the-Scenes Images