How To Get The New Smoky Eye

Carlene Higgins, the co-host of the ‘Breaking Beauty’ podcast, explains how to give a modern twist to this classic makeup look.

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Photo, Carmen Cheung. Makeup and hair, Brittany Sinclair.

Different than the opaque panda eyes of the past, the 2.0 version reads brighter, with a hint of glisten. Lucky Bromhead, the makeup artist responsible for Catherine O’Hara’s stunning smoky eyes on Schitt’s Creek, believes that a touch of gloss, typically added at the end for dimension, is a fresh twist. “Frosty shadows highlight any crepiness or fine lines around the eye, which can make skin appear dry or more aged,” she says. Gloss on the other hand, catches the light without any glitter. Here, follow her essential steps to creating your own modern smoky eye.

Create a contoured base

Photo, Carmen Cheung. Makeup and hair, Brittany Sinclair.

Use a paddle shaped-brush to lay down the lightest colour, from your lashline all the way up to your brow. Switch to a fluffy brush and apply the medium colour to the crease of your eye, using a windshield wiper-like motion. Apply the medium colour along your bottom lash line with an angled brush to create soft definition (using pencil under the bottom lashes can look harsh).

Deepen the intensity

Photo, Carmen Cheung. Makeup and hair, Brittany Sinclair.

With an angled brush, add the darkest colour along the top lash line. “How much of the dark colour you use and how high up over the lid you go will depend on your eye shape and your comfort level,” says Bromhead. Use the fluffy brush to blend the area where the dark colour meets the medium one. Next, trace the waterline beneath your top lashes with a brown or grey pencil to help eyelashes look thicker and your eyes more defined.

Use gloss very sparingly

Photo, Carmen Cheung. Makeup and hair, Brittany Sinclair.

Too much wetness can turn makeup into a greasy mess in no time. “A large lid can handle a wee dab of gloss,” says Bromhead. “However, if the lid space is small, it’s better to add a touch under the browbone only.” Whatever you do, don’t use lip gloss, since it’s not formulated for use near eyes; invest in a proper eye gloss instead. Finish the look with your favourite mascara.

Photo, Carmen Cheung. Makeup and hair, Brittany Sinclair.

Shade decoder

If you have fair skin, try warm bronze and neutral espresso.
If you have Asian skin, try shimmering taupes and orangey browns.
If you have South Asian skin, try dark copper and purply browns.
If you have olive skin, try teal greens and russet hues.
If you have medium skin, try reddish browns and golds.
If you have Black skin, try emerald greens and berry tones.

Tools to get the look:


1. Stila After Hours Eye Shadow Palette, $68, stila.ca
2. NYX Cosmetics Lid Lacquer, $9, nyxcosmetics.ca
3. Maybelline New York Tattoo Gel Eyeliner, $12, maybelline.ca