classic makeup: the starlet

Well hello! Today's post is the fifth in my classic makeup series, and it features perhaps the most classic of all the looks. I'm talking about The Starlet, otherwise known as the soft smoky eye, or the perfect (and most popular) red carpet look. Of course, there are a thousand variations on this basic look, but this is my own personal take on it.

A lot of people are intimidated by the smoky eye, because not only does it seem difficult, it also seems like it can be easy to go overboard. I'll level with you--it can. In fact, I now abstain from drinking even one glass of wine when doing this look on myself or my friends while we're getting ready to go out together. It takes concentration and precision, and a fair amount of restraint and those two things aren't always present when, say, a bubbly drink is in the mix. So, if you've got a big night coming up, pin this look for later, but make sure you do your makeup before you pop any corks!

Here are some examples:

Or this photo of Jessica Chastain, which I spotted yesterday via Suicide Blonde.

Here's what you need:

Here's how to do it:

Start with the eyes first before anything else to avoid getting black powder in your perfectly set foundation. Prep the eyes with an eyeshadow primer. Here I used Smashbox, but I've recently rekindled my love for Urban Decay's Eyeshadow Primer Potion. That stuff is the real deal. Don't forget to apply a little bit to your lower lashline for this look.

Apply a highly pigmented silvery shadow on the inner corners of your eye, blending upwards and inwards towards the brow and centre of the lid. Then, with a flat brush like this, press a matte black eyeshadow along your lashline, blending upwards carefully towards the crease. With the edge of the brush, apply a small amount of the black shadow to your lower lashline as well. When you're happy with the amount you've got on, Blend outwards with a fluffy brush.

To create further drama, tightline your eyes using a waterproof black liner. Curl your lashes, apply your mascara, and check to see if you need to add a little more black shadow now that your lashes are done. As an optional flourish, trace a thin line of glittery liner in silver along the top lashline.

Now it's time to clean up the mess. Using an oil-free makeup remover, remove any fallout (black powder that fell beneath your eyes). Once it's clean, you can do your foundation as usual.

Apply a peach blush, preferably one with a bit of shimmer, to the apples of your cheeks. To finish the look, slick on a sheer lip gloss a bit lighter than your natural lip colour. I used Turkish Delight by NARS, one of the few very light shades that look good on pale people.

That's it! Final look: