The Beauty Memo

The Smoky Eye Just Got A Major Update For 2024 – Here’s How To Wear It Now

The classic smoky eye has been infused with a little something extra on runways and red carpets of late. Here, MALENA HARBERS shares three ways to create the look, but not as you’ve done it before…

Smoke show: Tom Ford FW24

The dramatic bottom liner

Everything about the eye makeup at Tom Ford’s FW24 runway show was what we’ve come to expect from the brand – sultry, sexy and easily wearable. Models wore three iterations of the classic smoky look using the new Tom Ford Beauty Eye Color Quad Crème palettes – a pinkish soft nude, bronzed deep browns and a dark-as-midnight navy (anchored by a lacquered black base). Color was applied as a halo over the eye and up to the brow on the outer corners, using a smudge brush to diffuse any harsh edges. Adding to the drama is a defining line of black along the lashlines, using Tom Ford Beauty’s Eye Defining Pen in Deeper. But what really makes this look stand out is the emphasis on a heavy-handed bottom liner. Diffused and slightly winged at the corners, it instantly gives the whole affair a lived-in appeal. A heavy helping of mascara, velvety contoured skin and a natural, full brow (plus a spritz of Tom Ford Beauty’s new Vanilla Sex fragrance, which was on-hand backstage at the show) help to keep the overall finish infinitely glam.

The single-color smudge

A matte, black eyeshadow can often veer into outdated territory, so celebrity makeup artist Violette uses a cobalt-blue shade for a more youthful effect. “All you need are two fingers and one cotton bud,” she says. “I start by patting eyeshadow all over the lid using my ring finger. Then, I use my middle finger to smudge and blur the edge of the shadow [to avoid] obvious lines. I don’t care about it being a mess, either – I just take the cotton bud and clean up under the eye afterwards. The whole thing takes two minutes.”

If a bright, block pigment isn’t for you, you can still inject a little color using a neutral shadow instead. Makeup artist Sheika Daley, who works with Zendaya, opts for a hue that’s two or three shades darker than your natural skin tone. “I love a pinky nude. I’ll take it all over the eye and really blend it out, over the crease and almost up to the brow, so that it’s nearly invisible and gives a beautiful halo of color. Then I add a pop of shimmer on the center of lids, a black liner, and lashes to bring the drama in.”

Makeup artist Sheika Daley, who works with Zendaya (pictured), recommends opting for a pinky-nude hue that’s two or three shades darker than your natural skin tone
Reese Witherspoon went for a metallic bronze smoky eye at the 2024 SAG Awards

The elevated evening twist

The pro secret to this take on the classic technique is about layering up color. While the amateur approach is to go in with a single dark shade to create that smoked-out effect, the experts first apply a different hue or texture as a base layer underneath – choose from a satiny hot pink, metallic bronze (à la Reese Witherspoon at the SAG Awards), or even silver-colored glitter. This pop of color and contrasting texture not only intensifies the black, navy or indigo applied on top, but also makes color look three-dimensional, not flat. We love midnight shades of black, deep chocolate brown, amethyst and navy layered over a shimmering bronze for a truly glamorous and moody eye. Balance it with naturally dewy skin and a neutral lip to finish.


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