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funny story + pretty make up + tutorial =

Work was awesome today - in a wildly busy, crazy productive, hilariously funny way. Have I mentioned recently how much I love my job and my co-workers?

The highlight of my day was locking my keys in my truck at the gas station on my lunch. I nearly panicked until I remembered that I hadn't latched the sliding back window all the way the other day; I climbed up in the back of the truck, was able to slide the window open about a half inch, and used a twig to push the latch open so I could open the window the rest of the way to dive inside and get the keys. The funny part? I was wearing a semi-short (a few inches above the knee) skirt. Jack (formerly known as Boss Man - he nicknamed me Liz Lemon, so now he's Jack Donaghey) said that if he finds the video on YouTube, he'll be sure to let me know.


So right about now, I imagine you're asking yourself something like: why this silly blogger is sharing photos of herself with crummy lighting, PJs and a top knot that's pretty much only appropriate for washing one's face?

The answer, dear friends, is that I am sharing these only mildly flattering photos because I want to share my awesome eye make up look with you. It may appear to be a regular ol' smokey eye, but there are a few things that set today's smokiness apart from the norm:

1. It happened completely by accident.
2. It happened as a result of a mistake.
3. The best part: I created at work, in a hurry, using nothing more than a black eye pencil, a blending brush, a tiny bit of shimmery pink shadow, and a bad ass mascara.



If you're still reading, I'm going to assume that's it's because you're interested in finding out how I stumbled upon this oh-so-sexily simple look (hint: to see the full view of the finished product, skip toward the bottom). I've never considered myself a pro at make up application (pretty much everything I know I've learned from magazines, YouTube, or came up with myself), but I love to experiment and try new things with my make up application techniques. I've had to teach myself everything I know, so I'm always looking for ways to improve (this is why I'm so obsessed with make up brushes, btw). Today was the first day that I've done a smokey eye using black that I didn't look like I had a black eye, so I'm pretty darn proud of it.

I'm done bragging though - here's the low-down; I've even italicized the names of the products that I use, and included links where I can. I'd like to note that this is not a sponsored post.

Step one: Everything else.
I always do my eye make up second to last - this way if I'm running late, I can just swoop on some liner and mascara and run out the door; lipstick comes after, which I can always do at work. I'll run through this part of the routine super quick like, since it's not the focus of this post: I start off by moisturizing, using Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizer for dry skin; then I prime (MakeUp Forever HD Microperfecting Primer); after which I conceal (MakeUp Forever HD Invisible Concealer in shade 310); then I lay the foundation (MakeUp Forever HD Foundation in 110). 


After I apply foundation, I usually add a tad more concealer as needed. I also like to blend some foundation and concealer over my lids and under my eyes to cover the serious dark circles I have going on (due to intense sleep deprivation). It's important to let the foundation and concealer dry completely before applying any other products, but it's best to set it with a powder (I like MakeUp Forever HD Microfinish Powder, applied using the MakeUp Forever Kabuki Brush) before moving on to step two.

I usually add a few dots of pearly pink highlighter to the tops of my cheekbones, my brow bone and cupid's bow as well. Dollface by Hard Candy is currently my go-to shimmer, but I'm considering trading up and trying out something by Nars or Benefit High Beam. I apply powder blush with a round brush - my current favorite is Girly Show, from the TooFaced In Your Dreams palette.


Step two: Prime! 
Seriously, priming your lids makes your eye products stick for soooooo much longer. If I don't use primer, by the end of work I usually have eyeshadow shimmer all over my face but no color in sight, and eye liner smudged like crazy - I look like a fairy raccoon. I just started using Urban Decay Primer Potion in original formula, and it's one of the best and is probably the most recommended eye primer out there - it's also $19 for the smallest bottle available at Sephora. A tiny bit goes a long way, and in my opinion it's worth it. If you're looking for something a bit cheaper though, Hard Candy Eye Shadow Primer is available at WalMart and works just fine for much less.

Important: let primer dry before applying any product!


Step three: Pink shimmer shadow
Dust a shimmery pink shadow all over your lid and into the crease. I used Pink Peacock by TooFaced (from their In Your Dreams palette). Pressing it gently into your lid with your finger will help it to stay in place better than sweeping it across with a brush. For extra drama and shimmer, you can dust a tiny bit beneath your lower lashes as well.

Note: when you get palettes like these, I suggest you leave the plastic over the lipgloss so they don't get eye shadow in them.

This next part is what I discovered by accident. I was trying to just line my eyes and smudge it a tiny bit, but I got a bit carried away and messed things up. I decided to go with it, and it turned into a smokey eye.

Step four: Smoke your eyes
This is the tricky part, where it can go seriously wrong. I'd be willing to bet that it'd be pretty difficult to get such a lovely smokey effect with just any eye pencil. I used Urban Decay's 24/7 Glide On Pencil in Perversion (matte blackest black), and I highly recommend it (if you're a beginner, maybe go for Zero instead of Perversion). It gives you about 30 seconds of play time before it sets into stone on your eyes (not literally, obvs, but you get the idea), and you can do some pretty fun stuff in those 30 seconds. I also recommend getting the 24/7 Glide On Shadow Blending Brush; it makes smudging the pencil infinitely easier. All of these products are pictured just above the palette, with the primer.

The technique: line top lid with a thin line of pencil. Run brush along entire line to smooth and blur; when you reach the outer corner of your eye, blend the pencil up into the crease and across the outer third of the lid using circular motions, going towards your nose. Add more liner as needed to get the desired effect. When you've reached the desired level of smokiness stop. Then, line waterline on lower lid; if you didn't dust pink shadow across bottom, you can lightly run brush beneath lower lashes to add a bit of smoke to the bottom.

When smoking your eyes, remember that you want soft, blurry lines, not sharp, intense ones.

Step five: lashes!
I love, love, LOVE mascara. I currently own at least seven different tubes, of various brands, formulas and prices. I'm getting a new one tomorrow, and once I've given it a shot, I'm planning to post a review of the different ones I've tried.


ANYWAY, back to the tutorial… Next, apply mascara. In these photos, I used Dior DiorShow Blackout Mascara in kohl black - my absolute favorite. The technique:

1. Comb lashes using lash comb.
2. Remove mascara wand from tube, wiping excess off inside tube.
3. "Lock" wand into base of lashes - you'll get what I mean by this when you do it. Basically, get it as close to the base of your lashes as you can, and jimmy it in between the lashes there. Then, apply to lashes in upward, zig-zag motions. I would recommend 2-3 coats, depending on what kind you are using and how new your tube is. I usually to 2-4 of my Dior. To make lashes appear even longer, apply extra mascara to ends of lashes. When finished, use lash comb to separate lashes and remove any clumps.

NOTE: I don't usually use a lash curler. I like to give my lashes in a less torturous way, by pushing them up a bit after I've applied mascara. It doesn't give quite the eye opening effect of a curler, but there's zero danger of pinching!

Step six: color your lips.
In these photos, I'm wearing Centerfold by TooFaced - it's a pinky-beigey nude. The number one rule of make up is that only one part of your face should be dramatic; with an intense smokey eye like this, it's better to keep cheeks and lips toned down. I was wearing my MakeUp Forever Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick in shade #33 earlier though - for a bright bubble gum pink, it actually still seemed to work with the dark eyes.


Step seven: congratulate yourself on a job well done.
Seriously. You look hot. You deserve to go shopping.


Ta-da! The finished product.

Here are some photos of the brushes I use on a daily basis. The pink roll I recently picked up from Sephora for $60 (find it here) - a great deal, and the brushes are pretty good, but I definitely want to get some professional quality brushes at some point in the near future; if not a full set, then at least the basics (foundation, concealer, blush, blending, etc...).


The double ended brushes are meh. They work okay, but they're not the best. In fact, I used the smudge brush (the short stubby one) and it actually kinda hurt. Not worth the $18 each I spent.


I hope this makes sense, although since it's my first make up tutorial, I realize that it's entirely possible that parts of it don't. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments or to email me. If you're interested in a video tutorial, let me know in the comments and I'll put one together.

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