Ace Your Holiday Makeup Look With This Metallic Smoky Eye How-To

model with smoky eye makeup


We were inspired by the makeup look seen on Roberto Cavalli‘s fall runway to recreate the metallic smoky eye for the upcoming holiday season. The dramatic look for the show was created by makeup artist Diane Kendal using a mix of MAC Cosmetics. Mastering the complicated art of eyeshadow layering can be intimidating, so we enlisted the expertise of Holly Whited, lead makeup artist at GLAMSQUAD, for this step-by-step tutorial. Whited suggested wearing this dramatic look with a simple complexion and nude lips. After blending together black pencils and taupe-metallic pigments, the shimmery result was beautiful and festive without the harshness of an all-out black smoky eye. Check out the end result and how we got the look below.

  1. Prime lids and apply a slightly metallic eyeshadow of choice in a cream formula as a base for the look. We used MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Groundwork ($21) because the high pigment formula offers a vibrant finish.
  2. Using a rich black pencil, line the top inner rim and top lash line. Buff out the liner so that it’s smudged out and starts fading up. BareMinerals Lasting Line Long-Wearing Eyeliner ($16) has a precise pointed tip and a smudger at the other end, ideal for this step.
  3. Mix a taupe and taupe-metallic pigment together (we love the color we got by using MAC Pigment in Museum Bronze and Deep Brown, $21 each) to create the metallic color used to layer on the eyelid. Apply the mix with your finger by pressing down on the lids. Do not use a brush or swipe motions here, it will get messy very fast.
  4. Contour the crease of the eyelids by using a blending brush and a soft gray color. Do the same on the outer corners of the eye with a darker shade of gray. This Rituals Duo Baked Eyeshadow in Midnight Grey ($24.39) has the spot-on set of grays needed to nail this step.
  5. Use an angled liner brush and apply the deep gray shadow from step four to line the lower lash line. Make sure to wet your angled brush before dipping it in the gray shadow because this will ensure that pigment is grabbed and applied easily. Then use the pencil from step one to line the lower inner rim.
  6. Play up the eyes with a half strip of wispy false lashes and apply them to the outer corners of the eyes to accentuate the smoky look.
My final look!

My final look!