Smoky Eyes Gone Wrong

Taylor Momsen's racoon eyesThe smoky eye is a classic look that has seen a variety of interpretations over the years, but like many things in the beauty world, when it comes to dark shadows, less is more. Although heavy eye makeup can be very beautiful, it has to be done carefully. Let’s take a look at some of the scariest smoky eyes we’ve seen on the red carpet and learn how to avoid them!

Is it us or has Taylor Momsen been sporting the black raccoon eye for just a little too long? As much as we love the Gossip Girl star, the black shadows she paints around her eyes are way too heavy for her fresh face. To avoid the Momsen mistake (right), try to keep the very dark colors of your smoky eye as close to the base of the lid as possible. The more it spreads, the more vampy you’ll look.

Supermodel Claudia Schiffer is world renowned for her beauty and it seems almost nothing can spoil her. That’s why we were stunned to see her scary makeup at the Graduate Fashion Week Gala in London last year (below, left). Although her eyes weren’t laden with black shadow, she made the mistake of applying it all around her eye and even near her tear ducts. For a flawless smoky eye, try to keep the shadow on your lids and just a little below your bottom lash.

Claudia Schiffer bad makeupLeighton Meester bad makeupClaudia Schiffer (left) and Leighton Meester (right)

We tend to envy Leighton Meester. If it’s not for her singing/acting talent, never-ending access to the world’s top designers, or perfectly glossy hair, it’s because she has such a daring sense of style. But last year, the Herbal Essences spokeswoman took her makeup too far when she smudged purple shadow all the way on to her temples (above, right). There are two things to learn from this faux pas: first, a smoky eye is just that, for your eye; second, certain colors work for some people but not for others. Be very careful with the purples you choose, focus on deep hues and blend them with lavenders, because the wrong shade can start to look like a bruise very quickly.