In beauty land you tend to hear about smokey eyes in winter months which is when most cosmetics brands launch their dark and sultry shades. However here at GTG we like to throw the rulebook out with our winter woollies, because smokey eyes are just as fabulous worn against a warm, bronzed complexion as they are against pale icy skin. Plus, they go as well with a kaftan as they would a bikini top, cut-off shorts or a long glamorous maxi dress. What’s more, they suit absolutely everyone.
The key, as Kay shows us here, is to use an eyeshadow brush to soften any harsh lines so the look is more romantic and mysterious. It’s also important to keep lips subtle and sheer – if we were allowed one rule for modern summer beauty it would be to avoid looking like you’ve tried too hard.
Step 1: Prime Time
As always, Kay stresses the importance of starting with a flawless skin base. She uses a sponge to apply a light foundation to eliminate imperfections and make the skin glow. Her technique is to start around the middle of the face and to blend out towards the hair line. “It’s around the centre of the face – the chin, around the nose and the middle of forehead that really needs it,” she says. She tends to not apply any more to cheeks but to just blend out what she has already on her sponge. Kay also uses a concealer to correct any discoloration, especially underneath the eyes.
Kay used: Marks and Spencer Limited Collection Lifting Effect Cream Foundation , £27.50 and Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer , £18.50
Step 2: Flirt with a Flush
To bring a pretty, flirty feel to this sultry look, Kay has warmed the cheeks with a soft rose powder blush that would suit any complexion. She used a medium size brush (not too large to avoid an Aunt Sally look), and swept from the apple of the cheeks up across the tops of cheekbones, towards the hairline.
Kay used: Pur Minerals Hot Rocks Profondeur Dimension Drame , £29.50
Step 3: Soft Focus
For a romantic take on the smokey eye, Kay has blended a dark grey eye shadow along the lash line, winged it out to the sides and smudged it underneath the eyes. Avoid hard kohl pencils here, which can look stunning but should be left for channelling your inner Brigitte Bardot. Instead, Kay has also used a round (rather than flat) smallish sized brush to blend the colour backwards and forwards to give a soft focus effect. With a tiny bit of colour left on her brush she has enhanced the socket line too.
Kay used: The darkest shade of Chanel Les Quatre Ombres in Mystere , £38
Step 4: Darkness into Light
In order to really make the eyes ‘pop’ and the depth of the colour along the lash line appear more dramatic, Kay used a touch of nude iridescent shadow on the centre of the upper lids. Again, the key is to blend until seamless.
Kay used: The lightest, oyster shade of Chanel Les Quatre Ombres in Mystere , £38
Step 5: All of a-flutter
For the darkest, sultriest lashes, choose a mascara that thickens, elongates and separates and make sure you apply two coats. (If it does clog, leave to dry before combing through with an eyelash brush. Don’t own such a thing? Wash out an old mascara brush, allow to dry and use that). For getting to the roots of the lashes, the best have a tapered or small brush like this one.
Kay used: Rimmel Lash Accelerator Mascara in Extreme Black , £7.99
Step 5: High Coral
To keep this look light, Kay firstly primed lips with a touch of foundation before applying a sheer coral lipstick which is bright without being OTT. It’s important not to use a lipstick that’s too dense, or overly bright which would shout ‘too much make-up!’ (see our rule in the first paragraph). As it is it’s pure, pretty, flirty perfection.
Kay used: Chanel’s Rouge Allure Lipstick in 131, Etonnante , £25.00
Photography by Billie Scheepers