As you’ve probably guessed by now, I’m into makeup. Like, really into it. While Lindsey is obsessed with researching any and everything that interests her, that’s not really my speed–except when it comes to cosmetics. I read makeup boards, have at various points subscribed to multiple beauty sample services (at the moment, budget constraints mean I’m just doing Ipsy), and I can spend hours in an Instagram K-hole looking at pictures and videos posted by beauty gurus. Those beauty gurus, especially, are my crack. Their poreless skin, their impossibly radiant highlighter, their microbladed eyebrows, their absurdly expensive fake lashes: I love it all, and almost everything I’ve learned is thanks to genetically blessed twenty-somethings who refer to a single blackhead as a “breakout.”
But girl, that is not my reality. My face has seen some shit over the years, for one thing. I’ve got age spots and wrinkles as well as acne-prone skin. (Nobody ever tells you that for some of us, the zits DO last forever.) I take really good care of my skin and it’s miles better than it used to be, but my best is not perfect. And for another, I’m a grown-ass woman, okay? A sculpted and strobed face doesn’t fit into my life. When I do a full face, it’s because I’m going to a Mexican restaurant to split a pitcher of margaritas with my girlfriends and make it home by ten, and fake lashes just aren’t worth the trouble, you know?
All of that, I think, scares some of us who are in our thirties and older away from taking the plunge and painting our faces. Hell, if I hadn’t been given my first Naked palette by a very generous friend, I might still be wearing chalky foundation and mascara and calling it a day. But because makeup has truly brought me so much joy (lol, but it’s true) I thought it’d be fun to incorporate some beauty tutorials and general talk into The Sable Thread’s rotation. So once a month, you’ll be seeing an installment of Gimme Face, and we’re kicking things off with a good old-fashioned step-by-step for this Adult Lady Smoky Eye:
As you can see, there’s no editing, no cake-face, and plenty of visible pores. If that’s your kind of Lewk, let’s get into the tutorial. I started with a bare face:
Step one is, of course, moisturizer (and sunscreen, but it was nighttime and I didn’t actually go anywhere after I finished this, so I skipped that for brevity). I have oily skin, but it’s also aging, so dryness is somehow also a thing I have to worry about? This is a great time to be alive with combination skin, though, because there are so many amazing products on the market. I’m pretty loyal to the Ole Henriksen brand when it comes to skincare, and I LOVE their Sheer Transformation Perfecting Moisturizer. It’s super light while also being very hydrating, and it keeps my skin looking fresh without making me oily–which is quite a feat. For this look, I mixed a drop of Josie Maran’s Argan Illuminizer in with my Sheer Transformation. It’s oil-based, which would usually wreak havoc on my skin, but for some reason this stuff just gives me an amazing glow without clogging my pores or turning me into an oil slick. I love the way it looks under foundation–lit from within without being aggressively sparkly. I also primed my oily-ass (seeing a theme here?) eyelids with Urban Decay’s Anti-Aging Primer Potion.
Next, I built my shadow look. I used BH Cosmetics’ Eye on Neutral palette, which I highly recommend. BH is a very reasonably-priced indie brand that you can find online and at places like Urban Outfitters, but you can also occasionally find their stuff super discounted at places like TJMaxx and Ross. I got this particular (huge!) palette at Ross for something like ten dollars, and I use it all the time. The shadows are really buttery and pigmented and easy to blend. I started by placing this really pretty dark purple shade all over the outer 3/4s of my lids:
And then filling in the rest by patting this shade from the inner corners to about the midpoint of the lid:
Next came the crease color. Because I have hooded eyes, I put color pretty far up, so my crease ends up being a pretty wide swath above my lid. Now, this is the part where I stress the importance of blending. I’m always working to improve my blending skills, so I’m not going to act like I know the secret, but there are a lot of YouTube tutorials on basic eyeshadow blending that are extremely useful and that helped me improve immensely. The goal is to work the shadow into the crease so that it’s distinct from the colors on the lids but also so there isn’t a harsh line–it should look like a gradation, not stripes.
Next I blended out the top edges of the crease color with a nude shade. My go-to nude for blending is the shade buff from this little Stila mini-palette I got ages ago. I’m pretty sure they make singles of it, too, though:
Next, I popped on a little inner corner highlight–basically, this just makes the eye look slightly larger and more awake. This is what all those light, sparkly shades in palettes are for. I also smudged a little of a different dark purple under my lower lash line before lining with black shadow. (A note about lining with shadow: I prefer lining with powder or a pencil the older I get. As my eyelids get more elastic with age, liquid and gel liners drag and make it difficult to get a precise shape and line. I still use them, but it’s not an everyday thing for me like it once was.) Lastly, I finished with Urban Decay’s Perversion mascara, which is my jam for full, dramatic lashes that still look soft and natural.
WHEW! But we’re still not done. Fortunately, the rest is way simpler. Let’s talk face. I own and like several different foundations/BB creams, but right now I’m obsessed with Dr. Jart’s Premium Beauty Balm. It’s a Korean product, so it literally only comes in two shades, which is lame, but if you’re pale af like me, it’s worth a try.
Next is concealer. My favorite concealer is Maybelline’s Better Skin. I like it more than any of the high-end products I’ve tried; it’s got great coverage that’s super buildable, it isn’t too thick, it stays put, and it costs something like six dollars. SOLD. After concealer, I set my base with another Maybelline product, their Fit Me Matte and Poreless powder, which also great and controls oil like nobody’s business. I usually only have to blot once a day, and if you, too, have a grease trap for a face, you know that’s impressive.
As I mentioned before, I subscribe to Ipsy, and some of my favorite products are samples from my monthly bags. One of my favorite things about Ipsy (and why it survived my subscription box purge) is that they send out a lot of products from The Balm, which is a brand I LOVE. I’m using their Frat Boy blush here, which is a lovely, subtle pink.
All that’s left are brows and lips, and honestly I could talk about brows forever but this is already SO. FUCKING. LONG that I sincerely doubt anyone is even still reading it, so listen, I painted them on with Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow in Taupe and mixed NYX’s Microbrow pencil in Ash Brown in because no company makes a product in whatever weird-ass color my eyebrows are, and then I set them with Anastasia’s clear brow gel. Because my eyeshadow is so dramatic, I kept my lips subtle and wore my go-to neutral matte, which is NYX’s Soft Matte Lip Cream in London. (If you follow us on Instagram, you probably already know I have what some people might call “a problem” when it comes to NYX’s lipsticks. I LOVE THEM ALL AND THEY’RE SO CHEAP.)
Et voila! There you have it. The Adult Lady Smoky Eye.
We want to hear about your favorite products, questions you may have, or general beauty thoughts, as anything else you want to share with us on Facebook or Instagram. Thanks for reading, and we’ll C U Next Tuesday!