There’s no time like party time to perfect the elusive smokey eye; taking the time to master the technique before the festive season reaches full swing presents the opportunity to customise and modernise the classic look to your heart’s content. Striking the perfect balance between sultry and sophisticated may require far more time and dedication than a simple bold red lip come the big event, but the final result is well worth the effort.

The drama is in the detail; follow these five foolproof steps to amp up your after-dark look this party season



Hydrate the eye area using EVE LOM’s Eye Lift*, which immediately smooths and firms the eye area, improving both the last and application of consequently applied makeup. Sweep URBAN DECAY’s Primer Potion* over the lid and blend with the ring finger to create an even skintone and smooth base. The matte, nude colour blurs imperfections and the high-tech formula results in a smooth, crease-free finish and more vibrant colour.



Lightly blend CHANEL’s Illusion D’Ombre Longwear Luminous Eyeshadow in Rouge Noir over the eyelid using the ring finger to create a sultry wash of smudged pigment. The silky smooth formula is weightless but intensely pigmented, so creates drama from first touch. Use minimal product for a sheer finish, then layer it slowly to deepen both colour and sheen. Intensify the colour into the crease of the eye using a small crease brush, before smudging any excess across the lower lash line.



To amp the glam factor, use your ring finger to dab SISLEY’s Photo-Ombre Glow Eyeshadow in Gold* onto the centre of the eyelid and into the inner corners of the eyes. This provides the bright, shimmery finish that instantly widens and illuminates the eyes; then gently blend the gold and red together.

Alternatively, for an intense smokey look, add dimension and build out the shape of the eye by utilising the cool browns of CHARLOTTE TILBURY’s Luxury Palette in The Sophisticate*. Use a blending brush to create a diffused, smokey effect. Use the lightest shade in the palette to highlight the brow bone and inner corner of the eye, before deepening the crease with the bottom left shade. Finally, smudge the darkest shade along the lash line for an instant sultry effect.



Using a freshly sharpened pencil, softly sketch the CHARLOTTE TILBURY The Classic Audrey Eyeliner Powder Pencil* tightly into the lashline. The black-brown shade creates the illusion of thick, dark lashes without appearing as harsh and unnatural as a pure black pigment can. Thicken the line on the outside half and extend it out just a little to amplify the effect. Trace the pencil along the outer half of the bottom lash line before smudging it in with a smaller, stiff brush.

For added drama, use the SUQQU Eyeliner Pencil* to trace a bold line from inner to outer corner, and extend it outwards in a cat-eye flick. The smooth, gel formula makes application foolproof, and sets to a bold smudge-proof finish in seconds.



Curl the lashes using NARS’ Eyelash Curlers* [the best in the business] for instant and long-lasting lift [doing so before applying false lashes [which come pre-curled] helps the two to blend together easily]. Trim false eyelashes a little at a time to find the perfect length before transferring them to the lid with a pair of tweezers for precision application. I favour a more natural set of lashes such as THREAD’S Vavavoom Eyelashes*, which add fullness with finesse. Finally, build a thick coat of TOM FORD's Extreme Mascara in Raven* into the top lashes, wiggling the brush from the roots and up through the lashes continually in order to build volume. Then use the tip of the brush on the bottom lashes for a more precise application

What are your favourite products for creating perfect party eyes?

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