Milan S/S ’11: Two rather exciting new twists on the ol’ smoky eye

Roberto Cavalli Giorgio Armani spring summer 2011 makeup

Old and busted: Stock standard, run-of-the-mill smoky eyes. (Yawn.)

New hotness: Smoky eyes, but with a twist.

I’m serious, folks! There are changes afoot when it comes to how we apply our eye makeup. Not that I will judge if you still want to do it the old way.

But the change I’m talking about is exciting in that it’s not so much about colour but emphasis. And that emphasis just happens to be under, not on top of the eyes. (We saw an inkling of this a few months back with Chase Aston, remember?)

Here’s what I’m talking about, at Roberto Cavalli:

Roberto Cavalli SS 2011 2 Milan S/S 11: Two rather exciting new twists on the ol smoky eye

Don’t her eyes look all sexy and feline? And yet, they’re not really all that made up, because what’s happening on the top lid—where we used to spend all our time—is just a simple wash of brown shadow all the way from the lash line right up to the brows.

Underneath the eye is where the real action is—in the form of a black liner applied right along the waterline and softly smudged with the brown shadow. This is the tightlining trick—my Jedi Mind Eyeliner Trick—I was talking about yesterday, except on the lower, not upper waterline. And if you’re looking for good, non-melty prodz to get it, read here.

It’s also INCREDIBLY transformative to do this look when people aren’t used to seeing you with sexy ass eye makeup. I mean, look at this model, Lindsey Wixson—does she even look like the same person?

Milan Lindsey Wixson Milan S/S 11: Two rather exciting new twists on the ol smoky eye

Okay, maaaaybe that dimple gives it away… but she definitely looks sultrier, sexier, more sophisticated with the defined eyes.

The other smokey eye news was at Giorgio Armani (whose smokies last season, if you’ll recall, were gorgeously ethereal)…

Giorgio Armani SS 2011 Milan S/S 11: Two rather exciting new twists on the ol smoky eye

This time, a much heavier hand—and it’s both underneath the eye AND in the inner corners. Surprise!

Now, you might not be inclined to use quite as dark of a shadow in real life because, well, people might wonder if you’ve just got an allergy or really bad dark circles or something. But I can attest that this application can be quite pretty when you use colours in the silvery, green or blue families. (Does anyone remember that Lancôme ad from a few years back when Daria Werbowy’s makeup was applied this way? Stunning.)

Unless you are a pro, you really want to invest in an expensive eyeshadow for this, as well as a good brush (sorry). I say this just because the pricier shadows tend to have superior pigments that go on in a sheer sort of way and let you gradually build up the colour. I’ve written before about a couple of my all-time faves: the new, long-lasting YSL shadows and Thierry Mugler’s very excellent Ombre Stellaire monos.

So tell me…

What do you think of the new smokey eye?
Do you still prefer the old smokey eye?
Or should we just go back to talking about bright lipsticks? (Can’t say I blame you. They’re definitely easier than eye makeup to apply.)


Tuesday, September 28/2010 at 10:00 pm

I LURRRRVE the Roberto Cavalli version! Those eyes are intense!

Have you tried Annabelle’s eyeshadow singles? I used to be such a snob to the brand but some of their eyeshadows are super duper pigmented actually. Oh, and of course Joe Fresh.


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, September 29/2010 at 11:14 am

I haven’t but will now! I must admit I’m a bit an eyeshadow snob though… at least for when you want more softly shaded looks vs. using the shadow as a liner close to the lashline. Just can’t get past how a-MAZ-ing YSL and Thierry are for that purpose… I didn’t know eyeshadow could be like that until I tried!


Wednesday, September 29/2010 at 3:38 pm

The Cavalli smoky eye is HAWT. The black eyeliner with brown shadow looks sooo fab. My Lancome Le Stylo black liner will be perfect with MAC Quarry or Omega…now I just an occasion lol


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, September 29/2010 at 7:00 pm

Oh I know—I need a much better social life in order to actually, uh, WEAR all this stuff I talk about here! :-)


Thursday, September 30/2010 at 2:08 pm

I need help finding a good waterline eyeliner for sensitive eyes, i’ve tried so many brands and after a few hours my eyes get red and irritated, plus i’m a contact lense wearer.


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, October 1/2010 at 11:22 am
Saturday, October 2/2010 at 2:07 am

it looks so great on the models, but whenever i do shadow or liner under the eye people ask me if I had a rough night! … not exactly the right reaction. how do you do it without looking super tired?


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, October 4/2010 at 4:04 pm

Ooooh great question!
Are you using an eyeshadow primer? That might help—apply it not just on the top lid but underneath the lower lashes. It will help the colour adhere and prevent it from smearing as much.

As for liner—are you doing the waterline thing? I think that look is best for underneath the eyes, as it’s just a very fine line right above where the lashes start. If you put the liner below the lashes, it’s going to drag your eye down and yes, possibly make you look tired.

For shadow maybe stick with shades that aren’t quite as dark/dramatic as the ones above. Here’s an example of a purple colour on me: What you want to do is concentrate the colour in the middle part, right underneath the iris. Make sure to blend really well.

Another tip is to make sure you’ve applied concealer at the inner and outer corners of your eyes (usually there are dark areas there). You could also use a bit of white highlighter at the inner “V” to bring a bit of light to the eyes.

Oh, and make sure you’re using waterproof/smudge-proof products.

Does that help? I hope so!


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