How I Wear Color: Urban Decay's Smoked Palette

I may prefer muted tones from the neck down, but when I wear a smoky eye, no color is off limits.
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Adriana
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I may prefer muted tones from the neck down, but when I wear a smoky eye, no color is off limits.

I'm not a person that likes color--fashion wise, that is. Ninety percent of my wardrobe is black, charcoal gray, denim, navy, white, camel, or some type or earth-toned green (you know: olive, forest, etc.). A lot of people--or maybe just my mom-- think I'm too young to dress in such muted tones, but I happen to think they're gorgeous, and the aforementioned shades make up a deeply entrenched comfort zone that I don't see myself stepping out of anytime soon.

Interestingly enough, though, as color-shy as I am with fashion, I'm adventurous with makeup. Bright orange lip? Sure, why not? Teal eyeliner? I'm down. I use makeup to add intrigue and oomph to a neutral outfit (that, and a maybe a bold piece of jewelry), which is why when I saw the Urban Decay Smoked Palette, my eyes lit up and I got a little tingly down there.

Look and learn: The Urban Decay Smoked Palette. 

Look and learn: The Urban Decay Smoked Palette. 

It includes 10 highly pigmented shadows that can be combined in an infinite number of ways to create a fresh take on the smoky eye. The top five shades are more neutral--I see these as "assist" colors. Like, if applying eyeshadow were a sport, these would be the colors that pass you the ball right before you score a goal. Yeah, a crazy analogy, I know, but this is what beauty writers do! I swear, we make up stories to justify buying/having things, and it's fine.

The palette's neutral shades. 

The palette's neutral shades. 

Anyway, combine any of these top colors in the crease or the outer corner, with any of the bottom colors all over the lid, and it's going to look right every time.

The white shade can be used as a matte brow highlight, or in the inner corner. The peachy, nude shade can be used to blend out the crease, or as a neutral base all over the lid. For my everyday look, I use the peach shade all over the lid, and buff the shade Barlust into my crease and outer corner.

But today we're not interested in everyday looks. Today we're talking about all-out, saturated colors, "damn, look at her, she's rocking a bright green smokey eye and not giving a flying fruit loop" type looks.

The greens, blues, and purples are what I'm interested in. 

The greens, blues, and purples are what I'm interested in. 

LOOK 1

I've outlined two looks for you guys, the first one being just that: a bright green smoky eye.

The star of this look is the shade "Loaded." It is a rich, emerald/forest green and it is EVERYTHING. And I don't say things like that, OK? Because I'm unenthusiastic and slightly apathetic--again, my mom's words not mine-- but this shade of green is just to die for.

For any major eye look, begin with a primer. 

For any major eye look, begin with a primer. 

I started by priming my lids with concealer and buffing some bronzer into my crease. I do this for every single eyeshadow look.

Use a bright cream shadow for a colored primer to brighten the powdered shade. 

Use a bright cream shadow for a colored primer to brighten the powdered shade. 

Next, just to intensify the color and make sure the shadow didn't look too dark as I packed it on, I applied Maybelline's Color Tattoo in Emerald.

Apply "Loaded" from the palette on top of the colored primer.

Apply "Loaded" from the palette on top of the colored primer.

Using a flat shader brush, I applied Loaded all over the cream eyeshadow base.

Shade the crease using neutral shades from the palette. 

Shade the crease using neutral shades from the palette. 

I then took a fluffy brush and used both Barlust--a metallic, coppery brown, and Backdoor, a matte dark brown, to deepen my crease and darken my outer corner.

Shade the bottom lash line using a combination of the palette shadows used on the top lid. 

Shade the bottom lash line using a combination of the palette shadows used on the top lid. 

After, I applied the same cream eyeshadow/Loaded combo with an angled brush onto my lower lash line.

Line the top lashes with a black gel liner. 

Line the top lashes with a black gel liner. 

Taking a flat angled brush, I used Estee Lauder's Double Wear gel eyeliner and very lightly lined my upper lash line and water line. You don't want to go too heavy with the liner on your upper lash line, or you'll risk hiding that beautiful green color.

Once you've applied your crease color, you can go back with a shader brush, and reapply Loaded to make sure the color is as intense as possible and not disguised by any brown fallout.

Next, curl your lashes and apply mascara. For extra drama, you can add false lashes, but to again, avoid concealing the green, cut the lashes in half, and apply them to the outer corner of your eyes.

LOOK 2

The second look is more subtle, though still a unique and rich take on the smoky eye. Start with the same first two steps by applying concealer to the lids and bronzer to the crease.

Apply "barlust" on the lid. 

Apply "barlust" on the lid. 

Using the same (clean) shader brush, apply Barlust all over the lid.

Buff "Evidence" at the outer crease.

Buff "Evidence" at the outer crease.

Taking Evidence, a beautiful, metallic sapphire, use a blending brush to buff it into your outer corner and crease. Then take any liner brush, wet it, and use it to apply Evidence to the waterline and lower lash line. When applying Evidence to the waterline, pat/press the color on, don't try to glide it on.

Wet "Evidence" and use it to line the waterline. 

Wet "Evidence" and use it to line the waterline. 

Apply any black liner. I used Urban Decay's 24/7 Liquid Liner in Perversion to create a wing, but the palette itself comes with the same color eyeliner in pressed form.

Line your top lashes with a small flicked wing. 

Line your top lashes with a small flicked wing. 

The blue will look more intense/more grey/more blue/darker in different lighting, which will be good since this is an evening look and throughout the course of the night you might find yourself under various types of lighting, e.g. red lights next to a DJ booth, a streetlight while bumming a cigarette off some hot French guy, the morning light shining through the bedroom window of said French guy's apartment, etc.